Chicago Blackhawks president and CEO John McDonough spent 24 years working for the Chicago Cubs before joining the Blackhawks in 2007. So it seems somehow appropriate McDonough would take the Stanley Cup to the park where he grew up playing Little League baseball.
That's what happened Saturday, when for the second time in three years McDonough brought the most iconic trophy in sports to a public event held at Brooks Park in the Edison Park neighborhood of northern Chicago.
Following a fun morning spent with the Cup, McDonough was the guest of honor at a meet-and-greet that started around 11:30 a.m. With a crowd of about 3,000 expected at the nine-acre park, the event kicked off with Blackhawks anthem singer Jim Cornelison providing a stirring rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
The event also was hosted by Blackhawks public address announcer Gene Honda. It gave thousands of passionate Blackhawks fans a chance to see the Cup and meet the man who is partly credited with bringing about the hockey renaissance in Chicago. Illinois State Sen. John G. Mulroe was on hand to celebrate, and the crowd cheered when McDonough hoisted the Stanley Cup into the air.
The day started with McDonough bringing the Cup to Advocate Children's Hospital, where the trophy made the rounds visiting a number of pediatric patients. The large gathering at Brooks Park was sandwiched between that hospital appearance and a series of private events to be held through the night.