'I'm coming for it': Freeman has eyes on WS

March 2nd, 2021

While recapping his eventful and fulfilling offseason, relayed an exchange he shared with part-time hitting consultant Chipper Jones as the Braves worked out at their Spring Training facility in North Port, Fla., on Tuesday morning.

“[Chipper] said, ‘You have every award now, but you’re still missing one thing.’ I said, ‘Yep, I know it and I’m coming for it,’” Freeman said. “We’re getting closer and closer. We’ve got the right team and the right personnel, the right coaching staff and right front office. We’re set up perfectly to achieve goals here. I can pretty much match Chipper here if I get that World Series ring.”

If things go the way many Braves fans hope, Freeman will also follow the path Jones navigated while playing the entirety of his Hall of Fame career for Atlanta. The possibility of this occurring will be better understood at a later date, as speculation about a potential extension will surround the reigning National League Most Valuable Player Award winner as he spends the next few weeks preparing for the final season of his current contract.

Freeman has made it clear that he would like to spend his whole career with the Braves, and he is certainly intrigued to learn what might be offered to him. But the extension hasn’t been at the forefront of his mind lately, as he has spent the past two months welcoming two sons to his family.

“It’s been very hectic in the Freeman household,” he said. “But we’re taking it in stride and having a lot of fun. It’s probably going to be the hardest spring for me. I won’t see [my wife] Chelsea or the boys until after the [regular season’s] first road trip.”

How eventful has the last year been for Freeman? Well, he battled COVID-19 in July and then helped the Braves advance to Game 7 of the NL Championship Series in October. He subsequently collected numerous accolades, including his first MVP Award and the NL Hank Aaron Award.

All along, Freddie and Chelsea were preparing for the arrival of their two sons.

When their first boy, Charlie, was born via C-section four years ago, doctors said Chelsea might have trouble carrying another child. Multiple unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant again in the time since led the couple to make plans for a surrogate mother last year.

Nine days before the embryo transfer was scheduled to occur, Freeman returned home from a workout and learned Chelsea was pregnant. Consequently, Maximus Turner Freeman was birthed by the surrogate on Dec. 30. His younger brother, Brandon John, entered the world on Feb. 14.

“It will be a story to tell,” Freeman said. “But it’s our story, and it’s a beautiful story because it couldn’t be any better for us.”

As Chelsea and the two babies remain at the family’s California residence, Freddie is experiencing Spring Training with four generations of his family. He arrived in Florida this past weekend with his grandfather, father and 4-year-old Charlie.

All of those family members will be at CoolToday Park on Friday, when Freeman will make his Grapefruit League debut. The 30-year-old will have more than three weeks to prepare for what will be his 11th Opening Day as the Braves' first baseman.

It will be the beginning of a journey Freeman thinks could potentially end as euphorically as Jones’ rookie season did in 1995. It has been 26 years since the Braves won the World Series. They were just one win away from returning to that stage last year, when they advanced to the NLCS for the first time since 2001.

Taking another step in the postseason created some encouragement for the Braves, who have reached the other side of a successful rebuild with three straight NL East titles.

But Freeman says the days of making incremental strides are over for the Braves, who are focused on making this year much more fulfilling than the rest.

“Every year, I talk about, ‘Well, at least we got some experience in the playoffs with these young guys,’” Freeman said. “That’s no more. We’ve got a good team. We were one win away from the World Series. I think that is everyone’s goal, to get to the World Series this year.”