Penn State

1959 Penn State
(Authentic Reproduction)



With great players in the late 1940's like Steve Suhey and running back Fran Rogel, and the mid-fifties stars Lenny Moore and Roosevelt Grier, Penn State had consistently good teams and the occasional great player. However, if there is an arbitrary point in time where it can be said that Penn State attracted and produced superior players, 1959 is a good place to start. Under only two head coaches and for more than forty years to follow, Penn State seemed to always have one or two All Americans, play the best teams in the country to the wire and defeat most of them, and consistently make their presence known in bowl games and the national rankings. 1959 showcased a white helmet with one-inch navy blue center stripe and "LSU-style" block numerals in matching navy blue. For some of the games, the player identification numerals were on the sides of the helmet and for others, they were moved to the rear quarter of the shell, mimicking the look that Syracuse was using. Depth in established and future stars was there in '59 with Lucas backed up by Galen Hall at QB; Hoak and Roger Kochman at running back; Bob Mitinger challenging for All American honors as a sophomore; Stynchula and Barber on the line. They rolled to a 8-2 record, defeating a schedule that reflected their new philosophy to play nationally known and ranked teams in addition to their key eastern rivals such as Pitt and West Virginia, raising their own national profile. In the very first Liberty Bowl, Lucas went down with an injury late in the first half and Galen Hall came in to make the 7-0 lead hold up over Alabama for the remainder of the contest. At 9-2, Penn State not only dominated Eastern football, they had arrived as a nationally known team with the talent to match. Lucas finished his career with the school's career record in total offense, total offense in one game, and as much for his defensive play as his offensive numbers, consensus All American honors before marching off to the new Buffalo team in the AFL.     

If interested in any of these Penn State helmets please click on the photos below.