Road Trip: Detroit

August 9th, 2016 Posted in Mets games, Road Trips | No Comments »


If there’s one nice thing about interleague play, it’s that the Mets will, more than likely, visit AL stadiums each season. I like this because it has allowed me to see the Mets play at US Cellular Field against the White Sox and just this past weekend, play in Detroit. I’m not actively trying to visit each Major League stadium, but it’s fun to visit new ones and check them off my unofficial list.


Originally Nik and I planned to go to two games against the Tigers but due to a lot of recent travel, and this being our sixth game in 19 (hot and sweaty) days, we decided on one game. And once we saw the probable pitchers, we knew it’d be the Jacob deGrom vs. Justin Verlander game on Friday. I bought seats in section 125 and I must’ve bought when fees were waived, because all I paid was a $2.50 fee for will call pick up.


I liked Comerica Park than I expected. There are tigers everywhere, literally: both main entrances; looking down from above those entrances; built into the exterior facade; atop the scoreboard and more places I’m probably overlooking. I liked the way they incorporated franchise history with displays around the concourse. The statues of retired players in the outfield was a nice touch too.



The first thing we did after arrive was take a ride on the ferris wheel. It’s totally cheesy and you really don’t see any special views, but I liked it none-the-less.

Following the ferris wheel, we dipped into beer hall where I bumped into my sister in snark Coop (click to read her Detroit recap) and her husband Ed. I knew they would be there and I’d see them at some point, but this specific time and place was not planned in advance.


View from my seat

Our seats were great. The netting was a little bit of pain for picture taking, but I still think I got some great pictures. Curtis Granderson’s family was a section over so it was fun to see them cheer for Curtis and the Mets. I also liked the view beyond the outfield of Detroit’s skyline, highlighted by the Detroit Athletic Club. Of note, after a Tigers home run and during the seventh inning stretch, there are “liquid fireworks” in centerfield.




The food at Comerica was meh, but there was a decent selection of Michigan beer throughout the stadium. Unfortunately the game wasn’t as good as it could have been with Noah on the mound. Other than a Kelly Johnson home run, there really wasn’t much to note about the offense. The final was 4-3, Tigers.



Other notes from the trip:
After arriving into Detroit, Nik and I headed to Slows Bar BQ for lunch. It was pretty good and quite filling.

We made stops at three Detroit breweries: Detroit Beer Company, located near the stadium; Motor City Brewing and Jolly Pumpkin both in the Midtown neighborhood. The latter two we went to after game. Jolly Pumpkin was probably my favorite of the three.


Before we left town on Saturday, we stopped at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, the birthplace of the Model T. I’m really glad we stopped here. Detroit has a big automotive history and the city has taken some economic hits, so it was nice to see that this place of history exists. During our visit, some of the space was set up for a wedding.


We also took a drive by the historic and vacant Michigan Central Station. Its Beaux-Arts style of architecture is my favorite.


Overall, it was a great trip, albeit a quick one. I’m not sure when my next baseball game will be, but hopefully the Mets can make the postseason and give us fans something to cheer about. [Full set of pictures here.]

Aberdeen IronBirds at Brooklyn Cyclones

August 3rd, 2016 Posted in Bobbleheads, Brooklyn Cyclones | No Comments »


I don’t think I’ve been to a Brooklyn Cyclones game in about 10 years, but earlier this season I saw they were having some fun promotions, including a Wilmer Flores bobblehead they were calling “from tears to cheers” based on the trade that never happened last summer. This giveaway just so happened to be the day after the Mike Piazza #31 retirement ceremony which I knew I’d be in town for. I bought five cheap tickets in case family or friends wanted to come. (None did, so I went in and out a few extra times to collect more bobbleheads.)

