By Phil Hecken
Yesterday, the Chicago Cubs held their annual Fan Convention, and with the 100th Anniversary of Wrigley Field this season, they took the opportunity to unveil TEN new uniforms for the 2014 Season. OK — nine of them are throwbacks — but still an impressive showing. Uni Watch wants to give a HUGE thanks to Matthew Robins (who tweets as @BupsJones), and who provided all the photos of the new uniforms you’re about to see.
The Cubs will wear these throwbacks on home Sundays this season, and they have introduced one throwback per decade, beginning with the 1910s. Lets do these chronologically, and then we’ll look at the alternate which was also introduced yesterday. You can click on most photos to enlarge.
Background: The 1914 throwbacks honor the first season major league baseball was played in Wrigley Field (which was known as Weeghman Park at the time), but it wasn’t the Cubs who played there. It was the Chicago “Whales” (or Chicago Federals), a team in the Federal League which was seeking to compete with the National and American Leagues. The Feds weren’t terrible, finishing second in 1914 and winning the league in 1915 (the league was disbanded after that). They’ll wear this uniform on Wednesday, April 23, which is the 100th anniversary of the opening of Wrigley (Weeghman), vs. the Diamondbacks.
Background: The Cubs would win the pennant in 1929, finishing 98-54, a full 10.5 games ahead of the second place Pirates. They were led that year by Rogers Hornsby, acquired from the Braves in the off-season, who led the team with a career-best .380 average. Although they won the pennant, they lost the World Series to the Philadelphia As, 4 games to 1. They’ll wear this Sunday, May 4, versus the Cardinals.
Background: The Cubs would win 93 games in 1937, but it wasn’t good enough to go to the Series, as they finished 3 games behind the New York Giants that year. They’ll wear this Sunday, May 18th, vs. the Brewers.
Background: The Cubs weren’t very good in 1942, but those unis! They finished in sixth place, but that was the year they introduced the vest with those funky sleeves, as well as the first powder blue uniform in MLB history (too bad they didn’t throwback to that one). They’ll wear this Sunday, June 8th, vs. the Marlins.
Background: The 1953 Cubs weren’t very good, finishing the season in 7th place, far out of contention for the pennant. It was, however, the year a promising rookie would make his debut. That rook was Ernie Banks, also known as “Mr. Cub.” The rest, as they say, is history. The Cubs will wear these Sunday, June 22, vs. the Pirates.
Background: Oh, what could have been. The ’69 Cubs have been called “the most celebrated second-place team in the history of baseball,” playing in the new divisional format of the National League. They spent almost the entire season in first place (155 days), only to drop 17 of their final 25 games, finishing behind the Mets. One of several Cubs curses was visited that year. The team will don these unis on Sunday, July 13, vs. the Braves.
Background: The 1978 season wasn’t particularly memorable for the Cubs, who finished third in the NL East, but they did bust out pinstriped powder blue pullovers. That in and of itself makes this perhaps the most awesome of all the throwbacks. Yeah, the uniforms were horrible, but I for one cannot wait to see them! They’ll wear these Sunday, July 27, vs. the Cardinals.
Background: The 1988 Cubs finished in 4th place in the NL East, 20 games behind the Mets, so it wasn’t exactly a memorable season. But they did have a promising rookie that year who just so happens to be entering the Hall of Fame this year. So there was that. They’ll wear these on Sunday, August 10th, vs. the Rays.
Background: The Cubs would finish the 1994 (strike shortened) season in last place, but the opening day game (which I played hooky from the office to watch on TV) was memorable — Tuffy Rhodes hit THREE homers against Dwight Gooden. And that was the year the Cubs introduce their “is it Cubs or Cuba” jersey. I’m not quite sure why they’re throwing back to this jersey or this year. It was awful. They’ll wear these Sunday, August 24, vs. the Orioles.
BUT WAIT…THERE’S MORE!
In addition to the nine throwback jerseys, the Cubs also introduced a new road alternate yesterday:
As you can see, it’s pretty basic — gray, with block “C U B S” lettering (and a headspoon — why?). The lettering goes straight across, with no arcing. While it is “original,” it seems to harken back to the 1922-1925 uniforms. It’s not a bad looking alternate, but (especially with nine throwbacks) this feels like overkill.
OK, readers, that’s a LOT to digest (and I didn’t even delve that deeply into the unis) so I’ll end this portion of the post here.
Now it’s your turn — what do YOU think of all these throwbacks?
The Queens Baseball Convention — basically an all-day Mets-apalooza– is TODAY at McFadden’s, and it’s shaping up as a great event. Among the highlights:
• There will be a panel discussion on the subject of uniforms in general and Mets uniforms in particular. Panelists will include Paul, uni designer Todd Radom, Jon Springer (who runs the excellent Mets by the Numbers site), Russ Gompers (who runs Stitches, the shop that does all the Mets’ sewing and embroidery), and other luminaries. Should be awesome. Oh, and I’ll be on that panel too.
• There will be a “jersey parade,” in which fans can wear their favorite (or most obscure, or whatever) Mets jerseys. Paul will be taking part in the judging to pick the best and most interesting jerseys of the day.
• There will also be lots of non-uni stuff, including autograph sessions with former Mets Ed Kranepool and Ron Darling; presentations by Faith and Fear in Flushing blogger Greg Prince and ESPN.com columnist Mark Simon; a scavenger hunt for kids; and a lot more. The full schedule of events is available here, and you can purchase tickets ($35 for adults, $10 for kids) here.
U.W.F.F.L. Week 20
By Rob Holecko
Well the UWFFL Bowl is over, the Minnesota Mustangs’ gamble with the red alt paid off and they defeated Miami in UWFFL Bowl XIV, 221 to 123.
