Building a Better HOF Introduction Jersey

NO HOF

By Phil Hecken

Only moments after the four Hall Of Fame inductees for this year, John Smoltz, Randy Johnson, Craig Biggio and Pedro Martinez, were introduced at the Waldorf-Astoria, talk broke out amongst uniform aficionados of how bland and boring those caps and jerseys are. In fact, MLB has been using those very jerseys for some years now. Aside from the debate about what caps the Big Unit (more on that in the ticker) and Pedro Martinez would go in wearing (or Mike Piazza, should he get in), was the discussion about whether or not these jerseys should be changed. There was even some chatter about it on the Uni Watch comment board that day.

One of those whom I spoke to was Megan Ann Wilson, who I asked if she thought she could design a “better” introduction jersey, and if so, would she like to share that with Uni Watch. Her immediate answer was “Yes.” So I told her about the parameters of an article on UW, and she confessed she her specialty wasn’t the graphics — no worries, I told her, I was sure I could convince one of our graphics guys to help. So I reached out to Tim E. O’Brien who created the graphics you’ll see below.

I’m personally in favor of changing up the HOF introduction jerseys and caps — not because they’re bad — but because I think they can be better. And what you are about to see, I think is definitely better (click on any images to enlarge).

And now, I’m pleased to introduce Megan Ann Wilson and her thoughts on …

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A New Hall of Fame Intro Jersey and Cap
By Megan Ann Wilson

Cooperstown is home to years of history, tradition and genuine love for the game of baseball. Every year, a new class of inductees to be rewarded for their contribution to the MLB and yet they’re presented with jerseys that look like reproductions of the Fightin’ Phillies shirt circa 1946-1949. The fit of them is so bad that even an ace like Randy Johnson can’t button them up right (yes I know he’s a lefty but it’s an excuse to show this gif AGAIN). The best of baseball deserves better and in my expert athlete stylist and sports fashion writer opinion, I say it’s time to edit and possibly overhaul the entire Hall of Fame induction jersey and the way the MLB celebrates their yearly honourees.

First, let’s examine all the design elements of the current uniforms. They’re done in a cream color that looks a little like worn in cotton and fundamentally shapeless. They feature a basic round collar that doesn’t sit quite right on the neck with tricolour stripes in signature MLB (and Hall of Fame) red and blue. The sleeve are large and untailored and also feature with the same tricolour piping ending before the seam so a bit of cream is visible.

The jersey has an extremely curved hem which looks rather awkward sitting down as it is traditionally worn tucked in – something that inductees don’t do during their time at the podium. The material is thin, likely a polyester or polyester-cotton blend and appears flimsy. The only apparent sleeve patch is the MLB Hall of Fame square patch on the left bicep, which looks a bit odd on its own. The font of the “Hall of Fame” stitched lettering isn’t bad up close but it looks muddled once you look at it from farther away than a head and shoulder shot due to all the loops and the heavy red pipping on the navy lettering. Since the lettering is placed so high up, it looks a touch awkward on the taller players – like 2015 inductee Randy Johnson.

The jersey are a big ole, ill fitting yawn. The MLB is a traditional league that is regarded as America’s wholesome, old time game and the HoF jersey reflects that. Rather than the wave of the future, likely never changing to say – the super tech uniforms of Nike or Under Armour (as Paul mentioned here). However, using different materials, patches, fonts and overall styling — the jerseys can be saved — or at least updated for modern times and sensibilities. Here are my jersey and matching cap concepts that I’d love to make into samples.

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The Traditional Jersey Revamp:

Despite my above misgivings, there are still those amongst the MLB loyal and uniform nerd kingdom that like the very traditional-style MLB Hall of Fame uniforms. I’ve found a way to update and tweak the jerseys just enough so they read better on broadcast, online and in person without skewing too far from the heritage aesthetic.

HOF_BUT_H_2(1)

The first upgrade is changing the fabric to something a little heavier weight and natural like cotton flannel that Ebbets Field uses. The current fabric is a bit see through which doesn’t work well in flash photographs. A heavier weight fabric photographs better, look higher quality and wear better as a layering piece. Color wise, switching cream to an off white with a blue undertone. Off-white looks much crisper on camera and allows light to reflect on the inductees’ faces and punctuate the contrast color of embroidery of the jerseys much better. The collar is updated (like so) to a slight v-neck as the current round neck doesn’t rest well and looks a bit like a vest. Next, the font is updated to a new cursive type that is easier to read as it’s better spaced out (example here). Also, switching the primary font color to blue and the secondary outline color to red and making the outline thinner make the embroidery much more impactful (example here). The text is slightly bigger, curved and slightly slower on the chest. Pipping on the collar is eschewed in favour of red, white and blue tricolor stitching on the sleeves only. The sleeves are also taken in a touch so they do not flare out like the current jersey. Lastly, I would change the curved hem to a straight hem to ensure that it looks better when it’s worn out (example here).

For the matching cap, I would have it be a dark navy, New Era fitted cap with Hall of Fame written in cursive (the same font as the jersey), the MLB logo on the back of the hat and the MLB Hall of Fame logo on the left side. The number 15 – for 2015 – would be embroidered on the underside bill of the hat and the player’s signature would be in the embroidered in the sweatband of the hat in white for an extra touch and lined in red, sweat wicking fabric.

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The New Flannel-Inspired Jersey:

I love a traditional flannel baseball shirt and it’s fitting for a ceremony at Cooperstown. My next designs are navy and heather grey flannels.

HOF_BUT_R_2

HOF_BUT_R_1

I’d use a slight v-neck, button front jersey with matte matching buttons. I would add the final two numbers of the year – 15 for 2015 – to left sleeve of the jersey in white with red pipping on both the grey and navy jersey. There is plain white pipping along the collar and on the edge or the sleeves only. The MLB HoF logo is on the right side, lower on the bicep than the original jersey. The “Hall of Fame” script is arched and in a stylized printed style instead of cursive for ease of reading and recalling older uniform typography (example here) in white with red pipping, like the numbers. On the back collar of the jersey, there’s the player’s signature embroidered in white. The sleeves are slightly shorter and narrower to just cover the mid-bicep so the jersey lays better when layered over a button up and is custom cut to each player’s size specifications. Finally, a straight hem with a split is used to ensure that it looks appropriate worn outside of pants and the slit accommodates various lower body types.

