It’s still several months until I’ll be blogging about my 2012 baseball road trips for The Ballpark Guide. Fortunately, I still have a lot of interesting things to share from the 27 games I attended during the summer of 2011.
One neat souvenir I’ve got from each of those games is my ticket stub. Now, ticket stubs are admittedly uninteresting to some people, but I think they’re great. And I think my wife approves, as they don’t take up that much space. I like how, for the most part, every ticket stub is different.
Anyway, enough talking. Let’s get to them, in order:
May 19: Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays
I bought the top ticket in advance of my first game of the season at Rogers Centre, and it’s pretty plain. Midway through this game, a lady gave me the lower two tickets for the section behind the Jays dugout, as she was leaving early. The design on these tickets is much nicer; they’re likely from a set of season’s tickets.
May 20: Houston Astros at Toronto Blue Jays
My second Jays game of 2011 had the same style of ticket as my first game.
May 21: Bowling Green Hot Rods at Lansing Lugnuts
I think the Lansing Lugnuts offer one of the sharpest-looking tickets in the minors. I like the checker plate background, the large, stylized team name and how the ticket takers stroke out the side of the ticket with a Sharpie, rather than tear it.
May 22: South Bend Silver Hawks at Great Lakes Loons
The simplicity of the Great Lakes Loons ticket is perfect. The Loons play in the small town of Midland, MI, and the design of this ticket is reflective of that rural setting.
May 23: Fort Wayne TinCaps at West Michigan Whitecaps
This West Michigan Whitecaps ticket is pretty standard: faded image in the background and the classic “ticket font” in the foreground. I do like, however, the vertical strip down the right side, featuring the ballpark and team logos.
May 24: Tampa Bay Rays at Detroit Tigers
I bought this Tickets.com ticket in advance of my first visit to Comerica Park; obviously, there’s not much to see here.
When I misplaced the above ticket while in Detroit, I was given a reprint at the ticket office. This one’s a little better, but the green (which, in its defence, is used to identify the ticket as being a reprint), looks weird when associated with the Tigers.
May 25: Tampa Bay Rays at Detroit Tigers
The next day, I bought this ticket at the Comerica Park ticket office. As you can see, it’s virtually identical to the reprint from the day before, but has an orange/red border instead of the green one.
May 26: Durham Bulls at Toledo Mud Hens
The Toledo Mud Hens have a sharp-looking ticket and the pinstripe background is the first such design I’ve seen. From the stylized Mud Hens wording in the center of the ticket to the logo on the right, I’m a big fan of this one.
May 27: Great Lakes Loons at Fort Wayne TinCaps
While I loved my visit to Fort Wayne to watch the TinCaps, this ticket design lacks interest. The gray TinCaps logo in the bottom right corner blends into the background, which isn’t great. On the plus side, I like how the ticket identifies the name of your section and the Parkview Field wording stands out well.
May 28: West Michigan Whitecaps at Lake County Captains
The Lake County Captains offer one of the most unique tickets I’ve seen. The right side is ripped off upon entry to the park, but even with this subtraction, the ticket is massive. The top part tears off, if desired, and the blue color and team logo give this ticket lots of visual impact.
May 29: Reading Phillies at Erie SeaWolves
This Erie SeaWolves ticket is perhaps the most underwhelming I’ve encountered. It’s certainly got all the information you need, but its design is super sub-par. There’s some sort of baseball image in the background, but it’s virtually impossible to discern.
June 23: Norfolk Tides at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees
This ticket is simply designed, and has large “Yankees” lettering in the background, although it didn’t show up in the scan. I’m still a little bitter about the price I had to pay for this game.
June 24: Altoona Curve at Harrisburg Senators
Stephen Strasburg is depicted on this Harrisburg ticket, which is cool. I also like the 25-year badge and the 6-time EL Champs lettering.
June 25: Staten Island Yankees at Aberdeen IronBirds
The IronBirds offer one of the plainest tickets I’ve seen thus far, but I like their sense of humor. See where it says “Fashionably Late”? That’s because I bought it on game day. The “SRO” lettering means standing room only.
June 26: Binghamton Mets at Bowie Baysox
On the surface, this Baysox ticket looks fine, but the odd thing is that the team uses orange and black as its colors. (The team has a turquoise third jersey, however.) If this ticket had an orange tint to it, I’d call it a winner.
June 27: Lakewood Blueclaws at Hagerstown Suns
Although the sunglasses on the Hagerstown Suns logo scream 1991, this is a catchy ticket. The fonts are a bit small, but I realize saying that makes me sound like a bitter old man who complains about neighbors who make noise at 7 p.m. The $8.80 price is a bit bizarre, too. Virtually every other ticket’s price is an even dollar value.
