Travis Miller, a Marist alumnus, was chosen to be a cave dweller for the 2013 MLB season.
The MLB Fan Cave is located in New York City where cave dwellers watch every game of the MLB season. Cave dwellers also participate in celebrity/athlete appearances and other special events while running a blog and social media accounts. Throughout the season, cave dwellers are eliminated until a winner is chosen. Last year’s winner received an impressive prize package including $10,000 and a 2013 season pass to all 30 teams.
Travis Miller applied in 2011 and 2012 as well, but he did not make the final cut. Instead of giving up, he decided to apply for a third time in 2013. Over 20,000 people applied to join the fan cave this year, but only nine were selected, including Miller. Each cave dweller represented their favorite team, with Miller representing the New York Mets.
Miller’s favorite moments in the cave tended to be exciting Met wins. “Lucas Duda’s walk-off against Mariano Rivera in May will forever be my favorite night in the Fan Cave.” said Miller. “Another memorable moment was Andrew Brown’s 13th-inning walk-off against the Arizona Diamondbacks.” He also enjoyed meeting Mookie Wilson, a former New York Met that visited the cave. Many players such as Chris Davis and Jake Peavy visited the cave as well during the season.
Being a Mets fan also comes with its low points. Matt Harvey, a pitcher for the New York Mets, established himself as an All-Star player this year. However, Harvey suffered a potentially serious injury to his pitching arm late in the season. Shortly after the news broke, Travis Miller tweeted, “I don’t even know how to react to this right now. So I’m not going to.” His mood in the cave also depended on the Mets winning or losing…that was my life, so when you went a week without winning it could get really stressful.”
Although it was a competition, Miller got along great with the other dwellers. “The competition aspect of it wasn’t actually evident once we all got comfortable in our roles. We all brought different skill sets to the table so judgment criteria were different for each dweller.” said Travis.
Unfortunately for Miller, he was eliminated on September 12th. However, his time in the cave did not go to waste. His experience in the cave has given him a new perspective, specifically regarding social media. “Social media branding is still a developing field, but it’s also a growing field as businesses learn to navigate a new means of advertising and marketing. Job opportunities will continue to pop up that are looking for social media strategy, and that’s what I focused on daily in the cave.” His time spent on social media in the cave was not strictly business strategy oriented. He also enjoyed being able to bond with other Met fans after a dramatic win or an emotional loss.
Prior to joining the cave, Travis Miller was a freelance writer in Chicago, mainly covering the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox. Now that his time in the cave is over, he plans to continue freelance writing until a full-time position opens up.
Miller already reminisces his time in the cave, “I would definitely do it all again. It’s such a unique experience. Just being able to say I did it once is crazy to think about.”