Toddler Chiefs fan, now grown, fondly remembers celebrated photo from 50 years ago


BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. (WDAF) — A lot can happen in 50 years.

Kansas City Chiefs fans of yesteryear would have never believed there’d be at least five decades between Super Bowl appearances. Countless football memories have been recorded since then, some of which have been hard for Kansas City fans.

For one family from Blue Springs, a precious football recollection began with a family photo in 1970. Shannon Liptak was 5 months old at the time, and barely able to sit up on her own.

In January 1970, Liptak’s late father, Phillip DiGeorge, sent homemade photos of baby Shannon wearing a Chiefs onesie to the Kansas City Times, the former moniker of the Kansas City Star’s morning edition.

The family said the newspaper’s editors loved the photographs and sent a staff photographer to shoot more. The infant made the newspaper’s cover, and the public’s reaction was sweet and supportive.

“I had a little onesie that had the Chiefs on it. He thought it would be a great story for the Kansas City Star. He wrote to them and they sent out a reporter, and they came out and took my picture,” Liptak smiled.

The family kept the red and gold terry cloth onesie Shannon wore that day, as the Chiefs prepared for Super Bowl IV, which the franchise won over the Minnesota Vikings.

Jerri DiGeorge, Shannon’s mother, said her late husband was a huge sports fan, and often took the family’s children to Royals and Chiefs games.

“She got a bunch of cards and letters from people we didn’t even know, even some people sent her a little bit of money,” DiGeorge said.

Sadly, Phillip DiGeorge passed away in 2011, but his loved ones, including the little girl in that newspaper photo, believe he’d love the modern-day Chiefs, who are one win away from finally returning to the Super Bowl.

“It’s exciting to see the city come together and the electricity. You look around. Everyone seems to be pumped up and wearing their red, and everyone seems to be in a great mood,” Liptak said. “I’m ready for that parade.”

When that celebration begins, this now grown-up Chiefs fan might lead the procession.

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