Twenty years from now this will be a Trivial Pursuit question: Who was the first player in Major League Baseball to tweet during a game? Flip the card and the answer will say — Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers. At Tuesday night’s All-Star Game in Kansas City, @TheRealMattKemp fired off the first player tweet:
First player 2 ever tweet during the 2012 #ASG!!! This experience is incredible!! Have fun watching the game. Go #NL
Kemp’s simple tweet was retweeted 1,638 times. Although shallow in content, tweets by New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey (1,339) and Washington Nationals Stephen Strasburg (947) ranked second and third in the retweet category.
Despite the boos from Kansas City fans, the event was good PR for Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano too. Within one 24-hour period – between Monday and Tuesday morning – Cano scooped up 26,000 new followers (@RobinsonCano) on Twitter thanks to the Home Run Derby contest. The Monday night affair also turned Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mark Trumbo into social media phenoms. Bautista chalked up 20,000 new Twitter followers @JoeyBats19 and Trumbo, or @MTrumbo44, pulled in 16,000 new followers.
According to BlueFin Labs, a social media tracking service, the Derby generated an estimated 800,000 combined Twitter and Facebook comments. The company said #HRDerby had 275,000 mentions during the actual event that aired on ESPN.
That’s Major League Baseball’s good news.
The bad news: All-Star Game ratings continue to plunge. Fox Sports reported 10.9 million people watched the game setting a new record low for All Star Game viewership. That didn’t stop fans from tweeting. BlueFin reports the 2012 All Star Game produced 800,000 comments from nearly 440,000 users across social media platforms — more than three times the interaction than last season.