Skip to content

When the panel cap was *in*


By Phil Hecken

As part of my commitment to bring you the best content while Paul is away, and because of my schedule, I am precluded from being able to devote the requisite amount of time to coming up with my own original content every day — but I have been fortunate to have devoted readers assist me with the main articles. Today is no exception.

When our featured artist today, Mike Styczen (seen here), reached out to me, I knew he wouldn’t disappoint with a great story and research. I’ve worked with Mike a few times before, and he’s not just a great source, he’s a good buddy. So, today we’re going to turn the way-back machine to our own youth — the ’70s and ’80s, as Mike takes a look at the “panel cap” phenomenon.


The contrasting front panel cap phenomenon
By Mike Styczen

What does baseball in the 1970s and 1980s mean to you? Disco demolition night? Giant hair? Playing on astroturf in a cookie-cutter stadium?

If we’re talking uniforms, then the 1970’s usually means powder blues and sansabelts.

Uni-Watch looked at the powder blue phenomenon at great length a little over two years ago, and I’m sure someone will look at the great sansabelt disaster of the 1970s someday. I’m here today to talk about a less-considered aspect of that period — hats with a contrasting front panel.

Let me start off by saying — I don’t know what the hell those hats are called, and no amount of googling could help me. They’re not trucker caps — trucker caps have a mesh back. A bunch of promotional catalogs I found calls them “hats with contrasting front panels”. Not very catchy. If anyone knows what they’re actually called, put it in the comments.

Anyway, at that time there were 26 teams, and at one time or another 8 of them wore the contrasting caps.

National League:

Atlanta: Started wearing a blue cap with a white front panel at the same time as they switched to their feather uniforms in 1972. They wore the caps home and road through two uniform revisions, for nine seasons until 1980, after which all-blue caps with a script upper-case A (similar to today’s caps) were introduced.

Montreal: Came into the league in 1969 wearing the incomparable pinwheel caps, and wore them home and road for 23 seasons, until 1991, when they debuted a new all-blue cap as part of a uniform redesign in 1992. I know these weren’t really a contrasting panel cap in the same sense as all of the others, but as the only pinwheel cap in MLB history, I had to throw it in here.

San Diego: This is a weird one. They came into the league at the same time as Montreal, in 1969, and debuted their first “panel” cap in 1972. Here’s where it gets weird — the San Diego panel cap never had the front two panels in a contrasting colour, the way everyone else did. They always had something a little bit different – one version, modeled by Don Zimmer had the contrasting section extending back over the ears, and another version had the contrasting section much narrower than the front two panels. When the Padres added orange trim in 1980, they kept the yellow contrasting panel and added the orange trim to the edges. They wore contrasting panel caps for 13 seasons in all, home and road, until they went to an all-brown cap in 1985.

American League:

Baltimore: Debuted two different contrasting panel caps in 1975: a black cap with a white front panel, and a black cap with an orange panel. They both had the same cartoon bird logo. There aren’t many photos of players wearing the hat with the orange panel; according to Okkonen it was worn only in 1975 and 1976. The white panel cap was worn home and road for fourteen seasons, until 1988, when it was replaced as part of a general uniform redesign.

Boston: Yes, Boston. Being the thorough guy that I am, I went through Dressed to the Nines for every team just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. And sure enough, Okkonen shows a blue cap with a red front panel, worn with red stirrups instead of the usual striped stirrups, for 1974. So I scoured the internets, and found exactly ONE photo: Luis Tiant. Did they wear this for a special event, was it a failed experiment that Okkonen added to the book? I’m at a loss on this one.

Chicago: Wore a blue cap with a white panel at home only, for five years from 1982-1986 (the entire run of the beach blanket uniforms).

Milwaukee: Wore a blue cap with a yellow panel for twelve years on the road, from 1974 to 1985. For the first three years, the logo was the blue “M”, and for the last nine years, it was the ball-and-glove logo. Interestingly, during those first three years the Brewers also wore yellow sanitaries on the road, which nicely matched the yellow on the cap.

Toronto: Wore the blue cap with a white panel home and road for 12 years, from entering the league in 1977 until 1988. In 1989 they redesigned the uniform to get rid of the powder blue and introduced a new all-blue road hat, but they kept the blue-and-white hat at home for four and a half more seasons, until they started wearing the all-blue hat at home in the middle of the 1993 season.

One issue I’ve carefully avoided dealing with so far is helmets. Sometimes, as in Toronto, the helmet matched the hats. Sometimes, as in Chicago, it didn’t. The Montreal Expos started with an all-blue helmet and didn’t debut a pinwheel helmet to match the hats until a couple of years later. Milwaukee had a blue helmet with a white front panel, which didn’t match any hat. Milwaukee also wore both a plain-blue helmet and a blue helmet with a yellow front panel on the road. Minnesota (which never wore a hat with a contrasting panel) had a blue helmet with a white front panel. In the absence of a good database like DTT9, I don’t have the time or the energy to catalog the helmets with contrasting panels in addition to the hats with contrasting panels, other than to mention the few anomalies I ran across pulling this piece together.

My opinion: After looking at dozens and dozens of pictures, these hats are a little like the powder blues — they’re fun to pull out now and then for throwback days, they’re fun for fans to wear in the stands, but would I want to see my team (or any team) wearing them full-time again? No.


