Royals pitcher Chris Young always will have a special connection to the Hall of Fame.
Not the Baseball Hall of Fame, of course. His fine performance and win in Game 1 of this World Series was not enough to get him in there. Nor will his career as a frountcourt player at Princeton ever get him to Springfield and the Basketball Hall of Fame.
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Young, who still is listed as the Game 4 starter despite his relief effort against the Mets in Game 1 on Tuesday, is particularly fond of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. He visited there when the Royals played the Blue Jays in the American League Championship Series along with his wife, Elizabeth, who has four family members enshrined in the hockey hall.
She is the great granddaughter of Lester Patrick, a pillar of the Rangers and the National Hockey League, who has a plaque in the hall, as do his brother Frank, son Lynn and grandson Craig.
"I gave her a hard time, because I think in the past she told me five [honored relatives]. She stood corrected this morning," Young said in Toronto, the day before he faced former Mets teammate R.A. Dickey in Game 4 of the ALCS. The couple took their youngest son to the shrine the previous day. "It was a wonderful experience, it's an amazing place, the tradition, the family history for her. It was fun for both of us to experience. I had been in the past before, she had been as a child. But for her to go back today and she was able to take a picture next to the statue of her great-grandfather, she saw her grandfather's name etched on the Stanley Cup.
"So it was a great experience for all of us and certainly I appreciate the hockey heritage that much more," he said.
New York and Kansas City have crossed paths in hockey. Craig Patrick once played for the Kansas City Scouts and later was general manager and coach of the Rangers. The Scouts, an expansion entry in 1974, made a trade with the Islanders that helped the latter team. The Islanders dealt Larry Hornung and Bart Crashley for Bob Bourne, a key member of four Stanley Cup runs.
After two years in Kansas City, the Scouts became the Colorado Rockies. In 1982, they left Denver and became what they still are today, the New Jersey Devils.
Kansas City did build a new hockey-ready arena, the Sprint Center, within the past decade. The Islanders played an exhibition game there in 2009, which was seen as a none-too-subtle threat by owner Charles Wang that he might move the franchise there (before he settled less farther west, in Brooklyn).