Major League Baseball is going all-out with “one of the most immersive social media events in MLB history” for tonight’s Home Run Derby, where some of baseball’s top batters will battle for runs at Phoenix’s Chase Field in the lead up to Tuesday night’s All-Star Game.
For the first time ever, a handful of the competing players – including Boston Red Sox (and American League captain) David Ortiz, Toronto Blue Jay Jose Bautista, and Los Angeles Dodger Matt Kemp – will interact with fans (and each other) through their Twitter accounts.
Fellow All-Star participants Howie Kendrick, Heath Bell, Gio Gonzalez, Hunter Pence, Brandon Phillips, Gaby Sanchez, Justin Upton, Joel Hanrahan, C.J. Wilson – the MLB’s first tweeting player – will also join in on the live-tweet, providing commentary photos, video, and maybe even some trash-talking. (Players without Twitter accounts will also be able to share media through the MLB’s Facebook and Twitter pages.) The MLB is encouraging players and fans to use the hashtag #HRDerby in their tweets, which will be shown on the big screen at Chase Field between batters.
The Home Run Derby will air on ESPN and ESPN 3 at 8 p.m. – but the more technologically inclined can stream it live at MLB.com. You can find the full list of tonight’s tweeters here.