Rare 1938 "Light Bulb" Brooklyn Dodgers Ticket Stub from Johnny Vander Meer's Second Consecutive No-Hitter - 1st Night Game in Brooklyn Do

Sold For: $4,444

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 1073

Item Year: 1938

Category: Post-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Exceedingly rare "Lower Stand" ticket stub, featuring a unique "light bulb" die-cut design, issued for the first night game at Ebbets Field on June 15, 1938, which was highlighted by Johnny Vander Meer's second consecutive no hitter. On June 15, 1938, a season-high 38,748 fans crammed into Brooklyn's Ebbets Field for a chance to witness history (the stadium officially held 32,000). Little did they realize how historic that night would be. The draw was not the game between the Dodgers and the visiting Reds, but the novelty of watching them play at night. Up until that time, only the Cincinnati Reds had played regular-season major league games came at night (the first night game took place in 1935). Now, the Dodgers, under the direction of general manager Larry MacPhail, were about to enjoy the benefits that lights first brought to Cincinnati: a threefold increase in average attendance. The game was the first of seven scheduled night games for the Dodgers that season and a circus-like atmosphere greeted the throng of fans who turned out that night, including two marching bands and a sprinting contest between Olympic gold-medal winner Jesse Owens and various players (all of whom received head starts, of course). The opposing pitcher that night for the Reds was Johnny Vander Meer, who just four days earlier had no-hit Boston in Cincinnati. Vander Meer was also about to reap another one of the benefits brought about by night baseball, for pitchers at least: the batter's difficulty in seeing the baseball. Under the newly installed lights, Vander Meer made baseball history by pitching his second consecutive no hitter, a feat never accomplished before or since. To say the fans received their money's worth that night is an understatement, and all who were present probably never forgot the moment. Despite the overflow attendance and historic nature of the game, ticket stubs from that game are exceedingly rare and the offered example is the first we have ever handled. The unique die-cut design features an illustration of a baseball sitting atop a light bulb that reads "Night Game." The number "1," in red, appears in the center of the bulb. Although the ticket displays no date or year, the red number "1" denotes the first night game of the season, with the Lower Stand tickets for the other six night games that year displaying the corresponding numbers "2," "3," etc. Aside from three punch stamps, the ticket (2 x 3.5 inches) remains in Near Mint condition. Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $4,444

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