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A Visit to the MLB Fan Cave

Yesterday, your SportsNewser editor took a trip down to New York’s Greenwich Village to tour Major League Baseball’s “MLB Fan Cave.”

Back in March we covered the announcement of MLB’s “Dream Job” winner, Mike O’Hara, who would watch every minute of every game from the cave, and would also star in a web series produced by Endemol USA. We spoke to O’Hara, who had a rare afternoon off, with all of the day’s games slated for the evening.

The Fan Cave is built in the old Tower Records space in the Village, a sprawling, three-story space filled to the bring with baseball art and memorabilia.

O’Hara and his “wing man,” Ryan Wagner, typically watch all the games in a comfortable sitting area, with 15 Sony HDTV’s that can tune into every game being played. When they aren’t watching games, there is is also a bar stocked with Pepsi and Budweiser (who sponsor the cave, Natch) a videogame setup, and a gaming area. Below is the MLB-branded pool table with Red Sox balls, as a Yankees cap wearing Jay-Z smiles in the background.

O’Hara, who has been trying to make it as an actor in LA, also writes and stars in the web series, such as this one starring Jose Bautista and Steve Schirripa from “The Sopranos.”

O’Hara says that one took a couple of days to write and develop, while others, like this video starring Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, can be done in just a few hours:

The Fan Cave routinely sees guests, from baseball players and comedians to musical guests and celebrities. On the day we visited comedian Greg Grunberg was scheduled to make an appearance to tape an upcoming bit.

Every visitor to the cave signs some of the home plates in the cave, which will be auctioned off for charity at the end of the season.

For Major League Baseball, the cave is something of an experiment in social media, engaging fans in ways the league has never done before, and attempting to shed its stodgy image. Sponsors and others throw parties in the Fan Cave’s club-like basement, and it is open to the public on weekends, where visitors are encouraged to check in on Foursquare and tweet out pictures of themselves in front of the orange statue of Willie Mays.

With the season just a bout a third of the way through, O’Hara and Wagner only have just over 1,600 games to go, as the scoreboard reminds them every time they leave the building.

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