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A Utah-Buffalo Connection?

Last week I wrote about some uniform catalogs I acquired from the collection of the late Mike Hersh. One of those catalogs — a Spanjian catalog from 1971 — had an interesting detail that I neglected to mention.

If you look at this page, second row, second stirrup from the left and this page, third row, sixth sleeve from the left, you’ll see a stripe pattern that’s labeled as “Utah style.” I immediately recognized it as the pattern worn by the Bills in the 1960s. But I’d never seen or heard it referred to as “Utah style” or “Utah stripes” (or as anything else), even though I own several dozen uniform catalogs from that period. Was this a common term, like Northwestern stripes or UCLA stripes?

My go-to guy for this sort of question is sporting goods scholar Terry Proctor, so I shot him a note. Here’s his response:

I believe that Utah used that pattern in the late 1950s or early 1960s, since Buffalo didn’t adopt the style until 1964. … Although not as well known or popular as Northwestern striping or UCLA inserts, they would be referred to as “Utah stripes” in the trade, because of the association with the Utes.

Interesting. I did a few quick photo searches and couldn’t find any old Utah football photos showing this stripe pattern. So I called Utah’s media relations department, where two extremely helpful people offered to investigate for me. One of those people looked in old Utes yearbooks dating back to 1905. But while she found photos showing all sorts of stripe patterns, none of them matched the pattern shown in the Spanjian catalog. (In fact, the Utes mostly seem to have worn Northwestern striping over the years.)

So I feel like I’ve hit a bit of a dead end on this one. Anyone have any additional info and/or photos? And have any other teams worn this stripe pattern?

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Knishery update: Remember that Knicks/Knish T-shirt design I was toying around with? Again, this shirt isn’t available, but it’s still a fun concept, so I’ve kept tinkering with it — just for fun, you understand — and made the knish look a bit more, well, knish-like (click to enlarge):

knish komparison.png

Although this is just a concept, I’m nonetheless curious to gauge its appeal. Can I see a show of hands?

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Uni Watch News Ticker: The Twins and Brewers will wear these very nice minor league throwbacks on May 30. The game will be at Target Field, which means the Twins will be wearing gray at home. “We wanted our two St. Paul-born players (Mauer and Perkins) to have a chance to wear the hometown name across the chest,” explains team president Dave St. Peter. … According to an Emory University Sports Marketing Analytics study, teams that stop using Native American mascots take a one- or two-year financial hit followed by long-term financial gains, and “no long-term negative effect on brand equity.” … Meanwhile, many Native Americans in Virginia have no problem with the Redskins’ team name (from Tommy the CPA). … This is awesome: an infographic showing which bumblebee uni combo the Pirates wore for each game of the 1979 season. Further details here. … New away kit for Utrecht (from Brett Stone). … New volleyball uniforms for the Japanese women’s national team (from Jeremy Brahm). … Latest college baseball team to let fans choose the uniforms for a given game: Virgnia Tech (from Steve Hicks). … Uniform designer Todd Radom was interviewed by ESPN baseball columnist Buster Olney in this podcast. Todd’s segment starts at about the 19:30 mark. … More Negro Leagues video footage, including an amazing-looking pregame comedy routine by Goose Tatum, here (from Jake Kessler). … And while we’re at it, here’s a 1946 promotional film from the Pacific Coast League (from Adam Jackson). … Jimmy Mac collects A’s flannel vests from 1968-71 and would like to hear from other A’s collectors. If that’s you, contact him here. ”¦ What the hell could this Orioles “B.O.” button has been about? (From Comrade Robert Marshall.) … Carl Yastrzemski’s grandson, who plays for Vanderbilt, turned down the chance to wear No. 8 and wears 18 instead (from Scott Ingalsbe). … Blake Gantz had a little back-and-forth with Mark Cuban regarding the Mavs redesign. … Kevin Durant was wearing a SuperSonics cap the other day (from Jimmy Couto). … All U. of Hawaii men’s teams will be called the Rainbow Warriors after all (from Bill Sodeman). … Arguably the ugliest uniforms in sports history are making a comeback — sort of (thanks, Phil). … Speaking of ugly uniforms, check out the 1979 Charleston Charlies (from Doug Ford). … We’re getting our first look at the Jags’ helmet on the practice field, and it looks about as stupid as you’d expect (Phil again). … The Fremantle Dockers (Aussie football) will wear this unusual design during the 2013 Indigenous Round vs. the Melbourne Demons on May 26. “The Indigenous Round is played annually ‘with the aim being to celebrate the contribution of all indigenous players to the AFL,'” explains Leo Strawn Jr. ”¦ Good spot by Kevin Kennaley, who writes: “The Giants are in Toronto for a quick two-game series, which meant that Melky Cabrera, who’s now with the Jays but was with the Giants last season, got his World Series ring from them before the game, as well as a handful of bats from before his suspension last year — one of which he used in last night’s game. He went four for five against his old team.” ”¦ Also from Kevin: “During his recent end-of-season press conference, Canucks GM Mike Gillis had a bottle of Canucks-branded water.”

