Ticketron Legacy

Jack White is playing at Brewery Ommegang on May 27. Tickets went on sale this morning at 10 AM and by 10:05 I had bought four. Done and done!

When Ticketron ruled the world, I had to go to an outlet, maybe a record store or a department store (at least in New York), check the chalkboard for what shows/events were coming and when tickets went on sale. If I was lucky, there wasn’t a line when I came back to buy and the actual purchasing process was miserable.

“Do you have two in Section 104?” I’d ask with seating chart in hand.

“No.”

“OK, do you have two in Section 106?”

“No.”

“OK, what do you have?” This hunting and pecking would go on forever. I’d leave with my tickets and the memory of a horrible experience. It was barbaric compared to today.

At least in California, at least in 1971, you got cards to ease the pain. Both sets – 20 Dodgers and 10 Giants – are things of beauty.

The Dodger set is borderless and bigger than the Giants’ set. Of the 20 cards, 19 are players and one is Jerry Doggett and Vin Scully, who did seem to appear in a lot of regional card issues. Not sure that happened very much with other broadcasters.

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The backs are horizontal schedules/promo pieces for the team and Ticketron. I assume you got a card every time you visited. Maybe they were distributed one per week (Player of the Week, get it?). I don’t know.

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The Giants’ set is smaller, in number and size, but 40% of the set are Hall of Famers. Because of this, or maybe they were produced in fewer number, the Giants’ set costs about twice as much as the Dodgers’ one.

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The backs are the same, though the Giants are vertical.

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When I first found out about these sets, I was able to buy the Dodgers pretty quickly/ It took forever to track down a Giants’ set. They are both well worth having. There’s also a Ticketron Phillies set from 1972, but I never looked for that one. Maybe I will now.

Are they cards though? Ah, forget it. That’s last week’s post.

Author: Jeff Katz

Jeff Katz is the former Mayor of Cooperstown, the “Birthplace of Baseball” and home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. His latest book, Split Season:1981 - Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball, (Thomas Dunne Books, 2015), received national attention, with coverage appearing in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Sporting News and NPR’s Only a Game, among others. Katz appeared on ESPN’s Olbermann and The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap and MLB Network’s MLB Now, with Brian Kenny. Split Season: 1981 was a finalist for the 2016 Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year.

3 thoughts on “Ticketron Legacy”

  1. Wow, never heard of these. The photos are unique, not just publicity shots. Ticketing was the same in Seattle through Ticketmaster. I was fourth in line for the one game division tie-breaker in 95 between the Mariners and Angels. By the time the clerk opened the door, the line stretched for at half a mile. The kid was so overwhelmed at this record store, that he threatened to close. We calmed him by only allowing 3 people in the store at a time. By the way, this record shop, in West Seattle, is called Easy Street. During the 2016 World Series, Eddie Vedder wore an Easy Street Records cap at Wrigley Field. All of this is more than you wanted to know. In summation, in-person ticketing sucked.

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  2. Yeah those Giants Hall of Famer cards are kind of spendy. I got the four cheapest ones in the set for ~$10 so no complaints. I’ll cruise Ebay every now and then to see if any other ones show up cheap but it’s nice just having the sample from both a photography point of view and a “how things used to be before the internet” view.

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