Every-Thing Sports

How Jose Altuve became my favorite baseball player of all time

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

I believe it started in 2012, maybe 2013. Admittedly, I wasn't really paying too close attention when Jose Altuve made his debut in 2011. What I remember most was the moment my daughter asked "Dad, who's that little guy for the Astros?" "Baby, that's Jose Altuve. He's their best player." Back then, they were losing 100 games a year on a fairy regular basis. I got the kids tickets to a game in 2014. They were really excited. My daughter wore her Jose Altuve t-shirt. My son had on his Astros hat. We were all in. When we got to our seats and they looked over the program, I remember my son randomly asking how tall was he. He was about 5'5 or so at the time. My daughter immediately replied "You're about as tall as Jose Altuve!" He felt like he was on top of the world, and my daughter was excited to know her brother was about the same height as her favorite player. As she put it "short people rule!" Now, he's my height, she's about 5'7, and the wife is the shortest person in the house. Here are a few more reasons why Altuve became my favorite player of all time:

Humble

No matter what he's accomplished, the stage he's done it on, or how often he's had successes, Altuve has remained humble. Whether it's in television, radio, or print interviews, his humble spirit has come across time and time again. It's not a phony act that's been debunked either. Others who've had countless interactions with him have all said the same thing. He's the kind of guy that you would want dating your daughter/sister (if he wasn't married).

Hard worker

The story of Altuve refusing to give up when turned away at tryouts in his home country of Venezuela is remarkable. If you don't know: he was turned away because of his size, came back the next day with birth certificate in hand, didn't take no for an answer, and the rest is history. He's continued to work to make himself into an AL MVP and one of the most feared and respected hitters in the game today. Oh, and he's also a hell of a second baseman.

Clutch

His home run to send the Astros to the World Series this year was just one of his many clutch moments. Altuve is tied with teammate George Springer as the team's all time leader in potseason home runs with 13. He's a career .315 hitter with a career .827 OPS. All that is great, but he does it when it counts most. He never acts as if the moment is too big for him. Most times, you'll see him with that infectious smile on his face, or his trademark scowl. He takes everything in stride and never acts like the moment is too big for him.

Fun-loving

If you've never seen the video of Altuve singing "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys, you're missing out. He also has countless videos and GIFs out there in which he's dancing and having fun. His HEB commercials are gold as well. He seems like one of those guys that you can't help but have a good time if he's around. Other teammates have said as much. Even opponents root for him because he's such a good guy.

Family and faith

When he's rounding the bases, Altuve told his teammates not to tear his jersey off. Why? He didn't want to upset his wife. After the game, he was most happy when he was holding his daughter and hugging his wife. The way he honors them and respects his wife are truly admirable. He's also a man of faith. One of the first things he did was thank God when he was interviewed, something he's done often.

Fred Faour said it on The Blitz that "if you don't like Jose Altuve, well then you hate puppies." I'm a firm subscriber to that theory. The guy gives you no reason to hate him, unless you're one of those dumbass Yankee fans who chanted "bleep Altuve." The guy is a treasure. Whenever he decides to hang it up, I'm sure he'll have a statue outside whatever stadium the Astros are playing in at the time. Charlie Palillo and Fred both have him ranked highly in their all-time Houston sports greats patheons. In my humble opinion, he's my favorite baseball player of all time. Given all the reasons I've listed, and add to that the fact that he's done all this thus far without the hint of PEDs. So yes, I'm taking him over Ken Griffey Jr, Greg Maddux, Barry Bonds, and all the others. He's now my No. 1, and I don't see that changing. Ever.

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NASCAR: Quaker State 400 preview

Photo via: WikiCommons.

This week, the NASCAR cup series heads to Kentucky Motor Speedway for the Quaker State 400. Built in 2001, this track is a 1.5 mile tri-oval with a dog-leg on the front stretch. The most dangerous part of the track has to be turn three as the corner is flat compared to the other three corners that are banked. This has been a major point of contingency for these drivers as most of the cautions end up being there. Look for turn three to be a hot spot come Sunday. Last year, both the Busch brothers finished 1-2 in one of the most exciting finishes of the season so there will be a lot of hype for this race to live up to.

Last week at Indy, as we all expected the race was a crazy one. Over the course of the race's 160 laps, we saw many horrific accidents including a scary pit road accident involving Corey Lajoe, Ryan Blaney, Justin Allgier, Ryan Preece and others. The wreck started when everyone got stacked up entering the pits and the calamity was on from there. During the wreck Brennan Poole struck Rear Tire Changer Zach Price as he was trying to avoid the wrecking cars in front of him. After the incident fans and media alike all held their breath as they awaited news on his condition. But when the camera panned to him being loaded into the ambulance, there was a huge sigh of relief as he gave everyone a thumbs up signifying he was okay. Another scary moment was both Erik Jones and Alex Bowman's vicious crashes. Both cars had tire failures that sent their cars directly into the wall. Fortunately both drivers were okay but their days were over.

In the end, tire wear would end up claiming one more victim as it took out Denny Hamlin as well. With seven laps to go, the four-time winner this season was in prime position to get his fifth victory until his right front tire blew out, sending him hard into the turn 2 wall. This mishap handed the win to his main rival in the championship, Kevin Harvick, as he went on to claim his third Brickyard 400 victory and fourth win of the year. When it was all over, many questioned why there were so many tire failures and if new owner Roger Penske would make an effort to possibly widen the pit-road after the massive accident on Sunday.

Needless to say, there are a lot of questions on what will be different at Indy in 2021. When I talked to spotter Freddie Kraft on Tuesday, he gave a lot of good insights on both topics. When it came to the tire failures, he talked about how the increasing corner speeds at the racetrack has put a lot of pressure on these Goodyear tires which eventually led to them coming apart. As far as Pit-Road and what they can do to fix that, he talked about how it is difficult to make changes to a track that is so historical. Which makes sense, but he followed this up by saying that maybe it would be wise to give up a little history and move the wall over and make it wider. It will be interesting to see what NASCAR does in the coming months.

On Friday, Associated Press journalist Jenna Fryer revealed a bombshell announcement that 7-time champion and NASCAR's biggest name Jimmie Johnson, had tested positive for coronavirus. As everyone knows, the world is going through the worst pandemic it's ever faced in this lifetime. With the sport coming back and racing again, it was only a matter of time until one of the drivers came down with it. Unfortunately it had to be NASCAR's most recognizable driver. Thankfully, Jimmie made a full recovery and was cleared to return this weekend at Kentucky. This was a big scare for everyone in the NASCAR world, but I have to give a lot of credit to Johnson for being as forthright as he was about his diagnosis with everyone who he works with. It will be good to have Jimmie back on Sunday.

The driver that I have winning this weekend is Kyle Busch. While this season has been a disappointment for the defending champion, Kentucky would be a great place for him to turn it around. Ever since the cup series has started going there, Kyle has always been in contention to win. In fact, he won the first cup series race that was run at this track back in 2011. In his nine starts there, Kyle has finished outside the top ten only once and even then he finished 12th, back in 2016. Last season it appeared that Kyle was on his way to a third victory at this track, but he came up one spot short to his brother Kurt in a fantastic last lap duel. After a late race restart this weekend though, I see Kyle redeeming himself and capturing his first victory of 2020. Look for Kyle to get back on track come Sunday.


All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

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