By Phil Hecken
Last night the San Diego Padres, continuing their “retro weekend” series against the Chicago Cubs, threw back to their road (brown) uniforms of 1984.
Aside from 1984 being 30 years ago, it was a very good year for the Padres. Stung by the death of their longtime owner, Ray Kroc in January, they would turn in a magical season that culminated in a dramatic playoff comeback against the Cubs, and a trip to their first World Series, where they would eventually lose to the Tigers. You can read more about their 1984 season here.
So the Padres chose to play three games of this “retro weekend” series in throwbacks — on Thursday evening, they wore their white (home) uniforms (sadly, most players didn’t wear high cuffs), and last night and today they will wear their brown tops. On Sunday, they’ll return to their normal “Sunday Camo” unis.
Let’s see how they did, and then compare those uniforms to the originals (click on any images to enlarge):
Aside from the obvious lack of high cuffs, these uniforms are pretty spot on to their originals. But there are some slight problems.
The 1984 jerseys were identical to the 1980-83 styles in lettering and overall appearance, except for the “RAK” initials which were in memory of their owner (Ray Kroc) and which were added to the left sleeve.
The back of the 1984 jersey featured beautiful vertically arched lettering affixed via a nameplate:
The jerseys worn by the Padres last evening
nailed the VAL on nameplates were radially arched, and the font appeared to be spot-on as well. The NOB arching, unfortunately, was less parabolic than the originals:
Edit: As pointed out by a reader, the retro jerseys also featured smaller “Padres” lettering, allowing the ‘d’ on the throwback to sit to the left of the botton placket. The originals split the “d” along the rubicon (throwback jersey on left, original on right):
In fact, the only major complaint would be the “RAK” initials on the left sleeve — those where MUCH larger than the 1984 originals:
They nailed the gold-orange striping on the neck and sleeves, and also the pants:
Of course, the 1984 Padres wore white shoes, and all (as was the style) went high cuffed. Their brown stirrups and gold sannies were a classic (if somewhat garish) look:
Last evening (as well as the day before), the 2014 Padres wore their usual black cleats, and I could not find a single photo of a player going high cuffed. That part was disappointing.
The Padres even brought out several of the 1984 ballclub for honors before the game started. It was a nice touch:
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see the game (next year I am getting either the on-line version or Extra Innings), but I did see a few highlights on MLB network, and there seemed to be high praise for the effort.
This is not the first time the Padres have played a throwback game. But it was definitely one of their better efforts, uniform-wise.
As far as the uniforms go — granted, Twitter is no true barometer, but (as of 1:00 am last night) a majority of the commenters expressed support for the brown and many wondered why they don’t go back to it. Others weren’t so supportive.
As far as the Padres go — I wholeheartedly support a return to the brown and gold color scheme, and while 1984 was not my favorite year (I love their original unis from 1969 the best, and which they have thrown back to before) or the mid-1970s or 1978 duds as a second choice. But I’d take 1984-esque uniforms over ANYTHING they’ve worn since.
Not everyone loves the brown tops, of course — but it’s a color the Padres have OWNED since their inception, incredulously dropping it as a color, for good from 1991 on.
If you missed last evening’s game, they’ll play again in the brown tops today (but it’s a 7:10 PDT start — so if you live in the east, that’s 10:10). Of course, today there is a Negro League throwback (Tigers and Rangers – with an afternoon start time), and later this evening, the Mariners and Astros are turning back the clock to 1979 (10:10 EDT start), with the Astros breaking out the Tequila Sunrise/Rainbow Guts for the occasion. So it’s going to be a full day of non-standard unis throughout MLB. And I love it!
Readers, what say you?
Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.
It’s been a while since we had any colorizations, but last weekend I ticker-linked this black & white photo, which contained a young (age 14) Pele. At the time, I didn’t know what team was being represented. Soccer buff, historian, and colorizer-extraordinaire George Chilvers responded in the comments, “Pele is playing for Bauru. He is the legend (in Portuguese) that goes wit the photo: ‘PELE059: Aos 14 anos, PelÃ© foi campeÃ£o invicto pelo time juvenil do Bauru AtlÃ©tico Clube, o Baquinho, e pela primeira vez sua foto Ã© publicada em um jornal de grande circulaÃ§Ã£o, A Gazeta Esportiva. PelÃ© Ã© o segundo da esquerda para a direita, agachado. Bauru, SÃ£o Paulo, 10 de fevereiro de 1954’.”
He then added, “If only we could see that picture in colour…” Once I saw that comment, I knew it wouldn’t be long until we did.
So, today, I’m very pleased to welcome back George with his latest colorization. Click on image to enlarge.
