Give him a thumbs up!
Big hands and all, Mr. JUCO joins social media
Mr. JUCO is a man of few words, so having only 140 characters to get his message across is plenty.
It’s those big thumbs that give him problems when he’s trying to tweet.
Yes, Mr. JUCO has joined the social media world, one of three Twitter accounts officially linked to the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series.
“It may be overkill, but we saw an interest last year and people asked us about it,” said Jamie Hamilton, the chairman of the JUCO World Series.
The first Twitter account, @JUCOWorldSeries, was started last year to update fans around the country of the tournament, and especially the progress of the Lincoln Park Tower project.
Hamilton and a couple of committee members handle that account, everything from reminders about ticket sales to photos to game scores during the tournament.
Mr. JUCO turns 6 this year, and part of the social aspect of the tournament is the giant baseball glove entertaining the crowd.
Included in his year-long birthday celebration, Mr. JUCO danced “Gangnam Style” on a video promoting the tournament (you can see it at jucogj.org). And he got his own Twitter account.
“We want Mr. JUCO to be the fun and the younger aspect, more with the event, the social aspect of it,” Hamilton said.
Jeff McLaughlin, a new member of the JUCO committee, suggested the Mr. JUCO and the @JUCO_Updates Twitter accounts to cover more of the social aspect of the tournament.
McLaughlin keeps up with the national rankings and posts pictures of the stadium, enticing teams to try to reach their goal of coming to Grand Junction.
“We’ll have some fun interaction with fans,” McLaughlin said of the Updates and Mr. JUCO accounts. “We’ll have some interesting trivia about the tournament and the city of Grand Junction. We have a lot of followers from out of town, so we’re helping them out. It’s a way for us to meaningfully interact.
“If they’ve got questions, they can fire them off to us. We can run contests. It’s a really fun communication avenue with people who are interested in the JUCO World Series.”
During the tournament, he’ll be tweeting happenings at the park, with photos of fans and the sights of the ballpark.
“We’ll have an Instagram account linked to JUCO_Updates through the Mr. JUCO account,” McLaughlin said. “We’ll be able to incorporate trivia and information and fun facts with the visuals.
“As a born-and-bred Grand Junction kid, I think there’s some stunning visuals that come out of JUCO every year. I think that’s going to be a fun way to share, plus be able to have people who follow us share their images with us.”
Hamilton laughs that he’s still learning the do’s and don’ts of Twitter — one day he will understand how to send a direct message.
“I’m intrigued by it but I still don’t understand it enough,” he said. “Part of what we’re trying to set up, with @JUCOWorldSeries, with us controlling that, it’s what we say at (the tournament directors’) level. A rain delay means rain delay, the suspension of a player, the scores.
“The (@JUCO_)Updates is more fun, retweeting other stuff. We want to stay somewhat consistent.”
The tournament has also branched into Facebook (NJCAA JUCO World Series) to get information out about the tournament. Photos will be posted throughout the tournament, the bracket updated and information posted on the tourney timeline.
Hamilton hasn’t jumped on the Facebook bandwagon, and he’s not quite to the Twitterholic stage, but he’s hooked.
“No question,” he said. “To be able to get a sense of how Grayson is doing, how Cowley is doing. It’s neat; you can follow and unfollow. It is a little personal when you see you got unfollowed.
“In the last two weeks (in early April) we got 40 new followers, so people are thinking about us now.”
With the JUCO accounts and his own (@Mavco3), Hamilton follows a wide range of people.
“I follow (Neosho coach Steve) Murry; he makes you laugh. Santa Fe in Florida lets me see what those guys are doing. I read them so fast, but it’s instant knowledge. It’s addicting,” he said.
And he’s making connections with players who played in JUCO and are finding their way back to keeping up with the tourney.
Brian Cavazos-Galvez played for New Mexico Junior College, then at the University of New Mexico.
He’s now an outfielder in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, and recently started following JUCO on Twitter.
In the evening or weekends at home, Hamilton will catch himself thumbing through Twitter on his iPhone or iPad.
“Debbie (his wife) will ask, ‘What are you doing?’ ‘Nothing, really.’ Long and short of it, it helps me keep somewhat on top of who the teams are,” he said. “It’s neat when guys reach out like Brian Cavazos-Galvez, who had a good experience here.”