The curse is over: the Atlanta Braves are the 2021 World Series champions

Atlanta long-awaited a chance to showcase their gear and celebrate a championship, and fans didn’t disappoint. Photo by MatthewGrimesMedia

After 26 years, the Atlanta Braves are champions of baseball once again. 

A week ago today, the Braves captured the World Series with a 7-0 win on the road over the Houston Astros in Game Six at Minute Maid Park.

Atlanta’s road to November wasn’t easy by any means. The team won 88 games, and even though they were playing poor baseball for three months, the fans never stopped showing up, making this run possible. General Manager Alex Anthopoulos thanked the fans various times during their postseason run for giving the team financial flexibility. 

Given the pandemic season of 2020 with no fans in the stands, was a real chance the Braves would be too constrained to do anything, especially as the injuries mounted. Instead, the team thrived: they pulled in $216 million of revenue between April and June

The team re-signed Adam Duvall and introduced Joc Pederson, Eddie Rosario, Jorge Soler and Richard Rodriguez to a city vying for a championship parade. 

That is the power of fan support – the power of Braves Country. The Braves sold more World Series merchandise than anyone else in their first 30 minutes after winning it all to put a final exclamation on their season. 

Photo by MatthewGrimesMedia

Braves fans had supported their team all year and were ready to show out. 1995 was the last World Series win. There had been Braves fans waiting for most of their childhood into early adulthood, who never saw this coming. The city was behind the team, and the team rallied for the A. 

Let’s look at some of the highlights that led to the Braves heroics:

Soler introduced himself to baseball fans when he became the first player in history to lead off a World Series with a home run. An Austin Riley RBI would give the Braves a 2-0 lead early. 

However, Charlie Morton would fracture his leg early in the game (which effectively ended his series), leading to an exceptional relief appearance from A.J. Minter. Each hitter for Atlanta member of the order collected a hit to secure a 6-2 win in the opener.

The teams reversed roles in Game 2, as the Astros cruised to a 7-2 win after getting to Atlanta’s Max Fried early in the game, forcing Braves manager Brian Snitker to go to his bullpen in just the second inning.

After a day of travel, the first game at Truist Park was a pitchers’ duel in every sense of the word. Ian Anderson and the Braves took a no-hitter to the eighth inning, but eventually, Jose Altuve singled off Tyler Matzek to break up the no-hit bid. 

Inside the stadium and outside on the grass, Braves fans watched their team give up just two hits inside the stadium and outside on the grass. Riley had an RBI double in the third, but it was Travis d’Arnaud who woke up the crowd with an eighth-inning home run to secure a 2-0 Game 3 win and take the lead back. 

Photo by Harry Wyman | The Signal

Game 4 saw another packed crowd file into the stadium and enjoy The Battery. However, it didn’t start well for the Braves, as Dylan Lee got into trouble early and gave up a run in the first inning. But, Kyle Wright led Atlanta’s bullpen with 4.2 innings of relief. Dansby Swanson and Soler erupted the crowd with back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game and then take a 3-2 lead for good. The team needed just one more win, and they got their chance at home. 

Game 5 made headlines before it even started: The Battery was closed to non-ticket holders due to what a spokesperson said was “high volume” after thousands of fans gathered to watch all postseason long. 

The game itself went Houston’s way: the Astros trailed 5-4, heading into the fifth inning, and then went on to score four more runs. Martin Maldonado led the way with three RBIs as the series transitioned back to Houston for the decisive game of the series. 

Game Gix featured more heroics from Fried. As the bats came to life, the pitchers stifled the Astros, and Soler, Swanson and Freddie Freeman all homered. Atlanta blanked the Astros for a 7-0 win and the franchise’s first World Series championship in 25 years. 

Watching Swanson make the throw to first for the last out of the 2021 season was quite the picture. Freeman caught the ball at first base and immediately put it in his back pocket––it was a moment everyone would remember forever, and he wanted a piece of it to go next to the ring. 

Ronald Acuña Jr.’s absence didn’t make the Braves’ journey any easier. However, he joined the Braves as they celebrated their coveted prize. He was with them the entire way: from Opening Day seven months ago to his torn ACL in July to Nov. 2. 

For Braves Country, it was a weight lifted off the shoulders. For Atlanta, it was a chance to celebrate a champion once again. 

Friends and family who have been fans for decades rejoicing instead of being in despair. The dream was a reality, and it became clear just how important the World Series was for Atlanta.

Photo by Harry Wyman | The Signal

When the Braves departed downtown for the suburbs, it left a sour taste in some fans’ mouths. Some were concerned that the parade would only be held in Cobb county and avoid downtown altogether. 

However, the Braves held the unprecedented three-and-a-half-hour parade, beginning at the former Turner Field and finishing at Truist Park in Cobb County, Downtown. 

The day of the parade is something fans in Braves Country will never forget. An estimated 300,000-400,000 people lined up downtown on a chilly Atlanta morning to celebrate with their champions. 

Braves fans, old and young, filled the streets and competed for good positions from behind the barricades. Some fans even arrived hours before the parade with chairs set up to wait for the team. 

The beginning of the parade downtown transformed Georgia State University’s campus into a party atmosphere. Students took part and relished watching the World Series champions return downtown, some even from their dorms.

As the caravan rolled down Peachtree St., fans were waving, chopping and soaking in the event that everyone, including those in the Braves organization, will tell stories about for years. 

The legacy of the 2021 Braves championship run will be something the city and state will never forget. This Braves team hit every possible roadblock to a World Series both on the field with their performance and their constant appreciation for fans and came out on the other side stronger.