The Big Train was simply unstoppable on Opening Day—often in front of U.S. Presidents. According to Ronald G. Liebman's SABR article "Walter Johnson's Opening Day Heroics," Johnson pitched 14 openers with a 9-5 record and an astounding 7 shutouts. "Johnson's cumulative hurling on opening day far surpasses that of any other major league pitcher, past or present," Liebman concludes. On April 15, 1924, Johnson dazzled President Coolidge while setting the tone for Washington's first-and-only championship in franchise history. Opening Day tickets are generally far rarer than even World Series tickets, and this particular beauty from the Senators' finest season is most likely the sole surviving example. The yellow full stub measures 1-1/2 x 3-5/8" and can be dated to 1924 with the analysis of President Clark Griffith's facsimile signature, which shows the middle initial "C" directly connected with the "G" from Griffith. (The two letters were no longer linked on 1924 World Series tickets.) A large "1" represents the first scheduled home game. Crisp EX/EX-MT condition. More on our website.
Accompanying documentation includes text/pictures from past auction results and an explanation that reads in part, "No date on ticket, however, discovered with other 1924 Senators tickets and the '1' represents the first scheduled home game of the season. The facsimile signature of Clark Griffith compares favorably w/this exemplar from 1924 ('C' goes right into the 'G' and the 'T' in 'President' is right below the 'R' in 'Griffith') which was sold by Heritage Auctions as a 1926 Walter Johnson win ticket but was really a 4/27/24 ticket form the Senators 9-6 win over the Red Sox (Ehmke started for Red Sox) in the Senators 9th scheduled home game for the '24 season...Calvin Griffith's facsimile signature changed for the '24 World Series tickets...and stayed that way (detached 'C' & 'G' with long intro into 'G') for '25 as well...By 1927, the signature had changed into the traditional detached 'C' & 'G' with short intro into 'G' and it would remain that way until the end of Clark Griffith's tenure as President of the Senators in 1955."