Chikara Pro Wrestling's King of Trios event. It was three days and nearly nine hours of independent, family-friendly wrestling, highlighted by a 16-team tournament to crown the best three-man tag team. I spent some time catching up with long-distance friends and meeting new folks. On Saturday afternoon, Chikara held a fan conclave, which gave fans a chance to meet their favorite wrestlers, shop for merchandise, play board games and video games, and participate in trivia contests. There was even a talent show.
As I was wandering around the gymnasium where the conclave was held, I noticed Chikara ring announcer Gavin Loudspeaker making the rounds. He's just as dynamic a personality as the wrestlers themselves; he pops up at the beginning of each show in tight leather pants and a vest, usually accented by a bright, colorful scarf. He runs laps around ringside, greeting fans and jumping up on the ringside seats to whip the crowd into a frenzy before the matches begin. Anyhow, Gavin was dressed more casually than usual on Saturday afternoon, and his black Orioles tee caught my attention. When he had a free moment, I approached him and struck up a conversation. I told him that I'd been able to attend the team's division-clinching win last Tuesday, and that I already had my playoff tickets reserved. He actually came out from behind his table and gave me a hug. It turns out that Mr. Loudspeaker (which is most probably not his real name) is a lifelong O's fan, and he was at Memorial Stadium to see the team's Game Two win over the Phillies in the 1983 World Series. He was about 10 years old at the time, and was thrilled to see his team succeed on the largest stage possible. He would've seen John Lowenstein go 3-for-4 with a double and a solo homer in support of Mike Boddicker, who limited the Phillies to three hits in a complete-game effort.