Wilmer Flores - Cyclones Bobblehead

Wilmer Flores - Cyclones Bobblehead

The same day was also a Piazza bobblehead giveaway at Citi Field, and so I was hoping to use an extra Flores bobblehead for trade. Luckily, a friend of mine and her husband didn’t need the two they got so we traded before I left town. (I also needed one for a trade with someone else for a John Stamos Full House Cyclones bobblehead.)

Mike Piazza Bobblehead

Much like the day before for the Piazza ceremony, the weather was drizzly and overcast. We spent some pre-game time at the Coney Island Brewing taproom and then made our way over to the MCU Park entrance to get in line and not miss the bobbleheads. Not to be overlooked, Nik picked up Nathan’s while I waited. The line moved quickly and I found an exit near the team store where the security guy didn’t catch on to what I was doing. Each time I exited and went back in, I made sure to get my ticket scanned by a different person.


Once Nik and I were in the stadium, we did some shopping and settled in seats just past first base for warm-ups and the game. In the most recent MLB draft, the Mets drafted an infielder from The Ohio State University, Nick Sergakis, who I became very familiar with this past spring while at work when the Buckeyes won the Big Ten Baseball Championship. I saw that he tweeted something not long before warm-ups so I tweeted him about getting an autograph and he replied to holler at him after stretch. So I did. I brought my ball over and more or less introduced myself and said where I worked and joked that the whole spring was a personal highlight reel for him. We had a good laugh, I thanked him and wished him good luck. He couldn’t have been nicer.

Tweeting with Nick Sergakis

Thomas Szapucki


After an inning or two in those seats, Nik and I moved around towards home plate and stood under the concourse for a few innings. Though the sky was dark, it never did rain while we were there, but we left early anyway and headed to the new Wahlburgers. (Of course I’m an NKOTB fan and had to check this out.) I got the “Our Burger” which was good, but nothing to brag about.



After this, we left Coney Island and the sports side of our weekend came to a wrap. Good times all-around, and many thanks to my wonderful husband who joins me in these adventures. (And lets us do them.) View full set of pictures here.

*Sidenote: Below are pictures of the Thunderbolt, the new roller coaster at Coney Island. The views are from within the stadium. That ride looks scary as heck. The big incline and drop do not look too appealing to me.




Mike Piazza #31 Retirement Ceremony

August 2nd, 2016 Posted in Mets games, Mike Pizza | 2 Comments »


Gary Carter, Mookie Wilson, Mike Piazza, David Wright. Those are the names of some of my favorite Mets players. When Mike Piazza was finally honored by getting inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, I knew a trip to Cooperstown for the ceremony wouldn’t be possible. I held out hope the Mets would announce a ceremony to retire Piazza’s #31. Sure enough, they announced such a thing and I knew I was going to be at Citi Field for it.


There was rain on and off most of the day and many questions arose whether the ceremony and game would take place. Luckily the rain held off for long enough to get in a great ceremony and the game was played after a short delay. (The outcome of which is pretty forgettable.)



Nik and I sat in section 312 which gave us a nice view of everything on the field and also the safety of the overhang should the rain return. Along with Piazza’s family, several of his former teammates were there: Al Leiter, Edgardo Alfonzo and Cliff Floyd. As usual, Howie Rose served as the MC. There were a few video montages, including one where Piazza started out in the parking lot at the home plate of Shea Stadium and made his way through the tunnels of Citi Field and out through the Mets dugout to the field. Many of the current team were on the top step watching the ceremony.

Current Mets watching the ceremony

The fans were cheering like it was the playoffs again. Piazza could barely get a word in when he started to speak. It was a light hearted speech, with many thanks and shout outs to the fans. I can’t imagine being in shoes – for his career and especially these last few weeks. Thank YOU, Mike Piazza, for coming to New York and leaving a lasting impression on so many of us.


The ceremony wrapped up with a unique first pitch: Piazza throwing from home plate to Leiter on the mound.

