ATLANTA -- Excited to try the new prescription sports glasses that had just arrived, Freddie Freeman arrived at Turner Field early Wednesday afternoon and immediately went to the batting cage to take swings while wearing dress shorts and a collared shirt.
After experiencing no problem with the glasses, a jubilant Freeman made his way toward Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez's office to deliver the encouraging update. Things got even better when the young first baseman had no trouble taking swings outside and was placed back in Wednesday's lineup to make his first start since Friday.
It did not take Freeman long to make his presence known as he homered in his first at-bat against Cardinals right-hander Kyle Lohse. The first-inning solo shot to dead center was his eighth home run of the season.
"I was surprised about how I haven't played in a few days and I was able to have a swing like that," Freeman said. "I wasn't really worried about the glasses I knew they worked."
He added a bloop RBI double in the third and finished the night 3-for-5 with three RBIs in a 10-7 victory.
Freeman has battled blurred vision since winning the National League Player of the Week Award for the second time in three weeks earlier this month. He began having a problem with dry eyes while playing in Colorado and found little relief while utilizing different prescription eye drops and a plethora of different contact lenses over the past three weeks.
The inability to create tears led to two scratched corneas and constant frustration as he was unable to find a solution to the problem. Making matters worse is that he was hitting .298 with six homers and a .864 OPS when the Braves left Colorado. In the 16 games that followed, he hit .150 with one home run and a .521 OPS.
Finally, Freeman ordered prescription sports glasses from both Oakley and Under Armour late last week, just before the start of a holiday weekend. Oakley completed construction of their glasses on Tuesday and shipped them overnight to Turner Field. His sponsor, Under Armour, will provide two more sets of glasses in Washington on Friday.
"I'm sure Under Armour is going to feel comfortable, too," Freeman said. "If they feel the same, I kind of have to wear Under Armour. But if the Under Armours do not wrap around, I've got to go with these and I'm sure they'll understand."
With contact lenses providing constant irritation, Freeman plans to wear the glasses both at and away from the field for the remainder of the year.
"I've been getting some good feedback from my teammates and I look good," Freeman said. "I don't know if they're just trying to blow my head up. But I don't care what they look like. I can see and that is all that matters."