Q&A with Alexandria Justice, MLB Fan Cave Candidate
We are proud to have two candidates in the running for the MLB Fan Cave contest! We asked each of our candidates some questions to help you get to know them better and explain why they should represent the Cleveland Indians in the Fan Cave. Don’t forget to go vote for Alex here and follow her on Twitter @alexjustice4all!
What is your favorite Tribe memory? Where were you and why does it stand out?
I have so many amazing memories of the Tribe, but if I had to pick just one, it just might be from the playoffs against the Yankees back in 2007. If not for the Indians, Cleveland public schools wouldn’t have had baseball and softball teams because of a lack of funding. Since my three other siblings and I played for John Marshall, this meant a lot to me. The Indians organization not only kept our teams alive, they also invited us to many events where we had the opportunity to hang out with the players. At the first playoff game in 2007, the Indians invited the softball and baseball teams to hold out the giant American flag on the field for the singing of the National Anthem at the beginning of the game. I cannot even begin to describe how sick that experience was — and to make that unforgettable day even better, we ended up crushing the Yankees in a beautiful 12-3 win.
Who is your favorite Indians player of all time and why?
It is so tough to choose just one of these amazing and talented guys, but I have to say my favorite of all time is Omar Vizquel. In the 10 years that he was with us, I can’t even count the number of times he left me in awe over the moves he would pull on the field. From his incredible offensive performance in the playoff runs in the 90s, to the three-run triple he hit against the Seattle Mariners in 2001 that tied the game and eventually led to a win and the greatest comeback in MLB history, to when he caught the catcher sleeping and stole home against the Detroit Tigers in 2003. His talent was pretty much limitless. Now that he is retired, I am eager to see him come back home in the next few years so he can give us just a little bit more of his magic again.
There are two Indians fans as hopefuls for the Fan Cave. Why should fans vote for you? What makes you a great representative of the Cleveland Indians?
First of all, I am so thrilled to have not only one Indians fan in the running to be in the Cave, but TWO of us. I like the odds! I know that I would make the perfect representative of the Tribe for many reasons. Most of all, though, I just want to give something back to the Indians. The MLB has provided me with 21 years of the great game of baseball, and the Indians provided my sisters and me with four years of softball in high school, and four years of baseball for my brother. Without his high school experience, he never would have lived his dream playing college baseball. Between attending home and away games, watching games on TV, being able to play in high school and seeing the happiness baseball brings my entire family, I could not be more thankful for all that the Indians have provided me. I just want to have an opportunity to show how grateful I am by proving in the MLB Fan Cave how truly passionate Cleveland fans are. My bond with them extends to almost every part of my life, and I only want to continue making our relationship more and more unique by representing them.
If you could have one current Indians player on your side in a snowball fight, who would you pick and why?
I would NEED Chris Perez on my side. As he says on his Twitter bio, he is “just a normal guy with an arm like a … cannon.” Not to mention his ability to dodge anything that comes his way: Remember last year when he tripped, I mean, dodged that sniper at the end of the game? Reflexes like a CAT!
What was your reaction when they informed you that you were a finalist for the Fan Cave?
It was 11:05am on January 31, and I was sitting in my second class of the day at Ohio State. All of a sudden my Twitter notified me that I gained two more followers and I thought to myself, “Hmm … that’s weird. Who are these people?” I decided to click on one of them and saw that she said she made it into the Fan Cave and my fingers could not move to MLBFanCave.com fast enough. I scrolled down and there I was, all the way at the bottom, the second to last video. I immediately broke down and literally ran out of my class and cried my heart out in the hallway. With trembling fingers I managed to call my mom and tell her that I was terrified that I was dreaming, she laughed at me pretty hard. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a more amazing state of euphoria. I will NEVER forget that moment.
What’s something we would never guess by just looking at you?
First of all, I have a feeling that by being such a wild fan at games, I shock a lot of people. I’m sure that they never expect such a big fan to come out of such a small gal. I’m also going to guess that because of this crazy fan that comes out in me when the Indians are involved, people would never guess that I can be a total closet nerd. I studied a book about the deaf in sports, and loved learning about the way baseball players communicate with one another that doesn’t even require hearing. Plus, I may or may not be super into King Arthur literature. (OK, yes I am.)
Mustard, Onion, or Ketchup? Why?
Oh boy, definitely Mustard, without a doubt. When my dad took me to games when I was a kid, my older brother was Ketchup, I was Mustard and my younger sister was Onion. It’s almost scary how much sibling rivalry there can come from a hot dog derby; to this day we are still probably far too possessive of our hot dog mascots.
If you could interview any player, who would you interview and what would you ask them?
Another tough one! If I were to interview a current player, I would want to talk to probably my favorite player right now, Jason Kipnis. It’s clear that he has a vibrant personality and I love that he feels it is important to have some camaraderie amongst his teammates. As Indians fans know, good chemistry in a team is so important to their success (hello, mid-90s Indians teams). I would ask him how this mentality came about, who influenced him and why he came to feel that it is important for a player to use humor to balance out the stress that comes along with playing in Major League Baseball. His style is definitely different than some all-business players, which to me is very refreshing. I would just love to have some fun baseball talk that reminds us all of the real reasons why the players do it in the first place.
What’s your favorite Tribe item and why?
OK, I cannot pick just one! When I was younger my dad took me to the Kenny Lofton bobblehead giveaway at Progressive Field. As we left the game, a man came up to me and offered me $50 for my bobblehead. I actually said to him, “What? $50 for KENNY LOFTON? HAHAHA” and needless to say, I turned his offer down. My Kenny bobble has always been close to my heart. Another favorite would have to be my autographed Indians trucker hat. A good friend of mine found it and since he is a Cincinnati Reds fan, he gave the hat to me knowing that I would give it the love it deserves. I took my hat to the season ticket holder’s party last year and got it signed by eight Indians, making the hat even more rad than it already was. I wear it to just about every game I go to and wore it in my Fan Cave application video, so this gem is sure to bring some good luck to the Tribe this year.
The MLB Fan Cave requires fans to watch A LOT of baseball. Describe why you like the sport and why you think you can handle a summer with nothing but baseball.
I have been in love with baseball for as long as I can remember. I am incredibly lucky that my mom and dad are great parents and raised me to be a hardcore Cleveland Indians fan. It also helped that I have always looked up to my older brother and baseball fanatic, Zack Justice, so loving baseball all day, every day just came natural to me. My obsession all started with the desire to impress my brother and dad, and turned into such a huge part of me that I couldn’t even function without it. I have fantasized about being able to attend every single Indians game for a long time now. I never in my wildest dreams actually thought something would come to exist where your job title is literally to watch every single baseball game. The question isn’t if I can handle it in general, it is really whether my heart can handle an entire summer with nothing but my favorite thing in the world: baseball. It would basically be like a daily heart attack for me waking up every day knowing that my reality is truly a dream come true.
— TribeVibe Contributor Courtney Shilling