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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Reusse: Nine traditions lost from baseball

Hey, I dearly miss the constant blip-grains on Zacherley’s Disc-O-Teen…but time staggers on.

Other traditions lost from our list included boiled hot dogs taken from tepid water and slathered with mustard by vendors, and dugout agitators formerly known as “bench jockeys,’’ and bad-breathed managers such as Billy Martin and Earl Weaver kicking dirt on umpires, while league officials look at it as entertainment.

A more recent tradition is players engaging in the intake of steroids and human growth hormones, but we aren’t sure that one is lost as of yet, so we skipped it.

SECOND INNING: Fungoes & Infield

Fungoes were much in evidence when early arrivers came to the ballpark in days of yore. They were long, lean hunks of wood made by Lousiville Slugger, used to hit fly balls to outfielders and ground balls to infielders.

The legend said they were light, but “not when you’re hitting a couple of hundred ground balls,’’ Gardenhire said. “The new ones are great, made out of that composite wood, and very light.’’

There were fungo magicians in most every organization. “The most famous fungo guy was Jimmy Reese, with the Angels,’’ Twins coach Scott Ullger said. “They said he could pitch batting practice hitting balls with a fungo.’’

Gardenhire had an old infielder named Johnny Antonelli (not the former Giants’ pitcher) in the Mets’ organization as a coach and fungo-hitting antagonist. “He would be barking, ‘Gardenhire, stay down on the ball, hustle, hustle,’ and hit me all the ground balls I could take,’’ Gardenhire said. “I loved the guy.’’

The pregame tradition at nearly all levels of baseball into the 1980s was for the home team to take batting practice, the visitors to take BP, the home team to come back out for a full round of “infield,’’ ground balls, turning double plays, and the visitors would come back to do the same.

“We do all of that during batting practice now,’’ Gardenhire said. “In fact, the managers were given notification before this season that we can’t have pregame infield, because the field belongs to the promotions people and grounds crew for 30, 35 minutes before the game starts.’’

Kerry Ligtenberg, former major league pitcher and now the Saints’ pitching coach, said: “My son and I went to a Twins-Sox game, we got there early, and the White Sox were taking a full infield,’’ Ligtenberg said. “My son said, ‘What’s that?’ I heard later [manager] Robin Ventura was mad at the way they had been playing in the field, and

Repoz Posted: July 13, 2013 at 05:06 PM | 71 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

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   1. Rennie's Tenet Posted: July 13, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4493358)
When I was a kid in Pittsburgh (mid-sixties) slightly older kids would come through the stands in the late innings, selling the early edition of the next day's Post-Gazette.
   2. Basil Ganglia Posted: July 13, 2013 at 06:38 PM (#4493367)
Another tradition that is gone is open stadium in the mid-day before night games. Teams would mid-day practice, and the stadium would be open for fans to drop in and watch. Players would often come by and chat, and every now and them they would bring a kid onto the field and play catch with them or give out a few pointers on fielding.
   3. Mike Webber Posted: July 13, 2013 at 06:49 PM (#4493371)
Fun article. They mention everyone in the bullpen smoking, I wonder how close to gone smoking is in MLB.
   4. bobm Posted: July 13, 2013 at 07:25 PM (#4493383)
Vendors are being replaced by restaurants, food courts, expanded concession stands, etc.

Radios in the stands have all but disappeared, due to smartphones and screens showing the TV feed.

Over-the-air broadcast of a majority of a team's games.

Is there much tailored groundskeeping anymore?

Stadium organ music?

Bat days?

Ushers (distinct from security)?

Ticket takers who rip, not scan, tickets?

The taboo against mentioning a no-hitter in progress (on TV)?
   5. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 13, 2013 at 07:47 PM (#4493395)
Yankees having one of their farm teams play a major league schedule as the "Kansas City A's".
   6. What's the realistic upside, RMc? Posted: July 13, 2013 at 08:21 PM (#4493423)
FIRST INNING: The Sunday doubleheader

Owners don't want 'em, players don't want 'em, fans won't sit through 'em.

SECOND INNING: Fungoes & Infield
THIRD INNING: Pepper

Old fashioned and bush league-ish.

FOURTH INNING: Oldtimers Day

Too much hassle/too expensive.

FIFTH INNING: The Bullpen Car

Actually, I don't know why. Maintenance costs?

SIXTH INNING: Keeping Score

People barely pay attention to games these days, let alone actually write down all the plays.

SEVENTH INNING: Averages in Sunday newspaper

Internet.

EIGHTH INNING: The Baseball Bible

God (that is, The Sporting News) is dead.

