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Uni Watch Book Club: Basketball — The American Game


Two weeks ago I linked to two images of the Buffalo Braves’ inaugural road uniform. That prompted reader Johnny Woods to send me this action shot. He said it was from a 1971 book called Basketball: The American Game, which I hadn’t heard of before. So I found a copy for one whole dollar on Amazon and ordered it.

As it turns out, it’s a really good book, at least as a photo resource. With basketball uniforms still so poorly documented (there’s no hoops equivalent to “Dressed to the Nines” or, a book like this one can be full of surprises and revelations, along with the garden-variety “Hmmm, that’s interesting” eyebrow-raisers that photo books always provide. Here’s some of what caught my eye:

• One thing that really struck me was how many NBAers used to wear necklaces. Doesn’t that seem kinda crazy for as physical a sport as basketball?

• I always loved Wilt Chamberlain’s early-’70s headband. Thick in the front, just a string in the back — cool.

• Holy moly, look at that candy striping on the backboard support! Very reminiscent of old NFL goalposts, no?

• Lots to like in this old Celtics shot.

• Totally digging the Jayhawk logo on Phog Allen’s jacket.

• Oh man, how sweet would it be if Notre Dame went back to this design?

Sleeved jersey alert! That’s New Mexico State, circa 1970.

• Always loved this classic photo of Jacksonville’s unique under-arched insignia.

• Hey, check out that uni number font — same one the White Sox used in the late ’70s! Not sure what team that is, unfortunately.

• Coupla noteworthy things here: First, note Oscar Robertson in the jaw guard at far left. Also, I hadn’t been aware that the Lakers had worn their team name on their shorts.

• Speaking of team names on shorts, check out the Warriors, Bullets (I like the diagonal flow), and, weirdest of all, the Hawks.

• Always fun to see the old Cincy Royals uni.

Ouch! That’s Dave DeBusschere playing with a broken nose.

• Here’s a relatively rare sight: a photo from an ABA All-Star Game. Not sure of the year.

• So much going on in this photo. The Sixers’ old-school script, the Sonics’ bizarre below-the-waist stripe, the thigh pad, the mid-level tube sox being worn over striped stirrups (just like football players were still doing at that time), the big NBA logo patches on the shorts — it’s a visual feast!

• Here’s a front view of those gorgeous Seattle jerseys. Again, look at the NBA logo patch — it’s huge! I believe this is from the 1970-71 season, which was the year the logo debuted, and I’m pretty sure every team wore it on their shorts that season, as you can see here and here. That last photo also shows the Blazers’ inaugural road uni (another weird sub-waist stripe) and the Warriors’ cable car uni number.

• Speaking of big NBA logo patches, look at this ref! I’ve always wondered when and why NBA refs switched from zebra stripes to gray jerseys (I’ve asked the NBA folks and even they don’t know), and I’m wondering if this might provide the answer. Did the newly unveiled league logo provide the impetus to scrap the zebra stripes and move to a new logo-driven officiating design in 1970-71?

• Man, the Rockets sure had some huge NOB lettering.

•  Nate Thurmond kept his socks up by taping them to his shins.

• Great photo, completely awesome caption — I’ll let this one speak for itself.

Want this book for your own library? Plenty of cheap copies available here.

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Dog Days: August — it’s the hottest month, the most humid month, the month you can’t find a plumber or a doctor because they’re all on vacation, the month Juan Marichal cracked Johnny Roseboro’s skull with a bat, the month Korey Stringer dropped dead in the heat, the month with no holidays, the month some folks want to scrap altogether.

And you may recall, it’s also the month when I shut down the site last year so I could recharge my batteries. It was just what I needed, so I’ve decided to take this August off as well. But the site will stay open this time, because Phil and Ek have generously offered to steer the ship while I take a break. Here’s what you can expect to see:

• Phil will handle the weekday entries. Don’t expect them to be as lengthy as his usual weekend opuses, although they may sometimes include some of those elements (a round of tweaks here, some uni-tracking there, etc.). He may also occasionally feature one of my old blog posts or ESPN columns from years past — a throwback entry, so to speak. And Brinke will continue to contribute “Collector’s Corner” once a week.

• Webmaster John Ekdahl will handle the weekends. His entries might be full-length or they might just be a photo and a caption. Either way, the site will be open for comments, discussion, etc.

• Although I’ll be taking a break from the blog, I’ll have at least two ESPN columns in August, and those will be noted/linked here on the blog, as per usual.

• Ticker contributions sent to the Uni Watch e-mail address will be forwarded to Phil during August. But there’s one particular category of news I’ll be keeping tabs on: new college football uniforms. If you have news to pass along on that front during August, please send it to this address. Phil will periodically post reminders about this.

I think that’s it. I truly appreciate that Uni Watch has become part of the daily routine for many of you, and I hope you can understand my need to take a short break. I have faith in your ability to survive in my absence, esp. with Phil minding the store in the interim. My last day before unplugging myself from the Uni Watch matrix will be next Friday, the 30th. I’ll plug myself back in on September 1st. OK? OK!

