Sunday, March 30, 2014

Big Tickets!

People have been really excited about their Red Sox tickets lately. You can’t go to Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram without people posting pictures of their Red Sox tickets exclaiming how excited they are that they arrived. Any ticket seems to be worth posting. But a few seem to bring special bragging rights. The number of “jealous” comments left is much higher when the tickets shown are for Opening Day. The last game and the assumed Jeter ceremony also gets more oohs and ahhs than, say, the June 14th game against Cleveland. It got me thinking.

What’s the best ticket I’ve ever had?

I know I’ve done a list of the best games I’ve ever been to. (and that list should really be updated) But this is different. I didn’t always know that those were going to be great games. For instance, the Derek Lowe no-hitter makes that list. But, if Twitter had existed back then, and I had posted a picture of that ticket when it arrived, I think the overwhelming reaction would have been “How’d you get stuck with tickets to an April game against the Devil Rays? Pedro isn’t even pitching!”

That was a great game. It wasn’t a great ticket.

Even the 2004 ALCS game 4 ticket. I remember. The reaction I got when I told people I was on my way to that game was, “Why would you want to see the Sox get swept?”

So, what makes my list of great tickets I’ve had? Which ones elicited the most drooling when I told my people I was going down? Let’s see…

1999 Home Run Derby. Right off the bat, I’m going to start this list with something that isn’t even a game. Good thing I didn’t set up any rules for this. But, this was a big deal.It was 1999. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa had their epic duel the previous season, and were back at it again. The thoughts of them getting shot after shot at the Wall was definitely drool-inducing. Did it live up? Pretty much. Sosa didn’t have a great showing, but Big Mac sure did. It didn’t seem like he would ever stop. Even if he didn’t win the competition.

1999 All Star Game. OK. So, a non-game, and now an exhibition game. But, this was the first ticket that I remember being resold for significant money. I seem to remember hearing that the Home Run Derby tickets were starting at close to $1000 on the street. The tickets to the ASG were approaching at least 3-4 times that. This was when people starting being amazed I wasn’t selling them, and buying season tickets with the money. Heck, I could have gotten a few years’ worth of tickets with that money. Did it live up? Absolutely. Am I glad I went? What do you think?

1999 ALCS Game 3. Look at that. Three in one year. This was Pedro vs. Roger. The build-up was tremendous. The cover of the Boston Herald ran a breakdown as if it were a heavyweight fight. Did it live up? For Sox fans it did. It wasn’t much of a game, since the Sox ran away with it. But, watching Pedro mow the Yankees down while Roger went to the showers early was even better.

2004 World Series Game 1. Of course, nobody knew that this was going to be the year the Sox won it all. But, we did all know two things. One - there was excitement in the air after the Yankees comeback. Two – It was the first World Series game in Fenway since 1986. My seats were in the very last row of the right field bleachers. There was someone a couple rows in front of me with one of those MasterCard inspired signs. It claimed that he paid $5000 each for those seats. And, he still considered the experience of being there “priceless.” I think I agree.

2005 Home Opener. This is the first “sure thing” on the list. The HR Derby might have been a dud. Pedro might have gotten rocked in Game 3. But, there were no worries on this day. The Red Sox were getting their rings! Everything else was just extra.

2008 Hope Opener. Another guaranteed good ticket. Was there really another ceremony already? Demand may have been a little lower for this one. But, it was still all about the rings!

2013 ALCS game 6. This was one of those tickets that had a change in fortune. While the idea of seeing the Red Sox clinch the AL was great, the idea of watching the Tigers clinch was terrible. Once it was clear that the Tigers couldn’t clinch, and the Red Sox could, this became a must attend. Victorino made it all worth it.

2013 World Series game six. See above. Multiply by 100. Once the Red Sox won Game 5, this became the biggest ticket I’ve ever seen. I heard one reporter call it the “most expensive ticket in the history of tickets.” Sure, the Sox might lose the game. That would have been heartbreaking. But, there was that feeling that they would win. I was actually at a Halloween party that day that I had to leave from a little early to make the game. The jealous looks from the other guests were priceless. Oh, and the game turned out to be pretty good.

What games would make your list of “best tickets you ever had?”

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