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MLB Pays Two Fans to Watch Every Single Game

Wednesday, 30 Mar 2011 | 9:02 AM ET

It just might be the craziest, most ambitious, yet perfect idea a sports league has ever come with.

Take two fans. Have them watch every single game. Tell them to blog, tweet and take part in a Web series on MLB.com, all while passersby get to peek into, and perhaps, even enter their ultimate fancave.

Ryan Wagner (left) and Mike O'Hara (Right) get used to their Fancave created by Major League Baseball.
Credit: Major League Baseball
Ryan Wagner (left) and Mike O'Hara (Right) get used to their Fancave created by Major League Baseball.

In what seems like the sports world's version of the Biosphere 2, Mike O'Hara and his wingman Ryan Wagner will begin their jobs as Major League Baseball's ultimate fans on Thursday.

From the first pitch to the last one in the World Series, it is their job to watch every single game in New York City in a 15,000 square foot space, surrounded by 32, 14-foot windows, that used to be the bustling home of Tower Records.

As "winners" of this awesome experiment—there were more than 10,000 applicants for this job believe it or not—O'Hara and Wagner will watch roughly 2,463 games (which includes the postseason). That's about 394,000 minutes of baseball.

The two will leave their nearby rented apartments every morning and get to their fancave around 9:30 a.m. They'll often wait until the Chicago Cubs game starts around midday and they're required to stay until the final out of the late west coast game is made (around 1 a.m. ET)

When they arrive, their viewing den will include 15 Sony televisions and an 18-foot statue of Willie Mays' famous catch. There will even be a "bat phone" of sorts that will allow them to immediately weigh in on a particular game highlight live on the MLB Network. The area was created by Paul DiMeo, lead designer of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

O'Hara, 37, is originally from New York, but has been in Los Angeles for the last twelve years pursuing a career as a writer, actor and a singer in a punk rock band.

Wagner, 25, is a Baltimore native who was traveling around the country as Dorothy's uncle in the "Wizard of Oz."

The two met each other for the first time on Monday and, suffice it to say, they'll get to know each other plenty over the next six months.

They'll maintain their sanity thanks to Major League Baseball, which will allow visitors, either from off the street or through specially planned guests, including player appearances.

Although the two are getting paid an undisclosed sum, they both insist they'd do it for free. After all, the fancave includes a barbershop area and a section that enables them to pick their wardrobe—MLB authentic apparel for the day.

The only thing missing is some piece of gym equipment. Said O'Hara: "I'm hoping my dad can send me his unused Bowflex."

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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