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Bumblebee Mania

bumblebee hed

By Phil Hecken

With all the recent activity surrounding the Pittsburgh Pirates and their “Bumblebee” period (1977 through 1984), from the recent mention of Jerry Reuss’ blog, to Paul’s upcoming interview with Mr. Reuss, to the major research project by Jerry Wolper (who is seeking to document every combination those Pirates wore during those years — much more on that below), to white whale sighting, I think I’m becoming infatuated by those black and gold uniforms. Now, I’d like to think I’m a pretty skilled Uni Watcher, but in researching the bumblebees, I have only recently realized that the Bucs have worn various combinations of those wild and crazy uniforms MANY times as throwbacks (or, as some like to call them “Turn Back The Clock” [TBTC] games). I never realized how many times they’ve done this.

My first recollection of this was the infamous “Sausagegate” incident, which occured on July 9, 2003, during the sausage race in Milwaukee. Randall Simon, the perpetrator, thought it might be fun to strike one of the participants with a bat as she ran by the Pirates dugout. The object of his “affection” was Mandy Block, and while she was not seriously injured, her sausage racing career ended shortly after the race and her anonymity (if not pride) shattered, she became known as “sausage girl” after the incident. I’m not sure if that was her monicker before it. Simon, for his part, was handcuffed by Milwaukee County sheriff’s deputies after the game, taken to a police station and fined $432 for disorderly conduct. Major League Baseball suspended him for three days. A funny incident to be sure, but I always remembered the Pirates had “thrownback” to their all gold uniforms for that game.

I had kind of filed that game away as a “one and done” for the bumblebee throwbacks, until about a month ago, when the Pirates and A’s hooked up for one of their TBTC to the 70s nights, with the A’s sporting a very rarely worn all gold get up, and the Bucco’s sported their all black uniforms, complete with period appropriate stirrups. I thought they pulled that throwback off pretty well, despite the fact that the “Stargell Stars” were gold, not black, and they were worn on the brim not the crown.

But, I thought, I’m positive they wore their bumblebee throwbacks other times. And, boy have they ever.

Turns out that last year, on August 21, 2009 and August 22, 2009, the Pirates held two TBTC nights against the Cincinnati Reds, who obligingly played along by wearing their own “polyester pullovers” with sansabelt pants as part of the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the 1979 World Series Championship. Now, I was never particularly fond of the pinstripes to begin with, but when paired with black pajama bottoms, (at least the Reds’ Brandon Phillips wore high socks), they looked particularly wretched. However, I did kinda dig the gold over black look — although it’s still a softball look. What I hated, though, was the fact that, to a man (or at least all I’ve seen in photos), they all wore those baggy pajama pants. Say what you will about the look in today’s uniforms (you know my feelings), but please don’t ruin this look (hey, if that was good enough for Pops, then it’s good enough for Lastings Milledge). Still, it looked like a couple of fun nights, and I’m sure a good many yinzer remember this more fondly than their current sets.

Now, why didn’t I remember those throwbacks, despite them occurring only last year? Well, UW was on hiatus last August 21 (Happy Birthday Ricko) and 22, so I guess I wasn’t paying as much attention as I should have. Turns out, there were several games played during the break where throwbacks were worn — and I’ll examine them at a later date.

In searching for those bumblebee throwbacks, I decided I’d check Bill Henderson’s guide, since I knew the Pirates have frequently thrown back to other eras (1909 for example) as well as the early part of the century, and also to negro league teams. Aside from those two games last year, the Pirates have broken out some form of bumblebee TBTC unis on at least four other occasions!

* On May 29, 1999, (presumably for the 20th Anniversary of the 1979 World Series Championship), the Bucs broke out the gold jersey. Now, I have been unable to locate any photos of this game, so I do not know which pants, caps or stirrups they wore with them. If anyone has photos from this game, please post them or send them my way.

* TWICE in 2003, the Pirates broke out the bumblebees. The first was on April 4, 2003, and they were worn in Philadelphia, for the final home opener at the Vet. Unfortunately, they decided to wear their uniforms basically sans stirrups, although the long pants hadn’t quite reached pajama size in 2003. But the all-gold uniform pretty closely resembled the 77-84 original, although every player wore the black pillbox with 2 “Stargell Stars”. I apologize for the Getty Image photos (I know Paul doesn’t like to use them), but aside from that first small picture of Randall Simon, I could not locate any other photos from this game. Li’l help?

The second throwback that year was that infamous “sausagegate game”, which was played on July 9th. Other than horribly grainy stills from video clips of that incident, I’ve been unable to locate any game photos. Again, anyone have any?

Unfortunately, Mr. Henderson didn’t have much information on either of those two games. I recognize the pitcher in the picture (unfortunately) as Kris Benson, but I’m wondering which game that photo is taken from.

* In 2004, the Pirates did the bumblebee TBTC thing again, and in that game they wore the pinstripe tops. A fairly extensive (though not exhaustive) search yielded no date nor photos from that game, so I do not know whether they wore gold, black or pinstriped pants. I’m sure UW nation can find some photos from that game.


