Friday, June 29, 2007

Let's Play One and One!

I remember back in a bygone era called the 1990s, there were these things called "Doubleheaders," in which one could purchase a ticket to a game, and see two games for the price of that one ticket. Many times, I would attend these Doubleheaders; in my younger, more wily days it was but a lark for me to spend 7 hours at Shea Stadium, from 5pm to Midnight, or from Noon to 7pm, and while away an entire day watching some Mets Baseball.

Of course, going further back in time, the Doubleheader was an even more common occurrence, with Doubleheaders actually being planned as a part of the regular season schedule, not just a result of a Rained-out ballgame. But I don't believe that the Mets have had a scheduled Doubleheader since September 15, 1998, during that Magical 4-game series in the Astrodome. The only Doubleheaders we see at Shea anymore happen because that Sunday game against the Nationals or the Marlins got rained out.

It appears that those days have gone by the wayside, with the asinine concept of the Day-Night Doubleheader now being the norm across the Majors. The Mets had been one of the last teams to hang on to the single-admission Doubleheader (in fact, when they held one last season, on July 8th, this was trumpeted to the public). Now, in an attempt to pack the ballpark with a fresh set of fans, who can spend more money on tickets, and more money on concessions, and souvenirs and parking, the single-admission Doubleheader, one of the great last vestiges of a bygone era of Baseball is just about dead. The Mets have one such Day-Night doubleheader scheduled today, in Philadelphia. If you've got tickets, you can be there for that first game at 1pm, then leave the stadium, see a movie, do your laundry, and eat a full dinner and still come back in time for the second game. Sadly, even the Mets have succumbed to this phenomenon. Perish the thought of losing a Weekend Box Office, that Doubleheader on Saturday, July 28th begins at 12:10pm, with a 7:10pm nightcap. When they announced that, it was a sad day indeed.

I don't think that this is what Ernie Banks had in mind when he said, "Let's Play Two!"

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