Leiter and Piazza First Pitch

Piazza Family

I’m glad to have been at Citi Field for this ceremony, as opposed to the HOF induction, where seating was controlled and the view was much better. I will get to Cooperstown once again to see Piazza’s plaque, along with Carter’s and so many other baseball greats. (My previous visit was a stop while doing college visits and I have a vague recollection of visiting.) [View my full set of ceremony pictures here.]


The game itself started out well, but as the last few had gone, the Mets lost. Bartolo Colon was on the mound. (Nik and I had just seen him a few weeks ago at Wrigley.) Due the weather, mostly the humidity, we left the game early, but not before seeing a Colon bat which is always something to enjoy.

Bartolo swinging

I also managed to see a few of my favorite Mets fans: Jason, Ed and Coop, before heading out.


*Also of note, nice to see some of the chop shops getting cleared out:

Chop Shops

Mets/Cubs – Wrigley 2016

July 21st, 2016 Posted in Mets games, Wrigley Field | No Comments »


When the Mets last played at Wrigley Field, they swept the Cubs to win the NLCS and advanced to the World Series. Game four of that series is quite possibly one of the best sporting events I ever witnessed live and in person.

Joan Jett ceremonial first pitch

Joan Jett ceremonial first pitch (July 18, 2016)

More recently, the Cubs and Mets played a few weeks ago at Citi Field for their first meeting since the NLCS and our lovable Mets swept the Cubs once again! Now it was time for the Mets to return to Wrigley to try and keep the magic alive. Much like the last few regular season visits to Wrigley, they could only muster one win, the middle game of the three game series.

Game 1 – July 18, 2016 – Section 237
Full set of pictures here.

As you can see above, Joan Jett threw out the ceremonial first pitch, which was pretty cool. The game had a nice matchup of Jon Lester vs. Steven Matz. Though Matz got lit up, the offense around him didn’t do much to help. I’m going to hope the All-Star break helped him get some rest and that he comes back stronger the rest of the way…with a little help from the offense, of course. Pretty much the lone highlight for the Mets was a Wilmer Flores home run. Final score: Cubs 5, Mets 1.



Wilmer Flores home run

Game 2 – July 19, 2016 – Section 237 and 124
Full set of pictures here.



The pitching matchup for this game was one that everyone in the sports world was looking forward to: Jake Arrieta vs. Noah Syndergaard. Once again, the Mets offense wasn’t very strong and Noah had to throw a lot of pitches and couldn’t get through 6 innings.



The Mets might not have made it easy, but they got out of a bases loaded jam in the 9th to come out with the 2-1 win. Nik and I started out in section 237 and then I moved and joined friends in 122 for the 9th inning which was great because Familia was on the mound and to see him celebrate the save was just electric. Final score: Mets 2, Cubs 1.

*A personal highlight was a scoreboard message for Nik and I. (It’s nice to work in the media field and know some people who work the Cubs in-game production.)


Game 3 – July 20, 2016 – Section 124
Full set of pictures here.

Bartolo warming up. Let's go #Mets!

This game had Kyle Hendricks vs. Bartolo Colon. Nik and I got to the game in time to see the Mets do their pregame warmups. It was nice to be right along the wall, where i was mere feet from Bartolo warming up and the non-starters hanging out watching things. Also nice was scoring a deGrom autograph.



When tickets went on sale back in March, I splurged for these seats and they did not disappoint. Seeing how balls came off the bat from this view, and how they flew down the third base line was pretty cool. The ball just flies off. The seats were great for the Bartolo at-bats alone!



Familiar story with very little offense once again. That said, Kelly Johnson got the start at second base and went 4-4 from the plate. I was certainly surprised by that. With a final score of 6-2, it clearly did’t matter much.



As I like to do on get-away day, I waited near the Mets bus for the players and others to come out. Sometimes players will stop to sign autographs, today none did. But for the most part, I like to see how the guys are dressed. Jerry Blevins was styling with a bowtie and we got a couple waves from James Loney and Jeurys Familia. Really of note was a selfie with Howie Rose!



Selfie with Howie Rose!

