Throwbacks: Just Who Should Wear Them?

not your franchise hed

By Phil Hecken, with Rick Pearson & Scott Rogers

There has been some recent discussion in the comments about throwbacks, and more specifically, teams who throwback to the uniform of a franchise that bears no lineage to their own. Some examples of this include organizations who throw back to Negro League teams who once played in that city. Those games all took place this year — and there have been others. I think everyone is pretty on board with this type of throwback to a franchise that once played in the current team’s city.

Yet another example of this is when current franchises throwback to minor league franchises who once played in that city (although the recent Cleveland Buckeyes vs. St. Paul Gophers is an interesting Negro League vs. Minor League matchup), many times before MLB existed in that city. I think everyone’s pretty cool with that type of throwback too. Sure, the Mariners have no lineage to the Rainiers, but there was still professional baseball in Seattle before the Mariners Pilots arrived.

And then there is the “third type.” What about when teams throwback to a franchise to which they have no lineage and which is still in existence but playing in another city. In those three examples, we had the Seattle Mariners playing as the Seattle Pilots (but the Pilots are a direct antecedent of the Brewers), the Washington Nationals playing as the Washington…um…Senators(?) (but those Senators are an antecedent of the Twins), and the Milwaukee Brewers playing as the Milwaukee Braves (who are, quite obviously, the forebears of the Atlanta Braves, and the decendents of the Boston Braves). Is that wrong? Those are just baseball examples.

If we were to take the example to say football, should the Baltimore Ravens throwback to the Baltimore Colts? The St. Louis Rams throwback to the St. Louis Cardinals? The Cleveland Browns throwback to the Cleveland Rams? That sounds silly, right, since those three franchises all moved to other cities. But, with this “throwback craze” (read: marketing) we’re in now, nothing seems out of bounds.

Conversely, it was announced the Indianapolis Colts would wear a throwback from 1955, in Indy. This seemed to arouse the passions of a LOT of Charm City residents and fans, who are still royally pissed upset with the Mayflower treatment. They felt somewhat betrayed by this move, feeling the Colts have “no right” to wear Ballmer unis in Indy. Yet, they are still the “Colts” franchise. If not the Indy Colts wearing that uni, then who should? No one? The Ravens? But we’re not here to answer that question — we’re going to go the other way.

Today, I’m joined by two readers who both have very strong and persuasive arguments on the matter. Neither is right or wrong, but they will both present their case for an answer to this question:

“Should teams currently playing in a city which has been vacated by a prior franchise ‘throw back’ to the uniforms of that franchise (especially if said franchise is still in existence)?”

Each gentleman will have one statement. Any rebuttals will be answered in the comments. I’ll have what I view as a “suitable compromise” at the end of this discussion.


Taking the affirmative is Scott Rogers, who will argue that yes, it is indeed fine for the fans to see, for example, the Mariners play as the Pilots, despite having no lineage to that team. Here’s Scott:

Absolutely. Take Washington’s incumbent baseball team, the senior circuit Nationals. While it’s true that in a strictly corporate sense, the two American League Senators franchises that once called Washington home still exist and own their own institutional histories, history and heritage are sticky things. They stick to cities and fans left behind even as they stick to the teams that go away. And they’re not scarce resources – if the Nats throwback to the 1924 Senators, they do not “use up” that history, and they do not deny the Minnesota Twins the ability to throwback to the ’24 Senators themselves. Nothing is taken; no one is harmed.

About the 1924 Senators: they brought Washington its only World Series pennant, and the Twins franchise its only championship prior to 1987. But go to Target Field and gaze upon the forest of flags flapping high above left field: The first pennant is for Minnesota’s AL title in 1965, and the only World Series wins represented are 1987 and 1991. Now take a stroll along the skyline promenade at Gate 34: there, next to the statues of Kirby Puckett and Harmon Killebrew, you’ll find no bronze monument to 1924 hero Walter Johnson, who is beyond argument the greatest player in franchise history.

I grew up a Twins fan in Minnesota, watching my earliest games from the broadcast booth with Herb Carneal, and I’m here to tell you that Minnesota fans by and large don’t care about the franchise’s history in Washington. Goose Goslin never hit a triple in Minneapolis; Walter Johnson never threw a 1-2-3 inning in St. Paul.

But Goslin did hit those triples, and Johnson did mow ’em down, in Washington, and Washingtonian baseball fans care about that history. They know the records, they grew up on the stories, in many cases they met Walter Johnson or his widow or his son or attended the suburban high school named for him, or they shook Frank Howard’s hand once or got Denny McLain’s autograph. That history is still alive in Washington, where a lone pennant for 1924 ripples atop the scoreboard in the Anacostia breeze, where fathers take their daughters to the left-field terrace to pose beside monuments to Johnson and Howard. Pennants and heroes uncelebrated by the Twins and Rangers, championships and icons largely unknown in Minnesota and Texas. And the Twins and Rangers are not unusual; it’s the rare team, and the even rarer fan, who celebrates or cares about franchise history prior to relocation. You’ll encounter no passion for the Browns in Charm City, no monuments to the Pilots in Cream City.

Far from dumbing history down or sweeping it under the rug, the Nats’ throwback games help keep alive the history of Washington’s three distinct corporate generations of baseball. At Senators and Grays throwback games, I’ve overheard and joined in countless conversations in which fathers tell their children, or Washington-born wives tell their out-of-town husbands, or friends share with one another, stories about the former teams and how they played and where they went. That history – those other teams’ history – is a vital part of the context in which the current team plays.

Are there exceptions? Of course. When the old team keeps its name, that probably ought to put throwbacks off-limits for the new team. (Sorry, Baltimore! And no Dodgers or Giants throwbacks for you, Mets fans.) And teams need to draw a line between honoring history not entirely their own and claiming that history. So while I’m all for the Nats wearing Senators throwback unis, the sooner their ridiculous “Est. 1905” inaugural season patch is forgotten, the better. Still, on the whole, the plain fact is that the kind of throwbacks in question increase knowledge of and respect for the history of the game and the teams involved. And that’s a good thing.

Thank you Scott. And now, arguing the other side of the coin, is Rick Pearson, who believes that a franchise, is a business, and it carries an important identity in it’s name, wherever that team may presently play. Here’s Ricko:

I’m certain most other points of view on this are emotional. So I’ll come from logic and the realities of things, even though they are uncomfortable for some and often tough to digest. But digestable they have to be, because they are what is.

The “franchise” is the lynchpin of pro sports. Without that concept, you’ve got nothing. Franchise=Corporation=Legal Entity (a legal “person” if you will). It owns its laundry, its colors, its trademark. Period.

The people of Washington can remember the city’s baseball history, including both Senators. However, both those Senators franchises have relocated and, yes, changed their names. But they have NOT gone out of business. Going out of business leaves your “property” out their for others to use. As long as you remain in business, though, no one can use them without your permission. For someone else, simply by dint of being in the same business as you in the town where you used to be, to even THINK they can claim such things is…ignorant. Or arrogant. Or misleading. Or rewriting history for their convenience. Or something. What it is for sure, is wrong.

It’s unfortunate that the Browns Anomaly is so recent, and in such a high-profile league. It has created the mistaken impression that cities/fans have any proprietary interest at all in the property (intellectual or otherwise) of a private corporation. And that fans could “will” it to happen again (it’s understandably grating for Baltimore, which got involved in it from both sides; “Hey, Cleveland got to keep its Browns, how come we didn’t get to keep our Colts’?”…which is probably a big reason this discussion will never go away).

Did the Browns Anomaly establish any precedent whatsoever, legal or otherwise? No. Did it mean the Hornets had to leave things behind in Carolina? No.

I know fans in Baltimore hate the Indy Colts in ’55 Colts unis. Well, frankly, the Colts have every right to wear that uniform because it is the same franchise, and it’s their history (would we rather they ignore their history in Baltimore, act as if they never were based there?). The Browns Anomaly doesn’t mean fans get what they want if they whine loud enough. But it mistakenly gets them thinking they can. Too bad it happened. It totally leads fans away from understanding what a “franchise” is and the way things work in the business of pro sports.

There are things in life we have to live with. Just, y’know, suck it up and accept that we don’t have any power over them, and SHOULDN’T have any power over because, in this case, that power would be contrary to the laws of business/free enterprise/private property. Pro franchises relocating, and sometimes changing operating names, is one of them.

Keeping franchises intact is essential. They are what’s valuable. Don’t think so? Then why all the wrangling between the Cuban Group and the Ryan Group in Texas over the Rangers?

And thank you Ricko. Both great arguments gentlemen. Obviously, there are merits to both and both passion and reason will come into play. I wasn’t born when both the Giants and Dodgers packed up and left New York for greener pastures out west. But I have asked my dad about it, and he said while it stung for a while (he was a Dodger fan), he always remained a National League fan but never pined for either franchise to return. Of course, he didn’t have to wait long, as the Mets were granted a new franchise only a scant 5 years after both teams went west. Obviously, I’ve never felt a passion or a connection to either the Giants or the Dodgers, and I certainly never wanted to see the Mets wear the uniform of either team. However, those in other cities, particularly those in cities like Baltimore, Cleveland, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Seattle, etc. may feel differently.

I propose a simple, yet elegant, solution. Although, in some cases, it may open up more wounds than not. I say, if fans from a certain city with a “departed” franchise want so desperately to see the uniform worn by a former franchise, let them. BUT…it should be worn by the current franchise in a game in the old city. For example, let the Seattle fans see Pilot uniforms, but do it when the Brewers are in town and let the Brewers wear them. The Seattle fans get to see their “beloved” Pilot uniforms, and by the franchise that once played there. This is “sort of” the compromise worked out in Milwaukee a few years back, when both teams wore Braves uniforms.

But how would that work, for example, in Baltimore? Would the Ravens open up old wounds by having the Colts play them in Baltimore Colts throwbacks? Or, might the fans appreciate the gesture. Should the Wild host the Stars with the Dallas franchise wearing North Stars throwbacks? Should the New Orleans Hornets host the Jazz, with the Jazz throwing back to their Pete Maravich days?

What say you, dear readers? Should any team currently representing the city in which they play be able to wear the uniform of a current franchise no longer playing there? Do franchises have the right to move, and to take their uniforms and their history with them, thus depriving fans from their former city of “throwbacks”? Or does the answer lie somewhere in between.

The floor is yours.


kroc hat 1Pillbox Fever

As a follow-up to yesterday’s column on the Pirates and their bumblebees, as well as Paul’s recent ESPN column, Brady Phelps had this little nugget to share:

Seeing those pillbox caps, or cake layer hats, as I’ve always heard them called… reminded me of a Padres cap that I’ve got, no doubt inspired by the Pirates.

I picked it up at a garage sale about 10 years ago.

In 1982, October 2nd, Ray Kroc celebrated his own birthday by handing out hats to the fans in attendance at The Murph. I was only 4 at the time, and was not there.

