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(ESPN)   Baltimore Orioles become first MLB team to take steps against aging fan base by letting kids attend games for free   ( espn.com) divider line
    More: Spiffy, Kids Cheer Free, Major League Baseball, Orioles, Orioles manager Buck, Orioles executive vice, Baltimore Orioles, Orioles baseball, Orioles hope  
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510 clicks; posted to Sports » on 13 Mar 2018 at 10:50 AM (18 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2018-03-13 09:47:12 AM  
Smart baseball.  Get the kids hooked now, before they let Machado walk at the end of the season.

/O's fan.  Not looking forward to Manny leaving, but with Angelos, I'm sure I'd do the same.
 
2018-03-13 10:43:54 AM  
Almost makes me wish I was still an O's fan. But...

ToastmasterGeneral: Angelos.

 
2018-03-13 11:03:35 AM  
The Rays have tried something similar by allowing fans to purchase tickets at 7-11 for $7.11.

It hasn't increased attendance.
 
2018-03-13 11:06:27 AM  
The ballpark and the surrounding inner harbor makes the trip worthwhile, even while the on field product is lousy. I love how the seats are right on top of the field of play.

During early season cold weather, it's gonna be a challenge. Though that's equally true at any of the northern outdoor parks.
 
2018-03-13 11:06:39 AM  
I say this as a huge fan of the game: They'd never invent a sport like baseball today.

Today's kids are used to far more stimulation and interactivity than baseball provides. There was an exponential change with the smartphone and easy, mobile access to the Internet and games, there's a reason why, to keep fans and kids coming, ballparks have basically become amusement parks with a baseball game happening in the middle.

I fear this program might not help: All the free seats are in the upper deck, i.e. bad. So kids will be sitting a long way away, getting bored, and doing everything but watching the game.

The cynic in me wonders if this will help any. The cynic in me also can't help but feel like baseball is doomed -- doomed to either make changes that will upset its die-hard fan base, or just keep losing people who can't remember the pre-smartphone age.
 
2018-03-13 11:10:27 AM  
When I was a wee lad, Marge Schott owned the Reds. And for all of her faults as a person, she got knew thing exactly right. She said "kids should always be able to get a ticket to the ballpark. Because that's how you get them used to coming to games."

And it worked. I could get into Riverfront for $3. Awful seats in the outfield upper deck, but I was there. I have since moved away, but last time I was in Cincinnati, I sprung for seats behind home plate. Felt like a proper adult.
 
2018-03-13 11:10:55 AM  

Pfighting Polish: I say this as a huge fan of the game: They'd never invent a sport like baseball today.Today's kids are used to far more stimulation and interactivity than baseball provides.


Kids had fark all to do with the invention of baseball. Alexander Cartwright was 25 when modern baseball was more or less "invented". Little League didn't exist until 1939.
 
2018-03-13 11:14:30 AM  

kevlar51: Almost makes me wish I was still an O's fan. But...

ToastmasterGeneral: Angelos.


I 100% hear you.

It's weird when the best O's pitcher of my generation (Mussina) leaves in free agency for the Yankees, and I'm rooting for him to do well...on the Yankees.  Thank you, Peter Angelos.
 
2018-03-13 11:23:32 AM  

ToastmasterGeneral: kevlar51: Almost makes me wish I was still an O's fan. But...

ToastmasterGeneral: Angelos.

I 100% hear you.

It's weird when the best O's pitcher of my generation (Mussina) leaves in free agency for the Yankees, and I'm rooting for him to do well...on the Yankees.  Thank you, Peter Angelos.


Was a season ticket holder in the mid 90's.  Loved those teams.  Mussina, Ripken, Alomar, Palmeiro Surhoff...

Would have a nice comfortable lead...and Johnson's going to the bullpen.  Taking the mound is Mathews...

Welp, we might as well leave now...
 
2018-03-13 11:26:15 AM  
I have several museum patrons who are pissed off at MLB because they can't get Orioles games here.  My eastern NC city is blacked out from Nats and O's by their pants-on-head retarded local blackout policy.

