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Steelers Blog

Football history on display in Pittsburgh

Posted by Teresa Varley on October 2, 2012 – 12:11 pm

Football history will be on display at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh as Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame exhibit opens to fans on Saturday, Oct. 6 with a pep rally and Steelers-themed events from 10 a.m.-12 noon.

Gridiron Glory is a travelling display which is making Pittsburgh its first stop on a tour that will last the next five years. The display features over 200 artifacts straight from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, some of which have never left there until now.

“It’s especially appropriate we mark the opening of the exhibit here in Pittsburgh this year,” said Andy Masich, President and CEO of the Heinz History Center during a press conference on Tuesday. “It’s the 120th anniversary of professional football, which started in the City of Allegheny, which we now call the North Side, in 1892.”

The first player ever to be paid to play football was Pudge Heffelfinger, who received $500 to play for the Allegheny Athletic Association, and the accounting ledger from that is the oldest item on display.

The exhibit, which also includes 40 videos produced by NFL Films and over a dozen interactive displays, features artifacts from some of the best players in the game beginning with Knute Rockne and Jim Thorpe, all the way to today’s players.

There is no shortage of Steelers memorabilia on display, including Joe Greene’s helmet and Jack Lambert’s jersey, as well as a hometown section which bridges the gap from players of yesteryear such as Ernie Stautner all the way to today’s players including a replica of Troy Polamalu’s locker.

The display is part of the Hall of Fame’s 50th anniversary celebration, which coincides with the Steelers 80th season and the 40th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception.

“We are so excited to be here from the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” said Saleem Choudry, a researcher for the Hall of Fame. “This is our 50th anniversary and this traveling exhibition is part of that celebration. We are really excited about this exhibit and we are thrilled to have it here in Pittsburgh.”

For more information on the Gridiron Glory exhibit visit www.heinzhistorycenter.org.

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