By Phil Hecken
As most of you are aware, one of, if not the most important uniform histories was compiled by Marcus Okkonen, in his epic book, Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century, many of the images from which are contained on the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Dressed To The Nines website. While not perfect, it is still considered the absolute gold standard in terms of a reference manual for the rest of us. It was an epic undertaking, and it is invaluable.
But if I had to critique the effort, and I don’t want to do so, I would wish Okkonen would have been able to include every different uniform variant. But it’s very close. For example, he lists five uniform combinations for the Oakland A’s in 1973. Sure enough, the A’s did wear monochrome green and monochrome gold that year. But there are a few omissions, such as the 1978 Padres, who did wear gold pants with their brown tops that season. A minor quibble, to be sure.
However, one fairly major omission has been the backs of the jerseys. With only a few, rare exceptions, Mr. Okkonen never shows us the reverse of the jersey. As a result, one thing that is missing is the number font and whether or not there was a Name On Back (NOB). If only a site that could include that data along with Okkonen’s tremendous research could be created, well, I’d be an incredibly happy camper. And I’m sure I’m not alone.
There is some good news on that horizon, however. Earlier this week, reader Josiah Pedersen tipped me wise to a site out there called Baseball Backs. What is “Baseball Backs”? Well — it is a partial missing link. You see, it shows, in pretty amazing detail, the color, font & uni style of many of the uniforms of today’s franchises. Every current team is represented, as are many of the throwback uniforms worn by the various clubs. Some of the uniforms go back very far, such as this 1948 Boston Braves satin uniform worn by Johnny Sain. Every player is identified, and as I said above, the quality of the image is superb.
So, now that you know about “Baseball Backs,” make sure you bookmark that and add it to your reference library. It’s a great little site and I hope someday it can incorporate every uniform back, dating to 1900, like Okkonen. Between those two sites, we move ever closer to having a complete uniform record for every major league team.
Dot that “D”!
Well, the good folks at Mitchell & Ness were on the mystery dot as well. And they have apparently found the answer, from the Hall of Fame:
“In the 80’s, a member of the Tigers organization would embroider the dot into that spot on the jacket as a way to differentiate a team issued jacket from one that was available at retail. That’s it, pretty simple.”
So there ya go. Now, if the M&N guys would like to track down a
blue brown purplish-horsey decal from somewhere in Colorado, circa 1963, we’ll have some REAL mystery-solvin’.
Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.
Lets get right into this week’s submissions:
First out of the blocks is George Chilvers, who’s on a bit of a footy-roll. Sure that’s not the Parthenon?
Hope your Dad’s keeping OK.
This one is the 1911 FA Cup Final replay at Old Trafford between Bradford City (in the claret and amber) and Newcastle United.
Next up is first-timer Andy Rich, who took on the Splinter & the Babe:
Attached is my first attempt at colorizing an old black & white. Hopefully it looks ok. Thanks
Back this week is Andy from the Dick Allen HOF, with more of…wait for it
Thanks for continuing to share the “colorize this!” images you receive.
I never cease to be inspired and educated by the amazing images sent in by your readers.
This week, I took another stab at colorizing my favorite ballplayer, and wanted to share.
Dick Allen Hall of Fame
And finally we have Gary Chanko, who has combined three of my favorite things: old baseball photos, colorization & stirrups:
Searching through Uni Watch archives and found this gem from 25 Nov 2008, The National Pastime, as Captured by the National Magazine. (Link Spectacular)
Chico Fernandez, Phils shortstop beating the tag by Cubs 3rd baseman, Jerry Kindall during this July 1957 game.
Yes, Kindall’s stirrups have nine stripes showing. Must be a record.
Great job this week fellows! As always, keep them coming. If you have a colorization you’d like to share, or can find a black & white photo you think would be a great colorization candidate, send ’em my way.
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 Chris Giorgio, who has a new concept for the Mariners:
Here is another tweak I did, this time for the Mariners. I always liked the trident M so I updated it a bit and decided to keep the current colors.
In the two-spot is Alex Cloutier, who has tweaks for the Astros & Mets:
HOUSTON: A combo of new and old here. And since the Astros love to play every game in a colored top, this way they wont bore us to death by running out in red every time.
METS: Look! NO BLACK!
And last but not least is Neal Tarver, who has some Royals alternate/road looks:
My name is Neal Tarver and I’ve got some tweaks for my hometown Kansas City Royals. To be frank I hate the home alternates we have but I do not hate the whole powder blue uniform. So I made a powder blue fauxback for the road, and made the current road alternate switch to the home alternate. Enjoy.
That’s all for today — thanks fellas. Back with more next weekend.
by Rick Pearson
He’s sort of the “anti-Feigner”…
And, as always, the full-size.
That’s just about it for today. But everybody’s favorite yinzer, Douggie Keklak sent along this little photo via the twittersphere. Pretty cool NOB there — looks like they achieved the effect of the lower-case “d” by flipping a “P” upside down. If you want to, you can follow me @PhilHecken.
Everyone have a great Sunday.
“The Leafs are going to stay put. They are after all a CHARTER MEMBER OF THE N.H.L. They’re not going to be pushed around by another so-called hockey city from Red Neck Country that is forced to relocate back to the Great White North.” — Terry Proctor