While Browns fans itch for a championship, they can relive the one the team achieved 50 years ago through a new exhibit. It's titled "1964 When Browns Town was Title Town" and focuses on the excitement the community felt as well as the team's place in history as an underdog team unexpectedly won a championship in a crushing victory.
Under coach Blanton Collier, the Browns beat the favored Baltimore Colts to win the NFL Championship 27-0 in front of more than 79,000 fans on Dec. 27, 1964.
A wide range of team memorabilia relating to the championship team will be included in the exhibition. It was initiated by avid Browns fans and guest curators Kermit and Joyce Pike, who began their extensive collection with their season tickets and game-day memorabilia from 1964.
One of the special features of their collection of Browns football cards, including the number one Jim Brown Master Set on the Professional Sports Authenticators registry.
After retiring from the Western Reserve Historical Society as library director and chief operating officer, Pike added to his collection to include programs, pennants, autographed footballs, photographs, jerseys and other souvenirs.
In addition to the Pike collection and Western Reserve Historical Society archival material, the exhibit will feature items from the Cleveland Browns, Pro Football Hall of Fame, Don Gries and several other private collectors.
The exhibit, with an emphasis on some of the Pro Football Hall of Fame players who played on the 1964 team, is a multi-media experience with memory-rich artifacts of the championship game such as:
• Jim Brown's contract with the Browns, signed Oct. 31, 1964.
• Championship game football signed by team members.
• Championship game-worn jersey from No. 87, 23-year-old Tom Hutchinson.
• Helmet signed by team members.
• Never-before exhibited recordings of the championship by Middleton Lambright.
• Never before exhibited sideline photographs by Charles Proctor, Cleveland photographer.
• Offensive and defensive playbooks from the 1964 and 1965 season.
• Locker from the 1964 locker room.
• Pennants from the era featuring "Brownie."
• Game programs from the 1964 season.
• Seat from the stadium signed by team members.
• Ticket box, tickets and turnstile from Municipal Stadium, home of the championship Browns.
• Topps and other exception trading cards featuring "Jimmy" Brown.
The WRHS History Center in University Circle, 10825 E. Blvd., is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The research library is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for those age 62 and older and $5 for children ages 3-12.
Group rates are available. Parking lot fees are paid at the admission desk during museum hours. The parking lot is located off Magnolia Drive.