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Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman hits a home run in first at-bat against the Braves

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The Braves-Dodgers series in Los Angeles beginning on Monday (GameTracker) marks the most-anticipated series of the season so far for myriad reasons. Toward the top of the list would be that these are likely two of the best teams in baseball, they met in the NLCS last season and that there are two long-time, familiar faces on the “other side” now. 

That would be Freddie Freeman with the Dodgers and Kenley Jansen with the Braves

If Hollywood were scripting this thing, it would start with a Freeman home run, right? It’s the easy and obvious call, but it would still be quite a story. 

Sure enough … 

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In addition to the main story being Freeman hitting a home run in his first plate appearance against the Braves, it was his first as a Dodger. That means that Freeman’s first career home run that wasn’t for the Braves came against the Braves. That’s pretty fun. 

Freeman spent the first 12 years of his MLB career with the Braves, racking up 271 home runs. The five-time All-Star won an MVP and World Series in his time with Atlanta. He signed a six-year, $162 million deal with the Dodgers in the offseason. 

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Freeman got his Silver Slugger on the field before the game with Braves manager Brian Snitker. Freeman’s family accompanied him and that paved the way for a heartwarming moment. Freeman’s son, Charlie, recognized Dansby Swanson and ran to him. 

There was another reunion before the game, too. Long-time Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen signed a one-year, $16 million with the Braves. He also spent 12 years with his now-former team. In his time, Jansen made three All-Star teams, won a World Series and racked up 350 saves. 

The Dodgers honored him before the game, with Dave Roberts and Justin Turner greeting him while “California Love” (Jansen’s entrance music for the Dodgers for so many years) blaring over the speakers. 

After all the pre-game hoopla, Freeman and the Dodgers struck first on the scoreboard, and it was a jaw-dropping moment. 

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