Regardless of the outcomes, though wins are the best, I always love seeing the Mets in person and not on TV. I should note that in addition to sitting through two brutal losses, the weather was so steamy that I don’t know how the players aren’t dying in their uniforms and other gear.

Next up: Rockies vs. Mets at Citi Field, also known to me as Mike Piazza Day, when the Mets will retire his number 31.

Road Trip: Mets Spring Training 2016

March 15th, 2016 Posted in Road Trips | 4 Comments »

Pitching staff watching deGrom

Travis d'Arnaud

For the second year in a row, Nik and I headed to Port St. Lucie for Mets Spring Training. (Read about last year’s trip here.) This year was a lot different for us. We went to two games instead of one and both were pretty much sold out.

Jacob deGrom

March 9 vs. Yankees

View from my seat

When I called to buy tickets, it was slim pickings for the Yankees game. (I find calling easier since you actually talk to a person and can have a little more say in where you’d like to sit as opposed to relying on an online seating chart.) All that was available were the high-top tables down in right field. Since my dates for the trip were not flexible, and we were going to that game no matter what, that is what I bought. We started out in section 112 watching warm-ups and I was letting my inner child out by seeking autographs. I came prepared with several baseballs, prints of pictures that I took during the 2015 season and a game program. (All I had last year was a game program and I didn’t try very hard for autographs.)

Curtis Granderson signing my ball

Jerry Blevins signing my ball

For most people, having Jacob deGrom on the mound was probably their highlight of the day. For me, it was a short conversation with Curtis Granderson about Chicago as he signed my ball. I even had a short chat with Jerry Blevins where I told him I’m glad he’s back and healthy to which he replied, “me too.”

Yoenis Cespedes

The game itself was pretty good. Our high-top table had a decent view, for the most part. It was nice to see some of the regulars get the start, even though the game ended in a tie. We didn’t roam around as much during the game as we did last year because it was pretty packed and hot. So it was just as good to stay in our seats and enjoy the atmosphere.

Wally Backman and players

March 10 vs. Cardinals

Nik and I got to this game a little earlier than the day before to check out the open practices on the back fields. I had never been back there before so it was a tad overwhelming with so many people roaming and me not knowing which players were on which field. So I did a loop and then I think I settled at the main back field? Not sure. But it was where the majority of players signed autographs, including David Wright and Addison Reed. (I was unsuccessful on getting Wright’s autograph, but Reed signed for pretty much everyone that was there.)

David Wright signing autographs

Addison Reed signing autographs

Once us fans were kicked out of the backfields, Nik and I made our way into the stadium and sat in section 112 until the rightful seat owners showed up. Once that happened we moved to our seats in 122 which were just beyond the Mets bullpen in left field. (We sat a few sections closer last year and were in line with the bullpen mound.)

Kevin Plawecki and Noah Syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard warming up

Noah Syndergaard

I love the seats in this area! You’re literally inches away from some of the players and it’s cool to see the interactions they have with each other and the different warm-up routines. Once the game started, Noah looked good. And the offense exploded more than the day before.

Ricky Bones and Jerry Blevins

Quick story: John Franco was in Mets camp as a guest instructor for a few days and during the Yankees game I noticed he stayed by the bullpen so I made it my goal for the Cards game to get his autograph. Since the bullpen is pretty wide open, players and coaches stand around pregame or sit on chairs. Franco was one of them. I politely got his attention, as he was talking to Frank Viola, and asked if he’d sign my ball. He came over. I said to him he can bring his friend Frank too. So Viola comes over and signs my ball and asks me if there’s anyone else I want. I said sure, how about your friend Wally (Backman)? He joked that he (Wally) wasn’t his friend. So he takes my ball over to Wally and asks him to sign it for me. (And he does!) Picture below.

Wally Backman signing my ball

Good times over the course of the two days at Spring Training.

