Cardinals Fans Trying To Win MLB Fan Cave Contest

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It's like American Idol for baseball fans:  a contest to live in Major League Baseball`s Fan Cave in New York for the entire baseball season.

Cardinal fans were going to extremes Tuesday to make the coming cut, from 50 contestants, to 30. From close to 22,000 hopefuls, there are now just 50.

Fans can vote for their favorite contestant as often as they want until February 22nds.
Nick Straatmann drove more than a hour from Linn, MO, to meet a Fox 2 crew in Washington, MO.

He was wearing a Stan Musial  jersey, threw up a snowball, pretending to hit a home run before circling the snow-covered ball diamond at Burger Park.

"Go crazy folks!" he said, rounding the bases.  "There`s snow on the ground right now, I`m in a short sleeve shirt, so I think I can handle this."

The 25 year old instructor at Linn State Technical College, was certain he could handle manning the MLB Fan Cave from April through October;  live in the cave at 4th and Broadway in Manhattan; and watch every baseball game on a giant bank of TV`s.

"I just tried to show my creative side and let them see what  I was capable of.  Hopefully, the personality is what they`re looking for. I definitely think I  have that," he said.

"I have all the necessary powers, including the creativity of Ty Cob," he says, ripping off his clothes to reveal a Ty Cobb uniform in his 'vote-for-me' video on the MLB Fan Cave web site.

But the competition is fierce.  Fellow Cardinal fan, Kelsey Shea Weinrich from Wildwood has a connection to 'Cardinal royalty', playoff hero, David Freese.

She 'tweeted' him Tuesday night.

"Your mom was my favorite 7th grade teacher.  Can I get a retweet for making the MLB Fan Cave top 50?"

"It was a little surreal the first few days," she said about making the top 50.  "I was like, `I feel like I`m on a reality TV show, all of the sudden everyone`s watching to see what you do`."

The contestants said TV-radio and social media exposure were as important as the online voting.

There was also an element of fearlessness.

"They`re going to pick 30 finalists to be flown out to Arizona for Spring Training.  I`ve heard something about challenges," Straatman said.

Asked if she would lick the dirt off a player`s spikes, Kelsey laughed, "Probably. Is that sad?"

Last year, 2 people made it to the cave.  Contestants said  there may be 6 this time.  They have to constantly write and blog as players and celebrities visit throughout the season.
They do get to leave to cover big events like the All-Star Game and World Series.

You have until February 22nd.

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