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Spartan football team wore white jerseys, before they wore green - Spartan Jerseys
Football players gathering in the tunnel prior to a home game at Spartan Stadium
Football players gathering in the tunnel prior to a home game at Spartan Stadium
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Spartan football team wore white jerseys, before they wore green

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Game photos shared with me by a good friend of Spartan Jerseys brought an interesting piece of information to light. The Michigan State football team was wearing white away jerseys in 1939, where this custom originated. Coincidentally, this is one of the three jersey style eras I predicted the new Pro Combat Uniforms will be modeled after.

You may recall that the 1939 football team was under Head Coach Charlie Bachman, and it was during this time that Michigan State football had an identity crisis. Officially, the school colors were green and white, but in 1934 Bachman outfitted the Spartans in black and gold with winged helmets. Looking back, the Spartan football team looked like a mash up between Notre Dame and Michigan, except Michigan didn’t start wearing their winged helmets until four years later.

Photos shared with me by Larry Bodnovich show one particular season under Bachman’s reign when he got the school colors half right. It was the game at Michigan on October 7, 1939, the first away game of that season, when the Spartans ran out onto the field wearing white away jerseys. A white away jersey has been worn for away games ever since.

As far as football is concerned, Michigan State wore white, before they wore green.

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One Response to “Spartan football team wore white jerseys, before they wore green”

  • LarryB:

    I was wondering what fans reactions or thoughts were when Bachman first changed to black and gold in 1934. Of course there was not today's type of media coverage and internet fans reactions. But people who went to the games back then had to have some opinions of the black and gold look. Or even the players had to have opinions about it. Too bad things like that are not documented.

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Photography Credits: Masthead image is courtesy of MSU Athletic Communications. Spartan Jerseys claims no ownership to this image.

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