Are new unis good or bad? Depends on who you ask: '87 Twins

Night & Day

By Phil Hecken, with Rick Pearson

Every once in a while, talk in the comments leads to a main entry — in fact, it was just such a phenomenon that led to an article I wrote last year entitled, Did The Uni Make Them Better?, in which we discussed how fan impressions of a team’s uniform may (or may not) be influenced by how the team performed in that uniform. Example number one was the 1987 Twins.

With the recent passing of Harmon Killebrew, who sported the original and gorgeous original uniforms of the Twins, but also the polyester sansabelt pullovers, the current Twins decided they would wear their alternate “throwback” uniform on a full-time basis at home, to honor Killer’s memory.

Chatter in the comments inevitably turned to all the uniforms the Twins have worn in their 50 year history (and if you think about it, it’s really only been three distinct sets, albeit with many minor changes in between) — the original home pins and road grays of the flannel era, the one year switch in 1972 to non-pinstriped, button-down polyester with a gray roadie, and then the much-maligned switch to pullovers and sansabelts for bothhome and road, with the trendy decision to wear powder blues on the roads. (In another “uni review” column, Ricko and Mike Engle graded those Twins powder blues as “D” and “C-minus” respectively, while I gave them a “C”). But, while the flannel and polyester eras were distinct, they’d always kept the script “Twins” wordmark.

1987 ushered in a new uniform and an era of good feelings for the Twins, winning the World Series in that first year uni (and another one four years later), and cementing that uniform as a fan favorite for generations. It’s generally lauded in Minnesota as a great uniform set, and it’s not surprising, since the Twins saw their greatest success ever as soon as they began wearing it. But — is it really that good a uniform? And while what it replaced (polyester pullover w/sansabelt & powder blues) had become a mere shell of the original 1961-71 flannels, I would argue that the 1987-2009 uniforms were no where near as good as what the Twins began life in — and what they are, at least at home, returning to now.

Admittedly, I’m but an outsider looking in, but my contention is that the 1987-2009 uniforms were not all that great, but fans (and non-fans alike) view them much more favorably because (a) the team found immediate success wearing them, and (b) what they replaced had morphed into something so far from the original they couldn’t possibly be seen as anything but a positive improvement. Again, this is my personal opinion, not a statement of fact, so of course it’s open for debate — I never liked the wordmark (always preferring the original script) nor the road pins with very tight block “MINNESOTA” in all caps (I also hated when they went to direct sewn nameplates since that ruined the look of the pins). I also hated that “M” on the cap. When the Twins opened Target Field last year and got new unis, I was ecstatic. I figured Twins fans would be as well. Turns out, they liked their 1987-2009 uniforms — a LOT.

I’ve babbled on long enough, so I’ll turn the remainder of this over to our esteemed sexagenarian Rick Pearson, who offers his perspective on the entire gamut of Twins uniforms — and as someone who was both alive AND saw all of those uniforms live and in person, can give a much more “insider” look at how those 1987 uniforms came to be, and why they are viewed so highly by Minnesotans. Here’s Rick:


Sort of apples and oranges here, because I’m only comparing the regular set to its predecessor, not to the ’61 originals. And I’ll admit that, through the keyhole lens of time, even I see there may be something charming and attractive about the Minnesota Twins sansabelt unis. But, taken in the context of their actual lifespan, they were a mess.

The Twins began their foray into the doubleknit era with gray roads. But, after a single season in a really nice looking road set (all things considered), they jumped on the Powder Blue Bandwagon and that began a downward spiral that matched that of the Twins franchise itself…a bizarre parade of afterthought on top of afterthought with absolutely no apparent plan.

“Even though our hats, both home and road, are navy, let’s jazz up our batting helmets with a white panel and red brim. Y’know, the way flames on the fenders spruce up a hot rod.”

“Let’s wear red crown hats at home, but keep the tri-color helmets.”

“I’ve got it! RED SHOES at home.”

“Forget the red shoes, but we’ll wear the red hats on the road, too. And make the helmets match.”

God, it just never stopped.

Here’s the reason why, I think. Those unis were ordered off pages 52, 58 and 75 of a catalog (so to speak) by someone with little or no design sense. Trust me, neither Calvin Griffith nor anyone on his staff was gonna end up on anyone’s best-dressed list. They knew baseball remarkably well, but that bunch of guys was clueless about how to dress. In a room together, they looked like the Ralph Kramden’s bowling banquet.

And this point, the Twins were the ONLY team in MLB that wore predominantly navy (hat crowns, sleeves, stirrups, et al) that went to powder blue. All the others stuck with navy. Why? My guess is that because, especially on TV, the powder blue made the navy look black. And back then there was a sense that maybe you didn’t want your team to look “black n’blue.” The Twins, though, never saw it that way. I suppose some will say that made them look unique. I think it made them look blind.

Those unis simply were NOT universally loved. There was just a general grumbling that the sansabelts were bad but, “What are you gonna do, that’s what the ultra-cheap Griffths think passes for a Major League uni.”

Those were the years when every year the Twins seemed to be, as one writer described them, “Rod Carew and eight guys named Steve: Steve Brye, Steve Braun, Steve Luebber, Steve Comer”¦”

That’s why the 1987 set was universally applauded. It was so great to see that good young bunch of players finally looking like a Major League team instead of the Vo-Tech team they had previously resembled. The players themselves even said that. The fact that they won the World Series in their first year wearing them was just gravy.

The 1987 set was a uni that, for the first time, was NOT designed by the club. I believe their ad agency had a hand in it. The Twins wordmark introduced in ’87 is very much a child of its time, computer-created (wow, look what we can do now; we don’t have pick “catalog” lettering!), sort of the way there’s a cookie cutter look to most logos these days.

