Alum makes MLB Fan Cave finals

Courtesy Photo / Sam Springli
Sam Springli, a GVSU alumnus, was seleceted as a finalist for the MLB Fan Cave

Courtesy photo

Courtesy Photo / Sam Springli Sam Springli, a GVSU alumnus, was seleceted as a finalist for the MLB Fan Cave

Andrew Justus

Many Grand Valley State University alumni head off into the workplace or to graduate school after crossing the stage at Van Andel Arena.

Sam Springli, a film and video major from Hayden, Idaho, who graduated in December, took a different path.

Springli is one of 50 finalists for Major league Baseball’s “Fan Cave,” a contest where a half dozen or so winners will eventually be chosen to watch every baseball game during the season, interview celebrities and players and blog about their experience.

“It’s a big career opportunity, seven months of blogging and video demo material to put on a resume,” Springli said.

To make it to the Fan Cave in New York City, Springli must first beat at least 20 of his fellow finalists by creating more buzz and earning more votes than them. So far Springli has appeared on the front page his hometown’s newspaper and called into radio stations both in Idaho and Grand Rapids in an effort to self promote. As for the voting, fans have been watching videos prepared by the finalists and picking their favorite with no limit on votes.

It is a “lot more than sitting around waiting for people to vote for me,” Springli said.

Springli’s competition has also been hard at work. According to MLB’s website, some finalists have endorsements from high profile players and former players. One even has a campaign video with hall of fame outfielder Tony Gwynn. Springli, for his part, has a Twitter endorsement from current St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal.

“Reaching out to media here has been tough,” he said. “I learned that I need to mention my social media as much as possible when I can.”

After making calls to various media outlets, including the Lanthorn, for much of the week, Springli said he is getting tired of all the begging for attention.

The unemployed recent graduate would rather compete directly against the other contenders instead of relying on the media and voters.

“If I make it to the top 30 it’s all on my shoulders,” he said.

If he does make it to the top 30, Springli will head to spring training try-outs, just like many prospective major leaguers. There, the top 30 will compete against each other doing things similar to what they can expect in New York.

Once in New York, the contest winners will work in a studio on 4th Street and Broadway outfitted with all the equipment they will need to watch and report on all things baseball. The winners will also have housing courtesy of the league and a stipend. “This could put me in a direction that could change the rest of my life,” he said.

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