The hat is red New Era fitted cap with the year number – 15 for 2015 – in the same font as the number on the front of the jersey with Hall of Fame logo on the left, the rectangular MLB logo on the back with the player’s home country flag on the right of the hat. The player’s signature is embroidered in the sweatband of the hat in white for an extra touch and lined in grey or navy (whatever color the jersey is not) sweat wicking fabric.

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These are my three choices for what I think could lead to at the very least, a stronger sartorial salute for new Hall of Famers by the MLB. Let me what you think — have I desecrated a traditional staple or create a new classic? Be sure to let me know on Twitter @shegotgame or in the comments below.

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Wow! Thanks so much Megan! I could (and would love to) see the class of 2016 wearing something along those lines — great concepts (and also a big thanks to Tim E. for turning these sketches into those concepts — stellar job).

OK readers — what say you?

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classic scoreboards splashClassic Ballpark Scoreboards

I’m pleased to continue with a new weekend feature here at Uni Watch, “Classic Ballpark Scoreboards,” which are created by Gary Chanko. You probably know Gary best for his wonderful colorizations, but he has been a solid contributor for many years, and this is his new project. This segment will appear every Saturday on Uni Watch.

Here’s Gary (click on image to enlarge):

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Classic Football Scoreboards – Seventh in a Series
by Gary Chanko

This week the series features a classic scoreboard from a venue familiar to all pro football fans – New City Stadium, as it was called for its first eight seasons. Renamed in 1965, the stadium is known today as Lambeau Field.

Lambeau Field

Lambeau Field Scoreboard UW

Home of: Green Bay Packers, of course! (1957 to present)
Opened:1957; Expansion and Renovations: nearly continuous since 1961

Green Bay’s new $1.5 million City stadium was formally dedicated in September 1957. Among the dignitaries attending was then Vice President, Richard Nixon and Miss America, Marilyn Van Der Bur. Curly Lambeau, for whom the stadium would later be named, was not among the 32,000 present for the inaugural game. Now in its 58th NFL season, itLambeau Field is the longest continuously occupied stadium in the NFL.

The local news media described the scoreboard as “a large green sign with white and yellow lettering, carries the score and time of the game in lights as well as the other usual statistical data and the scores of other league games.” Awesome!

The date is November 18,1962 and, as the “large green sign” scoreboard illustration shows, the Packers are in route to defeat John Unitas and the Baltimore Colts.

A Few Things to Know

• Lambeau Field is the first stadium designed exclusively for pro football and was purposely planned for future expansion by the original architect. The current capacity of 80,735 is 2.5 times the original but still retains the original bowl seating configuration.

• In the mid-1960s only two beer brands, Rahr’s and Pabst Blue Ribbon, were sold at Lambeau Field. As best I can determine only Pabst appeared as a scoreboard advertiser. The letter “t” on the Pabst signage was designed to light up for Packer touchdowns. This is similar to the Ebbets Field scoreboard (and a few others) where the “h” and “e” in the Rheingold Beer ad were used to highlight hits and errors.

• An undated artist rendering appears to be the planned replacement for the original scoreboard – Pabst is still the sponsor. And this 1985 game photo shows the scoreboard is a close match to that mockup sketch. By 1993 the first Jumbotron was installed at Lambeau. Today the scoreboard is an LED high definition extravaganza.

Next time the series heads to Old Yankee Stadium and a look at a classic scoreboard during the NFL’s Greatest Game Ever Played.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If anyone is interested in purchasing a digital copy of these posters, Gary is working on an online purchase option. In the interim you can contact him directly at Classicscoreboards@gmail.com.

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Queens Baseball Convention

As most of you know (and some of you were actually there), last Saturday Paul hosted the “Mets Uniform” panel at the Queens Baseball Convention, which is basically a fan-sponsored (as opposed to officially sanctioned) fan fest for Mets fans. As he did in 2014, Paul hosted the uniform panel, which was composed of the following (left to right, below — click to enlarge):

Todd Radom, Nick DiSalvo, Bill Henderson, Jon Springer, Phil Hecken, Russ Gompers and Paul Lukas:

QBC panel 2
 

QBC uni panel
You can’t really tell too well from those two pics, but only Nick and Bill actually wore Mets jerseys (Nick wore several throughout the day — including the infamous “IZZY” jersey from the 1999 Mercury Mets Turn Ahead The Clock Day, which he wore on the panel). Here’s a closeup pic of Bill, Paul and Nick (with Nick in a St. Paddy’s Day jersey, and Bill in the Mets’ road alternate):

QBC - Bill, Paul & Nick
We had a great panel discussion, and if you’ve got an hour to kill, you can hear the audio of it here.

Lots of stuff that we discuss on Uni Watch were discussed all the time (albeit with a Mets bent), and I think you’ll enjoy the banter, including where most of us kill the Mets black jersey and the new camo alternates, dead guy patches and Mr. Met’s uniform. Put it on in the background while you do other stuff — it’s good chatter! And if you want to see more photos from the entire event, go here.

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Duck Tracker

Each week, as we have done on Uni Watch for the past five seasons, we’ll be tracking the uniform combinations of the Oregon Ducks. Back for his third season is Tim E. O’Brien, who’ll show you what the Ducks wore in their last game, and add a few words of wisdom.

Since the Ducks made it to the final (Football Playoff) game this year, there is still one last Duck Tracker for 2014.

Here’s your FINAL Duck Tracker of 2014 (click to enlarge):

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Ducks_2014_G_15

And now, here’s Tim with his final Duck Tracker report for the 2014 season:

While much has been said and made of Oregon not wearing school colors for the College Football Playoff Championship (including by me), let’s get one thing straight: Oregon looked good.

