This has got to be a first.
Proving that baseball and the Tampa Bay Rays have carved out at least a sliver of the attention in this football-mad community, Jayson Burtch wants Rays tickets so badly that he's willing to give up Bucs tickets to get them.
Last Friday, Burtch, a 29-year-old who lives in Port Charlotte, posted the following on a Rays message board:
Would like to swap 2 tix to the bucs vs falcons game for 2 lowers level seats to either the 9-4 game against the yankees or 9-15 game against the red sox. My bucs seats are 35 yard line Row N ($85 face value).
"Well, first off, the Bucs game isn't a great game because it's against the Falcons,'' Burtch said. "And it's early September so you know it's going to be hot. … Still, I'm really into the Rays and thought this was a good way to get good Rays tickets.''
Burtch said he has been a Bucs season-ticket holder for three years, but has been going to games for about seven years. He said he has been a Rays fan for years, but has "really gotten into the Rays this season.'' However, Burtch did admit that if he could only go to Bucs or Rays games, he would still lean toward the Bucs.
"But the Rays have really made it exciting this season; I've only been to one game this season, but that's mostly because of gas prices and all,'' said Burtch, who estimated it takes about an hour and 15 minutes to drive from his home to Tropicana Field. "I want to get good tickets for either the Yankees or Red Sox games.''
Burtch thought about trying to make a swap on a Web site such as Stub Hub, but he figured it would be easier to go straight to Rays and Bucs fans.
"I thought since it was such a bargain that my phone would be ringing off the hook, but so far, nothing,'' Burtch said. "Maybe people would rather go to the Rays games.''