So I come home after a long day at work and sit down to one of my many benign guilty pleasures: flipping through the day’s catalogs. Tonight, we’ve got a good haul: LL Bean, J Crew, and Red Envelope. Browsing through this last, which specializes in expensive shit you don’t need (a.k.a., “gifts”), I noticed some expensive shit I actually might have wanted, if it weren’t so expensive:

Ballpark pensThis pen, which is “crafted from authentic stadium-seat wood from America’s most famous and beloved stadiums,” available in Yankee Stadium (royal blue), Wrigley Field (dark green), Fenway Park (dark blue), Dodger Stadium (Dodger blue) and Busch Stadium (gray).

Ballpark cuff linksAnd these cuff links, “crafted of salvaged seats from America’s most famous and beloved stadiums,” available in Yankee Stadium (royal blue), Wrigley Field (dark green), Fenway Park (dark blue), Dodger Stadium (Dodger blue), RFK Stadium (orange), Busch Stadium (gray), Tiger Stadium (dark green), Comiskey Park (light green), or Shea Stadium (orange).

It’s not that I’m shocked at three-digit price tags for office supplies or glorified buttons. No, what has my knickers in a twist is that while all of the pens are in the $170 to $190 (for Yankee Stadium) range, the Fenway Park pen is a whopping $250. Likewise, all of the cuff links are priced at $150—except, again, for the Fenway Park links, which are $230. Clearly, they think the most rabid fans in the game can be counted on to pony up more dough. Well, Mr. Director of Sales, the Fenway Faithful may pay more for tickets than other fans do, but we’re not stupid, and we’re not made of money. I might have bought my boyfriend $150 cuff links made of Fenway Park, but I ain’t shelling out 230 clams for those puppies. You just priced yourself out of a sale.

This member of Red Sox Nation will be saving her pennies for StubHub.

12 Responses to “The Great Fenway Ripoff”

  1. Nick Kapur says:

    Sarah your post just convinces me even more that Clemens’s strategy is going to be to try to force McNamee into a settlement.

    I can’t imagine why he would possible want to go through years of trial and have all his secrets aired in the court of public opinion, even more than they already have been.

  2. Sarah Green says:

    Yes, it is a high-stakes game of chicken. But McNamee has so much at stake as well. Is he really going to go to jail for Clemens? Is he really going to abandon his children, one of whom is extremely sick? Is he really going to completely torpedo his own good name?

  3. Paul Moro says:

    Well, McNamee technically no longer has “a good name” either. Better than Clemens, I suppose, but it ain’t good.

    Nick, McNamee’s broke supposedly. There’s nothing he can give up.

    There’s a part of me that thinks this could actually be a good thing in the long run. Personally, I’m still a bit skeptical of the whole veracity of the Mitchell Report. That’s not to say that I think Clemens is innocent. But even if a shadow of doubt gets cast as to its credibility, it may force MLB to make additional moves to clean up. I’d love to see the sport “move on” after the Mitchell Report. But since I’m made up of 64% cynic (12% jerk, 23% baseball fan, 5% gumdrops, and 7% mathematical dimwit), I think it’s going to get worse before it actually CAN get better.

  4. Sarah Green says:

    Paul it’s already gotten pretty bad! And yes, I should have said “what’s left of” his own good name with regards to McNamee.

    However, I fail to follow your logic here. If Clemens succeeds and casts doubt on the Mitchell report, MLB will have to make additional moves to clean up its act? How so? And why are you skeptical about the report’s veracity?

  5. Paul Moro says:

    Yeah, I did a piss-poor job explaining myself there. Take 2:

    Yes, it’s bad. But I really think it’s actually going to get worse.

    I’m skeptical about the Mitchell Report for reasons that aren’t unique to me. The Commission couldn’t get current players to talk. Mitchell essentially ended up with very little to work with. As a result, there was no way that the Report could even begin to accurately portray what was/is/will be going on.

    So, at least in my mind, the Mitchell Report was very much incomplete. But it was enough to make it seem to the general public that MLB actually gives a rat’s ass about this. And that’s what they want. They don’t want a full expose. They wanted enough to win a PR war. And so far, that’s what they’ve gotten. Look at the fact that MLB donated $3m to PED-research. Sounds like a lot, but consider that Kip Wells will be making more than that in 2008. It’s enough to make it look like they care.

    I just think there’s so much more to this than we know. And while Clemens is being a total idiot (unsurprisingly), this gives us a chance to potentially learn more about how the Mitchell Report was created. If it turns out that certain unfair liberties were taken by the Commission, it no longer becomes something that MLB can hide from. Ergo, they may have actually start taking this thing REALLY seriously.

    Again, I’m a total cynic (actually, to be consistent, 64% cynic). I don’t expect many people to agree.

  6. Sarah Green says:

    Oh no, Paul, now that you’ve explained further, I completely agree. I thought you were saying you didn’t believe the report. I concur that the report is woefully incomplete.

    WOOT we agree on something! Let’s mark this day on our calendars.

  7. Nick Kapur says:

    I think that’s just smart pricing. It’s a proven fact that Red Sox fans will pay much more for Red Sox related items than any other team’s fans will pay for that team’s items. Maybe you won’t pay more, but I’m sure some Rex Sox fan will. I bet some Red Sox fans will have a different logic, in which they say, yeah, Fenway is just better than those other parks, so it is worth paying more for a piece of a Fenway seat.

    So yeah if a certain group is willing or able to pay more, why not charge them more? It’s the same reasoning behind charging regular adults more money to see a movie than seniors or students.

  8. Sarah Green says:

    Nick, dynamic pricing and price discrimination are hardly new concepts, so if the Fenway pen/cuff links were twenty bucks more than the others, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. But a whopping $80? That’s extreme.

  9. Sarah, I was recently asked to go to a jello wrestling competition (in case you were wondering, the jello do not wrestle). But any thoughts I may have had of actually going were gone when I learned about the pricing structure:

    Girls get in for free if they wrestle.
    Girls who dont pay seven bucks.
    A guy who brings a girl pays ten bucks for the couple.
    Any guy who dares show up sans a member of the female gender pays $25.

    How is that fair? I am not sure why I am choosing this forum to complain. Initially, it seemed like a good idea to mention this. Now I regret it and doubt its relevance. But I will hit the submit comment button anyway.

  10. Heather S says:

    Sarah, I have to agree. I thought this would be an excellent gift for my Red Sox fanatic husband. But when I saw the Fenway pen was $80 more – forget. Perhaps if the Fenway pen wasn’t the only pen with a higher price I would consider. Or if it was more reasonable – $20 extra, probably. $30 extra, maybe. $80 extra – no way. It is just a pen for Pete’s sake!

  11. Heather S says:

    Oh, my mistake… I guess the cheapest pens are $170, some are $180, some are $190. Only the Fenway pen is $250.

  12. Dear Readers,

    We are the manufacturer of these products. Sorry that our retailer Red Envelope didn’t explain that Fenway is priced higher because it is of limited availibity. Yankee Stadium and other’s had their wood seats removed in the 70’s and replaced by plastic. Fenway is a small park and only 50% of the wood has been removed and swapped for plastic at this point. Therefore, there are less Fenway wood seats in the collector market, forcing the price higher. Availibility and popularity drive prices higher. Fenway seats are very rare and we could have removed them from our program, but our experience to date has shown us that Fenway has outsold all other parks but one. We hope this helps clear up the price discrepency. We appreciate your vigilance and the opportunity to clear the air.

    -Tokens and Coins

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