The Atlanta Braves won the MLB World Series for the first time since 1995 Tuesday night. Since the start of the series Oct. 26, many students and faculty on Mercer’s campus have been fully invested in the Braves' journey to their win.
Because it has been 26 years since the last time they won and 22 years since they even made it to the series, the vast majority of Mercer students have never watched a World Series with the Braves.
Freshman Jackson Hirschy is from Alabama where there are no professional teams, so he’s been an Atlanta fan his whole life.
He was excited that the Braves made it the post-season due to all the injuries that occurred throughout the regular season, the most prominent being Ronald Acuña Jr.’s torn ACL. The right fielder was injured in early July during a game against Miami. Because of those injuries and the fact that Atlanta teams have a history of losing when it counts, Hirschy didn’t think the Braves would make it far in the post-season.
“In the past, Atlanta teams have the reputation to choke on the big stage, so I kind of had that in the back of my mind,” he said. “After Game 5, I started to get a little anxious when the Astros won."
Going into Game 6, Hirschy thought the Braves would have some fight in them after coming off a tough loss. Hirschy was ecstatic just like every other Braves fan when Atlanta clinched the World Series.
“I was so hype. I was running up and down the halls yelling, calling all my buddies back home,” he said. “A shut out to win it all (...) It doesn’t get much better than that.”
One of Mercer’s art professors, Erin McClenathan, has been a Braves fan since she moved to Georgia 10 years ago.
She didn’t expect the Braves to make it to the post-season or the World Series, so the fact that they won everything took her completely by surprise. Throughout the whole series, McClenathan never got her hopes up about the Braves winning the championship.
“I try not to manage my expectations with championship games in general since wins have been so elusive for the teams I follow,” she said.
Of course, Game 6 was probably most fans' favorite game, but McClenathan thought Game 4 was the most thrilling to watch because of the Braves’ comeback. Before Game 4, the Braves and Astros had been exchanging wins. But on Saturday, the Braves won back-to-back, and momentum was picked up by Dansby Swanson’s two-run homerun in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Braves’ win is a win for the city of Atlanta and state of Georgia as a whole. When Swanson threw the last out to Freeman, McClenathan said he was in disbelief for the rest of the night, like many fans were. Toward the end of the regular season, the Braves record wasn’t looking good, but they started winning when it counted.
“I hope the Braves can continue to adapt and to embrace the vibrancy and diversity of the city of Atlanta and beyond," McClenathan said. "The team really does represent our entire region."