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Culinary Corner: Reader Dan Cichalski and his wife, Casey Barber, stopped by Uni Watch HQ yesterday afternoon. Our project for the day: makin’ bacon. Casey had recently cured some pork belly and brined some pork loin, so we set those out on a rack, along with some corn, potatoes, dates, and nuts (also some peaches and tomatoes, but those were added after the photo was taken), and popped all of it into my smoker.

About 90 minutes four beers later, we had a bounty of smoked delicacies. Trust me, this photo doesn’t even come close to capturing how delicious the bacon turned out. Thanks, Dan and Casey!

Uni Watch News Ticker: Here’s another feature on Tour de France footwear, plus one about cycling jerseys (thanks, Bryan). ”¦ Cool eBay item here: a 1969 NLCS Shea Stadium press pass (as found by Roger Faso). ”¦ Interesting use of uniforms and logos in this Streinbrenner-centric cartoon (with thanks to Tom Mulgrew, who also sent along a very interesting little essay about typefaces). ”¦ We all know about Pittsburgh teams wearing black and gold. But Matt English has noticed a similar trope in Canada: “I remember reading about the founding of the Blue Jays and that it was almost a foregone conclusion that they’d wear blue uniforms, because Toronto’s traditional sports colo[u]rs were blue and white. That got me thinking: Do do all Canadian cities have their own traditional sports colours? Sure enough, each of the major older Canadian cities appears to have had its own sports colours. And although practically all teams from the 20th century followed these unwritten rules, there seems to be little documentation of these civic colour codes that I could find online.” Fascinating. Anyone know more? ”¦ Speaking of Canadian team colors, Doug Brei says many Saskatchewan Roughriders fans, who are passionately devoted to the team’s green/white color scheme, are having a hard time wrapping their heads around the team’s new throwbacks. ”¦ Doug Keklak has found what may be the first example of BFBS. “I italicized where it gets interesting and then bolded where it gets really interesting,” he says. ”¦ Several EPL clubs have banned that annoying trumpet thingie. ”¦ Yet another “worst soccer kits of the season” article (with thanks to Martyn Beeny). ”¦ The double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals will be wearing 1985 Royals powder-blue throwbacks on Friday (with thanks to Gage Matthews). ”¦ Reprinted from the SABR listserv: Mark Pattison reports that the Braves have a South African single-A prospect named Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg. That makes for an 18-letter NOB (to put that in perspective, Salty has only 14), plus the hyphen. “His uniform squeezes it all onto one line, with smaller lettering than that for his teammates,” says Mark. ”¦ Finally got my hands on some screen shots of Willie Mays from the 1965 All-Star Game, where he wore a Cubs batting helmet for his first several at-bats before switching to a Reds helmet. ”¦ Phil did a very nice job colorizing that photo of George Susce from yesterday’s entry. ”¦ “I live in Hope Mills, North Carolina, which is very close to Fort Bragg,” writes Gerry Dincher. “Many of the kids here are army brats, and this year one of the youth league all-star teams has used the camouflage pattern for their uniforms. Not the best look, especially with the yellow helmet.” ”¦ Scott Stoddard sent along pics of his collection of newspaper signs and delivery tubes.

130 comments to Uni Watch Book Club: Basketball — The American Game

  • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 7:48 am |

    No way Phil would have known this, I suppose, but pretty sure the sleeves on this jacket…
    …were the typical generic vanilla/cream color of most “Hero” jackets of the day.

    Seems to me Mitchell & Ness (or someone) has offered them, and Keith Carradine wore one as Pete Gray in A WINNER NEVER QUITS (a TV movie especially accurate for it unis, and from which I finally found a photo)…
    Seen it four or five times, and every time I’m stuck by what a great-looking jacket it is, and that I wouldn’t mind having one.



    • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 8:15 am |

      Before someone asks why only one section of seats is filled in this production still…
      …it’s because that’s all they needed for the shot, of course.


    • LI Phil | July 21, 2010 at 9:08 am |


      when colorizing that pic, i had a sneaking suspicion those sleeves weren’t orange, but had no visual for reference…something about it didn’t seem *right*; even in b&w, that didn’t have an orange feel

      not quite sure the M&N version is exactly correct, but it makes more sense than to have to orange…maybe tonight i’ll “fix” it — one thing M&N did screw up — there were definitely white outlines separating the “S T and L” which M&N missed

      would love to somehow see a color pic of the original

      • LI Phil | July 21, 2010 at 9:10 am |
        • marc | July 21, 2010 at 9:36 am |

          Nice work, Phil! I mentioned yesterday I was going to try my hand at colorizing that one and just didn’t get the time. Oh well… there’s always next wire service photo day.

      • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 9:36 am |

        Terry Proctor likely would know better, but it seems to me that specific school/team colors on the sleeves of those jackets didn’t become really common until the early ’60s, perhaps late ’50s.

        We all know, of course, that the New York Knights’ jackets have the generic sleeves (as a side note, Glenn Close has a Knights jacket given to her on the set with “Mrs. Hobbs” chain-stitched in the standard name position on the front; I suppose someday it will be a helluva collectors’ item).


        • Terry Proctor | July 21, 2010 at 9:46 am |

          I do know that in the early 1930s the Toronto Maple Leafs had all-leather jackets in Royal Blue. I saw a 1932 shot of the “Kid Line” of Busher Jackson, Joe Primeau and Charlie Conacher wearing those jackets. I’ll try to send the photo to Paul.

        • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 10:40 am |

          Terry’s photo (sent to Paul and forwarded to me)…


      • Joe Barrie | July 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm |

        Not only is the StL symbol very inaccurate, but the colors on the collar are revrsed.

        The “Pete Gray” uniform is just as pathetic.

    • teenchy | July 21, 2010 at 9:47 am |

      Ricko, I agree that “A Winner Never Quits” was fairly accurate for unis, but why is Carradine/Gray wearing a home Browns cap with the road Browns gray uni? IIRC the Browns’ road caps were identical but the crowns were gray rather than white/cream. Now I need to research that to verify…

      • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 10:27 am |

        I believe there is color footage of those Browns in “WHEN IT WAS A GAME”. Saw some on “BASEBALL’S GOLDEN AGE”, too.

        I noticed the white hats on the road, too, and a few other things. That’s why I said “especially accurate” and not “incredibly accurate”. Being released in ’86, it seemed to follow a trend to accuracy that had begun two years earlier with THE NATURAL and continued with FIELD OF DREAMS in ’89.

        Another advertising still from A WINNER NEVER QUITS…


        • teenchy | July 21, 2010 at 11:22 am |

          You’re right. I know some of that footage was taken from the home movies of the Nats’ George Case, which his son George III has made available on DVD and was highlighted here on UW recently. However, I think Case’s Browns footage (including that funny find-your-cleats-in-a-pile promo) was shot at Sportsman’s Park so it wouldn’t help with confirming the Brownie roads. I need to watch it again.

  • Ricardo Leonor | July 21, 2010 at 7:49 am |

    Love the George Susce jacket. Like the team colors too. By the way, does anyone know if the Giants practice jersey that was shown in yesterday’s black n white pic, was blue or red? I am going to have one made…want it to be accurate…

  • scott | July 21, 2010 at 7:55 am |

    Will Northwest Arkansas be wearing those 1985 Royals road jerseys at home? Why not actually wear white turn-back-the-clock jerseys, or is that just not the cool thing to do? The Royals won Game 7 of the ’85 Series wearing white uniforms…

    • The Ol Goaler | July 21, 2010 at 10:45 am |

      DON DENKINGER!!!!!

      Slowly I turned… step by step… inch by inch…! (grin)

      • JimWa | July 21, 2010 at 11:54 am |

        Looks like a FINE call to me.

  • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 8:00 am |

    Attention, ballpark devotees (Traxel and others)…
    This book (I’ve skimmed a copy) is a nice look at a Target Field, including (as someone said) the architectural problems of “fitting a 14-acre field onto an 8-acre site.”

    For example, building portions of it over a railroad line and a section of the Interstate.


    • marc | July 21, 2010 at 9:38 am |

      I’ve been watching the Indians v. Twins series the last couple days and Target Field is a real looker. LOVE the Twins shaking hands neon!

  • Terry Proctor | July 21, 2010 at 8:37 am |

    Nice article about Canadian sports teams colo(u)rs. Now anyone that knows me is aware that I’m a big Toronto fan. My affection for Toronto dates to the 1950s when my parents and I regularly visited it for vacation and also because the Rochester Americans were a Leaf farm club during the 1960s. But the colour story reminds me of a local joke that became very popular shortly after the Blue Jays were launched in 1977. Question-“What’s Blue & White and lives in the cellar?” Answer-“ANY Toronto sports team.” Given their past performances there’s a lot of truth in that statement.

    • Stevie McQuistan | July 21, 2010 at 12:21 pm |

      So if the Canadian city and color thing is so true – why is Toronto FC red?

  • Bernard | July 21, 2010 at 8:45 am |

    The caption for the Dick Barnett picture is absolutely priceless.

    • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 10:35 am |

      Ah, yes. Quite a character.

      Barnett would pop that jack-knife jumper of his and, when he was sure it was good, you’d hear him holler, “Fall back, Baby!” and then begin back-peddling to play defense.


  • Chris | July 21, 2010 at 8:57 am |

    Paul…how are you like the Big Green Egg smoker? I have heard some really good things about it but they don’t seem as readily available here in Canada…perhaps a trip down south is required…

    • Paul Lukas | July 21, 2010 at 9:43 am |

      I love my Egg — as a smoker. It’s not a particularly good grill (despite what the manufacturer claims), but that’s OK because I have a separate grill for grilling.

  • flip | July 21, 2010 at 9:05 am |

    The L.A. Lakers name-on-shorts was my fav in high school. Also loved the blue script Los Angeles.

    The inconsistency in the Bullets’ side stripe pattern always, always bugged me. Thus when they changed to this, I didn’t think it was all bad. But it was weird. I loved those old Kareem-Unseld match-ups, though

    • TommyD | July 21, 2010 at 9:18 am |
    • CraigD | July 21, 2010 at 9:25 am |

      The Los Angeles script on that Laker jersey sure looks a lot like how they treat the Los “Your Team Here” jerseys these days, with “Los” in super script. Also interesting was how Philadelphia spelled out “Seventy” above the “Sixers”.

