Save baseball with baseball savings?

I'm trying to think of what fans might do if Major League Baseball players go on strike after the Aug. 30 deadline.

Certainly, they'll be able to save some money. A family of four now spends an average of $145 to go to a Major League game, according to Team Marketing Report, a sports industry newsletter. (In July, I spent $240 for four tickets behind home plate at Fenway Park – never mind the concessions and parking.)

So what to do with all of the money fans would have otherwise devoted to our pampered millionaire boys of summer?

Well, that "average family" could instead purchase 290 sodas or 116 hot dogs in Williamsport, Pa., home of the Little League World Series that wrapped up this weekend. Apart from the 50-cent drinks and $1.25 dogs, admission is free – and so is parking.

Fans feeling more altruistic with their "baseball savings" might consider sponsoring a Little League team next spring.

In Sudbury, Mass., where my 7- and 12-year old nephews play ball, you can sponsor a team for $300. In return, you get your company's name on a team's shirts, some local newspaper advertising, and a commemorative plaque.

Or you can donate your savings to help send a team to Williamsport next year. Little League pays for travel, food, and lodging for all the coaches and players that qualify for the final rounds. It spent $25,000 alone to fly in this year's team from Moscow.

So if you're like me, you won't worry if Major League Baseball shuts down for the year. Instead, a strike can provide impetus to plant some seeds for tomorrow's stars. Perhaps the next group of ballplayers might be more grateful for what the game has given them.

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