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The Cleveland Indians had a solid 2019 campaign but narrowly missed the playoffs for the first time since 2015. What we’re now learning is their Twitter game is tops in MLB as the club revealed how it hid actor Nicolas Cage a whopping 39 times on its Twitter lineup cards throughout the season, and no one noticed.  

‘National Treasure’ was a box office success 

In 2004, Walt Disney Pictures released National Treasure, an adventure film starring Nicolas Cage. In the movie, Cage plays the role of treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates who is seeking a lost treasure of precious metals, jewelry, artwork, and other artifacts. 

The movie describes how the Founding Fathers “left clues to the Treasure’s location right before our eyes—from our nation’s birthplace, to the nation’s capitol, to clues buried within the symbols on the dollar bill.”

The movie turned out to be a big success at the box office grossing $347 million worldwide. Based on the financial success of the first movie, National Treasure 2 was released in 2007. 

Cleveland Indians hide 39 images of Nicolas Cage in their Twitter lineup cards

Since its inception, sports teams across the nation have used Twitter in a variety of ways to connect with fans. One of the main ways organizations have used the social media platfrom is to deliver information about the club, including player transactions and real-time scores to fans and the media. 

In 2019, the Cleveland Indians decided to get creative with Twitter. Taking the main tagline from the National Treasure movie, the Indians decided to “leave clues…right before our eyes.” Those clues were images of the movie’s star, Cage, and they were creatively incorporated 39 times on the Indians’ Twitter pre-game lineups.

Apparently, not a single fan or anyone else for that matter, ever noticed, as the Indians announced the details of the covert operation on Twitter this week. 

“We snuck it by you! You didn’t even notice! It’s our greatest treasure. Go on a scavenger hunt if you please. We will send master hunters a letter of congratulations.”

Baseball fans answer the challenge 

When the Indians made the announcement and challenge to find the missing Nicolas Cages, fans responded. And the responses weren’t limited to just Indians supporters.

“Oh man, ok. I got the time. Not even a tribe fan either, but just missing baseball,” one Twitter follower wrote, which summed up the sentiment for a lot of baseball fans longing for a return of America’s past time. 

While the Cleveland Indians said no one was on to them last year, that wasn’t completely accurate. One fan picked up on one of the Indians’ clues during the 2019 season and suggested Nicolas Cage was in the image, but was met with silence from the Indians’ Twitter account. A year later, the Indians acknowledged the fan. 

“When we posted this lineup on April 7th,  wdwkelly actually caught us red-handed. In an attempt to bury it, we *almost* blocked her (we could never). Shoot us a DM, Kelly. We’ve got something small for you!”

Numerous Twitter followers took the time to find Cage hidden throughout all 39 lineup cards and share the results of their scavenger hunts. In this time when sports fans are starved for live action, if other teams were smart, they would follow suit by creating other scavenger hunt-like contests and at the very least generate some interest in their teams when there’s not much else to talk about.


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