On this website I read this little blip on it…”1982 — On the evening of Oct. 2, Kroc celebrated his 80th birthday in a gala celebration prior to a Padre game at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium. More than 43,000 fans came out to salute the man who nearly nine years earlier had saved the sport from leaving town.”

Here’s a picture of me in the hat, watching a Padres/Yankees game in the final season at Yankee Stadium. I get a lot of compliments on it, b/c it’s pretty rare here in San Diego.

Thanks Brady. Neat find.


Exclamation Point 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: First up today is Dave Hutte who points out that UT football has some new jerseys. NOB matches the color of the numbers. The home pants (midnight blue) have gold and and white piping. … Former Bench Coach Vince Grzgorek found some old photos at a flea market sale. They’re at the bottom of this post. Says Vinny, “Love the ones with the Indians players on the little choo choo train for training camp and Mickey McBride kissing Groza’s toe.” … Bob Berretta has news on new football unis for Army: the Black Knights’ football team will be donning a different uniform style this fall. In addition to new looks for both home and road games, Army will sport a special “Dress Gray” uniform style as a tribute to the U.S. Corps of Cadets and the Long Gray Line when the Black Knights square off against Air Force at Michie Stadium on Nov. 6. (also submitted by Kevin Shearer) … David Muir states ASICS’s main website (Japan) has a fantastic collection of images of Japanese youth playing baseball. “There,” he points out, “they educate their kids how to properly wear stirrups.” … So, you want a $400 Nike shoe? Nike has collaborated with EA Sport to produce a very special Florida Gators Tim Tebow Nike Air Trainer 1.2. The limited edition shoe was themed behind Florida Gators star quarterback Tim Tebow (thanks to “osneaker”) … Still more out-of-state College tags come from Robbie Wilbur who writes, Mississippi has several out of state tags: Alabama, Auburn, LSU, and the University of Memphis. I helped secure the University of Alabama tag; All tags with the college plates included. … Rick Pearson found this great photo — and wonders if anyone can name each player. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: the Diamondbacks are low-keying their 2011 ASG logo due to ‘attention’ from SB 1070. … Paul Lukas reports “A little birdie tells me that college football zebra stripes will be changing in for the 2011 season. Instead of the current 1-inch stripes, they’ll be going with 2-inchers, which is what the NFL used before adopting their proprietary stripe system a few years back.” … Also from yesterday’s comments: Possible new uniform for the Magic? … Looks like a new helmet & uni for North Carolina football — what color would that be, gun metal? … More from Paul: A flight attendant caused a bit of an incident on a JetBlue flight at JFK this afternoon. “Note the last graf,” says Mr. Lukas. … Nice followup to yesterday’s post comes from Rich Loup, who sent me screen grabs from the season finale of This Week in Baseball from the 1978 season. The hitter is John Milner and the pitcher is Dave Roberts. Rich did some research and through Baseball Reference’s game logs was able to determine that this play probably occurred on Aug. 9, 1978. Roberts pitched vs. the Pirates at Wrigley three times that year, but Aug. 9 was the only time Milner grounded first base to pitcher (3-1). Nice! … In case you haven’t been paying attention lately, the Orioles are THE hot team in MLB. It’s gotta be the rups, no? Baltimore is now 6-1 under Buck. … Jonathan Backstrom sent along photos of the jersey and a pennant of the former Mariners minor league team known as the Lynn Sailors. They played in the Eastern League from 1980-1983. … Remember the bewildering browns banned bat? Ben Traxel did and found an absolutely superb picture and caption of Goose Goslin holding it. … Jayson Hillyer noted ESPN’s photoshopped pic of newly-acquired Jim Edmonds was wrong on many levels. Uni was old pinstriped vest. Cap was road version with too big of a “C.” (Jayson apologizes the screen grab quality isn’t better.) … Dave Murray writes, “Thought you guys would like this. Apparently Ryan Howard is this year’s Hallmark baseball ornament. But for the first time, Hallmark is depicting the player in a blank uniform. Howard is probably OK with this, because I think whoever appears on the ornament is cursed.” … Reprinted from last night’s comments: Check out the sweet stirrups seen on Carlton Fisk in (most likely) 1982. Yo! Comrade Marshall — next month??? … At UCLA Media Day, notes Erkki Corpuz, Rahim Moore (#3) was the only player who had the Pac 10 patch on his jersey. … Reprinted from last night’s comments: check out the sweet rups on Carlton Fisk (wearing, we’re pretty sure, 1982’s uni) — Yo! Comrade Marshall — next month??? … And finally, Danny Kroll, who served as the Pirates batboy from 2000-06, is not sure when these photos were taken but 2003 sounds about right. Freakin Awesome Danny. And bonus points for wearing period appropriate stirrups two-in-ones, unlike the players.


That’ll do it for today. I’ll be heading out to the Mets game with Paul in the late afternoon, to watch Mike “let me write Culinary Corner” Pelfrey take on Ubaldo “Mr. No-No” Jimenez at Shea. So please, if possible, try to get me ticker submissions EARLY. I’ll try to get everyone’s submissions in, but if I can get them ready during work get a head start, that’d be great. Thanks!


You can’t hit what you can’t see. — Walter “Big Train” Johnson

170 comments to Throwbacks: Just Who Should Wear Them?

  • RS Rogers | August 10, 2010 at 7:50 am |

    It seems that Phil’s main objection is based on the assumption that the new team is taking something from the previous franchise without its permission. From a legal perspective, that would indeed be a form of theft. However, given that baseball operates as a monopoly, with owners acting as a cartel, and given also that all franchises cede almost total control of their intellectual property to the league to be pooled and marketed as a single commodity, we can take it as an assumed that when a team like the Nats throwback to a uniform identity owned by the Twins or Rangers, it does so with permission.

    Evidence of that permission may be found in the fact that no franchise has sued to stop another franchise from this sort of throwbacking, nor even asked politely or in any way taken steps to put a stop to it. And heck, the Nats wear throwbacks to the Senators II/Rangers franchise every home game, since their home caps are basically identical to those worn by the Senators at the time of their departure for Arlington. Does Ricko object to this as well?

    Ergo, Ricko’s entire argument against these throwbacks is moot and does not apply. Case closed. If the Texas Rangers or the Minnesota Twins say to the Nats, “We’d rather you not throwback to our franchise’s history,” then the Nats must not do so. But that has not happened, and given the cartel structure of most pro leagues, it will not happen.

    As to the rest of Ricko’s statement, about how Bal’mer fans need to suck it up about the Colts already, and so forth, I agree 100 percent, but that has nothing to do with previous-franchise-throwbacking.

    • Ed | August 10, 2010 at 8:32 am |

      I tend to agree – while each franchise is indeed a separate corporate entity, they are playing in a decidedly non-competitive (in a capitalist sense) environment. What I mean by that is, if the leagues were truly “free markets”, then it would be an anomoly to say the least to have 20-30 competitors who don’t ever drive each other out of business. In other words, the leagues are set up to preserve competitive balance (some more successfully than others).

      Ultimately, it’s the leagues that are the entity in control here – and the leagues want broad appeal to their customers. Competitive balance is one way to keep appeal broad; responding to fan desires is another (even if there’s no consistency).

      FWIW, if the DC franchise had to be named after a previously existing franchise, I would have preferred it to have been called the Washington Grays.

      Also, FWIW, I grew up in Cleveland, and I would be completely offended if the Ravens wore Browns throwbacks – and there would be a riot if it were at a Ravens at Browns game! While I understand Baltimore fans being upset at the Colts situation, I don’t feel that two wrongs would have made a right regarding the Browns.


    • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 8:41 am |

      I know no one’s ever sued anyone. And obviously permission was granted in certain instances because it would have to have been. That’s just common sense.

      My point, and guess I didn’t make it strongly enough, is that the teams themselves should have enough sense of history, and respect for it, to know that it’s kinda stupid to even ask (“Nats, established 1905”? In what universe?).

      Tell you what, Minnesotans may not care much about Walter Johnson, but those old enough to have opened packs of baseball cards to find Killebrew, Allison, Pascual, Ramos an’ them with a red “W” on their hats most certainly are aware that team became the Minnesota Twins.

      Franchises aren’t granted to cities. They’re sold, by the leagues who grant them, to indviduals or corporations. That’s not something I believe. That’s fact.

      And I love the idea of teams with a shared history doing a mutual throwback when they play one another. That DOES have to do with history.

      Would be fun to see Oakland in KC wearing either the gold or seafoam green of this…
      …against the Royals in the home white version of this…


      • duker | August 10, 2010 at 11:12 am |


        I think my comment was the one that started the whole discussion the other day and I completely understand the “legal” and “logical” points that were made by you as well.

        Being a Baltimore native find that it is perfectly legal and logical that Indy has the rights to the uniforms and names of their franchise even if it was moved from one city to another.

        But that’s not what uniwatch is about. It’s about personal tastes an opinion. Paul hates purple, that’s an opinion. Comments below each article are the opinion of the person who’s name is attached to that post.

        Therefore I posted that the ’55 throwbacks don’t belong in Indy. I feel that it is in poor taste to do so.

        The Irsay’s know that it’s still an open wound, they just don’t care. Maybe if Baltimorians only had to wait 2 years like the Browns or 5 years like the Mets, it would be a different sorry. But Baltimore waited for 13 years for a team. The NFL gave a team to Jacksonville which can’t even sell out their stadium when their team is good, yet we sold out stadiums for CANADIAN football!

        It’s still such an open wound in Baltimore that the PA doesn’t announce Indy as the “Colts”. They announce them as the “Indianapolis Football Team”.

        Sure you can say that they should get over it, or “suck it up” but the fact is that people get emotionally attached to sports teams just like they get attached to people or pets.

        Seinfeld wasn’t totally correct when he said we’re rooting for laundry, most of us are rooting for the city that we grew up in, and the laundry that we grew up watching. When you move the laundry it’s not the same.

      • flip | August 10, 2010 at 1:43 pm |

        Having the old K.C. A’s play a game in K.C. vs. the very old K.C. Athletics undermines your argument, Ricko. Besides, it’s a brain cluster. I wouldn’t mind seeing that Jim Nash uni suit up against the Royals decked out in Monarchs’ duds. But can’t do the A’s vs. A’s thing.

        On balance, the throwbacks can go either way. If the Nationals want to wear Walter Johnson or Frank Howard unis, no skin of my back. Likewise, the Twins or Rangers can do the same.

        What I do find odd are the ring of honors such as in St. Louis that pays tributes to old L.A. Rams. That’s just wrong. Tennessee has no ties to Earl Campbell or Bum Phillips. Indianapolis can include Johnny U in its media guides, but an in-stadium tribute belongs in Baltimore.

        • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 3:10 pm |

          No, it doesn’t.
          The teams would be agreeing to present their shared history of baseball in Kansas City. And, as such, it’s historically accurate.
          Pretty much exactly as the Brewers and Braves did.
          My point is that the Royals and Nationals (and such) ought not just latch onto another team’s history, unilaterally, and whip it out any old time.

