|Alex Bregman. Credit: Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons|
While most of the coverage of Alex Bregman’s Game 6 home run for the Houston Astros in the World Series last night focused on the propriety of him carrying his bat to first base after hitting the home run, the blast was also another historic hit for him.
Including his two home runs in the 2017 World Series, Bregman set the record for the most World Series home runs by a third baseman.
He also became the youngest American League player to hit three home runs in a single World Series since Mickey Mantle, in 1956. In the fifth inning, the Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto took possession of the overall youngest record by hitting his third homer of the series — and he carried his bat to first base as well.
After the game, Bregman apologized, saying “I just let my emotions get the best of me. I’m sorry for doing that. It’s not how I was raised to play the game.”
In Game 4, Bregman went 3-for-5 with an RBI single and a grand slam, the first grand slam hit by a third baseman in the World Series since 1964, and his five RBI were the most by an American League player in a single World Series game in a decade.
He also had a home run in Game 2. Before the World Series, though, he had just three hits in six games against the New York Yankees.
An Albuquerque native, Bregman played college ball for three years at Louisiana State University, where he was one of four finalists for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the best amateur baseball player in the country. He was drafted second overall by the Astros in the 2015 draft, and was the USA Today Minor League Player of the Year in 2016.
Bregman was heavily recruited by Team Israel for the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Team Israel captured most of the headlines — and a documentary film — by doing far better than anyone expected, but Bregman opted to play for the U.S. team, which won the classic for the first time. He later said he should have played for Israel, because he had only four at-bats for the U.S.
Bregman was called up to the Astros on July 25, 2016. That September, he also made history by hitting the 3,000th home run by a Jewish player in the major leagues, according to Jewish Baseball News. It was his eighth of the season.
In the 2017 World Series, he knocked in runs in each of the first five games, and had the game winning single in the 10th inning of Game 5, a 13-12 win.
He also hit the go-ahead home run in the 2018 All-Star Game in the 10th inning, and became the first Jewish player to be named MVP of the All-Star Game. In 2018, he hit .286 with 31 home runs and 103 RBI.
This year, he hit .296 with 41 home runs and 112 RBI.