Smokin' The Red Birds

smoker cards

By Phil Hecken

As we head into the end of interplague and the wonderful days of the flag desecration beautiful S&S cap promotions, for one gorgeous evening, two teams got it right…or about as close as we can expect these days.

The St. Louis Cardinals and the Tampa Bay Rays, who were playing as the 1951 Tampa Smokers, put on a bee-you-tee-ful uni display in Tampa last night. OK, so both teams took liberties with the unis. Perhaps most egregiously, the Rays, decided to nix the stogie (and the zipper) from their duds, while the Cardinals eschewed the proper cap, stirrups and zippers as well.

But that’s OK, because the game, despite being played in the most depressing stadium in the bigs, looked GREAT!

The Smokers looked fantastic with their collar and sleeve piping, repeated down the legs, and devine white-red-white featheredge striped stirrups. I’m pretty sure teams in 1951 went NNOB (another anachronism), but I still won’t complain. Take another look at that photo. You see BJ Upton and David Freese making the stretch, but who’s that dude behind Upton (also known as the first base coach) sporting high pants and stirrups?

Give up?

It’s none other than the patron saint of long pants, George Hendrick! (That screengrab comes courtesy of Tim Burke, who said this to Paul in an E-mail exchange, “apparently the Smokers uniforms only came in short-pant versions.
Awesome stirrups, and George Hendrick forced to show them off.”) Indeed, that was awesome.

Speaking of Paul, he got some great early screen grabs which you can see here.

I actually preferred the Cardinals in their two-tone cap (and I don’t normally like contrasting crowns and bills), although according to Okkonen, their road uniform should have had a solid cap. I am upset at their decision to go with solid red socks instead of the period-appropriate stirrups — and it’s not like they don’t have a few pairs lying around either. A matchup of those rups versus the Smokers’ rups would have been the greatest hosiery matchup of this season, bar none.

About the only other complaint I have is that the MOTB was so so ubiquitous. It’s actually even more annoying than Majestic’s maker’s mark, which is also everywhere. Well, that and Tony LaRussa’s two-in-ones. I’d rather see solid red socks.

I know I complain a lot about throwback games, but this one made all those other ones totally worth it. Great job (even with the errors and omissions). I really would love to see some team bring back sleeve piping like the Smokers wore last night. It’s a great uni element that hasn’t been worn since, I believe, the 1994 Tigers (although it needs a headspoon, not torso piping, to actually look good).

What about you, Uni Watchers? Did the Smokers and Cards look great or what?


colorize thisColorize This!

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, once again, with a beautiful footy pic and a story:

More footy, but an action shot this time! Original is here.

This is a Wigan Athletic “name” from the days long before we were in the Premier League, in fact from the days before we were even in The Football League (we only became a League club in 1978).

The year is 1964 and we are playing Oswestry Town. Funny to think now we are playing Man United, Liverpool and Arsenal. Harry Lyon is heading goalwards in a 3-0 victory.

Harry Lyon was the club hero, and in one FA Cup game against Doncaster (a League club) was carried off with a suspected broken leg. However, it was found not to be so, and he took some pain killers at half-time (legend says a swig of brandy too, but that’s not verified). He cam eback in the second half, and most people thought he’d be a “passenger”, maybe just helping out where hge could hobble to (no substitutes in those days). So what did Harry do? He scored three goals – that’s what he did. Real “Roy of the Rovers” stuff – and if your readers don’t know who Roy of the Rovers is, get Googling :)

I tell his story in a little more detail here.

Best wishes



Next up is B. Smile from the Baseball Fever boards, with a couple baseball beauts:

Hey Phil,

I thought I’d pass along a colorization I just did of Babe Ruth at Fenway Park ca. 1931-34. The Babe is a bit small in the pic, but it’s a beautiful shot overall…lots of outfield grass. It’s presently residing as my desktop picture. The original came from the Boston Public Library site on Flickr, found here.

The BPL baseball pics are a treasure trove of images that would be perfect colorization candidates.

I don’t remember if I’ve sent you some of my older colorizations in the past, so I’ll attach those too (Lou Gehrig, 1939 and 1937 All Star Game, in Washington). If you decide to run any of them this weekend, you can credit them to “BSmile” (my Baseball-Fever user name).



And finally we have Gary Chanko, with an All Star Game shot of Big Klu:

Last week I discovered a great image to colorize while browsing the 25 Nov 2008 Uni Watch posting covering great baseball photos from Life Magazine (The National Pastime, as Captured by the National Magazine.)

