Jose Altuve is a name to be reckoned with in the world of American baseball. The Houston Astros star, who is also the reigning MVP of the American League, began his career with the Astros in 2007 as an Amateur Free Agent before advancing to the Major League in 2011, where he has remained to this day.
The dynamic player is the sixth player in the history of the major league as well as the second-ranked player ever to receive a contract worth an average of $30 million per year. Other players who have achieved this benchmark and perhaps even a little more include Max Scherzer ($30 million), Clayton Kershaw ($30.7 million), David Price ($31 million), Miguel Cabrera ($31 million), and Zack Greinke ($34.4 million).
Here are all the other facts you need to know about one of America’s greatest and most skilled baseball players.
How It All Began…
The Venezuelan player was born on May 6, 1990, in the Venezuelan city of Maracay and grew up there. His love of baseball led him to a trial camp of the Houston Astros in Maracay at the age of 16. The team’s scouts refused him entry for two reasons: they thought he was too young, and two, they suspected he lied about his age. The young up-and-coming baseball player was thinking of quitting, but with his father’s encouragement, he returned to camp the next day with his birth certificate as proof that he was not lying about his age.
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A then special assistant to the Astros named Al Pedrique looked him straight in the eye and asked him if he could play, Altuve looked him back in the eye and replied, “I’ll show you,” and he showed not only Al Pedrique but all the other people who cared about knowing that he could actually play. After convincing the team officials that he had everything they needed to play in the team, he was hired as a freelancer for $15,000 in March 2007.
After a successful 2007 season in the Venezuelan Summer League, he moved to the USA and played for Greeneville Astros in the Appalachian League (at rookie-level) in the 2008 and 2009 seasons. His 324 with 21 stolen bases in 45 games in the 2009 season not only earned him a place on the league’s All-Star Team but he was also named the team’s most valuable player. He advanced to the Tri-City ValleyCats of the Class A-Short Season New York-Penn League, for which he played in 21 games.
In 2010, he began his season with the Lexington Legends in the Class A South Atlantic League before moving on to the Lancaster JetHawks Class A-Advanced California League. This was to be his last as a free agent, and the following year (2011) he moved up to the Major League. Jose Altuve made his Major League debut in July 2011 and has remained with the team ever since.
So far he has recorded so many successes and led the team to several victories. He has recorded 84 home runs in his career, making him the second in history to do so. Three times he was voted the starting second baseman for the AL in the All-Star Game.
In 2018, Jose Altuve agreed to a five-year, $151 million extension with the Astros after signing a four-year, $12.5 million extension in 2013.
Jose Altuve Awards
Jose has won so many prizes that they are just too numerous to list, but here are a few. Between 2014 and 2017, he won three batting championships and is also a five-time MLB All-Star.
In 2017 he won the Hank Aaron Award as AL Most Valuable Player. In the same year, he also became the world champion of the series with the Astros. He received further awards in 2017:
- The Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year Awards
- The Sporting News Awards for Major League Player of the Year
- The Baseball America’s Award for Major League Player of the Year.
His Wife (Nina), Family
The five-time all-star is married to Giannina Elizabeth Cimetta Sandoval, who, however, bears the short name Nina. The couple welcomed their first child (a daughter), Melanie Andrea, on November 1, 2016. Altuve and Nina have been together since he was 16 years old.
Nina is also from Venezuela and studied at the University of Carabobo, Venezuela. She is a bioanalyst by profession.
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Height, Weight And Other Facts You Need To Know About Jose Altuve
Altuve is a serious and practicing Christian who speaks courageously about his faith.
His mentor is Víctor Martínez.
Altuve’s height was one of the reasons Astros didn’t want to take him into the team initially, but that same height has turned out to his advantage. In 2017, he was named the shortest active MLB player standing at 5 feet 6 inches (1.68 m).
He also weighs 165 pounds (75 kg).