We had the opportunity over the weekend to check out the 1964: When Browns Town was Title Town exhibit and it was a fun time.
The Western Reserve Historical Society exhibit features large informational posters of Jim Brown, Lou Groza, Gene Hickerson, Leroy Kelly and Paul Warfield, all Hall of Famers who played on the team; as well as video from the season; radio calls from former team broadcaster Gib Shanley; a recreation of a locker from the old Stadium; and playbooks complete with multiple offensive and defensive diagrams from the season.
Like many Browns fans we are familiar with the history surrounding that season, most notably from reading Terry Pluto’s 1997 book, When all the World was Browns Town, but for someone who was born shortly after what to this day is Cleveland’s last championship, it was still a fun afternoon of nostalgia.
While the exhibit, which drew more than 40,000 visitors since opening last September and runs through June 28, a closing reception was held at the historical society on Monday evening. (Sadly, we were unable to attend.) Among those in attendance at the event were former running back Greg Pruitt, local politicians and supporters of the historical society. But according to Northeast Ohio Media Group, the star of the evening was none other than Warfield, who was a rookie on the championship team.
“This evening brings back a lot of fond memories,” the 72-year-old Warfield said. “I was an enormous Cleveland Browns fan growing up in Warren. I relished all of the players. They were heroes to me. They were some of the greatest players of the era. Otto Graham was the equivalent of Tom Brady today. The Cleveland Browns were the equivalent, or forerunners, to the (New England) Patriots.”
One of the highlights of the exhibit was seeing the classic uniforms that Brown and Gary Collins wore that season, which only reinforced our believe that the Browns really didn’t need to do anything to what was one of the league’s iconic uniforms.
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And that is a feeling shared by Warfield.
“I’ve seen the new uniforms,” he told NEOMG. “This (pointing to the hanging jerseys) is the Cleveland Browns! The New York Yankees wear pinstripes! It’s no time to change.”
Tickets to the exhibit are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors (age 62 and up) and $5 for children (ages 3-12). Admission is free to heritage society members, children 2 and under, and active members of the military. Proceeds from each ticket will benefit the Marion Motley Scholarship Fund.
The exhibit is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Saturday, and from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
To learn more, visit the Western Reserve Historical Society’s website.
Did you have a chance to visit the exhibit? If so, what did you think?