Cheap Seats

Suprises greet Cardinals season ticket holders

I've grumbled before that little irritates me more when it comes to Major League Baseball than rushing to get to the ballpark after a day of work to see folks carrying seven or eight examples of the giveaway of the day in plastic bags -- only to be told when I get to the gate that all the bobbleheads, caps, statuettes or whatever they were handing out are gone.

My contention is that when people buy season tickets, they've made the commitment of purchasing tickets to all the games, so they ought to get all the giveaway items from all the games automatically. Just put them in a box and send them to me so the walk-up folks can fight over that stuff.

Well, my season ticket packet had a note in it that informed me that this year the team is willing to do just that. fill out the little form, send it in and they'll send all that jazz to my house in two shipments, one at the end of July and the other in the middle of October... All for the modest convenience charge of $250 per seat in your season ticket package.

Seriously? I'm not paying $250 to get things I already paid for as part of my ticket cost. While it is nice to guarantee that I would get all the premium items, I don't really want five of them should there be any left when I get to the ballpark. They need to come up with a way to guarantee the heart and soul of their fan base gets the hot item. I'd rather see less giveaways if they had enough of them to give on to everyone who shows up than have to take three hours of time off work to get in line early enough to be sure I'm going to get a bobblehead.

My other gripe is that the Cardinals, who refuse to offer any sort of payment plan for season tickets, this year demand full payment for tickets by Jan. 10.

I remember I used to fret trying to come up with money to go to spring training and to pay for my season tickets at the same time. Not any more. Now I just have to recover from Christmas to pay for them within two weeks.

On the bright side, the Cardinals list of giveaways is impressive. There are four bobbleheads (including one with Ozzie Smith celebrating his recently peddled Gold Glove collection,) a Stan Musial statuette, a 1926 World Series beer stein, replica jerseys for adults and kids, and an encore of the popular 2011 World Series ring replica giveaway from last season. This time the ring is a replica of the 2006 Cardinals' bling.