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What Dickey Mean$ To The Met$

We all know how much of an impact R.A. Dickey had on the field in 2010, 2011, and 2012. How important are his off-the-field contributions to the team?

Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

I like baseball. I like the Mets. Because of those two things, I generally enjoy going to baseball games when the Mets play. I have a job and other obligations, so I don’t have the opportunity to travel the country, following the Mets as they visit city after city — I’d like to do that someday.

I try to go to as many home games as possible, but monetary constraints and other issues force me to pick and choose what games I go to. In 2012, for example, I went to three games: May 6 against the Diamondbacks, September 11 against the Nationals, and September 27 against the Pirates. What do all three games have in common? R.A. Dickey was pitching (the Mets won 2/3).

With all of the trade/TRAID talk involving R.A. Dickey, it made me wonder: How many tickets will the Mets lose out on if he is not a member of the 2013 Mets? By the end of the season, he was generally the only reason to care about the team, and it always seemed like there was a lot more hype for games where he pitched than games where other pitchers toed the rubber. So, let’s see what the data says. Looking at home series where R.A. Dickey pitched:



April 6, Friday: Johan Santana (42,080)

April 7, Saturday: R.A. Dickey (39,526

April 8, Sunday: Jonathan Niese (27,855)

Average without Dickey: 34,968



April 24, Tuesday: Johan Santana (20,192)

April 25, Wednesday: R.A. Dickey (20,623)

April 26, Thursday: Jonathan Niese (20,660)

Average without Dickey: 20,426



May 4, Friday: Dillon Gee (26,995)

May 5, Saturday: Johan Santana (30,253)

May 6, Sunday: R.A. Dickey (29,107)

Average without Dickey: 28,624



May 16, Wednesday: Johan Santana (22,659)

May 17, Thursday: R.A. Dickey (29,943)

Average without Dickey: 22,659



May 24, Thursday: Jeremy Hefner (24,109)

May 25, Friday: Dillon Gee (24,498)

May 26, Saturday: Johan Santana (28,745)

May 27, Sunday: R.A. Dickey (28,361)

Average without Dickey: 25,784



June 1, Friday: Johan Santana (27,069) *No-Hitter*

June 2, Saturday: R.A. Dickey (27,914)

June 3, Monday: Jonathan Niese (23,559)

June 4, Tuesday: Dillon Gee (25,830)

Average without Dickey: 25,486



June 18, Monday: R.A. Dickey (29,014)

June 19, Tuesday: Johan Santana (32,587)

June 20, Wednesday: Dillon Gee (29,855)

Average without Dickey: 31,221



June 22, Friday: Jonathan Niese (40,191)

June 23, Saturday: Chris Young (42,122)

June 24, Sunday: R.A. Dickey (42,364)

Average without Dickey: 41,157



July 3, Tuesday: Jonathan Niese (42,516

July 4, Wednesday: Chris Young (28,687

July 5, Thursday: R.A. Dickey (28,409)

Average without Dickey: 35,602



July 23, Monday: Chris Young (26,735)

July 24, Tuesday: Nationals 5, Mets 2 (36,236)

July 25, Wednesday: Jeremy Hefner (35,517)

Average without Dickey: 31,126



August 7, Tuesday: Jonathan Niese (28,968)

August 8, Wednesday: Chris Young (26,193)

August 9, Thursday: R.A. Dickey (28,985)

Average without Dickey: 27,581



August 20, Monday: R.A. Dickey (23,833)

August 21, Tuesday: Chris Young (27,633)

August 22, Wednesday: Matt Harvey (22,204)

August 23, Thursday: Collin McHugh (22,544)

Average without Dickey: 24,127



August 24, Friday: Jonathan Niese (25,513)

August 25, Saturday: R.A. Dickey (29,906)

August 26, Sunday: Jeremy Hefner (25,071)

Average without Dickey: 25,292



September 10, Monday: Collin McHugh (21,923)

