Thursday, September 25, 2008

Letter to Hal Steinbrenner

On the advice of one SJ44, famed poster from The Yankees LoHud Blog, I have handwritten the following letter to Hal Steinbrenner.

I realize the letter is likely to go unread or otherwise be ignored and acknowledge the baseball-is-a-business mantra and all it refers to, and that they are unlikely to care about the ramblings of a 22 year old graduate student, but, hey, I got to procrastinate.

For those that are not paleological experts:

To Hal Steinbrenner:

I was born in 1986, about two months before Phil Hughes. I am too young to remember the Yankees before Derek Jeter—in fact, the very first game I watched on tv was the Jeffrey Maier game during the 1996 ALCS. So for me, this October is unfamiliar territory. I’m not used to not having playoff baseball!

I have, however, made peace with that—after all, the cool thing about baseball is that you can play it again in the spring. That’s not my concern.

What does concern me, however, is what I—and not just me, but those of my age—are supposed to do about going to games at the New Yankee Stadium.

See, most of us are in or just out of college. Some, like me, are masochists slaving away in graduate school, but most are still just trying to find a job. It’s a tough situation—the economy is bad—when I talked to my father about it, he says that it’s never been this bad in his lifetime, and he was born in 1950. My father wouldn’t exaggerate—he graduated from Wharton and predicted what would happen back in March. My older brother works for a major investment bank and for a while we have bee paying a lot of attention to the situation. So my friends and I are aware that it’s a no-win situation.

Many of us would like to be able to attend Yankee games, as perhaps one way in which we can enjoy an evening after a rough, fruitless ay of job searching or to reconnect with some of our best childhood memories.

The problem is, on the whole, with the current prices for the new Stadium, we can’t afford anything more than bleacher or tier seats. As for season tickets, the only way for us to do that would be splitting a partial plan in the bleachers.

It might not, right now, seem like a big deal that a bunch of college kids can’t afford baseball tickets, but the fact is, in a few years, we will be the ones that you will target to buy season tickets to renew for decades to come. If we can’t afford tickets now, how are we supposed to be convinced that we’ll be able to afford decent seats in a few years—when more of us will have not just ourselves but our families to support?

I understand the need for corporate sponsorship and thus corporate boxes. That alone is not the problem—the problem is that it comes at the expense of possibly alienating the fan base that already has a hard time still trying to recover from the wounds of 2004 and now the wounds of 2008.

We want to support the Yankees. We’ve been paying so much attention to Scranton and Trenton that almost any Yankee fan my age can tell you about Austin Jackson, Jesus Montero and Mark Melancon. We want to be there in late 2009, 2010 and 2011 when they (hopefully) make it to the MLB level club. We want to be able to tell our children that we were there to witness the founding of the next Yankee dynasty, tht we got to see it close up, where we could see Jorge Posada wave to his kids in between innings, where we could see Joba Chamberlain wipe the sweat from his brow before striking out Dustin Pedroia, where we could see the marks in the grass from where Robinson Canò made a diving stop to keep a Carl Crawford line drive from going into right field an allowing Tampa to tie the game, where we could see Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit and Mariano Rivera become the all time saves leader.

We want to be able to return home to our blogs, where we can post photos from the game we went to and share the experience with those of us who, in California or Texas, can’t be there as well.

We don’t want it to cost the same as a vacation to Disneyland.

In the short term, I’m sure there won’t be any issue selling tickets to the new Stadium and I realize that baseball is first and foremost a business, so I realize the likelihood that many of us will still be paying a small fortune for decent seats for a long time to come.

However, baseball is a sport built on the possibility of hope, and so, I will hope.

Thanks for not trading Hughes,

Rebecca G

25 September 2008


  1. Rebecca - I think that it is a great letter. I am sure someone will see it and hopefully it will get to Hal.

  2. great letter rebecca--very well said...

    mike eff