Sponsored by Esurance, Major League Baseball is having a vote for the 2016 MLB Fans of the Year. According to the website, each team has four candidates. The Rays candidates for Fan of the Year are as follows:
While these are probably great fans, great people, and great candidates, I have a slight problem with the Rays nominees:
They all fit the over-50 Rays fan stereotype. There also appear to be of the same racial category.
In an area known for retirees, there is a general thought that all Rays fans are elderly people. Of course, we know this isn’t entirely true. Although according to the Public Policy Polling folks, the 45-and-above demographic likes the Rays statewide more than the under-45 demographic, there is still a vibrant fanbase under 45, especially in the Tampa Bay area.
Off the top of my head, other nominees could have been Brett Morgan, who has coordinated “Top Off The Trop” events over the last few years, the Rays Twins, or many, many others.
Although not every team, most teams have young people or minority fans nominated for Fan of the Year. That the Rays couldn’t find one person who doesn’t fit the elderly white baseball fan stereotype is disappointing. For a team struggling to build its fanbase, the inability to find a superfan under the age of 50 is not a good look.
Again, I wish the best of luck to Irving, Ky, Carol, and George. I am rooting for them. But I wish they had fellow nominees that didn’t look like them.