Jose Altuve spoke with FanSided on behalf of 2Hoots Hard Iced Tea.
Before the modern Houston Astros were a controversial megalith, they were just a homegrown team that climbed the mountaintop for the first time in franchise history, defeating the Dodgers in a seven-game Fall Classic that would go on to be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
It would make perfect sense that 2017 MVP Jose Altuve would remember that season most of all. The coming out party. The year everyone learned his name. The indelible back-and-forth with Clayton Kershaw. But ... nope.
When asked on The Baseball Insiders podcast with FanSided's Robert Murray and Adam Weinrib to recount his most memorable playoff moment in Houston, Altuve selected something from far more recent history.
Instead of pulling the focus to the end of the 2017 season, he picked 2022's final out snagged by Kyle Tucker as his proudest moment/biggest relief.
Jose Altuve selects end of 2022 World Series vs Phillies, not beating Dodgers, as favorite playoff moment
As Altuve recounted, "Last year, Kyle Tucker getting the fly ball to win it all is my recent favorite moment. Winning a World Series is hard. We all know that. And the fact that we did it again last year was amazing."
The further '17 gets in the rear view, the clearer it is that these modern Astros are classically dominant under any circumstances. They've proven they have the talent to reach the Fall Classic and win it, no matter the conditions. If the Dodgers still want vengeance for 2017 and want to cloud Altuve's more recent memories, it's clear nobody else is going to do their work for them. They'll have to knife through a crowded National League themselves and hope the Astros end up beating out a strange, off-center American League field to set up a well-earned rematch.
It won't be easy. But Altuve seems to be focused on the here and now, even as he builds up long-range career accolades. If the Dodgers can win a title against him in this environment, that'll likely stick in his mind as strongly as if they'd done it in 2018 or '19.