Vintage UT uniform up for sale on eBay

May, 12, 2009
5/12/09
12:09
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Looking for a Father's Day gift for that Longhorn fan in your life with everything?

Auction site eBay might have the gift for you. Just be prepared to dig deeply in your pocket to pay for an interesting piece of Texas football history.

Bidding will continue until late Wednesday afternoon on a vintage Texas football uniform from 1914 that was once worn by former Longhorn star quarterback and running back Len Barrell.

Long before Ricky Williams, Chris Gilbert, James Saxton or even Bohn Hilliard, Barrell was a record-breaking Texas running back.

John Maher of the Austin American-Statesman crafted an interesting story this morning about Barrell, a 145-pound runner who scored 121 points in the 1914 season. That total stood as the school's single season record until Williams broke the record with 152 points in 1997.

Barrell also is credited with being the first player in Longhorn history to rush for more than 100 yards when he gashed Baylor for 162 yards in a 57-0 thrashing of the Bears on Oct. 10, 1914.

He later served in World War I, moved to Mississippi where he opened a Ford dealership in 1926 and was inducted into the Texas Hall of Honor in 1972. Barrell passed away in 1975.

The uniform is a striking piece of Longhorn memorabilia, even down to a strange piece of rubber that was used by Barrell as a nose protector.

Barrell told family members the unusual contraption was worn in a certain way.

"You held it with your teeth," Barrell explained.

Bidding for the jersey, pants/belt, socks, shoulder pads, cleats, leather helmet and nose guard had topped $5,250 early Tuesday morning.

As this piece of history is being sold, it's interesting to me that a school like Texas that has such a rich football history doesn't have a Hall of Fame, or even really an exhibit at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium to showcase its most historic artifacts.

I can remember how excited Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione was when he showed me through the Switzer Center in Norman, showcasing similar historical pieces of memorabilia.

Texas A&M has started its own sports museum in the Bernard C. Richardson Zone at Kyle Field. And Oklahoma State has started its own sports museum at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

The Longhorns have Heisman trophies and national championship titles prominently displayed at their football facility. But nothing like some of their Big 12 South rivals have started.

History is such a part of Texas football with statues of Earl Campbell and Darrell Royal so prominent at the stadium.

It's just surprising and a little bit sad there's not a specific area dedicated to the preservation of the school's rich athletic history somewhere at the mammoth facility where artifacts like Barrell's jersey could be displayed for fans to witness every day.  

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