The 2013 MLB Fan Cave contest is well under way for its third season. Last month, Major League Baseball revealed it’s list of the top 50 candidates out of the tens of thousands of submissions.
Every team has at least one representative, but this isn’t about them. This is about the Dodgers, their fans and more importantly their fanatics. This is about having a Dodger fan represent all of us in front of the rest of the country’s baseball fans.
In 2013 the Dodgers have three die-hard, true blue Dodger fans among the top 50 candidates vying to make the next cut where that number gets dwindled down to a top 30 and an invite to Spring Training to audition to be one of the nine 2013 Fan Cave Dwellers who will get to live in the MLB Fan Cave where they get to chronicle their lives in the Fan Cave through social media outlets, blogs and videos in their quest to be the last person standing as the ultimate winner.
This is the sec0nd of three interviews with each of the fans representing the Dodgers this year.
Mr. Dorn is a 24 year old Dodger fan living in Walnut Creek, California. He is currently an intern at San Francisco Magazine as well as a freelancer. He is a featured Dodgers columnist on the baseball blog called Bleacher Report. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and has been wearing his Dodger Blue his entire life. Even in the heart of Giants territory. He loves living in the Bay Area but admits it can be a little rough being a Dodgers fan in San Francisco. His passion for baseball runs deep and his passion for the Dodgers runs even deeper. He was a Top 50 finalist in last years MLB FanCave contest and hopes to improve his showing this year.
Matt Rogina: I know you are a Dodger fan. How long have you been a Dodger fan? When did you go to your first game?
Jeremy Dorn: I came out of the hospital reeling off on-base percentage stats of the 1988 Dodgers! Okay, that’s a stretch – but I really have been a diehard, true blue Dodgers fan my entire life. Unfortunately they won the World Series
in ’88 about three months before I was born and haven’t been back since.
MR: What is your fondest childhood baseball memory?
JD: There’s so many! How do I choose? One of my favorites is when I was
about 10 years old at the third-ever game at AT&T Park (the Dodgers swept
them in that series…welcome to the new stadium!) and sat first row by the
Giants’ bullpen. Even then, I was able to convince Robb Nen to give me his
warmup ball. After he handed it to me, I proudly showed off my new ball
and the Dodgers shirt that had been hiding under my jacket!
MR: What was your first live game experience like?
JD: I mentioned Robb Nen giving me his warmup ball, but I also remember Shawn Green hitting a home run in that game. We were sitting first row down the third base line, and I felt like the coolest kid in the world walking out of there not only with a Major League baseball in my hand, but with a Dodgers sweep in my back pocket.
MR: You say you were born and raised in the Bay Area, yet are a Dodger fan. How did you become a Dodger fan?
JD: My parents both grew up in Southern California and moved to the Bay Area right before I was born. My Dad is a diehard Dodgers fan too, so he raised me that way from day one!
MR: What was it like growing up a Dodger fan in the rivals territory?
JD: It’s always been fun living up here and holding down the fort for Dodgers Nation in NorCal. Believe it or not, I did have friends growing up, even repping Dodgers gear all the time.
MR: What are the biggest challenges you face now being a Dodgers fan in the Bay Area?
JD: The biggest challenge I face now is just coping with the last three years. I work in San Francisco and was in town during the World Series parade. Naturally, I stayed in my cubicle and ignored the world around me that day. But I have faith that this year’s Dodgers team will redeem us!
MR: So, did you play any baseball growing up?
JD: I played baseball my whole life until I got to college. I briefly considered trying to walk-on at Washington State but decided against it. But counting travel teams, fall ball, etc. I was playing baseball year-round from about age 5 until almost 19!
MR: What positions did you play?
JD: I played everywhere; in fact, I was first-team all-league “Utility” in high school. That season, I started at least one game at every position except catcher and center field.
MR: What was your favorite position to play?
JD: Definitely pitcher!
MR:Who were some of your favorite players in baseball growing up?
JD: I had so many! I still have doodles on my school binders from middle school of Mike Piazza, Ken Griffey, Jr. and Miguel Tejada, among others. Piazza was always my favorite back then, and I really liked Derek Jeter, too.
