MLB players rave about Freddie Freeman: 'There is no person that doesn't like' him

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By , Audacy Sports

When it comes to earning the respect of your teammates, coaches and fellow players in a sports league, it certainly helps to be good at the sport. And it just so happens that Freddie Freeman is good — really good — at baseball, earning the MVP Award for the 2020 season and leading the league in runs scored while picking up All-Star selection No. 5 in 2021.

But even if Freeman was a .195 career hitter instead of a .295 career hitter, and even if his career-high in home runs was 11 instead of 38, and even if he had a grand total of zero Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers to his name, it seems like he'd still be a beloved member of Major League Baseball. Why? He's the nicest dude on the diamond.

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James Wagner of The New York Times spoke to Freeman and others around the league to get a glimpse inside the personality and behavior of the longtime Atlanta Braves star, and some of the reviews from his fellow ball players tell the story perfectly:

— Miguel Rojas: "There is no person that doesn’t like Freddie Freeman in the league."
— Kevin Pillar: "Part of being first basemen is you have to be a little bit outgoing and you can tell most first basemen’s mood by their previous at-bat or how they’re doing. Not Freddie."
— Anthony Rizzo: "...he always seems to be having a good time."

Freeman also spoke on how friendly he is to opponents that get on first base, despite the fact that he obviously doesn't want the other team to have too much success.

"It doesn’t matter if it’s the biggest game in the world, if you get a base hit and you come to first base, I’m going to tell you, ‘Nice job, nice hit,’" Freeman said. "That’s just who I am. I know how hard this game is. I know how hard it is to get a base hit in a major league baseball game. No matter if you just put your team up 5-4 in the top of the ninth inning, I’ll come over and pat you right on the leg and say, ‘Way to swing it.’"

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Another perk of getting on base when he's manning the first base bag? Free hitting tips, which Wagner says Freeman has provided to people like All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier and which he's happy to provide "all day long" because he wants to see others succeed.

Oh, and having a loving wife and an adorable son, Charlie — who looks like a future star himself — definitely doesn't hurt!

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