Saturday, June 25, 2016

Uniform Oddities: LA Rams 1965-69

By John Turney
Finishing the Rams trifecta, here is one oddity that we've seen on other teams from time to time. It is the different "1s" on a teams uniforms in the same year and/or other different fonts. In 1972 they had a few oddball jerseys, but the 1972 mesh white uniforms seemed to all match. However, the same is not true from 1965-69.

 In 1964, from all the photos we've seen (the team photo was in blue jerseys that season) the numerals all matched. It was a new color scheme and the jerseys would have been brand new and logic seems to suggest the mix-and-match of jerseys would not have occurred during that first year.

1965 Rams team photo
(Click to enlarge)

We count eleven players (how appropriate) that have a "1" in their uniform number. Using the Girdiron Uniform Database nomenclature, we count seven that are "pointy top" and four that are "box top".

1966 Rams team photo
(Click to enlarge)

Here Irv Cross #27 has an oddball "2" and Hank Gremminger #46 has an oddball 4. However, all the "1s" are the same.

1967 Rams team photo
(Click to enlarge)

In 1967 it seems only Merlin Olsen (74) has and oddball "4". Roger Brown (76) has and oddball "7" and the different "1s" returned. We count seven "1s" and four are pointy-top and three are box tops.

1968 Rams team photo
(Click to enlarge)

In this iteration, we see Pat Studstill (28) with an oddball "2" and rookie Mike Dennis (43) with the odd "4" sans serif. In 1968 there are 5 "1s" and three are box top and two are pointy tops.

1969 Rams team photo
(Click to enlarge)

Aside from Deacon Jones and Clancy Williams playing grabass, we see three oddball "7s" one on Merlin Olsen (74) and  Roger Brown (78) and Coy Bacon (79). Jack Snow (84) has an odd "4" as might Mike Lahood (64) but that one is hard to tell. The count for ones in 1969 is nine and the winner this season is pointy tops with six and box tops with three. We are not counting Karl Sweetan (10) who is on first row until we can get a better look to see which his is.

Gabriel wore a curved "1" versus the Eagles and Giants (perhaps others) meaning for at least two games there were three types of "1s" on field at same time.

1969 Rams team photo before playoffs
(Click to enlarge)

In the team photo taken late in season, after injuries, etc. the count is still nine for "1s" and the count here is six for pointy top and three for box top. This time we see that Sweetan is likely wearing a pointy top.

1970 Rams team photo 
(Click to enlarge)

In 1970 the Rams got new uniforms, though still Dureen with tackle-twill numbers, and these had a blue "V" collar and the numbers appeared to be, ahem . . uniform.

1971 Rams team photo 
(Click to enlarge)

Again, the Rams got new uniforms, these were polyester with iron-on Vinflex numbers and they, too, were uniform throughout the team. The numerals were sans serifs at the bottom.

1964 Roman Gabriel.

1965, 1966 or 1969 Merlin Olsen. Those seasons all had a serif on bottom of "7"

1968 Roger Brown

1966 Rosey Grier. The crotch snap indicates 1966, however the blue "V" collar does give me pause. 


  1. In that 71 team photo #89 is different than the rest of the team.

    1. You are right. That's Rick Cash. He was on taxi squad that year, never played in game. He must be wearing his 1970 jersey for the team photo

  2. There is a reason Gabriel wore that unusual jersey in November and December 1969. He recounted in his book "Player of the Year" (a diary of that season) that he injured his non-throwing arm and were about to face the Falcons in Atlanta. Gabriel would have to wear some protection, bandage, covering and didn't want it to show ("If a Norm Van Brocklin-coached team knew I had a bad arm they'd be coming off the bench to get at it." ) He asked the Rams' esteemed veteran equipment manager Don Hewitt if he had a long-sleeved jersey to cover the bandage. He did, and however old it was, it had the different number font. (Actually it was a 3/4 length sleeve not long sleeve).

    1. Yes, we are familiar with that book and that story. Apparently he wore that jersey in Atlanta, in San Francisco and also in Philadelphia.

      However, it may have been an older jersey, but the Rams never wore one with that particular font. It's neither "pointed" nor "square". It's rounded at the top and has no serif on the bottom. It seems to be some oddball jersey they had in the equipment room.