It’s extremely likely that most people in St. Louis know the recent history of St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, but here are some videos and stories from St. Louis’ sports past you may not have seen.
In 1958, the NBA Championship belonged to St. Louis. Bob Petit scored a then-record 50 points in Game 6 to beat Bill Russell’s Boston Celtics. The Hawks were sold in 1968 and moved to Atlanta to become the Atlanta Hawks. That 1958 Championship is still the Hawks’ only title.
The Spirits of St. Louis played two seasons in St. Louis as part of the American Basketball Association. Bob Costas got his first job out of school with that team. Here’s some video with him doing the commentating. The Spirits were not one of the teams invited to join the NBA. Their owners elected to take a percentage of the television contracts of the 4 ABA teams that joined the NBA, forever. The Silna brothers have earned a little over $200 million dollars from the deal. It’s still known as one of the greatest deals ever in professional sports.
The St. Louis Blues didn’t always always play at Scottrade Center downtown. From their inception in 1967 to 1994, they played at the St. Louis Arena. The Arena sat just north of where the St. Louis Science Center is now. Check the Wikipedia page for a really cool history of the “Ol’ Barn On Oakland Avenue”. Here’s a video history of it.
Between 1979 and 1982, the St. Louis Steamers indoor soccer team would reguarly draw crowds of 18,000-19,000 people to the Arena. Here’s a sweet video promo they did for the 1984-85 season. If you get bored easily, fast forward to the 6:30 mark.
Many Blues fans have amazing memories from the Ol’ Barn, a place where you had to pick your feet up while walking because the floor was so sticky.
The Blues’ charity arm is named the ’14 Fund’ after Doug Wickenheiser, who scored the game-winner in the “Monday Night Miracle“.
In the early 1990s, it was the beginning of the end for the St. Louis Arena.
Brett Hull fired the shot that started the demolition of the Kiel Auditorium parking garage to make way for what now is Scottrade Center.
How much of a part of Blues’ history and the history of the St. Louis Arena was Brett Hull? Check out this video.
In 1999, after an agreement couldn’t be reached on a way to reuse the Arena, it was blown up to make way for development. Actually, a plan was submitted to redevelop the Arena. When Kiel Center Partners built the $35 million dollar Kiel Center downtown, now known as Scottrade Center, it was with the agreement that the Arena not be competition for the new building. The late Bob Cissilly, of City Museum fame, had a plan for the “Ol’ Barn” that would have been a lot more attractive that the current office buildings and Hampton Inn next to the Science Center off 40/64. You can read all about the plan in this article from the Riverfront Times.
Here’s a great video Fox2 did of the implosion.
Did you know from 1960-1987 St. Louis has two teams named the St. Louis Cardinals? The City had an NFL team named the Cardinals as well. Here’s some video previewing a game in 1980 at the old Busch Stadium.
The football Cardinals played their last game in St. Louis on Dec. 13, 1987 before moving to Arizona. To this day, if your name is Bidwell you should probably not admit it in crowds of lifelong St. Louisans.
In 1999, the St. Louis Rams fielded the “greatest show on turf” with Kurt Warner under center. The Super Bowl hero turned out to be Mike Jones. . . barely.
For a season and a half, the St. Louis Athletica played here as a member of the WPS. Hope Solo was the team’s goalkeeper.
Some members of the Athletica even tried to make living in Fenton look good.
Any post mentioning “St. Louis” and “sports” in the same breath really has to include the baseball Cardinals. Even though this post is about other St. Louis sports, here’s a great video to end it. Some nights you just. . .win the Word Series.Brought to you by Mills Properties Logo courtesy of Sportslogos.net