2012 MLB Fan Cave Top 50 Applicants

I spent some time watching the Top 50 finalists for the MLBfancave.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with the Fan Cave, its a job based in New York City where the participants basically work for MLB to watch all 2,430 major league baseball games, tweet about the games, blog, and film segments for the MLB website while rubbing elbows with Major Leaguers.

Some of you may be familiar with Zack Hample, who runs a blog and also snagged the most balls on mygameballs last year.  I thought he would be a shoo in for the job, but was surprised to see that he didn’t even make the first cut for the final 50.

Fans can vote for their favorites and the winners will spend all spring and summer in New York City with a dream job.  I decided not to apply because I already have a job and wouldn’t have been able to make it work.

So let’s look at some of the top 50.  To watch their videos, go HERE.

I first watched the lone Pirates’ fan in the top 50, and man was I disappointed.  The video is poor quality, and the fan is monotone and his best reason for being in the fan cave is that Sid Bream broke his heart.  I’m sorry, but I was expecting a bit more.

I then watched Reds fan Emily Szink’s submission.  It was well edited, and definitely better than the Pirates fan’s one.  Overall, I’d rate it as very good.

My eye then caught Amie Matthews for several reasons.  One, her name is Amie, which is my fiancee’s name, (although she spells hers Amy).  Secondly, her last name is Matthews – if you know me, then you know that my favorite band is Dave Matthews Band.  Thirdly, her favorite team is the Cleveland Indians – which is my second favorite team, and a team for which I hold full season tickets.  And finally, she’s from Pittsburgh – my town!  Her video is ok, although she calls Edgar Renteria a bastard.  I didn’t laugh at all during her video though, which is what I think she was going for.  But, it can take a lot to get me to laugh sometimes.

Another candidate was Ricardo Marquez, a failed comedian from Anaheim.  I think that he did a great job with the editing of the video, and although not all of it was funny – it was definitely better to watch than some of these single angle video submissions.  I think this is the type of person that MLB is looking for, and may ultimately make it onto the set of the fancave.

There was quirky Taylor Hensley, who boasts her weirdness and shortness and discusses her love of the A’s.

Joshua Descoteaux seems like a nice guy, and actually stole Zack Hample’s original idea of wearing all 30 shirts.  Josh doesn’t seem to have the personality due to his soft spoken voice.  I think if Hample could’ve edited down his shirt video by speeding up the time that it took for him to remove shirts and getting that to a minute along with a monologue, would’ve nailed it.  Anyhow, sorry Joshua, but your video doesn’t grab me enough to get my vote

Angel Pena’s video was turned off by me after about 30 seconds.  First of all, it was over 4 minutes long, and second of all, it boasted about his job cutting hair for famous athletes.  You don’t need the fancave job dude.  Let a regular fan have it.  Why were you even selected?  I’m not even giving you a picture.

Moving on to James Loney, I mean Nick Hamilton from Los Angeles.  I didn’t make it through this whole video as he lost me after the first minute by rambling on about the Cy Young and Clayton Kershaw.

Then was Greg Ruisi, who is from Connecticut and is a Yankees fan.  Greg seemed a little nervous in his video, so I’m not sure how he’d do on the big stage when he has to interview someone like Derek Jeter.

The next video that I watched was Brian Pasnik’s.  He’s a Cubs fan, and his video features Field of Dream references as well as him chasing down and snagging a fly ball.  I also thought his bit with interviewing Cubs and the Cubs convention was pretty unique and made me smile.  Probably my favorite one so far.

I continued on and watched Christy McGaugh, a writer from Phoenix.  Her video featured movie spoofs, some which I got, some which I didn’t.  It was a good video, but not my favorite.

Brian Domingo’s video caught my attention in that it he had a guitar, so I watched to see what he’d do.  He sang a song about baseball – it was alright – definitely creative.  MLB is looking for creativity.

We have Michael Lazarus, a Stanford senior who is a journalist and college baseball player.  He seemed a bit monotone for me, and his video was just his face, so he lost me after about 50 seconds.

Mike Heidner’s video started out in front of Comerica Park, which grabbed my attention.  He had some comedy bits, including some content about Steve Bartman.  The video had good editing and some special effects, so I thought it was pretty good.

There was Andrew Rodriguez’s video, who seemed bursting with energy in his video, which I’m sure the executives at MLB loved.  I am starting to get bored with these single camera angles though, so I moved on after a minute.

Andy Bishop’s video began with a backdrop of the White House where Bishop asked for fans to vote for him.  It then cut away to him in San Diego, where he smacked a passer-by’s butt, which was awkward and unpredictable enough that it made me laugh.  The rest of the video was like a political ad, and was very well done.  Two thumbs up.

