HOUSTON (AP) — That was the real Chas McCormick playing center field for the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the World Series.
There was at least one time when he was growing up in the Philadelphia area that his teachers couldn't be so sure that it was actually him in the classroom. It might have been his identical twin brother, Jason.
“In elementary school we wanted to do an April Fools’ joke, so we actually switched classes and our teachers had no idea,” McCormick said Friday before Game 1 of the World Series against his hometown Phillies. “Thought that was pretty funny.”
McCormick went 1 for 3 with a walk and two strikeouts as the Astros lost the opener 6-5 in 10 innings.
McCormick is youngest of four boys — twin Jason was born nine minutes earlier — and grew up in West Chester, Pennsylvania, where he was a huge fan of the Phillies and the NFL's Eagles, who are currently undefeated. The Phillies won the World Series in 2008, when the twins were 13 years old, and won the National League pennant again the next season.
In only his second big league season, McCormick is already playing in his second World Series.
“This World Series this year playing against the Phillies ... it’s pretty surreal,” he said.
The Astros drafted him in the 27th round of the 2017 draft after he played four seasons at Division II Millersville in Pennsylvania.
McCormick had two homers when the Astros swept the American League Championship Series against the Yankees. The second homer came in Game 3, when he followed an early dropped flyball with a two-run shot.
After he went deep in the ALCS opener for his first career postseason homer, even Astros ace Justin Verlander was among teammates seen in and in front of the dugout by television cameras doing the “Chas Chomp.”
That celebratory reaction, much like the one done by Florida Gator fans, was started during his rookie season by two Astros fans that have now even worn full alligator costumes to games this postseason.
Before turning his cell off when getting to Minute Maid Park ahead of Friday's game, McCormick said the phone had been blowing up for a couple of days.
“Yeah, it’s been crazy," he said. “It’s been crazy for my family just with all the interviews and mics and cameras.”
McCormick said all of his brothers are excited for him and proud of him.
As for twin Jason, Chas said, “I don’t think he likes the spotlight that much. He’s a little shy.”
No problem, because there is no way that Chas would want switch places in October.
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