In a world where professional sport has become huge business and “personal brands” are something to be protected at all cost, Logan Morrison is a freedom fighter. Morrison beats on, boat against the current, allowing the rest of the world small glimpses into the life of a Major Leaguer who likes to make up the words to pop songs and will drop to the floor at a moment’s notice to offer a finger-pointing, tongue-in-cheek, sexy pose for the camera.
In exchange for breathing a dose of creativity into the mix of motivational quotes and location shout outs that a Twitter timeline has to offer, Morrison has often received criticism for not being focused on his sport. “My teammates know how hard I work,” he says. “The people who criticize me for Twitter are people who don’t get what it is. They’re scared of it. They’re like ‘You should go hit in the cage more.’ Really, dude? Because I don’t hit .330, I can’t have a personal life? Because I let people in to see a little bit of my life is like, that’s a bad thing? There’s no right or wrong. I’ve chosen to embrace it.”
And fans have chosen to embrace him. Morrison has become one of the most popular athletes on the Internet, thanks to videos he’s created by himself and with teammate Bryan Peterson. One video showed the two players getting Bieber Fever, as they don Justin Bieber t-shirts and sing along to one of his songs. Because Morrison has allowed his sense of humor to be an unprotected part of his identity, it has won him a new base of fans, some of whom will go to the park to see him play.
In many ways, Morrison is a throwback to the days when athletes allowed themselves to be themselves in a public way. By harnessing social media, Morrison has allowed fans to live vicariously in his world, 140 characters at a time. “I’ve made friends with a bunch of people I likely would have never met,” Morrison says. “But more importantly, not only would they not know me, I never would have been able to help raise a half-million dollars for the Lung Association.”
Morrison’s father was diagnosed with lung cancer while he was in the minor leagues. He passed away in 2010. This year, Morrison will be wearing uniform number 5 to honor his dad, who was a big George Brett fan. Since his father’s passing, Morrison has continued to hold fundraisers in his memory, including Camp for the Cure, a baseball camp for kids each January in Jupiter, FL. “I never would have made it to the Majors without my dad,” Morrison says. “One of the most special moments of my life was being able to call him and tell him that I got called up to the big leagues.”
But other than talking about his father in reverential tones and his dedication to becoming a better player, that’s about as serious as you’ll ever see Morrison. Life’s too short to take everything seriously, including photo shots. Which was why Morrison decided to break out the sword his friend bought him on a trip to Taiwan. “She said it was a piece of crap and that I would never use it.” As usual, Morrison proves his critics wrong.