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When the White Shoe Was ‘Hot’

Rickey Henderson's Cleats

By Phil Hecken

Back about three weeks ago, the day of the MLB All Star game, in fact, I had wanted to do a piece on specialty cleats players wear for the game, usually white shoes, although some wear gray for the mid-summer classic.

This year, however, my father passed away, so I never got to do that post, nor did I see the game. In a way, it’s good I didn’t see it, because this year, the footwear of choice was um, less than stellar. Not quite the white shoes I remember from back in the day.

But white cleats were once a big part of baseball, and not just for the All Star game. The only team who still wears the white footwear now is, of course, the team who started it all.

Here now, is our own Uni Watch historian, Rick Pearson, who I asked to give us a brief overview of the white shoe phenomenon in the Major Leagues. Enjoy:


“There’s no White Shoes in BASEBALL!” Oh, really?”
By Rick Pearson

Charles O. Finley, who had bought the moribund Kansas City Athletics franchise, was, of course, nuts.

He thought orange baseballs would be a good idea.

He thought someone ought to bat, permanently, for those anemic-hitting pitchers, most of whom looked at a bat the way a goat puzzles at a new fence. A “designated batter,” I think he called it.

He opined that TV ratings would be pretty darn good if maybe weekday World Series games were played at night instead.

His idea of a great mascot for the A’s would be a Missouri mule. Wearing a hat.

He thought unis would be pretty spiffy with more color. Presto, he introduced Athletic Gold unis for his A’s in 1963, originally a satiny nylon for at least the season’s first series or two.

And, he evidently reasoned, white shoes on this Namath kid were getting a lot of attention over in the American Football League, so maybe his baseball team ought to wear them, too.

So, four years after introducing mono-gold, Finley signed a deal with Riddell to outfit his A’s in white cleats. He even included that particular brand of shoes in the team’s logo beginning the following season.

Being a jovial if slightly off-kilter fellow, Finley tried to convince sportswriters the new shoes were made from the rare albino kangaroo (keep in mind he later also lobbied Vida Blue to legally change his first name to “True”).

But I digress. Finley also added Athletic Gold sanitary socks, a wise idea because it kept his team from appearing to play in white booties…or from looking like the go-go dancers on “Hullabaloo.”

This move was meant by a fair amount of guffawing and derision. The Washington Senators even had an “anti-white” game (or something) when they play the Athletics at RFK, eschewing their striped stirrups for the evening and wearing special white caps.

Strangely, though, within a few years, white shoes were popping up all over Major League Baseball. This says nothing about MLB’s ability to be fashion-forward, but does speak volumes regarding their endless capacity to “fashion follow.” By 1971, even the once-contrary Senators were wearing white Adidas with red and royal stripes.

The Astros, in their second season of the Tequila Sunrise design, went to white shoes (wore black the first season). The Astros stuck with white sanis, but by then most players were into ribbon stirrups so we were becoming accustomed to white legs.

The Padres adopted white shoes, too, as part of new design that added white trim to a set than included mono-gold (I will NOT call it mustard; it’s the same Athletic Gold other teams wore). Although, because they opted for gold sanis, they did sort of look like condiment squirt-bottles with legs. You know the ones I mean. The waitress sets them on the table when she brings your Burger Basket.

Those two teams didn’t look so bad in white shoes. Looked good, actually. After all, the white cleats WERE part of new design. Modern, trendy, forward-looking…and all that.

Other teams, though, didn’t quite get it. The Phillies, Angels and the previously mentioned Senators kept their same unis, just switched to white shoes. Looked kinda dopey, prime examples of “fashion-following” and perhaps an early example of “bumper-stickering.”

Individual players, though, gave every evidence of liking white cleats. Left to their own devices—the All-Star Game being the most visible occasion—many opted for white. Off the top of my head, I can think of Dave Parker, Gary Carter and Andre Dawson as being among the earliest to do so. Over the years, that trend has continued, including even the likes of Eddie Guardado. Yeah, being flashy always was a big part of Everyday Eddie’s game.

After a while, though, white cleats disappeared from everyone but the A’s, who had moved to Oakland after only a pair of white-shod Kansas City seasons.

And though the Padres tried, the A’s remain the sole franchise to win a World Series wearing white shoes.

Wasn’t with orange baseballs, though. Finley’s madness went only so far.


Thanks, Ricko. I’m not so sure about the “white shoes” phenomenon now, and I’m even less certain whether or not I’d like it with pajama pants. But at one time I sure did hope my Mets, who I would love to see break out the white cleats for the All Star game, would have added them permanently. Now, I’m thankful they did not. It was fun for a once-a-year gimmick, but better left well enough alone.


Winnipeg Jet Logo

More on the Jets…

Occasionally we look to the “Under Consideration” (a/k/a “Brand New”) website for inspiration and/or critiques of new or existing logos. I was actually looking at their neat blog for something else, when I stumbled across their write up of the new Jets logos, roundel and wordmarks. A link to their writeup is here.

Of course, I hadn’t seen this when I did my own review of those a week ago, but I fairly loved the roundel, was pretty keen on the logo, and didn’t like the workmark. A couple readers took me to task on the workmark review, and of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. No one is right or wrong when it comes to opinion — it’s a matter of preference and choice.

