Jose Altuve penned another masterpiece in his Hall of Fame script last night. With the Astros staring a 3-2 series deficit in the face, Altuve did what he has done over and over and over again in his career—he met the moment.
Altuve pummeled a Jose LeClerc changeup into the left field seats, giving the Astros the lead. His 26th career postseason home run ensured Houston would head home to Minute Maid needing only one win to clinch a third straight trip to the World Series.
His on-field exploits are legendary, and he’s got a first ballot Hall of Fame resume. But it’s not just his October heroics that have so endeared him to the city.
This quote from Alex Bregman perfectly sums up how we all feel about Jose Altuve.
"It’s literally an honor to take the field with him every single day and see how he goes about his business. I hope my 14-month-old son grows up to be the man that he is."- Alex Bregman
If that isn’t the perfect summation of Altuve, I’m not sure what is.
He exudes humility. After his strong showing in Game 4, he made sure the attention was shifted to José Abreu. After one of the biggest swings of his career in Game 5, he endured Yainer Diaz and Jon Singleton received the credit for reaching base when they pinch hit. He never showers himself with praise, but always deflects the credit to his teammates.
He leads by example. At this point, it’s well known Altuve didn’t participate in the sign-stealing scandal. No matter what any internet fanboy may claim, the factual information is readily available. He didn’t use the trash can and he didn’t wear a buzzer. But he’s still become the face of the scandal. Rather than defend himself, he faced the media, offered an apology, fell on the sword for his teammates, blamed nobody, and has gone out and balled every year since, only getting better. Who wouldn’t want to follow a leader like that?
He’s an overcomer. From being sent home from his Astros tryouts, to battling the yips in the 2020 postseason, to shattering injury rehab expectations, Altuve has overcome every obstacle in his path. We could all stand to learn a thing or two from his perseverance.
And above all, he's a genuinely good human being. From surprise visits with a friend to Belong Kitchen to the time he spends with young fans of opposing teams in ballparks that absolutely despise him, Tuve is the epitome of class.
Yes, he's the greatest players in franchise history. Yes, he will have a statue outside of Minute Maid Park one day.
But more impressive than how good of a player he is, he's an even better man. And for that, the city of Houston will always love their second baseman.
We're lucky to have him. And as Alex said, it's an honor to watch him every single day.