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Timelessly Representing The Ballclub – Part I

Ernie Banks Wrigley

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:

. . . . . .

DiamondbacksPurple/teal, colored sleeves, pinstripes & The BOB

BravesEarly 90’s & Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium

CubsErnie Banks era & Wrigley

RedsBig Red Machine Sansabelt & Riverfront

RockiesPinstripes home/road/black alt & Coors Field

DodgersKoufax-era & Dodger Stadium

MarlinsBlack pinstripes, teal accents & Joe Robbie’s empty orange seats

BrewersBall and glove 80’s & The Old Co.

Mets – The Gooden/Strawberry Sansabelt & Aging Shea [Ed. note: The Mets never wore sansabelts]

PhilliesSchmidt-era w/light blue & Early 80’s Vet

Pirates70’s Stargell mixes & Three Rivers

Padres – Early 90’s Gwynn-era brown pinstripes & Jack Murphy

GiantsMays era & Polo Grounds

CardinalsBob Gibson era & Busch

NationalsPinwheel Expos & Stade Olympique with a running track

. . . . . .

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!


all sport uni tweaks

Uni 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.

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:

RFootball-Away - Michael Romero

RFootball-Home - Michael Romero

RFootball-Blackout - Michael Romero

Hi Phil,

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.

Michael Romero

. . .

We close today with Oliver Kodner who has several different takes (and a longish writeup) for the St. Louis Cardinals:

Cardinals Home White 1 - Oliver Kodner

Cardinals Home White 2 - Oliver Kodner

Cardinals Home Cream 1 - Oliver Kodner Cardinals Home Cream 2 - Oliver Kodner Cardinals Home Cream 3 - Oliver Kodner

Cardinals Road Gray 1 - Oliver Kodner Cardinals Road Gray 2 - Oliver Kodner


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.

Oliver Kodner

. . .

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

• 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.




One For The Road

.. … ..

“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

Comments (66)

    Apparently that definition doesn’t include each franchise in its current city. Otherwise I’d define the Dodgers by 1950s’ Brooklyn, the Giants by 1960s’ Candlestick, and the Nationals by the current home whites and Nationals Park.

    Also, do the team/time/stadium have to match in each “defintion”? Because while I see Three Rivers identifying the Pirates, I see them defined by the sleeveless vest jersey, which they did wear briefly in Three Rivers but far longer than the “We Are Family” getups. When I hear the words “Pittsburgh Pirates” I immediately think of link

    I would’ve gone with link , myself.

    While the Stargell picture in the link is the best of the bumblebee combos, I don’t agree that it was “defining”.

    Because while I see Three Rivers identifying the Pirates, I see them defined by the sleeveless vest jersey, which they did wear briefly in Three Rivers

    Didn’t the Pirates switch from the vests to the sansabelt double-knit pullovers on the very night they made the mid season move into Three Rivers?

    Yes, they did make the switch to the revolutionary pullover in 1970…However, there were games they played in a vest during the course of 3Rivers existence.
    That said, I have always thought the defining look for the Pirates was the sleeveless vest and its stadium was Forbes Field.

    Do you have some photographic evidence? I always thought that the vests didn’t return to the Pirates until they moved to PNC.

    I think there was a 1960 throwback night, maybe in 2000, where they wore vests. Throwbacks would have been the only time they wore vests after batting practice the night Three Rivers opened.

    For me, the vests are the Pirates’ iconic look.

    A throwback night, I could see…and I agree with burgh fan about the vests. The problem was putting the logo patch on the sleeve (not everyone wore it).

    The Pirates were the team who didn’t wear the baseball centennial patch in 1969.

    Yes, coincidentally I grew up in this era, but the defining years for the Pirates had to be the mustard-capped pullover-wearing era at Three Rivers. The Bucs had one magic season in 1960, but for most of the vested era they were not very good. The move out of Forbes Field and into the polyester uniforms began a decade of unprecedented greatness in the ‘burgh. I liked the vested uniforms, but give me the early 70s look any day.

    The Pirates were actually winners more often than not wearing the vested uniforms, and did field good teams after the 1960 World Champions.

    “Well, they’re coming back again with a new name and logo.”

    Said name is the amazingly horri-bad “Ottawa RedBlacks”.

    …and if you don’t like the bevelling on the new Dallas Stars logo, you’ll *adore* the New Ottawa CFL logo. Super-bevelled R complete with notch. TERRIBLE.

    Man, am I glad I gave up football. If I still cared about the sport, I’d be apoplectic about this name. You have the link there…why not call them the Rideau Riders? Or just the Riders? Or almost anything but the RedBlacks?