Well, there you have it — the Bucs obviously have quite an affinity for their bumblebee’s — and now I’m becoming obsessed with finding photo documentation for those games. I’m not even sure those are all the TBTC games they’ve played wearing the throwbacks.

So, dear Uni Watch readers, help a brother UWer out. If any of you can find (or at least track down dates) of any times the Pirates have worn their bumblebee’s, please post dates, photos or any other information you have below (or shoot me an E-mail).

In addition, I’m looking for any pictures, wire service shots, yearbook photos, baseball cards, etc. of the 1977-1984 Pirates, as, in addition to Ricko’s “Bumblebee Montage” and Jerry’s Buc tracker, I’m trying to compile photos of every possible combination worn during those years. All of the “common” ones we’ve documented, but if you stumble across any strange or uncommon ones (like Jerry Reuss personal photo in the rarely worn G-P-P-G [Gold-Pins-Pins-Gold] combination), please post or send them my way.

Thanks…I’m counting on you!


buc tracker hed

Buc Tracker Update

Our amazing resident “Buc Tracker” Jerry Wolper has been making some tremendous strides in his project to track each uniform combination worn by the 1977-1984 Pittsburgh Pirates. His update is below:


I’ve completed the first phase of the project.

What I’ve done:

Google has made the archives of several newspapers available on-line. Fortunately, the Pittsburgh Press and Post-Gazette are among them, so I’ve been through every available issue from the 1997-1984 baseball seasons. (There are, unfortunately, some gaps.) I’ve also been through the Beaver County Times (suburban Pittsburgh) archive. The Montreal Gazette is the only other paper from a then-National League city that Google has archived, so I looked at their coverage of Pirate-Expo games; the Ottawa Citizen was useful as well. I came across the occasional wire photo in a more random newspaper, like the Ocala Star-Banner or the Bowling Green (KY) Daily News. (Bowling Green High’s teams are the Purples.)

I also went through the online AP, Getty, and Corbis archives, where I found several photos with dates and many more, alas, without.

I found something for 78% of the games played, ranging from a jersey color in 77%, to a cap color in 46%; since helmets were always gold, it’s rare that a photo of the Bucs on offense, or of a catcher on a play at the plate shows a cap. (If you’re wondering, I’ve found pants for 75% of games, and stirrups for 58%.)

What I’ve Learned:

There were three eras of the multicolored uniforms:


No names on backs. The Pirates would mix and match any combination of gold, black, and (striped) white, both at home and on the road. With one exception that I’ve seen, the cap never matched a black or gold jersey, and I haven’t seen stirrups match black or gold pants. Either color of cap or stirrup was worn next to a white jersey or pants.


Names appear on backs. The striped white jersey and pants are only worn with each other, and only at home. Except for one game, I’ve only seen black caps and stirrups with the white. Black and gold are still mixed and matched, both at home and on the road.


Names remain on backs. The stripes are dropped from the white uniforms, which are now worn at all home games with black caps and stirrups. Black and gold are still mixed and matched on the road.

In September of 1980, the Pirates did mix and match black, gold, and white at home. According to the September 4, 1980 Pittsburgh Press, “For the first time all year, the Pirates did not wear their all-white uniforms with black hats at home. ‘The players wanted to do it, so I figured “Why not?” ‘ explained equipment manager John Hallahan.” After 1980, I’ve only seen white at home.

What’s Next:

I feel like I’ve gotten most of the “easy” data. if someone knows of any good online photographic archives I’ve missed, please let me know.

I had the opportunity to spend a few days in San Francisco, and being the exciting guy I am, I spent a little time at the library looking at newspaper microfilms for a few series. I did find photos for a few games that I didn’t previously have, so it’s now time to ask the Uni Watch community for help. If you live in a National League city of that era, and are willing to spend some time in the library, please let me know. If you have access to a newspaper’s on-line archive that I’m not willing to pay for, that would be great, too. If you’d like to help but aren’t in an NL city,your local paper (big or small) most likely ran wire photos of major league games regularly. Unfortunately, picking through one or two of the random papers I mentioned at the beginning shows that it can be pretty sparse, but there are occasional hits. Going through those archives is also an opportunity to catch up on sports history, whether or not you remember it, which I found enjoyable. (It’s much easier to evaluate drafts thirty years later.)

If you’d like to volunteer, or just have a question, I can be reached at


Amazing job so far Jerry. Can’t wait until you’ve finally completed this uni-tastic research project.


Exclamation Point

ATTENTION Stirrup Club Members

Comrade Marshall informs me that today is the LAST day for placing NEW orders for rups. See the second section of this post for details.


