Jose Altuve joined the likes of baseball greats Willie Mays, Roger Maris and Joe DiMaggio when the Houston Astros second baseman was named the 2017 Male Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press.
Last month, the Venezuelan was voted as the league MVP with 405 total points and 27 first-place nominations after he led the Astros to their first title.
In an interview with AP, Altuve said that winning the World Series and the MVP seemed like the apex of his career, but he’s not done yet. “My perspective is to try and get better every year, and if we win one World Series, why not win another one?” he said. “Just keep playing for the team and keep playing for my city.”
The 5-6 Altuve was already named Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated earlier this year.
Being named as AP’s Male of Athlete of the Year was made more impressive since he beat out the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar Lebron James and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady by a wide margin. Altuve scored 715 points compared to Brady’s 646 points and James’ 626 points.
This year, Altuve is batting at .346, which is a career-best for him, and also the best in the league. He also hit 24 homeruns and 81 RBIs. Although his debut in the major league was in July 2011, he actually signed as an amateur free agent with the Astros in March 2007 for just a $15,000 bonus.
Altuve remains one of the most popular players in the league due to his small stature but also his power, which he amazingly acquired when he was already in the pros.