Warm memories of cold

The Baltimore Sun

Rosemary Stafford-Baldwin, a Colts cheerleader from 1956 to 1969, remembers how cold it became in the second half of the game.

My recollections are still vivid. First and foremost, it was a privilege not only to be chosen a cheerleader, but also to be at that game.

However, we were not aware how historically significant the game would become. We were grateful to be, for the first time, in New York's Yankee Stadium, walking on the same ground where our Babe Ruth did his magic.

We traveled by train that Sunday morning, with the band, majorettes, sportswriters and fans. One can only imagine the party atmosphere. The cheerleaders went car to car, getting everyone to chant the spelling out of the infamous C-O-L-T-S we originated at Memorial Stadium. The first half of the game was cold but bearable in our short skirts and sweaters; however, the second half dramatically turned to bitter cold and wind. I questioned at that point, what in God's name ever possessed me to do this job, having always hated winter. The redeeming factor was how exciting the game became, and we kept warm by cheerleading and keeping in motion.

When the game became tied and the commissioner declared the first ever "sudden death," all there were astounded and delighted.

When the amazing John Unitas led the team in such flawless precision to the winning TD by Alan Ameche, the stadium went wild.

Happy for us, devastating for New York. It became quite scary, as the field was mobbed. One fan approached one of the cheerleaders from behind and tried to pull off her cowboy hat with a chin cord attached and nearly choked the breath out of her. As events got more hectic, police escorted us off the field and we bused to the train station.

Going back, the party began again and was even more festive - a great time was had by all, those of us who remember!

All these memories, so long ago, are priceless. The cheerleaders at that game are still close, good friends.

We miss John Unitas and our cheerleaders in heaven - Joelle, Janice and Alma.

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