Freddie Freeman wasn't sure if he was going to survive his battle with COVID-19. On Saturday, the Atlanta Braves star spoke to reporters about the experience and revealed he had a temperature of 104.5 degrees while sick with the coronavirus. Things were so bad, Freeman said he was praying for his life.
"I said a little prayer that night," Freeman said via ESPN. "I've never been that hot before. My body was really, really hot. ... I said 'Please don't take me' because I wasn't ready." The following morning, Freeman's fever was down to 101 and broke two days later. He returned to the team last week and said Saturday was his ninth consecutive day without symptoms, which included temporary loss of his taste and smell, body aches and chills. His wife detailed his symptoms on social media earlier this month and she and Freeman's aunt are also recovering from positive tests. When asked about his current health, Freeman said: "I feel great," he said. "I only lost one pound. ... I didn't lose any strength."
The timing of Freeman's return couldn't have been better. The Braves were in the process of signing outfielder Yasiel Puig. However, the team found out he tested positive for the coronavirus and will now go through the recovery process. Puig was set to replace Nick Markakis, who opted out to place this year due to his conversation with Freeman.
"Just hearing him, the way he sounded on the phone, it was tough," Markakis said last week when talking about his conversation with Freeman. "It was kind of eye-opening. With everything that's going on, not just with baseball but all over the world, it makes you open your eyes." Freeman was asked about Markakis and said: "He just wasn't into it, and I totally, totally get it."
The Braves have been one of MLB's best teams in the last two seasons, and Freeman has played a huge part in their success. In 2018, Freeman finished with a .309 batting average with 23 home runs and 98 RBIs, helping the team win their first division title in five years. In 2019, Freeman batted .295 with a career-high 38 home runs and 121 RBIs. Freeman's play last season helped the Braves win their second consecutive NL East title.