By Sally Tippett Rains
The average Cardinals fan checks Twitter or Facebook for scores, updates, and even breaking news with the team. Many like to follow certain Twitter accounts or join Facebook groups to be around like-minded fans, and some even become amateur sports writers by creating blogs for others to read. This is the world of hashtags, tweets, posts, and instant news.
Times have changed since there were two newspapers and just one radio station – KMOX—that had sport talk. Writers used “new” Radio Shack laptops which required a dial-up modem to send their stories in. Radio reporters had large reel-to-reel or audio cassette tape recorders and had to take the rotary phones apart and attach “alligator clips” to send the audio interviews back to their radio stations. In 2019 with the explosion of the internet and technology– media is a whole different world.
In five minutes an interview can go from recording a video, as with the Jupiter Minute, shown left, posted to YouTube and immediately out on social media. The same thing happens with audio or podcasts; reporters are able to get clips up from press conferences just minutes after they end.
Twitter and other social media has become a way that people get their news. The Cardinals are very in tune with the growing enthusiasm for social media and they have established hashtags for many of their events. Writers know that if they post #STLCards then many Cardinals fans will search the hashtag and see their articles.
The Cardinals have several apps which are listed on their website. Fans can also watch the games on their phones or at their computers through MLB.TV.
Social media is becoming a way for Cardinal fans to interact with each other and share opinions about their favorite team. There are Facebook groups and Twitter accounts.
Sometimes things can get started in the strangest ways—and that’s how Matthew Golden started @BirdsOnTheBat13 on Twitter. It all stemmed from the fact that he loved tweeting about his favorite team, the Cardinals, but when some friends grew tired of seeing his tweets, they came up with an idea.
“I started the handle after I was told by my non-Cardinals friends that during the 2011 playoffs, I was over the top with all of my Cardinals tweets,” Golden said. “I had a buddy suggest that I start a separate Twitter for my Cardinals tweets and @BirdsOnTheBat13 was born.”
BirdsOnTheBat13, which promises to bring fans “all the news, stats, and articles that you need to know for the 11-time World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals” has more than 35K followers.
“I was extremely surprised about the growth,” he said. “But over time, I have come to realize that there are so many Cardinals fans out there simply looking for good stats and news. I ran the Twitter on and off from 2012-2013 and then went all in on running it in the early part of 2014. Since then, I just simply helped spread Cardinals news and it took off from there.”
The Twitter account has been a lot of fun for Golden who like most Cardinals fans loves talking about his favorite team.“I have made countless new friends from running the Twitter,” said Golden. “It has been a blessing because I get to talk Cardinals baseball with so many fun and exciting people.”
John Anglin grew up in the Doniphan, Missouri area where he spent many days enjoying time on the Current River— no doubt listening to Jack Buck and Cardinals Baseball. He now lives in Sikeston, with his wife Kitty. Being from Southeast Missouri, Anglin is in the heart of Cardinal Nation but it’s a drive to St. Louis. He wanted to find like-minded Cardinals fans to talk about the games with so he started “STL Cardinals Crew” Facebook group.
“I wanted to create a Cardinals fan group on Facebook where Cardinal fans could hangout and interact with each other,” said John Anglin, who works for the local power company, “I got with some friends, some made on social media, and we decided to start StL Cardinals Crew, or as we fondly refer to it ‘The Crew.'”
They just started Cardinals Crew in 2018 and it has grown to 5,165 members.
“Our growth in barely over a year has been somewhat surprising, but it’s been fun to see,” he said. “It shows how passionate Cardinal fans are about their Birds! “
Cardinals nation is a community, so it’s no wonder they want to get together online. In the lobby of the Homewood Suites it is a sea of red and pretty soon one fan turns to another table and says “Where y’all from?” and new friends are made. Many exchange cell numbers or follow each other on social media and so on and so on. Connections are made and many last a lifetime.
The Cardinals know the value of social media with their fans and they have added more positions in that area. They do more videos, make posts during the games, they do Instagram. They encourage the players to get involved and interact on social media with the fans and even post their Twitter handles on their website:
Hook up with the Cardinals on Social Media
The Cardinals use social media for their promotions. They use it to promote voting for the Cardinals Hall of Fame.
They even see the merit in social media by by bloggers. For the past several years they have hosted a “Bloggers Night” where they welcome people from around Cardinals Nation who like blogging about the Cardinals.
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