Friday, February 3, 2012

Gordie Howe in a Lightning Uniform and Other Photos

I was flipping through my photo box looking for a particular photo to replace the one I have on my header on this site and stumbled across a collection of sports photos I've taken over the years. Since I don't feel like writing a lot today and I haven't posted a Chicago photo in forever I figured I'd give you, my loyal readers, a quick photo journey.  Here we go:

Baltimore Orioles

Albert Belle stretching some time in 2000. Pretty sure Albert is debating throwing a baseball at me.

 BJ Ryan warming up vs Rays 2001? Some would say he was the last true closer the O's had.

Saint Leo College Baseball

Thomas B. Southard Stadium Saint Leo, FL - Play at the plate probably 1997 or 1998 1996. One of my favorite photos of all time. Can't remember the catchers name at the time - Link or Saint Leo Mike help me out? (edit - Per fellow Saint Leo Monarch Pat - the catcher's name is Bryan Lafata.)

AL Lang Field, St Petersburg, FL 1996  - Link at the plate 1997 or 1998 - Before he was a part time blogger and full time steel-slinger he was the only hitter I've ever seen who could hit a home run that almost took off the second baseman's head.  Line shots that kid hit.

The Horse Track

Tampa Bay Downs 2002 - I probably bet on this horse.  I'm pretty sure he didn't win.

The Lightning and Hockey
 The Ice Palace 10/2/1999 - Opening night and Mr. Hockey was there to drop the puck.  Damn seamless glass messed up what would have been a nice photo to have.  In case you were wondering I had tickets in the lower bowl, 10 rows up that I bought the day of the game at the box office.  Cost - $40.00.

 Ice Palace 10/2/1999 - Felix Potvin looking at the action behind the net. Felix the cat always had some of the best pads in the game.

Ice Palace 10/2/1999 - A better shot of his pads with the cat face on them.  With the equipment I had at the time, pictures of the goalie were really the best I could do.

Ice Palace 10/2/1999 - Darren Puppa don't need no mask to keep his crease clean!

Ice Palace 10/2/1999 - Well maybe he does.  The Lightning actually won this game 4-2.  If I'm not mistaken that might have been the only time they were over .500 that season.

 Ice Palace  10/2/1999 - Puppa's backup that season - Dan Cloutier.  Pictured here not fighting anyone.

Ice Palace November 1999 - Freddie Modin.  The Cory Cross for Modin trade is usually the first move I look at that built the 2004 Stanley Cup team (other than drafting Vinny, of course).

 Ice Palace - No idea - I'm pretty sure this is Jassen Cullimore, but I'm not sure when I took this photo.  In 1999-2000 he wore 27 and Bruce Gadiner wore 5, and I don't have any other photos from the Rangers vs. Lightning to get a better grasp of when the game was played.

 Ice Palace November 1999 - TUCKSIE!  A young Darcy Tucker finished with 34 points that year. That was good enough for 5th on the team in scoring.  Not a good season for the Lightning.

 Ice Palace November 1999 - The captain for the Lightning at the beginning of the year - Bill Houlder! This was actually taken at Houlder's last home game with the Lightning.  A few days later he would be put on waivers and claimed by Nashville. Later that season a 19 year-old Vincent Lecavalier would don the "C" on his sweater. Which lasted about a season and a half.

Ice Palace November 1999 - Mike Sillinger.  Also known as the last Lightning player to wear the number 26 before Marty St. Louis. Sillenger was traded in March of 2000 and Marty was signed in July of that year.  I have a feeling that it's going to be the first jersey number retired by the organization  when Marty retires - which should be around 2031 or so.

 Ice Palace November 1999 - There he is!  A young Vincent in his second year. So young, so hopeful. He would score 25 goals that year starting a streak of 11 straight seasons with at least 20 goals.

 Ice Palace November 1999 - The Undertaker!  (Because he buries pucks - at least that's what the billboards said).  Stephane Richer would bury a total of 16 goals for the Lightning during parts of two seasons with the club.  He also fancied nice suits and loafers with no socks.

 Ice Palace November 1999 - In case Steve Guolla needs to prove to his kids he played in the NHL. Just kidding.  Steve actually logged over 200 games in the NHL with Tampa, San Jose, Atlanta and New Jersey.

Ice Palace November 1999 - We finish with Chris Gratton. Seen here in his second tour of three tours of duty with the Lightning.  He would be sent to Buffalo in March along with a 2nd round draft pick in a good ol' blockbuster deal that netter the Lightning Corey Sarich, Wayne Primeau and Brian Holzinger.

The Sabres would use the second round pick for Derek Roy - not bad.  When the Lightning acquired Gratton for a third time they dealt Florida a second round pick in the 2008 draft as well.  That player turned out to be recent TTM signer Jacob Markstrom.

I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

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