WEST LOOP — When Gus Pappas bought the 1961 Blackhawks Stanley Cup banner at auction in 1994, he shelled out $15,000.
"I would have gone $20,000, $25,000, I didn't care," Pappas, a Northbrook restaurateur told the Sun-Times then. "What's a few thousand here and there, eh?"
If things go as predicted, he may get the $25,000 when the 8-foot-wide, 12-foot-long banner is auctioned again later this month.
Leslie Hindman Auctioneers estimate the banner will fetch between $15,000 and $25,000.
The banner, which originally hung in the old Chicago Stadium, could be the ultimate in fan collectibles in this hockey-mad year.
The banner hung in the stadium until 1994 when the old stadium was torn down. Marking the year that Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita (they were kinda like the Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews of their day), the banner represented the first Stanley Cup for the team in 23 years.
That 1994 auction included a treasure trove of Blackhawks history: a piece of the hockey boards went for $600; three seats from when the stadium opened in 1929 fetched $1,000; a men's room sign could be had for $375, the Tribune reported at the time.
At one point, Bill Wirtz, the late father of the current owner, Rocky Wirtz, reportedly tried to buy the banner back from Pappas.
His son might have a chance: the banner will be sold in an on-line sale Tuesday July 16 at 6 p.m. The banner will be on display at Leslie Hindman, 1338 W. Lake St.
Interested? Call 312-280-1212 or sign up to bid live online at www.lesliehindman.com.