Although it doesn’t possess the intrigue surrounding Muhammad Ali’s missing 1960 Summer Olympics boxing gold medal, another medal from that year has its own share of mystery.

A man from Bismarck, North Dakota, is searching for the owner of a Duluth East high school hockey championship medal, which ended up in his family’s possession nearly 50 years ago.

Maurizio Delcaro says his father, also named Maurizio Delcaro, found the medal in a dresser drawer when moving out of a rental unit on or around Lewis Street in 1971 while a student at Minnesota Duluth. The elder Delcaro saved the medal, forgot about it and, after finding it again years later, gave it to his son in the late-1990s.

The younger Delcaro, who grew up in Biwabik, picks up the story from there:

“I saw the medal again about five years ago when I was looking through my stuff. I decided to try to find the person who lost it. To me, this is more important than the Stanley Cup," Delcaro said.

“I really miss watching the state high school hockey tournament. I was never on a championship hockey team or played at the level this guy did. I wasn’t even a goal scorer. My greatest hockey accomplishment is racking up 47 penalty minutes, two game misconducts and a lifetime ban (on an intramural team) in the late ’90s. But even a goon from the Iron Range appreciates true hockey greatness.”

Delcaro says he reached out to one former Greyhound years ago, but never received an answer to his question about whose medal it is. The quest was then put on the backburner again by Delcaro, who works in the occupational environmental health and safety industry in the Bismarck area as well as teaching part-time for an online Florida college.

The News Tribune contacted several players from the 1960 squad — Dick Fisher, Bob Hill, Bob and Mike Hoene, Bob Magie, Bill McGiffert and Jim Ross — none of whom had any recollection of a missing medal. Several players from that squad are dead, including Bill Sivertson, who grew up in the neighborhood where the medal was found.

The medal in question — made by Jostens, the company known for its class rings — says “Minnesota State High School League” on the front and “1960 State Hockey Champions” on the back. Ross confirmed that his medal had the same markings.

The back side of Duluth East's 1960 state hockey tournament first-place medal. (Photo courtesy of Maurizio Delcaro)
The back side of Duluth East's 1960 state hockey tournament first-place medal. (Photo courtesy of Maurizio Delcaro)

Since there was only one hockey class back then, East was the lone state champion.

The Greyhounds won their first state title that year despite finishing as runner-up to Eveleth in Section 7 — the best runners-up were offered a spot in the tournament during that era. At the St. Paul Auditorium, East defeated Minneapolis Washburn, another lucky loser, 5-3 in the quarterfinals before knocking off South St. Paul 6-2 in the semifinals.

Sivertson, who led the tournament with five goals, and McGiffert scored in the first period of the championship game against St. Paul Washington. Mike Hoene tacked on an insurance goal in the third period of the 3-1 win.

  • Anyone who has information regarding the owner of the medal can contact Rick Weegman at (218) 723-5302 or rweegman@duluthnews.com.