Personally, I thought the choice of red letters and number edged in blue made sense. I used to sit in the Metrodome watching the Twins play, say, the Yankees or Blue Jays (or other teams in the then predominantly blue American League) and think, “Thank God the numbers and wordmark aren’t navy trimmed in red like the originals. This would be like sitting in bleu cheese dressing watching the crumbles play ball.”

I am NOT saying the Twins have one of the great unis in baseball. I’m saying what they wear now was a quantum leap forward over it really ordinary, terribly unpopular predecessor. Comparatively speaking, in the minds of Twins fans in 1987, they had gone from being the dork at the prom in a powder tux and matching ruffled shirt to James Bond.


Thanks for that Rick. It’s always good to have a rational counterpoint to my emotional point. I still will never like those ’87-’09 unis, but now I completely understand why you, and an entire state, do. And just so you don’t think I’m hating on Minnie, I feel the same way about the Mets racing stripes. That’s generally a universally loved uniform by Mets fans, but (aside from the BFBS crap), that’s my absolute least-favorite uniform they ever wore. Yet because of all the winning the Mets did in those, folks seem to love them and think they’re great.

Now…about flying Elvis…


Benchies HeaderBenchies

by Rick Pearson


Well, when you can’t use the stuff anymore…

6-4-11 d-vest

And if that’s not big enough…here’s the full MONGO-sized version.


all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks

We have another new set of tweaks today.

If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.

Remember, if possible, try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per tweak. You guys have been great at keeping to that, and it’s much appreciated!

And so, lets begin:


We start with Timothy McKay, who has sort of a “mashup” logo:

I have always thought that the Mets “Baseball” logo is brilliant. One logo that incorporates the Brooklyn Bridge, NY Skyline, an actual baseball and the teams’ name is pure beauty in my opinion. I’m an Astros fan and unfortunately, our logo bores me. So, I decided to take it upon myself to create an Astros logo similar to the Mets. The major flaw here is that I used the same skyline, which I’ll admit was a bit lazy on my part but I trust you’ll agree the NY skyline is much more exciting than Houston’s and I did include a silhouette of Minute Maid Park to change it up a bit.

Tim (Houston)


Next up is Dennis, who goes by “Pickles Pickly”, with a few baseball concepts from a few years ago…

Hello there,

I saw that you wanted any and all uniform tweaks so here are some i did in 2005.



Next is Dwayne White, who, like Sean O’Malley (featured a couple weekends ago), went with a reader request to see a Jerry Reuss retro Reds uni:


I don’t really know where this fits in, but a couple of weeks ago, somebody wanted to see what a Jerry Reuss Reds jersey from the mid-60’s would look like. Well, here is my rendition.



And finally, we have Mario Murillo, who just had to give the Oregon Ducks another look:

Not that they need any more uniforms but would you be surprised to see them come out with this? A la Mighty Ducks?

-Mario Murillo

Thanks tweakers. Back tomorrow with more.


uni tracking 20112011 Uni Tracking

Back with more tracking from the readers today.

Today features Walt Young, who posts as “Former Dirt Dart” and who happens to track the New York Mets.

Yes, I feel his pain. But he has a neat way of keeping stats on the boys from Queens…


Pics are from the actual games, game results hyper-link to the ESPN photos section for each individual game.
And the full months breakdown is at the bottom.



April & May breakdown chart.


Thanks Walt! Great stuff. Walt also had his tracking featured over @metspolice (Shannon Shark’s twitter home — give them a follow and check out the board). Make sure you stop in and say “Ditch the Black”


I didn’t see much of the Yankees-Angels game (WCWS was more my speed), but the Angels were supposed to be throwing back to their original LA Angels days. Except they wore the uniforms in today’s pajama-style, which of course ruined the effect. Nice LA on the sleeve and NNOB, and they even had special helmets…hard to tell from those photos, but their caps did have a halo on top. And the numbers were authentic to the McAuliffe font, as McAuliffe manufactured the Los Angeles (and later California) Angels uniforms. Tip of the cap to Majestic on a solid remake — and boo-hiss to the players for wearing their uniforms like sleepwear.


And that’s all for today everyone. Have a great Saturday.


“I recently found out I was conceived after one of my parents bowling night and a healthy dose of vodka tonics and mini tacos. … I probably should have been born with hooves.” — MM Watkin

120 comments to Are new unis good or bad? Depends on who you ask: ’87 Twins

  • Rob H. | June 4, 2011 at 7:37 am |

    But ‘Benchies’ is missing the next two panels:

    Panel 5

    Guy on left: But, Mongo, you realize those are all likely fakes, right?

    Panel 6

    Mongo: Aw, gee… Mongo just a pawn in game of life.

    • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 8:32 am |

      I dunno. I think Mongo said the seller was “tressinohio”.


      • Rob H. | June 4, 2011 at 9:24 am |

        oh..Tressel sweater vests — In my zeal to use a Blazing Saddles quote, I totally missed the point of the cartoon. Oops.

        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 10:01 am |

          Hey, I’m still trying to figure out how to work in…
          “Now we gotta go back and get a shitload of dimes.”

    • Rob S | June 4, 2011 at 10:10 am |

      Did he also get a navy blue jacket from “richrod63”?

  • TC Mark | June 4, 2011 at 7:42 am |

    Great recap Phil and Rick. s a lifelong Twins fan I liked the ’87 unis for exactly the reasons Rick stated – the run before them in the 70s and 80s was atrocious so anything that elevated them from a bad beer league softball team look to anything resembling a major league team was an improvement (it didn’t hurt that they won the Series and everyone had Twins logo apparel with the new wordmark and “retro” was not on anyone’s radar then). I was thrilled when they brought back the throwback alts last year and it made me realize something that Rick pointed out very well. I always thought I didn’t like the original Twins script (navy with red trim) because it looked a little amateurish with uneven widths and spacing, etc.. But when they brought the throwbacks back I loved them. I realized it was everything they did in the 70s and 80s AROUND the script that I hated – powder blue, the tricolor, the red caps, red shoes, even flip-flopping the script to red with navy outline made it look horrible.

