The Jose Altuve Phenomenon

Friday June.15/2012

Jose Altuve is listed as 5 foot five although he may be even shorter than that. His lethal swings have created a new metric measurement based on his height called an ‘Altuve.’ Everyone is picking up the new measurement including social media platforms dedicated to the cause: @howmanyaltuves on twitter and the official website http://www.howmanyaltuves.com –Photo courtesy of the Washington Post.

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.


Created by listener @jimmysjargon, here’s the original photo on the MLB Radio Network facebook page that helped spur the Altuve measurement craze.

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!

Photo courtesy of elemergente.com

    ***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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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker

Posted on June 15, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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