In this day and age, it's common for sports teams to find the flimsiest excuse to wear a commemorative patch. It seems many teams will slap on a patch whenever it reaches an anniversary ending in "1" or "5." (The worst examples: The Chicago White Sox wearing a 95th anniversary patch in 1995 and the Bruins wearing a 90th anniversary patch in 2013-14.)
But in the olden times, teams wore patches only when they REALLY meant it. Take Boston College. In 1963, the Eagles celebrated the school's 100th anniversary with a patch on its football uniforms in 1962 AND '63. While the player's left sleeve bears a uniform number, the right sleeve bore the school's seal. If you look closely in the photos below, you can see some words in an arc above the seal, presumably to note the school's milestone.
|The Boston College seal.|
|The '62 BC Eagles in action. Note the patch on the right sleeve.|
While we think of BC's colors as maroon and gold (selected by the Jesuit school because of their connection to the papacy), those traditional shades only appear in certain places -- the helmets and the numbers/trim on the road jerseys. Everything else is rendered in something closer to red and yellow. Throw in the shoulder stripes, and it's easy to mistake these unis for USC.
|BC and Holy Cross face off at Alumni Stadium in 1962. The stadium|
was roughly two-thirds the size it is now. Note the red and yellow
in the Eagles' uniforms.
The team itself was pretty good, racking up a combined 14-5 record under coach Jim Miller. In '62 quarterback Jack Concannon thew 15 touchdown passes, which in those days, when passing was considered a mortal sin in some corners, was tied for the national lead. That wouldn't lead the nation after the first month in the 2010s.
(BTW, check out the schedules from this era. Before Joe Yukica came in '68 and gradually brought BC back to the big time, the Eagles were playing schools such as Detroit Mercy, Wichita State, VMI, Villanova and Boston U. -- not exactly the SEC we're talking about, which is probably why BC didn't receive any bowl bids.)
|The '63 Eagles huddle up and listen to quarterback Jack Concannon (3).|
In '64, the jersey number returned to the right sleeve, only for an eagle logo to replace it in '66, ending BC's brief jersey symmetry.
One fun postscript: When Topps made football cards in the 1950s and '60s, the bubble gum lords didn't always have the most up-to-date photos handy, and sometimes had to resort to desperation in order to obtain a certain photo of a player. On top of that, Topps colts be just plain lazy. (If you don't believe me, check this out. Topps used the same poorly colored Joe Kapp photo no fewer than SIX times over the years between its CFL and NFL issues.)
This perfect storm gathered in 1965, when the Boston Patriots drafted tight end Jim Whalen out of Boston College. Topps, which back then usually waited a year to put newcomers into its sets, elected to issue a Whalen card during his rookie year (as it did with a few other '65 rookies, including some guy named Joe Namath). With no photo of Whalen in a Pats uniform handy, Topps did the next best thing and performed a paint job on a black-and-white photo of Whalen in a BC uniform. How can you tell? Check out the centennial patch on the sleeve! At least the Eagles and Patriots used a similar jersey template, particularly with the shoulder stripes.
|Jim Whalen, in all his airbrushed glory.|
This airbrushing might have been more convincing if Topps hadn't chosen to give Whalen a silver helmet and pants and light blue shoulder stripes. Instead of looking like an Eagle or Patriot, he resembles, well, no team ever.
And to add insult to insult, Topps used the same photo in 1966 AND '67, not bothering to find an updated photo of Whalen in red, white and blue. 1960s Pats fans who found the recycled Whalen photo in their packs were probably ready to throw their bubble gum and funny rings against the wall. (If you peruse the Vintage Football Card Gallery, you'll see that even Pats stars such as Gino Cappelletti weren't immune to photo recycling.)
|Jim Whalen's 1966 (top) and '67 Topps cards.|
Say, these look familiar. ...
Craving some more BC unis? Look right here: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2007, 2000, 1995-96, 1994, 1989-90, 1984, 1982, 1978-80, 1968-77, 1958-60, 1957, 1955-56, 1950-52, 1939, 1935-38, Rivalry Week (w/Holy Cross).