In 2020, Rhode Island (and just about everywhere else on the planet) baseball players of all ages are the stars of videos, photos, posts, and threads posted on social media every day. And most of them have no idea about their stardom, the 10s and 100s and 1000s of likes, the shares, the comments, the virtual high-fives from friends/families/neighbors. Just about two weeks ago, my nephew’s photo (with my sister’s permission) was posted on my social media pages with him holding 2 home run baseballs that he hit in a recent game he had played. The stats – 1,029 saw the post, 45 likes, 3 comments, 2 shares in one afternoon alone, just on Facebook.
Social media is an ideal tool for broadcasting the talents and home runs and joy of baseball to a very wide audience. All you need is the camera on your phone, social media apps to share the photo to, and you are now your child/your teammates/your league’s unofficial press agent. Every youth baseball league has some form of social media or media waiver that asks your permission to allow your child to be photographed for team and marketing purposes. As youth baseball players graduate into middle and high school, American Legion, Showcase levels, these photos and videos can take on a whole new meaning.
Parents, family members, maybe a designated staff member on a baseball squad line the bleachers behind home plate to capture video of their star throwing strikes and maybe record a strikeout. They capture video of their star hitting a base hit, a double, maybe a home run. Perhaps a great defensive play or series of defensive plays strung together and posted as a story on social media. Watching a highlight reel of a prospect can most definitely get the attention of the scout or college coach or recruiter. Truth is, baseball recruiters and scouts still rely heavily on in person visits to watch live baseball action. But most will credit or note that they saw or heard about a certain player because of social media.
On the high school and showcase levels, social media posts are an up to the minute account of a baseball player’s activity. These posts can draw attention to uncommitted prospects and build up their stock to potential college recruiters. Live streaming games allows parents, scouts, recruiters, coaches who cannot attend games and events to watch every swing, hit, miss, strikeout, and diving catch in real time. Posts fly across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook all afternoon at AAU tournaments, college showcase events, and league games. A player has no idea that their diving stop at shortstop and subsequent laser throw to first base was captured on a smart phone, posted on Instagram, shared on Facebook, the league was tagged, the player was tagged, and it has now been viewed and shared over 1000 times. Posting on social media gives a player incredible exposure and also instant exposure.
For me as a huge baseball fan, I love the social media posts sent in to me and my pages. I get to see top talent from youth baseball leagues, American Legion teams, college prospect events, and every player skill level in between. There are cute Tee Ball videos with kids running the wrong way or doing something baseball irrelevant. There are home runs hit way, way out of the park hit by 12U baseball prospects. There are videos from behind the mound at a showcase event, with a phone app calling out “85 miles per hour.” Social media gives us all instant access and availability to baseball players and their abilities. And as long as it is done with a positive message, I am all for it.
If you would like to share your baseball player’s talents with me and my Rhode Island Baseball Experience pages on social media, simply tag me in your league’s photos. Here is how you can find me on social media: