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Photo credit to ESPN

Braves Players celebrate after defeating the Astros 7-0 in game six to win the World Series.

Atlanta Braves win World Series

Atlanta wins first World Series since 1995

November 4, 2021

America’s National Pastime wrapped up its first “normal” season since 2019 with the Braves winning the World Series. The last time Atlanta won the World Series,  Bill Clinton was in his third year as president, Seinfeld was the most popular TV Show, Fantasy by Mariah Carey and Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio were atop the Billboard Hot 100, Tom Glavine was the star player, and the Braves still played in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, eventually demolished two years later. But 26 years later, the Braves are world champions again. It was not all dominance in the regular season, though, as the Braves finished with an 88-74 record. That wouldn’t have been good enough to even make the Wild-Card game in the American League (the Mariners finished with 90 wins, and the Blue Jays with 91; neither team made the playoffs). But Atlanta won the National League East on the back of a dominant second half and cruised into the playoffs. 

It was certainly an uphill battle for Atlantaas they lost All-Star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr to a torn ACL in early July. They lost pitchers Mike Soroka and Charlie Morton to injury as well. However, the playoffs are where you find the most unlikely of heroes, and there certainly were for the Braves. They received strong offensive performances from outfielders Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler (eventual World Series MVP), and Joc Pederson, as well as infielder Austin Riley and strong pitching led by starter Max Fried. Some unlikely names emerged as heroes for the Braves, such as pitchers Tyler Matzek and Jesse Chavez. Matzek, a former top prospect from Mission Viejo in Orange County, did not pitch in the major leagues from 2015-2020, yet got 3 wins and pitched to a tune of a 1.72 ERA in the playoffs. LA Native Jesse Chavez also gave us a lesson in perseverance. Chavez was drafted in the 42nd round of the draft in 2002 out of Riverside Community College and has pitched for 9 different teams in 14 MLB seasons. He had only pitched one career game in the playoffs before this season, yet pitched 6.1 scoreless innings in the playoffs, playing a pivotal role for the Braves, and receiving his first World Series ring at age 38. Atlanta also overcame issues off the field, as slugger Marcel Ozuna was placed on the restricted list early in the season after being charged with aggravated assault and this year the MLB moved the All-Star Game out of Atlanta in response to the controversial Election Integrity Act. 

The Braves defeated the heavy favorite Houston Astros in six games. Many outside fans came to support the Braves in response to the Astros Cheating Scandal that tainted their 2017 title. They also defeated the heavily favored Dodgers in the National League Championship Series and the Brewers in the divisional round. Baseball’s true underdogs are on top, giving us an uplifting story to root for. 

MLB was also back to its normal 10-team playoff format after an expanded playoff in 2020. The American League teams were the Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox, Rays, and Astros, while the National League had the Dodgers, Cardinals, Brewers, Braves, and Giants. Overall, the playoffs went without a hitch and baseball is back to normal. With higher ratings, baseball looks to ride a wave into the 2022 season. 

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Photo of Trevor Maziek
Trevor Maziek, Staff Writer

“Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.”

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