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    1942 Elroy Hirsch Personally Worn University of Wisconsin Badgers Pullover Letterman's Sweater. The Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch Collection

    "Crazylegs" - The nickname helped define one of the most talented athletes in the country during the 1940's and '50's, but more importantly is a label that brings back the memories of a truly special time in collegiate and professional football history.
    Born in the small town of Wausau, Wisconsin, which lies alongside the Mississippi River, Elroy Hirsch played his first college football season with the Wisconsin Badgers in 1942. After witnessing him play for UW-Madison against the Great Lakes Naval Station during his freshman season, famed Chicago Daily News sportswriter Francis Powers reported the following: "His crazy legs were gyrating in six directions, all at the same time; he looked like a demented duck." The name stuck, and the rest is gridiron history.

    After his one and only year in the Wisconsin state capital, Hirsch joined the United States Navy V-12 program in the United States Marine Corps, which later required him to transfer to the University of Michigan. He played two seasons for the Wolverines and earned the distinction of being the only athlete at the school to letter in four sports in a single year.

    After his college days, Hirsch made his professional football debut with the All-American Football Conference's Chicago Rockets, where he played three injury-prone seasons. Nevertheless, in 1949, after the AAFC and National Football League merged, Hirsch joined the Los Angeles Rams, where he gained his fame. Playing in LA as the team's star receiver and leader through the 1959 season, Hirsch's most significant year came in 1951, when he helped lead his Rams to the 1951 NFL Championship.

    An esteemed member of the College and Pro Football Hall of Fame, the man they called "Crazylegs" was the subject of a popular feature film in 1953, in which he played himself. After his football and movie career were through, Hirsch went on to serve as a beloved athletic director at the school where it all started - the University of Wisconsin.

    Heritage Auctions is proud to present the following lots, featuring Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch that are consigned by his daughter Patty Hirsch Malmquist. Unquestionably, this collection is the nicest selection of memorabilia ever sold publicly from one of the most influential and fabled athletes in sports history.


    Despite playing only one season for the University of Wisconsin, Elroy Crazylegs Hirsch rushed for 786 yards and helped the Badgers to an 8-1-1 mark in 1942. His No. 40 is one of only four numbers the school has retired, and the memory of the Pro and College football Hall of Famer's life lives on in the Wisconsin state capitol, as thousands of runners take part in the UW Athletics Department's "Crazylegs Classic" run each year. Offered here is Hirsch's Wisconsin wool pullover letterman's sweater that he wore his one and only year with the Badgers. A must-have for any high-end Wisconsin game-used memorabilia collector, this stunning cherry red garment exhibits spectacular condition, with only a few small holes and light staining present. The all-important "Elroy Hirsch" white chainlink-embroidered swatch remains in the interior tail, while "Badger Sweater [size] 42" tags are in the collar. Unquestionably, one of the nicest pieces representing the famed university ever to hit the auction block. Letter of provenance from Patty Hirsch Malmquist, daughter of Elroy Hirsch.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
    25th-27th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,276

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