HOUSTON -- Second baseman Jose Altuve was named on Monday as the Astros' nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.
Altuve, an All-Star a year ago, has been active in the Houston community since he was called up in 2011 and has never been hesitant to sign autographs for fans to visit the community in team-sponsored events throughout the season and the offseason.
"I feel so excited," Altuve said. "Everybody knows he was not only a good player inside the field, but he did a lot outside the field, too. I'm honored to be nominated for that."
Tuesday is Roberto Clemente Day throughout Major League Baseball, a day instituted on the 30th anniversary of his passing in 1972 to keep alive Clemente's spirit of giving. Voting runs from Sept. 17 through Oct. 6 at chevybaseball.com as fans help decide which of those 30 club winners will receive this prestigious recognition. The nominees were chosen based on their dedication to giving back to the community, as well as their outstanding ability on the field.
Altuve, 23, was an All-Star in his first full season in the Major Leagues last year, when he hit .290 with seven homers and 37 RBIs and had 33 stolen bases. Thanks to a strong September, Altuve is on base to set career highs for hits and has already reached career-best marks in RBIs and stolen bases.
In July, the Astros made their first significant commitment to the future by signing Altuve to a four-year, $12.5 million contract extension through 2017 with two club options for $6 million and $6.5 million.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.