Playing professional baseball is a dream for many Americans, but talent, or lack thereof, gets in the way at an early age. But for one day, talent won’t matter. Can’t hit a curve? Fine. Too slow? Not a problem. Bad glove? No worries. If your bid is right, you could play pro ball later this month.
The River City Rascals of O’Fallon, Missouri are auctioning off a spot on their roster for their May 20 pre-season game against the Gateway Grizzlies. The Rascals, which play in the independent Frontier League, has put one inning of play in the outfield and a possible at-bat up for bid on the popular online auction website, eBay.
Last year the Rascals auctioned off a spot on the team through the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, thought they’d reach a broader spectrum of potential bidders on the internet this year. Alan Jackson, Director of Media Relations for the Rascals didn’t think the idea of putting this on eBay is all that crazy.
“They’re auctioning off Britney Spears chewing gum and anything else that people could possibly sell on (eBay),” Jackson said.
Proceeds of the auction will be donated to the United Way and the front office was hoping to generate $2,500, but so far the bidding has exceeded their wildest expectations. As of Thursday morning the highest bid was $8,200.
The only restriction, other than having the top bid, is that the person on the field must be at least 18 years old. While you can be too young to win, Jackson said there’s no limit on how old the newest Rascal can be.
Jackson said, “If you had an eighty-some-odd year old grandfather out there playing, that’d be great. That’d be more publicity for us.” And this promotion is grabbing attention. Jackson said CNNSI and ESPN have produced features on the promotion.
While a final decision hasn’t been made, the winning bidder will likely play left field in the third inning, according to Jackson. Bidding will end at 8PM Central on Sunday.