José Altuve

José Carlos Altuve (Spanish pronunciation: [alˈtuβe]; born May 6, 1990) is a Venezuelan professional baseball second baseman for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB). The Astros signed Altuve as an amateur free agent in 2007, and he made his major league debut in 2011. A right-handed batter and thrower, as of 2017 he was the shortest active MLB player at 5 feet 6 inches (1.68 m). His listed weight is 165 pounds (75 kg). From 2014−2017, Altuve recorded at least 200 hits each season and led the American League (AL) in the category. He won three batting championships in that span.

A six-time MLB All-Star, Altuve has been voted the starting second baseman for the AL in the All-Star Game four times. In 2017, he won the AL Most Valuable Player Award, the Hank Aaron Award, and became a World Series champion with the Astros, each for the first time. Also in 2017, Altuve was Sports Illustrated's co-Sportsperson of the Year with J. J. Watt of the NFL's Houston Texans for helping to lead relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Further awards Altuve received in 2017 were the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year, The Sporting News Major League Player of the Year (making him the fifth player to be selected in consecutive years), and Baseball America's Major League Player of the Year. He has also won five Silver Slugger Awards and one Rawlings Gold Glove. In 2014, he became the first player in over 80 years to reach 130 hits and 40 stolen bases before the All-Star Game. That same season, he became the first Astro to win a batting title, leading the AL with a .341 average. He has twice led the AL in stolen bases. From Maracay, Venezuela, Altuve played for the Venezuelan national team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic (WBC).

José Altuve
José Altuve 2017
Altuve with the Astros in 2017
Houston Astros – No. 27
Second baseman
Born: May 6, 1990 (age 29)
Puerto Cabello, Venezuela
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
July 20, 2011, for the Houston Astros
MLB statistics
(through May 10, 2019)
Batting average.314
Hits1,454
Home runs106
Runs batted in485
Stolen bases249
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early life

Altuve is a native of Maracay, Venezuela, and grew up there. At age 7, he met fellow future major leaguer Salvador Pérez, who eventually became a catcher for the Kansas City Royals. The two competed together beginning in Maracay and many times in American League contests.[1]

Professional career

Minor leagues

At age 16, Altuve attended a Houston Astros' tryout camp in Maracay. However, the team's scouts declined to allow him to participate because they decided he was too short[2] and they suspected that he had lied about his age.[1] The next day, with encouragement from his father,[2] Altuve returned to the camp and produced his birth certificate.[1] Al Pedrique, then a special assistant for the Astros, asked Altuve, "Can you play?" Altuve looked him in the eye and said, 'I'll show you." Pedrique championed him to the front office, convincing them that he had the talent and strength to eventually play in the major leagues.[3] The club gave him an evaluation, and, after he impressed team officials, they signed him to a contract[2] as an undrafted free agent on March 6, 2007,[4] with a $15,000 (USD, $18,124.7 today) bonus.[5]

After a strong 2007 season in the Venezuelan Summer League in which he hit .343, Altuve moved to the United States in 2008 and hit .284 in 40 games for the Greeneville Astros in the Rookie-level Appalachian League. He returned to Greeneville in 2009 and hit .324 with 21 stolen bases in just 45 games, earning him a spot on the league All-Star team, team most valuable player (MVP) honors,[6] and a promotion to the Tri-City ValleyCats of the Class A-Short Season New York-Penn League for which he played in 21 games. He began 2010 with the Lexington Legends of the Class A South Atlantic League, hitting .308 with 39 steals and 11 home runs, earned a spot on the league all-star team, and then moved up to the Lancaster JetHawks in the Class A-Advanced California League and hit .276.

Returning to Lancaster for 2011, he hit .408 with 19 steals in 52 games. After being promoted to the Corpus Christi Hooks of the Class AA Texas League, he hit .361, giving him an overall line of .389 with 24 steals, 26 walks, and 40 strikeouts in 357 minor league at-bats that year. He was named the second baseman on Baseball America's 2011 Minor League All Star Team as well as the Houston Astros Minor League Player of the Year. Altuve was called up to the major league club in mid-summer, bypassing Class AAA level.

Houston Astros

2011

Jose Altuve at bat
Altuve batting against the Pittsburgh Pirates, May 19, 2013

The Astros promoted Altuve to the major leagues for the first time on July 19, 2011.[7] He represented the Astros at the 2011 All-Star Futures Game.[8] He was named the second baseman on Baseball America's 2011 Minor League All-Star team.[9] On July 27, 2011, Altuve tied Russ Johnson for the Astros record for most consecutive games with a hit to start a career with 7.[10] On August 20, 2011, Altuve hit an inside-the-park home run, his first major league home-run. He became the first Astros player since Adam Everett in 2003 to hit an inside-the-park home run, the first Astros player to get his first major league home run on an inside-the-park home run since pitcher Butch Henry in 1992, and the first Astros player to lead off a game with an inside-the-park home run since Bill Doran in 1987.[11] He batted .346 over his first 21 games before slumping a bit and ended the year with a .276 average. He also hit two home runs, stole seven bases, and posted a .358 slugging percentage in 221 at-bats.

