Found February 13, 2013 on Dodgers Rumors:
The 2013 MLB Fan Cave contest is well under way for its third season. Last month, Major League Baseball revealed it’s list of the top 50 candidates out of the tens of thousands of submissions. Every team has at least one representative, but this isn’t about them. This is about the Dodgers, their fans and more importantly their fanatics. This is about having as many Dodger fans represent all of us in front of the rest of the country’s baseball fans as possible. In 2013 the Dodgers have three die-hard, true blue Dodger fans among the top 52 candidates vying to make the next cut where that number gets dwindled down to a top 30 and an invite to Spring Training to audition to be one of the nine 2013 Fan Cave Dwellers who will get to live in the MLB Fan Cave where they get to chronicle their lives in the Fan Cave through social media outlets, blogs and videos in their quest to be the last person standing as the ultimate winner. Jeremy Dorn Jeremy Dorn daydreaming of being a Cave Dweller   Mr. Dorn is a 24 year old Dodger fan living in Walnut Creek, California. He is currently an intern at San Francisco Magazine as well as a freelancer. He is a featured Dodgers columnist on the baseball blog called Bleacher Report. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and has been wearing his Dodger Blue his entire life. Even in the heart of Giants territory. He loves living in the Bay Area but admits it can be a little rough being a Dodgers fan in San Francisco. His passion for baseball runs deep and his passion for the Dodgers runs even deeper. He was a Top 50 finalist in last years MLB FanCave contest and hopes to improve his showing this year. Earlier this week, all three finalists from Dodger Nation sat down with me for an interview so our viewers could get to know them better. Matt Rogina: I know you are a Dodger fan. How long have you been a Dodger fan? Jeremy Dorn: I came out of the hospital reeling off on-base percentage stats of the 1988 Dodgers! Okay, that’s a stretch – but I really have been a diehard, true blue Dodgers fan my entire life. Unfortunately they won the World Series in ’88 about three months before I was born and haven’t been back since. MR: What is your fondest childhood baseball memory? JD: There’s so many! How do I choose? One of my favorites is when I was about 10 years old at the third-ever game at AT&T Park (the Dodgers swept them in that series…welcome to the new stadium!) and sat first row by the Giants’ bullpen. Even then, I was able to convince Robb Nen to give me his warmup ball. After he handed it to me, I proudly showed off my new ball and the Dodgers shirt that had been hiding under my jacket! MR: What was your first live game experience like? JD: I mentioned Robb Nen giving me his warmup ball, but I also remember Shawn Green hitting a home run in that game. We were sitting first row down the third base line, and I felt like the coolest kid in the world walking out of there not only with a Major League baseball in my hand, but with a Dodgers sweep in my back pocket. MR: You say you were born and raised in the Bay Area, yet are a Dodger fan. How did you become a Dodger fan? JD: My parents both grew up in Southern California and moved to the Bay Area right before I was born. My Dad is a diehard Dodgers fan too, so he raised me that way from day one! MR: What was it like growing up a Dodger fan in the rivals territory? JD: It’s always been fun living up here and holding down the fort for Dodgers Nation in NorCal. Believe it or not, I did have friends growing up, even repping Dodgers gear all the time. MR: What are the biggest challenges you face now being a Dodgers fan in the Bay Area? JD: The biggest challenge I face now is just coping with the last three years. I work in San Francisco and was in town during the World Series parade. Naturally, I stayed in my cubicle and ignored the world around me that day. But I have faith that this year’s Dodgers team will redeem us! MR: So, did you play any baseball growing up? JD: I played baseball my whole life until I got to college. I briefly considered trying to walk-on at Washington State but decided against it. But counting travel teams, fall ball, etc. I was playing baseball year-round from about age 5 until almost 19! MR: What positions did you play? JD: I played everywhere; in fact, I was first-team all-league “Utility” in high school. That season, I started at least one game at every position except catcher and center field. MR: What was your favorite position to play? JD: Definitely pitcher! MR:Who were some of your favorite players in baseball growing up? JD: I had so many! I still have doodles on my school binders from middle school of Mike Piazza, Ken Griffey, Jr. and Miguel Tejada, among others. Piazza was always my favorite back then, and I really liked Derek Jeter, too. MR: Speaking of Mike Piazza, what do you think about this past Hall of Fame vote? Do you think Mr. Piazza should have been elected? Do you think he will eventually get in? JD: I was definitely disappointed in the Hall of Fame results. There was so much talent in this year’s