Sunday, May 28, 2023

Pea, World Series 1st rookie MVP

HOUSTON ( Associated Press) — Keeping a “dry head” was the key to Jeremy Pea’s success. And it kicked off a debut campaign like no other.

Pea became the first rookie to win a World Series MVP award as a position player after batting .400 in the Houston Astros’ six-game victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

“The hardest thing was stopping everything that wasn’t part of the game,” he said. “There’s a saying that you can’t sink a ship with water around it. If it sinks it’s because water enters. So just stay strong and keep the water off my head.”

Pea also won the Gold Glove and MVP of the American League Championship Series. According to OptaSTATS, he is the first hitter to win all three awards in a career – all in his rookie season.

“That’s what we all dream of,” said the 25-year-old Dominican shortstop.

Pea’s single hit the single that sent Zach Wheeler into the showers in Game 6, and the Astros placed two runners in the game for the first time on Saturday night. Jordan Alvarez then hit a three-run homer to put Houston back on track for a 4-1 win.

Pea is the fifth Dominican MVP in the World Series. The others were: Pedro Guerrero (Dodgers), Jose Rizzo (Cincinnati), Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz (Boston).

The freshman finished the season with an average of .345, four home runs, eight RBIs and a 1.005 OPS. He is also the first rookie shortstop to win the Gold Glove, as well as the first man to hit a home run in a World Series.

He was 24 when he was named the Astros’ starting shortstop after Carlos left as a free agent during the Correa winter break.

Pea became the third rookie in any position to win the Fall Classic MVP, emulating a pair of right-handed pitchers: Larry Sherry with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1959 and Livan Hernandez with the Florida Marlins in 1997.

“These comrades who are here inspired me to keep my feet on the ground. It worked every day. Individual awards are great, but the trophy is what we want,” he said, pointing to the commissioner’s award given to the World Series champions. “Point the camera at what’s there.”

He became the ninth player to win both the League Championship Series and World Series MVP after taking the bat. 353 with two home runs and four RBIs against the Yankees. The only other player to win both series MVP trophies and a Gold Glove in a career was pitcher Orel Hershisser, who did it all for the Dodgers in 1988.

Pea hit .291 during the regular season with 22 home runs and 64 RBIs and is probably well ahead of the Rookie of the Year ballot. Seattle outfielder Julio Rodriguez is the favourite.

Others who made the MVP double in the last two playoff series in the same year were Willie Stargel (1979) with Pittsburgh; Darrell Porter (1982), with St. Louis; Hershesser; Hernandez with Florida (2003); Cole Hamels (2008) with Philadelphia; David Freese (2011) with St. Louis; San Francisco with Madison Bumgarner (2014) and the Dodgers with Corey Seeger (2020).

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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