The Rakuten Eagles on Thursday needed just 14 minutes to sell all 10 memberships — at nearly $17,000 a pop — in an exclusive Masahiro Tanaka VIP club category of the Pacific League club’s Team Eagles fan club, Full-Count reported.
It’s the first time the team has had a club for an individual since its “1001 Club” for late Hall of Fame manager Senichi Hoshino. One thousand other memberships to the “Maa-kun Club” at $170 a piece also went on sale Thursday morning, with the team needing just 30 minutes to move 500 of those.
The prices in Japanese yen, 1.8 million and 18,000, are multiples of Tanaka’s No. They went on sale not at 10 a.m. when Japanese business typically open, but at 10:18.
“Franky, it took some guts to price the VIP at 1.8 million yen,” a team spokesperson said. “But that’s how much value the team believes Tanaka and Tanaka merchandise are worth, still there were those who thought it were opposed, saying it was ‘too expensive.'”
“We were taken back by the speed at which they sold, and were told that some thought 1.8 million was cheap.”
VIP members will receive a signed replica uniform, an official cap, and a one-day VIP pass priced at nearly $5,000 and other gifts, including an “MT18xNewERA pullover hoodie.”