This is coming a bit too late, since the story blew up to the point where TV stations are using the photos taken by Jesse Taylor and myself. But there are a few things that should be noted when it comes to this whole thing about the 49ers museum at Levi’s Stadium.
Yes, the Jim Harbaugh exhibit that featured his gameday/everyday outfit (black crewneck sweatshirt, black hat, khakis, red sharpie hanging from the neck) was replaced. The museum curator(s) put up the uniform Frank Gore wore when he broke 11,000 yards for his career in December, in what very well might’ve been his last game with the team.
However, Gore hasn’t signed with another team (yet), Harbaugh is in Michigan, and that display section is in what I’ve heard referred to as the “current day” area of the museum.
For what it’s worth, there are about a half dozen other items at the museum that showcase or mention Harbaugh in some way. He’s listed as a part of the Bill Walsh coaching tree, they have Mike Holmgren’s scouting report on Harbaugh (from back when Holmgren coached for the 49ers and Harbaugh was entering the draft after playing at the University of Michigan), and he’s mentioned/pictured in other areas.
There’s even a photo of Harbaugh next to the Gore display that replaced the fleece & khakis.
— Levi’s® Stadium (@LevisStadium) January 28, 2015
See it? You might need to squint — it’s with those other photos on the bottom right (left of Gore’s uniform).
Yes, arguably the most prominent Harbaugh exhibit was taken down. And unless they have plans to put up a similar outfit display somewhere else in the museum relatively soon (next to the Mike Nolan suit, perhaps), this decision seems like it’s on the border between “tone deaf” and “petty.”
Plus, it’s not like the people running the museum didn’t have advance warning that this move could blow up in their faces. Here are the responses to the @LevisStadium tweet above:
(January 27 … wow, I was really on top of this story!)
However, it’s their team and their museum, and they’re allowed to move things around as they see fit. Just as fans are allowed to voice their displeasure with roster moves, executive decisions, and museum curation.