Braves legend Dale Murphy talks Twitter, the Harlem Shake and the Kardashians.
PHOENIX – Dale Murphy proudly considers himself a serial tweeter, a notion that was hammered home by one of his more than 40,000 followers with this tweet: “Follow Murph. He tweets more than a Kardashian.”
And with that, Murphy (@dalemurphy3) was off and running.
It wasn’t always a smooth ride. In the beginning, like most folks of his generation (Murphy turns 57 on Tuesday), his kids had to guide him through it. And once, he accidentally sent out a tweet that was intended to be a text message to his wife.
Fortunately, it was only about picking up eggs and milk at the grocery store. For the most part, Murphy, widely considered one of the nicest and most approachable players to ever don a big league uniform, is loving the engagement with the fans and relishes the opportunity to communicate directly with the masses.
“When I played, it was a little easier for people to have contact with players,” Murphy said. “Everything was toned down a lot more. There’s a lot more security now, understandably, for a lot of reasons. (Twitter) is an unbelievable way for people to have contact with current players.”
Back in his day, Social Media was unheard of. Murphy, currently a coach for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, played 18 years in the big leagues, mostly with the Braves, from 1976 until his final season in 1993. Back then, “tweeting” was a noise a bird made, “blog” wasn’t yet a word, cameras and phones were totally unrelated to each other and the #hashtag was known as a “pound” sign.
Nowadays, privacy is at a premium. Sure, people can still choose to remain out of the spotlight and under the radar, but the digital age gives those who don’t mind a more public image a stage to do so.
If it’s done right, Murphy said, Twitter can be a great thing for athletes and fans.
“Who would have thought you could interact this way with personalities and people and athletes?” he said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Rumor had it that Murphy wanted Team USA to be the first baseball team to do the Harlem Shake, and that he just may have mentioned this idea to skipper Joe Torre.
“I didn’t know what he was talking about,” Torre said.
But Murphy has cooled on the Shake. After all, it’s SO two weeks ago.
“It’s over,” Murphy said. “It lasted two weeks. It’s too old.”