    • Terry Proctor | July 21, 2010 at 10:20 am |

      As a Celtic fan I’ve always been a Laker hater. But those double-blue and white uniforms were their best ever. They were made in L.A. by Barney Tiernan of Galbraith and Tiernan. The Lakers’ unique number font was Barney’s stock style. And not one company that has made the Lala boys unis since has ever gotten the numbers right like Barney used to make them.

      • Bob from Akron | July 21, 2010 at 7:37 pm |

        Terry, I believe the Lakers’ number font was also the font for the original L.A. Chargers (see Jack Kemp card here).

        I didn’t like the change to the font when Sand Knit made all of the NBA uniforms beginning in the ’86-’87 season. Sand Knit also changed the fonts on other uniforms (e.g. Nuggets, Nets, Sixers).

    • flip | July 21, 2010 at 2:15 pm |

      Terry, funny how I’ve morphed into a Celtics fan. Our high school colors were blue and white and I liked the Laker duds. I REALLY liked Elgin Baylor, and don’t believe he gets his due as a player these days. When Bill Russell, Satch Sanders, et. al. were playing NBA games were broadcast on ABC, which we thought stood for Always Boston Celtics. With them on all the time, I found myself just rooting for the underdogs. Didn’t become a Celtics fan until Dave Cowens came onboard, and have rooted for them since. From a uni standpoint, it took me a long, long time to appreciate the black shoes. Then the shiny pants never matched the jersey. Bugged me.

      • Terry Proctor | July 21, 2010 at 2:57 pm |

        Before the late 1960s when teams began wearing all-knitted shorts that matched the jersey the satin look was “in” for basketball pants. It was always more obvious on the road uniforms. Regarding the Celtics black shoes, I’m upset that they now wear white shoes at home and the green shoes only on the road. Somehow they no longer look like the Celtics at home.

        • flip | July 21, 2010 at 9:01 pm |

          You’re right. Celtics = black shoes (not green). At home and away.

  • Andrew | July 21, 2010 at 9:18 am |

    A month off, Paul?? Arggghhh!!

    • Paul Lukas | July 21, 2010 at 9:48 am |

      I did it last year and the world kept right on spinning. August is the right time to do it, because there’s only one major sport going on (unless you count preseason football, which I don’t).

      Producing material for the site on a daily basis is fun but can also get to be a strain. Taking a month off last August was a godsend.

      I truly appreciate that Uni Watch has become part of the daily routine for many of you, and I hope you can understand my need to take a short break. I have faith in your ability to survive in my absence, esp. with Phil minding the store in the interim.

      • Chance Michaels | July 21, 2010 at 9:50 am |

        We’ll be fine. You kids go and have a nice time.

      • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 9:57 am |

        Well, yeah, but what about all the chronic irregularity, itching, hives, pacing, flop sweats, excessive substance abuse, aimless street-wandering and general ennui reported among UW regulars?

        I mean, I heard a rumor that Rob Ullman even started drawing GUYS in short jerseys and knee highs (I believe it’s referred to as his “Borat” period).


        • Jim Vilk | July 21, 2010 at 10:24 am |

          I could see Marshall having a drawing made to give to his Pineapple…

        • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 10:29 am |

          No problem, as long as he doesn’t post it here.

      • Teebz | July 21, 2010 at 11:22 am |

        I’ll chime in on Paul’s comment.

        Posting stuff daily takes its toll, especially when you want to have things like a social life, relationships with other people, and general time to pursue other interests.

        With me travelling in September, I might need some help so I may reach out to the phenomenal hockey wing here for some reader posts. :o)

  • ScottyM | July 21, 2010 at 9:20 am |

    Hey Paul, pretty sure that “White Sox” number font you inquired about is for Iowa. Maybe some Hawkeye historian can verify.

    • Steve Winner | July 21, 2010 at 9:56 am |

      Illinois is in their home whites in that picture but it doesn’t look like they are playing in either the Assembly hall or Huff gym.

    • Aaron | July 21, 2010 at 11:48 am |

      I could definitely go with Iowa. That team definitely looks black and gold, and Purdue never used that typeface that I’m aware of.

  • Robert Eden | July 21, 2010 at 9:44 am |

    Phil, your dedication to the cause is inspiring. I will be looking forward to your fine work (as well as that of Ek) come August.

    • LI Phil | July 21, 2010 at 10:14 am |

      thank you, robert

      im as addicted to UW as anyone and august is my least busy (at least in theory) at my actual job, so having the boards open will allow us to keep the UW fix through the month

      paul can recharge his batteries for the upcoming football season, ek will handle the weekends, and the weekday columns will be much shorter than the weekends have become (and still have tickers too)…

      if there’s anything you’d like to see covered during the month drop me a line

      (that goes for anyone)

  • Jim Vilk | July 21, 2010 at 9:52 am |

    Fantastic hoops photos! Even though I consider 1975-85 the golden age of basketball unis, I’d still be tempted to get that book.

    The candy-striped basket supports were from the Astrodome. I’ve seen video of that game before.

    I, too, wondered why anyone would wear a necklace while playing ball. Surprised no one got caught in the nets.

    Glad the Braves didn’t stay with that original uni. Loved the light blue ones they had later, but THIS one is way up there on my “I’d wear that” list.

    • interlockingtc | July 21, 2010 at 2:04 pm |

      Yes, great pictures today. The heyday of basketball uniforms..and all throughout the ’70’s for that matter.

