Jose Altuve notched his first Triple-A hit in a rehab game and kept the ball
Despite leading the American League in hits four times, Altuve had never recorded a single hit at Triple-A. He was at Double-A Corpus Christi in 2011 when he got called up to the Astros and he's never looked back. On Sunday, in preparation for his return to the Astros on Tuesday, Altuve played in his first career game at Triple-A in a rehab appearance with the Fresno Grizzlies. In the sixth inning, he hit a single to right field for his first hit at that level.
Like anyone else, he kept the ball to add to his trophy case:
Jose Altuve kept the ball from his first Triple-A hit, which he got Sunday in Tacoma. When he was called up to start his career, he was in Double-A. pic.twitter.com/AAY3NeItqM— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) August 20, 2018
This milestone came less than a month after Altuve recorded his first All-Star Game hit and made sure the ball was set aside for posterity. "I got two first hits this year -- All-Star and Triple-A," Altuve told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. "I'm really proud."
Astros manager AJ Hinch confirmed the second baseman's excitement. "He was so proud of it," Hinch said. "He was giddy."
Unlike most first Triple-A hit balls, Altuve's will immediately join a personal collection that includes many of the highest honors at the Major League level. Thirty years from now, he can impress his grandchildren with the story of his first Triple-A hit.