My five favorite MASN moments from 2016

Another season of Orioles and Nationals baseball has come to an end. In my first year as the social media director at MASN, I learned a ton on the job and got to experience two playoff teams.

While the final weeks of the season involved little-to-no sleep, a lingering cold and way too many SmokeShack burgers from the Shake Shack in Nats Park, I’ve now had some time to sleep, regroup and eat a salad or two.

And now I’m feeling sort of sentimental. Although it’s been nice to relax a bit, I already miss baseball. There were so many amazing stories to come out of the 330 baseball games MASN covered this season, both on and off the field.

Players, managers and social media have given fans so many outstanding experiences, and I was so glad to play a very small part.

So, without further ado, here are my top five favorite moments of the season.

5. Chat with Adam Jones


Every year, we work with select players and host live chats with them. Fans submit their questions to us on Twitter and then players answer them live on Twitter, our website and Facebook Live videos.

This year, we mixed things up with Orioles’ All-Star center fielder Adam Jones. Putting an iPad with a live video stream on it in his hands, he answered fans’ questions in selfie mode and talked directly to the viewers.

It was so great to see players and fans have a conversation on such a personal, intimate level. But, that’s without me … I’m definitely camera-shy!

4. Hosting the fan who played catch with Max Scherzer

It all started with a simple tweet. Joe La Rocca took a video of his son, also named Joe, in the stands of Citi Field playing catch with Nationals ace Max Scherzer.

 

And it blew up! Once we shared the tweet, it went viral, and many other news outlets began to reach out to the father and son, who couldn’t be nicer people.

About a month after we originally shared his video, we hosted the father/son duo at the ballpark. They got to watch BP, meet Scherzer and even meet Mets hero Ray Knight!

The younger Joe got a TON of media attention and did interviews with news outlets on the field.

The power of social media is just so awesome, and I was so lucky to host the nicest family.

 

3. Orioles clinch

The Orioles have had such great success over the last few years, making the playoffs three times since 2012. This season, it all came down to the final game of the season. “Win and they’re in!”

In Game 162, the Orioles took down the Yankees, guaranteeing their spot in the playoffs.

While the clubhouse celebration was a little milder than others I’ve seen, as the team was still watching the result of other games with playoff implications on TV, there were still plenty of bottles popped and victory cigars puffed on.

PLAYOFF-BOUND. #IBackTheBirds 🍾⚾️

A photo posted by OLIVIA witherite (@oliviawitherite) on

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Jonathan Schoop Orioles clinch

Orioles clinch champagne

2. Nats clinch

Now this was a full-out celebration! After the Nats took down the Pirates at the beautiful PNC Park on Sept. 24, we (media) waited outside the visitors clubhouse. The Mets were still playing, and the Nats needed them to lose in order to pop bottles.

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After what seemed like forever, with us watching every single pitch on our phones, we heard the clubhouse erupt. The Mets had lost, and the party had begun!

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I took this photo!

NL EAST CHAMPS!!!! 👑 🍾 #InDustyWeTrust

A photo posted by Gio Gonzalez (@giogonzalez47) on

 

1. Adam Jones Fan Challenge

This was the event I worked the hardest on all season! Months of planning boiled down to one afternoon: the Adam Jones Fan Challenge.

@masnOrioles fans submitted their best food recipes, and Jones hand-selected a winner to go head-to-head with him in a French fry battle for the ages!

I was so proud that so many local media members and bloggers that came out for the event! Jones even said it was so crowded that it looked like “we signed a player.”

In addition to Jones and his great competition, The Local Fry, we also had three celebrity judges! Local chefs Bryce Taylor and Chad Gauss joined Orioles All-Star Zach Britton to judge the Fry-down.

You can check out my full recap of the event here or in the video below.

Honorable mention

Meeting Katie Ledecky! After watching her dominate this summer, I had the opportunity to meet her at Nats Park this summer. I was shaking and so nervous, as evident through the worst photo of me ever.

And that’s it! Another season has come and gone. I’m so grateful for all of the opportunities my work has given me this year. While there’s no more baseball for a while, we’re never completely in offseason mode. Follow along with MASN Orioles and MASN Nationals all offseason for the latest trade rumors, contests and more!

Olivia Witherite is currently serving as the Social Media Director at MASN. You can learn more about her career on LinkedIn and more about her personal life on Twitter.

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