I know this probably sounds unpopular but that helmet design is great and unique, the jersey template is beautiful and the pants… well, the pants are innocuous enough to ignore despite the stupid “Fighting Ducks” on the thighs.

When I was asked before the Championship if I believed these unis were great or terrible, all I could think was that the question wasn’t fair. The only true way to describe these, in my book, is as a disappointment; a missed opportunity.

In a perfect world, these unis would’ve been a great regular season road look and would’ve been one of their best in years. But alas, they were worn in the Championship game, as the home team no less. The opportunity to break out a more classic look akin to their Rose Bowl combo but with more yellow elements was missed.

I assume this missed opportunity likely arises from some pressure from Nike. Now, this is just a theory, but just follow my logic here. If Nike believes Oregon was going to win the Rose Bowl, their likeliest scenario would be to play the higher ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, a match up of which puts Alabama at home and Oregon on the road. Having made a uniform set just for such a scenario means they had to make a white uniform and thus asked or pressured Oregon to wear the already manufactured uniforms anyway.

Again, this is all speculation but I think it’s logical. And to be clear, I can’t really blame anyone. Nike was just trying to give the Ducks a road option for what they – and a lot of people – thought would be the most likely Championship situation. I also can’t blame them if they asked Oregon to wear them. They spent a lot of money on Oregon’s new uniform set, it would be nice of Oregon to oblige them and wear the white set.

And lastly, I can’t blame Oregon for being the good soldier and going along with a white at home look. Hell, it almost fits perfectly into their ethos aesthetically: Do the unexpected and never be predictable.

But what can be said, without question, is that this was a missed opportunity to see Oregon in Yellow, Green, Yellow perhaps even with a Color V Color match up against the Buckeyes.

It’s been a great and fun year with the Ducks again and I’d like to thank the followers and fans who’ve helped me track the Ducks, Paul for the hat-tips and shoutouts he’s given me but most of all Phil for putting up with my shenanigans and some of my tardiness. I look forward to next season which I believe I will be more focused on the Ducks than ever before. It’s an exciting time in college uniforms and Oregon football, and I just want to thank all of you for letting me be a small part of those two phenomena.

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Thanks, Tim. And thanks for ANOTHER great year of Duck tracking. Look forward to having you back doing what you do so well this fall!

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EPL Tracker

Each Saturday or Sunday, Alex Gerwitz will be tracking the kit combinations (shirt/shorts/socks) of the teams in the English Premier League from the previous weekend and the current weekend.

Here is the EPL tracker for Week 21:

EPL Tracker - Week 21 (Part 1)

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UWFFL banner

[The UWFFL, based on reader feedback, will be scaling back its Uni Watch presence. After speaking with Rob, we’ll include Andrew Seagraves’ artwork and a short writeup for the league below that. Make sure you head on over to their site to vote on all the games and for additional information/updates — PH]

Youngstown Toledo 17 Jan 2015

UWFFL Update
by Rob Holecko (artwork by Andrew Seagraves)

Today is the Eastern Association semifinals, Staten Island takes on St. John’s and Toledo battles Youngstown, plus international games from La Lega. Head on over to uwfantasyfootballleague.com for full coverage and to vote on today’s games. We’ll be back tomorrow with Premier League action.

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Too Good For the Ticker
Too Good…

for the Ticker

Got an e-mail from Colin Sherrod, who sent a rather long e-mail with several photos. Rather than try to edit it down, I’ve shared it below, with pics inline. You can click on most images to enlarge:

. . .

I found this jersey at a thrift store the other day and I bought it because I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s a Florida Marlins batting practice jersey with hoodie style pockets. It has the authentic “Diamond Collection” tag on it as well.

IMG_2504

”‹

I had not seen an authentic batting practice jersey with pockets on it before, so I assumed it was sample or promo jersey. But after and exhaustive search I found a picture of Mark Kotsay wearing it (Kotsay played for Florida from 1997-2000) and the picture tag said this is from 1998. You can see the Majestic branding on the right pocket is the same in both pictures. Was this a special order for the Marlins only?

unnamed

I know at least a few other teams, in 1998, did NOT have pockets on their jerseys:

unnamed(1) unnamed(2)

Anywho, I thought that was interesting.

Colin Sherrod

. . .

Good stuff, Colin — thanks for sharing!

OK, now onto the ticker…

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Hurler Dizzy Dean had a birthday yesterday, so Bruce Menard found this tremendous photograph of Diz and a friend on a bicycle built for two (love the ‘rups too)! … I’m sure we’ve seen this before, but once more couldn’t hurt: how great is this photo of Ted Williams hitting grapefruits tossed by Red Sox Manager Joe Cronin? (thanks to Jonathan Daniel, who found that on Pinterest). … The San Diego State University Aztecs will have Tony Gwynn patches this season. … Not that this is any real surprise, but The Big Unit will go into Cooperstown wearing a Diamondbacks cap (will it be that cap? We’ll see.) The remainder of this years HOF inducteed’s cap’s will be announced on January 22nd (Biggio & Smoltz are givens — Petey? Gotta be the Sox, right?). … The Phillies 2015 calendar features at least one player who isn’t a Phillie anymore, and a few who might be gone before the season starts. … Yesterday’s ticker had a shot of Reds’ skipper Dave Bristol with his name misspelled. Eagle-eye reader Tom Pachuta asks, “Has anyone noticed that on the Dave Bristol picture in [yester]day’s column that the word ‘mispelled’ is actually misspelled?” … More great old photos: love the Birmingham Black Barons cap on Jim Zapp (who has a sad story too — h/t N. Diunte). Speaking of caps, check out this photo of Mel Ott trying his hand at managing the Oakland Oaks (h/t to @uniformcritic). … Check out this Kingsford Oakland A’s oven Mitt, which Mike Davie describes as a “Kinda cool promo item from the 80’s or 90’s.”