Great stuff, Mike. I have to say, I have never been a fan of the trucker panel cap either, but there were always one or two teams who seemed to pull it off. Looking back, though, it’s a nice relic from a long-ago time.



Friendly reminder: Paul is on his summer break from the site from now until Aug. 8 (although he’ll still be doing ESPN work, which we’ll link to as it comes up). That means there are a few changes regarding where you should be sending e-mails:

• Phil is writing the lead entries while Paul’s away. You can contact him at his usual address.

• The Ticker is now being compiled by webmaster John Ekdahl. You can still send submissions to the uniwatching at gmail address, but they will go to John, not to Paul.

• If you absolutely need to contact Paul during his summer break, the best way is to send a note to his plukas64 at gmail address. But he may take a little while to get back to you.

• Finally, if you hear about any new college football uniforms during Paul’s break, please send that info to this address. Thanks.


Collector's Corner 2

Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

* NFL IHOP alert! A 70’s metallic gold helmet with the NFL shield.

* Check out this 1940’s decal of Joe D.

* Order your Cleveland Indians tickets on this form — reserved seats just $1.50! (Oops, that was 61 years ago.)

* This is The Major League Baseball Watch from the 70’s (with a Phillies face.) Says so on the box!

* Bold looking ’74 NY Giants media guide with that logo on the cover.

* Here’s a 50’s Brooklyn Dodgers pennant featuring “Emmet Kelly the Clown.”

* I’m not a stirrups nut like some folks, but if you are, you’ll like these 1920’s Spalding socks.

* From PL: “Old baseball photos often show belts like this one. But I’d never seen one of those belts, separate from the rest of the uniform, until now.”

Seen something on eBay that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.


Benchies Beginning logo

Benchies from the Beginning
By Rick Pearson

For nearly three years, “Benchies” has been appearing most weekends at Uni Watch. While Bench Coach Phil fills in for Paul Monday through Friday during August, we present a retrospective. New strips will continue to appear on weekends. For further background, here’s the “Benchies” backstory and bios on the regular Boys of “Benchies.” Enjoy.


And here is the full-size version.


Jets Secondary Mark

Jet Uni Update…

No, the Jets haven’t released their new uniforms, but reader Mark Coale has some new information in that regard:

The president of the Jets was on Toronto radio today and confirmed:

• The sweaters will have the roundel logo on the chest, not the other, as some had thought.

• The other logo will be the shoulder patch.

• The home jerseys will be some shade of blue.

• He would not confirm red pants.

• One of the problems with picking a third jersey for next year is that he said there were three eras of Original Jets sweaters: Bobby Hull era, Dale Howerchuk era and Teemu Selanne era. If there had been one classic sweater for the old jets, there would likely no argument about how to design a third jersey. Now, there is.

• No decision on whether Evander Kane can wear the #9, since the Old Jets retired it for Hull. He seemed to lean on the side of less retired numbers the better. Plus, the history of the old Jets is in Phoenix, not there in Winnipeg.

Mark Coale
Odessa Steps Magazine


ticker 2

Uni Watch News Ticker (compiled by John Ekdahl): The two Norwegian cyclists in the Tour de France, Thor Hushovd and Boasson Hagen, wore black armbands for the final two stages of the tour (Mike Rich). … It’s difficult to make out on the picture, but Morgan Grivas sends this along. “The logo on the top the Springbok players underwear is for ABSA, their sponsor, a bank not an underwear producer!” … Isn’t it refreshing to have a young star in the NBA like Kevin Durant buck the tattoo trend? Oh, never mind (Eric Distenfeld). … Uni Watch gets a mention in this article reporting on Maryland’s August uniform unveiling (Joseph Young). … Rhode Island had unveiled their new football helmet (Tim P. O’Brien). … Rugby news from Caleb Borchers: Fiji’s rugby team wore a special jersey with a red collar to honor of the Christchurch earthquake victims. The All Blacks have repealed a policy that required black “boots”. South Africa wore their new jerseys for the first time in Australia. … Here’s a clever redesign of the Winnipeg Jets new primary logo (Ivan Bettger). … “Saluki Athletics and the Southern Illinois University Alumni Association are teaming up with the Southern Illinois Miners for SIU Day at the Miners game on Friday, Aug. 12.” (Joel Willy) … From Darren Rovell’s Twitter page: “Detroit Tigers having 80s night on 8/3. Offering special package that includes ticket & pair of Zubaz pants for $23!” (Brinke Guthrie) … Check out this gigantic database of flight attendant uniforms (Tom Hamann). … A Michigan State basketball player unwittingly revealed this year’s uniforms (Eric Greenwald). … Paul is excited about his recent eBay victory. … Chicago Blackhawks player Jonathan Toews was spotted at a Cubs game wearing an old school Bears hat on his head and a blonde on his arm. Sorry, I couldn’t squeeze the Bulls into this item (Brady Phelps). … According to this article the new Jets uniforms won’t be released until September; but the fakes are already making the rounds.


“I entered a contest for puns and, thinking that the more I entered the better my chance of winning would be, I made ten entries. I thought I’d at least one would get a prize, but no pun in ten did.” — George Chilvers

Comments (174)

    Nice roundel-up, Mike.

    “…there were always one or two teams who seemed to pull it off.”

    There were exactly three: The Expos, the Brewers and the O’s.