There are several more great Fifties baseball images in this collection, particularly this shot of Ted Kluszewski. (Link action) They weren’t called “guns” back in the day, but Klu certainly had a set.

The photo credits mistakenly placed the action during a 1956 Reds-New York game. Uni Watch faithful, however, quickly noted the error and correctly identified the photo from the ’56 All Star game. The stripes on the stirrups worn by the catcher Sherm Lollar was the first clue this wasn’t a Yankees player. Proving once again it’s really all about those stirrups.

A brief technical note: I decided to crop the B&W original a bit and removed the on-deck batter that shows in the upper left hand side of the image.



Thanks to the G&G Boys and B…great stuff as always. This will be the last “Colorize This!” weekend edition for a while (I’m off weekends until August), but since I’ll be steering the ship while Paul is on sabbatical in July, I still plan on running a few “Colorize This!” during that time, so keep them coming. If you have a great shot you’ve colorized, or you find a great black and white that begs for colorizing…you know what to do.


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 Cal Nelson, who has a Pistons concept:

Hello Phil,

My name is Cal Nelson. I have been a fan of your website for a few years now. I love sports and I love designing sports logos. I never new that such a niche idea of having a website that posts information and media coverage of uniform altercations and uniform history would ever exist, let alone a professional version of that cockamamie idea . With that being said, I would like to submit a logo and uniform overhaul I have been working on for the Detroit Pistons. I am from the Lansing, MI area and love the Bad Boys. It’s not that I think anything is “wrong” with their current logo and uniforms; I just think they are boring. I have also recently read an article (who knows how accurate it is) that Pistons are considering changing their uniforms in the 2012-2013 season.

Welp, here’s my redesign. It includes elements from past Pistons’ logos. I also tried to capture the general optimism within the Detroit community with a “speedometer” accelerating toward “full-throttle” in the primary logo.

Keep up the good work, sir.


Next up is Walter Helfer, who has a new twist for the Astros:

Dear Phil,

Here’s a home uniform for the Astros using sublimated twill (a nod to the rainbow guts) for the team name. The rest of the suit is pretty subdued, with the exception of the striped stirrups. Orange tackle twill looks pretty good against the white background, right?



And finally, we have Kevin Miller, who has a tweak for the Amazin’s:

Hi Phil,

My name is Kevin Miller. I just recently discovered your Uni Watch site. Great stuff. I see that you sometimes post fan concepts/tweaks of sports uniforms. I too am an avid Mets fan, an avid aesthetics fan, and strongly anti-Black-for-Blacks-Sake. I have a Mets concept I’ve been working on for a while, I was wondering if you would post it on your site (or if not, maybe you could give me some feedback). If for some reason you can’t/don’t get e-mail attachments, I also uploaded it here.

I want the Mets to use orange more than they have in the past (a la the Knicks), but still keep blue as the primary color. The alternate cap on the home jersey is because two-colored interlocking letters are awesome (a la the Twins and the 90s Padres). The road script is from the incredibly underrated 1987 road uniforms (seriously, why did they replace those with an exact duplicate of the Yankees roads in 1988? But I digress). The home alternate uniform could also be used as a batting practice uniform, I guess. I actually used to own that orange cap (they no longer make a fitted version of it, unfortunately mine got ruined).

Anyway, hope to hear back soon!

Thanks so much!


Everyone keep the tweaks coming, since I’ll have lots of space to fill during Paul’s sabbatical.


Benchies HeaderBenchies

by Rick Pearson


One does not give up on a perfectly good ball from the truck stop…

s-7-3-11 Lost ball RED

And here is your full-size.


And that will do it for me…and this will also be my last post until July 11 — when I take over for Paul and handle the weekdays. Like last year, I’ll try to keep the weekly posts as “close” to Paul’s style as possible (and shorter than the weekends usually are). But, I need you guys to all help me out, if possible — with work being actual work, three summer classes and my pop in failing health, I am hoping a few of you will have some column ideas. A few of you have already contacted me, but I can always use some more ideas. If you’d like to work on a column with me, please give me a shout and lets see if we can’t come up with a column idea for July-August.

Everyone have a safe, healthy and happy Independence Day, and I’ll see you on July 11th.


“If a team is not attempting a true TBTC (Turn Back The Clock), we really can’t fault them for not accomplishing it.” — Rick Pearson

110 comments to Smokin’ The Red Birds

  • Brian | July 3, 2011 at 7:29 am |

    It was an absolutely beautiful game last night, and I knew it would be. The Rays always do throwback games well.

