By Phil Hecken
Every so often, I have a week from hell and am strapped for any extra time to devote to Uni Watch — this week was one of those weeks. And every so often, a reader will send in a suggestion for a post that I kind of “store away” with the thought that I will devote a post or two to that suggestion. This happens to be one of those times when the confluence of events leads to today’s lede.
About two months ago, reader Dan Pfeiffer contacted Uni Watch with a very thoughtful E-mail entitled, “The Timelessly Representative Look for each MLB Franchise.” Intrigued, I opened it and inside was a very well thought out missive, replete with a great suggestion, which I’ll be getting to shortly.
Dan wrote, in part:
What’s both the uniform and the setting I think of as “defining” each team? Obviously, it’s probably going to be from when the team was their most successful, largely, but I think looks that were held onto for a long time make a difference, as do ones that were just really, really sharp or were directly tied to a major figure or moment in the franchise. Think Dodgers: Dodger Stadium has a very 60’s vibe to the roofs atop the bleachers and the shape of the scoreboards, plus you had Koufax and Drysdale, so that seems like the iconic time. Or the Rangers: Recent success, yes, but Nolan Ryan was such a huge figure in that franchise that it’s kind of hard not to think of that Rangers script on a very plain white uniform and the blue walls of Arlington Stadium.
So I did a quick list, for what it’s worth, of what I consider to be each franchise’s “iconic look” – the combination of team, apparel and ballpark. Simple idea, and simple jotting … just a line about the uniforms and the ballpark. Granted, this might be different for everyone based upon when they grew up and whatnot, but this is where I stand.
Dan then proceeded to list every MLB team, dividing his list into National and American league teams. What follows, then, is Dan’s list of the senior circuit and his “defining uniform/stadium.” I think it’s a pretty darn good list, and one that should probably stir some thought and hopefully, some counter-points. I’ll post the list (and what is hopefully a representative enough picture) and then throw it out to you guys. Is his team/time/stadium representative? Or is there something better. Lets see if we can’t come up with some alternatives, or, if you think Dan’s spot-on, say so.
Ready? Here we go:
Cubs – Ernie Banks era & Wrigley
Dodgers – Koufax-era & Dodger Stadium
Giants – Mays era & Polo Grounds
Thanks Dan. That will certainly get the conversation rolling — I certainly agree with a good number of your choices, but there are others with which I might disagree. Just starting ‘at home’ if you will, I’d personally go with The Franchise during the 1969/1973 World Series’ years for the Mets (Shea), or perhaps the white shoed, brown & gold Padres of the Winfield era (the Murph). But those are just me — like you said above, “this (list) might be different for everyone based upon when they grew up and whatnot,” and indeed, it’s more a matter of opinion in many cases. But great start!
Readers, what say you? What would say your “iconic” teams/stadia for the National League be? Did Dan nail it, or do you think there is a better representation? Let’s hear what you have to say!
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.
Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.
And so, lets begin:
We begin today with Michael Romero, who would like to return Rutgers to a simpler time:
As a Rutgers alumnus, I’m not too happy about the costume-ish uniforms they rolled out last year. The numbers are hard to read, the colors aren’t really “Rutgers”, and they are overall cartoonish. These are a return to a more traditional, classic uniform. We’re the birthplace of college football, and we should dress like it.
Home uniform is scarlet over white. Road is white over white, and I included a blackout uniform because even if they’re cliche these days, the black and scarlet look nice together. All pants have a nice simple scarlet stripe. No extra piping or anything like that. Simple, clean, and classic. That’s what I’d like to see every Saturday on the banks.
We close today with Oliver Kodner who has several different takes (and a longish writeup) for the St. Louis Cardinals:
Hey, I only started reading UniWatch and digging through the archives about a month ago, but i’ve been involved and obsessed with logos and uniforms since i was 5 years old in 1998 when my father had the privilege to design the current St. Louis Cardinals logos. He’s been churning out Bill Dewitt’s design ideas like crazy this past year, and i’ve been hovering over his shoulder most of the process trying to get my two cents in here and there.
Anyway, with all this Cardinal uniform talk this past offseason, and this season too, in terms of the new alternate uniforms, along with the blue hat red hat debate, i decided to put together my own catalogue of Cardinal uniform tweaks using the Diamond Uniform uniform model.
The home uniform hasn’t been altered. if it aint broke…There are two versions, one with the regular red caps, and one with the sunday hats.
There are 3 alternate uniforms, the first two say Cardinals on the chest, one with red caps, and one with what i prefer of a blue crown and a red brim, gives it a nice throwback look. The third alternate says St. Louis on the chest, and has the Sunday Cap.
The two away uniforms both say St. Louis. I’m starting to become a believer that teams should wear their team name at home and their location on the road. The difference between the two away uniforms is the red hat red belt vs. blue hat blue belt combos. Personally, i think they should wear blue hats on the road when their opposition is wearing red hats (Nats and Dbacks in particular where we’ve already worn red vs red hats, makes no sense….)
If i had the time to do it though, i would sit down and get accurate stitching patterns to apply to these uniforms instead of just the graphics. that’s a future project. Hope you enjoy, thanks for reading. and please, never ever stop posting Uni Watch articles.
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
That’s pretty much it for today. Just some assorted quick uni bites:
• From Jim Borwick: “From the league that formerly had two teams named Roughriders…okay one was spelled as two words: Ottawa had a CFL franchise (the Rough Riders, not to be confused with the Saskatchewan Roughriders) that folded, came back once as the Renegades and promptly folded again. That’s as much as I know off the top of my head. Well, they’re coming back again with a new name and logo.” If anyone is interested the event can be watched live at 2:00 pm ET on CFL.ca.
• I never weighed in (on UW) on the two new hockey unis — Stars and Canes. I’m giving both a solid “meh.” I’m not happy the Canes dropped the one distinctive element from their sweaters — the “storm flag” motif on the hem, but overall the uni isn’t bad. The Stars, otoh, are a wonderful shade of green, which is good, but that new crest is awful…so that’s a push as well. Some “Dallas Morning News experts” think the Stars’ unis don’t ‘have the needed panache’. Some unveil pics there.
• Pretty interesting bet for the NBA finals. Seems that two fire departments (one from San Antonio and one from Miami) have a uni bet of their own going for the winner/loser. If the Heat win, the San Antonio FD will wear the unis of the Miami department, and vice-versa. Go Spurs.
• After the Hoosiers busted out new helmets this week (sorry Paul, I hate the candy-striped one), now NU is asking whether they should add or change up helmets too. Um, no. And if the Hoosiers really want to wear something candy-striped, here’s a hint — it ain’t the helmet where the stripes belong.
• Finally, the Brewers are (I’m about 98% positive) doing their Cervecero jersey thing today, and (I’m about 95% sure) the Kansas City Royals will be wearing a powder blue pullover — I know they’re giving away replica blue pullover jerseys to fans — so it stands to reason the team is sporting them too. I asked the Royals and Chris Creamer for confirmation — the Royals didn’t respond, and Chris is pretty certain. The only question is will they be going full throwback and pairing the blue tops with blue pants. I am hoping so.
That will do it for this fine Saturday. For those of you into the ponies, the third leg of the Triple Crown is today — the Belmont. Without a shot at an actual triple crown winner and what will likely be a sloppy track, it doesn’t have the cachet of some years, but it’s still a great race.
Everyone have a great day and I will catch you tomorrow.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“If the Mets have done anything right recently, it was putting silver/gray numbers on their road blue alt so the pants looked like they belonged.”
–THE Jeff Provo