As Atlanta revels in the excitement of winning a World Series for the first time in 26 years, Emory University students have mixed reactions to the Braves’ victory. Some students were thrilled to participate in the festivities, donning jerseys in the days following Game 6 and making the trip to Truist Park for the victory parade and celebration.
Senior Chris Jernigan, a Georgia native, passionately followed the Braves throughout the playoffs. Jernigan even attended Game 3 to witness the Braves’ 2-0 shutout of the Houston Astros. His fandom throughout the playoffs couldn’t be interrupted.
“If I wasn’t watching the Braves, it’s because I was either focused on an assignment or had some kind of emergency,” Jernigan said.
Jernigan has been waiting for the Braves to win a World Series for over a decade. He started supporting the Braves in 2010 when they had a poor showing against the San Francisco Giants in the National League Division Series. To celebrate the Braves’ most recent championship, Jernigan attended the Braves’ downtown victory parade.
“The parade was everything I was expecting it to be,” Jernigan said. “People were throwing beers at players; it was really exciting.”
Atlanta citizens viewing the parade downtown complained that the buses drove too fast for fans to pay respects to Silver Slugger recipients Freddie Freeman and Max Fried or World Series MVP Jorge Soler. While Jernigan agreed that the buses moved quickly, he still enjoyed getting the opportunity to view his favorite players, even if it was for a quick second.
Non-Georgia natives also joined in for the fun. Freshman Jonathan Orelowitz is a fan of his hometown team, the Boston Red Sox, but he shifted his allegiance during the World Series to support the Braves. The sports enthusiast attended the victory parade at The Battery, where Truist Park is located, to watch the culmination of the parade. Orelowitz watched as the Braves mascot Blooper rode a firetruck to join the team and hilariously hype the crowd up. He said he was mere inches away from catching a pearl necklace thrown by Joc Pederson, who became a sensation for wearing pearls in games late in the season and through the postseason.
Orelowitz watched the series closely, worrying that the Astros would come back in the second half of the series like they did during the American League Championship Series (ALCS).
“I was nervous because the Astros are great offensively and can’t really be stopped when they get going,” Orleowitz said. “I thought they’d be able to carry the momentum from Game 5 back home, but the Braves’ pitching did a great job of shutting that down in Game 6.”
After watching the Astros beat the Red Sox in the ALCS, Orelowitz was thrilled when the Astros were taken down by the Braves. He credits the Braves’ trades right before the trade deadline as a reason for winning the championship.
“I’m really happy for [the Braves],” Orleowitz said. “[Atlanta] went through a lot this season with injuries, so to win it all with big contributions from players they got at the deadline is really great.”
While Jernigan and Orelowitz followed the Braves’ journey during the MLB postseason and celebrated when they won, other students were less interested in Atlanta’s newest champions. Following Game 5, freshmen Maddie Clerici and Ada Demling (25C) both said that while they knew the Braves were playing, they had not watched any of the postseason games. For Clerici, the reasoning was simple.
“I don’t like baseball,” Clerici said.
This sentiment is likely shared with a fair number of other Emory students given that the school is not centered around college athletics or sports in general. Demling did not watch the games, but her fandom lied with the Braves as she is a Red Sox fan like Orelowitz.
Junior Liv Metzger knew that the Braves were playing in the World Series through a friend and saw plenty of enthusiastic social media posts about the Braves’ wins. Metzger is uninterested in baseball as she does not have a favorite team and was unsure about what sport the Braves played previous to the postseason. Yet, she was still happy for her friend when the Braves won.
“I knew that [the Braves] won, and I was glad that they won because [my friend] was very happy and I thought ‘Go Atlanta,’” Metzger said.