    Great job (as always) guys.

    • Terry Proctor | June 4, 2011 at 9:21 am |

      I’ve never liked the idea of pinstripes on your road uniform. Or vests either. My first exposure to pinstriped vest-style road uniforms came from the 1961 Jack Kent Cooke-owned International League Toronto Maple Leafs. I didn’t like the look then and I never cared for the Twinkies’ road pins.

      Their current plain-Grey script “Minnesota” road unis are what they should have been wearing all along. And I feel that the “i” should be dotted with a star a la their original 1961 jackets as made by Butwin Sportswear located in the Finch Building in St. Paul.

      • LI Phil | June 4, 2011 at 10:02 am |

        “Their current plain-Grey script “Minnesota” road unis are what they should have been wearing all along.”


        thank you

        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 10:12 am |

          But ‘cept, as I offered last year, it’s a bit too shallow. Maybe could occupy more vertical space…and perhaps the striping is extraneous (too off-the-rack; see Nationals and Brewers road templates)….

        • LI Phil | June 4, 2011 at 11:51 am |

          because “minnesota” is such a long word, it is difficult to make that look good (script or block lettering); the 61-86 unis recognized this and just put “twins” there; however, i’m of the school that feels the city name should appear on the front of the jersey, so it’s either that or what they did from 87-09

          given the choice between minnesota in script or that awful block print on pins of 87-09, it’s no contest; that doesn’t mean the minnesota script is a great wordmark, but it’s far superior to what it replaced

          you make a good point, rick — not trying to argue — just saying it’s hard to spell out the city name and have it look good — no matter how you do it

        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 11:57 am |

          Tough to make an elephant look as streamlined as a gazelle.

          Sometimes “rules” just don’t work.
          For example, I’ll take these road unis over anything that says, “PITTSBURGH” any day.

        • Jim Vilk | June 5, 2011 at 12:02 am |

          I like the PITTSBURGH road jerseys…especially since it splits at the buttons as PITTS BURGH.

          I don’t like the new number font, though. Give me those old unis with PITTS BURGH on them and that’s pretty much perfect.

    • Walking E | June 4, 2011 at 6:15 pm |

      The “new” Twins uniforms are great. I never liked the ’87-’09 uniforms much and was very happy to see the new ones unveiled. I also agree that pinstripes on gray uniforms looks wrong, which is part of the reason I hated the Twins road uniforms for so long.
      The current Twins uniform set is now one of the league’s best, so hopefully they leave it alone for a while.

  • The Jeff | June 4, 2011 at 7:59 am |

    So… I think we can safely put the Buffalo Bills new uniforms in the same category as the ’87 Twins. Better than the old because the old was so horrible… but not exactly great either.

    • Rob H. | June 4, 2011 at 9:25 am |

      So I should place my bet now on the Bills to win Super Bowl XLVI (and Super Bowl 50)?

      • The Jeff | June 4, 2011 at 9:36 am |

        Well, the Bills winning the Superbowl in Feb of 2012 would be fitting way to start our final year of existence, if those pesky Mayans are right.

        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 11:47 am |

          Man, if ever there would be harbinger of Armageddon, that might be it.

          Them or the Vikings.
          Oh, like THAT’s gonna happen.

        • Connie | June 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm |

          The Great Mayan deity Mak-X’ian — the Thunderer, the Scourge, the Impeccable — awaits the end of what you puny bipeds refer to as The Lock-Out. Only then will he visit his fearsome destruction upon those whom you pathetic maggots call Offensive Linemen. He will devour them whole! Tremble before Mak-X’ian!

          And yet the Mighty One is a strangely merciful deity. From among these men-who-block, Mak X’ian shall select the five greatest (plus a tight-end, maybe). In his giant paw will he transport them to the Mysterious City of the Lake, known to you ignorants as Buffalo. “Defend the Prince Fitz!,” he will thunder. “Ensure that no harm or safety blitz disturbs his most deep tranquility!”

          And so shall it pass. The implacable Prince Fitz shall at last be protected, and he and his splendid wide receivers shall drink deep of the Secret Nectar from the Bowl That Is Super.

  • Dust | June 4, 2011 at 8:21 am |

    For me the ’87 – ’09 Twins home uni (the home white – not any of the dumb alts they have tried during that span) brings me back as a 9 y/o glued to the TV watching the ’91 World Series. That series gave me some of my greatest sports memories.

    Plus I still like how WIN singled out in the logo. Just too bad they can’t figure out what a win is anymore.

    My favorite sports image is of Kirby Puckett rounding second after his Game 6 home run. Fist in the air and Twins arcoss his chest.

    What if he was wearing the road uni (which I never liked)? Would that have any effect on how I would remember that moment? I’m sure I would always say what an ugly uni that was along with that was just incredible.

    Does the uniform have such an impcat on an image that if it were different (home vs. away) would it change how we feel about it? It would be fun to see. Maybe a new Uni Watch project.

    Enjoy your Saturday.

  • scott | June 4, 2011 at 8:24 am |

    Not a Twins fan, but I was one who was very pleased in ’87 to see the Twins return to a traditional look with buttons and belts and road grays. Not only that, but the Twins offered a unique wordmark on the home uniforms and pinstripes on the gray uniforms, which gave them a fairly distinct look. Their current road grays are a notch below what they began wearing in ’87.

    • pushbutton | June 4, 2011 at 11:26 am |

      I think the Twins were wise to use “Twins” on both home and road jerseys. They had the state on their sleeve, anyway (which, btw, is what the Angels needed for a sleeve patch last night: the “California w/ halo” patch…not the redundant “LA”. Too 2011 for my tastes.).

