But with the Nationals returning to Washington on Friday with a chance to win the World Series at home, Kucinich is having a difficult time wrapping his jaws around ticket prices. They’ve swelled to more than $1,000 on StubHub for a single standing-room-only ticket. (And that’s before a couple hundred more in fees.)
“I’ve been watching ticket prices like a hawk,” the 31-year-old baby shark said.
His heart says: GO! His conscience (and wife) says: NO!
“When you have a joint checking account,” the father of two said, “you have other things to worry about than Nationals tickets. But it’s fine. I’m happy for them.”
Or so he says. Other hardcore Nats fans — the armchair scorekeepers, the get-there-for-batting-practice crowd, the pleaders for toss-up balls — have been simultaneously fuming and metaphorically scrounging for spare change in the couch.
“Is there another website/forum for buying tickets outside of criminal fees?” one Nats fan asked this week in the team’s forum on Reddit.
Discussion there grew heated as the ticketless, looking for scapegoats to feed a legion of baby sharks, accused season ticket holders of flipping seats for big profits on the secondary market. Scores of nasty posts were deleted, and the subreddit’s moderators issued a stern warning.
“Because the issue has already been discussed at length,” they wrote, “and basic economics cannot be expected to change, further posts debating the nature and ethics of ticket allocation and the secondary market, what [season ticket holders] or others choose to do or not to do with their tickets, and harassing or inflammatory posts will not be allowed.”
Perhaps some forgiveness is in order, though.
The World Series is a very stressful time for serious baseball fans, particularly among those who a) can’t afford seats and b) understand the heartbreaking nature of the game, which has left some teams World Series-less for many pain-filled years.
That stress has been gnawing at Kyle Dolan, who grew up in Annandale, Va., and now works in the music industry in New York. He has given up hope on getting tickets at a price he’s able and willing to pay — around $600, including fees — and that reality is tormenting him.
“It makes you wonder, like, I may legitimately never get to see the Nationals play a World Series game again on their home field,” he said. “This could be it.”
Kucinich is somewhat sanguine about the ticket issue. This Nats run has already given him incredible memories, such as the photo of him, in full shark costume, meeting baby shark godfather Gerardo Parra.
Asked if he was worried that fat-cat corporate types just there for “the experience” would fill the stands rather than die-harders like himself, Kucinich demurred.
“All of this is great for the team,” he said. “The more people are involved, the more people are willing to open their wallets for this team — that’s great for everyone.”
That includes off the field.
“It’s just great for this town to be rallied around one thing,” the baby shark said. “I mean, we just had members of Congress storm into a meeting. Things are really contentious right now. But you could probably get all of those people together at a Nats game to have a good time and high five.”
Anyway, even though Kucinich said he’s content to watch the game with his family, he is also pursuing other options.
He’s trying to get the shark costume company to use him as a walking advertisement at the games. He has emailed the Nats and 106.7 for tickets — no-go, so far. He’s planning to wear his shark costume all day at work Friday to see what opportunities might develop.
And he more or less begged this reporter to include his Twitter handle (@NatsSharkGuy) and email address (NatsSharkGuy@gmail.com) in this story.
“Please send along any requests for the shark,” he said, adding a somewhat murky promise: “If the Nats sweep, you’re going to see a shark swimming in the Anacostia River.”