class that I thought for sure at least Craig Biggio would be enshrined. I’m fine with the admitted PED users not getting in, though I do expect Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens to break through eventually. My personal ballot included Piazza, but I was pretty sure he wouldn’t go in first ballot. It’s a shame that he and Mattingly both missed out though. Next year is going to be even more difficult for voters with Greg Maddx, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas joining the ballot! Hopefully the class next year makes up for it and elects 10 guys (in my opinion, there are nearly 15 deserving candidates eligible right now), including Piazza and the Dodgers current skipper! MR: Who is your all time favorite Dodger player? JD: It’s cliché, but my favorite all time Dodger player always has been and always will be Jackie Robinson. The way he transcended the color barrier in a time like that and then STILL became such a phenomenal baseball player just boggles my mind. MR: If you could meet any present player on the Dodgers, who would it be and why? JD: Definitely Clayton Kershaw. Like I said, pitching was my favorite thing to do when I played, and watching Kershaw pitch is pure magic. I’d love to shake his hand and talk with him about baseball, as well as his awesome charity work in Africa. MR: He definitely is a special pitcher that only comes around once in a while. What about non-players? If you could meet anybody within the Dodgers organization that wasn’t a player, who would you want to meet? JD: Well, I did get to meet Tommy Lasorda at this year’s Fan Fest (which still seems like a dream!). But for one I haven’t met, the Dodgers made it tough on me by hiring Sandy Koufax recently. Can I call it a tie between him and the great Vin Scully? I’d lose my mind if I ever got to meet either one! All time would also be Jackie Robinson, with Fernando Valenzuela a close second. MR: Speaking of Mr. Valenzuela, there has been a lot of talk from fans about wanting to see the Dodgers retire Mr. Valenzuela’s number to celebrate the impact he had on the Dodgers, the city of Los Angeles and baseball as a whole. What are your thoughts? JD: I would love to see the Dodgers retire Valenzuela’s number! It’s tough because he’s not a Hall of Fame pitcher like Sandy Koufax or a groundbreaking athlete like Jackie Robinson. But Fernandomania still hit Dodger Nation like a hurricane back in the day, and he’s been such an integral part of the organization even after his playing days, that I think he definitely deserves the honor of having his number retired. MR: How many games do you go to live each season? How many do you watch or listen to on the radio? JD: Last season I was able to use MLB.TV, which was incredible for someone who doesn’t get regularly-scheduled Dodgers games. So in 2012 I probably ended up watching, listening to, or attending about 150 Dodgers games. The way it broke down was about 10 in person, 50 on the radio, and 90 on TV. That’s my best guess, anyway. MR: How many ballparks have you been to? JD: Eleven. Unless you count minor league parks. Or walking up to a locked stadium in the off season. But the Major League parks I’ve attended games at are: Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium, Petco Park, o.Co Coliseum, AT&T Park, Safeco Field, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium (the old one), Tropicana Field, Busch Stadium and Wrigley Field. MR: Very nice. What about minor league stadiums? JD: Believe it or not, I’ve never made it out to a Sacramento RiverCats (A’s AAA team) game in all my years in the Bay Area. I hear from friends that their park is nicer than o.Co Coliseum! And I’ve actually only been to one minor league game – it was this past season in San Jose, where the San Jose Giants played our Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in a Single-A game. It’s such an awesome atmosphere though! I’m definitely going to make it a point to go to more. MR: Have you ever gone to Spring Training in Florida or Arizona? JD: Yes! I went to Arizona with my Dad when I was about 16 years old. It was unbelievable, and I’m frustrated that I haven’t been able to make it back since. We went to so many games and got up close and personal with the players. Spring Training is a baseball fan’s haven, and everyone really needs to experience it at some point. MR: Well, hopefully you will get to go back this Spring! MR:What is the most outrageous thing you have ever done to show support of the Dodgers? JD: I’ll twist this question a little bit, because my answer is fun. In high school, I made a bet at the beginning of the season with two friends of mine who are Giants fans that the Dodgers would win the NL West that year. If they lost, they had to wear my Dodgers gear for a full day at school (my hometown is almost entirely pro-Giants, mind you). Well, that season was 2004, when Steve Finley hit a walk-off grand slam against the Giants to win the division. Let’s just say the next day I enjoyed the heck out of their misery. MR: What is the greatest Dodger moment you ever witnessed? JD: I still think the