Baseball is an expensive game for the fan. For the average American family, it could cost upward to $200 to attend a game. You’ve got the tickets, the food, the gas, the time, the memoribilia. MLB’s memorbilia is expensive, man. My family can’t really afford baseball. So sometimes I wonder: am I less of a fan?
Sometimes I feel less of a fan when I go to the ballpark. Strange, I know. Maybe it’s because I don’t get to go to the ballpark that often. I’m not there all the time. When I go to a game, I hang around the field level a lot beforehand. I see the ticket holders laughing and talking with each other, the players, and the ushers. They all know each other, the players know them, and they belong there. It makes me feel pretty small. I feel like I’m less of a fan because the players don’t know me by name, and the season ticket holders aren’t my best buddies. The season ticket holders seem kind of inferior to the “lower” fans, because they “care” about the team more. Now, I’m not saying that season ticket holders are bad people. I would love to be a season ticket holder, myself. But they are a special, set apart group. It just seems like they are lifted higher than the average fan, and I think they are. But that does not make me less of a fan. I am a Padres fan. Don’t think that I don’t have season tickets because I don’t want too. No, if I was able and had the money, I would move into left field, buy season tickets and a huge collection of memoribilia, and be at every game and event at Petco. But that’s the lifestyle of the rich and famous. I am not rich and famous.
Now, when I get up to my usual seats in the nosebleeds, I am much more comfortable. Up there are the people who are at my rank. The people who might be tight on money but can afford the $14 ticket. But they are great seats. Over the few games I’ve attended up there, I’ve realized that I am one of the loudest, and I really don’t care. I love cheering for my Padres up there. It’s really fun up there, but of course I would love to be closer to the field.
I can’t watch the games on TV. I listen to them on the radio. I can’t attended many games, mostly because of money and distance. I have a modest collection of memoribilia, but nothing like some of the fans out there have. I did buy a new Padres shirt yesterday…at Wal-Mart. I have sat at field level…in the outfield for $10. I’m not buying from MLB Shop, ’cause frankly, it’s too expensive. It really looks like I am less of a fan.
But no way am I less of a fan. NO WAY. I wear my Padres gear all the time. I follow the team on the internet very closely. I know the status of all our players. If there’s anything new on the Padres’ website, I’m on it. I know my team. I’m the go-to person among my friends if anyone wants to know something about the Padres. I know their history, their successes, their failures. Listening to the games on the radio is cool. You catch a lot more than when you’re actually watching it. And going to the ballpark only once in a while is OK. Each game is just extremely exciting to me, and I cherish them more because it’s such a rare occasion. Whenever I start thinking that I’m less of a fan, I remind myself that I’m also one of the few extremely consistent Padres blogs here. That’s gotta count for something.