Up next was Angelo Fileccia, who like Mike Heidner, traveled to Comerica Park for his video.  His video relied upon MLB footage of top Tigers plays, and then a brief comedy bit.  Meh.

Trevin Jaggars has a pretty cool name, and hails from Baltimore.  However, when the video started, I was like what the —-?  Then I realized he was trying to rap.  At first I thought he suffered from voice immodulation.   Sorry Trevin, but I could only take about 40 seconds of that.

Kyle Thompson, a St Louis Cardinal fan also featured a rap song, which reminded my of an SNL digital short that you may have seen ‘Like a Boss.’  It was creative, but how many times can you listen to ‘In the fancave?’  Still, he was creative enough to have a well edited video and create that song.

Dave Barclay of Toronto submitted a video that looked like it was edited by a high schooler, but I think it was supposed to look like that.  It was supposed to be funny, but I didn’t get it.

I continued on to watch Jeremy Dorn’s fancave video.  He is an mlb featured columnist, and seemed to be pretty well spoken and knowledgeable.

These videos were really started to wear me out.  A lot of them were becoming redundant.  With several breaks here and there, I soldiered on through watching the videos.    Next up was Dan Sharp whose video was a mirror image.  I liked how he put down football.  Next.

Gordon Mack’s video showed up next – another Phillies fan.  The video seemed like a normal submission video before a rap beat started playing and Mack started rapping quickly.  Sorry.  I couldn’t follow that.  And I hate the Phillies.  NEXT!

Sam Sirico, a Yankees fan, is a film editor, so her video wasn’t as good as it probably should’ve been, which featured her sitting in a seat in front of her closet for much of it.  Still, she’ll get lots of votes from Yankees fans.

Ashley Chavez followed.  She is a Giants fan.  She talked a lot about her favorite baseball moment, which bored me and allowed me to save a minute by heading on to the next video.

Next up was Adam Pozgay, a Mariners fan.  He probably has the most listenable voice, as he definitely sounds like a broadcaster.

HALF WAY DONE.  God.  I think a lot of fans will just vote for whoever is representing their teams.  I can’t see anyone else sitting down and watching all of these.  I’m regretting it.

Soldiering on…

Max Nelson represents the Mets in his video which features several bloopers at the beginning for comedic effect.  Not bad.  The best park was probably when he fake flipped out when the delivery man came.

Ally Williams was another representative of the Giants.  An ex softball player, she majored in broadcast journalism.  She is qualified.  She interned for the 2010 Giants.  She also filmed her video inside of AT&T Park, a stadium I just have to visit soon…

Matthews James  was the next video up as I continued on.  An Angels fan, his video was pretty interesting.  Lots of different scenes, some comedy.  Probably top 10.  I laughed twice.  Once at the bit in the park, and once when he mockingly rejected a Coco Crisp for Roy Halladay fantasy baseball trade.

Kris Neild, sorry, but I only lasted about 30 seconds, these videos are wearing me out.  I need something more to grab my attention.

Sarah Lever from Toronto seemed too soft spoken to me.

Then there was a young Stan Kyles lookalike Shaun Kippins.  Again, after watching about 40 of these videos, his seemed very boring.  Next!

Eddie Mata had a really thick Bronx accent and a pretty cool baseball shirt.  He seemed really passionate about wanting to be on the fancave.  Like the other fan who repped the Yankees, he’ll probably get a lot of votes just for the logo next to his name.

Brian Boynton moonlights as ‘Ranger Man’ in his video.

Surprisingly there was only one Boston Red Sox entrant.  It was Melanie Pellowski.  She’s an on camera sports reporter and has worked with Ken Burns.  She works for Cox network.  In my opinion.  Overqualified.  Let a fan do the job.

Benjamin Christensen sports a pretty mean beard, and flaunts his baseball knowledge as well as personality.

Twins fan Lindsay Guentzel’s video left me clicking ahead to see if there was any interesting scenes, but with one camera angle, I continued on…

Jay Tuohey’s video was interesting because his video was filmed at the site of the old Tiger Stadium.  It was solid with lots of interesting clips.

Brad Jeffers video started out with a Star Wars’eque scrolling text.  NEXT!

Travis Miller’s video focused on his depression from not making it to the 2011 fan cave and showed him training for the 2012 fan cave by running up and down his stairs, racing a train, and playing Wii.

Joseph Meehan is involved in professional wrestling, but seemed a little soft spoken to me.  He said he is involved in story lines of wrestling.  I’m not sure if he’s a writer or an actual wrestler, but it seemed like the video was just thrown together a few hours before the deadline.