June 28: Greensboro Grasshoppers at Delmarva Shorebirds
Plain Jane is the best adjective for this Shorebirds ticket, which features no color and minimal graphical elements. I like the silvery shimmer of the logo in the center, but this ticket would be augmented with a splash of color.
June 29: St. Louis Cardinals at Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles offer a bland ticket, but like other MLB teams, the look of the ticket improves if you’re a season’s pass holder. The B&O warehouse is depicted in the background, which is neat.
June 30: St. Louis Cardinals at Baltimore Orioles
July 1: Winston-Salem Dash at Potomac Nationals
I’m not a fan of the way the Potomac Nationals rip your ticket upon entry, but this ticket is neat because it features a background image of the P-Nats’ 2010 Carolina League championship team.
July 2: Pittsburgh Pirates at Washington Nationals
Like the Blue Jays and Orioles tickets I showed above, the Washington Nationals use a standard ticket template for fans who buy at the ticket office.
July 3: Pittsburgh Pirates at Washington Nationals
Ditto. But I like the price on this one better.
July 4: Portland Sea Dogs at Binghamton Mets
The background color of this Binghamton Mets ticket certainly catches your eye. The Mets logo on the upper right of the ticket is nice, but I find the other team logo gets lost behind the visitor’s name. Still, a nice ticket.
July 28: Reading Phillies at New Hampshire Fisher Cats
The New Hampshire Fisher Cats have a tear-off Modell’s coupon on the left side of their tickets, but the rest of the design is sharp. I like the Fisher Cats logo in the background and the 2011 Eastern League All-Star Game emblem in the bottom left corner.
July 31: Altoona Curve at Portland Sea Dogs
The Portland Sea Dogs take an interesting approach on their tickets, showing an image of the team’s alumni jersey wall in the background. With a sharp eye, you can catch the jerseys of David Ortiz, Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jonathan Papelbon, among others.
August 21: Hudson Valley Renegades at Vermont Lake Monsters
I find that the Green Mountain Coffee coupon on the left of the Lake Monsters ticket takes up a bit too much space, but I like the background image of the team celebrating.
September 23: Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians
Not to sound like a broken record, but the Indians’ standard ticket is pretty similar to the other MLB teams in my list.
As a bonus, I thought I’d share the tickets from the games I attended in 2010.
Ready? Let’s go!
July 16: Indianapolis Indians at Rochester Red Wings
This ticket’s special to me because it’s the ticket I bought for the first ballpark I visited for my website, TheBallparkGuide.com. I bought it in advance, so it’s got my name printed across the middle, which is sort of neat. The ticket itself features an overhead view of Rochester’s Frontier Field.
July 17: State College Spikes at Auburn Doubledays
I absolutely love this ticket. It helps that my visit to Auburn was amazing, but I love the simple design of this ticket. The Doubledays are publicly owned, and have a tangible community-oriented feel. This one-of-a-kind ticket just supports that.
July 18: Pawtucket Red Sox at Syracuse Chiefs
The Syracuse Chiefs used this ticket in 2010 to commemorate their 50th season as a modern-era franchise. Although it’s hard to see on the scan, the design includes baseball card images of past Chiefs.
August 6: Columbus Clippers at Buffalo Bisons
This 2010 Buffalo Bisons ticket is pretty generic. There’s a standard crowd image in the background, and if it weren’t for the red/orange seats, I wouldn’t know it was taken at Coca-Cola Field. Of note is the angry-looking guy to the left of the world “Buffalo.” I think the team could’ve done better.
August 7: Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians
Virtually the same ticket the Indians used this summer.
August 8: Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians
Another standard Tribe ticket.
August 9: Aberdeen IronBirds at Mahoning Valley Scrappers
The New York-Penn League’s Scrappers have a simple, effective design on this ticket from 2010. The background image features the team celebrating in the infield after a win. And I have to chuckle at the “No Outside Food/Beverage” reminder in the bottom right.
August 10: Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays
This ticket featuring Adam Lind is nicer than the plain tix the Jays sold in 2011.
August 11: Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays
These two tickets show Vernon Wells and Aaron Hill. I also like how the tickets indicate the time that the stadium opens. The baseball stitches along the right side are sharp, too.
September 10: Trenton Thunder at New Hampshire Fisher Cats
The ’10 Fisher Cats ticket is very similar to the ’11 version. The chief difference is the change in the team color and ballpark name.
September 11: Brooklyn Cyclones at Tri-City ValleyCats
I don’t like how the side of this ticket got ripped off, but the design is nice. Because I’m such a fan of ballparks, it’s neat to see Joseph L. Bruno Stadium depicted in the background. This ticket works well.