Battle of the Uniforms: Voting in the second round remains open until 9am Eastern. The big surprise is that the vote between the Yanks and A’s is going right down to the wire, which I’m rather pleased about. The next round should be up and running by noon.

Comments (104)

    I believe the stamp out B.O. button was from the ’83 World Series, when they played the Phillies.

    Could have been from the 1970 series too since Reds and Phillies colors are essentially the same. However, I agree that it’s probably from 1983. Philly and Baltimore have never liked each other. Too close and too similar.

    Couple typos.

    First item, penultimate graf, last line “Nothwestern stripes”. (Though Salt Lake is kind of a northwesty kind of town.)

    Ticker, fourth link, “ach game”. Didn’t know the 70s Buccos spraechet Deutsch.

    The 1979 Charlies, like the ’80 Toros, were Houston’s AAA team. In fact, Gordy Pladson can be seen wearing both uniforms in today’s links.

    I actually like the white Charlies unis. The yellow ones are very bad – not nearly as bad as the Toros.

    I agree with Matthew here and with Phil’s very helpful reminder that not so long ago immensely hideous uniforms stalked the land. It was judicious of Paul to describe the Toros’ duds as “arguably the worst” uniforms in recorded history. But let’s end the argument. Time for a Worst Uniform of All Time poll.

    OMG I am like SO embarrassed. Sorry, JTH. Now, do I not remember that edition because I didn’t read UW that day or do I not remember that edition because I’m now a pathetic geezer and forget every observable phenomenon? Either answer is bad.

    or maybe that (series of) post(s) was/were so poorly written that you blocked that entire portion of history from your memory?

    I’m still shocked the Fisherman Islanders jersey was ever included in the Worst Uniform Ever poll. Blasphemous! LOL

    “or maybe that (series of) post(s) was/were so poorly written that you blocked that entire portion of history from your memory?”


    Wait, we did a worst uniform of all time poll?

    It would be fun to do that again, but maybe come up with separate categories: four major pro teams; minor league teams; college/amateur teams; less-popular, fringe sports teams (pun very much intended); etc.

    Saw the Charlies play in Rochester that year. They really looked like a softball team.

    I always looked at the Bills stripes as being a negative image of Northwestern stripes – blue Northwestern stripes with white outlines on a blue jersey.

    Also, Ohio State wore Utah-Buffalo in the 70s…

    In the 1979 Pirates infographic, the way they have cropped the uniforms cuts off the first and last letter of the team name. So you get an image of “IRATE” over and over again. Kind of how a current Pirates fan must feel.

    Looks like my two of my three pet topics are covered in the ticker:

    * Oof. Mark Cuban went for the strawman really quick. I like him and he’s a positive force in the NBA, but good lord he’s thin skinned.

    * Doesn’t surprise me that many Native Americans don’t have an issue with the name. Others have mentioned this, but it’s a complicated relationship – most people want their cultures represented in a respectful way, but when you’re as ignored in the mainstream, *any* reference can seem better than nothing. Also, I don’t think the name by itself is all that harmful – it’s name in the combination with the headdress caricature that rubs people the wrong way.

    I saw we do Uni Concepts contest for the MAVERICK$ – but Cuban may not like the results…..

    “I saw we do Uni Concepts contest for the MAVERICK$ — but Cuban may not like the results…..”


    Funny you should mention that…

    The eyes on that “BO” pin look like bells, and it’s done in Phillies colors, so the ’83 Series notion makes sense.

    Could the “Utah style” have been worn by Utah State?