NINTH INNING: Collecting Baseball Cards

Just one more kid's thing ruined by grown-ups.
   7. JE (Jason) Posted: July 13, 2013 at 09:44 PM (#4493465)
FIFTH INNING: The Bullpen Car

Actually, I don't know why. Maintenance costs?

It is important for MLB to give off the impression that relievers are athletes too, not altacockers in dire need of rides from Metro Access.
   8. winnipegwhip Posted: July 13, 2013 at 09:50 PM (#4493471)
In regards to fungoes...In August, 1992 I saw Frank Howard killing time at the Metrodome while the Yanks took infield practice. He stood on the right field line, hit pop ups straight up and would step aside to see if the ball would bounce on the Metrodome turf at the very spot he was standing. His ability to accomplish this repeatedly was amazing.
   9. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 13, 2013 at 09:55 PM (#4493474)
During a May '96 game between the Sox and Brewers at Co Stadium (the Tony Phillips fighting the fan behind the bleachers game), there were two fog delays and the teams hit fungoes under the inspection of the umpires to determine whether or not play could resume.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 13, 2013 at 10:37 PM (#4493529)

Yankees having one of their farm teams play a major league schedule as the "Kansas City A's".


Teams playing minor league affiliates on off days. I remember the Royals would have to stop in Omaha once a year during an off day for an exhibition game.

Cincinnati hosting the first game of the year. I always kinda liked how there was a really early game on opening day, and you could count on it being the Reds.

Afternoon World Series games.
   11. winnipegwhip Posted: July 13, 2013 at 11:03 PM (#4493560)
TV broadcasts showing the introduction of all the players along the baselines before World Series games.




   12. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 13, 2013 at 11:32 PM (#4493584)
"Going, going, gone...."

Fans exiting the stadium via the field

Kids racing to the mound and the dugout after the game in pursuit of the rosin bag and cracked bats

General admission seating

Box seats priced well below the median full day's salary

Waiting in line for many thousands of World Series tickets on a first come, first serve basis

Only seven ticket categories: Lower box, lower reserved, upper box, upper reserved, general admission, bleachers, standing room

Vendors with elaborate and frequently poetic sales pitches

Cokes that were 10% Coke and 90% fast melting ice

Souvenir mechanical pencils

Foul balls hit over the upper deck and out of the ballpark

Fans with voices louder than the drum guy in Cleveland who would torture the opposing team with either well-placed or just stupid and repetitious insults

The sound of the crack of the bat during batting practice echoing throughout the ballpark, with no competition from loudspeaker cacaphony

All seats colored in forest green for ideal background when the seats were empty

Fans allowed to sit in dead centerfield bleachers during sellouts, in spite of the camouflage effect on pitches

Re-created radio broadcasts

Official Baseball Guides

Hundreds of makeup doubleheaders a year

Bulky canvas tarpaulins (see related entry immediately above)

Stadium concourses covered with discarded chewing gum

Men's rooms saturated with cigarette and cigar smoke

Ladies' days

Fan clubs for individual ballplayers, often including journeymen

Ballplayers endorsing cigarettes

Ballplayers endorsing laxatives

Cigarette cartons donated to VA hospitals after a home team home run

Regular season night games beginning at 9:00, 8:30, or 8:00
   13. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: July 14, 2013 at 12:20 AM (#4493630)
My friends & I (all b/w late 20s and mid 30s) still play pepper and pickle at things like Labor Day & July 4 picnics. Every now and again someone pulls a muscle, but we still have a good time with it. None of us have played ball since we were in high school, I don't think.

Maybe you don't see Dustin Pedroia playing pepper with Jacoby Ellsbury. But it's still a fun thing to do when you've got time on your hands and beer in your belly.
   14. rb's team is hopeful for the new year! Posted: July 14, 2013 at 01:18 AM (#4493690)
The bullpen car being gone actually makes the most sense of any of it. That has to be murder on the field.
   15. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: July 14, 2013 at 01:32 AM (#4493702)
Box seats priced well below the median full day's salary


I do remember this. An extravagance, but not a huge one. I recall that prudence often put me just above the box seats as a kid, but occasionally we'd splurge. Box seats just seemed like something you'd do routinely only if you had more money than was good for you (assuming such a thing was possible).
   16. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 14, 2013 at 07:32 AM (#4493780)
Box seats priced well below the median full day's salary

I do remember this. An extravagance, but not a huge one.


In 1961 the best seat in the house in Yankee Stadium cost $3.50, which is the equivalent of $27.27 today.