    My girlfriend surprised me with tickets earlier in the week, which made the second year in a row I made it to the Rays throwback game, after last year’s Tampa Tarpons throwback. I was delighted to find that they were selling the Smokers caps on the team store, but at $50, I had to say no, at least for now. I picked up my Tarpons cap last year a couple months after the game, so hopefully I can find one later.

    On a side note, this mobile site is great!

  • Josh | July 3, 2011 at 7:41 am |

    Interesting Pistons concept. Unfortunately, the “DP” logo is too close to the Wizards’ new unis. The Mets’ concept is simple, clean and fitting. I would have kept the font blue with orange outline but still very nice.

  • Jason Shane | July 3, 2011 at 8:36 am |

    “But that’s OK, because the game, despite being played in the most depressing stadium in the bigs, looked GREAT”

    Phil, apparently you haven’t seen the Oakland Alameda County/Zhone/Network Associates/ Coliseum lately.

    • Brian | July 3, 2011 at 9:20 am |

      Agreed. Tropicana Field isn’t Yankee or Dodger Stadium, but they’ve done a lot of work on it recently and it looks great. As someone who has been going to (Devil) Rays games since 1998, I love the Trop and will be sad to see us move, no matter how nice our new stadium will be.

      • LI Phil | July 3, 2011 at 9:30 am |

        but it is indoors (and yes, i do know why it has to be indoors)

        that’s what’s depressing, not how “great” it may look…but i’ll take any stadium, including i’m still calling it oakland-alameda over anything with a roof and fake turf

        • Ricko | July 3, 2011 at 9:34 am |

          Was gonna say, even if everything else were equal in the depression-induction department, at least the sun shines on A’s home games once in a while.

          And that (I can attest after almost three decades of Dome ball here in MN) is HUGE.

        • The Jeff | July 3, 2011 at 10:16 am |

          At risk of invoking the banhammer… what’s so bad about baseball in a dome? It’s not like they actually play the game in the elements. Rain = delays, remember?

        • Ricko | July 3, 2011 at 10:23 am |

          Could play in a big airplane hangar, too, I suppose.

          Pretty sure they’re (we’re) talking about the fan experience. But it affects the players, too. It isn’t so much that that artificial light is bad, it’s that as human beings we physically respond more positively to open air and/or sunshine. So that’s better. Or are we gonna argue that, too?

        • Jim Vilk | July 3, 2011 at 11:03 am |

          I agree on the open-air part of baseball, but I never saw the charm in losing a high fly ball in the sun. I also burn easily, so I could live with baseball under a protective cover.

          Safeco Field isn’t totally enclosed, correct? THAT’s the way you build a ballpark. Even if you don’t have a retractable roof, let the elements in instead of paying for heating and air conditioning.

          I wish the Rays could go through with that sail-like covering for their proposed stadium.

        • Ricko | July 3, 2011 at 12:16 pm |

          Better tha losing one in the roof.

      • scott | July 3, 2011 at 9:32 am |

        Once the Metrodome shut down for baseball, Tropicana Field had to take on the worst stadium label since it’s, you know, a DOME. No matter how much you dress it up, it’s still a pig.

        • Gusto44 | July 3, 2011 at 10:49 am |

          Well put Scott, it’s still a very sterile environment for baseball. If the Rays were losing, more of those fans would be critical of the facility. Even with a good team, the stadium doesn’t provide the experience many others do, and that plays a role in the attendance figures.

        • -DW | July 3, 2011 at 5:19 pm |

          I hate to take exception, but before you give a total thumbs down on The Trop, (just askin’ here) how many of the negative posters here have actually been to The Trop?

          Sure, I know it has its faults, but I’ve been to Wrigley and Fenway and the old Tiger Stadium when they were dumps, should that cloud my judgement forever about the parks?

          I still think Fenway is a dump. Too crowded and “no matter how you dress it up, it is still a pig.”

        • Ricko | July 3, 2011 at 8:15 pm |

          I have.
          Been to The Trop, that is.
          Oakland and Wrigley, too.

        • -DW | July 3, 2011 at 10:41 pm |

          Have you been to The Trop since 2007?

    • =bg= | July 3, 2011 at 3:48 pm |

      Zhone? I missed that one. And I live here. Only been to the Coliseum a couple times tho.

