Last night, the family and I were out having fun when I got a text that said "What about your boy Altuve?" I figured he had just hit another home run in AA. When I got home and checked twitter and it was a buzz with Altuve talk. He had been called up to Houston.
I experience different feelings when I learn of promotions. Sometimes it is surprise, sometimes it is excitement, and sometimes there is "what took so long" feeling. Last night, I couldn't stop smiling. I showed my wife...she started smiling. I showed my kids...they started smiling. I spent the next several minutes reading clever tweats and neat articles about the news. You see, when you follow a minor league team, you develop relationships with players. Altuve is a gifted ball player, but he is a good person too. That matters. That makes him easy to root for.
Jose Altuve came to Greeneville in 2008 as an 18 year old kid. He played hard, had success, smiled for pictures and signed plenty of balls, tickets, shirts and programs. The fans loved him. We were a little surprised when he showed up again in 2009 but the Greeneville fans enjoyed watching him play and fell deeper in love with him. He left suddenly due to a promotion to Tri Cities.
For the 2010 season, Altuve was in Lexington but his presence was still in Greeneville. The Greeneville Astros used a picture of him on their billboards advertising the 2010 tickets, so you saw him when you drove around town. Then this year, the buzz of his success in Lancaster and Corpus Christi was the topic of conversations at Pioneer Park. "Have you heard what Altuve is doing this year?" Just this weekend, I was talking to some folks about how well he did in the Futures Game during All Star Weekend. He may be gone, but he is not forgotten.
Every where Jose Altuve goes, he makes a strong impression. The way he plays the game, the way he carries himself and the way interacts with the fans makes him a fan favorite. I was thrilled to see the Lancaster JetHawks honor his promotion with $2 tickets for tonight's game because Altuve wore #2 with the JetHawks.
I am going to try to find away to watch the game this afternoon. I want to see Jose Altuve walk out to 2nd in his #27 uniform and show everyone in the baseball world that he belongs on the diamond.
I wish him success. I hope he does well. If he doesn't, I will still be a Jose Altuve fan. He is more than just a good ball player.
Notes on the call up:
Jose is the 11th Greeneville Astro to receive the call to the MLB.
He is the 2nd position player of the 11 to be called up (Towles).
He is the 3rd member of the 2008 team (Lyles & Villar) to make it to Houston but the 1st member of the 2009 team.
He passes Henry Villar (748 days) for the shortest time from G-Stro to Astro (708 days).