Reporting Tracy Perlman
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Pop quiz, Twins Blog readers! How many games are there in a full Major League Baseball season?
Answer: 2,430. With each baseball game lasting approximately three hours, that’s 7,290 hours of America’s past time!!
Who’s got that much time? Nine very enthusiastic, baseball-loving souls known as Cave Dwellers.
For the last three seasons, Major League Baseball has pimped out a loft in New York’s Greenwich Village and allowed nine super fans to hang out there during the season. It’s called the MLB Fan Cave. It’s not all fun and baseball games — it’s a completely interactive sporting experience. The Cave Dwellers are used throughout the season to talk baseball and promote baseball.
“It takes a lot of 21st century technology know-how,” explained Michael McGivern. “You use tools like blogging, social media and video content to showcase the game.”
McGivern is one of 52 finalists competing for a spot in the MLB Fan Cave. The 25-year-old grew up in a baseball-loving family in St. Paul. He has a background in marketing/public relations and worked a few years in radio.
“At the end of the day in the spring through fall, I get home, turn on the MLB Extra Innings package and catch the East coast games until the West coast games,” he told me in a recent interview.
That sort of dedication to the game will come in handy if he gets selected for the Fan Cave experience. The goal, McGivern explained, is the winner will have watched all 2,430 games in the season, “A lot of days you get in at 11 a.m. and you can’t leave until midnight or 1. If there’s a rain delay in Seattle, that’s too bad, you’re going to have to stick it out.”
Seems easy enough to watch baseball all day – especially if you enjoy the game. But staying in the house takes some work and strategy. Each Cave Dweller needs to promote themselves and the game through social media and impress the folks at MLB. Every few weeks, someone is sent home.
“It’s a grueling competition, it’s a lot of hard work. But a lot of fun work,” McGivern explained it’s a great opportunity to promote the game to a younger generation of baseball fans.
“You have to be as creative and outside the box as you can to help promote the players and teams. There is always a cut throat attitude about it. Personally, I’m already trying to brainstorm what I would do.”
Each of the Cave Dwellers have a different background that gives them an edge in each competition. Throughout the season current and former players stop in, as well as celebrities and musicians to participate in the competitions. For instance, they may asked to create a social media campaign to get a player voted into the All Star Game and another time, they may need to create a commercial using a country band.
McGivern is the only one in the competition right now that’s representing the Twins. Last season, the Twins were fortunate enough to have Lindsey Guentzel representing them in the Cave. McGivern credits her and the Twins for his success in the competition off the bat.
“If you look at some of the other candidates’ entry videos, they’re in their neighborhoods or sitting in front of their computers explaining why they want to participate. The Twins let me shoot the audition tape at Target Field. We got a real exclusive tour of Target Field that they don’t even give to people who pay to get a tour,” he said. “I got really lucky the Twins are giving me the opportunity to be a representative of the team.”
Now that McGivern has impressed the MLB, he’ll need to impress you, the public. The entry videos for the final 52 contestants are posted here. You can vote for your favorites are many times as you’d like and share them on social media. 30 will be invited to Spring Training for the final audition to be in the 2013 MLB Fan Cave. You have until February 13th to vote.
In normal reports, it’s important for me as a journalist to stay unbiased. However, this is fan-based sports blog, so I think it’s OK to throw objectivity out the window and say you should vote for McGivern. Having a representative from the Twins in the Fan Cave would show how strong the team and Twins Territory is. And it’s a really cool opportunity to support a fan of the game we all love too.