Earlier this year I featured one of the coolest items I’ve covered on eBay Watch, the 1930 Michigan football jersey. That auction formed the cornerstone for the article I submitted to Hail to the Victors 2008.

This week on the uber premium Mastro auctions site some incredible items surfaced including another jersey from one of Harry Kipke’s great Depression Era teams. This time it’s a 1931 uniform purported to have belonged to end Norm Daniels. Check it out, here’s the front:

Norm Daniels

And the back:

Norm Daniels

And while there was some question over whether the 1930 jersey from the previous post was the same one worn by the player (Francis Cornwell) in the 1930 team photo from the Bentley Historical Library, this one seems to be a spot on match. Judge for yourself – once again from the Bentley:

Norm Daniels

Mastro indeed attracts some major items. You may have heard of the holy grail of sports memorabilia, the 1909 Honus Wagner card, that recently sold for $1.35 million. The 1930 jersey sold for around $2,000 on eBay in February with a poorly constructed auction description; I wonder if this one will sell for closer to $4K. Here more from the auction description:

The offered grid-wear hails from the University of Michigan’s early days of Big 10 Conference dominance. Worn by quarterback Norm Daniels (he of subsequent legendary coaching tenure at Weslyan University) as the Wolverines secured back-to-back league co-championships in 1930 and 1931. This blue pullover garment is a wool/cotton blend with the number “32” sewn to the front in gold-colored canvas and that same identifier sewn to the back in maize felt. A “SPALDING” manufacturer’s label is stitched within the left cotton seam and a size “42” tag resides on the underside of the wool crotch flap. Heavy wear is evident, with a few small holes about the wool elements. Accompanying is a team photo print in which Daniels is depicted wearing this very jersey. LOA from Mastro Auctions.

The Bentley actually lists Daniels as a right end on the great Kipke squads which dropped just one game from 1930 to 1931. It was in ’31 that Daniels met Gerald Ford, who was just beginning his Michigan career. A little Googling revealed that Ford, Daniels and Bo Schembechler actually met in 1975 at a coaches convention in Washington, DC:

Knowing the NCAA Coaches Convention was soon to convene in Washington, Walker and Sardo asked the President [Ford] if he might like to see Michigan’s then-football coach “Bo” Schembechler and Wesleyan’s Norm Daniels while the two were in town for the convention. The President concurred and the date was set.

On the appointed day, Schembechler and Daniels waited in a private room at the hotel hosting the convention. At the scheduled moment, a door opened and the President came came in. Daniels’ spontaneous greeting outraced the moment’s protocol as he chimed, “Well, hello, Jerry!” only to catch himself, “…I mean, Mr. President.” “No, no, Norm…,” countered the President, “I will always be ‘Jerry’ to you.”

Shortly after he left Michigan, Daniels went onto a prolific coaching career at Wesleyan-Connecticut. Over 19 years he compiled a 76-61-10 record, the pinnacle being the period from 1945-1948. During this ridiculous stretch his teams put up Yostian numbers, going undefeated with just one tie. He left the coaching position in 1963.

Still with us! Perhaps the biggest surprise to me, after digging a little further, it looks like the original owner of that jersey is still around. I’m not positive but I couldn’t find any news to the contrary. Here’s a photo from the Wesleyan U. website when they celebrated Daniels’ 100th birthday on March 25, 2007!! He’s the seated 100 year old gentleman giving the thumbs up:

Norm Daniels

Unreal! I wonder if Daniels or his family wants that jersey back? Very cool stuff, I’ll be watching to see how much the jersey fetches.

eBay Watch: The Fall of 1934
eBay Watch: 1933 and the Dickinson Formula
eBay Watch: 1933 MSC Ticket Application
Gerald Ford, Michigan Man


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  5. Norm Daniels is my grandfather. He is still alive and turing 102 March 25th. I am a teacher and my class is studying past and present athletes and to my surprise this came up when we googled his name. Can someone let me know if any bidders

    scott daniels

  6. Scott,
    Thanks for the note. Send me an email, I’ve been in contact with his your grandfather’s son (your uncle or father?) and he wanted to send me some photos. I’m glad you found this post.

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  10. I am glad I found this site. Very much enjoy the history of teams uniforms.