back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs against the Padres, before the Nomar Garciaparra walk-off was the most ridiculous comeback I’ve ever watched on TV. A close second was Finley’s walk-off slam in 2004. But in person, the best was definitely seeing Shawn Green’s oppo-bomb at AT&T against the Giants. They were all so excited about the new stadium, and he just ripped their hearts out in that opening series. MR: If you were an MLB player, what would be your walk up music and why? JD: We had walk-up music at some tournaments I played in high school, and I never really noticed what was playing because I always got so in the zone for my at-bat while I was in the on-deck circle. But I have a goofy sense of humor, so I’d probably blast some “Call Me Maybe” or “Tubthumping” by Chumbawumba. The only problem with those two is that I’d end up singing and dancing along and probably strike out looking before I had a chance to swing! MR: I see you write about the Dodgers.  How long have you been doing that and what got you started doing so? JD: I’ve always loved writing, but I really got into sports writing around age 15. A friend of mine was into it. For some reason marrying sports and writing (my two greatest passions) hadn’t occurred to me until then. I joined my school newspaper and became the sports columnist and editor there. From there, it was sports journalism forever. I’ll write about anything sports-related, but my favorite topic is the Dodgers of course. I would say all in all, I’ve been writing Dodgers-related content for about eight years, and I’ve been a Dodgers Featured Columnist on Bleacher Report for just over a year now. MR: If you were given the task of choosing one current person in the Dodgers organization to be the face of the franchise, who would you pick and why? JD: Definitely Matt Kemp. Not only is he the most physically talented player on the team (in the Major Leagues, really), but he’s just an awesome guy. He radiates “cool,” and is a really good sport both on and off the field. There aren’t many better role models who encapsulate what it means to be a Dodger more than Kemp. MR: You’re general manager of the Dodgers for one day.  You can make any one move to improve the team. what move do you make? JD: You mean besides cut Juan Uribe? Just kidding – I think you go out and trade Zach Lee, Dee Gordon and Andre Ethier (plus whatever else it takes) for Felix Hernandez before he signed that big deal with Seattle. The Mariners were interested in Gordon and Ethier all winter, and Lee is a huge prospect. But getting Felix into a rotation that already has a ton of potential (but plenty of question marks) would have made the Dodgers the hands-down favorite in the NL for years to come. Of course, that move is easier said than done and it’s really just me being greedy. But that would be my dream scenario if I were in Ned Colletti’s shoes! MR: In your video submission to the MLB Fan Cave, you touched base on Pete Rose. Do you support his induction into the Hall of Fame? JD: Yes. It’s such a fine line for me between players who used banned substances and players who bet on their teams. I truly believe Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will eventually be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and when that happens, there is no excuse for keeping the all-time hits leader out. He may have been a brash, selfish personality, but keeping one of the best players of all time out of Cooperstown in blasphemous in my eyes. The thing that kills me is that Rose never even bet against his own team. Yes, it’s wrong to bet on baseball and per the rules, he should have been banned. But is there no leniency for someone who was so confident in the team he managed that he would only bet on them winning? Jeremy’s Fan Cave Video MR: Another thing you mention in your video is that you keep count of the Cubbies curse? Do you think they will ever end their curse? JD: It’s hard not to. Even if you don’t want to know, that number grows larger every season and looms in a baseball fan’s brain regardless. I don’t root for or against the Cubs (except when necessary to keep the Cardinal-fan girlfriend happy), but do feel bad for them sometimes. They’ve had some awful luck over the course of that curse. And yes, I definitely think it will be lifted someday. It would boggle my mind if they got to 150 years, but you never know. With the team and the farm system they have in place now, all it takes is a couple much-deserved breaks for the banners to be raised at Wrigley once more. And my goodness – I will make sure I’m in Chicago when it happens because that place will be a madhouse! MR:Tell the truth: have you ever played hooky from work or school to watch a Dodger game? JD: Yes, but don’t tell my parents, teachers or former bosses! MR:What made you want to try out for MLB Fan cave? JD: I actually applied last year and made it to the Top 50, and that time I really just applied on a whim. I figured, “Hey, that’s worth a shot!” so I recorded a quick video, sent it in, and totally forgot I had applied until they called me with the good news. Going through that