Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was the overwhelming choice as 2017 American League MVP, earning 27 first-place votes compared to three for New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge.
It was the expected outcome in what boiled down to a two-man race between a 5-foot-6 infielder who can do everything and a 6-foot-7 outfielder whose prodigious power set records and made him the AL’s unanimous Rookie of the Year. As such, there were clearly no hard feelings from Judge. In fact, the Yankees superstar appeared to be genuinely thrilled with the outcome based on this gracious congratulations he wrote to Altuve.
— Aaron Judge (@TheJudge44) November 17, 2017
That’s pretty cool to see.
Altuve and Judge shared the field many times during the 2017 season, including a memorable seven-game ALCS that the Astros won on their way to the franchise’s first World Series championship. They both provided many great moments, and a few excellent photos too.
Most importantly, they clearly earned each other’s respect.
The respect thing is nothing new for Altuve. He’s quickly become one of the most respected players in MLB, but that isn’t just limited to baseball. He’s earned it from athletes in other sports, and especially from Houston Texans all-pro and Astros supporter J.J. Watt. Those two share a bond that has united two franchises, so it wasn’t surprising to see Watt offer his congratulations as well.
Every nod of appreciation no doubt means a lot to Altuve. But we’re guessing Judge’s will mean just that much more given the battles their teams had and the respect that was earned.
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