  • Elena | July 3, 2011 at 9:31 am |

    Don’t the home teams provide the throwback unis for both sides? I think the Rays are to blame for the wrong socks on the Cardinals. The Cards do have the proper striped socks and stirrups on hand and several of the players have worn them on this road trip. I think the Rays wanted to be the only team with striped socks and get an edge in the game :)

    • JamesP. | July 3, 2011 at 1:56 pm |

      Yes, the Rays provided the Cards unis. And, yes, the home team provides the throwback unis for the visiting team, but they work the other team to get a uni the team will agree to wear.

  • DJ | July 3, 2011 at 9:57 am |

    Not a big fan of that Piston jersey concept. It seems like an attempt to do something similar to the Warriors, but there’s no graphic element that evokes Detroit (as the Bay Bridge evokes SF-OAK), and the lettering is too small. Perhaps using the Interstate shield would work (same colors).

    • Jim Vilk | July 3, 2011 at 11:59 am |

      I love the speedometer logo. Absolutely love it.

      But I can’t stand the Pistons, so they don’t deserve it. The Pacers could use that, eh? There’s another tweak for you.

    • Jim Vilk | July 3, 2011 at 12:02 pm |

      And DJ, I love the idea of using an interstate shield. Some team needs to use that or a US Route logo or something similar.

      • DJ | July 3, 2011 at 8:27 pm |

        You’re too kind. I also agree that the speedometer concept is a very good idea.

  • moose | July 3, 2011 at 9:59 am |

    i have a hard on for the phil today. forg yeah we need some shoulder pipes like the smok-ays. and while i am at it, the cards should be the team to go back to it and ditch their hospital white worst uni in the bigs because it could/should be better, slash, you get no credit for the logo if the rest is crap-E-uniform. close but no “cigar” is worse then totally wrong. wrong becomes classic one day, see the buffa-bills recent uni being 1,000 times better then the charger’s current worst uni the planet. if you re going to get it wrong, get it WRONG, close just shaves my balls with nair and hands me a near beer. but i dye my dress, in my big ol heeping glass of horchata that soustache should be as forefront as right proper hosiery on our collective wish list for the corn’s sake, grrrrreat call phil, sleeve soustache. /end rant, happy fucking birthday free speech.

    • Ricko | July 3, 2011 at 10:07 am |

      And, yet, people still wonder why you didn’t that job as a Fox News commentator. ;)

      Seriously, eliminating the cigar was important because (wink, wink, revisionist history) the original Smokers were named for Tampa’s long history with brisket.

      Everyone knows THAT. (eyeroll)

      • moose | July 3, 2011 at 10:30 am |

        i should work for fox or corn’s sake if i could refrain from the strangulation of the peeps. after all my opinion is right always no matter how fucked, misguided, or misplaced…perfect. funny thing is, before i backspaced, backspaced, backspaced(tap tap tap),i referenced fox, but since i am concussed, i don’t remember why/how, just that i did, oh well.

        the cigar, a shame to be sure. but i guess if kids smoke less, drink less, stay away from drugs, play less johnny-em in favour of sun, and don’t play first person kill games tike “tapper”, or whatever, we can all be happy that they didn’t let kids see a cigar in a place that wasn’t their father’s mouth…if you know what i mean. lord knows humans will get all joe camel if they see subliminal ben dover and want it, can i get a back soooooid.

        too bad i have to go to work, i feel like chillin on the boards today.

        did i mention i hate guelph, er golf, but love the current benchies tip with the things and the stuff? seriously, i love have loved this post masters(?) whatever, i like the style, might be an interesting direction to go more consistently.

        • Jim Vilk | July 3, 2011 at 11:10 am |

          “did i mention i hate guelph”

          You must be in the minority.

          Sure got a nice writeup on Wiki:

        • moose | July 3, 2011 at 12:00 pm |

          actually guelph and i have an understanding, but we won’t get into that. yo! mo-vi, want to come to a Q in the morrow? if it helps, bacon ice cream for dessert, it’s a new staple.directions form joe-pa’s house… take 70 west, and stop when you see a royals win. if you pass the devil’s jockstrap without chen-ing. wash, rinse, repeat, and try not to phileas fogg before the u turn in omaha.

        • Jim Vilk | July 3, 2011 at 12:08 pm |

          A BBQ sounds great, but I’m taken tomorrow. Bacon ice cream, huh? Gotta think about that one.

        • moose | July 3, 2011 at 12:16 pm |

          it’s as delicious as saskatoon is bridgey, i’m just saying zed.

        • moose | July 3, 2011 at 12:23 pm |

          hell in a ham lambic i tells ya.

          shoot, i’m late.

