Good Old-Fashioned Baseball Tickets

My wife and I love getting mail.  I’m not sure why.  We hardly ever get anything but junk mail.  But we always hold out hope that something wonderful will be waiting for us each aftenoon in our trusty mail box.

Well, the past couple weeks, something wondeful, indeed, has started arriving…in twos, and threes and fours.  Baseball tickets.  Tickets to Citizens Bank Park and to Petco Park and to Dodger Stadium and to Angel Stadium and to Citi Field and to Nationals Park, too.

I love good old-fashioned baseball tickets.  Printed from a ticket machine with perferated edges where your tickets used to be connect so someone else’s tickets.  You can’t beat it.

Personally, I am not a fan of print-at-home e-tickets.  A ticket is a souvenir.  Growing up (and really until Tim’s birth), I always kept my tickets in the inside band of my baseball caps.  At any given time (and for years at a time), I walked around with 30 baseball tickets in my cap.  They became wrinkled and faded and stained from sweat as I wore those tickets through softball games, and Mariners games, and high school, and college and life.

unidentifiable - Citz Bank Park.jpgWhen Tim was born and soon started going to game with me, I stopped putting my tickets in my cap because I wanted to keep them clean for him.

Does anyone save print-at-home e-tickets?  I doubt it.  They’re not very memorable.  Certainly, they don’t seem like an artifact of the game worthy of preservingetc., etc., etc., like a real old-fashioned baseball ticket.  And when tickets become unimportant (merely a key to the gate) and we stop saving them, we lose one of the easiest and best ways to track the games, players and history we have seen.

So, when given the options at the end of the online ordering process, don’t count on me selecting “print at home” any time soon (or, if not forced to (i.e., stubhub), ever).

So as Tim and I gear up for another fun filled campaign and our 2010 tickets continue to bring joy to the afternoon trip to the mailbox, I figured it would be fitting to reflect on our past with a look at some of our tickets.  Let’s start with the most important and memorable tickets.

My Top 10 (or so) Tickets

No. 1 – September 12, 2006, Blue Jays vs. Maniners at Safeco Field – Tim’s first game.  A truly great day.  I made this wooden home plate frame and this ticket hangs on Tim’s bedroom wall:


2006-9-12 - Safeco Field Suite 5.jpg

No. 2 - October 10, 1995, Indians vs. Mariners at the Kingdom: Game 1 of the 1995 ACLS in case you didn’t know.  A great game:


1995-10-10 - Kingdome - ALCS Game 1.jpg

No. 3 – August 23, 2009, Mariners vs. Indians at Progressive Field – Tim and I witness Ken Griffey, Jr. hit his 624th career home run – our first Ken Griffey, Jr. home run together (and Tim’s first period):

2009-8-23 - Progressive Field - Griff No624.jpgNo. 4 – Various dates and teams at the Kingdome – my only remaining Kingdome tickets (except for No. 1 above).  The Kingdome is the most important baseball venue of my life and a place I will always remember fondly.

1998-9-26 - Kingdome.jpg 
1999-4-6 - Kingdome.jpg 
1999-4-28 - Kingdome.jpg
1999-5-2 - Kingdome.jpg

No. 5 – August 15, 2008, Cardinals vs. Reds at Great American Ball Park – the first game of the first year of the now annual “Great Cook Grandfather-Father-Son Baseball Roadtrip.”  The start of a grand tradition.

2008-8-15 - Great American Ball Park.jpgNo. 6 – July 5, 2009, Mariners vs. Red Sox at Fenway Park – one of the (personally) most memorable baseball moments of my life.  Pinch-hitting for Mike Sweeney in the top of the 4th inning, Ken Griffey, Jr. lined a single off of the Green Monster.  Tim was sitting on my shoulders as we watched the beautiful flight of the ball.  It was the first time Tim ever saw Griffey get a hit in person.

2009-7-5 - Fenway Park.jpgNo. 7 – September 3, 2007, Mariners vs. Yankees at Yankee Stadium (1923).  Tim’s only game ever at the old Yankee Stadium.  A truly great game.  Felix Hernandez gets the win.  Ichiro hits a home run off of Roger Clemens for his 200th hit of the season for his seventh consecutive season.  Clemens notches the final loss of his soon-to-be-taint but still-probably-hall-of-fame career.  Mike Mussina pitches in relief after Clemens gets hurt.  It is the only relief appearance of Mussina’s career.  Between Clemens, Mussina and Kyle Farnsworth, the Yankees send over 600 career wins to the mound and end the day with the same number of career wins as when the day started:


2007-9-3 - Yankee Stadium (1923).jpg

* – FYI, a guy who left early and spotted me walking around with Tim on my shoulders gave us his ticket (on the right above) so we could sit almost directly behind home plate (in the equivalent of what is now the Legends Suite tickets at the new Yankee Stadium).

