Op/Ed

Everybody sing: Take me out to the ballgame ...


Jason Ginsburg

Ah, the crack of a bat. The flight of a ball. The taste of a hot-dog. It's baseball, Astros baseball, returned to life after so many dismal months of Rockets lost and Oilers gone.

It's competitive, it's traditional, it's fun, it's - hey, where is everybody?

Here I sit in the comfort of the Astrodome, watching two of the best teams in baseball play on opening day, but this place isn't full. How can this be so? Sure, it costs something to get in, but only half as much as tickets to Rockets games, and you never see any empty seats there. (By the way, whatever happened to the Rockets?)

It can't be the Astros themselves who are to blame for their attendance woes. They are one of the top teams in baseball and they have an owner who has gone millions of dollars in debt for the sake of winning.

It can't be the past strike that is dragging baseball attendance down. The sport, including the Astros organization, has already been damaged by its lack of fans during the strike-shortened seasons and it has taken that lack to heart. A new, full season begins this week without threat of interruption.

The fans have everything they ever wanted: a good owner, a great team and a full season. The only possible reason for the lack of attendance that I see can only be ... a lack of fans.

Can this be true? Do people not show up because they just don't care? If so, that's a horrible mistake. Owner Drayton McLane continues to lose money on the team, and he will be forced to move and/or sell it if he does not at least break even this season, if he does not sell more tickets. It's a particular shame that baseball is receiving so little support here, because we have an owner who is willing to provide us with a great team ... if he could only break even. If McLane were to actually profit from the Astros, I have no doubt that he'd be willing to give Houston the best team in baseball.

Of course, there are those who say that having the best team in baseball is not worth much at all - people who don't like professional sports and who would rather see money spent elsewhere. Are these people godless commies bereft of soul? Yes, they probably are, but that's beside the point.

Those who dislike, or who are indifferent to, the Astros are just plain wrong. In Houston, we know a sports team can provide great benefits that are intangible, but valuable nonetheless - the Rockets, wherever they are, have taught us that. There is no question that buying Astros tickets now, keeping the team here and keeping them winning, will pay great dividends in the future.

So, come on out and join me in the Dome! It's fun, it's exciting, and it's great for Houston to be in here ... well, at least until Oilers season begins.

Ginsburg is a

junior political science major.


Last Modified: 8-17-96    © 1996 The Daily Cougar

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