Altuve returned to Venezuela to play for Navegantes del Magallanes, based in Valencia, Carabobo, in the Venezuelan Winter League. He hit .339 with a .381 on-base percentage and a .455 slugging percentage. Altuve finished 2011 with 898 aggregated plate appearances, including 391 in the minors, 234 with Houston, and 273 with the Magallanes. Altuve had 82 hits in winter league, bringing his cumulative year-end count to 282.[12]

2012

On May 1, 2012, Altuve faced New York Mets reliever Jon Rauch, the tallest player in major league history at 6 feet 11 inches (2.11 m). The 18-inch (460 mm) height difference is believed to be the biggest between pitcher and batter with exception of a 1951 publicity stunt in which a 3-foot-7-inch (1.09 m) Eddie Gaedel had one plate appearance for the St. Louis Browns.[13] Altuve was the Astros' representative at the All-Star Game, played at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. This was his first career selection.[14]

2013

On July 13, 2013, Altuve signed a four-year, $12.5 million extension that includes two club options for 2018 and 2019 worth $6 and $6.5 million respectively. The deal also included a $750,000 bonus to be received in 2013. At the time of the extension, Altuve was hitting .280 with 21 stolen bases, 15 doubles, and 28 RBI.[15]

2014

Jose Altuve Astros in May 2014
Altuve in 2014

On June 29, 2014, Altuve stole two bases in a game against the Detroit Tigers. This made him the first MLB player since Ray Chapman in 1917 to steal two or more bases in four consecutive games.[16] Altuve became the first MLB player since 1933 to have 130 hits and 40 stolen bases before the All-Star Break.[17] Altuve was named to the 2014 All-Star Game.[18] Coupled with his 2012 All-Star appearance in the Astros' final season as a National League team, Altuve is the only player in Major League history to represent both the American and National Leagues in the All-Star Game while still being a member of the same team.[19]

On September 16, Altuve hit a single up the middle to break Craig Biggio's franchise single-season hit record of 210 hits. The Astros had 11 games remaining in the season at the time that Altuve broke the record.[20] In 158 games, Altuve totaled 225 hits and a .341 batting average, both of which led the major leagues, and 56 stolen bases, which led the American League. He also hit 47 doubles, seven home runs, and 59 RBI. He became the first Astros player to win a batting title.[21]

After the 2014 season, Altuve traveled to Japan to participate in the 2014 Major League Baseball Japan All-Star Series.[22] He was named the GIBBY/This Year in Baseball Award winner as the Breakout Everyday Player of the Year.[23] He won the first Silver Slugger Award of his career, as the top hitter among American League second basemen.[24] He was also bestowed his first iteration of the Luis Aparicio Award, annually given to the Venezuelan judged to produce the best individual performance.[25]

2015

Altuve was voted as the AL's starting second baseman for the MLB All-Star Game, edging Kansas City's Omar Infante by more than 600,000 votes. Altuve became the third Astro second baseman to be voted a starter, following Biggio and Jeff Kent.[26]

On September 11, 2015, Altuve recorded his 800th career hit, surpassing Biggio for the fastest Astro player to reach 800 hits.[27] In the final game of the season, Altuve went 3-for-5 to reach 200 hits for the second season in a row, which led the American League, while becoming both the first player in Astros history and Venezuelan to accumulate multiple 200-hit seasons. He also led the AL in stolen bases (38), and his .313 batting average was third best in the majors.[28] He reached then-career highs with each of 15 home runs, .459 SLG, 86 runs scored, and 66 RBI. He led American League second basemen in fielding percentage (.993).

The Astros clinched a playoff berth on the final day of the season, securing their place in the AL Wild Card Game versus the New York Yankees. Thus, Altuve made the MLB playoffs for the first time in his career. The Astros defeated the Yankees, 3−0. Altuve drove in Jonathan Villar in the seventh inning versus Yankee reliever Dellin Betances for the final run of the contest.[29] Next, the Astros faced the Royals in the American League Division Series (ALDS), but were eliminated in five games.[30]

Altuve was awarded his first career Rawlings Gold Glove Award for second base on November 10, 2015.[31] He also received his second consecutive Silver Slugger Award.

