Friday, June 2, 2023

Mackenzie Longo Visits Section 36!

Photo: Soozie Harrison
Section 36 had another visitor! 
Mackenzie Longo is passionate about positive empowering young women, a future educator, and the current Miss Three Rivers. I was so thrilled that she wanted to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more.

So, let's see what happens when Mackenzie Longo visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Three Rivers crown?

To be honest, I did a little happy dance around my college apartment after I received the call from Alysa, our current Miss PA, since it was a sweeps title. I called some friends and family, and then immediately got to work because I was just SO excited.


Is there a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss Three Rivers?

As Miss Three Rivers, I would love to provide science kits to at least two or three more schools, and hopefully partner with a major science program in the Pittsburgh area. Pittsburgh is a hub for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, so forming a partnership with one of the many businesses/programs in the area would allow me to leave an impact on a broader audience!


What has been the most pleasant surprise about your time as Miss Three Rivers?

Right now, I am working on getting together items for a silent auction basket and making appearances in the Pittsburgh Area. Pittsburghers are known for being friendly and supporting their own, and I am so honored that I have been able to experience that. The outpouring of support from the community has been lovely, and the opportunities that I've gotten from this experience are ones that I will never forget. I was recently honored by our soccer club, the Riverhounds, and the love I felt from the community and crowd during the game is something I can't even put into words!


How did you select your community service initiative, “If You Can See Her, You Can Be Her”?

Growing up, I never really had any strong female role models in science. I thought that to have a career in science, you had to be a scientist who worked in a lab alone OR go into medicine. Neither of those things interested me, but I had always loved experimenting and my science courses. As I got older and was choosing a career path, I realized that I could use my passion and love for science to help other young women. 


What can you tell me about “The Excellent Experimental STEM Experience”?

The Excellent Experimental STEM Experience, or TEESE for short, is the biggest outreach part of my community service initiative. I have created science kits for kids with tons of different experiments. I currently have two different kits designed, and also have a YouTube channel where I do the experiments myself. I know that students learn differently, and I want to acknowledge that! I have donated over 150 kits to students in two different age groups - 1st graders, and 5th/6th graders.


You just graduated from Seton Hill University with a degree in Biology. Where do you see that field taking you?

As of right now, my goal is to become a high school biology teacher. I chose my program because it allowed me to pursue my science degree while also receiving my teaching certification, and then if I choose not to stay in education, I have options. I hope to share my love of science with others, and show what types of careers there are in STEM. Eventually, I plan to earn an Ed. D. with a focus in STEM Education and move to higher education!


If you could be a Disney character for a week, who would you choose? Why?

That's a really tough one. If we're considering Star Wars characters to be Disney characters, then I would probably say Princess Leia. She is just the definition of a strong, powerful woman, and I have always loved Star Wars since I was a little girl. If I went with a traditional character - it would have to be Belle. I absolutely love reading, and to have access to her scope of a library would be a dream.


If you had an extra ticket to see the Red Sox play the Pirates, who would you take with you? Why?

I would most definitely have to take my older brother, Rob. He is a huge sports fan - so much that he made it part of his career! Growing up, I always remembered him being a big Red Sox fan, and whenever they came to town he would wear a Pirates jersey and Red Sox hat to the games. If he had to choose a MLB team other than the Pirates, I think they would still be his pick!


Is there a feature or activity at a baseball game that you’d especially like to experience?

One of the traditions at Pittsburgh Pirates games is the Great Pierogi Race, which is more or less exactly what it sounds like. After the 5th inning, a bunch of mascots dressed as different Mrs. T's pierogis race around the warning track at the edge of the field. I think it would be fun to be Jalepeño Hanna just once so I could wack my competitors with the purse she carries. On a more general note, I've always wanted to throw out a first pitch!


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The pierogi race is just so weird!

As always, I want to thank Mackenzie for visiting with us, and for sending along the pictures to go with the interview.

I also want to wish her luck when she competes for Miss Pennsylvania! It would be fantastic to have another Section 36 Forever wear that crown.

