Anchor Staff Writer
History was made on Saturday when the Houston Astros secured their second title in franchise history after beating the Philadelphia Phillies in game six of the World Series. The team was led by rookie shortstop Jeremy Peña, a graduate of Classical High School in Providence, Rhode Island. Originally from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Peña and his family eventually moved to Providence during his childhood. After graduating from Classical in 2015, he attended the University of Maine, and was later selected by the Houston Astros in the third round of the 2018 MLB draft.
During the World Series, Peña, put up a .400 batting average, 10 hits on 25 attempts, while also contributing one homerun, three RBIs, and five runs scored, which earned him World Series MVP honors. Peña is just the third rookie in MLB history to earn the award.
Peña’s rookie season was eventful, to say the least. His performance on the field earned him a Gold Glove award, and he became the first rookie shortstop in MLB history to earn that honor. The awards didn’t stop there however, as Peña would later earn the AL Championship Series MVP award. He earned this award for his performance during the Astros four-game sweep of the New York Yankees, which saw him hit for six on 17 attempts, good enough for two home runs and two doubles.
The 25-year-old continued his historic run by becoming the first-ever rookie shortstop to hit a home run in the World Series. The home run occurred in the fourth inning of game five, when Peña hit a curveball from veteran pitcher Noah Syndergaard into the left field stands. Peña made his way around the bases and while arriving at home, he could be seen forming a heart shape with his hands, a message for his mother.
“I mean he [Syndergaard] got into a groove, and he made me look foolish at the first at bat with the curveball, so I was just looking for a good pitch to hit and I tried to put a good swing on it,” Peña, remaining professional, said when asked about the moment afterwards.
If Peña's performance and journey up to this point was made into a hollywood script, it would seem too good to be true. A man with humble beginnings from the country’s smallest state, capturing baseball’s biggest honors in his rookie season, you couldn’t write it any better. And while most Rhode Islander’s who are avid Red Sox fans may find it difficult to root for a player on a rival team, no one can deny Peña’s greatness.
Every baseball fan in Rhode Island should be both proud that Peña represents us, and hopeful that maybe one day he returns to New England to show off his greatness in Fenway Park, playing for the home team.