ASTROS FLASHBACK, 2017: How Each Astros Player Spent His $439,000 World Series Bonus (20+ Photos!)
In 2022, each player's World Series Championship share is $516,000. They're currently vacationing & purchasing the luxury cars that dough will buy. But, what toys did each one buy 5 years ago?
Portions of this article first appeared in The Runner Sports on February 19, 2018.
⚾The per-player share for the 2022 World Champion Houston Astros is $516,347, according to ESPN (that total is approximate; the team is waiting for my check for the World Series locker room merch to clear).
Time will tell if our Behind the Astros Dugout intrepid reporters will get a bead on how this batch of Champs spent their 2022-23 offseason (and more importantly, how they spent their newly-won dough).
We’ll know come February, when Ferraris and Lear jets descend on Florida for Spring Training. Stay tuned.
Set the Wayback Machine for November 2017!
“Hey, George Springer! You and the Houston Astros just won the World Series! What are you going to do next?” “I’m gonna get married!”
Since 1987, Disney has asked Super Bowl MVPs a similar question seconds after the final whistle of the big game each year, hoping to prompt the now-famous, “I’m going to (your Disney park of choice)” response.
The Astros were part of a celebratory parade at Florida’s Disney World with their first World Series Championship status just three days old, five years ago. George Springer, American League batting champion Jose Altuve, and All-Star Carlos Correa teamed up with Mickey Mouse for a World Series Victory Parade on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017.
Each Astro on the 2017 World Series roster received a nearly half-a-million-dollars head start to winter fun…just a hair under $439,000.
If you didn’t get an invitation to a star-studded wedding, a vacation to paradise with an Astro, or go for a spin in a $300,000 car, you’re not alone. But, here’s what the 2017 World Champs did during the 2017-’18 winter break, and how they spent some of their Champ largesse:
World Series MVP George Springer
Indeed, Springer did tie the knot, January 20, with the former Charlise Castro (shown above at a Houston Sports Awards Banquet at the Hilton Americas, in February 2018).
The couple held their ceremony at the tony 5-star resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, CA. Fellow Astros Brad Peacock, manager A.J. Hinch, Alex Bregman, Collin McHugh, Derek Fisher, and Jake Marisnick attended, as did former Houston teammate, reliever Luke Gregerson, now a St. Louis Cardinal.
In fact, Hinch crashed at good friend and LA Dodgers manager Dave Roberts’ southern California house during the wedding week. I trust Hinch had the good taste to avoid hauling the World Series trophy inside, setting it on his nightstand!
Springer, describing Marsnick’s role as best man in his wedding, said this: “He was responsible for not screwing it up. He would have had to answer to my wife, which probably wouldn’t have been a good thing for him. Much to his credit, he didn’t screw it up.”
Springer also put up the first shot prior to a Cleveland Cavs/Houston Rockets game at the Toyota Center just eight days after the trophy was clinched (above). If you guessed brick, you win. Earlier that week, Springer clutched the trophy tightly (below), showing it off before a Houston Texans football game.
Shortstop Carlos Correa
Correa and his fiancée Daniella Rodriguez (former Miss Texas USA 2016) visited Puerto Rico (above), among other jaunts like the aforementioned Disney World. Most fans will remember Daniella as the recipient of Correa’s proposal and ring moments after the final out of World Series Game 7, as the Houston shortstop popped the question on national TV. Carlos and Daniella also took in at least one Houston Rockets game in December with Astros owner, Jim Crane.
Reigning AL MVP Jose Altuve
Probably the busiest offseason Astro, a Saturday Night Live appearance with Alex Bregman and George Springer (video above) kicked off Altuve’s whirlwind winter.
With wife Nina and daughter Melanie, he did fall by Turkish chef-restaurateur Nusret Gökçe’s (known worldwide as “Salt Bae”) new steakhouse in New York City five days before Christmas.
He also made new and fast friends with singer/actor Marc Anthony (seen above in solid white shirt) in January, and hung out with Mariners ace, fellow Venezuelan, Felix Hernandez.
Altuve also won the Athlete of the Year award during the first annual Houston Sports Awards at the Hilton Americas, February 8, in Houston.
Outfielder Josh Reddick
Reddick spent a couple weeks in January basking in the sun and surf of Hawaii, namely the $450-a-night Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows in Waimea on the big island. He even brought his fielder’s glove, if one beach photo (above) can be believed. May the record show he sported mainly baggy board shorts in place of his celebratory locker room Speedos.
He and his lady friend were still in their island paradise when that false alarm missile scare happened in Hawaii. “Definitely a scary moment,” Reddick said, “but here I am, luckily. It’s something you don’t expect to be ready for in your lifetime when you see your phone say: ‘This is not a drill. It’s a missile attack.’
“You kind of panic. Fortunately, it was a false alarm, but I wish it could’ve taken far less time than 38 minutes to get a headline out there.” Reddick and his girlfriend ran back to their room, heeding the message’s urgent directions to seek cover.
“Looking back now it probably wouldn’t have helped a whole lot,” he said with a smirk, according to the Houston Chronicle. As Reddick feared for his life, his girlfriend, he said, was concerned more about missing their chance to swim with dolphins.
“She wasn’t worried about dying,” Reddick said. “I’m like, ‘Those dolphins can wait. We’ll see them tomorrow, if we’re still here.'” They, of course, were relieved when the false alarm nature of the message was reported. The dolphins, Reddick, and his girlfriend ended up romping together with no further incident.
Altruistic athlete that he is, Reddick also spent the first week of December reading to students at elementary schools in his hometown Effingham County (Savannah, GA).
