The Komets' Kelly Cup victory tour took them to Parkview Field on the Fourth of July, where they were greeted by a capacity crowd of 7,686 fans there to see the TinCaps take on the Great Lakes Loons.
Prior to the game, the Komets made their way on to the field with the Kelly Cup in tow. Chants of "Let's go Komets" rained down from the stands and playoff MVP Stephen Harper threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Instead of having a team employee catch the pitch, as is usually the case, Robbie Beydoun, decked out in a TinCaps jersey, crouched behind the plate like a catcher and reeled in the soft toss without a glove.
"I was a bit nervous there, I was actually throwing a couple balls with (Randy) Gazzola earlier in the day just to make sure," said Harper, whose voice is nearly gone. "As soon as I saw Robbie didn't have a glove on, I knew I didn't have to throw any heat."
After being showered with cheers and a standing ovation on the field, Komets veteran Shawn Szydlowski reflected on the previous 48 hours since winning the Cup.
"It's starting to (sink in) a little bit, now that we finally get to do stuff like this," Szydlowski said of the ceremony at Parkview Field. "Take (the Cup) around town, show it off to the fans and stuff, the immediate reception we got when we brought it into the field today was awesome. ... It's such a tight community so to be able to come out and share it with other athletes and fans, it's pretty cool."
"It doesn't mean much if there's no one to share it with and we have a ton of people to share it with," he added. "The support they show, it makes you feel like you're playing at a higher level than you are. It makes you feel, like I said (Friday), they're NHL fans and it's almost an NHL arena. That's an atmosphere that other teams have to play in and that's why we're usually so successful."