        • JamesP. | July 3, 2011 at 2:02 pm |

          Make a trip back over here and I will let you wear my Smokers jersey while we enjoy a cigar from my humidor…and complain about the Fox baseball guys.

  • Josh | July 3, 2011 at 10:10 am |

    The Cardinals hats were correct. Okkonen was incorrect in the 1951 caps. The solid navy Cardinals cap was not introduced until the ill-fated uniform makeover of 1956 when the Cardinals removed the birds on bat.

    • Ricko | July 3, 2011 at 10:56 am |

      Wondered about that. I’ve seen photos of an obviously all-navy Cardinals hat with that same entertwined red “StL” on Stan Musial, but based on the backgrounds they appear to be spring training photos. So don’t know if they ever were won during regular season.

    • birdbats | July 3, 2011 at 4:43 pm |

      The Cardinals did have navy road caps in 1951… didn’t have two-toned road caps until ’53.

      I understand the team was planning to wear its regular navy road cap, but Tampa decided they wanted the Cards to wear the navy/red caps, knowing it wasn’t appropriate to 1951. It also was Tampa that supplied the incorrect red socks. Why the Cards didn’t just wear their regular striped socks, I don’t know. It would have looked so much better.

      • Ricko | July 3, 2011 at 8:05 pm |

        That, too, is most likely a spring training shot, just because SPORT used a lot of them on their covers, and because rarely see that much sky in a big league park.

        We can debate it, but I’d bet good money it’s spring training. Looks like tons of other color ST shots in SPORT over the years back then.

        Doesn’t mean they didnt’ wear the hats in ’51. Just means I haven’t seen a game photo yet. There must be some out there.
        Here’s a google image seach, “topps baseball 1952 cardinals”…
        Granted, they’re hand tinted, but no navy visors.
        Similar search for “Bowman 1952” shows no navy visors, either.

      • Josh | July 3, 2011 at 8:26 pm |

        That SPORT picture looks like a drawing, not a photograph. As a Cardinals fan I have seen many pictures of the Cardinals of that era and I’ve NEVER seen a picture of an all navy cap until 1956.
        Not only that, I have never seen a picture of an all navy cap WITHOUT the white border around the “STL” like the introduced in 1956 (and on their current road cap”.
        Granted, I wasn’t around at that time, but I think that between baseball cards, the SURF Detergent books that came out in the late 80’s and having visited the Cardinals Hall of Fame in St. Louis, I’d have seen that cap somewhere if it indeed existed.

        • Ricko | July 3, 2011 at 11:19 pm |

          This is surprising me, too, but there’s no way the visors on these hats are red. If they were, they’d be the same shade of gray as the base color of the stirrups, and the sleeves…

        • Ricko | July 3, 2011 at 11:25 pm |

          Musial’s sleeves, that is. The other player (Eddie Stanky?) isn’t wearing the regular sleeves.

          It’s from spring training of 1952, so it’s a good bet they’re wearing hats from the previous season. Typical of the times. Teams didn’t break out new unis until the season opener.

          Here’s the description from ebay…
          “We offer an original 10 x 8 shot of Stan Musial in St. Petersburg, FL 1952 with another Cardinals player.”

  • ABoxOfBroken8Tracks | July 3, 2011 at 10:16 am |

    Red shoes shouldn’t feature on a pre-1971 throwback.

    Come to think of it, red shoes combined with red socks looks to me like they’re playing in their stocking feet.


    • LI Phil | July 3, 2011 at 10:44 am |

      everyone knows the cardinals wear red shoes

      we’ll let that slide

      • NickV | July 4, 2011 at 4:12 am |

        How about getting rid of the Red shoes altogether. I find the look a bit too cheezy and it simply does not look good. NEVER with a Navy hat or Road Gray uniform.

        A Red hat – White Home uni – Red shoes are a passable combo, but any Grey or Dark uni, or Dark cap, any with Red shoes simply do not match up in my book.

        To quote Sonny from “A Bronx Tale”, “Put ’em in the bathroom!!!!”

    • Ricko | July 3, 2011 at 10:46 am |

      Begs a question. How often HAVE teams changed shoes for a throwback game?

      I know the A’s switched to black with an Oakland Oaks uni…

      • Ricko | July 3, 2011 at 10:49 am |

        Just realized that might have been the only time in his MLB career that Mark McGwire wore black shoes. Otherwise, white with A’s; red with Cardinals.