    OK, maybe four (the Jays).

    And I want to know who thought any part of link was a good idea.

    The digital scoreboard at Fenway was for the National League scores. It was there during the 1975 World Series and I think only was removed when a video board was added.

    Like DJ said, it was the NL team lineups.

    I took pix in there last season, starts with this one and then forward 1 you can see the controls are still there


    lose remerswaal,

    I guess it’s not exactly Uni-related, but “Inside The Green Monster” — there’s a Uni Watch article I’d like to read!

    Every part of link was a good idea. (I’m assuming that the diaper he’s obviously wearing is not part of the uniform.)

    red-paneled cap: bad
    red-paneled cap with what appears to be a Bedazzled logo: laughably bad

    pullover jersey: bad
    pullover jersey with no sleeve trim: godawful

    sansabelt pants: bad
    sansabelt pants sans side trim: ridiculous

    plain red stirrups and red sleeves when you can wear link instead: a crying shame.

    (Hey, does the R stand for Roundel, Scott?)

    They’re the Red Sox, not the Red-White-&-Blue Sox.

    That part of the uniform is fine.

    That’s an example of a uniform that absolutely has to have a belt and buttons to work.

    And I want to know who thought any part of this uniform was a good idea

    The McAuliffe number font is always a good idea; sneaky of Tiant to hide it on his back and reveal only the ugly parts!

    Enjoyed the lede today. As a kid I collected caps and helmets and would set them side by side for each team. It was always funny to see teams have a squared-off front on the cap and a triangular front on the helmet, but with otherwise the same design. Not all teams, but many. And I could never figure out why the Braves’ helmet had a white brim but the cap did not.

    Also interesting to note that the Expos started with a blue helmet with their tri-color cap, then switched to a matching tri-color helmet, then went back to the original helmet and matched the cap to it.

    Ricko has said the Twins had a white “T” on their multi-color helmet because they were too cheap to make it another color.

    Well, yeah, they could use the same decals they had left over from the navy helmets.

    Look closely, you can see the navy edge on the white “T” on the helmets that preceded the tri-color.

    I don’t make up this stuff. :)

    It’s a “B”. Check out the cover of the 1975 Red Sox yearbook, which has photos of Dwight Evans, Bill Lee, Carlton Fisk, Carl Yastrzemski and others wearing the cap with the red front panel. Also, there is an action shot of Bill Lee wearing the cap. If someone has the yearbook, I’d bet there are more great shots of that cap in action.

    Interesting that every image on the cover shows that cap & socks combo, which means they wore those a lot more in ’74 than we all remember, or that was their planned “look” for ’75, which was then abandoned mid-stream.

    The Hat was a sunday Home thing. Never worn on the road. The all red sleeves and stirrups were also a home thing only. This was done just in 1974. In 75 they went back to the blue sleeves and traditional red with white/blue stripe stirrus, but went to the red hat w/ navy visor.

    We’re saying pretty much exactly the same thing.

    Although I have recollections of seeing the red panels worn during night games when the Twins played at Fenway that year…so I assumed (again, based on limited availability of images in ’74) that it was the regular home choice…as were the red sleeves and solid red stirrups.

    Let’s not even get into the variants in Red Sox cleats during those years.

    Great lead today, Mike!

    Seeing the panel caps all together in one place like this totally changes my thinking about them as a phenomenon. When I think “panel cap,” I think of the Jays, O’s, and Braves, with their white front panels. Which is a terrible look. Might as well be a trucker cap with a white foam front. (And link still haven’t learned this lesson.)

    But the panel caps that use non-white panels, which turns out to have been a bigger deal in the panel cap era than I remember, basically look great. Like powder blue road uniforms, that’s something that a few teams ought to bring back full time.

    Not quite a true panel cap, more like a mashup of pinwheel and panel, but here’s an idea I’ve been kicking around for the link to differentiate themselves just a tiny bit from the Philles and Braves.

    I like that idea for the Nationals. Especially because the NL East is so bland with uniforms (and I say that as a Braves fan). Three teams using red/blue, and if the Marlins change to the old orange/blue of the former Miami Marlins, then we’ll have a grand total of four colors in the entire division (well except for the Mets’ black…). At least that Nationals design would inject some interest into their uni.

    Why does everyone have the Marlins changing the bejeezus out of their uniforms?!? Are two World Championships chopped liver?

    Are two World Championships chopped liver?

    No, but the bland black-dominant uniforms the Marlins currently wear are. Plus, the team’s ownership has been hinting for years now that they plan to overhaul the team’s colors for the 2012 name change.

    I thought the Marlins were going to go to a darker version of what the Dolphins wear, like a hunter green and the shade of orange the Browns wear.

    Wouldn’t that be the same color orange as the *Mets*, since all MLB teams wear the same colors? And for that matter, the same hunter green as the A’s?

    They should just bring back the teal. I know it’s a garish color, but that’s the only city that can really get away with it.

    Yes, they should bring back the teal. The team’s original color scheme, in its original proportions, were perfection. And not garish at all. Teal, teal, teal, and a little black and silver on the side.

    The talk I’ve heard out of Miami the last three years has been about the Fish going to black and orange, alas. Hopefully nothing comes of those rumors. Or if it’s true, they use the colors in exactly opposite proportions to San Francisco.