But the real deal in most parks was the now-extinct "General Admission", which usually ran $1.50 and was half price for kids. In Washington, that 75 cents got you a seat in the 9th row of the "grandstand" behind home plate, with a view that would be equivalent to the back rows of the box seat sections of today. And by the mid-innings you could often sneak up to the front row of the box seats and pester the ball boy for a baseball that you'd never get. (That's the one advantage of today---they pass out baseballs by the bushel to the front row customers.)
   17. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 14, 2013 at 10:15 AM (#4493817)
pepper is not "bush league"

   18. The TVerik of Lordly Might Posted: July 14, 2013 at 10:37 AM (#4493820)
A more fun list is the "not yet gone":

Paper All-Star ballots with actual hanging chads

Adults eating cracker jacks and unfolding the stupid prize with wonder and (brief) enjoyment

People who would normally never sit next to certain other classes of people sitting next to them; the great democratizing of the crowd

The seventh-inning stretch.

Longish periods of relative silence; play-by-play must be supplied by the patron

Standing for a potential strikeout

"Be Alert for Bats and Balls" signs hundreds of feet into the stands; no bat could ever travel that far for any reason

"Old Timer's Day" (Yankee Stadium-specific). I'm 100% sure there's a more politically correct name they could use.
   19. haggard Posted: July 14, 2013 at 10:39 AM (#4493823)
Immediately giving a pitcher who pitched a no-hitter a new contract with a $1,000.00 raise. I don't the Giants will do that with Lincecum.
   20. Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: July 14, 2013 at 10:43 AM (#4493828)
Actually, I don't know why. Maintenance costs?

Players thought it looked stupid and didn't want them.
   21. Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: July 14, 2013 at 10:47 AM (#4493830)
A more fun list is the "not yet gone":

Multipurpose stadiums. (Just Oakland, right? Maybe Toronto).

At home fees to print tickets. Only two teams do it still. (Hey, I didn't say they were things people were going to miss, just that they are in decline).
   22. The TVerik of Lordly Might Posted: July 14, 2013 at 10:51 AM (#4493831)
There's college football at Yankee Stadium.
   23. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM (#4493838)
One I forgot that's been gone for close to 50 years: The ubiquitous NO GAMBLING and NO BETTING signs that were directed against the groups of bettors and bookies who used to cluster together in the upper deck and the bleachers and make wagers on the outcome of every pitch. I knew a bookie who put four kids through college and bought a large house in Montgomery County in great part on his ability to make favorable odds on the spot during those daily sessions.
   24. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 14, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4493855)
still play pepper and pickle


Huh. I'm familiar withy pepper but not "pepper and pickle," & Google yields a handful of references, none of which seem to elaborate. How does that differ (if it does) from plain ol' pepper?
   25. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 14, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4493856)
Players thought it looked stupid and didn't want them.


For this reason, pants will be the next to go.

/smitty*
   26. What's the realistic upside, RMc? Posted: July 14, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4493919)
Apparently, bullpen cars are making a comeback, at least in the indy leagues.
   27. SoSH U at work Posted: July 14, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4493922)
Players thought it looked stupid and didn't want them.


They were right. The bullpen car is the thing I miss the least from baseball of my youth (baby blue road uniforms have unfortunately made a comeback. So I don't get to not miss them any more).

Huh. I'm familiar withy pepper but not "pepper and pickle," & Google yields a handful of references, none of which seem to elaborate. How does that differ (if it does) from plain ol' pepper?


Presuming this wasn't said in jest. Voxter was referring to two different games. Pepper you know. Pickle is a game with two players with gloves standing about 40 feet apart at bases, and the rest of the kids running back and forth between the bases, trying to avoid getting tagged out. It remains a behind-the-dugout staple at little league games everywhere.

And I'm with Harvey. Peppers is most definitely not bush league, but an excellent warm-up game.
   28. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 14, 2013 at 01:04 PM (#4493926)
Pickle is a game with two players with gloves standing about 40 feet apart at bases, and the rest of the kids running back and forth between the bases, trying to avoid getting tagged out. It remains a behind-the-dugout staple at little league games everywhere.


Nope, never heard of it -- neither the term nor the practice you describe. "Little league games everywhere" obviously didn't include those played the depths of southwest Arkansas, which somehow doesn't surprise me. (My county's league was so shallow that it consisted of only 3 teams.)

Sounds awfully cool, though.
   29. zack Posted: July 14, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4493949)
Pickle is a game with two players with gloves standing about 40 feet apart at bases, and the rest of the kids running back and forth between the bases, trying to avoid getting tagged out.

