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Thank you, Bobby.

The Blues legend passed away today at age 78.

NHL: St. Louis Blues - Stanley Cup Championship Celebration Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

We all have a Bobby Plager story.

Some Blues fans remember watching him on the ice - my mother certainly has many stories of loving the Plager Brothers as a child, watching them rough people up and playing with more heart than three guys should be allowed to have.

Some folks look back on the night that the Plagers, and the Blues by proxy, inspired the Broad Street Bullies. Never go after the coach, Flyers fans - especially when the Plagers are around.

Bobby Plager was a member of the Blues from the word go, but he - and his brothers - were so much more than that. He was the heart of that 1967 team. He was the heart of every team that he was on after that. He was the heart of the Blues.

He was the Blues.

We all have a Bobby Plager story.

Some folks were fortunate enough to meet him at his bar and get their ear talked off by him. Some folks met him at Blues events. Some people just ran into Bobby around town. Regardless of when and how he met you, Bobby always had a yarn to spin, a tale from the glory days to tell you.

The Blues won the Cup in 2019, but Bobby’s days? Those are the glory days.

He took the Cup to visit his brother Barclay. Barclay passed away in 1988, and the Blues retired Barc’s number. Winning the Stanley Cup, and having that parade that Ryan O’Reilly promised was as much for Barclay as it was for Bobby.

We all have a Bobby Plager story.

His jersey retirement night in 2017 was something special. I drove my mother up from Atlanta to see it. She was a little girl when she first saw Bobby skate, and was hooked on hockey from day one. The ceremony was heartfelt, but the kicker? The kicker was when they started to raise Bobby’s banner - and then it stopped. Our section murmured. Was something wrong? Did the banner mechanism get stuck?


Barclay’s number 8 came down from the rafters to meet Bobby’s 5 halfway - and they went up together, as it should be.

His family was so proud. Bobby was so humble.

St. Louis mourned when we lost Stan Musial. We mourned when we lost Red, and when we lost Lou, and when we lost Bob. They were all deep links to the past in our city, and a bygone era of St. Louis Cardinals baseball that we’re proud of. What games we saw, what memories we made.

Losing Bobby Plager, who passed away today at the age of 78, cuts deep. It’s hard to explain to people who aren’t Blues fans. Lou and Stan and Red and Bob were parts of Cardinals history. Bobby Plager? Bobby wasn’t history. Bobby was the Blues.

We all have a Bobby Plager story.

During game four of the Stanley Cup Final, the NHL had placed some of the media in a suite next to the Blues’ Alumni suite. I stepped out for a moment to grab a drink, or maybe some popcorn. I don’t know.

When I closed the door, there was Bobby, doing his laps around the Enterprise Center concourse. He wouldn’t watch a game during the playoffs. He was too nervous.

I walked behind him and let him go on his way. I didn’t want to intrude, didn’t want to be rude. It was enough for me to be a few steps behind the greatest player to wear the Blue Note, in heart and spirit. I wish so much that I would’ve stopped him, would’ve told him what he means to my mother, and what his contributions mean to me, to all of us.

We all have a Bobby Player story.

Please share yours below.