FOREST PARK – The fountain outside the Missouri History Museum is bubbling water that’s bright blue, and maybe offering proof that the St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup winning slogan, “History Made,” has some real legitimacy. Missouri History Museum Director of Exhibitions Jody Sowell says the team and the slogan fit right in.
“I tell people that there are lots of moments in history where we say, ‘I remember where I was when …,'” Sowell points out. “Often times when we’re saying that, we’re talking about tragic situations or serious situations. But there are people who are going to remember for the rest of their lives where they were when the Blues won their first Stanley Cup.”
On the museum’s second floor, easily accessible from the main entrances, some of the relics of the magical cup run of 2019 are on display. Names such as “Schwartz” and “Gunnerson” take center stage in a place normally dedicated to Lewis and Clark.
“It’s easy, when people hear ‘Missouri History Museum,’ to probably think of the Mound Builders or the steamboat era, or building of the Arch, and those are important historic moments, but sports can provide important historic moments as well,” Sowell said.
Blues Vice President Randy Girsch said that some people with the team were a little bit “in awe” of walking among the giants of history.
“For the Blues to be here in the history museum after winning the cup for the first time in 52 years really means everything for the organization,” he said.
It also means quite a bit to the team’s fans, who even a full summer removed still can’t get enough of the memories made by the local hockey club. For some, this touches memories that go far beyond just the last 12 months.
“From the days of playing street hockey when they first started, to the very lean years of the ’70s and ’80s when they actually had cheerleaders in the stands – it just brings back a flood of memories over that time span,” lifelong fan Dwight Watson said.
There is something to be said for having the foresight to gather all of the jerseys, pucks, sticks and gear on display here. From the perspective of the museum, equipment managers and other team employees also deserve the title “historian.”
“The St. Louis Blues did an amazing job of being historians,” Sowell said. “Chronicling every puck that goes in the net and labeling it to make sure we know from what game that was and who scored it. Yeah, they were doing amazing history work.
“That’s why this partnership works so well, because they were truly historians in their own right, helping us to tell this important St. Louis story.”
For the team, the chance to share one more piece of the run with those who backed the club makes the exhibit special. Not all the big memories were on the ice, after all.
“The thing that I think sticks out to me the most, and the thing that makes this exhibit so important is that the fans came out,” Girsch said. “We had 55,000 people downtown for the Game 6 home game watch party. Just watching outside in the street as the game is going on outside. Then just the sheer numbers of people that came out for the parade to just celebrate with the players as they’re running up and down the street with the cup. “
For fans such as Watson, it’s a history that will be carried forever in their hearts. Not just within the walls of a museum.
“To see the Blues finally win it, and to think back to all the players, from Scotty Bowman, the first coach to Bob and Barclay Plager, and Glenn Hall and Jacques Plante and so many others over the years. Garry Unger and Bernie Federko,” Watson continued. “The pride they have to feel in this organization just sends chills up your spine thinking about it.”
The exhibit will be on display at the Missouri History Museum until Jan. 26, 2020. Admission is free.