It’s not often that I use an item from the comments section as the basis for the next day’s lead item. But yesterday’s comments had a pretty amazing contribution from Brian Crisp, who posted some photos of the Houston Buffalos, an old minor league team from Houston’s pre-MLB days. Lots of good pics (I’ll get to more of them in a sec), but the one that blew me away was this shot of a Buffs player wearing shorts.
As regular readers may recall, at least one other minor league team has worn shorts: the 1950 Hollywood Stars. When writing about them back in August, I said the Stars were the first professional baseball team to go shorts-clad, but the caption to the Buffs photo says the shorts were worn “for parts of the ’49 & ’50 seasons as a gate-juicer for some bad teams,” which would predate the Stars by one season. Anyone know if there are any earlier examples out there?
(And yes, the White Sox wore shorts for one game in 1976, but everyone knows about that already.)
Crisp also linked to gallery with lots of other great Buffalos photos, including this, this (note the zip-front jersey), this (from a 1932 uni), this (1931), this, and this (I think this is the only time I’ve seen a baseball jersey with uni numbers on both sleeves [Update: I’d forgotten about the 1979-80 Cardinals]).
Corner Kick: Speaking of athletes in shorts, the U.S. men’s soccer team unveiled its new alternate jersey yesterday. The consensus in yesterday’s comments section and among the several readers who e-mailed me was that the new design sucks (Ronald Charles was particularly incensed about the prospect of this jersey/shorts combo). I’m too soccer-indifferent to render any kind of worthwhile judgment, but I will say this: The last time a saw a blue jersey with white pinstripes, it didn’t look so hot.
Radio Free Uni Watch: Me, talking uniforms, tomorrow morning 9 a.m. eastern, on Springfield, Missouri’s KADI.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Fun piece here about the shoes Washington wore in the Pac 10 tourney (with thanks to Dave Sizer). … The sports world’s latest really stupid trademark-related legal flap involves Roberto Clemente’s uniform number. … Golf news from Jeff Heckelman, who reports Geoff Ogilvy, Johan Edfors, and Hideto Tanihara will be wearing gold shoes at the Masters.