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Graying Gracefully?

gray caps hed

By Phil Hecken

Not so long ago, sage Uni Watch sexagenarian Rick Pearson approached me with an idea: “If you had to pick one — and only one — MLB team to wear, with its present unis, a gray road hat, which team would it be? And, as briefly as possible, say why.” Interesting, I thought. We had a few teams try the gray cap thing a few years back.

In fact, not all that long ago, the Pirates, Royals and Orioles all experimented with a gray road cap in the 1990’s or early 2000’s. Now, whether or not they were a “success” I suppose is all in the eye of the beholder, but clearly, the gray roadie never caught on. Maybe they didn’t sell well, maybe the teams didn’t like them. But this wasn’t the first time baseball had tried gray road caps.

In the early days of the modern era (just scroll through the first few sets of graphics), many teams wore separate home and road caps, and teams were especially partial to gray caps to match their road unis. As the years wore on, this faded out of practice, but not entirely, for as recently as the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, a few teams still employed gray roadies. The 1957 and 1961 Reds (note the lack of a ‘wishbone C’ on the latter), and the Kansas City Athletics of 1962 all sported a gray road cap. Going back a decade or so, the St. Louis Browns wore a away cap from 1940-1949. There were others to be sure, and they’ve spanned several eras in baseball, most recently with the three teams identified at the beginning of this article.

Ricko and I assembled a bunch of stiffs panel of experts to get us started. Who might our panel of experts identify as a likely team to “go gray”? Let’s find out:


Let’s see what our panel came up with:

James T. Huening:

I’d go with the Cincinnati Reds. Gray crown (obviously), red brim/”squatchee”/eyelets/wishbone C. No dropshadow (if the Mets can do a blue and orange hat with their dropshadowed home unis, the Reds can do it on their roads). Essentially, it would look like this except with red stitching around the holes.


1) I think the gray crown would look best with a brightly-colored brim so no mostly black or blue teams.

2) I loved the Reds’ mid- to late-90s home unis with the pinstriped caps and wished they’d done a road version in gray the way they did in the 50s & 60s.

3) I think their current road cap looks terrible. Red crown/black brim just doesn’t work.

How would they look?: Like so (Ricko’s version) or sans eyelets (Phil’s mock); Since James hates the BFBS brim, how about a gray brim & soutaches?


Rick Pearson:

Thinking should be one of the older teams, because it’s a very old style…a traditional team that, say, never messed around with powder blue, either. Though some would think it heresy, I picked a team with a road uni already markedly different from its home, adding a team color not even on the homes. Elegant in its simplicity, this gray hat has no two-tone letter than flies in the face of their general history of classy, understated unis.

How would they look? Ricko’s mock


Jim Vilk:

Well, if it’s with the current unis, and since the Jays need a complete overhaul, I’d say the MARLINS. If they’re not going back to a teal hat, a gray one might be nice. Black brim with teal eyelets and button.”

How would they look? Ricko’s take; Phil’s cap mock.


Ben Traxel: (who couldn’t chose just one)

There are very few, if any teams that I’d want to wear a gray hat. My reasoning: Gray is a field color on the away uniforms. Doesn’t have to be gray and I’d wish many other teams would explore other opportunities for field colors, but gray is the dominant one right now. Wish it were textured gray but for now it is just flat gray. Putting it on the hat is too much. The hat gives an opportunity for the real team color to be shown, much like the undersleeves, socks and wordmark/numbers. To relegate that to more of the field color takes away more identity of the team colors and makes the uniform even more boring than many already are. By adding piping to the lid at the seams, while there is a history to it, turns it into a clown hat or pinwheel hat. Never really liked that on the old models. It does add some color up there but not enough and I’m just not a fan.

Now, teams that it might have a chance to work? My choices are teams that have silver as a team color or something close to it. Again, this is because it is a team color and not a field color. I’ve found a small handful of teams that it might work on if designed properly.



White Sox

And possibly the Mariners.

In all cases they need a colored bill of course. Also, they need uniform tweaks to make them much better. Especially the Rocks and Marlins. They both need to dump the Yankee copycats and the Marlins need to switch to navy blue. No need for hot black in the hot sun. Navy blue at least is a cool color, though still dark, and much better represents the ocean colorscape. I like the purple on the Rockies but they need to use it more and go to more silver and much less black. The White Sox, after years of changing things up every three annuals or so have been stuck on this current scheme too long. It’s not bad but it’s just time to move on. The Mariners are just boring but silver looks like it could be part of their scheme.

How would they look? Marlins; Rockies; White Sox; and Mariners (Ben’s Photoshops); Rockies Cap, Mariners Cap & Sox Cap (Phil’s mocks)


Mike Engle:

SEATTLE MARINERS. I just think the Mariners look a little boring far away, but they look awesome once you allow for a close-up. They do a very modern-glam version of a ‘traditional classic’ uniform, so I think the M’s could pull it off. Gray body, navy bill, thin navy soutaches on five seams (all except the very front), teal squatchee, and current S-compass logo on the front

How would they look? Cap only (Phil’s p-shop); Cap with Uni (Ricko’s mock).


Thank you gentlemen. As for me? I’m not a big proponent of the gray road cap, but like James, I detest teams who don’t have black in their color scheme (at least technically — accents don’t count, in my book), so they shouldn’t wear it on their cap — especially not at home. That being said, I wasn’t necessarily a big fan of the all gray caps they broke out for the Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium. But, I think I could be persuaded to select a gray crown for a certain team from New York who insists on BFBS. Either with the orange interlocking “NY” or with the current road insignia, I could support that.

Ricko, for his part, not only liked the Tigers, but if he could add a second team to the mix, he thought the Cardinals could ditch the blue and go gray for a tip of the cap (pun firmly intended) to the old Gas House Gang.


What say you, dear readers? If you could select one team to sport a road gray cap, who would it be, and why? And if not, why not?

Were you to “oppose” a gray cap, you wouldn’t be alone. Robert Marshall was asked what team he might want to see. His response: “there are none teams that would look good in a gray hat, it is a miserable look. there are some teams that might be able to pull off white as long as it had soustache, but nobody looks good in a gray hat, no. bod. eee.”

So what do you think? Let’s hear it.


baseball jersey contest hed

Design-A-Baseball Jersey Contest Update

*Wipes Brow*. OK, I have finally gotten around to uploading everyone’s entries — and I have to say — there are some pretty impressive ones. I didn’t count, but I’d estimate there are 100. Getting it down to the final 9 (on which the readership will vote) is going to be a challenge for Alain Nana-Sinkham (the gentleman who will be making the jersey for the winner). But before we get to that, I want to show off all the entries to the readership. That will be taking place next week — I haven’t quite decided how I’ll do that, but perhaps a main entry and then additional viewings after the main posts.

I need to have contact with three entrants, so, if you’re reading this today — please send me an email. Those gentlemen are as follows:

Anthony McGuire
Jarae Thurmond
Ed Westfield

Anyway, this should be a great contest, and I promise I’ll get all the submissions out to you guys next week — one way or the other. OK? OK!


Ticker 3

Uni Watch News Ticker: Starting off today is Tommy Gilbert, who was at the Portland Sea Dogs-Richmond Flying Squirrels game, and at least 3 of the Richmond players were wearing some great stirrups. Says Tommy, “They look like the same style as San Fran’s new stirrups, but with red instead of orange. Is this an organization-wide thing, or did the Flying Squirrels and/or their players order the stirrups on their own?” … Zachary Charles brings us a first look at the Warriors new duds. “I for one hate the white racing stripe down the sides,” states Zach. … Andrew Hoenig found a great Phillies mug with the ’70s “P” on eBay. … How did USF get their nickname? Mike Edgerley informs us they were almost the “Buccaneers” (14 years before the NFL Franchise existed). The present nickname has more than a little to do with U. of Texas. … We know Francisco Cervelli used David Wright’s glove, but Steve Jones tells us that Cervelli, who normally goes sans batting gloves, wore Robinson Cano’s older Nike Show Elite batting gloves during Monday’s rainy game. “You could see in a few screen shots (which I sadly don’t have) that the gloves had Cano’s number 24 patch sewed into the inside wrist. I suspect it was because of the rain giving him grip problems with his bare hands,” he adds. … BFBS Lake Show? Jordan Kingcame across this monstrosity. Please tell me LA never actually wore those in a game.” … Philip Leverrier alerts us to possible slight tweaks to the Wiz (also noted by James Noone and Jeremy Walker). … In a similar vein, Andrew Piroso asks, “Heard anything about the 76ers getting new uniforms? The collar is clearly different in the two pictures and it appears the Evan Turner worn jersey returns to a mesh style jersey.” I asked Paul about this, and he replied, “The NBA is planning a big announcement regarding fabrics and other uniform elements, which will affect every uniform in the league. Expect to hear more about this on Sept. 21.” … Is Michigan planning to “standardize” their M logo? Jason Heminger just came across this regarding one logo for Michigan. …Cody Dannen wanted to set things straight regarding yesterday’s “hideously ugly marching band” ticker link. It was, according to Cody, “actually to a drum corps. Like marching band on steroids. Just a little clarification as I know drum corps people can tend to freak if referenced as a marching band. And as a side note I attached a very cool drum corps show for your viewing pleasure.” … What, no white versus white matchup? Our fearless leader, Paul Lukas, notes the Panthers jersey schedule, as well as the Bengals jersey schedule. “Only problem,” advises Paul, “is that they both claim to be wearing white for their Week 3 game against each other, which obviously isn’t gonna happen. Panthers are the home team in that game, so for now I’d assume their listing is correct and that Cincy will wear black that day.” … Some “Vikings plane” shenanigans was spotted by John Muir. According to John, during the recent “Favre-a-palooza, there was a montage of Brett drama going back to 2008. What stood out was the team plane in August of 2009 and today: the team logo disappeared this year. The 2009 and 2010 team charters featured the same ‘shoulder gusset’ design at the junction of wing and fuselage, yet the tail was blank this year. The team logo seems to have been taken off sometime after last year’s Brettgate.” … Well, here’s one way to disrespect the king: Jim Vilk has seen this guy a few times. “Drags his old Lebron jersey around town.” Nice! … Stephen Chavez found this article on new Notre Dame unis. … Here’s an even better look (thanks, Paul) … “Your center wears argyle socks!” Sounds like an insult. But it’s true at Oxbow High in Bradford, Vt. (Thanks to Tris Wykes). … Great news from Rich Meyers, Director of Game Operations of the Grand Rapids Griffins announces that frequent UW “Design-A-___” Contest contributor Ryan Muraro has been selected as the winner of the Grand Rapids Griffins’ second annual jersey design contest. Congrats Ryan! … Here’s a new Mental Floss Quiz courtesy of Jason Hillyer (also sent in by Tim West). … Wow-eee — how awesome is this helmet car commercial starring Mr. Met? I’d never seen that one (big thanks to Chris Flinn). … “Something struck me,” states Mark Rybczyk. “Not one of the 4 major franchises here (NFL Cowboys, MLB Rangers, NBA Mavericks and NHL Stars) have uniforms with the teams nickname on them. The Rangers 4 sets of uniforms (Home white, Away Gray, Red and Blue) all say TEXAS. The new Stars Home and Away simply say Dallas as do the Mavericks Home and Away. They Cowboys just have numerals on the front. Is this the first time that a city that has hosted the 4 major sports franchises has been without a single nicknamed uniform? … More wonderful stuff from Larry Bodnovich: “Found these 2 pictures of Northwestern vs Minnesota from early 1920’s. Pinned numbers and 4 digits. I have no idea why 4 digits.” … Nice shot of the Tampa Bay Rays BRaysers (courtesy of Wayne Koehler) … It’s not just in the UniVerse that we campaign against black jerseys (thanks to Hugh McBride for the tip). … D. Bragdon brings us the news we’ve been waiting all summer to hear: The Cardinals will wear their BFBS jerseys during the preseason, breaking them out for a Thursday Night (Sept. 2) game against the Redskins. … Update on the Nike Pro Combat unveilings from Paul: The unveiling will take place in Manhattan on the morning of Sept. 1st. Paul will be attending and will have a plenty of coverage either later that day or the day after. “Not yet sure how I’ll divvy up the material between the blog and Page 2,” he decrees. (And no Kek, Paul doesn’t know if they’re bringing back the Pitt script. Even he hasn’t seen any of the designs). Although the specific game dates will supposedly be announced when the uniform designs are unveiled, Ohio State has already gone ahead and said their game will be against Michigan on Nov. 27 … OK, then — Michael Cooperman says, “Look closely – those aren’t helmets, those are caps! Outlet mall just outside Palm Springs, CA.” And??? … Mike Fisher (himself) has the definitive truth on the Mavs unis. … Genius grab from Mike Page, who notes: “It would appear that after being fired by the Nationals for the jersey typos, the person responsible for forever adding NATINALS to our lexicon went on to a webmasters career with the Inland Empire 66ers, the Dodgers A level affiliate, who happen to be the first stop on Manny Ramirez’s rehab stint. Check this photo out from their site, promoting Manny’s appearance. Here’s the link, if it hasn’t been fixed yet.” The best part is Mike was quick enough to do a screen grab, so proof of the error will forever exist.


