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Schererville's Pete Seat extends his World Series attendance streak to 15
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Pro baseball | World Series

Schererville's Pete Seat extends his World Series attendance streak to 15

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Pete Seat

Lake Central grad Pete Seat was at Game 2 of the 2020 World Series to extend his attendance streak to 15 seasons.

Pete Seat has seen a lot of the world in 37 years, from the depths of global poverty to the heights of World Series action.

The former executive director of the Republican Party in Indiana and a native of Schererville, Seat has seen “lovely people” living in horrifying conditions.

In Cuba, he witnessed food-rationing posts where people walking on crumbling sidewalks and carrying a little booklet required to receive their rations of rice, pork and beans lined up. It was then that he learned the beef and seafood are reserved for tourists. Seat said that when in Bogota, Columbia, he witnessed Venezuelan refugees selling origami purses crafted out of Venezuelan bills because the currency had less value than the paper on which it was printed. In Turkey in 2018, Seat said he saw “thousands upon thousands of (refugees from Syria and other countries) living in shipping containers, six to a container.”

His words paint powerful images that he said pale in comparison to seeing the real thing.

“You can watch all the videos you want to watch. You can see all the pictures you want to see. You can read all the books you want to read, but until you are actually on the ground and see it with your own eyes, at least for me, it doesn’t all come together,” he said. “It doesn’t all click.”

On a happier note, Seat felt the same way about the atmosphere at World Series games. Until you’ve been to one, you can’t fully appreciate the level of adrenaline in the air.

Until this year.

Seat extended his streak of attending at least one World Series game to 15 seasons by attending Game 2 in Arlington, Texas, and this one had little in common from the games of the previous 14 years.

“It was weird. The stadium was capped at 28% capacity, so it lacked the electricity that I’m used to at World Series games,” Seat said. “The concourses were practically vacant as we walked around or went to get a drink or something to eat, which was welcomed, because sometimes you can go get a hot dog and miss two innings of the World Series. So that was, I guess, a silver lining. But it was also eerie. The atmosphere was so different. The pageantry was missing from the game.”

Brad Paisley’s version of the national anthem was via recorded video.

“It was certainly different,” said Seat, a Lake Central grad. “It’s usually jam-packed outside, too, especially in a place like Arlington, where there’s this wonderful outdoor area where under normal circumstances it would have been full of fans cheering on the World Series, and perhaps watching on a large-screen television. There was really nobody out there. Needless to say, I’m still, despite it being an awkward experience compared to what I’m used to, grateful that I was able to go and grateful that three friends were able to join me, and even in the midst of this pandemic, celebrate the 15th year of my streak.”

Seat, a resident of Indianapolis and a vice president at Bose Public Affairs Group, was part of the White House communications team during President George W. Bush’s administration when the streak started in Detroit in 2006.

Facebook’s “nearby friends” feature came in handy at one game during the streak, letting him know he was within 100 feet of a former White House colleague who was in town from Saudi Arabia for the game. They had an impromptu reunion in the stands.

Seat, who moonlights as an editorial writer for media outlets, including The Times of Northwest Indiana, Newsweek and CNN.com, said he has paid as much as $700 for a ticket. He said he once slept on his backpack in Boston's Logan Airport during that short gap between the end of the game and the first morning flight.

Landing tickets has required the help of friends, but not friends in high places such as the president and former Texas Rangers owner for whom he worked. Seat said he enlists the help of “15 to 20 friends” to sign up for virtual waiting rooms when tickets go on sale to the public. If that path to face-value tickets fails, he takes a deep breath and digs deeply into his pocket to buy a seat on the secondary market.

Fearing that the pandemic would end his streak, Seat wrote to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred asking that he rule that the streak would not need an asterisk if he couldn’t attend a game. Manfred granted the dispensation in a letter. As it turned out, that wasn’t necessary.

At the age of 70, Seat’s mother still works as custodian at Lake Central. Based on the strength of those genes, you have to like his chances of extending his World Series streak well into the second half of the 21st century.

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