Megan Washington is a manager for professional wrestling.  She claims to be a really fun person and a huge baseball fan, but so does everyone else.  She goes through a few wardrobe changes in her video and ends with photo clips and old video clips from her experiences at Spring Training.

Kelsey Shea Weinrich has a baseball middle name, but I didn’t like the video, because I am biased and don’t like the Cardinals.

Richie Benes boasted a familiar last name – remember Andy Benes?  But I didn’t like the way he talked.  He seemed arrogant.  Maybe its a New York thing.  He states he was a professional baseball player, and he actually was.  He played two seasons in rookie league ball, and then bounced around unaffiliated independent league teams.  The amassed 724 plate appearances, never hit a home run, and had a .213 career average.  He has a rude comment for Tim Wakefield, telling him that he’s still crying about Aaron Boone’s home run.  Dude, don’t mess with Tim Wakefield, that automatically is going to make lots of people not like you.  Wakefield is the man, even if he plays for the Red Sox.

Steven Sievwright’s video featured a lot of dry humor at his own expense.  I liked it.  I thought it was funny.

Sam Springli.  Cardinals fan.  College grad.  Unemployed.  Been told he has an entertaining personality.

Rickie Mast’s video had a couple good moments such as, “I’m 30 years old and still collect baseball cards.”  and “John Sterling broadcasts from an electric chair.”

Kurt Peter’s video was tough to hear, but it brought good memories of walking around Miller Park with Amy last May.

Dan Dreger’s video takes us through his daily routine, including his duties at work and is littered with baseball references.  It’s pretty good.

Finally, the last video I watched was Nick Straatman, who appeared to have filmed his video in 1978 based on the video quality.  It was mediocre.

Watching all of these videos has really tired me out.  I feel like going and taking a nap.  At first I thought it wouldn’t be that easy, but to watch and summarize all of them?  Quite an undertaking.

Here’s the top 10, in my opinion.  If you don’t have an hour or two to sit down and watch all of these videos, just watch these:

1.  Andy Bishop
2.  Steve Sievwright
3.  Brian Pasnik
4.  Matthew James
5.  Max Nelson
6.  Dan Dreger
7.  Emily Szink
8.  Amie Matthews
9.  Ricardo Marquez
10.  Ricky Mast

And remember, if you apply in 2013, be creative, interesting, and have different clips to your videos.

How many of you applied to the fancave?  What do you think of these videos?  Which one do you think is the best?  What about the worst?  Funniest?  Leave a comment!

There’s only 57 more days until Opening Day, 10 days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training, and 5 days to win this Brandon Phillips jersey Tshirt.


  1. Harrison Tishler

    I was hoping to see Hample. Oh well. I will probably go to the cave when I am in NYC.

  2. Mateo Fischer

    That is truly awesome that you took the time to write up these brief summaries of the videos. I wasn’t going to vote before this, but now that I don’t have to go through all the vid bad videos, I might. I didn’t apply this year, because I am still in high school, but I might think of applying next year if I can see a way to move college around (take a semester off or something) to do the job. Actually, I probably won’t either way. I think I am too introverted a person to do the job they are asking. Maybe if they still have the Fan Cave in ten years or so…

  3. Zac Weiss

    Down the line if the Fan Cave exists in ten years and everything is in order with the family would you consider doing the Fan Cave? Yes you would have to give up ballhawking, but you could get to meet the players, perhaps get them to throw you all kinds of baseballs, and get trips all over to the All-Star Game, the World Series and all kinds of stuff. It is something I would consider down the line. I agree with Harrison that I was surprised Zack did not make it.

  4. Abby Mollenhauer

    Hey, just wanted to say as one of the thousands of applicants, I thought you made a fair analysis of the top 50 applicants. I had 1,700 combined views on YouTube, had the largest Facebook campaign page creating positive MLBFC buzz we could find anywhere and the support of fans from several teams even though I’m a die-hard Yankees fan. Anyways, best of luck to the 50 selected. Here’s my video if you want to check it out. And, regardless of this lil pre-season MLBFC upset I’ll still be watching MLB this season. Lastly, can’t believe Zack didn’t make it. I refreshed my page looking for his name too. http://youtu.be/aF2p8yQ9l_I

  5. Ricardo Marquez

    Hey dude. First off, I just wanna say I do read your blog from time to time thanks in part to the “hawking” community I’ve ran into at stadiums. Although I’m not a ballhawker myself, it’s always been a pretty interesting discussion with people that do it. Secondly, just wanna say thanks for not completely ripping me apart ha. Thanks for the Top 10 nod. As for Hample, the dude is solid. Legit baseball fan and I too am actually surprised he wasn’t part of the Top 50. I’ve always that he was a good guy and him giving Mike Trout his ball back without any problems was pretty rad and what a true ballhawker should do. Anyways, thanks man for watching the videos. Vote for who ever you think would be best, even if it’s not me. If you guys ever wanna chat baseball hit me up on twitter @iBlogBetter. Party.

