Originally found on Fox Sports:
Major League Baseball
Oct. 28, 2023 5:47 a.m. ET
ARLINGTON, Texas — Adolis García wasn’t sure.
Usually, when the Rangers‘ chiseled slugger gets all of one, he knows it, and so he watches. He admires his handiwork. He basks in the glory of his own magnificence. The context has enabled the joy. García’s first seven big flies this postseason were definitive. Obvious no-doubters. A handful were game-changing, season-altering, career-defining. He celebrated accordingly.
After each blast, the American League Championship Series MVP either stared statuesque, or sauntered down the baseline. That flair for the dramatic, that level of showmanship (and, well, the eight postseason home runs) has helped turn “Adolis” into a legendary October mononym.
“I felt that I hit it well,” García explained through a translator after the game. “But it was a ball that went [to the opposite field]. So when that happens I’ve just got to make sure that I run out of home plate and run the bases.”
The instant García’s game-ending laser cleared the wall in right, Globe Life Field, and everyone in it, erupted into life. The slugger homering in a fifth consecutive game evoked feelings of inevitability and disbelief. His teammates transformed into giddy children, pouring onto the field to join in the revelry.
As García rounded third, he pointed toward the heavens, to whatever greater power helped enable this otherworldly hot stretch. Then, as the defeated Diamondbacks retreated all around him, he chucked his helmet into the ether and skipped the final few feet towards home plate, where a semicircle of eager, ecstatic teammates waited impatiently. García leaped into the madness and was promptly swallowed up by a jumping throng of Rangers.
There were many layers and levels to Game 1 of the World Series, which the Rangers took 6-5. A fantastic showing from Texas’ bullpen kept things close after Arizona jetted out to a 5-3 lead. October regular Corey Seager sent the contest to extras with an unforgettable two-run, game-tying smash of his own. But the night, and the entire postseason thus far, belonged to “El Bombi.”
Once the on-field party died down, the Rangers headed back to the clubhouse where they serenaded García with chants of “EL-BOM-BÍ! EL-BOM-BÍ!”
“The PG way to put it?” Rangers pitcher Dane Dunning said afterward. “He’s a bad man.”
There are, at minimum, three games left in these playoffs, but García has already compiled quite the laundry list of accomplishments. His 22 RBIs this October are a new record for a single postseason. Friday night’s walk-off was only the 10th extra-inning game-ending blast in World Series history. García’s eight playoff home runs are tied for the second-most in one postseason, just two dingers behind his friend and fellow October cheat code Randy Arozarena.
Nobody with a brain and a TV set should be doubting García at this point. Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo and his staff were well aware that the Rangers right fielder has been on quite the heater. They sought to pitch García inside, where he’s less likely to get his powerful arms extended. In the ninth inning, that led to a wayward hit by pitch that caught García in the hand.
But in the 11th, Arizona reliever Miguel Castro left a 3-1 fastball over the middle-bottom of the plate. García didn’t miss, creating a memory that will live on in the hearts and minds of Rangers’ fans forever.
Twelve years to the day that St. Louis‘ David Freese ended Game 6 of the 2011 World Series with a soul-crushing walk-off against Texas, García provided a forlorn fan base with a shot of faith. The Rangers are just three wins away from finally calling themselves champions.
And on a team full of reserved, subdued personalities, García is the spark, the Red Bull in a cupboard full of saltines.
“He’s amazing,” Nathaniel Lowe glowed postgame. “And it feels like he’s gonna do it every night.”
Jake Mintz, the louder half of @CespedesBBQ is a baseball writer for FOX Sports. He played college baseball, poorly at first, then very well, very briefly. Jake lives in New York City where he coaches Little League and rides his bike, sometimes at the same time. Follow him on Twitter at @Jake_Mintz.
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