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Packers unveil new third uniform

By Rich Palzewic
Sports Editor

GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers recently introduced the team’s new third uniform to be worn this season.

The ceremony took place last month at the Packers Pro Shop.

The 50s Classic Uniform, inspired by the team’s uniforms from 1950-53, which was the second time the team wore green and gold in its history, will debut at Lambeau Field Oct. 24 when the Washington Football Team travels to Green Bay.

The uniforms are all green, with gold numbers and stripes similar to the jerseys worn in the 1950s.

In those days, the green was a Kelly green, and the team alternated between wearing it with green or gold pants.

This alternate jersey, which is the Packers’ traditional green color, with gold numbers and stripes, will be worn with matching green pants with gold stripes and matching green socks.

“We probably have more history and tradition than any team in the league,” Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy said. “A great way to celebrate that tradition is by wearing these throwback uniforms.”

It’s been six years since the Packers unveiled an alternate third jersey.

The team didn’t wear an alternate jersey during the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Murphy said fans and players love the throwback uniforms.

“When we did the photoshoot, the players indicated they are looking forward to wearing them,” he said.

Murphy said the 1950s was an interesting era in the organization’s history.

“The 1950s created the bridge between two of the greatest eras in pro football,” he said. “With the National Football League (NFL) growing rapidly, this time period set the stage for the construction of Lambeau Field and the team’s success in the 1960s and beyond. We hope our fans enjoy celebrating our history with this new alternate uniform.”

Though the early 1950s were not a particularly successful time for the Packers on the field, it was the dawn of an eventful decade off the field – a decade that began with the departure of the team’s founder Curly Lambeau and ended with the arrival of Vince Lombardi.

In the 1950s, the NFL was growing quickly and gaining nationwide interest through television exposure.

The Packers organization was at a turning point, and a franchise-saving stock sale helped lay the groundwork for the eventual construction of Lambeau Field and set up the team to stay in Green Bay through modern times.

Packers Historian Cliff Christl also weighed in on the alternate uniform.

“I’ve always thought, with the different combinations they wore during the 1950s, that might have been one of the spiffiest uniforms in the history of the team,” he said. “I like the (alternate) jersey – the color combination is nice. The color jumps out at you.”

Christl said the Packers first wore green during the 1935 season.

“We had a photo expert come in a few years ago,” he said. “Because there was no color photography, it’s hard to tell how long they wore it for. (Former Packers player) Clarke Hinkle said they wore it for the rest of the 30s.”

Christl said the team went back to blue in the 40s.

“It went back and forth between blue and green for a while, but this was the start of when the Packers started to wear green on an almost permanent basis,” he said. “Most of the blues they wore in the 50s were bluish-green.”

Christl said beginning in the 30s, teams had to file their colors with the league.

The NFL’s third jersey program permits teams to have a third jersey they can wear for up to three games per season (no more than two home games) over five years.

In recent years, the Packers have had two third jerseys.

One was worn during the 2010-11 and 2013-14 seasons and celebrated the team’s 1929 season, the year of Green Bay’s first world championship.

The more recent third jersey, worn from 2015-19, was a re-creation of the team’s uniform in the 1940s.

“The Packers have this great history,” Christl said. “No other team in all of sports, except maybe the New York Yankees, has a history like ours. It’s special to have an alternate uniform like this – the players eat it up.”

Christl said Bobby Dillon, who played for the Packers from 1952-59 and died Aug. 22, 2019, at the age of 89, was “probably the most famous Packers player from the era.”

“He ended up being elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but unfortunately, it was after he died,” he said. “He was a great player and still holds the team’s interception record (52) when they played in 12 games a season. He did that in eight years.”

Christl said the team had other great players during that era.

“(Quarterback) Tobin Roth led three teams to championships, including the (Detroit) Lions in 1957,” he said. “That was the only time the Lions’ won an NFL Championship, and they did it with a Packers quarterback.”

Jim Ringo was also another prominent player from that era.

The 50s Classic Collection is available for fans to purchase in the Packers Pro Shop and includes the 50s Classic Jersey along with a new line of assorted apparel, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, caps, knit hats, helmets, coolers, pins, decals, coffee mugs, tumblers, pints and shot glasses.

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