Back when I visited Jeff Fedenko’s house, he showed me this book, which featured lots of great photos and awesome Robert Riger illustrations. I haven’t yet found a reasonably priced copy of the book for myself, but I did track down a copy of its companion volume, Best Players of the Year, 1963, and it has not disappointed. The book is too big to fit properly in my scanner, so I’ve just taken photos of some highlights:
• One of the best things about the book is its cover, with that super-cool striped NFL logo.
• Here’s an awesome illo of two titans of the pre-Super Bowl era, Jim Brown and Sam Huff. Gorgeous. The book’s other notable illustration is this one, which captures essence of mid-century Midwestern football quite nicely.
• Note to all baseball players: The official’s pants in this shot are absolute perfection.
• Interesting variety of footwear here: spikes on the receiver, a molded sole on the lineman, and Chucks on the quarterback! This was the ’63 NFL Championship Game, which took place in Chicago on December 29th, so a frozen field may have been a factor in the multiplicity of footwear approaches.
• Is it just me, or do the two bars of Johhny U’s facemask look a bit more widely spaced than usual here? Also, note that Alan Ameche (No. 35) had apparently picked up teammate Lenny Moore’s spatting habit.
• We tend to think of the Redskins’ and Cowboys’ uniforms as being fairly timeless. But Washington used to look like this, and Dallas like this (note the wraparound jersey collar, which is examined in much greater depth here). Here they are matched up against each other.
Want to see more? A not-too-overpriced copy is available here.
Site Note: After a month’s worth of hassles with Google (don’t ask), the internal site-search function has been restored at the top of the right-hand rail. Enjoy.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The Cubs and Braves will be wearing 1948 throwbacks today, to mark the 60th anniversary of WGN carrying Cubs games. While it’s the first throwback game at Wrigley, it’s not the first one the Cubs have participated in — remember this Cubs/Chisox game from 1997? … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: A ton of artwork from Sport magazine (which was every bit as important as Sports Illustrated back in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s) has been archived on this site. I haven’t had a chance yet to look through it all, but a quick glance is very promising. More on this soon. … Fascinating article about new sneaker soles made from rice hulls here. … While researching something else, I came across a bunch of interesting images. First, check out this shot of Yaz. What’s on his left calf? And next, my book of Topps baseball cards (which, if you don’t have a copy, I highly recommend) shows two 1973 cards with blank uniforms — look here and here. I’m assuming these were airbrush jobs that were later filled in, especially since I collected the 1973 set as a kid and don’t recall these two oddities. But it’s weird that the incomplete versions would show up in the book. Anyone know more about these? … “Rocky Mount, North Carolina, where I grew up, was the hometown of Negro League first bagger Buck Leonard, known as ‘the black Lou Gehrig,’ and the city has named a youth league in his honor,” writes Cooper Harriss. “The teams are clearly named for Negro League teams, and the uniforms feature Negro League-esque logos, as you can see in this photo gallery.” … A bunch of vintage Oklahoma football helmets are up for auction (with thanks to John Ervin). … Kevin Garnett: big soccer fan? (With thanks to Craig Justice.) … Cool jersey promo upcoming in Detroit (with thanks to Terry Corby). … Andrew Cambour reports that Miami Hurricanes second baseman Jemile Weeks has been wearing his pants low when batting and baserunning and high-cuffed while in the field. “Is that at all common, for a player to prefer one pant length for offense and another for defense?” he asks. Good question. Anyone..? … af2’s Tri-Cities Fever will wear a special “Military Night” uniform on Saturday (with thanks to Stefan Schubert).