We called that hotbox. Or is that something else?
   30. SoSH U at work Posted: July 14, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4493958)
We called that hotbox. Or is that something else?


I think it has a lot of names, depending on where you grew up. We called it the thoroughly unimaginative "run the bases," though I knew at the time others called it pickle.



   31. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 14, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4493971)
I've spent hours and hours playing Pickle as a kid, and when we were done with Pickle, we'd play '500'.
   32. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 14, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4493992)
I think of "hotbox" as a variant of pepper.

   33. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 14, 2013 at 08:40 PM (#4494289)
“The most famous fungo guy was Jimmy Reese, with the Angels,’’ Twins coach Scott Ullger said. “They said he could pitch batting practice hitting balls with a fungo.’’


So I was watching the MLB Network recap the other day of, I think it was the '88 All-Star Game. The one where Reese threw out the first pitch and they had a tribute to him. At the time, he was 84 years old...and was the Angels' conditioning coach. Now there's a microcosm of a big change in baseball since right around then.
   34. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 14, 2013 at 08:43 PM (#4494292)
it's still ticking me off that someone regards pepper as 'bush league'

what kind of garbage is that?
   35. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 14, 2013 at 08:48 PM (#4494295)
The one where Reese threw out the first pitch and they had a tribute to him. At the time, he was 84 years old...and was the Angels' conditioning coach.


There is some footage of him as conditioning coach on YouTube.
   36. Morton's Fork Posted: July 14, 2013 at 08:59 PM (#4494298)
I'm with you, HW. Pepper? Bush league??? Pepper is just about as baseball as it gets.
   37. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: July 14, 2013 at 09:17 PM (#4494310)
We usually played pickle with only one runner, by the way. *Maybe* two. It was a good ol' time, though. Still is.
   38. Select Storage Device Posted: July 14, 2013 at 09:35 PM (#4494318)
Interesting. As a millennial (would that matter?) I had to look up Pepper, but am well acquainted with Pickle. Of course we always played Pepper, but I never knew it had a proper name.
   39. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 14, 2013 at 09:45 PM (#4494325)
it's still ticking me off that someone regards pepper as 'bush league'

what kind of garbage is that?


I'm pretty sure it mostly means that that someone just needs a catchword dictionary.
   40. What's the realistic upside, RMc? Posted: July 14, 2013 at 09:50 PM (#4494326)
I said that pepper is perceived as being bush league-ish by big league players, who are probably too busy checking the Dow Jones averages to partake is such childish pursuits...
   41. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 14, 2013 at 10:02 PM (#4494335)
In 1961 the best seat in the house in Yankee Stadium cost $3.50, which is the equivalent of $27.27 today.

But the real deal in most parks was the now-extinct "General Admission", which usually ran $1.50 and was half price for kids. In Washington, that 75 cents got you a seat in the 9th row of the "grandstand" behind home plate, with a view that would be equivalent to the back rows of the box seat sections of today. And by the mid-innings you could often sneak up to the front row of the box seats . . .


Before St. Nick gets too nostalgic for his long lost misspent youth, he should remember that one reason the prices were so "low" is that many couldn't afford those prices, much less any higher. Take a look at the attendance figures from back then, much lower than today even with today's higher prices. If there had been sufficient demand to support higher prices 50 years ago, the prices would have been higher.
   42. McCoy Posted: July 14, 2013 at 11:04 PM (#4494370)
It isn't about affording it but about having no strong desire to go. The prices have shot up because baby boomers got old and nostalgic. They had the money and the positions within companies thus they started snapping up tickets at unprecedented rates and of course prices rose accordingly.
   43. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 14, 2013 at 11:36 PM (#4494380)
Before St. Nick gets too nostalgic for his long lost misspent youth, he should remember that one reason the prices were so "low" is that many couldn't afford those prices, much less any higher. Take a look at the attendance figures from back then, much lower than today even with today's higher prices. If there had been sufficient demand to support higher prices 50 years ago, the prices would have been higher.

Actually in many cities the attendance wasn't that much lower than today when you take the size of the metro area population into consideration. And also to the point, there was little or no difference in the prices between the wealthiest cities like New York and relatively poorer cities like Baltimore or Philadelphia. In fact, in the 1973 AL the box seats were a uniform $4.00 in Baltimore, Boston, Anaheim, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Minnesota, and Yankee Stadium, whereas the only stadiums with higher box seat prices were Milwaukee ($5.25), Oakland ($4.50), and Texas ($4.50).

