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Cream of the Crop

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[Click to Enlarge. Photo Credit: Ben VanHouten/Seattle Mariners]

By Phil Hecken

The Seattle Mariners unveiled their new alternate uniform (pictured above) yesterday, and boy is it gorgeous. It will be worn during Sunday home games at Safeco Field. There is so much to like about this uniform (including a set of fauxback stirrups/socks that are also fantastic). We’ll get to these beauties in just a second. Also unveiled yesterday were some changes to the current white home and road gray uniforms. The changes are subtle, but distinct (for this and all images, click to enlarge):

WhiteLettering-Old WhiteLettering-New

As you can see from the above, the wordmark has changed. The words “Mariners” (for home whites) and “Seattle” (for road grays) in navy letters will be trimmed in silver outlined in Northwest green. Here’s a fuller look at the new home and road:

Home_01 Ms - new road3

“We’ve simply reversed the order of the silver and green. The change is subtle,” said Kevin Martinez, Vice President of Marketing for the Seattle Mariners, “but the modified color arrangement presents a much stronger and crisper on-field look.”

In addition to the slight tweak, which is replicated on the name on back and the numbers (home and road), the Mariners introduced a fantastic new element (which will be worn with their home, road and teal/navy alternates)…striped stirrups!

Ms - new home rups

The stirrups (and they will also have striped socks, in the same pattern, available) will be navy and have seven alternating stripes of white, teal, white, navy, white, teal, and white (the same pattern used by the Cardinals and Rays). Granted, not a lot of guys will wear high cuffs, but for those who do, these are going to be a treat. I asked Kevin about the new stirrups:

“Yes, the stirrups are available as true stirrup and a regular sock. Many players prefer the feel of the sock versus the stirrup/sanitary sock combination. We have added a navy-based stirrup/sock for our home, road and two alternates. So all Mariners uniforms will now have the striped stirrup/sock detail for players who wear their uniform pants at the knee.”

. . .

Now then, moving on to the new alternate.

According to the Mariners, “The new jersey and pants are a classic cream color. The lettering and logo are the same as the current uniforms but in the original Mariners colors. The ‘Mariners’ lettering is royal blue with gold trim outlined in royal. The button placket and sleeves are trimmed in royal, and there is a Mariners nautical ‘compass rose’ patch in royal and gold on the left sleeve.”

Let’s take a closer look at those details:

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In a “nod to vintage baseball uniforms,” these unis are NNOB, and have large block numbers in royal with gold trim. There is a new royal blue cap (featuring a gold “S”), and will have a royal blue with gold-striped stirrup/sock option:

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“The royal blue and gold colors of our franchise’s inaugural uniforms are blended with the lettering and logo of our current identity in a unique design that pays homage to our club’s history,” said Martinez, “This new alternate uniform is perfect for sunny Sunday afternoons at Safeco Field.”

The Mariners also included a handy-dandy guide to dissecting the new unis:

1024x512_SundayAlternate_Callouts

. . .

I absolutely LOVE the new cream uniform. It’s a fairly “light” cream, and I think it will look gorgeous on a beautiful sunny day. The stirrups, which are a nod to the original Seattle Pilots (but which more resemble the throwback stirrups worn during the 2006 season). The gold and royal blue, the nod to their original uniforms, are a great touch — but done in the current typeface and number fonts. So the uniform is more of a harkback than a fauxback. After the unveiling, I asked Kevin a couple of questions about the choice of cream for the new Sunday alts:

We have been intrigued about a cream design for a long time. In 2006, we held a Turn Back the Clock game featuring a Seattle Pilots cream-based uniform. Then, in 2009, we wore a Seattle Rainiers cream-based uniform during another Turn Back the Clock event. We started casually talking about the idea of a cream alternate in 2010 and then we engaged Anne Occi, MLB Vice President of Design Services.

We weren’t in a rush to do anything, we simply wanted to do a thorough exploration of the possibilities. We are very pleased with where we landed and the response from our fans today has been terrific. It has been a very rewarding process.

Very nice. I know there are some who feel that cream, as a uniform color, is played out (CFCS?) or that teams who weren’t around in the flannel era probably shouldn’t be wearing uniforms that evoke that era. I disagree. Kevin has assured me that these uniforms will only be worn on Sundays (or at least that’s the plan). I even asked him if they’d stick with that plan if the team suddenly goes on a winning streak in them, or if King Felix loves them: “We’ve been very good as an organization about sticking to a uniform schedule but there can always be exceptions. All of us in baseball, in sports for that matter, can get a bit superstitious at times,” he replied.

