Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Fanatics Sports Show - Chicago, IL

March 21, 2015 ~ We heard that the Fanatics Authentic Show in Chicago, Illinois was worth checking out so we figured why not! When we checked the line up of who was going to be there we were really excited about meeting retired St. Louis Cardinal, Ozzie Smith!

We flew into Chicago's O'Hare Airport and took a taxi to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center (formally known as the Rosemont Convention Center) which was just a few miles from the airport! We were looking forward to meeting our buddy, John Sutherland at the show as we don't get to see him near as often now that he lives in Peoria, Illinois.

We are always looking for unique and somewhat rare items to have signed and most things that people were getting signed was the basics... helmets, balls, pictures, etc. but these two items were pretty cool. The seat back is of the 1985 Chicago team and the jacket was an NFL Hall of Fame gold coat with all the guys inducted in the Hall of Fame! Pretty neat pieces!

First thing we got to do is a photo opportunity with Ozzie Smith!
 That was pretty cool and I have to say he was a really nice guy! 

Next up was time to get a couple things signed....

Next it was Brandon's turn....
Ozzie was a really nice guy! 
(Of course Brandon told him next time he is in Columbia, MO (he is there often) to give him a call and Brandon would take him to lunch! Ozzie laughed and said he would look him up! Hilarious!)

They had a little of everything here. From jerseys to signed balls to unique paintings both with and without autographs. (If you are a baseball card collector this was your show... tons of cards!) With this show being held in Chicago we didn't find a lot of St. Louis Cardinals stuff but one of these days I will add a unique piece of Michael Jordan to my collection as they had some great ideas for framing/displaying!

 When I saw this piece I knew I wanted it... 
I know it doesn't have autographs on it (which would have been really cool) but it's a unique canvas piece that I haven't seen around and something I don't have in my collection! 

I knew I had to have this piece when I saw it too! 
This canvas piece was autographed by Lou Brock, Bob Gibson and Ozzie Smith! It's gonna look awesome once I get it framed! (Picture doesn't do it justice... looks awesome!)

Remember the book and movie "Field of Dreams"? 
Well I had a chance to meet the author/actor, Dwier Brown at the show and of course I got an autographed book! 

I'm glad we checked this show out and got to catch up with John! He had to get back home for dinner plans and we were ready to check something else out before we headed back to the airport.

We headed out to Rivers Casino which was just down the road from the convention center. We figured we could get something to eat and maybe try our luck! 

We had never been to this casino. We got our cards and when we earned 10 points we get a scratch card and was guaranteed to win something. So we found a couple of machines.... (Normally we play penny slots but they didn't have very many penny slots instead they had a lot of 2-cent slots... not something we like to play) and sat down to play! They were $1 machines and within several quick turns I hit $380.00!!!! That was a enough for us to cash out and go collect our scratch ticket! I won $15.00 in free slot play and Brandon won $10.00 in free slot play. We were hungry (which is why we went there in the first place) so we went to their buffet! It was actually really good and of course my favorite is the desserts!
This tasted like a key lime pie.... (wasn't called that)
They called this a key lime cheesecake.... didn't have as much lime as I like but good!
Forgot what this was called but tasted like a chocolate cheesecake!

Enough with all the food...
it was time to try our luck again!

This was the 3rd big hit of the evening!
Woo Hoo!!!
Brandon must have been really tired (notice his almost closed eyes) but he was having fun too!

 This is what fun looks like!
After a couple more good hits it was time to cash out (we paid for our entire trip in just a couple hours of fun... Sa-weet!!!) and head to the airport!

This was a fun trip and I love having flights from Columbia, MO to Chicago, IL and Dallas, TX for these "wild hair" trips! A little over an hour in a plane vs. 7-hours in a car then 7-hours back.... I'll take the plane any day! (If you plan enough ahead you can find good prices on flights)

See ya next trip!

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