I'm sure you'd like to follow along with Mackenzie during her journey. You should be sure to check out her title's Instagram account. It's a great way to keep track of everything she has going on, and you'll be sure not to miss anything. You'll also want to check out the TEESE website to see everything it has to offer.


Thanks again Mackenzie, and good luck!

Thursday, June 1, 2023

2022 Topps Heritage Blaster

Yup. More Cards! Let's try some more 2022 Topps Heritage. I'm noticing that I've opened a lot of this already. Was it more readily available than in the past? Did nobody else buy any and leave it all for me? I promise I didn't stalk the vendor and clean out his supply or anything. Just happened upon them on trips to Target. They were just always there for some reason.

How did this box go? Let's find out!


Here we go with the box. You probably know what it looks like by now. Weird that they put that line between Judge and Guerrero to make it look like those are two pictures. Wonder why they felt the need to do that.


And more packs. I know I say it every time. I need to save one of the Devers/Bogaerts packs.


JD was so eager to leave Boston, apparently the card was rushing away too. Luckily I was able to grab this blurry image before it completely left the frame. JD's grumpy face tells you he's not pleased with that development.


Dalbec, on the other hand, is perfectly happy to have his picture taken. Hopefully he'll have more opportunities in Boston to take more.

But, that was it. Just the two Red Sox this time, and neither one is technically in Boston. Oh well. 

How about you? How did you do?

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Brianna Cross Visits Section 36!

Section 36 had another visitor! 
Brianna Cross is passionate about second chances, a future investigator, and the current Miss Carson City. I was so excited that she wanted to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more.

So, let's see what happens when Brianna Cross visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Carson City crown?

Nevada is an open competition state meaning I did not have to compete for my local title! I met the requirements and was graced with this platform. Definitely cried happy tears when I received my first ever title as my hometown!


Is there a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss Carson City?

During my reign as Miss Carson City the biggest thing I’ve worked toward accomplishing is turning my project into a non profit to benefit recovering addicts. “The B.A.R.R. Foundation” will take off and work towards a cleaner and healthier state.


What has been the most pleasant surprise about your time as Miss Carson City? 

Going into this I didn’t know what to expect, by far the most pleasant surprise has been becoming best friends with all of the other local titleholders. We’re such a close group of friends I wouldn’t want it any other way. 


How did you select your community service initiative, “Raise the B.A.R.R.”?

Before I was born both of my parents were drug addicts and dealers. If they didn’t receive help I would not be here. Everyone deserves a second and better chance at life, and I want to be someone to assist with that process. 


How would you complete the sentence, “I get great satisfaction when…”?

“I get great satisfaction when I am able to spend quality time with my friends and family outside of my community service.”


You’re working towards a career in law. What drew you to that field?

Criminal justice is something that I’ve always been passionate about. Being a victim of a few crimes myself and never receiving justice, I want to make sure that doesn’t happen to anyone else. Every person deserves justice in some form. My ultimate goal is to work for the Nevada Department of Investigation, where I’d be gifted the opportunity to catch crimes before they are committed. 


If you could be a Disney character for a week, who would you choose? Why?

I’d have to choose Rapunzel from Tangled. Despite her being held in captivity almost her whole life, when she gets out she has this stunning outlook on the world. Even though she was met by consistent negativity in her situation she only saw the good and the beautiful in the world when she escaped. 


If you had an extra ticket to see a Reno Aces baseball game, who would you take with you? Why?

The extra ticket would go to my sister. Nicole is my best friend and my true inspiration, I take her everywhere I can. She’s done nothing but love and support me in all of my endeavors, the least I can do is take her to a game. 


Is there a feature or activity at a baseball game that you’d especially like to experience?

Recently at an Aces game I was pulled to play one of the games that happen between innings. I’d love to be able to do that again. 


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Those games do always look like a lot of fun!

As always, I want to thank Brianna for visiting with us, and for sending along the pictures to go with the interview.

I also want to wish her luck when she competes for Miss Nevada! It would be fantastic to have another Section 36 Forever wear that crown.