There is no legitimate reason why a city 246 miles from the nearest MLB stadium should have a local blackout.
 
2018-03-13 11:51:36 AM  
Yeah smart, it's not like they filled every seat anyway, now they will sell hotdogs and crap to those people they wouldn't have made any money off otherwise.
 
2018-03-13 11:54:00 AM  

robbrie: The ballpark and the surrounding inner harbor makes the trip worthwhile, even while the on field product is lousy. I love how the seats are right on top of the field of play.

During early season cold weather, it's gonna be a challenge. Though that's equally true at any of the northern outdoor parks.


Yeah, still the city's slowly getting back from that riot thing and tensions with the police are never pleasant, but the Harbor's still a nice place to hang out.

Also, Angelos...meh...stagnant little bugger.
 
2018-03-13 11:55:47 AM  

SirDigbyChickenCaesar: ToastmasterGeneral: kevlar51: Almost makes me wish I was still an O's fan. But...

ToastmasterGeneral: Angelos.

I 100% hear you.

It's weird when the best O's pitcher of my generation (Mussina) leaves in free agency for the Yankees, and I'm rooting for him to do well...on the Yankees.  Thank you, Peter Angelos.

Was a season ticket holder in the mid 90's.  Loved those teams.  Mussina, Ripken, Alomar, Palmeiro Surhoff...

Would have a nice comfortable lead...and Johnson's going to the bullpen.  Taking the mound is Mathews...

Welp, we might as well leave now...


Ha, I don't even remember Mathews.  (Blocking from memory, perhaps?)  But I do remember Mesa.  And Benitez.
 
2018-03-13 12:01:02 PM  

ToastmasterGeneral: SirDigbyChickenCaesar: ToastmasterGeneral: kevlar51: Almost makes me wish I was still an O's fan. But...

ToastmasterGeneral: Angelos.

I 100% hear you.

It's weird when the best O's pitcher of my generation (Mussina) leaves in free agency for the Yankees, and I'm rooting for him to do well...on the Yankees.  Thank you, Peter Angelos.

Was a season ticket holder in the mid 90's.  Loved those teams.  Mussina, Ripken, Alomar, Palmeiro Surhoff...

Would have a nice comfortable lead...and Johnson's going to the bullpen.  Taking the mound is Mathews...

Welp, we might as well leave now...

Ha, I don't even remember Mathews.  (Blocking from memory, perhaps?)  But I do remember Mesa.  And Benitez.


Middle reliever...I looked up his stats and his ERA really isn't that bad but I vividly recall him blowing quite a few leads.
 
2018-03-13 12:37:21 PM  
So they are going to be really bad this year. But good on them for this.
 
2018-03-13 12:41:03 PM  
Pfighting Polish:
I fear this program might not help: All the free seats are in the upper deck, i.e. bad. So kids will be sitting a long way away, getting bored, and doing everything but watching the game.

Camden Yards has a bounce house in the upper deck and a play ground near one of the entrances.  The bounce house may only be there for dugout games though.   Sometimes they have free balloon animals and face painting.  My son has ADHD and he has a great time at baseball games.   I probably only get to see 4 innings of the game between the bathroom breaks, food purchases, and kiddie crap to do.

His grandfather has taken him to a few Ravens games, but there isn't anything to do there besides watch the game.
 
2018-03-13 12:51:18 PM  
I've all but switched to minor league ball, it's fun and cheap.

Birmingham Beavers
Gwinnett Strippers
 
2018-03-13 12:56:39 PM  
I was telling myself not to make that error (gwinnett stripers)
 
2018-03-13 12:58:12 PM  

SirDigbyChickenCaesar: ToastmasterGeneral: kevlar51: Almost makes me wish I was still an O's fan. But...

ToastmasterGeneral: Angelos.

I 100% hear you.

It's weird when the best O's pitcher of my generation (Mussina) leaves in free agency for the Yankees, and I'm rooting for him to do well...on the Yankees.  Thank you, Peter Angelos.

