San Francisco Giants fans are going to some pretty crazy lengths to get their hands on World Series tickets. They're willing to go on hunger strikes, drive across the state or even paint your house to get into AT&T Park.
With the games sold out in advance weeks ago, desperate orange-and-black faithful took to the Web, texted friends and hung outside the ballpark hoping to score tickets to see their beloved Giants make history.
"I understand the odds are pretty slim," said Oakland resident Robert Speidel, 30, who just graduated from UC Berkeley and wants nothing more than to attend a World Series game. "But it certainly doesn't hurt to put the prayer out there."
There were more than 10,000 tickets available from re-sellers online Tuesday. But at marked-up prices ranging from $300 to more than $10,000, many fans were hoping sob stories or displays of Giants allegiance would persuade kind ticket-holders to give them a deal.
Pedro Ortega, a San Francisco native so fanatical about the Giants he has the team's "SF" logo tattooed on his arm, and his wife Emmy are taking a couple days off work, pulling their two young daughters out of school and driving up from San Diego on the hunt for tickets. If they strike out, they plan to use a friend's boat, grab a portable TV or radio and catch the action from McCovey Cove, where paddlers wait for home run balls.
"I'm like, oh my gawd, we're crazy," Emmy Ortega said with a laugh. She said someone offered her husband one ticket, but he rejected it so they could search for four. "My husband is a die-hard Giants fan, but he's first and foremost a husband."
Others are doing a little extra. On Craigslist, one man offered the "deed" to either his future first-born child or his soul for a World Series ticket. A licensed contractor offered to paint your house for a ticket; others offered large quantities of drugs, electronics and 49ers and Warriors tickets.
Then there's George Cooper, a 21-year-old Mountain View man who accepted a bet from his friends to go on a hunger strike for World Series tickets. He started fasting Sunday, with the Giants still needing to win two games just to make it to the Series -- and his buddies have donated $300 to get him in the game.
"Every time my stomach rumbles, I just imagine myself watching the Giants in a World Series game at AT&T Park," Cooper said. "I just need to do everything I can to be a part of the magic."
Data compiled for the Bay Area News Group by SeatGeek, which tracks online ticket sales on secondary markets, shows the World Series is the most expensive ticket for a public event in the Bay Area since the Giants won the 2010 Fall Classic.
The average resale price for a potential Game 7 is $887, followed by Game 6 ($797), Game 1 ($731) and Game 2 ($693), SeatGeek said.
That's more than the average for last season's 49ers NFC Championship Game ($692), but behind Game 1 for the 2010 World Series ($940) -- and, in the case of this year's Game 2, behind an upcoming San Francisco showing of the "Book of Mormon" play ($703).
"Kind of out of my price range, a lot of them," said Giants fan Brandon Lewis, a 22-year-old student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo who is trying again after failing to get 2010 World Series tickets.
StubHub spokeswoman Joellen Ferrer advised fans to buy now for Games 6 and 7, since they'll be refunded if the games don't happen but will soar in price if they do. She said prices usually drop in the hours leading up to the game as fans get desperate and hopes for a huge profit fade.
"You're always going to have overly optimistic fans that are pricing tickets sky high," Ferrer said. "So don't get scared off by the $10,000 tickets; they're shooting in the dark and trying to see if they can make a quick buck."
The Giants will also put an extremely small number of face-value tickets on their website as tickets are returned.
Plenty of fans, such as Lauri Tanner of Oakland, are doing it the old-fashioned way: planning to go to AT&T Park on game day and hope for a miracle. It worked for Tanner during Sunday's Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, when she found a stranger with an extra ticket after his friend stood him up.
"A lot of people said, 'Are you crazy? You're not going to get a ticket,' " said Tanner, a graduate student and nonprofit consultant. "But I believe in miracles; I saw what the Giants did (coming from behind in the playoffs), and we're going to do it again here."
Contact Mike Rosenberg at 408-920-5705. Follow him at twitter.com/rosenberg17.
Tips for getting World Series tickets
Tickets are sold out from the box office, but the Giants' official resale partner is StubHub, which guarantees all sales.
Other sites that offer tickets and are not affiliated with the Giants include Craigslist, SeatGeek, RazorGator, ticketsnow, eBay, TicketNetwork, FanSnap.
Beware of counterfeit tickets. Fans you meet in person can sell you photo-copied tickets that will not work.
Tickets bought online for Games 6 and 7 should be refunded if the games are not played; check the sites' policy for refunds.
Tickets for Games 2 and 6 will likely go up if the Giants are leading in the series. Game 7 should be the most expensive ticket if played.
Average resale price for World Series Games 1 and 2
Club: $1,100 (face value: $340-$670)
Lower level: $1,156 (face value: $350-$1,040)
Outfield: $533 (face value: $230-$270)
Upper deck: $578 (face value: $230-$360)
Standing-room only: $355 (face value: $200)
Sources: StubHub, SeatGeek, Mercury News reporting.