After saying last week how nice it would be to see this photo in colour, what an amazing coincidence that I have found this lurking. What are the odds on that happening? ;)
Pele aged 14, for Bauru. The earliest photo of Pele to be published in a national journal in 1954.
Thanks George. Great colorization, as always. OK, colorizers — love for you guys to have your latest work featured on here. Keep ’em coming!
U.W.F.F.L. Spring League
UWFFL Spring 2014 – Week 11
By Rob Holecko
We are back with another week of competition in our 2014 Spring Developmental League. Our thanks go out to all of you who took the time to vote last weekend. Today we present to you another full slate of games to vote on, including this week’s spotlight game, a matchup from the Northwest as the (3-2) Montana Syndicate heads to Calgary to take on the (3-1) Calgary Alpines. This is a big game for both of these teams as they trail Yellowknife and British Columbia in the Group F standings and the winner of this game will have the inside track on third place and the final promotion spot from this group into the Division II fall league.
Montana is wearing brown-over-white, their typical home uniform as they go on the road to face the Alpines, who are one of only two teams in the UWFFL D-League that traditionally wear white at home. The Alpines’ uniform is adorned with the Alberta provincial flag patch and the optional UWFFL Developmental League patch, while the Syndicate’s simple color scheme somewhat reminiscent of the 1970’s San Diego Padres’ mustard and brown, features a unique font and stripe pattern, and both teams have been voters’ favorites more often than not so far this season, as coming in to this matchup they both are above .500.
Be sure to head over to https://www.uwfantasyfootballleague.com to vote on the other twelve games, and we’ll see you next week.
for the Ticker
Got an e-mail from Charles Noerenberg, with a fairly intricate (and long) bit on the Tampa Bay Rays “dugout fun.” It’s just too good for the regular ticker, so it gets its own section, below:
I’ve been sitting on some stuff for awhile and hadn’t gotten around to sending ’til now. I’ve become a fan of the Tampa Bay Rays in recent years, and this season decided to purchase MLB.tv so I could watch all their games up here in Chicago. I think my favorite thing about watching the Rays so far (since they’re currently in last place) has been following a very fun and humorous occurrence in the dugout.
Early in April, the Rays had a kids promotion for a Desmond Jennings “Baseball Buddy”, a small stuffed doll of the centerfielder, which was surprisingly detailed from a uni standpoint. A few days before the official giveaway game, one of the Jennings Baseball Buddies started showing up in the team’s dugout.
It started out sitting on the bench very conspicuously, sometimes even next to its real-life counterpart. The players would position it in clever places, to make sure it was always part of the action. I think the cameramen must’ve found this funny too, because the Buddy always seemed like it was in the frame when they’d cut to a dugout shot.
When the team (Jennings included) began slumping, the players must’ve placed some of the blame on the Baseball Buddy, because for awhile in mid-to-late April it was punished and made to sit in the corner. It eventually was aloud to view the action again, but after that the Buddy was usually stuffed away next to the bullpen phone, away from the main bench.
Sadly, I haven’t seen the Jennings Baseball Buddy for a couple weeks now, likely because the team has continued to struggle and incurred a rash of injuries. While the whole thing was going on, though, I found it incredibly funny and entertaining. I looked forward to the first dugout shot of each game, and playing Where’s Waldo with the cute lil’ guy. Obviously, it was only a matter of time before I purchased one of the Baseball Buddies for my own on eBay, and I now use him as a sort of team stress/voodoo doll (here he is mingling with the cat, who has been less-than-accommodating).