Was a season ticket holder in the mid 90's.  Loved those teams.  Mussina, Ripken, Alomar, Palmeiro Surhoff...

Would have a nice comfortable lead...and Johnson's going to the bullpen.  Taking the mound is Mathews...

Welp, we might as well leave now...


Jesse Orosco used to boil my blood. I had one friend who swore up and down that he was the best pitcher on staff, but somehow I only ever saw him blow leads.
 
2018-03-13 01:05:22 PM  

pastramithemosterotic: The Rays have tried something similar by allowing fans to purchase tickets at 7-11 for $7.11.

It hasn't increased attendance.


The white sox have this problem. They can give tickets away and no one shows up, even when they're playing well.

They have nights you can bring your dog, they have fireworks and do lots of other promotions, they claim their stadium has the best food in MLB but their "fans" can't be bothered to drag their fat, polish sausage eating, southside asses and stupid moustached faces to a game.

They just sit around in their 13 year old World Series tee-shirts and say "b...bu...but....2005!!!"

/also
//GO CUBS!
 
2018-03-13 01:14:04 PM  
And any kid who attends 10 games gets to pitch middle relief later in the season.
 
2018-03-13 01:18:58 PM  
Could this actually be (gasp!) an idea that everyone agrees on??
 
2018-03-13 01:43:17 PM  

abhorrent1: pastramithemosterotic: The Rays have tried something similar by allowing fans to purchase tickets at 7-11 for $7.11.

It hasn't increased attendance.

The white sox have this problem. They can give tickets away and no one shows up, even when they're playing well.

They have nights you can bring your dog, they have fireworks and do lots of other promotions, they claim their stadium has the best food in MLB but their "fans" can't be bothered to drag their fat, polish sausage eating, southside asses and stupid moustached faces to a game.

They just sit around in their 13 year old World Series tee-shirts and say "b...bu...but....2005!!!"

/also
//GO CUBS!


They've won exactly three playoff series since 1917. They've never made the postseason in back to back years, and their best stretch since the dead ball era was two postseasons in four years. They're  basically a less successful version of the Marlins at this point. Which is a shame, because they've had some great players through the years, and they've done a lot of work to improve the park since it opened.  Hopefully enough of the moves they've made will pan out to give them a solid foundation, and Renteria can get them playing well just as the Indians pass their peak.
 
2018-03-13 01:57:50 PM  
As a kid, I got hooked on baseball when the games used to be shown on tv, and there were games broadcast every Saturday afternoon.
 
2018-03-13 02:21:49 PM  

ToastmasterGeneral: SirDigbyChickenCaesar: ToastmasterGeneral: kevlar51: Almost makes me wish I was still an O's fan. But...

ToastmasterGeneral: Angelos.

I 100% hear you.

It's weird when the best O's pitcher of my generation (Mussina) leaves in free agency for the Yankees, and I'm rooting for him to do well...on the Yankees.  Thank you, Peter Angelos.

Was a season ticket holder in the mid 90's.  Loved those teams.  Mussina, Ripken, Alomar, Palmeiro Surhoff...

Would have a nice comfortable lead...and Johnson's going to the bullpen.  Taking the mound is Mathews...

Welp, we might as well leave now...

Ha, I don't even remember Mathews.  (Blocking from memory, perhaps?)  But I do remember Mesa.  And Benitez.


I wonder if he was thinking of Randy Myers. He was the closer in 97 when Ripken, Alomar, Palmeiro and Surhoff were playing and Johnson was manager.
 
2018-03-13 02:26:05 PM  
I'll always love the O's, but they just boil my blood lately. They finished in last place in 2017, and have really done nothing to improve the roster. The starting rotation is going to be a big mess as they are counting on Bundy and Gausman to carry the load, but both have battled consistency problems their entire careers.

