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If the Rainbow ‘Stros Wore Leisure Suits…

Louisville 2013 College Baseball

By Phil Hecken

What you see above is the “latest” in baseball fashion (I won’t even call it a uniform) from adidas. That particular outfit is for the Louisville Cardinals, who will be breaking them out today for the Super Regionals.

Now, the splash is actually cropped — here’s the full “poster” that adidas put out to promote this uniform:

Louisville_adidas CLIMALITE Sweet Spot Jersey

Obviously, the jersey harkens back to the Tequila Sunrise/Rainbow Guts Astros uniforms of the 70s and 80s, but what’s up with the pants? And, um…the white belt? Seriously, that looks like stuff my Dad wore during the bicentennial.

Look more closely at the “uniform” and you’ll notice the pants are uncuffed, making it look even more retro-ish (and I’m not sure that is intentional).

The pants are what gets me though. They’re (I think, it’s hard to tell with these ‘mockups’) red. OK, we’ve seen red pants in baseball before — with the Caveman Indians. But with a multi-striped pullover and solid color pants, that reminds me more of possibly the worst baseball uniform in the history of ever:


But at least those uniforms, and the Astros, balanced out the uniform with sansabelts, stirrups and white shoes (completing the 70s look). This outfit? I’m not so sure what they’re going for.

Fortunately, we have adidas to explain this (and two other, almost as loud uniforms introduced yesterday, which follow). Aside from Louisville, NC State and Mississippi State also received new togs for the remainders of their baseball season. They’re not quite so garish:

NC State_adidas CLIMALITE Sweet Spot Jersey

NC State, seen above, doesn’t look so bad — although a look evocative of the “beach blanket bingo” White Sox (a look they’re throwing back to this year) is not necessarily forward thinking.

MSU_adidas CLIMALITE Sweet Spot Jersey

Finally, the Mississippi State Bulldogs are sorta splitting the difference between the Cardinals and State. Their tops are Astros-esque, with seemingly normal white pants. Neither look shows any kind of hosiery, which doesn’t bode well for aesthetics.

Adidas contacted Paul with all of the above, and Paul was kind enough to forward it to me. In that e-mail, an adidas rep described the uniforms thusly:

Both new looks are retro-inspired and feature the latest adidas uniform technologies to make the Cardinals, Wolfpack and Bulldogs faster, lighter and cooler on the diamond.

The jersey and pants include CLIMALITE material coupled with dye-sub technology, creating a superior lightweight uniform system with unrivaled moisture transport and durability.

For more info and images of Louisville, North Carolina State and Mississippi State’s new adidas baseball uniforms, check out and follow the conversation on Twitter via @adidasUS and #teamadidas.

Of course, the corporate-speak of “faster, lighter and cooler” makes its way even into e-mails to the various uniform critics. They should know better, but I guess they think someone other than gullible recruits and hardcore disciples might actually believe it.

I won’t render any additional judgments until I actually see how these things look on the field. And I hope the players have the good sense to sport proper hosiery and not wear the pants like they’re shown.

Readers? What say you?

. . . . . .

Yesterday on the diamond, there was a somewhat odd occurrence, as North Carolina faced off against South Carolina. On the particular uniforms they wore, neither used the team name nor the full name of their state, with both clubs wearing the shortened “Carolina” monicker. The result was a “Carolina” versus “Carolina” matchup (click each image to enlarge):

Carolina 1

Carolina 2

(Thanks to Dan Rakowski for those two screen grabs).


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 Lewis English, (an apropos name), who has some rugby kits for a fairly popular TV series:

Game of Thrones1 - Lewis English

Hi Phil,

I am an avid fan of Game of Thrones and also love the Uni Tweaks on the weekends. I thought I would combined these two passions, and being from the United Kingdom (And Rugby being a suitably aggressive sport) I have created a uni set for the Lannister Rugby Football Club) which surely must exist in Westeros.

I have tried to stay with the traditional rugby aestheticand have subverted the old Northern Rock logo found on the Newcastle Falcons into “Casterly Rock” The home of the Lannisters in the series.

I hope you like it and I plan to do more on this theme over the coming months.

Keep up the great work, I love your weekend work!

Lewis English
Manchester, England

. . .

Next up is Jacob Morris, with an alternate for a team who doesn’t have one:

Devils alt concept - Jacob Morris

Hi Phil,

Since the Devils haven’t ever had an alternate jersey in their history, I’ve taken it upon myself to create one. I’ve flipped the black and red elements of their home jersey, incorporated a pants stripe, and added an alternate logo that actually looks like a devil. It’s always bugged me that a team with the name Devils doesn’t have an actual devil anywhere in their branding. The logo used in the design is a recolored version of Central Connecticut Blue Devils logo.

