Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Georgia Signs Much More Than the Back of Checks

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Georgia Signs Much More Than the Back of Checks

Article excerpt

The rally was over, the music had stopped, the sun was down and Georgia Frontiere had removed her shoes.

Standing in her stocking feet, overlooking Kiener Plaza, Frontiere signed autographs for two hours, until the last fan was pleased. Most of the signatures were the same:

Love,

Georgia.

The fans thanked her for bringing the Rams to St. Louis. Frontiere thanked them for giving the Rams so much support, and a fresh start. She kissed babies. She posed for photos. She chatted. She looked happy.

Someone in the crowd hollered out. "Three cheers for Georgia."

A man with a little boy in a Rams shirt handed up a football for Frontiere to autograph. A lost little girl wandered up to the stage and held Frontiere's hand until her parents found her.

Rams executives glanced at their watches. You got the feeling that maybe they hadn't seen this scene before. It was 6:30 p.m. and Georgia wasn't ready to leave. She signed and signed. Someone brought her a chair. She sat down and signed some more.

In two hours, Frontiere probably put a pen to more sheets of paper - and interacted with more fans - than Bill Bidwill did in 28 years.

"You take my breath away," Frontiere told an appreciative crowd that filled all of the steps and crevices at Kiener. "You are wonderful."

There were at least 50 more fans standing in line for their turn to greet the Rams owner. Wasn't her right hand getting tired?

"Not at all," Frontiere said. "I've been waiting for this."

Near the end of the procession, Frontiere saw a young boy in a wheelchair, called him over, and hugged him. By then, Rams players Sean Landeta and Jimmie Jones had left. Coach Rich Brooks was gone. Rams minority partner Stan Kroenke was on the way home. The politicians had cleared out. The cheerleaders had returned to the hotel. Frontiere stayed, the last to leave.

"It was the nicest thing I've seen in sports," said Gus Torregrossa, the downtown shoe-and-gear merchant. "The lady sat there until no one was left. She was as pleasant as could be to everybody. …

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