Saturday, June 17, 2006


I’ve heard a lot of talk lately how only “fat cats” and such can afford to attend Cardinal baseball games at Busch III. I beg to differ. Might I suggest looking on e-bay for tickets at face value. The only additional charge might be $10 or so for the delivery fee. Now don’t get me wrong, you’re not going to get Cardinal/Cub tickets, but there was a healthy selection of tickets this past week for the Reds’ series.

One service that really does rub me the wrong way is the Cardinals’ Prime Time Seating service. On the surface it looks to be a square deal. For a one-time $25 fee one can purchase unused season tickets of all prices. That certainly seems fair. Ah, but beneath the surface lurks a “processing fee” of some various levels depending upon the price of the tickets. Correct me if I am wrong, but if I stood on the corner of 4th and Broadway and attempted to sell tickets for face value, plus a “processing fee,” I would be, at least detained, and possibly arrested for scalping tickets. How do I know? You mean I never told you the story about the Cardinal/Mets series in 1985. Well then, sit back and listen.

If you remember correctly, back in 1985 the Cardinals and Mets were battling for the division title. Also back in 1985, bleacher seats didn’t go on sale until 2 hours or so before the game started. At the time I was a full-time university student who worked only weekends tending bar and bouncing at a local watering hole, so I had ample free time. It was a Tuesday morning when I decided to get in line for bleacher seats for Tuesday evening’s game. I called a hand full of friends and told them I would be in line and to meet me at the entrance to the bleachers around 5 or so. When I got there, shall we say at 9 or 10 in the morning, I was the second or third person in line – good enough to guarantee front row bleacher seats. Remember now, back in those days it was first come first serve; there were no reserved seats in the bleachers. The also allowed you to purchase as many tickets as you wished.

As the day went on the line grew longer and longer and longer. By 4:30 or so it was clear that those at the end of the line might not get tickets, even though some had been in line for hours. By 5, when tickets went on sale, all of my friends had arrived and were in line with me. Now, this wasn’t planned, but as we got to the ticket window I told my friends to buy tickets and save our front row seats. I on the other hand bought 10 bleacher seats for $40 and rather than go in, went to the end of the line, the very end of the line and sold 9 tickets for $10 each. I saved one ticket, thinking I would use it to gain entrance to the bleachers. It only got better. The one ticket allowed me “weasel” my way back to the ticket window, where I purchased 22 more tickets at $4 a pop. Where did I go? Back to the very end of the line, where I sold all 22 tickets, for $10 each in less than 20 minutes. Of course I saved one ticket for myself, knowing my friends had a front row seat saved for me.

I swear to God I had every intention of using my ticket to enter the game, but as circumstance would have it, I ended up back at the ticket window. Now never have I claimed to be the brightest, but I ain’t no dummy either. So with over $250 or so I purchased another 50 tickets. Where do you think I went? To the very end of the line, where I had no problem unloading every last ticket – minus one of course.

Lynn and I had just begun dating, and she was one of those saving front row seats. To this day I think one of the reasons she married me was that she recognized my business savvy as I entered the game with hundreds of dollars, which was certainly more than two weeks of income for a starving university student.

Things went so well that I returned on Wednesday and Thursday and repeated the process, netting at least a thousand dollars or so. Ah, but never underestimate the intelligence of St. Louis’ finest. The Cubs came to town that Friday and I looked to make my biggest haul. Of course I wanted to entertain my friends with front row seats so I invited them to all show up at 4:30 or so.

For some reason I just felt like I was being watched that evening. And for some reason I asked Lynn to stay outside the stadium with me. As I sold the tickets, and for the life of me I cannot say why, probably showing off, I game the money to Lynn to hold. I was just getting started when an undercover police officer approached me and made me empty out my pockets. I had 20 or so tickets and no money – remember, I gave the money to Lynn. He handcuffed me, making a great impression on my future wife, and told me he wanted to know where the money was. I didn’t lie to him, but I played real stupid, which was pretty easy to do. He then told me if he caught me selling one more ticket that he would take me to the 4th district and lock me up.

I am not certain if I was still acting or just being myself when I asked the officer if I could simply sell the tickets I had for face value. “Nope,” he replied, “’cause any ticket you sell you gotta pay taxes on.” I was in no situation to argue, all I wanted was to have the handcuffs removed, so I promised him I would just give the tickets away. And I did.

So, my question is, what’s the difference between my charging a processing fee in 1985 and the Cardinals charging one in 2006? That’s just how my mind works.

Lindenwood hockey squad reloads with incoming freshmen

“Entering our fourth season of competition we feel real good about where our program is at. Our recruiting from day one has been an important part of the early success of our program. And this years recruiting class should be no different,” said Lions head coach Derek Schaub.

Only losing one senior to graduation and a fourth place finish at the national tournament would lead many to believe that recruiting would be fairly quiet this off-season. But that was not the case this spring for the Lindenwood head coach.

Coach Schaub went to the Traverse City North Stars (NAHL) to find one of their most pressing needs, a goal scorer. The Lions signed forward Ryan Bond (Northville, MI). Bond played the last 20 games for Traverse City after spending part of the season playing for Toledo in the CSHL. Bond finished with 2 goals and 2 assists in 20 games.

“We are always looking to improve on every facet of our team and we lose our first ever recruiting class after this season. We will lose a lot of quality guys next year, and I feel if we can bring in some guys and have them play a year or two of DII for us, they will be in great shape to make that transition to our DI team,” said Coach Schaub.

A great asset to both Lions’ hockey programs is the great pool of talent locally. The Lions once again signed players from three time defending Junior B national Champions, St. Louis Jr. Blues and from the St. Louis Lightning, who play in the Minnesota Junior Hockey League.

From the Jr. Blues, Lindenwood signed forwards Tim Gardner (Oakville), Kyle Gouge (Francis Howell), and Ryan Holzum (Fort Zumwalt West). Gardner finished the season playing 38 games with 6 goals and 6 assists. Gouge ended last season with 52 games played and totaled 29 goals and 29 assists. Holzum played in 43 games and tallied 7 goals and 10 assists.

From the Lightning, Lindenwood signed forwards Eric Gebhardt (CBC), Matt Pilgrim (Eau Claire, WI), and Chris Sevier (McCluer North). Gebhardt played in 43 games and scored 14 goals and had 25 assists. Pilgrim ended last season with 15 goals and 15 assists in 43 games. And Sevier scored 2 goals and 11 assists in 44 games.

Lindenwood also signed forward Jacob Gehrin (Hazelwood Central). Gehrin played last season for Affton Midget Majors, who recently won the U18 Tier II national championship.

Lindenwood has also tabbed local high school players for their two programs. Signing for the fall semester are Andy and Danny Bethmann (Fort Zumwalt South), Nick Hartley (Parkway North), and Nick Pieber (Westminister). Andy Bethmann finished last season with 7 goals and 13 assists. Danny Bethmann scored 12 goals and had 8 assists. Hartley finished with 25 goals and 10 assists. And Pieber lead all of Mid-States in scoring with 62 goals and 36 assists.

“We are very happy with were we are at with our 06-07 recruiting class. We are still working on finding a goaltender and maybe another diamond in the rough, but are very confident with our incoming freshmen,” said Coach Schaub.