They'll probably be just good enough at the trade deadline that idiot Duquette will think they have a chance so they won't trade Machado and he'll walk at the end of the year for nothing. Jones can't wait to get out of town because he sees the writing on the wall that Angelos really isn't going out of his way to build a winner. And they are stuck with that terrible Chris Davis contract for what, 5 more years?

They can't even figure out if they're rebuilding or trying to win now.
 
2018-03-13 02:34:23 PM  
CSB: In 1984 I worked for the Galbreath family (in real estate) when they still owned the Pirates.  I was on a private jet with Dan, his BIL Wally, and my boss.  Somebody read from a newspaper (!!!) that Dave Parker, who left Pittsburgh for Cincinnati as a FA that year, had made a 3 base error the day before and cost them the game.  Those three millionaires giggled like little school girls.  That was the flight where I suggested that letting kids in free would develop the fan base they wanted.  No takers.
 
2018-03-13 02:40:22 PM  

Trainspotr: abhorrent1: pastramithemosterotic: The Rays have tried something similar by allowing fans to purchase tickets at 7-11 for $7.11.

It hasn't increased attendance.

The white sox have this problem. They can give tickets away and no one shows up, even when they're playing well.

They have nights you can bring your dog, they have fireworks and do lots of other promotions, they claim their stadium has the best food in MLB but their "fans" can't be bothered to drag their fat, polish sausage eating, southside asses and stupid moustached faces to a game.

They just sit around in their 13 year old World Series tee-shirts and say "b...bu...but....2005!!!"

/also
//GO CUBS!

They've won exactly three playoff series since 1917. They've never made the postseason in back to back years, and their best stretch since the dead ball era was two postseasons in four years. They're  basically a less successful version of the Marlins at this point. Which is a shame, because they've had some great players through the years, and they've done a lot of work to improve the park since it opened.  Hopefully enough of the moves they've made will pan out to give them a solid foundation, and Renteria can get them playing well just as the Indians pass their peak.


People can still have a fun day at the ballpark and support their team. Especially when you can do it for 10 bucks.
 
2018-03-13 02:53:17 PM  

Space Station Wagon: I was telling myself not to make that error (gwinnett stripers)


I'm still pissed at the name change. Shoulda been the Buttons.
 
2018-03-13 03:02:25 PM  
I had tickets to an Orioles game once.  Before the game a train derailed and blew up in a tunnel and the game was cancelled.
 
2018-03-13 03:06:06 PM  

Gonz: When I was a wee lad, Marge Schott owned the Reds. And for all of her faults as a person, she got knew thing exactly right. She said "kids should always be able to get a ticket to the ballpark. Because that's how you get them used to coming to games."

And it worked. I could get into Riverfront for $3. Awful seats in the outfield upper deck, but I was there. I have since moved away, but last time I was in Cincinnati, I sprung for seats behind home plate. Felt like a proper adult.


Not sure if it was the same era, but the Orioles had a "three buck night" as well (probably earlier, I think adults got the same price: important as you wouldn't want your kid going to 33rd street, Baltimore, on his own.

I only remember three owners for the Orioles:
The same family that owned nattyboh.  Great owners if not deep pockets (almost certainly the ones behind "3 buck night").  Someday I'll have to drink a nattyboh just to see how bad it is/was.
Edward Bennet Williams:  DC lawyer always threatening to move the Orioles to DC.  Presumably extorted Camden Yards out of Maryland/Baltimore.  I think the "Oriole Way" was still being practiced.
Angelos:  Screwed up all deals all the time.  Presumably stopped screwing things up by the time Showalter showed up, but it isn't clear if he his back to his old tricks or that's just reality setting in.  "Oriole way" is dead as a doornail.  Unrecoverable.

For all the grief I give Dan Snyder in this forum, he isn't any worse than Angelos and infinitely better than Irsay (or Model).
 
2018-03-13 03:30:02 PM  
Yeah, here's how to increase your fan base:  Win a championship.

