Top 30 MLB Fan Cave Finalists Heading To Spring Training

Following two weeks of furious campaigning that resulted in more than a million votes on MLBFanCave.com, 30 finalists vying to be contestants in the 2012 MLB Fan Cave have earned a trip to Spring Training for the final step in their quest for their baseball dream job.  These 30 fans will travel to Arizona next week for a series of interactive challenges and interviews designed to determine the final group that will begin the 2012 season in the MLB Fan Cave in New York. 

The 30 finalists emerged from an original group of 50 candidates culled from more than 22,000 applicants.  The finalists earned the trip to Spring Training in large part by actively campaigning for votes and promoting their candidacy through social media, media interviews and other creative means, including viral videos featuring players and celebrities (and in one case, a rented DeLorean), celebrity endorsements via Twitter, and even a proclamantion from a local government official.  Overall, in just two weeks, the candidates combined to earn more than 300 endorsements from players and celebrities on camera and through Twitter (including Tony Gwynn, Torii Hunter, David Price, Stephen Strasburg as well as celebrities such as Jerry Ferrara, Michael Rapaport and Andrew Dice Clay) and participated in more than 150 interviews with national and local TV and radio, newspapers and online outlets.

The finalists are also vying to follow in the footsteps of 2011 MLB Fan Cave inhabitant Ryan Wagner, who earlier this week was selected by the Baltimore Orioles to be the new public address announcer at Oriole Park.  Along with Mike O’Hara, Wagner in 2011 watched more than 2,450 MLB regular season and Postseason games in the MLB Fan Cave and took part in many of the hundreds of video skits filmed with players and celebrities. 

“All 50 of the fans who emerged from the initial 22,000 applicants deserve incredible praise and a hearty thank you from all of us at Major League Baseball because they truly are among the most passionate and dedicated fans we’ve ever encountered,” said Tim Brosnan, Executive Vice President, Business, Major League Baseball.  “We had to make some extremely difficult decisions in order to determine the top 30, and while the Spring Training trip will be a lot of fun for all involved, in a way we’re really not looking forward to having to send any more of these entertaining baseball fans home.”

The 30 finalists include men and women from across the U.S. and Canada and represent a wide range of backgrounds and occupations, including recent college graduates, journalists, bloggers, actors, musicians, a self-described “unemployed comedian,” a made-up superhero and a professional wrestler. 

The ultimate group of winners will begin the season in the MLB Fan Cave with the goal of watching all 2,430 MLB games on a large wall of big screen Sony televisions while chronicling their experiences online through videos, blogs, and social media.  Along the way, they will compete with one another over the course of the season in a series of challenges, with fans online helping decide who gets to stay in the MLB Fan Cave and who gets eliminated with one eventual winner crowned before the end of the World Series.

In 2012, the MLB Fan Cave will return to the 15,000 square foot location at 4th Street and Broadway in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village that was formerly the home of Tower Records.  The MLB Fan Cave is currently being redesigned to feature new technology and interactive elements.  The MLB Fan Cave is a unique event space mixing baseball with music, popular culture, media, interactive technology and art.  Supported by MLB Advanced Media, it also serves as a content factory providing baseball fans with a constant flow of online video and conversation via social media.  The MLB Fan Cave has more than a quarter of a million combined followers on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/mlbfancave) and Twitter (@MLBFanCave). The MLB Fan Cave features products and services provided by nearly 50 companies, led by Pepsi, New Era, Majestic and Sony.