Sayville history buff Mark Smith is always on the lookout for memorabilia or artifacts of Sayville. He trolls the internet and sometimes nabs an item at the last second of an auction, like his latest find – the football from the Sayville vs. Harborfields game of 1961.
This was truly a historic game. Harborfields had been undefeated until Sayville beat them in the big game. Winning the Harborfields game and securing the League III title was a big deal for the whole town. A crowd of more than 1,000 Sayville fans watched the game.
Smith brought the football to a February board meeting of the Sayville Historical Society, where he serves as a member. He explained that he purchased the football from a person in Seattle, Wash.
“I asked him how it came into his possession. I wondered how the ball ended up across the country, and remained in such good condition,” he said.
Members of the Sayville varsity team signed the ball, with many of the signatures still visible.
The seller told Smith he got it from a friend in Chicago. The date on the ball is 1961, and the Chicago guy said he noticed it because it was the year he was born. Other than that, it is unknown how the ball traveled to Chicago and onward to Seattle.
But now it is back in Sayville, thanks to Smith.