The club's front office spent three months advertising its own field of dreams.
Andrew Nelson has never realized how difficult it is to write 217 themed tweets, for 96 consecutive days, or how difficult it is to start a sentence with words like steamroller "or" fathom "- linking them to Reading Fightin Phils offseason updates.
Nelson, minor league league client / clubhouse operations manager, thought it would be interesting to give impetus to the Fightins home appointment by bringing together fans with a series of tweets that started with a word from the iconic Field by Terence Mann Dreams "soliloquio, spoken eloquently by James Earl Jones.
You probably know the speech by heart:
"They will watch the game and it will be like diving into magical waters," Mann told Kevin Costner's character of Ray Kinsella. "People will come, Ray."
The message on Twitter in disguise began on January 3 with an announcement on the employment of a former trainee, Robert Sanchez: "Come. Back. Berto".
The word "come" is the last of Mann's speech: "People will surely come."
It ended over three months later, Monday, with a tweet promoting a tribute from Aaron Nola for the opening of Friday's race: "They'll be home in 4 days!"
The word "them" will open Mann's speech: "They will come to Iowa for reasons they can't even understand".
In the days and weeks in between there were hidden clues and parts of the other memorable lines of Mann from the 1989 film, such as: "They will watch the game and the memories will be so thick that they will have to wipe them off their faces".
"America has passed as an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and canceled again. But baseball has marked the time."
"The Steamrollers were difficult," Nelson admitted.
Every day he met with staff members Matt Hoffmaster, Tonya Petrunak, Kirsten Karbach and others to plan and coordinate the next steps in the online word chain.
Some of the words have been altered to locate the story. Iowa, for example, has been changed to "Baseballtown". And the $ 20 dollars Mann proposed to charge went to $ 5.
The Fightins team worked from an ordered list compiled on Trello (a Web-based directory creation app) to make sure they didn't duplicate words or use them.
"We were more or less on the same page," said Karbach, the director of the public relations / media club.
Nelson stated that it was sometimes stressful to make sure the word chain remained on schedule and could be completed before the opening, while maintaining the main function of the club's Twitter account, which is to update the fans with the upcoming promotions and team activities.
"Sometimes we would have eight or nine (tweets) in one day," Nelson said. "In a slow weekend, we wouldn't have it. It was nice to be able to take three months and do it properly."
On Monday morning Fightins' Twitter account revealed the secret with a tweet that said: "People will come, Ray …" And then the instructions to read the first word of each previous tweet (starting with the most recent) .
Nelson called the social media reaction "incredible".
"It's really nice to see everyone appreciate your work and say how incredibly beautiful it is," he said.
People will come, Ray …
*** GO READ THE FIRST WORD OF OUR TWEETS *** pic.twitter.com/Phair0KvHq
– Reading Fightins (@ReadingFightins) 8 April 2019