MR: Speaking of Mike Piazza, what do you think about this past Hall of Fame vote? Do you think Mr. Piazza should have been elected? Do you think he will eventually get in?
JD: I was definitely disappointed in the Hall of Fame results. There was so much talent in this year’s class that I thought for sure at least Craig Biggio would be enshrined. I’m fine with the admitted PED users not getting in, though I do expect Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens to break through eventually. My personal ballot included Piazza, but I was pretty sure he wouldn’t go in first ballot. It’s a shame that he and Mattingly both missed out though. Next year is going to be even more difficult for voters with Greg Maddx, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas joining the ballot! Hopefully the class next year makes up for it and elects 10 guys (in my opinion, there are nearly 15 deserving candidates eligible right now), including Piazza and the Dodgers current skipper!
MR: Who is your all time favorite Dodger player?
JD: It’s cliché, but my favorite all time Dodger player always has been and always will be Jackie Robinson. The way he transcended the color barrier in a time like that and then STILL became such a phenomenal baseball player just boggles my mind.
MR: If you could meet any present player on the Dodgers, who would it be and why? Any current non-player in the dodgers organization? What about all time?
JD: Definitely Clayton Kershaw. Like I said, pitching was my favorite thing to do when I played, and watching Kershaw pitch is pure magic. I’d love to shake his hand and talk with him about baseball, as well as his awesome charity work in Africa.
MR: He definitely is a special pitcher that only comes around once in a while. What about non-players? If you could meet anybody within the Dodgers organization that wasn’t a player, who would you want to meet?
JD: Well, I did get to meet Tommy Lasorda at this year’s Fan Fest (which still seems like a dream!). But for one I haven’t met, the Dodgers made it tough on me by hiring Sandy Koufax recently. Can I call it a tie between him and the great Vin Scully? I’d lose my mind if I ever got to meet either one! All time would also be Jackie Robinson, with Fernando Valenzuela a close second.
MR: Speaking of Mr. Valenzuela, there has been a lot of talk from fans about wanting to see the Dodgers retire Mr. Valenzuela’s number to celebrate the impact he had on the Dodgers, the city of Los Angeles and baseball as a whole. What are your thoughts?
JD: I would love to see the Dodgers retire Valenzuela’s number! It’s tough because he’s not a Hall of Fame pitcher like Sandy Koufax or a groundbreaking athlete like Jackie Robinson. But Fernandomania still hit Dodger Nation like a hurricane back in the day, and he’s been such an integral part of the organization even after his playing days, that I think he definitely deserves the honor of having his number retired.
MR: How many games do you go to live each season? How many do you watch or listen to on the radio?
JD: Last season I was able to use MLB.TV, which was incredible for someone who doesn’t get regularly-scheduled Dodgers games. So in 2012 I probably ended up watching, listening to, or attending about 150 Dodgers games. The way it broke down was about 10 in person, 50 on the radio, and 90 on TV. That’s my best guess, anyway.
MR: How many ballparks have you been to?
JD: Eleven. Unless you count minor league parks. Or walking up to a locked stadium in the off season. But the Major League parks I’ve attended games at are: Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium, Petco Park, o.Co Coliseum, AT&T Park, Safeco Field, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium (the old one), Tropicana Field, Busch Stadium and Wrigley Field.
MR: Very nice. What about minor league stadiums?
JD: Believe it or not, I’ve never made it out to a Sacramento RiverCats (A’s AAA team) game in all my years in the Bay Area. I hear from friends that their park is nicer than o.Co Coliseum! And I’ve actually only been to one minor league game – it was this past season in San Jose, where the San Jose Giants played our Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in a Single-A game. It’s such an awesome atmosphere though! I’m definitely going to make it a point to go to more.
MR: Have you ever gone to Spring Training in Florida or Arizona?
JD: Yes! I went to Arizona with my Dad when I was about 16 years old. It was unbelievable, and I’m frustrated that I haven’t been able to make it back since. We went to so many games and got up close and personal with the players. Spring Training is a baseball fan’s haven, and everyone really needs to experience it at some point.
