By Sean Botti
I grew up in Ottawa but have never been interested in the touristy things one would associate with the City. I only visited the Parliament buildings once, and it was because I had a job interview for a Senator. I didn’t get the job.
More recently, I discovered what quite possibly is the largest personal collection of Ottawa Lynx memorabilia ever. The Ottawa Lynx! Who can forget the City’s former almost big-time baseball team?
For those who have forgotten, the Ottawa Lynx was a minor league team formed in the early ’90s. They played 15 seasons and were probably best known for being an affiliate team for the Montreal Expos.
The Ottawa Lynx set a record for the lowest attendance in their last season. That’s right; they came first place in having the least amount of people show up. What’s more Ottawa than that?
Darwin Howard, a local businessman, played a pivotal role in bringing the Lynx to Ottawa. He pitched the idea (no pun intended) to the City nine times before they agreed. The International League stipulated that a stadium needed to be built to host the team, which explains why Ottawa randomly has a baseball stadium off the Vanier Parkway. Side note: because the ballpark is so close to the road, fly balls would occasionally cause a hazard to nearby traffic.
I came across the largest personal collection of Lynx memorabilia on Instagram via @thriftingwithbrady. I got lost in a long scroll and found myself filled with nostalgia looking at all the cool and rare Lynx pieces Brady Warnock, the owner of the collection and the account, has been able to find. Now, this is something I can get behind, and I’m not alone because he has more than 2,000 followers. It helps that Brady has a well-curated page and his Instagram photo is of Lenny the Lynx, the loveable mascot. Brady recently started @Lennythelynx to showcase Lynx gear specifically.
I was lucky enough to chat with Brady about his collection and ask him how he got into amassing Lynx stuff. When he was younger, he would go to Lynx games every week on Friday nights and Sundays during the day. He’d sit on the far left side of the stadium where the kids sat and watched. His family couldn’t afford Lynx merchandise, so he only started collecting items when he began thrifting as an adult.
When he first started thrifting, he decided Lynx gear would be his niche. He says he has about 80 to 100 pieces at the moment, from clothing to mousepads, keychains, and blankets. He is still hunting for specific items, such as a jacket with a massive Lenny face on the back.
I’ve always liked the original pinstripe Lynx baseball jersey before they rebranded and replaced Lenny with Skratch as the mascot, as well as more aggressively styled logos. Brady and I could agree that Lenny and the original symbols were the best.
Brady finds most Lynx stuff locally, but has discovered some things in the U.S. and even Thailand. He tells me that his only plans for his collection are to keep it in the family, although he has hinted that he has something in the works with other collectors.
Be sure to catch Brady @therealflymarket on April 23 at Rideau Curling Club 715 Cooper St. He’ll be selling some of his thrift finds there. Oh, and he’s probably in the market for any Lynx gear you might still have at your parents’ house, so get in touch.