-----------------------------------------------

It isn't about affording it but about having no strong desire to go. The prices have shot up because baby boomers got old and nostalgic. They had the money and the positions within companies thus they started snapping up tickets at unprecedented rates and of course prices rose accordingly.

The biggest factor in the insane price rises over the past generation has been the marketing of season tickets to corporations as tax writeoffs, with not-so-subtle appeals to their desire to show off expensive new toys to their clients. If individuals actually had to pay full price themselves for those hyperinflated tickets and not be able to write them off, the market for them would collapse like a lead balloon for all but the biggest games.
   44. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 14, 2013 at 11:57 PM (#4494388)
Was just looking through my ticket stubs. Lower Box seat in 1984 at County Stadium was $9.00. The particular seats we had that night (Reggie homered for Cal) were right near the 1st base dugout. That's $110 today at Miller Park.
   45. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 15, 2013 at 01:20 AM (#4494412)
Actually in many cities the attendance wasn't that much lower than today when you take the size of the metro area population into consideration.

Think you better check your data. Yankee attendance has more than doubled since 1961, and it's even higher if you measure from any other year in the decade centered on that year. The NY Metro area hasn't doubled in population. Attendance is Washington, DC is five times higher than it was in 1961. The DC Metro isn't five times more populous than it was in 1961. I'm not going to look up all 30 teams, but I believe it is beyond dispute that more people than ever go to MLB games because they can afford it and want to do so. That wasn't so much the case back in the good old days, even if St. Nick had a good deal on half-price kids tickets.
   46. What's the realistic upside, RMc? Posted: July 15, 2013 at 08:02 PM (#4495191)
It isn't about affording it but about having no strong desire to go. The prices have shot up because baby boomers got old and nostalgic. They had the money and the positions within companies thus they started snapping up tickets at unprecedented rates and of course prices rose accordingly.

The biggest factor in the insane price rises over the past generation has been the marketing of season tickets to corporations as tax writeoffs, with not-so-subtle appeals to their desire to show off expensive new toys to their clients. If individuals actually had to pay full price themselves for those hyperinflated tickets and not be able to write them off, the market for them would collapse like a lead balloon for all but the biggest games.


We're living in the most insanely rich society ever and there's no going back, barring a massive depression/deflation. (And if that happens, people will have better things to do than watch ballgames...)
   47. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 15, 2013 at 11:26 PM (#4495416)
We're living in the most insanely rich society ever


Man, speak for yourself, dude.

and there's no going back


Well, there is if the next generation or two can't get to be as well off as their parents were no matter what they do, at least in the same numbers, which looks to be what's happening.
   48. Greg K Posted: July 16, 2013 at 06:38 AM (#4495504)
Fans with voices louder than the drum guy in Cleveland who would torture the opposing team with either well-placed or just stupid and repetitious insults

Whatever happened to the guy in Tampa who used to do this? Seemed like he picked out one guy on each opposing team to lay into. With the Jays it was Hinske. Since the Rays became good I don't think I've heard him.
   49. Greg K Posted: July 16, 2013 at 06:42 AM (#4495505)
My friends & I (all b/w late 20s and mid 30s) still play pepper and pickle at things like Labor Day & July 4 picnics. Every now and again someone pulls a muscle, but we still have a good time with it. None of us have played ball since we were in high school, I don't think.

Maybe you don't see Dustin Pedroia playing pepper with Jacoby Ellsbury. But it's still a fun thing to do when you've got time on your hands and beer in your belly.

I play pepper all the time, though that might have something to do with being in a baseball club.

After we got eliminated from the national playoffs by the Bolton Robots of Doom in 2011 we had a massive game of pepper. (It was an all-day event at our park that involved two quarter-finals, and a semi-final. We lost the first game of the day, and so had to hang around while the rest of the tournament progressed). Everyone set their beer cans down behind them, and the batter's job was to knock over your beer, your job was to defend it. I'm not sure if anyone successfully knocked one over, but I do recall we all achieved the larger goal of getting quite drunk.
   50. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 16, 2013 at 06:47 AM (#4495506)
Actually in many cities the attendance wasn't that much lower than today when you take the size of the metro area population into consideration.

Think you better check your data. Yankee attendance has more than doubled since 1961, and it's even higher if you measure from any other year in the decade centered on that year. The NY Metro area hasn't doubled in population. Attendance is Washington, DC is five times higher than it was in 1961. The DC Metro isn't five times more populous than it was in 1961. I'm not going to look up all 30 teams, but I believe it is beyond dispute that more people than ever go to MLB games because they can afford it and want to do so. That wasn't so much the case back in the good old days, even if St. Nick had a good deal on half-price kids tickets.


