An Exclusive Look Into The Most Happening Day In MLB Fan Cave History

black widow in front of the cameras

Photo: Corey Nachman

Just before opening day of the 2011 Major League Baseball season, the league launched a brand new way to entertain it’s throngs of younger, technologically inclined, die hard fans: the MLB Fan Cave.The Fan Cave has become something of a phenomenon for MLB. There hasn’t ever been a place that allows for this much multimedia interaction between players and fans in the league’s history.

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A profoundly empty general description of the MLB Fan Cave is that it’s a place where two crazed baseball fans, Yankee worshipper Mike O’Hara and beleaguered Orioles fan Ryan Wagner, have undertaken the arduous yet enviable task of watching all 2,430 regular season games that will take place during the 2011 season. That’s not including post season games, which they will have to watch too.

There’s more to the Fan Cave than that.

On a weekly basis, the New York City based Cave produces several funny videos starring major leaguers and celebrities, and conducts interviews with movers and shakers in the baseball and pop-culture world. Slightly less frequently, the Fan Cave will host performance art pieces, concerts, and functions for MLB sponsors.

Yesterday, the MLB Fan Cave experienced their busiest day yet. Five big leaguers, including New York Yankees ace CC Sabathia and Padres All-Star closer Heath Bell, showed up. Sabathia was there to support a new Pepsi contest that will bring Major League legends into a town to play a game ala Field of Dreams and Bell brought along four of his bullpen cohorts to film a comedic sketch (that Bell came up with himself) about being firefighters.

Not only that, World Champion billiards player Jeanette “The Black Widow” Lee made an appearance at the Fan Cave pool table, and New Era caps hosted a cool party in the basement.

Come with us for a tour of the MLB Fan Cave, photos of yesterday’s highlights, and an interview with CC Sabathia.

The Cave Monster is what Mike and Ryan watch all of their baseball games on

A close up view of the Fan Cave's shuffle board facing the autograph wall and adjacent to the memorabilia wall

A Brooklyn area sculptor put together this Willie Mays statue in a little over a week

A New York City artist created this collage of Jay-Z entirely out of gumballs

Performance artist David Garibaldi drew up this Brian Wilson portrait in the lobby of the Fan Cave earlier in the season

James Denton of Desperate Housewives fame placed an autograph wrench on hte Fan Cave's memorabilia wall

New Era, the company that makes hats for Major League Baseball, held a company summit in the basement of the Fan Cave

Adam and Eve statuettes in the function room wearing New Era caps for their summit

There is a wall of baseball's greatest mustaches, enhanced with an autograph from Rollie Fingers, in the function room of the Fan Cave

Here are some really cool and vintage photos of Babe Ruth

What good is a fan cave without a jukebox?

What good is a fan cave without a piano?

What good is a Fan Cave without beer?

The Fan Cave bathroom has a Brian Wilson beard on the mirror that makes washing your hands quite entertaining

The stairs leading up to the Pepsi Porch have a quote from and a photo of Yankees legend Yogi Berra

The Pepsi Porch is a comfortable living room area with neat lighting and a 65-inch plasma screen television in the corner

A view of the Fan Cave from the Pepsi Porch

Padres relievers (from left-to-right) Anthony Bass, Erik Harmen, Josh Spence, and All-Star Heath Bell get ready to shoot a scene for their comedy sketch

The Padres relievers put on their authentic FDNY uniforms prior to the start of filming

The FDNY fire fighters asked the Padres relievers to step outside for a second...

...so they could throw buckets of water on top of them

Heath Bell and Anthony Ross pose in their FDNY firefighter uniforms

Heath Bell swings an axe towards a very expensive camera

Heath Bell found a roll of toilet paper and set it on fire so he could startle Erik Harmen

Harmen makes a funny face while posing for some final photos with his bullpen/firefighter teammates

A group of interns are setting the stage for an appearance from CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia is all smiles while taking his first look at the Cave

Three questions with Yankees ace CC Sabathia

Business Insider: What are your impressions of the MLB Fan Cave?

CC Sabathia: The Fan Cave is awesome! It's like baseball fan central. I haven't been here before, but I am glad that I'm here now. It's a really cool place to be.

BI: The Yankees are obviously in contention to win the World Series again, but you're in a dogfight in the AL East. What does the team have to do in order to win the division and eventually win it all?

CC: We need to keep doing what we've been doing. We have a really good team and we have all the parts to win it all. It's all about staying consistent out there. If we do that, we'll be fine.

BI: Surely many people are asking you about the opt-out clause that you can evoke at season's end in hope of a bigger deal, but you've been consistent about wanting to stay in New York. Assuming you stay in pinstripes, are you going to attempt to lobby your best friend and former teammate Prince Fielder into DHing for the Yankees once he enters his upcoming free agency?

CC: I think a lot of people forget that Prince is a young guy and wants to play first base. I don't think he's quite ready to become a DH yet. He's one of my best friends in all of baseball, and I would love to him on my team, but I don't think he's a bad first baseman. He'll probably try and find a job doing that.

Mike and Ryan Wagner ask Sabathia a few questions about the Pepsi Field Of Dreams contest

CC Sabathia's signature on the autograph wall

A map showing all 30 Major League stadiums in the country hanging near the Cave Monster is rigged with lights that will illuminate all the stadiums hosting games

Lee and O'Hara share a laugh before the camera start to roll

Three Questions with MLB Executive VP of Business, Tim Brosnan

BI: When was the Fan Cave conceptualized and how did it come together?

Tim Brosnan: The Fan Cave was conceptualized in the time in between the end of the World Series and the start of the 2011 season. It started as a small idea of one fan watching every game in Cooperstown and evolved through meetings and brainstorming sessions into probably the most unique marketing initiative MLB has ever conducted.

BI: How would you describe the Fan Cave to someone who has never seen or heard of it?

TB: The MLB Fan Cave is an immersive fan experience that mixes Major League Baseball with music, popular culture, media, interactive technology, and art. It is a 15,000 square foot location (the site of the old Tower Records) at West 4th Street and Broadway where two super fans watch every baseball game on a bank of 15 televisions while writing blogs, tweeting, and starring in a web series that has featured more than 50 players. The series has also included celebrities (Lisa Kudrow, Eric Stonestreet, James Denton) and musical performers (Sublime, DJ Pauly D, and Kate Voegele). The Fan Cave, which was designed by Paul DiMeo of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, includes a variety of unique features including specially-made art work, a swanky lounge, a DJ booth, barber chair, floor-to-ceiling windows for fans to look in, an autograph wall, games, and of course the TVs. And aside from the physical presence, the Fan Cave has become a content engine for today's digital water cooler.

BI: This is one of the biggest social media and new age PR projects that Major League Baseball has ever come up with. How successful do you think the Fan Cave has been and can we expect to see more things like this in the future from MLB?

TB: The Fan Cave has been enormously successful as a way to engage fans through social media, demonstrate a different side of the players' personalities, connect with a younger audience and present baseball to more casual fans by combining baseball with music, entertainment, and pop culture. We are still discussing the future of the Fan Cave but you can expect to continue to see MLB present baseball in unique ways through a variety of media outlets including social media.

Check out some pictures that veteran baseball fans will enjoy

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