It’s March of last year. Preparations for the World Baseball Classic (WBC) are in full swing. Team Canada is in Arizona (Mesa). The first day of training is full of cheer.

But there’s a slight problem. It’s the uniforms. Some of them haven’t arrived yet, and the ones that have are all over the place in size. Some are loose, some are too tight. I hear grumbling here and there. I can’t help it. “Today, just wear shorts and take it easy….”

And that’s how the dress code was announced. From the other side of the locker room, someone speaks up. “No, I’m wearing long pants.” The voice is low, but firm. Everyone turns in the direction of the voice. It’s Freddie Freeman, 35, the famous Dodgers first baseman.

He’s the iconic star of Team Canada. He’s a one-time National League MVP (2020), seven-time All-Star, and multiple Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner. In 2021, he won a World Series ring with Atlanta.

His personal records are also top-notch. He has over 2000 hits and is cruising toward 3000 (he currently has 2147). At this rate, he could be in the Hall of Fame. If he had his way, the U.S. National Team would be good enough. Team USA manager Mark DeRosa even asked him to. 바카라사이트 However, he chose the Canadian flag for himself.

He was born in California.

He grew up in Orange County, south of Los Angeles. He remembers when he was eight years old.

“The first time I went to a baseball game, it was at Angels Stadium, and I was eating popcorn before the game, and the Canadian national anthem came on (the opposing team was the Toronto Blue Jays). Then someone grabbed me by the arm, it was my mom, and made me stand still during the national anthem.”

That was probably the last time, two years later. So he was 10 years old. He couldn’t go to the ballpark with his mom anymore. “She was such a good person, I think God needed an angel.” The diagnosis was skin cancer (melanoma).

He chose Team Canada because of his mother. She had lived in California for more than 20 years. However, she retained her Canadian citizenship until the end. She could have dual citizenship with the United States. But she didn’t, her son says.

“(Playing for Canada) is how I’m going to remember her, and I’m sure it’s going to be something I’ll cherish.” (Freddie Freeman)

He has competed in two WBCs (2017 and 2023). He went 3-0 in the first and 2-2 in the second, both first-round exits. If he had represented the United States, he would have fared much better.

Which brings us back to the locker room in March of last year.

Canada’s head coach Ernie Witt nods when he hears that his star insists on wearing long pants. “Yeah, he will, and I hope everyone respects that. Let’s all wear long pants.”

There’s a slight pause. “I don’t know if I’d want to overturn a decision because of one person,” I say.

But there’s a backstory. It was the reason Freeman’s mother died. Skin cancer runs in the family. The son doesn’t skip his annual checkups. During the 2016 All-Star break, he even had a brief trip to the hospital to have a small mole removed.

“I have red hair and white skin like my mom,” he says, “and my doctor always tells me to be careful.”

Above all, he hasn’t forgotten the advice his mother gave him before she died, more than 20 years later. “Son, make sure you wear sunscreen and always wear long arms and long pants,” she said, which is why he never plays in short sleeves, no matter how hot it gets.

The Dodgers play a three-game interleague series. It’s against Toronto. It’s the hometown of Freeman’s mother, Rosemary, the first baseman and No. 3 hitter. During the series, there was a special fan in the Rogers Centre family section. It was Freeman“s father (he”s also from Ontario, where Toronto is located).

The father told the local media.

“My son (Freddie) still plays with his mom’s initials on his shoes, and he still plays the way she told him to play.”

Today (Sept. 29) is the final day of the series. It was the top of the sixth inning with the Dodgers trailing 0-3. Freeman hit a solo home run to center field. 사설 토토사이트 It was the team’s only run of the day (the game ended 1-3). As he walked around the diamond, a cross necklace hung around his neck. A few strands of his mother’s red hair were tucked inside.

The Toronto fans booed Ohtani’s home run. However, his home run (No. 2 of the season) was greeted with quiet but warm applause.

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