The Atlanta Braves celebrated their 2021 World Series title on Friday afternoon in Atlanta. The Braves took down the Houston Astros in six games during this year's Fall Classic, capturing their first championship since 1995 on Tuesday night. While the Braves missed a chance to lift the trophy in front of their home fans on Sunday in Game 5, Atlantans had the to have a celebration 26 years in the making with their team on Friday.
The parade kicked off at 12 p.m. ET, and the team first cruised through downtown Atlanta before commuting to their home ballpark 13 miles away. The celebration concluded at Truist Park, with Freddie Freeman, Brian Snitker, Ozzie Albies and others addressing the crowd. Here's a few of the most memorable moments from the afternoon.
Braves pay homage to Aaron
The Braves started their afternoon with a fitting nod to Henry "Hank" Aaron, the franchise legend who died in January at the age of 86.
As seen below, the Braves stopped by the landing spot of Aaron's 715th home run, or where Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium used to stand.
The stadium land is now used as a parking lot, but part of the outfield wall and a marker commemorating Aaron's achievement remain.
Once the parade reached Truist Park, the crowd was addressed by Henry's widow Billye:
Pederson tosses pearls
Joc Pederson became a fan favorite and fashion inspiration during "Joctober" by donning a pearl necklace. Naturally, Pederson chose to spread love to Atlanta's fans on Friday by tossing out pearl necklaces as the team sped along the parade route:
Pederson also officially declined his player option for next season, which will make him a free agency. Perhaps those necklaces will serve as his parting gift to Braves fans.
This moment's a memorable one from the parade, but maybe not for the greatest reason. The Braves' buses raced through downtown Atlanta's streets at an alarmingly fast rate on Friday.
This meant that some fans barely caught a glimpse, and despite waiting 26 years for another World Series, didn't have much time to celebrate with their team. Here's more on the fast-paced vehicles.
Minter enjoys a beverage
Professional athletes have been known to indulge themselves with adult beverages during championship parades.
Braves lefty A.J. Minter provided the afternoon's most memorable entry in that genre, downing a drink while wearing a cowboy hat:
It should be noted that the best hat on a Braves pitcher belonged to right-handed starter Ian Anderson. Check this out:
On the stage
First up, Freddie Freeman's speech was the most important, given his impending free agent status:
Most of the rest of them were pretty brief. Just thanking fans and taking a quick bow. Joc Pederson and Will Smith made sure to drop some f-bombs and that's always a crowd-pleaser. Pederson in particular was pretty funny, walking up with his pearls around his neck and a cigar in his mouth before breaking out, "Guess what? We are those motherfu**ers!" to a rousing ovation.
Multiple Braves, including Ozzie Albies, Travis d'Arnaud and Dansby Swanson made sure to mention "re-sign Freddie."
As is standard, most were extremely thankful to the fan base and all were in tip-top moods. Charlie Morton walked out on his crutches and was the most emotional of the group. He seemed like he might be announcing his retirement of something -- given his age and injury -- but instead said that this moment is the most special of his career.
CBS Sports provided live updates from the Braves parade. You can relive that coverage below.