Today, we have another guest post from Jerry Seltzer, often referred to as “The Commissioner” of roller derby.
His father, Leo Seltzer, invented the sport in 1935 and Jerry has followed in his footsteps since 1957, going from roller derby promoter (SF Bay Bombers) to television syndicator, to co-founder of BASS tickets, to Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Ticketmaster and now, finally, to Brown Paper Tickets, where he is serving a role as an Outreach and Sales Representative. We are honored to have a living legend as part of our team and Jerry has a ton of great stories on derby history and the history of the modern ticketing industry as we know it today.
Today, on the eve of roller derby’s 78th birthday, he shares a little bit of history of the sport and who would know better than the son of the sport’s inventor?
So, without further ado, here’s the man himself: Jerry Seltzer, the Roller Derby Jesus!
Pictured above is the historic Chicago Coliseum.
It was built in the late 1800s, constructed largely from the bricks of the terrible Civil War-era Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia, which was re-located to 1513 S. Wabash St. in Chicago in 1889. For a long time it was the main exposition and gathering place for Chicagoans: the 1896 Democratic convention was held here, and events from sporting goods shows to basketball and horse shows utilized the building.