September 11, Tuesday: R.A. Dickey (22,596)

September 12, Wednesday: Matt Harvey ( 21,205)

Average without Dickey: 21,569



September 17, Monday: R.A. Dickey (20,527)

September 18, Tuesday: Matt Harvey (21,741)

September 20, Wednesday: Jeremy Hefner (20,010)

Average without Dickey: 20,876



September 21, Friday: Jonathan Niese (25,446

September 22, Saturday: R.A. Dickey (30,332)

September 23, Sunday: Chris Young (26,923)

Average without Dickey: 26,185



September 24, Monday: Jenrry Mejia (22,072)

September 25, Tuesday: Collin McHugh (25,286)

September 26, Wednesday: Jeremy Hefner (22,890)

September 27, Thursday: R.A. Dickey (31,506) Mets 6, Pirates 5 *20th Win*

Average without Dickey: 23,416


  1. Dickey: 29,364 Average Tickets per Game (17 Home Games)
  2. Niese: 29,339 Average Tickets per Game (8 Home Games)
  3. Santana: 29,084 Average Tickets per Game (7 Home Games)
  4. Young: 29,716 Average Tickets per Game (6 Home Games)
  5. Gee: 26,795 Average Tickets per Game (4 Home Games)
  6. Hefner: 25,872 Average Tickets per Game (4 Home Games)
  7. Harvey: 21,716 Average Tickets per Game (3 Home Games)
  8. McHugh: 23,251 Average Tickets per Game (3 Home Games)
  9. Mejia: 22,072 Average Tickets per Game (1 Home Game)

There are a lot of variables to keep in mind. Weekend afternoon games generally have higher rates of attendance than midweek afternoon games. A bunch of holidays fall during the MLB schedule, and they affect the number of fans who attend games during those days themselves, or in the days preceding and immediately after them.

For the first few months of the year, the Mets were in semi-contention, whereas during the last few months, the Mets were consigned to another sub-.500 season. The pitcher that the other team is trotting out also affects things: I'd much rather see Stephen Strasburg than Chien-Ming Wang. I’m no statistician, nor am I halfway proficient with intermediate mathematics, so I’m not about to go looking at MLB data as a whole to attach weighted multipliers and such to certain games, based on ticket data and trends across the country.

I’m surprised that the gulf between the number of ticket sold during R.A. Dickey starts and the number of tickets sold when other players were pitching at the end of the season was not as big as they actually were. I have a feeling that there must have been a lot of no-shows despite tickets being sold because, as we saw during some of those late September games, Citi Field seemed very empty. It doesn't seem accurate that there was no real difference in tickets sold between R.A. Dickey’s start on September 17 and Jeremy Hefner’s start on September 20. R.A. was going for win number 18, the most victories any Met has had since Al Leiter won 17 in 1998, and Jeremy Hefner is Jeremy Hefner.

Aside from ticket sales, there are also other forms of merchandise in which Dickey is relevant. Looking at the former first, when people go to the ballpark, they pay for parking, concessions, apparel, and other things to enhance their overall enjoyment of the game. I generally take the train to the game — Pedro told me to; I can't not listen to Pedro —and bring food with me, but I am told that parking and food for a group of two-to-four people can easily approach $100.

As for merchandise, R.A. Dickey jerseys and t-shirts were mighty popular this season, much more so than they were a year or two ago. I have to admit, I often feel like a Dickey hipster, because I liked him and was wearing his jersey before he became popular and it was cool.

Finally, independent of money itself, R.A. Dickey brings something that the Mets often wished they could buy: good publicity and good press. The Mets have had plenty of bad publicity over the years, and a lot of it was brought on by the team itself. Finding anything in the R.A. Dickey story that could have negative repercussions on the image of the team is harder than finding Waldo. Negative publicity and Dickey simply don't go together, unless it involves the Mets somehow bungling something. In a world where perception is almost as strong, or perhaps even stronger than reality, having a regular source of good PR is an asset.