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Baby breaks record by sitting in Stanley Cup 20 minutes after birth

Ann Marie Vancil became youngest person to go in championship trophy

by Pat Pickens @Pat_Pickens / Staff Writer

Ann Marie Vancil sat in the Stanley Cup before she was even an hour old.

The infant became the youngest person to ever go in the Cup when she snuggled into the championship trophy 20 minutes after she was born Tuesday.

Ann Marie, the daughter of diehard St. Louis Blues fans and St. Charles, Missouri residents Clark and Beth Vancil, was born at 10:04 a.m. CT at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis. The 8-pound, 12-ounce, 20-inch newborn became the first person to sit in the Cup in her first hour of life, passing the previous record of 97 minutes set in 2010.

Tweet from @FollowMercy: Setting records at only 20 mins old, this little lady will do great things! And don't worry, @StLouisBlues fans, no one touched the cup! What's life without goals? Get our free "Baby on the Way" guide: #StanleyCup #STLBlues #WeAllBleedBlue

"Ann Marie was the reason the Cup came to us that day," Clark Vancil told "I think we're going to be pretty fortunate; that she's going to bring a lot of amazing things to our life."

Clark and Beth had heard rumors that the Cup would be at their hospital Tuesday but figured they'd miss out on the opportunity since Beth was scheduled to deliver at 1:30 p.m. But after she came out three-and-a-half hours early, Clark was approached by a nurse at Mercy Hospital shortly after Ann Marie was born and was asked if he and Beth would be willing to put their first-born child in the Cup. 

"No wasn't even an option," Beth said.

The superstitious parents were adamant that Ann Marie's skin not actually touch the Cup, so nurses swaddled her in cloth while she laid in the chalice.

"I was like, 'She's not touching the Cup,'" Beth said, "and [Keeper of the Cup Howie Barrow] said 'Well, that's the point of this,' and I was like 'Well, she's not touching the Cup.'"

"[The Blues] players wouldn't touch [the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl after winning the Western Conference championship]," Clark said, "so it's that whole thing about you don't really take your prize until you earn it." 

Beth was in labor for more than 19 hours, so the Vancils had a watch party with family in the hospital while she was giving birth Monday. They watched the Blues move to within two games of their first championship in their 52-year history in the NHL with a 4-2 win against the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

"We want to bring the Cup to St. Louis so she can sit in it after," Beth said. "After the Blues win, she can touch it all she wants."

Clark, 37, plays roller hockey in his spare time and said he's been a Blues fan for more than 25 years. Beth, 33, said she and her father used to attend Blues practices down the road from her home as a child in Brentwood, Missouri.

"I've been a Blues fan since basically before I walked," Beth said. 

Beth jokingly asked on Facebook if she and Clark should name their daughter Gloria, after the Blues 1982 Laura Branigan hit that has become the Blues post-win anthem. But they chose Ann Marie long before the Blues' run to the Cup Final. 

Her dip in the Cup helped make an unforgettable memory even better.

"She's going to have one cute birth announcement," Beth said. "I don't know how you top it. People came into our room here and they're like 'Oh my gosh, that's the Stanley Cup baby.'"

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