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After two decades, the World Series wait finally ends for the Atlanta Braves and their fans

Braves outfielder Eddie Rosario hoists the NLCS Most Valuable Player trophy following the Braves Game 6 win over the Dodgers.
Braves outfielder Eddie Rosario hoists the NLCS Most Valuable Player trophy following the Braves Game 6 win over the Dodgers.
Credit Emil Moffatt / WABE

When the Braves and Yankees met in the fall classic in 1999, it was Atlanta’s fifth World Series appearance in nine years.

Two decades later, the Braves have finally made it back, thanks largely to an MVP performance from left fielder Eddie Rosario, who slugged three home runs in the series, including a three-run blast in Game 6 of the National League Championship series against Los Angeles.

The seven-year big league veteran spoke through an interpreter after Saturday’s 4-2 win in the series clincher.

“It’s truly a great moment not just in my career but in my life,” said Rosario. “But I want more, I want to win the World Series.”

Starting Tuesday night in Houston, the Braves will be playing in the World Series for the first time in 22 years. It was four years before that, in 1995, when Braves won their only World Series since moving to Atlanta.

An Improbable Season

The Braves struggled to stay above the .500 mark for most of the season and didn’t have a winning record until early August. They finally moved into first place in mid-August and never looked back.

The Atlanta Braves celebrate their first National League pennant since 1999. (Emil Moffatt/WABE)

Rosario along with Joc Pederson and Adam Duvall were key mid-season acquisitions by general manager Alex Anthopoulos, that helped the Braves turn around an injury-plagued year.

The World Series is likely even sweeter for first baseman Freddie Freeman, who has spent 11 seasons with the Braves hoping for a chance to play for a title, only to fall short each time.

“I really don’t know how to feel,” Freeman said after the game Saturday. “Usually we’re sitting in our locker and just thinking about the whole season and getting ready for next year. And we actually did it.”

The emotions for Saturday night’s win were also overwhelming for Braves’ manager Brian Snitker, who spent nearly 20 years managing in the team’s minor league system before being promoted to the big club midway through the 2016 season.

Braves’ manager Brian Snitker is interviewed following the Braves win in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. (Emil Moffatt/WABE)

“I was just honestly hoping I could hold it together, cause a lot comes at you, after all the years and everything you go through and now be able to experience this, is really something really cool,” said Snitker.

Snitker will see a familiar face when he looks across to the Astros’ dugout. His son Troy is the hitting coach for Houston.

“The Snitkers are going to have a World Series trophy in their house,” the Braves’ skipper said. “I don’t know who’s going to own it, but we’re going to have one.”

Games 1 and 2 of the World Series in Houston, with Game 3 Friday night at Truist Park. The Braves have announced Charlie Morton will start the opener, while Framer Valdez will be on the mound for the Astros.