Sunday, March 30, 2008

Life Begins on Opening Day: National Opening Day

Tonight I’ll be heading to the opening of the Washington Nationals new baseball park. I’ll leave aside my feelings for government funding of stadiums, and instead focus on some lessons learned from some of my favorite baseball games I have attended.

Best Game of All Time I have Attended: October 14, 2006 Tigers versus Oakland A’s ALCS Game Four

It was a magical season after years of futility the Tigers, my favorite team, had finally pulled it together, winning 95 games and making the playoffs for the first time in almost 20 years. Leading 3 games to none in a seven game series, barring Red Sox magic, the Tigers were going to the World Series, but I wanted to see it happen on that night when I had flown in from Wisconsin, my wife from DC, and my Dad driven from Columbus Ohio. It was one of those games, where after 2 innings the Tigers were down 3-0 and I felt like even after the Tigers tied it 3-3 they still were going to lose. I can’t do it justice with the 2 outs bottom of ninth type description, but when I realized Magglio’s fly ball had landed in the bullpen it was awesome.

Economic lesson learned fans like winning and homeruns. In a paper I’m writing with a Towson colleague, this appears to be true not just for major league teams, but also minor league teams. Watching a winning team is more fun and there is something about a homerun that brings such satisfaction.

June 24th, 2001 Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox: First baseball game with my wife

Although my wife had been to a major league game before, she was really young and didn’t know much about the game. I taught her to keep score by recording plays, which she thought was like a lab notebook. Being a new baseball fan I told her a lot of stories that I had learned through my Dad or watching and listening to games growing up. For some reason I told her that it was traditional to get nachos in the sixth inning, I made this up but my wife likes nachos so she was willing to go along with the story. Now most sixth innings we get Nachos, they are a great complement to attending a baseball game.

Economic lessons: sometimes goods are complements eating nachos is a lot more fun watching a baseball game then when you are running a 5k race. Sometimes goods can substitute for each other instead of nachos you can have hotdogs, pretzels, or peanuts. The Nationals new ball park promises local food including Ben's Chilli Bowl half-smokes

At this point I’m not sure how many Major League Baseball games I have attended hopefully tonight will be up there with some of my other favorites (Cecil Fielder game tying roof shot, Prince Fielder’s first home run, a rainy day in Fenway watching 04 playoff highlights, Latin night at RFK). Each new year brings new possibilities and plenty of more games to attend.

Go Nationals!

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