      The more you guys keep bringing it up, you’re forcing me to come to terms with my love for the Twins’ 1986 uniforms. It was a bright jumble of colors that somehow managed to look conservative. How’d they do that? Something else I loved: the red, vertically arched names on the powder blue background.

      The powder did make the navy look black, but the red did too. Interesting.

      • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 11:50 am |

        Speaking of that, this…
        “And this point, the Twins were the ONLY team in MLB that wore predominantly navy (hat crowns, sleeves, stirrups, et al) that went to powder blue. All the others stuck with navy.”

        …should be, “All the others stuck with GRAY.”

  • Patrick | June 4, 2011 at 8:39 am |

    New unis did NOT help the Braves in 1987, at least not for a few seasons.

    • scott | June 4, 2011 at 10:25 am |

      It helped them look a lot better.

      • Patrick | June 4, 2011 at 5:33 pm |

        You’ll get no argument from me on that point.

    • Rob H. | June 4, 2011 at 8:54 pm |

      What’s wrong with [URL=][IMG]this look[/IMG][/URL]?

  • Coleman | June 4, 2011 at 9:12 am |

    Great Benchies today Ricko!

  • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 10:05 am |

    Purple football fields, now orange court in a tennis tournament (on NBC).


    • The Jeff | June 4, 2011 at 10:11 am |

      Tennis courts don’t exactly look natural anyway.

      • JTH | June 4, 2011 at 10:34 am |

        That’s right. They’re totally artificial-looking.

        • JTH | June 4, 2011 at 10:35 am |

          I mean, really – where would you find this shade of green in nature?

        • The Jeff | June 4, 2011 at 10:52 am |

          Yeah I don’t know what I was thinking…

          …and after actually flipping to NBC, that court looks like standard red clay to me. I don’t know what orange Ricko was seeing.

        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 10:57 am |

          I’ll plead dumbness. What is that on the Chinese girl’s right knee?

        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 10:59 am |

          And what’s holding it on? Looks like something that would fall off during the course of play.

        • LI Phil | June 4, 2011 at 11:55 am |

          “What is that on the Chinese girl’s right knee?”


          it’s kinesio tape

        • Tim E. O'B | June 4, 2011 at 1:24 pm |

          That picture of Roland Garros shows an artificial color – it’s made of crushed bricks, not exactly ‘natural’.

          …still looks classic though.

    • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 10:55 am |

      TFPIC, remember.

      Also suggesting that if someone wants to see orange, they’ll see orange.

      • The Jeff | June 4, 2011 at 11:00 am |


        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 11:04 am |

          or, in some cases, brown. ;)

        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 11:07 am |

          btw, I have a theory on that Bronco horsey thing that is so reasonable (in the context of 1962) that it may solve the mystery. Phil and I are pondering doing a weekend piece on it.

          It’s conjecture, but it makes sense, and it applies quite literally across the board.

  • _2244 | June 4, 2011 at 10:05 am |

    Great write-up on the Twins’ unis, thanks gents! As a lifelong Twins fan I can tell you that their runs in ’87 & ’91 definitely plays a huge part in the way I feel about those uniforms. It always did, and still does to this day, drives me absolutely crazy every single time I see that baseball logo with the messed up lace design. Thank goodness they have fixed that with their new logo, and their new home throwbacks were done absolutely perfectly in my opinion. Nice tribute to Harmon that they are wearing those for the rest of the season now, and I hope this will start a movement to make the throwbacks the full-time home uni going forward.

    So for me, the fact that the Twins won 2 World Series’ within 5 years definitely makes me look at those unis much more fondly than I otherwise would. I can say for sure that the Twins having that much success in that short a period of time influences the fondness in which I look back at that timeframe. Best example of that is the Metrodome. Anyone who has ever had the mispleasure of watching a game in that dump would most likely agree that it is one of, if not THE, worst place ever to watch a major league game. I was one of the most excited people around for the return of outdoor baseball to Minnesota. Strangely, I found myself looking back more fondly at the Metrodome than I ever would have imagined. The only reason I can think of for that is because the Dome is the site of those two magical titles within 5 years. I feel fortunate to have been able to be at a great age to enjoy those titles. I now realize that when I think back to the Twins tenure at the Dome, the success the Twins had there has somehow made that dump a hallowed ground of sorts. Kinda the same way I look back at their threads from that timeframe. Two titles in 5 years. Putting it in that context, how can ya not love those unis? Screwed up baseball logo and all???

    Twitter: @_2244

    • Gusto44 | June 4, 2011 at 11:43 am |

      This issue has everything to do with being a fan of a particular team or not. If it’s your favorite team, no doubt the success earned wearing a specific uniform automatically elevates the uniform style during that time.

      If you’re not a fan of that team, it’s a different viewpoint altogether. For those 1987 Twins, I was glad they left the blue road uniforms behind, but saddened when the interlocking “TC” was dropped from the hat. More recently, I thought the old green Devils Rays uniform was vastly superior to the bland design they are wearing now.

      The other category would be uniforms which are popular even though losing was associated with those designs. For example, the early 70s blue Pens throwbacks.

      • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm |

        I wasn’t speaking to the details.

        I’d have preferred they stuck with the “TC” hats in ’87, but I understood the change to the “M”. It was to help re-energize both their merchandise sales and interest in the ballclub…and it worked. Those new hats were everywhere, almost instantly.

        And, somehow, that perfect storm of good young players on the brink of getting it together, new unis and revitalized fan interest paid off in a W-S win. There even was the sheer chance that it the AL’s year to be W-S home team, so they got four home games in their own personal “noise factory. It was, quite honestly, all so unbelievably corny that sometimes all you could do that season was shake your head, smile and go along for the ride.

