1960-61 Detroit Red Wings #20 Game Worn Jersey
Red Wool Home Jersey
With Photo Matches to Len Lunde and “Lefty” Wilson
This wool jersey is one of those rare specimens that were saved from the affiliate team recycling that happened with most all of the NHL jerseys from this era. Once in a while a jersey is somehow removed from the confines of the team dressing room or storage and remains in the same condition as it did in that last game it saw action. The jersey is a heavy wool with a vibrant red colour. The original "Lippman's Sporting Goods Detroit" and size 46 tags remain sewn to the collar.
This style of jersey with the specific style, font and position of the sleeve numbers is specific to the first half 1960-61 season with the possibility of also having been worn in the previous 1959-60 Stanley Cup Playoffs. I have found two team photos from this season. One is from the first part of the season while the other is from the end or latter part. I could distinguish the early 1960-61 season photo by the presence of Murray Oliver, Gary Aldcorn and Tom McCarthy who started the season but were subsequently traded on January 24, 1961 to the Boston Bruins. The later photo from the 1960-61 season had the new players acquired in the trade: Vic Stasiuk and Leo Labine. The jerseys the team are wearing in that photo have a larger sleeve number with a different font.
Len Lunde was born in Campbell River, B.C. And soon made his home in Edmonton, Alberta where he cut his teeth in 2 seasons with the WCJHL Edmonton Oil Kings, leading them in scoring. He then went on to play two seasons with the professional WHL Edmonton Flyers where he led the team in scoring over the likes of future and past NHLers, Jerry Melnyk, Hugh Coflin, Billy McNeil, Bud MacPherson, Tom McCarthy, Metro Prystai, Tony Leswick, Gord Hannigan and Bill McCreary.
He was called up to the parent Detroit Red Wings in 1958 and scored 14 goals in his rookie season. He finished his time with Detroit after the 1961-62 season and went on to play with the NHL Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota North Stars and Vancouver Canucks and finished his pro career with the 1973-74 WHA Edmonton Oilers.
”Lefty” Ross Ingram Wilson, is also pictured wearing this exact #20 jersey in a McCarthy Postcard. Prior to Lefty becoming the long time trainer of the Detroit Red Wings from 1950-82, he played goal in Junior A and with the Red Wings AHL affiliate the Indianapolis Capitals. As well as being the head trainer and equipment manager with the Detroit Red Wings, he would act as an emergency goaltender for Detroit in which he replaced an injured Terry Sawchuk on October 10th, 1953. He also replaced an injured Harry Lumley of the Toronto Maple Leafs January 22, 1956 and replaced an injured Don Simmons of the Boston Bruins December 29, 1957 playing 52 min, allowing one goal in a 2-2 tie against his own, Detroit Red Wings. Lefty was a major innovator of the goalie mask and made the masks worn by Terry Sawchuk his entire career. Many NHL goaltenders as well as affiliate goalies of the Red Wings would wear “Lefty” Wilson masks.
This jersey is truly a cornerstone of the Detroit Olympia Collection.