A lot of people say that Major League Baseball is bad at promoting its players. Bah. Take one look at MLB’s social media feed over the past several days and you’ll see that the league goes all-out to promote its stars. Indeed, they have built an entire campaign around one of its brightest stars this week.
They’ve created a bracket-style “competition” of his finest moments, complete with video highlights in case fans are unaware of his historic exploits. Fans can vote for the best moment, but the vote is just a red herring. This is all about the appreciation of a fantastic talent and the league’s efforts to bring him into the hearts and minds of baseball fans everywhere.
And on and on it goes. Indeed, I’ve counted no less than 19 video-laden tweets promoting Derek Jeter in the past three days. There may be many more, actually, as these are just the ones with the custom “Jeet16” hashtag.
It’s quite impressive. And actually sort of sobering. I mean, if the league is going THIS crazy to promote a player who retired three years ago, IMAGINE how amazingly intense it’s marketing guys who are actually playing right now! Guys whose actual games, if people see their highlights, will become appointment viewing which will, in turn, help grow the game now and in the future!
Really, if they’re selling a 40-something year-old former player no one can watch play live ever again, I bet MLB has a team of hundreds of social media gurus helping spread the appreciation of today’s biggest talents.
The Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals have made a minor trade. Seattle has acquired lefty Marco Gonzales from the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Tyler O’Neill.
Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first round pick out of Gonzaga back in 2013, is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. It’s been a good season, in which he has posted a 2.78 ERA and 64/17 K/BB ratio over 74.1 innings across two minor league levels. He’s pitched one game for St. Louis this year and got shelled, but we’ll leave that go.
O’Neill is a third rounder from 2013. He has hit .269/.344/.505 in five minor league seasons. He’s holding his own in Triple-A this year, smacking 19 homers in 93 games.
I’ve been out of the baseball card game for a good long time, but despite this — maybe because of this — I enjoy the posts from SABR’s Baseball Card Committee. A lot of that is old time stuff that old men like me enjoy — check out the airbrushing on the “Traded” cards! — but they talk about new cards too. Definitely worth your time if cards are now or have ever been your bag.
Today there’s an interesting post, pointing out something most of us wouldn’t have otherwise noted: Topps has dropped Chief Wahoo from Indians card designs. They’re doing it for the old Braves “screaming Indian” logo as well, though the Braves no longer use that themselves.
They’re not airbrushing these logos out of photos of players — that would be Orwellian even for my extreme Wahoo-hating tastes — but in card designs which have team logos, Topps is using the block-C logo, not Wahoo, and the Braves “A” logo in place of the old logo. This includes throwback issues like the Heritage sets which put modern players on card designs from the 1950s-1960s and on simple retro designs like their 1987 variations. Any cards which once featured Wahoo on the border or on the back now features the block-C.
As you may or may not know, Topps is now the official card producer for Major League Baseball. As such, I take their doing this as a sign that MLB is continuing the slow process of de-Chiefing in whatever areas it has ultimate say.
Now if only the Indians themselves would get on board.