Emmitt kisses his bust

Nice bust:

Saturday eveing, the NFL inducted its Class of 2010. Emmitt Smith, Dick LeBeau, Russ Grimm, John Randle, Rickey Jackson, Jerry Rice and Floyd Little were the seven inductees. Quite a class, especially when you consider that (arguably) the greatest running back and wide receiver in NFL history both went in this year. Not much uni-notables came out of the Hall of Fame game, played last evening (a bit in the ticker), so if you missed it, here are some photos from the event.


ticker 4

Uni Watch News Ticker: Leading off today is Chandler Swenson, who is excited about this: Real Salt Lake’s first alternate jersey. … Uni Watch Prexy Paul Lukas notes the new Giants punter has Under Armour on one foot and Nike on the other. … Tom Adjemian has the first pic of Philip Seymour Hoffman in Moneyball. … Jon Alvani checks in with a small gallery of the Utes in the first day of camp. … Still more on out-of-state license plates. Andrew Hoenig reports Maryland has a number of out of state college plates. You can see the list here. … Kenny Abbey notes the new Arizona court (w/ thanks to Josh Gershon). … Couple things from Marc Swanson: Found this cool image of Ron Mix while poking around the ”˜net on a site for Lerner Sports Marketing. Great views of the Chargers 1960s era unis as well as the Rams’ navy and whites. Marc adds, “Odd to see a simple stripe on the Chargers’ pants and not the lightning bolt. What’s Ron got ”˜round his neck? Cervical collar? Early version of neckroll? Bandage to hide injury sustained while attempting the “Iron Lotus?” And am I seeing things or does the blocker (#63? #65? Can’t tell) on the right side have spike-less heels on his shoes? I’m not a shoe guy, so that’s a new one on me.” … Back on Friday, Jeffrey Downe noticed Chris Chellios was wearing a Bob Probert jersey backwards while singing “take me out to the ball game” during the Cubs game. Honoring his buddy who recently passed away. … Missouri State will be replacing upgrading their helmet from last season to this model, notes Zach Brady. “Beautiful!!!” … Li’l help? Ben Ireton (aka “Tyler”) asks, “Once upon a time I (think) had read somewhere that the Badgers wore an all black uniform for one game only way back when. I’m not sure when this was, but was hoping someone out there would confirm that I’m not losing my mind. Not to say they should do it again (BFBS is out of hand), but it wouldn’t be unwelcome considering they haven’t had a style change -aside from an awful jersey they wore in a blowout against Colorado in 1995- since 1990.” Anyone? … Pacific Rim correspondent Jeremy Brahm checks in with this: The FIVB Grand Prix for Women’s National Teams began Friday. Some notes — Poland has incredibly short sleeves, Jeremy would even call them “sleeve flaps.” China is wearing them too, so it must be an Adidas thing. … A reader who goes by “donaldawbt24” sent in this photo of Tim Tebow’s cleats. … Great spot by Bill Radocy, who noticed the Saskatchewan kicker Luca Congi, who wears #10, has the number #01 on his right sleeve, but his left sleeve had #10. … More on the “out of state” license plates comes from Kyle Campbell who notes the Pennsylvania college and university specialty plates have such out of state schools as Marshall, Michigan, Notre Dame, Purdue, Syracuse, Delaware, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia. “Sadly,” he notes, “no Michigan State.” … Jake Keys states that Marshall football has gone back to its traditional white helmet with green & black helmet stripes. Here in August practice though, true freshman have a red stripe instead of the black. … Thom Dennis writes, “the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals have a new road jersey for 2010-11. It’s black but not BFBS.” … Li’l help? Reader Matt Craig has been DYING to find the cap mentioned in this article. Anyone? … Ek posted on this yesterday, but Cory Lewis sent in a bunch of pics of a lot of players have been wearing jerseys with a pink/white/white MLB logo. Says Cory, “It’s been for a lot of different games, with only some players having that logo as opposed to the navy/white/grey logo the Yankees usually wear. Among the players wearing the pink logo are Curtis Granderson, Jorge Posada, Marcus Thames, Colin Curtis, and the batboy, while Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Joba Chamberlain have the normal logo.” … Alex Higley noticed that both Chris Ianetta and Miguel Olivo seem to be wearing an entirely black catcher’s helmet. In the past, Alex notes, they wore the ugly purple fade to black helmet, only on a standard non-vented catchers helmet. … Buc Tracker Jerry Wolper writes, “For the umpire improvisation file, from the May 17.1977 Daily News of Bowling Green, KY.” … Interesting notes on the CFL throwback game this past weekend, from Reid Mitchell: The BC Lions of the CFL were wearing 1976 retro unis Saturday vs. Calgary in their retro stadium Empire Field. Reid noticed a story on the Lions website with an interesting photo. It has some 70’s Lions on the Empire Stadium sidelines with two players having black numbers on their sleeves with two other ones having white numbers. Looking back at the Lions uni history, it looks like this is a mix of the ”˜73 and ”˜74 sweater with the ”˜75 edition. … George Chilvers noticed some of the colorizations done on UW and wanted to share his own (for “football” no less). Says George, “thought I was the only sad person in the world who did this :).” … More from Jeremy: Here is the graphic on the Asahi Shinbun (Newspaper) website for the Koshien National High School Tournament in Japan; This is the normal logo. … “Memorial alert” possibility brought to us by “RJT Jr.”, who notes Dave Dixon, the man that helped build the Louisiana Superdome which helped bring the Saints to New Orleans died Sunday. He’s wondering if the Saints will honor Mr. Dixon in any way this season. … Jonathon Russell saw August 6th ticker, in which an article was linked that said Toledo was the only school in the midwest to wear Under Armor uniforms. The Salukis of Southern Illinois stared wearing Under Armor at the start of the 2009 season. “Not your mistake, but just want to represent the Salukis.” … Looks like Univeristy of Louisville is going old school with this new helmet (thanks to Christopher Courtney). … Ex-Pat Drew Douglas checks in from Down Under: “the new MLB-funded Australian Baseball League announced team names and logos this week. Supposedly starting in November 2010 with Double A quality baseball, I’m pretty skeptical since the league is cutting it very close with these announcements — and two of the teams don’t even have a ballpark yet. Here’s the MLB News Release and Logo sheet, and the ABL Page.” Here the team pages for Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney. … West Coast correspondent Brinke Guthrie offers up Tim Tebow’s EyeBlack: The Bible Verses Scrubbed Clean? … Speaking of Tebow, looks like he’s gone from Messiah to monk. … Yes, such are the joys of the annual rookie hazing haircuts. … Great photo of the Colts “silver” phase (from the 1982 Hall of Fame Game). … Here’s a look at the Cowboys anniversary patch, from last night’s HOF game. … They are going by Batman & Robin — how long till there’s big trouble in the bat cave? … Speaking of those two, looks like Ocho Cinco has no leg pads at all (in fact, those look just like bicycle shorts). … Likewise for Ocho Uno. Andrew Case notes that it’s gotta be the shoes. … And finally, Drew Nolan sent in a bunch of HOF Game notes, plus pictures, just before “press time”. Some of these match up with my observations above, but here’s a reprint of Drew’s thoughts, with his pictures: * Looks the cowboys will be wearing a 50th anniversary patch (presumably for the entire year); * Whatever kind of new super stretchy jerseys Reebok put out near the end of last season are back. #93 Michael Johnson and #32 Cedric Benson can be seen wearing them along with several other Cincinnati players. Translation: more crappy NOB’s and shoulder stripes send ing the Bengals from bad to worse; * T.O. and Chad Ochocinco are sporting some odd tights and flashy shoes. Nothing new for Chad though if you remember; * And speaking of Owens, I couldn’t help but notice the Reebok patch on his jersey seemed pretty far down the sleeve as with most of the Bengals players. Further examination shows they’ve always been that way. (See Carson Palmer); *One last note: I noticed that in almost every picture of Rickey Jackson, he had on a very unorthodox facemask/visor. Don’t think I’ve ever seen one that goes 6 bars cross and 5 down.


There’s three things in life that’s certain: Death, taxes, and 85 will always be open. — Chad Ocho Cinco

Comments (120)

    The Reuss photo also should be evidence of another pinstripe vs. pinstripe game — this one at Wrigley. Check the background in the photo, that’s definitely at Wrigley Field.

    Also, I have a clip from a season-ending 1978 This Week in Baseball episode of the Pirates in pinstripe tops (and I think yellow pants) at Wrigley from that season. I’ll see if I can make a screengrab in the next day or two and pass it along.

    That Reuss photo gallery is a thing of beauty. I realize the stirrups may have crept up a bit, but the look is unquestionably top-notch – and Jerry wore it especially well. I yearn for some tailoring to return to The Show.

    Loved the Houston jerseys, they’re among my favorites. Those ’88 ChiSox stirrups were great. Reuss was a very good pitcher. Much of his time was spent with the Dodgers when I was particularly anti-Dodger. But I definately was pro-Pirate – through all their looks.

    Thanks for sharing.

    It’s 9:51 PM and this is my first look at the UW for today and lo and behold, we’re talkin’ Bucs!

    I am venturing to the Pennsylvania State Library and hoping to uncover some nuggets for Bucs-tracking, especially from 77-79.

    Question for the manufactures of Pirates’ pinstripe throwbacks:
    You could’t see the stripes were farther apart on the originals?
    Seriously,how can belive you did a good job of reproducing that jersey?


    There are actually two Chargers linemen wearing round heel cups on their cleats. One is wearing a pair of low-cut Spot Bilts and the other one is wearing what looks to be Riddell cleats with the white “belt” blacked out. Those heel cups were used to prevent knee injuries. The cleats “gave” rather than the knee…

    While I remember reading about those round “heel cups” (in a shoe article in the NFL gameday program “PRO!”, in all my years of staring at pictures of players shoes, I NEVER recall ever seeing a photo of someone wearing them!

    I wonder if they were being tried out in a preseason game? I don’t think the Chargers wore those unis after the merger was complete, and the NFC played the AFC during the regular season.

    Death, taxes, and 85 will always be open? He wasn’t talking about Milt Stegall, was he?

    I’m surprised there is no mention of the oddity of Stephen McGee’s helmet last night. his name on the rear extended all the way onto the “Cowboys” wordmark.

    Granted, I wasn’t the one being hit w/a bat by a P.O.S. However, I think you need to define your use of the word “funny” in characterizing the incident. It’s assault with a deadly weapon. The only “funny” aspect was the moron did it in front of a stadium full of witnesses. And that’s funny “inexplicable” not funny, humorous.

    yes, perhaps a better adjective could have been used; it should have been apparent, however, after describing the incident and its repercussions, that i was using any of the following definitions:

    1. Intended or designed to amuse.
    2. Strangely or suspiciously odd; curious.
    3. Tricky or deceitful.

    but definitely not funny “ha ha”

    I don’t know how you figure it was Assault with a Deadly Weapon when it clearly states he was charged with Disorderly Conduct.

    Indeed, the requisite element of intent is missing for a more serious charge. However, if the bat had narrow vertical stripes painted on it as camouflage, then we could infer intent and kick the charges up from misdemeanor to felony.

    Nice piece today, Phil. I wish the Pirates would at least wear a throwback helmet with the unis. How hard can that be? And you’re right, the pants look absurd. Wear some socks or stirrups!

    Interesting that for throwbacks the Pirates seem to favor…
    gold hat-gold jersey-black pants.

    Also interesting…
    That’s a combination no one has thus far (I believe) shown they ever actually wore during the bumblebee era.

    Whaddya bet someone looked at photos of Pirate hitters (helmet was gold with black visor all the time) and assumed it was common combo.


    That’s the lack of attention to detail that is all too uncommon in these throwback efforts. Given all the great resources (Okkonen, Henderson, Topps baseball cards, SI) available, one would think you could easily nail the correct uni.

    The only time they’ve worn the gold cap/gold jersey throwback was last year, on a night where they gave away gold pillbox caps (sans black stars). That’s as many times as I’ve seen that combo in the ’77-’84 period.

    What did the Pirates wear during that September 1980 game? Very interesting — kind of like last year in discovering the Indians mixed and matched blue and red in the 1970s.

    Think the Pirates went black top/yellow pants. I remember stumbling across that in some newspaper research a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t just for that one home game. They did it for several home games in the final few weeks of 1980, and usually went black top/yellow pants or yellow top/black pants.

    Looks like gold cap, black shirt, white pants, black stirrups on September 3. As I said above, they mixed and matched at home for the rest of September.

    Oh, okay. That makes sense and is less surprising. I thought they had combined the white uniforms with the black or gold.

    In the early years (1977-79) they never really had a true home or road uniform (though I guess the all-pinstripe uniform could be considered their primary home uniform, even though they wore it on the road a few times as we have seen here recently — at New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and who knows where else). But starting in 1980, they basically wore the all-whites at home all the time, never combined it with the other jerseys and pants.

    As far as Tebow’s tonsure goes, it’s nice to see someone who takes religion as seriously as he does that’s still willing to poke fun at himself for it. As long as he can do that and continues to thank God for talent instead of wins, I’ll still respect him. Not his fans necessarily, but him.

    As far as Rickey Jackson goes, that looks more like a hockey facemask than a football one. Chris Canty wears something similar, though his looks more like a standard U-RONJ-EX bulldog mask with extra reinforcements added to the nasal and oral areas.

    Jackson’s has everything spaced evenly, like he was paranoid about getting hit in the jaw or maybe fishhooked by a blocker. Did he ever break or dislocate his jaw while playing?

    No, he cries.

    I really don’t see the point behind that Tebow article.. By NCAA rules this year, Eye-Black messages are not allowed, and Tebow isn’t even in the game, so why make a big deal about it? (As someone who sits on the opposite site of the god debate, I even see it as hypocritical, because you change Tebow’s faith, you change the message of the article.)

    I meant when he wins, he thanks God for giving him the talent, not for the win. That was something Kurt Warner did too. To me, it sounds a lot more genuine and humble to say “God gave us the talent we needed to win” than “God wanted us to win,” like Ray Lewis.

    And Inkracer, I think it has more to do with EA not wanting to offend people than anything having to do with Christianity specifically. Just because you never see players putting verses from the Tanakh, the Quran, the Baghavad Gita, or the Tao Te Ching on their eyeblack doesn’t mean they would get treated differently than Tebow if they did.

    Indeed. I’m always suspect when an athlete thinks God/Jesus wanted his team to win. Suspect of just how genuine, or how studious, his faith is. Seems like the shirt-sleeve variety, because it doesn’t take much study to know that most religions would say God doesn’t give a hoot about such things.

    They teach that God may be measuring the hearts and minds of individual players, yes. The outcome, not to so much.


    I really don’t want to turn this into a religious debate on here (there are other places to have those talks, and the “debates” can get quite poisonous.)
    My point was simply that IF Tebow had versus from the Torah, the Quran, or simply had “No God” in his eye-black, the writing isn’t up in arms about the messages not being there, they are thanking EA for having the decency to keep those messages off a game..

    The last thing I want to point out is, whether the writer likes it or not, Tebow did the EA NCAA cover photo shoot with eye-black sans messages..

