Baseball may need a new stat: Followers Tweeted In (FTI). Last night's 83rd annual Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the first time MLB allowed players to use social media while a game was in progress. Major League Baseball encouraged the use of social media among all-star players by placing social media stations adjacent to each clubhouse.
Dodgers all-star outfielder Matt Kemp - sidelined from an injury - was the first to tweet from the All-Star Game Social Media Room.
Kemp gained 6,930 new followers over the course of the night, according to MLB. National League Pitching stars like New York Mets knuckleballer RA Dickey and Washington Nationals flamethrower Stephen Strasburg also gained thousands of followers. Dickey added 6,465 and Strasburg grabbed 4,939.
Big American League names such as New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista were also among players who interacted with social media throughout the course of the game.
In total the Major League Baseball experiment garnered 807,603 public Twitter and Facebook comments from over 439,000 different users. Compared to last year's 226,461, this year’s game generated a 257 percent increase in total in-game Twitter and Facebook comments, said MLB.
The social media fan posting craze around the All-Star Game was at its peak after All-Star MVP and San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera's homerun in the fourth inning.
According to an MLB spokesperson, this type of effort isn't expected to be integrated into everyday play this year.
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March 19, 2014