Do you keep your ticket stubs? I do, or at least try to. My main problem is remembering where they are. It’s like there are supply lines all over Asia or something and where they are is a big mystery, much less where any one specific one is.
Last night my wife found a box of mine with a mismatch of old stuff, including an old cigar box that was falling apart. The cigar box itself was fun to find. It was given to me by a friend of my older brother and it had a bunch of his duplicate cards, going back to the late 50s. Now, these were mostly in sad shape but it was the first time possessing those 57s and 58s and 59s. So, it was pretty cool.
The cigar box now had, among other things, Coke caps, buttons, old schedules and ticket stubs. The stubs were particularly fun to find, especially since it had one in particular that was important to me. Check out the green one in the photo – you can click on the photo to enlarge the image. Seemingly a meaningless game in the dark ages of the late 70s. But that was the game where Pete Rose set the NL hitting streak record. It’s always been a goal of mine to get Rose to sign it. Not that a Rose signature is all that rare – just thought it would be a neat collectible.
While confirming that this was indeed the game where Rose set the record, found this game story from Joseph Durso of The New York Times. Here’s the lede of the gamer:
Pete Rose broke one of baseball’s most glamorous records last night in Shea Stadium when he,lined a single to left field in his second time at bat and stretched his hitting streak to 38 pamec. (sic)
Today, a hitting streak doesn’t seem all that glamorous, especially if we’re not talking about Joe DiMaggio’s record. But it was a big deal at the time. It seemed that Rose was going to challenge DiMaggio’s streak but he didn’t even reach 50 games. And if memory serves, Rose was the opposite of gracious when it did end.
The other stub that immediately brought back memories was the big one on the bottom left. Another game against the Reds, although this was in 1985 and it was a good Mets team this time. Anyway, this is the game that – admittedly, a few years later – solidified my belief that you can’t tell anything from watching one game in person.
Bruce Berenyi was the starting pitcher for the Mets that night. Once a heralded prospect of the Reds, Berenyi was done in by the one-two combo of unrealistic expectations and injuries. But on this day, Berenyi was pretty much unhittable. His final line was 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB and 6 Ks and he out-dueled Mario Soto, with the Mets winning, 1-0, with the only run coming thanks to a Gary Carter HR.
It was one of only three games Berenyi pitched that year. I spent a lot of time lamenting his absence and hoping for him to be healthy again. He pitched 14 more games in the majors and finished his career 44-55 with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.478 WHIP. But because of that one game, Berenyi was right up there with Tim Leary in my mind of pitchers that could have been great.
It’s great to know where these stubs actually are now. There were somewhere around 50 tickets in this cache. My goal is to have one central place to keep all of them that have been accumulated throughout the years. There’s no hope of ever finding the stub from my first game in 1970. But it was nice to find the Rose one. Now the top one on my “find” list is the game where John Valentin recorded an unassisted triple play.