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Rare 1937 Pittsburgh “Pirates” (Steelers) Team Photo with HoFers Rooney and McNally.

Lot 21. Rare 1937 Pittsburgh “Pirates” (Steelers) Team Photo with HoFers Rooney and McNally. When the Pittsburgh football team joined in the NFL in 1933, it was known as the “Pirates.” In that era, a football team commonly adopted the same nickname as its city’s baseball team. To distinguish the two teams, local media often referred to the football team as the “Rooneymen.” In 1939, owner Art Rooney decided that a name change was in order. He enlisted a newspaper to promote a “name-the-team” contest. From the entries, Rooney selected “Steelers,” which was suggested to recognize Pittsburgh’s steel mill heritage. With future Hall of Fame player Johnny “Blood” McNally as the head coach, the Pirates won four games and lost seven. They defeated the Philadelphia Eagles and Brooklyn Dodgers to open the season, but then lost five consecutive games, all but one by seven points or fewer. McNally is seated next to Rooney in the photo, which is an 18.5” x 13” black & white offset print matted and framed to 25” x 19”. Several vertical creases run from top to bottom in the print near the center, and several other creases are nearby. Apparently the photo was folded sometime during the past 84 years. The photo is well focused, and players are easily identifiable. A seldom-seen piece of early Steelers memorabilia. In fact, this is the only VINTAGE copy we have seen. Winning Bid $630.    

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       Winning Bid  $630


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