I would like to extend a hunting trip to him deep in the woods somewhere. — Todd Helton (to Wayne Hagin, after Hagin had intimated Helton used steroids in the 1990s)

Comments (139)

    If I had to pick one, it’d be the White Sox, since gray/silver is already one of their team colors. They picked their color scheme so they could be the Raiders of the MLB, a gray hat with gray pants & black jersey would be fitting.

    Also, that blurb about Dallas sports teams isn’t quite right. The Cowboys do have the COWBOYS wordmark on their regular non-throwback blue jerseys. Granted they only wear them like once every 3 years or something and never at home, but still, it’s there.

    Since gray is a field color, a team with pin stripes should also pin the hat. The Pirates hat of the mid nineties is a nice looking hat in isolation. However, it looked like shite with the grays with pins.

    Although I’m a big advocate of patterned unis – road pinstripes, tattersall, plaid – I don’t like pins on caps. Instead, I’d like to see more pinstriped teams wear coordinating soutache stripes on their caps. Especially in the case of a team using a field color cap, whether white or gray.

    The striped stirrups the Squirrels are wearing is part of an organizational move. All of San Francisco’s minor league teams are going high cuffs with striped stirrups.

    Exactly. I don’t think those are special socks/ stirrups just for the Squirrels, but rather those are the same as all Giants affiliates are using.

    They are the organizational theme that the Giants started, of course with the one caveat that the stripes are Red, not Orange.

    The orange and red are so close that it’s impossible to tell whether the Squirrels are wearing anything different.

    Yeah, the Squirrels stirrups are red, and look fantastic. One of the consistently best-dressed teams out there. They often make the opposition look like total garbage, as was the case in a game vs. Akron I attended a while back. It was like two different leagues…the Squirrels showed up to play baseball, the Aeros were there for a sleepover.

    I think the Reds are a fine choice to wear a gray cap. I also agree that the Pirates gray caps of the ’90s would have looked much better if they had placed the pinstripes on them. Perhaps the Rockies could pull off a gray cap with pinstripes and a purple brim to match their uniforms, though I wouldn’t want to see them used with the black vests.

    The worst of the recent gray caps, IMO, was the Orioles.

    1) i just wish the STL Cardinals would wear there red caps on the road.
    2) regarding yesterdays Cavs discussion: simple does NOT necessarily equal plain.

    if i’m not mistaken, didn’t the dodgers try a grey road cap with blue eyelets and brim briefly in the 90’s as well, or was it a white cap? my source was an old baseball digest, and the picture quality was terrible…

    The Dodgers had a white cap that was used for spring training and perhaps batting practice, but I don’t think it ever saw any game action. They did have a cap with a silver brim, though, that even made an appearance in the 1999 All Star Game.