  • Paul Barrett | July 3, 2011 at 10:55 am |

    I am loving the hell out of those Met’s that Kevin Miller created. Let’s do another tweak submission contest so we can have those suckers made.

    • Ricko | July 3, 2011 at 11:54 am |

      Couldn’t resist seeing how that would work with the pins that have been so much a part of memorable Mets moments….from Marveless Marv to Amazin’ ’69 to Mookie’s grounder.

      Also bordered the TV number and made it orange to match the letters. Elminated the extraneous extra hat, too.

      (really q&d, done in MS Paint)…

  • traxel | July 3, 2011 at 11:00 am |

    “If a team is not attempting a true TBTC (Turn Back The Clock), we really can’t fault them for not accomplishing it.” – Rick Pearson

    Not buying this explanation. This is just an excuse for not getting it right.

    Teams can choose the tailoring style of yesteryear or today, doesn’t bother me too much either way though I much prefer a tighter fit. Teams can also choose to not purchase the accessories such as right colored shoes, batting helmets, catcher’s gear, etc. However, these things should not be mixed and matched. Choose how far you want to take the game, but make what elements you choose to do correct. Cardinals powder blues should not have a white outline like this… (couldn’t quickly find a photo of a previous throwback game where this was worn). And these uniforms should have striped socks. No excuses.

    • ABoxOfBroken8Tracks | July 3, 2011 at 11:29 am |

      Agree. Half-assed throwbacks are like farting in church.

      • StLMarty | July 3, 2011 at 4:54 pm |


    • Ricko | July 3, 2011 at 11:45 am |

      You didn’t read the entire comment last night.

      I was agreeing with a prior comment that sometimes the approach is more…”If the team hadn’t changed its design since (whenever), how would it look on today’s style uni?”

      Then added that the OTHER common approach is a true TBTC, which typically has related additional aspects (announcers and graphics being throwback, too, for example).

      We need to I think, figure which the team was attempting, because it makes the criteria for judging the result different. Rightly so.

      • Ricko | July 3, 2011 at 12:00 pm |

        The difference?

        One is saying, “Let’s look at the past.”
        The other is saying, “What if the present were different?”

        HUGE difference in intent, and in tone.

        • traxel | July 3, 2011 at 12:47 pm |

          I understand, but call BS. The “What if the present (past?) were different” or “What if the past were more like the present” is just an excuse for not doing it right. It looks better when they go all the way, but if you go just halfway, make that half right. It’s not that hard. These games are advertised, whether by the team’s actual words or not, as throwback games. The term “throwback” has become understood to be “wearing old uniforms we don’t wear today”. Changing the past as they have tended to do is just changing for the easier (or for PCness which is even worse) and making an excuse for not doing it right.

        • Ricko | July 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm |

          Not BS at all. At least not on OUR part.

          On MLB’s part, yeah, “throwback” has become a coverall. Maybe they should call games like the Padres-Angels “Update” games or something). But, here anyway, we might do well to make that distinction the clubs are making—through deed anyway—even if they may not have stated it.

          If I want to imagine what any old uniform would look today, I’d mock it up with ankle length pants, not including stirrups as critical to the design. Why? Because that’s the reality of how it WOULD look, and that’s how to evalutate the design in 2011 terms.

          Stirrups AREN’T critical to any modern designs. Hell, they aren’t even mentioned on the charts of “How to wear a uniform” in MLB clubhouses. All it covers are hat, jersey and pants. I could WISH for widespead use of stirrups, but I’d be kidding myself (Dick Bremer, Twins’ play-by-play guy, just said, “And I don’t like that players don’t wear stirrup socks anymore.” To which, Bert Blyleven replied, with a laugh, “Yeah, bring back Calvin Griffith.”)

          And maybe it IS just semantics, but I honestly find looking at the past just as interesting as “What if the present were different?”

          And I’m not giving MLB teams a pass for being half-assed. But I don’t know what on earth we can do to change that. I’m saying perhaps we could just learn to look at the games through two different sets of criteria, a couple of different filters. It’s a helluva lot less anus-clenching that way, that’s for sure.

          I once challenged anyone here to show what the New York Knights unis would have looked like since 1939. But apparently no one wants to do it, because about 20 years ago the stirrups would disappear. But that was the point: How would styles have changed the Roy Hobbs’ uni over the years?

          There’s more than one way to play “What If…?”

        • pushbutton | July 3, 2011 at 8:37 pm |

          Wait….there’s charts on “how to wear a uniform” in MLB clubhouses? What?