But that doesn’t mean UWFFL is finished, not by a long shot. We still have minor league conference championships, bowl season and the World Bowl for the international teams still to play out. The regular season in the minors ended last week and the BCS #1 Florida Geckos will face the #2 Anchorage Orcas in the Championship on February 9, with the winner being promoted to the UWFFL in the Fall. The remaining Top 4 teams in each of the three minor league conferences will compete for the conference titles. The first of the two semifinals will be played this week as the #3 seeds will take on the #2 seeds. All three of the contests are rematches at the opposite site of their previous meeting.
In the Eastern Association, Connecticut travels to Raleigh. When they met earlier in the season in Connecticut, Raleigh won 28-15, however the Convicts have improved their look greatly since then and managed to climb back into the playoff race.
In the Central League, Cleveland will face Birmingham. When those two met earlier in the season, the Vulcans prevailed 17 to 12 in Cleveland.
And in the Pacific Coast Conference, the Las Vegas Lightning will face the Dallas Outlaws, Dallas winning in Las Vegas back in September.
Also this week are the first four of twelve bowl games, including the Theme Park Park Peppermint Bowl in Orlando, Florida. The bowl game will see the Iowa Corn take on the Roanoke Giraffes.
The game, however is almost secondary, to the other festivities that surround it. The annual Festival Of Mints Parade saw some mishaps last year, but hopefully this year everything will turn out better:
To vote on the three other bowl games this week as well as a full slate of international games, be sure to visit us at https://www.uwfantasyfootballleague.com.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Not a lot of submissions from yesterday, so it’s Old School ticker today.
Last night, the Suns broke out their orange sleeved jerseys (and played a color-on-color game, to boot). More photos here. … Jeff Barak sends us this about the 1998 NHL All-Star Game Super Skills Competition held on this date. “It was the first year for the World vs. North America format, which lasted five years, but the only time the players ever wore a flag patch for their native country on their NHL jerseys, making for some unique looks. For example, it was the only time Wayne Gretzky ever wore a patch on a New York Rangers jersey.” … Dunkin’ Brands (Dunkin Donuts, Baskin Robbins) has signed a sponsorship with the Liverpool Football (soccer) Club (thanks, J H). … Charlie Shields writes that he “came across this image while looking at old Univ. of Arkansas yearbooks. I’ve never seen numbers on a basketball uniform like this before (you probably have though.) It’s from the 51 yearbook, so the previous year’s season.” … Middle school kids will design an alternate jersey for a summer college baseball team, The Madison Mallards (from Jeff Ash). … A 49ers fan gave Jim Harbaugh a Harbaugh t-shirt of famous Super Bowl holding non-call & took this pic (thanks, Brinke). Also from Brinke: “Not a bad logo,” a close-up of Jim Harbaugh’s cleats, and, since he clearly loves the coach, a comparison of Harbaugh shirts: “You can see how he stuck the SF over the S. He still uses this one sometimes.” … “The ironies abound and are making my head spin of this one,” writes Roch. “Best of all are the quotes from Richard Peddie who would have covered his own mother in Leaf’s logos and sell her if he thought he could have gotten some money out of it. ” … Here are some photos of numberless Georgia Tech jerseys (sent in by Britton Thomas). … Following up on some banter yesterday, this version of the Raiders’ official stadium pennant is from 1982, the year they moved to L.A., has the glare on the helmet on the raider-guy logo (nice find by J. Flynn). … Here’s a Detroit Tigers concept discussion on Bless You Boys blog. Says submitter Justin Howland, “Some good ideas in there. I agree with most of that page that the Tigers need something different for the road uni.” … Chris Bisbee was “Watching Friday Night Tykes” on Esquire Network and noticed the San Antonio Outlaws are using the old UN-Omaha logo. … Philadephia freedom? Scott Lederer noticed the “Philadelphia” is spelled wrong on this hat on NFLshop.com. … And just when you thought we were safe from Brinke, he sent in two more shots. Here’s the 49ers boarding their plane for Seattle (notice the old logo), and this shot of Cy Lincecum wearing an old Seahawks jersey. He’s now “Dead to me” to Brinke. … The NFL has fined Patriots running back Stevan Ridley $5250 for dominant red footwear. Says submitter Tom Mulgrew, “This proves that the NFL knows nothing of Kate Bush or Elvis Costello. We already knew that the NFL had no sense of humor or individuality.” … Looks like a new mask for Brian Elliott (and here’s another view, with thanks to Ed Bauza). … William Thomas saw this Minnesota Wild baseball jersey at a store. “NHL licensed and made by Majestic.” He asks, “Does Majestic make many NHL baseball jerseys?” … Here’s a cool photo of Bob Gibson playing hoops (h/t Sully). … “Carlos Santana wears #107 in the Dominican Winter League. Someone ‘splain” (h/t Teddy). … Spotted outside of last evening’s Bulls/Wizards game was this Bul-lets mashup jersey (great spot by Rex Henry). … And, apparently Brinke is not the only one obsessed with Harbaugh’s pants. … San Diego State University Baseball has new jerseys (h/t Andrew Domingo), with Mountain West patches heat pressed on. Also from Andrew: new ‘Speedflex’ helmet certain Aztec players will wear this spring.
And that’s going to do it for today. Not that there are a LOT of ticker submissions on a Saturday, try to go easy just the same, since I’ll be at the QBC pretty much most of the day (and if you’re anywhere within a 40 mile radius, or even more if you’re a Mets fan, try to come on by — it really will be a great event — say “Hi” to Paul, me, and many other Uni Watch readers who I know will be there). OK? OK!
I’ll catch you guys tomorrow, so have a great Saturday.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Out of curiosity, are we penalized if we bring a BFBS jersey or rewarded for wearing stirrups?”
–Alex Giobbi (on attending the QBC)