NFL News: “Time for a new sewing machine,” writes HT Adjemian. “Big Vince’s 75 has taken a beating after this practice.” … According to this tweet, the Dolphins are changing their orange seats to blue seats because that will make it “harder to see empty seats.” But it’s all part of the plan to improve the Stadium, which will look something like this when finished. Nice! Here’s a few more looks at what’s planned. Eventually, it will look like this. … Jeff Flynn asks, “have you ever discussed the placement of the G on the Packers helmets (rhetorical question, you don’t need to reply!)? Was a lot lower in the 70s and 80s.” Jeff spotted that picture in yesterday’s ESPN article. … Fox Business Network attempted to report on Super Bowl ticket sales yesterday with threats that “the NFL is expecting record-low attendance.” The only problem? They’re complete fucktards It’s not true (h/t to Paul for shooting that my way). … Marshawn Lynch will be wearing cleats that are supposedly painted with 24 carat gold for tomorrow’s NFC Championship Game vs. the Packers. … If your name is Chance, Johnny O, or really anything, you might want to check out this auction with rare Packers collectibles (nice find by Scott Hurley). … Gillette was getting ready for tomorrow’s Pats vs. Colts AFC Championship game yesterday. … What was he thinking? Oops. An intern for Bengals stole and had a friend sell game-used Cincy items on eBay. Submitter Leo Strawn, Jr. opines, “As Bugs Bunny would say, ‘What a maroon!’.”

College Football News: There is no denying THE Ohio State Buckeyes their “undisputed” National Championship. But that doesn’t mean a few folks aren’t having some fun reminding them there was one team who did beat them this year (h/t to Daniel Brown). Pretty sure the site selling those has been shut down now.

Basketball News: Pomona College (located in Claremont, California), had the first women’s basketball team waaaaaaaay back in 1903. Here’s what their “uniforms” looked like back then (thanks to @pal3327). … UCLA will be getting fauxback uniform “inspired by the 1965 National Champions” (h/t Michael Ehrlich). Here’s a bit more on that. … The Oregon State Beavers got a new set of white uniforms. … Bit of a rarity (and lets hope it stays that way) last night, as the Suns and Timberwolves went color-vs-color AND both teams were wearing their sleeved alternates (h/t Adam Vitcavage).

Hockey News: The Lake Erie Monsters will be having a shit-ton of alternate jersey nights coming up during the remainder of their 2014-15 season (h/t to Chris Creamer). … Here’s a look at those awful NHL All Star Game jerseys on actual players (that’s Kane and Toews). Pic from the Blackhawks. … Last night, following the announcement that all of Penn State’s victories during the Joe Paterno era were reinstated, the Penn State Hockey team wore stickers with “409” on them (representing the total number of NCAA wins under JoePa). The twitter commenters were NOT happy with this. UW friend Keith Olbermann had some thoughts on that. Apparently the basketball team will wear a “409” recognition as well today. … Did you know there was once a minor league hockey team named the Seattle Seahawks. Well, now you do (thanks to Chris Mizzoni). … We often talk about color on color games, but what happens when you get white vs. white (that happened during the 2011 Hockey Day in Minnesota, in Moorhead–accidentally).

Soccer News: The process of creating MLS Atlanta brand has begun (thanks to John Muir). Also from John – Adopting Tottenham on Twitter: Bill Nicholson (Tottenham manager 1958-74) took the time to thank the uniform manufacturer for getting his “extra large player” the right jersey in time for their FA Cup match. “Sharp letterhead as well,” he adds.

Grab Bag: Anyone up for a road trip/Chicago meet up in early July, possibly based around this? Just throwing that out there (and if there is any interest in the linked thing, who wants to try to score some tix???) … Not uni related, but very cool: Imagine leaning out of an open door of a helicopter 7,500 feet over New York City (from Pete Woychick). … It’s not, but this landing pad sure looks like a Reebok logo (thanks to Chris Bisbee).

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Wowsa. That’s going to do it for this fine Saturday. Big thanks to Megan Ann, Tim, Gary, Rob and Alex, and to you fine readers for all your contributions via e-mail and Twitter. Great stuff today. Enjoy your Saturday and I’ll be back with more tomorrow (and some more neat stuff, I promise). Till then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“The Uni Watch ‘team’ does not do radially arched lettering.”
— Paul Lukas

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69 comments to Building a Better HOF Introduction Jersey

  • Thresh8 | January 17, 2015 at 7:29 am |

    Re the Mets uniform panel: Anyone bring up the old Onion headline, “Mets to Wear Different Uniform for each of 162 Games This Season”?

  • James Gilbert | January 17, 2015 at 7:37 am |

    Could the Marlins BP jersey belong to LHP Kirt Ojala, off whom Barry Bonds hit his 400th HR?

  • James Gilbert | January 17, 2015 at 7:42 am |

    Hey, Darren Rovell, teal is not blue. I mean, c’mon.

  • The Jeff | January 17, 2015 at 8:23 am |

    I think I’d make the Hall of Fame jerseys in the color and style of whatever team the player is going in as. So, a Yankee would get a pinstriped jersey with a stylized HoF logo, a Met would have a script Hall of Fame, a Tiger would get a gothic H, etc.

    • DJ | January 17, 2015 at 11:13 am |

      Couple of problems with that. First, those designs would be essentially one-offs, a bitch to manufacture. It’s slightly easier to pull up a very large cream-colored jersey to fit Randy Johnson and stitch the “Hall of Fame” logo on it than it would be to make a jersey from scratch, with custom lettering. Which leads to the second problem: you’re making this on short notice; which style do you use? In the case of Randy Johnson, do you make a one-off jersey evoking the Mariners or the D-Backs? In the case of Craig Biggio, which style of Astros uniform do you evoke?

