I-X Center will be filled with sports memorabilia, such as
these bobbleheads, today through Sunday at the National Sports
Collectors Convention. Legendary athletes such as Don Larsen
and Gordie Howe are scheduled to be on hand for autograph
(West Life file photo by Kevin Kelley)
weekend awaits Northeast Ohio sports fans
show, Bridgestone Open
and Football Hall of Fame inductions scheduled this week
By Matt Pawlikowski
Published Aug. 1, 2007
great events come to Northeast Ohio this week, making it a Mecca
for sports fans not only in the Westshore area, but also the country.
Starting with the National Sports Collectors Convention,
the Bridgestone Open and finally the Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction
Ceremony and game, what a week it will be, as Ohio takes center
stage in the world of sports.
National Sports Collectors Convention
A sure not-to-miss event, The
National Sports Collectors Convention comes to the I-X center
in Brook Park for the second time in three years. There will be
a grand opening for all consumers tonight from 5 to 9 p.m. for a
special sneak preview of the world’s most famous sports collectibles
Included will be free autographs, gifts and first
chance at all the rare promos given out by Topps, eTopps, Upper
Deck, Donruss, Press Pass and other major hobby manufacturers. Also,
the first 2,000 attendees at the Sneak Peek will receive a specially
created random SAGE-Game Exclusives Draft Jersey Swatch Card of
either Brady Quinn, JaMarcus Russell, Troy Smith or Adrian Peterson.
The Show Floor will be open and admission is free for all VIP Admission
attendees. One-day admission tickets may be purchased at $15 each
in advance through the Web or $17.50 at the I-X Center ticket window.
The Autograph Pavilion will have several exclusive “Wednesday Only”
This Friday is sponsored by Radio Disney - All youngsters
15 and under will be admitted at no charge on Friday. There will
be special giveaways and other activities for Kid’s Free attendees.
Bob Golic, the former Notre Dame and Browns star, will be signing
free for kids from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Greg Pruitt, a member of
the Browns Hall of Fame, will sign from noon to 1:30 p.m.
The National has grown to be a mega-event which can
be housed in only a few locations in the country. But it still attracts
all aspects of the collectibles industry. No other event can boast
of participation by most of the licensing agencies of the major
professional sports world, along with dealers of vintage card and
collectibles and the most current collectible products anywhere.
Other athletes expected to sign during the event are
Bob Feller, Eric Dickerson, Bart Starr, Jim Brown, and Dante Lavelli
to name a few. For more information, logon to www.nsccshow.com.
16th hole at Firestone Country Club is just one feature of the
Bridgestone Open, which begins play this week in Akron. (West
Life photo by Matt Pawlikowski)
If that’s not good enough to whet the palate, the Bridgestone
Invitational, formerly known as the NEC World Series of Golf,
will attract some of the world’s greatest golfers to Firestone Country
Club in Akron beginning on July 31.
Leading the way once again is Tiger Woods, who has
won the last three titles at Firestone Country Club. While everyone
knows how dominant Woods has been on the tour during his career,
it seems the greens at the fabled course bring out the best in him.
In 32 career rounds at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone
Invitational, Woods has led following 14 of the rounds, including
14 of 28 at Firestone Country Club, and has won the event five times.
Jim Furyk also has played the fabled South Course
well, and is one of just two tour players to have a hole in one
on the course, as he aced the 221-yard 15th hole last year. He’s
had eight top ten finishes in the Bridgestone Invitational.
Other players in the field who will be watched are
Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, and local favorite Ben Curtis.
The Bridgestone Invitational is one of three World
Golf Championships sanctioned and organized by the International
Federation of PGA Tours, which includes the Asian Tour, European
Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Southern
Africa Tour. The other World Golf Championships include the Accenture
Match Play Championship and the CA Championship.
Daily tickets at the gate are $55, while a weekend
ticket runs $95 for the final two rounds and included free parking.
Children 12 and under are free if accompanied by a ticketed adult.
For more information, call (330) 644-2299.
Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony
And finally the premier event of the week, the Pro
Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremony this Saturday along
Hall of Fame game the next day. This year marks the first time
the ceremony has gone to primetime as it was moved to 6 p.m.
Six legends this year, including former Browns standout
and Avon resident Gene Hickerson will join the NFL’s elite. Included
in that cast, are Thurman Thomas, the oft-outspoken Michael Irvin,
Bruce Matthews, Charlie Sanders and Roger Werhli.
Hickerson, who is long overdue for enshrinement, is
remembered as one of the most dominant linemen of his era, clearing
the road for another Hall-Of- Famer, Jim Brown. There are still
tickets available for the ceremony at a cost of $52 for the floor,
or $27 for the stands. For more information, call (800) 983-9788.
The game itself is sold out, and features the hated
Pittsburgh Steelers along with the New Orleans Saints kicking off
the 2007 preseason schedule. NFL Network will televise the
preseason classic. It marks the first time that NFL Network will
carry the game, and it will feature two names known to the local
football scene; Westlake native Josh Houser, and former Brown Jeff
Oh, and did we mention the great package that the
Bridgestone Invitational is offering?
Called the Bridgestone Invitational, Pro Football Hall of
Fame Sports Fan
Package, it includes:
• Weekly Bridgestone Invitational, Championship Club
Ticket with one ticket for each day, Tuesday through Sunday.
• Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony
Ticket (Reserved Sideline Seating) for this Saturday at 6 p.m.
• Enshrinement Celebration Party, held prior to the Enshrinement Ceremony on
Hall of Fame Grounds with barbequed cuisine, beer, music and fun.
• Pro Football Hall of Fame Admission, valid for one
day between July 31 through this Monday, and the price for all this
is just $215
here or call 1-877-942-4849 for more ticket information.
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