Jose Altuve was crowned the American League Championship Series MVP after his walk-off homer saw the Houston Astros reach the World Series at the expense of the New York Yankees.
Altuve smashed a two-run walk-off home run in the ninth inning as the Astros beat the Yankees 6-4 in Game 6 on Saturday, sealing a 4-2 ALCS victory.
After setting up a showdown with the Washington Nationals in the MLB showpiece, Altuve became the first second baseman to win both the regular-season and postseason-round MVP Award.
"I wanted to just get a good pitch to hit," said Altuve, who led the Astros to their second World Series in three seasons.
"[Yankees pitcher Aroldis] Chapman, for me, is one of the best closers I've ever faced, and he throws hard. I wanted to be on time for the fastball, so I was looking for something I could handle, and it just happened.
"Running around the bases, the only thing I was thinking was, just thanking God for this opportunity to be going to the World Series once again. I thank everybody in the ballpark, because you guys are the biggest reason that we're here. And my team-mates, they're the MVPs of the game. I can't wait for the World Series."
Altuve – a six-time All-Star – was named American League MVP in 2017 as the Astros went on to win the World Series two years ago.
"We won the game not because I hit a homer," added Altuve, who is also a Gold Glove winner and five-time Silver Slugger.
"Yuli [Gurriel] hit a three-run homer. Michael Brantley made a really good play over there, [George] Springer just walked and put some pressure on them to get some momentum going. We worked as a team. We don't have just one player, as I said before, and I'm just so happy for everyone right now."
Astros manager AJ Hinch added: "The playoff version of him is spectacular. We talk about his Division Series homers and then his attention to detail in every facet of the game.
"He's turned himself into a star in his career here, and yet he's remained humble, he's remained hungry. He's driven. He's engaging with his team-mates. It's the same old quote of, 'Everything that's right about the Astros is Jose Altuve.'
"He's been here the longest and seen this organization grow from the ground up. I'm so proud of him. I'm so fortunate to be his manager."
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