    I’m sticking with NO teams should wear a gray cap. But to go along with that I LOVE the softball tops and hate monotone gray uniforms.

    With the switch to the new fabric, a lot of NBA teams have minor updates to the unis. The Bucks, Hornets and Kings are amongst the others to change the neckline, and the jerseys in general appear to be more fitted.

    While I do like all the Caps in today’s entries by themselves, I’m not a fan of the Rockies grey cap with the black jersey..
    Grey Caps just look better with grey uniforms.

    What does this say about our modern age — The first thing I though of when I saw that Oxbow High center was not the argyle socks but rather, “I wonder if they have approval from the IOC to use the Olympic rings on their helmets…”

    Yep — noticed that as well. Wonder if they have a knockoff of this guy running around on the sidelines…


    On that blurb about Dallas teams, The Cowboys Road Unis say “Cowboys”under the neckline, and the Mavs have had a third uni that says “Mavs” the past several years. It was light blue last year and was green the years before.

    Wow, they still haven’t fixed that Manny typo. Enjoy it while you can (in real time, at least). Anyone taking wagers on how long it stays that way?

    what’s even odder is both the hed and body have it spelled correctly — you’d THINK someone would have noticed that before they added the graphic…and certainly AFTER

    About the Pitt Pro-Combat uniform: I’ve heard that they will be all blue, blue helmets, etc. I hope they look good, but I was (like Kek) hoping to see a revival of that classic Script Pitt.

    I assume all the Pro-Combat unis will be worn against non Nike schools like it was in 2009.

    heh…that was one of about 28 fan concepts posted on the creamer boards last december

    some of them are awful, some are ok…but likely NONE of them will be close to what the artist dreamed up

    since pitt is home, like you said above, they may wear a blue jersey — but i wouldn’t necessarily think they’re gonna go monochrome blue (although that would fit nike’s MO)…love to see the pitt script and mustard pants, but im not holding my breath for that either

    In 1972-73, Philadelphia teams were like this:

    * Phillies – Just the “P” on the left chest.

    * Eagles – Numbers only.

    * 76ers – Went to “Sixers” on jerseys, replacing “PHILA” on the roadies.

    * Flyers – Winged “P” on chest.

    Only the WHA Blazers and the NASL Atoms wore their tem name on their uniforms.

    I was working for the Pirates Clubhouse Store when the gray caps were introduced and New Era made a mistake on the first shipment. They made the “P” yellow rather than black. We sold them for like a week and then had to send them back as defective. I really wished I would have bought one just to have (but one of my buddies has one).

    Funny thing, I thought the wrong caps were nicer looking.

    Those were nice hats to wear as a fan, but for the on-field product, it was just too much gray. I remember the team switching up from time to time and wearing the black cap on the road.

    I wonder what it would look like with the current black alts on the road since they’re wearing gray pants.

    Anyone want to mock that up?

    My dad has one of the “correct” gray hats, and it looks great with civilian clothes. On the field, it always reminded me of a night cap with pajamas.

    He also has a white pinstriped hat with a yellow P and a black brim. I think a gray version of that would have been much better with those road unis.

    History be damned, the “soustache” things have always looked stupid. I would absolutely hate if that look caught on. TBFTBS (throwback for throwback’s sake!) is not always a good thing.

    That said, I reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally REALLY like the idea of some gray hats. I like light-colored hats with dark brims period, so I’ve always liked gray hats. I loved the Pirates’ old hats and I always compliment my friend who owns one on his hat selection. It wouldn’t work for everyone, but it definitely could on some. The Mariners one looks great.

    I always thought the soutache hats looked better than the pillbox hats. Much better. With the right teams, it could make a comeback and I’d be happy.

    I agree with you on the Mariners. That would have been my other pick had I not gone with the Marlins.

    I’m another fan who has always really disliked the “soustache” stripes. I was a huge fan of the 1960s-early ’70s Washington Senators and loved everything about their uniforms except the soustache stripes, which I hated. I even bought a throwback cap in the late 1980s of the navy blue Senators cap with the red “pretzel” W (outlined in white), BUT with no soustaches. I still have that cap and wear it with pride and only wish the Senators had used that design back in the mid 1960s.

    Personally, I’m not a fan of the gray cap. The Reds are the closest to any team I could see pulling it off, but I was not a fan of the white cap they had in the ’90s (Of course, that might have had to do with the fact they had the old-time looking uniforms on the Astroturf at the old Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field that didn’t appeal to me).

    As for Ohio State wearing the special Nike unis for the Michigan game, why? Why OSU? You have one of the classic uniforms in all of sports and you gotta break out this stuff for a big game like Michigan? Why?

    I think if they used a gray helmet instead of white, they’d be fine, actually. I thought the white helmet, throwback inspired or not, looked stupid as hell. But the rest of the uniform wasn’t really that radically different.

    …and the only thing classic about the Buckeyes uniform is the helmet. The jerseys haven’t really been consistent over the years… and I think the latest version which has ABSOLUTELY NO GRAY ON IT is a big step backwards from the previous version with the gray & white sleeve stripes.

    I actually think that a White Helmet, Scarlet jersey, and DARK Grey pants would look pretty darn good – perhaps even better than last years’ Oregon Ducks wearing a similar combo with their Green jersey.

