PITTSBURGH, APRIL 20, 2011 – As Pittsburgh Penguins playoff fever sweeps the region, hockey fans will have one last chance to get up close and personal with rarely-seen treasures from one of the game’s all-time greats at the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Senator John Heinz History Center.
Memories of Mario, an exhibit featuring a special collection of trophies, jerseys, and sticks on loan from Pittsburgh Penguins Hall of Famer and current team owner Mario Lemieux, closes next Mon., April 25.
Included are Lemieux’s jersey from the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals and his hockey stick from his 1,000th career assist versus Boston in 2003. His jersey from the 1990 All-Star game, which was played at the Civic Arena, is also on display.
There are 15 personal trophies from Lemieux’s home collection as part of the exhibit, including Art Ross Trophies given to the league’s top scorer, two Conn Smythe trophies as MVP of the 1991 and 1992 playoffs, and a replica Stanley Cup presented to him in 2008-09 as the Penguins owner.
The exhibit also honors the 10th anniversary of Mario Lemieux’s historic comeback game on Dec. 27, 2000, against the Toronto Maple Leafs, when the Pittsburgh legend returned to the ice three years after health complications forced his early retirement from the game. Visitors to the exhibit will also be invited to share their favorite memory of Mario. Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum Highlights Local Hockey
Memories of Mario is just one part of the hockey experience at the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum. Visitors can learn more about how Pittsburgh was home to the world’s first semi-pro hockey league and first artificial ice rink, take a closer look at the championship teams of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early 1990s and 2008-09, and see items from the Pittsburgh Hornets.
Among the items recently added to the Sports Museum is a silver medal won by Pittsburgh hockey player Herb Drury from the first Winter Olympic Games in 1924. Drury, who was a defenseman, recorded an astounding 22 goals to lead the U.S. team through the Olympic tournament before losing to Canada in the gold medal game.
The Senator John Heinz History Center is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the largest history museum in Pennsylvania. The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum is a museum within a museum, comprehensively presenting the region’s remarkable sports story through hundreds of artifacts and interactive experiences for visitors of all ages. The History Center and Sports Museum are located at 1212 Smallman Street in the city’s Strip District.
More information is available at www.heinzhistorycenter.org