This AP story is getting a lot of chatter:

Coffins to bear logos of baseball teamsClearly not a coffin, dude.

By Patrick Walters, Associated Press Writer  

PHILADELPHIA –Many crazed baseball fans have said they would die for a championship. But are they willing to take that devotion to the grave? Major League Baseball and a company that makes funeral products will soon find out just how many fans want to be decked out for all eternity in tribute to their team.

Despite the headline, though, it’s not really a coffin. It’s an urn. Or, as they would say in The Big Lebowski, a “recepticle.” And while Eternal Image does plan on eventually offering “recepticles” for all 30 MLB teams, for their launch next season, they’re only offering urns for the Phillies, Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Cubs, and Dodgers. 

Is it just me, or does that list have a bit of a one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-others quality to it? The Dodgers inclusion therein just sort of….clunks. The other ballclubs all have storied histories and famously loyal fanbases, which the Dodgers haven’t enjoyed since they left Brooklyn. Am I wrong? Fellow UmpBumper Nick has even conceded to me that it is entirely normal to wander up to the ticketbooth in LA and purchase tickets for the game that very evening, a feat unheardof in Boston. (Nomar Garciaparra, who has now played for three of the teams on the above list, has also commented on this dichotomy.)

More mysteriously, however, if Eternal Image does go ahead and end up offering an urn for every team, will anyone buy a Devil Rays casket? (That is, other than this guy.)


No Responses to “For the Die-Hard Fan (Har har)”

  1. Coley Ward says:

    Sarah, one of these days, you really need to go see a game outside of Fenway Park.

    Yes, it’s true that tickets to a game at Fenway are hard to come by. And yes, you can buy them at the gate before a Dodgers game. But what is the capacity of Fenway? 36,108. And what is the capacity of Dodgers Stadium? 57,000. So let’s cut Dodgers fans a little slack. The fact is, that on most nights, in almost ever other major league city besides Boston, you can walk up before a game and buy tickets. This year, there were even empty seats at Wrigley!

    The knock on Dodgers fans is that they often leave before the game is over. And there is probably a lot of truth to that stereotype. We could argue all day about whether or not Dodgers fans are as loyal as Red Sox fans (blasphemy!), but please do not attack the franchise itself.

    The Dodgers franchise has had plenty of success since moving to L.A. in 1958. The Dodgers won the World Series in 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981, and 1988. That’s five world series championships. How many have the Sox won in that time?

  2. Nick Kapur says:

    Sarah, you ask, are you wrong? Yes, very.

    Dodgers fans can be bashed on a variety of grounds, but not any of the grounds you’ve tried to bash them on. It would have been foolish for this company not to include a team which consistently leads the National League in attendance, year after year, and probably has the largest out-of-town fanbases in the nation, other than perhaps only the Cubs and the Red Sox.

    Sure you can walk up and buy a ticket to a game against the Brewers on a Tuesday night, but that is only because Dodgers Stadium seats 57,600, whereas Fenway Park only seats 36,100. This year, the Dodgers’ average attendance was 46,400 – over 10,000 more fans per game than Fenway even seats. And if the Dodgers are not the only ticket worth talking about in town, that is only because there is a lot more going on in LA than in Boston.

    But the most ridiculous thing you said of all was that the Dodgers do not have a “storied history.” The Dodgers have a far more storied history than any other team in baseball not named the New York Yankees, and that has been true in both Brooklyn and LA. Since the Dodgers moved to LA they have won five World Series titles – just going down the list of the other non-Yankee teams with urns, have the Tigers, Cubs, Red Sox, and Phillies even won five World Series *combined* since 1957?

    One of these days, Red Sox fans should wake up and realize that most of Red Sox history is not really all that storied.

    The team that really “sort of clunks” for me is the Tigers. I mean really, the Tigers? Clearly this company is just trying to cash in on their performance this season.

  3. Sarah Green says:

    Okay so, most Dodgers fans probably stay most of the game, even surrounded by empty seats, to watch a team that has had the good fortune to win several championships, while other teams, that suffer long droughts, still retain loyal fanbases and sell out their parks despite much higher ticket prices, and have fans who stay all nine innings.

    To me, it is easier to see which kind of fan would want to actually be buried in an official team “recepticle.”

  4. Sarah Green says:

    FWIW, I agree with Nick about the Tigers. Capitalize, capitalize. That’s why it’s called capitalism!

    But you, Ward. How many times do I have to tell you—I *have* seen games outside of Fenway!

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