Freeman was just 10 years old on June 13, 2000, when his mother, Rosemary, died following a long battle with melanoma. Eighteen years later, the anniversary of her passing stirs emotions and memories for the Braves' first baseman and his family members.
"I don't know if I've ever done well on this day," Freeman said. "It's hard to keep my emotions in check. We lost her way too young."
Freeman said this shortly after drilling a solo home run during the eighth inning of the Braves' 2-0 win over the Mets on Wednesday afternoon at SunTrust Park, so he obviously didn't realize he has now homered during each of the past three games he has played on the anniversary of his mother's passing.
But as Freeman thought about this latest home run -- hit off Mets left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins -- he believed he might have received some motherly assistance. The drive left the bat with a 42-degree launch angle -- his highest mark on any homer since Statcast™ started tracking in 2015. It landed in the first few rows of the right-center-field seats.
"I hit that really high," Freeman said. "I know I hit it good, but I think she pulled that one over for me."
Freeman has gone 7-for-20 with three home runs while playing on June 13 during his career. He homered in 2015 against Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom, who was also on the mound Wednesday and ceded Freeman's decisive fourth-inning RBI single.
On the same date in 2016, Freeman punctuated a three-hit game against the Reds with a homer off JC Ramirez.
The homer off Blevins served as just another of the many special moments Freeman has experienced thus far this year. The 28-year-old first baseman was honored this week to learn that he has garnered more All-Star votes than any other NL player.
That certainly shouldn't be too surprising given that Freeman leads the NL in batting average (.344), on-base percentage (.435), slugging percentage (.590), OPS (1.025) and hits (88 -- tied with Braves teammate Nick Markakis) and weighted Runs Created Plus (174).
Freeman has been extra hot over his past seven games, hitting .481 with five home runs and a 1.681 OPS over 30 plate appearances.
"Sometimes, you can't even put it into words," Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson said. "You just kind of expect it out of him now. He's said that for himself. He plays at such a high level all the time that you're not exactly shocked when he does what he does."
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.