Cave, sweet cave: Fan wins special spot

Cave, sweet cave: Fan wins special spot

CHICAGO -- As a lonely White Sox fan growing up on the North Side of Chicago, Dave Roseman's favorite baseball player was Frank Thomas.

Two other former Major Leaguers might top his list now: Harold Reynolds and Mitch Williams. The studio analysts for MLB Network teamed up with Jason Cameron and Tony Siragusa, the co-hosts of DIY Network's "Man Caves," to tape an episode in which they built a White Sox-themed man cave for Roseman.

The show will air on Tuesday at 8 p.m. CT on DIY Network and Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. CT on MLB Network.

Roseman and his wife, Becca, who have been married for four years, won the "Who Wants a Man Cave?" contest. To do so they submitted a video in which Dave talked about the couple's baseball feud -- he loves the White Sox, and Becca has been a Cubs fan all her life. Now the residents of Evanston, Ill., have a baby on the way.

"I want my child to be a Cubs fan, and he really wants his child to be a Sox fan," Becca said. "So I think that will be the biggest conflict. We can kind of agree to disagree for ourselves, but it will hard when there's a kid around."

But now Dave has what Siragusa calls "his own little space." Over two days in early September, Siragusa and Cameron, a licensed contractor, worked with Reynolds, Williams and a construction crew to transform the Rosemans' garage. It's now a cozy, tricked-out hideaway for Dave and his friends and family.

"'Man Caves' came up with a concept of guys needing space in the house," said Siragusa, a former NFL player who aims to alleviate the suffering of married men stuck in houses filled with decorative pillows and scented candles. "We go over to their house, survey the area and see if they're in dire need. Then we go in there and see the space their wife is willing to give up and transform it into a place for him and his buddies to hang out and just be guys."

At the end of the second day, the crew revealed the fruits of its labor to the Rosemans.

Dave already had enjoyed an exciting couple of days. The night before, the show had arranged for him to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before a game at U.S. Cellular Field. He was thrilled, even though his toss to White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle bounced.

"It's lonely out there," Dave said afterward from the luxury box the show provided for him and Becca. "As you're walking out, you look up and see yourself on the scoreboard. You turn around, and you try not to focus on that. I'm just glad Buehrle got it. I told him beforehand, 'Whatever happens, just don't let it get by you.' "

Less than 24 hours later, the Rosemans walked into their backyard and couldn't believe what they were seeing.

"My initial reaction was the patio and the pergola were enough," Dave said. "That was awesome. Then they opened the doors, and to be honest with you, I'm still not really sure what I'm looking at, because what these guys thought of was well beyond what I could even imagine. I don't have words for it."

He stood in the corner of a structure that was once his garage but is now a White Sox shrine combined with a plush den. It is still a functioning garage, as the crew installed a pool table that can be lowered into the floor to make room for a car.

The table is joined by a large flat-screen TV, a bank of stadium lights and a variety of White Sox memorabilia, among other treats.

"This was awesome," Reynolds said. "You think about the creativity and what people can do. This room, it takes creativity to another level."

Reynolds helped as best as he could during the construction, although he didn't exhibit quite the same dexterity he once showed at second base, where he won three Gold Glove Awards. He admitted he is "not the builder" in his household.

Williams, on the other hand, said he had been around power tools before, and it showed. He also had prior experience dealing with Chicago baseball, having played two seasons with the Cubs before moving on to the Phillies.

"I think these fans in Chicago are tremendous, more so than anywhere else," Williams said. "I think they're very loyal. I love Philadelphia fans, but Chicago fans, it's just a different kind of atmosphere here. They're loyal though and through. ... Even marriage can't get you to switch teams."

Andrew Simon is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.