I'm sure you'd like to follow along with Brianna during her journey. You should be sure to check out her title's Instagram account. It's a great way to keep track of everything she has going on, and you'll be sure not to miss anything.


Thanks again Brianna, and good luck!  

Monday, May 29, 2023

2022 Topps Stadium Club Blaster!

Time for another box of Stadium Club! Such a beautiful set that is always fun to open. I can appreciate a set that simply lets the photos do the talking. No need for fancy obtrusive graphics. Simply a picture, with the important details hidden away. Very well done. 

How did this box go?

Let's find out!


Even the box lets the photo really shine. 


Same with the packs, and that really annoying "Master Photo" thingie. Did Topps take a poll and figure out what size to make the card to ensure it wouldn't fit anywhere in anything to make storage impossible? Or, were they just lucky that way?


Now, that's a photo. Definitely not the sort of thing you see in flagship.


Another great shot. Is the best part the look on Xander's face? Is it the sheer excitement you can see in Devers...even from behind? Or, is it Section 36 making a cameo in the upper right corner? I'll let you decide.


Duran may have struggled as a rookie, but he apparently hit at least one home run, and got a ride in the cart. Have teams been instructed to do these dugout celebrations? These days every team seems to celebrate with a cart or a hat or a jacket or whatever, and parades down the dugout with a perfectly placed camera. Seems like a directive from the MLB PR department.

But, there you go. A couple former Sox, and one who will hopefully star for years to come. Not a bad mix.

How have your boxes gone?

Friday, May 26, 2023

Ava Walker Visits Section 36!

Photo: Jonathan Adams
Section 36 had another visitor! 
Ava Walker is passionate about supporting camps, and the current Miss Green Mountains' Teen. I was so excited that she wanted to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more.

So, let's see what happens when Ava Walker visits Section 36!

What made you decide to compete for the Miss Vermont’s Teen crown?

I decided to compete for Miss Vermonts Teen for the sole reason of the scholarships at the beginning. I shortly realized that it’s SO MUCH MORE than that. It’s the sisterhood, and mainly the service that I have loved. 


What is your favorite memory from the recent Miss Vermont’s Teen competition?

My Favorite memory from Miss Vermonts Teen weekend was my talent on stage, but offstage I would have to say hanging with the girls. There are only a few advantages Vermont gives us, and one is having Miss Vermont and Teen weekend in one. I was able to become so close to not only the teens, but the Amazing Misses!


What has been the biggest surprise about your time as Miss Green Mountain’s Teen?

My biggest surprise as Miss Green Mountains Teen was to meet my Miss Yamuna. In Vermont, since it’s such a small but beautiful state, I was able to choose my title, and I chose Miss Green Mountains Teen, since it resembles me best. I met Yamuna and I knew she was giving the girls a real run for their money(all of them did!!) and Yamuna won!! I cried, I have to admit!


How did you select your CSI?

I selected my CSI Happy Campers: To allow kids with cancer to go to summer camp; because I have grown up going to summer camp, and also cancer runs in my family unfortunately. I wouldn’t have the life I have without camp, as I am fortunate to go every summer, which some kids are not as lucky. With my CSI, I have created Avas Ribbons which are childhood cancer ribbons for a dollar a piece. All money is going to Camp Ta-Kum-Ta. 


If you could be a Disney character for a week, who would you choose? Why?

If I could be a Disney character for a week, I would 100% choose Rapunzel. Tangled is my favorite Disney movie, right behind Dumbo and Bambi are close seconds. I would also love to have her long amazing hair!! 


If you had an extra ticket to see the Red Sox play at Fenway, who would you take with you? Why?

If I had an extra ticket to see the Red Sox, I would bring my best friend Emily. She is actually the person who got me somewhat interested in baseball and almost forced me to do the competition!


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That sounds like fun to me!

As always, I want to thank Ava for visiting with us, and for sending along the pictures to go with the interview.

I'm sure you'd like to follow along with Ava during her journey. You should be sure to check out her title's Instagram account. It's a great way to keep track of everything she has going on, and you'll be sure not to miss anything.


Thanks again Ava!  

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