No. 8 – June 8, 2003, Mariners vs. Mets at Shea Stadium.  The only double-header I have ever attended and the most wins (2) that I have ever seen the Mariners collect in one day.  Excellent performances by both Jamie Moyer and Freddy Garcia.

2003-6-8 - Shea Stadium.jpgNo. 9 – Weekend In New York — June 22, 2008, Reds vs. Yankees at Yankee Stadium (1923) and June 23, 2008, Mariners vs. Mets at Shea Stadium.  My high school buddy, Jason, visited from Seattle to see Yankee Stadium before it closed down.  We realized the Mariners were at Shea the next day.  On Sunday, we saw Ken Griffey, Jr. hit home run No. 601 of his career (the first and only home run I have seen him hit in a non-Mariners uniform.  The next day, we saw Felix Hernandez hit a GRAND SLAM off of Johan Santana.  An unforgettable weekend of baseball.

2008-6-22 - Yankee Stadium (1923).jpg

2008-6-23 - Shea Stadium.jpg

No. 10 – September 12, 2007, Rockies vs. Phillies at Citizens Bank Park – an acquaintance who works for the Phillies “comp’d” us four excellent tickets (8 rows behind the 3B dugout) for a mid-week Phillies game against the Rockies.  Tim and I invited some friends and had a blast.  While at the game, I realized for the first time that it was the 1-year anniverary of Tim’s first Mariners/MLB game.  Instantly, a new tradition (and one of my favorite holidays) was born:  Tim’s MLB Anniversary Game.  I plan to take Tim to a game on September 12 every year, forever.

2007-9-12 - Citz Bank Park.jpgHONORABLE MENTION(S):.

- June 3, 2003, Mariners vs. Phillies at Veterans Stadium – Jamie Moyer collects a hit and adds to his Mariners legacy by beating his future team (and what a beautiful ticket – it even has the word “TICKET” embossed across the second panel from the right):

2003-6-30 - Veterans Stadium.jpg- August 15, 2009, Indians vs. Twins at H.H.H. Metrodome – Tim’s first game in a traditional domed stadium.  My first real dome since the Kingdome.  It really brought back the Kingdome feel for me and we enjoyed it thoroughly.

                             
2009-8-15 - HHH Metrodome.jpg   
2009-8-15 - HHH Metrodome 2.jpg.

- Various Veterans Stadium tickets – I like defunct stadiums and odd tickets.  These next five are my only other remaining Veterans Stadium tickets and they include (i) my three smallest tickets, (ii) my first game seeing Griffey play for the Reds, and (iii) my only game ever seeing the Expos:

         
1999-8-8 - Veterans Stadium.jpg   
1999-9-4 - Veterans Stadium.jpg    
2001-9-27 - Veterans Stadium.jpg

2000-5-2 - Veterans Stadium.jpg
2002-8-29 - Veterans Stadium.jpg

And now, a whole bunch more (without descriptions) in chronological order…

                                2000-5-17 - Safeco Field.jpg 
2000-5-20 - Safeco Field.jpg.

2000-8-4 - Yankee Stadium23.jpg
2000-9-3 - Fenway Park.jpg
 2000-9-15 - Camden Yards.jpg 
2001-8-20 - Safeco Field.jpg 
2001-8-24 - Safeco Field.jpg.

     2003-6-6 - Shea Stadium.jpg  
2003-6-13 - Safeco Field.jpg

2004-4-27 - Camden Yards.jpg
2004-4-27 - Camden Yards (2).jpg
2004-6-19 - PNC Park.jpg
2004-8-13 - Citz Bank Park - Bonds No689.jpg* – FYI, Barry Bonds hit his 689th home run at that last game.

         
2006-4-6 - Safeco Field.jpg  
2007-6-30 - Citz Bank Park.jpg.

2007-8-9 - Camden Yards.jpg 
2007-8-14 - Safeco Field.jpg.

2007-8-15 - Safeco Field.jpg
2007-9-9 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
2007-9-29 - PNC Park.jpg
2008-3-14 - Peoria Sports Complex.jpg
2008-3-29 - Citz Bank Park On Deck Series.jpg
2008-4-6 - Camden Yards.jpg
2008-4-11 - Citz Bank Park.jpg 
2008-5-2 - Citz Bank Park (Hall of Fame Suite).jpg 
2008-5-23 - Yankee Stadium (1923).jpg  
2008-6-2 - Citz Bank Park.jpg

2008-6-3 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
2008-6-4 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
2008-7-19 - Safeco Field.jpg
2008-8-17 - Progressive Field.jpg
2008-8-18 - PNC Park.jpg
2008-8-19 - Citz Bank Park Foul Pole Seat.jpg
2008-8-27 - Camden Yards.jpg
2008-9-7 - Shea Stadium.jpg
2008-9-12 - Chase Field.jpg
2009-4-19 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
2009-4-25 - Citi Field.jpg
2009-5-1 - Safeco Field.jpg
2009-5-2 - Safeco Field.jpg2009-5-4 - Safeco Field 2.jpg                        
2009-5-4 - Safeco Field.jpg   
2009-5-5 - Safeco Field.jpg


