Move over Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson! There’s a new “Mr. October” in Major League Baseball… And his name is Nelson Cruz.
The 31-year-old Dominican slugger has been named this year’s American League Championship Series (ALCS) MVP after helping propel his Texas Rangers into their second consecutive World Series with his “big boomstick!”
With his two-run homer against the Detroit Tigers in Game 6 on Saturday night, the Rangers outfielder elevated his ALCS totals to six home runs and 13 runs-batted-in (RBIs)—both major league records for a postseason series.
“It was fun to watch,” says last year’s American League MVP Josh Hamilton of Cruz’s remarkable play. “It’s one thing to be in the stands. But when you’re down here on the field with him, you can see the intensity, see the focus. To watch him do that was incredible.”
But that’s not all…
- Cruz hit the first game-ending grand slam in postseason history.
- He became the first player with extra-inning homers in two games of one series.
- He became the first player to hit six homers in two postseasons (and he did it in back-to-back years).
- He became the franchise’s career postseason home run king.
“It was his series,” says Rangers first-base and outfield coach Gary Pettis. “What can you say? He did it all. He played defense. He swung the bat. He drove in runs. We’re glad he’s on our team.”
Before Cruz’s record-breaking six homers, the record of five homers in a single postseason series was held by Reggie Jackson, Ken Griffey Jr., Juan Gonzalez and Chase Utley. Meanwhile, players Bobby Richardson and John Valentin held the previous RBI record at 12.
“Right now, I’m just enjoying it,” Cruz said. “After the season, hopefully I’m going to sit down and relax and reflect on it and make sure I realize what happened.”
But right now, Cruz is preparing for the World Series!
“We wanted to do this again and we have,” says Cruz. “Now we want to go all the way.”
The Rangers now await the winner of the National League Championship Series between the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals.