Fans will pay anything to own a piece of history, but the Chicago Cubs might be pushing things too far. After winning their first World Series in 108 years, the Cubs are trying to sell their fans leaves from the famous ivy covering the outfield wall at Wrigley Field.
The team sent out an email to season ticket holders with the offer, according to ESPN. Each leaf costs $200, plus $15 for shipping. The leaves, which were gathered following the 2016 season, are another piece of merchandise reminding fans that the team won the World Series. There are, conveniently, 2,016 leaves available. Each leaf has been authenticated with a hologram.
That’s a good thing. At least fans know the leaves are straight from Wrigley Field, and not from some random person’s backyard. It is fair to question why fans would pay $200 for something they could find for free right outside their own house, but championships tend to make people go overboard.
With that in mind, we can’t totally kill the Cubs here. It’s a ridiculous idea, and a ridiculous price, but people will buy them. The Cubs know that.
It also helps that the team suffered such a long World Series drought. Some fans might think this is the only time they’ll ever be able to own an authentic item from the historic season. Who knows when they’ll have that opportunity again? The leaves being limited to 2,016 (both in year and in number) is another smart play, as it makes fans feel like they are getting a collector’s item.
Look, this is far from the most ridiculous cash grab on a championship season we’ve seen. The Chicago Blackhawks sold fans melted ice from their 2013 Stanley Cup season. Yes, fans paid for water. That’s actually not too outlandish in hockey. The Pittsburgh Penguins also sold water in 2010, and the Philadelphia Flyers sealed some in coasters in 2009. At least you can use a coaster.
It’s easy to find similar products with a quick glance at MLB.com’s Shop. You can buy cuff links made from “game-used” stadium seats, stadium bricks, stadium concrete and pens filled with game-used dirt. Dirt is a pretty big item over there. You can buy a lot of things that feature game-used dirt.
Both the league and teams love making money, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Cubs’ latest idea falls right in line with that. If you don’t like it, you can make like a tree and leave.
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