What do you get when you mix a pool table, Marlins Players, a diehard fan, and table tennis? This is part two of my first day at the MLB Fan Cave. I left off with the dwellers and me scarfing down the buffet that the draftees left. It’s time to find out what happens when the players crash the cave.
The first players to show up were Steve Cishek, Mike Dunn, and Dan Jennings. After we all introduced ourselves it was time to give the players a tour of the cave. They saw the dirt, the paintings, the control center, the baseball wall (where they each signed a ball), and the infamous Fan Cave Table Tennis table. Did you know that Dan is an amazing Table Tennis player? Well Travis our Mets Cave Dweller found that out the hard way.
Travis is the reigning king of Table Tennis at the Fan Cave (I think he got a scholarship to college for Table Tennis). Dan heard this and was up for a challenge. At first it was a friendly game of just back and forth, and then it got serious! Back hands, slams, tip table hits, forehands, and lighting speed serves, boy that game was intense! The game was interrupted because Steve found the PS3 with the game “The Show” in it, and he was pitching in the first inning of the game. He was a little freaked out that the video game version of him looked a lot like him. After he walked the first three batters he warmed up Hatcher and we moved on with the tour. On to the VIP with the Pool Table and more food.
Feb 12, 2013; Jupiter, FL, USA; Miami Marlins relief pitcher Steve Cishek during spring training at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
It was funny watching Aaron the Dodger Cave Dweller trying to convince everyone to eat some pastrami in a very bad New York accent (sorry Aaron). That’s when Steve saw the Pool Table. Oh time for some fun! Steve called us over to the table and began to show us how to play a game we renamed “Marlins Marbles.” The object of the game is to be the last one left standing, and to do so there are two balls, you take one ball and hit the other ball from the other side of the table. Once you hit the ball it’s the next person’s turn to take the original ball and hit the moving ball before it stops (also from the opposite side of the table). If the moving ball stops you are out, if you sink the moving ball into a pocket the next person is out. This keeps going until one person is left. Lost yet? Yea so was I, but I gave it a try. I got an elbow to the head by Mike Dunn. It was awesome! So while we were all playing this game, Dan and Travis snuck upstairs to the Table Tennis to play a game (and I followed). Here is where it gets serious.
This began one of the most intense games of Table Tennis I have ever seen. At times the ball was going so fast that I didn’t even see it. Back and forth, back and forth, but Travis took a 20-15 lead and it seemed Jennings was done…or was he? Jennings mounted a massive comeback with lighting speed backhands, spiking the ball, trick serves, and some lucky bounces. Jennings won 22-20! What a game!
After all the games were over ,we all gathered into the main room. Here the Marlins and the Fan Cave presented me with a massive gift basket! This basket had every promotion item the Marlins have offer so far this season! I got a MLB network draw string bag, a magnet schedule, sunglasses, cups, baseball balls, hats, shirts, hand lotion, pens, bat keys chains, a bottle opener, and the one item I missed because I was at my brother’s wedding, the Giancarlo Arm Sleeve! Don’t tell anybody but I cried a little bit. I thanked them for all this and all the work they did helping promote me on Twitter in my effort to get on the 2013 Fan Cave earlier this year. They were some amazing people, and this is an amazing day, and I’m only 5 hours into it!
Join me next time when more hijinks ensue when Derek Dietrich shows up and the Vets have a plan for this rookie. Till next time… Let’s Go Marlins!