Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Houston's Jose Altuve praises God after walk-off home run sends Astros to World Series

The Houston Astros entered the top of the ninth inning Saturday night — Game 6 of the ALCS — with a 4-2 lead, only to have the New York Yankees tie the score thanks to a two-run home run from D.J. LaMahieu. But in the bottom half of the inning, with two outs and George Springer on first base, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve stepped to the plate and sent the 2-1 offering from Aroldis Chapman over the left field wall. The 5-foot-6 Venezuelan’s walk-off home run advanced the Astros in dramatic style.

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And the first thing the 29-year-old Altuve did after sending the Astros to their second World Series in three years was give glory to God.

“First, I want to thank God and all the fans for the beautiful game, for the beautiful playoffs,” he told FOX’s Ken Rosenthal. Altuve later added, “Running around the bases, the only thing I was thinking was thanking God and just thinking that we’re going to the World Series once again.”

Altuve, a six-time All-Star, was a huge part of Houston’s 2017 World Series championship club, as he was named the American League MVP that year. This year, after a regular season in which he only played 124 games as he struggled with injuries, he’s hitting .349 with five home runs, three doubles and eight RBI in the postseason.

And from Altuve’s childhood in Venezuela through his journey to big-league stardom, faith has been a big part of his life. To this day, it plays a key role in shaping the way he defines success.

“I grew up in a family that always told me that to achieve success, we needed to have God first,” Altuve said through a translator in a video the Astros released back in 2015. “To achieve success wasn’t to get to 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. If you can do that, if you can be good with God, then I think you will have success in your life.”

On his Instagram page, Altuve shares two key insights into who is: “God loves you … I like to sleep” (translated from Spanish).

Altuve will have only two days to rest before Houston faces the Washington Nationals in the World Series, which starts Tuesday at 8:08 p.m. ET in Houston.

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