In the past few weeks, you may have noticed my posting has been sparse, but I can explain. For the past few weeks I have been very busy, and have traveled to New York several times. While I may be a ways away from the home of my favorite team, as always, I have tried to find a place where baseball is loved. And, I may have found the place where baseball is loved more than any other place. When you hear “baseball” and, “New York City”, the Yankees and Mets (Go Rockies!) may be the first things to come to your head. For me, this is true, but as well, I think of another place in Manhattan New York where you can find fans watching every single MLB game live. As a fellow MLB blogger, I try to keep up to date on the wonderful game of baseball as well as the culture of MLB, and MLB.com, so I figured I should go to this place where MLB is what it is all about.
What is this awesome place which is host to plenty of MLB gear, player and celebrity interviews and currently nine superfans? Well, it’s the MLB Fan Cave. It’s a newer part of MLB, it started just last season, and the MLB Fan Cave will not disappoint. Already a little while, after going to the Fan Cave, I was asked several times, “What is the MLB Fan Cave?” Well, the Fan Cave is a lot of things. It is a studio, hangout, and the “home” of nine superfans (MLB Fan Cave) cave-dwellers. Being one of these nine cave-dwellers would be a dream job for me, and likely many MLB fans, but for the current cave-dwellers, they just want to stay in “The Cave” for as long as possible, as they avoid elimination. Last year at the Fan Cave, dwellers Mike O’Hara and Ryan Wagner made the Fan Cave a kind of “man cave”. This year, MLB has allowed for many applications, and nine fans have finally been chosen to compete as they try to become the last man (or woman) standing at the end of the 2012 World Series.
At the moment, there appears to be no set schedule for the elimination of the competitors one by one from the nine at the moment, but it is likely one will leave “The Cave” in the next few weeks. At the moment, the MLB Fan Cave consists of the nine fans: Ashley Chavez; favorite team: San Fransisco Giants, Benjamin Christensen; favorite team: Oakland Athletics, Lindsay Guentzel; favorite team: Minnesota Twins, Shaun Kippins; favorite team: Atlanta Braves, Gordon Mack; favorite team: Philadelphia Phillies, Ricardo Marquez; favorite team: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Ricky Mast; favorite team: Atlanta Braves, Eddie Mata; favorite team: New York Yankees, and Kyle Thompson; favorite team: St. Louis Cardinals.
The MLB Fan Cave is a ridiculously cool place from the perspective of a technology and baseball buff. With its wall of TVs, known as the “Cave Monster”, interactive cameras, a TV and laptop devoted to taking pictures of celebrity visitors, and even a piece of art in a frame that plays music from speakers imbedded in its art, the MLB Fan Cave is a dream for a technology buff like me. It combines technology, baseball, MLB superfans, and the MLB experience into a New York City two-floor space. While seeing it live is pretty cool, Perhaps one of the greatest ways to appreciate a place with so many cool pieces, is with pictures.
I had a pretty cool experience during the tour, and after I had left the heavy locked doors with the “Live Stage Set” notice on them, I figured the rest of my day would be subways and sightseeing elsewhere in the Big Apple, but I was mistaken. For now, I’ll give you a little picture virtual tour of the highlights I’ve put together.
When you arrive at the MLB Fan Cave, until exactly the time when the tour begins, you have to stay on the outside. From behind the thick glass and heavy doors of “the Cave”, this is one of the better views of the outside:
The outside of the MLB Fan Cave in a picture taken by me- © 2012 rockingroxfan
The Front Doors to the MLB Fan Cave- © 2012 rockingroxfan
If you are going to watch every single MLB game live, you are going to need a few TVs, and the Cave Monster does the job. The Cave Monster is the wall of TVs behind the Cave Dwellers (and their friends) which can be seen showing a baseball game on several different TVs. You can see some of the Cave Dwellers in this picture with their friends, but along with them, are several of the runner-up potential Cave Dwellers visiting the NYC “Cave” as well. Here is a picture of the wall of Sony TVs in the MLB Fan Cave, in the back and the view of the entrance of the Fan Cave.