    As to the particular hues of orange, the Marlins needn’t be forced into adopting the same orange as the Mets. New Era uses a darker shade on caps for a couple of minor-league teams, like the Casper Ghosts, so the Marlins could use that. If they go with dark green, then yeah, they’re looking at Oakland’s color.

    I’ve wanted to see a team try a two color cap with the front panel and bill the same color for a while now. To me, the problem with those white panel ones is that they do look just like trucker caps. Divide the cap up into two continuous sections and you have something that looks like you meant it, not like something you bought because you could screen a logo onto the foam panel.

    Kill the piping and stupid colors, and it’s an interesting look. There is a way to do that more maturely.

    I think the panel cap works best when the bill is a third color, a la the Orioles. As with all of the other uni variations over the years, I don’t think this look would be good if brought back en masse. One or two teams could pull it off as a permanent look. I think baseball is too homogenized now and could use a half dozen teams to step outside the batters box and go pull over, or zipper front, or panel cap, or monochrome, or whatever.

    When Montreal went with the solid blue caps and the redesigns, it killed their identity. They looked like any other team. They could have let that look evolve instead of totally jumping the track.

    So anyhoo…I like the panel caps in moderation.

    Craig D, I completely agree about the Expos losing their identity. If you didn’t pay attention to fonts and serifs, you wouldn’t be able to distinguish the Expos from the Cubs if you looked at their backs. Same pinstriped jerseys, same blue print, same red borders.

    The least they could have done would be to keep that great-looking Expos font that they’d had since the team’s inception. That and the powder blue on the road gave the ‘Spos an unmistakable look despite the fact that their team colors were already in use by many other teams.

    Then they dumped all that when they jumped on the back-to-boring-gray bandwagon. (Which they never should have been on, because they had no tradition of wearing gray on the road, having joined the league in 1969, at the beginning of the powder-blue-acceptance era.)

    Anyone know the name of the font that the Expos used to use? It feels like something common, but I can’t quite place it.

    I don’t know specifically, but it seems to have been a close relative of the Clarendon family. Very similar to the font used on school bus lettering and numbering back in the day.

    I’m not a big ballcap guy, but I own and wear a retro Expos pinwheel cap and I still think it’s fantastic. Montreal’s old uniforms were sensational and their absence is a real hole in the MLB uniform range. I’m not just talking nostalgia, either–they would look sharp today.

    But then I’m a bit more on the powder-blue bandwagon than others; I think a couple of teams should bring them back for their road unis full-time. Why does everyone have to wear grey? Part of this is a kid-exposure bias, as I grew up watching the Tigers play the Jays and the Royals in powder-blue and I thought it was a good look. Not coincidently, I also don’t mind the Blue Jays panel caps, though the solids were probably an improvement.

    Interesting – that’s apparently Clarendon but with some (though not all) serifs removed from the digits. Since some of the serifs remain, it really shouldn’t be called “gothic.” With or without the amputated serifs, it would be a much better number font for the Nationals than they currently use.

    I associate the the Expos’ pinstripes with the point the ship began to take on water. No less a pundit than Marc Okkonen went out of his way to praise Montreal’s original design, saying it was simultaneously unique *and* traditional, and admired how the team stuck to it through thick and thin.

    And the Expos never wore pullovers or pajamas. Amazingly traditional franchise…

    I actually liked the contrasting panel caps and helmets and am rather surprised that they haven’t had a revival by now considering the popularity of not only retro designs but the frequent revamping of looks some teams do and the need to create something new to sell to fans.

    When Joe Mauer revived the gorgeous three color Twins “Rod Carew helmet” for catching at home, I thought perhaps we were on our way to a comeback of that style.

    The minor leagues and summer collegiate teams have revived the contrasting front panels look. The Tennessee Smokies of the Southern League, the Oneonta Outlaws of the NYCBL and the North Adams Steeplecats of the NECBL all wear versions of these caps. I’m sure people can add other teams to the list…

    The Steeplecats, afaik, have two or three different panelled caps. Off the top of my head, at least black with a yellow panel, and black with a white panel. There might be a yellow cap with a black panel, but I’m not sure.

    I should go see one of their games this week. They’re dead last in the standings and out of the playoffs for the first time in team history. Youch.

    Two helmet quirks were the Twins, who had a panel helmet, but never a panel hat, and the Braves, whose helmet had a white brim.

    What’s really bizarre about that Twins helmet (which I’ve never even seen before) is the white “T” (with a thin blue outline) against the white panel of the helmet. You would think they would know enough to make the “T” blue against the white background


    Maybe I’m missing something but to me that Michigan State player’s jersey looks just like what the Spartans wore last season.

    Even after reading the article… why is this a surprise?

    Do NCAA basketball uniforms really change so often that we should have been expecting new uniforms for a team that just changed last year?

    I agree. I wasnt sure of the point of it all. MSU JUST introduced those unis last year. Was there ever a discussion that they would change again?

    “Mariano Rivera accidentally releases details that the Yankees will wear pinstripes at home next year. Film at 11:00”

    MSU has worn the current style since mid-2010. Last year they were changed to reflect re-branding study (remove State-script logo and added “Spartans”).

    MSU is expected to get new jerseys soon as they are an elite school with Nike. I bet we receive them mid-season.

    The point of the article was that we are starting the season with last year’s jerseys. Something that we would normally find out in November was discovered in a tweet in July.