        As to the hats…a few years later they went back to their roots, advisedly so.

      • LINOWIDGE | June 4, 2011 at 1:14 pm |

        As far as a team having success that’s not entirely true.

        I’m a Marlins fan and we have won 2 WS. Now I’m pretty sure that no one thinks that either of those uniform sets were good uniforms.

        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 1:28 pm |

          Don’t think anyone said it was a “rule,” just that it happens once in a while.

  • Jeremiah | June 4, 2011 at 10:35 am |

    Great post. It’s interesting to me to see how winning can affect sentiment toward a certain look. Not only that, but Ricko’s perspective on what look the new unis are replacing is something I share with regard to my Angels. Let’s just say that I’m thrilled they won the WS in 2002, their first year in this look:

    So glad they didn’t win in 2001.

  • JTH | June 4, 2011 at 11:14 am |

    “…and after actually flipping to NBC, that court looks like standard red clay to me. I don’t know what orange Ricko was seeing.”

    So let me get this straight. You look at this and you say it’s red but in no way do you consider anything in this photo to be gold?

    • The Jeff | June 4, 2011 at 11:53 am |


      Red is a broad reaching term that can describe a fairly large range of colors. So is yellow. Gold does not describe a range of colors. A school bus and a lemon are both yellow. They are not both gold.

      The whole damn yellow/gold thing is nothing but pathetic macho-ism. Everyone else calls it yellow, but in sports or military insignia it’s gold, because we’re tough manly men and we can’t wear yellow. Yellow’s for cowards and we ain’t cowards. We even saw proof in that interview with the Rams former EQ manager a few weeks back. Remember the part about how the Rams had found a shade of yellow that looked good, then decided against using it because the catalog name was “buttercup”, and we ain’t fuckin wearing buttercup. It’s yellow. Period. It’s yellow if it’s on a car. It’s yellow if you’re buying paint. It’s yellow if it’s on a road sign. It’s yellow if it’s a lego brick. But the exact same color is gold if it’s on a football helmet? Yeah, whatever.

      Sure, once upon a time, that shade of yellow may have been the best ink/fabric approximation of the metal – but that limitation is long since gone. There is absolutely no logical reason to continue to cling to that-shade-of-yellow-as-gold when actual metallic colored inks, paints and fabrics are readily available. At best, Packer helmet yellow could be considered “golden yellow”, as it is a shade of yellow with tint that is somewhat reminiscent of the metal – but it is not gold.

      • LI Phil | June 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm |


        no one has ever said that what you call “yellow” isn’t the same color that appears on the stillers throwbacks…it is “yellow”

        but it is ALSO “athletic gold” — the two are synonymous; what you seem to be unable to grasp is that there are many shades of “gold” just as there are many shades of “red” or “blue”

        you have no problem, i assume, if someone writes “royal blue,” “navy blue” “columbia blue” etc…each is a shade of blue, but all are different

        but “vegas gold,” “old gold” and “athletic gold” are also different shades of gold…and all three are used to describe UNIFORM nomenclature

        that’s why we can say the stillers colors are black and gold (and, sadly, white), and the packers colors are green and gold (and white)

        are they also “black & yellow” or “green and yellow”? yes, but the official term for that shade is “athletic gold”

        • The Jeff | June 4, 2011 at 12:27 pm |

          Yeah, Phil, the whole point is that the entire idea of “athletic gold” as a name for a shade of yellow is stupid. You’re right, there are different shades of gold – and they’re all metallic. If you start with pure yellow, you have to add red to get to “athletic gold” – keep going in that direction on the color wheel and you start turning orange. Vegas gold isn’t even in the same zip code. Even if you ignore the metallic aspect… old gold and vegas gold are closer to the light brown/tan area than they are to “athletic gold”.

          And, really Ricko… we may pride ourselves on *knowing* what the official color names are… but since when do we have to use them? I don’t see anyone specifying “Millennium Blue when talking about the Rams. The Texans and their “Battle Red” is almost always said sarcastically. Hell.. the Mariners introduced their supposedly “forest green” jerseys… and what was our reaction? Oh, right.. we said “yeah, whatever, that’s teal”. Look at how many names have for the Seahawks colors. Suicide Blue and Neon Snot, for example.

          Why is it so wrong for me to do the same thing to athletic gold that we do to every other poorly named color?

        • LI Phil | June 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm |

          i won’t argue that are are some “dumb” names in sports color terms — and shortening what is properly called “athletic gold” to just “gold” is about as dumb as they come, because, i will agree — that aint what i think of when i think “gold”

          but you could also properly say the yankees are blue and white…”midnight” blue … not navy, not royal and surely not columbia

          if you straight up told me (and i had never seen a yankee uni) that their colors are “blue and white” i sure as hell wouldn’t be picturing what that uniform looks like in reality

          im all for the use of “more” descriptors to further clarify colors, and clearly, in the case of “gold” you need them…but that doesn’t make “green and gold” the wrong way to describe the packers

          and if you don’t think “green and gold” describes the packers, i suggest you take it up with Chance

        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 12:58 pm |

          Oh, The Jeff, I don’t mean to say the extra adjectives should be used all the time. But when necessary, and in the course of normal conversation, why not go with the nomenclature that’s universal (not meaning those team fabrications).

          Don’t always have to say “Tennessee Orange”.

          But to say the Redksins are in their “red” jerseys would seem a bit odd, no? Even though I’m sure there are some who would say that sometimes burgundy looks pretty damn red…

      • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm |

        “Everyone else calls it yellow, but in sports or military insignia it’s gold, because we’re tough manly men and we can’t wear yellow.”