But I did feel a bit vindicated when I read the Under Consideration/Brand New review of the wordmark:

Finally, there is the wordmark. A truly horrific piece of script. Not only is it unpleasant to look at but it makes no structural sense: why does the “J” connect with the “e”? I have never seen a “J” do that. And the “t” and “s” segue? Completely jarring. Loading Snell Roundhand and adding pointy ends to it would have probably been better.

They also pretty much agreed with me on the roundel and the logo (or secondary mark) so at least I feel like I’m in good company.

If you guys haven’t bookmarked that website already, it’s definitely right up the Uni Watch alley.


uni tracking 2011

Uni Tracking

I will occasionally be featuring the uni-tracking that our various readers undertake throughout the season. Today we have Glenn Simpkins who is tracking the San Francisco Giants’ proclivities:

Hi Phil

Sending in my 2nd third of the season uni tracking report for the San Francisco Giants. Folks can have a look see here at my tracking document:

For the readership, the Giants uni combos:
Home: Cream; Orange Friday; Orange Bill Sunday, or OBS, with a cream uni. Road: Grey, OBS with the Grey).

The stats as of 7/31/2011

Home: The Giants are now a total of 32 – 18 at home with the following splits: Cream = 19 – 12, Orange Friday = 5 – 3, OBS = 7 – 2.
These splits DO include the two games in which the Giants wore ribbon stickers (Mothers’ day and AIDS Awareness), both of which were won by Ryan Voglesong, and the period in which MLB imposed that the All Stars wear their patches, during which the team went 3 – 4 and the starters named to the team went 2 – 2 in 5 games.
These splits do NOT include two games in which their uniform was modified, Flag desecration day (a loss) and their “gold lettering” day (a win).
Their Home OBS record is a SHOCKER. Perhaps I was hasty about branding it as a bad idea across the board, since it wins at home.

Road: Different story, The’re a total of 29 ~ 29 with the following splits: Grey = 26 ~ 22, OBS = 1 ~ 7, Special days (Jackie Robinson day and a Flag Desecration day) = 2 – 0 Included in these splits is the Fathers’ day game, in which the Giants sustained a loss.
OBS on the road is weighing us down, we should get rid of it!

Total OBS record now stands at 8 – 9 in 17 games. Overall Record is 61 – 47.

Thanks for reading!


Thanks, Glenn. If any of you are similarly tracking your teams’ uniforms throughout the season, give me a shout and I’ll post your efforts.


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.” This week, more or less, we focus on Ol’ Eddie.


And here is the full-size version.


ticker 2

Uni Watch News Ticker (compiled by John Ekdahl): Colm Heaney: “The NASL’s FC Edmonton recently paid homage to the old Edmonton Drillers, but in the old days they didn’t have sponsors on the kit so they had to shoehorn it on, creating this hot mess.” … Check out this photo of the 1915 Tigerton Ladies Baseball Team (Wisconsin). (BSmile) … Looks like Golf Digest photoshopped the swooshes off of Hank Haney after he moved to Taylor Made (Jordan Rogers). … Head over here for some screen grabs of Hunter Pence’s custom Phillies cleats (Matt Pesotski). … Matt Cunningham: “Here is a great commercial showing the evolution of golf clothing in one swing. Had to watch it a couple times.” … Notre Dame will be the first football program to wear a new protective mouthguard that records impact data in an effort to better understand and protect against concussions (Brinke Guthrie). … This is supposedly a “leak” of the Rangers Winter Classic jersey. The quality of the jersey is terrible (seriously, look at that logo) and why put Messier on there? We think it’s a fake. (Robert Silverman). … K-State is selling “game worn” equestrian unit (Ben Traxel). … Ben Roethlisberger wore a #78 jersey to practice to honor offensive tackle Max Starks, who was released by the Steelers last week.


“If someone competent could have started a ballclub in Pittsburgh in the last 18 years, a lot fewer people would be excited about the Pirates in the NL Central race right now.” — Jerry Wolper

Comments (142)

    Also for the Rangers’ Winter Classic “leak”, we can see there’s the Reebok logo above the name on the back whereas we pretty much know the “Reebok” wordmark will be used next season.

    “Charles O. Finley, who had bought the moribund Kansas City Athletics franchise, was, of course, nuts.”

    “He thought unis would be pretty spiffy with more color.”

    These two sentences do not belong together.

    Charlie, of course, was not nuts.
    Not totally. And that was my point.
    In every sense, he was one of those great “characters” that make baseball more fun.
    So many of his supposedly addle-headed notions turned out to pretty damned insightful.

    Looking back on it, I think most would conclude that Finley was berry, berry good to baseball.

    BECAUSE he was a little nuts.

    i can only wonder how much influence charlie o would have over uniforms today, and, if he did…would he make the A’s the oregon (football) of baseball?

    would he flout the green and gold colors and introduce introduce a gray road uniform to the scorn and disdain of anti-lifestyle traditionalists?

    Possibly. But remember, without Charlie O. the mule there’d likely be no sausage races in Milwaukee.

    And Randall Simon wouldn’t have had anyone to skull with a bat.

