Fans chosen at random will fill Yankee Stadium’s new Judge’s Chambers section — a nod to slugger Aaron Judge — and can outfit themselves with judicial robes and foam gavels.
You might have seen that the New York Yankees have opened up a section in right field in honor of slugging rookie Aaron Judge, adding some faux wood paneling to three rows of seats and calling it The Judge’s Chambers. For now the Yankees aren’t selling tickets for the section, but selecting fans to sit there.
Cool idea. The most popular fan section in the majors is the King’s Court area at Safeco Field, in honor of Felix Hernandez. For games Hernandez pitches, a ticket in the section includes a yellow King’s Court T-shirt and “K” card. Here’s the court celebrating his perfect game in 2012.
A few teams have similar sections, but none have matched the marketing genius or popularity of the King’s Court. The Astros have Keuchel’s Korner, the Angels have the Trout Farm, and the Royals have GordoNation, which was a little more fun when Alex Gordon wasn’t hitting .179. In the past, the Dodgers had Mannywood for Manny Ramirez, the Cardinals had Big Mac Land for Mark McGwire and the Giants had the Melkmen in 2012, which was quickly disbanded after Melky Cabrera tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Then there are the Phillies. Thome’s Homies was a good idea, but the Padilla Flotilla, the Duck Pond, Sal’s Pals, the Wolf Pack, the Adams Family, Abreu’s Amigos, Millwood’s Militia, Giambi’s Zombies, the Byrd Cage and Ryan’s Hawaiians never caught on. Maybe Ryan Madson wasn’t even from Hawaii.
Here’s the thing: You’d think this idea would be more popular. So we’re here to help. With some suggestions from editors Dan Mullen and Sean Morrison, here are some fan sections for teams that don’t have one:
Oakland Athletics: Registered Vogt-ers. Political activism and baseball together! Fans entering the section can sign up to vote, get a Stephen Vogt T-shirt and instructions on how to create a California ballot initiative.
Toronto Blue Jays: The Bats Cave. In honor of Jose Bautista, fans who paint on a Bautista-like beard get in for half price, and if Bautista homers and flips his bat during the game, they receive a half-off voucher for a future game.
Atlanta Braves: The Senior Center. Open on nights Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey pitch, fans 65 and older can help themselves to black licorice and the endless Jell-O bar.
Milwaukee Brewers: The River Thames. The neat thing about this idea is it doubles as a geography lesson, and goodness knows Americans need help with geography. Fans who can name the country the actual River Thames flows through get a free Eric Thames T-shirt featuring his “I have a lot of blood and urine” quote.
St. Louis Cardinals: The Gyorko Store. The section will be the only one in the ballpark selling shrimp cocktail.
Surely David Ross, center, wouldn’t have to pay for drinks at Bryzzo’s Bistro? Stephen Green
Chicago Cubs: Bryzzo’s Bistro. Given the Cubs’ love of “Anchorman” — who can forget Anthony Rizzo during Game 7 of the World Series telling teammate David Ross, “I’m in a glass case of emotion” — fans will be required to wear ’70s clothes to gain admission.
Arizona Diamondbacks: The Zack Pack. Open on games Zack Greinke pitches, one lucky fan will also be selected to conduct Greinke’s postgame interview for him.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Kershaw’s Krazies. I mean, we could go with Hatcher’s House or something else if you prefer.
San Francisco Giants: The Bleacher Bums. For Madison Bumgarner, of course. Wait, you say, isn’t that what Cubs fans are called? Give me a break. Not anymore. The Cubs are World Series champs and the bleachers are more likely to be filled with yuppies or tourists drinking craft beer or sipping wine and eating gourmet food than drinking Bud Light and complaining about Jason Heyward’s batting average. In fact, the Cubs actually have “Chef Series” this season, in which local chefs will “serve up signature menus inspired by their favorite ballpark eats, reflecting their restaurants and signature culinary fare.” So I think the Giants are free to steal Bleacher Bums. Then again … this is San Francisco, a ballpark filled with fans drinking craft beer, sipping wine and eating sushi. I wonder if Bumgarner eats sushi.
Cleveland Indians: Lindor’s Lair. Vetoed choice: Bauer’s Drones.
Miami Marlins: Stanton’s Stands. Fans receive a free Derek Jeter T-shirt.
New York Mets: Syndergaardians of the Galaxy. I know, lame, but the other option was The Disabled List, where fans are given crutches and doctor’s masks to wear during the game.
Washington Nationals: Harper’s Fun House. How can there not already be a Bryce Harper section? I’d take all revenue from this section and save it up for the 2018 offseason.
Baltimore Orioles: Great Britton. I suggest the T-shirt features the Union Jack, except in Orioles colors. Tickets refunded if Orioles lose an extra-inning game and Zach Britton doesn’t pitch.
San Diego Padres: The Schimpf Company. Built-in marketing opportunity for the Bubba Gump chain of restaurants! By the way, do they sell only shrimp at that place? A lot of people don’t like shrimp. Also, that “Forrest Gump” won the best picture Oscar over “Pulp Fiction” or “The Shawshank Redemption” remains one of the biggest travesties in Oscar history.
Philadelphia Phillies: Cesar’s Palace. For Cesar Hernandez. I don’t care if Phillies fans think he makes too many mistakes on the bases. When Roman Quinn gets called up, the Phillies can add another section called The Roman Forum.
Pittsburgh Pirates: The Kuhl Kids. Apparently, Chad Kuhl’s nickname is “Sasquatch,” so the T-shirts should read, “I believe in Sasquatch.”
Texas Rangers: The Body Odors. You think this one is bad? My editors vetoed my other idea: Gallo’s Gallows.
Tampa Bay Rays: Souza’s Band. Featuring, of course, a marching band. There isn’t enough marching-band music in ballparks these days.
Boston Red Sox: Mookie Monsters. How is this not already a thing?
Cincinnati Reds: Hamilton off Broadway. Can’t get a ticket to the Broadway show? Come sit in this section and join your fellow fans in singing “Hamilton” songs throughout the game. With occasional guest appearances by Pete Rose as Aaron Burr. (Autographs extra.)
Colorado Rockies: Nolan’s Nook. How about gold T-shirts in honor of all Arenado’s Gold Gloves?
Detroit Tigers: Miggy’s Minions. With apologies to Warwick Saupold. That’s an actual major leaguer. I’m not joking. No, really.
Minnesota Twins: Dozier’s Doozers. For all you “Fraggle Rock” fans.
Chicago White Sox: Don’t Swing at Every Pitch, Tim! Think that would help Tim Anderson with his plate discipline?