This whole point was addressed several years ago in a long lost thread, and I'm not going to duplicate it in its entirity. But in order to make the comparison (which was between the census year 1950 and a recent record-setting year), you have to compare the total population of the metro areas of all Major League cities, then and now, and then figure out the number of games per capita that were attended by fans in those areas.

Yada yada yada it came out roughly even. And BTW the DC Metro area population has roughly quadrupled since 1950, much more than the increase in attendance (699,000) from that year to 2012 (2.37 million).

Of course the fact that the same seat that cost an adult $1.50 in 1950 now costs an adult between $150.00 and $165.00** just might have something to do with this. The presence of a small number of cheap seats in the nosebleed section can't make up for this, nor can StubHub.

**In terms of distance from the field and vantage point, the $1.50 general admission ticket of 1950 is the rough equivalent of the "PNC Diamond Seats" of Nationals Park, whose price varies according to the number of games in your plan.
   51. TerpNats Posted: July 16, 2013 at 07:07 AM (#4495507)
Fans with voices louder than the drum guy in Cleveland who would torture the opposing team with either well-placed or just stupid and repetitious insults
At the Nationals' series in Miami this weekend, there was an incessant whistler from the stands; F.P. Santangelo frequently commented on the noise. Is this person a regular character at Marlins Park? (If so, no wonder the team hasn't attempted ejection.)
   52. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 16, 2013 at 09:00 AM (#4495521)
But the real deal in most parks was the now-extinct "General Admission",


Oh yea, that was a steal. We used to sit in right-field GA at Royals Stadium, known as "rowdy right." I think it was like $5 in the 80s. Ewing Kauffman said he always wanted to keep GA seats in the outfield to allow working class fans a chance to sit up close. There was a mainstay out there too, he was known as Santa Claus for his appearance. And you were right by the bullpen so on hot days, Dan Quisenberry or Rusty Meachem would hose down the right field fans. Great memories of that.


Well, there is if the next generation or two can't get to be as well off as their parents were no matter what they do, at least in the same numbers, which looks to be what's happening.


Wages are stagnant, but I don't think people appreciate just how insanely cheap goods have become. Maybe we'll earn less than our parents, but we'll still be fairly well off, and we can buy so much more stuff. Food, clothing and housing used to make up an entire paycheck. Now, food and clothes has never been cheaper. Look at all the electronic devices people have now, even relatively poor people. "Well off" should not be entirely tied to income. I think we live much better than our parents generation.

   53. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 16, 2013 at 09:07 AM (#4495524)
The little league kids I coach LOVE to play pepper. Inevitably during batting practice I'll have a group of 4-5 kids playing pepper with me. The kids enjoy it and as a coach I think it's great for working their hand/eye coordination.

I'd never heard "hotbox" before but I played pickle for hours on end as a kid.
   54. Greg K Posted: July 16, 2013 at 09:18 AM (#4495527)
I'd never heard "hotbox" before but I played pickle for hours on end as a kid.

I'm not sure if it has a name, but I played a game when I was about 8 or 9 years old and neither my dad or my brother were available for catch.

I had the starting nine for all the teams memorized (I believe the 1991 rosters), so I'd play full games on my front lawn by tossing the ball as high in the air as I could, in random directions, and counting it as an out if I caught it, and a single, double, or home run depending on how long it took me to get to it. I think single if I had managed to get my glove on it or anywhere near it, double if I could get to it immediately after it bounced, and home run if I wasn't close. I didn't actually work out lineups, so every team batted their catcher lead off. Could get through a game in 15-20 minutes or so, but they were usually very low scoring affairs.

Also played baseball with my brother on the driveway. But it wasn't a massive street so we used a "ball" my mom had knitted out of yarn. You could hit it as hard as you possibly could, and it would just change shape and go about 30 feet max. The plate was around the garage, getting it to the sidewalk was a single, to the road a double, a homer if you got it to the road on the fly. The pitcher (the only other player) could catch you out on the fly, or get a ground out if he fielded it before it reached the sidewalk. (EDIT: These were also done "as" major league lineups. My brother went the extra mile and would actually bat left-handed when acting as left-handed hitters. I still remember him hitting a home run with Wade Boggs that was thoroughly unexpected. Whenever Tom Henke came into a game it was customary to throw as hard as you possibly could to properly do him justice.)

