For the MLB Cave Dwellers, it’s been one long, wild and exciting marathon of baseball excitement since they were chosen from 22,000 applicants to live a year of fantasy in New York City.
Narrowed to 50, and then finally nine official Dwellers, that total is down to five after four have been eliminated at this point in the season. Left dwelling are Ricardo Marquez (pictured above), Kyle Thompson, Ricky Mast, Ashley Chavez and Gordon Mack.
Among a packed schedule of concerts, games and baseball events that even the most privileged sports fans would be jealous of, last month they had the opportunity to have their own baseball cards made by The Topps Company.
They all have some affection for baseball cards, which is no surprise since they’re all masterful fans in their own right for their favorite teams. Marquez, in it to support his beloved Angels, lit up when he was in one of the conference rooms draped in baseball card images from some of the games greats at 1 Whitehall in New York City.
“It’s unexplainable,” he said. “One day it’s crazy enough you’re going to Topps to make baseball cards, and if you’re still here you’re going to the all-star game [and other events]. We’ve all been granted this great opportunity to do all this great stuff that no other fan will be able to do.”
Mast, the son of former NASCAR racer Rick Mast and a big fan of the Atlanta Braves, says he has thousands of baseball cards, so this is yet more icing on a big baseball cake for him.
“I’m freaking out this is so cool,” he said. “Just coming here walking around is awesome. Every day it’s something else. We’ve gotten to do so many crazy things. We danced with Kate Upton. [Ricardo and I] took off most of our clothes. She wasn’t too stoked about it, but we were.”
Aside from dancing with Upton, the Dwellers have partied with Charlie Sheen at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Kansas City, had a lengthy conversation with Sharon Robinson, the daughter of baseball icon Jackie Robinson, and are subjected to various concerts and outings throughout the year.
Cuts from the Fan Cave are random, but the Dwellers said they have a small idea when someone is on the chopping block. The Fan Cave is located in the old Tower Records building in New York on Broadway and East 4th, but the Dwellers are provided housing at an off-site location.
Ricky Mast admiring cards on the wall at the Topps offices in New York City.
Kyle Thompson sits with a Topps designer as he has his own baseball card made.
To have an inside look at baseball history, check out the new Topps Pennant app today and follow us on Twitter @ToppsPennant.
-Chris R. Vaccaro