      I think the Braves original uniform looks really sharp, though, Jim. However, you’re right, their other incarnations are also big winners. Funny how they made three radical changes in their relatively short tenure and all three were excellent.

      The Bullets are another team that made wholesale changes to their uniforms and all were successful: the original (I LOVE the bullets font), then the extraordinary thick racing stripes that followed–(my favorite uni of all-time) and, of course, the flag themed set they won their championship in.

    • divino codino | July 21, 2010 at 2:31 pm |

      I grew up in New Haven CT and spent a great deal of time in the Payne Whitney gymnasium watching Yale basketball.

      Gary Franks ’75 who was captain his senior year – and went on to be a U.S. Congressman for 3 terms (102d-104th congresses) – wore a crucifix on the court and wrapped it around one strap of his sleeveless uniform jersey. Anyone ever see this done by other players?

  • Steve Winner | July 21, 2010 at 10:04 am |

    Was the Rockets NOB font huge or Calvin Murphy small?

    • Kevin Hastings | July 21, 2010 at 10:06 am |

      Ha!! Great point

    • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 10:12 am |

      I believe the answer is ‘Yes”/


      • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 10:15 am |

        YO, CALVIN!
        (the green and gold San Diego Rockets, which also featured legendary San Diego native “Hambone” Williams)…


        • subway | July 21, 2010 at 10:45 am |

          What’s interesting to me is that #16 has NOB while #32 Billy Cunningham has NNOB

        • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 10:48 am |

          Probably because…
          was all that would have fit.


    • Michael Wing | July 21, 2010 at 5:26 pm |

      Those NOBs were amazing. BTW, if you look at the Grey Flannel Auctions ad in the top left corner of today’s post, you’ll see an early Elvin Hayes San Diego jersey — with the NNOB (IOB?) of E. Another version of this had the E in quotes, which were equally huge. The “E” (with the quotes) took up at least as much room as most uniforms’ normal NOBs.

  • Jim Vilk | July 21, 2010 at 10:11 am |

    A little logo creep on this photo, Paul:
    The folks at Kingsford thank you for the product placement. ;)

    After reading the Slate article, I was thinking – why not take the last three days of August, give two to February and one to September?

    Can’t say I’ve ever seen dates and nuts smoked with potatoes before. I’d try that someday.

    • Paul Lukas | July 21, 2010 at 10:17 am |

      Can’t say I’ve ever seen dates and nuts smoked with potatoes before. I’d try that someday.

      I was just grabbing anything that I thought would be interesting smoked. Wasn’t necessarily trying to “compose” a meal, or even a side dish — just experimenting with this and that.

  • Thom | July 21, 2010 at 10:14 am |

    A “short” break? Who do you think you are, George, W?

  • Neill | July 21, 2010 at 10:21 am |

    About the Canadian city teams using the same colors, if you take a look at city/provincial flags, it makes a lot of sense why those citys use those colors for their teams.

    Toronto’s city flag is blue/white with a small amount of red in a maple leaf. Montreal follows their city flag, white has the saint james cross and smaller symbols in each corner, one of which is blue; it also has a ton of blue in the provincial flag of Quebec. Calgary’s flag is overwhelmingly red,

    The teams that don’t make sense with their color selection in regard to flags are Edmonton, whose city flag is light blue and white with the coar of arms in the middle and provincial flag does not include either yellow or green. The black for Ottawa in their red/black scheme is not present on either city/province flag. Hamilton’s use of yellow makes sense, since its in their city flag of yellow/blue. The black, like Ottawa, does not appear in either the city nor provincial flag. Vancouver, well, it stated in the post today that their sports teams didn’t match up and I didn’t feel like looking through all their sports teams to see if their colors came from bc’s or vancouver’s flags.

    Hope this helped, its been a boring day at work, looking up all those flags was more entertaining. If i was on a computer, not my iPad, I would have posted with links and all, but its not hard to check up on those flags.

    • mike 2 | July 21, 2010 at 11:17 am |

      Good analysis, but I think in some cases you may have it backwards. It might be more correct to say it makes a lot of sense why those cities use those colours for their flags.

      Toronto’s flag wasn’t adopted until 1974, and Calgary’s flag wasn’t adopted until 1983, in both cases well after the colours for those cities teams were established. I’d suggest the team colours influenced the flags, not the other way around.

      The Edmonton Eskimos are a weird one – no yellow and green on the Edmonton or Alberta flags, but the Saskatchewan flag is yellow and green. That makes even less sense than picking random colours.

      • Neill | July 21, 2010 at 11:45 am |

        I didn’t look into the history of the flags, I should have put my full historical research abilities to work. If thats the case, that’s cool for those cities. I’ll do some more research and look into it…I’m intrigued by this now.

      • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 12:13 pm |

        Exactly. Popular practice doesn’t necessarily indicate anything due to policy.

        Often, as you pointed out, it’s the other way around.


    • Neill | July 21, 2010 at 1:30 pm |

      Canada colors

      I wanted to take a closer look at this flags/team colors issue.  I looked only at professional teams, but here we go:

      Calgary: city flag of red/white established in 1983.  The provincial flag of Alberta is mostly blue with some red/white/green and was established in 1968.  The teams colors of red/white/black extend to the flames, stampeders, and roughnecks.  The stampeders were formed in 1945, and the flames moved to Calgary from Atlanta in 1980.  Seems the red/white/black schemes were around before the flag, so I’d say the sports teams influenced the city flag.

