MARYLAND MAKES HISTORY IN 1961
Maryland Becomes the First College Football Team to Wear Players’ Names on Jerseys
The old saw that you can’t tell a player without a program is no longer true, at least at Maryland.
This season Maryland will be the first college football team in the country to have the players’ names sewn to the jerseys.
Before a touring group of Atlantic Coast Conference sports writers visiting the Maryland practice session, Coach Tom Nugent wheeled in big end Hank Poniatowski. Completely garbed in football regalia, his name was prominently displayed in 3-inch white letters across his chest.
The 195-pound senior, with a chest bigger than his name (it sort of has to be), has the longest name on the roster. The new American Football League was the first to use the names as well as the number on football uniforms--patterned after the fad started by the Chicago White Sox in professional baseball.
Nugent’s innovation will just have the last names of the players inscribed on the uniform, although a player with a name like Tom Brown, who happens to be a stellar halfback for the Terps, could probably be full identified. But Henry Poniatowski, well.
source: Mulela, “Maryland Decides to Spell It Out.” by Byron Roberts. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973); Sept. 15, 1961; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The Washington Post (I pg. D3)