Bruce Brodsky will never forget watching St. Louis Blues center Doug Wickenheiser score the winning goal — after what seemed like sure defeat — in Game Six of the 1986 Stanley Cup playoffs.
“The rafters were shaking the people were banging their wooden seats, cheering, hugging, high fiving,” Brodsky said.
Today, Brodsky’s tickets to the game now known affectionately among fans as the Monday Night Miracle are on display at the St. Louis Public Library’s new exhibit: “50 Years of Blood, Sweat and Cheers-A Tribute to the St. Louis Blues and their Fans.” It runs at the library's central branch through March 4.
Hockey Skates, face masks, and jerseys aren’t objects often associated with public libraries, yet those fan contributions take center ice with the new exhibit. Brodsky said he believes it’s that fan dedication that makes players proud to “wear the blue note.”
The exhibit was organized by the St. Louis Public Library with help from the St. Louis Blues organization. Dasher boards, trophies, a goal complete with a paper maché replica of goalie Glenn Hall and a net-side judges box adorn the Great Hall. Jerseys, helmets, game pucks, ticket stubs and posters are on display in the library’s third floor Carnegie Room.
Blues Executive Vice President Bruce Affleck said it wouldn’t be possible without a serious assist from fans who contributed items to the exhibit.
“They’re the ones who have collected things," said Affleck, , who worked on the show with Cathy Heimberger, director of marketing and programming at the library. "We’ve had eight different owners over the years and a lot of things have disappeared.”
More than 100 fans responded to the library’s call to supply items for the exhibit.
Brad Parker saw his first Blues game in 1973, and still has the program. He’s most proud of his framed 1968 letter from Coach Scott Bowman to a player, inviting him to come to training camp. Parker said he hopes his contribution helps visitors take away a little something from a time before every game was available on cable — images of an era visitors otherwise might not have access to.
“You get a sense of the history here, of what you maybe missed out on, and things they gave away, just the history of the team,” Parker said.
The display also includes pictures of super fan Ron Baechle, known as the “towel man,” player Tim Ecclestone’s old blue and yellow skates, 30 jerseys, 60 game sticks and other memorabilia. The library will become the official archival home of the team after the exhibit.
If you go
What: “50 Years of Blood, Sweat and Cheers-A Tribute to the St. Louis Blues and their Fans”
Where: St. Louis Public Library Central Branch, 1301 Olive St, St. Louis
When: Through March 4, 2017