Misc. notes from the two games

  • Before the Yankees game, Nik and I made our rounds through the small Tradition Field concourse and I splurged on the mystery grab bag for $40. I pulled a strip of paper that won me a piece of a Travis d’Arnaud game-used jersey. What was funny, the sticker was still on it and it retails for $35. Anyway, it was fun to take a chance and hope for something bigger.
  • I got to see Josh Smoker a few times when he was justinches away from me and he is one big dude. Meaty. Super nice as well, as we chatted for a minute when he signed my ball.
  • Overall autograph tally: Curtis Granderson, Wally Backman, John Franco, Frank Viola, Sean Gilmartin #36, Addison Reed #43, Duane Below #60, Logan Verrett #35, Josh Smoker #49, Jerry Blevins #39, Seth Lugo #67, Nevin Ashley #70 and I think Paul Sewald #79. (View the fille photo set to see the signed baseballs.)
  • The Mets are one good looking team!
  • My full set of pictures from Spring Training is here.
  • I can’t wait for the regular season to begin. Let’s go Mets!

The Sports Room: Before and After

March 1st, 2016 Posted in Sports Room | No Comments »

Several years ago I wrote about the sports room in the condo where Nik and I live. The room was already painted red and we decided to leave it that way because we lean towards darker furniture and picture frames. Since then I have collected more bobbleheads and autographed items such as pictures and pucks. We wanted to change up the room a little bit and hang more pictures but do so in a good, clean looking way. It also helped that we wanted a new living room couch so we moved the old one into this room and moved the Shea Stadium seats to a different wall in the room. I know I’m biased, but I think the room looks great. What do you think?

Some before pictures:



And after:

View from the doorway

The two Mets canvas pictures were taken by me and made into canvas’ by another Flickr member who makes them for work and wanted to use a different picture of mine, so we worked out a trade. the cabinet to the left of the couch was purchased at Ikea and looks really sharp. See below for a close-up.


Baseball case

A close look at the baseball case. (Purchased on sale at Michaels!) Top row: Don Larsen; Michael Cuddyer/Daniel Murphy/Anthony Recker (2015); Mets 50th Anniversary ball; 2nd row: Todd Hundley (I think); Angel Pagan (2010); To Julie from “The Count” John Montefusco (My mom was his nurse after surgery.); 3rd row: Street hockey ball signed by my teammates before I moved from NY; ball thrown by David Wright that Nik grabbed in Milwaukee; Another ball signed by “The Count” John Montefusco


The Blackhawks canvas above the closet is the picture that the other Flickr member wanted to use. All three of the canvas’ look great.


We got rid of the other puck display case and bought this new shelf unit from Ikea. I used some bobbleheads to help fill the space and there are two more shelves with space for pucks. (I have the pucks, I just need to order more puck holders.)


The bobblehead cabinet now has some room since I moved a few things around. It’ll be full again in due time. And of course, the Shea Stadium seats remain.

Read more about the bobblehead cabinet here.

Click here to see a few more pictures of the new layout.

Southpaw’s Valentine Delivery

February 12th, 2016 Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »


If you know me or follow this website, you know that the White Sox are my Chicago baseball team of choice after moving here in 2007. U.S. Cellular Field is nicer and more comfortable stadium than Wrigley. The food and beer options are better too. So over the years, Nik and I have met their mascot Southpaw a few times. (Here, here and here.) He’s easily one of my favorite mascots in all of sports.

Generally, Nik and I don’t do anything special for Valentine’s Day. If we want a nice dinner, we’ll go to one, no matter the time of year. Ditto chocolates or flowers. He’s always buying a small bouquet for the house. Needless to say, I was completely caught off guard and ridiculously surprised when Southpaw and his assistant showed up at my office yesterday. Apparently the White Sox offer a Southpaw Valentine’s Delivery to your home or office. Nik arranged for this several weeks ago and I had no idea. He had to have the help of a co-worker or two to facilitate getting Southpaw up to my office. My co-worker Chris was the one who helped out and captured Southpaw’s arrival and my great reaction:

Arrival and reaction from Julie on Vimeo.