SF Giants had a loyal following but at the end of the Candlestick days they couldn't give away the tickets.  In comes PacBell park (AT&T now,) Barry Bonds, and a WS trip (lost, wahhhh.)  Fast forward a few years and BAM, 3 in 5 years.  Fan base probably quintupled and has stayed loyal ever since.
 
2018-03-13 03:32:47 PM  
White Sox have free tickets for whole families through their kids club. Register online and you got emailed codes for getting tickets, 2 tickets per kids.  They may be changing the policy this year because people like me and my friends would get free tickets this way and go to a handful of games.  In fairness, we spend a good amount on beer once we are there.
 
2018-03-13 03:49:39 PM  

bark_atda_moon: My son has ADHD and he has a great time at baseball games.   I probably only get to see 4 innings of the game between the bathroom breaks, food purchases, and kiddie crap to do.


This is what I mean by "it's an amusement park that happens to have a baseball game going on inside of it." I have a feeling a lot of kids end up going and barely seeing any of the game. I'm not sure that so much turns them onto baseball. It does give parents with kids a way to do away with their kids for a while while they (maybe) watch the game. But not sure it makes the game any more palatable itself for the kids.

skinink: As a kid, I got hooked on baseball when the games used to be shown on tv, and there were games broadcast every Saturday afternoon.


Of course -- when you only had three channels, and baseball was more entertaining than the golf or the second-run movie on the other two.

Put 2,000 more channels on that same TV, along with a service that allows you to pick any one of thousands of movies or TV shows of your choosing, and you might be less apt to pick the baseball game.

Also, with only those two other options, you and your friends might have chosen to go outside instead. And what did you do? Eh, why not play some baseball? And it didn't cost you an arm and a leg to join a travel team and get the nicest, newest equipment, and you might have still have had a shot at being Benny Rodriguez and making it from the sandlot to the pros.

Times change.
 
2018-03-13 03:50:38 PM  
So night games start at 7:30......
 
2018-03-13 05:28:45 PM  

Hardy-r-r: So night games start at 7:30......


7:05
 
2018-03-13 07:33:17 PM  

Gonz: When I was a wee lad, Marge Schott owned the Reds. And for all of her faults as a person, she got knew thing exactly right. She said "kids should always be able to get a ticket to the ballpark. Because that's how you get them used to coming to games."

And it worked. I could get into Riverfront for $3. Awful seats in the outfield upper deck, but I was there. I have since moved away, but last time I was in Cincinnati, I sprung for seats behind home plate. Felt like a proper adult.


I remember astounding my Met/Yankee-fan co-workers upon my return from road trips through Cincinnati with tales of how a box seat, hot dog, beer and parking could be had for under $20 - and Reds baseball wasn't half bad in 1995. (/csb)
 
2018-03-13 07:51:02 PM  
I don't live in the baseball town, I used to. For the last couple of years teams have been doing discounts for the early games at a great price. Makes me miss a baseball town. And I've been to every Major League Stadium
 
2018-03-13 08:12:38 PM  
Pfighting Polish:

"skinink: As a kid, I got hooked on baseball when the games used to be shown on tv, and there were games broadcast every Saturday afternoon.

Of course -- when you only had three channels, and baseball was more entertaining than the golf or the second-run movie on the other two.

Put 2,000 more channels on that same TV, along with a service that allows you to pick any one of thousands of movies or TV shows of your choosing, and you might be less apt to pick the baseball game.

Also, with only those two other options, you and your friends might have chosen to go outside instead. And what did you do? Eh, why not play some baseball? And it didn't cost you an arm and a leg to join a travel team and get the nicest, newest equipment, and you might have still have had a shot at being Benny Rodriguez and making it from the sandlot to the pros.

Times change."

Jeebus, I make a basic simple comment, and you think that you have it all figured out from that. That one sentence gave you all the insight to Life, the Universe, and Everything?

Of course, nothing. That's the problem with people now. They think the options of any generation before them were limited. You know, being online isn't the end all, be all of life.
 
2018-03-13 08:22:02 PM  

Space Station Wagon: I was telling myself not to make that error (gwinnett stripers)


it was a logical followup to Beavers.
 
