Monday, January 26, 2015

UMass Statesmen (1938-39)

After stumbling upon this clip recently, I had to add these uniforms to the ol' blog, right?

UMass versus Rhode Island  in 1939... in living color.
What'll they come up with next?

The biggest surprise in this clip of the Massachusetts State College Statesmen (their school name and nickname until after World War II) was the color combo for the home uniforms, which foreshadows the Charley Molnar-era Minutemen by nearly 75 years. When originally researching this era, I always assumed they wore maroon shirts and tan pants, but a second look at black-and-white photos suggests the uniforms were too dark to use that color combo; the game film confirms that.

A description of the UMass-Rhode Island game shown in
the above film clip, from the 1940 Index yearbook. Yup, UMass' teams were known
as the Statesmen before they were the Redmen or Minutemen.

As for the roads ... a little guesswork was used here. For '38, I'm relying on a typical '30s-era yearbook action photo (you stand way over there, and I'll take a photo from way over here). It appears UMass wore plain jerseys; I'm not 100 percent about the color of the numbers.

The '38 road uniform, worn by No. 33 on the left.  From the 1939 UMass Index.

For '39, the jerseys in the photos are clearly not white. Judging from 1940s team photos, they appear to be a rust/tan/gold color, which UMass used as trim off-and-on well into the 1980s. 
The '39 UMass road uniforms in action, from the '40 Index.
Those jerseys definitely aren't white.

By 1940, the pants are noticeably lighter, so I think it's safe to assume they were a rust/gold/tan hue. But to know for certain ... Well, anyone got any more UMass game films lying around?

From 1938 ... It might be interesting to go back there for a week.

We'll look at "Rhode Island State" later in the week.

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