Jeremy says the key to success was keeping a “dry head”

The key to Jeremy Peña’s success was keeping a “dry head”. And he capped off a debut campaign like no other.

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

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

Peña also won the Gold Glove and the MVP of the American League Championship Series. He is the first hitter to win all three awards in one career — all in his rookie season, according to OptaSTATS.

“This is what we all dream of,” the 25-year-old Dominican shortstop said.

Pena’s single hit a single that sent Zach Wheeler into the showers in Game 6, and the Astros put two runners on for the first time in the game Saturday night. Yordan Álvarez then hit a three-run homer that put Houston on track for a 4-1 victory.

Peña is the fifth Dominican MVP in a World Series. The others were: Pedro Guerrero (Dodgers), José Rijo (Cincinnati), Manny Ramírez and David Ortiz (Boston).

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

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

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

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

He also became just the ninth player to win both the league championship series and World Series MVPs after batting .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 one career was pitcher Orel Hershiser, who did it all for the Dodgers in 1988.

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

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

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