At some point today, Major League Baseball will announce the two premier awards in its cavalcade of postseason honors — the most valuable players of the American League and National League.
A column that ran on Oct. 5 in the Sports Plus section went into detail on how the Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve should be a clear-cut choice over the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge for the AL MVP award, so this column will focus on what adding one more trophy to the franchise’s case (pretty barren before this season) would mean for what has been a dream 2017 season for the Astros.
This season, the Astros already proved to be the top team by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series for their first-ever MLB championship. That was preceded by the Astros winning only their second-ever league pennant (2005 being the other year).
The proverbial icing on the cake for the Astros in 2017 would be for the top team to have one of the league’s top guys, with Altuve bringing home the second-ever league MVP trophy in the franchise’s history (Jeff Bagwell, 1994).
The underdog Astros franchise defeated MLB’s three richest franchises to earn their World Series title, so how appropriate would it be to have their ultimate underdog (from a physical standpoint), the 5-foot-5 dynamo Altuve, named MVP?
The championship-starved city of Houston was given a title run for the ages this MLB season to erase years of disappointment from fans’ memories, but there would still be a sour taste in fans’ mouths if their well-deserving star is somehow overlooked for the AL MVP.
Although Altuve certainly appears to be the favorite to win the award, don’t think a snub is out of the question. Judge will have backing in significant numbers from the New York media, and the award was voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America before the postseason — meaning Altuve and the Astros outdueling Judge and the Yankees in the ALCS is a moot point.
But here’s hoping the BBWAA voters make the right call today and choose Altuve as their AL MVP, as it would be the perfect ending to the best season Houston sports has ever been a part of.