    The new Knish is much improved.

    Pirates versus Giants was a toss-up for me. Like both sets a lot. I think, when I voted yesterday, that I voted for the Giants because I don’t like the red in the Pirates current set.

    You could also rationalize that if the St. Paul Saints were playing in Minneapolis, they would be wearing their road jerseys…

    I fail to see the connection between the amount of time and money spent on a design and the quality of the design.

    It’s easy to take that view if you see design as “making something look good”. Not to say that’s what you’re doing, but that seems to be the case for a lot of people.

    No, he’s right. The quality of a design has NOTHING to do with how much time or money is spent on it. You can spend millions of dollars on the whole “design process” that you keep going on about, and still end up with a design that everyone hates. More money doesn’t equal better.

    You’re just repeating Mark’s category error. A design’s quality is not determined by whether people hate it or not. Design is not about looking pretty or making the public happy. It’s about adapting form to maximally satisfy function. “Function” gets a little hard to pin down when we’re talking about brand identity design, but still, that basic purpose, which is quite different from being aesthetically pleasing, which is the purpose of art, remains.

    Fact is, most of what passes for “uni design” by amateurs like most of us here, myself included, isn’t design at all. It’s art. Which is fine, but it’s not design.

    And while more money spent on design doesn’t necessarily produce better design, below a certain point, less thought and craft put into design absolutely does lead to worse design. Thought and craft require time, and time has value, so in point of fact good design does cost more. Even if no dollars change hands.

    Good to see Hawaii bringing back the rainbow, but shouldn’t their formal nickname be Nā Koa Ä€nuenue (lit “Rainbow Warriors”) or Nā KÄ«pu’upu’u (the name of Kamehameha the Great’s elite warriors)?

    That’s “nah key poo ooh poo ooh.” Which would absolutely make for the best cheerleader routines and crowd chants in the NCAA. It’s iambic trimeter!

    I’ve been practicing. Not easy to say poo ooh poo ooh with the strength and rapidity it deserves. Kamehameha was indeed Great.

    That reminds me of a trip I took to Hawaii. First evening there, some friends & I ate at a restaurant that offered the raw meat to grill: chicken, or “island fish.” I asked whether said fish was the humuhumunukunukuāpuaÊ»a, and the waitress confirmed it was. “Great. I’ll have the chicken,” was my reply.

    This 1927 film of a tour of London includes a brief action shot of an England-Australia cricket match, and is now the oldest color footage of a sporting event I’ve ever seen. Nothing particularly uni-significant, but amazing to see anything from that long ago in natural color:


    I’m going to have to finish watching it later, maybe tonight, but the first couple of minutes of that PCL film are awesome. Thanks for posting! If I had a one-use-only time machine and could change one thing in history, going back and making it so the PCL joined the AL and NL as the third major league would be on my shortlist of possible missions. (No, stopping any given war wouldn’t be: If you go back in time and stop a war, a different, worse war will happen anyway. Haven’t you see the “Twilight Zone”?) Anyway, I think it’s a crying shame that the nicknames and uniforms of the PCL didn’t enter the big leagues in the 1950s, and a three-league playoff format would be much more fun than our current wildcard-addled monstrosity.

    The Dodgers never leave Brooklyn, the Giants stay back east, the A’s never get farther than Kansas City. The Continental League happens, and you end up with 4 major leagues, the American and National in the northeast and midwest, the Continental in the south and southwest, and the PCL out west.

    The Dodger’s stadium gets torn down anyway, with the Bums moving to Shea. People wear t-shirts that say, “I’m Still Calling It Ebbets Field.” The Giants end up in the Meadowlands, with the New York Football Giants.

    Four eight team leagues. Top two teams meet in a best-of-five LCS. League champs play best-of-seven, CL vs. AL, NL vs. PCL. Winners advance to World Series.

    They should have done this on an episode of “Fringe”.

    A Giants-squared stadium would make Joe Robbie look like a baseball cathedral. One beveled edge at Met life or its predecessor would start just past 1st or 3rd. Or the field would go goalpost to goalpost and just be a newer polo grounds.

    Yep. Exactly. And sometime around 1998, there would have been much clamoring for a “baseball only” stadium, to be built on the West Side, at a cost of seven billion dollars.

