Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Auction Gold: The Caped Crusaders

Picking up from an earlier post, this is an exceptional look at one of the Packers' sideline capes which saw service for years, making its debut as early as the late 1940s (but no later than the early 1950s), in the Packers' then-proud blue and gold colors, and continuing to see game action through the middle of the 1960s:

1950s/60s Green Bay Packers Game-Worn Sideline Cape

The Green Bay Packers are one of sport's feel good stories. When the NFL first assembled, it was created with town teams in mind. Big cities didn't start gaining clubs until a few years later. Nobody believed the small town of Green Bay, Wisconsin would have enough to keep a professional sports team. Well the state banded together and helped the Packers become the smallest professional franchise in sports.

This oversized yellow and navy blue Packers sideline cape was used in the 1950s and also during the beginning of the Lombardi era. Since the capes were not player specific any number of legends may have slipped it on. Babe Parilli, Jim Taylor, Bart Starr or Ray Nitschke are just a few of the Packers who may have worn this offering. Heavy wool lining is featured on the inside to help combat those cold Wisconsin winters. "PACKERS" is proudly displayed across the back in single-color mustard yellow tackle twill. A Wilson manufacturer's label is into the collar along with a suspended "Large" size flag tag. It appears that "20" is written on the collar although we cannot confirm who it was issued to. To our knowledge the Packers did not issue capes to specific players at the time this was worn.
This cape was auctioned off by American Memorabilia just about two years ago. It drew only one bid, for a hammer price of $1,902. A fantastic bargain for this piece of Packers' history.

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