experience a year ago opened a whole new world of baseball to me – I met tons of new friends (including my current girlfriend of nearly a year!) and got up close and personal with MLB Network. So this year I knew I had to try again with my new found knowledge and larger social media following. I think all the hard work since then is really paying off, and the opportunity in itself is so amazing that there was no way I would pass up another chance in 2013. MR: Wait, so you are one half of the famous “MLB Fan Cave Couple”? Congratulations on finding a way to win even without winning the contest! I see she, too, is once again in the Top 50. How have you guys used that to your advantage? JD: We know that the “Fan Cave couple” story line is one of a kind, and we definitely do try to play it up while still running our separate campaigns. We put together a video spoof of E! True Hollywood Story about being the first and only relationship created by the Fan Cave. They must have liked that, because it got posted on the Fan Cave blog! But even in our separate interviews the questions inevitably come up so we always end up giving a shout out to the other in the end. We just really think both being in the Fan Cave would hold such high potential for some golden productions this season. As for living together, it would definitely have to be in consideration if the Fan Cave allowed that! We will just have to hope to avoid that problem altogether by both making it! The First Man Cave Couple MR: What advantage do you think you have this year after being a finalist in last year’s fan cave competition? JD: Being involved in last year’s Top 50 definitely gives me a perspective that most of the other finalists don’t have. I became friends with the Cave Dwellers of 2012 and can take what I’ve talked to them about and put it towards my campaign efforts. There are first-time mistakes that everyone is going to make, including those of us who were in it last year, but I think those are minimized with the returning finalists. Just knowing the in’s and out’s of the competition is a huge step up. MR: I’ve seen a lot of crazy things before, but is it true that you really have a custom made waffle iron with the Dodgers’ logo? JD: You bet I do! I was checking my email one morning last summer and one of those Groupon ads popped up offering custom-made waffle irons with any MLB logo. I had about $40 to my name at the time and it cost $30 plus shipping. What else would I spend my last $40 on, really? Now I can have Dodger waffles (or Doffles, as I call them) any time I please. MR: Okay, well I think I have taken up enough of your time, so just one final question. There’s less then a week left until voting closes to be the 2013 Cave Dweller.  Tell my audience why it is that you deserve their vote. JD: There are a ton of things that each potential Cave Dweller can claim, including being a huge baseball fan, knowing a lot about the sport, being social media savvy, etc. But what sets me apart is my intimate experience as a Dodgers fan in San Francisco. As far as I know, there are no other finalists who live in the heart of enemy territory while rooting for their team. Plus, no other two finalists in the Top 52 form a power couple like myself and Kelsey Shea Weinrich, a Cardinals finalist. We were introduced and created by the MLB Fan Cave last season, and think it only appropriate that we represent the Cave as the first “Fan Cave couple” in 2013. My story has unique points to it that make me one of the more interesting fans in this competition. Plus, my writing and content-producing abilities are very sharp, and I have an insanely long list of cool ideas for skits, features, etc. to do if I am chosen to go to the Fan Cave. I really appreciate all the overwhelming support on my campaign so far, and thank you for the interview today! I hope I can represent Dodger Nation in the Fan Cave this season and do everyone proud! You can follow him on twitter @Jamblinman where you can also link up to his blog and podcast to watch the rest of his journey. Be sure to vote for him at http://tinyurl.com/VoteJeremyDorn . You can vote as frequent as you wish. Let’s show him some Dodger love and support him in his dream! Mark Fabrick Mark Fabrick is giving a “thumbs up” for the Dodgers outlook in 2013 Mr. Fabrick is  a 28-year old grad student at Cal State Long Beach.  He was born in Los Angeles, and raised in La Crescenta.  He attended Cal State Northridge where he graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism. He currently works as a grocery store supervisor and has had numerous media internships  including Fox Sports Radio, Universal Sports Network, and New Line Cinema. Matt Rogina: What made you want to try out for MLB Fan cave? Mark Fabrick: MLB Fan Cave is the ultimate opportunity to showcase my broadcast and reporting talents in a fun and entertaining environment.  I’m passionate about baseball, so the opportunity to get to interview players and celebrities who are fans of the game, is a can’t miss one.  I’ve always wanted to podcast my own sports talk show, and MLB Fan Cave is that to the umpteenth degree.  