Arizona Diamondbacks: An Unexpected Bonus

Jeff SummersCorrespondent IOctober 11, 2009

I am often asked, "Why do you buy season tickets to the Arizona Diamondbacks?"

The question usually results in me staring at the asker with the same incredulous look that I gave the guy who asked me why I thought it necessary to constantly breathe.

I am not suggesting that baseball tickets are as necessary as breathing.

Baseball tickets are much more important that that.

I've briefly considered having a bumper sticker created that simply states, "You can have my Diamondbacks tickets when you pry them from my cold dead fingers."

That’s not necessarily a true statement, though. I plan to disprove the myth that you can’t take them with you.

After all, what kind of God would He be if He didn’t let you go to a game even if you are dead?

If heaven really is paradise, then it will have Major League Baseball. And after living through the 2004 and 2009 Arizona Diamondbacks seasons, I can't imagine hell would be much worse.

The question isn't, "Why do you buy season tickets to the Arizona Diamondbacks?" The real question is, "Why wouldn’t you have season tickets?"

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This is usually a discussion my wife Trina and I have every year just after the final game of the season. I am already busy planning for spring training next year while Trina and the kids are still trying to recover from being at Chase Field for 83 days, including the final two spring training games.

Once the question is raised, I usually find myself rattling off the benefits of being a season-ticket holder. I have been accused on numerous occasions of sounding eerily similar to an Arizona Diamondbacks marketing campaign, but I can’t help it.

Besides the obvious benefit of having a book full of dreams packaged neatly into 81 tiny pieces of paper, there are other advantages.

Each Diamondbacks season-ticket holder receives a membership card that opens up all kinds of magical treasures.

When presented at the various Diamondbacks team shops, the membership card allows you to receive 15 percent off of your purchase. This has been a lifesaver for me.

When Trina starts freaking out about how much stuff I have bought at the team shop, I can explain that it could be worse. It could have cost us 15 percent more.

The magical membership card also works at all Saturday home games at Chase Field to allow you and three guests to enter the stadium 30 minutes before the gates open. While that might not sound like much, it is extremely important for bobblehead games. On those days, I am assured of receiving a bobblehead since there are 25,000 given away and there are roughly 12,000 season ticket holders.

Getting in early on Saturday has other advantages, such as free food trial dates.

During the season, there are a few Saturday games where season ticket holders are offered food samples from various concessionaires before the gates open. This gives you the opportunity to try new food items, risk-free.

Well, as risk-free as a new concession item can be. There are moments that I still taste the garlic fries that I sampled in July.

Perhaps the best perk for being a season-ticket holder is days like today.

I went to the mailbox to pick up our mail. Inside, I found a Sedona Red envelope with an Arizona Diamondbacks return address.

It’s always a great day when you receive a letter from home.

I rushed back to the house and eagerly opened the envelope. Inside was a family season ticket to the Arizona Fall League baseball season. With this ticket, I can take up to six family members to any Arizona Fall League game beginning Oct. 13.

Finally, a lifeline to a drowning fan!

No longer do I have to lay in bed in a state of depression counting the days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training. (By the way, it is 126 days 9 hours and 40 minutes in case you were wondering.)

No, I now had a valid reason to go and watch baseball at least until mid-November.

For those who have never been to an Arizona Fall League baseball game, you don’t know what you are missing. Each franchise sends five or six of their most promising players to play in Arizona. The league is made up of six teams that play in the spring training venues around the city.

A lot of these players will become the next generation of stars in Major League Baseball and you have an opportunity to see them first.

The Diamondbacks will be sending their players to play for the Scottsdale Scorpions who play at Scottsdale Stadium, the spring home of the San Francisco Giants.

It is an opportunity to see the future today and really who hasn’t dreamed of doing that at some point? I sat there staring at the AFL family pass and I knew exactly what those kids felt like in "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," except that there are no Oompa Loompas in the Arizona Fall League and you can’t eat the grass.

This was definitely an added bonus from the Arizona Diamondbacks and provided me with one more justification of why I have to renew my season tickets for next year.

There is no way I am going to miss out on any of these benefits in 2010.

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