November 8, 2006

Grey Cup Moments: 1959

Today, we recall the first time the club repeated as champions with the 1959 victory.

Game site: CNE Stadium, Toronto
Attendance: 33,133
Winning coach: Bud Grant.

Following another dominant regular season — the Bombers would compile a 12-4 record in ’59 — the club would knock off the Edmonton Eskimos in the West Final en route to, surprise, surprise, another Grey Cup meeting with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

That championship was the 50th anniversary of the Grey Cup and to help celebrate the occasion the game was moved from the old Varsity Stadium to a new park on the Canadian National Exhibition fairgrounds smack dab on the shores of Lake Ontario.

But there were troubles with the change of venue. The field was covered with a tarpaulin the night before the game but it did little to protect the field and, during the game, the groundskeepers were often seen scrambling onto the field during breaks in the action to replace giant chunks of sod which had become uproooted.

The Ticats led 7-3 into the third quarter in what would have to be dubbed a yawner — especially in comparison to the classic these same two teams served up a year previous in Vancouver. That said, there was some brilliance in the game, both on the field and in the strategy used by head coach Bud Grant en route to the Bomber victory.

Grant would utilize the talents of fullback Charlie Shepard while also employing the quick kick and, following TDs from Shepard and Ernie Pitts on a 33-yard pass from Ken Ploen, the Bombers would cruise to victory.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers 21 – TDs: Charlie Shepard, Ernie Pitts; FG: Gerry James; converts: James (2); singles: Shepard (4).
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 7 – FG: Steve Oneschuk (2); single: Vince Scott.

Next time: the 1961 championship.