I was doing a little “spring cleaning” recently, sending some old, useless files to the trash, when I discovered two bright yellow and green ticket stubs for the seventh and final game of the baseball World Series in 1973. The game was played on October 21st, 1973 during the day at the Coliseum in Oakland, between the A’s and the New York Mets. Gazing at the tickets I realized I was there, almost forty years ago.
Aided with a little internet research, I re-lived the thrill of attending a World Series and in the Bay Area, let alone a decisive game. Oakland won the game 5-2 and Reggie Jackson hit a 2-run homer. Ken Holtzman was the winning pitcher for the A’s, and he even hit a double and scored in the third inning. (Though the “Designated Hitter” rule had just been adopted for American League teams in 1973, the rule did not apply to World Series games until 1976.) And the tickets caused me to think of Game 1 of that same series, also played in Oakland and which I attended, where I saw my idol Willie Mays, by then a Met and in his final season, make his last start ever and get his final hit in Major League Baseball, a single. I thought it was great that Mays came back to the Bay Area as a Met, where he had played so long for the San Francisco Giants, to get his final hit before a sympathetic Oakland crowd, in a World Series no less. Seeing “Mr. October,” Reggie Jackson, live up to his reputation with his Game 7 home run was equally a thrill. I thought fondly of my Dad, now long departed, who I attended Game 7 with.
The memory of that series and especially attending Game 7 is a treasure to me. I wanted to keep the memory. But I also needed to get back to reality and clean out my files. I decided that in this digital world, that I could best keep the memory of the game by putting a picture of the tickets in my iPhoto library on iCloud, where I could have access to them anytime, anywhere. Thus I could send the old stubs to the trash pile.
Then it occurred me. Maybe they were worth sharing with someone else out there.
I am not a big Ebay person but I do have an account and occasionally will go on-line to buy a knick-knack. For example, not too long ago I got a really good deal on a special Lalique crystal sparrow that completed a set of four. I bought a perfect piece on Ebay for about 20% the retail value. I had never really used Ebay to sell anything, but thought, well, maybe there is someone out there that might get a kick out of these old tickets and have their own treasured memory.
So I posted the old stubs on Ebay for a seven-day auction. The initial price was set at $1.99. Over the weekend, the auction ended and to my surprise the old stubs sold for $37.66. And buyer is paying the postage. The face value of the tickets in 1973 was $30 ($15 each). But today, forty years later, the value of the used ticket stubs on Ebay exceeds the cost of the tickets themselves.
Not everything that has a memory attached to it yields much interest on Ebay. I have a 1,000 Russian Ruble banknote dated 1917, the year of the two Russian revolutions, but learned there are plenty of those types of items on Ebay that don’t really get any bids. Perhaps the memories associated with 1917 in Russia aren’t good ones, at least good enough to cause much interest in the old, worthless Imperial currency. A 1953 series $2 bill really isn’t worth much more than $2 on Ebay.
But a Bay Area World Series is surely different. I hope my old World Series ticket stubs might similarly stir fond memories in their new owner, who might also have the space and knowledge to display and enjoy them for the history they represent. And I’ll take a look at a picture of them every now and then in my photo library.
And now forty years later, the Oakland A’s, still playing in the very same stadium, are battling for first place in the American League West and perhaps yet another World Series bid. I really hope the A’s can bring another World Series to California. Then the cycle of such memory building can start all over again. And my advice to any young people that might attend a next World Series game in Oakland, is cherish your memories, and “hold on to your ticket stubs.”