2016

For his performance in the month of June 2016, Altuve was named AL Player of the Month for the first time in his career. He had batted .420, six doubles, four home runs, 15 RBI, six stolen bases and 1.112 OPS (.492 OBP/.620 SLG) in 26 games.[32] He became an All-Star selection for the fourth time of his career, and started for the second consecutive time.[1]

On August 16, Altuve collected his 1,000th hit, setting the Astros' franchise record for fewest games to do so (786) after a three-hit night versus the St. Louis Cardinals. He also was the second-fastest among active players to do so, following Ichiro Suzuki (696 games).[33]

In 161 games, Altuve had an MLB-leading 216 hits, an AL-leading .338 batting average, 30 stolen bases. He also found a power surge with 42 doubles (the second most of his career and his third straight season with 40+ doubles), a career-high 24 home runs, and a career-high 96 RBI. This marked his second batting title, the last being in 2014.

At the end of the season, Altuve was named The Sporting News Player of the Year,[34] and the MLBPA Players Choice Awards for Major League Player of the Year, AL Outstanding Player, and Majestic Athletic Always Game Award.[35] He placed third in the AL MVP voting, behind winner Mike Trout and Mookie Betts.[36]

2017

Voted as a starter in the All-Star Game at Marlins Park in Miami, Altuve batted leadoff and played second base. He served as the Astros' number three hitter during the 2017 season.[37][38] Over two games versus the Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies on July 23–24, he set the club record for hits in consecutive plate appearances with eight.[39]

In July, Altuve hit .485 for the fifth-highest average in one month since 1961. Over 23 games, he accumulated 48 hits, 10 doubles, one triple, four home runs, 21 RBI, and 1.251 OPS. He carried a 19-game hitting streak from July 2–23. He also recorded five consecutive multi-hit games during the week of July 3–9, becoming the ninth player in MLB history to do so. His average set the Astros record for one calendar month—surpassing Richard Hidalgo's .476 average in September of 2000—and he won his second AL Player of the Month Award.[40]

Altuve concluded the 2017 campaign by playing in 153 contests with an MLB-leading and career-best .346 batting average, an AL-leading 204 hits, a major-league leading 30 infield hits, 39 doubles, 32 stolen bases, 24 home runs, and 84 RBI.[41] He led all MLB hitters (140 or more plate appearances) in batting average against right-handers, at .344.[42] The Astros finished with a 101−61 record, clinching the AL West division. Altuve became just the fifth hitter since integration in 1947 to record four straight 200-hit seasons, following Wade Boggs (1983−89), Kirby Puckett (1986−89), Suzuki (2001−2010), and Michael Young (2003−07).[43] He also became the first hitter in Major League history to solely lead his respective league in hits for four years in a row while also collecting his third career batting title. Suzuki technically led the AL in hits from 2006−10, but tied with Dustin Pedroia in 2008.[44] Altuve led MLB in Wins Above Replacement (WAR, 8.3) for the first time in his career.[45] He also led the American League in power-speed number (27.4).[46] On September 19, he was announced as the recipient of MLB's Lou Gehrig Memorial Award for 2017, as the player "who best exemplifies the giving character" of Gehrig.[47] With 1,250 career hits at the end of 2017, only Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, and Pete Rose had accumulated more hits through their age-27 season.[48]

In Game 1 of the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox, Altuve hit three home runs in a single game for the first time of his career while becoming the tenth player to hit three home runs in a single postseason game.[49] The Astros faced the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series (ALCS). After taking the first two games in Houston, with Altuve scoring the winning run in Game 2, Altuve and the Astros offense slumped as they lost all three middle games at Yankee Stadium. He hit a solo home run in a 4−0, Game 7 win in which the Astros advanced to their second World Series in franchise history, to face the National League pennant-winning Los Angeles Dodgers.[50]

In Game 2 of the World Series, Altuve, along with two Astros teammates–Carlos Correa and George Springer—and two Dodgers players–Charlie Culberson and Yasiel Puig—all homered in extra innings as the Astros prevailed, 7−6. The five home runs accounted for the most hit in extra innings of any single game in major league history.[51] Altuve homered in the bottom of the fifth inning of Game 5, tying the score 7–7, and hit a game-tying double in the eighth,[52] before the Astros prevailed 13–12 in the bottom of the 10th inning with a walk-off single from Alex Bregman.[53] The World Series went on for seven games, and the Astros prevailed for the first title in franchise history.[54]

In the Astros' 18-game championship run, Altuve batted .310/.388/.634, 22 hits, 14 runs scored, seven home runs, 14 RBI, and nine extra-base hits.[55][56] He established a franchise record for total hits in a postseason. Further, he tied the record for home runs by a second baseman in a single postseason, and hit the fourth-most among all players.[56] Along with pitcher Justin Verlander, Altuve was named winner of the Babe Ruth Award as MVP of the 2017 postseason.[55]