    Charlie was and wasn’t nuts. After all, he suggested all players get one-year contracts and be made free agents at the end of each season, that would’ve saturated the market and should’ve diluted salaries. Other owners squelched the idea and got hosed. (Not that I’m objecting, I’d rather see players get the bucks rather than owners pocket the difference.)

    Charlie had an eye for talent and stocked some good young players. Unfortunately, they blossomed after the A’s left Kansas City. He couldn’t stop meddling with his managers. Had he and George been at the top of their games at the same time, they probably would have had Billy Martin bouncing between both teams.

    The orange baseball wasn’t a totally nuts idea.The National Baseball Congress experimented with it during a tournament in the ’60s. Charlie was more about marketing, which baseball needed.

    Those World Series A’s teams in the ’70s had talent, turmoil and trafficked merchandise as well as any team.

    I got over Charlie bolting KC after the Royals arrived on the scene. Ewing Kauffman was every bit the marketer and innovator and turned out to be a far superior owner. (For one thing he had more money.)

    But Charlie gave us that gorgeous Jim Nash uniform. And that pretty much negates all the bad stuff he tried.

    I thought the NCAA didn’t allow same colored numbers on jerseys? Or is that only on basketball jerseys?

    I kinda like it…I’d wear the jersey, but those numbers are going to be a bitch to read during zoomed out TV shots.

    Ok. So a team that has 1,329 combinations over the last few years comes out with a ‘special’ pro combat set.


    I don’t see how that is any different than anything else they’ve been wearing. Really diffuses the point.

    Wow, what an impressive photo. Really shows how useful this uniform will be to Oregon, if Oregon ever plays night games with the lights off. If the NCAA ever institutes football-in-the-dark, that Ducks offensive line going to be impossible to guard against.

    In all other circumstances, of course, that’s just a pointlessly ugly uniform that like most Nike “designs” fails to achieve most of the functional purposes of an athletic uniform, but gosh, if they ever do play in the dark, Oregon is so ready.

    On the other hand, the game *can* be played just fine without numbers. Player identification is pretty much just for the fans’ sake. A holding penalty is a holding penalty regardless of whether the Ref specifies it being on #76.

    I do agree that those numbers are hard to read and probably should be yellow instead… but they aren’t *truly* necessary.

    “Player identification is pretty much just for the fans’ sake. A holding penalty is a holding penalty regardless of whether the Ref specifies it being on #76”

    LMAO!!! what?!?!

    Part of the function of numbers is to achieve certain basic purposes of the competition – enabling referees, fans, coaches, other players, etc. to identify individual players. The degree of utility here is certainly arguable. But another part of the function is simply to satisfy the rules that require numbers to achieve those basic purposes. So even if we accept the argument against the core function itself – numbers just aren’t all that necessary; it’s not like we’re playing this game for the benefit of the fans, right? – we’re still left with satisfying the rules as a core function that any design must meet.

    That Nike doesn’t even try to meet the basic functional purposes of an athletic uniform, nor even try to satisfy client interests, is why I put the word “design” in scarequotes. Nike isn’t engaged in design, nor is it even pretending to be. At best, what Nike is doing with the Pro Combat line is art; at worst, self-promoting brand-extension marketing. Either way, design doesn’t enter into the equation.

    So to a certain degree, much of the criticism of the Pro Combat line is unfair. We tend to judge the Pro Combat uniforms in terms of design, and judged thusly Nike comes off not merely as failures, but as the absolute stupidest people in the industry. I mean individually; if that’s design, then the people at Nike, pretyyu much all of them, are deeply, extraordinarily incompetent people. But if we drop the assumption that Nike is attempting design, and assume rather that Nike is engaged in either art or self-promotion, then not only does Pro Combat make sense, but the people at Nike suddenly appear to be pretty good at their jobs.

    As art, I think many of the Pro Combat uniforms are quite good. Terrible design, sure, but often successful exercises in pure aesthetics. And as self-promotion, Pro Combat is unquestionably one of the best examples in the industry since the original Air Jordan line.

    The game did start without numbers, remember?

    You *can* play football without player numbers. I’m not saying that teams *should*…like I said, those Oregon numbers really ought to be yellow…but that’s how it was in the 20’s. It can be done.

    These numbers are going to be a statistician’s nightmare. Well said, R.S. Also looks like Nike have dumped the Belotti bold numerals from the greyed out uniform pictured in the dark stadium.

    By 1994, front numbers were essential enough that the NFL required them on throwback designs where there were no numbers originally.

    I used to be the play-by-play statistician for the New England Patriots. Believe you me, those numbers ABSOLUTELY matter to us! When you have to determine yards gained, tackler(s), fumble recoverers and causers, etc. from a half mile away, up in the press box, at real speed, in real time, legible numbers are EVERYthing. I would’ve liked to have seen numbers on socks, shoes, helmets, the backs of hands, gloves, wristbands, shoelaces, the bottoms of shoes, you name it. Not for the esthetics (obviously), but damn it was hard to figure out tacklers to credit on a play when they’re wearing uniforms that don’t have vividly clear numerals on them.

    Oh come on now, I’m sure at least 1/4ths of Oregon’s combinations are perfectly fine, even for you.

