Comeback kid: Astros’ Altuve overtakes Royals’ Infante for All-Star start

Jose Altuve's been playing at a level fitting of an All-Star starter, and now he officially is one. 

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

In a back-and-forth race that went down to the wire, Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve vanquished the Kansas City Royals’ Omar Infante to earn his first career start in the All-Star Game. 

MLB announced the starters for both the AL and NL on Sunday, and Altuve wound up edging out Infante for the most American League votes at second base. 

Halfway through last week, Altuve needed a ‘late push’ in order to lock down the top spot – which he received in the final few days leading up to the voting period’s conclusion on Thursday.

As Altuve told MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, he’s enjoyed the outpouring of support from Houston fans: "I mean, it’s pretty good. I really appreciate everything the fans do for me and the whole organization, putting all the things to win the fan vote."

Altuve acknowledged to McTaggart that the experience feels extra-special considering it’s his first time being voted in as a starter: "I knew I was really close to Omar and I trust my fans in Houston and the team was really pushing the fans to vote. Like I said, I knew I had a little chance and I’m really happy because I’m in my third All-Star Game, but this is kind of special because it’s going to be my first as a starter."

Altuve’s manager, A.J. Hinch, was also very aware of the importance of Altuve’s election. As he said to McTaggart: "I’m proud of him, I’m proud of our fans. I think fans around baseball did a great job getting a very worthy guy to start the game. It’s big for our franchise. Jose is everything that’s going right about us that he represents. To have him start the game, I’m very proud of him, very happy for him. He was happy. Any time you get to deliver news like that, it’s pretty exciting for the players."

Carlos Correa, Altuve’s rookie teammate off to a fantastic start to his young career, was also pretty proud of him after hearing the news: 

The 2015 All-Star Game is set for Tuesday, July 14 at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park.

(h/t MLB.com)