Thanks in large part to fans and collectors, hockey lovers in the Midwest now have a chance to experience the history of the St. Louis Blues.
St. Louis Public Library christened a new exhibit Monday entitled “50 Years of Blood, Sweat and Cheers—A Tribute to the St.Louis Blues and their Fans.”
After a call from the team and the library, collectors and fans offered memorabilia on loan, including game-worn jerseys, game-used sticks, vintage programs, ticket stubs and other items.
Located at the Central Library on Olive Street, the exhibit is free and will remain open through March 4.
The exhibit’s curators created a display that is meant to make visitors feel like they’re in a hockey arena. Inside the second floor Great Hall is a 75×32 foot ice rink floor, complete with original dasher boards from the Arena, a
Glenn Hall statue replica, goalie net, season ticket holder holiday cards from the Salomons – the original owners of the team and wall murals of past and present players.
Skate upstairs to the Carnegie Room on Third Floor and step into the Blues Locker Room to see 30 player jerseys, including the original prototype St. Louis Blues jersey, 60 game-used hockey sticks and eight display cases filled with memorabilia on loan.
Collector Alan Farris, an attorney from Sparta, IL, dropped off 30 jerseys from his collection, 21 of which are on display, according to StLToday.com, which covered Monday’s opening. His wife ironed them all.
“It’s been a labor of love,” Farris said of his collection, admitting he sometimes wears some of the jerseys that are in sturdy shape.
“The depth of the tradition, the longevity of the franchise, the
quirky little details of the some of the items produced over the years: everything from various programs to a Keith Tkachuk lunchbox. It’s quite an array,” said Blues Chairman Tom Stillman. “It’s probably the tip of the iceberg for what’s really back in the various closets and cabinets in a lot of fans’ homes. It speaks to our passionate fan base.”
Several Blues players toured the exhibit last Friday before it opened to the public. Library officials believe fans will make it a pre-game stop as the season continues.
SLPL’s Central Library is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Following the closure of the exhibit in March, Central will become the official archival home of the St. Louis Blues. Under the new partnership, SLPL will archive fan donations and all team items such as printed materials, photos, programs, rosters, contracts and records, as well as team-issued jerseys, pucks and sticks.