When a guy who makes the Top 30 in the MLB FanCave contest, tells you that he wants to share his experience with you…you do not say no. Especially when he gives you personal photos and a few videos of the FanCave to use. This is an amazing opportunity for all of us to get an inside look of what it is like to be a part of the MLBFanCave experience, which has quickly become one of the most sought after prizes in all of fandom. There is nothing like what the MLB FanCave offers you…but enough of me talking about it.
Steve Sievwright is a part of the RtB family and we treat those people like…better than our family. After talking with Steve about this amazing eperience, I realized that there was no possible way for it to be done in one article. Therefore, we will be taking the Star Wars approach on this…although, technically this would be Part 3, because Colin interviewed Steve when he was a part of the Top 50. You should go re-read those here and here, otherwise you will be completely lost in Episodes 3, 4, and 5.
So, let us do as they did in Star Wars and start from the beginning…but in the middle…it’s the middle of the beginning. No Ewoks were harmed in the making of these articles.
RtB: Steve, what where things like right before you found out you were in the Top 30?
With the announcement of the Top 50 finalists from a pool of 22,000, I still hadn’t been able to grasp the idea of making that cut. Over the course of two weeks I needed to do anything I could to garner votes, if I wanted to make the Top 30. That is where being myself started to be adjusted. In my normal life I didn’t have reporters hunting me down, articles written about me, or have T.V. and radio appearances. It was all a blessing though, having to be on top of my game led to surges in my creativity levels. Which led to some of the great videos that I followed my application with.
RtB: What was your strategy during all of this?
When it came to proving myself, to the MLB Fan Cave decision-makers, I did something that only I could do: Be myself. I thought this would be the best approach because frankly, I can’t screw that up. Only problem is, I’ve never done any of the things involved in this process. Not one.
RtB : What was the feeling amongst the contestants? Was it cut throat, or more along the lines that everyone was just happy to be there? I would imagine that if MLB really wanted to take over the media universe, they could turn that into a reality show if they really wanted.
Along the way I met 49 other people going through the same thing. That’s what is beautiful about the Fan Cave in the first place: social media. We were all able to reach out to each other very easily. We would tweet with each other with updates and eventually would talk on tinychat. It made the process more human. But it also made the process a lot harder. Around the time that voting ended and picking the Top 30 happened I had some great new friends but I also had a lot of nerves. For the two weeks it was hard to sleep with excitement and anxiety.
RtB: Ok, so now you are in the Top 30. What’s happening?
The day the Top 30 were announced I was a mess. My girlfriend did her best to keep me distracted, she took me to her hair appointment, lunch, and to the tanning salon. I was about to hop into a tanning bed for the first time when I got the email that I had made it. I was hit hard with relief. Finally, I could rest and be happy. But I wasn’t. I was really sad for the 20 people that didn’t make the cut. My sadness eventually led to self-doubt. What made me funnier or better? Did I really do something good enough for something this special? I carried that with me on the way to Arizona.
RtB: So now, did you get the first class treatment ? Did you live in the lap of luxury? MLB spared no expense?
Well, here was another problem with being myself. This is where a lot of the firsts in my life started to occur… I’m deathly afraid of flying, have never been farther west than MN, and have never had to depend on myself this much. But there I was with four and a half hours of travel time, landing a couple thousand miles away from home and needing to do all of this on my own.
RtB: So then the flight was horrible, what about after that?
As it turns out flying really isn’t that bad, especially for free. I had economy class seats, but they were in the first row so I could sprawl out as much as I wanted. On the flight I had plenty of time to myself. It was during this time, I realized I still had no idea what I had in store for me when I landed. I was told one thing before I left: I had a one minute elevator pitch to prepare. The pitch had been bothering me for a few days because no ideas were coming to me. I had my main point but that was about it.
It was snowing in Wisconsin when I left so I had a coat and jeans on. I thought: “Oh man when I land I’m going to be sweating.” So I took my coat off and dealt with it. As it turns out winter is AZ, is still winter. I was freezing while I waited for my hotel shuttle. Winter coat was put back on. When I arrived at the hotel I was ready to check-in, but that didn’t matter because the hotel wasn’t ready for me to check-in. Instead, I followed the signs to the Fan Cave check-in. Along the way I had a few, “oh hi, I pretty much already know you, but this is the first time I’ve seen you” moments. I walked into a room and was greeted with smiles and “Hi Steve’s” because they already knew me. Then, I got a gift bag full of items: shirts, hats, money, and finally some directions with a schedule of activities. I finally found out what was in store for me.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is called a cliff-hanger. Not just a Stallone movie, but a very useful literary strategy. Tomorrow, Steve is going to tell us about his arrival to Chase Field and MLB Trivia with Matt Vasgersian and Eric Byrnes.
A very special thanks to Steve Sievwright for sharing this gift with us. Can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow.