By Phil Hecken
Baltimore Indianapolis Colts announced they will be wearing a throwback for 2010. This in and of itself is not notable — lots of teams throwback. This year alone, the Packers, Bears and Eagles have all announced they’ll be wearing special throwback uniforms for the 2010 season. It had been widely rumored the Colts would as well, and on Monday, in a small ticker item, we got our first glance at the throwback helmet.
What was odd about this was (1) the team will be wearing a ROAD (white) throwback, and (2) they will be wearing it for their pre-season opener (August 15, 2010, against the San Francisco 49ers). I can’t ever recall a team wearing a throwback uniform during the pre-season, much less introducing it for their opener. I have no knowledge as to whether it will be worn during the season, but one could probably assume so.
Blue Helmets Return: The uniform the Colts will be throwing to is from the year 1955. The Colts have worn blue helmets twice in their history: the first time, in their inaugural season of 1953, they wore a plain blue helmet. Uni Watch historian Tim Brulia noted they wore the plain blue helmet for a “couple of night games and a day game.” In 1954, the Colts had both a blue and a white helmet; the white had a single blue stripe, while the blue was adorned with a white stripe and two horseshoes at the rear of the helmet. They would keep the blue helmet until the end of the 1955 season, never to be worn again. In 1956, the Colts switched to a white helmet with the blue horseshoes. For their Thanksgiving game in 2004, against the Lions, the Colts wore 1956 throwbacks. The 1955 and 1956 road (white) jerseys were identical. By 1957, the Colts moved to a uniform that has largely unchanged for more than 50 years.
According to the Colts press release, “The jerseys will be white with blue numbers and there will be three stripes on the sleeves below the jersey numbers. The pants will be white with a single blue stripe down the side, and the white socks will feature three blue horizontal stripes.”
In with the old: This is of course, not dramatically different from the uniform they wear today. As you are no doubt aware, the uniform they wear today is basically what they first wore in 1957. For a pretty good analysis of the Colts uniform history, check out my Super Bowl uni-history breakdown, and scroll down to the Colts section.
As mentioned above, the Colts threwback to their 1956 duds in 2004 (here’s another view). That is, to my knowledge, the only time (aside from 1994 for the NFL’s league-wide 75th anniversary celebration), they have ever “thrown back” (or worn a ‘alternate’ uniform). Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending upon your perspective), the Colts didn’t really throw back in 1994, basically wearing their current uniform at the time (which technically, because of only minor changes, could have been a 1957 throwback). So, with this new 1955 “alternate,” this will be the first time “home” (Indy) fans will see their beloved Colts in a throwback. And the “white at home” is an odd choice, because they did NOT wear their white jerseys at home in 1955.
According to Timmy Brulia, in his tremendous “White At Home” research project, the Colts have only worn white at home a few times:
Colts: 1964 every home game except extra home game vs. Cardinals; 1965 every home game; 1980 vs. Steelers, Jets, Patriots, Cardinals and Browns; 1981 vs. Cowboys; 1995 vs. Bengals (blue pants) and Jets.
Yes, we all know how well the blue pants experiment (both photos from a game in Buffalo) went over.
Not much reason was given for the throwback to 1955 (unless the Colts are borrowing the Los Angeles Dodgers odd gimmick of “55 since ’55”), but if the Colts were seeking to introduce an alternate (throwback), they had to go back pretty far into their history. It’s probably a LOT better than introducing a new alternate.
According to the press release, Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay states, “Our uniform design has changed little through the decades and is among the most recognizable in all of sports. This is a chance for our fans to see a Colts uniform with a different twist, in a classic throwback at Lucas Oil Stadium.”
So, how’d they do? I guess we’ll need to wait until the game to know for sure, but it looks like they have pretty much nailed, as best they can with modern materials and uniform cuts, the original. Not that they had too many changes to make. The most striking difference will of course be the blue helmet, while the rest of the uniform will not be much different from what they currently wear.
Will they wear that throwback during the regular season? Stay tuned.
Buck-date: Yesterday’s column explained why new Orioles Manager Buck Showalter is wearing number 26. Last night in Baltimore, he managed his first game for the O’s. It was a good start, as the O’s won one for the Buckster. But the best part wasn’t Showalter’s return, or even the win, it was the fact that Buck is old school, and a card carrying member of the revolution. The Stirrvp Revolution. Congrats on your first win, Mr. Showalter. Now, we just need Comrade Marshall to send you an official pair of O’s rups.