    “Any throwback that doesn’t include the Bellotti font is fine”


    well, if you had actually looked at the pixture instead of immediately having a movi-reaction, you’d have seen they appear to have dumped belotti bold

    but you’ll hate them anyway regardless of the font…you’ll find some other excuse not to like the uni

    (and that’s fine, but you’re not really objective when you allow all your preconceived notions to cloud what is actually a pretty good looking uni … albeit one that is, 3/4ths of the time, not in school colors)

    Blah blah blah…we’ve had this discussion before.

    And you forget I loved the pre-diamondplate pre-Bellotti unis.
    Doesn’t matter the font…if the number is the same color as the jersey it fails.

    The only preconceived notion is you thinking I have preconceived notions. If Oregon switches to a better font in contrasting colors, they’re in the running as much as anyone else.

    No, no an no. All are fakes. At least that’s the presumption with the Philly link, which is broken for me.

    The Jets set is one of the concepts that’s been floating around, as is the Rangers, which is pretty dang lousy.

    This happens often enough- happened for the last Winter classic too. Designs were being released by the fakers before the design was announced.

    Always thought the white shoes looked faster. I searched high and low for mizuno’s like Ozzie’s link when I was in little league. Closest I could find were Tony Dorsett Converse link Wore those suckers out on the diamond.

    I had the black version of those when I was 11 or so. I didn’t get to wear them that much because my mom banned me from wearing them in the house after I had been outside in them. Something about the sole material made them track in more crap than other cleats.

    I had the black ones in 84.
    That was after a season of white cleats (Nike and Spotbilt) in 83.
    I loved the tongue flap on those TD’s.

    ‘He thought someone ought to bat, permanently, for those anemic-hitting pitchers, most of whom looked at a bat the way a goat puzzles at a new fence. A “designated batter,” I think he called it.’

    So he’s the one to blame for the crappy DH rule. He was nuts.

    Between the DH and the 100-pitch limit, baseball has turned pitchers from workhorses who could notch double-digit complete games every year into porcelain dolls who need to be treated like fragile objects.

    I’m not sure that the three phenomena Frank names have anything to do with one another. I mean, take away the DH, and the direction of modern lineup management in the NL would tend to get starters out of games earlier anyway. It’s not like we’re seeing lots more complete games in the NL than the AL right now. You’d probably see less pitch-counting, but only because managers would expect to lift starters to PH anyway.

    Speaking of complete games, I heard a couple interesting things recently.

    During MLB Network’s #1 Best Game of Last 50 Years (the Fisk homer game), Bob Costas pointed out that in 1975 there were over 1,000 complete games pitched in MLB. In 2010 there were, like, 115.

    Elsewhere, I heard it pointed out that in every game of the 1965 W-S the winning team made no pitching changes.

    That’s why, when people give Bert Blyleven grief for not liking to pitch in the NL, saying he was all about his personal stats, they’re a little offbase. He simply was from an era when a pitcher started a game intending to, by god, finish it.

    No, I give Bert grief for walking out on his team in May of 1980. He’ll always be “The Crying Dutchman” (thanks, Myron) to me.

    Agree. There were plenty CGs in the AL even during the first decade or so of the DH era.

    And I think of a guy like Dave Stieb in Toronto, who completed more than his share of games. He was left in those games precisely because of the DH — if he’d been in the NL with a team that gave him such poor run support, he’d have been pulled for a pinch-hitter a lot more often.

    I *would* suggest that Oakland and Charlie Finley played a role in changing the way pitching coaches and managers handled their staffs. Remember the 1980 Oakland A’s? They compiled 94 complete games. Now, look up the playing records of Langford, Norris, McCatty, Kingman and Keough. By 1983 or ’84, they were on the scrap heap or retired.

    I figure the Phillies must have something like 55 or 60 million invested in the big four of Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt and Lee. Compare that with what a pitching staff cost in 1975 or even ’85. I imagine you’d drive an ’82 Toyota pickup a lot differently than you would a Ferrari.

    Maybe it’s just because we had guys like Alfredo Griffin and Damaso Garcia in the lineup in the ’70s and ’80s, but I remember that era being marked by a lot of guys who could run but not walk. Griffin drew four walks in 1984. I think he said, “If I wanted to walk, I’d become a postman.”

    With all the fast Astroturf fields in that era, I guess it made sense to put the ball in play as much as possible. Maybe get on base on an error, or maybe you could scoot the ball through a gap before the middle infielders could respond.

    Again, it may be because the hometown Jays were so reckless on the basepaths (I still wonder why third-base coach Jimy Williams even bothered to include a stop sign in his repertoire of signals), and because we had Barfield’s arm in right, but I remember a lot of guys getting gunned down trying to go first to third or stretch a double into a triple.

    It may be memory playing tricks on me, but it seems like the pitcher’s job was a bit easier back then. Which may explain why there were more complete games.

    Hitters today are encouraged to work the count (except when Cito Gaston is the manager), and they’re better at capitalizing on mistakes. Since a tired pitcher is more likely to make a mistake, I think that’s another reason the hook comes out so quickly.

    Bottom line: the game just plain changed, in many ways.

    I’d like more detail on the Phillies’ switch to white shoes — because I can’t believe that fact escaped me til this day! How could a uni-obssessed Cubs fan not have noticed?