2009-5-8 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
2009-5-13 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
2009-5-17 - Nationals Park.jpg
2009-5-31 - Camden Yards.jpg
2009-6-10 - Camden Yards.jpg
2009-6-28 - Camden Yards.jpg
2009-7-2 - Yankee Stadium09.jpg
2009-7-19 - Nationals Park.jpg
2009-7-24 - Citz Bank Park.jpg
2009-8-5 - FirstEnergy Stadium - AA-Pedro.jpg* – Pedro Martinez pitched this game for the Reading Phillies while preparing for his debut with the Philadelphia Phillies.  He was on fire with the strike out pitch.

2009-8-16 - Miller Park.jpg
2009-8-17 - U.S. Cellular.jpg
2009-9-17 - Safeco Field.jpg
2009-9-19 - Safeco Field.jpg
2009-9-19 - Safeco Field 2.jpg
2009-9-26 - Rogers Centre.jpg
2009-10-4 - Camden Yards.jpg

9 Comments

Todd- That’s awesome you kept all of your tickets from way back when Kingdome days. I keep mine as I have started snagging and going to alot of games, but never used to. I actually just put up an entry about tickets on my blog yesterday. Its only about the games I’m going to now, no older tickets. But I can’t wait for the season to start… THIS WEEK! im so pumped. hopefully we can see eachother at another game, hanging out with u guys at citi was awesome. Good luck. Joe

http://baseballexperiences.mlblogs.com

I do something similar to you. I take all the tickets from games that I went to and stick them up on a bulletin board in my bedroom. About the mail part…try through the mail autographs, its fun when you open up an envelope and you take out Hank Aaron’s autograph.

HOWIE

JOE-
Well, not “all” of my old tickets. I wish I had all of them. The other than the ’95 ALCS game, my oldest is ’98. I think my tickets from the late 80s and early 90s were probably discarded with the hats that I kept them in, which is a shame. That would be excellent if we meet up again at either Citi or in the Bronx. I’ll let you know when we’ll be up that way.

HOWIE-
Yep, hang on to those things! Its fun to be able to use a resource like Baseball-reference.com and look back at the box score of a game you went to a decade ago. You know, I did some mail autographs back in high school. It was fun. I think the best I ever got was Roberto Alomar. I also got a unique one, Albert Belle when he still went by “Joey.” Maybe Tim will give it a shot when he gets older.

Excellent entry! I haven’t saved “all” of my tickets from all of the games I’ve attended, but I think I might have 90% of the tickets dating back to ’98/’99. (1999 is the year Sarah was born, & I didn’t take her to her first game unitl around ’06 I think) My wife thinks I’m crazy, but I keep them. Before this blog, that’s all I had from those games. I didn’t even take pictures back then! Anyways, thanks for sharing your memories with all of us & here’s to another season of making more!
Brian

Great entry and idea Todd. Where do you buy your tickets from?

http://gatheringbaseballs.mlblogs.com/

BRIAN-
How did we exist before digital cameras? Its terribly sad to think that I have attended far and away more games at the Kingdome than any other ballpark and I can only think of a handful of pictures that I have there. Mostly pictures from “photo day” when kids could go on the field and get picts with the players. Other than that, I can only think of one picture of me in the stands at the Kingdome, and I can’t find it anywhere!

BASEBALLGATHERINGS-
Thanks. I try to buy my tix on the home team’s website. Otherwise, stubhub. Well, also at the ballpark — e.g., Baltimore (no need to buy in advance…at least for my purposes).

Great post. It has inspired me to do a similar one based on my ticket collection. I’m not a fan of printing tickets on a 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper either! My friend did it once. The paper almost blew away in the wind. Somehow it felt like I wasn’t mean’t to enter the stadium that way? That is awesome that you printed that ticket for your son. Even better that the game was against the Jays! He will have that forever. I wish that I had the ticket to first game I ever watched in Exhibition Stadium, or a Jays playoff game … that is a dream 16 years in waiting.
http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

JEREMY-
Yeah, you should do that. I’d like to see your tickets. E-tickets are an abomination. Sometimes I get forced into them because that’s all that is available on stubhub. But its a major disappointment every time. Especially last season for our first and only game at Wrigley Field. I was extremely dissappointed not to get a real Wrigley ticket. I found someone else’s ticket on the ground after the game, but its not the same. I didn’t want someone else’s Wrigley ticket, I wanted our own.

Beautiful entry! A colorful mozaic of memories. Every ticket tells its own story. To me, Sasaki (2001, Ichiro’s first year with Mariners) and Jamie Moyer (2006, Kenji Johjima’s first year with Mariners) were especially impressive. (I used to keep tickets and programs of concerts and (only a few) opera performances I attended in my college days)
http://nao.mlblogs.com/

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