Sunday, May 22, 2016

Take me out to the ball game

One of the women that I worked with last week is a HUGE Arizona Diamondbacks fan. Earlier in the week, she took her grandson to one of the Diamondbacks home games, and found that prices were a little on the steep side.

She bought a hamburger for her grandson, and one for herself. Those two hamburgers cost her $43.00!

If you took a quick look at the Arizona Diamondbacks website, you’d discover that the Levy Organization has a wide variety of foods to choose from, and most of them would appear to be pretty reasonably priced. One of those is Burger Burger, a national chain that sells burgers at most locations for about $6.

To get in the stadium, of course, you need to buy your tickets. Ticket prices are actually pretty reasonable, and could be as low as $8 a ticket. If you want tickets right behind home plate, though, it will cost you $143 per ticket.

If you want to see the Diamondbacks play the Cubs in Wrigley Field, prices START at $27 apiece, and a ticket behind home plate is $224. Parking outside Chase Stadium in Phoenix is only $6. Although parking IS available outside Wrigley Field, the only sane way to get there is by the Red Line, which costs $1.50.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are proud to have the lowest Fan Cost Index ($126.89) in Major League Baseball for the eighth consecutive season, as announced by Team Marketing Report. The D-backs finished more than $80 below the industry average of $212.46. The Fan Cost Index is a representative look at the costs for a family of four to attend a MLB game. It has been computed annually by Team Marketing Report since 1991 and is comprised of four average tickets, two beers, four soft drinks, four hot dogs, parking for one car, two programs and two adult-sized hats.

In addition, the D-backs offer the best price for beer in baseball at $4, which is more than $2 below the MLB average beer price at $6.09.

Most of us, of course, would want something more substantial than one hotdog while watching a Diamondback’s game, and I can’t imagine sitting through 9 innings under the Arizona sun, and only having ONE beer. In spite of all that, though, the Diamondbacks ARE a bargain if you want to watch a professional baseball game.

While living in the Chicago area, I saw numerous Cubs games (some of which were free to me since the company I worked for had season tickets) , and the Cubs will always be a sentimental favorite for our family. However, Wrigley Field is just about THE most expensive ballpark there is if you want to see a professional baseball game. The limited menu shown above would cost you over $300 for a family of four, which is out of reach for most of us. The only places that are more expensive are Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium. The chart below shows the cost comparisons for ALL of the MLB teams.

pull out your wallet, Harry

Since it’s very costly to see a professional baseball game, you would assume that most baseball teams are valuable organizations, and you’d be right. Being valuable, though, doesn’t necessarily always translate into being profitable. The list below will show you the 20 most valuable franchises. The Yankees, naturally, are THE most valuable team, and they are worth an astonishing $3.4 billion. My beloved Cubs, though, are #5 on the list, with a value of $2.2 billion. In terms of operating income, they are actually one of the best managed teams in baseball, and their operating income is 4 times the operating income of the Yankees. The LEAST profitable team on the list is the Los Angeles Dodgers, which LOST $73 million last year. The Diamondbacks, #20 on the list, actually had a higher operating income than the mighty Yankees.

which baseball team is the most valuable?

The main reason that the Dodgers are having trouble financially is that they have THE most expensive payroll in baseball, at $273,000,000. The Yankees have the second highest payroll, but still managed to eke out a modest profit for the year. The Cubs have a team payroll that is significantly lower ($115 million) and the Diamondbacks come in even lower that that, at $83 million.

Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees is the highest paid single player in baseball, In 2013, his salary was $29,000,000. If you divide that by 162 games during the regular season, he made $179,000 for every game that he played in.

Professional baseball, obviously is a sport that involves BIG money, but that’s missing the point entirely.

The most important thing about baseball, though, isn’t the money.

It’s about the memories.

The first professional baseball game that I saw was when I was about 15 years old. My uncle Ed (one of mom’s brothers) came into a little extra money, and took all his nephews to see the Minnesota Twins play a game in the old Metropolitan Stadium, which has now become the Mall of America.

I’ve seen Bernie Brewer celebrate whenever the Milwaukee Brewers scored a home fun, I’ve seen the fireworks at both Comiskey Field and U.S. Cellular Field, and my son and I saw Michael Jordan in a White Sox uniform while playing against the Chicago Cubs in the Cross Town Classic.

I actually to to see one of the greatest players in history in the flesh on more than one occasion. Most of Harmon Killebrew‘s 22 years in baseball were spent with the Minnesota Twins. At the time of his retirement, he was second only to Babe Ruth in AL career home runs. During his career, he was known as “The Killer” or Hammerin’ Harmon. Like me, he eventually moved to Arizona (Scottsdale ) and he passed away almost exactly 5 years ago, on May 17, 2011.

Of all the professional sports that are played in America, baseball has the longest history. The Cincinnati Red Stockings were America’s first professional baseball team, and they started business in 1869.

The song, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” also has a very long history. It was written in 1908 by a couple of guys who had never been to a ball game before writing the song.

Before you shut down your computer and go on other tasks, take a minute to sing the song again with me. I guarantee you that you’ll feel a lot better.

Take me out to the ball game,

Take me out with the crowd;

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,

I don't care if I never get back.

Let me root, root, root for the home team,

If they don't win, it's a shame.

For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,

At the old ball game.

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