The St. Louis Blues might not be playing just yet, but they were well represented at the 2020 Missouri Athletic Club award ceremony.
Over the last 49 years, only members of the Missouri Athletic Club were able to vote on their yearly awards. For the 50th anniversary, that changed and the St. Louis Blues definitely benefitted from it.
St. Louis is notable across the country for being the quintessential baseball town. More often than not, an offseason baseball story would grab a headline before an in-season hockey story.
Despite this fact, Blues fans have gotten much better at getting out the vote in recent times. They helped make David Perron a last-minute All-Star in 2020 and now they got a high number of Blues selected as part of a half century of history.
The MAC honored the Top 50 St. Louis Sports Personalities of the last 50 years during their yearly awards in 2020. The Blues got 13 men named to this high-profile list and also drew the top spot as well.
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The man most synonymous with the Blues, Brett Hull, was named the top personality of the last 50 years. Beyond just the fact he played for the Blues, he probably fits the dictionary definition of the award too.
Plenty of St. Louis Cardinals might have been more well known to the fans around the city, simply because they were Cardinals, but the Redbirds have often had more reserved guys that carried themselves a certain way. Hull was a loudmouth that got away with a lot because he scored a ton of goals and had a million-dollar smile to hide it.
Hull was never that rude, trash talking guy that you’d hate if he played for someone else. He spoke his mind though, whether that was to the media or to coaches.
His feud with Mike Keenan quickly went public and, though Hull won, was eventually part of the reason he wore out his welcome with the Blues. The flip side of that is that he was fiercely loyal to his teammates, often defending the guys that got little playing time, like Tony Twist, Kelly Chase or Brenden Morrow.
Hull could rub you the wrong way or he could make you laugh. One thing is for sure though, he made hockey truly relevant in St. Louis.
That is not a knock on his predecessors, but without Hull the Blues probably get sold and leave the city. There is probably not an arena where the Enterprise Center currently stands.
While baseball will always be tops in this town, the fans still realize this about Hull. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he’s the top goal scorer in franchise history and fourth in that category in NHL history.
The Cardinals are well represented in the top 10, notching seven of the top 10 spots. However, the most notable inclusion might have some recency bias.
Though he has only played two seasons in a Blues uniform, Ryan O’Reilly has shot up the ranks of Blues fandom. Helping lead the team to a Stanley Cup will do that and the fans rewarded him with the eighth spot on the Top 50 Personalities list. I credit that hat he wore during the championship parade.
In total, the Blues franchise had 13 representatives out of 50. Given the long and rich history of the Cardinals, and football being king in America no matter what people say, that’s a pretty good total for hockey.
Hull got the top spot and O’Reilly cracked the top 10. Bernie Federko came in at 23.
Personally, I’d love to have seen Ken Wilson make this list. But, in the grand scheme of things he never achieved the broad appeal of Dan Kelly.
There are notable names not on the list, like some of the big names of those early Blues teams. However, given the online nature of the vote, which tends to skew younger anyway, it’s nice to see so many Blues players in the top half of the list no matter what.
Who would you have added to the list for the MAC Top 50 of the last 50 years? Let us know. You can check out the entire list here.