Baseball Card Exchange

Forgotten Treasure: 1940 Chicago Bears Watch Found in Drawer

You can only dream your spring cleaning turns up something like this.

He wasn’t a star, but he did play on the 1940 Chicago Bears team that famously waxed the Washington Redskins 73-0 in the NFL Championship game.

Players on the team were given commemorative watches following the season. Gary Famiglietti, a fullback George Halas had drafted out of Boston University in 1938, was one. Famiglietti passed away years ago. The watch changed hands and, sometime in the early 1990s, was given to a northwest suburban man named Kurt Swanson as payment for a plumbing job. Swanson died in November. His widow, Holly, recently found it in a drawer at her home.

”My husband did a job for an older man,” Swanson told the Chicago Sun-Times. ”As part of the payment, the man gave him this watch. He put it in a drawer about 15 years ago. I’ve been going through some of his things, and I found the box. I had completely forgotten we ever had it.”

The watch was made by the Longines Company. Engraved on the back are the words "Chicago Bears, Gary Famiglietti F.B., 1940 World’s Champions."

The Bears know of the discovery and plan to bid on the watch "at a reasonable value" according to a team spokesman. It’s already been listed on eBay with bidding at over $2000 as of early Wednesday morning. And yes, the watch still runs.

Update: According to the Sun-Times, the 1940 Bears Championship watch sold to Al Baisi Jr., who submitted a winning bid of $8,100 on eBay. Al Baisi Sr. played for the Bears in the 1940s. He got a watch after the 1946 championship. ”But I don’t know what happened to the watch, and I remember it so well,” Baisi Jr. said. Now he has one.