The Jose Altuve Phenomenon
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Baseball lends itself to traditions and nicknames like no other sport in the world. During last year, there were two phenomenons in the form of social media and radio. I was lucky enough to be part of them both. The MLB ‘Fancave’ sidekick Ryan Wagner was dubbed ‘thickish’ by Mitch Williams of the MLB Network. The social media took off on his nickname and blogs, websites and a lot of the Fancave skits had Mike O’ Hara calling Wagner ‘thickish.’ I love things like this. I took it upon myself to be the West Coast distributor of the movement. I was even fortunate enough to have Ryan Wagner write a blog about my buddy Justin and I. It was cool to be part of the fun of this social media driven nickname.
Then the summer of 2011 hit. I was listening to MLB Roundtrip like I do every night while at work. Mike Ferrin and Morgan Ensberg were talking about Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros. There were saying the man was swinging out of his cleats like he was Paul Bunyan. They also mentioned that Altuve was the leader of the Texas League (before his call up) for average. The next thing I knew Ensberg suggested that they should come up with a new unit of measurement called an “Altuve.” The idea would be that you can divide the total amount of feet hit for a home run divided Jose Altuve’s height. I couldn’t stop laughing at the concept. To me, Ensberg was entirely right, Altuve does sound like a unit measurement! For the next few weeks, the guys kept on speaking of long homers hit and how many Altuve’s they would go.I started hitting Ferrin and Ensberg up on twitter. I mentioned that it would take about 39 Altuves for me to hit a home run in Little League. This is the power of social media these days. The XM Home Plate radio hosts responded back to me quickly and we started the dialogue back and forth all off season. I am not taking credit for the movement here, I was just a small cog in the wheel. I was not alone in thinking the unit measurement idea was awesome. Many times callers would often refer to the movement. The clip below shows Jose hitting a home run in the minors. Don’t let his height fool you, this man swings for the fences!!
Heading into the 2012 season, I knew I was going to all the parks for a World Record Attempt in the shortest amount of days. I was going to be tweeting 50-70 times a day. Wouldn’t you know that the team I saw the most in the first month was the Astros. That is not all. All the circle of ballpark chasers and I started tweeting like mad from every game we went to. I would often tweet a homer I witnessed live from the games and described it in ‘Altuves.’ My co-author of the “Fastest 30 Ball Games” Ken Lee loved the idea so much he started doing the same thing. Before you knew it, we were tweeting to everyone about the Altuve measurement. The funniest one we sent was when we were towed in Brooklyn and we sent what it cost to get towed in “per Altuves.” Mike Ferrin retweeted this and added the disclosure of a public safety announcement. It was only a matter of time before this thing took off. Soon the Houston Astros announcers caught wind of the measurement and started saying it for all homers hit for the Astros, including the visiting team.
On May.28 of this year, Ken Lee sent me a message on twitter advising me on someone making up a twitter handle and the dedicated website of http://www.howmanyaltuves.com/. Bryan Trostel is the man who took the concept and made the website up and also the new twitter handle. There is also A Facebook Page to like. The blogs and hits are coming fast and furious and everybody is becoming swept up in the new measurement converter. I say a big thank-you to Bryan for launching all of these to celebrate Altuve. I will be one of his most prolific supporters.
The following options are available for instant conversion in the forms of “Altuve” on the howmanyaltuves.com website:
The chatter on twitter makes this one of the most entertaining follows. If you want to know how long it is from Safeco Field to Minute Maid Park, or just figure out your own height in “Altuves,” this website can convert the math for you. I strongly suggest you follow the movement on twitter here. Added to the growing legend is that Jose Altuve has been tearing it up on the field. Altuve is hitting .321 with 79 hits and 40 runs in 60 games. Despite his smaller stature, he has racked up 25 extra base hits and is slugging .473. The 22 year old player from Venezuela should be the Houston Astros representative at this years All-Star Game in Kansas City next month. I predict he will be one of the most popular in years to come from the response the website and twitter account have garnered already. The Altuve Movement has just begun!
***Thank you to our Baseball Writer- Douglas “Chuck” Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports. To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 days click here or on the 30 MLB Parks in 23 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book, ” please click here ***
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Posted on June 15, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged all-star game, bryan trostel, Chuck Booth, Houston, houston astros, howmanyaltuves.com, jose altuve, justin dion, kansas city royals, ken lee, mike ferrin, mike o hara, minute maid park, Mitch Williams, MLB FANCAVE, morgan ensberg, ryan wagner, safeco field, Texas League, the fastest 30 ballgames, twitter, XM HOME plate. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.