    That said – Maybe they’ll bring in a Red/Scarlet helmet? That’s legitimately in OSU’s uni history. Maybe early Woody Hayes? That would look great with the home matching Dark jersey.

    On the topic of the new Golden State Warriors unis, I have yet to see a back shot of the jerseys. Wonder if the went with the numeral in the trolley like the old school “City” jerseys? Anybody know??

    The mockup pictures that leaked indicated that the numbers were on a plain background (no cable car).

    What about the F line? For that matter, you could probably use the term “trolleys” for light rail generally.

    Gray cap is one of those things where I really like the idea, but executing it well is very, very hard. Most of the examples today strike me as very good ideas, but when I see the examples and mockups, my reaction in almost all cases was “ah, no.” Not because the ideas are bad or the execution of the mockups poor – quite the contrary! – but because there are so many practical issues that the idea just doesn’t translate.

    I’d rather see more teams experiment with non-gray roads than experiment with adding more gray.

    If any teams could make this work, I’d go with, in order of likelihood of looking good:

    White Sox

    After that, any team that uses silver would be a candidate, but then again the Rockies and Marlins concepts above don’t work for me, and don’t really even come close to working for me, even though those are two of the teams I’d have gone for as first choices in the abstract.

    Another thing: A lot of today’s guests suggested contrast-colored eyelets. I found that really jarring. I’d never really thought of it before, but I guess I associate contrast-colored cap eyelets with high school and college ball, where possibly the majority of teams use that style, whereas very few pro teams at any level use contrasting eyelets.

    To Mark Rybzyck’s observation on all 4 sports teams in Dallas/Fort Worth area: The Mavericks wear a MAVS jersey, so technically the city isn’t the first to have 4 teams without the nickname on the jerseys.

    Before we try to figure out necklines and fabrics on NBA jerseys, could someone PLEASE get to the bottom of the green dots showing up on NFL training camp helmets all over the country???

    You’re right. They should do away with the green dots, and the in-helmet radio that goes with them. Bart Starr didn’t need no radio in his helmet to lead the Packers to all those championships in the 60’s.

    Yeah, but did Bart Starr have to deal with “Everybody clap your hands!” during every break in the action?

    The only grey caps that I have ever liked were the Reds caps of the late 50’s and early 60’s. That grey was much different than the grey of today, as it was made of wool flannel. That flannel material makes all the difference in the world in the way the cap looks. Classy and defined. The grey materials that they use today look very cheap as compared to the flannel. Count me in for a grey cap for the Reds, only if it is made of that beautiful grey flannel wool fabric. I have a couple of throwback caps from New Era and Roman Pro that are made of the material. They are beautiful and I wear them a lot.

    Regarding the four-digit numbers on the Gophers jerseys in the ticker… they were implemented by coach Henry Williams (for whom Williams Arena was named). He didn’t like the fact that the conference began requiring uni numbers, so he came up with ridiculous four-digit numbers to protest the rule.

    I had read about this last winter and posted a comment here on Uniwatch to see if anyone had ever heard of this or seen any pictures, but didn’t get a response so I had never actually seen pictures until today.

    This is mentioned in the “Doc Williams” section on this page (just need to scroll down a bit). I’ve read about it other places too, but had always suspected it was apocryphal until today…


    Wes, I am glad to see your post today and the info on Doc Williams. That is rather comic to put the 4 digits on as a form of protest.

    Hilarious! Too bad we didn’t have five digit zip codes back then – he could have let every player wear their zip code!

    I don’t know about gray caps, it’s just so drab. Textured gray caps are awesome, but would look too mismatched with today’s roads. But the consensus seems to be this: gray crown / colored brims & buttons and maybe eyelets, and the logo would most likely have to be dark as opposed to yellow, or white.

    I think the Reds would look good, some White Sox fans I know want a white Ice Cream Man cap, and basically multi-colored logos would work better than just letters.

    Here’s a quick mock-up of teams in gray caps. I don’t know how many good ideas are in here if any, and if these should all stay as fashion caps.

    A.L. caps:

    N.L. caps:

    Would love to see a textured grey fabric for road greys. Was it Under Armour that came out with a new fabric that looks like the old textured greys?

    For years (1980s-early 1990s) it seemed like the only team get any coverage at all to wear Gray caps were the AAA Indianapolis Indians. The look was unique and stood out.It is a god look when done properly, but it can’t be done on too many teams as it would get pretty tired – sort of like when the MLB teams had a bunch doing it at once.

    For me, I like White caps with team colored bill and logo. My favorite caps of all time ate the 1926 Athletics, the 1938 Dodgers, and the 1930 Philles. Classics.

    I’m also a big fan of white and gray caps and consider the 1961-66 Reds to be one of the best uniforms in baseball history.

    I thought all the gray caps of the 1990s looked sharp and scarcely saw a mock-up today that I didn’t like.

    I especially like the Reds. Another that popped into my mind is the original Montreal Expos, whose emblem I thought always looked good against the bluish-gray of their road uniforms.

    I think the Reds, Royals, Marlins & Pirates look great in a grey road cap! But I can’t see any other team rocking it.

    Boy oh boy did the Warriors drop the ball on their new unis! That racing stripe looks sooooooooo outta place and do we really need another freaking blue uniform?!?!?! I do dig the bridge motif on the shorts though. See here’s where simpler would have looked better!

    I think the stripes are supposed to represent the supports on the Bay Bridge. If so, then good. If not, then you’re right. I’d still wear them.

    There must be a lockout coming, because I’ve seen three really nice designs so far (Cavs, Jazz and Warriors), which seems just too good to be true. Guess I’ll enjoy them this season while I can.

    Regarding changes to the Sixers uniforms, this from the 8/18/10 Philly Daily News:

    “In a summer of change for the 76ers both on and off the court, the team’s uniforms also are expected to get a revision.

    The changes are considered relatively minor, with blue piping being added around the neck and shoulders, among other aesthetic details. The uniforms also are expected to be made of a new material by manufacturer adidas.

    The uniforms won’t be rolled out until the team’s annual media day, before training camp. No word on when the uniforms will be available for fans to purchase.

    The Sixers overhauled their uniforms before last season, going back to the logo from the heyday of the 1980s.

    Evan Turner was the first Sixers player to see the new uniforms during a photo shoot in New York this week that was part of the NBA rookie symposium.”

    Read more: link

    I’m not a fan of any team switching to a grey cap. But I wouldn’t be opposed to a new team (not that I’m pushing expansion) adopting grey caps as part of their overall color scheme.

    Isn’t the 1962 KC A’s cap you show actually white? Unless all the photos I’ve seen have poor contrast, I don’t think they were grey.

    Not saying ricko or okkonen are wrong, but it sure looks white on my old baseball cards. Maybe I should get my eyes checked. Here’s the 1962 KC A’s cap they sell today:


    well…i wasn’t around then, so i can’t confirm or deny…

    i agree with you — in cards i’ve seen, the caps and unis both look to be white — but ricko says no

    here’s one card where a stadium is clearly visible in the background — if anyone can ID it, (is it the old municipal stadium? if so, we might infer that the uni and cap were white…if not, it’s probably safe to say the uni & cap are gray

    other cards i’ve seen appear to look white, but it’s a tough call

    Guys, on almost all of the baseball cards from 1963 and 1964 (which you have shown for Tartabull and Cimoli), Topps shot almost all of the American League players at Yankee Stadium. Some from spring training in FLA. So, with the A’s in the Bronx, they HAD to be gray caps. A very light gray, but gray. Hoping Ricko will vouch for me on this, they were taken in 1962. In 1963, the Athletics went green. So the photo used for the ’64 Cimoli card was a bit outdated.

    Ricko, our sage, is spot on.

    Nope. No white hat for KC in ’62. Gray and Navy hats alternated on the road.
    As far as the baseball cards, to my knowledge no Topps photos in that era ever were shot in Kansas City. Going by the cards, they contracted with photographers in NY, Chicago and, for year (’58 for ’59 card), SF. Can tell by what teams home unis appear on the cards.

    And, yes, they may look white on the cards, but that doesn’t mean they were.
    We’ve had photos posted here that have led folks to believe the Celtics might have worn forest green during the Larry Bird era, too. And we all know that isn’t so.


    That is not Municipal Stadium in KC. It was only a double decker and the one in the photo is a triple decker. Also you can see the LF foul/fair pole in the background (is it white? how would you see a ball hit it?) and the stands go beyond the foul/fair pole. It appears to be Yankee Stadium. Compare to this pic



    kst8cats, you are most definately correct. It is absolutely Yankee stadium. The bottom tips of the frieze are showing. I was working on the double decker thing and then you nailed it. Obviously, great minds are all Wildcat fans.

    Just thought of something else.
    (smacks forehead)
    Wanna know how to tell for sure those are road uniforms on the A’s on those cards?
    “ATHLETICS” is navy edged in red.
    On the homes it was red edged in navy.

    P.S. I saw them wear both versions of the roads in a doubleheader at Met Stadium in ’62; went that day specifically BECAUSE I knew I’d see both sets.


    That looks gray to me, and you can see the texture matches the jersey – pic was taken at Old Comiskey Park.

    Nice to have something corroborated, yes.

    Funny, in court, eyewitness testimony is huge. But…

    I say I saw those A’s hats in a doubleheader in 1962, that I went to that doubleheader specifically TO check out those hats, and nobody’s convinced until somebody finds a photo.

    Same for those navy and gray ’70 White Sox unis, I guess. Exactly the same thing, in fact. If the White Sox were wearing the same color hats as the Twins at Met Stadium in 1970, what color were their hats? Well, let’s see, the Twins have never worn royal in any form…

    And you saw the White Sox in royal and powder in 1969, also at Met Stadium, so you have some precise recent visual image to compare things to….

    Not bitching, honest. Just saying I’m getting used to it.
    Glad I wasn’t on the Grassy Knoll, though. ;)


    nobody’s convinced until somebody finds a photo

    how long have you been following UW rick? ;)

    Well, I’ll go out on that limb and push for expansion, but only if we could guarantee that the new teams would so something interesting with their unis. Like gray road caps, and/or no use of black, purple, or teal, nor red and blue together. I’d need to be assured of seeing one or more of this list as well: soutache caps, narrow-shoulder vests, pillbox caps, dark cap logo on light cap, road pins, fabric patterns other than pinstripes, non-gray road unis.

    If I could be sure of getting some real uniform variety, as opposed to minor variations on one of two templates, I’d be all for bringing MLB up to the 36 teams necessary for balanced divisions.