      Edmonton:  unfortunately, the oilers do fit in with the other professional teams form Edmonton, so they will not be discussed.  The city flag of light blue/white with some green/yellow/brown/purple was put into use in 1966.  The province flag is, once again, Alberta, which was blue with some green/white/red.  The earliest team to use the green/yellow combo was the Eskimos, set. 1949, and the trappers followed suit in 1981.  Seems to be no correlation between the flags and team colors, thug it is interesting to notice the coat of arms on the flag of Edmonton has a checkered blue/orange scarf, the colors of the oilers, who were founded after the flag was put in use.

      Hamilton: the city flag is blue/yellow and was established only seven years ago in 2003.  The provincial flag of Ontario is blue/white/red/green and was established in 1965.  The tiger cats and the hornets both use the color schemes of black/yellow.  The tiger cats were founded in 1950, and the hornets in 1954.  Makes sense to me that the yellow of the city flag could be influenced by the sports teams, but the black was not picked up.

      Toronto: the city of blue/white…all but two of its professional sports teams, it’s flag.  The city flag is blue/white and a little red in a maple leaf and has been around since 1974.  Like Hamilton, the provincial flag is red/white/blue/green and was created 9 years prior to the city’s in 1965.  The maple leafs, argonauts, varsity blues, and blue jays all wear, or have worn, blue/white as their teams colors.  The maple leafs since 1917, argonauts since 1873, varsity blues since 1877, and the blue jays since 1977.  Only two teams don’t don he blue/white scheme, the raptors and toronto fc of the mls.  Seems to me like the sports teams influenced the city flag…the colors had been a hallmark of Toronto sports for almost 100 years before the city adopted it’s flag.

      Ottawa: the last city from Ontario we’ll look at.  It’s city flag was adopted in 2003 and is blue/aqua/white.  Its team colors are overwhelmingly red/black.  The senators, roughriders, and renegades all sport this color combo.  The roughriders started it in 1876, the originals senators wore it from 1883-1934 and since 1990 as well.  The renegades are the newcomers, having only been around from 2002-2006.  No correlation between flags and team colors.  None.

      Montreal:  the city flag is blue/red/white and first used in 1939, while the provincial flag of Quebec is blue/white and has Been around since 1948.  The team colors of the canadians and alouettes both include red/blue/white, with the alouettes also including silver.  The canadians were founded in 1909, and the alouettes in 1946.  The canadians may have influenced the the city’s flag, and the alouettes may have been influenced by the city’s flag.  Hard to tell.

      Since vancouver doesn’t have a recurring color scheme for its sports teams, I will not delve into the specifics.  Hope you guys enjoy this, and I wish I had pictures and such for you to look at, but alas I do not. 

      • Terry Proctor | July 21, 2010 at 3:12 pm |

        Supposedly the Edmonton (nee Alberta) Oilers got their Orange & Blue colours from Gulf Oil Co. And the Maple Leaf hockey club didn’t become “The Blue & White” until 1927. The Arenas wore Blue & White then they became the Green & White-clad “St. Pat’s.” Major Conn Smythe chose the Blue & White colours for his hockey club to honour the U of T, his Alma Mater. And don’t forget Jack Kent Cooke’s Blue & White clad Maple Leaf International League baseball team. Did you ever see the picture of Leaf coach Punch Imlach wearing the Blue & White Maple Leaf baseball cap with the “T-Leaf” logo? One of the greatest baseball cap designs ever.

      • Stephen | July 22, 2010 at 10:15 am |

        Don’t also forget that the Raps occasionally go undercover as the Huskies, so even they carry the blue and white unis forwards.

  • LarryB | July 21, 2010 at 12:11 pm |

    Phil you did a nice job of colorizing that Browns jacket.

    Here are 2 screen grabs of the jacket in color. You got the sleeves pretty darn close.

    • teenchy | July 21, 2010 at 2:27 pm |

      Your second screen grab confirms my suspicion in my earlier reply to Ricko that the Browns’ road caps during that period had gray crowns. Thanks for sharing.

      • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 3:20 pm |

        Oh, they were. Gray, that is. Guess I didn’t may myself clear on that. Have seen numerous black and white images over the years indicating they were gray.

        Or at least that they most certainly weren’t white.


  • LarryB | July 21, 2010 at 12:14 pm |

    They seemed to be sort of a tan color. The Browns sleeves

    • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 12:18 pm |

      ’tis true.

      Don’t think the issue is the precise generic shade. At least I never intended it to be the issue.

      Rather just that they were generic, not specially dyed to match the Browns’ orange.


    • LI Phil | July 21, 2010 at 12:29 pm |

      yeah…ricko already pointed that out ;)

      my bad for not checking before colorizing — i should have asked you two gentlemen if you knew the precise colors before plowing ahead

  • LarryB | July 21, 2010 at 12:39 pm |

    Late for the Georgia Tech unis. But I found this color picture from 1968 of the Yellow Jackets

    • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm |

      Great find.