          Yes, I know the previous teams would be asked permission, but it still seems sort of tacky in addition to not being historically correct.

          Besides (and I know some don’t buy this analogy) it just seems to me like claiming YOU dated all the beautiful women the stranger who lived in your apartment before you dated and, when one of those women shows up at your door, claiming to be just like him and that you and he were best buddies.


        • duker | August 10, 2010 at 4:39 pm |


          Your analogy is backwards. The team would be the beautiful woman. The city would be the apartment.

          One day she say’s “I’m going to live in this other apartment with this other guy” and goes there on a snowy night in a Mayflower truck.

          Sure if you wanted to get rid of the b*tch you’d be happy to see her go. But if you cared really deeply, you’d be pissed. Especially when you’d see her on TV wearing that dress that you remember her wearing in ’55.

          It’s perfectly legal, but it hurts. Even though your new girl is pretty hot, and all, she insists on wearing this purple dress all the time.


        • RS Rogers | August 10, 2010 at 5:21 pm |

          “My point is that the Royals and Nationals (and such) ought not just latch onto another team’s history, unilaterally, and whip it out any old time.”

          The assumption that this is done “unilaterally” and by implication against the wishes of the other team is central to your arguments on this point. But whether it’s unilateral or unapproved is a question of fact, which if true you shouldn’t have a difficult time demonstrating with actual evidence.

          On the other side of the ledger, I was told by a Nats marketing staffer in 2008 that the team specifically sought and received approval from the Rangers when planning a throwback game involving old Senators/Rangers unis, and that the Rangers continue to get a cut of the Senators throwback jerseys sold in the Nats team store since that particular throwback. My source inside the Commissioner’s office likewise told me in late 2004 that the Nats’ use of the Senators old curly W cap was cleared with the Rangers front office in advance.

          Which brings me back to an actual, not rhetorical question: What do you make of the Nats home caps, which are merely throwbacks to Senators/Rangers caps? Why is it OK for the Nats to wear the Rangers’ cap 81 games a year and use the Rangers’ logo all the time, but not to wear the jersey and the stirrups once every couple of years?

        • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 5:24 pm |

          You are absolutely right…if that were the point I was making.

          Was talking about teams borrowing another team’s history.

          My analogy was in regards to, for instance, the Nationals wearing Senators throwbacks. In that sense it holds up perfectly. The guy who moved…his life went with him. It doesn’t belong to the guy who moved in after him.

          Same apartment. Different lives.



        • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 5:52 pm |

          I’ve said a couple times, I get that they receive permission. But that fact doesn’t render my position invalid.

          I just think it’s tacky (subjective response) and twisting history (objective fact) for the new team to do it…or even to consider doing it That the two teams share the money doesn’t make scrambling history a valid concept.

          And I don’t think the Nationals should have worn that “W” on their hats. If they are new (which they are, and which they certainly claim to be) they should have come up with something original.

          Besides, the darn thing looks like Walgreens, anyway.


        • RS Rogers | August 10, 2010 at 6:50 pm |

          Agreed on the W, brother. I’ve seen the gold-beveled W that was designed to match the original unis, and it’s a thing of beauty. A crying shame the team didn’t use it. Plus, the original Senators treatment of the curly W was superior to the slightly modified current version. And here’s where I’ll agree with you completely: I know for a fact that the Nats were forced to drop Radom’s custom-designed new W for a rehash of the Senators W by Bud Selig personally, and this was a result of the man’s lifelong pattern of historical denial. He couldn’t wish away Atlanta to rename his own franchise the Braves, but he could force the 2005 Nats to pretend to be the 1972 Senators.

          But your “twisting history” claim is not an objective fact. It’s a subjective response, and it is one that is entirely belied by every experience I have ever had involving fan response to throwback uniforms. In point of fact, throwbacks of the type the Nats sometimes wear increase accurate historical awareness. Can you produce one example, just one, of, say, a casual observer seeing the Nats play the Orioles in 1970 Senators road jerseys and drawing the conclusion that Frank Howard played for the Nationals and that the Rangers were an expansion team in 1971? Of course you can’t, because such a thing is absurd on its face. You know as well as I that celebrating history increases historical awareness, while ignoring history necessarily promotes historical ignorance.

        • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 7:55 pm |

          “You know as well as I that celebrating history increases historical awareness, while ignoring history necessarily promotes historical ignorance.”

          Provided it’s accurate.
          “Let’s see, our reinactors will have the Hessians dress as Continentals, the Continentals dress as the British, the Indians dress as Hessians and the Britsh as Indians. Guys like Daniel Morgan and marksmen will dress as, hmm..let’s see. Oh, I know, the French.”

          “Because it’ll be FUN that way.

          “Oh, and George Wallace wasn’t really a racist. He was just doing his job when he stood in the schoolhouse door. It really pained him to have to do that.”

          Uh-huh. Sure.

          I’m wildly overstating, of course, but isn’t historical accuracy and continunity in any way important?

          Or is this all really just more of the same old “If it didn’t happen in my lifetime or in proximity to it, it’s old and therefore it doesn’t matter much if we get it right or not; close is good enough” mindset?


  • RS Rogers | August 10, 2010 at 7:51 am |

    “Ricko’s,” not “Phil’s,” in my first sentence there. Sorry!

  • Colin Nicholas | August 10, 2010 at 8:00 am |

    I love the idea of the former team wearing the throwback unis. I could see the A’s wearing the red and blue “Kansas City” unis for a game at Kaufmann against the current KC club. Kindle a “past versus present” spin.
    Before I read about Braves vs Braves I was thinking it would be neat to have Indy in town against Baltimore, both with the blue/white and horseshoe helmets (of course jersey differentiation needed so as not to confuse the beer-swilling populace).

    • 1st Time Commenter | August 10, 2010 at 2:44 pm |

      There are so many gray areas in this argument it’s impossible to cover them all. I tend to fall more towards the side of logic rather than emotion, so I think I agree more with Ricko’s argument. But when a team changes names upon their arrival in a new city it seems they have chosen to cut ties with their past (though to what degree is a very debatable point). So I guess you could say I am undecided.

      When all is said and done all I can say is this – If the Dallas ice hockey team came into St. Paul wearing North Stars sweaters I would find it very difficult to contain my rage and could easily see myself committing a (well-intentioned, though potentially violent) criminal act against them.

      • interlockingtc | August 10, 2010 at 10:22 pm |

        You’re right, 1st Time Commenter. There is no way in hell Dallas comes in to St. Paul wearing North Star uniforms. No way in hell. Can the Wild wear North Star uniforms? It would be weird, but I could see it. But, must they get permission from some Dallas team to do this? If so, that’s wrong.

        Ricko, you were there. You know. Right?

        And I still don’t get the “divorce” between the Seattle SuperSonics and OKC. Seattle keeps the name and the colors…but the teams (Seattle’s potential team??/the city of Seattle itself?) SHARE the history? What exactly does that mean? How do two cities share a history? When that team was sold and moved the Seattle SuperSonics–phase one–effectively died. Any history is just that. History…that happened in Seattle, Washington.

  • BurghFan | August 10, 2010 at 8:10 am |

    2004 sounds right for the Danny Kroll photos. 2003 would have been all gold on the road.

    Danny, since that’s the first photo I’ve seen with visible stirrups, were they gold for all three games of that series? Thanks.

    • dk | August 10, 2010 at 4:53 pm |

      burgh fan,
      you are correct, upon further research, those pics are definitely from 2004. both were home games at pnc park. i did not travel. no bat boys do. i am unsure of your stirrups question, however.

  • Dan | August 10, 2010 at 8:11 am |

    To Colin’s point, I don’t believe the Phillies wore any A’s throwbacks, but I recall when the A’s came to Philadelphia in an inter-league matchup, there was a ceremony honoring both American League and National League baseball in the city. If you go to Citizen’s Bank Park there are a few items/plaques and statues which honor the A’s time here.
    Personally it would look odd for the Phillies to wear A’s uni’s but only because the Phils have been here since the 1800’s and there is no reason for them to honor a team that left the city.

    It would be similar however to when the Sixers wore Syracuse Nationals jerseys. Again just a marketing ploy but the Sixers seem to honor the franchise not the city as I don’t recall them wearing Warriors throwbacks (but I could be mistaken as my basketball uniform knowledge isn’t on par with my baseball).

  • Ed | August 10, 2010 at 8:13 am |

    FWIW, the Cleveland Buckeyes uniform lumped in the “minor league team that played in the same city” should actually be in the Negro League category.


    • LI Phil | August 10, 2010 at 8:18 am |

      correct — forgot to add that to original draft — now fixed

      thanks for catching it!

    • Inkracer | August 10, 2010 at 9:46 am |

      It’s not (well, shouldn’t) get far. The backs of the tickets state nicely (in legal terms) that you give up your right to sue in incidents such as that.

    • Chance Michaels | August 10, 2010 at 10:00 am |

      Plus there’s the pregame announcements, warning signs, and all that.

      I like the new angle, though. And anything that gets MLB to prohibit maple bats is a good thing.

    • RS Rogers | August 10, 2010 at 11:34 am |

      But putting a disclaimer on the back of the ticket doesn’t actually protect you from being sued. There are legal standards of care that can create a tort even if the injured person had actually signed a waiver. Otherwise, you could just stick a bumper sticker on your car saying “The driver of this car is not liable for collisions” and nobody could ever sue you for crashing into them.

      The statement on the ticket is more by way of notifying people of a legal reality than by way of creating an agreement. In fact, attending a ballgame carries certain risks to a spectator, and among these risks are being struck by batted or thrown bats and balls. Normally, a court will not allow you to sue in such a case. A reasonable person understands those risks and is responsible for the consequences of accepting them. But deliberate or negligent behavior by the team resulting in injury, even involving ordinary thrown or batted balls and bats, can create grounds for civil litigation. If the team permits players to use irregular bats with a known propensity for breaking in dangerous ways, for example, or if protective netting is improperly installed.

  • Nathan | August 10, 2010 at 8:15 am |

    Virginia has specialty license plates for 23 out-of-state colleges. The threshold for getting a specialty tag is pretty low here; all you need are 200 people willing to buy the tag and the support of a member of the General Assembly. I don’t think they’ve ever rejected a bill involving specialty license plates. My alma mater (University of Richmond) has a student body of around 3,000, most of whom are from out of state, and TWO specialty license plates.

    • Ed | August 10, 2010 at 8:23 am |

      What I find weird about the VA license plates situation is all the schools from OUTSIDE VA that have specialty VA plates – most prominently Penn State. (Yes, you can get a Penn State license plate in Virginia.)


      • Ed | August 10, 2010 at 8:24 am |

        Oops – I see you already called out the out-of-state part. Apologies.


  • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 8:17 am |

    If the Stirrup Club DOES offer this..!Blq)Fcw!mk~$(KGrHqYH-CQEtcklHQz,BLckv4dH8g~~_12.JPG

    …don’t make the mistake of thinking there’s that much navy blue on the socks. The dark areas are Fisk’s knee sleeves or something. Those stirrups were red with white stripes and navy feathered edges.


    • RS Rogers | August 10, 2010 at 8:43 am |

      Can anyone find a better photo, then? (I’ve tried and failed.) The pattern Ricko describes is much awesomer than the pattern visible in today’s photo. I’d love to see the all-red version. Would really make that navy feathering pop, whereas the blue top on the Fisk photo makes the feathering kind of muddled.

    • rpm | August 10, 2010 at 12:31 pm |

      i knew that about the hose, but thanks. and i would never have them make something without a decent photo because of my fear of getting it wrong. photos of this stirrup exist, i know that, but it is not high on the list with all the red options, and the fact that the sox are not a red team. it will be in the periodic table of stirrups though as one of very few striped stirrups in the last 30/40 years.

      hawks and flyers are in, will be mailed today along with a la’s from the latest order frenzy.

      logic dictates that a team would wear a jersey that would stir emotion, or at the very least, have some sort of connection to the fans in the stands. the seattle pilots worn by mariners make much more sense then the brewers wearing them no matter who “owns” the history, same with the senators in washington(although est. 1905 is just wrong). ignoring this line of logic shows an emotional tie to an argument even if that argument is rooted in a logic. sorry man, but it is true. that being said, there are times when wearing another teams uni does not work, like the braves vs braves is kind’a silly, as is the notion of the ravens wearing the colts, or the colts not wearing old colts(which few in bawlmer would want anyway). but then again comparing football to baseball is automatically apples and oranges before the conversation begins. to begin, football teams tend to take their name, while baseball teams tend to change the name, etc., i am not going to blah about this topic again. bottom line, too many times here we feel like we need to make a blanket unbending rule to define style, rights, whatever, and those blanket statements can never hold up because there is always a sometimes y, or except after c looming.

  • Chip | August 10, 2010 at 8:23 am |

    I’m willing to take a shot at the players in Ricko’s photo: Felix Mantilla, Roberto Clemente, Mudcat Grant, Cookie Rojas, Juan Marichal, Zoilo Versalles, Vic Davalillo and Leo Cardenas.

    • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 8:26 am |

      Missed one.

      • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 9:05 am |

        The Twin is Tony Oliva.
        Photo taken at ASG, Met Stadium, 1965.


        • Wes | August 10, 2010 at 12:09 pm |

          There are two Twins in the picture. The one on the left looks like Tony O. Is the other one Grant, Versalles or someone else? Maybe Earl Battey?

        • Wes | August 10, 2010 at 12:12 pm |

          Nevermind – on second thought, the Twin on the right must be Versalles. Reading Ricko’s reply again, he’s saying Chip had just mistaken Grant for Oliva. That would make sense, as it would appear this is a grouping of Latin players who participated in the game.

  • August Savarese | August 10, 2010 at 8:43 am |

    The new UNC Tar Heels uniforms are not “gun metal” as stated above, and stated many times on other forums that posted the pic. The team will be wearing those uniforms/helmet when they open their season against LSU. The color is supposed to resemble Tar. It is the Tar Heels after all.

    • Andy | August 10, 2010 at 9:02 am |

      All the tar I’ve ever seen is black. I think the common perception of tar is that it is in fact, black.

    • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 9:19 am |

      But wouldn’t that make them the Tar Heads?


    • dkb | August 10, 2010 at 10:07 am |

      If you check the style for UNC, you will see that they have two shades of silver and I am wondering if the lighting is making that look like “gun metal” as opposed to “Tar Heels Metallic Silver” (pantone 429).

      Also, tar is black (very black as a matter of fact!).

      UNC has pretty much stayed away from black since the Dookies started incorporating it in their unis. They switched to “Tar Heels Deep Blue” (navy?) because their is some history of navy blue in their past. That switch really came with the Alexander Julian redesign of the basketball unis in the early 1990s. Before that, you could actually tell that the tar was black on the unis and on the court where the logo was painted.

      Here’s that UNC stylesheet.

  • Hank | August 10, 2010 at 8:58 am |

    I’m in Ricko’s camp on this issue. A franchise should be true to its roots and ‘keeper of the flame’.

  • Hank | August 10, 2010 at 9:01 am |

    I thought that JetBlue attendant looked familiar

    • LI Phil | August 10, 2010 at 9:09 am |

      it’s a big pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows and wheels and it looks like a big tylenol

  • Andy | August 10, 2010 at 9:04 am |

    Army just went from the upper tier of college football uniforms to the lowest tier. I like the idea of the dress gray, but the old jersey template was infinitely better. Team name where the player name (or no name) should go? What is this, volleyball?

    • David | August 10, 2010 at 9:24 am |

      That’s not the team name.

      • Andy | August 10, 2010 at 11:21 am |


        “The United States Military Academy at West Point (also known as USMA, West Point, or Army) is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York.”

        Yes, that’s the team name, unless all the players’ last names are ‘West Point.’ Unless what you’re getting at is that the team name would be ‘Black Knights?’ To me, that’s the nickname. Either way, volleyball puts the school name where the player name should go, not football.

    • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 9:39 am |

      Oh, don’t be so hard on them. It isn’t like West Point has a tradition of…tradition to uphold or anything.


      • nofancyname | August 10, 2010 at 10:16 am |

        On another site, I saw a comment with which I agree:

        The very fact that quite a few people don’t know that West Point = Army is a good reason to have “West Point” somewhere on the uniform.

        • Inkracer | August 10, 2010 at 12:37 pm |

          Having West Point where the players name normally goes does one thing, which is a very important lesson. No one player is above the team.

    • David Pealing | August 10, 2010 at 3:11 pm |

      Is “West Point” not merely a generic example of what the NOB will look like on the game day, when they will be replaced with Players’ Names?

      • David Pealing | August 10, 2010 at 3:12 pm |

        Plus, is it just me, or to those manekins look a lot like they are wearing Nike stirrups in those photos?

      • Inkracer | August 10, 2010 at 4:00 pm |

        From what I’ve been able to find online, the Army uniforms have been NNOB, and I believe the Army Camo uni’s had “Duty Honor Courage” Nameplates.

        • LI Phil | August 10, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
        • Inkracer | August 10, 2010 at 4:45 pm |

          That’s what I get for going off of a Game screenshot..

  • Mark K | August 10, 2010 at 9:22 am |

    I can confirm the 2″ wide striped shirts for NCAA football officials next year. Black pants with white stripe for bad weather games are this year’s change.

  • Chance Michaels | August 10, 2010 at 9:57 am |

    I find Scott’s argument more compelling. This is especially true when the existing club ignores the previous incarnation’s history, as the Twins do with the Senators (and the Brewers do with the Pilots).

    Ricko, setting aside the fact that if anyone owns an unused identity it’s the league as much as the team, where your argument falls flat to me is that I don’t consider sports franchises to be pure corporations. They are, in part, a civic enterprise. Cities give enormous tax breaks to the corporations. They are a private/public partnership. And for that reason, the normal rules of free enterprise no longer apply.

    • LI Phil | August 10, 2010 at 10:14 am |


      i see your point (and im not taking sides in this argument) — but if cities were so good to teams, why aren’t they still there? i think we all know the answer…and it rhymes with honey

      but — if those cities who lost teams were a little more “giving” to keep their teams there, they’d still have them, no?

      on the flip side…should the citizenry, via tax breaks, etc. basically “submit” to a team’s “build us a new stadium/infrastructure/road improvements/etc. or we’ll leave”?

      where does the line get drawn as to “how hard” a city should fight to keep its franchise?

      obviously, there are examples where greed alone caused teams to vacate for “greener” pastures, while other times, either a city wasn’t ready to host a team or circumstances were so untenable a move had to be made

      i don’t know the answer — but at what point can and should a city say “NO” to “demands” from an existing franchise and even then, does the team have the “right” to move regardless?

      that whole “browns anamoly” as ricko puts it throws the whole thing up in the air

      • duker | August 10, 2010 at 11:27 am |

        Sometimes fighting to keep the team is what causes it to leave. From wikipedia:

        “Schaefer extracted a promise from Irsay that the Colts owner would call Schaefer first before moving the team[citation needed]. However, after one of the houses of the Maryland State Legislature passed legislation giving the city of Baltimore the right to seize ownership of the team by eminent domain[5]…Robert Irsay called the Indianapolis Mayor William Hudnut that afternoon and began serious negotiations in order to move the team before the Maryland legislature’s other chamber could pass similar legislation.[6] In the early morning hours of March 29, 1984, Mayflower moving vans began relocating the Colts from the team’s Owings Mills training facility to Indianapolis.”

      • Chance Michaels | August 10, 2010 at 12:44 pm |

        “if those cities who lost teams were a little more “giving” to keep their teams there, they’d still have them, no?”

        Not necessarily. Sometimes ownership gets a notion in its head, and nothing is going to prevent the move.

        Absent a lease, the team absolutely has the right to move. These are parimarily corporations, even though they are simultaneously quasi-civic entities. Personally, I’m opposed to moves except in clear cases of civic indifference (or worse). I mourned the loss of the Expos, which was as much about the lack of a new stadium deal as anything else, but think it’s well past time to move the Coyotes and Jaguars.

    • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 12:36 pm |

      Um, the Twins don’t ignore their Washington connection. The franchise’s move to the Twin Cities is front and center most anytime the history of the club is presented. They have worn Senators throwbacks, too. Wish I could find the darn photo I have somewhere. They wore the home version of this at the Dome a while back…

      Civic money doesn’t change a thing. Subjectively, maybe, but objectively no, and that’s where I decided to come from.

      Public money may have gone into the Metrodome but there was plenty of revenue generated from it through use by events and organizations other than the Twins, Vikings and Gopher football.

      One way or another, local governments aid private corporations all the time. The state of Minnesota bailed out Northwest Airlines more than once, but that didn’t make the state an owner.

      I never intended to say Baltimore fans shouldn’t be angry, and WOULD never say that, but they DO have to live with the situation. And I’ll guarantee they’d be the first to say the Ravens most definitely are NOT the Colts, and they never should be so presumptous as to even hint that they are.

      The concept of franchises, in case no one’s noticed, also protects the cities where they’re doing business. The other way to run a league is to have all or some of the franchises be league-owned. That actually leaves the fans MORE at the mercy of someone’s “whim”. Look at the UFL, or the early days of the Arena League. They moved franchises around like pushpins on a map.


  • Supernally Ugly | August 10, 2010 at 10:00 am |

    Regarding the Lynn Sailors … that’s the same uniform template used for the 1980 Tacoma Tigers except the colors were brown and orange.

    Gods, both of those are hideous.

  • Chance Michaels | August 10, 2010 at 10:03 am |

    Hey Brady, very cool hat. You have a larger picture, so we can read the patch?

