'Fan Cave' Duo Ready for End to Baseball's Regular Season

The MLB paid them to watch every single game and write about it.

Sept. 28, 2011— -- Mike O'Hara and Ryan Wagner are entering baseball's record book -- not for anything they have done on the field, but what they have done off it.

From the first cry of "Batter Up!" March 31, the two men have seen every Major League Baseball game on television this year. When the regular season ends sometime tonight, so will their streak -- 2,429 games played, 2,429 games watched.

After so much baseball, they could be forgiven for counting down the innings to the bitter end. But they sound wistful their baseball marathon is near the finish line.

"It's not laying brick; every day is something new. You look back and you actually say, 'Wow, that went fast,'" O'Hara told ABC News. "It's a good feeling to know that we finished it."

Watching Baseball During Irene

Through rain delays and extra innings, the rise of the Philadelphia Phillies and the collapse of the Boston Red Sox, three no-hitters and Derek Jeter's 3,000th career hit, they have seen it all. Even Tropical Storm Irene could not force them to turn away.

"There were still games being played in the Midwest," O'Hara said. "Honestly, it was hard to know there was a storm outside."

O'Hara and Wagner are crazy baseball fans, but they are not crazy: They were paid to do this, selected from nearly 10,000 applicants.

Their six months of baseball watching has been part publicity stunt, part reality show, all of it dreamed up by MLB.

They did it from a gigantic storefront in lower Manhattan transformed into a "Fan Cave" with pool and air hockey tables, a DJ booth, a tattoo parlor, performing space for musicians, baseball memorabilia and, of course, televisions, lots of televisions, including a wall of large-screen TVs -- "the Cave Monster" -- that allowed them to watch as many as 15 games at the same time.

The cavemen have been writing about their experiences on Twitter, Facebook and MLB.com and turning a parade of visits by ballplayers and celebrities into videos that were posted online.

The goal: to give baseball some buzz and appeal to a generation glued to computer screens as much as television screens.

Watching Baseball Takes Its Toll

O'Hara, 37, is a comedian, musician and Yankees fan. Wagner, 26, is an actor who roots for the Baltimore Orioles. While they have spent many 18-hour days in the Fan Cave, they have been sleeping a few blocks away in apartments rented by Major League Baseball.

They admit to only a few moments of self-doubt. For Wagner, it was when the pair returned from their one road trip, a July visit to the All-Star Game in Arizona, and faced the realization "there was a whole half of the season to go."

"I said, 'Let's get that second wind. Let's see if we can do this,'" he said.

O'Hara remembers the day his parents and extended family stopped by the Fan Cave and he could not leave with them.

"I felt distant from my own family," he said. He did get engaged during the season, however.

If they are the Lou Gehrig and Cal Ripken of baseball fans, Wagner and O'Hara are careful to make a distinction. Their feat of endurance is the result of watching games, not playing them. Still, they said they have a new appreciation of what players face during the long season.

Plans After Baseball: 'Nap'

"Obviously we don't have the groin pulls, the pitcher's elbows [but] I do feel like we went through the grind with those guys," O'Hara said. "They played 162 [and] we watched 162 for all of them."

Although the regular season is ending, Wagner and Ryan are not done with baseball. Wagner will go on the road for the first round of the playoffs while O'Hara will continue to man the Fan Cave. Plans for the World Series have not been determined, but they will be watching.

And when the World Series is over, will they have baseball withdrawal? What will they do?

"Nap," said O'Hara.

"Go on a vacation," Wagner said.

O'Hara hopes to resume performing with his band and audition for roles in Hollywood. Wagner might do some voiceover work; a gig at a sports talk station in Baltimore also is a possibility.

Whatever happens, Wagner admitted it will be strange watching baseball again without O'Hara at his side. The two did not know each other before the season, but now consider themselves life-long friends.

"This might sound a little cheesy, but the late nights, when everyone else was gone, and Mike and I were here alone, just goofing around, listening to music, and watching the games," he said."Next year, I'll have to catch myself. ... I'll be looking to say something to Mike and he won't be there."

But that is next year. On Tuesday night as the evening's games were just getting underway, the two savored the last few hours of games.

Wagner looked at a TV screen and turned to O'Hara. "Braves are down tonight. Looks like St. Louis might win that wildcard outright."