    …the way a goat puzzles at a new fence…

    Thanks for that. Made me day:D

    in 1975, the Phillies wore white shoes

    ricko probably has a few shots in the ricko files, but that’s the year; i think steve’s baseball pages may have a shot or two of them as well

    Thank you! I’m wondering if that detail was overlooked in Okkonen’s book.

    I pored over that thing religiously back in ’91. He did miss a good many details in the first edition, especially 70s stuff.

    Oakland wore black shoes, in 1982, on the road …


    … and white shoes, with white sanitary socks, at home.

    They had a redesign after the 1981 season. I’ve heard two stories about the redesign. First one is that Billy Martin didn’t like the white shoe look of the Finley Era and wanted a more respectable, “real” baseball team look. The second story is that the new owners wanted a new identity for the team.

    Either way, the look was a direct ripoff of the Detroit Tigers, who Martin used to manage. The home, button down jersey was gone at the end of the season.

    I wouldn’t bother with the Okkonen database on this one. His slide is way off.

    BTW. That ’82 team was terrible. It seemed like every starter had a 5 run 5th and every at bat was a strikeout or a grounder to 2nd. Martin was trying to get fired, so he could return to NY. The only saving grace was Henderson’s record breaking 130 steals, but even then, he hit only .268.

    1982. The year the A’s tanked and the Raiders left for LA. Devastating for an 11 year old. Wasn’t all bad though, the Warriors almost made the playoffs with 45 wins, Bernard King and World B. Free.


    I recall thinking at the time the A’s would have stuck with that look had the team not stunk. It was clean, but rather out-of-character.

    The players from the three-time World Series champions all left after the 1976 season, and the A’s bottomed out. Martin brought them back with a second-place finish in 1980 and a playoff appearance in 1981. They had five great starting pitchers and young talent, but the pitchers completed so many games that they burned out. They started to come back in 1987 with the Bash Bros. and were a power for several years after that.

    The A’s have played a significant part of baseball history and had several great runs.

    “The year the A’s tanked and the Raiders left for LA.”

    Isn’t that referred to as the time the Raiders ran away from home?

    I think 1982 was the year the A’s dropped the green and gold jerseys and went with just white and grey. I think they brought them back the next year, and wore them again until dropping them in 1987.


    In 1975 a Little League player wearing white cleats was made fun of. In 1980 a Little League player wearing black cleats was made fun of.

    That A’s home uniform was pretty sharp. The current gold alternate jersey is a takeoff on that.

    They guy didn’t die. He’s just changing jobs. Or maybe careers.

    (sigh) “The things I wish I’d said…”

    Just…so sad.

    Roethlisberger wore #78 in honor of Max Starks… Is Roethlisberger aware that Starks got cut, and didn’t die? Anybody else think think this is a little ridiculous?

    Yeah I thought that was kinda stupid too, but I wasn’t really going to say anything.

    exactly. starks was big ben’s best friend on the team… “in honor” was just the term they used. don’t read too much into it

    They guy didn’t die. He’s just changing jobs. Or maybe careers.

    (sigh) “The things I wish I’d said…”

    Just…so sad.

    It’s cuz they were both drafted the same year and they had their lockers next to each other. They got to know each other real well through all of that. Theyre the last two members still on the team from 2004 (well, I guess Roethlisberger is now the only one…)

    And how is a former pro football player now facing a career change to, say, life insurance sales, a great tragedy in life over which that player should somehow be “honored” or “memorialized”?

    It is not. By any stretch of the imagination. It’s just…life.

    Except, I suppose, to the naive and/or perpetually self-absorbed.

    If Big Ben sees that as a development of great sorrow and sadness, the next 40 years are gonna be a certified bitch for him.

    Yeah because James Harrison, Brett Keisel(before the most epic sports beard ever), Troy Polamalu and Hines Ward don’t count. All with the team in 2004.

    I liked seeing the Cincinnati Reds in the ’70s-’80’s All Star Games. In their red, and later, white, cleats, they looked like they’d escaped from East Berlin and were enjoying their first taste of freedom. This impression was reinforced after Cesar Geronimo, Dan Driessen and George Foster were traded away and their first “official” act was to grow outlandish facial hair. I hated the Reds’ dull uniforms, but even I had to admit they were improved by the nice cleats.

    As I was writing today’s piece I was recalling that maybe Joe Morgan and Dave Concepcion had worn white shoes in an ASG somewhere along the line. Anyone remember that? I know they once wore red adidas in an ASG when the team’s policy still was black shoes with no logo marks.

    Don’t worry, it all dovetails together. Another anecdote involves how miffed the Cincy players were they couldn’t score endorsement deals. Reds’ management stonewalled their players for a godawful long time before relenting, and allowing red stripes on black shoes.

    yeah they did do that. in the photo, you can see Concepcion wearing red Converse. I distinctly recall him wearing white. All the Reds wore red or white in the ASG as the team policy didn’t apply to the ASG.

    I recall an article where there was a reason for the all-black shoes and the particular color of the underbill on the cap- had something to do with not getting distracted when fielding a ball I think.

    best quote regarding Reds facial hair policy from John Franco.
    “It’s a wonder they let you keep your eyebrows.”

    The ticker item about Pence’s “custom” shoes is listed twice.

