This week, Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista instagrammed a photo of his recently acquired MLB “Lifetime Pass.” These extremely rare and relatively unknown cards are issued by the commissioner’s office “in appreciation of long and meritorious service” to the league.
These cards have been presented to players, umpires, scouts and other friends of MLB as far back as the 1930s, and grants owners and a guest access to any Major League baseball game as long as they live. They’re essentially the coolest thing anyone could have in their wallet, even cooler than Bryce Harper’s Chipotle For Life card. Here are a few shots of cards owned by some of the lucky few to get the privilege.
1. Jose Bautista — Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays, Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, 2004-Present
4. Steven Kirtley — Iran Hostage
Lifetime passes were presented to all of the Americans held captive during the Iran Hostage Crisis upon their return to the United States.
Passes have been given to now-forgotten players from the “dead ball era.”
5. Roy Hartzell — St. Louis Browns & New York Yankees, 1906-16
As well as players who will best be remembered as a incredibly difficult trivia answer.
6. Charlie Root – Chicago Cubs, 1926-41
Remember the story of Babe Ruth calling his shot at Wrigley Field? Well, Root was the pitcher facing Ruth, and refuted the mythical story saying, “If he pointed to the bleachers, I would have put one in his ear and knocked him on his ass.”
But lifetime passes have been most commonly issued to Hall of Famers and players thoroughly ingrained in the sport’s history.