MARBLE HILL, NY – There was a time when I was a milk-drinking fanatic. I actually encouraged family members to be sure to drink a few glasses of milk per day. Another bowl of Corn Flakes, perhaps? This had nothing to do with healthy dietary patterns rather there was a purely selfish undertone to my obsession. You see, if my family went through any combination of 5 gallons of Dairylea Milk I could get one free upper deck ticket to a Met game. This is how I learned math at an early age;
4 quarts + 2 gallons + 4 half gallons = 20 Dairylea coupons
Bang! That meant one Upper Deck seat. I still do my base four math this way.

Once I had cut out enough coupons or collected enough gallon caps I would mail them off in a manila envelope and wait the two to four weeks for delivery (Dairylea ran a very efficient operation). The next couple of months were spent relentlessly bugging my dad until he agreed to see this awful team of the late 70’s on a work night. I often wonder why in the world he ever relented to drive myself and a few “lucky” friends out to watch Craig Swan give up 3 run homers to Nate Colbert, but he did. The Dairlylea schedule was usually against the dregs of the league so we saw plenty of Expos and Padres games. Ah, but for that fleeting moment when it seemed a David Arthur Sky Kingman foul ball would make it to section 18 Row M it was heaven. But the Dairylea days are dead. Long live the Dairylea days.

Now it would require a few thousand gallons of milk to score a freebie to a NY baseball game. Part of me never wants to pay for another baseball ticket until it becomes affordable for all. Billions of dollars for new stadiums in NY means this is pure fantasy. Even if you were to score a free ticket for yourself and 3 kids it would cost a minimum of $100 after parking, concessions, etc. I couldn’t be happier about the empty “between the bases” seats at Yankee games. A pair of those season tickets cost more than the average major league salary in 1986 ($421,000 vs. $412,000). I guess sports teams deserve to make as much money as they can, but back in the day before everyone associated with the game was a multi-millionaire it seemed much more fun. Now it is a corporate game played for corporate dollars and that is really a shame. Anyone up for a Cyclones game this year?

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