    If there’s any justice in the universe, the Padres will go back to the brown and gold next year.

  • Inkracer | August 10, 2010 at 10:06 am |

    Tried posting this a few days ago, and I’m not sure exactly what happened..

    I like the Adidas 3 stripes on the Notre Dame Practice jerseys, but I’m not a big fan of the arm-pit.

  • The Jeff | August 10, 2010 at 10:09 am |

    Here’s how I think it should work:

    If a team has relocated AND changed it’s name, the uniforms and name from the old city should be usable by both. The franchise records would travel with the team, but the colors & name become shared.

    Example: Tennessee Titans & Houston Texans could both use Houston Oilers throwback uniforms.

    If a team has relocated but NOT changed it’s name, then it remains the only entity that can use throwbacks from the previous city.

    Example: Indianapolis Colts can use Baltimore Colts uniforms, the Ravens can not.

    If the Colts were to change their name, then the Ravens would also be allowed to use Colts throwbacks.

    The Browns, thanks to the NFL being stupid, would remain the only team using Browns throwbacks since the Ravens are “officially” an expansion team. In a perfect world, they’d have told Cleveland to STFU and deal with it, and we’d have the Cleveland Bulldogs right now.

    • Tony | August 10, 2010 at 10:31 am |

      I tend to agree with what you said. The only exception I can think of is when a team still recognizes it’s old name & records. The Tennessee Titans still seem to acknowledge it’s Oiler past, so I would say that the Oiler throwbacks would be off limits to the Texans. On the other hand, the Minnesota Twins ignore it’s Washington past, so it’s OK for the Washington team to wear the throwback.

      • The Jeff | August 10, 2010 at 10:48 am |

        Do they? I mean, other than the league mandated throwbacks last year, have they really done anything Oiler related?

        (Seriously… have they? I don’t really know)

        The way I see it, if you change your name, you are effectively cutting at least some of the ties to the old city. You might not be burning the bridge completely, but it’s not exactly safe to walk on either. In the Titans case… they were the Tennessee Oilers for 2 seasons. They didn’t have to change… but they did. I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to assume that they lost quite a few of their post-move Houston based fans when they killed the name. It’s kinda hard to maintain a core fanbase in two cities, in different states, when another team starts playing in one of them.

        The Angels keep trying claim both Anaheim and LA, and there’s probably still a decent number of Raiders fans in LA as well, but generally speaking…

      • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 12:51 pm |

        “the Minnesota Twins ignore it’s Washington past”

        That’s just not true.
        As I mentioned elsewhere, they have, for one thing, worn 1901 Senators throwbacks at the Metrodome.


    • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 12:45 pm |

      All we have to do is say normal business laws regarding copyrights and trademarks and such don’t apply to pro sports teams, or at least get applied differently.

      Unfortunately, much as fans would like them to be, those things aren’t emphmeral objects floating in the air above a certain populace.

      They’re someone’s property.


      • The Jeff | August 10, 2010 at 1:03 pm |

        Based on the Brewers dressed as Braves example, I think it’s pretty obvious that copyright law IS handled differently for sports teams, even if there’s nothing officially stating that.

        All it really takes for my rule to work is for the ownership of the copyright/trademark to belong to the league instead of the individual team.

        /copyright law needs reformed anyway

        • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 1:28 pm |

          You don’t think the Brewers got permission from the Braves to do that?

          Milwaukee Braves uniforms are public domain in Milwaukee?



        • The Jeff | August 10, 2010 at 1:52 pm |

          I never said anything about public domain.

          But I sure don’t see Coca-Cola letting Pepsi use red cans. I don’t see Burger King employees wearing hats with golden arches on them.

          Where, other than professional sports, would you ever see a company blatantly using it’s competitor’s logo in it’s own promotion?

        • Aaron | August 10, 2010 at 3:27 pm |

          Didn’t we just go through this in regards to colleges and universities telling high schools to stop using their logos? Something about if they didn’t tell the high schools to stop, they’d lose the ability to defend their trademarks? Seems like this would be the same deal here.

        • Chance Michaels | August 10, 2010 at 4:55 pm |

          Not the same as high schools stealing college logos at all.

          MLB has some claim on the intellectual property of all its teams. I don’t know if MLB actually owns it under the clubs’ franchise agreements, or if that franchise agreement just gives MLB a fairly free reign, but the league has at least as much say in these matters as the clubs do.

          It’s the reason, for example, that the Nats were able to adopt the Senators’ last logo.

    • AUHookd | August 10, 2010 at 7:40 pm |

      Agreed for the most part, but I would amend that by saying that teams that retain the name/livery in another location CAN throwback to their previous city, but SHOULDN’T. Sure they own the records of the Baltimore Colts, NY Giants, Chicago/St. Louis Cardinals; but do we really need to see those teams on the field? Except (maybe) for novelty of the Chicago Cardinals and other way-back throwbacks, isn’t it like wearing that shirt your ex got you on that romantic getaway to a party at your ex’s house with your new girlfriend?

      Full disclosure: Yes, I’m from Baltimore. Yes, I’m pretty well obliged to believe that anything done by that franchise in Indy is bad.

    • Chuck | August 10, 2010 at 11:04 pm |

      Browns fans did not “STFU” or “whine”, they screamed bloody murder, they actually shut down the NFL for a day by jamming up their fax machines!

  • traxel | August 10, 2010 at 10:21 am |

    That headline pic of Ichiro just flat out rocks. He has just the right amount of pants below the knee and the four stripes cover the stirrup perfectly. Three wouldn’t have been quite enough. I don’t know why stripes disappeared off socks when they look so damn good. Especially in the NFL. Just put ’em on there. Not like they cost anything.

  • Sisdog | August 10, 2010 at 10:27 am |

    I would like to see the Yankees in Orioles throwbacks. Like that will ever happen.

    • duker | August 10, 2010 at 11:16 am |

      Or if the Orioles would throwback to the National League Orioles.

      • Chance Michaels | August 10, 2010 at 4:56 pm |

        Or if the Orioles would throw back to the Milwaukee Brewers, if we’re going to acknowledge team history and all.

  • Richard | August 10, 2010 at 10:27 am |

    One key point missed in the throwback discussion is what I think is key: some organizations embrace their full history, moves and all (Braves, Dodgers, Giants) while other effectively disavow it (Twins).

    Sure, some teams record books might reflect their full past, but do the Twins honor Walter Johnson? The Rangers don’t embrace Frank Howard that I know of. And Pilots history is so short it isn’t worth mentioning. Effectively the history of Major League baseball in places like Seattle and Washington is orphaned. Ditto the St Louis Browns. A decent argument could be made that the A’s have basically abandoned their pre-Oakland history.

    If an organization effectively abandons its history in a town, it doesn’t really belong to solely to them anymore. Objecting to the Mariners adopting the Pilots or Nats grabbing onto the Senators is like objecting to scavengers taking a couch your neighbor left at the curb.

    Negro League and defunct minor league teams are only slightly different- those histories are cut off and belong entirely to history of the city, not to any particular team.

    • Richard | August 10, 2010 at 10:40 am |

      I’d add that the A’s relationship with their pre-Oakland past seems complicated, embrace the elephant and the A, but Jimmie Foxx and Connie Mack? More iffy there. It’s like they’re stuck with an heirloom they aren’t sure they really want, but don’t want to get rid of either.

    • Gordon G | August 10, 2010 at 10:46 am |

      The A’s have honored their Philadelphia ties 3 times in throwback games.
      June 3, 2000 hosting the 1911 New York (S.F.) Giants, wearing 1900 Athletics jerseys.
      May 26, 2001 at Twins. It was 1901 Athletics v. 1901 Senators
      August 16, 2009 hosting the 1929 White Sox, wearing 1929 Athletics jerseys.
      I personally think it is okay for a team to honor any team from the city they are in, or any city their franchise has been in. I think the Braves v. Braves game was a great idea. I’d love to see a Royals v. Athletics game, both in Athletics garb. Something that would be unacceptable would be a Phillies team wearing Athletics jerseys, because they have their own history. For expansion teams though, I say go for it, within reason. You can’t have the Marlins or the Diamondbacks playing as the “throwback” Cubs just because they had spring training back in the day there.

      • LI Phil | August 10, 2010 at 10:51 am |

        here’s a whole bunch of pics from that august 2009 game

    • Wes | August 10, 2010 at 12:06 pm |

      I believe the Twins handed out Walter Johnson bobbleheads at some point within the last few years, but that is a very rare example of the Twins acknowledging their Senators origin.

  • Jim Vilk | August 10, 2010 at 10:56 am |

    “The Browns Anomaly doesn’t mean fans get what they want if they whine loud enough.”

    Uh, actually, it happens all the time. Especially in politics, but in business and everyday life as well.

    Not saying I endorse this type of behavior, and I’m a fan of logic as much as Ricko. However, arguing sports-related topics on logic alone is like a Vulcan arguing in front of the Klingon High Council. Your chances of success are slim.

    This reminds me of Paul’s Naming Wrongs shirts, when he argues that a team is more than a business, it’s a civic entity as well. While I support a business’ right to control its intellectual property, the lack of past lawsuits or cease-and-desist orders implies a permission to use other teams’ throwbacks. Don’t think this trend is going away anytime soon.

    Now, I agree there are instances where it shouldn’t be done. The Ravens are a prime double example. I think Cleveland fans would riot if they tried to play a Browns vs. Browns game, and Charm City fans wouldn’t be so charming if there was a Colts vs. Colts game.

    Not to worry, if the Ravens wanted to throwback, they could always be the Stars or the Stallions.

    • Jim Vilk | August 10, 2010 at 11:09 am |

      I know the Stars never actually played in Baltimore, but College Park instead. And I’m sure the NFL wouldn’t take to kindly to a USFL reference.

      Sure would like to see those Stallions unis again:

  • Courtney B | August 10, 2010 at 11:02 am |

    The Braves are the Braves ie. Boston, Milwaukee, Atlanta. The Brewers have no claim to it. Just like the Mets have know right to honer Jackie Robinson at the new Shea like he was part of there team. He was and is a Dodger whither in Brooklyn or Los Angelas.

  • Kenny | August 10, 2010 at 11:02 am |

    I dont know if this has been discussed already but according to this article we will be seeing the all Orange O’s this coming Friday

  • Courtney B | August 10, 2010 at 11:03 am |

    Sorry that should be no right not Know right

  • Crabby Mike | August 10, 2010 at 11:15 am |

    I and every other true blood Baltimorean would throw up if the Indy Irsays wore throwbacks in Baltimore. That would throw salt in the wound and add insult to injury as a reminder of the proud Colts heritage that was stolen from us.

    The rule should be if a team moves and changes it’s nickname, then the old city can claim that old nickname, colors, tradition and be able to wear the old throwbacks of the moved team ala the Nationals-Senators.

