Collectible of the Week: Connie Mack Stadium Closing Souvenirs
On October 1, 1970 Connie Mack Stadium closed with a Phillies game against the Montreal Expos. As The Philadelphia Inquirer described in 2003, many of the 31,822 fans in attendance that day came bearing tools with which to dismantle the venerable stadium. And, although unintended souvenirs passed through the gates - becoming things of lore, the team had also planned and distributed a couple "official" collectibles from that final game.
Upon entry, fans were presented with wooden replica seat slats. Painted bright red and bearing a commemorative sticker they were intended to represent the movement from old to new (as the team migrated to plastic seats at the Vet). Unfortunately they were more often used in concert with tools to destruct Connie Mack Stadium. Meant to serve as memorabilia, the slats are perfectly rounded and excellent display pieces. Today you will occasionally find them on eBay in the area of $30.
Also given out was a three-piece paper item memorializing the Stadium's opening. "It all started in 1908..." is printed across the cover of the large fold-out with an image of the ballpark's groundbreaking. Inside is another insert replicating the Philadelphia Inquirer front page from it's opening. The final piece is a "Certificate of Attendance" with a place for the attendees name and ticket stub. Parts of this collection are often found individually, and many times with the certificate completed. Most collectors will want all three, complete and in original condition. Look for them in the $30 range, also.