Lot #1153: Vince Lombardi's 1966-67 Green Bay Packers Hat
Vince Lombardi's final two years as coach of the Green Bay Packers were also the first two seasons in which the NFL championship game was deemed the Super Bowl. The Lombardi-led Packers dismantled the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I by a score of 35-10. The Oakland Raiders fell to the Packers the following year in that coveted game by a 33-14 pounding. Presented here is a baseball-style cap—one of the few of its kind—worn by Vince Lombardi during his last two seasons from 1966 to 1967. This Wilson, forest-green coaching cap features the Packers "GB" logo embroidered on the front with mustard-colored stitching. Lombardi's initials, "V.L.," have been written in black Sharpie on the underbill. (The initials are mentioned strictly for descriptive accuracy, as it is unclear whether Lombardi originated the inscription.) The still-pliable body and lid of the almost 40-year-old cap demonstrate understandable and extremely minor color-fading with a small area of stitching coming undone on the cap's left side and on the fringe of the lid. The bill displays justifiable wear as it has survived the unparalleled charisma of its past owner; the sweatband and interior of the cap bear mild staining, a testament to its honorable service. This incredibly well-kept and seldom-seen relic—from the man after whom the National Football League named its championship trophy—is a necessary piece to any serious football memorabilia collection. LOA from Dan Knoll, Dave Bushing & Troy Kinunen/MEARS.
The final bid (with buyers premium) was $3,215. Not bad at all. I'm a little leery about attributing this to Lombardi on the basis of two Sharpie-d letters, but perhaps MEARS had something not mentioned in the auction description.
I'm also not sure about the year; my understanding is that the Packers switched from a embroidered patch to directly-sewn logo around the 1962 season.
Here's a photo of defensive coordinator Phil Bengtson from a 1962 program, his cap logo clearly a patch.
Contrast that with these photos of the coaching staff taken from the 1965 Championship Game program (played on January 2, 1966), in which Bengtson is clearly wearing a cap with a sewn-on logo.
I've spoken before of how much I love this design. It's good to see an original in color, even if it isn't a genuine Lombardi artifact.