Daniel Flagstad stands next to the jersey he donated.
The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame today graciously accepted a donation of major importance, a home-game jersey that belonged to NFL Hall of Famer Don Hutson, one of the game's all-time greatest players.
The jersey worn by the awesome wide receiver was donated by Daniel Flagstad, 68, of Howards Grove, Wis., in honor of his parents, Melvin and Helen Flagstad, former operators of The Rockwood Lodge, the Packers' summer training camp home from 1946-49.
The navy blue No. 14 was last worn by Hutson during his final season, the Packers' 1945 campaign. As was the practice at the time, the jersey went into storage with the rest of the equipment after the season and made its way out to Rockwood Lodge for the 1946 training camp.
It was there that Flagstad, then 9, came into possession of the prized item. The young Flagstad worked at Rockwood Lodge, helping out with any number of chores for his parents in the operation of the facility or for the team's equipment manager at the time, Tim O'Brien.
"One day I was helping out Tim, sorting some laundry and doing some other things," recalled Flagstad, "and he said, 'Pick out a jersey.' Now, I was a fan of the team and I knew exactly what jersey I wanted. Don Hutson was one of the greatest and he had just finished his career. I went straight to the jerseys and picked out No. 14. Wow!"
The jersey remained in his possession until the family recently approached the Packers to make arrangements for the donation to the Hall of Fame.
"I always knew that this jersey belonged in the Hall of Fame," said Flagstad. "My family knew it, too, and I am thrilled that we are able to do this in honor of my parents. I was very happy to have the jersey all those years and now it is my pleasure for the Hall to have it on display for all the fans to enjoy."
The Hall of Fame currently has a white Hutson jersey in its possession, the team's road game version. Not many home jerseys, such as the one donated by Flagstad, are believed to be in existence, which makes this donation all the more special.
"It's definitely among the Top 5 in the Hall's collection," said Tom Murphy, the Hall of Fame's archivist. "A game-used Don Hutson jersey is a really valuable piece. It is a treasure of this great franchise.
"I can't describe how fortunate and excited we are to have this jersey for the Hall. I think it is great commentary on the type of fans this organization has. They feel it's a privilege to help out the Hall of Fame. It's a great story."