    If the team moves and keeps the nickname (which should be outlawed for all-time), then the old city can celebrate the proud tradition, but can not and should not ever wear the old throwbacks (For example: Ravens never wear Colts, Brewers never wear Braves) In addition, the team that moves and keeps the nickname, should never wear the throwbacks from the prior city either as their oldest uni would be when they moved. Those scumbag teams that stole the colors should have some respect for the cities they screwed. (For example: Colts)

    • Courtney B | August 10, 2010 at 11:23 am |

      Crabby, the problem with your argument at least as far as the braves is this the Atlanta Braves current uniform is the uniform that they wore the last 7 or 8 years that they where in boston and most of the time they where in Milwaukee. As I have said the Braves have won the 1914 World Series and the 1957 World Series. The Brewers have no right to where the 57 uniform.

      • RS Rogers | August 10, 2010 at 11:43 am |

        Personally, I would draw a line even brighter than Ricko’s against the Brewers or the Royals throwbacking to the Braves or the A’s. When a team was only in your town for an extended layover on its flight from Point A to Point C, and you later get another team, y’all gotta move on. Besides, the Brewers have such great minor-league throwback options, and KC has such great negro-league throwback options, there’s no excuse for the laziness of reaching for the Braves or the A’s instead.

      • Crabby Mike | August 10, 2010 at 11:44 am |

        Courtney B, good point. The further you go back the more complicated it gets. Of course, my proposal solves my Colts-Ravens issues, but a universal solution is harder to come by.

      • Gusto44 | August 10, 2010 at 1:21 pm |

        Getting back to the Braves, the Boston version won the 1914 WS, and the 1957 version won the 1957 WS. No disputing that.

        However, the fans of Atlanta never saw those events, so it’s irrelevant whether or not the uniform is the same. Yes, it’s proper there is a Braves museum at Turner Field, but that’s as far as it goes. Bottom line, the Atlanta Braves have one world title in the his entire franchise history of the Atlanta Braves. The great players and moments which have occurred since 1966 belong to the Atlanta Braves, nothing more.

        • Gusto44 | August 10, 2010 at 1:25 pm |

          Oops, should have said “the 1957 Milwaukee version”

      • Gordon G | August 10, 2010 at 4:03 pm |

        The baseball fans in Milwaukee would celebrate the 1957 WS championship, not the 1996 Braves championship. Why not allow the home town team to honor that with wearing the throwbacks. You don’t expect baseball fans in Milwaukee to stay Braves fans now that they are in Atlanta. I think the animosity from Baltimore fans regarding the Colts is evident enough of that. The hometown fan will more than likely stick with their hometown team, not the franchise. If any sport is going to honor their heritage, it is perfectly acceptable for the franchise to honor championships from their past. It is also perfectly acceptable for the current team to honor the history of baseball in their town, regardless of the past franchises’ current status.

  • troymccluresf | August 10, 2010 at 11:15 am |

    The “third type” is wearing a competitor’s jersey. No thanks. It might be a competitor’s old jersey, but it’s still theirs.

  • jesse | August 10, 2010 at 12:26 pm |

    thought this would be interesting since we are on the topic:

    • LI Phil | August 10, 2010 at 12:57 pm |

      wow…interesting quote from that article:

      “Recognizing the past is fine with us–it’s the proper thing to do. And we are equally as glad to see no uniform numbers (other than MLB’s mandated Jackie Robinson Number 42) have been retired just yet. That honor should come as a result of the play on the field for Our Washington Nationals, not from a player from the past that played in Canada, or for a Minnesota or Texas franchise. We are not The Expos, The Twins or The Rangers. We are The Washington Nationals and that should be the criteria for any retired number in the future”

      man…talk about dissing YOUR ACTUAL ROOTS…you ARE THE EXPOS…and you may not be the twins or the rangers (and it’s nice to see some people understand that)…but those two franchises did once call your city home

      /see…blood runs thick…

      recognition of any other cities? not so much

      • RS Rogers | August 10, 2010 at 1:36 pm |

        Actually, Walter Johnson’s number is retired by the Nationals. That’s why no Nats player is allowed to take the field with no number on his back.

        As a Nats fan, I’m glad no Sens1/Sens2 numbers are retired. (In part because Frank Howard’s number would be the first on that list, and I’m sorry long-suffering Senators fans, but Hondo wasn’t actually that good. There’s a reason he’s not in the HOF.) But I wish the team had carried its Expos retired numbers forward. That’s real history, and to my mind it pays deserved respect to Montreal. A kind of penance, if you will, for taking their team. All the Senators history that fans bring to the table is great, and I’m all for the Nats celebrating that history, but the franchise brings its own history to the table too.

        Wouldn’t even have to be all 4 retired numbers, but Carter (8) and Dawson (10) are in the Hall of Fame with Expos caps, and that oughta count for something.

        • duker | August 10, 2010 at 2:04 pm |

          I actually think the retired Expos numbers are in the right place. Sure they’re hanging in a hockey arena, but they’re in Montreal.

      • Inkracer | August 10, 2010 at 5:12 pm |

        Seems like it just makes that “Nationals Est. 1905” thing that much more absurd.. If you acknowledge that part of your history it at least gets you closer..

  • JK | August 10, 2010 at 12:33 pm |

    Nothing pains me more than seeing those beautiful blue and white unis with the horseshoe on the likes of Manning and Caldwell. Not to mention Manning breaking all of Johnny U’s records. No I have to watch the wretched busy purple unis every Sunday. Modell did the right thing buy leaving the Browns in Cleveland. The NFL did the wrong thing by giving Jacksonville (who has to tarp their upper deck) a 95 expansion team over Baltimore (who has sold out every game since 96). That team, the Bombers would have had some solid unis (even though there may have been an issue around 9/11)

    • Crabby Mike | August 10, 2010 at 1:39 pm |

      Amen Brotha!

  • JTH | August 10, 2010 at 1:19 pm |

    Sez dkb:

    Also, tar is black (very black as a matter of fact!).

    I think he’s right. There’s something about this that’s so black, it’s like, “How much more black could this be?”

  • Nickbob | August 10, 2010 at 1:37 pm |

    Ricko, when leagues expand, the process is usually to award a city (which has already promised the league venue & commercial/tax arrangements) and then after further negotiations the ownership group is chosen. Then the corporate history of the franchise begins, but the fictive ownership by the city is already established. Count me in with Scott and the rest of those who say that teams leaving behind nicknames & history have left them behind and they now belong to those fans that remain.
    I’m surprised no one has mentioned this issue in term of divorce, which it really is. There’s no simple rule or bright line on community property, and if history is community, I don’t know what is. With the Browns/Ravens and the Sonics/Plunder, the communities involved made this explict in court. From Wiki: According to the conditions of the settlement, the Sonics’ name and colors could not be used by the team in Oklahoma City, but could be taken by a future team in Seattle, although no promises for a replacement team were given. The OKC team would retain the franchise history of the SuperSonics, which could be “shared” with any future NBA team in Seattle.
    As an M’s/Pilots fan, it was thrilling to see Ichiro! in the old getup, before Satan, I mean, Selig took our team during Spring Training, and taught Seattle that gloom is possible even during that short season of hope.

  • Sofa King | August 10, 2010 at 1:41 pm |

    I think the history belongs to the city that it was made in period. The 55 Colts were in Baltimore, NOT in Indy. It’s an insult to the fans of the city the history was made in. Pilots unis are worn in Seattle because the Pilots PLAYED in Seattle before Bud stole them. History belongs to the city where it is made. And ONLY to the city in which it is made.

    • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 2:25 pm |

      This isn’t some make-believe world.
      “The nickname, etc., etc., should stay behind…”

      According to what?
      And why?
      Are they somehow “special” from every other similar corporate issue?
      A company moves its home office from Danville to Oklahoma City and changes its name, and all its former images, logos, corporate history and such have to stay, legally, in Illinois?

      Puh-leeze, people.

      We bitch about athletes thinking they’re “special” and then turn around and say these things ARE “special”.

      We want athletes and teams to be loyal to their cities, but, um, “We should sign Mauer because we have more money than anyone.”

      Kind of a double standard there, isn’t it?


      • BurghFan | August 10, 2010 at 3:18 pm |

        If a one-location operation moves from Danville to OKC, very few of the Oklahoma City customers are going to care about its pre-move history, while Danvillians who patronized it will have fond (or not-so-fond) memories and/or curse the move. If they closed on the day of the Danville Day parade, continuing to do so in Oklahoma would just frustrate (potential) customers.

      • Aaron | August 10, 2010 at 3:41 pm |

        Sorry, I about fainted because somebody mentioned Danville, where I happen to be sitting at work right now. For as many times as I’m asked where that is, I’m downright shocked it got mentioned here.

        • JTH | August 10, 2010 at 3:58 pm |

          Danville — that’s in the Tri-State Area, right? And I’m assuming that this is the company you work for. It’d be a damn shame if you guys moved to OKC.

        • Aaron | August 10, 2010 at 4:53 pm |

          ‘Fraid not. I guess we’d be in the Bi-State area, right on the Indiana-Illinois state line, straight south of Chicago, straight west from Indy.

    • Inkracer | August 10, 2010 at 4:17 pm |

      As far as I’m concerned, the only real event in sports that should change if it gets moved is a race..
      The Daytona 500 isn’t the Daytona 500 if they run it at Bristol, The Indy 500 isn’t the Indy 500 anywhere other than Indy. Obviously the exceptions being the F1 Grand Prix that tend to be named for the Country/Continent instead of the City..
      Other than that, The history goes with the team.. The Colts are the Colts no matter how much you don’t want them to be.

  • flip | August 10, 2010 at 2:01 pm |

    Here’s the deal: BILLIONAIRE owners exploit our passions for our respective franchises. They suck up our ticket prices, they extort taxpayers for sweetheart stadium deals, they cry about paying high salaries to players that, in fact, put fans in seats. Truth is, BILLIONAIRE owners don’t give squat whether the franchise is in Dallas or Pittsburgh, Memphis or Seattle. If they don’t get their way, they’ll move at the drop of a hat. Green Bay is the only franchise that truly is safe. (Don’t think the Yankees are safe? It didn’t stop Steinbrenner from negotiating openly with New Jersey to leverage his Taj Mahal in the Bronx. And who picked up the bulk of the freight for that mostrosity? Hint, it wasn’t the Boss.)

    Baltimore made the appropriate move to keep the Colts. While Irsay in fact owned the franchise, the fans are the ones who gave it worth. Who’s to say they didn’t deserve ownership?

    When push comes to shove, BILLIONAIRE owners don’t open their books to back up their cries of poverty. And even if they don’t make money from year to year, certainly owners can cash in when they sell. What franchise has sold for less than it was purchased?

    Owners are evil.

    • Jim Vilk | August 10, 2010 at 10:37 pm |

      Union man, are ya?

      Some owners might be, some players might be, some fans might be. Blanket statements, though, wouldn’t be accurate for any of those sets of people.

  • Jon | August 10, 2010 at 2:07 pm |

    Good topic. First let me say, yet again, that those 1969 Seattle Pilots uniforms were incredible.

