Larry Bird’s Sports Legacy in French Lick Indiana

I admit I’m easily confused, but why would you name a restaurant 33 Brick Street if the real address is 480 S. Maple Street?

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Photo by Diana Lambdin Meyer

The answer makes sense, even for a simple mind like mine: Maple Street in French Lick Indiana is a brick paved street, part of the charming and historic downtown best known for the two magnificent resort hotels, West Baden Springs Hotel and French Lick Resort. 





Boston Celtics # 33

The 33 comes from French Lick’s most famous native son – Larry Bird. For 13 years – 1979 to 1992 – his number with the Boston Celtics was 33. Known as the Hick from French Lick, he won every award that basketball has to offer professionals and super stars of his calibre. Many of them are on display at 33 Brick Street in French Lick, a little town about 90 miles south of Indianapolis.

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Photo by Diana Lambdin Meyer

Larry Bird doesn’t own the restaurant, but when three guys who love their home town and wanted to become a part of the downtown rebirth had the idea for 33 Brick Street, Larry gave them his full support.  They are Tracy Tucker, Brian Pendley and Danny Weikart.

Of  course, Tracy is Larry’s cousin and Danny is a personal friend and well, French Lick is a small town where everybody knows everybody. When Larry was moving to Indianapolis as president of the Indiana Pacers, he told his friends “Hey, I have some old stuff around here you can use.”

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It’s a little big, don’t you think? Photo by Cathy Kruzic

Well, the “stuff” is his Naismith Trophy as the best college basketball player in the country, numerous NBA trophies and awards, championship rings, jerseys, you name it.  He was on the Olympic Basketball Team that won gold in 1992, and his warm up jersey is just not on display – it’s on a hangar behind the bar and anyone who asks can try it it.



Sports Legends and Memorabilia

And then he has cool stuff from other sports legends – Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordon, Joe Montana, Lou Brock.  Of course, as a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan, I had to turn my back on the Albert Pujols jersey.

A portion of the gymnasium floor of the old Spring Valley High School where Larry Bird played ball is mounted on the wall. The signatures there are not the superstars of the game we know today. They are teammates and others who played with and against the Hick from French Lick.

Now that is pretty cool.


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The old Spring Valley High School Gymnasium floor where Larry Bird played as a teenager. Photo by Diana Lambdin Meyer

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