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When it Hits the Fan
by Heather Holdridge
Previous Columns

Take Back Baseball Group Forms - 1/29/2002

Printed with permission of Heather Holdridge
www.takebackbaseball.com

(Washington, DC) "Take Back Baseball," a new grassroots group of baseball fans sick of greed destroying the game they love, officially launched on 12/13/2001 at www.TakeBackBaseball.com. The group hopes to offer a voice to baseball fans, so often shut out of critical decisions by baseball's owners. Its first effort will be to oppose Commissioner Bud Selig's plan to eliminate two major league teams, reportedly the Twins and Expos.

"Our goal is to finally give fans a voice and a seat at the table," said Heather Holdridge, 'Team Captain' of the group. "While the owners tan themselves at the winter meetings and scheme over how to spin contraction, we're creating a place for fans to fight for the things that make baseball great. The time when fans are frozen out of the process is over. And we're going to do what we can to make sure that baseball is about the national pastime not the national bottom line."

Twins and Expos - Who's on Deck?
The group announced the launch of an online, anti-contraction petition effort, at www.TakeBackBaseball.com. Services and technical support for the effort have been provided on a volunteer basis by CTSG, a political consulting firm, and by its employees. Visitors to the site will be able to send faxes directly to Selig to express their opposition to contraction specifically, and to the negative impact of greed on baseball in general. And, they will also be able to sign up for the "Take Back Baseball" team, in order to join in future battles on the contraction front and beyond.

T"We stood by for the designated hitter, we stood by for lights in Wrigley Field, but this is too much," said Heather Holdridge, 'Team Captain' of the group. "Just weeks after the best World Series in years, they sucker punch the fans with this? The Twins are a profitable team, and they are loved by the fans of Minnesota. If they can be eliminated, any team is at risk. It's time for fans to get off the bench, hit the field, and take back baseball."

Owners Scarfing a Slice of America's Apple Pie, Getting Fat
Future steps by the group may include opposing public financing for baseball stadiums, and fighting to revoke baseball's anti-trust exemption. Baseball owners have had this exemption for years, in recognition that baseball isn't "just another business," it's also the national pastime. In return for this break, baseball owners have been expected to spend less time focusing on the profits, and more time on preserving the integrity of the game. But instead, they have spent years pitting communities against each other for subsidies for new stadiums and expanded, "real fans need not apply" luxury boxes.

"Look, we're not nave we know that baseball is a business and that teams need to be profitable," said Holdridge. "But this isn't about making baseball profitable it's about making it really, really, really profitable. And if the owners are going to break the spirit of the anti-trust arrangement, if they're going to change the rules in the middle of the game, then we're going to cry 'foul.'"

About CTSG
Carol / Trevelyan Strategy Group (www.ctsg.com) is a 50 person team with offices in Washington, D.C. and Eugene, OR. Since 1993, CTSG has worked in partnership with clients to integrate grassroots strategies and pioneer new online tools and techniques to create effective, real-world campaigns. From building the first campaign site for a U.S. Senate candidate to winning the American Association of Political Consultants' award for Best Grassroots Web Site in 1997, to a 2001 'Webby' award for best health-related Web site for a Planned Parenthood site, CTSG has been innovating for our clients since the birth of the Web browser. Notable clients include the World Wildlife Fund, Amnesty International, Justice for Janitors, House Democratic leader Richard Gephardt, and the Cusack for President campaign (www.CusackForPresident.com).


by Heather Holdridge

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