MLB players doing impressions of movie scenes, count me in! MR: I know you are a Dodger fan. How long have you been a Dodger fan? MF: Definitely been a Dodger fan for as long as I can remember.  I can always remember hearing Vin Scully’s voice on the TV or radio. MR: When did you go to your first game? MF: I’m guessing I was about 11 or 12 for my first game. MR: What was that first live game experience like? MF: I just remember how green the grass was, how bright the lights were, the smell of the food in the stadium, and just the total ambiance of it all.  I know it was Dodgers vs. Padres, and I’m pretty sure Eric Karros hit a home run. MR: What is your fondest childhood baseball memory? MF: My brother and I pitching to each other in our front yard as kids. MR: Did you play any baseball growing up? What positions? How long did you play? MF: Just playing Over the Line, Sandlot style, with the guys in the neighborhood growing up.  I always preferred the outfield. Now as an adult I try and hit up the batting cages from time-to-time. MR: Who were some of your favorite players in baseball growing up? MF: I enjoyed all the old school Dodgers coming up like Mike Piazza, Eric Karros, Raul Mondesi, and later Shawn Green and Gary Sheffield.  Non-Dodger players I enjoyed were Chipper Jones, Ken Griffey, Jr., Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Tim Salmon, Manny Ramirez, Nomar Garciaparra, just to name a few. MR: Who is your all time favorite Dodger player? MF: I might say Matt Kemp. Just based on sheer talent, he might me the most talented player ever to put on a Dodgers uniform.  Matt also embodies everything it means to be a superstar in a major media market like L.A. MR: How many games do you go to live each season? How many do you watch or listen to on the radio? MF: I generally attend a dozen or so games each season.  I attended less this past year, having started grad school.  If the game’s on I’m watching it, and If I’m not home, I’m checking the score on my phone constantly. MR: Have you ever gone to Spring Training in Florida or Arizona? MF: No, but hopefully I’ll be going this year as a member of the MLB FanCave Top 30. MR: I hope you will be too! What is the most outrageous thing you have ever done to show support of the Dodgers? MF: Nothing too outrageous, just ridiculous cheering and pounding of seats at games.  Perhaps, the occasional drawing of an L.A. logo on an open chalk board. MR: How many ballparks have you been to? MF: Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium, and PETCO Park. MR: I see you write about the Dodgers. How long have you been doing that and what got you started doing so? MF: I had been doing my own MLBlog on-and-off for a couple of years just to keep my writing sharp.  One of my grad school classmates introduced me to Dodgers Nation, I joined the staff, starting writing series reviews as well as editorial content, and I haven’t looked back.  I love baseball, but covering it from a journalistic aspect connects you even more with the game and the players, and I absolutely love writing about baseball. MR: What is the greatest Dodger moment you ever witnessed? MF: I was only four years old when the Dodgers won the World Series in 1988, so their NLCS runs in 2008 and 2009 would have to be the “greatest” Dodgers moments I’ve witnessed.  I’ve been to tons of great games, so in person, either Manny Ramirez bobblehead night where he hit a pinch-hit grand slam, or going to my only playoff game when they played the Cubs in the divisional series in 2008.  On TV I would have to say Steve Finley‘s walk-off grand slam against the Giants to clinch the division in 2004.  I was going nuts watching that. MR: If you could meet any present player on the Dodgers, who would it be and why? MF: I’d like to meet Andre Ethier.  I admire Andre’s work ethic, the way he holds himself accountable, and the way he plays with a chip on his shoulder, I’d just like to pick his brain and see what drives him. MR: What about non-players? If you could meet any present member og the Dodgers that wasn’t a player, who would it be and why? MF: It would certainly be GM Ned Colletti, just to see what a day in his life is like.  I think any baseball fan would be interested in seeing what the life of a GM entails. MR: And what about all-time? If you could meet anybody throughout Dodger history, who would you want to meet? MF: It’s a tossup between Sandy Koufax and Jackie Robinson.  Koufax, simply because there has never been a more dominant starting pitcher in the modern era and he is the most iconic L.A. sports figure of all time, with the possible exception of Magic Johnson.  Robinson, just because of the transcendent figure he is historically and to hear how he rose above all the injustice he encountered along the way to greatness. MR: If you were given the task of choosing one current person in the Dodgers organization to be the face of the franchise, who would you pick and why? MF: Matt Kemp. He’s like the LeBron James of MLB. Just the most exciting, explosive player on the field, completely charismatic off the field. MR: If you were an MLB player, what would be your walk up music and why? MF: I would actually change my walk up song regularly, a la Matt Kemp.  