Thanks, Charles — Great stuff. OK, now onto the ticker…
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: Some of the teams at the SEC tournament were rocking some outstanding stirrups on Thursday. Submitter James Hays wanted to ask the players a question, however: “Ummm….guys, you have heard of sannies, right? What’s with the ribbed crew socks? And some of them are even showing a swoosh. If you’re gonna ditch the pajama pants, why not do it right?” … More wonderful stirrups come from Frank Mercogliano, who send in these great shots of Bakersfield and Sacremento State — and check out the gold sannies on Sac State! … The Blue Jays will not be wearing USMC camo jerseys and caps this Memorial Day. Instead they’ll be wearing CADPAT camo jerseys and caps instead. Says submitter Michael O’Connor, “I follow the Blue Jays on Facebook and the team posted an ad saying these jerseys are on sale. At quick glance the lettering seemed more green than what I’d previously seen on Sportslogos.net, and last year’s jerseys.”… This is awesome: The Lake County Captains — Class A affiliates of the Cleveland Indians — are giving away Jobu bobblehead dolls at their Aug. 1 game. You can read more here. … Kurt Witten was curious how the St. Louis Cardinals would look if they wore their alternate caps with the “St. Louis” script uniforms. … Not even high cuffs could make this Southeastern LA uniform look good (h/t Josh McDaniel). … On June 12th, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are holding a “salute the cows” night and the first 1,000 people get these “unimaginative” batting helmets (with thanks to Jared VanderWeele, who points out that “Cows NEVER have the same spots.”). … West Virginia wore these “camo” things yesterday against Baylor. … The Perry Panthers, of Massillon, Ohio, honored fallen veterans (and living ones too) by breaking out the camo tops. … Point #2 in this article is interesting: Nebraska baseball coach Darin Erstad noticed third baseman Jake Placzek’s sunglasses were pulled up over the bill of his cap during a post-game interview. Erstad removed them. Asked why, Erstad replied: “Because that’s the ‘N.’ It’s for the Huskers. We’re not sponsored by a sunglasses company.” (Thanks to Jim Polacek for finding that). … “The Astros called up a spot starter for their game in Seattle tonight, Rudy Owens, number 99,” writes Adam Schecter. “In the leadoff spot, the Mariners sent out their young outfielder James Jones, number 99. According to the stat on the Mariners telecast, there has never been a 99 versus 99 matchup in baseball before.” Well — it had to happen sometime!
NFL/Football News: The Saskatchewan Roughriders unveiled the final design of their new stadium Thursday (thanks to Seth Moorman). Pretty cool looking, actually. … Here’s a good article, including photographic evidence, that Ronnie Lott once wore #24 with the 49ers (nice find by Roger Faso). … “As you know the bills are currently renovating Ralph Wilson Stadium,” notes Kiernan Smith. “What you may not know is that they are essentially repainting the entire stadium black. No one seems to know why other than its part of the design.” … We may have seen this before (apologies if we have), but here is a rather blurry picture of Brett Favre, taken by reader/submitter Kurt Rozek, on December 24, 2000. Note the jersey has five stripes and, it being cold, the jersey has pockets sewn into it (at what appear to be different heights). … Why yes, this is a beautiful NFL program cover, why do you ask? (from Chris Holmes & thanks, Brinke).
Hockey News: Not really sure this fits the “Hockey” news category, but here goes. Brinke sends along this Extra Mustard article on reimagined 8-bit NHL jerseys that “are really cool in a Blades of Steel kind of way.”
Soccer News: With the World Cup drawing ever closer, Mexico has issued jersey numbers to its players. … The folks at Queens Park Rangers (England, League Championship Division) sent out a “sneak peak” of the shirts they will be wearing for their big match against Darby today (thanks to Joe Hollomon). … Interesting article on the soccer ball design, “Will the 2014 World Cup Soccer Ball Score?” (thanks to TommyTheCPA).
Grab Bag: “Stumbled upon this article” on the most tasteless souvenir from the 9/11 Museum, writes Jason Hirschley. “Isn’t any souvenir tasteless? Nothings says ‘honoring a tragedy’ like profiting from said tragedy.” … The current issue of Racer Magazine features all-time great drivers in 1953 Topps Baseball layout. Says submitter Jonathan Daniel, “Kinda cool.” … Here’s a look at the patch teams will be wearing at the 2014 NCAA Lax Championshipa this weekend (h/t The Emblem Source). … These two pictures were submitted by Dan Richardson a couple months back for the New Westminster Salmonbellies Lacrosse Team of the 1920s. “Our team was started in 1889 and we took our name Salmonbellies from the opposing team’s fans yelling obscenities about the Red Bellies and their Salmon colored sweaters etc,” says Dan. “Instead of getting upset the team embraced the name Salmonbellies and we’ve had the name for 125 years.” Here’s a look at the modern-day Salmonbellies. You can see more photos here. … Remember that wire pic of Bob Feller that Bruce Menard sent Paul recently holding what he assumed was a bobblehead and was actually just a statue? Well, one just came up for auction. “It was made by the Mazzolini Artcraft Co. of Cleveland,” he adds. … Also from Bruce (some of these would never fly today, and were they not historical art, I wouldn’t even post them): this 1910 Indians chalk ware baseball statue, this Milwaukee Braves cookie jar, this 1952 Washington ‘skins souvenir bank, a 1961 AFL Titans matchbook sked, and this vintage House of David pennant and ticket. … “This is cool,” says submitter Dave Rakowski: Obsessed Williamsburg Man Creates Website Devoted To Subway Mosaic Art. Indeed.
And that’s all for today. Everyone have a great Saturday and I’ll catch you all tomorrow.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“The US has other soccer players besides Landon Donovan? Who knew?”