HOUSTON — Jose Carlos Altuve, 29, is the heart and soul of the Houston Astros and has been a longtime fan favorite.
With his walk-off homer in Game 6 of the ALCS, the rest of the world was introduced to the 5’6 powerhouse from Maracay, Venezuela.
Here are five things you may not know about Altuve:
A $15,000 bargain
Altuve was a 16-year-old kid in Venezuela when he was twice turned away from the Astros academy there. The stubborn kid believed in himself and kept showing up at the academy until he caught the eye of an Astros scout who would change his life. Al Pedrique realized Altuve was something special and went to bat for him, convincing the bosses to sign the future superstar for a mere $15,000. Turns out, it was the best money the team ever spent. Altuve made his Big League debut with the Astros in 2011. During his first full season in 2012, he made the National League All-Star team. He went on to become an American League All-Star every year between 2014 and 2018. Altuve was the American League regular season MVP in 2017 when the Astros won the World Series. He was named the ALCS MVP after his game-winning homerun against the Yankees in Game 6. More awards and accolades
Jose and his wife Nina live in Pearland with their 2-year-old daughter Melanie Andrea. The toddler will turn 3 in November.
Nina is also from Maracay, Venezuela and she’s a graduate of the University of Carabobo.
The couple married in November 2006.
They’re going to have a lot to celebrate next month: Their anniversary, Melanie’s birthday and another World Series win!
Altuve often finds himself in the spotlight, but he doesn’t like being there.
“I don’t like to talk about myself,” he’s said in the past.
During an interview after Game 6, Altuve tried to share the glory with his teammates, pointing out Yuli Gurriel’s three-run jack and Michael Brantley’s clutch diving catch for a double play.
The Astros have a tradition of ripping open each other’s jerseys after a big win. They tore Carlos Correa’s jersey open after his game-winning walk-off home run in the ALCS Game 2. But Altuve asked his teammates to leave his jersey alone during the postseason.
“"I'm too shy. Last time they did that I got in trouble with my wife,” Altuve told Fox News after Game 6.
After his homer, you could see Altuve clinching his jersey as he ran toward his cheering teammates. Happy wife, happy life.
Man of faith
Altuve is not only quick to share the spotlight with his teammates, he always credits God.
“To achieve success wasn't to get into the major leagues or have the best season in the world. The best success is to live your life the way God wants you to.”
He says it’s the way he was raised.
“I grew up in a family that always believed in God. And I feel like, every morning when you wake up, you have to thank Him for just another day. I do it every day.”
Pay the man
In 2018, Altuve signed a new $151 million contract that will keep him on the Astros through 2024. And he’s worth every penny.
ALSO POPULAR ON KHOU.COM