I just did something I have never done before and never expect to do again. I bought a ticket to a college baseball game on StubHub. You know what else? I paid six times face value. I admit that wasn’t a lot of money. But still. College baseball? StubHub? In my gross stupidity, I never imagined that I would have to get online as soon as the tickets were for sale as if I was trying to buy Springsteen tickets.
I’ve never seen a college baseball game. I almost did once, in 1980. When I was a graduate student at Yale in 1980, my friend Rick called and asked if I wanted to go see a game between Yale and St. John’s. Yale had this incredible pitcher named Ron Darling that everybody knew about and who people said was good enough to make it to the majors (a very rare thing in Ivy League sports, of course). Darling was going to pitch against some phenom from St. John’s named Frank Viola. I told Rick I had too much work. I always had too much work in grad school. If I really wanted to go to this college baseball game to see these two kid pitchers, I could have. But I didn’t. And so now the fates are getting revenge on me by making me pay six times face value to see a St. John’s baseball game.
This will, as you know, be the first game ever in the new place. That makes it more attractive to me than the exhibition games against the Red Sox, which would have cost a lot more. Obviously what I would really like are tickets to the home opener. But I didn’t win the lottery and tickets are going for a minimum of $250 on StubHub right now. I would find it hard to justify paying that much for a ballgame. Of course, if anybody reading this has an extra ticket (please excuse my absolute cravenness), I’m willing to pay face value plus 5 free signed copies of my new book plus a mention in the acknowledgements. If I do another book, I’ll even write all about how you were nice enough to get me a ticket to the home opener of whatever the stadium will eventually be called. Is anybody interested in whatever immortality I can provide them with? Plus, you would get my company, which may or may not be a selling point.
I want to get in there. I didn’t expect to feel this way, given how attached I was to Shea, and given how skeptical I still am about the new stadium’s small size. But this is the way I feel. I’m actually going to go to Citifield tomorrow to meet with some people from the Mets about the Fiftieth Anniversary Conference were organizing at Hofstra. I’ll report back to you about my impressions of the new stadium. I want to like it. Shea is gone. And I can’t give up the Mets just because it is.