The Freeze is out to put everyone on ice

Wai Sallas

Deep inside the South, where the Dog Days of Summer crowns baseball as king and the heat bears down on you like a 400 lb gorilla, a new star emerges. The Freeze is not here to cool you off, just blow past you.

Three years after two inches of snow brought the city of Atlanta to its knees, another type of cold front is taking over the city.

Since the Braves opened up SunTrust Park this year, every sixth inning the best and sometimes worst that the ATL has to offer sets up in left field with a chance to Beat The Freeze. Those that confront The Freeze receive the fate of many who experienced that cold front back in January of 2014.

We can’t blame the good people of Atlanta. When you arrive at the ball park, the smell of hotdogs and freshly brewed beer is sometimes too enticing to pass up. By the sixth inning, your stomach’s full and you may be a bit wobbly on your feet thanks to some of the fine amenities taking in a ball game can provide.

In other words, you end up looking like this.

Typically in sports, the only time we get to see fans on the field is when the occasional streaker graces us with their presence. It’s very rare that these instances treat us to alternative entertainment to pass the time. With some exceptions.

In Hotlanta, however, The Freeze blows in regularly. And sometimes, the sheer force of his power is too much to withstand.

Sometimes the bitter cold can shock you to your core, leaving you helpless.

Even the coldest winters have its warriors to fight The Freeze. While Father Time is undefeated, Mother Nature will catch an L on a rare night. The Freeze has lost three times since the races began this season–twice in June.

Nigel Talton is The Freeze. He’s been with the Braves since 2012 but has higher aspirations than embarrassing home fans on a nightly basis. Talton ran track in college and made the 2013 US Indoor Championships 60 meter finals. Now, The Freeze has set his sights on the 2018 US Indoor championships. Hopefully a successful run there will lead to representing the United States at the 2018 Indoor Worlds.

“I just want to have the opportunity to train as a professional track runner,” Talton said. “Don’t give up on your dreams… I just want to make a team before I’m done. My route to that path was detoured, and this came upon me, so right now I’m just continuing to train It’s not about me, I’m just doing it to inspire others and to entertain.”

Nigel Talton (The Freeze)

Talton’s exploits have become must-see events for both fans in attendance and the players on the field. Some of baseball’s best have even gone as far as to challenge The Freeze.

No one, including Talton could have predicted the rise of The Freeze.

“The first time I had the goggles on, and I had the suit under it, my eyes were covered. So I couldn’t see. The only way I could see was if I looked up to the lights at the park, but I can’t look up there running.

“So I just — with me working on the grounds crew, I knew how far the fence was for me. So when I ran that time, I kind of stayed close to the wall so I knew where I was. Because I didn’t know how close I was to the grass, and I didn’t want to step on the grass.”

Nigel Talton

Three months later, Talton has his sights set on something much bigger than just making it around the warning track.

Start the discussion

to comment