NEW YORK -- Callie Quinn's best friend had a prom date, but she did not.Quinn was discussing this with her friends recently when the group came up with the idea of direct messaging the Mets on Twitter, asking if they might be able to help. A diehard fan and a
NEW YORK -- Callie Quinn's best friend had a prom date, but she did not.
Quinn was discussing this with her friends recently when the group came up with the idea of direct messaging the Mets on Twitter, asking if they might be able to help. A diehard fan and a senior at New Dorp High School on Staten Island, Quinn had reached out to the Mets on Twitter before, typically just to offer congratulations on a win. She never heard back. She never expected to.
But this time, the Mets responded.
"I never thought that they would answer and I never thought that I would be where I am right now," Quinn said.
• Cut 4: Mets fan needs 500K retweets to take prom photos at Citi Field
Far from ignored, Quinn has become a social media darling, the author of one of the most popular tweets in history. Not only did the Mets respond, they offered Quinn a challenge: garner half a million retweets and they would allow her to take prom pictures with players before a game at Citi Field. On Saturday, she officially hit the mark, and the team plans to make good on its promise.
"I just kind of went for it," Quinn said. "Ten seconds after they sent it, I was like, 'Challenge accepted.'"
Unbeknownst to Quinn, the Mets began discussing the idea of offering a fan a tweet challenge months ago -- if someone asking Wendy's for free chicken nuggets could go viral, the thought process went, why can't a Mets supporter? Fans frequently message the club's official Twitter account asking for tickets or autographs in exchange for retweets, but none of those requests struck the Mets as worthy until Quinn's.
"We thought this was a cool scenario because people could get behind it," said Will Carafello, the team's senior director of social media. "We've all been to a high school dance. So it was one of those things where it's like, you kind of have a little bit more of a general public appeal. She was the right person. This was the right scenario. It just had such a good mass appeal. You didn't have to be a Mets fan to get behind it."
Indeed, among those who supported Quinn were William Shatner, Donnie Wahlberg and thousands of others -- celebrities and otherwise -- with no direct affiliation to the Mets or Major League Baseball. Carafello said that was completely organic; the team did not reach out even to Noah Syndergaard, Michael Conforto or the handful of other Mets players who retweeted.
Syndergaard and Conforto happen to be Quinn's favorite players so when the former retweeted her, Quinn ran upstairs to tell her father. Because Quinn has no classes this week, she has had plenty of time to monitor her Twitter feed -- she's gained thousands of followers -- and conduct more than a dozen interviews. She has shed more tears of excitement than she can count.
"Honestly, we hoped for it to do this, but I couldn't say that we thought it was going to turn into the situation it has," Carafello said. "It's been unbelievable. She's just been such a sweet, good kid. It's fun. And I'm glad that it's worked out for someone who's a good person."
In her own words, Quinn is just "a random 17-year-old kid from Staten Island … on a list with Obama and One Direction" -- authors of some of the other most popular tweets in the service's history.
But she was never out for fame; Quinn simply wanted a date. Funny, that. The multitude of suitors who have since come forward asking her to prom have had no success.
"I'm like, 'You're a little late,'" Quinn said, laughing. "'Sorry, guys.'"
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.