By Phil Hecken
Last evening, as a part of their Flashback Fridays, the Houston Astros threw back to what they referred to as their “1960s Shooting Star Uniforms.” Because they wore blue caps, these uniforms would fall squarely in the 1965-1970 time frame. You remember those, right? These beauties?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, that was the Astros best EVER uniform, and one instance where a team “Got It Right The First Time.” In fact, I did a post back in 2010 with reader Giancarlo, entitled, “Getting It Right The First Time”, and that uniform was identified as one of the few that a team had perfected from the get-go. They’ve never worn (in my opinion) a finer looking uniform that the one they threw back to last evening.
But, if you know me, you know that I’m generally not fond of throwbacks at all, since, as a Uni Watcher, I tend to obsess over the small details that clubs usually get wrong when throwing back, and I allow those things to annoy me. So, I was all prepared to be disappointed last night. But I wasn’t. I was very pleasantly surprised. So? How’d they do?
Stirrups & NNOB? Check (ok, not everyone wore stirrups, and those who did generally wore them too high for the time frame). This vintage pic of Mike Cuellar(!) shows how they were properly worn during that era. But still. And the third base coach, Dave Clark wore them at my personal favorite height, but a bit too low for the era. But I’m not complaining. Bonus points for all stirrups having the orange star.
They got the button-down perfect, but about the only complaint (and it’s ever so tiny) is that the jersey script and rear uni numbers appear to be a bit higher on the originals than on the throwbacks, but again, a minor quibble.
Those 60s Uniforms were so perfect in every way — a perfectly simple wordmark combined with the nod to the future (the shooting star graphic that was not dated then or now. Even with today’s modern fabrics and baggy cuts it still looks great.
But if this were just one Friday one-off (even if done very well), I’d simply say “well done” and be done. But, there is hope, for Astros owner Jim Crane has said the Astros will (very likely) get new uniforms for their move to the AL in 2013 (and is definitely keeping the name “Astros”). So what better uniform to transition to the future in than this blast from the past. Literally.
If you’re like me, and you think this is the best uniform the Astros ever wore, SEND THEM AN E-MAIL and tell them this is the uniform they should wear next year. They can’t do any better, and trust me, they’ve done A LOT worse. I’m sure part of the Friday Flashbacks is to judge audience reaction to the past uniforms — so let them know you want these.
Let them know they’re getting it right, again! (More pics from last nights game available here).
Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.
Last weekend, I mentioned I had received a boatload of colorizations from John Turney, and I’ll be running several more today. Couple of non-G&G contributors today as well, so it’s another good one…
Based on the positive comments to the new format, I will again be running the photos in this way — click to enlarge all of the photos below (unless otherwise noted).
We begin with John again, and this first one is already full-size, so no need to enlarge:
Another tough one. Jack russell tried to catch a pass versus Cleveland Browns in Browns/Yankees showdown.
Yanks have navy uniforms with silver numbers.
John’s next photo colorization is also of the New York Yankees (AAFC):
Here is Spec Sanders (in all Navy).
Gridiron database does not list this uniform because he;s wearing silver socks, not navy. I’ve colorized this, but the light color sock was there I assure you.
The Dons have the bight blue and the orange-red sheen pants, The Yankees also had some sheen on their numbers.
I colorized and them added filters that reacted well in low light, as this was a night game.
Last one today from John is also of the NY Yankees (AAFL), again versus the Browns (and already full-size):
Otto Graham passes against Yanks in their white/blues/blue socks combination.
I colonized it and put a nice excktachomre filter over it.
Next up we have Pete Woychick, who colorized a recent ticker photo of the Dodger satins:
This photo is from the ticker the other day. Maybe it’s old news to the uniform historians among us, but I noted a few discrepancies between the white uniform in this photo and the Dressed to the Nines version:
• shoulder stripe
• contrast-brim cap
• contrast belt-loops/belt-tunnel
• striped stirrup
I don’t know the story behind the photo, so maybe these were prototypes, rather than the actual game-worn uniforms?
Nice job Pete!
