Astros correct Valverde's age mistake
GM Wade said wrong birth date was a paperwork error
HOUSTON -- Astros general manger Ed Wade said Wednesday a discrepancy in paperwork led to closer Jose Valverde being listed at two different ages in the team's previous two media guides.
Valverde, 31, was listed as being born on March 24, 1979, in the Astros' 2008 media guide, but Wade said his correct birth date -- March 24, 1978 -- is reflected in the current media guide. Valverde even has two different dates of birth listed on his own Web site, www.papagrandellc.com -- March 24, 1978, and July 24, 1979.
"I can't remember when it was, but it was brought to our attention there was a discrepancy in his age," Wade said. "We corrected it on all our documents. We changed it to the appropriate date in the media guide. I can't remember how it was brought to our attention."
Valverde downplayed the discrepancies and said his birth date has always been the same."If one of you guys want to check it out, go to the Dominican and check it out everywhere, the hospital [where he was born]," he said. "I have the same age. Nothing's changed." Valverde joked he enjoyed being listed as younger than he really is in some places. "I don't know what's going on," he said. "I have the same birthday every year, the same as when I signed. My year is '78. I don't know what you guys are talking about right now. Somebody did something different, and I want to say 'Thank you.' I'm enjoying [being listed as younger]. That's more money in my pocket." Last year, the Astros found out shortstop Miguel Tejada was two years older than he was believed to be. Tejada claimed to have been born in 1976 during his entire career, but on April 17, 2008, an ESPN reporter confronted him with a Dominican birth certificate with a 1974 birth date. Tejada later admitted he was indeed born in 1974.
Wade said Wednesday that the Valverde discrepancy was simply a mistake in paperwork.
"Evidently, he was carried at one year in all his records up until the point we were notified," Wade said. "It's not an Astros mistake, but something from his background. It's not a big deal to me at this point in time. He's still a premium closer. Adding that extra year to his age at this point of time is of no great consequence."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.