As you recall from previous posts, the 1942 Rose Bowl game that pitted Oregon State against Duke came at a tumultuous time in our country. Weeks before the game the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, causing the game being moved from California to Duke’s campus in Raleigh, North Carolina. Within a few days after the bombing, America would be at war with both Japan and Germany, and many of the men on both football teams would soon be in the war themselves, with some making the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
This white pinback is a little larger than a silver dollar and reads in Duke blue writing “BEAT HITLER AND OREGON STATE.” While I’m sure many Duke fans wore that pin proudly back in 1942, this is the only one I have ever seen. I have no idea if there was a “Beat Hitler and Duke” pin created for the OSU side, but if there was, I’m sure if would have been worn proudly too!
This pin is great example of sports and world events bringing a group of fans together and the nationalism that often ensues. While the pin was made for Duke fans, I felt it was just too good to not post on an OSU memorabilia blog!
I have previously posted some items and info on 1942 Rose Bowl game between Oregon State and Duke, which is most famous for being the only Rose Bowl played outside of California. Due to concerns over WWII, the game was played in Durham, NC, where Oregon State upset a heavily favored Duke team by a score of 20-16.
While some memorabilia from this game can be found, one of the more rare items is the trophy that players and coaches were awarded from that game. All Oregon State coaches and players received the trophies and we know at least the Duke coaches received them as well, because there was a story about a man in NC finding one of these trophies in the trash back in 2014, which had belonged to one of the Duke Coaches!
The pictures below include the trophy that was found in the trash (and later auctioned off), as well as the trophy from Oregon State player Leeland “Lee” Gustafson, who is pictured below (bottom row – far right on the team picture). The trophy stands about 20 inches tall and is a beautiful example of the way trophies looked back when they had true character and style!
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!
In OSU’s only Rose Bowl victory to date, the 1942 Rose Bowl was the 28th Rose Bowl game where the Oregon State Beavers defeated the host Duke Blue Devils 20-16 in Duke Stadium. Originally scheduled to be played in the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, it was moved to Durham, North Carolina, due to fears about an attack by the Japanese on the West Coast of the United States following the attack on Pearl Harbor. This rare pinback was a momento from that game and I have seen it in two slightly different variations.