Gopher Uniform History 1960-67
Please click ont he photos below to enlarge.
The Gophers wore Riddell Kra-Lite helmets exclusively througout the 1960-67 era. The early helmets were 6 point suspension helmets that transitioned to 12 point suspension helmets, although both were probably worn at the same time in the mid-sixties. We've seen the stripes both painted and taped on which is interesting. We believe most of the eariler helmets had painted stripes, but we've even seen some of the late 50's helmets with taped stripes. The numbers were decals and not painted. The player name and sometimes # was usually written inside the helmet in black marker by the equipment staff. The early days of the hard shell plastic were very inconsistent in detail, from the spacing between the numbers to the witdth of the stripes. Each of these white helmets were painted with a lacquer finish to help protect the paint. During the late 1950's to early 1960's there are two interesting items to point out. The first sighting of award stickers/decals being used can be seen on Sandy Stephens helmet below in which stars were handed out for big plays. The other interesting item is the "duckbill" facemask. The photo below is from 1959, also worn by Sandy Stephen on the current squad worn against the alumni. The helmet in our collection with this odd style facemaks was worn by QB Larry Johnson. This style mask was not worn exclusively by QBs by any means and was more than likely a holdover from the single bar mask tweaked to better protect the nose. The single bar facemask was worn exclusively in the mid to late 1950's (first a stubby, then a longer version) and then into the early 1960s until replaced by the two bar.
The Gophers wore home maroon jerseys with 3/4 length sleeves (many were shortened) with gold numers on the front, back, and upper sleeve and were made of durene. Durene is a durable, longer lasting cotton material that tends to have a slight shine to it. The away jersey was white with maroon numbers on front, back, and sleeves (also 3/4 length), and had a classic gold shoulder stripe bordered by two maroon stripes. The numbers were sewn on both jerseys. Our away jersey was worn by Dick Enga or Dick Borst, pictured below. The home pants were also MacGregor and were white with a gold stripe, bordered by two maroon stripes running down the sides of the pants. The away pants were gold with a white stripe bordered by two maroon stripes. The socks were white with a thin maroon stripe towards the top, and the shoes were black, both manufacturers are uknown to us. We believe most, if not all of the jerseys and pants of this era were provided by MacGregor, but the numbering and jersey modifications were done by a variety of local sports shops which did numbering and lettering, which acted as distributors for MacGregor. We are in the process of tracking down the different sports shops that would have done this for the U. Our home 1960's jersey was worn by Sandy Stephens in the 1962 Rose Bowl vs. UCLA, pictured below.