The Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals are facing off tonight in the final game of the World Series.
If the Astros win, it will be their second World Series championship in three years. If the Nationals win, it will mark their first world championship.
The Nationals beat the Astros 7 to 2 Tuesday night in game six to survive one more night. Tied at 3-3 in the series, both teams are hoping to pull out the win tonight in Houston.
Helping the Astros in their run for the championship is faith-filled player Jose Altuve. In fact, the Astros might not have made it to the World Series if Altuve hadn't hit his walk-off home run in Game 6 of the ALCS to defeat the Yankees and send his team to the world championship. He immediately gave God the glory.
“First, I want to thank God,” he told FOX’s Ken Rosenthal. “Running around the bases, the only thing I was thinking was thanking God and just thinking that we’re going to the World Series once again.”
Baseball scouts once said Altuve was too small to play pro ball, but he has proved them all wrong. How did the 5' 6" slugger swing it into the major leagues? Faith is central in his Cinderella story.
He's a six-time All-Star, a three-time batting champion, the reigning American League MVP, and a World Series Champion. But that's not what's most impressive. Altuve is the smallest player in Major League Baseball.
"You don't think of your size as a negative at all do you?" CBN Sports asked the Astros second baseman.
"No, I'm real – I'm really happy that I'm 5'6, and I can play ball," Altuve replied.
The average height of a major leaguer is roughly 6 feet. So when Altuve blasted his way into the majors in 2011, he rocked the baseball world with a smile.
"Waking up every day, having my family and you know, having the opportunity to come to the ballpark and do what I love to do as my job. You know, that's the biggest reason," he said.
When Altuve was 16 years old, baseball scouts told him he was too small to play professionally, but they couldn't ignore his drive and passion for the game.
"I went there and they let me go out there and play, but they turned me down," he told CBN Sports. "There was 50 guys and it went down to 20, 20 or 15, I think. And I wasn't one of those guys. But I just decided to come back the next day and I did. You know, the big boss was there that time and he just decided to let me join the organization."
The big boss he's referring to is then Houston Astros Assistant Coach Al Pedrique who noticed, Altuve's drive and passion for the game.
"I remember he saying something about, okay, he really enjoys playing baseball. And that is sometimes better than having all these tools because you really want to – want to see inside the player and really want to find out if they want to play this enough. And he thought about me, maybe having the right attitude to go out there and play," the second baseman recalled.
Altuve signed with the Astros in 2007. Four years later, he was called up to the big leagues.
"I really wanted to do it, and if God give me the ability to play, it was because he wanted me to go all the way through," he said. "And I thank God for everything because he's real. It's hard to believe that like what you dreamed as a kid is real life now."
By 2012, the little giant was an all-star. So how does Altuve do it? How does someone who's not supposed to be able to play in the majors compete consistently every day? His answer is simple -- prayer.
"Before I leave my house every single day, I ask God for health for my family and for me," he told CBN Sports. "And then when I'm about to play the game I just pray and I ask God to keep every single player and every single people on the stands healthy and that we just can go there and compete in a good way."
In 2017, Altuve helped the Astros win their first World Series Championship in franchise history. Now as he fights with his team for another title, he knows he's a blessed man because of his faith. He's making sure to keep his priorities in order with the baseball holding the 3rd spot, behind his family at 2nd, and his faith in Christ at 1st, which he says helps him bring everything home and in order.
"I think God has blessed me only because I let him control everything that is around me," he noted. "My faith in him and my love for him is just to not worry about just little things. It's just to worry about my faith in him and that way he's going to put in order everything around me."