Jose Altuve has taken to a line of work that’s typically dominated by giants despite being five-feet-six-inches tall. The result is a storied baseball career that has seen Altuve as World Series champion, an American League MVP, and when all is said and done, a probable Hall of Famer. Altuve shows that athletes are not limited by their height and towering stature, but the heart that guides them to do whatever it is they want to do in life.
The Jose Altuve story
Legend has it that Jose Altuve was initially turned down by the Houston Astros when he first tried out with the team at 16. Altuve has since dismissed aspects of that story. According to an interview with Bleacher Report, he started working out with the team like everyone else, hitting bombs, catching ground balls, and working on the types of things that one might expect at a baseball practice.
Altuve was indeed let go, but there is no indication that it was fully due to his height, although it may have played a factor. According to Altuve, he was even smaller than he is now, and the size inhibited his game. This rejection, however, helped make him work harder and prove to the teams that his size would not define him. After all, the Astros were not the only team to initially reject him as a teenager.
Eventually, Altuve started getting callbacks from teams for further tryouts, he just couldn’t get to the final stage. Finally, Altuve impressed scouts enough to get the minor league call up, and the rest is history.
The Astros come a-calling
Jose Altuve played through the Astros’ farm system until 2011, when he, now 21, got the call-up to the majors and never looked back. The next year, the 2012 season, already saw the second-baseman as an All-Star. He had a reliable bat, and his ability to field made him a perfect double-threat. Within a couple of seasons, Altuve was not only a perennial All-Star but a perennial MVP-candidate, as well.
By 2017, he would be both MVP and a World Series champion. To date, Altuve has 1,568 hits, 128 home runs, 254 stolen bases, 538 RBI’s, and a career batting average of .315. He has become one of the most exciting players in Major League Baseball, and he shows no signs of slowing down for anyone. That competitive drive he gained from rejection has bled over to the MLB and shown previous doubters exactly what they gave up on.
Jose Altuve has the heart of a giant
Although baseball is not a sport that’s dominated by size in the same way that basketball or football is, it does not diminish the advantages there are to having a tall and athletic build. A short height in this case, however, might be what Altuve needed to become one of the biggest names in professional baseball. It gave him the competitive edge, the motivation, and the rejection he needed to make everything go his way.
An appearance at the 2017 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Awards gave fans a hilarious look at him next to giants like JJ Watt and Joel Embiid. Despite the glaring difference in size, Altuve stood his own among some of the biggest names in sports both figuratively and literally.
Altuve had to overcome great odds to become the player he is today. Growing up in Venezuela, he was not given the same opportunities as some of his American teammates.
Now, he is a poster-child for what it means to never say no and never let others dictate what you can or cannot do. When all is said and done, he may be one of the best second-basemen to ever play the game of baseball.