Before the Miracle: Herb Brooks 1970 Team USA Jersey

He was the coach who turned a scrappy bunch of college kids into Olympic champions capable of beating one of the world’s all-time great hockey powers.  Herb Brooks may be identified more closely as coach of the 1980 gold-medal winning U.S. team in Lake Placid but a decade before he was making his own history on the ice.

Perhaps the first Brooks game-worn jersey ever to be available on the market is going on the block this month.  Brooks wore the jersey as captain for Team USA at the 1970 World Ice Hockey Championships in Bucharest, Romania.

Game-worn Herb Brooks 1970 USA jerseyThe red, white and blue size 48 Cosby jersey features Brooks’ number 4 on its back and “USA” and a captain “C” stitched on its front.

Brooks went on to coach the 1980 and 2002 United States Hockey Winter Olympic teams to gold and silver medals.

The 1980 “Miracle on Ice” team, which was composed of unheralded college kids stunned the heavily favored Soviet Union in the semifinals of the Lake Placid Olympic games and went on to capture the gold medal.

The jersey was given to Herb Brooks’ first cousin and is being sold by L.A.-based Nate D. Sanders Auctions. It comes with a letter of authenticity, personal photos of him wearing the jersey and a copy of a postcard that Brooks sent to his family from the 1968 Grenoble Olympics.

Brooks died in a one-car accident near his Minneapolis area home in August of 2003.