    Many of us Seattle fans who were around at the time have a strong affinity for the Pilots and smoldering resentment towards the bastards that stole our team (after only one season!). Remember that the Mariners came about as a direct result of successsful litigation against the American League for that fiasco. Whether or not Milwaukee wants to claim some right to the Pilots’ ill-fated history, that one-and done season was Seattle’s and I am so pleased every time the Mariners bust out the Pilots’ gear. Never forget.

    • M.Princip | August 10, 2010 at 2:39 pm |

      “Good topic. First let me say, yet again, that those 1969 Seattle Pilots uniforms were incredible.”

      I agree! Absolutely love this early uni spec. Kind of has a ‘Benchies’ feel to it.

      • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 2:53 pm |

        I often wondered if he didn’t intend that maybe those hats actually should have a certain “sea captain/airline pilot” cut/overhang to them.

        Y’know, the “50-mission or 50-voyage crush.”

        If not, they sure are drawn kinda funny.


        • M.Princip | August 10, 2010 at 3:11 pm |

          If I’m correct, wasn’t this drawn up by a fashion designer, someone not too keen on the ways of baseball attire?

        • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 3:13 pm |

          Thought it was newspaper/editorial cartoonist.
          Or was that another uni in another city?


        • M.Princip | August 10, 2010 at 3:26 pm |

          No, I think you’re correct, I believe it was the newspaper cartoonist.

  • Tim | August 10, 2010 at 2:09 pm |

    Joe Skiba is probably cringing as he reads this:

    • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 2:32 pm |

      A job title I think some fans actually would dream of having:
      Major League Jock Washer.


    • JTH | August 10, 2010 at 2:36 pm |

      I’m going out on a limb here. Joe Skiba’s not the only one cringing.

      So… JM & KS: Mauer/Morneau/Morales and Slowey?

      • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 2:42 pm |

        Speaking of Slowey…

        Ron Gardenhire still is holding my vote for one of the great managerial quotes of the season, perhaps of all time.

        Talking about how intelligent Kevin Slowey is, Gardenhire said,
        “Slowey teaches Spanish to the Venezuelans.”


  • Charles | August 10, 2010 at 2:52 pm |

    I’m pretty sure the Edmonds Reds photoshop is just a hat and jersey swiped from an old photo from some other former Reds player. That’s the hat they used to designate as ‘home’ with the old vest.
    When the Boo-yah network photoshops people into new uniforms, they rarely retouch colors or logos, preferring to just cut and paste the uniform from a different pic.

  • Clay Cartwright | August 10, 2010 at 4:00 pm |

    As a guy who grew up in Houston and rooted for the Oilers, it bothers me when the Titans go old school. Why? Because people in Nashville could care less. Oilers heritage means nothing to them. Titans fans don’t identify with anything “Oilers”. Nobody in the Volunteer state gets warm and fuzzy with memories of Bum Phillips and “Luv Ya Blue”.

    When a team changes their identity, like the Titans, they forfeit the heritage element. They are in effect saying the history of the team is of no value to them. New identity = new start.

    When a team keeps the former identity, like the Colts, then they can claim a reasonable amount of heritage. But they should do so with a solid dose of respect to the former city where all that history took place. Indy fans should show respect for the Johnny Unitas era but not own those memories for themselves. Those fond memories belong primarily to the people who made them in Baltimore. This changes over time as generations pass and no one is left alive in the old city where the team played.

    • duker | August 10, 2010 at 4:31 pm |


      You’re spot on with the feelings I had behind my original post. Indy completely has the legal right to use the ’55 uniforms. But I feel it’s disrespectful.


    • Andy | August 10, 2010 at 4:51 pm |

      But what about the people in Memphis? The Tennessee Oilers were their team for, what was it, two seasons? Kind of a weird situation to have a major team basically rent out your stadium for such a small amount of time.

    • BurghFan | August 10, 2010 at 6:36 pm |

      I remember the Tennessee Oilers coming into Three Rivers, and it was kinda strange.

      IIRC, Bud Adams wanted to stick with the Oilers name, but was convinced to change it. Bud got an agreement that the Oilers name wouldn’t go back to Houston. It’s too bad.

  • DPM | August 10, 2010 at 4:23 pm |

    Nats are wearing Expos caps during BP. Are we going to see a suprise throwback tonight?

  • Garrett | August 10, 2010 at 4:24 pm |

    Here is a cool video of Matt Hasselbeck and Chris Mortensen in the Seahawks’here.

  • Garrett | August 10, 2010 at 4:25 pm |

    *Seahawks’ facility

  • Dave Mac | August 10, 2010 at 4:56 pm |

    Baltimore fans: Back in 95/96, were you OK with the Browns colors and name being left in Cleveland? Or would you rather have had it in Baltimore?

    In documentaries, I’ve always heard Baltimore fans say they were OK with the change to Ravens cause they felt heartbroken when the Colts kept their uniforms in Indianapolis. so they felt sympathetic towards Cleveland Browns fans.

    Was this the sentiment at the time in Baltimore?

    • Chance Michaels | August 10, 2010 at 5:00 pm |

      It was among the handful of sports fans I knew in Baltimore at the time.

      They wanted a team, but not if it meant stealing a team from another city. The compromise seemed perfect to me.

    • AUHookd | August 10, 2010 at 7:54 pm |

      Pretty much precisely the sentiment. My personal reaction was “Oh no! Why the Browns? Cleveland loves that team.” First choice was expansion. City was rejected twice. 2nd choice would have been a clearly hobbling franchise (Cards couldn’t draw squat in Phoenix back then, Rams were hurting in LA). A team like Cleveland’s was never an option for fans. Too many similarities to our Colts.

      I remember watching the press conference with the Mayor and Gov. The governor at the time was from the DC suburbs. He was way too enthusiastic about getting a team to B’more. He simply didn’t get it.

    • Crabby Mike | August 11, 2010 at 10:05 am |

      I lived and died through the expansion process twice. Baltimore deserved a franchise over Jacksonville and it’s so obvious now isn’t it. I followed the news on every team holding it’s city hostage for a stadium: Rams, Cards, Bucs, Raiders, Bengals..etc. Almost all of us were shocked that the Browns decided to move. I don’t know anybody who wanted the Browns colors in Baltimore, especially after what we had to live with seeing our Colts colors stolen from us. A Baltimore contingent even approached Irsay to buy the Colts name and colors back and the scumbag couldn’t do the right thing. In a later documentary, Irsay said he was joking when he asked for the ungodly amount he said he wanted. But that just shows his disrespect that he’d even joke about such a thing. Anyway, we’re all Ravens fans and the success of the team has really healed a lot of wounds, but not all.

  • jesse | August 10, 2010 at 5:28 pm |

    Phil, fantastic post, definetly UniWtach HoF IMO.

  • jesse | August 10, 2010 at 5:29 pm |

    Crap, you guys know what I meant. My bad.

  • Nickbob | August 10, 2010 at 5:39 pm |

    “This isn’t some make-believe world.”
    -M’s slogan this year BELIEVE BIG [which hasn’t worked out]
    thing is, it is and it isn’t. It isn’t for the businesses that that clubs are, but it is for the product they’re selling and we’re buying. People like to see athletes do incredible things, sure, but it’s the make-believe that the team and the town are one in the pursuit of the end of the season championship, or the championship of next year if that’s all that’s possible. so if civic-team unity is the product they sell, then why should anyone be confused when the town wants to hold on to what they bought? All the fans have left is their memories of the time when they strove emotionally with the team that was also doing the physical striving towards a common goal. That belongs to them until the franchise wants to buy it back from them somehow, and maybe it’s not for sale back to a team that’s taken their investment elsewhere. Ricko, you are correct in the law, certainly, but the entire enterprise (it’s not an industry) is steeped in emotion so these enterprises ought not to be surprised when their market demands some emotional consideration, it’s just good business to do so.

  • traxel | August 10, 2010 at 5:44 pm |

    Okay, fine. I’ll chime in. Scanned everything above, enough of it that I could stand anyway. Those of you who are trying to put “rules” on everything, well, nu-uh. More government, more rules, let’s make it a law. Bring in the attorneys. Make a BCS formula. This is all crap. Every situation is different. The Rangers is different from the Ravens. The Twins falls in between so they have separate issues. What are the Oilers and Texans to do? Here’s the solution. Let each team have the freedom to pick and choose what they want to wear. Emphisis on FREEDOM. If they choose wrong, they will get chastised. Simple as that. The public and boards like this one will give them punishment. Now if I want to choose what I WANT them to wear or what I think they SHOULD wear, I fall more against the attorneys and side with each city’s history. Johnny U is a hero of Baltimore. Now others around the country can like him too, but his NFL roots are in one NFL city. If the Seattle Seahawks pack up and move to my little town here in Missouri I cannot and will not become a Steve Largent worshiper. Not that I don’t respect the guy in any way, shape or form, he was great. But I never saw him play live and maybe only a handfull of times on TV when I was probably rooting for the other team. Should he be listed in the program? Probably. Should he be in the “ring of fame” on our football field, hell no. That’s the case with Merlin Olson, Jackie Slater, Deacon Jones, etc. in St.Louis. And they are up there in the “ring” with Dan Dierdorf, Jim Hart, and Roger Wherli. None of these six players played for the St.Louis Rams, but the people who go to St.Louis Rams games certainly have more of an affiliation with the old Big Red players than the LA Rams players. When teams move, their history becomes a sidenote. When a new team comes in, the city’s football/baseball/whatever history continues. Owners have decisions to make. Some make the right one, some don’t. But what they do have is the freedom to make this decision. Hopefully more of them will make the right one.

  • KT | August 10, 2010 at 5:45 pm |

    The basic thrust of Ricko’s argument, as I read it, is “Damn you and your memories, and damn you and any interest in history, there’s an immutable corporation here that still exists and it, above all, must be respected.”

    The English have a delightful term for that: bollocks.

    Sports are fun. Sports are an escape. The Pilots are a (small and short, but still) part of Seattle baseball history, whether they’re now called the Milwaukee Brewers or not. The Senators are a part of the history of DC, even though they’re now the Texas Rangers.

    Ricko is, excuse my language, a f***ing tight-ass who worries about lineages and corporate identities and keeping everything in nice neat vertical columns. That’s nonsense.

    A fun night at the ballpark or arena, something different to look at, and maybe you learn something you didn’t know about history? Or maybe your kids do? WTF is wrong with that? Why does everything have to fall into a neat little sacrosanct category, now and forever?

    What it comes down to is what permeates this site: people telling other fans how they should be fans. Tell you what – you be a fan how you want to be, I’ll be a fan how I want to be. If my team has “BOLTS” across a third jersey, I’m sorry if that offends you, but it’s not about you. If a team wears a throwback that doesn’t fall neatly into your idea of its proper lineage, I don’t care. If the fans enjoy it, your opinion carries no weight with them.

