The Real Cost of Getting a New Mets Cap

What happens when a giveaway cap costs more than just a ticket?

| Fran Silverman

Remember when you used to go to the ball field for a special giveaway day for your favorite MLB team? Maybe it was a bobblehead doll, or a T-shirt? Back then, it was a simple process. You would purchase tickets to the game, walk into the stadium, and get the gift. The only price was the cost of the ticket. But those days are apparently gone forever.

For my husband’s birthday in May, I bought tickets for us to see the Subway Series game between the Mets and the Yankees at Citi Field. Besides playing the rival Yankees, it was also Cap Trade Day. You bring an old cap and get a new Mets cap in return. According to the promotional material, all you needed to do was get to the stadium early because there was a limit to the quantity of caps available for the giveaway. But wait. The promotional material left out an important caveat. There was indeed a cost to the giveaway besides the price of the tickets.

In order to get the new baseball cap featuring the Mets logo, you had to fill out a form that was being handed out by representatives of Chevrolet, which was sponsoring the event. The forms requested your name, address, and phone numbers – including your work, home, and cellphone numbers. The form also asked when you might be buying a car in the future and what models of Chevrolet vehicles you were interested in possibly buying.

Wait. What? I’m not in the market for a car. I just bought one, thank you very much. I declined to fill out the form. I was told I couldn’t get a cap if I didn’t fill it out. Ok, I told the representative. I’ll fill it out but I’m going to leave the part about what vehicle models I’m interested in blank and I’m not going to provide my phone numbers. Again I was told if I left anything blank I couldn’t get the cap.

Hmm . . . Maybe the Mets should have called this event Private Data Giveaway Day instead of Cap Trade Day. That would have been less misleading.

Fran Silverman

Fran Silverman, former editor of, believes in the watchdog role of journalists who can empower and inform consumers through news and education.

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