National League Magnates - 1913 - Ebbets is in the second row sixth from the left
The Sun and New York Herald - August 8, 1920
Acknowledging past mistakes which he claimed had been a learning experience, Ebbets said he was planning on giving loyal fans the highest priority. In practical terms that meant the prudent fan would be well advised to start saving ticket stubs from the upcoming home stand because the more ticket stubs, the greater the opportunity for World Series tickets. Needless to say Ebbets knew full well the added incentive wouldn't hurt regular season gate receipts in the least, World Series or no World Series. Unfortunately, the home stand didn't go well with the Dodgers doing no better than 5 - 7 for the first 12 games and an August 7th loss to Pittsburgh, a 7-0 whitewashing, was the last straw for some increasingly impatient fans. It wasn't just the loss, but the nature of it that had the fans blood boiling. Pittsburgh first five runs were not only unearned, they all scored due to Dodger errors on Pirate double steal attempts, twice with two out. Offensively, Brooklyn suffered the ignominy of being shut out by 38 year old Babe Adams, the hero of the 1909 World Series.
Today similarly disgusted fans would have been limited to using talk radio and social media to blast everyone from the owner on down. The 1920 Dodger fan, however, had another alternative and, according to Charles Mathison in the New York Herald several hundred frustrated fans cornered Ebbets near the grandstand and peppered him "with pointed questions" for a half an hour, queries like:
"Why don't you get a catcher?"
"Why don't you hire a shortstop?"
And inevitably - "What's the use of us hoarding rain checks for a world's series?"
Somewhat surprisingly the sometimes short tempered Ebbets was more than equal to the occasion, answering each question to the best of his ability including offering fans a financial reward if they could tell him where to get a good catcher. While the answers may not have been totally satisfactory, just paying attention clearly earned the Brooklyn magnate some credit with the fans. Fortunately Ebbets was helped out at the end of the session by the "squeaky voice of a small boy" who wanted to know if he could ask a question. Probably sensing what was coming Ebbets told the youngster to go ahead. Predictably, the boy politely said he "would like to know if you will give me a pass for tomorrow." Ebbets loathed giving out free passes (part of his somewhat undeserved reputation for cheapness), but he was also no fool so he joined in the laughter and granted the youngster's request. Although doubtless still disappointed with their club's performance, the fans left in a better frame of mind and fortunately for everyone a 23-6 September spurt gave the Ebbets and his customers/fans the 1920 National League pennant. On that August day, however,it was just one more, perhaps exaggerated example, of how hard Ebbets and his peers worked at keeping fans coming through the turnstiles.