Prior to Game 2 of the World Series, Altuve was presented with the Hank Aaron Award, the first of his career, as the "most outstanding offensive performer" in the American League.[57] It was the first time a Houston Astros player had won the prize.[58] Next, he was named The Sporting News Major League Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, following Ted Williams (1941−42), Joe Morgan (1975−76), Albert Pujols (2008−09), and Miguel Cabrera (2012−13) as repeat winners in consecutive years of the honor given out since 1936.[59] Other awards Altuve received in 2017 included Baseball America's Major League Player of the Year award, becoming the first Venezuelan since Johan Santana in 2006 to receive the award bestowed since 1998. He was also the first second baseman and first Astro ever to win it.[60] For the second consecutive season, he won the Players Choice Awards for Major League Player of the Year and AL Outstanding Player.[61] He won his fourth consecutive and overall Silver Slugger Award at second base.[62]

The Astros selected Altuve's option for 2018, worth a reported $6 million, on November 3, 2017.[63] On November 16, Altuve was conferred the AL Most Valuable Player Award, only the second Astro to win the award, following Jeff Bagwell in 1994. Altuve became the tenth second baseman to be granted MVP, and was the shortest player to win since Phil Rizzuto, also 5' 6", in 1950.[64][65] Altuve became the first player since Buster Posey in 2012—and the eighth player overall—to win a batting title, MVP and World Series in the same season.[66] On December 5, Altuve and Houston Texans defensive end J. J. Watt were named co-winners of the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Award for his efforts in leading the Astros to their first World Series title and aiding in the recovery of the Greater Houston area in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.[67] Altuve became the 18th Major League Baseball player to win the award in its 64-year history, and both the first Houston Astro and first Venezuelan player.[56] He was also selected the 2017 Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year.[68]

2018

Prior to the 2018 season, Sports Illustrated ranked Altuve as the #2 player in baseball, trailing only Trout.[69] On March 16, 2018, Altuve and the Astros agreed to a five-year, $151 million contract extension that would span the 2020–24 seasons. His current contract included a $6 million salary in 2018 and a $6.5 million team option in 2019. It was the largest contract in team history, and he became the sixth player to agree to a contract with an average annual value of $30 million per season or greater.[70]

Altuve reached 1,000 games played in his career on April 17, 2018, versus the Seattle Mariners. He became the 20th player to appear in 1,000 games for the Astros.[71] Over three games versus the Cleveland Indians spanning May 25–27, he realized a base hit in each of 10 consecutive at bats, breaking his own club record of eight which he had set the year prior. The streak included three doubles, one triple, and one home run.[72]

On July 8, 2018, Altuve was selected as the starting second baseman for the American League in the All-Star Game, collecting the most votes of any player with 4,849,630 votes. It was his 6th All-Star selection overall and his 5th consecutive appearance and 4th straight start. On July 29, Altuve was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his MLB career due to right knee discomfort.[73] Plagued with a right knee injury, the Astros announced that Altuve would serve as the designated hitter for the remainder of the season. In 137 games, Altuve finished with a .316 average, 13 home runs, and 61 RBI.

With the Astros finishing the year 103-59, the team clinched the AL West again, sweeping the Cleveland Indians in 3 games before eventually falling to the Red Sox in the ALCS. On October 19, 2018, Altuve officially underwent surgery to repair a patella avulsion fracture in his right knee. On November 8, Altuve was awarded his fifth career Silver Slugger Award and his fifth consecutive award. Having won his fifth award at second base, it tied him with Robinson Canó for most awards for an American League second baseman and second most all-time behind Ryne Sandberg.[74]

2019

On April 9, Altuve hit his 100th career home run off New York Yankees pitcher Jonathan Loáisiga. He became just the 16th player in Astros history to hit 100 home runs.[75]. On April 12, 2019, Altuve hit his second career grand slam, and first since 2014, in a 10-6 win over the Seattle Mariners. Altuve would hit another home run off of Félix Hernández the next night, making it his 5th consecutive game with a home run and his 6th home run in those 5 games. Altuve was the first Astro to hit a home run in 5 consecutive games since Morgan Ensberg had a franchise-record 6 consecutive games with a home run in 2006.[76]

Awards

Awards received
Name of award Times Dates Ref
American League Most Valuable Player 1 2017 [65]
Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year 1 2017 [68]
Babe Ruth Award 1 2017 [55]
Baseball America Major League Player of the Year 1 2017 [60]
GIBBY/This Year in Baseball Award for Breakout Everyday Player of the Year 1 2014 [23]
Hank Aaron Award 1 2017 [57]
Lou Gehrig Memorial Award 1 2017 [47]
Luis Aparicio Award 3 2014, 201617 [25]
MLB All-Star * 5 2012, 201417 [14][18][26][1][37]
MLB Player of the Month 2 June 2016, July 2017 [32][40]
Players Choice Awards
American League Outstanding Player 2 2016, 2017 [35][61]
Majestic Athletic Always Game Award 2 2015, 2016 [35]
Major League Player of the Year 2 2016, 2017 [35][61]
Rawlings Gold Glove Award at second base 1 2015 [31]
Silver Slugger Award at second base 4 2014–17 [24]
The Sporting News Major League Player of the Year 2 2016, 2017 [34][59]
Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year 1 2017 [67]
Notes:
*—Voted 3× as starting second baseman for the American League, 2015−17. The 2012 appearance was as a member of the National League.

