The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Good luck to native Astros in big games


October 25, 2017

New Mexicans have a little extra incentive to tune in to World Series between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers. It’s not often we get to watch a couple of hometown boys play on baseball’s biggest stage.

Two key members of the American League champion Astros, Alex Bregman and Ken Giles, hail from Albuquerque and played high school baseball throughout the state.

Giles graduated from Rio Grande High School and has been the Astros’ “closer” this year, racking up 34 saves in 38 chances. Giles struck out 83 batters while giving up 44 hits prior to the first playoff series in which Houston beat the Boston Red Sox.

Giles had one rough outing in the ALCS series win over the New York Yankees, but came back to pitch in Game Six. The Astros will need him at mid-season form as they go against the Dodgers and their vaunted pitching staff.

Bregman was a highly touted high school shortstop at Albuquerque Academy who went on to a stellar college career at Louisiana State University. He gave up his senior year of college baseball and was chosen in the first round of the draft by the Astros.

He has since moved to third base, where he hit .284 with 19 homers and 39 doubles during the year.

Bregman also turned in what some are calling the defensive gem of the ALCS series on Saturday night as he fielded a short hopper and made a throw to home plate that had the national commentators searching for superlatives.

The spectacular play in a clutch moment put Bregman in the post-game spotlight as he was interviewed at length on national television by a TBS crew that included former baseball superstars Alex Rodriguez, Frank Thomas and David Ortiz.

At one point, they compared Bregman to legendary third baseman Brooks Robinson.

Wearing dark goggles to protect his eyes from flying champagne corks as Astros celebrated in the locker room, Bregman was composed, self-effacing and respectful, at one point telling the all-star panel he had “looked up to you guys” his whole life. In fact, one of his team nicknames is “A-Breg” after Alex (A-Rod) Rodriguez.

These were huge moments on the field and in the spotlight. No way either one was too big for this New Mexico native.

Good luck to Alex and Ken in the World Series. Albuquerque might still be a Dodger town for some, but a lot of the home folks will be rooting for you.

— Albuquerque Journal


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