Ray Pecora, 32, Glendale Heights

Ray Pecora, 32, Glendale Heights

JERSEY: Jeff Hamilton, No. 51 (2006-07)

So, I have to be honest …

You've never heard of him.

I had to look this guy up.

This guy played with the team the year before Kane and Toews came. He was their best player. So that shows that I was one of like the 12 people that were in the stadium then. He was a really good player, a great penalty killer. He was their best player the year before the rookies showed up.

So you got the jersey then?

No, I actually got it on clearance the next year when they traded him. [Laughs.] Sixty bucks! How do you go wrong? It's an authentic, it's the real deal. I would have bought one the year before but jersey prices are outrageous. $300, $400 for a hockey jersey is insane.

What is the normal reaction that you get? Do you get a reaction? Or do people just assume that your last name is Hamilton and that your favorite number is 51?

That, or I misspelled "Campbell." [Defenseman Brian Campbell wore No. 51 for the Hawks.] One of the two. It's cool for me to have it. The people who know it, it makes it worthwhile. They're like, "Wow, a Jeff Hamilton jersey. I think you're one of the two people in the world that bought one of those."

Do you own any other jerseys?

Yeah, I own like 100 hockey jerseys. I'm a jersey snob.

What's your top tier, most important, "If I could only save three hockey jerseys in a fire to pass along to my children," they would be … ?

Probably my Steve Larmer jersey, which was my first authentic jersey. Steve Larmer was my favorite hockey player ever. That guy was awesome. I was in 7th grade and I got an authentic Larmer jersey. Saved up my pennies for a year. After that, I drank out of the Cup in a Kane authentic jersey, so that one holds some sentimental value.

What did you drink?

Heineken. Ben Eager and Tomas Kopecky brought it out the night they won it. Good times.

Where was that?

Harry Caray's, right after they won the Cup, right after they landed at O'Hare.


And after that I'm not sure. There are so many in the collection. Probably my old Nordiques or Joe Sakic jersey or something along those lines.

Hilary Higgins/RedEye
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