Personal life

Jose Altuve in Houston in January 2015
Altuve at an Astros event in January 2015

Originally listed at 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m), Altuve is now listed at his correct height of 5 feet 6 inches (1.68 m), making him the shortest active player in Major League Baseball,[77] and the shortest since Freddie Patek retired following the 1981 season.[78]

Inspired by broadcasters debating how many "Altuves" a particular home run traveled, Bryan Trostel created a simple web-based calculator to calculate distance in Official Standard Listed Altuves (OSLA). Although Altuve's listed height is 5 feet 6 inches (5.5 feet), one OSLA = 5.417 feet (5 feet 5 inches). Altuve himself has been receptive of the idea, saying "It's funny, man... When they told me how many 'Altuves' was a home run, I just laughed."[79] Trostel, who published his calculator at How Many Altuves, has expanded it to include speed (Altuves per second) as well as cubic and squared Altuves for volume and area.

On November 1, 2016, Altuve and his wife Nina gave birth to their first child, a girl.[80]

Altuve has cited fellow Venezuelan designated hitter and catcher Víctor Martínez as a mentor.[81]

Altuve is a practicing Christian and has spoken about his faith in videos released by the Astros for faith day events.[82]

See also

References

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External links

2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 85th edition of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, held at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the home of the Minnesota Twins. This was the third All-Star Game played in the Twin Cities; Metropolitan Stadium hosted the game in 1965, while the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome hosted the game in 1985. It was televised in the United States on Fox as part of a new eight-year deal. In preparation for the game the Twin Cities' transit company, MetroTransit, completed the new METRO Green Line light-rail between downtown Minneapolis and downtown Saint Paul, and began service on June 14, 2014.

2017 American League Championship Series

The 2017 American League Championship Series was a best-of-seven playoff pitting the Houston Astros against the New York Yankees for the American League pennant and the right to face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series. The Astros defeated the Yankees in 7 games after falling behind 3 games to 2. The home team won every game in the series.

This was the first time in history that the ALCS and NLCS teams were from the four most populous U.S. cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston.For the first time, Major League Baseball sold presenting sponsorships to all of its postseason series; this ALCS was sponsored by Camping World and was officially known as the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World.The Astros would go on to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series in seven games, winning their first World Series championship in franchise history.

2017 Houston Astros season

The 2017 Houston Astros season was the 56th season for the Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise in Houston, their 53rd as the Astros, fifth in both the American League (AL) and AL West division, and 18th at Minute Maid Park. The Astros began the regular season at home versus the Seattle Mariners on April 3, 2017, and concluded on the road at Fenway Park versus the Boston Red Sox on October 1. Following the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the Astros added a patch on the front of their uniforms that read "Houston Strong". On September 17, the Astros clinched the AL West with a 7–1 victory over the Mariners, for their first AL West division title while qualifying for the postseason, and seventh division title overall. The Astros defeated Boston 3–2 on September 29 for their 100th win of the season, their first 100-win season since 1998. Overall, the Astros finished with a 101–61 regular season record, their second-highest win total in franchise history, for a .623 winning percentage.

Just four days after the end of the regular season, the Astros met the Red Sox at home in the AL Division Series (ALDS), and defeated them in four games. Houston then advanced to the AL Championship Series (ALCS) and defeated the New York Yankees in seven games for their first American League pennant. It was the second league championship in franchise history, and first since 2005 and they became the first team in history to make it to the World Series as members of both the National League and the American League. Finally, the Astros faced and defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games in the World Series, garnering the first World Series title in franchise history.

During the regular season, the Astros featured the highest-scoring offense in the major leagues (896 runs scored), including the highest batting average (.282), on-base percentage (.346), and slugging percentage (.478), led by AL batting champion and second baseman José Altuve (.346). Altuve won a number of distinctions, including Most Valuable Player (AL MVP), Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year, and Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year. He became just the second Astro to win the MVP, following Jeff Bagwell in 1994. The ALCS MVP was starting pitcher Justin Verlander, and World Series MVP center fielder George Springer.

