Monday, July 29, 2013

Day 120: I Love a Good Heart Warming Fan Story...

I read a couple of fan-related stories today—one that made me feel sort of warm and fuzzy inside and one that nearly reduced me to tears. Of course it doesn't take much to get my waterworks going... seriously. The warm and fuzziness comes on the heels of the Ryan Braun suspension in Milwaukee. I know if sounds weird, but bear with me. The other story has to do with a guy and his dad and the baseball bond they shared.

Let's begin in Wisconsin, America's Dairyland. The Milwaukee Brewers have been under the proverbial microscope the past couple of weeks with the recent suspension of their star player and colossal liar, Ryan Braun. The team has no chance of making the post season, and with Braun gone for the rest of the season, the Brewers stand to save just over $3 million dollars on his salary. Needless to say, the organization was looking for a way to apologize to their fans.

Nothing says "I'm sorry" like free stuff. The Brewers have developed a "Fans First" promotion that will run the month of August where every fan that comes to a game will receive a $10 voucher to be used at the concession stands. The vouchers will be valid through the end of the season. What better way to use Braun's salary—because if anyone owes the fans for being a stupid jerk, it's him. It's like drinks are on him for the rest of the season!

The tearjerker story comes out of Washington, DC. It's a story of Kent Wilson and his dad, Richard who had a pair of season tickets to Nationals Park, but only made it to Opening Day. They had bought the tickets knowing this was a possibility... you see, Richard was battling liver cancer and soon became too sick to make it to the Park.

After that first game, Kent made it a point to go to his dad's house to watch the games on television with him. On June 8th, Richard passed away. Kent couldn't bear to use the tickets without him so he decided to give them to family and friends and a few complete strangers. He put an ad on Craigslist:
If you'd like tickets for a game — completely free — shoot me a note. I would only ask that you enjoy the game and make sure the seats don't go to waste.
Once word got out about the tickets, many fans took advantage of Kent's generosity, while others would just send him notes thanking him for his thoughtfulness. And then the response became overwhelming with so many people missing out on the chance to get those tickets, so Kent went out and bought some more just so he could give them away.

That's the thing about baseball...very often it's that sporting event that you went to the first time with your dad. Completely understandable why he couldn't go without him. I would feel the same way.

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