Braves take the field for first full squad workout

Braves take the field for first full squad workout
FILE – Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Will Smith throws during spring training baseball camp Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in North Port, Fla. (AP FILE Photo/John Bazemore)

Feb. 23, 2021 –
KEVIN MCALPIN
680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – As the Braves prepared to take the field for their first full squad workout this morning, manager Brian Snitker and other members of the organization gave their usual speeches. However, this year things were a bit different, due to health and safety guidelines. Since fans aren’t in the ballpark, the club gathered in the seating bowl at CoolToday Park and the team utilized the PA system to deliver the various addresses. But things were even more inspirational as the players and staff members also honored and paid tribute to legends that we’ve lost over the last year. That list, unfortunately, is much longer than it’s ever been. In addition to losing the legendary Hank Aaron last month, the Braves also had to say goodbye to Hall of Fame knuckleballer Phil Niekro, Hall of Fame pitcher and club broadcaster Don Sutton and Bill Bartholomay, the man who brought Atlanta a Major League team in 1966.

“We were able to honor the great members of this organization who unfortunately passed away. Saw a couple great videos about their life…very inspirtational” said Travis d’Arnaud on Tuesday afternoon. “I think to honor them was very special and humbling to know everybody cares about them. I think it was big and it was motivational, for sure” d’Arnaud added.

While the team went about their first full squad workout, Freddie Freeman remains with his family after the birth of his son recently. Brian Snitker expects to have Freeman arrive in North Port by the end of the week, and he will no doubt have more than enough time to get himself and in the swing of things. Let’s be honest, Freddie looks like he’s ready for Opening Day by about March 3rd!

Kevin McAlpin has covered the Braves since 2012 for @680TheFan and the @BravesRadioNet.