"If you’ve got to get rid of them, I’ll take them" - Astros star Jose Altuve gifts game-worn shoes to devoted fan at Spring Training

 Astros star Jose Altuve gifts game-worn shoes to devoted fan at Spring Training
Astros star Jose Altuve gifts game-worn shoes to devoted fan at Spring Training

Houston Astros star Jose Altuve is a favorite among fans for his incredible postseason heroics for the team in recent years, but the two-time World Series winner holds a special place in the heart of a particular fan.

Donna Hopkins, a retired teacher from Houston and a devoted Astros fan received an unforgettable gift from Jose Altuve as the team prepares for spring training at CACTI Park of the Palm Beaches on Saturday.

The Astros second baseman handed out his shoes to Hopkins after the ardent fan requested the star slugger to give it away rather than throw it away. Altuve, who is no stranger to Hopkins and her trademark straw hat, obliged to her request.

“I said, ‘If you’ve got to get rid of them, I’ll take them,’ and he just took them off and gave them to me,” said Donna. “It pays to be a familiar face.”

This wasn't her first interaction with Altuve, who often stops to have a chat with her. But the latest addition to her illustrious collection of memorabilia easily takes the cake.

“He’s always very nice and stops and talks and chats and this is just something really special,” she said.

Her husband Jimmy, a lifelong fan of the Astros himself, has been watching the team play at Minute Maid Park for as long as he can remember.

“The top 10 [fan voters] always got to go to a meet-and-greet with him so I always made sure we were in the top 10 so we could visit with him,” Donna said. “He asked me once, ‘How many did you do?’ And I said ‘195,000.’ He said, ‘By yourself?’ And [Jimmy] goes, ‘By herself.'"

Jose Altuve's record Astros extension a hit among fans

Jose Altuve recently agreed to a record-breaking five-year $125 million extension with the Astros, likely to keep him at the club for the rest of his career. Donna was thrilled by the news of his extension and hopes to witness his induction into Cooperstown.

“He’s a really special person to me and I’m so glad he signed that contract because I want him to be here for life,” Donna said. “My hope is I’m alive when he goes to the Hall of Fame because I want to go see that.”

Donna's fandom and her relationship with Jose Altuve further accentuate the significance of player interactions with fans.

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Edited by John Maxwell