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By Steven Lieberman
Observer Reporter 

"Fre-ddie!" Freeman is turning blue

Signing with the Dodgers for 6 years for $162 million, leaving the Braves behind.


April 28, 2022

Freeman First Home Run

The Dodgers rejoiced when they discovered that the Braves picked up first baseman Matt Olson during the offseason, because they knew that Freddie Freeman would become available. And that's what happened. The Dodgers made an offer and the veteran accepted. Braves loss, Dodgers gain.

Freeman, 32-years-old, had a desire to stay with the Braves for his whole career. Last year, after winning the World Series and 12 seasons with the Braves, he entered free agency after a stalemate on contract negotiations. The Braves offered only five years at $140 million, but Freeman was set on six. So he accepted the six-year, $162 million contract offer from the Dodgers and gladly came home to Southern California.

The Dodgers were attracted to Freeman's many accomplishments: A five-time MLB All-Star, Gold Glove Award in 2018, three-time Silver Slugger Award recipient (2019, 2020, 2021), National League MVP in 2020, among others.

Freeman made his Dodgers debut on April 8, 2022 at first base and batting second in the lineup on the road against the Rockies. He finished the game going 1-3 with a walk. But the really bright spot occurred on April 18 at Dodger Stadium. Freeman would launch his first home run as a Dodger in what was also his first career at-bat against his former team. The other great highlight before that game was Freeman being presented with his 2021 Silver Slugger Award as Braves manager Brian Snitker and hitting coach Kevin Seitzer stood by his side.

And Freeman will never forget the standing ovation he received on opening day at Dodger Stadium on April 14. An unusual opening day played at night due to the postponing of the start of the regular season because of the lockout.

Whenever Freeman's name is announced at Dodger Stadium, the fans envelope him with chants of "Fre-ddie!"

"For 50,000 people, every single night, every single time I walk into the box, to make me feel good about myself, and know that they care about me, that means a lot," Freeman said.

Freeman Home Run

"It's not typical," Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said. "In my nine years here, I don't think I've seen any player where they chant his name every at-bat."

So far this season, the left-handed batter is lighting things up like a pinball machine. After 13 games and 52 at-bats, Freeman has 18 hits, 10 runs, two homers, and seven RBI for a career-high .346 batting average.

Freeman is in a prime position to continue building on his legacy while wearing a Dodger uniform. The trajectory that he is on will more than likely land him into the Hall of Fame when all is said and done.

And wouldn't it be interesting if the Dodgers and Braves meet in the NLCS for the third postseason in a row?

But this time, Freeman is wearing blue.


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