Spikes vs. Black Bears – Ki-Jana Carter Bobblehead Night & Autograph Signing

Last Sunday, the 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention came to an end.  But I’m still going.  This show must go on!!!

On Friday night I attended my fourth and final minor league game of the summer.  The game took place in State College, PA between the Spikes and the West Virginia Black Bears.  The Spikes went on to lose 3-2.  A local Shikellamy High School graduate, Nick Dunn, was recently drafted by the Cardinals and plays for the Spikes right now.  I got to see him score.  I suspect he’ll get his first cards in Bowman Draft later this year.

There were two reasons why I wanted to attend this game.  The main objective was to be one of the first 1,000 fans through the gate so I could obtain my Ki-Jana Carter bobblehead.  The former Penn State running back and 1994 All-American was also in attendance.  Before the game started he was down on the field giving interviews, throwing out the first pitch, and handing out additional bobbleheads to fans.  Shortly after the game began, the Spikes had a table setup for him down the first base line.  Once he started signing, the line moved fairly quickly.  I got him to autograph my Rawlings black/gold Penn State football.  Everyone was allowed (1) autograph and (1) photo.  This was the first time I had ever participated in an autograph signing during a baseball game.  It went very smoothly.

Ki-Jana Carter was the Round #1 Pick #1 in the 1995 NFL Draft.  He went on to play for the Bengals, Redskins, Packers, and Saints.  For the price of a ticket, I got a bobblehead, autograph, and photo.  Not too bad.

Penn State running back and 1994 All-American Ki-Jana Carter

Nookie Monster!

State College Spikes second baseman Nick Dunn

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State College Spikes vs. Mahoning Valley Scrappers – 8/9/15 – The Bus Bobblehead Night

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A lot of fans came out to watch the State College Spikes take on the Mahoning Valley Scrappers on Sunday night.  Good baseball wasn’t the only reason people came out though.  It was Jerome Bettis bobblehead night!!!  The first 1,000 fans through the gates received a commemorative Jerome Bettis Hall of Fame Gold Jacket bobblehead.  I think the coolest part of this specific bobblehead is that the platform he’s standing on is in the shape of a bus.  Jerome Bettis was once or still is involved with a company that owns different minor league baseball teams including the Spikes.  That’s why I think they did this.  Plus he was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame over the weekend too and is a PA favorite.

The Spikes went on to win 4-1 over the Scrappers.  Instead of having chicken fingers and fries, I went for a cheeseburger this time.  I could smell them on the grill while waiting to get in.  Everything in the gift shop was 20% off as long as it had black and/or gold on it.  So I picked myself up a new “Fear The Dear” t-shirt.

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LuCKy the Lion from Lion Country Kia.

Lancaster Barnstormers vs. Bridgeport Bluefish – 5/30/15

Every summer I try and get to a handful of minor league games.  Specifically on days they’re giving out bobbleheads.  This year I’ve got tickets for the Williamsport Crosscutters, Harrisburg Senators, State College Spikes, and the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.  On the day I go see the Iron Pigs they aren’t giving out bobbleheads, but I’ve never been to Coca-Cola Park before.  So that will be a whole new experience for me.

The Lancaster Barnstormers give out great bobbleheads.  They aren’t always of players, managers, and/or mascots related to the team either.  Many times their bobbleheads focus on historical or famous individuals from the Lancaster area.  On Saturday, May 30th the Barnstormers gave out bobbleheads of Robert Fulton to the first 1,000 fans.

Robert Fulton was born in Little Britain, PA which is located in the southern portion of Lancaster.  He is credited with inventing the first commercially successful steamboat called Clermont.  Fulton was also commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte to design the Nautilus, which was one of the first usable submarines in history.  Early torpedoes used by the British Royal Navy were another invention of his.

The Barnstormers have two more bobblehead nights this year.  On July 18th they will be giving out bobbleheads of golfer Jim Furyk.  Johnny Weir bobbleheads will be given out on July 31st.  While I was there, I picked up a new pin for my collection too.  They should be getting a few more new pins in later this season.  Lancaster won 10-0 that night.

