Natalie Francis Granato grew up in LaGrange, Illinois, in the 1950s playing catch with her dad, who played minor league ball. However, because there were no sports for girls, Natalie became a cheerleader and sang in the school opera. She also met Don Granato. Their first date was a Blackhawks hockey game.

They had six children, all of whom played hockey. Cammi began playing hockey to fill in for her three older brothers who needed a fourth teammate. It was then as a youngster that Cammi assumed she would become a Blackhawk. It never occurred to Cammi (or her brothers at that point) that girls could not play professional hockey.

Tony overcame a life-threatening injury in 1996 to return to active duty with the San Jose Sharks. He retired from hockey last year and is now color-commentating. Cammi won an Olympic Gold medal in 1998 and a silver in 2002.

Natalie says that she has influenced Cammi that she can be a lady no matter what she does - and that Tony can achieve anything if he works hard enough.

Natalie has estimated that she has driven at least 48,472 miles to and from hockey games, yelled herself hoarse at over 10,000 games and kissed 349 hockey boo-boos. She is still counting....

 

 


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Facts about
Cammi and Tony

  • Tony is an NHL
    All-Star

  • Tony is a 13-yr. veteran of the NHL

  • Tony won was awarded the NHL's Masterton Trophy for sportsmanship and perseverance in 1997

  • Cammi captained the US Olympic gold medal team in 1998, and the silver medal team in 2002

  • Cammi had been a member of the Women’s National Team since its inception in 1990 thru 1998

  • Cammi is the highest scorer among US women
 
 

"Youth fades; love droops, the leaves of friendship fall; A mother's secret hope outlives them all."
—Oliver Wendell Holmes

 

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