2018-03-14 07:20:15 AM  

Gonz: When I was a wee lad, Marge Schott owned the Reds. And for all of her faults as a person, she got knew thing exactly right. She said "kids should always be able to get a ticket to the ballpark. Because that's how you get them used to coming to games."

And it worked. I could get into Riverfront for $3. Awful seats in the outfield upper deck, but I was there. I have since moved away, but last time I was in Cincinnati, I sprung for seats behind home plate. Felt like a proper adult.


When I lived in the Cincinnati area as a kid (well, southeast Indiana, but an exurb all the same) I got to go to at least one game a year thanks to tickets the gave out for good grades. Gotta say it worked, as even now that I'm older and moved deep into Cardinals country (and the last couple years of godawful pitching) I still follow them. I'm sure other teams do something similar.
 
2018-03-14 09:20:11 AM  
This will have a great ROI.   I've taken my daughter to two O's games at Camden Yards... Once when she was just over a year old and then again when she was just over 2.  We are planning on going again a few times this year...

Last year they included a bouncy castle and other fun stuff outside the upper deck areas... on Father's day they let you take your kid on the field before the game to play catch... there are numerous things they've been doing to improve the experience for kids.  My daughter knows who the Oriole Bird is, wanted her own Orioles t-shirt this year and when she pretends to use the phone, one of the folks she talks to is Buck Showalter... I shiat you not.
 
2018-03-14 09:47:04 AM  

Lochaber_Axe: Yeah, here's how to increase your fan base:  Win a championship.

SF Giants had a loyal following but at the end of the Candlestick days they couldn't give away the tickets.  In comes PacBell park (AT&T now,) Barry Bonds, and a WS trip (lost, wahhhh.)  Fast forward a few years and BAM, 3 in 5 years.  Fan base probably quintupled and has stayed loyal ever since.


I think that had more to do with the stadium move than team success.  I lived out there and went to Candlestick once...  I froze my ass of in that rusted piece of shiat park and vowed I would never return.  I went to a ton of games at PacBell and I wasn't a Giants fan.
 
2018-03-14 11:43:37 AM  

skinink: Jeebus, I make a basic simple comment, and you think that you have it all figured out from that. That one sentence gave you all the insight to Life, the Universe, and Everything?

Of course, nothing. That's the problem with people now. They think the options of any generation before them were limited. You know, being online isn't the end all, be all of life.


Well, first off, I apologize that you were taken aback.

However, please consider: I'm thinking this is a thread about trying to find ways to get kids interested in the game. Presumably, you offered up how you got interested for that reason. I then posited why that reason is far less plausible for kids nowadays. Gotta be thinking forward; there's not a topic in the world that's not helped by critical thinking and a little analysis, which was all I was trying to provide.

I suppose you may have just been "contributing," but I'm more about analysis and trying to find solutions. If anything, I'm always encouraging folks to think critically and analytically.

While I'll grant you that early-season baseball isn't on national broadcast TV as much as it used to be, it's far more accessible on television than it ever was. Just about every game for your local team is on TV. There's Sunday Night Baseball weekly on ESPN, in addition to other nights, games consistently on MLB Network, Fox picks up a national game of the week in the second half of the season and TBS also shows a package.

Baseball is on TV for folks, specifically kids, to watch and get hooked on. But they're not watching or getting hooked. TV ratings are sinking such that it's very plausible ESPN won't even bother with MLB the next time it's up for renewal. And kids' interest in the game has sunk. Traditional TV isn't helping, and even with baseball shown on a variety of new channels, such as through the MLB At Bat app, they still aren't tuning in.

So yeah. The way you got hooked? Not how kids are getting hooked, including for the reasons I gave above. Times change. So I go back to my Weeners ... I'm not sure the game will hook kids without major changes, given the way smartphones, tablets and streaming entertainment has radically changed kids' mindsets about entertainment.

How you did it? Not how it works anymore, unfortunately.
 
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