When Kermit Pike and his wife, Joyce, married in the summer of 1964, they used $100 from their wedding gifts to buy season tickets for the Cleveland Browns.
That year, they watched Gary Collins and Jim Brown—still Pike’s favorite player—lead the Browns to the league championship. They shut out the Baltimore Colts 27-0 in front of more than 79,000 fans.
The Pikes kept their ticket stubs from that game; and, ever since, Kermit Pike has collected memorabilia—including tickets, programs, posters, trading cards, autographs and more—from that championship team.
Pike will bring some of his collection on Monday, Nov. 3, to Mentor Public Library’s Main Branch for a special program. He’ll be joined by Don Gries, whose grandfather is a former minority of the Browns.
Both Gries and Pike will share their Browns memorabilia and stories, and they hope others will come to the library to share their memorabilia and memories, as well.
“Everybody’s invited to bring their own collectibles too,” Pike said. “I’m looking forward to reminiscing with other fans.”
More of Pike’s collectibles are on display as part of the new exhibit, 1964: When Browns Town Was Title Town at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland. The exhibit includes:
- Jim Brown’s contract with the Cleveland Browns, signed Oct. 31, 1964
- Offensive and defensive playbooks from the 1964 and 1965 seasons
- Trading cards featuring “Jimmy” Brown
- Never-before exhibited photos and video from the championship season
- Game-worn jerseys, autographed helmets and more.
The exhibit runs through February 2015.
The program at Mentor Library is free and open to everyone. People can register by calling (440) 255-8811 ext. 215 or on the library’s website.
The WRHS exhibit is included with the history center’s admission price—ten dollars for adults, $9 for seniors and $5 for children. More information is available on WRHS’s website.