Monday, February 11, 2013

2013 MLB Fan Cave finalist: Thomas Roberts, a Dodger fan

Editor's Note: This post was written by Thomas Roberts, a finalist for the MLB Fan Cave sweepstakes, and a Dodger fan.

What if I told you that you could watch every single baseball game in front of a wall of TVs while living in an ultra modern New York space and meet MLB players, celebrities and musicians. Sound good? It is good and that’s what the MLB Fan Cave is all about.

Entering its third year, the MLB Fan Cave is the Baseball lover’s dream. For the entire season, you’re immersed in the game and get to share your thoughts, content and interactions with the rest of the world via social media. Not everyone gets to participate in this incredible experience though. Major League Baseball holds auditions where fans submit a short video explaining why they’re the perfect fit for the job. More than 20,000 submissions later, I have been chosen as a top 52 finalist and need your help to represent the  Dodgers in the 2013 MLB Fan Cave.

My love for the Dodgers started before I realized it did. As a child playing Little League, I lived baseball. I had baseball-themed parties and wore baseball-themed clothing. Well my entire family was, and still is, true blue Dodger fans, and thus I was and am, too.

My first memories are of Mike Piazza and Eric Karros, of Hideo Nomo and Raul Mondesi, of Tommy Lasorda coaching and then retiring. I’ve been to Dodger Stadium more times than I can count and travel to Arizona every spring to be closer to the players who mystify me on the field. I’ve loved the Blue for as long as I can remember. The Dodgers are one of the most legendary franchises in the game with some of the most storied players. They’re the ultimate team to root for and there has never been a more exciting time to bleed Blue than right now.

My favorite all-time Dodger is a tie between Sandy Koufax and Kirk Gibson, with an honorable mention  going to Vin Scully. Koufax was a once in a generation pitcher who mystified hitters and would have gone down as perhaps the best pitcher in history if not for his health ending his career. I couldn’t be more excited to have him back with the Dodger organization.

Gibson was gritty player who hustled and took the game seriously. I loved his attitude and the way he played baseball. I have his jersey and I wear it at every Dodger home game I attend. It’s a little sad to see him with Arizona now, but I’m glad he’s doing so well.

My favorite current Dodger is A.J. Ellis. He’s a tough player who gives his all and is finally getting the  recognition he deserves. He may not hit 30 home runs or bat better than .300, but he’s the backbone of the pitching staff and a gamer. He hustles and works harder than anybody. I love what Ellis represents and the fact that he’s been a Dodger his entire career. He’s hilarious on Twitter, too.

My favorite Dodger memory is a collection of events that form a single memory: walk-offs. I love walk-offs. I’ve been fortunate enough to be in the stands for walk-offs by Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Dioner Navarro and Adrian Gonzalez. They are the absolute high at a ball game. Winning the game with a swing of a bat. It’s even better if it’s a home run. People go nuts for walk-offs and those memories I have of them are the most fantastic Dodger recollections I have.

If I could meet any Dodger in history, it would without a doubt be Vin Scully. The things that man have seen and announced are legendary. That may not be a valid answer though as he’s never played for the Dodgers (even though he’s synonymous with the organization). If I had to choose an actual player, I would say Jackie Robinson. Just to hear him speak and tell me of the things that he had to overcome and rise above would be the experience of a lifetime. I’m so proud that Robinson was a Dodger and would have loved to have had a conversation with him.

The Dodgers are my heart and soul and I would love be their and the city of Los Angeles' representative in the 2013 MLB Fan Cave. To help me out, please go here and vote for me.

Also, follow me on Twitter (@Bertsball), become my friend on Facebook and Instagram (@Bertsball) and my personal baseball blog.

Thank you so much and Go Dodgers!

- Thomas Roberts

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