I’ve honestly never been so surprised by something. Various co-workers came around to see what was going on and a few captured short video clips.

Another Day at the Office from Julie on Vimeo.

One-by-one, Southpaw gave me Valentine’s gifts:

  • 2 White Sox ticket certificates each good for one lower box ticket to a 2016 White Sox home game
  • Scoreboard message during the game
  • Photo re-print of the scoreboard message
  • Southpaw February “Bobble of the Month” – See picture below.
  • Autographed photo of a 2016 White Sox team member – I got Adam Eaton
  • White Sox baseball cap
  • Southpaw t-shirt
  • Personalized White Sox Valentine’s Day card
  • Heart shaped box of candy

The text of the card reads:

Due to the the recent signing of Cespedes we regret to inform you that our Mascot Travel Budget has once again been cut.  We were able to call in favor, we hope this will suffice.

Saul Katz
New York Mets
CC: Sterling Equities


Above: The card. Hilarious, right?


Southpaw even tweeted about his visit!

This Valentine’s gift and the surprise of it all is easily one of the best in my life. Thank you so much Nik for this. It’s a memory I’ll cherish forever.

A Few Words on Mike Piazza and the Hall of Fame

January 7th, 2016 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

It’s about time! Seriously, it’s taken probably a year too long for Mike Piazza to get voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. We all have our ideas why it took so long, but I’m not wanting to write about it. Other sites have that covered.

I don’t remember how I felt when the Mets got Piazza in a trade. I was in college and probably little preoccupied with other stuff. However, I do regret not splurging and going to a 2000 World Series game.

Fast forward to my first job out of college. I was a production assistant for Imus in the Morning at WFAN. That’s really when my fandom and love for Piazza grew. I lived near Shea, got tickets to games all the time. Summer at Shea was just the best. That said, I’m trying to remember why I wouldn’t have gone to the first Mets game following September 11 attacks. Regardless, what a night that was for Piazza, the Mets, the fans and the city of New York.

Mike Piazza story #1

I worked for Imus for two years and one year for the holiday’s a co-worker gave me a Piazza bobblehead and a black Mets Piazza shirsey. The bobblehead always stayed in my office.

One day after work I was in the neighborhood doing errands and had my cell phone turned off. When I finally turned it on, I had a voicemail from one of the other WFAN show producers that Piazza was in the studio and I need to come back. I called and was too late, he was already gone. I was totally bummed. The next morning I get to work and my bobblehead is gone from my desk. Turns out my amazing co-workers got him to sign the base of it.

Autographed Piazza bobblehead

Mike Piazza story #2

In 2003 the Mets still did their caravan (promotional appearances around the city) and I went to the WFAN/Mike and the Mad Dog appearance. I don’t remember the location but I do remember the players sitting around tables available for autographs and pictures. (That link goes to a few pictures from the event.) Mike Piazza was there, but his access was pretty controlled and so that is why there is a table separating me from him in the picture below. (Sorry for the bad quality, this was before camera’s got all fancy.)

With Mike Piazza

Mike Piazza story #3

This one is pretty recent – from the 2015 World Series and my water taxi ride to the game with Piazza, his wife and Jim Breuer. It was an amazing hour of my life and certainly in the top five days of my life. He was the nicest person possible. Signing autographs for everyone, posing for pictures and so on. I was on cloud nine.

Me with Mike Piazza

I just can’t express how happy I am for Mike Piazza on his Hall of Fame selection. I want to make the trip to Cooperstown for the ceremony, but with some other trips I’d like to take, we’ll have to see.

Crazy Sports Weekend: Part 2

November 12th, 2015 Posted in Hockey, Road Trips | No Comments »

Following the Hockey Hall of Fame, (see recap part 1 for more,) Nik and I headed to Bellwoods Brewery for a few drinks and lunch at BQM – Beer and Quality Meats. (I had a delicious burger and side of Poutine.)