Manager A. J. Hinch led the on-field team, and general manager Jeff Luhnow presided over the baseball operations department. The Astros sent six players to the 88th All-Star Game held at Marlins Park in Miami, including Altuve, Springer, shortstop Carlos Correa, and pitchers Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers Jr., and Chris Devenski. Bagwell, an iconic first baseman who spent his entire 15-year major league career in an Astros uniform, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 30, 2017.

2017 World Series

The 2017 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2017 season. The 113th edition of the World Series, it was played between October 24 and November 1. The series was a best-of-seven playoff between the National League (NL) champion Los Angeles Dodgers and the American League (AL) champion Houston Astros. It was sponsored by the Internet television service YouTube TV and officially known as the 2017 World Series presented by YouTube TV.The Astros defeated the Dodgers, four games to three, to win their first World Series in franchise history, also becoming the first team from Texas to do so. It was the first time since 2001-2002 when two consecutive World Series went to seven games. Both teams set a World Series record with a combined total of 25 home runs throughout the entire series, including a team record 15 home runs by the Astros, and hit a combined total of eight home runs in Game 2 to set the single game World Series mark. Houston outfielder George Springer was named as the World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) after hitting five home runs in the series to tie a World Series record with Reggie Jackson in 1977 and Chase Utley in 2009.This was the first World Series in which home-field advantage was decided by the regular season record of the two pennant winners. From 1903 to 2002, home-field advantage had been determined by coin flips and by alternating between the AL and NL. From 2003 to 2016, it was determined by results from that season's All-Star Game, when it was awarded to the team from the winning league. The Dodgers earned home-field advantage over the Astros. The series was played in a 2–3–2 format, with the Dodgers hosting Games 1, 2, 6, and 7; and the Astros hosting Games 3, 4, and 5.

2017 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 2017 throughout the world.

2018 American League Championship Series

The 2018 American League Championship Series was a best-of-seven series pitting the defending World Series champion Houston Astros against the Boston Red Sox, for the American League (AL) pennant and the right to play in the 2018 World Series. The series was played in a 2-3-2 format, with the first two and last two (if necessary) games played at the home ballpark of the higher seeded team. The series was the 49th in league history, with TBS televising all games in the United States. The Red Sox defeated the Astros, four games to one.

For the second year in a row, Major League Baseball sold presenting sponsorships to all of its postseason series; as with the NLCS, this ALCS was sponsored by Google Assistant and was officially known as the American League Championship Series presented by Google Assistant.The Red Sox would go on to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series in five games to win their ninth World Series championship.

2018 ESPY Awards

The 2018 ESPY Awards were presented at the 26th annual ESPY Awards show, held on July 18, 2018 at 5 PM Pacific at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California and on television nationwide in the United States on ABC at 8 PM Eastern/7 PM Central. On May 22, 2018, it was announced that Danica Patrick will host the event, which made her the first woman to have hosted the show.

Aaron Judge

Aaron James Judge (born April 26, 1992) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). Judge was unanimously selected as the American League (AL) Rookie of the Year in 2017 and finished second, behind José Altuve, for AL Most Valuable Player.Judge, who played college baseball at California State University, Fresno, was selected by the Yankees in the first round of the 2013 MLB draft. After making his major league baseball debut in 2016 and hitting a home run in his first career at bat, Judge went on to have a record-breaking rookie season in 2017. He was named an All-Star and won the Home Run Derby, becoming the first rookie to do so. Judge ended the season with 52 home runs, breaking Mark McGwire's MLB rookie record of 49 and the Yankees' full-season rookie record of 29 (previously held by Joe DiMaggio). He won the American League (AL) Rookie of the Month Awards for April, May, June and September, as well as the AL's Player of the Month Award for June and September.

Judge stands 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 m) tall and weighs 282 pounds (128 kg), which makes him one of the biggest players in the major leagues.

Baseball Digest

Baseball Digest is a baseball magazine resource, published in Gurnee, Illinois by Grandstand Publishing, LLC. It is the longest-running baseball magazine in the United States.

George Springer

George Chelston Springer III (born September 19, 1989) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut in 2014, as a member of the Astros. He has played primarily in right field and also spent significant time in center field.

The Astros selected Springer in the first round of the 2011 MLB draft from the University of Connecticut, where he played college baseball and was named Big East Conference Baseball Player of the Year and a First Team All-American. In 2017, Springer became an MLB All-Star, Silver Slugger Award winner, and World Series champion all for the first time. He was also named the 2017 World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP), hitting a record-tying five home runs as the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.

From New Britain, Connecticut, Springer is of Puerto Rican and Panamanian descent. He is presently represented by Excel Sports Management.

