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Detroit Lions jersey history album

1975 > 1984 Medalist Sand-Knit

Sand-Knit company history

At some point around 1974 or 1975 the Lions switched from the durene Wilson jerseys to those made of a mesh material.  These were made by Sand-Knit of Berlin, Wisconsin, a division of Medalist Industries.  
 
The LIons moved indoors to the domed Pontiac Metropolitan Stadium (later called the Silverdome) in 1975.  Accordingly, the durenes would have last worn at home in 1974.  I'm told for a period of time the team used both durene and mesh jerseys on the road, depending on the game day weather. 
 
Note the progression, from mesh to knit collars, and from single-layer mesh shoulders to double-layer mesh shoulders to nylon shoulders and sleeves.  No spandex side inserts in this era. 
 
For a short period of time, the Lions had sparkly, metallic silver numbers and sleeve stripes on their home Honolulu Blue jerseys.  In 1982 the Lions changed to white numbers, outlined in silver.  Sleeve stripes returned to silver (actually, gray), trimmed in white.  The 2003 Lions yearbook states that the sparkly silver was only worn from 1980-1981.   Photos from Topps trading cards and other sources indicate they were worn from 1979-1981. 

1975 Joe Reed

late 1970s #13 (home)

late 1970s #13 (road)

1978 Luther Bradley

1979/1981 Doug English

1979/81 Jimmy Allen

1980 Tom Tuinei

1980/81 DeWayne Jett

early 1980s Ken Fantetti

early 1980s Freddie Scott

mid 1980s #65

mid 1980s #97

1988 Rusty Hilger