The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum is hosting a major football exhibit through January 2016.
Drawing material from long-time collector Gary Cypres and The Sports Museum of Los Angeles, the exhibit covers 5,000 square feet and features over 600 artifacts, including some of the rarest, historic and iconic football memorabilia in the country.
Memorabilia from past greats as well as sections on the LA Rams, USC and UCLA, and scores of other historically important players and organizations are represented in the exhibit entitled “Football! The Exhibition”.
The exhibition showcases the glory days of football – from the first balls, helmets, and jerseys ever used, to bringing together iconic pieces of football history, such as the prototype for the Heisman Trophy, signed Lombardi Trophies by Super Bowl MVP recipients, and dozens of game-worn jerseys by the sport’s best.
Also featured are rare artifacts related to former President Reagan and football – from his days playing the game in high school and college to memorabilia from his role playing George Gipp in “Knute Rockne: All American”. There are autographed footballs and jerseys Reagan received while President, along with his honorary Heisman Trophy – the first and only person to ever receive one.
“I couldn’t play baseball, because I couldn’t see the ball good enough,” President Reagan remarked in 1981 at the opening of the Champions of American Sport Exhibition. “That’s why I turned to football. The ball was bigger, and so were the fellows.”
“Football consistently remains America’s favorite sport,” said John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. “Football fans of all ages are going to be astounded by the array of iconic football pieces on display from gridiron giants to today’s superstars. ‘Football – the Exhibition’ is the perfect way to spend an afternoon with family, friends, and fellow football fans.”
Featured items on display in Football! The Exhibition include:
- Some of the first footballs, cleats, helmets, uniforms, and folk art as well as an unmatched collection of football cards and photographs of the astonishing athletes who played the game
- Game-worn jerseys, some autographed, by Peyton Manning, John Elway, Tom Brady, Kurt Warner, Drew Bledsoe, Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, Johnny Unitas, Terry Bradshaw, Brett Favre, Drew Brees, Dan Marino, Steve Young, Ben Rothlisberger, Joe Theisman, Eric Dickerson, Jim Kelly and Fran Tarkenton.
- Signed Lombardi Trophies from Joe Namath, Eli Manning, Bart Starr and others
- Heisman trophies from Doug Flutie, USC’s Marcus Allen, and UCLA’s Gary Beban
- Special sections featuring the Los Angeles Rams and the rivalry between UCLA and USC
The Reagan Library is located at 40 Presidential Drive in Simi Valley, California. Public hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Check out photos from the exhibit in the gallery below.