MR: Well, hopefully you will get to go back this Spring!
MR:What is the most outrageous thing you have ever done to show support of the Dodgers?
JD: I’ll twist this question a little bit, because my answer is fun. In high school, I made a bet at the beginning of the season with two friends of mine who are Giants fans that the Dodgers would win the NL West that year. If they lost, they had to wear my Dodgers gear for a full day at school (my hometown is almost entirely pro-Giants, mind you). Well, that season was 2004, when Steve Finley hit a walk-off grand slam against the Giants to win the division. Let’s just say the next day I enjoyed the heck out of their misery.
MR: What is the greatest Dodger moment you ever witnessed?
JD: I still think the back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs against the Padres, before the Nomar Garciaparra walk-off was the most ridiculous comeback I’ve ever watched on TV. A close second was Finley’s walk-off slam in 2004. But in person, the best was definitely seeing Shawn Green’s oppo-bomb at AT&T against the Giants. They were all so excited about the new stadium, and he just ripped their hearts out in that opening series.
MR: If you were an MLB player, what would be your walk up music and why?
JD: We had walk-up music at some tournaments I played in high school, and I never really noticed what was playing because I always got so in the zone for my at-bat while I was in the on-deck circle. But I have a goofy sense of humor, so I’d probably blast some “Call Me Maybe” or “Tubthumping” by Chumbawumba. The only problem with those two is that I’d end up singing and dancing along and probably strike out looking before I had a chance to swing!
MR: I see you write about the Dodgers. How long have you been doing that and what got you started doing so?
JD: I’ve always loved writing, but I really got into sports writing around age 15. A friend of mine was into it. For some reason marrying sports and writing (my two greatest passions) hadn’t occurred to me until then. I joined my school newspaper and became the sports columnist and editor there. From there, it was sports journalism forever. I’ll write about anything sports-related, but my favorite topic is the Dodgers of course. I would say all in all, I’ve been writing Dodgers-related content for about eight years, and I’ve been a Dodgers Featured Columnist on Bleacher Report for just over a year now.
MR: If you were given the task of choosing one current person in the Dodgers organization to be the face of the franchise, who would you pick and why?
JD: Definitely Matt Kemp. Not only is he the most physically talented player on the team (in the Major Leagues, really), but he’s just an awesome guy. He radiates “cool,” and is a really good sport both on and off the field. There aren’t many better role models who encapsulate what it means to be a Dodger more than Kemp.
MR: You’re general manager of the Dodgers for one day. You can make any one move to improve the team. what move do you make?
JD: You mean besides cut Juan Uribe? Just kidding – I think you go out and trade Zach Lee, Dee Gordon and Andre Ethier (plus whatever else it takes) for Felix Hernandez before he signed that big deal with Seattle. The Mariners were interested in Gordon and Ethier all winter, and Lee is a huge prospect. But getting Felix into a rotation that already has a ton of potential (but plenty of question marks) would have made the Dodgers the hands-down favorite in the NL for years to come. Of course, that move is easier said than done and it’s really just me being greedy. But that would be my dream scenario if I were in Ned Colletti’s shoes!
MR: In your video submission to the MLB Fan Cave, you touched base on Pete Rose. Do you support his induction into the Hall of Fame?
JD: Yes. It’s such a fine line for me between players who used banned substances and players who bet on their teams. I truly believe Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will eventually be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and when that happens, there is no excuse for keeping the all-time hits leader out. He may have been a brash, selfish personality, but keeping one of the best players of all time out of Cooperstown in blasphemous in my eyes. The thing that kills me is that Rose never even bet against his own team. Yes, it’s wrong to bet on baseball and per the rules, he should have been banned. But is there no leniency for someone who was so confident in the team he managed that he would only bet on them winning?
MR: Another thing you mention in your video is that you keep count of the Cubbies curse? Do you think they will ever end their curse?