    I hate to sound like a codger who thinks everything was better back in my day, but is it so bad to hearken back to a time when everything wasn’t stacked against fans? Before Ticketmaster fees, before TV dictated start times, before every inch of stadium space had an in-your-face ad, before jock rock, before PSLs, before stupid holiday caps that don’t contribute nearly enough to their supposed charity, before all of that crap?

    What’s so wrong with that?

    • jesse | August 10, 2010 at 6:00 pm |

      Post of the day…”Show ’em what he’s won, Johnny!”

    • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 6:05 pm |

      On the contrary, I’m saying memories are incredibly important. I say that all the time.

      In the case of Washington, one of those memories is that two teams moved.

      Is it it painful to lot of people? Damn straight, it is. But if someone really IS interested in history, the fact that the Nationals are not either of the Senators teams should be important.

      It shouldn’t be, “Well, where they went is irrelevant, they used to play here and that’s all that matters, all you need to know, remember or care about.”

      If Disneyland burned down and the corporation decided to rebuild it in a different municipality, no matter how pissed Anaheim got, it wouldn’t have the right to hold a Mickey Mouse Festival on the former site.


      • RS Rogers | August 10, 2010 at 6:32 pm |

        No, but if Disney subsidiary Jim Henson’s Muppets took over and rebuilt Disneyland, and also sought and received permission from the other Disney subsidiary that controls Mickey Mouse’s intellectual property, then it darn well would have the right to hold a Mickey Mouse Festival on the former site. Which is a much, much more apt analogy to the case at hand. Again, you keep assuming in all of your arguments that the throwbacks are done against the wishes of the prior club. Why? On what basis? Have you any evidence whatsoever that any team has ever worn prior-franchise throwbacks against the wishes of the prior franchise? Just once, ever?

        • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 8:14 pm |

          For, what, about the ninth time, I get that the giving of permission would alter any of these equations.

          Everyone here who has suggested a set of “rules” has come up with thing with so many exceptions that they effectively neuter the rules.

          All I’m saying is, go with the laws of private and/or corporate property. There’s a good bet that’s a logical decision, and it would give clear and understandable benchmarks without elephant-sized gray areas.


    • mike 2 | August 10, 2010 at 7:26 pm |

      Well put.

      I’ve made this argument before – the number one consideration should be “will it be fun for the fans”.

      Is it fun for the Brewers to throw back to the Braves? Apparently yes. For the Mariners to throw back to the Pilots? Apparently yes.

      Would it be fun for the Nationals to throw back to the Expos? Who knows.

      My point being that if its fun, generates interest in the game and the teams, then they should find a way to make it happen.

      History is important, lineage is important, but its not the end of the discussion. If something is fun but historically inaccurate, SO WHAT?

      This is sport, its entertainment, its supposed to be entertaining.

    • The Jeff | August 10, 2010 at 8:52 pm |

      Ricko’s not a tight-ass, he’s a buzzkill. I’m pretty sure there’s a difference.

      We’re talking about how we want it to be or how we think it should be… philosophical ponderings, if you will… and Ricko pops into remind us all of how it is and that we have no power to change it. On one hand it’s not a bad idea to stay somewhat grounded in reality… on the other it can be really irritating at times.

  • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 6:08 pm |

    “Ricko is, excuse my language, a f***ing tight-ass who worries about lineages and corporate identities and keeping everything in nice neat vertical columns. That’s nonsense.”

    Ummm, no, in the world of sports where, in case you haven’t noticed, just about EVERYTHING is recorded in “nice neat vertical columns”…that’s history.


  • Nickbob | August 10, 2010 at 6:38 pm |

    When the Nats or any team sells a cap or jersey with the team logo, they charge a premium on that wear or to anyone that licenses it because people are making an (emotional [& legally nonbinding]) investment. Those businesses make a lot more money than what they’d make from selling either garments or services w/o such an investment. Disneyland or Danville Widgets doesn’t sell things that sell communal investments, and make their money in other ways, like maybe quality widgets or services. As a Seattle fan, I can tell you spending money on services known in advance to not to possess a lot of quality is a very emotional decision, and I don’t expect it to make sense. I *would* think that a reader of this blog would “get it”, and Ricko, you are a foundational reader here, so … my head it itches.

  • allenkc | August 10, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
    • Gusto44 | August 10, 2010 at 8:20 pm |

      The Red Raiders did wear white helmets in the 1970s, I believe they had a star near the double “T”. They also had re face masks with those unis.

      • Gusto44 | August 10, 2010 at 8:20 pm |

        Oops, should have said “red”, not re.

    • PatrickinMI | August 11, 2010 at 12:13 am |

      Please make me understand what is “gay” about that photo or why TTech having white helmets is gay. And by gay I assume you mean homosexual. Enlighten us!

      • LI Phil | August 11, 2010 at 12:18 am |

        please don’t feed the trolls, patrick

  • Ricko | August 10, 2010 at 8:42 pm |

    Look, it boils down to this, possibly…

    We can look at sports through the eyes of a fan.

    We can look at sports through the eyes of, for lack of better terms, a chronicler or an historian.

    There will be many, many times the two perspectives won’t see things the same.

    Maybe it’s best to just accept that both viewpoints are entirely valid, valuable and essential…and that they both emanate from the same core emotion/belief: they love the sports they’re following.


  • Gusto44 | August 10, 2010 at 10:25 pm |

    Different topic here, this was brought up a few weeks ago. If
    there are any Cubs fans here, maybe they can help. It’s been suggested in 1976 the Cubs did wear a pillbox hat for a few games. Can anyone offer photographic evidence or remember being at a game that year when this occurred? Maybe it was for only one game, maybe not.

    How about the Dodgers and Giants?

  • TA | August 10, 2010 at 10:48 pm |

    By Ricko’s logic, the 1961 expansion team should not have been allowed to be called the Senators, since if throwbacks to a moved-away team are bad, actually adopting the moved team’s name must be worse.

    The Twins are the prime example of why objecting to throwbacks for no other reason than robotic adherence to corporate continuity is so absurd. The Twins have allowed not one but two new franchise to take two of their former names (as they were the Nationals before they were the Senators). If the Nationals bear a former name of the Twins franchise every day, why is it so bad if they also wear a former uniform as a one-off promotion?

  • StLMarty | August 10, 2010 at 11:33 pm |

    “I give it all I got, that’s all I got to give.
    You got to live and let live.”

  • mrxmt | August 11, 2010 at 1:21 am |

    It’s funny that the vast majority of the conversation has been around baseball with a small amount of football and hockey mixed in (and the football and hockey conversation has been about a limited number of teams), but no mention of basketball (that I saw).
    I get that baseball does throwbacks all the time, so that is an easy conversation, but the NBA does it a lot as well. They even did ABA throwbacks a couple of years back. Is it that basketball uniforms are less important that baseball and football? Or is it that the NBA does a better part of staying inside the franchise? The Lakers have worn Minneapolis Laker uniforms, how would you feel if the Timberwolves did it? My guess is that people wouldn’t like it.
    In any case, it does seem that the leagues handle it differently. Baseball seems to lean a little more toward honoring the history of “city/region” than the history of the “franchise”. The NFL (and I think the NBA) seems to be more about the franchise. I don’t watch hockey that much, but it sounds like it is more like franchise as well.
    My theory is that the approach (and the reactions that people have) is about how the game has been presented and perceived over the years. For example, baseball is a family sport that people have a deep connection with. Generations of families go to games and follow the teams on a nightly basis (6 days a week, 30 weeks a year). The uniforms are the identity of that team (franchise), but more important they are the identity if the city. People identify with the uniforms of those teams because they clearly identify themselves with the city (or state) a lot of the time. When the Braves went on the road they had “Boston” or “Milwaukee” or “Atlanta” across the front of the jersey. Fans connect with that even when the franchise has moved on. Hank Aaron was a MILWAUKEE Brave (and Brewer). Seeing the team wear the uniforms that remind you of that hold a special meaning to the fans whether it is historically accurate or not.
    On the other hand, football is a much younger sport (as far as being a national sport that the fan has a connection with). With the exception of the oldest 5-6 teams, most teams came about after the 50s. It has less of a generation to generation attachment. On the field teams are a uniform color and a helmet color/logo (and the logos have only been there for about 50 years), they don’t have anything that screams “city”. It feels like the teams don’t “represent” the city as much as they represent a “club” that fans associate with. I think the NFL understands that and wants to keep fans in tune with the “club” aspect. That is one of the reasons you will probably never see the Texans wearing Oilers uniforms.
    Anyway, sorry for the long post. I tend to like the way MLB and the NFL handle it. I love seeing the Mariners in those amazing Pilot uniforms and I don’t mind the occasional 70’s throwback night. I just wish they could get the players to wear uniforms that looked like they actually fit instead of looking like little kids wearing their dad’s uniform…

    • LI Phil | August 11, 2010 at 1:51 am |

      the milwaukee braves NEVER had “milwaukee” on their jersey

      not in 1953…not in 1965…and not in between

      just sayin

  • Alec | August 11, 2010 at 12:29 pm |

    There’s NO question in my mind that its appropriate for a team to use throwbacks to a prior franchise that played in its city, e.g. the Nationals playing as the 1924 Senators. A franchise’s history belongs to the franchise itself and the city where the team played (in this case, the Twins themselves and Washington, DC). Recalling the glory years of Washington baseball from the early 20s through early 30’s (3 pennants and 1 World Series) is appropriate.

  • Alec | August 11, 2010 at 12:37 pm |

    In responding to Rick and others, to say that the Nationals can’t don the Senators uniforms is to effectively ask the people of Washington to pretend there was no baseball in Washington DC prior to 2005. Has he not noticed that the team’s primary symbol in the Curly W (mostly a 60s icon of the franchise that moved to Texas)? Should the Nationals remove all of the old Washington baseball photos from the stadium? Of course not.

    That doesn’t mean the Twins and Rangers couldn’t use them if they wanted to as well. The more celebration of the game’s past, the better in my view.

  • another Josh | August 11, 2010 at 12:50 pm |

    I mostly feel bad for those teams/names that are effectively dead, the only one I can think of off the top of my head is the Montreal Expos. The current Nationals have almost completely washed their hands of their Canadian past (though they are now going to be honoring HOFers Andre Dawson and Gary Carter). There isn’t a team in Montreal anymore and probably won’t be for the foreseeable future, so there isn’t anyone who is going to be wearing any Expos throwbacks. Well, maybe the Canadians will, since they adopted Youpii.

  • Dave Mac | August 11, 2010 at 1:52 pm |

    It’s funny that Baltimore’s two major league franchises, the Orioles and Ravens, both were the “Browns” before moving to Baltimore.

  • EMD | August 11, 2010 at 4:19 pm |

    May be NSFW, but most of the ‘naughty’ bits are pixelated out, but here’s Matt and Kim’s video for Lessons Learned.

    The socks (which she doesn’t remove) are the best part of the video.