Astros fan snags Yordan Alvarez HR ball in World Series Game 6

HOUSTON — It was about 9:45 a.m. Saturday when Jim Rice got a call from his boss, who could no longer make it to Minute Maid Park for Game 6 of the World Series. That phone call forever cemented Rice in the history of his beloved team.

Rice, a chief accountant for an oil and gas company in the Dallas area, sat in his boss’s seat at a table atop the 40-foot-tall brick eye in center field, marveling at his view of the outfield — but he never imagined that baseball ball can reach him. But when Jordan Alvarez hit a powerful swing in the sixth inning of the Astros’ 4-1 victory, the home run ball destined to win the World Series for Houston just kept on and on and on — all the way to Rice, an Astros fan of 49 years.

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“I thought when I saw these seats, ‘These are great seats. You can see everything in the stadium,” Rice said. “Unfortunately, I’m out of home run distance unless someone actually hits one.

“There’s not a lot of people on this team that can get one like Jordan can,” he continued with a smile.

That titanic power off the 25-year-old’s bat was projected to travel 450 feet, the second-longest homer tracked by Statcast in the World Series. Only Freddie Freeman has hit a longer moonshot in the Fall Classic, a 460-foot shot in Game 5 of the 2021 World Series. Several fans who have sat atop the batter’s eye for years noted that they had never seen personally hit ball there.

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The significance — and magnitude — of Alvarez’s homer was immense, making him the only player in postseason history with multiple homers in the sixth inning or later with his team trailing — and remarkably, all three came this postseason. It’s a blast that sent Minute Maid Park into a frenzy, rescuing the Astros from a 1-0 deficit and putting them nine outs away from their second World Series title in franchise history.

Rice remembers going to an Astros game in 1983 for his 10th birthday, watching Jose Cruz hit a game-winning homer. He was there in 2005 when the White Sox completed the World Series over his Astros – the only other time he made it to the Fall Classic in person.

“I can’t describe it to be honest with you. It really hasn’t sunk in yet. I start getting all the texts and emails from everyone. It was pretty good and to see Jordan, who is one of my favorite players these days, to see him do that, it was just amazing.”

As for what he’s going to do with baseball? He doesn’t think twice. No matter who comes for the baseball, he keeps it and it goes on his shelf — his own piece of Astros history, 49 years of fandom later.

“Without a doubt, that sticks with me,” Rice said. “That’s my memory of the title right here.”

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