Ah, baseball season is starting, and I fondly recall seven or so decades back when I watched the Phillies play from my 50-cent bleacher seat. Or when I could afford to spend an entire buck for a grandstand seat above the home team dugout.
Today’s cheapest seats in most ballparks go for about $30 per game, while those closer to the action soar upwards from $100. I won’t even go into charges for parking, hot dogs and drinks. Even the most frugal fan can expect to shell out at least $100 per person per ball game.
Why, you may ask? When you get to your overpriced seat, you’ll have the pleasure of watching the young multimillionaires cavort on the field. Guys right out of college, where their classroom attendance was not required, are signing on for five and ten million bucks a year.
OK, so that isn’t what they get to keep. We must factor in taxes, agents, cars, condos, ex-wives, child support, hookers, drug dealers and other hangers-on. Those poor deprived jocks probably only net a paltry two or three million a year.
Do they deserve all those bucks? It reminds me of the story of Babe Ruth’s comments when he was the highest paid baseball player. In 1930, his Yankee salary was a record $80,000. When a reporter told him President Herbert Hoover wasn’t making that much money, the Babe replied, “I had a better year.”
OK, if you must pay $150 for an hour or two at a ball game, watching multimillionaires toil for only six months of the year, that’s your choice. Once settled in your ballpark seat, don’t complain if the big fat guy in front of you jumps up and blocks out the best play as he spills his beer all over you. Just remember, you can watch the game on TV for free from your couch and spill your own beer all over you.