    Saw the post about Gray caps and thought I’d share a Flickr set I put together of Mets caps that I own. The idea of the set is Alternate, Alternates. If there HAS TO be an alternate cap, these are MUCH BETTER options. I start with the current Road Black/Blue and put it side to side with other caps that are more worthy (and sans BFBS).There is a Road Gray that you might be interested in that is related to today’s post…


    Terence M.K.

    P.S. For Phil, who believes, like many, that there should only be one Mets cap: link

    Question for Mets fans here, if I’m not mistaken, the black was added to the hat and uniform in the late 1990s. When this was first introduced, was there any kind of negative reaction or protest in Mets land? I heard there was such a reaction to the white hat. We’ve seen public input in other situations halt such uniform decisions. For example, the Royals abandoned their experiment with black after a few seasons.

    Did the world series appearance shortly after the Mets introduced black nullify the initial negative public reaction? And by now, has the general fanbase accepted the radical change in the Mets uniforms?

    Not a Mets fan, but the appearance of black has always been jarring to me. The vast majority of the success of that franchise has ocurred in the traditional blue/orange uniforms, so it seemed odd there wasn’t a strong reaction in a big market like New York. Has there been any talk of finally removing black and returning to the traditional look?

    I remember when the Mets first broke out the black jerseys…I initially like them. I thought it was pretty cool. Even though I, and most others eventually soured on the BFBS trend, in the beginning I think most people liked them.

    NOTHING looks more disgusting than Black, Blue AND Orange on the same uni. If you have to have BLACK., then use only Orange OR Blue with it. All three look like fluorescent PUKE.

    A pox on both the Mets AND the Knicks for inflicting such crap upon our eyes!

    Was thinking today, how being a uni-fanatic adds to our appreciation of sports and also gives us a completely different view of teams, players..etc..

    The 2 teams I absolutely hate the most…( Cowboys, Red Sox ) also happen to wear some the unis I like the most. I like the timelessness ( is that a word? ) of the Red Sox home unis . I know its been discussed to death, but I also love the quirkiness of the Cowboys unis..

    As far as grey caps, that seems very unlikely for a number of teams!!!

    One more thing, in a few minutes a very classical uni ( and even more specific cap ) matchup….. Tigers road grey uni, road orange D cap vs. Yankee home white, pinstriped interlocking NY cap…

    There’s a poll idea – what team do you dislike, but wished you liked ’cause the unis were so good?

    I’d pick the Braves or Celtics.

    I’d never admit anything like that. I’d be shamed by all the true to the core haters everywhere. Nope. Ain’t gonna do it.

    I can’t stand the Flyers jerseys. I seriously think that’s why they’ve always been my most hated hockey team, even when all I really knew about hockey was my Sega Genesis game.

    all orange is good, learn that people.

    at the risk of irking jth, yes, this is a good poll idear, although it would have to be one for every “season”, tough to do all at once. my obvi is michigan, they only link on one day, the sans white is gllllllllllllllorious. too bad i lost the baltimore co(a)ts and cleveland browns and i have no love for the nfl. because i am more pissed about “rooting” for the ravens uni, although “rooting” might be too strong a word. but i guess it is still baseball season, so corn forgive me, but the red sox(bile comes up), is the first that comes to mind. the cards would make the list because of the crest. if they still had some stripes like the old days, for sure the cards, but the all white blows(y’all can like it, i disagree).

    Actually, the only orange team that comes to mind with nice looking jerseys (to my mind) is the Orioles. Not so much on the Flyers, Illini, or either Ohio football team. Well, the Browns are okay, but just the when the orange is confined to the helmet.

    I dunno. Illinois in the Scott Studwell era look pretty good.
    With the Dartmouth-style stripes on the helmet.


    Eliminate the white border and black drop on the uniform wordmark and Phil’s Reds mockup gives credibility to the grey cap…


    Meanwhile, those new Warrior uniforms just look worse every time I see a new picture. They had to include the damn bridge theme on the shorts stripes? Oy.

    Just bring back The City uniforms and all will be forgiven.

    On the Michael Cooperman ticker comment, the quarter machines have MLB caps right now instead of the regular batting helmets they usually stuff into those plastic bubbles.

    I’m told that both Pitt and West Virginia will wear their Pro Combat renditions against each other during the Backyard Brawl.

    Anyone notice the helmet decal on the Oxbow High player wearing the argyle socks? It’s very similar to the logo for the 1996 Olympic Games held in Atlanta.
    It even has the olympic rings, which I think is a no-no. The IOC is very protective of the “rings”



    Found this pic on showing Don Maynard making a catch. Enjoyed the old Jets jersey and the Chargers uni, too. But then noticed that Maynard seems to be without a shoe as he’s making the catch. No wonder somebody thinks he’s a top 32 WR in NFL history.

    Actually, Maynard probably IS one of the top 32 all-time.
    If we properly judge them by how they stood out in their own time, that is.

    Obviously, athletes today are bigger, faster, stronger, better leapers….etc., etc.
    If they weren’t, there’d be something wrong with us as a species.


    No doubt, the pure physical measureables have gradually increased over the years, todays players have the advantages of better nutrition, technology, and training techniques.