The other one we played required three people and was essentially just a series of continuous run-downs (is that "pickle"?)
   55. Jim Wisinski Posted: July 16, 2013 at 09:21 AM (#4495530)
#48, he was some sort of real estate developer or contractor. When the market went south so did his money, his house got foreclosed, etc. He either doesn't want to go to just a few games and sit in the everyman seats or he does go but doesn't heckle any more
   56. Greg K Posted: July 16, 2013 at 09:27 AM (#4495532)
#48, he was some sort of real estate developer or contractor. When the market went south so did his money, his house got foreclosed, etc. He either doesn't want to go to just a few games and sit in the everyman seats or he does go but doesn't heckle any more

Thanks!

Wiki says he's originally from Toronto, which I recall hearing back in the day.
   57. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 16, 2013 at 09:27 AM (#4495533)
Fans with voices louder than the drum guy in Cleveland who would torture the opposing team with either well-placed or just stupid and repetitious insults

At the Nationals' series in Miami this weekend, there was an incessant whistler from the stands; F.P. Santangelo frequently commented on the noise. Is this person a regular character at Marlins Park? (If so, no wonder the team hasn't attempted ejection.)


You would have really loved the Griffith Stadium and Forbes Field regular whose moniker was a perfect description of the way he spent his time at the Nats' games: "The Howling Marine". His real name was Bruce S. McAllisUr, a WWII Marine veteran, and at Forbes Field he was known as "The Forbes Field Screech Owl". If you click over the article about "The Voice" on this page, you can read his story.

--------------------------------------------

But the real deal in most parks was the now-extinct "General Admission",

Oh yea, that was a steal. We used to sit in right-field GA at Royals Stadium, known as "rowdy right." I think it was like $5 in the 80s. Ewing Kauffman said he always wanted to keep GA seats in the outfield to allow working class fans a chance to sit up close. There was a mainstay out there too, he was known as Santa Claus for his appearance. And you were right by the bullpen so on hot days, Dan Quisenberry or Rusty Meachem would hose down the right field fans. Great memories of that.


The difference was that in Griffith Stadium / DC Stadium and many of the other older parks, up through most of the 60's general admission got you into the middle of the lower deck, behind the plate as well as in the outfield. In 1969 Bob Short moved GA to the CF upper deck and raised the price by 50%, and then made the former GA seats behind the plate into reserved seats at $3.50, a 133% increase over the old price. Nearly all of the cookie cutter stadiums of the 70's followed that tradition, keeping the GA seats but restricting them to the outer reaches of the upper deck.
   58. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 16, 2013 at 09:37 AM (#4495540)
Wages are stagnant, but I don't think people appreciate just how insanely cheap goods have become. Maybe we'll earn less than our parents, but we'll still be fairly well off, and we can buy so much more stuff. Food, clothing and housing used to make up an entire paycheck. Now, food and clothes has never been cheaper. Look at all the electronic devices people have now, even relatively poor people. "Well off" should not be entirely tied to income. I think we live much better than our parents generation.

This is largely a function of where you live, your health, and your employment situation. Of the four basic needs (food, shelter, education and health insurance), only food is cheaper now than it was in the past virtually everywhere. Housing is cheaper only if you live outside of the major metropolitan areas and other high demand locations, and no matter where you are, the price of education and health insurance has skyrocketed.

Once you get past the basics, then sure, your point is correct. Other than live entertainment (baseball games, concerts, etc.), nearly everything is both better and cheaper. It's a tradeoff that leaves some people much better off and some people much worse off, and the rest of us somewhere in the middle.
   59. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 16, 2013 at 10:00 AM (#4495559)
The difference was that in Griffith Stadium / DC Stadium and many of the other older parks, up through most of the 60's general admission got you into the middle of the lower deck, behind the plate as well as in the outfield.


County Stadium had GA about 77 dates/81 a year up and until the end in 2000, and they were always in the lower grandstand (green seats), both beginning about as deep as the LF/RF play in the OF. It might have been as high as $9 by the time Co Stadium closed. Bleachers were always GA, save opening day.
   60. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 16, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4495582)
County Stadium had GA about 77 dates/81 a year up and until the end in 2000, and they were always in the lower grandstand (green seats), both beginning about as deep as the LF/RF play in the OF. It might have been as high as $9 by the time Co Stadium closed. Bleachers were always GA, save opening day.

I'd almost forgotten about that, but it's one more reason why County Stadium is always right behind Tiger/Wrigley/Baltimore Memorial in my all-time ranking of ballparks. That was also the last park where I can remember the distinctive sounds of batting practice without the loudspeakers drowning them out.
   61. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 16, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4495584)
post 40

well, post 6 doesn't contain any language about perceptions
   62. rb's team is hopeful for the new year! Posted: July 16, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4495661)
The seventh-inning stretch.