        I don’t think anyone’s disputing the “why”. But the fact is that the Packers and Michigan DO wear the differnt colors, and we need some way of distinguishing between them. We’re simply saying that here of all places (and despite the varying descriptions in the rest of the world) we probably ought to go with the catalog descriptors. It’s the argot of our particular little subgroup.

        I remember when people would ask, “Did you read Dagwood this morning?” I always wanted to say, “Hey, dork, the name of the strip is ‘Blondie’.” But sometimes things are what they are.

        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 12:23 pm |

          My point there was that I thought it was kind of an insult to Chic Young not to get the name of his comic strip right. Same for Charles Schulz when I’d hear, “Did you read Charlie Brown today?”

          So, if the Packers or Steelers or Iowa or Minnesota or West Virginia (and the catalogs) say it’s “gold”, then it’s gold. In the uni universe, it’s their call.

        • The Jeff | June 4, 2011 at 12:33 pm |

          …and the Lakers wore blue in the 70’s, right? They said they did, after all.

        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm |

          One absurdity negates everything else?

        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm |

          I have a yellow polo shirt and an athletic gold polo shirt.

          If they’re lying on the table and I ask someone to, “Hand me the gold one, will you?” which one do you think most people would hand me?

        • The Jeff | June 4, 2011 at 12:47 pm |

          I have a yellow polo shirt and an athletic gold polo shirt.

          If they’re lying on the table and I ask someone to, “Hand me the gold one, will you?” which one do you think most people would hand me?


          o_O “Huh? What gold one? You mean the slightly darker yellow?” O_o

        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 1:03 pm |

          And while you were asking me that, the other 99 people in test group would have handed me the athletic gold shirt.


        • R.S. Rogers | June 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm |

          Same for Charles Schulz when I’d hear, “Did you read Charlie Brown today?”

          But Schulz hated hated hated the name of his strip. He expressed obvious bitterness about it in all of his last press interviews, literally days before he died. He is recorded reacting snidely to fans who called the strip “Peanuts,” he resented the name so. So a person who asked, “Did you read Charlie Brown today?” would actually be getting closer to the truth of the matter than one who asked about “Peanuts.”

          Unless, that is, we are to apply a general rule privileging marketing BS over artist intent, the evidence of our own eyes, and the common agreement of billions of English speakers over hundreds of years about what certain words mean. It’s “Charlie Brown” and it’s “yellow” or those really are combat unis Nike is dressing football players in. If we insist on saying that it’s wrong to call yellow “yellow” because some catalog or team calls it “gold,” then we have, philosophically, ceded the high ground to Nike.

        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm |

          It was Nike that labeled that color gold.

          They must have really sublimated their logo on King Tut’s sandals, though, cuz I haven’t noticed it in any of Egyptian wall paintings using that color for his footwear.

          Unless, of course, he was among the earliest opponents of logo creep.

          I suppose he could have been. Cuz, y’know, we have no evidence to prove he wasn’t.


        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm |

          And isn’t it about time Alabama get off their high horse (or maybe it’s their high elephant) and change their name to “Red Tide.”

          I mean, c’mon, Crimson’s just fancy name for a shade of red.

          Look, there are metallic colors and non-metallic colors in a PMS spec book, for example, just as there are “coated” and “uncoated” specs.

          Unfortunately, in the vernacular, there are is a gold in both the metallic and non-metallic color palettes. That irritates some people, evidently. But in the non-metallic template, it’s the descriptor that distinguishes it from flat-out yellow. It’s been that way quite literally as long as artists have been creating images.

      • FormerDirtDart | June 4, 2011 at 12:53 pm |

        Ummm…School buses are chrome (National School Bus Chrome)

        • The Jeff | June 4, 2011 at 1:02 pm |

          No… no they’re not. Not anymore.

          The color is now officially known in Canada and the U.S. as National School Bus Glossy Yellow and was originally called National School Bus Chrome. The pigment used for this color was, for a long time, the lead-containing chrome yellow.

        • LI Phil | June 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm |

          hey THE

          did you look at that chart in your school bus link?

          tell me…the color called “school bus yellow” — is that closer to the color listed as “gold” or “yellow” on that very chart?

          /i rest my case

        • The Jeff | June 4, 2011 at 1:23 pm |

          Yeah Phil, all the more reason for my claim that the name is wrong.

          Also… from the page that swatch leads to:

          Gold, also called golden, is one of a variety of orange-yellow color blends used to give the impression of the color of the element gold.

          The web color gold is sometimes referred to as golden to distinguish it from the color metallic gold. The use of gold as a color term in traditional usage is more often applied to the color “metallic gold”

          I’m right. As our language continues to evolve, eventually my side will win.

        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm |

          Good. We’re all set for terminology at

    • Jim Vilk | June 4, 2011 at 8:01 pm |

      You know how they have those signs at work saying, “It’s been (insert number here) days since our last accident”? We should have something similar here. Tomorrow it would say, “It’s been 1 day since our last yellow/gold discussion”…

  • LI Phil | June 4, 2011 at 12:10 pm |

    WCWS on espn…both teams are wearing dark (okie state in all black, da bears in white over navy) pants

    cal is wearing what appear to be white tubes…

    cowboys look to be wearing solid black socks

    can’t say im loving either look…i WANT to…but i can’t

    • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 12:14 pm |

      Light over dark never really seems to work, either in baseball or softball. Always has the look of an amateur (or small town) team that chose dark pants cuz they didn’t show the dirt.

    • Simply Moono | June 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm |

      The Cowgirls should wear orange socks whenever they break out the mono-blacks. Yeah, they use what is basically a Saftey Cone Orange at Oklahoma State, but that’s better than the black dancer tights that they’re wearing.

    • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm |

      And right now the announcers are discussing the inadvisability of the black helmets n’all when it’s so hot (over 100 on the field).

      • The Jeff | June 4, 2011 at 1:50 pm |

        When it’s that hot, it’s pretty miserable regardless of what color you’re wearing.