    I also heard the interview of the Jets President on the Bob McCown show, what he also said, the only red in the jersey will be the logo. That was said almost as a slip of the tongue. I guess that doesn’t rule out burgundy , but it’s looking like it will be either double blue, or blue and grey uniform.

    Expect light blue jerseys over dark blue pants. I can’t say where I got this info from, but the light blue is in line with the RCAF jersey design.

    Cool stuff, thanks! I’ve always been fascinated by the helmets in particular…as the article said, they don’t always match the caps, with my hometown Brewers being a prime example. It’s too bad the helmets aren’t shown on DTT9 (until the mid ’90s, when they pretty much all matched the caps), because I’d love to see that.

    I can recall, at the time, wondering why Milwaukee didn’t taper their contrasting triangle the way Toronto, Baltimore, and others did, a la San Diego. For Montreal, it didn’t make much sense since they were mimicking the hat’s pie-cut pattern.

    Loved the panel cap synopsis.

    One small semantic complaint: when the Orioles, for example, stopped wearing a panel cap in 1989, don’t say they wore one “until 1988″…..say they wore one “through 1988”. Makes the dividing point crystal clear.

    “Loved the panel cap synopsis.”

    Yessir. Fine job, Mike. And you’re right about until/through, pushbutton.


    “…So, today we’re going to turn the way-back machine to our own youth – the ’70s and ’80s…”

    If only it were so, Phil. By the ’70s my youth was quite (mis)spent. Which prompts q question: how many of us around the campfire were born before 1950? JUst wonderin’…


    “…Rhode Island had unveiled their new football helmet (Tim P. O’Brien). … Rugby news from Caleb Borchers: Fiji’s rugby team wore a special jersey with a red color to honor of the Christchurch earthquake victims. The All Blacks have repealed a policy that required black “boots”. South Africa wore their new jerseys for the first time in Australia. …”

    Fine ticker stuff, John. New URI helmet is really pretty good. [Any Ram alums out there?] And I’m happy to see the growth in rugger coverage on the site. Lots of new sartorial developments for the World Cup in September. Most of them quite bad, of course, which is good.

    Okay, just woke up, but I think that the red paneled hat was the Red Sox home hat that season, with the road hat being the typical all-navy. In fact, the road socks may have been the typical tri-colors. As I said, I just woke up. Need to do some digging. I have some notes I made at the time (based on what I was seeing, anyway; that was pre-widespread cable and ESPN) around here somewhere.

    As far as the photos appearing to show they planned to wear them in ’75, gonna say again, back then teams didn’t break out the new duds til the season opener. So likely any material promoting the coming ’75 season would be in ’74 unis.

    Pretty sure if you look at baseball cards from around the time of the Twins uni change in ’87 you can tell they still wore the powder blues roads, etc., in Orlando that spring.

    Did a bit of digging. Wasn’t the road socks that were different. Was something else (besides the hats, that is). Phil’s gonna do a follow up, so I’m getting him whatever I can find.

    Well now, I spoke too soon about the socks.

    lol. I MUST be getting old. Can’t remember four items I need at the grocery store, but I got 1974 unis right, no problem.

    everytime i type his name (and i seem to do that a lot since he contributes a lot)…

    i see “time”

    maybe he should just go as “time o’brien”

    I will never be timmy, i hate that name.

    “The Tim” seems a bit pretentious, sorry the jeff. haha

    And actually, I considered going by Time O’Brien and just blaming it on fictitious hippie parents (like my deviantArt account is TimeOBrien) but I chickened out and went with Tim E.

    I will never be timmy, i hate that name.

    This kinda reminds me of when Homer J. Simpson set out to learn what his whole name was, and discovered it was Homer Jay Simpson.

    “No way. Why should I change when he’s the one that sucks?”

    Michael Bolton–Office Space

    Actually, it’s not so much uncreative as it is that Gaelic ancestries go back longer than any other group apart from the jews. It’s possible to track them back to neolithic times.

    Unlike the Brits, who had a range of last names that were just kinda assigned based on professions (John the Smith became John Smith, or Mike Cooper) or whatever other characteristic, the old Gaelic names go back to ancient tribes.

    Ever heard of Brian Boru? You two are both related to him.

    I actually love most of the old panel caps of MLB from my childhood. The Padres front gold panel (not a full panel) was actually in the shape of a mission bell. Unfortunately, the TBTC uni games have never gotten the panel right. The Padres NEED to go back to that cap look, and the Orioles would look wonderful going back to the cartoon Oriole face caps and unis.

    I’m all about the tighter fitting uniforms, “sansabelt” waist bands (they were actually referred to as “self belts” in the National League Green books), and high stockings that showed plenty of sanitary. The gold sanis of Oakland and the Padres always looked good (and Milwaukee for a brief time on the road). So did the Giants when they wore orange sanis for a brief time on the road (Vida Blue era).

    I’m betting that’s just a typo (an oops) in your comment. Giants wore the orange sanis at home, of course, with white shoes, not on the road, where they wore black shoes. Jack Clark and Vida and that bunch.

    There are days when I love the hell out of this site, and this is one of them. Never realized the exact appointments of the Giants’ 77-82 ‘colorful period’ before.

    And learning that the Blue Jays abandoned their white-panel caps for good in the middle of the 1993 season is one of those factoids I can’t get enough of.

