Sunday, January 11, 2009

Where did Don's jersey go?

In an earlier post, I wrote about the known Lambeau-era Packers jerseys still in existence. There are two Hutson jerseys of which I am aware - one in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, and one in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.

Well, it looks like something has happened in Canton. Here's how I remember it from my last visit (which was admittedly several years ago):

Look at the three jerseys in the middle: from left, there's Don Hutson's #14, Sid Luckman's #42, and Bob Waterfield's #7.

But that was then, this is now. The photo below was taken just over a month ago, on December 8, 2008, by Flickr user KaylynStar:

(click to super-enlarge)

The Hutson jersey is gone, with Waterfield's LA Rams jersey moved over to take its place and a Mel Hein Giants jersey now on the right. Waterfield's still has the Packers posters surrounding and overlapping it, making for a slightly incongruous display.

So what happened to take Hutson's jersey off display? Any other Canton visitors able to tell me when it was removed?

UPDATE 02/08/09: I called the Hall of Fame, and they informed me that the Hutson jersey is still in the Hall, just in a new exhibit. It was moved last May to the new "Moments, Memories & Mementos Gallery".

The Moments, Memories & Mementos Gallery climaxes with a dramatic bench scene featuring nine iconic members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The stories of Johnny Unitas, Don Hutson, Sammy Baugh, Reggie White, Walter Payton, Joe Greene, Jim Brown, Anthony Muñoz and George Halas are displayed through life-sized figures clad with authentic mementos from the Hall’s collection. The careers of these Hall of Famers are summarized through touch-screen video presentations.
The jersey's partially obscured by the sideline cape, but there it is:

And here's a reverse of the bench (although you can't see the jersey):

There's a (very tiny) picture of the complete bench display on the HoF's site. You can just make out the jersey, second from left.

Mystery solved.