He’s a younger version of me, and maybe a cooler one. Fine, he’s a cooler version of me.

Thomas Aaron Roberts loves your Los Angeles Dodgers, he’s made the cut in the MLB Fan Cave contest from 20,000 participants all the way down to 50, and he deserves your VOTE.

He’s seen every Los Angeles and Brooklyn-related exhibit at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, he’s worn his Dodger cap proudly at 11 big league ballparks (plus three minors), and while his girlfriend and partner in baseball travels, Chantelle, is an Angels fan, there’s a chance she’ll covert to Blue should they one day tie the knot.

An MLB press release sums up the Fan Cave program this way: “Major League Baseball [on February 14] will select 30 finalists based on fan voting, quality of the original submissions, and the ability of the contestants to generate buzz and interest in their campaigns. These 30 finalists will earn a trip to Spring Training in Arizona later in the month, where they will compete in a variety of challenges to determine the final group of Cave Dwellers. These winners will begin the season in the MLB Fan Cave (4th Street and Broadway in New York City’s Greenwich Village) with the goal of watching all 2,430 MLB games while chronicling their experiences online through videos, blogs, and social media. Along the way, they will be eliminated or remain in the MLB Fan Cave based on the quality of their contributions, with one eventual winner crowned before the end of the World Series.”

Roberts “goes to Spring Training every year to get a little more up close and personal with the players.” He lists his in-person viewing highlights as “Dodger games where Andre Ethier, Dioner Navarro, Matt Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez have won a game with a swing of the bat.

“Walkoffs are incredible. You can feel the electricity in the air. My worst memories are the back-to-back NLCS losses to the Phillies a few years ago. Jonathan Broxton giving up a walkoff double with two outs in game four of the 2009 NLCS was very bitter pill to swallow. Then there’s always Frank McCourt. You can take your pick of bad memories with him.”

And why, you wonder, would a 28-year-old high school substitute teacher want to spend the 2013 season in a cave?

“The MLB Fan Cave is the ultimate dream for any baseball lover. You live in an amazing space in Greenwich Village and get to watch every single baseball game in front of a wall of 15 TV’s. Throughout the season you meet star players and film video content with them and various other celebrities. Musicians and bands also come perform for you, all while you talk about it through social media. It’s incredible, and I can’t think of a better experience for a baseball junkie like me.

“[While] it does seem a little daunting to live in New York for the season and be so far away from my family and friends, the good FAR outweighs any bad. I mean, come on! You get to watch baseball every day and be a part of Major League Baseball. Your favorite players will shake your hand. You get to share your thoughts and perspective with the rest of the baseball world. Sounds pretty amazing to me. Plus, you’re not like a prisoner or anything. You get your own living space and are free to roam the city when there aren’t any games on.

I asked Roberts how he handles being a Dodger fan living in Huntington Beach.

“It’s a little tough to be in a sea of Angel Red when you bleed Dodger Blue, especially when your girlfriend is an Angels fan. We make it work, though. You’d be surprised at how many True Blue Believers are out there in the OC, and I’m leading the charge.”

And how can we best support your efforts?

“The main thing to do to support me is go to the MLB Fan Cave website and vote for my video. A huge part of campaigning is social media, so I’d love it if everyone would come be my friend on Twitter @Bertsball, Instagram @Bertsball and Facebook.com/Bertsball.

How can you not love this guy? Let’s vote him into the finals, shall we.

Please follow me on Twitter @Howard_Cole

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As much as I love – and have grown up with – baseball, I don’t think I could ever sit through 2430 games in one season…lol! More power to Mr. Roberts, though, and I hope he wins.

February 5, 2013 3:37 pm

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@Johnny Dodger I’m good for 150 to 155 Dodger games a year, and I make no promises beyond that. Most people, including my wife and every member of my family, thinks that’s quite enough.

February 5, 2013 3:39 pm

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