    Also, Hunter tweeted last night that he did not have anythinh other than turff shoes to wear for the team flight, so Cliff Lee loaned him a pair of cowboy boots. The pains of being traided while on the road…

    I read somewhere that the equipment manager for the Phils took Pence’s old Reeboks and spray painted them for 45 minutes to keep the same shoe, while still putting in Phillies’ colors. Can’t tell if it was more a personal preference issue, or the sponsorship.

    Sounds like both, but primarily a size issue. The only other shoes he could really wear were a half size too small- that would sure as hell bug me.

    Though I’m still unclear on why they couldn’t put up with one player having neutral black instead of red for one or two games.

    Oops, Ricko, you left out the San Francisco Giants in 1978-80. They liked to pair up white cleats with their dark jerseys and orange sannies.

    Indeed I did. Wore white shoes at home with orange jerseys and orange sanis. White sanis with black shoes on the road.

    Crap, I have some dandy photos of those unis in the Ricko Files, too.

    (forehead smack)

    For a while the orange jerseys were the road uniform. There’s a picture somewhere of Vida Blue pitching at Shea in them.

    You’re right. The Giants wore white pants both home and road, so I don’t know that they wore anything BUT the orange jersey. For awhile, anyway. Maybe only that single season. I know they did add a black jersey eventually, but don’t think it ever was worn with orange sanis and white shoes. Don’t know that they ever wore a white jersey with them, either.

    Maybe best to put it this way. I’m pretty sure the orange sanis and white shoes were worn ONLY with the orange jersey…and that combo certainly was worn at home, and possibly on the road.

    Now, was it their ONLY uni for one entire season? Not sure. Or were the white sanis and black shoes the standard road uni and home alternate right from the beginning?

    (More importantly, did anyone actually follow that question?)

    Let’s see, that uniform set ran 1977-82. The white cleats were never worn with the white jerseys, but they were worn at home with the color jerseys. White cleats were retired before the start of the 1981 season. I don’t recall San Francisco being too careful about saving the white shoes for home games; I seem to recall seeing them worn on the road between 1977 and 1980. But the white shoes were always worn with orange sanitaries, and the black shoes were paired only with white sannies, despite what is shown on DTT9.

    That’s my thinking, too.

    Now the question is, was the black jersey not introduced until the white shoes and orange sanis were gone? Seems to me that was the case.

    Or did it perhaps show up at home with orange sanis and white shoes? I don’t know that I ever saw that combo, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

    The picture of Vida Blue that I have is from an old magazine. It shows him wearing an orange jersey with white pants at Shea, with black stirrups and orange hose, and with white shoes. The jersey said “San Francisco” on it.

    I remember the next year the Giants introduced a black jersey, which they wore at home and which eventually became the road jersey. Willie McCovey wore it in the 1980 All-Star Game, his last; I watched it on TV and saw the photos in the paper during a family vacation.

    I think the Giants did like the A’s did from 1978-82 and wore the orange and black alternating at home and away, with white at home too. Can’t say for sure about the white shoes and orange sanis, but by 1982 they were not wearing them.

    Duh. As I’m sitting here at work going over, in my mind, the photos of that era, the black shoes/white sanis photos are all at Candlestick, and the white shoes are in places like Cincy and Pittsburgh.

    The orange jerseys, white shoes were a ROAD deal.

    My bad.

    One of the girls in that Tigerton 1915 baseball team is wearing a dark cap.

    Great article today, Ricko.


    Regarding the A’s white shoes: At the Colorado Rockies’ fanfest a couple of years ago, then-newly-acquired Carlos Gonzalez (from the Matt Holliday trade w/ Oakland) was asked what he was looking forward to the most by coming to Colorado. His response? Not having to wear white shoes. :)

    I can never understand the mindset of pro baseball players. The way pants are worn now is just flat out dumb and ugly. And EVERYBODY wears them now. Derek Jeter used to at least taper them so they fit him he’s got the edges showing as well. It’s fucking depressing? This is not might be a little more comfortable but the pajama look just makes these guys look sloppy. The virus has spread to high school and Little League as well..The traditional look is iconic and stylish..I just can’t understand why MLB lets it slide.

    What’s hard to understand about the mindset? Comfort over appearance. It’s not really a difficult concept. Jeans instead of dress pants. A polo shirt instead of a button down shirt & tie… etc, etc. The mindset is simple. And really…why should the MLB care? They’ve never really been a league that polices the player uniforms very much. The “look” of the sport is constantly changing. Once upon a time it was long sleeves and baggy cuffed pants… right now it’s pajamas… in 20 years it might be shorts and vests…who knows?

    Howcum no one is screaming,
    “What the hell’s wrong with the world, anyway; we want to see more thighs in basketball, goddammit!!!”?

    Okay, maybe in the WNBA.

    Those are two extremes on a wide spectrum. How about a happy medium somwhere in between?

    “why MLB lets it slide.”

    They have a rule that the pantleg can’t extend under the heel.

    Doesn’t sound like long pants bother them all that much.

    “They have a rule that the pantleg can’t extend under the heel.”

    Doesn’t keep it from happening though.


    You would think the shoe companies would lobby MLB to say “The pants must not extend below the ankle.” Don’t want those kicks being obscured in any way from the customers’ viewers’ eyes, after all…

    I love how “throwback” is now “Throw Back” in the minds of the nerdwits in the NASL.

