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Search begins for 2014 Fan Cave Dwellers

Unique opportunity at Fourth Street, Broadway returns for fourth season

NEW YORK -- With few exceptions, the hundreds of Major League Baseball players who have visited the MLB Fan Cave these past three years have said there is no way they could watch all 2,430 regular-season games plus All-Star Week and a postseason.

For one, they'd rather be on the field playing. Two, that takes a special kind of fan.

"They always seem shocked when we tell them that we do," Cave Dweller Mina Park said.

If that sounds like something you see yourself doing, then now is your big moment. MLB announced on Thursday that the Fan Cave will return in 2014 for a fourth season and officially began the search for next year's crew at the corner of Fourth Street and Broadway.

Start applying to be a Dweller and serve as social media ambassadors for the national pastime while watching every game and interacting with the MLB players and celebrities who visit. In the past week, DJ Avicii, Academy Award nominee James Caan and postseason legend Kenny Lofton have dropped in, examples of what can happen when you hunker down there.

There are three fans left from the original 20,000 or so who applied last offseason. They include Park, a Rangers fan from Plano, Texas; Blue Jays fan April Whitzman of Toronto; and Angels fan Danny Farris of Garden Grove, Calif. One of them will be crowned Fan Cave champion at the last game of the 109th World Series, succeeding 2012 champion Ashley Chavez, the Giants fan who parlayed her title into a multimedia job at MLB Advanced Media.

"Without a doubt, applying for the MLB Fan Cave was one of the best decisions of my life," Whitzman said. "I've gained friends, seen amazing concerts, and found a whole new respect for the players in the game after meeting so many. On top of that, the MLB Fan Cave experience has given me a deeper understanding of the game of baseball and has even made me a stronger baseball fan -- which I didn't think was even possible."

"Within the first week of being at the MLB Fan Cave, I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Farris said. "Literally every day is unique. From having past and present players coming in, concerts going on while watching games, celebrities randomly dropping by, it's been a crazy ride. It all started from an 'It won't hurt to apply, right?' thought, and now I'm here at the end of the year. Trust me, you won't regret it."

"Two years ago I scared myself away from applying to be a Cave Dweller because I didn't think I'd get in," Park added. "Last year I mustered up the courage to actually apply, and here I am now. Of course, meeting players, musicians and celebrities has given me incredible memories, but the MLB Fan Cave has also helped me grow as a person and to see all that I can accomplish. If you're scared of applying, don't be. But be ready for a life-changing experience."

The Fan Cave is part of a massive and fast-growing overall presence by MLB throughout social media. On Facebook, there are a combined 38,032,567 likes on the MLB and club accounts, with 4,789,931 alone on MLB. On Twitter, there are a combined 11,261,098 followers of the @MLB and official club accounts, and 3,174,376 for @MLB alone. On Instagram, there are a combined 3,074,642 followers on the @MLBOfficial and club pages, with 592,556 on MLB alone. The Fan Cave's Facebook page and its @MLBFanCave pages on Twitter and Instagram have nearly 2.3 million combined followers.

A new spot -- featuring the hit song "Best Day of My Life" by American Authors, who last month performed a concert at the MLB Fan Cave -- also debuted on Thursday and will air throughout the postseason on FOX, TBS, ESPN and MLB Network.

The MLB Fan Cave is a unique event space mixing baseball with music, popular culture, media, technology and art. Supported by MLB Advanced Media, it provides highly engaged followers with a constant flow of online video and conversation via social media. In 2013, the MLB Fan Cave has created viral content with more than 100 MLB stars while launching a successful art gallery in addition to its thriving concert series. More than 40,000 fans have applied to be Cave Dwellers since its inception.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of Read and join other baseball fans on his community blog.