As far as the tweaking of the current home white and road gray, I’m on the fence with these changes. Up close, the new navy/silver/teal pattern looks great, but I’m wondering if these will actually be less readable at a distance. Tyler Kepner, who writes for the New York Times, thinks the new pattern “Looks like ’07-range Indians. White between outline and letter is unnecessary/distracting.”. I think we’ll need to see these on the field to make a final judgment.

Following up with Kevin, I asked him if he had any additional thoughts on the the new uniforms and their development:

For the past few years, our fans have been asking us to reintroduce the club’s old blue and gold colors into our on-field uniform. While we were exploring the cream alternate concept, it presented us with a unique opportunity to blend our current identity with our franchise’s roots. The royal blue and gold looked fantastic on the cream jersey on the very first design sample we received. Through the help of Anne Occi at MLB and the folks at Majestic, we worked hard to dial in the right shades of blue and gold. We then gave a nod to baseball’s rich history by adding the oversized numbers without player names on the back of the jerseys. Lastly, we added a striped stirrup to complete the uniform.

My only other “complaint,” and this is not specific to the Mariners, but to teams in general, is “why is another uniform necessary?” (don’t answer that, I think we all know why). They have a very sharp home and road, but also have a home teal and a road navy. The new cream alternate (even if only worn on home Sundays) makes five different tops (and three sets of pants). Kevin also tells me the Mariners will have a a “Salute to the Negro Leagues” Turn Back the Clock night on Saturday, May 16 vs. Boston.

If, however, a team must add an alternate uniform, then this new cream alternate is a home run. Perhaps we can all start a campaign to get the players to go high-cuffed on Sunday and show off those gorgeous new stirrups. In that regard, these are truly the cream of the crop.

I’ve prepared two slideshows below, showing more looks. The first are screenshots or photos I grabbed, or Paul (thanks buddy!) took from the uniform unveiling yesterday, or were provided with the Mariners’ release. The second set was prepared for me by for all their assistance with info and photos used today. Enjoy the slideshows (I’ll also provide direct links to my sets if you can’t view slideshows).


Link Here


Link Here.

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):

. . . . . . . . . .

Classic Football Scoreboards – Eighth in a Series
by Gary Chanko

This week the series features a classic NFL scoreboard from a venue best known as one of baseball’s most revered cathedrals, Old Yankee Stadium. But OYS also had a storied football history. Over 100 college football games were played in the stadium between 1925 and 1973. And it was home to professional football for over half a century.

Old Yankee Stadium

Old Yankee Stadium Scoreboard UW

Home of: NFL New York Yanks (1950-1951), NFL New York Giants (1956-1973), various pro football franchises 1923-1949, Army (selected games 1925-1969), Gotham Bowl (1962)

First football game: 1923, Last football game: 1987; Demolished: 2008-2010

The NFL Championship Game was played on December 28, 1958, at Yankee Stadium between the New York Giants and Baltimore Colts. It was the first NFL game to go into sudden death overtime and became known as “The Greatest Game Ever Played.”

As a teenager, and a Baltimore Colt fanatic at the time, I watched the original TV broadcast. If you missed that broadcast, it’s available online and now includes digital colorization of the original b&w video tape.

With seven-seconds remaining on the clock, the Colts Steve Myhra kicked a 19 yard field goal to tie the game at 17 and send it into the historic overtime. The graphic illustration recreates the scoreboard as it appeared moments after the field goal.

A Few Things to Know

• If you lived in the greater New York area when the 1958 NFL Championship game was played, you likely never saw the TV broadcast – the game was blacked out!

• The first college football game was played on October 20, 1923 when Syracuse defeated Pittsburgh 3-0.

• The last football game ever played at the old Yankee Stadium transpired on September 12, 1987, Central State University of Ohio defeated Grambling, 37-21.

• The football scoreboard was located to the left of the larger “Ballentine Beer & Ale” baseball scoreboard in right field. The history of the dedicated football scoreboard is vague. This 1948 game photo between the 49ers and New York Yankees (AAFC) shows an earlier, but similar version of the scoreboard. By the early to mid-sixties the dedicated football scoreboard was gone as this photo shows.

