Penguins president takes the Stanley Cup to hometown of Beechview
David Morehouse stood at center court of the blacktop in Beechview, reminiscing about the days when he and friends squirted a hose to turn their basketball court into a hockey rink.
Morehouse likes to say he spent more time at Pauline Park than he did at home. When the Penguins won the Stanley Cup, the team president decided he would bring the trophy to the playground.
"I felt very fortunate to be in the position I was, in center ice with the Stanley Cup," Morehouse said, "and one of the first things I thought about was to bring this back to where I shaped my life."
Morehouse returned Saturday afternoon to the park just a few doors up from his childhood home on Pauline Avenue — where his brother, Don, now lives — to share his day with the Stanley Cup in celebration of the Penguins' National Hockey League championship. Despite informing just a few friends by phone, hundreds of Penguins fans showed up to take photos with the Cup.
"I literally made three phone calls, and the first two I said, 'Don't tell anybody,'" Morehouse said with a laugh. "I tried to get a couple people I grew up with, and everybody showed up."
Everybody from Dick Frank, the long-time football coach at St. Catherine of Sienna, to former NFL standout Jim Sweeney to Chartiers Valley basketball coach Tim McConnell showed up.
"This was the gathering place," said Sweeney, who spent 16 seasons in the NFL, including four with the Steelers. "The people of Beechview, they don't forget where they came from. This was a great community to grow up in."
They shared stories about growing up with Morehouse, who worked on four presidential campaigns before becoming Penguins president in April 2007. While no one expected this of Morehouse, after serving as an adviser to Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry, no one put it past him, either.
"Dave's had a lot of exploits in his life," Mark Rumpf said. "Beechview is having some tough times right now, so it means a lot that he brought it back. Clinton and Gore never came to Pauline Park, but the Cup is here."
So were a colorful cast of characters from the neighborhood. Morehouse took a photo with the Hoelle brothers — Mike, Jim, John and Joe — who used to play hockey with him at Pauline Park. Their father played goalie, wearing a first baseman's mitt and cushions from a porch glider for leg pads.
"I've seen a lot of people I haven't seen in 20 years," Morehouse said. "That makes it even more special."
As word spread, a steady line streamed throughout the playground for a chance to see the Cup. Ron and Linda Orchowski came with their son, Jimmy, and posed for a photo with framed pictures of their daughters, Katy and Kerry, who are away at college. Michelle Benedict placed her one-month-old son, Jake, inside the bowl.
After a three-hour reunion, Morehouse and a group of friends gathered around the Cup at center court to re-enact the photograph that followed the Penguins' victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final at Joe Louis Arena. Afterward, Morehouse lifted the trophy over his head to a round of applause.
"We're proud of what he has accomplished," Tom Schweitzer said. "This is a day for Dave, as much as that Cup."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Predators winger Neal caught ‘blindsided’ by trade from Penguins
- Penguins notebook: Malkin returns to center
- Penguins notebook: Team pays tribute to Ottawa shooting victims
- Metropolitan Division holding own in early part of season
- Testing legs, giving backup goalie a chance are Penguins’ priorities
- Flyers continue mastery of Penguins at Consol
- Red Wings rally, shock Penguins in overtime
- Penguins’ Dupuis takes ice after leaving Thursday’s game on stretcher
- Penguins forward Downie becoming a hit with teammates
- Penguins notebook: Newcomers get 1st taste of rivalry with Flyers