MLB reveals top 52 Fan Cave hopefuls
Group will be trimmed to 30 for Spring Training competition in Arizona
NEW YORK -- One fan won the reality show "Big Brother" last year and was an Arizona State outfielder. One is lead singer for a baseball-themed punk rock band, and another got Mickey Mouse to co-star in her submission video.
One manages a Wisconsin mattress store and called himself "Super Fan Pete," one hit a home run in Little League, one is at the base of a ski slope in his native Vail, Colo., and one is a Toronto PR consultant who says the Blue Jays' offseason acquisitions make the timing right to select her.
Then there's the Pirates fan who "can sit perfectly still for days" to watch all 2,430 regular-season games, plus any jewel events that might be required work again.
Major League Baseball on Thursday revealed the top 52 fans vying to be Cave Dwellers in the 2013 MLB Fan Cave, and you can view all 52 video submissions and vote for your favorite candidate on MLBFanCave.com between now and 5 p.m. ET on Feb. 13.
The 52 men and women include at least one representative from each of the 30 MLB clubs.
This year's list is comprised of a wide range of background and occupations, including recent college grads, journalists, bloggers, comedians, musicians, rappers, a chef and a piano teacher. A handful of them were finalists last year when the MLB Fan Cave went to this survival-style format, which was won last October when Giants fan Ashley Chavez was presented with her trophy by Giants legend Will Clark at Game 4 of the World Series in Detroit.
The MLB Fan Cave will return for a third season to its same location, currently being redesigned, at Fourth Street and Broadway in Greenwich Village, where it mixes baseball with music, popular culture, media, interactive technology and art.
Out of the 52 candidates revealed from thousands of entries, MLB in two weeks will select 30 finalists based on fan voting, quality of the original submissions and the ability of the contestants to generate buzz and interest in their campaigns. That top 30 will all earn a trip to Spring Training in Arizona later in the month, where they will compete in a variety of challenges to determine the final group of contestants, as was done last year.
Those winners will begin the season in the MLB Fan Cave with the goal of watching every game while chronicling their experiences online through videos, blogs and social media. Along the way, they will be eliminated based on the quality of their contributions, with one eventual winner crowned before the end of the World Series.
"This is a strong crew," Chavez said after the announcement. "While watching these videos, I must say I'm so happy it's not my job to pick the top 30. Everyone would do a great job. I can't wait to see who's going to get crazy celeb endorsements and the most ballplayer RT's and take campaigning to the next level."
The Fan Cave is part of a massive overall presence by Major League Baseball throughout social media. On Facebook, there are a combined 35,290,462 likes on the MLB and club accounts, with 4,387,534 alone on MLB. On Twitter, there are a combined 8,296,881 followers of the @MLB and official club accounts, and 2,657,989 for @MLB alone. On Instagram, there are a combined 743,893 followers on the @MLBOfficial and club pages, with 119,295 on MLB alone. The Fan Cave's Facebook page and its @MLBFanCave pages on Twitter and Instagram have more than 1.2 million combined followers.
More than 400 celebrity visitors, including nearly 200 current MLB players, as well as musicians, actors, former players and others have visited the MLB Fan Cave since its launch in 2011, participating in more than 500 online videos for fans to share via social media.
Some of the biggest stars in baseball have visited the Fan Cave, including Jose Bautista, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, R.A. Dickey, Bryce Harper, Ryan Howard, Derek Jeter, Adam Jones, Matt Kemp, Andrew McCutchen, David Ortiz, David Price, CC Sabathia, Chase Utley, Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and David Wright. Celeb guests have included Kevin James, Kate Upton, Jesse Eisenberg, Nick Offerman, Craig Robinson, Charlie Sheen and Eric Stonestreet.
Concert acts have included such top artists as Adam Lambert, Daughtry, Nas, Jason Aldean, The Fray, OneRepublic, Far East Movement, The Avett Brothers, Ziggy Marley, LMFAO and Neon Trees.