    For most – White home unis with red as the primary accent. Jacobs Field during its first couple years of existence.

    For the slightly older Tribe fan, unfortunately – goofy mid-70’s Navy/white/red combos of sansabelt. The dingy yellow acres upon acres of empty seats at Municipal Stadium. Where it was always fun to sneak into the upper deck in the outfield and spell out words by lowering seats. You had basically a whole section to work with for each letter and a completely apathetic/nonexistent staff of ushers.

    Some of the linked pics don’t seem to match the description. I’m looking at the DBacks and Marlins, each of which show an earlier iteration (I believe) than what was intended.

    You can blame that on me. Dan didn’t provide any links so I tried to find (in a limited time for searching, I apologize for having almost no time) to match his descriptions to the shots. I know a couple aren’t exact. My bad.

    Whoops! I used ctrl+F to search for Diamond and it came up with only 2 mentions (both in the text of the post), and neglected to think someone may have used the shorthand.

    I found the Diamondbacks uniform you meant to grab and linked to it at the bottom of the comments. Can you update it after the fact or does only Paul have that power?

    Philadelphia: Schmidt ear powder blue unis is a good choice. But including The Vet and the word iconic in the same sentence is an extreme violation. Today’s Phillies unis and CItzens Bank Ballpark is a better choice.

    I’m late to this cool thread, but more importantly, the Phillies’ blue unis were for the road. They would not have worn those uniforms at the Vet.

    Each person’s definition of the “defining” look for a team is based on their own experience and nostalgia. Childhood memories are probably the biggest driver of what each of us would consider the “defining” look for an MLB team. I would expect agreement on the “defining” look would be shared among those in the same age bracket. My young kids, for example, will likely never know the Padres in brown/yellow so that kit truly doesn’t define the team for them. Or, they might see the brown/yellow return and then could consider the blue/white Padres theme as “defining” since it holds a nostalgic significance to the “good old days” of their youth.

    the Draw Play’s take on the new Jags helmet


    also some mockups of the artist that he felt that look better than the final product


    In 2003 they went to black pinstripes and relegated the teal to accents only, and added silver to the uniforms (it was previously only on the logo and the TATC unis). It also when they changed the Florida on the away uniforms to match the script on the home uniforms.

    The only thing I’d disagree strongly with the Rockies is the road/black alt. Worst look the team has ever done, regardless of them going to the World Series in 2007 and the team wearing them alot during that streak to end the season. Impossible to read the player names, and the whole thing always looked really clunky and poorly executed. Current road is my favorite, although I always was partial to the 95-99 road look as well. If you want black tops of any sort, then go back to the 1993 black Sunday alts.

    Astros: Tequila Sunrise unis, in the pre-seat expansion Astrodome, with the enormous scoreboard.

    White Sox: Red pinstripes of the Dick Allen era, in Comiskey

    Blue Jays: 1977 pullovers, in the woefully ill-suited but somehow completely charming Exhibition Stadium

    Cardinals: Ozzie Smith back flipping in double knits, on the baking AstroTurf of Busch Stadium

    Reds: 1970’s pullovers, Riverfront

    This is fun, but it’s totally driven by age. A younger person, or an older one, will have a totally different set of preferences.

    Do the Bruins really have custom made camo jackets, complete with a camo Bruins logo, for their post game interviews?

    Weird. Creepy.

    The jacket, I believe, is the prize awarded within the dressing room for the player of that night’s game. The custom is common in the NHL, with different tokens (the Rangers have a beat-up black felt fedora, the Blackhawks a boxing/wrestling championship belt)

    Yep. Earlier in the season it was a t-shirt with a rooster on it. Last year, a vintage Starter jacket.

    Phil, I’m with you on the Mets. That late 60’s – early 70’s set is the most beautiful baseball uniform, ever. The later incarnations, with the side stripes and the sleeve stripes, look overdone, like something the Hiroshima Carp would wear.

    USMNT wore navy over white–their change kit–last night v Jamaica, in spite of the fact that Jamaica’s kit wouldn’t clash with the Americans’ red & white striped shirt. It’s a shame they can’t use their first choice shirt as a true first choice, and instead seem to rely simply on Home & Away designation.


    They have used the waldo jersey in a while. The new centennial jersey is the primary for 2013-14 and navy is the clash. The white may have been deemed to clash with Jamaica’s yellow. They wore white away at Azteca in March, so it’s not strictly a home/away thing.

    What I don’t get is why they would sometimes where the hoops with white shorts, what’s the point in wearing the hoops if you aren’t going for the flag motif? Plus the hoops over blue just simply looks better than the hoops over white.