No, that's mostly dead, now that #### your god is played.
   63. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 16, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4495688)
To reinforce the point I was making in #43 about ticket prices, here are the most expensive tickets offered in the 26 stadiums of 1983.

And BTW the prices are in 2013 dollars:

Baltimore: $19.93
Boston: $19.93 (roof boxes) $17.58 (most expensive lower box)
Anaheim: $16.41
Comiskey: $21.10
Cleveland: $18.76
Detroit: $21.10
Kansas City: $21.10
Milwaukee: $21.10 (76 "deluxe" mezzanine boxes) $18.76 (lower boxes)
Metronome: $18.76 (no price listed for 1,074 "private boxes" sold on season basis only)
Yankees: $21.10 (lower boxes) (no price listed for 298 "luxury boxes" sold on season basis only)
Oakland: $18.76
Seattle: $17.58
Texas: $19.93
Toronto: $19.93 (not sure in what currency)

Atlanta: $19.93 (club and dugout level box seats) (no price listed for 196 "club level boxes and booths")
Wrigley: $18.76
Cincinnati: $21.10
Astrodome: $17.58
Dodgers: $14.07 ("Field, loge box seats") (no price listed for 1,732 "Dugout, club level boxes")
Montreal: $24.62 (not sure in what currency)
Mets: $18.76
Phillies: $18.76 ("Field boxes") (no prices listed for 1,272 "Super boxes--4th level" or 1,288 "Deluxe boxes")
Pirates: $16.41
Cardinals: $18.76 (no prices listed for 390 "Deluxe Boxes")
Padres: $17.58
Giants: $18.76 (no prices listed for 556 "Mezzanine Boxes")

   64. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 16, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4495789)

Yada yada yada it came out roughly even.


The NBJHBA had average attendance per capita figures for every decade -- somebody ought to post those.
   65. McCoy Posted: July 16, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4495795)
What exactly was your point anyway? That ticket prices have risen faster than national inflation averages? So? As has been said numerous times now demand for baseball tickets has risen faster than inflation averages.
   66. McCoy Posted: July 16, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4495802)
Bill James

1880's 1 out of 27 years
1890's-Average American attended a game once every 30 years
1900's 1 out of 20 years
1910's 1 out of 18 years
1920's 1 out of every 12 years
1930's 1 out of 16 years
1940's 1 out of 11 years
1950's 1 out of 10 years
1960's 1 out of 9 years
1970's 1 out of 7 years
1980's 1 out of 5 years
1990's 1 out of 4.5 years
   67. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 16, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4495804)
Comiskey: $21.10


I bought a playoff ticket for the 1983 ALCS at Comiskey for five bucks.
   68. TerpNats Posted: July 16, 2013 at 01:06 PM (#4495814)
Oh yea, that was a steal. We used to sit in right-field GA at Royals Stadium, known as "rowdy right." I think it was like $5 in the 80s. Ewing Kauffman said he always wanted to keep GA seats in the outfield to allow working class fans a chance to sit up close.
The Nationals have something similar called "Grandstand" -- sections 401 and 402 (upper deck, end of the third-base line), available day of game only and $5 for most games. They aren't great seats by any means, but the view is OK for the price and substantially cheaper than the far inferior seats of the scoreboard pavilion. Last year, I saw a Nats-Marlins doubleheader for a mere $5.
   69. McCoy Posted: July 16, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4495824)
The bonus with the $5 seats at Nats PArk (though they do sell out fast but the next pricing level is $10) is that if you keep your ticket stub from a previous game with you you can use it to get into a better section.
   70. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: July 16, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4495861)
New Comiskey (can't remember what it's called now) still has $7 dollar general admission. While Bleachers at Wrigley against the Cards go for $69 face value...

At the Vet, you could get a general admission ticket* with the purchase of a pack of hot dogs in the supermarket.

*Cancer presumably not included.
   71. bunyon Posted: July 16, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4495890)

Nope, never heard of it -- neither the term nor the practice you describe. "Little league games everywhere" obviously didn't include those played the depths of southwest Arkansas, which somehow doesn't surprise me. (My county's league was so shallow that it consisted of only 3 teams.)

Sounds awfully cool, though.


A couple hundred miles to your west, we were playing pickle constantly. I've played pickle where the bases where soda cups and the ball a rock.

I failed to get my lab interested in a quick game of pepper despite having a bat and ball in my office. I may have to fire people.

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