Thursday, June 28, 2012

1952 World Series tickets cost teams a nickel

The 1952 World Series tickets that collectors prize so highly today originally cost the Yankees and Dodgers about five cents apiece to produce, according to a contemporary article in the New York World-Telegram and Sun.

In that article, Bill Roeder interviewed Robert G. Arcus, of Arcus-Simplex-Brown, Inc., the New York printer who supplied major league baseball with its World Series tickets in 1952.

According to Arcus, a typical order for Series tickets cost each team $5,000-10,000, depending on the number of seats and the number of games each team would host.

The pennant winning teams were responsible for paying for their own tickets; other teams that might have been authorized by the commissioner to have tickets prepared were compensated out of the 15% cut of World Series receipts that went to the commissioner's office.

For the Brooklyn Dodgers, Arcus reported, the Series ticket order for 1952 called for 160,000 tickets. Ebbets Field, after some much-needed safety and convenience upgrades prior to the season, had a capacity of about 32,000 and was scheduled to host up to four games in the World Series. The extra 32,000 tickets in the order? Arcus revealed that an extra game's worth of tickets was always printed in the event that a tie game required replaying.

Arcus also said that even that long ago, security measures were in place to thwart counterfeiters. "We put in a secret identifying mark," he told the reporter. "It would be impossible for anyone to copy that mark."

Because the Dodgers broke with tradition and elected to offer single-game tickets for the 1952 World Series, 3,800 tickets reportedly went unsold for Game 6. That seems odd, because the Dodgers led the Series 3-2 going into Game 6 and had the chance to clinch their first-ever World Championship.

It was reported that scalpers along Sullivan Place and Bedford Avenue were offering $6 tickets on game day for as little as $3.50 apiece in groups of 10.

Recent sales results indicate a typically well-handled stub/rain check for a 1952 World Series game can be had for $50-100.

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