Friday, April 25, 2008

Fan Satisfaction Ratings

ESPN put out their annual fan satisfaction ratings covering every team in North America's four largest leagues- MLB, NFL, NBA & NHL. As you can see, the Dodgers ranked 77th overall and just 4th against other LA (and vicinity) based franchises.
How sad is it when the OC teams not only beat all of the LA teams, but well outpaced the group? The Ducks and Angels are in the top 10 in the nation.

ESPN summarizes the Dodger fan experience.
Last Year's Rank: 60
Title Track: 41
Ownership: 64
Coaching: 21
Players: 76
Fan Relations: 85
Affordability: 65
Stadium Experience: 48
Bang for the Buck: 107

Looks like Dodgers fans haven't minded going back to their East Coast roots. The replacement of Grady Little with Brooklyn native Joe Torre vaulted the Coaching ranking 45 points. It's also clear Angelenos didn't appreciate every change this year. The Dodgers faithful endured, but clearly hated (given the 31-place Affordability plummet), a 26.9% spike in average ticket prices (up to $26.28, the biggest bump in the bigs), plus a 50% rise in parking costs, to $15. An upper-deck seat behind home plate is still just $9, but fans must save pennies to enjoy the newly renovated Field Level. "It makes me thankful for two things," wrote Xeifrank on dodgerthoughts.baseballtoaster.com. "Home games are televised and parking in my driveway is free." This season marks the Dodgers 50th b-day in the City of Angels, but not everyone feels like celebrating. - Doug Mittler

McCourt continues to have a lot of work to do. Not only that, the Kings, my other sports team passion, of the NHL have a long way to go.

Story Link: ESPN Ratings:
Hat Tip: Inside The Kings:

Heritage Auction: Jackie, A's and Ancient Balls

Heritage Galleries has an upcoming auction that includes a great Jackie Robinson artifact. After the 1956 season Jackie Robinson was traded to the hated Giants for cash and mediocre middle relief pitcher Dick Littlefield. Jackie refused to go. As the story goes, Jackie considered the Giants to be the enemy and joining them would be treasonous. The letter below, however, seems to refute that story.

Heritage is auctioning a January 14, 1957 letter written by Jackie Robinson officially announcing his retirement from Baseball to New York Giants owner Horace Stoneham. Within it, Jackie indicated no ill feelings towards the Giants. In fact, he compliments them.
Dear Mr. Stoneham:

After due consideration I have decided to request to be placed on the voluntary retired list as I am going to devote my full time to the business opportunities that have been presented.

My sincere thanks to you and to Mr. Feeney for your wonderful cooperation and understanding in this matter.

I assure you that my retirement has nothing to do with my trade to your organization. From all I have heard from people who have worked with you it would have been a pleasure to have been in your organization.

Again my thanks and continued success for you and the New York Giants.

Sincerely,

(signed) Jackie Robinson

Auction Link: 1957 Jackie Robinson Signed Retirement Letter:

Also available is an incredible 1929 World Series Champion Philadelphia A's autographed photo album.
"All of this elite squad's legends are present and accounted for, with Foxx, Cochrane, Collins, Simmons, Grove and Connie Mack representing the Hall of Fame contingent. Other notables include the very tough Thomas Shibe, 1919 Black Sox manager Kid Gleason, Dykes, Earnshaw, Quinn, Walberg, Boley and more."
This is one of the greatest team in history. Below is the reverent Connie Mack.
Eddie Collins
1919 Chicago Black Sox manager Kid Gleason.
Auction Link: 1929 Philadelphia Athletics Team Signed Photographic Portrait Album:

Below is a circa 1870 lemon peel Baseball.
The infancy of our National Pastime is represented by this ancient homemade sphere used in the years immediately following our American Civil War. You'll first note the unique stitching pattern, quite different from the figure-eight model that has dominated the game for well over a century, and then the enormous heft of the ball despite the fact that the circumference is actually smaller than modern examples.
Imagine playing with something like this.
Auction Link: 1870 Lemon Peel Baseball:
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