    Heck maybe the players prefer the change kit to the hoops, so when given the option they opt for the change. As Russ said they Centennial is their home kit while they celebrate the Centennial.

    It’d be interesting to know if any of these decisions are apparel based. For instance we hadn’t worn the Change Kit since we played Hondorus, every game in that span we have worn the Centennial kit including once on the road (against Mexico).

    I certainly hope the hoops see the field again. We need to create a visual identity for US Soccer, and I think it should include the Sash and the Flag Motif, we can do various versions of these for merchandise purposes but those 2 things need to be consistent.

    The Mets have a #VoteMets hashtag behind homeplate on the sirt, is this a first?

    Tacky isn’t it?

    BTW, anybody notice that the Mets now fill in the rectangles of the batter’s boxes with lighter color dirt at the start of every game? I assume this started this year…do any other teams do this?

    Mets pairing the standard hats with the royal softball tops. Remind me, when, if ever, are the alt caps supposed to be worn?
    //It’s the Mets, there IS no rhyme or reason.
    //Those alt caps are unnece$$ary anyway.

    Maybe a pitcher’s choice…one combo I don’t think we have seen is the alt cap on the road. Since the road blue top uses gray numbers, it has no white on it anywhere. The alt cap has a white outline on the logo, so it really wouldn’t be right to use on the road.

    Quit possibly the scariest/cutest giveaway in Minor League Baseball history at the New PNC field for the SWB RailRiders this weekend. link

    Oliver Kodner,

    Congratulations to your dad (and you) for the continued good look of the Cardinals.

    You have the wrong Diamondbacks uniforms linked. Not just in what you put is not the definitive uniform of theirs, but also because you mentioned the colored sleeves which means you meant to have a pic of these:


    They had a non-vest version of those same unis, but those aren’t the ones that stick out to me (its the purple-sleeved ones they were wearing when they won it back in 2001, those and the away uniforms from that time are the definitive unis for them in my opinion despite the fact that the purple sleeves were an alternate and may have been worn less often).

    Here’s they away uniform:


    I loved these, the only year of little-league I played I was on the Diamondbacks, I tried to convince my coach to get us the D hats because we weren’t from Arizona. He said he’d try, at that point I think it was too late, plus I doubt going with anything but the A was possible (so even if he actually did try that he likely wouldn’t have been able to). To this day when I hear Randy Johnson this is what I picture him wearing.

    I really wish they would go back to the Purple and Teal, or at the very least get rid of the tan and go with Gold or even Copper, whatever they do just bring back the metallic stitching. I’ll never understand how “Sand” wound up being used by 3 different clubs at once, when all 3 would have looked so much better with Gold instead.

    Showing my age here but when I think iconic Reds uni I immediately picture the sleeveless vest Frank Robinson-era/Crosley Field look link.

    Definitely a better look aesthetically than the Big Red Machine Era, I love the white and gray caps too.

    “Aging Shea Stadium”? She was 22 years old in 1986. Dang we get tired of things quickly. Wrigley, Fenway, Tiger and Yankee Stadiums were all still in use then, and predated Shea by four decades or more.

    No one can or will argue the Brewers ball-in-glove era uni as the best for the franchise. To do so, is to admit insanity.

    Rockies went with camouflage desecration hats tonight. Before the game a local Air Force lieutenant (presumably from Peterson AFB in Colo. Spgs.) led the oaths of enlistment for 200+ airmen and one 2nd lieutenant, respectively. Additionally, they honored a WWII Navy veteran, among others. I presume this is why they brought out the caps–to “honor” those present.

    Photo: link

    The Padres switched to navy w/ orange for the 1990 season. The brown pinstripe era (’85-’89) was a down cycle for the team as it came down from its 1984 WS appearance.

    Nice discussion here. One very, very random thing I’d like to know: What’s with the “duplicate fan” effect in the shot from Wrigley Field at the top? Several people in the background appear in different parts of the picture, some a bit faded, but still the same people. The guy in the lower left corner also is close to the lower right corner, the Hitler-looking dude toward the right side also is farther right and back, and the guy with his hand on his head also appears twice in the lower right corner. Somewhere along the line, did a photographer (or Cubs publicity department) decide to make the stands look fuller than they really were? Maybe it was “Take Your Twin to the game and Sit a Few Seats Apart Day” at the ballpark. Or maybe I’ve had one too many tonight.

    Wow, good spot. There is a guy in the first row on the left who also appears first row on the right…I see another guy near the top with a white shirt and maybe a vest who appears twice…and near the top, left side a space alien looking creature that also appears top right.

Comments are closed.