Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Strike Four: Mariners vs. Orioles, June 12, 1981

My dad found this vintage ticket in a discarded Seattle library book, looking OK for 30+ years on the lam. Just $5.50 for first level loge seating! Those were the cheap ol' days.

I tweeted the ticket and Phungo noticed right away that this (and all) June 12 tickets remained intact because MLB players went on strike after June 11, a work stoppage that lasted for two months. Players wanted to resolve lingering issues around free agency, first and foremost when owners sought compensation for "losing" players to higher-value contracts elsewhere (summarized at Wikipedia).

This mid-season strike also led to an unusual "first half winner vs. second half winner" playoff compromise, with some teams knowing they already qualified, letting them play lesser talent in August and September games. Cincy claimed MLB's best overall record without leading at either end, so their only consolation was this banner.

1981 Reds: "When being the best wasn't enough"

As a young fan, I enjoyed MLB's second half "reset" for a chance Seattle would play meaningful games in September. They improved from .368 first half ball to .442, a notable change, but still several games off the pace. It'd be another 14 years before 1995's squad achieved their amazing mid-season turnaround and playoff run. Back then, InI enjoyed being in their "Pepsi Jr. Mariner" fan club, which cost ~$15 and came with kids tickets to several games, plus an on-field photo day with Seattle players.

Seattle chose a young lefty in a striped polo shirt for their model, about as close to me as you could get in 1981. Does it go without saying All-Star first baseman Bruce Bochte immediately became my favorite player? Bruce was the man.

Me and Bruce and my favorite Bruce shirt


MrMopar said...

I was right there with you!

Eric11714 said...

If you ever want to sell that June 12 ticket I am interested.

MrMopar said...

Matthew, Do you have that membership hanger or did you just use an internet image? I ask because I thought I would happen upon one, but have yet to. I would love to trade for it if available and you were willing. I have a small collection of those membership coupons as well as the stuff they sent from a few different clubs, but the Mariners will always be special because I was a member myself.