    But the great teams and stars like Don Maynard had that something special. Call it mental toughness, chemistry or whatever, that helped make them great, and elevated their games to a completely higher level. We’ll never find of course, but given the easier rules aiding the passing game today, I think the NFL receiving greats of Maynard’s era would flourish today.

    plus, maynard had to walk to school uphill both ways, and was so poor he could only afford one shoe

    I had one of the Orioles gray caps and loved it. I really miss the grays in all honesty.

    What I really came here to say though is that Rick Porcello also appears to still be wearing the Mother’s Day uni with the right side of the MLB logo appearing to be pink. That could mean that Cano and Porcello are both going pink logo in mid-August in this game. (Cano’s was still pink last night).

    good job on the gray fellas. i still say i don’t like the idea, but y’all made some valid “arguements”, for lack of a better word, for the look.

    have the night off, so i am going to see ken burns talk about the 10th inning at the chicago theatre, it will be spectacular or a colossal fail.

    Looks like Oxbow High has some logo steal from the Atlanta Olympics. Anyone agree?

    Possible ticker item: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Republican challenger, Sharron Angle, once campaigned successfully against BFBS:


    To summarize, it seems that while Angle was running in her first-ever election, to school board, a local high school football team decided to wear black jerseys instead of their usual red and white for homecoming. Apparently, the previous year the Tonopah High Muckers had lost to the Laughlin Cougars – earning Laughlin their first-ever varsity football win. Tonopah’s coach called it the “blackest day” in Muckers history. So to mark the occasion of playing the same school for homecoming the following year, the team designed black alt jerseys. Calling black the color of evil and the devil, Angle persuaded administrators to seize the black unis and forbid Muckers players from wearing them. A rare defeat for BFBS.

    Unusual for sports unis, and particular BFBS alternate jerseys, to enter the political fray!

    Guess she figures people should be listening to their better Angles, huh.
    (That’s a dyslexia joke; I just hope she doesn’t ask Dog to strike me down).


    Man, the one Ticker link I don’t click on, and then the same story falls in my lap through other sources … [hangs head in shame]

    Setting aside actual politics, this is pretty much the one example where I approve of BFBS. There’s a clear, specific meaning, and the jerseys were meant as one-time event alts. It’s like, if Ozzie Guillen ever bragged about knocking the Twins out of the playoffs and called the Twinkies “bad guys in black hats,” then I’d approve of the Twins wearing once-only black TC caps against the White Sox the following season. That’s a different beast entirely from the Mets (or the A’s) suddenly deciding to wear black jerseys just because.

    Which is to say, if Angle had been campaigning against the Mets black alternate uniforms, I’d be down in Nevada right now canvassing for her.

    Wait.. if black is so evil, then why do nuns and other religious figures wear it?

    Of all the reasons to be against black jerseys… that one is just stupid.

    What a fruitbat.

    One MORE reason to vote for her – however nutty, any curtailing of BFBS is GOOD. For her to pay any such attention (even though her reasons were probably much different then mine) to those kinds of details is good in my book.

    And the

    …it’s the vertical extension of the Fair Line.

    (ba dum bum)


    Two items:

    * Interesting discussion today about the gray MLB hats during the 1990s. In the games and photos I’ve seen from those teams wearing that style, one thing surprised me. I don’t recall seeing sweat stains from the forehead area of those hats. One would think perspiration from the interior headband would create a visible stain, unlike a darker shade hat.

    * I too, miss the Illinois “Dartmouth style” helmet from the 1970s. The ultra wide striping was unusual, and something which needs to return. While I’m on the subject of college helmets, Pitt should bring back the yellow script helmet from 1973-96. While the Panthers did utilize gold/blue prior to ’73, don’t believe they ever had “PITT” in stale block lettering across the side. The yellow/blue uniforms also hold historic value for the 1976 national championship season.

    Attention Paul, Phil, and Co.: Sharron Angle is your unlikely ally in the campaign to fight the evil that is BFBS: link

    good point…i guess i should just ignore all the submissions and not spend 2-3 hours on it each night

    No, don’t change a thing. I appreciate the tickers because of all the nuggets of information you and Paul put in it each day.

    San Diego Union-Tribune baseball beat writer Bill Center reports that “There will be some changes next year, but no major variations. Sand will be eliminated from the road uniforms.”


    Let’s see…
    They’re winning like crazy so they’re gonna change unis?
    How’d that work out for the Rams after they won the Super Bowl?
    Or, for that matter, for the Padress when they changed after playing in the ’84 WS?

    (I totally forgot about this until just now)
    When I was working with Theismann on that Redskins newspaper during the ’83 season, he told me the ‘Skins were planning on changing to white helmets in ’83, but that idea was scrapped after they beat the Dolphins in the Super Bowl.

    I have no idea precisely what they would have looked like. Just that they were gonna be white.


    Anything is possible. They’ve worn a camouflage jersey on a regular basis. I think that indicates the presence of a few loose screws.

    Phil, on opening day for the Richmond Flying Squirrels, all of the players wore the stirrups that are seen in the picture from the ticker. I’m guessing it is a Giants orginization-wide thing to wear that stirrup format…

    For anyone who ever wonders what it is like to be color-blind (I am a “survivor” of color-blindness), go ahead and click on the Marlins and Mariners “grey” caps from today’s post.

    To me, and I assume other color-blind folks, these “grey” caps look exactly the same as the alleged “teal” caps that those teams have worn in the past.

    Does this mean that Ohio State wears teal helmets?

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