The World Series is complete, and with it the baseball season. The Braves won in six games. Jorge Soler was the World Series MVP and Freddie Freeman won smile of the year. As Dansby Swanson made the game winning throw from shortstop, the baseball world went through the cascade of emotions it feels every year. Joy for the players and coaches who had their dreams come true and utter sadness that there won’t be another MLB game for over 100 days. In this victory two things came true: Atlanta sports didn’t blow a huge lead and the Braves were able to prove the sports world wrong.
When the Atlanta Falcons had a 25 point lead in Super Bowl LI midway through the third quarter, a feeling of happiness washed over me. As a lifelong Pittsburgh Steelers fan, the Patriots losing in the Super Bowl is a dream come true. It looked too good to be true. It turned out it was, as the Falcons blew the lead and lost in overtime.
Ever since then, Atlanta sports teams have been plagued by lost leads in the playoffs, with Georgia losing in the 2018 College Football National Championship to Alabama after having a 13-0 lead at the half. Even worse, it was another loss in overtime. Then even the Braves themselves blew a 3-1 series lead against the Dodgers in the 2020 NLCS. Atlanta fans were close to full blown panic when the Braves dropped game five with a 3-1 series lead, turning it into a 3-2 series lead. It was all too reminiscent of recent memories, but the Braves kept it together, creating a massive shutout to win the game and the World Series.
It took more than good playing for the Braves to get to this point. When their phenomenon, Ronald Acuna Jr., suffered a season ending injury, it looked as if the season was over for the Braves, but the front office thought otherwise. Trading for postseason heroes Joc Pederson, Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall and Jorge Soler, the Braves did something no one saw coming, they won. The last three were acquired by the Braves within one hour during the trade deadline, and all four hit three home runs this postseason.
What the Braves did is even more amazing when you consider the circumstances. Before the all-star break the Braves had a losing record and had only a 7.6% chance to make the playoffs, let alone win the World Series (0.3%). Then they traded for four under the radar players who gradually led the team to making the playoffs. The Braves had the worst record in the postseason, but ended up being the loudest team. This front office has done what any front office dreams of, building a winning team within one hour. The Braves did exactly that and more, they won it all.