Indians fan Lynn Hicks, adds a little flavor to the ballpark - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Indians fan Lynn Hicks, adds a little flavor to the ballpark

Lynn Hicks has had season tickets since 1987 Lynn Hicks has had season tickets since 1987
It's a tradition that's unique to baseball, adding a little flavor to a day at the ballpark. Every summer at Avista Stadium, a new group of Spokane Indians players learns they don't have to go far to get their fix.
"I see these guys walk down there and walk back, and they've got four pieces of bubble gum in their mouth," says Indians manager Matt Hagen.
Lynn Hicks sits just to the right of the Indians dugout and she has since before these current players were even born.
"We started coming in 1986, and we've had season tickets since 1987," Hicks recalls.
About a decade after she started coming to games, a new tradition was born.
"My mom started coming out here in 1998 after my dad passed away. We used to buy packs of gum for the kids that lived with us and some other kids. Then they passed a ban that they couldn't chew tobacco in the minor leagues, and they were really strict about it. My mom said instead of buying it for these kids, let's buy it for everybody. We started going to Costco and buying their three-lb. bags of bubble gum."
Now, for most players it's part of their pre-game routine. About 30 minutes before first pitch on game nights, they stop by to get some gum and catch up with Lynn.
"She's super nice, talks to us and asks us about how our road trips went or how we're all doing," says Indians outfielder Austin O'Banion. "She's great to have."
"I get to know them probably better than a lot of people because they all come over and they sit and talk and stuff like that," Lynn says of the Indians players. "I enjoy that, just meeting them."
But it's not just about the players or honoring a baseball tradition. For Lynn, the bubble gum bucket is about keeping up a family tradition.
"In 2012, my mom passed away, but she knew that she didn't have a lot of time left. She took $500 and put it in an account so I would have money to buy bubble gum for at least a couple of years, until I got on my feet financially in that. I've continued to do it in her memory. I do it for her. Every time I put the bucket up, I think about her."
More than any other sport, baseball embraces tradition and honors its heritage. Every night at Avista Stadium, Lynn Hicks is doing just that -- keeping memories alive with the help of a little sweet treat.