Salvador Perez took foul balls off his mask, collarbone, and fingers, and the Kansas City catcher kept on bouncing back, like some indestructible test dummy. No bruise was too painful; no ache was too much to overcome. Not only did he anchor the pitching staff, he hit .364 (8 for 22) and was voted the Most Valuable Player in the Royals' five-game World Series win over the New York Mets that culminated in a 7-2, 12-inning victory early Monday morning. "Now I don't feel pain. I don't feel nothing," he said. Last year against San Francisco, Perez hit a foul pop to Pablo Sandoval for the Series' final out, with the potential tying run at third.
This year, his grounder drove in the tying run as Kansas City rallied for two runs in the ninth inning. Then he singled leading off the 12th, setting up pinch runner Jarrod Dyson to score the go-ahead run on pinch hitter Christian Colon's single. He took a foul tip off the mask in Game 4 of the AL Division Series, and in Game 4 of the World Series, he was staggered by a tip off his collarbone. "He's never going to say nothing," says Royals manager Ned Yost, a former catcher. "He's as tough as they come. You just know that even if you ask him, he's going to tell you he's fine, so no sense of asking him."