Less of a Fan

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.        

10 Comments

Hey, Kaybee …

Reading your “posts” here on your mlblog, I would say, you are a “great” Padres fan; “very loyal” to your team !!! … We all follow our teams in many different ways; and, even though it would be great to have season tickets, and attend every home game, there are only so many seats available making it impossible for every fan to attend even “one” or “two” games every year !!! … I have only been to a few Yankee games at Yankee Stadium over the last “five” years, or, so; but, I have watched just about every Yankees game on T.V. [Yes Network, MY9, Fox], or listened to the games on the radio — and, I consider myself one of the biggest Yankee fans of all-time [a life-long / die-hard Yankees fan, "for life"] … Don’t get me wrong, ’cause many years ago a friend of mine had a season ticket package of about 25 games a year at the Stadium, great field level seats, just behind first base, about 30 rows back … He had this package for two years, and it really was much more fun watching the games from inside the Stadium !!! … But, I didn’t consider myself any more of a Yankee fan, just because I was in the ball park … We are all fans, following our teams in all the ways you mentioned on your above post … But, more importantly, we are all “Baseball Fans”, and that’s what makes it so much fun to follow our “teams” … Being a “fan” of any team is priceless; and, that’s something money can’t buy !!! … The new baseball season will be here soon; so, “Think Spring” … Take care, Kaybee !!! … Jimmy [27NYY]

http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/

Kaybee – I too go to very few games because of the expense and it is just too darn hard to get tickets to Fenway. Does that make me less of a fan? Heck no! Being a fan is not measured by how many games you attend or how many “things” you have. It’s the feeling you have inside when your team takes the field. The joy you feel with each win and the sadness of each lose. DO NOT let anyone tell you anything different! Your blog shows all of us who read it what a great fan you are! Keep it up and keep the faith as only a true fan can! Happy New Year Kayee and remember – less then 2 months until pitchers & catchers report!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

$14? You must be rich–I pay $7 for my edge-of-the-world tickets in my favorite section. I can see the whole city if they open the roof.
Being a fan isn’t about spending money. Often, spending money is about showing off, not fanhood at all. My favorite way to shop is spending $3 for a new pack of Topps in the team store, showing up early to get promos, and staking out the MLB Shop clearance section. Most of my favorite stuff came from the clearance section–my “meet me at the Rock Pile” shirt, for example.
I can’t say that baseball isn’t about money–Mark Texeira and the rest of the Yankees would immediately prove that wrong–but fanhood most certainly isn’t.
You go, girl.
Kylie — http://kylie.mlblogs.com

The simple fact is the world needs all type of fans. From the uber annoying fan who only rattles off stats and cant enjoy the simplicity and beauty to the brand new hat wearing I’m only goin to look cool fan. It’s ok to want better seats and just as cool to sit in the nosebleeds. What’s most important is the wisdom to know the difference. Kinda like the serenity prayer in a way.
I have sat five rows up from the field and saw Brad Lidges amazingly beautiful slider and way up in the nosebleeds watching the sun set on the rockies with a cool breeze blowing off the mountains. Both were just as good in their own way.
Sometimes all the money in the world can’t make you a better fan or happier person. If I ran into you at Petco I bet you would a very enjoyable fan to see the game with and that’s really all that matters.
tom
http://rockymountainway.mlblogs.com

It’s kind of like church. When your pastor tells you to give according to what you have, he means that if you can afford to sign a $1000 check, by all means, they’ll take it. But if you can only afford to drop a $10 bill on the plate, then give that too. No gift is better or more appreciated than the other, you just gave according to what you were able.
If you can afford season tickets and all the schwag, then go for it and support your team in that way. If you can’t, then do what you can. Be a fan.
To me, what makes you a fan is when you still keep up and root for the team even when times aren’t joyous. The Padres haven’t done extremely well recently, but you’re still here sporting the khaki and navy, so I’d say you’re a good fan.
http://theconsumptionof.mlblogs.com

Great post! You are NOT less of a fan! After reading your post, it makes me think, “Am I less of a fan?” Because I can’t go to their games often or I don’t have Jake Peavy jersey or whatever. Yes, I want to be a season-ticket holder also. I get jealous watching those people you know. I love to listen to Padre broadcast on the radio. My siblings say I should stop listening because it’s stupid or whatever but.. I don’t listen to them! They don’t support them. So what, you don’t go to the ballpark often. That doesn’t mean you’re not a Padre fan. As long as you’re a true Padre fan, cheer on them all the time, it won’t matter. I believe you are MORE of a fan!
http://hyunyoung.mlblogs.com

Kaybee,
I know people say “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” but I don’t agree with that. I think that the game itself is what’s worth it. Anyway, research for that assignment was fun research! I learned some really cool things.
And Kaybee, just because you don’t sit in the best seats at the park or have the most memorabilia, doesn’t make you less of a fan. Baseball is for everyone… we all watch the game, we all get that same feeling of intense passion that we can’t even explain (well, those who ACTUALLY care like you) but it just doesn’t matter who you are. Because baseball doesn’t care who you are, baseball will always be there for you from spring-fall, and for everyone else who cares about it. What else can you rely on like that? Just because some people have better seats, they can’t control the game. No one can, we’re all putting our faith in something that we can’t control
-Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

If you’re less of a fan for sitting in the nosebleeds or for having less memorabilia than others, then I must be too because I’m the same way with my White Sox. I would LOVE to have season tickets, but since I’m in San Diego, that’s a little bit impossible. I stream the audio for the Sox games on their station’s website. And I was able to splurge ONCE for field level seats. But like you, I’m the go-to girl for basically anything related to my boys. I say as long as we stick around through the good times and bad, we’re fans. And we’re the type of people our teams need.
~Jen
http://ajroxmywhitesox.mlblogs.com

Being a fan means that you stand by your team through good times and bad. I feel that many teams make it where it’s too expensive for people to attend. I do consider myself fortunate that our city, Corpus Christi, has a Minor League Double A team, those season tickets are very affordable . I love my Minnesota Twins but I’m content following them over the television and internet. I cannot pass up the opportunity to enjoy what I have here. I am a fan of a Minor League and Major League Team.

http://thehooks.mlblogs.com/

Thank you all, so much, for your encouraging and insightful comments. I definitely understand a lot more now. Being a fan is supporting your team through thick and thin (especially thin). Doesn’t matter if you go to a lot of games or can’t go to any. As long as you follow your team all the time, in whatever way you can, and you stick by them, you are a great fan. Being a fan is the feelings you get when your team wins or loses. Intense excitement or extreme diappointment. I’ll tell you what, supporting the Padres isn’t easy. But sometimes enduring hard things just make you a stronger fan. Wow, we have a great group of TRUE fans here. So, thank you Jimmy, Julia, Kylie, Tom, Joey, Hyun Young, Elizabeth, Jen, and Dan. You guys have great insights, and I am so thankful to be in this community of supportive baseball fans. We are NOT lesser fans. Not at all.

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