Hickok Belt

The S. Rae Hickok Professional Athlete of the Year award, known as the Hickok Belt, is a trophy that originally was awarded for 27 years (from 1950 to 1976) to the top professional athlete of the year in the United States, and was re-established in 2012. It was created by Ray and Alan Hickok in honor of their father, Stephen Rae Hickok, who had died unexpectedly in 1945 and was the founder of the Hickok Manufacturing Company of Rochester, New York, which made belts—hence the choice of a belt as a trophy.The trophy was an alligator-skin belt with a solid-gold buckle, an encrusted 4-carat (800 mg) diamond, and 26 gem chips. It was valued at over $10,000 in the currency of the time (US$90,000 to $140,000 in 2011 dollars) and its presentation was a major event in sporting news of the day.For the first 21 years, from 1950 to 1970, it was awarded in Rochester at the annual Rochester Press-Radio Club dinner (an event that continues today). After the Hickok company was taken over by the Tandy Corporation, the award was presented in larger cities such as Chicago or New York. The last award was made in 1976.

In 2010, Tony Liccione, the president of the Rochester Boxing Hall of Fame, announced plans to reinstate the Hickok Belt starting in 2012. The mold used for the belt starting in 1951 (the 1950 belt spelled Mr. Hickok's name as "Ray") has been found and will likely be used again. Liccione planned to invite the 18 surviving belt winners (except O.J. Simpson, who at the time was incarcerated in Nevada) to the Comeback Dinner, which was held on October 16, 2011 at St. John Fisher College.Since being re-established in 2012, the award has been given based on a vote by the National Sports Media Association; however, there have been no award ceremonies or belt presentations. A 20-member panel chooses one athlete each month, with the twelve monthly winners being eligible for the award at the end of the calendar year. Of the awards given since 2012, two have been presented to LeBron James.

Houston Astros award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Houston Astros professional baseball team.

List of Houston Astros team records

This is a list of individual single-season records for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball.

List of Major League Baseball annual stolen base leaders

Major League Baseball recognizes stolen base leaders in the American League and National League each season.

List of Silver Slugger Award winners at second base

The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball (MLB). These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.Among second basemen, Ryne Sandberg, who played 15 seasons with the Chicago Cubs in his 16-year career, owns the most Silver Sluggers with seven wins, including five consecutive from 1988 to 1992. Three other National League players have won the award four times. Jeff Kent (2000–2002, 2005) won three consecutive awards with the San Francisco Giants, before adding a fourth with the Los Angeles Dodgers; Craig Biggio, who played his entire career with the Houston Astros, won the award four times as a second baseman (1994–1995, 1997–1998) after winning another as a catcher. Chase Utley followed Kent's last win by capturing four consecutive awards (2006–2009).In the American League, José Altuve and Robinson Canó have won five Silver Slugger awards. Altuve won five consecutive awards (2014–2018), all with the Astros, while Cano won all five of his Silver Slugger awards as a member of the New York Yankees, including four consecutive wins (2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013). Altuve and Cano's five Silver Slugger awards are second-most all-time for a second baseman and first among American League winners, ahead of four second basemen who are all four-time winners in the American League. Roberto Alomar won the award at the same position with three different teams (Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians). Julio Franco won four consecutive awards (1988–1991) with two different teams, and Lou Whitaker won four awards in five years (1983–1985, 1987) with the Detroit Tigers.Altuve holds the record for the highest batting average in a second baseman's Silver Slugger-winning season with the .346 mark he set in 2017. In the National League, Daniel Murphy's .347 batting average in 2016 ranks first. Willie Randolph, who won the inaugural award in the 1980 season, set a record for on-base percentage (.427) that has not yet been broken. Chuck Knoblauch is second behind Randolph in the American League with a .424 on-base percentage, a mark that was tied by Jeff Kent in 2000 to set the National League record. That year, Kent also set the record among second basemen for highest slugging percentage (.596) and the National League record for runs batted in (125). Bret Boone is the overall leader in runs batted in (141) and holds the American League record for slugging percentage (.578); both of these records were established in 2001. Sandberg hit 40 home runs in 1990, the most ever by a second baseman in a winning season, while Alfonso Soriano set the American League mark with 39 in 2002.