Jacob Morris

. . .

We close today with Garrett Newman who has some slight tweaks (and new pants) for the Chargers:

5665_san_diego_chargers-alternate-2012 - Garrett Newman

2491_san_diego_chargers-road-2012 - Garrett Newman 9607_san_diego_chargers-road-2012 - Garrett Newman


These are my concept of the Chargers. They are the same design as the current uniforms, but instead feature the powder blue that everyone loves as opposed to the dark blue. The home uniform is the same, except it has a white facemask and no neckroll. The away is all white, but I also made one with alternate pants/striped socks. Thank you for taking your time.


. . .

And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.


Stirrup Friday

Stirrup Fridays…

Because we love the stirrup here at Uni Watch, this section is devoted to those of us who sport the beautiful hose on Fridays — a trend popularized many years ago by Robert P. Marshall, III. For many of us, it’s become a bit of an obsession, but a harmless one — a reflection of our times. Where we once had Friday ties, which has been replaced by Casual Friday — we now have Stirrup Fridays. It’s an endearingly simple concept — no matter where you work (or even if you don’t) — break out a fresh pair of rups to compliment (or clash with) your Friday attire.

It was a rainy Friday for a good chunk of the country, so that (possibly) yielded a smaller than usual set this week. But a couple are oh-so cute, and one of the Friday Ruppers needs to be adopted!:

. . . . .

Onsies-Clara Jane Hick

Clara Jane Hick:

Comrades Phil and Robert,

I realize that two-in-ones are frowned upon, but babies and real shoes don’t mix. I’m all about the two-in-one shoe/sock.


. . .

dog rup 1 - John Graham

dog rup 2 - John Graham

Buster (from Jake Graham):


Today’s doggie stirrup model is Buster. He is wearing the green and white of my alma mater, Tazewell High School, whose girls softball team participated in the state tourney for the first time this week. Buster’s identity doesn’t need to be concealed, as he is actually an adoption puppy that desperately needs a home.


. . .

Red and Blue - James Poisso

James Poisso:


This is what happens when you wear vintage Brewers stirrups with red sanis…something the Cubbies should be wearing. :)

James Poisso

. . .

And that ends today’s look at Stirrup Friday — all of you who participate, send me your pics and a brief (~50 words) description of their relevance, and I’ll run ’em here on Saturday (and sometimes Sunday too!). Be sure to visit Robert’s House of Hose for news on rups.

And now…here’s …


Stirrup Header

Comrade Marshall’s Rupdate:


Sorry, Phil and I have been busy and unable to co-ordinate this week, so there is no image winner. That being said, I do want to have some winners this week, and since the “beer showers” took sooo long for TCK manufacture, I want to offer something to those who pre-ordered those, please get in touch with me if you have been one of the patient folk who have waited so long for for them, I will have something special for you. Also, With regards to the “beer showers”, they came in on Friday, and I promptly packaged them up and sent them out within the hour, I would think people will have them early week.

I will have something new to offer next week which has already been ordered, so the wait will not be as long. But for those who don’t want to order from me for whatever reason, check out these beauties, or these that I found in the online second hand store. I love that orange and scarlet pair.

from each according his stirrvp,
to each according his strype.


On that note, that’s it for today. I was hardly on line the entire day yesterday, and I (fortunately) missed every single inning of the Mets 20-inning debacle, as well as the Blue Jays 18-inning victory. And I didn’t even see the Belmont. Sometimes, you need one of those days.

Hope everyone had a good Saturday and has a better Sunday. I will catch you all next weekend — until then, have a great week!

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.




One For The Road

.. … ..

“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.”
— Dave Long

Comments (59)

    That Louisville uni looks more like a something a pro golfer would wear. Heck, if you changed it from Louisville to Alabama, it would be perfect for John Daly.

    NC State wore those yesterday, here’s a gallery of photos from the game:


    State also has the tequila sunrise jerseys(with white pants), I’ve seen pictures on twitter. Maybe they will wear them today?

    My first thought on Louisville was, “why are they wearing my grandpa’s golf pants?”

    When you are the first to do something, however odd, there’s a certain cachet attached. Whatever you think of Wharol’s Campbell Soup cans painting, it was unique and memorable. If a second artist had shown up with a painting of Progresso cans, well, that would have been stupid.

    Astros in rainbow guts: mad, but brilliant
    Louisville in tomato guts: just plain awful

    Also, “the latest in uniform technology” is the dumbest phrase ever. It’s pants and a shirt.

