Freddie Freeman came through again for the Atlanta Braves, smashing a solo home run and adding a run-scoring single in Wednesday’s 2-0 win against the New York Mets.
The homer was No. 14 on the season for Freeman, and it was by far the most meaningful from a personal standpoint. That’s because it came on an anniversary that will always weigh heavily on Freeman’s heart.
On June 13, 2000, Freeman’s mother, Rosemary, died after a battle with melanoma when he was just 10 years old. Since then, Freeman has found many ways to honor his mother’s memory. Many of them have come through his stellar baseball career, and that included Wednesday’s game-deciding home run on the 18th anniversary of her death.
In an emotional postgame interview, Freeman said that his mother was on his mind when he hit the home run. He even says he may have benefited from some divine intervention.
"I hit that one kinda high, toward the sky. That one was for my mom today."
— FOX Sports: Braves (@FOXSportsBraves) June 13, 2018
Freeman has now homered in each of this last three games played on June 13.
It was a nice moment for Freeman, and a pretty important one for Atlanta. The home run aided rookie right-hander Mike Soroka, who started Wednesday’s game with six no-hit innings. The 20-year-old earned his second career victory after tossing 6.1 scoreless innings.
The day though really belonged to Freeman and his latest tribute to his mother.
How else has Freddie Freeman used baseball to honor his mother?
Before the 2017 World Baseball Classic, Freeman caught fans off-guard when he announced his decision to play for Team Canada.
Freeman himself was born and raised in California. However, his parents were both born in Canada. Because the WBC recognizes family bloodlines, Freeman was allowed to suit up for Canada and did so in part to pay tribute to his mother’s heritage.
Can not be more excited to represent Canada at the WBC next month! Here is a just a brief background of my parents. pic.twitter.com/vpkH1UtUfu
— Freddie Freeman (@FreddieFreeman5) February 9, 2017
Freddie Freeman had his own melanoma scare
In 2016, Freeman had his own skin cancer scare when doctors removed a cancerous mole during the All-Star break. It’s noted that the mole removed from his back was similar to the one that impacted his mother.
Fortunately, Freeman has done his part to stay ahead of the disease, scheduling regular checkups to have his skin monitored for possible changes or growths. The Braves are also mindful of the disease, according to Freeman.
“We have skin cancer people come [during the season], and doctors come and check it,” Freeman said at the time. “They said the mole’s not circular. That’s when you have to go have a look, and mine was jagged.”
Freeman was back on the field days after the procedure.
Now 28, the two-time All-Star remains a driving force behind Atlanta’s offense. Many view him as an early MVP candidate this season based on his strong start. After Wednesday’s game he’s hitting .344 to go along with a massive 1.025 OPS. If he keeps that up, the first-place Braves will be difficult to stop.
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