      • The Jeff | January 17, 2015 at 11:36 am |

        I see no reason that a Hall of Fame jersey shouldn’t be a one-off, and actually given to the player in question, rather than recycled or reused. I think Major League Baseball has enough money to have a few jerseys custom made every year for the new inductees. I mean, just how short notice are we really talking about here? People on this site have DIY’d custom jerseys with just as much detail in relatively short time periods. Sure, there’s an executive decision to be made in determining which style to use for each player, especially for teams like the Astros or Brewers who have had more variance in their uniforms, but it can’t be *that* hard to do. We have detailed uniform histories for every team readily available, so just hire a designer to come up with a Hall of Fame version of each uniform and there ya go.

        • DJ | January 17, 2015 at 11:48 am |

          It’s a one-off not because it’s going to be recycled (of course the player will keep it), its a one-off because it’s a one-time design, with a one-time size. And as for the time — the vote is announced on Monday, and the players are in New York for the press conference on Wednesday.

        • The Jeff | January 17, 2015 at 11:59 am |

          Well, they could always change the time table for that. Would anyone really complain about a week or 2 delay between the players being voted in and the actual event? Giving the players a custom jersey that actually fits properly certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing in my book.

  • Matt D. | January 17, 2015 at 8:42 am |

    I remember around 1990 VA Tech put out bumper stickers tweaking UVA when they had a much better overall season. The main text was ” ‘Hoos best?” or ” ‘Hoos #1?”. Those t-shirts are in the exact same vein. Heck, I remember Notre Dame doing the exact same in ’93.

  • Gary Modney | January 17, 2015 at 8:50 am |

    For the Hall of Fame jersey, what do you think of “Cooperstown” instead of Hall of Fame. I can’t decide if the jersey should be white, for the player’s new home or gray since it is the city name.

    • Jim Y. | January 17, 2015 at 11:14 am |

      I would agree with this approach. Unless the town of Cooperstown were to ever decide to ban Pete Rose, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds from ever stepping foot within their municipality, in which case I would consider them irrelevant as well.

    • DJ | January 17, 2015 at 11:17 am |

      That’s not a bad idea. “Cooperstown” (and Canton) are a lot more synonymous with their respective sport’s hall of fame than, say, Springfield or Toronto.

  • arrScott | January 17, 2015 at 8:50 am |

    I really appreciate Megan Ann’s thoughtful approach, but boy howdy do the resulting concepts feel like downgrades to me. The one thing I would take away is the signature on the back: that’s a stroke of genius. The current jerseys are distinctive, quirky, they have a handmade, not machined, feel, and they have strong visual texture. Pretty much everything the Uni Watch community tends to like in a jersey design. So I remain kind of mystified at the vehemence of the dislike for those jerseys.

    One thing Megan Ann’s critique points to for me is that the Hall of Fame might do well to adopt a new color scheme, one not used by any MLB team. What about green, to echo the grass of a ball field, bronze (really a slightly metallic tan) to echo the famous plaques as well as the dirt of an infield, and just a hint of accent in either navy or burgundy?

    • Steve Naismith | January 17, 2015 at 9:05 am |

      Absolute downgrades. As awful as the current HoF jerseys are, I don’t know how anyone could look at these designs with their bland fonts and think “YEAH, these are so much BETTER!!!”

      The jerseys need to be ditched altogether. Dress shirts under jerseys is always a ridiculous look, and the generic HoF styling in combination is downright clownish. Just wear a blazer with the HoF logo on it already.

    • scott | January 17, 2015 at 9:20 am |

      Agreed with your analysis. The jerseys that are given to the inductees are just about perfect in their current incarnation. They are only seen on the one day in January and then mothballed. At the actual induction ceremony, those being enshrined will wear their own suits and ties – far better than the yellow blazers the Pro Football hall of Fame inductees have to don.

    • DJ | January 17, 2015 at 10:18 am |

      Agree in all respects.

    • JohnK | January 17, 2015 at 12:40 pm |

      Agree. It seems part of the problem is putting so much verbage on the front of the jersey. What about something like the 1949 Elite Giants and other teams of the era with “Hall of” in the tail below “Fame.” Maybe it would not look good if mocked-up, but thinking of anything that might work. Maybe we should look at some old “House of David” for treatments with a similar number of words.

      http://www.ebbets.com/product/Baltimore-Elite-Giants-1949-Road-Jersey/Authentic-Flannel-Baseball-Jerseys

      http://www.ebbets.com/product/House-of-David-1931-Home-Jersey/Authentic-Flannel-Baseball-Jerseys

  • JThin | January 17, 2015 at 9:00 am |

    From what I read on an ESPN article pertaining to the Oregon Ducks, that uniform set was already determined, for the National Championship Game, back in April.

  • Connie DC | January 17, 2015 at 9:08 am |

    “… … Not uni related, but very cool: Imagine leaning out of an open door of a helicopter 7,500 feet over New York City (from Pete Woychick). …”

    Thank you!

    Honorable Mention: the Splendid Splinter hitting the grapefruit.

  • Steve Naismith | January 17, 2015 at 9:12 am |

    I hate when I keep reading about the “given” of Biggio’s HoF cap. Yes, we know it will be an Astros cap – but WHICH Astros cap will it be? He wore I think 5 during his career, and I am hoping his plaque will have the ’94-’99 style cap with the navy blue bill + crown and gold star.

    • Bob | January 17, 2015 at 9:20 am |

      Thanks, Steve. You beat me to it, but I was going to say the same thing. Technically, he did wear five, but two of them wore once-every-other-week caps. The navy blue with the gold bill was a Sunday cap. The red with the gold star was worn for Saturday home games only. By the time the Astros starting wear the red caps on the road, Biggio was retired.

      So it’s really an option of three caps. He was at his best from ’94-99, so I think he should wear the navy blue with gold star. Selfishly, I wish it was the H with the star, which is the true Astros cap logo.

      • John Spunkington | January 17, 2015 at 10:06 am |

        I agree with Bob. I sure hope it is the traditional Astros cap!

        • Phil Hecken | January 17, 2015 at 11:28 am |

          “I sure hope it is the traditional Astros cap!”