        • Ricko | July 3, 2011 at 8:46 pm |

          Yeah, someone posted a photo of one here. Rockies or Mariners, I think.

          And there also is a rule saying that pants can’t extend under the heel of the shoe. If that isn’t tacit admission that stirrups are no longer considered “part of the uniform.”..

        • traxel | July 3, 2011 at 11:48 pm |

          I think we are talking about two different things. I getcha on the style of how a uni is worn. Sure, I’d like to see things a little less baggy around the ankles, but even on old timers, they were too baggy up top too. But they will wear them however they want today. What you are saying, Ricko, is all fine and dandy. My point is that teams appear to be finding an excuse to not design the uniforms correctly. What I’m referring to is the lack of stripes on the Cardinals socks. This has nothing to do with the way they are worn. The batting helmets on the Padres having too much gold. The MLB logo on the back of the hat. So now they can just say it is a modern version of an old uniform. Nuh-uh. It is just plain ole crappyness made worse by providing an excuse.

  • Jim Vilk | July 3, 2011 at 11:56 am |

    Another great set of tweaks, with a special tip of the cap to Kevin’s Mets. At least they’d *look* Amazin’ if they wore those!

    Great colourizations, too. By the way, what’s with the S in CBS?

    Surprised the Big Klu never got reprimanded…or did he?
    He should have been.

    • Ricko | July 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm |

      Roger Maris shortened his sleeves with the Yankees, too.

      Just not as much.

      • Jim Vilk | July 3, 2011 at 12:04 pm |

        That’s right. Forgot that.

        I could see a guy rolling up his sleeves, but to cut them just isn’t…uniform.

      • Jim Vilk | July 3, 2011 at 12:13 pm |

        Oh, and Ricko, for your last Benchies panel, you also could have said, “There were LI Phil articles that didn’t last this long.” ;)

        • Mike Engle | July 3, 2011 at 1:05 pm |

          Comment of the day

    • BSmile | July 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm |

      The “S” in CBS is that way because the banner is backwards (and upside down)…so the C and B aren’t seemingly changed. It was discussed a while back by myself and some BBF members here:

      Cheers! ~B

    • Kyle | July 3, 2011 at 5:20 pm |

      CBS Banner is probably upside down. Flipped, the “S” would be correct, and it’d be on the same level as the NBC banner

  • Jon in SLC | July 3, 2011 at 12:22 pm |

    Cal- love the Pistons redesign. Fluid, unique and in spirit with the city. The exhaust pipe is a little long but overall it’s spot on.

  • Alex | July 3, 2011 at 12:23 pm |

    sorry for asking this, but what does MOTB stand for?

    • Paul Lukas | July 3, 2011 at 12:28 pm |

      Mark of the motherfuckin’ BEAST!

    • Jim Vilk | July 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm |

      That needs to be added to the glossary.

      I’m looking all over for something else when I finally realized, “Ah, Nike logos.”
      (Mark Of The Beast)

      • Paul Lukas | July 3, 2011 at 12:40 pm |

        That needs to be added to the glossary.

        Good point. On it.

  • Gage | July 3, 2011 at 1:21 pm |

    Not sure if this was brought up or not but it looks like Reebok is using their wordmark on the new NHL jerseys instead of using the vector logo.

  • =bg= | July 3, 2011 at 3:45 pm |

    Phil, forgot to mention—nice ASIA reference yesterday.

  • Patrick_in_MI | July 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm |

    I loved the sleeve piping on the Smokers unis and am a big fan of the look overall. Reminds me of Negro League unis. However, not every team could do this because of the patches they wear on the sleeves. Imagine teams like the Giants moving their WS Champs patch to the chest, ugh bad look!

    • scott | July 3, 2011 at 9:34 pm |

      Surely patches can go over the piping. It’s not like it’s some kind of obstacle.

    • LI Phil | July 3, 2011 at 10:40 pm |

      of course…teams could simply avoid crapping up the shirt with a shitload of patches


  • chuck | July 3, 2011 at 4:23 pm |

    Mets wearing black today ;-( Who chooses the color on game day? The pitcher?

  • Jim Vilk | July 3, 2011 at 4:35 pm |

    Just came in from wiffle ball
    (One year on the DL + new unis = $4.99 Strasburg shirseys)
    and I turned on the Brazil/Venezuela match in the Copa America. Wow, those Brazil jerseys
    have as bad a number font as the Oregon Ducks. Way to go, swooshketeers.