    I agree about the Padres. Those “taco” bell caps are my favorite cap of all time.

    Also, I love Toewser even more today because he and I have the exact same Bears hat (it’s my only bears hat and I would assume his only too).

    and this – link – might be the best picture i’ve seen in a while.

    Clearly the blond is obnoxiously laughing because the dude in front of toews and the lady be hind him are, let’s say, reacting poorly to her. And the dood in the front right looks like he was added in in post production haha.

    I was at Camden Yards this weekend (in the 100 degree heat) and saw that Bears hat in the Orioles store. The store only had Orioles gear on there so someone must have thought it was a throwback or something. Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture.

    I’ve seen that hat online and actually bought a version of it from the Cooperstown Ballcap Co. before they closed up shop. I took it for granted that it was real since you could find replicas in so many different places. It is advertised as a 1955 cap, but isn’t in Okkonen. Since that is a great resource, but not always 100% accurate I started looking for photos and could find none. I did find a thread from the Baltimore Sun (link) about the O’s never wearing that cap. I’m just wondering where the misinformation all started. Does anyone know?

    either everyone in the cubs pic is a midget. or, the lady wearing the cubs jersey behind the hawk and the blonde is a two seater.

    Zoom in on that Luis Tiant picture, and I’m pretty sure you’ll see what I see, and that’s an American flag (pin?) covering the B.


    The more I look at it, that flag seems to be turning into a Flying Elvis. Maybe it’s time to stop looking at that picture.

    Yeah, it’s wiggy. Almost looks like it could be a salt/perspiration stain on the top half of the “B”.

    “Fiji’s rugby team wore a special jersey with a red color to honor of the Christchurch earthquake victims.”

    Um, would that be a special red “collar?”


    i was emailing vilk yesterday and i typed “movi” (short for ‘mothervilker’ of course) and the damn thing autocorrected to ‘movie”

    there are many examples of this that are annoying…unfortunately i can’t blame cache/cachet on that, dammit

    Redesign of Winnipeg Jets logo is interesting, except the shape melds a jet heading upward with an upside-down maple leaf; would some Canadians find that insulting?

    Yeah, I haven’t figured out if that logo is underthought or overthought.

    But it’s one or the other.

    I’m going with both. Way too much thought about the trees, way too little thought about the forest, as it were.

    How is that leaf upside-down? Aside from the stem being turned into a point (and the bevels), it looks rather normal to me…

    I’ve heard the same comment from a couple of people. The stem of the leaf, usually rounded or squared off, has been brought to a point. I guess to look more aggressive or something. So on first glance, it seems to strike many people as being an upside-down leaf.

    Good news!! Georgia Tech is making a return to gold numerals on their home whites (home/away whites?). Bad news… they still look like poop.


    Love the return to Gold numbers, though I wonder how hard they will be to read on gameday (I know thats one reason why they made that change back in 03).

    The Jets and the NHL, I believe, have already said that the franchise records for the original Jets will remain in Phoenix and that all current franchise records from Atlanta will apply to this incarnation of the Jets. There is no Cleveland Browns application in effect here.

    As for retried numbers, it does not appear that there are any limitations for the current Jets – as those are with Phoenix. Thomas Steen has no objection either, based on a news article I read in the last couple of weeks.

    See, that’s why you have to take the owner to federal court. Or would it be the ICJ in this case?

    I think it would have to come before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. Since hockey takes place on the ice, we’re dealing with maritime law here.

    I never understood the Phoenix Coyotes retiring Dale Hawerchuk’s number. That was just . . . plain . . . sad. It’d be like the Clippers deciding to retire one of the Buffalo Braves’ numbers or something.

    I don’t think it would be inappropriate for the new Jets to take numbers 9, 10 and 25 out of circulation. Certainly, Hull, Hawerchuk and Steen still mean a great deal in Winnipeg. And frankly, it’s not as if Evander Kane is going to make anyone forget the Golden Jet.

    But even if they don’t, I think the owners should find a way to honour not only the Jets of 1972-1995, but all of the city’s hockey history. After all, Winnipeg was the first place outside of Montreal to hoist the Stanley Cup. For a pretty good template, they should look just south: the Minnesota Wild strike me as a franchise that have done an outstanding job of embracing the State of Hockey’s heritage.

    I say who cares what Phoenix and the NHL say here. Those players all played in Winnipeg. Just because of an agreement or lack thereof should make no difference. The Phoeix fan has no connection to these players and the Winnipeg fans do. It is utter nonsense to me!

    One tidbit, I’m not sure about the exact dates (early 80’s??) but the Mariners wore a white contrasting helmet but kept a solid cap similar to what the Brewers and Twins did.

    Why the Mariners, Twins and Brewers chose to have a contrasting panel on their helmet and not their caps seems like an odd decision. Maybe it was a money issue in that the contrasting cap was more expensive than the contrasting helmet.

    I never realized the Brewers only wore the contrasting white front panel on their helmets not their soft caps. I’m surprised they didn’t switch to a white front panel cap because it looked really good on the helmet.

    It seems like the contrasting front panel helmet was a bigger deal in the A.L. than it was in the N.L.

