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THE ATLANTA BRAVES ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1995

Finally.

After 26 years, the Atlanta Braves are World Champions once again.

Game 6 felt like a perfect microcosm of this season for the Braves. After losing Game 5 with a chance to clinch at home, Atlanta came out in Houston and responded in the biggest spot imaginable. Jorge Soler launched a three-run moonshot. Dansby Swanson added a two-run homer. Regardless of what it might have felt like for Atlanta fans who refuse to get excited too early, the game was never in doubt.

The ride here has been well chronicled. No Mike Soroka for the entire season. Marcell Ozuna arrested in May. Ronald Acuña Jr. lost for the remainder of the season in July. Below .500 on August 1. Acquiring four new outfielders at the trade deadline, all of whom were major contributors to Atlanta’s first championship since 1995.

I truly just can’t believe it. I’ve seen Braves teams far more talented than this one flame out in the Postseason more than a handful of times. For the last couple months of the 2021 season, though, you could just feel that this team was different. It had some sort of magic to it.

I really wondered if I’d ever live to see this from any team in Atlanta. The Hawks have had several very talented teams which never quite put it all together. We saw what happened when the Falcons looked like they were going to win the city’s first tile this century. The Braves have been good enough to do it, but you just wondered if they would ever put it all together.

I guess all we needed was the team full of misfit toys to do the damn thing.

There are so many people and performances we’ll be able to look back on with the attention they deserve in the coming days and weeks, but I just want to mention a couple off the top of my head.

What this bullpen did in the Postseason was more than anyone could have possibly asked. Tyler Matzek could have very reasonably won NLCS or World Series MVP. Will Smith had several very shaky stretches during the regular season, but was absolutely lights out in October.

What Eddie Rosario, Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler and Adam Duvall did for this team after being acquired mid-season will never be forgotten. Those guys came into a clubhouse full of guys struggling to put runs on the board and lit a fire under this team like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Regardless of how much longer any one of them stays in Atlanta, they’re all Braves legends.

The Braves don’t get here without Max Fried and Charlie Morton. Fried was nearly unhittable after the All-Star break and Morton was as consistent as they come all year to lead this pitching staff to a World Series title.

And then there’s Freddie Freeman. The guy who stayed throughout the entire re-build and suffered through more than a couple painful seasons to stay with the team that drafted him. He deserves this title more than any athlete I can think of in recent memory. Good thing nobody ever suggested trading him this season; imagine what an idiot you’d have to be to do that.

I’m so happy. I’m so proud. I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to see this moment and feel what I feel right now. I love the Atlanta Braves.

When Marquis Grissom caught the final out of the 1995 World Series, Bob Costas exclaimed, “The team of the 90s has its World Championship!”

The team of the 20s now has its first.