Can you hook ME up with a ticket?

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.

Xo

D

41 comments

  1. ashleym194

    Thank you for writing this! I have always wondered about how many tickets players get for free or if you have to pay for them. I read this to my dad and he was thinking the same thing…$14,000…WOW!!!!

  2. swlikeablegirl

    Wow! Thanks for sharing the details – always been curious about that stuff. There’s a proverb I love that “You must first practice thrift, in order to practice generosity.” That being said, it’s wrong of people to expect anything of you at all just because you’re a player’s wife – even family & friends. I can imagine the # of complete strangers feeling disappointed because you don’t leave tickets as tips for every coffee & gum run must be exhausting to both of you.

  3. Lynn

    Thanks for sharing this. I just assumed family received free tickets to all the games. My husband isn’t in the MLB, but we deal with a similar situation. His degree is in computer security and every week we have someone dropping off their computers for him to fix, reprogram, etc. He does it without complaining, and no one offers to pay him for his free time. I have told him we can’t ask people for money because they are usually family, but he mentioned the other day how it’s funny how family and friends you haven’t talked to in years contact you when they want something but then you never hear from them after their beloved computer is fixed. After reading this blog I think I am going to have him start making people pay. I mean his free time adds up. So like I said it isn’t MLB but I can definitely relate. Thanks!

  4. cyn

    very interesting read! 14K is an economy car! had to smile at the rudeness of someone to get free tickets only to bring a date for the opposing team.its sounds like an episode from Seinfeld!

      • Terry Gibson

        It appears, after reading these comments, that the players do in fact get “free” tickets. The IRS then taxes the price of the tickets as income, which can add up quickly with todays ticket prices. If this is true, I feel Mrs. Latos’ comments are a little deceptive.

  5. Mike Ooten

    Dallas, we sometimes have unused tickets from our season ticket seats. Would you be interested in me notifying you when we have extras and you can give away?

  6. randy

    $14,000? your hubby is making over 4.25 million dollars this year,i’m a working stiff and veteran who’s out of work right now, and you are complaining about a lousy $14,000?

  7. James

    Come on Randy. That you are an unemployed veteran is unfortunate, but not relevant to the point here. Neither is Mat’s salary. The point is that the $14,000 is a lot of money that could be spent more wisely, like to pay for some poor kid’s college expenses. Whether they use the $14,000 for that, or something else, is none of your business, nor mine.

  8. Lol

    . Go to school, you fake “law student”. Quit making your life about being a “baseball wife”. Self respect. Period.

  9. Fletch Sheehan

    Hey Dallas,
    I don’t know if your planning to make the trip to Miami next month, but if you do, My dad and I have season tickets 3 rows right behind the visitors dougout. I don’t think I hook you up with a ticket because my dad and I are the worlds biggest Reds fans and we’ll be at all 3 games, but i could deffinitly sneak you down with us because theres always a ton of seats open by us. I hope I dont come across as creepy, Like i said im the worlds biggest reds fan and getting to help my favorite player’s wife would be the coolest thing ever for me.

  10. Sue

    Regardless of anyone’s salary, it is rude and inconsiderate for people to expect to have a night out at someone else’s expense. Tickets for baseball players range from $40.00-$100.00 per ticket (that’s the already discounted rate). These are in a designated family/friends section, there’s no way to get tickets at a cheaper section. Remember, an athlete’s career is short lived more often than not, and not to mention that they get taxed close to half of their income. After taxes and the unavoidable expenses incurred when on the road, the take home salary is much lower than their contract amount. It would be foolish not to spend wisely.

  11. marksackler

    They used to get some freebies…having been a minor league host family from 1996-2003, and having also hosted ex-Yankee, Mariner and Cub Henry Cotto when he was the hitting coach here in New Haven 1999-2000, he would occasionally be able to get me tix from his contacts. It all changed when the IRS started taxing the players on the free tickets as income. It didn’t hurt the players so much as friends and family. I don’t ask any more. (We used to get free tix for the minor league games from the players who stayed with us. They never had to pay for them. i do not know if this is still the case)

  12. lamar

    This is a great article, my freinds are always asking for tickets. this gives me the amo I need to tell them NO.

  13. sophoxymoria

    14 grand? haha, oh shit. Why dont you set aside a percentage of money, fuck it lets say 1 percent, and buy all your family members $10 stubhub tickets. They are coming to support you and your family and your acting put upon over 14 GRAND! Its fucking money! Its not real. Why dont you act grateful that people are coming out of the woodwork to show support? Unbelievable.

  14. Bob Smith

    I blame the agent, a simple separate contract item listing specifically $20k for ‘ticket purchases’, would solve this.
    Then the 2013 contract total would be $4,270,000.00.
    P.S. I made it $20k instead of $14k, I wouldn’t want you to have to blog some day complaining about having to pay taxes on the ticket purchases.

  15. Pingback: MLB players still have to pay for MLB tickets | For The Win
  16. Gerrit Den Dekker

    Thanks for the info and tell Matt, Mr den Dekker says hi and I’m very proud what he has accomplished. My son Matt just got called up to the NY Mets, so the two of them will be crossing paths in Cincinnati in sept.

  17. Vicky

    Thank you for making this public info! My husband works for the Reds and I recently looked at one of his pays tubs and realized he had had over $1000 taken out for comp tix this season. We had only been to 2 games and we didn’t really feel comfortable going back to those people and asking for payment after the fact. Like you said…live and learn, right?

  18. pj

    I recently read an interview of Erik Kratz and he said the same thing. I had no idea before that. I have been priviledged to have a “free” ticket given to me on occassion and it read “$0.00” so I presumed that was what the player paid. Feeling guilty now, but I didn’t know. Thank you very much. You said it in a nice way.

  19. El Murcielago Blanco

    Something you may or may not be aware of (kinda related) – after 8 years of MLB service, your husband will get a “Golden Ticket”, a lifetime pass for the player and a guest for any MLB stadium. Really cool more for three private prestige of the experience of presenting the ticket than for the few bucks it saves.

    I read that many players have no idea it exists until they receive theirs after seeing my buddy’s golden ticket, so I figured I’d throw this out there. Now to get my pal off his retired arse and drag me with him to a game ; )

  20. Mrs. L

    I understand. It’s your money, he earned it, spend it like you choose. And my daughter experienced a 2nd cousins, son-in-law showing up with the opposing teams shirt on and was shocked, but gracious. Sure it’s fair for us family and friends to pay for the discount tickets and we do. There has been times my son-in-law has insisted his treat. WHAT got my goat, your chosen words, “Set the record straight”…Yes you tossed in some love here and there, but, “Set the record straight” honey that came off like you love power more than the power to love…Hope I’m mistaken. Words do not always portray the writer… I’m a pro baseball mom-in-law and love to see the positive relationships my daughter has with other wives… Congrats on your hubbys MLB status! God continue to bless you.

  21. Mrs. L

    I made a mistake, the words that distracted your message were not, “Set the record straight. It was “unapologetically” and “Lay down the law”… I am pointing this out to you because your message is valid and as you can see more than baseball families are commenting. Yes family and friends need to know the expense. How about something like, ” We appreciate your support and can help you with discount tickets”

  22. Tim

    MLB players do get the tickets for free, but they have to pay taxes at their normal tax rate which can add up to the 40% referenced. While I agree discretion should be used, I think $14,000 to spread the love of baseball and giving back to family and friends is hardly a big ticket to a player making millions of dollars. Is the $14,000 worth telling aunt Sue that your too cheap to pay 40% of her awesome box seats? Hardly.

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