Time Out: May 5, 2010

A Big League Show at a Small Town Price!  In an era of super-priced professional sports entertainment, minor league baseball is still a bargain for the baseball-loving sports fan or people simply looking for an inexpensive night to watch a game at the park.
This spring I decided to start my diet of baseball by taking my 83-year-old uncle to the Binghamton Mets welcome-back dinner.  As two of 500 people who packed the ballroom at the Ramada Hotel in Binghamton, we had a blast.  Like the prices at a game at NYSEG Stadium, the Welcome Back dinner was a bargain.  A $20 admission fee was good for a lively reception highlighting a talented seven-member band, a baseball to use  getting autographs from the B-Met players, a free ticket to a future game, and a tasty chicken dinner with all the trimmings. 
For obsessive Met fans like myself, the welcome-home banquet reintroduced us to Tim Teufel, one of the Mets’ heroes from their last World Champions, the 1986 Mets.  In a movement to reconnect with their fan base, the Mets named Teufel the 2010 B-Mets manager. 
During the dinner, I found myself looking back with regrets wishing I had known about this event when my son Jordan was in junior high school.  A huge baseball enthusiast at that time, Jordan would have relished the chance to converse with so many potential future major league baseball players.  The B-Met players sat at extended tables stretching around the perimeter of one side of the banquet room chatting with fans, posing for pictures and signing autographs.  Players were assigned to sit at each table during dinner so they could get closer to the fans.  Fans roared for the guy they got to know during the meal when he was introduced during the program that followed dinner.   It was a gem of a moment for youngsters still dreaming about someday playing in the major leagues.   
I attended three games at NYSEG Stadium in April.  Opening night was a night for bragging rights, as Glen Reynolds, the guidance counselor at Andes, went along.  Glen is an avid Cleveland Indian fan, and the B-Mets were playing the Akron Aeros, Cleveland’s AA affiliate.  Crow didn’t taste as good as a B-met Angus Berger when the Aeros nudged my Mets, 7-6.
It would be hard to find a sporting event as reasonably priced as a B-Met game.  General admission tickets cost $9 for an adult and $7 for a child.  Fans with an eye for a deal can always find one at NYSEG stadium.  For example, Tuesday nights are often sponsored by Kraft.  Fans bringing a plastic Kraft cheese outer wrapping can get two tickets for the price of one.  Family Four Pack nights allow fans to buy four tickets and get four hotdogs and four Cokes for just $24.  There are promotions at every home game.  Keep up with the special nights at www.bmets.com. 
Binghamton Mets’ baseball, a big league show at a small town price.  You got it?