The Internet is an amazing place and has changed our lives so much that it is hard to fathom what we ever did without it. Well, that’s not exactly difficult to imagine. Try using your smartphone in the middle of a grocery store or Chase Field and you know exactly what it’s like not to have internet access.
Yesterday as I was searching for images of golden tickets for my blog entry Missing an Invitation I came across an interesting item that I had no idea existed – the MLB Lifetime Pass. This is the ultimate in golden tickets for any baseball fan. The Lifetime Pass provides the cardholder and one lucky guest access to any Major League Baseball game for life.
Considering that I had no idea that this kind of thing even existed, like any warm-blooded baseball fan I wondered how someone could score such an amazing item? It seems as though this is not nearly as hard to come by as one might think.
According to Major League Baseball officials, a lifetime pass is presented to a Major League Baseball player who has accumulated 8 years of full-time major league service. For the point of this discussion, a full-time year equates to 172 games. So if a player can stick in the big leagues for 1,376 games they are awarded lifetime pass.
It’s not just players who can receive such a gift. MLB Front Office Staff who have 25-years of full-time major league service will likewise receive the proverbial golden ticket for them and one guest. This means that is a front office employee makes it through 4,300 games they too will receive a pass to any Major League Baseball game to enjoy with a guest.
As for the logistics of the program, Major League Baseball has a small team that will run reports every year and identify those players or front office employees who are in line for such an honor. Major League Baseball does not assume the person will reach the plateau and just send it the year you would break the magical barrier. Instead the exact game will be calculated and the Lifetime Pass is forwarded to the team to be presented at the game where you reach the criteria.
I somehow envision employees dressed as Oompa Loompas that stand around a player’s locker bouncing up and down while the lucky recipient sings, “I’ve got a golden ticket!” I’d like to see that.
By now, if you are like me you have to be asking, “Hey MLB, what about the fans. How can we be awarded such a cool MLB Lifetime Pass?” Well, that’s where we are probably going to be disappointed. Most fans would not be eligible although MLB has a similar program they have used in the past. For example the 52 Americans that were held hostage in Iran from 1979-1981 did receive an MLB Lifetime Pass as one of the gifts. Other prisoners of war have received the card as well but MLB was quick to note that not all POWs get this honor.
I thought for a second that was my ticket (pun intended). My wife has been saying for years she feels trapped in our marriage having to attend all of those baseball games and never getting to leave early. Sorry dear, according to MLB that does not count as being a POW. It’s just as well, she probably wouldn’t use it anyway or if she did I probably wouldn’t be her +1 at the gates.
It would be cool if the long-time fans had such a program. Looking over the vast number of ticket stubs that litter my office and a quick calculation of Diamondbacks games, I have attended approximately 1,328 Arizona games. If things go well, if I were a player I would hit the 1,376 game threshold on July 17th at Chase Field to watch the Diamondbacks play the World Champion San Francisco Giants. Instead I’ll have to be content using my Diamondbacks Season Ticket and coloring it with a gold crayon.