    I’ve always said that the Astros should at least designate the Tequila Sunrise unis as an alternate. That look could well be the most unique in sports. To me it just perfectly embodies everything the Astros are supposed to be: bold (often to the point of kitsch), but always unique.

    So, these are like the college answer to the “1979 Tampa Bay Rays” uniforms. Ignoring all of the 20% cooler nonsense, these just look like they were pulled out of the 70’s. I don’t think they look bad, but they sure as heck aren’t revolutionary.

    Typical Adidas. No effort to make uni’s specific to a school…just come up with a sh*tty template and make them all wear the same thing. Can’t wait for the onslaught of zubaz inspired football uni’s this fall.

    What, no mention of Paul’s prominent appearance in today’s New York Times Magazine?

    Link 1: link

    Link 2: link

    As soon as I saw there was gonna be an article about the Brannock Device, I knew who wrote it.

    Mississippi State, not Mississippi, is the Bulldogs. It’s even in the quote from the adidas rep.

    Gah. Thanks — not sure how I left that out in the write up. Sorry if I offended any Rebs.

    Neither Reb nor Bulldog (not the Starkville kind, anyway, just the Athens kind) so no harm, no foul.

    It *is* possible to be “lighter, faster, and cooler” without looking like an idiot.

    There has to be an instance or two where a coach has told one of these companies, “contract or no contract, I am NOT letting you dress our kids like clowns.”

    Isn’t there?

    IIRC, Indiana told Adidas to shove it in regards to the fruit stripe basketball unis.

    I have no doubt that it’s happened, but would we hear about it? A team simply electing to use the newest jersey cut or material without changing the actual uniform design could fly under the radar rather easily.

    Good timing posting those awful Tucson Toros unis, last night the Tucson Padres wore them as throwbacks – link

    You will note that the colors on the copies are quite as horrid as the original. The story goes that the the first time the clubhouse staff washed the jerseys, thy used warm rather than cold water causing the colors to fade with orange becoming brown. link

    Unfortunately the Padres/ Toros didn’t do the pants or caps right. Too bad, as the uniform set can’t be fully appreciated without those elements.

    This year’s Stanley Cup Finals will be the most aesthetically pleasing one in a long time.

    But that will be drastically reduced next season, when the Red Wings move to the Eastern Conference.

    I think Adidas is trying to make everyone so sick of their shit that we just brush them off like that dumbass we all know personally where you just say to yourself “It’s okay. They just don’t know any better.”

    And blouse your damn pants already! This is baseball, not a Jay-Z/Eminem video.

    The most disappointing thing is that the Louisville jerseys and the MSU jerseys are exactly the same. That is indeed typical Adidas.
    But I confess, I kinda like the red pants. The trend in baseball these days seems to be lots of color on the shirts with boring grey or white pants. That looks particularly bad with the bloused long pants. If we’re eschewing the all white home look and the all grey away look, and since hosiery just doesn’t appear to be a factor any more (so sad), why not add color to the whole uniform?

    “the red pants are good”


    I’d actually be wont to agree with you if they wore red tops and stirrups/white shoes. Or even solid black cleats (not this multicolored shit that is so popular now).

    But as that uni stands (obviously I need to see it in action), it’s awful. But it could be improved immensely with just a few tweaks.

    Louisville has been tweeting photos of the uniform without the red pants with the Cardinals wearing white pants with a red stripe instead.


    That is one of the worst things about Adidas. At least when Nike decides to completely ruin a school’s image, it’s original.

    Carolina vs “Carolina” again today. North Carolina – the REAL Carolina – in Carolina blue (not “baby blue,” as the South Carolina radio guys kept calling it yesterday) camouflage tops. South Carolina, as the home team on the scoresheet today, in white with garnet pinstripes.

    Just to add to the “Carolina” thing, while watching the game yesterday, the announcers said they had set up a fine system so that they wouldn’t call either team “Carolina”. They had to include the directional indication when saying the team name or pay a fine. It was actually kind of amusing to listen to them ‘catch’ themselves.

    As was noted in Phil’s post, both schools claim the “Carolina” moniker, and neither wants to refer to the other as “Carolina”.

    I think it may be time for a merger. If we combine the Carolinas, we can add Canada as a state without needing to change the flag.

    The original Carolina (capital Charles Town) was founded in 1663. North Carolina split off and became a crown colony in 1729.

    And Carolina beat UNC’s ass, 8-0.

    You should be ashamed to be associated with the baby blue Klown Kostumes UNC-CH wore. The Carolina Gamecocks wear baseball uniforms.

