Altuve honored by Clemente nomination: 'It means a lot to me'

September 29th, 2022

HOUSTON -- There’s hardly a day goes by that Astros second baseman won’t stop to sign autographs on the road or at Minute Maid Park. And the more popular he’s become through the years because of his performance on the field, the more directions Altuve gets pulled.

Despite being one of the most decorated players in baseball over the past 10 years, highlighted by a World Series championship and the American League MVP Award in 2017, Altuve remains one of the most humble and charitable, as well. That’s why he’s this year’s Roberto Clemente Award nominee for the Astros.

“Years after I got to the big leagues, I started learning and looking for ways to help the community, to give back to the community,” Altuve said. “It’s good to have the opportunity to pay [the people] back and helping people that really need it.”

The Roberto Clemente Award is given annually to the player who best represents the game through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.

An overall winner will be selected via a blue-ribbon panel that includes Commissioner Rob Manfred, representatives from MLB-affiliated networks and, as well as Clemente’s children, Enrique, Luis and Roberto Jr.

The award is named in honor of the Hall of Famer and 15-time All-Star who died in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1972, while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

“He had a great legacy on the field and had 3,000 hits, but he also did 3,000 good things off the field,” Altuve said. “He’s a great person and always looking to help people and to make an impact in people’s lives. I feel honored to get rewarded by the Roberto Clemente nomination. It means a lot to me.”

Since arriving to the Major Leagues in 2011, Altuve has hosted charity events, supported teammates' charitable efforts and participated in all of the club’s fan outreach efforts, which has included the Astros Diamond Dreams gala, FanFest, winter caravan, Picnic in the Park and the annual charity gala, many of which raise dollars for the Astros Foundation.

“It feels good to help people, honestly,” he said. “My family and I, we do a bunch of things back home in Venezuela, but we also do things here in Houston. Just the fact that you’re doing something to impact peoples’ lives, to make some changes in a good way for people, it makes me feel thankful and happy.”

Here are some recent charity endeavors Altuve and his wife, Nina, have been involved with:

• The Altuves hosted the second-annual Uncork for a Cause charity wine event following the Astros game on July 13. The event, which was attended by most of his teammates, raised money for the Astros Foundation. In the last two years, this event has raised more than $200,000.

• For the past several years, Altuve has teamed up with various teammates to host “Team Up at Tootsies,” a charity event that has raised money for the Jose Altuve Foundation, animal shelters and children’s charities. At this year’s event, held on Sept. 8, he partnered with with teammates Lance McCullers Jr. and Kyle Tucker.

• The Altuves partnered with the Astros Foundation to provided 60,000 meals to Kid’s Meals, Inc. to support children in need during the pandemic in 2020.

Over the years, Altuve has also made several visits to children battling serious illnesses and has supported several charitable efforts in Venezuela.

“We have a couple of stories about that, people coming to us on the street and back home or here in Houston, telling us thank you for what we did, or they send us a message,” he said. “Sometimes we don’t even know exactly what we did. Just to know we’re helping people when they’re having a hard time because of something we did, it means a lot to us.”