Summer Fun

Alan’s second-to-last week of summer break was jam-packed with fun activities.  It was a true representation of what a great summer weekend should be like.

On Friday night we returned to the baseball field to hit balls for the first time since before Alan’s surgery.  Alan was hitting mostly everything I pitched to him and ran the bases several times.  He was thrilled to get back on the field.  Afterwards, as we were packing up, Alan happened to see Ella from Mrs. Russo’s class at the park with her Mom and sister.  Alan stopped to play with them for a while on the playground, and then they chased fire flies together.  Ella also gave Alan an orange wristband to go with the friendship rock from earlier in the year.  After going home, we played chess and also continued to work on a car that Alan, an engineer in training, started to build out of a box. 🙂

On Saturday we began the day at The National Sports Collectors Convention (The NSCC).  After lunch, Alan and I stopped by the annual summer carnival at Golden Gate Gardens and participated in a cake walk and played a ball toss game together.

Afterwards, I took Alan to his friend Josh’s house to play for a couple hours.  Somehow the day was still just beginning though, as the highlight of Alan’s day was going to see Tyler and Carleigh.  First they played in a bounce house at Katie’s graduation party (where a photo was snapped of all the cousins), and then they played at Grandma Debbie’s house.  They ended up having a good four hours together in the two locations.  Alan let his cousins drive his “box car.” 🙂

On Sunday morning we headed back to The NSCC, before spending the rest of the day at the Indians game.  Lastly, we closed the weekend with one final game of chess!

Next weekend — the final one of summer break — figures to be another fun one too!

Tribe Game No. 4 of 2018

It was jersey day for our trip to the ballpark today, with Alan wearing Lindor’s #12 and me wearing Miller’s #24.

To make it to the game on time, we had to hurry over to the ballpark from The National Sports Collectors Convention (The NSCC).  When we got to the gates, Alan was handed Indians trading cards in honor of the upcoming National Trading Card Day (8/11/18).  They complemented Alan’s haul of trading cards for the day quite nicely!

Up in the Kids Clubhouse, Alan practiced his leadership skills by managing the train table for the afternoon.  In recent weeks the table had been put in a storage closet due to all the trains having been taken home by kids.  However, Alan decided to bring 3 trains from home (Thomas, Percy and a caboose) so that the table could be set up again.  He took responsibility for accounting for the trains and rotating them among the kids.  He did a great job managing the table!  (Note: The Thomas and Percy trains were the same ones that came with him to his very first ballpark visit in 2013).

After the game, Alan continued his Sunday tradition by rounding the bases and touching home.  Then we met Robbie and Jill in the stands before heading out.  Hopefully it’s not the last time we’ll have a chance to go to a game with them this season!

2018 National Sports Collectors Convention

This weekend Alan and I made a two separate visits to the 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention at the I-X Center.  The event was held in Cleveland (Wednesday-Sunday) for the first time since 2014.  I attended that year and have been looking forward to bringing Alan to his first card show ever since.

Saturday

After checking out the opening night preview on Wednesday, I set a game plan and brought Alan with me on Saturday morning.  Our first stop was to the PSA table, where I dropped off my Rose Bowl tickets and an autographed Jim Tressel business card for grading.  There Alan and I also had personal trading cards made!  I was excited to wear the greatest Indians jersey of all time – the late 80s/early 90s Municipal Stadium era version with the red, white, and blue-striped border.  Alan had a more modern look, sporting his blue practice jersey with the block C.  🙂

The next stop was Alan’s favorite activity – the indoor Ferris wheel.  Alan loved how it peaked through the roof and allowed for a view of the neighboring airport.  We looked out for planes at the top of each rotation!

After the ride, we browsed the booths on the convention floor and picked up a 1948 World Series highlight DVD, a 1958 Rose Bowl game film DVD, and a 1975 OSU-Michigan radio broadcast CD.  When we came across some vintage baseball equipment, Alan felt relieved that the catcher’s gear he wore this year has improved since the early 1900s model!  On the way out we took a photo by the entrance/exit (LeBron is shown top left).

Sunday

Alan and I decided that one day at the convention was not enough, so we returned again on Sunday morning.  When we arrived, we bought two commemorative items – a convention pin and poster.  While waiting in line, a Panini representative passed out a redemption card to Alan to turn in at the Panini booth.  We found it was for a 10-card VIP set that included Baker Mayfield, along with 9 other top rookies in the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

Being a kid at the convention definitely had its perks, as Alan also received free cards from two other booths.  For the first time Alan got to experience the thrill of opening a pack of cards and getting a player from his team, as one of the packs contained a sharp Duke Johnson Donruss card.  The only cards that we ended up having to purchase were the latest 3-card installment from the Topps Living Set that included Francisco Lindor! (along with Andrew Benintendi and Austin Meadows).  When buying the set the Topps booth we came across some great fortune, as the 3-card set we purchased included a redemption card for a 11×14 print of Lindor signed by the artist, Mayumi Seto.

Of course we had to ride the Ferris wheel again too, after having so much fun with it the day before.  Alan also got a kick out of the fun house mirrors right around the corner from the Ferris wheel.

Before leaving, we viewed some more memorabilia, included some LeBron Cavaliers gear and a Satchel Paige game-worn Indians jersey!

   

My hope is that this convention will spark Alan’s interest in the same hobby that I have enjoyed since I was his age.  I think he definitely started to understand what I see in trading cards and sports memorabilia at least.  I think the odds are good that we’ll go to another show again someday!