- Associated Press - Saturday, April 18, 2015

TORONTO (AP) - Freddie Freeman plans to look around downtown Toronto before the Atlanta Braves play the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Sunday afternoon.

But instead of taking in the typical tourist sights, the Atlanta first baseman has just one structure on his must-see list - the building where his late mother, Rosemary, spent a lot of time.

“I’m going to walk around, see the high-rise where she worked, take that in,” Freeman said Saturday before homering for the second straight day against the Blue Jays. “That will be good for me. It’ll be special to see that.”

Rosemary Freeman, a Toronto native who grew up in Peterborough, Ontario, died of melanoma in 2000 when Freddie was 10 years old.

Now 25, Freeman says his mother’s memory continues to play a huge part in his life and his baseball career.

“I know she’s watching every single game up in heaven,” Freeman said. “I have a necklace that unscrews and there’s a piece of her hair inside of it, so she’s always with me everywhere I go.”

“I just want to make her proud and continue to honor her,” he said.

One way to do that, Freeman says, is to play for Canada at the next World Baseball Classic in 2017.

Freeman was born in California and has played for the United States in international competitions. He made sure the players’ union knew about his Canadian roots before the last WBC in 2013.

The two-time All-Star didn’t play that year - Canada had Joey Votto and Justin Morneau at first base - but he says he’s hoping he’ll get the chance soon.

“That’s always been a dream of mine,” he said. “I want to represent Canada so I can represent my mother.”

“Canada has some good first basemen in Votto and Morneau, so I might have to just wait my turn, but hopefully I’ll get to do it one day,” he said.

Freeman hit his third homer of the season in Friday night’s series opener, an 8-7 victory. He said he had “a few” vocal cousins in attendance from Oshawa, Ontario, where his mother married his Canadian father, Fred, a Canadian native.

Freeman said he met the cousins a few years ago, but could “hear them screaming out there.”

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