Marty Vescovo’s love for hockey started when he was seventeen and attended a St. Louis Braves hockey game with his dad and brother prior to leaving for the marines in 1963. When he was discharged in 1966, he returned to find St. Louis was being awarded an NHL team. His brother and he wasted no time in obtaining season tickets. After attending the first few games, he felt watching was not enough; he had to play the game. He bought new skates and spent most of his extra time attending public skating sessions at Winterland and Steinberg rinks. It was 3 months later that he played in his first Senior Men’s hockey league. As the popularity of hockey increased, much of it due to the Blues success, he began coaching. To learn more about the game, he attended many Blues practice sessions, taking numerous notes. Marty Vescovo - 2009 Spirit Award Winner While both coaching and playing hockey, one of his favorite techniques was to have the better players on his Midget team participate in some of his Senior Men’s games. The result was a competitiveness that pushed his players to a higher level. Marty felt that playing alongside Dave Bates, Dan Pupilllo, Tom Ward, Gary Richterkessing, Mike Davis and Gary Crowder was like having on the job training. Many of Marty’s fond memories resulted for his association with some of the early Blues Players. Coaching and working with the Valley and Creve Coeur associations was also memorable. Having the opportunity to play with some of the best amateur players in St. Louis also stands out as something special. But the one that is very important is when his 1976 Midget team, having been counted out of the competition, fought back and worked their way to the Championship game. Even though they lost that game, the team had a plaque made thanking Marty for being their Greatest Coach. Many players on that team expressed that the consolation prize was really the Gold Medal to them, just realizing that they were able to make it that far. To Marty, he will always remember and love those kids! But with all of those memories withstanding, being recognized by the St. Louis Amateur Hockey Hall of Fame is ultimately the best moment he has had concerning his hockey life. Just being a part of the growing ice hockey movement since the Blues arrived in 1967 has been an awesome experience. Marty gets much satisfaction seeing the many Blues Alumni and players both he and they have helped develop be involved in coaching and participating in amateur hockey throughout the St. Louis region. Marty would like to again thank everyone involved for honoring him tonight.