    I was just agreeing about with you about guys like Tebow and Warner and with your raised eyebrow for the Ray Lewis-style comment.


    I don’t know. Don’t really see the difference – it all feels self-aggrandizement to me.

    Personally, I don’t see a whole lotta difference between Tebow and Ochocinco – I’m just glad that athletes have lost that medium for that self-promotion. Now can we talk about the ballplayers who scribble on their baseball caps?

    Last week we discussed the merits or not of certain teams NFL teams wearing blue pants in the past, present and future..

    I was screaming and yelling about how horrible those 1975 NY Giants uniforms looked. In particular the pants…however… seeing this pic, makes me think that maybe, just maybe it could work…..


    I don’t like the white jersey, blue pants look. There is too much red on the jersey to make it look good.

    As much as I think the blue jersey, grey pants look is the best uni in the NFL ( I am a Giants fan of course ), I think I like the blue over blue monochrome.

    Only as a alt of course, maybe for one of those Sunday night games we get every year against the Cowboys or Eagles….. I usually hate monochrome, but I think that one might work…..

    Nothing beats the Giants red tops and matte gray pants. Wait, did they ever wear that combination? Anyway, love the matte gray pants.

    Nice spot by Reid on the BC Lions mid-70’s jerseys

    Looking at the Lions all-time roster – link

    54 was worn by Mickey Doyle in ’74 and Ted McEachern in ’76 (no one seemed to wear it in ’75)
    44 was worn by Andy Jonassen in ’75 and Rob Mclaren in ’77 (no one seemed to weat it in ’76)
    36 was worn by Terry Bailey from ’74-’82.
    65 was worn by Bud Magrum from ’73-’74 and Jim Schnietz from ’75-’77

    My thoughts are that this photo may be from a pre-season game in ’76 – but it’s hard to say.

    The Pirates are expected to wear the throwbacks representing the 1978 season this Thursday afternoon 8/12 against the Padres. San Diego is going to wear its 1978 brown road uniforms for the third time this season on “Throwback Thursdays.”

    I forgot what a knucklehead incident Sausagate was… it’s no wonder pro sports are absolutely no fun anymore. Suspended, handcuffed and fined?

    And could somebody please find out what brand of socks those are that Tim Tebow’s wearing? And his shampoo? Perhaps even his jock, since so many are swinging from his privates?
    Meanwhile, Kyle Orton – the starter – need not worry.

    Hey, Phil! Great piece! Loved the work done on this one!

    Just as an aside: Chris Chelios only has one “L” in his name. ;o)

    That photo of Kris Benson in the gold bumblebee outfit appears to be from opening day at the Vet in Philly. The left field wall looks like the one they had there.

    “*One last note: I noticed that in almost every picture of Rickey Jackson, he had on a very unorthodox facemask/visor. Don’t think I’ve ever seen one that goes 6 bars cross and 5 down.”

    Rickey Jackson actually mentioned his ‘cage’ in a sideline interview w/ Andrea Kramer last night. She mentioned there was a year where he missed the only two games of his career, a year in which he broke his jaw and had it wired shut. She said that because of his special ‘cage’ he could probably have played in that first of two games, but the team kept him out.

    When you mention how the Stargell stars were placed on the brim, you meant only on the yellow caps, right? Because they were placed on the crown on the black hats.

    That would be correct, yes.
    (I’ll speak for Phil because he and I have talked about that very subject, and because right now he’s probably busy working hard to, y’know, keep NY governing functioning).


    Regarding the question about the 1999 Pirates throwbacks, I’m almost positive they wore black pants with those gold jerseys.

    And Geeman, yes, the Pirates were in contention during 1980 for most of the season, but age caught up with them. The 1979 Pirates were probably one of the oldest clubs to win a world title. It always bugged me they discarded the gold pins after just three seasons. I would have kept that style as the home uniform.

    It wasn’t a bad uniform at all (though it should never have been worn on the road). The ’79 season capped a great 1970s for the Pirates. World champs at the start (okay, ’71) and the end (’79), and division champs (’72, ’74, ’75) or runners-up numerous times in between. They had a lot of talent, for sure. Loved the Cobra.

    1973 would have likely been another division championship and maybe another world title had Clemente not perished in the plane crash on January 1st of that year. The Pirates tried moving Manny Sanguillen to right field that season, but it was a disaster, and essentially weaken the club at two positions, to say nothing of the huge loss in the clubhouse. Those ’73 Bucs finished only two behind the Mets that season.

    I’m a Dave Parker fan too, the “Cobra” nickname was a perfect description of his batting stance. The only sad aspect of his career was the drug problem, which cost him 3000 hits and the hall of fame.

    Players put the stars wherever they wanted. I think Teke in ’79 had one line for wins, one line for saves, and a star on top of the cap for his catch in left field. So you’ll find some stars on brims on black caps, and others on brims of gold caps.

    agree Marty – seems to be BFBS. I am glad they are going to the Bear logo, but should be on a silver or white helmet no?

    You bet. No black when I was there either. But that was way before the craze. We had the white helmet with the word BEARS on it that copied the NY Giants. They were equally as bad as last year’s models. I like the bear logo, but Black? Come on.