  6. Bryan

    Would love to get your opinion on my video. Just if I’m going crazy or if I thought I had a legit shot at the top 50. Confused with some of the people that made it, mostly the ones you thought. If you think I didn’t please feel free to tell me.

  7. Reagan Bridley

    I watched every single video out of the Top 50 and there were at least 5-6 that made me cringe. Below is the link to my fancave submission. Please reply on here with your honest opinion. I know there were several other videos that made top 50 with better picture quality and editing, but I figured there were at least parts in parts mine that kept it interesting.

  8. Brad Jeffers

    Now now, my video isn’t a parody of Star Wars, but of the Yoenis Cespedes showcase video which happens to also start with a scroll screen. Very cool to see you put in the time and effort to watch all of them, which is awesome to see. Here’s to hoping Pittsburgh can put together a winning year in 2012.

  9. mlblogscountingbaseballs

    I was hoping to see Hample make it too. I wonder if MLBfancave let him know why he wasn’t chosen.

    Thanks for the comment. I could see them keeping the fancave around for awhile. It seems to generate great publicity.

    I didn’t apply because of my teaching job. Maybe if I took a sabbatical I would consider it. I’m not sure how much they’d want someone in their 30’s – most of the applicants all seemed to be in their early to mid 20’s that made the cut. Maybe that’s why Hample didn’t make it?

    I can’t say why you didn’t make it. You had good editing, had some music, special effects and all. I think a lot of people were left scratching their heads too as to why they didn’t make it while others did.

    Thanks for commenting. I found parts of your video to be funny. I’ll give it a second watch and I’ll give you some votes just for being cool and commenting. I think that you’ve got a good personality and would do a great job on the fancave.

    I thought your video was really good, although for the first 37 seconds, there’s a distracting analog type hiss sound. Its really hard to hear you. Maybe that’s why they didn’t include you? But maybe hone it and try again next year?

    You’re video is good too, although the camera lens that you use for some parts of it is distorted – it makes everything look really wide.

    Thanks for commenting, I kind of dismissed your video because I’m one of the few Americans that doesn’t care for Star Wars. I gave it a second watch, and after the first minute, it’s good. Even made me laugh when the 20 lb weight owned you. When I was going through these videos, if I wasn’t interested by the video after the first 30 seconds, I kind of just moved on. Good luck!

    • Brad Jeffers

      Funny thing is that I’ve never seen any of the Star Wars movies, so you’re definitely not alone. Thanks again, sir…I take all the criticism in stride with a smile.

  10. Stephen Sievwright

    I love this article not because I’m in the Top Ten but because it was totally neutral and spot on. I’ve already retweeted and linked to this. You do great work and I’ll keep an eye on your blog. Thanks again.

  11. Jeremy Dorn

    Hey man this is an awesome blog! Thanks for taking the time to watch them all. I know mine’s a little boring, I kinda just threw it in the mix a few months ago because it’s a dream job which I thought was a long shot. Needless to say, I’ve been floored to make it this far in the first place but now I’m campaigning the crap outta this thing haha! But I appreciate your analysis of “well-spoken and knowledgeable.” Definitely how I’d hope to be described if I was going for this type of job. Let me know what you think of my blogs if you get a chance (personal: jamblin-man.blogspot.com, sports only: jamblinman.wordpress.com).. Again, much appreciated and keep up the good work. Hopefully next time you hear from me, I’ll be in the Cave!

  12. Rich Trent

    I think the first few videos got better reviews because you were still fresh when you watched them. The last half hardly get any credit, and I think it’s because you were burnt out.

  13. mlblogscountingbaseballs

    Thanks for the RT. Good luck in the voting, and great job on your video

    Thanks for the kind words and good luck to you too in the voting. I’ll be interested to see who makes the final cut.

    You’re the one that said you’re weird in your video. But, its much better than being extremely boring or unfunny like a lot of the other videos. Although I didn’t put you in the top 10, I’d say you still have a good shot. You should get Jose Canseco to retweet your application to all of his followers on twitter, telling them to vote for you.

    Watching almost two hours of videos did burn me out. I wonder how many videos the MLBfancave execs got and how they were feeling after watching probably thousands of these.

  14. Ally Williams

    Just wanted to say thanks for the review! I commend you for watching all fifty videos in such a short time.

    Also, yes, you definitely need to check out AT&T Park. It’s absolutely beautiful. 🙂

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