MLB hires fans to watch every game
Fulfilling every baseball fan’s dream, two men were drafted by Major League Baseball on Wednesday to watch all 2,430 regular-season games, beating out 10,000 applicants for the job.
Mike O’Hara, a punk rocker, and Ryan Wagner, a former actor, will be holed up in MLB’s "Fan Cave," a shrine to fandom built in the old Tower Records building in Manhattan, in front of 15 flat-screen televisions.
As they watch the games starting on Thursday, O’Hara will tweet their thoughts, be interviewed by MLB sportscasters, have daily adventures chronicled in online videos and will update the world on their exploits through social media. Both men won the job after submitting video clips and writing samples along with interviews with network executives and on-air talent.
As of Tuesday, O’Hara, 37, said he still had a girlfriend. Fortunately for him, he will not have to live in the 15,000-square-foot Fan Cave or subsist on a diet of stadium food.
"I don’t want to end up two sizes larger by the end of the season," he said. MLB officials would not say how much O’Hara is being paid, but said his salary falls between that of a batboy and baseball’s league minimum of $400,000.
Wagner is looking forward to the challenge and isn’t fazed by the national spotlight, especially after his experiences of being an understudy for the Cowardly Lion in a production of "The Wizard of Oz."
"I’ve performed in a ridiculous costume for 370 shows, I don’t mind it," Wagner told MLB.com. I wore a 30-pound fur costume that felt like walking around in a fold-up bed."