There’s a metal gold and red lifetime stadium pass in our kitchen junk drawer about the size of a credit card. It reads: “American/National Major Leagues of Professional Baseball present this LIFETIME PASS to KENNETH SINGLETON AND ONE in appreciation of long and meritorious service.” It’s signed by then American League president Lee MacPhail Jr. and then National League president Charles S. Feeney (leagues no longer have presidents, according to Ken).
The pass is scratched up, bent, and very tarnished – after all, it’s old. Ken retired from the field 25 years ago. He saw the pass sitting on my desk in my office as I’m writing.
“I was looking for that,” he said.
“You were?” I laughed. “Why? When would you ever need this?”
Hard to imagine stadium personnel would require Ken to show his permanent metal pass to get into a Major League ballpark, nor can I imagine him attending as a fan in the first place to watch a game. (Why should he when he can view sports on his High Def TV from a choice of nine brown La-Z-Boy recliners in our theater room?)
Besides in the stands at Oriole Park at Camden Yards during Cal Ripken’s 2,131st consecutive game in 1995, where Ken had been invited to participate in a postgame ceremony, I’ve only seen him sitting in press boxes (not counting the bleachers at our three sons’ Little League and Minor League games).
Wouldn’t it be comical to see the look on a front gate attendant’s face when we tried to push through the turnstile using Ken’s metal lifetime pass?
“What IS this antiquated thing?” I’d imagine s/he would ask us. “Hold on, I better get my supervisor.”
My guess is that no stadium staff member has ever laid eyes before on a Major League Lifetime Pass.
“I think once you play 10 years, you get one,” said Ken. He cracks me up – he thinks he might use it “years from now.”
Guess I’ll be the “AND ONE” he takes along.