    Back in the 70’s collecting plastic replica batting helmets was a big deal for some reason. I guess they were relatively cheap but It’s not like you could use them for anything and they weren’t that comfortable to wear and they also use to get very hot in summer. Anyway, I kind of remember that the contrasting front panel on some of the teams’ helmets were more narrow than the front panel of their soft caps. I seem to remember that teams copied the Padres narrow front panel for their helmets but not for their soft caps.

    Plastic replica helmets were popular rainwear in my high school in the 1970s. We thought they were cooler-looking than umbrellas.

    I remember the plastic replica batting helmets in the 80s… I had a Tigers one. I hated that plastic adjustable insert, and any time my sister would smack the top of my head while wearing one, I’d feel the points were the insert connected to the inside of the helmet dig into my skull.

    “Why the Mariners, Twins and Brewers chose to have a contrasting panel on their helmet and not their caps seems like an odd decision. Maybe it was a money issue in that the contrasting cap was more expensive than the contrasting helmet.”

    Not in the case of the Twins (although Griffith was a world-class penny pincher). Their tri-color helmet first appeared when they wore only the navy hat. In the piece I wrote on those unis for UW, I pointed it more just the line of thinking that if flames looked cool on hot rods, a jazzed up batting helmet would be pretty damn sniffy. It was as, I noted, the product of a taste-free environment.

    I remember noticing that the Brewers were one of the few teams that used straight-line borders on the white panel of the helmet rather than the graceful curve used by the Braves and most others. Looked like a full-on white helmet from the front.

    Do they still make those plastic kiddie helmets or are they too spooked by potential head-injury lawsuits? Haven’t seen one in years.

    My friend’s got a ’70s style Red Sox helmet in the back window of his car, but knowing him, probably vintage.

    The last I can remember seeing any new ones was in the mid or late 90s.

    The trident-in-a-star insignia was to commemorate the 1978 All-Star Game. That year it only appeared on the batting helmet and on the left sleeve. The following season it was adopted as the Mariners’ all-purpose logo. I’m pretty sure Seattle was the first team to wear the All-Star patch all season long.

    Oops, that would be the ’79 ASG, the one in the Lou Brock picture, the M’s were donning the white-fronted helmet for.

    My favorite panel caps are the Padres, Orioles, and Braves, in that order. I don’t think this is a general name, but everyone I know that knows about them calls the Padres’ caps taco hats.

    I think teams that never tried the panel caps should do that as a fauxback, just to see it. I bet the Indians’ red hats with the blue C would look a lot better with a white panel in the front. The C would actually be visible on that.

    I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with people having tattoos, especially in the NBA and especially like KD having them under the jersey.

    He tweeted about his reasoning behind them a while back…


    And just look at his twitter background!

    Really doesn’t change my opinion of him at all.

    I still cant figure out why so many people (especially the older variety – from my exp.) hate tattoos either.

    It’s a generational thing. I went around thinking people with tattoos were either bikers or sailors; people younger than me are more accepting.

    Great job on today’s entry. How come those hats look good but the ones this year for the holiday’s look like crap?

    Because the holiday ones aren’t team colored, and the flagified logos are ugly on any background.

    Also, the stitching is for shit. The old caps, they took the care to make the seam stitching match the color of the underlying fabric on both sides of the seam. Too many of the panel caps you see these days from New Era use just one color of thread. So on the S&S11 caps, you have a link on the sides and where the crown meets the brim.

    That’s like Dollar Store workmanship right there.

    Great topic for today, I’m lovin’ every minute of this.

    As a traditionalist who grew up following baseball in the 60’s, reason says I should hate the panel caps… but I don’t. I’m glad EVERY team didn’t go that way. They just seem to work on most of the teams who did employ them. The Braves especially, with the contrasting blue tomahawk sleeves. And that Expos cap was the first one I bought (or nagged my dad to buy) at my first trip to Shea Stadium in 1969.

    And the things you learn here. Several of these I’ve never seen before, and I don’t know how that’s possible! The RedSox panel cap… the Twins panel helmet… and I was a huge Padres fan, how have I never seen that panel style Zimmer is wearing with the partial wrap-around?!?!


    If you’re a Blue Jays fan, that IS tradition. They probably should have kept theirs. They darn sure needed to keep the logo, though. For a team like the Sox (either color) it’s a dated look.

    I agree, it’s a good thing everyone didn’t jump on the bandwagon, but some of those hats have a place on the heads of today’s players.

    Change the red on that link to orange, and there’s something the Mets could put on their hats. Right, Phil?

    and how is it that the picture of Rusty Staub batting, and the magazine cover of Tom Seaver pitching… in both pics it looks like they’re wearing BLACK stirrups?!?!

    I realize they’re probably dark blue and its just the way the pic came out, but even so, the blue in both cases is CLEARLY darker than the blue on their uniform and/or caps!!!


    I have a pic, somewhere of Rico Petrocelli wearing the 1974 Red Sox panel hat at the batting cage, I will see if I can dig it out at home tonight.

    I also have a replica of the hat as well, I can probably post a few pic of that as well, as I wore it to St. Croix a couple of weeks ago so my bald spot would not burn in the sun :-D

    Yeah, add that orange O’s panel cap to the list of those I’m shocked that I don’t ever remember seeing before…

    But I second the votes for those you want to bring back



    while i enjoy the fact that there’s no crap on there…it’s almost too plain…(can’t believe i’m saying that) — looks like the pants are completely stripeless…and teams REALLY need to ditch the black socks completely

    so the pack is the new nits?