  • CWac19 | July 3, 2011 at 5:01 pm |

    I brought this up another time, and I think it’s worth some inquiry with Mitchell & Ness. We often assume that these throwbacks are NOT QUITE RIGHT because of oversights, historical laziness, etc. I think there’s more than a slim chance that the throwbacks (at least the throwback jerseys) are not identical to the originals because there is money to be made in selling two different throwbacks: the “authentic” throwback, replete with actual flannel/satin and historical detail, and the “updated” throwback, which is the close approximation of the original design that is worn on the field today. The “authentics” manufactured by M&N, the “updates” manufactured by Majestic. Thoughts??

  • pflava | July 3, 2011 at 5:04 pm |

    It’s amazing what a little piping could do for the straight-off-the-rack-at-sports-authority current Cardinals uni’s. They looked fantastic last night, even without their beautiful striped hose.

    • Ricko | July 3, 2011 at 8:10 pm |

      Am I right, only the Cardinals, A’s and Dodgers have regular home whites with no striping?

      So three out of 30 isn’t a uniqueness worth hanging onto? That doesn’t make them just a LITTLE special?

      And only the Cardinals are without even a team sleeve patch or logo. ONE out of 30 isn’t good, isn’t a kind of “trademark”?

      • Ricko | July 3, 2011 at 8:11 pm |

        I’m saying I was thinking the same thing, pflava…then I really thought about it.

      • Paul Lukas | July 3, 2011 at 8:57 pm |

        I like that there are a few teams without any piping. Makes their whites look whiter than white!

  • daveclt | July 3, 2011 at 8:13 pm |

    Cal, that is a top notch tweak for the Pistons! The jersey front is simple and unique and would work with today’s muscle shirt jerseys. Great idea. I like the speedometer logo. In fact, I would tweak your tweak, and get rid of the basketball bottom. Make the logo just a speedometer, and put DETROIT above (radially arched, as you have it) and PISTONS below (as you have it).

    Here’s a crazy idea that would probably not work well: Make the speedometer logo the front of the jersey, and have the needle point to the uni-number (i.e. #5 would point to the left, #30 straight up, and #55 to the right).

    Anyway, great work. It’s refreshing to see an original design in uni-tweaks, instead of just seeing someone take the existing template and change the colors.

  • NavyAM09 | July 3, 2011 at 8:36 pm |

    denver outlaws wore these atrocities (spl?) during their recent game. i thought lacrosse was better than this.

  • Paul Lukas | July 3, 2011 at 8:59 pm |

    Am I correct in thinking that no team has worn the flag-desecration caps yet this weekend (well, except for the Jays on Canada Day)? If so, I’m surprised — and pleased — that everyone had enough restraint to wait until July 4th, instead of wearing them all weekend long.

    • LI Phil | July 3, 2011 at 9:14 pm |

      perhaps its because they all suck so bad that teams are holding off wearing them as long as possible?

    • JAson | July 3, 2011 at 10:42 pm |

      I’m pretty sure the Rox & Royals have worn them all weekend

      • LI Phil | July 3, 2011 at 11:19 pm |

        so the rockies, the home team…made the decision to wear red and white trucker caps, and made the royals play along?

        jeebus, if there is any team on which the S&S caps look like complete shit, it’s the rockies…even blue/white would have been better than that red & white garbage

      • Paul Lukas | July 3, 2011 at 11:31 pm |

        Woof. That is one ugly look. Or, rather, TWO ugly looks.

    • Josh Handler | July 3, 2011 at 9:54 pm |

      you have to scroll a bit for the thunder atrocities

    • LI Phil | July 3, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
      • Josh Handler | July 3, 2011 at 10:00 pm |

        thanks for the direct link. not that computer saavy

        • LI Phil | July 3, 2011 at 10:04 pm |

          do you know how to do a screen grab? that’s all i did (well, and then hosted it)

      • LI Phil | July 3, 2011 at 10:03 pm |

        i don’t even think movi would wear that

        • Josh Handler | July 3, 2011 at 10:04 pm |

          do know how to do a screen grab. didnt think of that

      • traxel | July 3, 2011 at 11:52 pm |

        I have no problem with that jersey. I kinda like it. I think it’s only because I know Phil hates it though.

        • LI Phil | July 4, 2011 at 12:01 am |

          clearly you love america far more than i do

    • NickV | July 4, 2011 at 4:17 am |

      Somebody call Bingo Long and put his unis on ’em ….

  • Chance | July 3, 2011 at 10:05 pm |

    I love the pistons unitweak and the choice of Dennis Rodman’s recently retired #10 for the mock up