Freddie Freeman hadn’t given two thousand hits much thought; 3,000 is the revered number and the ultimate goal. However, Charlie, his 6-year-old son, kept pointing it out to him. The homestand for the Los Angeles Dodgers was coming to an end, a brief slump was getting worse, and Freeman had no time left. In the eighth inning of Sunday’s home finale, with two outs, it happened: a blistering double into the right-center field gap and career hit No. 2,000, making Freeman the sixth player currently in the game to accomplish this feat.
He did it in front of his wife, his three children, including Charlie, and his father, who lives about 40 minutes south, as well as more than 47,000 people who gave him two standing ovations.
After losing to the Houston Astros 6-5 in 11 innings, Freeman said, “The fans have embraced my family and I since the day they got here.” “They made another special memory for the Freeman family. Dodger fans never disappoint. Another special day, one I’ll never forget. Took long enough, but I’m glad it happened at home.”
In addition to Miguel Cabrera, Joey Votto, Nelson Cruz, Elvis Andrus, and Andrew McCutchen, 33-year-old Freeman is one of the active players who has at least 2,000 hits. According to data compiled by Elias Sports Bureau, he joined Adrian Gonzalez, Jeff Kent, Tim Wallach, Brett Butler, Gary Carter, Willie Davis, and Maury Wills as the eighth Dodgers player to reach that mark.
After Will Smith’s home run tied the game and forced extra innings, Freeman’s hit sparked a rally that reduced the Dodgers’ deficit to two. It came 38 days after Smith hit his 300th career home run for a grand slam. As of right now, Freeman is the 98th player in baseball history to have at least 300 home runs and 2,000 hits.
“That kinda hits a little bit,” Freeman said. “This game’s been going on for a long time.”
Freeman was reminded of his father, Fred, and the numerous rounds of batting practice that took place, some as recently as this offseason. He was reminded of his family—his wife and children—and the hardships of managing a major league schedule. Additionally, it prompted him to reflect on his work, which has contributed to his rise to prominence as one of the era’s most prominent figures.
Dave Roberts, manager of the Dodgers, enjoys it the most.
“I just marvel at his consistency, his everyday, workman-like attitude,” Roberts said. “Hasn’t been great the last week, but you know you can pencil him in there and he’s going to give you his best every single day.”
Although Freeman had struggled most of June, he finished the month of May with the sport’s second-highest batting average. His batting average had decreased by 30 points from.346 to.316 prior to Sunday. He only had two hits in 14 at-bats in the first four games of this week. On Sunday, he was retired in his first two plate appearances, leaving his career total at 1,998. Three-time Silver Slugger and six-time All-Star who was good at driving pitches the other way was getting a little too pull-happy for him.
Then came the 6th inning. On a Hunter Brown changeup, Freeman stayed back long enough to line it into the empty third base area for a double, bringing back the feeling of driving through the ball that had been missing. It helped set up his subsequent twofold – – against hard-tossing reliever Rafael Montero, while hitting into the shadows – – two innings later.
When Freeman got to second base, he gave the crowd his helmet and then came out for a curtain call when the Dodger Stadium fans started saying the same thing, “Fre-ddie!” chant during his first season in Los Angeles last year, which made him feel so welcome.
The current goal is 3,000, which is not impossible but a very difficult milestone to reach, particularly in such a difficult time for hitters.
Including the 2020 COVID-19-shortened season, Freeman has averaged 166 hits per year in 11 previous full seasons. He would hit 3,000 at that rate by the time he turns 39 in 2029 (his contract with the Dodgers ends in 2028). The numbers are in Freeman’s hands.
“Father time will catch up at some point,” Freeman said, “but might as well go for the next thousand since you got to 2,000. Yeah, that would be pretty cool. Hopefully I can play long enough to be able to do that.”
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