My letter to the Indians

Upon discovering that a ticket to get my dad in to Rocky Colavito Night was going to cost $26.50, I started complaining on social media. Someone pointed out that emailing the Indians might be a better solution, so I did that. I've copied it here for the perusal of LGT at large.

To whom it may concern,

I've been an Indians fan for all of my 30 years. In that time I've seen some good teams, some bad teams, and some truly awful teams. As a kid I thought Cory Snyder and Joe Carter were Hall of Fame shoo ins and I was certain Brook Jacoby wasn't far behind. In those 30 years, I've never failed to attend at least a game in Cleveland each year, even the years that meant spending hours on a phone on Saturday morning trying to get tickets.

I got my passion for the Indians from my dad, who grew up in NE Ohio. Before streaming radio online and DirecTV packages, Dad would spend however long it took to tune our radio just right to pick WTAM so my brothers and I could listen as we fell asleep. Dad told us about Herb Score, Sam McDowell, Rico Carty, and Luis Tiant, but especially he told us about Rocky Colavito.

My dad loved The Rock. He had pictures of Colavito plastered across his room growing up and still speaks reverently about watching Rocky throw a baseball. Dad is getting older now and, as is the way with dads the world over, it's getting harder and harder to find him a good birthday present. This year though, we had one. All six of us boys were going to meet Dad at his house in southern Ohio and drive up to see Rocky Colavito in person. We hoped to get there for the plaque, but just seeing Rocky throw out the first pitch and wave to the crowd was going to be a big enough thrill.

The night before the trip, some of us convened to pick seats and order tickets that we could print off ahead of time. Imagine our chagrin upon seeing that Upper Reserved seats for the evening were going for $26.50 a piece. Certain we had done something wrong, we checked Stubhub, reloaded the Indians page, and tried going directly through TicketMaster. No, tickets for our dad to see Rocky one last time (and us to see him for the first time) were going to cost $185 before any of the incidentals. With parking, hot dogs, drinks, and the inevitable program purchase, not mention six hours of driving, we were suddenly looking at well over $200 to come watch the Indians play.

I know that the days of the $5 seat and $1.50 hot dog are gone. I know that inflation has hit the baseball market just as surely as it has hit everything else, but $26.50 for an upper reserved seat, regardless of the postgame attraction, is simply a bridge too far. We're going to get Dad tickets to a Columbus Clippers game where he can help his grandkids pick the player who will be their Rocky Colavito.

The Indians continue to languish at 27th in attendance this year. That's nine spots behind the Twins (who have played eight fewer home games) whom the Indians Twitter feed pointed out drew over 30k to the game last night. What the feed didn't point out was that the Twins comparable upper seats are $11 cheaper than those at Progressive Field. That's not an insignificant number. A quick search last night also showed that I could get in to see the best team in baseball, the Atlanta Braves, for just $6.

I'm aware that this will probably fall on deaf ears if it even gets read, but I felt compelled to say something. (And I'm copying this to Facebook and Twitter). I love the Indians, and I always will. I'll follow them all on Twitter, I'll still spend an hour messing with a radio to tune the game in, and I'll stay up no matter how late I get home from work just to catch their highlights on MLB Network. What I will not do is spend $26.50 for one seat to watch a baseball game, regardless of fireworks or hot dog promotions. I wanted to spend an evening with my dad, watching his favorite player throw one pitch and tip his cap one time. I couldn't afford it though, and I very much wanted you to know that.



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