Web Exclusive: Major League baseball scoring with social media

Web Exclusive

(CNN) - With the return of baseball, there's a lot more talk about hits, swings, and misses in our Twitter feeds.  How do major league teams get into the conversation? 

It's one of the most clever handles in baseball, @nationaldet.  But at first, Washington Nationals pitcher Ross Detwiler was hesitant to join Twitter. "I just wouldn't buy into it all and then finally I broke down a little bit and now I'm hooked," says Ross Detwiler.

It's modern territory for the classic American sport.  Each crack of the bat, now matched with many tweets. Teams like the Nationals are eager to chime in. They've got a hashtag on an outfield fence. A list of players' twitter handles is distributed with scorecards.

With one of the youngest rosters in baseball, Nationals Chief Operating Officer Andy Feffer says the social space can come as naturally as fielding a grounder.

"The idea is, how do you get access to what's happening on the road, on the plane, in the hotel, before warmups? That kind of access, is really what drives fan engagement," says Andy Feffer, Washington Nationals Chief Operating Officer.

And the real winning formula is when that access comes directly from players like Detwiler.

"The fans only really know you through the field and what writers write about you," says Detwiler. "This gives me the ability to actually get on there and show people my personality and show them a little of what I do when I'm away from the field."

Extending the conversation away from the field, just one benefit of hurling baseball's traditions, into the digital age.

"If we can create a special relationship with our fans, beyond what just happens on the field and at the park, we've got a new way to engage fans outside the ballpark 24-7 on any platform that you have," says Andy Feffer, Washington Nationals Chief Operating Officer.

The Texas Rangers are also on twitter.  You can find them @rangers.  The team has more than 260- thousand followers.


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