The Orioles $1 ticket promotion gave us a great idea over the weekend. You can read or view my lousy experience from Friday here but this isn’t about crushing the Orioles for yet another foray into dubious marketing.
This is about doing the “right” thing and if they’re going to offer tickets for a dollar I’m happy to give them a dollar and go to the ballpark.
We’ve all been Orioles fans all of our lives. We all want the team to get better and the city to get stronger because of it. That’s been my personal mission ever since “Free The Birds” began three years ago in the midst of their ninth consecutive season of losing.
Now, at the end of their 12th consecutive summer of meaningless baseball, this “See The Birds” campaign is our pledge that we ALL want the Orioles to return to relevancy and bring joy to the people of Baltimore with a product that makes us proud.
Last week, they offered $1 tickets and blanketed their “bought off” media market with their offer – ostensibly to try to get that LAST remaining naysayer or guy with his kid who wants to “See The Birds” one last time before next April.
Gotta admit — it was intriguing, an offer that seems too good to be true.
At WNST – after thinking it over – we want to take them up on it, do a good thing for Nick Markakis’ charity and invite anyone and everyone to Oriole Park at Camden Yards next Tuesday night when they play the Tampa Bay Rays.
We want to extend the ultimate “olive branch” to the franchise despite their years and years of insolence. We’re here to buy tickets and have a rare evening of fun with WNST friends and family at Oriole Park on what would otherwise be a dreary night with 6,000 people in the ballpark and the team 30 games out of first place.
We believe we could get a lot of folks to join us at the ballpark next Tuesday and enjoy a final night out in 2009. We already had more than 500 tickets sold before noon today!
Just a word to anyone who will lie or portray this as a veiled attempt at anything more than a simple group outing of like-minded baseball and Orioles lovers:
There’s no “funny” stuff or alternate agenda. No Free The Birds gear. Just a bunch of WNST old-schoolers taking in a ballgame for a buck – just like 1,800 people we took to the ballpark with Wild Bill Hagy back in 2001. Or the 1,200 we had at our big night in 2002.
Hey, it’s a baseball game for a buck — even if you only stay four or five innings, we’d have a great night.
We’ll start the party early with a few 12-ounce arm curls over at The Nest. We could sit in the upper deck, root for all of the young Orioles and spell out O-R-I-O-L-E-S and enjoy baseball.
We are making one request: please wear ORANGE if you’re coming to the park with us on Tuesday to show you’re supporting the Orioles.
No strings. No agenda. Just baseball for buck.
Our Pay Pal button features a special “$1 service charge” that we’ll take all of the funds from and donate to the Nick Markakis Foundation called “The Right Side Foundation.”
So, it’s a measly $2 – half goes to the Orioles, half goes to The Right Side Foundation for local charity.
Of course, the Orioles might continue their years of “disassociation” with all things WNST. They might not allow us to come back to the ballpark to support the team (which would NOT surprise me!).
We always give them a chance to show their class or their ass. They’ve ALWAYS shown their ass when given the chance.
I honestly hope they do the “right” thing –like Markakis’ foundation says — and allow the WNST fans back into the ballpark to support the club’s young players.
If they don’t take our money and offer us the tickets, we’ll simply offer you the chance to donate the entire $2 to the charity, thank you for your donation and call it a day — or refund your $2.
It’s up to them, really. The Orioles are the ones with the tickets and the 40,000 empty seats for next Tuesday’s game.
We’ve been very, very unabashed about a few things regarding the Orioles:
1. We’re not going away. We’re going to keep them “honest” (if that’s possible) and support them when they do things that warrant support.
2. “Unconditional” love doesn’t come without conditions. We don’t want to be lied to and misled.
3. Losing and last place is unacceptable.
4. We’re more than willing to support the Angelos Orioles if they are making strides and doing things properly on and off the field.
Here is the team’s progress in wins and losses in the three years since Free The Birds on Sept. 21, 2006:
3-6 in 2006
69-93 in 2007
68-93 in 2008
56-81 in 2009
Judging from this lackluster result, we’d be well within our rights to do another “Free The Birds” walkout. Or worse, just ignore them altogether during a week when the city is buzzing about the football team and their Super Bowl dreams for 2010.
But, instead, we’re back at ground zero with the baseball team – actually attempting to rally some enthusiasm for the franchise before they go into hibernation (or Scottsdale) for the winter.
Instead of discussing putting on our purple duds and focusing on the wide receiver position and the Chiefs’ tenuous quarterbacking situation this week, we’re going to try to get 1,000 of you to give us $2 in an effort to support the Orioles and some local charities. We’re halfway there after one morning of sales!
But, as promised and as we’ve all been all of our lives, we’re still Orioles fans. And they’re still in major need of “fixing.”
Let’s hope this is the start of a “reconnecting” with the WNST fanbase.