2 Albuquerque athletes playing for Astros in World Series

Houston Astros Alex Bregman and Ken Giles

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The World Series starts Tuesday night and two of the stars for the Houston Astros are from Albuquerque. The proud parents of Alex Bregman and Ken Giles spoke with KRQE News 13 before they head off to face the L.A. Dodgers.

“Oh my gosh! We’ve got two kids playing for the Houston Astros that are both from Albuquerque, New Mexico. That’s putting New Mexico on the map,” said Alex Bregman’s father, Sam Bregman.

Albuquerque Academy alumnus Alex Bregman and former Rio Grande Raven Ken Giles both play for the Houston Astros.  Their parents said they can’t wait for Game 1 Tuesday night.

“I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Baseball has always been my favorite sport and to have your own son play the game you love and play it so well at such a high level – it doesn’t get any better than that,” Sam Bregman said.

Sam Bregman said he was in Houston for both Games 6 and 7, which sent the Astros to the World Series. Recalling that crucial play by his son that would change the course of Game 7.

“Runners were on first and third with one out. It was a slow hit ground ball to Alex over on third base. He made the decision to go home and made the perfect throw and the ball was right there as the guy slid in. You could tell that was a big momentum stopper. The Yankees lost all their momentum at that point,” Bregman said.

To close out Game 6, the Astros brought in pitcher Ken Giles. He once threw from the pitcher’s mound as a Rio Grande Raven.

“He had a special arm. He topped at about 94-mph and he had a God’s gift,” said Rio Grande Ravens Coach Orlando Griego.

His father, Glenn Giles, said a love of baseball runs in their family and credits hard work for his son’s success.

“You have to work, especially nowadays everybody is trying to get to that level earlier and earlier. You got to hit the gym, you’ve got to be mentally tough mentally prepared,” Giles said.

Sam Bregman said he hopes the work of his son and Giles’ will send an important message to local athletes.

“If you want to live your dreams and you work hard enough you might just get a chance to do it,” Bregman said

Sam Bregman said he’s flying out to L.A. Monday evening for Game 1. The Giles family said they plan to fly to Houston on Friday for Game 3.

The game starts at  6 p.m. on Fox New Mexico.

Matchups:

The Astros and Dodgers have played over 700 times, more than any pair of teams to meet in the World Series. That’s because Houston began as a National League expansion club in 1962 and didn’t switch to the AL until 2013. The Dodgers hold a 388-323 edge — they’ve played so often, some fans say this feels more like an NL Championship Series than a World Series. … In the most meaningful game between the sides, Houston earned its first playoff spot by beating the Dodgers 7-1 in a tiebreaker for the 1980 NL West title behind pitcher Joe Niekro. … They last met in 2015, when Houston swept a three-game series at home. … Verlander beat the Dodgers in late August with eight dominant innings for Detroit, shortly before being traded to Houston. … Darvish is 5-5 lifetime vs. the Astros, including 1-1 this year before Texas sent him to the Dodgers. … Reddick spent the final two months with the Dodgers last year after being traded from Oakland. … Among the players who spent time with both clubs: Don Sutton, Jeff Kent and Jimmy Wynn, aka The Toy Cannon.

Big Picture:

Astros: Aiming for their first World Series championship. They’ve never even won a Series game, getting swept by the White Sox in 2005 in their only previous appearance. … Manager A.J. Hinch’s team beat the Yankees 4-0 in Game 7 of the ALCS behind Morton and McCullers. The home team won every game of that matchup. … Houston led the majors in scoring this season while taking the AL West with 101 wins, then bounced Boston in the AL Division Series. … Verlander is 4-0 with a 1.46 ERA this postseason. He’s 9-0 since joining the Astros. … Altuve (.400, 5 homers), Gurriel (.366) and Correa (9 RBIs) did well in the playoffs. Bregman, Reddick, Gonzalez, McCann and Carlos Beltran all hit under .200. Beltran, hoping for his first World Series ring, could be the DH when the site shifts to Houston for Game 3. … The games in Houston figure to be emotional, with the area recovering from Hurricane Harvey. The Astros wear patches on their uniforms that have the word “Strong,” the team logo and an outline of the state of Texas.

Dodgers: Making their first World Series appearance since 1988, when Kirk Gibson, Orel Hershiser and Tommy Lasorda helped LA beat Oakland. … Manager Dave Roberts’ team led the majors with 104 wins, swept Arizona in the NLDS and quickly dethroned the champion Cubs in the NLCS. … Turner (.387, 12 RBIs), Puig (.414) and Hernandez (3 homers in NLCS clincher) are doing well this postseason. … Seager is expected back in the lineup after missing the NLCS because of a back injury. Charlie Culberson and Taylor filled in well. Depending on how he’s moving, Seager could be the Dodgers’ DH in Houston. … Led by dominant Jansen, Dodgers relievers have thrown 23 straight scoreless innings in the postseason, dating to Game 2 against Arizona. … Have won the NL West five years in a row. Have had the biggest payroll in the majors for four straight seasons. … Kershaw is 6-7 with a 4.40 ERA in 21 postseason games. He’s gone 2-0 this October. We’ll see whether the lefty ace with three Cy Young Awards, five ERA crowns and seven All-Star selections can deliver a command performance.

Watch For:

— October Oven. It’s supposed to be over 100 degrees in Los Angeles on Tuesday, and this could be the steamiest World Series game ever. Put away the cool, crisp fall ball and get ready for high heat at Dodger Stadium.

— Vin-cible. Baseball fans all over would certainly enjoy hearing famed Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully back in the broadcast booth during this Series, if only for an inning. But the esteemed announcer who called Dodgers games for 67 seasons and turns 90 next month says he’s not interested in a return.

— Star Power. Magic Johnson is a part-owner of the Dodgers, so look for him, Sandy Koufax and other LA sports stars in the crowd. Nolan Ryan sits close to the field in Houston — he’s an Astros adviser and his son, Reid, is the team president.

— Triple Digits. This marks the first pairing of 100-win teams in the World Series since Baltimore and Cincinnati in 1970. The Dodgers romped to a 7-1 record in this postseason; the Astros were 6-0 at Minute Maid Park in the playoffs.

— Only One Missing. Teams from Texas have won most every major sports championship — Super Bowl, NBA and NHL crowns, college football titles, men’s and women’s college basketball champs — except the World Series. The Rangers were one strike away in 2011 before losing to St. Louis.

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