The view of the entrance of the MLB Fan Cave, and the Cave Monster in the back. -© 2012 rockingroxfan
While the MLB Fan Cave is home to a lot of technology, it also houses an impressive collection of art. Many artists have contributed to the MLB Fan Cave their art, and many even do work for charity. In the picture directly above, you can see a mural on the far right cover a wall. That mural is definitely cool, but is its only an introduction to some of the other art. Among the art at the fan cave are some interesting murals of some historic icons, whether they are famous people or influential organizations. Done by an impressive artist with the last name; Borbay, these next three pictures are of this art:
Some Art By Borbay (1) in the MLB Fan Cave- © 2012 rockingroxfan
Some Art By Borbay (2) in the MLB Fan Cave- © 2012 rockingroxfan
Some Art By Borbay (3) in the MLB Fan Cave- © 2012 rockingroxfan
Next up; the game room. Every cool Fan Cave boasts a game room and the MLB Fan Cave is no exception. “The Cave” has a game room with a pool table, ski-ball machine, mini shuffleboard game, jukebox, drink fridge and its own wall of autographs. It also features a tribute to the property’s previous owners, a record company who’s tribute occupies a shelf above the shuffleboard. The entrance to the game room looks like this;
MLB Fan Cave Game Room- © 2012 rockingroxfan
In the back, you can see the ski-ball machine in the, near the fridge (really, what else do you need in a game room), as well as a vintage (I think a reproduction) baseball figure. And to the left, you can see the mini shuffleboard game (sponsored by Budweiser, so I guess you can grab some buds? 🙂 ), under the tribute to the old record company. Here, on the right wall, you can see the wall of autographs on Rawlings shoe soles. At the time I visited, there were a few autographs, but throughout the season there will be more and more. That is a truly ultimate game room, all around, and especially for the relatively small space they put it in.
Here is a picture of the MLB Fan Cave logo on the custom pool table, with most of the pool balls featuring the Detroit Tiger’s logo (at least one has the Brewers’ logo, I’m not sure why) as Justin Verlander had visited the Fan Cave earlier that day to film a few videos for the MLB Fan Cave.
MLB Fan Cave Custom Pool Table- © 2012 rockingroxfan
Verlander’s visit was just one of the many celebrity and player visits to the MLB Fan Cave, and there will be many more as the season(s) continues. Unfortunately, you usually cannot see these visitors inside the Fan Cave from the inside, since the visits and tours don’t seem to overlap (or at least rarely).
Farther along in the “Game Room” which may more accurately be described as a “Game Hall”, appears another cool piece in “the Cave”, a jukebox. That’s right, the Fan Cave has its very own Wurlitzer jukebox. Just another cool part of the MLB Fan Cave, giving a modern place, a more laid-back hangout feel. I’m not exactly sure what songs the jukebox plays, but I’m sure when it works its pretty groovy. I wish I had been able to play some tunes in the Cave, maybe next time.
MLB Fan Cave Jukebox- © 2012 rockingroxfan
Past the Game Hall, we reach more of the Fan Cave’s cool technology with the photo area and a tech-savvy piece of art. This picture shows both of these cool items, the art to the left and the TV and laptop to the right. While the piece to the left may just look like a modern painting, the three gold and black dished are actually speakers which can play music from you phone. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to play through the speaker, so I was not able to experience the truly “modern” art, but I am sure it is pretty cool. To the right of this art is a special TV and laptop set up to take pictures of celebrity visitors and players. When I visited, unfortunately, there was a game on the screen so I could not see it in action, but I could still see that the MLB Fan Cave seems to have it all. Around the TV you can see the many photos which have been taken there, so if they have that many pictures already, you can bet they’ll have a ton by the end of the season. Here is a picture which shows it all:
MLB Fan Cave Speaker Art and Photo “Booth”- © 2012 rockingroxfan
Farther along comes the Home Run Slide. This is the slide that when a home run is hit anywhere, from any team in MLB, a Cave Dweller slides down. It is a bright orange fluorescent slide, so there is no way you can miss it. I’ll explain the procedure to slide the slide:
When you see a home run has been hit, get ready to slide!