Luis Aparicio Award

The Luis Aparicio Award is given annually to a Venezuelan player in Major League Baseball (MLB) who is judged to have recorded the best individual performance in that year. The winner of the award is determined by a vote conducted by Venezuelan sports journalists and Spanish-language media around the world. It is named after former MLB shortstop Luis Aparicio, who is the only player from Venezuela to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The award was first presented in 2004, and was created in order to honour Aparicio's major league career and to commemorate his father, who died thirteen years before his son was elected into the Hall of Fame.Johan Santana, José Altuve, and Miguel Cabrera are the only players to win the Luis Aparicio Award more than once, with Cabrera having won the award five times. Cabrera won the MLB Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award and Hank Aaron Award alongside the Luis Aparicio Award in 2012 and 2013, becoming the first Venezuelan to win the MLB MVP Award. Santana, the 2004 and 2006 recipient, also won the Cy Young Award in those two years, winning by a unanimous vote on each occasion. Altuve, also a winner in 2014 and 2016, is the only player to win the Luis Aparicio Award, the MVP award, and become a World Series champion in the same season in 2017. He has also won a batting title in each of his three award seasons. Santana (2006) and Cabrera (2012) are the only award winners to also earn the pitching and batting Triple Crown respectively in the same season. In accomplishing the feat, Cabrera became the first player in 45 years to achieve a Triple Crown in batting since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, while Santana became the first pitcher since Dwight Gooden in 1985 to secure a "Major League Triple Crown" by leading all of MLB in wins, earned run average and strikeouts. Francisco Rodríguez compiled a major league record of 62 saves in a single season in 2008 and went on to win the Rolaids Relief Man Award in the same year as the Luis Aparicio Award. Four winners—Cabrera, Altuve, Magglio Ordóñez, and Carlos González—were batting champions in their respective leagues in the same year they won the award.The award is presented annually before a baseball game hosted by the local team, Águilas del Zulia, on November 18 in Aparicio's hometown of Maracaibo, Zulia. The date marks both the feast of the Virgin of Chiquinquirá—the patron saint of Zulia—and the anniversary of Aparicio's professional debut. As of 2018, the most recent co-recipients of the award are Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Atlanta Braves and Jesús Aguilar of the Milwaukee Brewers.

MLB Japan All-Star Series

The MLB Japan All-Star Series is an biennial end-of-the-season tour of Japan made by an All-Star team from Major League Baseball (MLB) since 1986, contested in a best-of format against the All-Stars from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) or recently as of 2014 their national team Samurai Japan (SJP).

The series featured many great players, such as Nori Aoki, Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Hideki Matsui, Ichiro Suzuki, Shinnosuke Abe, David Ortiz, Sammy Sosa, Justin Morneau, David Wright, Jose Reyes, José Altuve, Robinson Canó and Manny Ramírez.

In the beginning of all games the American, Canadian and Japanese national anthems are all played. And games can end in a tie if it persists through 12 innings, just as in NPB rules.

Players Choice Awards

The Players Choice Awards are annual Major League Baseball awards, given by the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA).

The Players Choice Awards are given following a secret ballot by players. Four awards go to a player in each league, while two awards each go to one player in all of Major League Baseball. Prize money is donated to a charity of each winner's choice.The first Players Choice Awards were given in 1992, to the Comeback Player in each of the two major leagues. There were no other awards that year. In 1993, the Comeback Player awards were replaced by an Outstanding Player award for each league. Then, in 1994, two more categories were added: Outstanding Pitcher (in each league) and Outstanding Rookie (in each league).

In 1997, the dual Comeback Player awards were again named, along with the first-ever single award — the Man of the Year — for one player in all of Major League Baseball. In 1998, a second non-dual award was added, Player of the Year. In addition, the Man of the Year award was renamed in honor of Marvin Miller, former executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. In 1999, a special Player of the Decade award was given.

In 2015, a third non-dual award was created. The "Always Game" award is given to the player who – game in and game out – constantly exhibits positive energy, grit, tenacity, hustle, perseverance, relentlessness and sportsmanship; all for the benefit of his teammates and fans.

Silver Slugger Award

The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball. These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.The prize is presented to outfielders irrespective of their specific position. This means that it is possible for three left fielders, or any other combination of outfielders, to win the award in the same year, rather than one left fielder, one center fielder, and one right fielder. In addition, only National League pitchers receive a Silver Slugger Award; lineups in the American League include a designated hitter in place of the pitcher in the batting order, so the designated hitter receives the award instead.Home run record-holder Barry Bonds won twelve Silver Slugger Awards in his career as an outfielder, the most of any player. He also won the award in five consecutive seasons twice in his career: from 1990 to 1994, and again from 2000 to 2004. Retired former New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza and former New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez are tied for second, with ten wins each. Rodriguez' awards are split between two positions; he won seven Silver Sluggers as a shortstop for the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, and three with the Yankees as a third baseman. Wade Boggs leads third basemen with eight Silver Slugger Awards; Barry Larkin leads shortstops with nine. Other leaders include Ryne Sandberg (seven wins as a second baseman) and Mike Hampton (five wins as a pitcher). Todd Helton and Albert Pujols are tied for the most wins among first baseman with four, although Pujols has won two awards at other positions. David Ortiz has won seven awards at designated hitter position, the most at that position.

Houston Astros current roster
Active roster
Inactive roster
Injured list
Restricted List
Coaching staff
José Altuve—awards, championships, and honors

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