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Hawks’ 1961 Cup banner fetches $37.5K in auction

Gus Cappas with his 1961 Blackhawks banner Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. |  StaciTimonere~for Sun Times Media

Gus Cappas with his 1961 Blackhawks banner at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. | Stacia Timonere~for Sun Times Media

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Updated: August 19, 2013 2:19PM



It took several games to win it and only a few minutes to sell it.

The original 1961 Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup championship banner — which once hung proudly from the rafters of the old Chicago Stadium — sold for $37,500 during an online auction Tuesday evening with Leslie Hindman Auctioneers of Chicago.

That’s more than twice what Gus Cappas, of Mokena, paid for it when he bought it at an auction in 1994. The 12-foot-long banner was expected to draw between $15,000 and $25,000, according to pre-auction estimates.

An online bidder opened at $7,500, and within five minutes, that same bidder acquired it for $37,500. The new owner was not immediately identified, known only as “online bidder 515.”

Cappas, who has owned the banner for the past 19 years, previously said he would be pleased if he got what he paid for it during an auction of items from Chicago Stadium after the building was torn down.

For years, the banner hung in his Northbrook sports bar Overtime, an establishment frequented by many of Chicago’s pro athletes, including hockey players.

“I knew the guys that won that banner. I want someone else to enjoy it now. I don’t need it anymore,” the now-retired Cappas said, explaining why he was selling it.

Despite its age, the 144-inch-by-94-inch banner was in decent shape — with only a few stains, but no tears or shredding.

With Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita leading the way, the Blackhawks won the Cup in 1961 by defeating the Detroit Red Wings 5-1 in the final game.



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