Baseball Caste System


baseball-956719_640Baseball is oftentimes considered America’s pastime but apparently, there’s a built-in caste system. That is, if you’re to believe the elitist party line New York Yankees Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost spouted during a recent radio interview.

The team recently decided they would no longer accept print-at-home tickets as a means of preventing fraudulent tickets from being created (and also to keep people from reselling their tickets on the secondary market from below face value). Game attendees will now have a choice of using traditional hard tickets or having it scanned from their phones.

Hackles were rightfully raised when Trost said, “It’s not that we don’t want that fan to sell it, but that fan is sitting there having paid a substantial amount of money for a ticket and (another) fan picks it up for a buck-and-a-half and sits there, and it’s frustrating to the purchaser of the full amount. And quite frankly, the fan may be someone who has never sat in a premium location. So that’s a frustration to our existing fan base.”

Apparently, baseball fans that come from a lower income bracket don’t know how to conduct themselves and the vibe that comes from making less than six figures a year might rub off on the wealthier patron. What Trost seems to have lost sight of is the fact that baseball has always been an egalitarian sport that doesn’t factor net worth into the equation when you go to a ball game. Fans will talk to each other about their team’s chances, what might be working or not working in the rotation and who might be the current goat or hero of the moment. I don’t recall ever going to the ballpark and having anyone ask me to check my pay stub before we have a conversation or even how much I paid to sit in my seat.

Ever since the new Yankee Stadium was erected, team ownership and suits like Trost have clearly declared open season on the blue-collar fan. And it stinks.

—Dave Gil de Rubio

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In addition to being editor of Garden City Life and Syosset-Jericho Tribune, Dave Gil de Rubio is a regular contributor to Long Island Weekly, specializing in music and sports features. He has won several awards for writing from Press Club of Long Island (PCLI).

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