Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Atlanta Braves' Freddie Freeman runs along the third base line after hitting a grand slam home run in the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals in Atlanta on Sept. 6, 2020.

The Associated Press

Freddie Freeman found a way to top the double honours of winning the NL MVP and Hank Aaron Award.

The Atlanta Braves first baseman’s bigger thrill is having two new baby boys. He describes his babies, Brandon and Maximus Turner, as his “twins with a twist.”

The twist is they were born six weeks apart.

Story continues below advertisement

Freeman’s wife, Chelsea, gave birth to Brandon on Dec. 30. A surrogate mother gave birth to Maximus Turner on Feb. 14, delaying Freeman’s arrival to spring training by about a week.

The boys join Charlie, who is 4, to give Freeman three sons – and an extraordinary story of faith, perseverance and parenthood.

“Pretty special off-season, all the way around, baseball and obviously personal life,” Freeman said Tuesday.

“We’re a family of five now. It’s pretty amazing.”

Freeman said his wife was told she may not be able to have another child after Charlie’s birth by emergency cesarean section. The couple tried without luck for two years in their attempt to become pregnant again.

“It just wasn’t happening,” Freeman said. “We chose the surrogate route and nine days before the embryo transfer, I come home from a workout and Chelsea tells me she’s pregnant. I was like just shocked. Not something we were expecting at all.”

Freddie and Chelsea stayed with their new surrogate plan and made preparations for two babies in their home.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s everything you could want and more,” he said. “It’s such a crazy situation to try and wrap your mind around it, but when you’re in it and both boys are here it’s like the best thing that could have happened.”

While his wife is home with the babies, Freeman and several family members, including his father and grandfather, have Charlie in North Port, Fla., for spring training. He said being away from his babies and wife will make this “probably the hardest spring for me.”

It’s a small price to pay for realizing his dream of having a big family and seeing Chelsea give birth to her second child.

“Infertility is something people don’t really talk about,” he said. “We struggled with it for multiple years, especially when having Charlie happened so easily and so fast and then it doesn’t happen. It takes a toll on Chelsea and it took a toll on me. … I could try to be as comforting as possible, but it was definitely one of the toughest situations I’ve faced in my life, to try and comfort my wife through such an emotional roller-coaster ride she was on.”

Freeman knows other couples have endured similar pain.

“For people who are going through it, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and there are different ways to figure it out,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

Freeman said he and his wife suffered when it didn’t seem possible to have more children. Then came the unexpected news.

“You could just see when she told me she was pregnant, it was like a complete boulder falling off her shoulders,” he said. “I got my wife back. She was always great all the way through it, but once she was pregnant it was just amazing.”

It was the perfect off-season to Freeman’s most successful season. He hit .341 in 2000 and won the Hank Aaron Award as the NL’s outstanding offensive performer after being named NL MVP.

Freeman also led the Braves to within one game of the World Series.

His success didn’t seem likely when he had high fever, causing him to pray “Please don’t take me” after a COVID-19 diagnosis before the delayed start of the 2020 season.

He led the NL with 23 doubles and hit 13 homers with 53 RBIs in the regular season before landing 28 of the 30 first-place votes in the MVP balloting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Story continues below advertisement

After his late arrival to spring training, which came with the approval of manager Brian Snitker, Freeman’s challenge is to repeat his 2020 success.

Snitker said Tuesday Freeman’s first spring game should come on Friday.

“He felt good yesterday,” Snitker said. “I think it’s just getting him back on the field and getting grounders and running around and getting the swings.

Freeman, 31, is entering the final year of a US$135-million, eight-year contract. For now, however, his focus is on his two baby boys – and perhaps a baby girl down the road.

“Everything with the birth was good,” he said of Chelsea. “Maybe she’ll do it again. We definitely want to have a girl, so kids are not done in our future.”

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors

This content appears as provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies