With the much-anticipated NC State v. Carolina basketball showdown approaching this Saturday, it is fitting that we highlight some of the Athletics memorabilia contained in the University Archives Memorabilia Collection (collection guide now available). Some of the Athletics memorabilia in the collection pertains to the 1983 NCAA Mens Basketball Championship won by NC State under the leadership of legendary coach Jim Valvano. This was a marketing and commercial boon for State, as evidenced by the many types of souvenirs that range from the serious and official to the lighthearted and whimsical. There are a plethora of commemorative plaques, glass and plastic cups, coffee mugs, bumper stickers, license plates, hats and caps, and, of course t-shirts and sweatshirts. Some more unusual items include a large metal food canister emblazoned with “1983 National Champions,” some limited edition Coke bottles with facts about the team, and even a shoe with “1983 National Champions” on it. To complete the “Cardiac Pack,” (as the ‘83 team was called) attire, there are also belts and ties, plus pins and buttons to accessorize with.
In addition to the ‘83 memorabilia, the collection also includes some interesting artifacts that belonged to Wolfpack commentator Bill Jackson. Bill Jackson was the play-by-play “Voice of the Wolfpack” alongside color commentator Wally Ausley in the 60’s and 70’s. Jackson was honored as “N.C. Sportscaster of the Year” in 1960, 1962, and 1970 and passed away in 1974. The artifacts include press passes for football games, pins and patches, as well as a board used for covering an NC State v. Wake Forest football game. The boards include players’ names, positions played, heights/weights, and hometowns. There is one board for NC State, one board for Wake Forest, and a sheet with Punting, Kickoff, and Kickoff Return teams. These artifacts provide a fun glimpse into the methods commentators have employed to cover games.
Stay tuned for more highlights from the Memorabilia Collection and don’t forget to watch the big game this weekend!