Not a single blog last week. You must think we were out. Or idle. But au contraire, we’ve been busy. The Ticket Operations offseason is typically more busy than during the season. Sure the days of summer are long, working from morning-to-night, and seven day work weeks are common place. The foundation, however, is secure. Improvement projects can be the focus while the ticket machine moves along. In the offseason the focus is building that foundation. It is a tedious process. Checking, re-checking, cross-checking. Investigating new forms of communication and technology, and how to implement, to better serve our guests. The development process is the focal point and it requires a lot of attention to administer.
This week we continue to prepare the 2009 ticketing system, invoices and information, online renewal capabilities, and Spring Training details. Soon you will have all of this information at your finger tips, via the internet and in paper form thanks to our friends at the U.S. Postal Service. But what do you prefer? Renewal information by traditional mail or an email reminder with details hosted at oaklandathletics.com? Many of us in the office welcome and explore opportunities to bank online. Are you much the same? Or is baseball, a traditional game by many standards, a notice that you want in a traditional method? If the web savvy could have just one choice- postal or email- which do you decide?
One of our favorite topics of discussion with Season Ticket Holders relates to the season ticket stock. Ticket plans paid in full by the February deadline received commemorative ticket stock in bound booklets. A’s Season Ticket Holders will notice that, for the first time, each game is unique by game date helping to commemorate 40 years of Oakland Athletics baseball in the Bay Area. A full-season ticket book has 80 unique tickets.
Savvy Season Ticket Holders may also notice that some of the photos are not random. For example:
- Players are featured on their bobblehead giveaway dates. Most recently Dick Williams on July 27.
- Our replica jersey promotional dates coincide with the player featured on the ticket. For example, Vida Blue is featured June 22 and Dave Stewart is featured on July 13.
- Player birthdays are also celebrated: Frank Thomas on May 27.
An interesting tidbit about Mark Ellis: He was featured on our May 7 ticket vs. Baltimore. Mark hit his first career walk-off home run in the 10th inning, winning the game for Oakland 6-5 and preserving a three game sweep of the Orioles. Are we clairvoyant in the A’s Ticket Services Office? Short answer: Yes.
Some of our office favorite tickets this season…
Josh most enjoys the May 24 ticket. A huge Stew fan growing up in Ohio, Josh wound up working for his favorite team.
Adam likes the jubilation on catcher Ray Fosse’s face on June 28. Now an A’s broadcaster, we enjoy Ray for more than just his athletic prowess.
Catherine and Travis think the July 26 ticket with MC Hammer and Rickey Henderson is most amusing. Travis lobbied for the photo to be used on the ticket stock for the historical uniqueness and Travis’ penchant for wearing “Hammer pants.”
David is happy to celebrate Vida Blue’s 1970 no hitter to the day on the September 21 ticket. It is also the final home game of the regular season and a fond farewell.
The A’s Ticket Services Office received a few choice emails and phone calls in the past 24 hours. Only a few of the “You Stink” variety. RHP Rich Harden was traded yesterday to the Chicago Cubs, along with pitcher Chad Gaudin. While news stories report most about the known quantities, we are happy to receive Sean Gallagher and friends. Any player that our Baseball Operations Department identifies as a desire must be positive (see: Mark Ellis, Dana Eveland, Greg Smith, Carlos Gonzales, Ryan Sweeney… all starting A’s players acquired from trades).
But rather than focus on the two players that departed, we’re excited about the four new members of the A’s family that came from the Cubs. Not to forget a fifth new addition to the A’s that stopped by McAfee Coliseum yesterday, recent first-round draft pick Jemile Weeks. Weeks signed his first professional contract with the A’s yesterday. While it could be a few years until we see him again his combination of speed and power has the Ticket Services staff wiping our brows with ticket stock in anticipation of future gains. Ironically, a retired Athletics great with plenty of speed and power in his heyday was on hand last night for the ceremonial first pitch. Rickey Henderson returned to the site of his record breaking 939th stolen base. Watch out Rickey, Weeks might be on your heels someday.
In the meantime, for a “rebuilding season,” the A’s have been very successful on field. Coupled with our affordability, accessibility, and extensive promotional schedule the A’s should be a point of interest all summer. Helpful ballpark tip: wear green.