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José Altuve and JJ Watt named SI Sportsperson of the Year

Jose Altuve and JJ Watt share the cover of Sports Illustrated as Sportsperson of the Year. (Sports Illustrated)

JJ Watt and José Altuve had divergent seasons on their respective fields in 2017. That didn’t stop Sports Illustrated from naming Watt and Altuve as their co-Sportsperson (People?) of the Year on Monday night.

While Altuve was a driving force behind Houston’s first World Series title in franchise history, Watt’s impact was felt off the field where he still managed to set a record.

Almost a foot shorter than Watt, Altuve, 27, became the sixth player to be named MVP of his league and World Series MVP in the same season. Altuve was the ultimate underdog. An original Astro who’d experienced the depths of losing 100 games a year during the first four years of his career and emerged from his experience at his zenith. In Game 1 of the World Series, the diminutive second baseman set the tone for Houston and tied a postseason record by recording a triplet of home runs.

Watt on the other hand, missed all but five games of the Texans’ 2017 season after fracturing the tibial plateau in his right leg. However, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Watt set out to raise $200,000 toward relief efforts Instead, the 160,000 donations to his YouCaring page resulted in a crowdfunding record of $37 million.

The identity of SI’s Sportsperson was made by Watt, during an appearance on NBC’s Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” There was some initial confusion as Fallon incorrectly named Watt as the lone Sportsperson of the Year on multiple occasions .

Since its inception in 1954, Sports Illustrated magazine has annually presented the Sportsperson of the Year award to “the athlete or team whose performance that year most embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement.”

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