Thursday, April 21, 2011

1966 Championship Tie Clasp and Cufflinks

Grey Flannel's current auction has some true gems from the dawn of the Super Bowl era. We'll be looking at each lot individually over the next several days, starting with these three items issued to former offensive Tackle Steve Wright.

Championship memorabilia didn't always just come in the form of a ring; wives and mothers received mink stoles, and sometimes team personnel were given branded pieces of jewelry.

Lot #229: 1966 Green Bay Packers Super Bowl I Gold Cuff Links and Tie Clasp Presented to Steve Wright (3) (Wright LOA)

The two football-shaped cuff links measure ¾” x ½" and read "AFL vs. NFL 1ST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 1966 LOS ANGELES COLISEUM" across the face. They feature casted images of the facade of the famous Los Angeles Coliseum. The back of the cuff links are stamped "LGB 1/10 10KGF". The interior bar of each cuff link is stamped "PAT 2544893" and "1/20-12KGF". Each cuff link weighs 5 grams and they are both in NRMT condition with light wear. The tie clasp features the same ¾" x ½" casted football that appears on the cuff links. It is attached to a 1½" tie clasp that is stamped "BALFOUR 1/20-12KGF" on back. The tie clasp weighs 9 grams and is in NRMT condition with light wear. Comes with a LOA from Steve Wright.
The design is beautiful, with the Coliseum facade superimposed on the football. Although the game was widely known as the "Super Bowl" even before the opening kickoff, the NFL and AFL thought the nickname lacked the gravitas they required for the Championship game, and so the jewelry is saddled with the rather unfortunate and wordy description.

The tieclip is often identified as the official "press pin" for that first Super Bowl, and is a little more common.

I can see this having been worn in the press box, overlooking the Coliseum's field as the Packers and Chiefs battled it out for pro football's crown. I wasn't aware that these were ever given to players.

Steve Wright played for the Packers from 1964 though 1967. He can be seen at the far-right in this post-game celebratory photo:

After the three-in-a-row World Championships, he spent the next five seasons with four teams: the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Chicago Bears and St. Louis Cardinals. More from his collection to come.

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