Next time in the Classic Football Scoreboard series we’ll visit one of college football’s oldest stadiums, the Yale Bowl.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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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colorize thisColorize This!

Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.

Back today with our good friend and long-time colorization expert, George Chilvers, who has two wonderful renderings today. You’ll never guess what sport…

Here’s George with the first (click to enlarge):

. . .

United 1908 black socks colour - George Chilvers

United 1908

Hi Phil

This is the 1911-1912 team, showing the League Chamionship trophy they won for the 1910-1911 season.

The picture is taken at Old Trafford, but that ground had only been opened in February 1910, and it was perhaps an omen of what was to come that they won the League Championship at the end of the first season there.

The boss of the team was Ernest Magnall, back row far left, and it is a fact that probably most Man United fans won’t know, that only Magnall, Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson have led the team to Championships, even though they have the record number of championship wins in England, currently 20.

Sandy Turnbull (middle row, third from right) scored 25 goals in 30 games, while the superstar of the day was Billy Meredith, “The Welsh Wizard”, sitting far left of the middle row.

This was where it all began. And not a sponsor in sight :)

And here’s the second one:

Hasmonea Rowne 1935 colour - George Chilvers

Hasmonea Rowne 1935

Just had a little look at my files and I haven’t shared this one although meant to.

A little thought-provoking as it dates from August 1935, and shows the visit of the President of the Volyn Regional Football Federation, Major Leopold Okulicki, to ZKS (Jewish Sport Club) Hasmonea from Rowne in Poland (now Rivne in Ukraine). Hasmonea Rowne were one of the major football clubs in the regional set-up, their manager being the tall guy in the middle, Karol Kossok.

My wife’s parents lived in that part of Poland at the time. Hasmonea’s existence of course came to an end with the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, and the fate of many of these players is unknown. However, that part of Poland was subject to Russian occupation, and my in-laws were deported by Stalin’s army to Archangel, up in the Arctic Circle, in February 1940. Grim times indeed that we cosseted in the current day, cannot imagine.

George

. . . . .

Thanks George — stupendous work as always!

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Mr Cub

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T-Shirt Club reminder: In case you missed it earlier this week, the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s February design is now available, but only until Monday night — then it will be gone forever. Full details here, or just go straight to the ordering page.

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: The Jamestown Jammers (a wooden bat summer league) will have new logos and caps (thanks, Paul). … The Kenosha Kingfish are searching for artistic area middle and high school students who want to design the 2015 road-game uniforms. … USF shot some video of its baseball players in uniform for the 2015 season (thanks to Cedric P.). … Reader Chris Perrenot saw these baseball pennants (“Ndians” and “San Franc”) on an 80’s game show called Sale of the Century and noticed that part of the names were removed from both of them (before the days of Photoshop). He adds, “I assume some sort of issue with MLB and the television network.” … No joke — the As will be having a Hello Kitty bobblehead promotion this year. …The Seacoast Mavericks, a Portsmouth NH-based summer collegiate wooden bat league team, contacted fans to choose between two proposed mascots — Mick or Mack (one of which is a cheesy Mr. Met look-alike) — thanks to Dave Garabedian. … “Found this old reel footage of 1939 in Taylorsville, NC, a small county-seat town north of Charlotte,” says Jeff Frye. “After a few minutes of boys swimming in a ‘swimmin’ hole,’ there are crowd shots of a informal baseball game (no uniforms but some interesting attire, nonetheless). The baseball action starts at the 4:00 mark.” Check out this guy’s hat. Here he is pitching. Here’s another baseball shot. And I love this Esso patch on the gas station attendant. … This beautiful photo of the 1914 Houston Buffaloes at Union Station features one of my all time favorite uni elements: TNOP (Team Name On Placket) — great shot from @AstrosDaily). … Here’s a great photo of Uni Watch friend Tyler Kepner hoisting the World Series trophy. … “I was watching Game 4 of the 1980 World Series on YouTube,” says Lucas Hoffland, “and saw what I’m assuming is the bat boy in the Phillies dugout during one of the games at Kansas City, wearing a *pullover* powder blue jersey with a different striping pattern from the usual racing stripes of that era.”

