LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Steve Pearce completed a remarkable journey from a Major League Baseball castoff to the top of the baseball world on Sunday as the Boston Red Sox first baseman was named the Most Valuable Player of the World Series.
The 35-year-old veteran slugger, who the Toronto Blue Jays shipped to Boston for next to nothing in June, had three home runs and eight RBI during the best-of-seven championship, which the Red Sox won 4-1 over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“You know, baseball is a funny game. You never know where the game will take you,” Pearce told reporters. “And I’ve gone through a lot in my life or in my career to be here, and I couldn’t be more thankful.”
Pearce has played for seven teams during a his 12-year MLB career and his trade to the American League East’s Red Sox made him only the sixth player to play for each team in one division.
And while Pearce is known around MLB circles as a journeyman, he has never been dismayed by the unflattering identifier and simply saved the best baseball of his career for the game’s biggest stage.
Pearce hit a game-tying homer in the eighth inning of Saturday’s Game Four followed by a three-run double in the ninth to help the Red Sox emphatically rally to a victory that left them one win away from their fourth title in 15 years.
The hard-hitting first baseman returned on Sunday and hit a two-run home run in the first inning to put the visitors ahead 2-0 and then launched a solo shot in the eighth inning that gave Boston a 5-1 lead for the final score.
“This has been a lifelong journey. And to be here right now is a dream come true,” said Pearce.
“Best feeling in my life. This is what you grow up wishing that you could be a part of something like this. With that special group of guys out there, to celebrate with them, that was awesome.”
Reporting by Rory Carroll; Writing by Frank Pingue; editing by Sudipto Ganguly