Last night Blueshirt Bulletin was a sponsor for a Q&A
session with Brian Leetch and Don Mattingly at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC.
The event was held in a very intimate setting – the crowd
couldn’t have been more than 80 people. Some of that was due to weather, but the main reason was that the event
was designed to give people a very personal experience with the two New York sports legends.
Blueshirt Banter has a recap of many of the questions that
were asked of Leetch which you can find here. We’ll have a longer story in the next issue of BB, but I’ll share my
initial impressions here.
Leetch is generally very guarded with the media, so it was
very refreshing to see him in a relaxed atmosphere. His charisma and sense of humor really shined
in this setting, and the folks that attended this event got to see a completely
different side of Leetch than we’re used to. He cracked jokes about how the Stanley Cup is the best trophy because it’s
the only one you can drink out of, how a recent meeting with Mike Keenan was
the first time he could call them ‘friends,’ and that Claude Lemieux would be
the one NHLer he’d spear if he got the chance. Leetch was also very honest about steroids and admitted that if someone
he respected was doing them, he’s not sure how he would have reacted.
Mattingly also was very entertaining, and at the end of the
event fans had the opportunity to take photos with both players and everyone
received an autographed baseball bat and an autographed copy of “100 Ranger
Greats.” But a funny situation ensued as
people left: due to the weather some of the event staff were handing out
garbage bags to keep these mementos safe from the elements.
One more key tidbit. Earlier this week Wayne Gretzky pledged to play in an alumni game
next year should the Rangers be invited to participate in the Winter
Classic. I asked Leetch, who’s playing
in an AHL alumni game next week, if he’d also be on board. His response was ‘absolutely’ and he seemed
extremely excited about the possibility. Obviously the teams for next year’s Classic haven’t been determined, but
the opportunity to see a Rangers alumni game is tantalizing.