    Given how chintzy their throwbacks look, they should all be thrown back.

    Orange baseballs? Good idea.

    DH? Very *very* bad idea.

    Weeknight World Series games? Leaning towards bad idea. On Friday and Saturday nights? Good.

    A mule mascot? Meh.

    Gold unis? Ding! Ding! Winner!

    White shoes? Good idea.

    On the whole, guess ol’ Charlie wasn’t so crazy after all.

    Oh, and I love link Not suggesting this as a rule, but in general, I think a team should be able to choose between white, black and team colors with white unis, and gray, black and team colors with gray unis. I do agree with Phil (go figure!), this year’s ASG shoes looked overpowering and out of place.

    Orange baseballs? Good thought, leave it in the box.

    DH? Good idea (I know I’ll get hammered, but I’m still for it. I hate watching pitchers bat that much.)

    Weeknight World Series games? Good. Sat and Sun should be day games though.

    A mule mascot? Very good idea. Yes.

    Gold unis? Fabulous.

    White shoes? Great.

    And the gray shoes on a gray uni suggestion? Yes, I’m with it.

    orange baseballs? not even worth considering. with hitting being all about recognition, how do you change the ball for 1/2 the games? that would have changed my nickname from “oh-fer” to “left-out” for sure.

    dh. maybe at one time it was needed, maybe not, but with everyone complaining about the length of games, and offenses doing just fine without the extra hitter, the time to ditch it universally came at least 15 years ago.

    weeknight world series. again, not a bad idea, but the way things have gone recently, it is time to get some 3 eastern start times on some of those bad boys.

    mule. why not, it’s better then slider and all those.

    gold unis. yeah, i’m down with colour.

    white shoes. i don’t really like them, but it depends. i think they look stupid on the current a’s, especially on the road because it is the only white in the uni, but even at home they have no piping or socks, it looks silly. but i thought they looked good on the old padres astros and a’s. it’s like the old bluejay and oriole caps, it’s fine for a few teams, would hate to see a huge trend.

    grey kicks on grey pantaloons? *spit take*

    I definitely like gray shoes with gray unis better than white shoes with gray unis. They can’t wear white or gray shoes with pajama pants though. It just looks bad that way.

    teams that wear white at home could wear dark on the road, like red, blue, green, etc. but i agree 100% white cleats do not look so stellar with the current long pant trend.

    “Weeknight World Series games? Leaning towards bad idea. On Friday and Saturday nights? Good.”

    Get the sense Charlie wasn’t thinking about 8:30 starts and “God Bless America” during the 7th-inning stretch and extendo TV timeouts and endless pitching changes?

    “White shoes? Good idea.”

    But white skates? Hmmm… At least the gold jerseys worked.

    blame the second one on me…i didn’t see john had already put that specific link in

    now removed, and thanks for pointing that out so nicely

    I wrote this in my post about KC Municipal Stadium last year. My Dad had an opportunity to meet and have dinner with Charlie O. back in the mid 60’s. His recollection as he put it, “Charlie would have been quite successful selling used cars”.

    Like the piece on the white shoes. I try to check this blog daily.

    Not sure if this is the proper place, but I’m starting to venture into writing my own blog. I’ll talk about uniform stuff and all sorts of other stuff. Please go ahead and remove if this violates anything. My site is
    Please check it out!

    Weird soccer find from over the weekend:

    The New York Red Bulls travelled to London to play in the Emirates Cup pre-season (well not for RBNY) tourney, and ended up wearing yellow shorts against Arsenal:


    Their normal “away” kit is just solid navy. Didn’t know they had yellow shorts.

    I thought the same thing… Never seen it. Ive only see the red shorts from their home kit and the navy for away. Real strange.

    After some investigating (more like Tweeting to a RBNY player I follow), a friend of mine told me that he bought yellow KEEPER shorts at the last game he went to. So I’m thinking they may have outfitted the entire team in keeper shorts? It’s possible. I’ve heard of teams creating new kits for international tournaments; Celtic is coming to mind with their Champions League kit… link here: link

    Most of the European clubs that play in European competitions have a third kit to cover themselves.

    I found it hilarious in the Emirates Cup that Frank Rost (NYRB keeper) had to change his shirt, as it was way too close to the navy tops the field players wore.

    All hail 1915 Tigerton (Wisc) Women’s Baseball team! Is there a stanard reference for the history of women’s ball? Is it correct to assume it was a disproportionately Midwest phenomenon?

    Isn’t it true that Charlie Finley also had an influence on the American League umpires introducing the red blazers they wore between 1973 and 1979?

    At least two different paint jobs on the ball bunny, too.
    The first, in ’61, was in pinstripes with “A” on chest.
    Then later a kelly and gold version.

    Speaking of new logos for Canadian franchises, the Montreal Impact will be releasing their new logo on August 6th at their next home game. As you may know, the Impact will be joining the MLS next year.

    i have been out a couple weeks for a few reasons, and have not been abole to keep up, but i guess at some point over that time the browns announced white at home? i for one could not be more happy with this, the browns white uniform is a thing of beauty. now if they combined this move with wearing the brown jersey with the orange pants when they were forced to wear colour on the road, i would be totally stoked.