NFL News: “Just stumbled upon this article,” which lists how every NFL team got its nickname, writes Dave Garabedian. “If you’ve already linked to it I’m sorry I missed it if, but I love the vintage images, and the photo of Paul Brown with various Bengals helmet designs is particularly intriguing. Is there a back story on this, I wonder?” … Here’s a look at Oregon State the Irvin(?) team for tomorrow’s Pro Bowl (I think team Irvin is in the blackish/orange). Does anyone know/care? Here’s a look at the practice shirts (thanks Paul). And here’s a closeup of a pair of cleats (CAUTION! you may need some form of eye protection). … One of my hometown papers, the Daily News remains classy with their “deflate-gate” coverage. Of course, the Post was not to be outclassed. … Reader Joseph Bailey saw this photo of a classic Rams/Packers game in a local sports bar. Says Joe, “I’m not a Rams fan but I really think this look is beautiful. I like the classic navy over the throwback royal. Anything is better than what they have now.”

College Football News: Not much going on in the College Football world (well, aside from the Reeses Senior Bowl), but here’s one that only Jim Vilk will love: Coastal Carolina has begun the installation of their teal colored field. I’m just going to leave that there (thanks, or blame, goes to Jeff [@saintwarrick]). … Also from Jeff Frye (who provided the old time baseball links above), this footage is from Statesville, NC, the slightly larger town about 25 miles east of Taylorsville and about 45 miles north of Charlotte (where I-77 and I-40 intersect). This film captures a football game in 1940 (starting at the 6:52 mark). … Oh, check out this very cool shot of USC offensive players huddled up before a 1965 game against Texas (from the SI Vault — guess we won’t be seeing pics like this in the future). … Is there possibly a new helmet in the works for Baylor? (That’s from HC Art Briles).

NBA News: The Nets have released their new “ABA inspired” jerseys (thanks to Mike King). Yes, those are sleeves on that there uni. … Those unis, of course are an homage to the 1970s style of uniform the Nets wore. Here’s a nice article explaining all about those unis and their original inspiration. … We don’t have good photos (yet) of the Rockets’ “Pride” uniform, but Conrad Burry has done a tremendous graphical mockup of it. … This one will be interesting: Nike sued over Michael Jordan logo (thanks Paul).

Hockey News: Here are 4 concept uniforms for NHL expansion franchises (not too bad, actually). Thanks, Paul). … Oh, baby! Check out this Game-worn Japanese National Team sweater from the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics, which comes from the Hockey Hall Of Fame Vault. … Dustin Byfuglien’s All-Star skates will match the NHL All Star Game’s neon sweater (nice find by Jason Perrier). … As you may know, the lead-up to tomorrow’s ASG will have the inaugural NHL Mascot Showdown (which began last night and continues through today), and if all goes according to plan, I hope to have a special correspondent there today to have a report on this tomorrow. … Here’s some pretty cool GoPro footage of NHLers (I’m fairly certain the All Star Game and/or the pre-game festivities will feature players wearing the GoPro cams as well) — thanks to Garrett McGrath. … Check out the awesome youth hockey jerseys (from a team in Montreal) that make use of the Chicago Bears logo (great shot by Ron Roza). … Rochester Institute of Technology Mens & Womens Hockey teams will wear special jerseys in honor of a student manager on February 7th. Unfortunately, no pictures of the jerseys yet (from Joe Werner). … Here’s a bee-you-tee-ful photo of the 1914 Vancouver Millionaires. Wow, I loved that kit. … Here are the Michigan State Univeristy Spartans’ jerseys for the Hockey City Classic. Very similar to their football pro combat unis from a few years back. … Speaking of college hockey, check out this vintage Ohio State University jersey (via Mark Lindsay).

Soccer News: Thanks to the excellent snooping reporting from Conrad Burry, we now have new leaks of Barça home + away kits for 2015-16. I like ’em both. … “Given the recent collapse of West Ham United shirt sponsor Alpari (a Swiss currency trading firm), the Guardian have charted the changing heritage of sponsors since the 1992 foundation of the Premier League,” writes Bernd Wilms. “Essentially, EPL shirt sponsorships are now aimed at the growth market du jour, with the English market an afterthought at best.” … Also from Conrad Burry: Renders of leaked design details of Red Bulls, Sounders & Impact 2015-16 MLS kits. … Cambridge UTD kits are made by Puma, but the sponsor (Mick George) has a logo similar to adidas (nice spot by Ryan Campbell).