Reddick took the Lambo Leap, and spent about half of his series share on a spanking new red Lamborghini, with black interior (above).
Super Utility Player, Marwin Gonzalez
Along with a large number of personal appearances enjoyed by most of his teammates, Marwin took advantage of the winter downtime to spend date nights with his wife Noel, particularly at many of Houston’s fine dining spots.
Pitcher Dallas Keuchel
Houston’s lefty ace caught up with EDM/rockers, The Chainsmokers, at Las Vegas’ Club XS in the Encore on the Strip, a week before Christmas. He was there for longtime U. of Arkansas buddy and fellow lefty, the Cubs’ Drew Smyly’s bachelor party. Kid Keuchy also brought in the New Year and his 30th birthday (New Year’s Day) with the Astros’ Lance McCullers, Jr. and wife, Kara, at a late night hot spot (below).
And, of course, not to be outdone by a position player (Reddick), Keuchel threw his wallet at a crisp, new, black Ferrari 488 Spider in Grigio Silverstone Opaco, matte finish, of course. Vanilla version? About $300,000, but rest assured Keuchel went all in on a more sophisticated “flavor.”
Third Baseman Alex Bregman
A week after boxing himself up and popping out of it, surprising his mom for Christmas, Houston’s World Series Game 5 hero popped up at Las Vegas, himself, but not to meet a pop band.
Bregman made a bro trip out of watching UFC 219 and meeting Holly Holm shortly before she fought Cris Cyborg at the T-Mobile Arena in nearby Paradise, NV. Along for the ride were fellow Astro fight fans Brian McCann, Jake Marisnick, Joe Musgrove, and Mike Fiers. Cyborg won the bout over Holm.
Bregman topped off his offseason by visiting schools in Angleton (just shy of an hour due south of Houston) on Valentine’s Day before leaving for Spring Training.
Pitcher Chris Devenski
The second week of December found the southern California native paddle-boarding just off the coast with fellow reliever James Hoyt, no stranger to coastal fun, himself, having attended Palomar Junior College in San Diego County.
Days after clinching the trophy, November 1, Devenski had the extra hands of Springer, Musgrove, and Tyler White to carry the hardware to a Houston Texans game, and meeting President George Bush the elder, present to help in the pre-game ceremony.
Interestingly, Devo has recently taken up cryotherapy at a San Diego facility specializing in such. Cryotherapy? Officially, “the local or general use of low temperatures in medical therapy. Cryotherapy is used to treat a variety of benign and malignant tissue damage, medically called lesions.”
He had several sessions before reporting to Spring Training on the other coast. Speaking of the Astros West Palm Beach spring campus, Chris was found feeding the Royal Swans at the Embassy Suites in nearby Palm Beach Gardens on Valentine’s Day.
Pitcher Justin Verlander
Presumably with model wife Kate Upton nearby, Verlander (about whom more can be read here), Houston’s righty ace rang in the New Year in the Bahamas (shown above; of course, they wed in the Tuscany region of Italy mere hours after the World Series’ final out…wedding photo below).
Upon departing the Bahamas, he noted on social media: “It’s time to get back to the grind.” Some grind. And, like most of us, he also took in a brisk 18 at the Pebble Beach links over Valentine’s Day. It’s good to be Verlander.
Pitcher Collin McHugh
Rumored by some to be traded, due to a team rotation glut, he’s rumored by others to remain a ‘Stro for rotation flexibility. Nevertheless, McHugh’s 2018 was ushered in, with wife Ashley, at Alberta’s Lake Louise Resort near Banff in western Canada. The temperature was routinely 20 below, so Collin and the Missus took plenty of photos from the cozy comfort of their cabin.
Catcher Max Stassi
Stassi may be out of options on the diamond (and hoping the Astros carry three catchers out of camp), but choices abound if you’re a World Series champ. In early December, Max joined fellow ‘Stros Jon Singleton, James Hoyt, and new Pirate Joe Musgrove in Cancún (all shown above) at the wedding of longtime minor league mate, outfielder Andrew Aplin, now a non-roster invitee in the Mariners’ camp, after Houston traded him last May for a player to be named.
The Aplins honeymooned happily at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort in the Maldives for about a grand a night.
Outfielder Derek Fisher
The other Game 5 hero (scoring the winning run Bregman singled in) hopes to land the left field job coming out of camp. He ended 2017 by landing a massive mahi-mahi on a fishing expedition (above). Three weeks after the series ended, Fisher was feted prior to a Philadelphia 76ers game at the Wells Fargo Center, three hours south of his Lebanon, PA birthplace.
Pitcher Brad Peacock
Also showing his piscatorial prowess was native Floridian Peacock, who did some speck fishing in Lake Okeechobee just after Thanksgiving. He proudly appeared in his hometown (W. Palm Beach, FL, home of the Astros’ Spring Training Facility) Holiday Parade (above).
Pitcher Reymin Guduan
Make no mistake, virtually each and every Houston Astro spent some or a lot of time giving back, in some way, to the community this offseason, whether in Houston or their respective hometowns.
Lefty reliever Guduan is no exception. Just days before reporting to West Palm Beach, he was helping to pass out much-needed food and other necessities in his native Dominican Republic (above). He also assisted in the building of houses. Work like this, in fact, he was doing in his home country the entire offseason.
See the Photos
Feel free to rifle through the collection of photos the Houston Chronicle has generously collected for a closer look at the Astros’ 2017-’18 offseason adventures. You can find them here: “How the Astros Spent Their Offseason, According to Instagram.”
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