And now, I bring those members in stirrup nation an important message from Comrade Marshall:
TCK was shut down for a week in early July for inventory, delaying the production of our last order, which was partially received by the Stirrupboro August 2nd, and turned around August 3rd. A stirrup company doing inventory in the summer? I know, unbelievable, details on this later, but at least what I received so far looks and fits as perfectly as anything we have ordered. In addition, I have been assured this upcoming months selections will be expedited for the revolution. Enough small talk, let’s look at this month’s offerings.
We start with a big thank you to the Tampa Rays for this slump buster. Some here have derided the stirrup for it’s columbia and white stripes being too similar in shade, but i think that preposterous. Personally, I think the Rays look as sharp as a straight razor. Seriously, can anyone think of a team that has made such monumental improvements in such a short period of time?
I had completely forgotten our next selection, the 1975 Houston Astros, until this card was posted a few weeks ago. And like most 70’s stripe patterns, it has been left off the baseball uniform database we all know and love. While I am not typically a fan of the late 60’s/70’s hosiery stylings, the debut of the tequila sunrise jersey had a corresponding stirrup, and this will be manufactured with a 7″ opening to better match the style of the day.
While I love the dynamic colour, I need to wash the 70”²s stirrup lengths out of my brain~pan. Let us look to an era of unparalleled baseball perfection for our next selection, the immediate post~war era, the 1947-48 Philadelphia Phillies wore some spectacular hose at the right proper height. To those who malign current players for their baggy pantaloons, i say how can you say that after looking at that photo? do putsy caballero and Jackie Robinson look sloppy? Heck no, they just wear right proper hose.
Finally, we come full circle on columbia blue, and finish our monthly order with MLB’s only columbia blue stirrup, 1932 Brooklyn dodgers. If I am not mistaken, that is Hack Wilson on the right, two years removed from his 191 RBI season with the Cubbies, and his first in Brooklyn. So why does our friendly uniform database show this as the 1931 look? It just goes to show kids, as fantastic as anyone’s research can be, nobody is perfect, always check the facts for yourself. These will not be the usual three stripe pattern, but separated by more distance to better emulate the actual design.
To find out how to order, or the status of your last order, please check here.
From each according his stirrvp, to each according his strype.
Ð¡Ð¿Ð°ÑÐ¸Ð±Ð¾ Comrade Marshall. To answer your question about the Brooklyn Dodgers, the picture was taken in spring training. As such they were wearing the previous year’s uniforms (forgive my poor colorization job) with their shiny new caps. That’s why Mr. Okkonen shows the uniforms for the 1931 season — because they were, even though the photo was taken in the spring of 1932.
Great stirrvp selections this month. You can put me down right now for one of each. UWers…get your orders in now!
Friendly Reminder: Paul’s taking a break from the site for the month of August, but he’s still writing ESPN columns (we’ll link to them as they’re published), plus he’s on the lookout for new college football uniforms. If you spot any of those, please send him a note at this address.