    More than a few have expressed love for the Browns’ white unis. It’s interesting to me because I think their brown jerseys/white pants look is the best in football. I’m talkin’ bout what the kids call superbad.

    i don’t hate the brown browns by any means, but i guess i have fond memories of them in white unis in municipal stad on a muddy snowy sunday smashing mouths with the oilers steelers and bungles. i also like the stripes on the white uni’s that also include the socks. but the browns in white also goes back to otto and dante too, i guess i just like the white look for a precious few teams ,the browns being one of them. not to mention if they did pull out the sipe era brown with orange pants for that once or twice a year on the road when someone else wears white at home, it would be wow-awesome. i know, they will just wear the brown jersey with white pants, so call it a what if.

    The Sipe era was my favorite. Still have my Sipe and Mike Pruitt posters somewhere in the closet. I understand the white is classic but I still prefer the white over orange. Brown over either orange or white is fine with me. I think I remember when they ditched the orange for white pants one lineman said finally all the blood he loses every Sunday will show up and people will believe him.

    A specific white-shoe memory of mine was catching a glimpse of the Padres turning a triple-play on an early spring 1978 edition of “This Week in Baseball”. They were playing in Atlanta (I think) and looked like a brown & gold pinwheel, slinging the ball around the horn. I said to myself, “Cool! The only white thing on them is the cleats and a patch (Which turned out to commemorate that year’s All Star Game)”. But my buzz was harshed when I saw they’d dropped the graceful Windsor Bold type that spelled “San Diego” on the brown jersey.

    I suppose it’s not so bad as long as the default is still ad-free. If they make it standard to put ads on the plates and then charge more to have clean ones it’s a problem.

    According to the Worldwide Leader, Jason Garrett is instituting a similar rite of passage for the Cowboys as the Steelers use during training camp. link Granted, it’s different form the Steelers, since he’s only making the rookies do it, but I’ve never heard of anyone else doing something like that. Interesting that a kid from Cleveland that’s never been associated with the Steelers would adopt one of their traditions.

    Funny, I thought that that was always a Cowboys thing to do. I remember Sean Payton stripped the fleur-de-lis off the Saints’ helmets during training camp for the same reason.

    The Steelers’ players don’t have permanent numbers on their helmets during training camp. They don’t get their numbers until the final roster cuts. I’ve never heard of anyone doing anything similar.

    From the SI Vault:

    The Week…April 21-27, 1974:

    Everyone in San Diego agreed something had to be done after a 10-1 loss to the Reds had dropped the Padre record to 3-13. So Manager John McNamara had the players discard their white spikes and don black ones. And just like that the Padres were transformed, winning five of their next six outings. Dave Freisleben, 22, up from Hawaii, pitched a four-hit, 6-2 victory over the Phillies in his big-league debut.

    Found that while researching the Phillies’ white shoe era.

    Someone out there on the interwebs says the Phillies’ 74 All-Star contingent — Schmidt, Bowa & Cash — not only wore white spikes in that game, but also in the next few Phillies games after the All-Star break. Interesting.

    I may have posted this before, but it was years ago, and clearly relevant right now…

    Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it’s where I grew up playing baseball (Massachusetts in the 1970’s), but since when are baseball shoes called “cleats”? Baseball shoes are “spikes”, not “cleats”. Cleats are removable and replaceable, usually for wearing longer ones in the mud in football and soccer, and shorter ones on harder surfaces. Spikes are not removable. In my day, they were made of steel, but later replaced with plastic/rubber.

    This was an absolute, hard-and-fast part of the vernacular for us. Baseball shoes are “spikes” (or “turf shoes” for the abominable artificial turf games). Football and soccer shoes are “cleats” (because they’re replaceable). Rugby shoes are “boots” (because English people are funny like that).

    Yes? No?

    sorry — you’re probably much more correct in calling them “spikes” (although i always thought that term was used because they were metal, not that they were not removable/replacable) whereas cleats (which we all wore for little league) were the plastic/rubber things

    because we weren’t allowed to wear metal

    but to me, what baseball players wore on their feet were always known (to me anyway) as cleats, but spikes is clearly the more correct term, especially for the metal ones

    boots? wtf is that shit? those are what you wear on skis

    Yep. Ruggers call the shoes “boots”, the uniform is the “kit”, and the field of play is the “pitch”.

    Worcester (MA) Rugby Football Club
    1983-1987, 1991.

    (p.s. To bring it all on home, when I first started with WRFC, I wore white football cleats, even though our kit, modeled on New Zealand’s All Blacks, had black socks. Ouch.)

    I don’t have a dvr, but in tonight’s (Monday) Indians/Red Sox game Fukudome came to bat the first time with a chief Wahoo logo on his helmet but subsequent at bats had the block C to match his cap and his team mates.

    CONCACAF usually requires the teams that make its Champions League submit a third kit for approval (for example, Seattle’s flourescent yellow, Real Salt Lake’s athletic gold).

    As the Red Bulls usually have the same kit design as their sister club, Red Bull Salzburg, I wonder if Salzburg has a third kit in their set that New York adopted for the occasion…

    To answer my own question…according to Wikipedia, Red Bull Salzburg’s change kit is a navy shirt, athletic gold shorts, and navy socks. Just like New York wore against Arsenal.

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