    Man, we’ve got a Missouri contingent going here. I’m in Joplin, by way of Tulsa (growing up) and Stillwater (Oklahoma State Univ). Is it time for a Uniwatch gathering in the Show-Me State?

    Past time. I was at SMS 88-92. In the other southern corner of the state now. Sorry Marty, those Giants knockoffs sucked. Looked even worse in the turf on the 50 at Briggs Stadium….er….Plaster Field. Didn’t they go the reverse of the white/maroon for a while too with the same wordmark?

    About the pink MLB logos on the back of Yankee uniforms: I think those date back to last year also. I remember seeing Mark Teixeira’s jersey constantly having a pinkish logo, which I used to assume was just from the color fading away

    After watching video highlights from last night’s Yankee game, I think the “pink” MLB logos only appear pink based on how the lighting from Yankee Stadium (or any other park?) shines on the logo

    This may not capture it accurately but note how Marcus Thames’s logo looks normal at first and then turns pink once he partially steps into the light.

    To see the video, it’s this one at the 0:37 mark:

    Apologies if this has been posted already — Army unveiled new football unis today.


    I like the “Dress Gray”, but not the “India White”

    I think this is a major downgrade to last year’s design. I even like the Camo Unis better….

    Joining the “closet full of football costumes” parade are they, eh?

    Jeez, if anywhere, you’d think tradition and memories—such as Davis & Blanchard, the Lonely End, Pete Dawkins, etc.,–would mean something at West Point.

    Guess not.

    But, then again, a black beret pretty now much equates to a participation trophy.
    Used to be it meant something extraordinary.

    Aim low. Good idea.


    Sorry, didn’t include in my tip that Real Salt Lake played a non-league game in these green jerseys on earth day.

    The new 3rd kit “Victory Gold” debuted in league play Saturday, and will be used in both league and international competitions.

    Thanks, Phil and Jerry!

    Great work covering those great Pirate unis. Just wish they’d get the throwbacks right and wear contrasting hats and jerseys.

    And if you’re going to sit on the MLB luxury tax money, at least you could splurge for the yellow helmets with the black brims as well.

    I’m not a baseball guy, yet I’ve always admired the uniqueness of the Pirates uniforms. So, thank you for the detailed history lesson fellas.

    Look closely. Another wearer of adidas (or adidas-like) cleats in football was Lance Alworth (in white) at Arkansas, 1961 (or possibly ’60)…


    Over the weekend, on one of the XM baseball shows with Rico Petrocelli was talking with Dave Parker and one of the things they talked about was the uniforms (RICO really disliked them). And Parker said they had 12 different combo but would always wear black on Sunday. (I meant to pass this along yesterday)

    Not to argue with the Cobra, but if they were wearing black jerseys on Sundays in April 1977, they stopped by May.

    The cowboys are selling merch with their 50th anniversary logo on them just like the vikings link. They also seem to have a logo for their “True Blue Fan Club” link.
    I also want to note that the infamous Randall Simon was briefly picked up by my beloved indepedent league team the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. He is retired now, but the infamous incident was the talk of Fargo while he played.
    Megan Salic, the assistant gm of the RedHawks actually was selected by MLB to travel to Australia and get the ABL up and running

    Associated Press has determined than in 1970 there was one 300-pounder listed on NFL rosters, and that last year there were 394.

    Well then, it’s no wonder so many guys look like crap in the new, tighter-cut jerseys.

    (cue Fat Albert sound byte: “Hey-hey-HE-EY!”)


    I’ve always associated North Carolina as one of those schools who don’t need to dabble in alternate helmets. The classic Tar Heel blue helmet works just fine, and I don’t understand the darker blue addition to the uni.

    BFBS. I know black is the Magic’s second color, but they really need to get a warm or neutral color in their palette instead of just the Disney colors of sky blue, silver, and black. The city flag sky blue, true-royal, and amber or orange-peel yellow, which would give them a more interesting palette without looking like they ripped off the athletic-royal-and-orange of the Knicks/Thunder/Cavs/Bobcats/everyone-else-in-the-NBA.


    I disagree. Their very first away uniform was black. They didn’t have a blue uniform till ’94ish.

    Many Magic fans (including myself) have been looking for a return to a black jersey for a while.

    …Also, how are black, blue and silver Disney colors. Not trying to be a smartass but I have lived in Orlando for 20 years and I don’t associate them with Disney.

    The vanity plate before every Disney film (the Cinderella’s Castle thing) is done in navy, sky, silver, and white. That’s the only place I can easily recall that color combo outside sports, and I’ll bet that’s why it’s the Magic’s color palette.

    If people in Orlando want the black alt, then it is true that it is part of the official color palette and wouldn’t be inappropriate. I was just suggesting that having colors from a family outside blue and black would be more interesting and less 90s-ish.

