Saturday October 25, 2008

Earlier today as we prepared to go to the Season Tickets Holder’s day on the field at Petco, my buddy and season ticket holding partner sat down and did something we had never done before in 14 seasons of sharing a season ticket package and 30+ cumulative years as Padres season ticket holders.

We discussed whether or not we were going to renew our season tickets.

Normally there was not even a discussion. One or the other of us simply put the tickets on our credit card and let the other know they were paid for. We would catch up on the money later because, well, it wasn’t really as important as getting our season tickets.

We had automatically renewed our tickets through winning and losing. After good and bad seasons. After 1995 and 2002 and after 1998 and 2006.

There was never even a second thought.

This year we found ourselves having to talk ourselves into buying the tickets.

I was being my typical logical self and saying things like “well we keep our seniority” and “we can always sell some of the tickets if we don’t want to go, they are in the front row after all” and “the Giants and Dodgers tickets will sell well and those fans are a pain anyway”.

When my long time friend turned to me with a tear in his eyes and a catch in his voice and said, “You know, I love baseball”.

That was it. Discussion over.

Of course we would renew our season tickets.

That got me to thinking. You know we really are PRIVILEGED to get to see Major League Baseball. Regardless of how good or bad the team we root for does each year, it is a labor of love every time we go to the ball park because of how we feel for the GAME of baseball.

My buddy and I make it a point to visit a ballpark that is new to us around the country each year, and everywhere it is the same among long time season ticket holders.

In places like Wrigley (2002 & 2006), Fenway (2003), Camden Yards (2004) and Pittsburgh (2006), Philadelphia (2007) and Tampa Bay (2007) where winning it all, or winning AT all, had not been a part of their recent pasts and sometimes long histories we found kindred spirits.

They are not there every game because their team is good or bad. They, WE, are there because we all share something very precious to us, our love for BASEBALL.

So when the 2009 season starts look for me in my front row seats at Petco.

I will be there, like BASEBALL fans in ballparks across the country, that stands and belts out the national anthem with a tear in his (or her) eye, and heartily cheers his guys as they come onto the field to start the game, and who yells his fool head off whenever my 63-97 or 97-63 team does something good.

Because I too LOVE baseball.

See you at the ballpark.

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