Midway through 2018, the Toronto Blue Jays decided Steve Pearce wasn’t worth a minor league prospect — they threw in some cash to trade him away.
Now, the former South Carolina baseball great is World Series MVP.
Pearce’s stunning rise from journeyman major leaguer to top of the baseball world took him through eight franchises and 13 years since he left USC. It ended Sunday night at Dodger Stadium, as he and the Boston Red Sox claimed the world championship with a 5-1 win to complete a 4-1 series win.
Pearce powered Boston’s offense through the final two games of the series, collecting seven RBIs on three home runs and a double to lead his team.
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After going 0-for-4 with three walks in the first three games of the World Series, Pearce hit a game-tying home run in the eighth inning of Game 4, then cleared a set of loaded bases in the ninth to blow the game wide open and secure the win.
In Game 5, he picked up right where he left off, hitting a two-run home run in the first inning to give the Red Sox an early lead. In the eighth, he came back with another homer to score the final run of the series.
Pearce finished the World Series hitting 4-for-12 with eight RBIs, three home runs and four walks. All of his hits went for extra bases in his first career World Series.
The Red Sox also have another former Gamecock on their roster — Jackie Bradley Jr., who earned ALCS MVP honors and went 3-for-13 in the World Series.
At South Carolina, Pearce came to the Gamecocks after spending time in junior college and led USC in batting average, home runs and RBIs in 2004 and 2005.