    It would have been laughed off, until sometime around 2002, city fathers decide that the New Polo Grounds must be built, or the terrorists will have won.

    Oh, and Old Penn Station never gets torn down in this scenario. That has nothing to do with anything. I just like Old Penn Station.

    No, the Giants end up in Bloomington, Minnesota. Met Stadium was built with the understanding that the Giants would head there for a fresh start, as Horace Stoneham was in hock up to his ears to their concessionaire. He even owned the territorial rights to the Twin Cities, so he could drop in without a problem (IIRC, the Minneapolis Millers were the Giants’ AAA team).

    San Francisco became their landing point when O’Malley approached them about leaving New York together, so that the National League could have two California teams. This worked for Stoneham, as he had done his research and knew the Bay Area was the fastest-growing in the country. And the territorial rights ceased to be an issue when his good friend Tom Yawkey swapped the rights for SF straight up for the rights to the Twin Cities.

    That’s good enough for me. This means that Casey gets to manage the Amazin’s.

    Who wants an alternate universe without Casey managing the Amazin’s? Nobody, that’s who.

    Cort, that’s an alternate history scenario that I’d love to see as the basis of the novel. But I’m not sure the CL is as plausible if the PCL remains intact. Eastern teams moved West not just because they liked the California lifestyle; they were stifled in various ways in an overcrowded marketplace. There were solid business justifications for teams scattering, and if the West Coast was closed off, the Southest and Southwest, especially the Sun Belt states, would have been an obvious target. So the Giants wind up in Minnesota, the Browns move to Texas, the Braves probably wind up in Atlanta, and the A’s migrate from KC to Texas or Florida.

    That stifles any move to establish an independent league with southern roots. Then, even though all three leagues are part of one big, happy fleet, competitive pressures lead to a 1960s expansion rush. But the math of 3 leagues means that expansion happens faster than in real life; over the course of an awkward, unbalanced decade, we get six new teams. Denver, and either Phoenix or Vancouver (both of which, marginal markets in the 1960s, being attractive after the one-season fiasco of the PCL’s expansion team in Honolulu). The NL focuses growth in the center, with Milwaukee and either Memphis or a successor team in KC. The AL goes to Montreal and places a bet with NASA and Uncle Walt on Orlando.

    You make a couple of great points.

    How about this? You end up with three 12 team leagues. Cities like Buffalo, which was a charter member of the Continental League, are still shut out, but following your notion of a west coast league forcing relocations to the south, Mexico City ends up with a team. Florida ends up with three clubs, in Tampa/St. Pete, Miami and Orlando, and most major league teams relocate their Spring Training grounds to the Texas Gulf Coast, the Grapefruit League being supplanted by the Bluebonnet League.

    The US government decides that the best way to neutralize Cuban communism is to flood the island with American culture, consumer products and tourist dollars; Castro falls by 1965. Havana becomes the biggest tourist destination in the Western Hemisphere, and the Sugar Kings are an MLB club.

    This is so much more fun than the usual crap I have to think about at ten o’clock on a Wednesday morning…

    Well, if Florida gets three teams early, it probably loses at least one by the 1980s. Maybe the Tarpons move up the coast to Mobile at the height of the first Gulf oil boom?

    Anyway, on the list of things I really hope I live long enough to see is an MLB team in Havana. I’m hoping that they go bold and call themselves the Cuba Missiles.

    “… Anyway, on the list of things I really hope I live long enough to see is an MLB team in Havana….”

    Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Yes. I’ve spent a fair amount of time down there, and there are no better fans anywhere.

    he US government decides that the best way to neutralize Cuban communism is to flood the island with American culture

    I’m hoping somebody decides to do this with the Rays. It would be perfect. Lift the embargo and as a token of friendship Havana gets one of the best franchises in baseball.

    As is noted on the ’79 Charlies page, one of the Charlies is misidentified. He is not Mark Miggins, but rather he is the late David Smith (or Dave Smith as he became known during a long MLB career).


    This is the guy that was tagged as David Smith, and he’s probably Mark Miggins


    The Jaguars should go with an all-gold all the time helmet. Wasn’t bad looking with the white jersey.

    After seeing these lids in action, I’m hoping for a product/paint recall, the discovery of some obscure NFL uniform rule, vandalism of the equipment room during training camp…anything to prevent the 2-tones from ever making it on the field next season.