Run up the stairs to the second level of the Fan Cave
Take off your shoes
Here is a picture of the end of the marvelous Home Run Slide:
The End of the MLB Fan Cave Home Run Slide- © 2012 rockingroxfan
Farther along in the Fan Cave, we enter the bottom floor. Built with a nightclub vibe, the downstairs has a feel not very similar to the rest of the Fan Cave. While it follows the pattern of a unique hangout space, the downstairs of the MLB Fan Cave is more of a night-club kind of place. Just when you see the lighting and the ball-pit in the middle you understand there is a significant difference in the feel.
Downstairs of the MLB Fan Cave (1)- © 2012 rockingroxfan
The downstairs features several different booths all equipped with fancy lighting, seating and a place to put your drink. In the middle is a ball pit with an upside-down manikin in the center. I really have no idea what the manikin is there for, but it certainly makes the room a little more interesting, for better or for worse.
A Downstairs Booth in MLB Fan Cave (1)- © 2012 rockingroxfan
Another Downstairs Booth in MLB Fan Cave (2)- © 2012 rockingroxfan
The Last Downstairs Booth in MLB Fan Cave (3)- © 2012 rockingroxfan
Also, in the downstairs area is a hallway surrounded by modern art, with a door at the end which I presume leads to the outside.I saw light peeking through the door, but given I figured we were underground I am really not sure where it goes. Perhaps MLB has a secret chamber of underground hallways to connect baseball all over America. Perhaps there is a secret subway line; “MLB” that you can take to any MLB establishment in the U.S. Or, perhaps the door just leads to a storage room with a few boxes of MLB gear (to be honest, I think the first idea would be way cooler, but you know, that’s just opinion).
“The Hallway” in the MLB Fan Cave- © 2012 rockingroxfan
Despite where “the hallway” goes, the downstairs of the MLB Fan Cave would be a pretty awesome place to have a party, or just hangout with some friends.
Now, to the Grand Finally of this post! In the heart of New York City, an establishment such as the Cave, will need a security guard. He opened the doors to us to enter for the tour, followed us around with the guide, and then let us out to enjoy the rest of Manhattan. But there was more to Rob, than just keeping the MLB Fan Cave safe.
After I had left, and was thinking about what I would do with the rest of my day, I got a surprise. The security guard came out and asked me something like “You’re a Rockies fan, right?”, and while wearing my custom rockingroxfan Rockies jersey, I answered him yes. Then he offered me a souvenir I will have for a while. One of the first things you see when you walk into the Fan Cave, is the new addition, the “Dirt Bar”:
The Dirt Bar in the MLB Fan Cave- © 2012 rockingroxfan
This bar of dirt (true to its name) has a box of MLB Authenticated Dirt from every MLB park. After I told Rob that I was indeed a Rockies fan, he offered me a chance to pick up some dirt. I was pretty happy, as you can imagine. I admired the dirt at the Dirt Bar while Fan Cave Staff tried to find the special jars for visitors to put dirt in. Once I had obtained my own special jar, my directions were pretty much, ‘There’s the Dirt Bar, knock yourself out.’ Now, I could have theoretically picked dirt from every park, but being a Rockies fan, and wanting to know what was in my jar, drove me to just fill my jar with MLB Authenticated Coors Field dirt.
My MLB Authenticated Coors Field Dirt from the MLB Fan Cave- © 2012 rockingroxfan
After that, I was asked to write down this blog URL, so maybe sometime soon the Fan Cave will comment or visit this blog as I visited them. My experience at the MLB Fan Cave was great, and good luck to all the Cave Dwellers in this season. Also, thank you so much to the nice security guard, Rob, and the Fan Cave attendant, whose name I cannot remember (if you are out there, please comment in and I could give you a shout-out!).
So, while I had a great time, I would also like to hear from my readers if they have had a great experience with a MLB park, or other establishment, and if there was any staff at that place that was just really nice and helpful. Or, even better, if you have been to the MLB Fan Cave, comment in about your experience. Either way, if you do comment in a cool story about a unique experience I may highlight your comment and story in an upcoming post!
Click the title of this post to comment!