The MLB Fan Cave process is a one-of-a-kind experience. Nowhere else can you talk baseball, utilize social media and become close friends with your competitors. It’s a unique adventure that I am thankful to say I’ve had the opportunity to go through twice.
It was really tough to get through Arizona without being able to blog. I quickly realized what an issue it was to have no internet in the room and a computer with about an hour’s battery life. With that said, it’s time to recap the last few incredible days. Bear with me; there’s a lot to cover and I’m not shortening anything. I’ll post a highlight blog later with actual sarcasm and reviews if you’d like to wait for that one. Thanks for the page view, regardless!
Monday: So it begins.
Monday began with a trip to SFO in a town car and a Giants/Dodgers airport video with fellow finalist Jeremy Dorn. I love creating video content like this and we had a great time being able to taunt the other one with an actual productive reason. It was uploaded later that night and received quite a few positive reviews from other fans.
Once we arrived in Phoenix we met up with several other finalists and took one big party shuttle to our hotel. It was that ride that made me realize just how much I was going to love this group. We made it to the Embassy Suites in Phoenix, threw our suitcases in our incredible suites and met back up for our first trip to Jerry’s Diner. A few of us stayed there long enough to get through two dinners with two groups of finalists, and even got locked in at one point because our “Dave for Cave” chant was too loud.
Totally worth it.
Tuesday: Pitches, Trivia and Karaoke, oh my.
The first day of actual Fan Cave activities was both nerve-wracking and exciting. It was fun to once again see the people that actually put on this experience. We received our itineraries, Fan Cave swag and credentials then hung out by the pool and entertained ourselves with catch and video recordings until we had to leave the hotel.
We boarded our super sweet MLB Fan Cave bus and headed off to Chase Field. I was inspired by each of Tim Brosnan and JB’s speeches and loved the fact that they were blunt in the fact that this was a job and we’d be working hard. It just made me want this so much more. Still, we had several obstacles to pass, including an elevator pitch, interview, and Les Miserables parody. It’s hard to tell how everything went – the executives have pretty good poker faces at times – but I do know that I don’t see an acting career any time in my future.
We finished the day with meeting Eric Byrnes and his adorable dog, some Fan Cave trivia and karaoke! My team Gong-Em Style – my idea, hate it or love it I don’t care because I think it’s clever – won first place and a spot on the local news. I got to answer one question about Matt Cain throwing 14 strikeouts in his Perfect Game and my night was made. We took the crown after winning the tie breaking question: what teams did Byrnsie play on during his career?
Once trivia came to a close, karaoke began. I went up there with Travis, Kelsey, Mapes and Jeremy to kick things off with some N*Sync “It’s Gonna Be Me” (see what we did there?) and then the whole Top 30 brought down the house with their renditions of Summer Nights, Mr. Brightside, Swing Batter Swing and more. After ending the night at Chase by jumping around to “Jump Around,” we headed back to the hotel and congregated around the hot tub until we had to leave.
Wednesday: TV and commercials and bowling and friends.
Day 3 of Arizona! I woke up bright and early at 7:15am and was thankful I hadn’t slept through any of my alarms. I met up with some Fan Cave friends at our complimentary breakfast and then the winning trivia team left for Salt River Fields. The reporter that was covering our story was the same one that interviewed my 2nd place trivia group last year and remembered me! It was so awesome to feel a little memorable. We did our segment in the gift shop since it was pouring outside, then drove back to the hotel to meet up with the rest of the group.
An hour later I hopped on the bus and headed right back to Salt River Fields for more Fan Cave fun. We filmed a couple commercials for MLB.com/tickets before having to head back to the hotel. Apparently the Diamondbacks were on an epic paintballing trip so we weren’t able to meet any of the players, but made the most of what we could do!
On the way back to the hotel we were able to watch a hailstorm outside for a little while. The road was white and I was really glad I wasn’t out there, even though there were some people walking across the street. I salute those people for acting way tougher than I’d like to be. We got back to the hotel and finished filming a parody of this commercial. EvoShield saved my marriage. Just saying.
Once that was done and everyone had a chance to get ready for the night, we took one final bus trip from the hotel to Lucky Strike. It was fun to simply hang out with finalists and employees. While my bowling skills were off, I did get one strike, a Josh Willingham Topps card from Mapes and two Giants Topps from Martin, the Rangers fan who wouldn’t keep any Giants or Cardinals players. His loss, my gain
We weren’t ready to say goodbye so a bunch of us stayed up until the wee hours of the morning, chatting, downloading some interesting apps and just bonding for as long as we all could. It was such an incredible honor to be part of this group and I hated to say goodbye.
Overall I was proud of what I did in Arizona. It was a bummer we didn’t have any blogging, writing, interviewing or photo challenges because those are all the areas I excel in, but hopefully I’ll be able to show my talent there during the season in New York. I have so many ideas and have never wanted anything so much in my life.
This wouldn’t have been possible without all the support I’ve received from family, friends and the community, so thank you so much. It was a wonderful experience to meet such passionate baseball fans from all over the nation and I’m thankful to call them my friends. Regardless of who is named cave dwellers, everyone deserves a spot and if I’m not in that final group, I’m crashing that couch soon.
Watch my recap video HERE!