    Y’know what would great with an all-gold Jags helmet?

    A teal facemask!

    Looks like the Brewers player has his left stirrup on backwards. Both unis look great though.

    All baseball uniforms should fit like those do. Simply gorgeous. Is it coincidental that the Brew Crew’s unis look just like the Bravos? No, the Brewers were a Boston Braves farm team in the early ’50s.
    Now which yahoo on which team will still insist on wearing those GD pajama pants.

    Here’s an interesting rebranding idea. A campaign to get people to give their Abercrombie & Fitch clothes to the homeless: link

    Love that 1946 PCL film. I’m still working my way through it, but here are a couple uni-notes:

    – That’s the least-appealing jersey the Seals ever wore. Color film is wasted on those when a couple years earlier we could have seen link in action.

    – Check out the 4:50 mark. The Los Angeles players are wearing blank jerseys, or rather Angels jerseys without the “LA” monogram found on manager Bill Sweeney’s chest. An early forerunner of the Dodgers’ Spring Training link? They do appear to have something, maybe “LA”, on their left shoulders.

    – Love those Hollywood Stars jerseys, with star-shapes outlining a “H” on the front and a number on the back.

    As an aside, how did those two guys come to obtain the copyright? They just found a copy of the film; does that mean, in the absense of the original owner they can claim copyright? What if another copy turns up?

    The Utes wore the “Utah style” stripes on the sleeve AND UCLA style stripes on the shoulder in the late 1950s: link

    On a side note, my dad was a Bills season ticket holder during their AFL years. We shared a lot of fun talking about great Bills’ players like Kemp, Sestak and Shaw. I regard the Bills 1965 uniform as the best uni ever. So when I saw today’s photo of Jack Kemp in the beautiful blue jersey, I immediately smiled and thought of my late dad. Thanks Paul!

    The Utes wore the “Utah style” stripes on the sleeve AND UCLA style stripes on the shoulder in the late 1950s

    Wow — that’s a lot of striping!

    Great find. Thanks!

    Great find for the Utah pictures! Those Bills uniforms were made by Rawlings and sold by Frank O’Connor Sporting Goods of Buffalo.

    The ‘battle of the uniforms’ is a joke, every MLB team’s current uniforms are all pretty bad.

    I got an email from my alma mater saying that apparently Johns Hopkins is having an identity crisis and their logos are changing (the academic seal remains the same) link

    Please send that page to Nike so that they can make the Bills’ throwbacks correctly.

    Paul – enjoyed your podcast with Caple but what is/are the items which looked to be attached to the entryway over your right shoulder?

    Any favorites? My collection comprises Berol/Chicago and X-acto/Boston wall models.
    As seen in fine elementary schools.

    The Boston Silver Comet is clearly the pick of the litter. But I like all the others pretty equally. And what I really like is the cumulative oomph that they carry when displayed together — textbook case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

    The Mustangs looked horrible when they went BFBS, but those stripes look fantastic:


    I thought the Pirates retired the solid black combo after the 1978 campaign. It was not worn in the 1979 World Series. But a tougher job awaits the infographic dude making charts for the 1977 and 1978 seasons; the Pirates mixed the solid components with bumblebee halves.

    I thought there were bumblebee halves in Pirate uniform history. But I guess ’79 is when it looked halfway decent.

    They didn’t like wearing black over black on TV games, but it was still a combination they wore through 1984.

    It looks like Utah may have had three uniforms during the 1957 season.

    There is a scarlet with black and white trim jersey, a white jersey with black and red trim, and what appears to be a black jersey with red and white trim.

    The Utah team was known for running a prototype of the the modern passing offense. Supposedly the Utes invented the shovel pass, which for a time was known as “the Utah pass.”

    Could it be that they also pioneered BFBS, and were to the Ike age what Oregon is to the Obama years?

    Found out about this at a meeting at work last week. link could be one of the greatest product names ever. Once it hits the market, I would love to work on their ad campaign. would the Jaguars be the first team in the NFL to sport the “brushed” helmet look?

    Usually helmets in the NFL have a shiny/glare whereas the Jags has a matte finish.

    Re: Tuscon Padres disco night

    If only they’d play against the Fresno Grizzies in their Price Is Right tops. Bunch of Easter eggs, that would be.

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