Contrary to popular opinion, MLB players do not have free tickets to hand out for every game. If they did, I’d be doing twitter ticket giveaways way more often because I’d love to get more people out to enjoy a ball game. Instead, we are allotted 4 family tickets and 2 friends tickets to purchase at around 40% of their face value, which varies from ballpark to ballpark.
One of my golden rules is to not discuss money with strangers but rules were made to be broken and there’s no other way to bring this situation to light. In 2010 (Mat’s first full year in the big leagues), we left tickets for every long lost cousin’s estranged best friend without even thinking twice. It didn’t seem like a big deal and we were just happy and excited to have support in the stands. At the end of that year, it was brought to our attention by our financial advisor that we had spent a collective $14,000 on tickets. Fourteen. Thousand. Dollars. That’s a huge insanity pie no matter which way you slice it. It was at that moment and without hesitation that we decided we would never do that again.
Before the start of the 2011 season, we unapologetically explained the situation to our family. We offered to leave tickets by request to people who were willing to pay us back what we were charged for a ticket at any given ballpark and everyone was more than happy to do so because hello- discount! Also, in most cases, even our family and friends had no idea that we pay for tickets and most felt a little guilty- totally not our intention. You live and you learn.
If you are a baseball wife and you’re reading this, I strongly advise that you lay down the law quickly. It is one thing to leave tickets for parents and close family but it is quite another to pay $90 a ticket for someone you haven’t seen in 6 years to bring Jolly Jilly Loud Mouth on a first date to root against the opposing team in your own family section. I won’t get into that one but you can use your imagination to figure out how annoying that experience was.
The bottom line is this- no matter how much money you make you should always be mindful of your spending and to quote the late and great over-used phrase, “Nothing in life is free”.
Stay humble. Stay grateful. Be kind. Be mindful.