        • Simply Moono | June 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm |

          “When it’s that hot, it’s pretty miserable regardless of what color you’re wearing.”

          Unless you’re from Blythe, CA, where 100°F+ weather is a way of life. *Cool Status on B)*

        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 2:28 pm |

          Absolutely not true. I’ve played tournaments in hot weather in white jerseys and in dark jerseys (black, navy, maroon, forest green…pick a year). The dark ones feel like hot packs are plastered across the top of your shoulders.

          Gimme a light-colored jersey (preferably white) every time in conditions like that.

        • Simply Moono | June 4, 2011 at 2:37 pm |

          @Ricko: I usually wear black shirts and long jeans year-round (nuts, I know), but my high school baseball uniform was an all-white vested uni in Paul’s favorite colors (PLEASE EXCUSE THE LONG PANTS. THIS WAS BEFORE I DISCOVERED UNI WATCH A YEAR LATER)


        • LI Phil | June 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm |

          you wearin’ hi-tops, terry?

          if so, the pajamas are understandable…the solution, however, is to wear lowcuts and rups, not to pull your pants down

          but there may be no worse look in baseball than hi-tops w/rups…as such, this is a better way to go

        • Simply Moono | June 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm |

          “you wearin’ hi-tops, terry?”


          Not in a million years (unless they were chucks).

          That bit of darkness you’re seeing around my ankle is a very small sliver of my green sock. I was wearing elsticized pants at the time.

  • Alan | June 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm |

    When it comes to throwbacks..why wear them if you can’t have fun with them? Wear the strirrups the way they were intended..blouse the pants correctly too.If I was a player I would kill to wear one of those period unis. The NFL has done one thing right..a standard way to wear the uniform. MLB just does not give a shit..and the way the players look these days it shows. When the hell did sloppy begin to be cool? And to think not too long ago, a player would catch shit for wearing a uniform too tight.

    • pushbutton | June 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm |

      What was the name of the Houston outfielder…damn…the first player I ever saw with his pants bagging around his shoes. I can see his face; kind of a homely guy.

      Anyway, I blame him.

  • Gill | June 4, 2011 at 1:22 pm |

    I was not aware players could sell products they designed with team logos. I must have missed this in Uniwatch. SEE IT: Youk, Crawford, and Adrian Gonzalez Unveil Personally Designed Jerseys and Tees: From:

    • The Jeff | June 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm |

      Well… given that the company already has the rights to use the logos… I don’t think it matters who designs the shirts. They get to charge more because it’s a player’s design… but I’m sure it’s no different for Majestic than if an in-house designer came up with it.

      In short, the players aren’t selling them, Majestic is.

      • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 1:38 pm |

        Yup. All part of the package, not outside it.

  • Tim E. O'B | June 4, 2011 at 1:47 pm |

    The Atlanta Thrashers (may they rest in peace) listed their colors as: Atlanta Midnight Blue, Thrasher Ice Blue, Georgia Bronze, Capitol Copper, Peachtree Gold and White (What, cotton white was too specific for you?).

    Those stoopid/pointless/meaningless adjectives don’t change what the actual colors are.

    Blue, yellow, red, etc. are colors. Navy, Gold, maroon, etc. are shades. Now shades can have useful modifiers (dark navy, old gold) but that doesn’t mean that all colors and shades are named properly.

    What the fuck is Thrasher Ice Blue. The Steelers and Packers wear yellow. They could call it red if they want – which would make only a bit less sense than calling that shade ‘gold’ – but that doesn’t make that color name any less stoopid.

    It’s Yellow, The Jeff wins.

    • LI Phil | June 4, 2011 at 2:17 pm |

      “What the fuck is Thrasher Ice Blue.”


      the color of the winning uni entry in paul’s contest

      • Tim E. O'B | June 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm |

        I hope not…

        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 2:38 pm |

          Oh, please.

          Speaking in terms of ink or paint, let’s say it takes two parts Red added to the equivalent of Process Yellow (Michigan) to get athletic gold (Packers).

          If you add two parts Red to White, NOBODY would still call it “white”.

          It very quickly becomes another color, a shade of pink.

          Granted, we could question the use of “gold” as the descriptor, but it IS a distinctly different color.

        • Tim E. O'B | June 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm |

          White isn’t naturally a color, it is a uniform mix of all colors.

          So, by adding more of one color to ‘a uniform mix of all colors’ you are in fact just highlighting the color you added.

          And by your logic, If you added two parts Red and add it to Black, NOBODY would call it anything other than black.

        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm |

          I said “ink or paint”.

          We’ve never seen, or worked with, white paint?

          Maybe not, if our design experience starts and ends with computers. Paint a room sometime.

          It’s becoming apparent that logic or practical experience have no place in this discussion. Those who want to revise a century of uni-terminology are just gonna hold fast to their “I know better and I will correct the error of your ways” stance.

          Then I imagine we’ll move on to reversing “Hit & Run” because it simply does NOT happen in that order, which makes the term SO incredibly irritating whenever we hear it.

        • Tim E. O'B | June 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm |

          They don’t call it a hit THEN run. That would be wrong. & implies simultaneous action.

          And terminology can be changed if it doesn’t make sense (insert 1000 hyperbolic examples).

        • LI Phil | June 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm |

          “They don’t call it a hit THEN run.”


          clearly you haven’t been watching the mets play this year

        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm |

          Exactly. Not only is it out of order, it can mistakenly be construed to mean simultaneous events.

          We all know it means the runner runs first, and the hitter damn well better get the bat on the ball.

          Why they didn’t call it “Run & Hit” is just a flat-out screwup and it simply MUST be corrected.

          And, as you have so aptly noted, the term probably should be changed to “Run Then Hit”.

