Lets face it, all of us have gone to an event, whether it be a sporting event, a play, or even a movie. When we get to our seats, or possibly when we get home, we throw away the ticket stubs.
Sounds familiar? Of course it does.
Why should you keep the tickets, other than to remind you of who you went with, and when. But to keep ticket stubs just to be keeping them, what’s the point?
Well, not so fast. Yes, it is true that in all but very rare circumstances, that ticket stubs, and even full tickets have no significance. Absolutely none. However, there are some unique situation when keeping the ticket stub might pay off. It’s rare, but it does happen. Usually with sporting events.
I’ll give you an example. Take the basketball game that Wilt Chamberlain scored his record 100 points. Well, if you have a ticket for that March 4, 1962 game, played in Hershey, Pennsylvania, you can sell it for a cool $1000-$2000. If you have the entire ticket it would be worth a lot more.
But granted, who thinks of keeping their tickets, unless of course, you had gone to the game and knew that it had historical significance.
Lets go back a bit and trace the evolution of collecting sporting tickets.
As the sports memorabilia craze exploded, collectors began thinking of the various items that could be linked to a major sporting event. Of course, there are balls, bats, caps, jerseys, and even scorecards. Well, if there are scorecards then why not tickets? Bingo.
However, the significant games and events must truly be historical. There could be championship games, or ones in which milestones were reached, or ones in which records were broken. That’s why the ticket to the Wilt Chamberlain record setting game in Hershey is so valuable.
Of course, the ticket must be in demand. For example, a ticket to a game in which a pitcher threw a no-hitter might be in demand in local area in which the game was played, but probably not anywhere else. But take a ticket for a Super Bowl, or a World Series game, or even to the last game of Stan Musical or Derek Jeter. Now those tickets are worth some money. If Musial or Jeter had signed those tickets then they would be worth even more.
There are some collectors who do collect tickets of games that they have an interest in, even if they are not valuable. For example, there are some collectors who collect tickets of games of opening games of a particular team, or games in which players hit for the cycle, or even games in which baseball managers made their debut. Use your imagination.
To give you some idea how much ticket collectors will pay for a treasured item, consider the following.
Remember when Muhammad Ali used his birth name of Cassius Clay? Okay, now do you remember his epic heavyweight championship fights with Sonny Liston? Well, a ticket stub from his first fight with Liston went for almost $600.
A ticket stub from the Brooklyn Dodgers game of September 24, 1957 went for $1150. You might be asking yourself why that ticket would be sold for so much. Well, it was a ticket from the last game at Ebbets Field, before the Dodgers moved West.
A ticket from Game 1 of the 1919 World Series went for $1200. That was the World Series that was associated with the infamous Black Sox scandal.
Three full tickets to different games of the 1924 World Series were sold for $3250.
A ticket stub from Game 4 of the 1918 World Series went for almost $24,000. The fact that Babe Ruth set the World Series record for the most consecutive scoreless innings increased the value of the stub.
Signed ticket stubs can be very valuable. A 1923 World Series Game 6 ticket stub was sold for almost $72,000 because it was signed by Babe Ruth.
Finally, a ticket stub from July 4, 1939 signed by Lou Gehrig went for $95,600. That was Lou Gehrig Day at Yankee Stadium at which he delivered his “Luckiest Man Alive” speech.
One time I had a caller on one of my radio show who wanted to know if a ticket stub from a game that was never played was worth anything. To better explain, teams will print tickets to, lets say, World Series games that they never play in. No, those tickets are not worth anything. There are good mementos of possible better days.
Jeff Figler has authored more than 400 published articles about collecting. He is one of the world’s leading experts on collectibles and is a former sports columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch/STL Today, and San Diego Union Tribune. He was a contributing writer for Baseball Fantography. Jeff’s most recent book is “Collecting for Beginners”. You can learn more about Jeff by visiting his websitewww.collectingwithjeff.com He can also be reached via email at jfigler@JeffFigler.com.