The Marty Smith Podcast: World Series Champion Austin Riley On Staying Grounded and Connected to His Small Town Roots

by Chris Haney

In the latest episode of The Marty Smith Podcast, Atlanta Braves third baseman and World Series winner Austin Riley joined the show to talk about the MLB season, his career, and much more. At only 25 years old, Riley has already accomplished more than some ball players do in their whole career. He’s already made the All-Star team, won a World Series trophy, and he just signed the richest contract in Braves franchise history. Yet you’d never know it when seeing or talking to Riley since he’s about as unassuming and humble as superstars come.

Austin Riley was raised in a small town in Mississippi and baseball has been a constant in his life since a young age. He comes from a blue-collar town and from a blue-collar family. So, he’s the perfect ambassador for the Braves and the blue-collar city of Atlanta. As Riley and the guys got to talking about his life and career, host Marty Smith wanted to know how he stays so grounded in his Mississippi roots despite the money, fame, and numerous accolades.

“How do you still carry with all your success, you’ve now seen the country and maybe the world, I don’t know, how do you carry those Mississippi roots with you all the time?” the host of The Marty Smith Podcast asked.

“You know, I just try to be as humble as [possible]. I still say people get onto me, and I still say ‘Yes, sir’ and ‘Yes, ma’am’ to everybody. It’s just part of me,” Austin Riley answered.

“I go home every offseason,” he added. “I absolutely love Atlanta, but by the time the season’s over with, I’ve gotta get back to my small town.”

Austin Riley Explains Why He Always Returns to His Hometown on ‘The Marty Smith Podcast’

As Austin Riley was answering the question, host Marty Smith chimed in and pressed him further. He wanted to know more about why it was so important to go back to his small town in the offseason. With Riley’s money, he could live anywhere in the world. However, he always chooses to return to his roots in Mississippi.

“I think it’s just who I am. It’s what I’ve known,” Riley shared. “I’m a homebody and I care about the little things. You know, a little town that’s just like everybody kinda knows everybody. It’s all about the little things. It’s the simple grilling out on a weekend and having a few beers, shootin’ some skeet. Or whether it’s at deer camp and you’re sharing stories of last year’s kill hoping you kill another one the next day.”

The All-Star third baseman travels to almost every big city across the nation during Braves away games each season. He’s used to both large cities and small towns, but not everyone is. Riley wishes people that only know the big city life could get to know the value of small town livin’ as well.

“It’s just those little moments that I wish people that didn’t know about [small towns] or hadn’t experienced [small towns] could. It kinda puts life into perspective for me,” Riley said.

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.