          ~~~

          Serious question: Is there really any such thing as a “traditional” Astros cap? I mean, I’d consider the 65-70 cap as “traditional” (and again from 80-93, similar to what they’re wearing now) but Biggio spent the majority of his time wearing the “open” star (a couple variants). Either way, can any cap really be traditional since they wore the open star variant for like 18 years…

  • MJ | January 17, 2015 at 9:18 am |

    arrScott beat me to it but all 3 of those are downgrades. As much as the current HoF jerseys are “meh” (and I say that as a lifelong Phillies fan who likes the resemblance, even if it makes no sense), none of these is an improvement.
    The first one is a plain jersey and an MS Word cursive font on the jersey an hat. The blue one was the nicest of the 3 sets but the HoF would NEVER use a “softball color” top for honoring their inductees. And the gray one has potential, but when did white lettering on gray become a good idea? I know the Marlins wear that on the road grays that they never wear and it looks terrible.
    There was some good in these concepts that would be a nice upgrade worked into a better concept. The number on the back/sleeve (left abdomen, or right if you want to channel the early 1990s Reds) for the year of induction is so obvious that it is amazing that it isn’t done now. And the signature sewn into the back is very clever.

    • DJ | January 17, 2015 at 10:18 am |

      The White Sox could pull off white letters on a gray jersey, but for two problems:

      1) It would have to be a darker gray; that heathered gray pattern that Under Armour has would be good. But that leads to the second problem:

      2) The team’s colors are white, black, and silver. So the light gray they currently use for their away uniforms is probably a better choice than dark gray.

      • The Jeff | January 17, 2015 at 12:59 pm |

        Why don’t more baseball teams use metallic colors? I don’t know if it would really work or not, but I’d love to see the White Sox wear a metallic silver road uniform instead of gray, at least once.

  • Terence MK | January 17, 2015 at 10:42 am |

    Suggesting HOF jersey

    “changing the fabric to something a little heavier weight and natural like cotton flannel that Ebbets Field uses.”

    Ebbets Field Flannels already make the jerseys. Smh…

  • Terence MK | January 17, 2015 at 10:44 am |

    Alex Gerwitz:

    “Tot. Spurs”

    Moron as per usual

    • The Jeff | January 17, 2015 at 10:50 am |

      It’s a perfectly logical abbreviation. It’s like saying N.E. Pats for the New England Patriots. Seriously, quit being a dick. Dick.

      • Terence MK | January 17, 2015 at 11:01 am |

        It’s not New England Patriot. Is it, dick? No. So, it is not an acceptable abbreviation, dick. The letterhead from the club in a link in today’s ticker gives it away.

        https://mobile.twitter.com/AdoptTottenham/status/556087761107943424

        Open your eyes, stick to the other stuff you know nothing about but ramble on anyway. Dick.

        • The Jeff | January 17, 2015 at 11:16 am |

          How in the bloody hell is it any different? Patriots = Pats. Buccaneers = Bucs. Hell, according to Pittsburgh sports fans Pirates also = Bucs. Hotspur = Spurs. Tottenham = Tot. Where is there a problem? You know exactly what team it is. It works. This guy is going out of his way to track all of the uniform combinations every week, and you’re going to whine because he uses “Tot. Spurs” instead of “Tott’ham” or “T. Hotspur” or whatever abbreviation you happen to prefer. Dick.

        • DJ | January 17, 2015 at 11:27 am |

          Let’s try once again. This is a site that deals in minutiae, in history. If you’re dealing with history, you owe a duty to be accurate in your terms, descriptions, and recounting of events.

          Mr. Gerwitz is using an improper abbreviation for Tottenham (it’s somewhat like using “Man U”; my United-fan friend told me in no uncertain terms that is NOT an appropriate abbreviation). That we are all able to recognize which team he is referring to doesn’t make it any more correct. It’s well within our rights to point this out for the sake of accuracy and history. And trivia.

        • Phil Hecken | January 17, 2015 at 11:29 am |

          THE — normally I’d agree with you with this line of reasoning, but it’s soccer (football), and they have their ways of abbreviating. I’d quit this argument now.

        • Jim Y. | January 17, 2015 at 11:41 am |

          The point is, it’s been pointed out before and for whatever reason Alex Gerwitz (assuming he reads these comments) has chosen to decline to change the way he abbreviates it.

          To continue to point it out week after week seems more dickish than if a Brit decide to ramble on about the NE Patsys, Sea’s Hawks, Bay Green Packs or the Indy Horeshoes, although we aren’t as anal about others misabbreviating our sports teams.

          I could give a flying fig what we call the Totty A1As, or whatever they’re called this sponsorship deal. I’m a fan of the light blue Etihad Airways boys myself.

      • DJ | January 17, 2015 at 11:01 am |

        It’s wrong. Let’s spell it out in detail:

        The team is “Tottenham Hotspur.” When they are referred to as their diminutive, it’s “Spurs.” Not “Hotspurs.”

        There are several acceptable ways to abbreviate it, such as “Tott’ham,” “Tot”, or simply “Spurs.” Combining two of them to form “Tot. Spurs” succeeds in making you think the compiler is stupid enough to believe that their diminutive/nickname is Hotspurs. Or — considering that his error is pointed out every single week — that he’s merely provoking Tottenham fans and everyone else who gives a fig about accuracy.

        • Terence MK | January 17, 2015 at 11:04 am |

          👏 Spot on, DJ!

        • Terence MK | January 17, 2015 at 11:18 am |

          Also, the club’s name is the pinnacle of it’s identintity! Having formed in 1882, before badges were worn on shirts and ever since, there is only one Tottenham Hotspur. In a world of United’s and City’s and Athletic’s and Albion’s and Wanderers, there is only ONE Tottenham Hotspur!!!

        • arrScott | January 17, 2015 at 12:39 pm |

          there is only ONE Tottenham Hotspur!

