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    1943 Elroy Hirsch Game Worn University of Michigan Wolverines Jersey. 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.

    "It's not something you can hold or see ... but you sure can feel it. I'm speaking about the great Michigan tradition. Corny you say? Not on your life. It's there ... it engulfs you." - Elroy Hirsch

    During Hirsch's playing days his famed quote may have rung true, but 70 years later, we are absolutely confident that the Ann Arbor tradition can be held and seen, and we are sure all discerning game-worn football jersey collectors would agree after they have the chance to view the listing for this 1943 University of Michigan jersey.

    The highlight piece from the "Elroy Hirsch Collection," which has been made possible by his daughter, Patty Hirsch Malmquist, consists of elegant navy blue wool, with shimmering gold numerals. A perfect representation of the gridiron legend, who holds the distinction of being the school's only modern four-time letterwinner in a single season, this jersey was worn during Hirsch's first season in Michigan.

    Presenting the proper 5" sewn-on satin numerals on the front, and 6.75" numerals in the same fabric on the back, the historic garment features a six-button crotch piece, which remains fully intact. Jersey presents exemplary condition throughout, while a moderate amount of small holes are present, in addition to a few that been repaired by the team in blue and black stitching. Sleeves present reinforced elbows, which are appropriate for Hirsch's collegiate style, and the proper "GoldSmith" and "[size] 42" tags are located in the crotch piece.

    A quick search through auction results from the past ten years will help make clear the scarcity of a Crazy Legs Hirsch gamer - there are none. Not only is this arguably the nicest Hirsch gamer in existence, but it is also one of the most significant University of Michigan pieces ever offered. A true Holy Grail piece from one of the most storied Universities in all of college football. Letter of provenance from Patty Hirsch Malmquist, daughter of Elroy Hirsch.





    Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
    25th-27th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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