Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a grand slam in the series opener between the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers that put him into the record books as the first player in MLB history with 30 home runs and 60 stolen bases in one season.
Acuña’s blast was part of a six-run second inning that propelled the Braves to a 6-1 lead. They held on for an 8-7 as the Dodgers mounted a furious rally behind two home runs from Mookie Betts, who is Acuña’s biggest threat for the 2023 National League MVP Award.
Although Acuña made history against the Dodgers, and during a win for the Braves no less, they presented a base to him to commemorate the accomplishment.
Freddie Freeman personally delivered a base to his former teammate before Friday’s game.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) September 2, 2023
“We wanted to give you the base so you’ll always remember the day you did it,” Freeman said in a video shared by the Braves. “And I wanted to be the one who gave it to you. Congratulations. That is awesome. Forever one of one.”
Acuña then signed the base and included the date of his achievement.
Thursday was also memorable for the 25-year-old as he got married during a private ceremony in the morning. Acuña told reporters after the game the wedding ceremony was something he’d been planning for multiple weeks and he didn’t reveal the plan to anyone.
Will Ronald Acuña Jr. win NL MVP?
Acuña has put together an impressive season that began with a strong start that thrust him into an early lead for NL MVP. After some consideration was given to Freeman, Betts entered the conversation behind a historic month of August.
The NL MVP race could continue down the stretch of the 2023 season, but should Acuña continue to consistently produce and the Braves remain atop the standings, it may be enough to hold off what’s been an impressive push by Betts.
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