For the second time in his career, Mookie Betts hit a home run in the clinching game of a World Series on Tuesday night. This time, though, it was for the Dodgers instead of against them.
Betts homered in the eighth inning of Game 6 against Rays righty Pete Fairbanks and the Dodgers won, 3-1, clinching their first championship since 1988. Betts won his second career ring after helping the Red Sox defeat the Dodgers in the World Series two years ago.
Betts was recognized for his offensive production days after he was named a Gold Glove award winner for his work in right field for the fifth time in his career. He is the sixth player in Dodgers history to win the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards in the same season.
It is Betts’ third straight Silver Slugger award, fourth overall, and first in the National League after batting .292 with a .927 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, 16 home runs and 10 stolen bases in 55 games.
He then starred in the postseason — on the bases, on defense, and with the bat — to help the Dodgers win the World Series while the Angels were left out of the tournament for the sixth consecutive year despite another elite season from Trout.
Trout hit .281 with 17 home runs and a .993 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 53 games. He became the Angels’ all-time home run leader when he clubbed the 300th of his career in August.
Betts, who was traded from Boston to Los Angeles in a five-player deal in February, scored the Dodgers’ last two runs in their win. In the sixth inning, shortly after Rays manager Kevin Cash made the questionable decision to pull starter Blake Snell, Betts scored the go-ahead run on a Corey Seager fielder’s choice. He then added some insurance with a leadoff shot off Fairbanks in the ninth.
Betts finished 2-for-4 with a double, home run and two strikeouts in Game 6 and 21-for-74 (.296) with two home runs, eight doubles and eight RBIs in 18 postseason games. In the World Series, he was 7-for-26 (.269) with two homers and two doubles.
Markus Lynn “Mookie” Betts (born October 7, 1992) is an American professional baseball right fielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Boston Red Sox. In 2018, while with the Red Sox, he became the first player in MLB history to win the Most Valuable Player, Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, batting title, and World Series in the same season.
Betts was drafted by the Red Sox in 2011, and made his MLB debut in the 2014 season, splitting time between second base and the outfield. He became the Red Sox center fielder in 2014, before moving to right field in 2016. As a relatively short natural second baseman with a high contact rate and a high level of production when pulling the ball, Betts has been compared to former Red Sox teammate Dustin Pedroia.
High school career
In 2010, Betts’s junior year at John Overton High School in Nashville, Betts batted .548 with 24 steals. In November that year, Betts signed a letter of commitment to attend the University of Tennessee on a baseball scholarship, also getting recruited by Vanderbilt University, Mississippi State University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
At Overton, Betts was also a standout basketball player, named MVP of the District 12-AAA league his senior season while averaging 14.1 points, 9 assists, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals per game; and also named Class AAA All-City Player of the Year for the Nashville, Tennessee metropolitan area. His junior year, Betts was named MVP of the District 12-AAA tournament. Betts also excelled in bowling, named the Tennessee boys Bowler of the Year in 2010 with a high score of 290. He grew up bowling at the Donelson Strike and Spare in Donelson, Tennessee.
Mookie’s mother is an avid bowler and taught Mookie to bowl at an early age. Betts was named the Tennessee Boys Bowler of the Year in 2010, having set Tennessee high school records that season with a 290 game and an 827 three-game series.
He has officially bowled three perfect games, on January 27, 2013; February 2, 2016; and November 12, 2017. His highest game in PBA competition is a 300 game during the World Series of Bowling on November 12, 2017.
In February 2019, he won the 2019 CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational, competing with professional bowler Tommy Jones.