But, now at this moment, 2 Chainz, I’m Different, just a cool beat. MR: You’re general manager of the Dodgers for one day. You can make any one move to improve the team. what move do you make? MF: I actually really like the current Dodgers roster. They’re offense is solid, they have all-star players all around, the rotation is deep with two of the top 10 starters in the game at the top.  And the bullpen is stacked at the back end too.  League, Jansen, and Belisario were all lights-out last year.  I would love to get Chase Headley off of the Padres.  I’d offer Chad Billingsley, Chris Capuano, and a pair of prospects.  Would the Padres accept the deal? Probably not, but hey, it’s worth a try. MR: You touch on the Dodgers-Giants rivalry in your video. Explain why you think it is one of, if not the greatest rivalry in baseball? MF: The SoCal-NorCal rivalry is timeless, and nothing epitomizes it more than Dodgers vs. Giants.  The rivalry is timeless, starting on the East Coast, and moving West in the ’50s.   Classic moments from the Shot Heard Round the World to Marichal and Roseboro brawling to Steve Finley’s walk-off there is no better or more closely contested rivalry than Dodgers-Giants. Mark Fabrick’s Fan Cave Video MR: Does the rivalry ever get taken too far or get out of hand? MF: Although in the news it appears that it has, in my personal experience, no.  Throughout my college experience and continuing into grad school, I’ve known tons of Giants fans and I’ve never had anything but a friendly rivalry with them.  Unfortunately, any sports rivalry can be taken too far by over zealous and overly intoxicated fans. MR: There is less then a week remaining before voting closes to be the 2013 Cave dweller. Tell my audience why they deserve your vote? MF: I think I bring the perfect combination of being a passionate baseball fan, as well as a discerning pop culture enthusiast.  I saw an MLB Meme that compared Tim Lincecum‘s new haircut to McLovin’ from Superbad (spot on, by the way).  I’m constantly on the lookout for things like that. I’m sure Dodger fans will appreciate that I always associate Randy Wolf with Ron Howard.  Not only will I ask Matt Kemp about his most recent hitting streak and his workout regimen.  I’ll ask him what he does on a Friday night during the offseason, I’ll ask him who are some cool celebs he’s rubbed shoulders with.  The FanCave is a place the players get to let loose and just kick back and I bring that laid back attitude to the FanCave. You can follow him on twitter @MarkFabrick where you can follow the rest of his journey. Be sure to vote for him at http://tinyurl.com/VoteMarkFabrick. You can vote as frequent as you wish between now and February 13th. Let’s show him some Dodger love and support him in his dream! Thomas Roberts Thomas Roberts is hoping to fly into Spring Training to Represent the Dodgers Mr. Roberts is a 28 year old high school substitute teacher living in Huntington Beach, California. He was born and raised in Lancaster until he moved to Orange County for college to attend Cal State Long Beach.  He primarily substitutes for English classes while he is enrolled in his credentialing program. Matt Rogina: I know you’re a Dodger fan. How long have you been a Dodger fan? Thomas Roberts: I’ve been a Dodger fan all my life. When I was a kid, I rooted for the Texas Rangers as well because of Pudge Rodriguez. My entire family are Dodger fans and baseball is what we do. So, I’ve had the Blue coursing through my veins since birth. MR: So, what made you want to compete to be an MLB Cave Dweller? TR: The MLB Fan Cave is the ultimate dream for any Baseball junkie like me. The opportunity to live in New York and literally be part of the game while getting to meet some of my favorite players was just too enticing to pass up. I already eat, sleep and dream Baseball, this way I get to live it too. MR: When did you attend your first game at Dodger Stadium? TR: My very first memory of being at a game is Darryl Strawberry. It’s a little fuzzy and I could be mistaken, but I think I was at a game where he hit two home runs versus the Astros. MR: What is your fondest childhood baseball memory? TR: My fondest Baseball memory from my childhood is actually a bad mark on Baseball. In 1995, the Dodgers were playing the Cardinals and gave away baseballs as their promotion for that night. Well, after a series of events and bad calls, the fans threw the balls onto the field and the Dodgers had to forfeit the game. I was sitting in the right field bleachers. MR: Interesting. Why would such a dark moment in baseball, especially for the Dodgers, be a fond memory for you? TR: Well, how many people can say they were at a game as historic as that? Yes, the Dodgers had to forfeit the game because a few rowdy fans and yes that represents the worst of baseball fans but being at that game and witnessing something so unique in Dodger history is pretty cool. MR: What was your first visit to Dodger Stadium like? TR: The first live game experience where I