The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Inc. today announced the donation of a 1965 Green Bay Packers autographed football by the Chris Morey family of Monona, Wis.
The ball, in mint condition, contains autographs from the players as well as the coaches, including legendary coach Vince Lombardi.
Morey, then 13, received the ball Oct. 10, 1965, after the Packers' 27-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field. Morey's father, Jay, took Chris to his first Packers game that day, and the two later went out for a meal before heading home. A number of Packers were at the restaurant and defensive end Lionel Aldridge gave Chris the ball.
An avid collector of baseball cards at the time, young Morey had the appreciation and foresight to take care of the ball and kept it stored and out of light for the past 45-plus years, only occasionally bringing it out to show family or friends.
"Knowing I received a gift, I knew I just wanted to hold it and decide one day what to do with it," Morey said. "I thought one day this would have some historical value. Football was very big in my family growing up; my grandma was a huge fan. I knew that someday it'd be nice to have. The Lombardi signature was invaluable to me. I had to keep it."
Not wanting to make an awkward decision to choose one of his two sons as an eventual recipient, Morey recently thought about selling it, but ultimately decided the best place for the ball was in the Packers Hall of Fame.
"We wanted to keep our family's name associated with ball," Morey said. "If the Packers Hall of Fame wanted it, we felt its home should be there. We felt thousands of fans would enjoy viewing it, and our grandson can go there one day and say, 'That's my grandpa's ball.'"
The ball was donated in a case affixed with placards that read, "1965 Green Bay Packers, World Champions," and "Football Donated by Chris Morey and Family, Monona, Wisconsin."
"It's in fantastic condition, among the best I've seen from that era," said Hall of Fame Director and Archivist Tom Murphy. "The Lombardi teams are, obviously, considered among the best in NFL history, and to have this gem from the '65 championship team in our collection is outstanding for the Hall, and of course for all Packers fans that visit. We're very appreciative of the Morey family's donation."
The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Inc.is a non-profit corporation independent of the Green Bay Packers that guides the Hall as a historic national sports venue and educational resource to the Green Bay community and the state of Wisconsin. The Hall raises funds through its annual induction banquet, Golf Classic and other events to develop new exhibits and expand its archives. Historic memorabilia donated by individuals to the Hall may qualify as tax-deductible gifts.
The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Inc. Golf Classic is set for Monday, July 12, 2010, at The Bull in Sheboygan Falls, Wis.
Originally established in 1967 as a temporary display in the concourse of the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena, the Hall moved into its own facility in 1976 near Lambeau Field. In 2003, it was relocated to a spectacular new, 25,000-square foot facility in the Lambeau Field Atrium. The Hall of Fame is open on non-game days from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hours may vary on game days and holidays. For more information, contact the Hall of Fame at 920/569-7512, or visit the Hall online at www.packershalloffame.org.