The 1939 Oregon State College football team finished the year with a 9-1-1 record, culminated by a win in the program’s first ever postseason bowl game, the Pineapple Bowl. Played in Honolulu, Hawaii on New Year’s Day in 1940, Oregon State faced the local Hawaii Rainbow Warriors and came out victorious by a score of 39-6.
OSU’s website has a great story you can read here about the history of Beaver football in Hawaii, including some background on this game. And if you want to see something really cool, Oregon State’s archives has nine minutes of an amazing home video from that trip IN COLOR that you can watch here.
Below is a picture of the program from that 1940 game, which is the only one I have ever seen. Also included is a team picture showing the lucky players and coaches who made that month long trip to Hawaii (courtesy of oregonstate.edu).
Oregon State was led by eventual Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker when it faced a one loss Villanova Wildcat team in the 1962 Liberty Bowl, which was played on a frozen field in Philadelphia on December 15th. Baker scored on a 99 yard quarterback keeper run to provide the only points of the game, with OSU winning 6-0, earning its first bowl victory since the 1942 Rose Bowl. After starting 0-2, the Beavers capped the season with eight straight wins and Baker won the Heisman just weeks after his performance in the Liberty Bowl. Here is a pinback, program, ticket stub, decal, and a picture of Terry Baker from the game!
1963 was OSU’s first and only appearance in the NCAA Men’s Final Four basketball tournament. That team, led by the great Mel Counts and the football team’s Heisman Trophy winner, Terry Baker, won their first three games over Seattle U., San Francisco, and Arizona State to make it to the Final Four in Louisville, Kentucky. They matched up with Cincinatti in the first game and trailed 30-27 before ultimately getting destroyed in the second half to lose 80-47. Terry Baker had the flu before that game and scored zero point, which most of the guys attributed to the team’s lackluster play. The Beavers, coached by the great Slats Gill, played Duke for the third place game and lost 85-63. They finished the season with a 22-9 season record. Below is the program from that one Final Four!
The Beavers were once again the opposing team for the Hawaii Rainbows in the 1949 Pineapple Bowl, the third bowl game in program history. The Beavers had previously traveled to the Islands to defeat the Rainbows in the 1940 game. The fans showed up for the 1949 version of the Pineapple Bowl to the tune of 15,000. OSU had compiled a 5-4-3 overall record in Coach Lon Stiner’s final season. The Warriors posted a 7-3-1 record. Despite the Rainbows winning much of the statistical battle, the heavily favored Beavers forced 5 turnovers and won the game by an impressive 47-27 score. This rare game program is the only relic I have seen from that game and is unique because of its smaller size compared to normal programs.