      Color images from those last years before widespread color TV are really hard to come by for some reason (’69 and ’70 White Sox, for ex.) I dunno, maybe cuz sports took a lot of hits from the times. All that competitive stuff was seen as kinda bad in the Woodstock era. To some, anyway.

      Well, and I imagine many a college guy still in bed with the girl he met Friday night got a good laugh out of Keith Jackson or someone intoning, “What better way to spend a college afternoon…”


      • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 1:31 pm |

        Let’s make that…
        “What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon…”

      • Jim Vilk | July 21, 2010 at 1:31 pm |

        “Whoa, Nellie!”

  • pflava | July 21, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  • Kevin Z. | July 21, 2010 at 1:44 pm |

    I knew the Lakers used to have their name down the sides of the shorts because of throwbacks worn recently:

    • J-Dub | July 21, 2010 at 3:57 pm |

      Seeing this picture:
      reminds me of the days when the Baltimore Bullets used to wear orange at home (early color vs color in the NBA?). Used to love to watch ABC and see Earl the Pearl and Wes Unseld playing in (what always looked like the crappiest arena in the NBA) the Baltimore Arena….good times

  • Bill Scheft | July 21, 2010 at 1:47 pm |

    Couple basketball notes: #20 on the original Braves was former Lakers guard Dick Garrett. The giant NBA logo patch on the shorts commemorates the league’s 25th anniversary in 1970-71. The gray referee jerseys came in a couple years before (with much smaller logo). I know they were wearing them during Celts-Lakers 1969 final.

  • Ian | July 21, 2010 at 1:48 pm |

    I’ve had this book in my library for about 15 years. It is hands down one of the nicest collections of NBA photography from a forgotten era. I’m glad that someone was able to point Paul in the direction of this book!

  • Straven Steesburg | July 21, 2010 at 1:51 pm |

    Idk how legit this is but check out these potential WVU Nike Pro Combat Uniforms… (be warned, you might lose your lunch)

    • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 1:57 pm |

      Right. Go into combat and turn yellow.


    • Bernard | July 21, 2010 at 3:06 pm |


      Straven, I went into that thread about an hour ago and pointed out to the posters that the rendering in question was, in fact, the work of someone over on the Chris Creamer boards (along with a ton of other Pro Combat concepts):

      I first became aware of the above-linked concepts around the beginning of the year… right here on UniWatch.

  • Ian | July 21, 2010 at 2:09 pm |

    Regarding the zebra stripes to gray transition, I believe it has been covered here before. The 1970/71 season was the NBA’s 25th Anniversary (hence the large commemorative patch on the shorts) and the ref jerseys became silver (gray) in recognition of the event.

  • Cort | July 21, 2010 at 2:11 pm |

    I started college at BYU, before transferring to University of Houston. The lettermen’s jackets at BYU featured a royal blue body, a great big “Y” on the chest, and brown leather sleeves. They were sort of a sepia color. I’d never seen anything like them before — i was used to white or cream sleeves — but the colorized orange sleeves on the Browns jackets sort of approaches them. So historical inaccuracy notwithstanding, the colorization reminded me of my days in the Shadow of the Everlasting Hills…Plus, that interlocking “StL” logo is one of those indescribably beautiful things that makes you glad to be alive.

  • Tony | July 21, 2010 at 2:12 pm |

    Same NOB:

    Just saw this today, two brothers, both named Luis A. Sanz are playing together on the West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers affiliate).

    I haven’t seen what their NOB says, but I would have to guess that it would be the same for both; only their middle names are different.

  • mmwatkin | July 21, 2010 at 2:54 pm |

    Michigan State’s student section shirts decided after an online vote. Includes rebranded wordmark and numeral font.

    Front is on the left, back is on the right

  • ab | July 21, 2010 at 3:40 pm |

    Everything’s kinda off on this Bulls jersey. Both the lettering and the number are too small, and Carlos looks none too pleased about it.

  • Sean | July 21, 2010 at 3:40 pm |

    Yeah the Naturals will be wearing these at home on Friday against the Springfield CARDINALS……ahahaha I love rubbing this in any Cardinal fan’s face. They get shoved down our throats in NW Arkansas and as an avid Royals fan I hate this shit!

  • Mad Adam | July 21, 2010 at 3:47 pm |

    The throwbacks that Saskatchewan wore Saturday had the Reebok wordmark on the shoulder, while Edmontons had the Reebok vector on the shoulder

  • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 3:59 pm |

    Terry Proctor sent me this photo of Punch Imlach, and asked if I’d post it here.
    Wise man, that Terry, it’s a fun photo.
    He said he loves the Maple Leaf baseball hat.

    Me, too. Makes me think of Rocky Nelson, he of the odd, front-foot-at- a-90-degree-angle-to-back-foot-with-toe-pointing-toward-the-pitcher, batting stance…who was an All-Star with the International League Maple Leafs…and who was a member of the Pirates’ when Bill Mazeroski hit that famous 1960 walk-off.

    Scroll down here for other shots of that hat (and some guy named Jack Kent Cooke)…


  • Geeman | July 21, 2010 at 4:45 pm |

    Enjoy vacation, Paul. And thanks for letting Phil steer the ship while you’re away so we can get our daily fix. Enjoyed the pics today, especially of Notre Dame. Would love to see a hoops uniform history of the Irish.