JD: It’s hard not to. Even if you don’t want to know, that number grows larger every season and looms in a baseball fan’s brain regardless. I don’t root for or against the Cubs (except when necessary to keep the Cardinal-fan girlfriend happy), but do feel bad for them sometimes. They’ve had some awful luck over the course of that curse. And yes, I definitely think it will be lifted someday. It would boggle my mind if they got to 150 years, but you never know. With the team and the farm system they have in place now, all it takes is a couple much-deserved breaks for the banners to be raised at Wrigley once more. And my goodness – I will make sure I’m in Chicago when it happens because that place will be a madhouse!
MR:Tell the truth: have you ever played hooky from work or school to watch a Dodger game?
JD: Yes, but don’t tell my parents, teachers or former bosses!
MR:What made you want to try out for MLB Fan cave?
JD: I actually applied last year and made it to the Top 50, and that time I really just applied on a whim. I figured, “Hey, that’s worth a shot!” so I recorded a quick video, sent it in, and totally forgot I had applied until they called me with the good news. Going through that experience a year ago opened a whole new world of baseball to me – I met tons of new friends (including my current girlfriend of nearly a year!) and got up close and personal with MLB Network. So this year I knew I had to try again with my new found knowledge and larger social media following. I think all the hard work since then is really paying off, and the opportunity in itself is so amazing that there was no way I would pass up another chance in 2013.
MR: Wait, so you are one half of the famous “MLB Fan Cave Couple”? Congratulations on finding a way to win even without winning the contest! I see she, too, is once again in the Top 50. How have you guys used that to your advantage?
JD: We know that the “Fan Cave couple” story line is one of a kind, and we definitely do try to play it up while still running our separate campaigns. We put together a video spoof of E! True Hollywood Story about being the first and only relationship created by the Fan Cave. They must have liked that, because it got posted on the Fan Cave blog! But even in our separate interviews the questions inevitably come up so we always end up giving a shout out to the other in the end. We just really think both being in the Fan Cave would hold such high potential for some golden productions this season. As for living together, it would definitely have to be in consideration if the Fan Cave allowed that! We will just have to hope to avoid that problem altogether by both making it!
MR: What advantage do you think you have this year after being a finalist in last year’s fan cave competition?
JD: Being involved in last year’s Top 50 definitely gives me a perspective that most of the other finalists don’t have. I became friends with the Cave Dwellers of 2012 and can take what I’ve talked to them about and put it towards my campaign efforts. There are first-time mistakes that everyone is going to make, including those of us who were in it last year, but I think those are minimized with the returning finalists. Just knowing the in’s and out’s of the competition is a huge step up.
MR: I’ve seen a lot of crazy things before, but is it true that you really have a custom made waffle iron with the Dodgers’ logo?
JD: You bet I do! I was checking my email one morning last summer and one of those Groupon ads popped up offering custom-made waffle irons with any MLB logo. I had about $40 to my name at the time and it cost $30 plus shipping. What else would I spend my last $40 on, really? Now I can have Dodger waffles (or Doffles, as I call them) any time I please.
MR: Okay, well I think I have taken up enough of your time, so just one final question. There’s less then a week left until voting closes to be the 2013 Cave Dweller. Tell my audience why it is that you deserve their vote.
JD: There are a ton of things that each potential Cave Dweller can claim, including being a huge baseball fan, knowing a lot about the sport, being social media savvy, etc. But what sets me apart is my intimate experience as a Dodgers fan in San Francisco. As far as I know, there are no other finalists who live in the heart of enemy territory while rooting for their team. Plus, no other two finalists in the Top 52 form a power couple like myself and Kelsey Shea Weinrich, a Cardinals finalist. We were introduced and created by the MLB Fan Cave last season, and think it only appropriate that we represent the Cave as the first “Fan Cave couple” in 2013. My story has unique points to it that make me one of the more interesting fans in this competition. Plus, my writing and content-producing abilities are very sharp, and I have an insanely long list of cool ideas for skits, features, etc. to do if I am chosen to go to the Fan Cave. I really appreciate all the overwhelming support on my campaign so far, and thank you for the interview today! I hope I can represent Dodger Nation in the Fan Cave this season and do everyone proud!
What do you say, Dodger fans? Do you have any questions or comments for Mr. Dorn? If nothing else, please be sure to send him well wishes in the comments section or you can follow him on these social network sites: