Juan Soto will never forget his first beer.
The Washington Nationals star turned 21 on Friday, the legal drinking age in the U.S., but the slugger had not been able to celebrate it with his teammates because they have been playing in the World Series.
Five days later, Soto finally got the opportunity to do it at Minute Maid Park while celebrating a stunning Game 7 victory over the Houston Astros for the franchise’s first World Series title.
“I’m thankful to be celebrating this with my first beer with these guys,” Soto said, per MLB.com. “This is incredible.”
Soto previously celebrated clinching games with sparkling grape juice while the beer and champagne flowed around him. This time, he got to join in with the rest of his teammates, and it was well-deserved, too.
Soto played an integral role in the Nationals’ postseason, setting records along the way while hitting a slashline of .277/.373.554 with five home runs and 14 RBIs.
He became the second youngest player to hit a home run in a World Series with his Game 1 blast off Gerrit Cole, and he became the youngest player to hit three home runs in a single World Series with another moonshot in Game 6, this time off future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander.
His RBI single in Game 7 put him alongside Mickey Mantle as the only players at age 21 or younger in MLB history to drive in a run in a World Series Game 7, and he passed Miguel Cabrera for most home runs in a single postseason for a player younger than 22.
Nationals manager Davey Martinez spoke of Soto’s passion and energy as a big reason why he has been so successful at a young age.
“He had his first beer tonight, which is kind of nice,” Martinez said. “But you look at a 21-year-old kid that’s just out there having fun like he’s playing stick ball in the backyard. That’s who he is. He loves the moments. He loves going up there and picking up his teammates.”