Historic UGA football, athletics memorabilia coming to Southwest Georgia Regional Library

Published 6:59 pm Thursday, July 13, 2023

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A traveling exhibit of University of Georgia athletics materials and memorabilia will be on display at the Southwest Regional Library on Thursday, July 20, from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.


The free-to-attend exhibit will display items such as game-worn equipment, artifacts and memorabilia, and even Kirby Smart’s sideline outfit.  

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Jason Hasty, one of the University Library’s Public Outreach Associates, will host the “UGA Athletics in Your Town” exhibit. He will be there to answer questions and talk with Georgia fans about the exhibit items. He said it is one of his favorite things he does for work.


“I’ll do a lot of fun things and a lot of interesting things for work,” Hasty said. “But this is the best thing I do.”


The traveling exhibit makes stops around the state and displays recent to century-old UGA athletics memorabilia.


The majority of the exhibit is football memorabilia, according to Hasty. He said Nick Chubb’s 2018 Rose Bowl cleats will be on display along with the gloves Sony Michel was wearing when he scored that game’s winning touchdown. The black alternate jersey of recent years will be shown off, and more of a “wide variety of football materials.”


Hasty reached out to UGA Head Coach and Bainbridge native Kirby Smart for something of his to put in the exhibit — a special request for the Bainbridge leg of the tour. Smart agreed to contribute and donated his game-day sideline outfit.


“The visor, the polo, the belt, you know, that he gets held back on the sidelines with, his khaki pants, his shoes,” Hasty said. “He really donated everything, and I’m very excited that he wanted to participate in this way.”


Hasty said his favorite piece of football memorabilia in the exhibit is a fan-made wooden plaque the early 1900’s.


“It’s a wooden football that has the Georgia ‘G’ on it, the old style block ‘G,’” Hasty said. “On the backside of the plaque, it has etched in it the names of everyone on the 1911 team, the coaches and the dates and scores of all the games.”


Non-football memorable will be shown from track, women’s tennis, women’s swimming, gymnastics and baseball, according to Hasty. He said there will also be more items from the “bigger” sports at the university in the exhibit.


Hasty hosts similar exhibits at the Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library on UGA’s campus. 


He started the touring exhibit a few years ago after getting consistent feedback the difficulties of travel to see the exhibit at the university.


This tour is a chance for Bulldog fans to see UGA’s archive items without having to travel to Athens, according to Hasty.


“The athletics archive is huge,” Hasty said. “It contains literally thousands of artifacts, and most of them have just really never been seen before.”


He said his favorite part of running the exhibit is meeting Georgia fans and seeing nostalgia evoked by the artifacts.


“I hear people talk about their memories of going to games, or when they were in school here, or that the grandpa took them to games,” Hasty said. “That’s really special.”


The library hopes to see a “big flow” of people at the free event Thursday, July 20.