          Shame on them, whoever they were. Idiots.

        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 3:41 pm |

          (pounds on desk).


        • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 3:49 pm |

          And while we’re at it, what’s with “man-to-man” defense in women’s basketball?

          Chauvinistic. Male superiority complex personified. Insensitive. Prejudicial. Must be changed.

          How ’bout “chick-to-chick”?

          (thumps desk again. By George, I think he’s got it!)

        • Tim E. O'B | June 4, 2011 at 6:06 pm |

          Ricko – your argument just doesn’t pass the Eye-test.

          If you asked people, “what color is the steelers & packers helmet, Yellow or Gold?” and they don’t know that that color is referred to as ‘gold’, 99.999% – or a helluva lot more – would say Yellow rather than gold.

          I’m a journo grad, and if I did a piece on an historic tree and some expert told me it was alive and well but I looked and saw it was mid July and it didn’t have a single leaf on it, that would fail the Eye-Test.

          I’d then do some research and figure out if that’s what it supposed to look like, but just because someone says sonething’s one way, doesn’t make it so.

        • Tim E. O'B | June 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm |

          Also, most WNBA players have penises.

          Juana Mann.

        • StLMarty | June 4, 2011 at 7:58 pm |

          I wish people would focus on getting more RBI’s… and less EABODS.

  • The Hemogoblin | June 4, 2011 at 2:07 pm |

    Oh my dear sweet god, get that eggplant off those Oregon uniforms ASAP. BLEEEEEEEECH.

    (Though I do see what you’re going for and the point you’re trying to make. Nike =/= Disney.)

  • LarryB | June 4, 2011 at 3:34 pm |

    Ok ricko clever benchies today. Well done.

  • Tim E. O'B | June 4, 2011 at 3:35 pm |

    So I came up with a few more cross-dressing concepts (teams from one league dressed as another). This time its all teams going to MLB looks.

    It’s a tad short but I thought I’d throw it up here anyway…

  • Jonee | June 4, 2011 at 3:41 pm |

    Love those old sansabelt Twins unis especially the powder blues. It’s been said before and I agree that you’ll always love the uniforms you remember seeing as a kid. I was a child of the 70’s/80’s and so I still think of those old uniforms as being the proper ones. And, besides that, I find the bright colors and general clunkiness of 70’s pullovers charming.

    • pushbutton | June 4, 2011 at 5:12 pm |

      I agree.

  • Ricko | June 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm |

    Soccer on ESPN.

    I do hope there’ll be vuvuzelas.

    • traxel | June 4, 2011 at 6:19 pm |


  • Jim Vilk | June 4, 2011 at 8:05 pm |

    Busy day, so I haven’t finished reading everything yet. But in the meantime, here’s a suggestion: the ’87 pins coupled with the old red-crowned blue-brimmed hat. That. Would. Be. Sweet.

    • JTH | June 4, 2011 at 11:19 pm |

      No. It. Would. Not.

      Seriously, what goes on inside that brain of yours?

      • Jim Vilk | June 4, 2011 at 11:56 pm |

        Heck if I know…

    • LI Phil | June 5, 2011 at 12:01 am |

      that red crowned cap was sweet

      but you’re still insane movi

      • Jim Vilk | June 5, 2011 at 12:10 am |

        Insane, genius, potato, potahto…

        Anyway, finally read the whole thing. While I’ve loved every version of the Twins’ unis (my first non-Pirate or non-Indian game was the ’86 Twins at Baltimore, so I have fond memories of even the powder blues), I think my favorites were the ’87-’09 unis. The only things I would change about them were ditching the M hat and ditching the NOB. Otherwise, great stuff.

        Actually, I guess I’d also have “Twins” in script on the homes. But I loved the block MINNESOTA.

  • Paul Lukas | June 4, 2011 at 8:16 pm |

    Dillon Gee is pitching for the Mets tonight. With a few men on base, Ron Darling on SNY just began a sentence with, “If you’re in Gee’s spot…”

    I’m pretty sure this is the first time the G-spot has been referenced during an MLB broadcast. It also suggests a great opportunity for a fan section for Dillon Gee: the Gee Spot (you know, like the K Korner).

  • Coleman | June 4, 2011 at 9:15 pm |

    I’ve played soccer all my life, and I’ve always tried to have a nice pair of boots even if they’re a bit pricey. This stuff is just getting ridiculous, though:

  • Mark Rabinowitz | June 4, 2011 at 11:46 pm |

    I was as surprised as anyone when the Twins changed their unis last year. As noted, they won two World Series with the ’87-09 unis and had gone to the playoffs a couple other times–why fix something that wasn’t broken? The only tweak I would have made would have been to make the “Minnesota” wordmark on the road unis in the same font as the “Twins” wordmark on the home jersey. That’s about it. As far as throwbacks go, the ’60s are OK, but I hope they keep the ’73-86 ones in mothballs. Uniforms from bad teams (the Creamsicle Buccaneers, the lightning bolt jerseys of the Detroit Pistons) should never come back.

    • BurghFan | June 5, 2011 at 5:14 am |

      So you have a problem with the Steelers throwbacks?

      • Mark Rabinowitz | June 7, 2011 at 1:00 am |

        Mind you, I need to re-review all the pre-Chuck Noll Steelers throwbacks, but I’m sure I’d have a problem with everything from the ’40s through the ’60s.

  • Jim Vilk | June 5, 2011 at 12:28 am |

    An excerpt from “The Taming of The Jeff”

    …Good Lord, how bright and goodly shines the gold!

    The gold?! The yellow: it is not gold now.

    I say it is the gold that shines so bright.

    I know it is the yellow that shines so bright.

    Now, by my mother’s son, and that’s myself,
    It shall be gold, or athletic gold, or what I list…

    /sorry, Mr. Shakespeare…