freddie freeman team canada

Canadian baseball star Freddie Freeman gets emotional about his Toronto roots

One of Major League Baseball's biggest stars and all-around nicest dudes, Freddie Freeman, is representing Canada in the World Baseball Classic (WBC).

In a video explaining his choice to play for Team Canada, the Canadian-American veteran got very emotional discussing his familial roots in Ontario.

Though California-born and raised in the United States, Freeman holds dual citizenship, as both of his parents hail from Ontario. So, naturally, some of his American fans were a bit confused as to why the player chose Canada over the heavily-favoured Team USA.

He explained that his choice to represent Canada in the WBC was out of respect for his late mother, whom he lost to skin cancer when he was just ten years old.

"I played for Team Canada for a very heartfelt reason for me and my family," explained Freeman. "My dad was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and my mom was born in Toronto — just outside of Toronto — in a place called Peterborough."

"Most people don't know that, but my mom passed away when I was ten years old of melanoma skin cancer. That's why I play for Team Canada."

The emotion clear in his voice and visible on his face, Freeman tells fans that "I don't know if this is what she would want me to do, but in my heart, it's what I feel I should do. That's the reason I play, it's to honour my mom."

Now 33 years old, the six-time MLB All-Star began a stint with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2022 after a ten-year career with the Atlanta Braves. "If most Dodger fans don't know...there's a lot of things that go into each game that I do for remembering my mom," said Freeman.

Freeman says that he "wear[s] sleeves every game, for my mom because she passed away of skin cancer. Every time I put on my tight sleeves, it makes me think of her. I wear a cross around my neck that unscrews and has her hair inside of it."

"When you get to know me, pretty much everything I do is for my mom, and this is what I feel is right."

He says it's for those reasons that, "In my heart, honouring my mother and playing for Team Canada, for me, is the right decision. I think even if I hit zero every single season, she'd still be proud of me."

"It's hard to think about, that's going to really get me emotional," says Freeman, choking back tears. "I just hope she's proud of me."

With tears in his eyes, Freeman concludes, "23 years, it never goes away."

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