And finally we have Larry Bodnovich who brings us a look at the Indiana Hoosiers, circa 1941:
Indiana’s Billy Hillenbrand 1941. The Hoosiers wore red and black for a few years in the late 1930’s to early 1940’s
Thanks Larry! Great stuff.
And that will do it for today everyone. Back with more next time.
Uni Nets Logo Tweaks Concepts
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
And so, lets begin:
Little different today as the announcement of the new Brooklyn Nets logo immediately raised some eyebrows, and the ire of some concepters — 3 of whom immediately set to a-fixin’ it. A couple of these were sent directly to Paul, who of course forwarded them to me. So, here are there new Nets logo concepts (click to enlarge each image):
We start with Ron Rowland who states:
I’m a big fan of UniWatch. In fact it’s one of the first sites I check every day. Always enjoy your posts.
Loved your article on the Nets new branding. I think they ended up about 85% there. I get minimal and understated, but I think they went a little TOO understated.
So, being the armchair sports branding guys that I am, I took a couple minutes to re-imagine what they might have done differently. Just a little more distinctiveness and dimension (without going bevel crazy) in the font and the obligatory nod to Brooklyn’s last pro franchise (which would seem to be a must) Enjoy.
Next up is Steve Cook, who offers this:
After reading today’s post on the new Nets logo (designed by Jay-Z?), I took your comments to heart and added just a few tweaks to improve(?) upon what has already been done without changing anything radically.
Here’s my take, based upon your observations.
I strengthened the lettering, and brought the “E” and “T” a tad closer together. In the existing design, the word NETS appears larger at the base of the letters than it does at the top. This illusion occurs because the shield shape “squeezes” the letter forms toward their baseline . So I pulled the baseline of the characters in toward the center to correct that. Now the N and S are not really vertical, but appear to be so. The “square-ish” S also added to this oddity, so I used a slightly different font.
I reduced the “B” somewhat in relation to the basketball, so as to not fight for attention with the word “NETS”.
I added gray into the basketball so it becomes subservient to “NETS”, and slightly reduced all graphics within the shield for more breathing room.
I changed the white inline of the shield to gray, and strengthened the outer black rule.
I think it’s an improvement, although there’s probably room for more.
Hope you like it.
Next is Curtis Tarver, who is on the same wavelength as Ron with this one:
This one’s actually a logo, not a uni, tweak. In general, I enjoy the new Nets logo, but something wasn’t doing it for me, and I determined it was the “B” in the basketball. The solution? Harken back to Brooklyn’s sports history with the Dodgers’ B. Here it is:
We close with Brian Begley who went in a slightly different direction (and offers more than just a logo):
My name is Brian Begley and Im 30yrs old from NJ. I’ve been a life long Nets fan and was upset when I first heard about the move to Brooklyn. Since then I’ve played around with a few BK Nets logo ideas, and posted them to facebook, twitter, blogs, etc. There was one logo I designed a few months ago that got a good amount of attention from various bloggers from around the web. After seeing the new Nets logo unveiled, I feel like it was done by a 5th grader. Very plain and not NBA worthy. What are your thoughts on their new logo?
I’m attaching mine so you can get a look at it.
Thanks for taking a look at this and enjoy the weekend!
Thanks to the logo tweakers! Interesting takes there, for sure. Back with uni concepts & tweaks tomorrow.
by Rick Pearson
Dude, what were you thinking?…
Click to enlarge
That’s it for today folks — Happy Cinco de Mayo and enjoy the Kentucky Derby this afternoon. If you’re interested, a couple years back I did a whole retrospective of the Kentucky Derby, so that should get you into the mood for today.
Tomorrow, I’ll announce the final three contestants in the Cleveland Baseball contest, and we’ll vote for a finalist, so be sure to tune in then.
Everyone have a great Saturday.
“The truncated ‘UCLA’ striping is right up there with weak Cat Piss-colored Vegas Gold, Black Leotard pants, and sleeveless jerseys as horrible developments in football uniforms. I must also include BFBS, as well as the cookie-cutter, 40-teams-at-a-time Nike Templates that plague us every other year.” — Nick V.