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Cylo!

Hershey Bears vs. Worcester Sharks – 12/21/13

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I swear the Hershey Bears have the best chicken fingers.  They’re very crispy.  Then again, I think every place has the best chicken fingers.  Last night I got to see the Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals) take on the Worcester Sharks (San Jose Sharks).  The Bears lost 3-2 ending their three game winning streak.  While I was there, I picked up a new T-shirt, pin, and it was Joel Rechlicz bobblefist night.

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The first 5,000 fans received a Joel Rechlicz bobblefist figure.

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Hershey Bears RW Joel Rechlicz.  He actually has a bunch of cards from Upper Deck, including some from their high-end The Cup product.

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RW Brandon Segal

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FIGHT!!!

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Hershey Bears vs. Syracuse Crunch – 4/6/13

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Last night I went to see the Hershey Bears play the Syracuse Crunch.  The Bears are associated with the Washington Capitals and the Crunch are with the Tampa Bay Lightning.  The Bears lost 2-1 in this action packed game.  I’ve only attended a handful of hockey games but this one has to have been the most entertaining as it was filled with fights.  I like how the refs just let them go at it for a while and then jump in when it gets too serious.  Sometimes I believe the players just do it for the entertainment factor.  The crowd really cheered whenever a fight would break out.  Just like gladiators.

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Dany Sabourin – has a handful of cards ranging from UD SP Authentic, Between the Pipes, and Heroes & Prospects.

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Pat Nagle

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FIGHT!!!

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Coco the Bear

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The stadium giveaway was a Hershey Bears Pinnacle logo golf ball sponsored by Fairview Golf Course.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: Monday Night Matchup – Raiders vs. Seahawks – November 30, 1987

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Leading up to the Monday Night Football game on November 30, 1987, Seahawks lineacker Brian Bosworth was all talk about how he was going to stop Jackson.  Anyone who watched the game knows that Jackson ran all over the Seahawks running for 221-yards and scoring 3 touchdowns.  When scoring his third touchdown, Jackson literally ran Bosworth right to the ground.

If there was anyone that had the chance to make it into both the Baseball Hall of Fame and Football Hall of Fame, it was Bo Jackson.  Unfortunately due to injury both careers were cut short.  Now when we look back all we can think about are the “what ifs”.

Brian Bosworth on the other hand will go down as one of the biggest busts in NFL history.  The hype he built around himself didn’t hold up.  He was a target, a talker, and a marketing machine.  Bosworth certainly knew how to entertain the public and sell tickets.

Hershey Bears vs. Charlotte Checkers – Bobblehead Night!

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Yesterday evening I headed to the Giant Center to see the Hershey Bears take on the Charlotte Checkers.  The Bears won the game 2-1 scoring two goals in the 3rd period.  The Bears are associated with the Washington Capitals and the Checkers are associated with the Carolina Hurricanes and the Florida Everblades.

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Before the game started, the Bears President-GM Doug Yingst had a special announcement to make.  Next year will be the Hershey Bears 75th anniversary.  To celebrate this giant occasion, on January 20th, 2013, the Bears will take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in an outdoor game much like the Winter Classic we have witnessed over the last couple of years.  The game will be played in Hersheypark Stadium.

Its been a long time since I attended a hockey game.  This was my first time at the Giant Center.  I highly recommend the pretzels.  They aren’t those hard things you normally would find at a sporting event.  The pretzel I had was warm and soft.  I believe it was handmade right on the spot.

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Face-Off

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The first 5,000 fans that attended the game last night received Keith Aucoin bobbleheads.  This bobblehead features Aucoin in a home jersey.  They did make some rarer ones that have him in an away jersey, but you had to do something special to get your hands on one of those.

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The Bears booster club was selling a ton of pucks they got signed.  For a couple of bucks I picked up this Chris Bourque autograph.  Bourque currently plays LW for the Bears.  His father, Ray Bourque, played for the Boston Bruins and went into the HOF in 2004.  I also picked up a new pin for my collection.