DENVER ( Associated Press) — Freddie Freeman’s biggest game in the season opener could be a helpful embrace at first base.
New Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Jose Iglesias of Colorado knew all too well the feelings.
After reaching a run-scoring single Friday, Iglesias pointed to the sky as he was overcome with emotion. Iglesias told a concerned freeman how he had just recently lost his father, who had seen every major league hit—up to this point.
a quick bond. Freeman lost his mother to skin cancer at the age of 10.
“I just tried to be there for him, console him and just know it’s more than a game,” Freeman said while sitting in the clubhouse on Saturday. “You never know what any of us are going through in life. If he hadn’t told me, I would never have known he lost his father a few weeks ago. So I guess it’s you Just a reminder to have some compassion and some humility and to be kind to others.
“Because, in that moment, I just wanted to hug the guy.”
Iglesias applauded Freeman’s support and kind words in the second innings. Freeman patted Iglesias on the helmet and pulled him up for a comfortable hug.
“He knows what it feels like,” said Iglesias, whose father was from Cuba. “Freddie is a great boy.”
Iglesias talked about the role his father played when he grew up, how he worked long hours in a factory. But no matter how tired he was, he always took his son to the baseball field.
“His dream was to see me play in the big leagues,” said Iglesias, who made his league debut with Boston in 2011. “He told me once, he said, ‘If I ever see you play (in the majors) for a day, I’d be good to go after that. He saw me play for 10 years. … He’s in a better place now, seeing me every day.”
Pall also hit Freeman.
“It just got me thinking about my mom and stuff,” Freeman said. “When you lose a parent, you can only hug that person. There are no words that are really going to be enough.
“His father was shining on him for being able to get that single. You will never forget your father. So all I could do was give him a hug.”
Freeman, the 2020 NL MVP, signed a six-year, $162 million contract with Los Angeles after leading the Atlanta Braves to the World Series Championship last season. But that moment on Friday was bigger than baseball in the second inning.
“We are a fraternity,” Freeman said. “We have different uniforms but you take off the uniform, we are all friends in this game. … you meet so many wonderful people.
“As a matter of fact, his family loves baseball as much as I love baseball. So I am happy to be a part of it and just let him know that I care about him.”
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