Alex Bregman is not just one of the best players on the Houston Astros, he’s one of the best players in Major League Baseball. And after the Tampa Bay Rays forced an ALDS Game 4, which is set to take place on October 8, 2019 at 7:07 p.m., Bregman, who was raised Jewish, will have to make a choice as to whether or not he will play on Kol Nidre, the 10th day of Tishrei, the holy night which marks the start of Yom Kippur.
Sundown down in St. Petersburg, Florida, where the Tampa Bay Rays’ host the Astros on Tuesday night is at 7:04 p.m., which means the first pitch will be throw at Tropicana Field a mere 3 minutes into Kol Nidre. Bregman, who was the 2018 All-Star Game MVP will absolutely be in the mix when it comes to naming the American League 2019 MVP, and the 25-year-old from Albuquerque, New Mexico, will have to make a decision whether or not he will suit up.
Fans were unsure as to what Bregman would choose, and whether he’d be like Sandy Koufax, who famously sat out Game 1 of the World Series in 1965 to observe Yom Kippur when it fell on the 10th of Tishrei. But when the Astros released their starting line-up, Bregman was listed as their third baseman.
It’s always a difficult choice for athletes, especially those in the MLB, as the playoffs are always around the Jewish high holidays. And Bregman has a deep love for baseball and his family has a deep Jewish heritage.
His grandfather Stan Bregman was the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, and served as the Washington Senators general counsel until the team moved to Texas in 1971, a sale which he helped negotiate.
Bregman knew he wanted to be a professional baseball players since the age of four, and like most Jewish boys, he had his Bar-Mitzvah at age 13, on April 21, 2007. Wearing a pin-strip suit he said before his parents, Sam and Jackie Bregman, who are both lawyers, and Congregation Albert, “When I think about the future and how I can make a difference in the world, I want to be able to use my love of the game of baseball to be a good example and a good person. I want to be a professional athlete who plays for the love of the game, never quits trying to give my best and is a good role model for all of the kids who look up to baseball players.”
Despite his height, Bregman is closer to 5’10 than his listed 6’0, was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 29th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. However, Bregman only wanted to be a first round draft pick, and chose to attend college at Louisiana State University before going pro. He was voted the 2013 SEC Freshman of the Year, and first-team all-SEC by the league coaches.
After a successful college baseball career, he was drafted as the second overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft. In 2018, he batted .286 with 31 home runs and 51 doubles. In 2019, the Astros signed him to a six-year $100 million contract extension. This year, he’s batted .296, hit 41 home runs, and drove in 112 runs. He leads the MLB with an .438 OBP average.