My Collecting Story: Veterans Stadium Turnstile

Veterans Stadium was the home of the Phillies from 1971-2003.  I missed the stadium's heyday in the '70s and '80s and only started to regularly attend games with my dad in 1987 (though I had been to several over the previous 4-5 seasons).  By this time the Vet was no longer the baseball mecca that had hosted five LCS and two World Series.  Nor was it the place where future Hall of Famers played.  In fact for much of the 15+ years that I watched games there, the Phillies were non-contenders and the Vet was going through constant renovations and fighting for it's life. Despite the cosmetic changes there were some things that never changed during those years (or for the entire life of the stadium), like the boiled Phillies franks, the Phanatic and those green Perey turnstiles that guarded each entry gate.

I have previously written about the Final Innings sale the Phillies held in 2003, and how the team used it to purge a lot of items from Veterans Stadium.  Well, as I discovered during the 2004 ALS Autograph Party at CBP, not all Vet items were sold during that sale the previous winter.  The ALS event is generally a way to get autographs from members of the current team.  But there are also a lot of side activities like grab bags and silent auctions that feature quality Phillies memorabilia.  I know it is hard to do - but I have learned over the years to keep my head up and be aware of all that is available during the event.

During the 2004 event a small display of green Veterans Stadium turnstiles were tucked into a corner and instantly caught my eye.  Phillies Charities were asking $200 per turnstile and I needed a while to think about it.  I took the contact information for later consideration.  I finally called the Charities employee after a little more than a week of weighing the pros and cons of buying the turnstile and arranged for a pick-up date.  It is now one of the centerpieces of my personal collection, and looking back I probably didn't need to take so much time deciding if I wanted it.

Maker: Perey (New York, NY)
Height: 39"
Features: Green, with a lot of "character".  This thing has been through the war, and definitely shows every one of it's 40 years.  My dad made a wooden mount for it - but besides that it is as I found it that May in 2004.

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