Altuve earns Lou Gehrig Memorial Award

Altuve earns Lou Gehrig Memorial Award

HOUSTON -- Astros All-star second baseman Jose Altuve was presented with the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award prior to Tuesday's game against the White Sox at Minute Maid Park.

The award, sponsored by the Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity, headquartered in Oxford, Ohio, is presented annually to a Major League player who best exemplifies the giving character of Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig, a member of the Fraternity's Columbia University chapter.

"We've talked about Altuve in so many different ways, and there's not an award in this game he's probably not going to get," manager A.J. Hinch said. "I hope the big MVP Award is following this. He's the perfect example for what's right about the game. I love everything he does on and off the field, how he interacts with his teammates, his desire to do great, the way he shows up every single day ready to play. There's so much to admire about Jose, and our fans are lucky they've been able to watch the entire journey."

Altuve is the third member of the Astros to win the award, joining Buddy Bell (1988) and Glenn Davis (1990). Other past winners are Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Cal Ripken Jr., Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols. The award was first presented in 1955 and is permanently maintained at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.

"It means a lot, especially because of the kind of players that have won the award years ago," Altuve said. "I feel really proud. I think every award is good, because that means you're doing something for such a great team like we have right now."

Altuve, a fan favorite, participates routinely in Astros' outreach efforts, including FanFest, Winter Caravan, Picnic in the Park and the annual Charity Gala, which raises money for the Astros Foundation. In December, Altuve joined former Astros outfielder José Cruz and several other Major Leaguers in taking part in the "Peloteros por Puerto Rico" (Players for Puerto Rico) tour, which was organized by MLB and the MLB Players Association. The tour, which honored the life of Roberto Clemente, included several youth clinics in multiple cities.

In May, Altuve unveiled the Jose Altuve Foundation, which raises money to support the Sunshine Kids, which in turn benefits children with cancer. In addition, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Altuve will donate $25,000 worth of New Balance gear to the Astros to be given away to those in need. He and his wife are also contributing $30,000 to help rebuild homes lost in the flood.

"I feel like I owe Houston something," Altuve said.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.