completely remember was incredible. Dodger Stadium is uniquely situated so most of the entrances are level with the higher seats. When you walk in and over to the first row, you look down at this incredibly beautiful field with an amazing backdrop. Because it’s Los Angeles and the altitude at Dodger Stadium is a little higher, there’s always this very fine mist that fills the air and creates the illusion that you’re witnessing something mystical or legendary. It’s my favorite place in the world and I can remember as a child being absolutely awed by the sheer epic nature of the place. MR: So, did you play baseball growing up? TR: I sure did play baseball growing up and was actually two games away from the Little League World Series with the 1997 Monte Vista All-Star team. MR: Very cool. What positions did you play? TR: I played middle infield and pitched a little bit. When I got older and began to play pony league, I was a catcher and outfielder, which continued through college where I saw more time behind the plate than I did in the outfield. I still play in an adult wooden bat league and I love it. MR: So, who were some of your favorite players in baseball growing up? TR: My two favorite players growing up, strangely enough, weren’t Dodgers. I loved Ivan “Pudge” Rodriquez and to this day still have his catcher’s mitt model and Rangers jersey. Griffey was my other favorite player, but who didn’t list him as a favorite? That guy was a once in a generation talent and I can’t wait to see him in the Hall of Fame. Hopefully Pudge makes it in too. MR: Seems how you brought up catchers and the Hall of Fame, what was your take on this past Hall of Fame vote that didn’t induct anybody? As perhaps one of the greatest hitting catchers in major league history, do you think  Mike Piazza should have been elected? Do you think he will make it in the future? TR: I actually really like that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens didn’t get in and don’t think they ever should! I wrote at length about why on my blog and I don’t mind that Biggio didn’t get in because I don’t think he’s a Hall of Famer. I’m VERY disappointed that Mike Piazza didn’t get in though. He’s the greatest hitting catcher of all time and an awesome underdog story! The guy was drafted 1,390th and he wasn’t even drafted on his talents. It was a favor for Tommy Lasorda. Then he goes on to win Rookie of the Year and have one of the best offensive careers ever for a catcher and this man is NOT in the Hall of Fame? I realize that a first ballot is special but come on! He definitely should have been elected in my opinion and I do believe that he’ll get the votes in the future. MR: So, I know in your video, you show some pictures where you met Dodger greats Steve Garvey and Tommy Lasorda. Who else have you met? Thomas Roberts’ Fan Cave Video TR: While not on the same level as Lasorda and Garvey, I’ve also met Adam Kennedy who is an incredibly nice guy. I’ve hung out with Jerry Sands, John Ely and Russ Mitchell who were all former Dodgers prospects. I’ve had dinner with current Dodger prospect Joe Becker and former bullpen coach Jim Slaton. I also met Kirk Gibson in the hallways of Chase field last season, which was amazing because he’s my Dodger hero and I have his jersey. MR: If you could meet any present player on the Dodgers, who would it be and why?  Any current non-player in the dodgers organization?  What about all time? TR: I would LOVE to meet AJ Ellis. Not only is he my favorite current Dodger, he also seems like a hilarious guy on Twitter. Him and Clayton Kershaw have incredible chemistry and I love their “Between Two Palm Trees” videos on www.dodgers.com. Plus, I’m a catcher so I’d dig getting catching tips from him. MR: And what about a non-player? If you could meet anybody in the Dodgers organization that wasn’t a player, who would you want to meet? TR: If I could meet anyone in the Dodger organization, I’d meet Vin Scully. The things that man has witnessed and the stories he must have are beyond legendary. He embodies the Dodgers and seems like an incredibly nice guy. MR: I think every Dodger fan would agree with that. Now, what about all-time? If you could meet any Dodger throughout their storied history, who would you want to meet? TR: If I could meet any Baseball player in history I’d go with Jackie Robinson. That would be an incredible experience just to talk with him and hear first hand what he’s been through. Then I’d have him sign my Robinson jersey! MR: If you were given the task of choosing one current person in the Dodgers organization to be the face of the Dodgers, who would you pick and why? TR:Vin Scully Hands down. He embodies the Dodgers and his voice is synonymous with Baseball itself. He is the ultimate representative and the ideal person for the face of any franchise. I’m just glad he’s a True Blue Dodger. MR: Again, I think the vast majority of die-hard Dodger fans would agree with you. Now, what about if you had to choose a player to be the face of the Dodgers? Who would you pick? TR: If I had to choose a player, then Matt Kemp is the obvious choice. Not only is he the most