At a crossroads in the storied history of the proud franchise, the 1968 Chicago Bears learned of the fourth and final retirement of coaching legend George Halas on May 27. Treading water under new head coach Jim Dooley, the club dropped four of its first five contests and rallied to tie Minnesota for the Central Division lead before succumbing to Green Bay on the final day of the season. The season was bittersweet in that Hall of Famer Gale Sayers had a league-best 856 yards before being shelved with torn ligaments after Week 9 replaced by Brian Piccolo. This 1968 Chicago Bears souvenir football was signed by (21) of that year’s “Monsters of the Midway.” The light-brown “Wilson” pigskin features ballpoint pennings that average (“7”) quality, with several nicer. Includes: Amsler, Cadile, Cornish, Dooley (coach), Evey, Halas (owner, “8-9”), Mass, Mayes, McRae, O’Bradovich, Percival, Pickens, Phillips, Piccolo (“8”), Pyle, Sayers (“8-9”), Seals, J. Taylor, R. Taylor, Wallace and Wetoska. It should be noted that the signatures of Buffone, Bull, Butkus, Carter, Concannon, Gordon and Green are of the clubhouse variety. Full Photo LOA from JSA. More on our website.
The ball presents nicely with only a few insignificant scuffs, but does not fully inflate (though it most definitely holds enough air to be conducive for display purposes). Additionally, it is likely that one or more signatures (namely, that of Rufus Mayes, who was not drafted until 1969) was added the following season.