    • Gusto44 | July 21, 2010 at 6:10 pm |

      Yes, unlike the football team, Notre Dame has had a myriad of hoop uniform designs. Two which come to mind are from the 70s and 90s. First, the solid yellow with the huge green clover, the Irish snapped UCLA’s 88 game winning streak. Second, the brief appearance of the forgettable lime green uniforms, they were repulsive.

  • Ryan M. | July 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm |

    By the way folks, one other reason why the Blue Jays were so named and donned said color, were because when the expansion team was awarded, one of its primary owners was Labbatt Breweries…makers of ‘Labbatt’s Blue’ beer.

    • mike 2 | July 21, 2010 at 7:42 pm |

      They were hoping that the nickname would be shortened to Blues and promote the beer. It didn’t work out that way.

      I’ve mentioned this before, Labatt Blue is itself named after the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. So the MLB team is indirectly named after the CFL team, via a beer.

  • b-t-p-h | July 21, 2010 at 4:58 pm |

    Cool photo of Cavs jersey from the era:
    Color shot of Big O’s face protector:
    Super photo of Jeff Mullins’ durene Warriors warm-up top:

    I have many other images on the Photo Archives section on my website…

    • interlockingtc | July 21, 2010 at 5:54 pm |

      Those are fantastic. And I just clicked on your website and look forward to perusing the beauty.

  • Samuel | July 21, 2010 at 6:14 pm |

    If anyone has a copy of this week’s Sports Illustrated, is it me or do Mile Austin’s shoes have holes in them? Looking at the front cover, it looks like the shoes have holes

  • Jim Vilk | July 21, 2010 at 6:56 pm |

    interlockingtc | July 21, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Reply
    “The Bullets are another team that made wholesale changes to their uniforms and all were successful: the original (I LOVE the bullets font), then the extraordinary thick racing stripes that followed—(my favorite uni of all-time) and, of course, the flag themed set they won their championship in.”

    I even liked the last ones, before they became the Wizards:

    • Gusto44 | July 21, 2010 at 7:17 pm |

      Yes, I especially liked the futuristic look of the numbers on those final Bullets uniforms. It somewhat reminded me of the numbers of the uniforms on the teams in the original “Rollerball” movie.

    • Bob from Akron | July 21, 2010 at 7:19 pm |

      I liked the Serpentine font. Also, there were two versions of NOBs — First letter only in caps (“King”), then all caps (“KING”).

  • Casey@Good. Food. Stories. | July 21, 2010 at 7:27 pm |

    Just made some carbonara with the bacon – outstanding. I think we need to make another, larger batch STAT.

  • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
  • berto | July 21, 2010 at 7:47 pm |

    Here is another basketball uni with the team name on the sides of the shorts… Phoenix Suns – pic from either the late 60s or early 70s.

    • Gusto44 | July 21, 2010 at 8:32 pm |

      Didn’t the 76ers have a uniform in the 1960s with shorts that had a circle of stars and “76” in the middle?

    • interlockingtc | July 21, 2010 at 11:06 pm |

      The Hawk.

  • Ricko | July 21, 2010 at 9:17 pm |
  • =bg= | July 21, 2010 at 9:36 pm |

    So someone thought that jamming the “Seventy” above the Sixers looked GOOD?

  • LI Phil | July 21, 2010 at 9:42 pm |

    this is such a great shot

  • LI Phil | July 21, 2010 at 9:44 pm |

    check that — even better one

    • Jim Vilk | July 21, 2010 at 10:31 pm |

      That’s awesome.
      Wouldn’t look as good with today’s baggy unis, but I’d still like to see it.

  • Ben | July 21, 2010 at 10:35 pm |

    I’m watching the ESPN broadcast of the Stephen Strasburg game tonight and they just flashed back to the Mets’ futuristic uniform game because Orel Hershiser is calling the game. He was trying for his 200th victory during that game and lost and he said he burned his uniform. I thought that would be appreciated here.

  • Steve | July 21, 2010 at 10:35 pm |

    Conversation right now in the top of the 9th inning (with archive clips) between Bobby Valentine and Orel Hershiser about the Mercury Mets uniforms. Needless to say, the Mets weren’t fans of the promotions.

    • LI Phil | July 21, 2010 at 10:54 pm |

      i was at that game

      mets got their asses kicked by kris benson…and i hated those unis (as did the rest of shea)

      too bad i missed the espn clips

  • James P. | July 21, 2010 at 11:59 pm |
  • Ray H | July 22, 2010 at 2:21 am |

    Don’t know if this will make it into tomorrow’s ticker but supposed new Utah Jazz uniforms have been leaked according to this website. Check them out.!!!?s=3010b5098804120d4fe5405527385eb4

  • Lose R | July 22, 2010 at 7:27 am |

    Some different unis at Fenway last night (and check out those socks!)

  • Sodyba | July 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm |

    Ricko, I agree that “A Winner Never Quits” was fairly accurate for unis, but why is Carradine/Gray wearing a home Browns cap with the road Browns gray uni? IIRC the Browns’ road caps were identical but the crowns were gray rather than white/cream. Now I need to research that to verify…