Thursday, September 16, 2004

Planning Ahead

"Damn it Valentine, you never plan ahead, you never take the long view. I mean here it is Monday and I'm already thinking of Wednesday."
Earl Bassett (Fred Ward) to Valentine McKee (Kevin Bacon) in the movie Tremors, 1990.

Planning ahead has not been a problem for a Californian banker called Michael Mahan. Six months ago Mahan contacted the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team and spent $25,000 buying the entire right field bleacher section of Dodger stadium, every single seat, for October 2nd and 3rd.

There is method to Mahan's madness. One of the stories of this year's baseball season has been the quest of San Francisco's Barry Bonds to hit 700 career home runs, something that has only been achieved by two other players, and another milestone on Bonds' journey to equal and surpass Hammerin' Hank Aaron's all-time record of 755. Bonds has been scoring the homers at a rate of about 42 a year, meaning that when Michael Mahan did his sums he calculated that it was a reasonable bet that Bonds would hit his historic 700th home run in the stadium of the San Francisco Giants greatest rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers. There's one month left in the season, and Bonds is stalled on 699. And as such, Mahan's investment is coming into focus.

It's already paying off, as ESPN reports that Mahan is selling the seats, bought at a group discount of $3.50 a seat, for $15 each, and (and here's where genius shines brightest) he's also made anyone that buys one of his seats sign an eight (8) page contract ensuring that Mahan and the person that catches the 700th home run ball are both equal shareholders in that ball. People have fallen out over home run balls before, and Michael Mahan is taking no chances. Planning ahead, as I say.