I realize a lot of the writing I post on here is insight on sports and my opinion on things I cannot change. Right now I’d like to stray away from that and use this blank canvas to talk about myself and how different a person I am now, than I was on January 30th, 2013. I’ll apologize for the candidness and honesty in advance. This post will also be about the MLB Fan Cave, as if that wasn’t obvious. While I see a number of the other Top 30 contestants who did not get selected provide their concession speeches in various ways, I’ll trust in my writing to really express everything.
I think its fair to say there are very few moments in life that will impact a person so heavily, it’ll seem like the clouds are parting just for you. My entire life has been an absolute roller coaster. There have been a lot of ups, and there have been some seriously demoralizing downs. But amidst it all I’ve always had this knack for keeping my bubbly personality in check, and doing my best to just have fun. I always figured this character of mine would just make me a good friend, and periodically a pleasure to be around. Never did I think it could so inadvertently, be a resource for employment. Last year, when I stumbled upon the Fan Cave website… it was like PB&J man, absolute harmony. I followed the contestants and found I was loving the program because the people living out this dream were all the same person. And that person is me.
My love for the game of baseball is an anomaly that I can’t explain. Sometimes I feel like I’ve got it figured out, but soon after I’ll still surprise myself. Its no secret I love any and all sports, but for whatever reason baseball has always been the center of my world. It’s such a lovable game and the history behind its evolution is incomparable. Pair all of that with being a fan of what seems like the most overlooked franchise in baseball. A team with very little success in 20 years, and I think you’ve got the true definition of an all weather fan. Over the years I’ve been complimented as well as chastised for my love of the game. An old girlfriend once asked why I could be so into a game that lacks excitement and is played just the same every damn day. I think the saying goes, “When you know, you know.” Thankfully I didn’t share the same sentiment with her.
When the day rolled around this winter for me to put my hat in the Fan Cave ring, I have to be honest, I almost didn’t apply. I saw such talented people go through this process in the past, and my notable lack of confidence kept me thinking, “What do I have to offer that they haven’t already seen 20,000 times.” I saw the Fan Cave as the ultimate experience, the very top. So my immediate notion was, no way. I’m not the kind of person who is awarded these kinds of things, so lets move on. Luckily I have a wonderful support system with my friends and family and this experience didn’t pass me by.
Last week when the call came through that I wasn’t selected, it was tough. I mean REALLY tough. I was in the middle of a live show at the radio station and when I returned from answering the phone, the task of keeping our content alive was simply impossible. There’s phases to it also, at first you don’t believe it, but a few days after when it sinks in… you can’t sleep. It’s a rough experience, especially after all I’ve been through and worked so hard to accomplish. In the aftermath its been hard trying to justify how broken up me and 20 other people are over this. Especially in my surroundings, the Fan Cave just seems like another sweepstakes to most people.
It’s hard to realize it right now, but in time I know I’ll have nothing but a good outlook when I think about all I’ve been through. It’s been said a million times, but I met 29 of the most amazing people a baseball fan could ask for. I’ve kept in touch with most of them after Arizona and its been a treat. The past month or so is such a unique experience that when you share it with others, its a real opportunity to create strong friendships. Will I apply again? I’m not sure, but I’m leaning towards probably not. The thought of this feeling a second time through is daunting. However its not impossible (i.e. Travis) to return from a loss and pick up a win. So we’ll just have to see where I am in life and where I am mentally, come next Fall.
Right now I’ll have to move on and look into what doors are still open for me, even though the ones on 4th and Broadway have closed. One positive I’ve taken away from this is the realization that I HAVE to work in Baseball. My employment history has always danced around it, and I’ve always kept my eye out for an opportunity. Where I stand now though, it’s a must. Cave or no Cave, I can’t see myself more motivated to excel than I can making a living with this game.
As for 9 other people, their journey is just beginning. It may seem prototypical for me to say the winners are amazing individuals who will truly bring MLB to another level, but its the absolute truth. I’m not trying to be political here, there is so much talent packing their bags right now, its insane.
Nick, a great guy with a good head on his shoulders, and I’m positive he’ll act as the in-house content writer. Very funny. If you still believe the myth that all Sox fans are pricks and obnoxious, just say hi to Nick.
Danny, you’ve got the ability to make anything entertaining. Whether it be making s’mores in a microwave or messing with people on a dating app, you’re almost too clever for your own good.
Aaron, outgoing and enthusiastic are two perfect adjectives for you, but somehow they don’t quite say it. You’re willingness to participate and keep a group active is bar none.
Alex, I have to say I was surprised meeting you. You come from a fan base notorious for being out control at Ohio State (refuse to write THE, not happening) and you’re affection for Paramore suggests you’re a raging rock star. Which you absolutely are, but at the same time, such a sweetheart. Following baseball with a love for your team and city, regardless of the championship drought. That’s a sports fan folks.
Mina, from what I hear your elevator pitch put you over the top. Sometimes creativity cannot be measured, and in this case I believe you’ve got an endless amount to offer the Cave and its growth.
April, I admire you. You have the weight of a nation on your shoulders right now and you could not be more confident. Not to mention I thought I was well versed in baseball knowledge, not even close after chatting with you.
Marcus you’ve got the best banter to offer the Cave. I appreciate your opinionated outlook on the game and I had no idea you actually walked out on a Prom date to catch a few innings. Thats fantastic, well done.
Ben, I regret not getting you know you as well as others while in AZ, but I can tell you have a sarcastic sense of humor that I can get right on-board with. And coming from UCB, I hope to see some really witty stuff this summer.
Travis…. bro. I don’t know if I’ve ever been more happy for someone. In the very short time I’ve known you, I can clearly see your passion for this experience. Right now I sit discouraged to take another crack at this whole thing, but seeing you on that website I can honestly say is encouraging. I’m not sure we’ll ever see another Dweller more invested in helping the Fan Cave grow. Ever.
I really do admire all of you and wish you guys the best of luck this summer. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t overflowing with jealousy but thats just how it goes.
I have to say thank you to everyone who has shown their love and support throughout this whole process. It was humbling to see the people that mean so much to me, and even some friends I haven’t spoken with in a while, all stand behind me with their encouragement.
As for now, I need to focus on the impossible task of getting back to real life. It won’t be easy and I don’t expect it to, but the opportunities I have in front of me are a nice distraction. Opening Day is right around the corner, and I could not be more excited for it. Baseball is baseball people. On the day I was called, my sister came to see me not yet knowing I had been rejected. She wanted to give me a baseball she had signed by Todd Helton. I can’t even describe to you the irony of the situation and how unbelievably emotional I was to realize there is so much more to my fandom than a summer in New York. At that point in time, I was under the impression my baseball dreams were dead. But in a simple gesture of kindness I was reminded that baseball will go on and I could never give up on it. I’m walking away with a new appreciation and respect for the game and for myself. I’ve got a lot to look forward to and you had better believe I’ll be wearing my jersey to work on April 1st as the players take the field to open the season.
Thanks for listening and Go Rockies.