1942 Rose Bowl Game Ball – Oregon State vs. Duke

In earlier posts I have given some background on Oregon State’s first appearance (and only victory) in a Rose Bowl game, which took place on New Years Day in 1942.  It was this game when the boys from Corvallis defeated a favored Duke 20-16 in the only Rose Bowl game not played in California, due to concerns on the West Coast after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor a few weeks earlier. Oregon State’s Don Durdan was named the “Rose Bowl Player Of The Game” when the award was created in 1953 and selections were made retroactively.

This is a game ball from that 1942 Rose Bowl game (Photo by Jon Gardiner).  It currently resides in the Duke Sports Hall of Fame and is shown in a great online article by Duke Magazine that was written in 2011, giving Duke’s perspective of this unique Rose Bowl game.  But if game balls were given back in 1942, I’m sure Don Durdan had one of these sitting on his shelf for many years!

1942 Rose Bowl Game Ball

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1912 Football Game Ball – Oregon State vs. Portland’s “MAC” Club

Calling all history detectives!  This 103 year old football came from someone in Texas who thought it might be a rugby ball from Ohio.  But once I saw the writing on the ball, M.A.A.C. – 6, O.A.C. -0, 1912, I was convinced it wasn’t from Ohio, but it was most likely a football game ball played between the Portland, OR based Multnomah Amateur Athletic Club (MAAC), and the Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) in Corvallis, OR. Most of us here in Portland know the Multnomah Athletic Club (MAC Club), which in 1936 dropped the “Amateur” from its name.  Formed in 1891 by 26 football players, the MAC Club has evolved over the years into Portland’s premier social and athletic club, with nearly 20,000 members.  For many years the MAC Club fielded athletic teams of all sports, comprised of local residents and former collegiate athletes, etc., and they competed against other amateur teams and colleges across the NW. OAC, or Oregon State University as we now know it, regularly played the MAC Club in the early 1900’s as part of its regular schedule.  From 1893 to 1926, this site shows 23 meetings between the two organizations.  The MAC typically had older players, many who had played college ball (and some even for Oregon State!), and their maturity is reflected in their winning record over the Beavers!

In authenticating the vintage of this ball, I looked closely at the shape of a ball (more like a watermelon, like early footballs were!), and the logo on the back, which is pretty faint and hard to read… On the logo I picked out a few letters within a visible circle, and it appears the letters match the text “Official Inter-Collegiate Foot Ball,” which was an early Spalding football that I found advertisements for from 1904 and 1920.  Our ball fits right in that timeline and the logo circle, text, and stitching and laces appear to almost match the 1920 ad! Now, to the biggest question with this ball… finding evidence of the game in 1912 between MAAC and OAC, which was won by MAAC 6-0!  I started by looking at the scores from the website linked above, and found that in 1912 the MAAC won that game 9-0.  I researched old Oregonian articles and confirmed that 9-0 was the score that year.  Things weren’t lining up!  So was this ball from a second game they played that year, which has been overlooked and I just haven’t found the articles to confirm it?  The teams did play multiple times in some years.  Or, we know that in 1913 two games were played the score was 6-0 in one of them, so maybe this second game was actually played in 1912 (around New Years) but they just reference it for the 1913 season in yearbooks, etc? I need to review more articles to see if that is the case!  Other thoughts may be that the JV teams of each organization played (I know OAC had a “Rooks” team) and this is a ball from that? Or maybe it wasn’t from a football game at all?  I can’t find any reference in OSU yearbooks to OSU participating in rugby back then, but I know the MAAC did play rugby… I’m working with the MAC Club’s historian, who is also convinced this is an authentic ball from a game between MAC and OAC, to see if we can figure out the story behind this it.  But regardless, until we can put the final puzzle piece together, it’s still a neat piece of OSU and the MAC Club’s history!  Can you help us out???

*UPDATE – I was at the MAC Club the other day eating dinner when I started walking around the sports bar looking closer a lot of old memorabilia, when I came across an almost identical ball to this one, but from a game between the MAAC and the University of Oregon, which MAAC won 20-7!  I looked up Oregon’s 1912 season, and sure enough, on November 29, 1912, those teams played in Portland and MAAC won by that score.  This leads me to believe (but I can’t confirm) our MAAC vs. OAC game ball is also from that 1912 season, but somehow the newspaper got the score wrong at 9-0, when it was actually 6-0, and it has been reported incorrectly ever since!

1912 Football Back1912 Football 1920Spalding Football Ad 1904 AdMAC Club Ball

George Tucker’s 1975-1976 OSU Basketball Jersey

George Tucker was a 4 year starter on Oregon State’s basketball team from 1974-1977 where he played under legendary Hall of Fame coach, Ralph Miller.  He was on the court as a freshman when OSU stopped UCLA’s 50 game conference winning streak in Corvallis, derailing a dynasty that had won 7 consecutive National Championships.  Wearing the jersey you see below, Tucker, from Pasadena High in LA, calmly drained four free throws in the final seconds to preserve the victory against his hometown college, 61-57.

This jersey was given to me by fellow OSU collector I have become acquainted with, although his OSU is Oklahoma State University!  He had come across this a few years ago and surmised it may be a Steve Johnson jersey, the most famous Beaver to wear #33.  But I thought it was too small for the 6’10 Johnson to have worn, so after a few days of internet searching for detailed pictures showing details of each years’ jerseys, we narrowed it down to the 1975-1976 seasons, a year before Johnson joined the Beavs.  He then mailed me the jersey and said it belonged in a Beaver fan’s collection, and eventually it’ll make its way into a frame and join the others in my collection!

Jersey (2) Jersey (5) 1975 George Tucker in Background Tucker

1967 Giant Killers Jersey – Game Used!

The 2012 OSU football team decided to honor the 1967 Giant Killers when they wore a commemorative jersey during the annual Civil War game against the Oregon Ducks.  Fans thought highly of these jerseys but many likely had no idea what the real 1967 jerseys looked like.  This is a picture of the authentic jersey worn by the starting free safety on the 1967 Giant Killers team, Mark Waletich, from Portland’s own Wilson High School.  If you look closely you can still see the tiny stitch marks where they hand sewed the holes from the jersey’s battle scars from some hard fought games.  Here are also some pictures of a game program showing Waletich running behind Dee Andros and a couple more showing the players in the jerseys!

1967 OSU Jersey

Jersey 2 1967 Framed 1967 Program showing Jersey #27Jersey Program Pic Giant Killers full reso

1967 Giant Killers Helmet

It was during a four-week period in 1967 that the Beavers became the only college football team to ever go undefeated against three top two teams in one season since the inception of the AP Poll, which included an epic 3-0 victory over an OJ Simpson lead and #1 ranked USC team, thus earning this team the “Giant Killers” nickname.  This helmet was worn by former OSU player, Bob Jeremiah, who was an integral member of that team! (Courtesy Oregonlive)

A Hero in Giant Killers I in 1967