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    Description

    1890's-1900's Notre Dame Game Worn Full Football Uniform.

    Please note that the Spalding tagging of this uniform dates it to circa 1908.

    Exquisite offering represents one of the first uniforms manufactured specifically for the game of football, manufactured by "Spalding," the premier sporting goods distributor of the era. This true museum quality piece is the style worn for the 1903 season, the year of Notre Dame's first undefeated season, and was very possibly active in that historic campaign. This was the year in which Louis "Red" Salmon became Notre Dame's first player to be named to Walter Camp's All America team, and the year that brought the first national recognition to the Notre Dame football program. It was during this time that President Theodore Roosevelt demanded that college football form a Rules Committee to govern what had become a brutal and dangerous game. To further emphasize the age of this piece, the uniform would have been retired before the 1909 season in which an unknown student, by the name of Knute Rockne, first stepped foot onto the Notre Dame campus with hopes of becoming a player for the Notre Dame team.

    Beginning at the top of the head and working our way down, we first encounter a marvelous leather helmet in archaic turn-of-the-century style. The helmet features ear flaps with original chin strap affixed, ventilation holes throughout, and padded wool interior, upon which the number "77" is written in black ink. Next we find a heavy molded rubber nose guard, complete with neck strap and tooth marks on the "bit" the former owner clenched in his jaws. We continue on to a navy blue wool turtleneck jersey, with no tagging or other markings, measuring to an approximate modern size medium. Perhaps most intriguing is the brown canvas vest worn over this jersey, affixed with navy leather letters "ND." Laced front has replacement lace but is otherwise 100% vintage, with ancient "Spalding" tag in collar. Finally we find the matching brown canvas pants, heavy padded with wool or cotton in the hips and narrow wooden rods in the thighs. Laced crotch likewise matches the enclosure style of the vest, as does the "Spalding" tag.

    This uniform was on display at the Chicago Sun-Times show in mid-March, where it drew tremendous interest from the attendees, and with good reason. Never before have we encountered such a comprehensive uniform from a century past, and few football uniforms on earth could please early gridiron collectors and historians more than one with South Bend heritage. Perhaps one generous Notre Dame alumnus will secure this important artifact for the school, which would surely be thrilled to display it for future generations of Fighting Irish fans. LOA from Lou Lampson.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2007
    5th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 10,299

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