Fan Fuel: Canadian makes it into final nine of MLB Fan Cave

Blue Jays fan April Whitzman has been chosen as the first Canadian in the MLB Fan Cave competition.


Today, I got that call. A call I will always remember. The call from the MLB Fan Cave.

I was sitting at my desk at work when my phone rang. I took a deep breath and answered as confidently as possible, even though I was freaking out and incredibly scared for what I was about to hear next.

“Hi, April. This is […] the MLB Fan Cave. How are you?,” the voice on the other line said.

“Oh, I’m great,” I replied, lying. I had been freaking out for weeks while the committee worked diligently on naming the final nine contestants. There was not a thing I wanted more than this opportunity.

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“Glad to hear it,” they continued. “Listen, we’re going to get straight to the point…”

My mind trailed at this point. It sounded as if they were about to rip off a bandage and tell me some devastating news. I was prepared for it; however, as I had witnessed first-hand how talented the other contestants were while we were all in Arizona competing for a final spot a few weeks ago. Thus, I got ready to repeat my rehearsed words, “I completely understand. I just want you to know I had an amazing time in the competition and I would like to thank you for the opportunity.”

But before I could open my mouth, the MLB Fan Cave representative continued. “We would like to invite you to the MLB Fan Cave.”

I didn’t say a word. I mean it. Not a peep. Not a sound. Not even an exhale.

I have never been speechless in my entire life. But even now I am without words that can describe how grateful and excited I am to have heard those words and be invited to New York City, where I will spend the majority of the MLB season, in just a few days!

“We would like you to represent Canada AND the Toronto Blue Jays in the MLB Fan Cave,” they continued.

“I’d be honoured,” I somehow managed to reply. My voice shook with each word I said and my legs trembled so uncontrollably I had to sit down on a nearby chair.

And it’s the truth. It really does mean so much to me to be the first Canadian invited in this stage of the competition. I truly cannot explain how it feels to not only have an incredible team and organization backing me, but also an entire country.

While it all seems like a blur to me now, from what I remember, our conversion continued for a few more minutes as they explained that they would be sending me more information shortly and that they are very excited for the baseball season to begin.

They are excited?

I am excited!

Baseball is my true passion. It has always been my goal to work in the field. Every article I handed in during my two university degrees was prefaced with one of my professors stating, “Let me guess, this is about baseball.”

And that’s not all. After graduating, I moved to London, Ontario to work as an unpaid PR intern for the London Rippers, an independent baseball team of the Frontier League – I moved away from my friends and family to only add to my debt just so that I could get a chance to work in the industry and have a chance to reach my dreams.

Now they feel like they are coming true. So yes – I am excited.

I ended the phone call by saying, “Thank you.” But even though I am incredibly thankful and humbled they selected me to continue in the process, complete appreciation needs to also go out to each and every individual who has supported me. Thank you to the Blue Jays’ organization. Thank you to my friends and family. And thank you to anyone and everyone who believed in me during this complete ordeal. Each tweet, email, phone call, Facebook message and conversation we have shared has not gone unnoticed and has meant more to me than words can ever describe. Thank you for giving me another chance to reach my dreams. And thank you for giving me to chance the get that call that may just change my destiny.

So thank you again. I hope to make you all proud while I am chasing my Big League dreams, cheering on the Toronto Blue Jays, in New York City.

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