The MLB Fan Cave is a promotion for fans that was started by Major League Baseball for the 2011 season. That year, one person was picked to live in the Fan Cave and watch every single big league game all season long.
How did they accomplish this? With a video wall of 15 televisions and a living space conducive to staying up late for those west coast games. They flew the cave dweller to the All-Star Game in person thanks to the break allowing for travel, and a trip to the World Series was involved as well.
Last year, MLB expanded the pool of cave dwellers to nine and allowed for applicants to represent their favorite teams. Players stop by, there are special events at the Fan Cave including concerts. The cave dweller(s) got to interview players, be interviewed themselves and basically live the ultimate fan experience by immersing themselves in baseball.
Well, this year the Fan Cave has returned again and for the second straight year a pair of Brewers fans made the initial cut. They whittled the numerous applicants down to just 52.
The wannabe cave dwellers need to get votes, among other things, in order to reach the Top 30. Making it to that stage earns the hopefuls a trip to Spring Training in Arizona and a bevy of fun experiences.
From there, they can reach the ultimate goal of winning one of the coveted beds in the MLB Fan Cave.
The Fan Cave website has a description of the cave. “The MLB Fan Cave, located at 4th Street and Broadway in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village is a first-of-its-kind space mixing baseball with music, popular culture, media, interactive technology and art.”
Hoping to be living in the Fan Cave in 2013 is a man I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person and getting to know via social media.
His name is Pete Gourlie and he is a Superfan of the Milwaukee Brewers.
I had a chance to catch up with Pete and wanted to help Brewers fans get to know him a bit.
BrewerNation: Thank you Pete for taking the time out of your busy schedule of generating votes for your Fan Cave dreams. First, help the readers get to know you a little bit. Where are you originally from?
Pete Gourlie: I come from Wisconsin’s Northwoods, the town of Merrill to be exact. Growing up, I was outdoors a lot, playing little league, hunting and fishing, but also I loved listening to the Brewers games on the radio. Guys like Dan “Sac Man” Plesac, Rob Deer, Robin Yount… I enjoyed looking at their baseball cards while listening to them play.
BN: How did you get into baseball?
PG: My father and my grandmother are the ones who introduced me to baseball. She got me started with collecting baseball cards, and my dad would take me to games at County Stadium as a kid. Once I was on my own in college and could go to games on my days off, I found being at Miller Park exhilarating and absolutely fell in love with the new stadium.
BN: Your Twitter handle is “@SuperfanPete“. There are others in the Superfan movement on Twitter as well. So, who exactly are the “Superfans”?
PG: The Superfans are an elite group of individuals that have an almost obscene love for the game of baseball. It started with 4 of us back in 2007, but quickly expanded into a much larger group, with Superfans living in other states like Arizona, Illinois, California, and even one in Canada. We are an equal opportunity group, and even have one Superfan that is a Cubs fan. Don’t ask me how that works, but it does. To be considered a Superfan, you have to truly love your team. Cheer, never boo, and don’t give up hope. Support all your players, not just the all-stars and the top-performers.
BN: Describe the “Superfan treatment” for me.
PG: Certain players deserve to be recognized. Specifically, those who go unnoticed a lot of the time, but strive to do the most they can with their talents. We recognize these players by giving them great nicknames, always cheering for them, making signs so others know who they are, and giving them a good word of encouragement when we get a chance to talk to the players face to face. For instance, Jonathan Lucroy. When he first came up, we made a cool sign that said Jonathan Luc-Skywalker-Roy- The Force is Strong with this One. It even had a picture of the Death Star with stitching like a baseball. We’ve supported Luc since his first game, which I was in attendance for, in Minneapolis MN.
BN: Who are you current favorite players?
PG: My number one guy is Corey “The Condor” Hart. Everyone knows he’s had some hot streaks, and a few rough patches. No matter, we’ve ALWAYS cheered for him, and he knows that we are true Superfans who will always be there. Another favorite is Mark Rogers, and I’m really excited to see what he can do for the Brewers this year. Lucroy is one that I love to watch behind the plate too. It’s hard to narrow it down though, because all of the players on the Brewers are fun to watch and interact with.
BN: What would the MLB Fan Cave opportunity mean to you on a personal level?
PG: This is my dream, to do something with MLB, where I can absolutely feel comfortable with my deep love of the game. I am so thrilled to see new places and meet new people, and I know that lifelong friendships will be forged, should I be chosen. Furthermore, the Fan Cave opens up many doors as far as careers are concerned. For Ryan Wagner the first year, he got a job with the Orioles. Ricardo Marquez, he’s working PR for the Fan Cave applicants this year. The sky is the limit, and this opportunity wouldn’t last just one season, but could last my entire life!
BN: How about as a fan?
PG: It is the ultimate fan experience! Sure, I sacrifice going to 50-60 games in person, but I still get to see ALL the games, and interacting with the players that stop by will be epic! Concert series are just the icing on the cake! Every ounce of me wants to experience this! Plus, I hope to bring my tailgating skills into play sometime while in New York, again, pending on getting there!
BN: What qualifications do you possess that would make you the right fit to live in the Fan Cave?
PG: One of the biggest qualifications I have is my ability to watch baseball hours on end. I love it! There’s always something going on, from homeruns, strike outs, or even people watching in the crowd. My favorite games are those that go into the wee hours of the morning, with extra innings or “free baseball” almost a given with games that last that long. I have such a deep passion for the sport that it is all I think about, all I dream about, what I live, and what I breathe. It is the one thing that remains pure, that I can always go back to, and feel good about all the memories that wash over me when you see your team triumph.
BN: Beyond that, why should someone vote for Pete Gourlie over all others?
PG: I try to represent all that the Brewers have to offer. I wear a game-worn #42 Jackie Robinson Day jersey (originally worn by Brad Nelson in 2009). This jersey is one that I plan on wearing all year, because of what it represents for the sport. I have a deep respect for the titans of baseball that have come before us such as Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle. In the off-season, I go through all the pictures I take throughout the year, edit them, and frame them. I collect autographed pieces, and have a few unique items like an R2D2 cardboard cutout signed by Jonathan Lucroy, and a ball signed by Mark Rogers inscribed “Welcome to my neighborhood.” Please help me achieve my dream, and I will represent Milwaukee and the best fans in MLB while in New York!
So there you have it, Brewers fans. So please, take the 15 seconds out of your day to vote for Pete Gourlie at least once every day between now and the voting deadline on February 13th. Let’s get a Brewers fan into the Fan Cave, but more than that let’s get a Brewers fan like Pete Gourlie into the Fan Cave because he represents the best kind of fan. Through thick and thin, through wins and losses, through excellence and struggle, Pete Gourlie is there supporting his team not only for 162 games in 180 days each and every year but all off-season as well.
So click on the image and VOTE FOR PETE!