The Marty Smith Podcast: Braves 3B Austin Riley Shares How Much the 2021 World Series Meant to the City of Atlanta, Opens Up About His New Contract

by Chris Haney

The Marty Smith Podcast is back, and we’ve got a World Series champion joining the show this week. Atlanta Braves All-Star third baseman Austin Riley dropped in to chat with the guys about his life and MLB career on the podcast.

To start out the show though, the guys all catch up with one another following the first full weekend of college football. Host Marty Smith congratulates producer Travis Rockhold’s Ohio State on their big win against Notre Dame. Then, he sings the praises of co-host Wes Blankenship’s Georgia Bulldogs who had a dominant win against Oregon. The guys also talk about LSU’s rough start to the season after falling to Florida State in Week 1.

Then, The Marty Smith Podcast welcomed Austin Riley to the show. The 25-year-old has already become a force within the league and a bane to opposing pitchers. He and his teammates are the reigning 2021 champs and are currently fighting a close battle for this season’s NL East with the New York Mets. With only 25 games left before the postseason begins, it’s looking like things will come down to the wire between the two ball clubs.

While speaking to the guys, Riley opened up about his new long-term contract with the Braves he just signed in August. He speaks about another legendary third baseman in Atlanta, Chipper Jones. Additionally, he talks about his current team, including manager Brian Snitker and rookie pitching sensation Spencer Strider. We’ve got that and much more with World Series champion Austin Riley on the newest episode of The Marty Smith Podcast.

Austin Riley On How Much the Braves’ World Series Title Meant to the City and Its Fans

As of the start of last season, MLB analysts and fans alike knew the Atlanta Braves were a team to look out for. They’d slowly put together a young, talented core group of players that everyone expected to start competing for titles in the next few years if they kept progressing. However, the team shocked the sports world when they moved that timeline up to that year.

The Atlanta Braves went on a magical postseason run on their way to the franchise’s first World Series trophy since 1995. Even though Austin Riley was an integral part of the team’s success, he didn’t realize just how much the championship meant to the city of Atlanta and Braves fans across the world. That is, until he and the rest of the organization took part in World Series celebrations.

“Atlanta fans are the best,” Austin Riley said on The Marty Smith Podcast. “They’re super passionate, they love the game. I tell guys, I didn’t realize how deep Atlanta fans were in like the roots and all that until we won the World Series and came back and did the whole parade thing. That was absurd.”

For decades, the Braves played in downtown Atlanta at Fulton County Stadium and later at Turner Field. But in 2017, the team moved to Truist Park, which is just north of Atlanta. Therefore when it came time to celebrate the team’s World Series, they planned a two-part parade.

First, the team’s parade traveled through downtown Atlanta as fans littered the streets everywhere they went. The same was the case when they got to Battery Park just north of the city. According to Atlanta officials, upwards of 400,000 fans showed up to take part in the parade celebrations and that’s just in downtown alone.

“We had basically two different parades,” Riley explained. “We had the downtown Atlanta parade where we drove through and you couldn’t fit another person in there. And then once we got to The Battery, it was unreal. They let school out for the day, I’m sure people were skipping work. They don’t compare to anybody else… everywhere you looked there were fans. It was crazy.”

Austin Riley Opens Up About His 10-Year, $212M Contract Extension

Austin Riley is the perfect superstar for a blue collar city like Atlanta. He’s a humble guy that keeps his head down and lets his play do the talking for him. He mentioned during the podcast that he’s a homebody and a simple guy that doesn’t need a lot. Yet at the beginning of August, Riley agreed to a franchise-record deal when he signed a 10-year, $212 million contract extension. Our host breached the topic during Riley’s appearance on The Marty Smith Podcast.

“You mentioned being a pretty simple guy, don’t need a whole lot. But I can’t help but wonder how does signing the richest contract in the history of a franchise… I mean how does 200 plus million dollars guaranteed impact a life? Try to encapsulate for us what that is,” host Marty Smith asked his guest.

I’ve always felt like I’ve been taught to give more than I get. I’m pretty simple,” Riley shared on the podcast. “People have come up and asked me that question a couple times. All I want personally is to set my family up, to have financial security for my kids, and I want hunting land. I want to own a big piece of hunting land so when baseball is over with, you may never see me again. That’s really about it. I want something back home in Mississippi that I can grow on my own, that’s the goal.”

As Wes joked, Riley will also be able to afford to go on more hunting trips with Braves legend Chipper Jones. The guys talk to Austin Riley about that and much more on the newest episode of The Marty Smith Podcast. Make sure to check out the entire podcast in the video above, or listen to their full conversation on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you listen to your favorite podcasts.