    Oh, and did I mention Carolina beat UNC’s ass, 8-0?

    Does UNC-Chapel Hill shop at Baby Gap or Pottery Barn Kids for those baby blue Klown Kostumes?

    From a 2008 article on the Gamecock site: “Research by South Carolina found that on the heels of North Carolina’s basketball success of the last half century, surveys have found most sports fans nationally identify ‘Carolina’ as ‘North Carolina.’ It also found that Southern Cal, one of the nation’s preeminent sports programs, is both nationally and even regionally here in the south more closely identified with ‘USC’ than South Carolina is.”

    And a fan of a team that calls itself the “cocks” has a lot of nerve making fun of another school’s color choice. Besides, we won today, wearing the nation’s most unique school color, and got the bid to Omaha.

    So there.

    If there is positive with those new uniforms, it’s that they include v-neck pullover jerseys. Hopefully this will be the start of the sport of baseball phasing out button-front jerseys forever.

    I don’t think we’ll ever be that lucky. The freakin Yankees will still be wearing button-front jerseys in the year 3000, assuming that humanity and something resembling the sport of baseball survives that long.

    (insert Futurama reference here)

    I never did care for pullovers. But I hope if the Yankees are still wearing buttons in 3000 they’re doing so in Slurm Stadium! Or being the Yankees would it be Yankee Stadium presented by Slurm?

    My biggest problem is not the color of the pants but the length. No more full-length baseball pants, please. Baseball pants should be 3/4 or mid-calf at the longest.

    On the “Cover Story”, I would rank them 1) NC State, 2) MSU, 3) UofL. I like the NC State look and thinks its actually a good one off, there is from what I can assume no historical precedent or link for that particular retro-look but I think it works. I actually was able to see it in game and thought they looked pretty sharp (Sorry no Pictures). I was not alive when that Sox’s look was current but I have always liked it for some reason and so partly I am biased for NC state’s uniforms.

    On MSU and UofL, I think MSU’s is better simply because they are more white dominant than the UofL’s. I also feel the Louisville ones hark too much to any “blood-clot” uniform especially the Philies All-Maroon (Which for me was the “best of the worst”) or what I like to call the “bloody tampon” look.

    I also have found it interesting that all these retro astro sunrise looks that keep popping up in high schools and now colleges coincide with the Professional team reverting back to the look it came out of but the only usage (so far) of the sunrise effect is on the side panels on the BP uniforms and nothing as major as the other applications.

    anybody else notice this?

    No red pants. No white belt. Different hat.

    So much for all that noise.

    Very dark gray being worn by Vandy, btw.

    New nickname for Ottawa’s new CFL franchise: the RedBlacks.


    I get that the color combination is popular in the city, but that’s gotta be about the stupidest nickname among top-tier professional leagues on the continent.

    Been watching Louisville vs. Vandy for a while. Looeyville is wearing white pants (all uncuffed PJs) but doesn’t look as bad as I had thought they would. Still bad, but not awful.

    If they would wear those unis with proper hosiery, they might have a chance to look fair-to-middling.

    And is it wrong of me to want them to keep winning, just so I can see the red pants ONCE?

    Reds wearing home whites intend of customary red softball tops for a Sunday game. Good looking game with Cards in blue caps.

    The Reds wear red jerseys for all day games, except Opening Day. So if they play Sunday night, as they are tonight, they wear white jerseys. At least they have some rhyme and reason to their jersey selection.

    The Louisville Cardinals jerseys were neither “cool” nor retro. Just plain awful on purpose. You don’t encourage that dismal design if you head an athletic program. Shame on the Cardinals.

    Herb Tarlek is a hard worker, a loyal husband, and an all around fine person. I saw him on Real Families.

    According to link, MSU wasn’t allowed to wear their new unis because they didn’t include the conference logo creep.

    I can’t tell, is this good or bad?

    Sandy Koufax brought his own cap to the Old Timer’s game:

    Everyone has one of the new polyester ones, but he has a old wool with grey undervisor!

    In regards to the Devils uni concept…the last thing the NHL needs is another black alternate uniform. I respect the hell out of NJD for building their own tradition and not fussing around with their look.

    More importantly, it shouldn’t bug anyone that the team ‘doesn’t have an actual devil anywhere in their branding,’ because they aren’t that kind of devil. The team was named after a mythical creature that according to legend was said to have haunted the New Jersey pine barrens in the 1700s. It had horse hooves and bat wings and didn’t resemble what one commonly thinks of when a ‘devil’ comes to mind.

Comments are closed.