I want to thank everyone involved with the recognition I received recently for the 20 years and 900 consecutive games with the Blues... especially SCP Worldwide, The Blues front office, and anyone else who played a part in my special night on Friday 1/26.
In case you missed it, I was asked to drop the ceremonial first puck before the Blues-Wings game that night. But before I did, wife Barb and I were accompanied to center ice by Blues President John Davidson. The ceremony was hosted by Kelly Chase, who had some incredibly nice things to say. “True professional” and “Iron man of the Blues family” are what I remember most.
JD presented us with a wonderful framed, limited-edition poster of the Blues retired-jersey players shown in action shots. It was signed by all of the living retired-jersey Blues…Sutter, Federko, MacInnis and Hull. Also pictured are the late Barclay Plager and Bob Gassoff. It’s a great piece and will have a very special place in our home. Alongside will be the number-20 jersey (for twenty years) presented to me by Captain Dallas Drake on behalf of the players. I’ll get that signed by them before putting it up on the wall. The team also gave us a trip to Chicago on the team charter for an upcoming game. That will be tremendous fun.
I have to say that the things are nice. But, during the ceremony, at the moment that Dally presented me with the jersey, the players from both teams stood at their benches and rapped their sticks on the boards. I have to admit that brought a little extra moisture to this old announcer's eyes. A spectacular memory for me.
Also that night, the team took care of my family and some friends in grand style with a suite and refreshments. Everyone enjoyed that…and it wouldn't have been nearly as special without my “special people” on hand. I know my 86-year-old mother said she was probably more nervous than I was. Since I wasn't really nervous, just in a daze, I have a pretty good idea how wound-up and excited she was. I'm sure it meant a lot to mom. While my sons were both out of town, I'm sure they were there in spirit.
One thing about that night that was somewhat surprising was the fact that Fox-Midwest, and outstanding director Tim Pabst, carried the whole ceremony. The Blues must have asked to have that done because many times the puck-drop ceremonies and the anthem are covered up by a commercial break. This night Tim waited until the commercial break was over to carry the ceremony. I’m guessing that the team wanted it that way to show the fans some of the history and tradition still associated with the “Blues family” even though there are new owners in town.
I will be getting some photos of the whole thing from team photog Mark Buckner shortly. Bill Greenblat..who shoots independently…was also there and promises some shots too. Thanks to Curt Price of letsgoblues.com for the photos on this post. Keep coming back and I’ll have some more for you soon.
Once again, I was thrilled at the way it all was handled. And to anyone who has extended a hand or a good wish, I say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.