The Atlanta Braves Win First World Series Championship Since 1995

The Atlanta Braves Win First World Series Championship Since 1995


The 2021 season was a roller coaster of emotions for the Atlanta Braves. After narrowly losing to the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series in 2020, the team entered this year with a chip on its shoulder. Young stars like Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies started the year off strong, while the ever-dependable Freddie Freeman was slower to return to form.

A series of injuries and controversies rocked the team throughout the season. Marcel Ozuna, the team’s lead run producer at the start of 2021, was placed on administrative leave by the MLB after domestic violence charges. Hotshot young pitcher Mike Soroka tore his Achilles tendon again before throwing a single pitch in 2021. Ronald Acuna Jr. tore his ACL on July 10, leaving the team without its red-hot opening hitter. At the time, sports commentators and baseball fans alike started to write off the Braves.

The team had a losing record at the All-Star Break. On November 2, that same team won the World Series. A flurry of trades at the deadline saw the Braves general manager, Alex Anthopoulos, take a massive bet on turning the season around. Eddie Rosario, Joc Pederson, and Jorge Soler were added to the lineup to bolster Atlanta’s offense.

Unbelievable Post-Season

The Braves fought with determination throughout the post-season, winning the NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers in a commanding fashion. Their rematch against the Dodgers in the NLCS saw the team defy predictions and redeem their 2020 loss. Then, in the first game of the World Series, injury struck Atlanta one last time this season: veteran pitcher Charlie Morton broke his leg while pitching to Astros’ batter Jose Altuve.

Atlanta battled the Astros to a 7-0 defeat in Game 6 of the Fall Classic, bringing the championship home for the first time in 26 years. The story of the night belongs to Braves newcomer Jorge Soler, the hard-hitting outfielder who became the series MVP. In the third inning, Soler hammered a pitch clear out of Minute Maid Park. The 446-foot three-run homer put Atlanta ahead, and they never lost the lead.

The fourth and fifth runs came via a Dansby Swanson two-run homer that rattled around in the stands. Freddie Freeman put the team’s final two runs on the board. One came via a long double in the fifth. The other was a commanding solo home run in the seventh that quieted a once-rowdy Astros crowd.

For the team, it was personal. For Atlanta, it means everything.

Astros Face Tough Questions

The Astros have been to three of the past five Fall Classics. However, several contracts are ending this year. Among them: manager Dusty Baker, shortstop Carlos Correa, and starting pitcher Zack Greinke. The team’s payroll is already stretched thin, and losses in the 2019 and 2021 World Series have stung the team’s reputation.

Going into the off-season, the Astros’ front office will need to make some tough decisions about which players they can afford to keep. It seems like a given that the team will look very different on opening day, March 31, 2022.