opening day

Aiming to Please

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A minor league baseball stadium in Pennsylvania is aiming to please sports fans.

For people at the Lehigh Valley IronPigs Coca Cola Park a bathroom break doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. The park has installed video game in the urinals of men’s rooms. The games are aimed at increasing prostate health awareness and work by challenging players to steer their way through a snowmobile course while trying to hit cartoon penguins.

Throughout the game messages will pop up reminding men to make an appointment to get checked out. And the entire game is hands free so you better make sure your aim is up to par.  read more »

Play Ball

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This year’s opening pitch is about to cross the plate and fans can hardly wait.

Larry Baer is President and CEO of the World Series winning San Francisco Giants. I recently talked to him about the evolution from sport to business and how the last 20 years has impacted the game.

“You drew one million fans you were probably going to more or less break even. Now you have to get to three million. The good news is that the sport has evolved so there’s something in it for everyone.”

Baer says the fans are his most important clients and if the spring training crowds were any indication fans are ready to pack into stadiums. And he’s ready to make sure they enjoy every moment of every game no matter what the final score is.  read more »

Behind the Scenes

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Baseball season’s opening pitch is just one week away; and the players aren’t the only ones warming up.

Dennis O’Donnell is the sports director at KPIX; a CBS affiliated television station in San Francisco. I recently spoke with him about his experience covering bay area baseball for the past thirty years.

“The game is on a whole different level than it was 20 years ago, but the funny thing is its still two lines, hit the ball it’s still baseball.”

O’Donnell says these days his job requires a creative edge. Thanks to the internet game highlights are old news by the time his show airs. So he has to find a different type of story to tell. But the one thing that has remained consistent is the characters.  read more »

Money Ball

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Baseball players make a lot of money, but not forever.

During his 17-year career Vida Blue pitched for the San Francisco Giants, Oakland A’s and Kansas City Royals, and won 3 world series. He told me about the day in 1971 when he asked then A’s owner Charlie Finley for a raise; Finley said no because “I don’t have to”. So Vida became one of the first players to hire an attorney to go to bat for him. Today’s players have more negotiating power but every career eventually ends.

“They pay good money for these players, for their services but there comes a time in a player’s career where they have to make a business decision.”

Vida advises today’s players that when the spotlight fades so does their paycheck.  read more »

High Ticket Prices

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We are just weeks away from opening day of baseball season; and the players aren’t the only ones warming up.

Dennis O’Donnell is Sports Director at KPIX; the CBS affiliated television station in San Francisco where he’s watched the baseball business grow over his 30 year career.

“When I first started going to a baseball game at Candlestick Park it was $0.50 to get a ticket in the bleachers, I’m not sure how affordable it is for a family of four to go to a certain amount of games.”

Dennis fears high ticket prices keep some fans away.

“You have to pay for the tickets, you have to pay for the parking and you have to pay for the food. I think that some things should be made a little more affordable so fans can go to the game and enjoy the whole experience.”  read more »