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Rutgers Trea$ure Hunter: 60 years between ttfp visits to Piscataway

We live in a digital world, but game programs are still sold today. And those "ad journals" tell an interesting story of our college athletic past.

We're back with another installment of Rutgers Trea$ure Hunter.  We're gonna look at that game day staple, the program.

Does that image above look familiar?  For those who actually bought it, yes, it's this year's game program from the ttfp game.  A great night as Rutgers played in the Big Ten for the first time.

Before that night, the last time the Nitty Kitties visited Piscataway was 1955.  The result was, as it was this year, a loss (#11/12 Penn State 34, Rutgers 13). That was the end of a seven-year run of home-and-home games (yes, ttfp actually left Happy Valley to visit Rutgers).  And one year earlier, at Beaver Field (yes, that's right, Beaver Field), The Scarlet trekked out to play and this was the program that was sold to fans.

I can't verify it, but that might be Katy Perry's....grandmother.  Anyway, a mere 35 cents got you the program with some interesting stories inside, like how there was a need to hire hundreds of "young boys" to clean up after over 30,000 people packed Beaver Field.  And that over a span of two years, those kids earned over $15,000.  By the way, I paid somewhere around $15 for the program about seven years ago, probably more than any of those kids made cleaning the place.

In 1954, the capacity of Beaver Field was a bit less than 107,000.  Interestingly, it actually looked a lot like the old Rutgers Stadium did before the rebuild in 1994.  Rutgers Stadium was built into a natural ravine while Beaver was girders built above grade.

Rutgers Stadium, ca. 1930's

Inside, there wasn't a lot of personal info on the players.  Rutgers carried a squad of 40, but there was no indication of their hometowns or even their height and weight. Below is one of two pages of photos, including the five man coaching staff led by HC Harvey Harmon, a 1981 inductee into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame.

Over on the PSU player pages (they carried 53 players, so already they were getting a leg up!), were two photos of prominent players.  First there was Rosey Grier, a member of the LA Rams' "Fearsome Foursome", after an eight year stint with the Giants.  Grier went to High School at Abraham Clark in Roselle, so even then they were getting New Jersey players.  Then there was Lenny Moore, a Pro Football Hall of Famer who played for the Colts.

Perhaps one of the more interesting photos was that of the PSU coaching staff. Again, you notice they have more coaches than we do. The legendary Rip Engle is the boss, but way over on the far right is a young 28-year old assistant coach.  Recognize him?

Yeah, that's Joe Pa.

jo pa

On the Banks will do this again.  And you can be a part of it.  Do you have an interesting piece of Rutgers sports history in a closet, garage, or attic?  We can feature that in a story.  Contact us at Include a picture and a description of what it is and where it's from.  We got stuff, too!