popular Dodger, he’s also one of the more popular players in all of Baseball. He’s transcended the game and entered the Mainstream. MR: Have you ever gone to Spring Training to watch the Dodgers? TR: I go every Spring! I already have my tickets to two Dodger home games and two other games for this spring and my hotel is booked. I can’t wait! I love Spring Training. It’s an incredible experience that every Baseball fan should experience. It’s so intimate. The players are right there and you can literally have your face pressed up against a chain link fence watching Matt Kemp take Batting practice ten feet away. I’ve never been to the Grapefruit League in Florida though. I’d love to see some of the stadiums down there. MR: How many games do you attend each season? TR: Between the Dodgers and the Angels (my girlfriend is a huge Angel fan so she drags me along) I’d say I make about 25-30 games a season. I would love for it to be more and dream of making all 81 Dodger home games in a season. I have two lifelong Baseball goals. To attend all 81 Dodger home games in a season and to visit all 30 MLB parks and buy a hat from each one. MR: How many major league ball parks have you been to? TR: So far I’ve visited nine and been outside of two others. All while wearing my Dodger hat. I have plans on visiting three more this season if I don’t make it to the MLB Fan Cave. MR: Which stadiums have you visited? TR: I’ve been to all five in California (LA, OAK, SD, ANA, and SF,), Chase Field in Arizona and three others: Wrigley, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Obviously Dodger Stadium is my favorite but I have to admit that AT&T Park is the nicest stadium I’ve been to. Chase Field was awesome as well and Petco Park is super cool. Wrigley is dripping with history and mystique. Citizens Bank Park is huge and very awesome. Camden Yards was another one of my favorites because it’s so classy. Oakland was a little cold but definitely had it’s charm once inside and Angel Stadium felt very welcoming. I’ve been outside of Safeco Field in Seattle and PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Both looked incredible but unfortunately there weren’t any games going on when I was in those cities. MR: If you were an MLB player, what would your walk up music be and why? TR: I’d alternate “When I Come Around” by Green Day, “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode and “Let’s Go” by Trick Daddy. Each one puts me in a different mood but all three shoot my energy and motivation through the roof. MR: What is the most outrageous thing you have ever done to show your support of the Dodgers? TR: Well I haven’t done it yet, but I’m hoping to tattoo “Dodgers” on the inside of my lower lip. That way when anyone asks whom I root for, I just make a really wacky face and stick out my bottom lip. I wore my Dodger hat at a 49er game. That wasn’t a very good idea. I got a lot of crap. Trust me though, if I make the Fan Cave, there will definitely be some outrageous Dodger moments! MR: Good to know. So, tell my readers and followers why they should vote for you to make it to the Fan Cave? Why do you deserve our vote? TR: I deserve your vote because I am a Die-Hard True Blue Dodger fan and I will represent the Dodgers and the city of Los Angeles with class, personality, humor and a desire to be the best. In the Fan Cave, I will be entertaining and knowledgeable about all things baseball while being very engaging and accessible to the fans of the game. There’s never been a Dodger representative in the Fan Cave! We have to fix that! I know the players, the team, the history and the tradition of the Dodgers and there is no one who bleeds blue more than me. Thank You so much Dodger Nation! MR: One last question, before I send you on your way. Tell the truth: have you ever played hooky from work to watch a Dodger game? TR: I don’t have to! Ha Ha! I’m a teacher so I spend most of my days on the computer and I watch the Dodger day games on www.mlb.com. I did skip work to go to the Dodgers home opener two seasons ago. Can’t pass that opportunity up! MR: Well, that’s about all the time we have today. On behalf of Dodgers Rumors and our fans, thank you very much for taking a few minutes out of what I suspect is a very busy time for you right now to answer some questions so we can all get an idea of who you are. Here is another video of Thomas where you can get a better idea about the person who hopes to represent the Dodgers as a Fan Cave dweller. Get To Know Thomas Roberts You can follow him on twitter @BertsBall where you can also link up to his blog to watch the rest of his journey. Be sure to vote for him at http://tinyurl.com/VoteThomasRoberts. You can vote as frequent as you wish between now and February 13th. Let’s show him some Dodger love and support him in his dream!   Related Posts:Dodger Fan Mark Fabrick an MLB Fan Cave FinalistAnibal Sanchez On The Dodgers RadarDodger Fan Thomas Roberts an MLB Fan Cave FinalistDodgers still exploring options as they wait on Greinke and…Dodgers Fan Jeremy Dorn an MLB Fan Cave Finalist
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