What does it take to be like Mike? 1,264 Ticket stubs.


Andrew Goldberg, the planet’s premier collector of one-of-a-kind basketball memorabilia, scans the internet and powers phones. He’s spent six years dealing with a spreadsheet detailing items in his possession and has a network of industry resources that alert him when he encounters something he might need.

The magic happens at garage sales, eBay, and dusty attics.

“I enjoyed the hunt,” Goldberg said. “I don’t know if anyone can dispute the claim that I can have the largest collection of Michael Jordan ticket stubs in the world.”

at a time Increasing interest in sports collectionsGoldberg found a place for himself as he pursued his goal of capturing a ticket stub from every game of Jordan’s Hall of Fame career. He keeps them in protective cases and stores them in cardboard boxes at his home in Palm Beach, Fla. these are all 1,264.

“His commitment level is insane,” said Patrick Powell, the founder of his company. Booger’s sketches, an online community for ticket collectors.

Goldberg, a 47-year-old nonprofit consultant and lifelong Chicago Bulls fan, said every ticket has a story and a box score associated with it, sharing “the same air” with Jordan for a few hours, and he loved it. It’s a piece of hardwood history that can’t be copied—although the ticket to the old Boston Garden wishes the predators would take better care of their craft.

“They don’t even follow the holes,” Goldberg said. “They were notorious for having terrible tears on their tickets in the ’80s. It’s just terrible.”

Growing up outside of Chicago, Goldberg became attached to the Bulls. His father said he was lucky Perry had season tickets with a group of friends. Whenever he accompanied his father, his pre-match rituals were dinner at a restaurant in the Greek Islands, not far from the arena. And in the pre-Jordan era, his favorite actor was Artis Gilmore because he was tall (Goldberg was tall for his age) and because they shared the same initials.

But the dynamic around the team changed when Jordan arrived in Chicago as a rookie in 1984. a phenomenon from the startIt occurred to Goldberg that he should start hiding the ticket drafts of the Bulls games he attended. He advised his father to do the same. Even then, Goldberg was concerned about the integrity of the ticket stub.

“I told him not to fold them,” he said.

Jordan was in full flight when Goldberg enrolled at the University of Illinois. Goldberg’s college a cappella band sang the national anthem before a Bulls game and took home the 15-pound Nestle Crunch bar as a consolation prize, participating in a half-court shooting competition at another.

On the side, he slowly collected about 60 Bulls tickets, which he kept in a photo album. Then he pretty much forgot about them for 25 years. He was back in his collection by 2015 and set out with the goal of getting a full ticket stub when the Bulls set an NBA record of 72-10 in the 1995-96 season. most wins in a season This happens wait 20 years.

Part of Goldberg’s dream was based on pragmatism. He was an avid sports cards and comics collector for many years, but was annoyed by clutter.

“And I just thought: ‘You know what? Tickets don’t take up much space,” he said. “As I learned, if there are many of you, there are them too.”

Before long, Goldberg decided to go big and collect 1,264 ticket stubs from Jordan’s entire career. That total includes 930 regular season games with the Bulls, 142 regular season games with the Washington Wizards, 179 playoff games, and 13 All-Star Game games. Goldberg has 986 of them.

There are a handful of extras he didn’t include in the roundup—drafts from Jordan’s three games in the NBA’s annual slam dunk competition and his solo entry in the 3-pointers. break a record finishing with the worst score in the history of the competition. Goldberg also has tickets to Jordan’s two Olympic gold medal matches.

Among the important drafts that escaped his hands: Jordan’s 63-point showdown Against the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 1986 playoffs. Goldberg saw there was one on eBay a few years ago, but someone else bought it before he could bid on it. (Goldberg said there’s no way to track the buyer.)

Goldberg is also missing out on one of the potential gems of the entire party – a ticket from Jordan’s regular season debut in 1984. That goes deep into the ticket-gathering weeds, but the Bulls produced several types of tickets that season, Goldberg said. There were red ones and blue ones for season ticket holders, a box office version and another from Ticketron. Goldberg said the red ticket was the most desirable, with the red ticket selling for $33,000 about two years ago. Goldberg hasn’t seen anything else available for purchase since then. How much money would he be willing to spend to get one?

“I don’t think I can share anything that can be pressured and stay married,” said Goldberg, who has 1-year-old twin sons from his wife, Barbara.

You can still get an ex-factory Jordan ticket for around $5 or $10, Goldberg said. And for the record, he said, his hobby has essentially been self-financed: He sold his comics for around $2,000 in starting money and now frequently trades or sells couple tickets to fill gaps in his collection. (Couples are useful when dealing with other collectors, he said.)

These days, the printed ticket is becoming a relic. While many sports teams still manufacture them for season ticket holders, wider supply has dwindled in the era of digital tickets. Now, most fans have a code on their cell phones that they scan when they enter the arena.

“It’s a shame because it’s an absolutely wonderful piece of history,” said Al Glaser. Professional Sports Verifier, a souvenir authentication service. “It’s like having a used jersey or a used bat in a game.”

The pandemic has also been a major outage for the collector crowd. NBA last season is over (and the present started) without fans – and without tickets.

“If anyone really wants to buy tickets to every LeBron James game, they can’t do it now,” Goldberg said.

As for his own collection, Goldberg found this introduction – Original story about him in Midway Minute, a Chicago sports newsletter – sometimes it helps. Strangers will reach out about their long-forgotten ticket to gauge whether it’s any use to them.

“You’re hoping people will come out of woodwork,” said Goldberg, who was confident that he would complete his collection. “I just don’t know how long it will take.”

When he does, he plans to approach officials from the Basketball Hall of Fame and United Center, where the Bulls have played home games, and see if they would be interested in showing the audience a selection of his drafts.

“I think it will be a nostalgic trip through history for a lot of people,” he said.


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