Dodgers clean up at inaugural Social Media Awards
Puig scores two of LA's five honors; Orioles' Machado wins #OMG! Play of Year
Hollywood is the home of America's entertainment industry, celebrities and stars. It's apparently also the primary residence of baseball's social media superstars, too.
MLB Network's first-ever Social Media Awards were handed out Sunday night, with the Dodgers taking five of the honors back to Los Angeles. Rookie sensation Yasiel Puig was responsible for two of them, winning the Socially Savvy Rookie and #SAW (Stop-And-Watch) awards.
MLB.com hosted the balloting and the Social Media team at MLB Advanced Media came up with the nominees based on analytical data.
The 2013 season was a big one for social media and baseball. The @MLB Twitter account has more than 3.3 million followers, and its Facebook account is closing in on 5 million likes. And the MLB Instagram account took off like a home run in 2013, hitting 673,000 more followers.
Overall, MLB and its 30 teams have more than 12 million followers on Twitter, 40 million followers on Facebook and 3.5 million followers on Instagram.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado took home the biggest honor of the night, as his incredible grab and throw from deep in foul territory to first base was named the #OMG! Play of the Year.
And what would the Social Media Awards be without a Favorite Follow and Tweet of the Year? Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips -- perhaps better known in these awards as @DatDudeBP -- was voted the most entertaining follow in the Majors. Meanwhile, Blue Jays reliever Steve Delabar pressed "Send" on the year's best tweet when he had his young daughter involved in his #FinalVote campaign.
The year's Most Tweeted Moment occurred during the All-Star Game festivities, as A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and the #HRDerby hashtag captured the country's attention. And the Most Tweeted Game of the Year was also the last one: the Red Sox's Game 6 World Series-clinching victory over the Cardinals, which prompted about 1.7 million tweets.
But the Dodgers were the biggest stars of the MLB Network broadcast. Puig was elected the game's top attraction as each of his at-bats and throws from the outfield practically became must-see viewing. He also earned the Socially Savvy Rookie Award with his steady stream of tweets and Instagram pictures courtesy of his @YasielPuig Twitter account.
The Dodgers also won the Snapshot of the Year Award, though not for anything that came out of Puig's smartphone. No, that honor came courtesy of a fantastic photo of Sandy Koufax and Clayton Kershaw, great left-handers past and present, following Los Angeles' National League Division Series win over Atlanta.
The Dodgers captured two more awards Sunday night. One came in the Best Team Promotion category, for iconic broadcaster Vin Scully's "Twitter takeover," while the Best Bite went to Nick Punto and actor Danny DeVito for the entertainer's surprise cameo in Punto's postgame interview.
The Dodgers couldn't claim the game's Celebrity Fan of the Year, however. That honor went to Cardinals fan/Bravo host Andy Cohen and Mets fan/comedian Jerry Seinfeld.
Robinson Cano received one last honor for his time with the Yankees, as he took part in the year's Best MLB Fan Cave Video. Cano dropped by the Fan Cave to surprise Nick D'Annibale, a 13-year-old Yankees fan with leukemia, hopping out of an ice cream truck and playing some ball on the streets of New York.
The Upton brothers beat out Torii's #Huntering, Craig's #Kimbreling, Will's #Middlebrooksing and Hawk Harrelson's #TWTW for the Best MLB Meme Award. And finally, Jason Kipnis' one-man grooming show, "The Art of Shaving," earned the Selfie of the Year Award.