|Legendary D.C. sportswriter Shirley Povich|
and Bethesda Big Train mascot Bunt
find themselves shrunk into
Tim Kurkjian of ESPN, an alumnus of Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, said this season proved that any team has a chance to make the playoffs, and that unlike last year, he wouldn't make early predictions. But he did predict Washington Nationals phenom Bryce Harper would one day be in the hall of fame. Kurkjian lamented the rush of today's sportswriters and bloggers to tweet and post the story first, without being sure it's accurate. Asked how MLB could adjust the season to prevent winter weather conditions during playoff and World Series games, Kurkjian said he feared the season may only get longer, with even greater expansion of the postseason field now on the table. One bidder during the live auction won a "priceless" dinner-for-8 package with Kurkjian at Bethesda's Hard Times Cafe.
|Abe Lincoln helps himself to|
a glass of ice water
|Bethesda Big Train mascot Bunt tries to sneak|
up on a tray of appetizers, but the server
is already on to his game
Other popular items included a Bruce Springsteen album signed by The Boss himself, a luxury vacation to Florblanca Resort in Costa Rica, and a 42 movie poster signed by Harrison Ford and Alan Tudyk, among others. And for Redskins fans, a chance to sit behind the end zone at FedEx Field for their December 8 game versus Kansas City (and an RGIII autograph, to boot).
The auction was conducted by Pat Haggerty, a local journalist and professional auctioneer, who also appeared in the Borat movie.
Lots of local businesses donated packages, including Equinox at Bethesda Row, Eyma Salon, Sandy Spring Builders, L.A. Boxing, Secolari, Port City Brewing, My Gym, Kicks Karate, Build-a-Bear, Honest Tea, Rockville Town Square's Buffalo Wild Wings, Dogtopia at White Flint, and BCC Baseball.
The Nationals threw in an autographed Louisville Slugger from Jayson Werth. How about a Mariano Rivera autographed ball, from the best closer ever to play the game?
Then there were the food packages, including a Bethesda Beer and Bar package from BlackFinn, Union Jack's, Rock Bottom, and - as the odd bar out - Gaithersburg's Dogfish Head Ale House. Rockville Town Square, Park Potomac, Kentlands, Cabin John Shopping Center, Bethesda Row, White Flint and Tysons Corner were among the restaurant destinations represented.
Attendees enjoyed a variety of foods, much of it ballpark-themed. There was even a stadium vendor wandering the crowd with free Cracker Jack. Try getting something free at a Nationals game!
Rounding out the guest list was a trio of mascots: Abe Lincoln, who somehow managed to work the crowded room without falling, and the Big Train's Homer and Bunt.
Stay tuned for video from the event!