JOSÉ ALTUVE: BASEBALL’S MAGNET

We know he is the shortest player in baseball. Barely 5-foot-6.

We know that fans adore him. Check [url=http://www.arimtex.com/gary-sanchez-jersey-c-1_35.html]http://www.arimte... out the crowds asking for autographs.

And we know he’s really good.

But if you want to see the true “Altuve Effect,” check out the MVP candidate during pregame warmups.

It’s worth it.

When the Houston Astros are on the road for a 7:10 p.m. start, their warmup window begins at 5 p.m. and ends at 6. We recently shadowed Altuve before a game against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. Here’s what you need to know:

José Altuve is a magnet.

Born in Puerto Cabello, a major port on the north coast of Venezuela west of Caracas, his popularity knows no limits. Everyone wants to be around him. Latino players. White players. Black players. Pitchers. Infielders. Outfielders. Rival players.

Players lean on him. They steal his hat. They ask him questions. They tell him jokes. And according to the Astros’ media relations people, this happens before every game, regardless of what city they’re in.

When Altuve begins stretching outside of the batting cage, you almost lose him in the mat. He takes up a tiny amount of space, but we don’t have to [url=http://www.arimtex.com/dellin-betances-jersey-c-1_36.html]http://www.ari... be reminded to never judge him by his height.

Five All-Star appearances

Three Silver Slugger Awards

Two AL batting titles

Two AL stolen base titles

2015 Gold Glove Award

Oh, and the kids love him. A pack of young White Sox fans started randomly calling his name. “Altuve! Altuve! Over here!” No reaction.

An older man told the kids, “Everyone yell ‘José’ at the same time. 1, 2, 3 … JOSÉ!”

Altuve immediately turned around, smiled brightly and waved at the kids, who of course, cheered wildly. He’s the shortest player in Major League Baseball, but everyone wants his attention.

So, how does he do it? How does he bring so much energy to the game and still perform, leading the majors with 163 hits and a .361 average as of Aug. 14? Why do players flock to him? Why is he the team leader of the best team in the American League?

It may be his basic approach to the game.

“I have a job that I like. I always dreamt of being [url=http://www.rd-corp.com/matt-holliday-jersey-c-1_38.html]Matt Holliday Kids Jersey[/url] a ballplayer. I’ve loved [this game] since I was a young kid,” Altuve said in Spanish. “I’m working at something I really like. That’s why I play.”