[MORE: Crazy Sports Weekend Part 1World Series Game 3: Mets 9, Royals 3My Water Taxi Ride with Mike Piazza to the World Series]


Pens goal

It’s safe to say both Nik and I really liked Toronto. Maybe it was the location of our hotel being downtown, but both the Hall of Fame and the Air Canada Center were walking distance. It felt like we were in a spot to easily get places. (Though we did take a cab to the brewery area.) As for the game, Nik found tickets on StubHub a few month ago for seats in the upper level that weren’t too expensive. With the Leafs not being so good, I wonder if prices would’ve been lower had we waited.



The game was great. Our seats were the perfect spot to see everything on both ends of the ice. We had some goal scoring at our end, a few little scuffles and most importantly, a Penguins win. We even watched a little of the Mets/Royals World Series game during intermissions because the arena had free wifi. (Picture below.)

Mets game watching during hockey intermission. Thanks Air Canada Centre for free wifi!



Following the game, we headed back to the hotel and hit the bar for the end of the Mets game. It’s no secret that the wheels fell off and the Mets lost.

Views from taking off in Toronto and coming into Chicago:
Nice views leaving Toronto and arriving in Chicago today.

Regardless, it was one heck of a weekend. Three cities in two days. I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone other than my husband.

Full set of pictures here.

Crazy Sports Weekend: Part 1

November 10th, 2015 Posted in Hockey, Mets, Road Trips | 1 Comment »

Several months ago, long before the Mets playoff run began, Nik and I had plans for a weekend in Toronto, Canada. He was going to be there for work and I’d fly up after and we’d stay the weekend to visit the Hockey Hall of Fame and see the Penguins/Maple Leafs game. Then the Mets playoffs run happened and a fun few weeks began. Toronto was still going to happen, mainly because of the hockey tickets we had, but a stop in New York was going to happen first.

If you follow this site, you already know that Nik and I went to World Series game 3, so let me explain how it happened: Nik flew the morning of Friday October 30th to New York from Toronto, I flew in from Chicago. We had a great day in Queens and Manhattan, taking the water taxi with Mike Piazza and then seeing the Mets beat the Royals. We slept for four hours then took a Saturday morning flight to Toronto. We did a few tourist things, saw the Penguins beat the Leafs and flew back to Chicago the next day, Sunday. It was pretty crazy but extremely fun. Here is part 1 of the trip:

The Hockey Hall of Fame


2015 Stanley Cup Champions Display

My first visit to the Hockey of Fame was pretty enjoyable. It was a smaller space than I expected, but you can spend as much time as you want looking at the various displays and trophies in the Great Hall. It was cool to see how hockey equipment has changed, and improved, over the years. I can’t imagine the helmet of Denis Potvin being used in the present game.

Denis Potvin helmet

Terry Sawchuck chest protector

The Great Hall is home to a special vault that houses many things: portraits and bio information of the Hall of Fame members; the original Stanley Cup; all of the major trophies on display and the Stanley Cup as we know it today. The only disappointment for me was not seeing much (read: any) Whalers stuff around the Hall.

Wayne Gretzky display

Mark Messier display

Mario Lemieux display

One big highlight for me was the open access to the Stanley Cup. I’ve had my picture taken with The Cup several times before, but I’ve never had a chance to look closely at the engravings, so I really appreciate the access they allow visitors. (Little known fact, but which I knew, there are two Stanley Cups. One that mainly goes on the road, called the Presentation Cup, and the other that is a stand-in for it at the Hall of Fame.) The one we saw hadn’t been engraved with the 2015 Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks names yet.

Original Stanley Cup

The Great Hall

Stanley Cup in the Great Hall

Lastly, as a fan of older architecture, I really liked the exterior of the Great Hall:

Hockey Hall of Fame exterior

Hockey Hall of Fame exterior

Additional pictures here.