          I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure there’s only one Manchester City and only one Newcastle United as well.

          Bottom line: Neither English soccer nor the team in London with a chicken-themed identity is a precious snowflake. We can take the subject seriously without taking ourselves or our particular fan loyalties so seriously.

        • Jakob Wolf | January 18, 2015 at 12:25 am |

          Pretty sure he means other teams have “City” and “United” in their names. Hull City, Swansea City, Torquay United, Dundee United, etc. etc.

          And while he may be right, he could unclench a bit, assume that *maybe* Mr. Gerwitz doesn’t read the comments and instead study the proper usage of the apostrophe.

    • Willard | January 17, 2015 at 12:13 pm |

      How come Terence MK and DJ argue abbreviations yet I don’t know what “MK”or “DJ” are abbreviations of?

      #SpellItOut!

      • The Jeff | January 17, 2015 at 12:24 pm |

        MK = Mortal Kombat
        DJ = Disc Jockey

        Yeah… I should probably stop posting now.

        • Terence M.K. | January 17, 2015 at 12:34 pm |

          The “Definite Article” Dick errr Jeff, would posit my MK is short for “Massive Kunt”. But, who am I to say?…

  • Ron B | January 17, 2015 at 10:52 am |

    Glad to see the boys back together at Soldier Field one last time (maybe). Saw them there in ’93 with Sting opening. Great moment with Jerry coming onstage to play the last few songs of Sting’s set….quite the contrast between the two. As much as I want to be there, the domesticated life will leave me dancing in my family room with the web stream.

    Long live the Grateful Dead….Have fun Phil!

  • Keith | January 17, 2015 at 10:56 am |

    I prefer the VT shirts which read, “2014 Ohio State Champions!” With the game score below it. I’d buy one if I was a Hokie.

  • DJ | January 17, 2015 at 12:00 pm |

    …but it’s soccer (football) and they have their ways of abbreviating.

    I hope that’s not a clever attempt to diminish it as “just a soccer thing — strange funny foreign sport with strange funny foreign ways of doing things.” It’s not. It’s about accuracy and courtesy.

    I remember back in 1992, when the nation we commonly know as “Ivory Coast” requested that from then on, they be referred to as “Côte d’Ivoire” in all languages. In his next “On Language” column in the New York Times, William Safire sniffed that “they had their chance” to change their name back when they won their independence in 1960, so he was going to go on using “Ivory Coast.” Me — I’m not a condescending prick. I stretched my brain, learned how to pronounce and spell it, and resolved to use it.

    • The Jeff | January 17, 2015 at 12:18 pm |

      I don’t know if Phil was being clever or not, and I don’t know what the Tottenham Hotspur officially designate as their proper abbreviation, but I will say this: If I go to google.com and type in “tot. spurs” (without the quotation marks), the first result I get is the team’s official homepage. So, it’s used commonly enough that Google’s search algorithms know what I’m looking for. As I’ve said above: It works.

      • Terence M.K. | January 17, 2015 at 12:36 pm |

        The Jeff:

        “If it’s on Google it HAS TO BE true!”

        LOLOLOLOLOL

    • Phil Hecken | January 17, 2015 at 12:20 pm |

      “I hope that’s not a clever attempt to diminish it as “just a soccer thing – strange funny foreign sport with strange funny foreign ways of doing things.” It’s not. It’s about accuracy and courtesy.”

      ~~~

      Not all. I’m still trying to understand the beautiful game and all its idiosyncrasies and nomenclature. Was trying to point out to THE that what may not make sense to joe six-pack ‘merican sports fan makes perfect sense (and is in no way wrong) to those who play and comment on it.

      Also, it seems fans of Hotspur (did I do that right) are extremely touchy when it comes to the name/nickname of their team.

      My comment was NOT meant to in any way be a crack at football/soccer/footy/the beautiful game in any way. I also think both TK & THE need to drop this argument every weekend. I’ll send an email to Alex asking him to please correct the name for all future EPL trackers.

      • Jim Y. | January 17, 2015 at 1:10 pm |

        I’ll send an email to Alex asking him to please correct the name for all future EPL trackers.

        Alex should change it only if he wants, why take a side in the spat?

        • Phil Hecken | January 17, 2015 at 1:53 pm |

          I’m not taking a side, but it seems if he simply writes “Tottenham” then there is no harm. More than one person has pointed out that the name as written is “incorrect” — why would we want to have the team listed incorrectly?

          I fail to see how asking him to change how the name is written is “taking a side.”

        • Jim Y. | January 17, 2015 at 3:13 pm |

          I just meant the two sides that seemed to be:

          “You’re abbreviating it wrong! Please change it! You’re a moron!”

          versus

          “You know what he means! He can leave it if he wants! You’re a dick!”

          I was enjoying the back-and-forth. P.S. I spelled versus out, because I don’t know how uptight Brits feels about “vs.”

        • Terence M.K. | January 17, 2015 at 4:03 pm |

          I think the biggerest point (sic) is that this IS Uni-Watch! “The Obsessive Study…” is in the damn motto! This is what we do. Getting it right for getting it right’s sake.

          Terence Matthew Kearns

  • boo | January 17, 2015 at 12:09 pm |

    it’s worth noting that the oregon state uniforms are for the womens team

  • Dave G | January 17, 2015 at 12:09 pm |

    Apostrophe catastrophe alert:
    “this years HOF inducteed’s cap’s”

  • ken | January 17, 2015 at 12:13 pm |

    HOF uni: likes ~ cream color, sleeve piping, hof patch on sleeve
    dislikes ~ font on jersey, hat
    my adds ~ year number on front (lower left), player name on back, hall of fame text in block (old english) font, team hat (player choice – Johnson = Arizona, Biggio = Astro open star, Smoltz = Braves, Pedro = boston)

  • Lou | January 17, 2015 at 1:36 pm |

    Agree with most of the others. While I appreciate the attempt, I think all proposed HOF jerseys are significantly worse than what they currently use. I like what they use; they bring an old-time feel to things, which is what Cooperstown is all about.

