A Rush on Leftovers: Dartmouth Equipment Sale Draws Huge Gathering
Jackson Lindsey, 2, tries on a Dartmouth College football jersey at Alumni Gym yesterday with the help of his father, Matt, a Dartmouth Medical School student. The Lebanon residents were perusing wares at a Big Green athletic equipment sale. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Purchase photo reprints »
Pete Frederick handles clothing yesterday at a Dartmouth College athletic equipment sale in Alumni Gym. Frederick played on the Big Green’s 1962 Ivy League championship football team. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Purchase photo reprints »
Steve Ward, one of Dartmouth College's athletic equipment managers, makes a sale to students Kelly Kennedy, center, and Juliet Hollingsworth at yesterday's gear sale in Alumni Gym. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Purchase photo reprints »
Hanover — Seated in a green leather armchair, wearing a suit and overcoat and with his legs crossed at the knee, Steve Lubrano certainly looked the part of a college administrator yesterday morning. However, the Tuck School of Business dean wasn’t in Dartmouth College’s Alumni Gym for a meeting. He was there for gear.
Specifically, sports gear.
“My three daughters go through athletic equipment like you wouldn’t believe,’’ said Lubrano, a Tuck graduate whose family lives in Hanover. “Getting Dartmouth-branded apparel is a neat opportunity to support the school and get useful things at the same time.”
It was an opportunity taken by roughly 200 people in just the opening 90 minutes of the three-day sale — held in a room adjacent to the gym’s Karl Michael Pool. The sale continues today and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
At one point during yesterday’s early going, assistant equipment manager Ernie Gour had to act as a doorman, allowing only as many customers inside at one time as had just exited.
“I can’t believe how many people are here,’’ a Dartmouth student said to his buddy as the pair jostled their way among 33 tables covered in green-and-white shirts, pants, jackets, socks, scarves, jerseys, equipment bags and more.
“This place is packed.”
Although there were composite hockey sticks (snatched up early) and a few racks of baseball, basketball, softball and women’s hockey jerseys marked at $25 each, the sale is slanted more toward the mundane.
Practice jerseys on one table, warmup jackets and pants on another, large-size basketball sneakers over there. Big Green linebacker Michael Runger stopped by to grab a pair of the latter in size 13, which he said aren’t always available in stores — and certainly not for $10 per pair.
Nearby, Thetford resident Gail Slider stood in a lengthening line with a few jackets and equipment bags for her children, ages 10 and 8. She had delayed her start at a new job until 10 a.m. so she could make a quick swing by the sale, which she had visited three years ago, the last time it was held.
“There were more hockey sticks then,’’ Slider said wistfully. “But you can still get a lot of stuff cheap and we live close by, so it’s good to come and support the Dartmouth teams.”
Mike Bissaillon, Dartmouth’s head athletic equipment manager, said many of this year’s sticks were bought in bulk by a vendor. There was also a pre-sale on Monday open only to athletic department employees. In the past, the main sale has been open to the public, but news of it has mostly spread by word-of-mouth. This time, an ad was run in the Valley News, flyers were placed around campus and an email went out to all college employees.
Bissaillon said the previous sale netted “close to” $25,000, and judging by yesterday’s turnout, that total could be eclipsed this time around. Among the customers was Pete Frederick, an offensive tackle on Dartmouth’s undefeated 1962 football team.
“I’m buying anything that’s green,’’ the Hanover resident joked. “I have eight grandkids and it’s never too early to start recruiting them.”
Herve Kouna was recruited to play basketball at Dartmouth and arrived in 2008. Although he eventually left the team and took 18 months off from school, the geography major is back to finish his senior year and was happy to find out about yesterday’s sale. In recent years, Kouna has gathered and sent as much sports equipment as he can to his native land of Cameroon.
Basketball shoes are especially prized, for they are rare in many parts of the African country, he said.
“You would not believe how many kids want to play sports and cannot because they don’t have shorts or shoes,’’ Kouna said. “I’m going to come back and get more of the small soccer and basketball and volleyball jerseys to send home. It doesn’t matter what it says on them; they will make such a difference.”
Dartmouth crew team members Kelly Kennedy and Juliet Hollingsworth bought used clothing from their own program. The athletes said they have to turn it back in at the end of the season and this was a chance to make it theirs for a small price. Another student, Toronto product and former lacrosse player John Chiang, had stopped by in hopes of grabbing his former No. 3 jersey, but had to settle for baseball and women’s hockey jerseys with that digit on the back.
“These are mementos from college that will help me relive the good old days when I rode the bench,’’ Chiang said with a chuckle.
Lubrano also sees a potential link in some of the gear he purchased.
“I’m a big fan of tradition and nostalgia, and we maintain a connection to the past through this memorabilia,’’ he said.
“I plan to pack some of it up and give it to my grandchildren one day.”
Tris Wykes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-727-3227.