    Interesting how the Diamondbacks are “quietly” introducing the 2011 All-Star Gale logo because of the SB1070 backlash:


    Hey, Chance, do you (or anyone) remember the Wisconsin DB who hurt his leg in the endzone at Minnesota, and ultimately had to have it amputed? Want to say his name was, like, Mel Walker or Seth Walker…or something with a “W”.

    Anyway, I was at the game and I’m pretty sure he was wearing the black helmet. There was some quiet discussion afterward that perhaps that had made him a target. And I’m pretty sure the “Black Helmet” thing went away shortly after.

    (Or is it in the story on that link, which I admit I have to go read right now?)


    Ah-ha. I’m not crazy. Found this on a website for the Charleston Catholic High School Class of 1968…

    “It was also a privilege in the 1960s to write about the exploits of one of the most remarkable high school athletes ever to compete in West Virginia – Melvin Walker. Walker excelled in four sports at Dunbar. As a junior quarterback, he led the Bulldogs to the 1965 state title game, where they fell to Huntington by a touchdown. The next year, Walker was the catalyst on coach Bill Young’s Class AAA state championship team that swamped Bob Hummell and his Moundsville teammates in the title game…

    “Walker went to Wisconsin on a football scholarship and suffered an injury that led to a leg amputation.

    “Kanawha Valley sports fans will likely carry on a never-ending debate about who was the better all-around high school athlete: Walker or DuPont’s Randy Moss. It’s a close call. They were athletes with different styles, thus making them hard to compare. But to (Coach) Young, it’s an easy decision.

    “‘Melvin Walker was the best high school athlete I’ve ever seen,’ he said.”



    I remember on a Sunday night game that year, Joe Theismann was doing the ESPN broadcast. He wore the single-bar mask, so they did a side-by-side shot of him wearing the single-bar next to one of Jackson’s radiator grille, which was paired with a dark visor.

    I just stumbled across another pair of the rarely seen striped stirrups: The White Sox ’82-’86. link

    Fisk was darn near the only White Sox player to show his stripes with that uni. Those and the Astros’ tequila sunrise stirrups may be about the two most unseen striped stirrups in MLB history.


    There’s no way those were worn for the entire duration of that uni set. Maybe just 1982? Because I don’t remember those AT ALL and I watched/attended a hell of a lot of Sox games in 1983.

    im always around ben…

    workin on tomorrow’s piece…

    but i’ve got two words for you: awe some

    will be in tomorrow’s ticker

    Is link even black? Looks like some fancy, highfalutin’ metallic carbon or something. (Although I’d imagine metallic carbon is not a school color.)

    And Ben, we’re off our game. One of us should have taken a pic of Chelios in that backwards Probert jersey and e-mailed it to Phil on Friday.

    We see it in person and it takes someone else to send it in. That’s just bad uniwatching.

    nice rups!

    debating if i should wear any to tomorrow’s game with paul…comrade marshall’s mets rups haven’t arrived yet

    Well, you’ve got a pair of Giants, right? Just wear ’em over some royal sanis and you’ve got all the Mets colors covered.

    yeah, um…no

    they aint arrived yet neither


    i um…checked my stirrup drawer (thanks comrade)…and sure enough…the gints rups were there…

    so, maybe you have something there james

    Thanks for the links to the Aussie Baseball League. I have a cap from the Sydney Storm that a friend from down under sent to me several years ago. Black crown/purple brim, I love it. I also have some baseball cards she sent me, perhaps I can scan them if I find anything uni-worthy.

    Phil this is what I have for the Pirates 1970’s throwback games:
    5/29/99 vs. Reds at home in the Yellow
    link I think they wore the black pants with the pins. If you look on page 47 of the Pirates section, the bottom right corner looks like black pants with the elastic waistband.

    8/21/09 and 8/22/09 vs. Reds with Yellow on 8/21 and Pinstripes on 8/22.

    7/9/03 at Brewers in the Yellow
    6/26/10 at Athletics in the Black
    8/12/10 at Padres (I haven’t seen the announcement yet on the jersey).


    link With the background blurred out, it is hard to tell if it is from the Phillies or the Brewers game. I’ve got over 800 cards cataloged of players in throwback jerseys, but this is the only bumblebee I can find.
    The Kris Benson picture has to be from the Brewers game since he pitched against the Brewers that day, but not in the Phillies game.
    I need to get all my stuff in one place, and will be working on that this week. I’ll see if I run across any more info or pics.

    On the local sports radio show today, they claimed the Tim Tebow hair incident was an act of religious discrimination and they did it to embarrass him for his strong Christian beliefs….I need to move somewhere else where hazing is just hazing and no one likes Tim Tebow.

    Quick question, don’t have a picture to back it up but yesterday during Colby Lewis’ start for the Texas Rangers I couldn’t help but notice that his cap had a grey underbill. About a couple of weeks ago I recognized this and was surprised to see this again. How would he have the old style underbill?

    Any other Uni-Watcher playing Madden yet?

    Is it just me, or does it seems like ALL the Bengals in the game are wearing the super-stretchy jerseys?

    Celtic FC have a rather fetching bumblbee kit too, although I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a bee in that shade of yellow…


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