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Lone Tribe Finalist Hopes To Move Into MLB Fan Cave

| On 18, Feb 2012

By Mike Brandyberry

Tough economical times have lead to competitive job markets, but have you ever been a finalist for a position that had more than 22,000 applicants? For Amie Matthews, she finds herself in a group of 50 baseball fans looking to advance to a final group of 30 on Wednesday for the Major League Baseball Fan Cave.

Amie is the lone, remaining contestant representing the Cleveland Indians to gain membership to Major League Baseball’s Fan Cave in New York City. “I saw a commercial about the Fan Cave last year during the Super Bowl. My old roommate, Christine, is a huge Cubs fan. After the commercial, we sat on the couch with our mouths agape, gave one another a look and shouted, ‘DREAM JOB!’”

Matthews’ application has consisted of a series of essays, a video submission and links to relevant content. According to her, “I moonlight as a wannabe satirical sports blogger, so I sent them some of that content, too.”

Before she was trying to earn MLB’s ultimate dream job, she was just an elementary school student from Ashland, Ohio. Born in Ashland, she moved to Conneaut and lived there until she was 11. She moved to Elmira, N.Y., until moving to Pittsburgh for college. She’s lived in the Steel City since 2005, but always has considered herself a Cleveland Indians fan.

“I’ve been an Indians fan since early elementary school,” Matthews said. “I have a vivid memory of a day at the beginning of fourth grade. We were playing hangman on the chalkboard during a rainy recess. The answer to the puzzle was ‘David Justice.’ I blurted out, ‘who’s that?’ and the reaction I got from my classmates was utter shock. Mrs. Roccoci pulled me aside and said, ‘David Justice plays for the Cleveland Indians.’ I then went home and made sure I was never unprepared for an Indians question again.”

Matthews can always remember the day she and her family moved to Elmira. It was the day of Game 7 of the 1997 World Series.

Her three essays had to explain what she thought would be the three biggest stories of the 2012 season. She chose to discuss the impact of the Tigers’ acquisition of Prince Fielder, the odds the Pirates snap their 19-year streak of losing seasons and who she sees as someone who can transcend baseball into popular culture, much like Tim Tebow has in the NFL.

Matthews has been humbled by the support she has received from friends and family. “Neither of my parents are huge sports fans. But for this? I’m never seen them so crazy,” she said. “My dad told the Chemung County Executive in New York about it and they proclaimed February 22nd officially, ‘MLB and Amie Matthews Day.’”

But most importantly, this experience has brought her much closer to fans. “I don’t have any connections to the world of baseball other than ones I’ve made in the ballpark and on my couch,” Matthews said. “This experience has allowed me to bridge that gap. Anyone can do what I’m doing! I know the odds of top 50 out of 22,000 paint a different picture, but I’m a real fan like you and this Fan Cave opportunity has paired me with so many awesomely passionate baseball fans.” Matthews hopes if her journey continues, she will have the opportunity to meet Jim Thome.

Voting for the 30 finalists concludes on Wednesday, Feb. 22. Fans can cast their vote on the MLB Fan Cave site. The 30 finalists will advance to Spring Training in Arizona in March, where contestants have little details on the next step. Follow Amie on Twitter (@WhosOnFoyst) for her journey to win MLB’s Dream Job.

Video: Courtesy MLB Fan Cave