Listen, I get it … baseball causes many to hit the snooze button. There are 162 games in a season, twice the amount of games in a NBA or NHL season, and more than 10 times the amount in the NFL season. Games are longer than they have ever been before, with the average game lasting 3 hours, 5 minutes and 11 seconds. And when the fastest two growing sports in the United States right now are mixed martial arts (MMA) and lacrosse (MLL), two sports that specialize in high intensity, continuous action … America’s most historic past-time sport has begun to take a back seat over the recent years.
Tonight, however, in the country’s biggest sports and entertainment city, Los Angeles, all eyes will be on Game 7 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers. Dodger Stadium, the country’s third oldest ballpark behind Wrigley Field and Fenway Park, holds 54,000, the 2nd largest stadium in the league behind the new Yankee Stadium. Ticket prices are averaging close to $2,000 which is about double the price paid on Game 7 tickets in 2014 between the Giants/Royals and triples what was paid for during Game 7 in 2011 between the Cardinals/Rangers.
Ticket brokers own about 15,000 tickets for each World Series game at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers sell more season tickets to brokers than any other franchise in Major League Baseball, which allows the brokers to purchase a commensurate amount of postseason tickets. Going into Game 6 last night, an elimination game for the Dodgers, there was about $20 million in profit on the line for ticket brokers, because had the Astros won, the Game 7 tickets were going to be worth nothing. This caused a massive amount of ticket brokers to hedge their bets in Las Vegas and gamble on Houston to win last night. And despite, Houston’s Ace Justin Verlander being on the mound, who had a perfect 9-0 record in postseason elimination games … the miraculous LA Dodgers staged a late inning comeback to force a pivotal game 7.
Celebrities like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Ben Affleck, George and Mario Lopez, Lady Gaga, and Rob Lowe were all in attendance, many of whom were waving Dodger flags on top of the dugout to further contribute to an electrifying and high-profile crowd.
For only the third time in history, two 100-win teams will play a seventh game to decide a title. 38 times a World Series has gone the distance to 7 games, with the home and away team splitting exactly 19 wins each. After going down 1-0 in the series, the Astros miraculously came back in game 2 after being down 3-2 in the top of the 9th inning to force extras and eventually win the see-saw contest in 11 innings. Yet again in Game 5, with the series tied at two apiece, the two teams engaged in what many are calling the best game in baseball postseason history. Down 12-9 in the top of the 9th, the Dodgers rallied to score three runs, before the Astros walked off in the bottom of the 10th and escaped with the 13-12 victory.
Needless to say, given the effects of Hurricane Harvey that recently devastated the city of Houston, the Astros have become the fan favorites and a source of restoring hope to a city in need of it. Meanwhile, the Dodgers have the advantage of home-field, and boasted the best record during the regular season.
Game 7 of the World Series … it does not get any bigger than this.