MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

Altuve receives GIBBY Award in pregame ceremony

Astros second baseman named 2014 Breakout Everyday Player of the Year

Altuve receives GIBBY Award in pregame ceremony

HOUSTON -- Players who accomplish enormous feats or have record-breaking seasons that draw a lot of attention often say that it isn't until later -- much later -- that the impact of their achievements really sink in.

It's highly likely that if Jose Altuve hadn't thought about how tremendous his 2014 actually was, the constant reminders -- in the form of award after award after award -- have done that for him.

Altuve, who set an Astros record with 225 hits, received his GIBBY Award on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park as the 2014 Breakout Everyday Player of the Year in a special pregame presentation, lauding his record-setting season.

"Obviously, last year was a great year," Altuve said. "I think there were a lot of guys here that had really good years, so that makes the season better. I got a couple of awards, and that's good. It means you're doing a great job for your team, and that's what you're working for."

The GIBBYs (Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards) are presented by MLB.com and represent the ultimate honors of the industry's awards season. The votes are based on input from broadcasters, reporters, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research.

Altuve's numbers in 2014 made him an obvious choice for Breakout Everyday Player accolades. He's the American League batting champ, after compiling a .341 average. Forty-seven of his 225 hits were doubles, and he recorded 56 stolen bases.

Those numbers alone would make any player a fan favorite, but Altuve takes it a step further. In a game where some players think the more serious they look on the field, the more "locked in" everyone watching will think they are, Altuve manages to both play at an elite level, and -- gasp! -- show that he's having fun too.

There's no shortage of enthusiasm that bubbles out of the diminutive second baseman when he plays. He's having a good old time out there, and he's fine with people knowing that.

"By the time the game starts, I try to have fun," Altuve said. "Baseball is about having fun. You have to play hard and you have to do everything for your teammates. But at the same time, you have to have fun.

"That's what I try to do. It's really hard for me not to be smiling when I'm playing. That's something that I love to do -- play baseball."

During the pregame ceremony, Altuve also received his award from the Houston chapter of the BBWAA as the Astros MVP for 2014. Dallas Keuchel was honored as Pitcher of the Year, Collin McHugh as Rookie of the Year, and Scott Feldman as the recipient of the Darryl Kile Good Guy Award. Astros senior vice president of broadcasting and alumni relations, Jamie Hildreth, was honored with the Fred Hartman Long and Meritorious Service Award.

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.