Tall Firs of Oregon: Program from 1939 national basketball championship up for auction
EUGENE, Ore. - A program featuring the Tall Firs of Oregon in the first-ever NCAA basketball championship is up for auction.
Online bidding for the souvenir from the 1939 game won by the Wandering Webfoots of Oregon started at $300 back on July 15.
The bids took a jump July 16 from $531 to $2,438. From July 24 until Tuesday morning, the high bid has stood at $3,570.
Bidding ends August 17 at 7 p.m. PDT.
Oregon won the first-ever national college basketball championship over Ohio State, 46-33.
The team then took a train home to Eugene.
"They were getting the word that the people back here in Oregon were going a little bonkers over this," starter John Dick said in 2011. The retired Navy rear-admiral, who was 92 at the time of the interview, passed away later that year.
"It gave everybody in the state greater confidence," Dick said in 2011, "and greater pride in our achievements."
The game is considered the first-ever NCAA championship. Oregon has yet to win a second national basketball title.
"You really had two teams coming in that were almost certainly the strongest in the nation," Zachary Bigalke, graduate assistant to the University Archivist at the University of Oregon, said in 2016.
Bigalke said Oregon fans sat anxiously by their radios, listening to the game via live broadcast.
When Oregonians heard of the victory over the Buckeyes, celebrations began immediately.
Crowds flocked to campus and cars crowded the streets, horns blaring.
"There was one incident of a police officer coming to try to deal with the traffic," Bigalke said, "and the crowd ended up hoisting him up on their shoulder and carrying him around."
Even more impressive was the celebration for the team's homecoming.
"Everyone wanted to catch a view of this team," Bigalke said. "This was a statewide source of pride."
An estimated 10,000 fans crowded the train station to welcome the Tall Firs home.
"You had the Oregon Marching Band playing Mighty Oregon, they actually set off fireworks for the group. You really had just a large outpouring of community support," Bigalke said. "It really brought Eugene into the national spotlight for the first time."