  • PT | January 17, 2015 at 1:54 pm |

    The white v white hockey game was Wayzata HS vs Roseau HS and it was BRUTAL to watch. Both teams only brought white jerseys. Thank god they don’t share a color scheme or helmet color. But you could really only tell them apart from the shoulder up!

  • Trevor Hayes | January 17, 2015 at 4:37 pm |

    I’m more sensitive because I used to work there, but I literally couldn’t get through the first half of this article. It is not the MLB Hall of Fame. MLB is associated with the Hall, but the Baseball Hall of Fame is it’s own non-profit entity. Unlike the Pro Football Hall of Fame or the Hockey Hall, the Baseball Hall of Fame is not governed by the league.

    It annoys me to no end when people make this mistake. As for the uni redesigns, the MLB logo does not belong on the uni, nor would it ever be included. The Baseball Hall represents all of American baseball and to some extent North American and world baseball. Most of the Negro Leaguers in the Hall didn’t play in MLB. Some of the earlier players had no association with what we know as MLB, ending their careers before 1901. Some might have played in the National League which then became part of MLB, but others may have played in the National Association or other long-defunct leagues.

    As a site that I come to often, I often look for accuracy in the work I read.This glaring error only perpetuates the inaccuracy in common knowledge (similar to how many fans think Nike makes MLB jerseys (a post linked to above).

    Please give it some thought and post something to right the inaccuracy. As I said, I worked at the Hall of Fame – for 4 years. It boils my blood when people call it the MLB Hall of Fame or think MLB just runs the institution. In fact, MLB isn’t even listed on the corporate support page on the Hall’s site.

    http://baseballhall.org/Support/Mission
    http://baseballhall.org/support/corporate-support

    Ok, rant over. Thanks. Sorry.

    • Steve Naismith | January 17, 2015 at 9:12 pm |

      Yup. It frustrates me how Uni Watch has gone steadily downhill after starting to regularly feature these lame reader-generated concepts. Everything about today’s HoF submission, in particular, is cringe-inducing. Lose this stuff and stick to the content that brought everyone here in the first place – “the obsessive study of athletics aesthetics”, not “little Jimmy discovers how to use MS Word or Paint.”

  • Peter | January 17, 2015 at 7:50 pm |

    Cleveland Indians had several batting practice tops per season from 91-92 (mid Belle era) until 2000. All were created by majestic, all featured Chief Wahoo, but differed in collars and one had piping and pockets similar to the marlins one. The Indians did not use numbers though.

  • Steve Naismith | January 17, 2015 at 8:55 pm |

    I don’t get the ending quote in today’s post, “The Uni Watch ‘team’ does not do radially arched lettering” – is this supposed to be sarcastic? What’s the back-story here?

    • JM | January 17, 2015 at 9:16 pm |

      It’s from a discussion in yesterday’s comments about potential shirt designs for the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club.

  • Brett Alan | January 17, 2015 at 9:47 pm |

    Here’s a weird happening…has anyone ever been in a public place and had a team walk in, in uniform? Last night I was having dinner in a food court in Singapore, and a bunch of guys walked in wearing uniforms that said “Mexico”. I could see that the uniforms identified them as being associated with the Mexican Olympic Committee, and that they had “PLAYER” laminated badges, but I couldn’t tell what sport it was. So I summoned up my high school Spanish and talked to one (who, happily, could speak English), and they turned out to be the men’s field hockey team.

    Turns out they’re here for an international competition called the World Hockey League, and had lost to Poland 6-0 that afternoon. I found a picture from the game: http://news.yahoo.com/photos/singapore-singapore-17-01-2015-mexicos-ruben-martinez-photo-092704509.html, and while the uni in the picture has the same basic color scheme, it’s not the same, so I assume what they were wearing in the mall was some kind of warmup uni. Too bad I didn’t get a picture, because it was pretty nice. No big deal, but kind of cool.

    • Jim Vilk | January 18, 2015 at 12:30 am |

      Close. I was in a deli in Cuyahoga Falls OH having breakfast when the Stanford women’s field hockey team walked in. They had a game at nearby Kent State that weekend. No uniforms, but they all had either t-shirts or warmup suits that identified them.

  • Willard | January 17, 2015 at 10:24 pm |

    OLE!

  • Mickel | January 18, 2015 at 1:14 am |

    Here are some team photos of the original Seattle Sea Hawks. I’m trying to find out the sweater colors for a “colorize” project. http://www.seattlehockey.net/Seattle_Hockey_Homepage/Team_Photos.html

    • Jim Y. | January 18, 2015 at 1:37 am |

      The “Sea Hawks”….?

      Do they play in the same league as the “Tot. Spurs?”

  • Morris Levin | January 18, 2015 at 9:47 pm |

    This to provide additional context to the discussion around the Hall of Fame press conference jerseys. These jerseys have long been produced by Mitchell & Ness. They are Mitchell & Ness’ “standard” flannel-blend template with the 1949 Phillies trim and letter font. As noted by a few folks above, the Baseball Hall of Fame operates independent of Major League Baseball (and has a positive and mutually supportive working relationship with Major League Baseball). The original template goes back to the work of Peter Capolino and Joanne Graham at Mitchell & Ness. The HOF originally requested from Mitchell & Ness a classic jersey template that would not be associated with one specific team, and utilize the Hall’s red, white, and blue color scheme. Mitchell & Ness based it on the 1949 Phillies but made it a Hall of Fame specific uniform template independent of MLB Properties. In 2006 or so, the Hall of Fame hosted a Fantasy Camp at Doubleday Field. Each camper received a full Mitchell & Ness flannel uniform in the style of this template, and we at Mitchell & Ness created with the Hall of Fame a corresponding road jersey. It was gray flannel with Hall of Fame in two color navy on red tuscan (think Red Sox and Angels lettering). I liked those. I do not have any of those images saved from my Mitchell & Ness working days.