Sunday, September 27, 2009

Collecting the Sox: Tickets

Tickets or ticket stubs are a great collectable. They’re attractive, fairly easy to come by, and lead to many different collecting opportunities. They are certainly one of the more basic collectables out there.

The easiest way to get into collecting tickets is to simply save the ticket, or stub, when you go to the game. In the old days, when you went to the game, the ticket taker would actually tear off a piece of the ticket, and leave you with the stub. That made a clear difference between an unused ticket, and one that was used for a game. While the unused ticket was cleaner, and potentially more attractive, many people liked that there was a “story” behind a stub. The stub had actually been at the game to witness the event. Nowadays, at Fenway at least, the ticket is simply scanned in when you go through the turnstile. That leaves no difference between the unused and game used version, unless you fold the ticket to get it into your pocket. You can also purchase tickets from other people. While they don’t hold the memory of the game, they are still a Red Sox collectable, and can lead to several topical collections.

If you have a favorite player, you may want tickets special to that player. I saw a person advertise online that he wanted a ticket stub from all of Nolan Ryan’s 324 wins. That was a pretty ambitious project. Tickets can sometimes be one of those collectable that are plentiful, but scarce at the same time. Obviously, there are tens of thousands of tickets printed for every game. But, finding a specific ticket, for a specific game can be a manner of luck. That can be the fun of a collection, tracking down exactly what you’re looking for. Obviously, recent tickets will be easier to find that older tickets since fewer people will have thrown them out. So, if you’re looking for all of Tim Wakefield’s wins from 2008, that’s easier than all of Jim Lonborg’s wins in 1967.

Another angle is to look for special, or historic events. Ticket stubs from no-hitters, or perfect games are a popular collectable. Specific games where records are set are also commonly collected. Games where players make their major league, or team debuts can be a nice addion to a player collection. Or, special games. When I was leaving the All-Star game in 1999, there was a guy standing at the exit offering to buy any ticket stubs that were available. World Series or other playoff games are great tickets to save.

The nice thing about recent tickets is that they have become very attractive. Obviously, World Series or All-Star game tickets have had bold graphics for a while. Lately, even regular tickets are sprucing things up. The last few years, the Red Sox have featured pictures of different players on their tickets. (Maybe a collection of all the 2009 tickets featuring Jon Lester?) They’re also fairly easy to store. A few tickets can be nicely framed and hung on the wall. They can also fit easily into plastic sheets for binders.

You can find tickets all over the place in the secondary market. A quick eBay search will find piles of tickets from different games. The easiest way to get a collection, though, is to simply go to a bunch of games. I’ve been lucky enough to stumble upon Derek Lowe’s no-hitter, Jacoby Ellsbury’s major league debut, and Pedro Martinez’s 1000th career strikeout. Just by not throwing things away, you can build up a nice little collection.

Anyone have a favorite ticket they’ve held on to?


  1. That's a great choice. Can I assume if you kept it, you stayed all the way until the end?

  2. Of course I've been a sox fan since I was born. You never know whats going to happen next with them.


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