Earning a medal at either the Summer or Winter Olympics is an impressive feat. Winning a medal at both? Exceedingly rare. Eddy Alvarez became only the third American to do so Thursday when the US baseball team beat South Korea to gain a berth in this weekend's gold medal game against Japan, per the AP. The former US speedskater-turned-infielder wept in the dugout after the final out as teammates patted him on the back and offered handshakes and hugs. Alvarez the speedskater earned a silver in 2014 at Sochi as part of the four-man short track team. Now he's guaranteed at least a silver in baseball as well. The other Americans with summer and winter medals are Eddie Eagen (boxing in 1920, bobsled in 1932) and Lauryn Williams (track and field in 2004 and 2012, bobsled in 2014).
At the final out, a line drive caught by reliever Anthony Carter, Alvarez raised his right arm in triumph, then raised both arms and hugged shortstop Nick Allen. The US team of prospects and released veterans is seeking the Americans' second baseball gold medal and first since 2000. They play host Japan Saturday night. Alvarez is a 31-year-old infielder with the Miami Marlins' Triple-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. He made his major league debut last season when the Marlins' roster was decimated by the coronavirus, hitting .189 with no RBIs in 12 games.
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