    They’ve got the right idea with the jerseys, though. No room for anything but a number and the STATE wordmark, so no use trying to cram stripes anywhere. That’s where we are with football jerseys now, anyway – there’s simply NO real estate on them for design.

    Pants could use some stripes, though. Real stripes, not swoopy bullshit.

    Ok, the next time I complain about a uniform being too plain, you aren’t allowed to comment.

    Great post, Phil! I have a nostalgic attitude toward those caps and helmets.

    As a lifelong Brewers fan, I must point out that the Brewers didn’t switch to the ball-in-glove logo until the ’78 season. I remember it well, since it’s also the season they switched to pinstripes. And had their first winning record:


    I just noticed what someone on here said a little while ago about the Brewers ball-in-glove forming the letters “m” and “b” — I had never noticed that either.

    link jumped out at me while reading today’s entry (great job, btw!). I had forgotten how a lot of teams went stripe crazy in the 70’s and 80’s with those big, thick designs. And while the Cards may have been a bit on the garish side, compare that 1979 ASG pic to link Sad. Albert looks like he’s wearing a baggy white jumpsuit. I’d love to see stripes make a comeback. Not necessarily the big, thick ones from the 70’s, but maybe more of a toned down version of them. And if any team should try that, it’s St. Louis.

    this is old and non-sequiter, i know, but it is REALLY REALLY bothering me. From the ticker a few days ago:

    “TMZ can’t even get the NFL logo right (Mark Kaplowitz)”

    What’s wrong with the logo on the TMZ site? I’ve literally just spent the past 5 minutes staring at it and comparing it to other pictures and I just don’t see what’s wrong

    o wow… crazy what we don’t notice unless its pointed out.

    its weird, a quick google image search for “nfl” brings up the old one, and an image search for “nfl logo” only brings up one small thumbnail of the current one thats easy to miss… go figure.

    thanks for clearing that up. it won’t keep me awake at night now.

    just as a reply to my reply… i wonder why only the old logo comes up on the google search. stricter copyright enforcement by Mr. Goodell? hmmmmmmm…..

    I know this is late, but I had to throw this in:

    Was watching the Phillies-Padres throwback game this weekend. My daughter who isn’t a baseball fam was also watching, and when the Padres came up in the first inning, she said, “Wow, who picked those colors?”

    I said, “What, they’re earth tones, brown and yellow.”

    She said, “Yeah, pee and poop. Nice.”

    I never thought of it that way, I guess.

    Tim E. O’B mentioned that Jonathan Toews’s face in his NHL 3D template was a cross between bitter beer face and bitter “O” face. Well, I see this as a cross between link.

    I haven’t read the comment section of the site in forever. Now I remember why I could stay on this site for hours! The things that keep grown men entertained never cease to amaze me! I have a Braves contrast panel that I wear and think looks great and the O’s should definitely go back to the cartoon bird with the white panel. I always thought the Orioles with the orange panel and the Brewers with the yellow panel were two of the ugliest hats in MLB history. Man I need to ignore the wife telling me to get of the computer and start reading the comments every day…

    I should pass on that, in person, this ensemble looked pretty good….

    I know most don’t think so, but I lucked into 3rd row seats right by the Oriole dugout at the Met so I was maybe 15 feet from Reggie when he was dressed like that. Wasn’t bad looking at all.

    Oh, as near as I could tell at the time, the orange panel hat was worn only with the orange jersey.

    That combo was worn only just a series, I believe, and honestly don’t know if it ever was worn at home. I’m sure some Oriole fan here can fill us in on that.

    If tim e. Becomes “the tim e.” He needs to adopt “the bird” as his entrance music.

    /loves old school koko ware

    OU will wear a simple ’12’ on the back of their helmets in regards to MLB Austin Box who passed away in May…no pics as of yet.

    Also noticed this year’s replica jerseys by Nike, which were (obviously not, just a coincidence) Ryan Broyles’ number last year, are 12 this year.

    The gold-front Brewers helmet shown in the picture is on George “Boomer” Scott. Scott liked to wear his helmet while playing first base, so his road helmet was painted to match the team’s road cap, rather than the road helmet. Apparently, they figured it wouldn’t stand out as much when he was batting as a white-front helmet would while the team was in the field.

    The necklace he’s wearing, he once said, was made of “second basemens’ teeth.”

    Whilst on my way to Pittsburgh last week, I stopped in Akron to take in an Aeros game. As is my usual custom when attending a new park, I look for the ice cream sundae helmet on the menu. They did have them but only in assorted MLB teams, no Akron mini helmet sundaes! However, if I were a glutton, I could have chosen the 21-scoop sundae in a real Akron helmet instead. I actually did see someone walking down the concourse with this behemoth.

    21 scoops? Are they trying to kill us?

    I used to eat my height in footlongs back in the day, but 21 scoops of ice cream is a bit much, no? Fill that helmet with popcorn instead.

    The powder blue look has come back and so will the panel hats! I’ve seen a ton of high schools bring them back recently and I think eventually a big league team or two will have it as a alternate. I like it if it’s a white or gray front with a primary color in back. Adds a little something to the uni. The helmets are a different story. One of the many things that should be kept in the 70s.

Comments are closed.