With a hard-fought 6-5 victory Tuesday night in Anaheim, CA against the rival Los Angeles Angels, the New York Yankees were the first MLB team to secure a playoff berth, returning to the post-season after missing the playoffs in 2008.

The team – one of the most storied franchises in professional sports – clinched the post-season spot by registering 96 wins this season with 10 games left. But, the on-field record is not what many fans and ticket industry observers will be zeroing in on as the playoffs approach, instead they will be watching what ticket prices will be doing in light of the current recession and the fact that the team is in the midst of its inaugural season in the new Yankee Stadium.

Throughout the season, the team has fended off criticism concerning the extravagant prices it charged for tickets, and in an effort to head off more complaints, the team announced plans earlier this month to try to keep prices relatively affordable.

“Hard to say definitively what prices will be like, but I’m feeling optimistic heading into the playoffs,” Jason Berger, managing partner of AllShows.com, told TicketNews. “Unlike two years ago when the team was last in playoffs, there will be more ticket inventory on the market that will move quickly.”

For Game 1 of the division playoff series, scheduled for October 7 at Yankee Stadium, tickets were being offered for between $78 and $1,456 on TicketLiquidator, which is owned by TicketNews parent company TicketNetwork. On secondary ticket giant StubHub, tickets for that series were being offered for between $90 and $9,999.

Because the Yankees initially charged big prices for many of its premium tickets, a lot of season ticket holders will be looking to unload many of those tickets on the secondary market to recoup all or part of their investment. And, that excess inventory will help keep the resale market lively during the post-season.

In addition, with the team being one of the favorites to win the World Series, interest in tickets will be high, especially if the Yankees play their arch rival, the Boston Red Sox, in the American League Championship Series.

“I think fans could find some great bargains because of the large inventory on the market,” Berger said. “And, if the Yankees play the Red Sox that’s always big. In the past, we’ve seen prices for that run higher than for the World Series.”

From a player standpoint, they also hint that Boston remains high on their minds. The two teams square off for a three-game series this weekend in New York, which will likely decide which team will win the division.

TFL and ATBS for ticketing professionals

“The division is very important to us,” Yankee first baseman Mark Teixeira told the Associated Press after Tuesday’s victory. “You don’t see any champagne tonight, but hopefully in a couple of days you will.”

This marks the 14th time in the last 15 years that the Yankees have qualified for the playoffs, but the team has not won a World Series since 2000 when the team beat the New York Mets, who will miss the playoffs for the third straight year.