Don’t forget all of Paul’s “Fire Wayne Hagin Already!” blog posts are now contained on the right side of the page in the widget. He may be taking a break from Uni Watch, but he’s still on his crusade to have Wayne removed from the Mets radio booth.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Kicking off the ticker today is none other than “vacationing” UW Prexy Paul Lukas, who found this extremely amusing non-sports logo story — be sure to click on the link entitled “politely feisty response” for some geniusly written humor. … “I dunno if it’s just my crap TV,” writes UW Pollster James Huening, “but it sure looks like this kid pitching for the Cubs has plain blue numbers/letters on his jersey.” … Late Monday (missing yesterday’s ticker by mere seconds), Brian Goodwin announced that getting a UNC-Charlotte football team here has been “in the works” for a few years, but it finally appears to be super super duper official as of tonight. Also, is it “just me or is the facemask in the photo look like the stubbiest facemask ever made?” (shot 3 of 3) Also from Brian, for the really curious, this page in particular has some potential uni mock-ups “in action”. … Li’l help? Jory Fleischauer was reading a NASCAR article about the soon to be 100th race at one of their short tracks and came across this nugget: Darnell, who currently handles public relations for Dodge but was Bristol’s general manager for three years beginning in 1985, said thinking “outside of the box” wasn’t unusual for Carrier. Ironically, when the track was first built, it had a grass infield and they played an NFL exhibition game there between the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles,” Darnell said. “The guys came out there and said, ‘We’re not playing in this cow pasture.’ And Larry Carrier said, ‘Yes, you are. I’ve got a contract.’ So they played the game. Apparently, that was the only game ever played at Bristol. Jory was digging for info all night and he found several places where they have stated the event occurred, but nothing more. Since the track was completed in 1961, Jory surmises that the game was played somewhere around that year. Anyone have any information, especially pictures, of this game occurring? … Matthew Philip was at the Cardinals-Astros game Monday night, and second-base ump Eric Cooper wore a plain black jersey — no sleeve number. … First time contributor Glenn Victor was watching the OSU vs Michigan game from November of 1974 on the Big Ten Network and noticed the OSU helmet being worn during the game. Says Glenn, “I’m a big OSU fan but no nothing about this helmet or recall ever seeing this. Any clues or information would be appreciated.” Welcome aboard Glenn. … Benji Boyter sent in a self-described “disturbing pic,” from the front page of Golf Magazine’s website, featuring an article on football players that love to play golf. They’ve got Jerry Rice in what appears to be a 49ers practice jersey of some sort — with a Visa logo. Adds Benji, “You’d think for the greatest receiver to play the game they could spring for something a little better, no?” … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: the Bears linemen are all wearing “Rush Men” t-shirts under their practice jerseys. … A reader who goes only by JH notes the Virginia lottery and Washington Redskins are having their scratchers game for a second year. This year though, there are 7 card designs, each with a different Redskins logo from the past. … Across the pond, Ryan Brown thought you might be interested in seeing Inside Lacrosse’s showcasing some of the best uniforms and gear at the 2010 FIL World Championships (Lacrosse World Cup) this past month in Manchester, England (also sent in by Charlie Edwards). … Kind of an update on those purple helmets that were discussed in the comments recently: A Univ. of Washington alum mentioned the different colored (purple) helmets were for players in the “110% Club”. That honor was bestowed on the player who gave 110% during the practice week leading up to Saturday’s game. He wasn’t sure if this applied to game play or not or whether there was a limit on how many players could wear the purple helmet (thanks to Phil Amaya for the tip). … Some High School uniform news comes from Terry Mark, who writes that Memorial High School in Elkhart, Indiana hired a new football coach for this season and the team is switching unis, including the helmet logo, and tweaking the color scheme from crimson and gold to crimson and yellow (a la USC). As you can see in the photo, they’re using a version of the Denver Broncos logo. Terry’s high school’s nickname is the Crimson Chargers and the football uniforms have generally used a horse motif. For years, they used the SMU pony in crimson on a gold helmet. The accompanying column describes the new look briefly (scroll about two-thirds through). … Jake Kurtz remarks on this Timberwolves uni change, per Twitter. … Jon Alvani found a semi-uni related article on this custom leather jacket, made specifically for Jay-Z. … Speaking of jackets, check out this Manchester City, Tailored by Umbro number (thanks to Kevin Hastings). Says Kevin, “Kind of shame that the sponsor is under the badge, still a terrific jacket though.” … Rico Trute thought we might like the uniforms from the Football Team Germany, who just won the European Champonship. … As a follow-up to Monday’s column on the new UFL unis, Alex Chipley writes: “As a lifelong Panther fan (or as long as they’ve existed), I have always loved their uniforms. As a fan, i have always wondered what an all-black alternate would look like, and after seeing those Florida Tuskers uniforms, I am strongly against my beloved Panthers ever wearing those god awful uniforms. Those uniforms will never look as good as the Panthers, and it’s a shame they chose our colors to represent.” But how do you really feel? … Cory Lewis was watching Monday’s Yankee game, and it was mentioned that Lance Berkman is still waiting on new Yankee bats to come in, and has been using old Astros bats in the meantime. … Kyle Mann reports the Florence Freedom of the Frontier Baseball League wore Cincinnati Bengal themed jerseys that were to be auctioned off after the game. Here is the website. Says Kyle, “so many people out there just cringe at the Bengal unis on the football field, it appaers to be even worse on the diamond.”
We didn’t have steroids. If I wanted to get pumped up, I drank a case of beer. — Former Colt Art Donovan