The Atlanta Braves win the 2021 World Series



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Kyle McKee, Sports Editor

The Atlanta Braves won the 2021 World Series with their four games to two series victory over the Houston Astros. It’s the franchises’ first championship since 1995 when they had baseball legends Gregg Maddux, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Chipper Jones on the roster.

It’s crazy to think that this Braves team are now champions looking back to where they were earlier this season. Atlanta was below .500 as late as August, lost their most dynamic player — outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. — to injury before the All-Star Break and dealt with injuries all season long. Yet, out of nowhere this Braves team rallied together and transformed themselves into the championship team they are today.

That transformation started at the trade deadline. Atlanta’s general manager Alex Anthopoulos, the architect of the Braves midseason turnaround, made a staggering six trades around baseball’s July 31st deadline.  

It seems crazy that just six moves could change a team’s trajectory so much, but that’s exactly what happened to the Braves. After finishing the first half of the season with a below .500 record, 44-45, Atlanta went on a tear post-trade deadline.

The Braves went 45-27 in the second half of the season and clinched their fourth consecutive National League East division title.

One of those trades that was so important for the Braves turnaround was the acquisition of 29yearold outfielder Jorge Solder.  

Solder was hitting below .200 before Atlatna traded for him and missed time dealing with the coronavirus, but the Cuban slugger slammed three home runs in the World Series and became the first Cuban-born player to be named World Series MVP since Livan Hernandez of the 1997 Florida Marlins.

Another player that was a big part of the Braves success but wasn’t acquired through the trade deadline was Freddie Freeman. The reigning NL MVP and two-time Silver Slugger was selected to his fifth All-Star game this season with impressive numbers: having batted .300 with a .896 OPS, 31 home runs and 83 RBIs.

The twelve year veteran was even more impressive in the postseason. Freeman hit .304 with five dingers, batted in 11 runs and had an OPS of 1.045.

This Braves team will go down in baseball as one of the most improbable champions in MLB history. Braves bench coach Walt Weiss summed it up best when talking to Terence Moore of CNN: “This is my sixth World Series as either a player or coach, and I’ve never been associated with a team that has overcome this much…The cast of characters that overcame his adversity this year, you could never draw it up. In July, there’s no way we’re even winning the division. To be standing here now, it’s a minor miracle.”