MLB

World Series 2021: MVP Soler praises Braves for 'instant welcome' following mid-season trade

By Sports Desk November 03, 2021

Jorge Soler says the Atlanta Braves gave him the instant welcome he needed following his mid-season trade from the Kansas City Royals before going on to win the World Series MVP on Tuesday.

Soler, who was traded to the Braves in July, hit three home runs across the six games in the World Series, including a three-run go-ahead blast in the decisive 7-0 Game 6 win over the Houston Astros to earn the MVP.

The 29-year-old Cuban's three home runs were all go-ahead blasts, becoming only the sixth player in history to achieve the feat in a World Series, joining Babe Ruth (1926), Lou Gehrig (1928), Gene Tenace (1972), Curtis Granderson (2015) and George Springer (2017).

Soler had struggled earlier in the season with the Royals, hitting at .192 with 13 home runs, 37 RBIs and 59 hits across 94 games.

Following his switch to Atlanta, Soler hit at .269 with 14 home runs, 33 RBIs and 56 hits in 55 regular season games, before an explosive postseason.

Soler, who missed the National League Championship Series due to COVID-19, hit at .242 across the postseason, headlined by his three home runs and six RBIs in the World Series, hitting at .300.

"I was traded over here, and it was challenging at first," Soler told reporters after the game when asked about his form turnaround. "I felt a little out of my comfort zone. I didn't really know people.

"Everyone in that clubhouse welcomed me in, and it felt instantly, after a little while, just like a family. It's top to bottom, from the entire organisation since I joined, I always felt extremely welcome here."

Soler becomes only the second Cuban to win the World Series MVP, following Livan Hernandez with the Florida Marlins in 1997.

"[Winning MVP] means a lot to me, to my family, to the organisation," Soler said. "It's something really special."

Soler also posted a slugging percentage of .800 against the Astros in the World Series, earning praise from manager Brian Snitker.

"He's been swinging the bat so good," Snitker said. "This whole World Series. Even just the walks he was taking were really big."

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