College Hoops News: Grantland’s Mark Titus came up with an NCAA All-Star team based on obscure numbers. Says submitter Alex Hider, “Interesting look, and Titus is always a great read.”

Grab Bag: Here’s a neat DIY project (sent in by Michael Wilson): Marathon runner bib coasters. Looks pretty easy to do, too! … Canterbury North America just launched the new Pacific Rugby Premiership jerseys for the 2015 season. “Rugby doesn’t get much love in the States,” says Dave Eaton. “A couple of the teams date back over 100 years.” …”I’m a veterinarian who had some extra time at work today,” writes Jake Graham. “I previously decorated my patients bandages to look like stirrups. Today I DIY’d these logos out of vet wrap (an external bandaging material) in the spirit of the Super Bowl. My color selection was limited so they have a retro feel to them. Now I’m just waiting for a bandage to stick them on.” … Here’s a great slideshow showing the evolution of police uniforms for the Victorian State police in Australia from the 1850’s up to the present day (thanks to Graham Clayton).

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That’s all for today folks. Huge thanks to Kevin Martinez, Ben VanHouten and Nathan Rauschenberg (plus Paul) for the information and photos/grabs, and of course Gary, George and all you fine readers who tweet and submit. Great stuff today.

I’ll be back tomorrow with what I promise you will be a post you won’t want to miss. Make sure you check back then.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“It’s a great day for a ball game; let’s play two!”

–Ernie Banks

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58 comments to Cream of the Crop

  • BurghFan | January 24, 2015 at 7:21 am |

    Typos:

    A couple of references to “stripped stirrup” that should be “striped”.

    The 1958 Colts kicker was Steve Myhra. (George Mira was a 1960s quarterback.)

    • Phil Hecken | January 24, 2015 at 7:30 am |

      Thanks Jerry. Should be fixed now.

    • Gary | January 24, 2015 at 9:28 am |

      Yes, Steve it is. Thanks for correcting that mistake.

  • Phantom Dreamer | January 24, 2015 at 7:23 am |

    I’m sure Kevin Martinez means well, but the Mariners’ new Sunday alternate is just so uninspired. The Mariners, born in 1977, simply have no business wearing cream shirts and pants. They aren’t the Seattle Rainiers or Seattle Pilots. I literally saw they same concept, current set with the blue and gold scheme on MVP Mods some time ago. Many fans are disappointed that the trident, any version, wasn’t incorporated in some way and instead more “vintage” and false nostalgia was used instead. Mr. Martinez, the Mariners did exist prior to 1993. Some, at first glance, will be impressed with this, but overall, a missed opportunity for the Mariners and MLB to try to evolve.

    • Nate S. | January 24, 2015 at 8:05 am |

      Agree. Looks very nice, but there are already too many cream home or home alts in MLB. I would love to see some full powder blues and they would have looked great with the royal blue and yellow of the Mariners!

      • Will S | January 24, 2015 at 10:14 am |

        Would have preferred light blue over cream, but the cream looks okay. Much bigger disappointment is the lack of the trident cap.

    • Padday | January 24, 2015 at 11:12 am |

      Frankly I think that no team, regardless of whether they existed during the flannel era or not, should be wearing cream at least if the intention is purely to crassly emulate some romantic baseball past. Nostalgia, false or otherwise, is keeping baseball in aesthetic stasis.

      So, in a sense, I agree with you Phantom. However, I can’t stop myself liking these. I’m just so glad there will be a Mariners uni with some colour, with some life. I’m glad they kept the current script and logo. It works surprisingly well and for all the beauty of the trident logo, I feel that shoehorning it back into their identity would only create a mess akin to what the Brewers have with their ball-in-glove logo.

      My only major aesthetic complaint though is that the stripes on the ‘rups and socks are just too high. It looks unbalanced and seems to encourage the trend of MLBers wearing their cuffs too high. If you compare that picture they have of the expertly cuffed ‘rups from the Pilots throwback game in the “Past Meets Present” graphic, you can see that the stripes sit just half an inch or so above the acme of the stirrup opening, whereas the photos from the unveiling show them to be a good two inches or so above it.

  • Jim | January 24, 2015 at 7:51 am |

    As a life long M’s fan, I’m very excited and happy with these alternates. Not a huge fan of the cap, as I think it’s a bit too bland (the current design with 5 colors works much better for me) Can’t wait until my trip home next month to pick one up at the team shop.

    It was interesting to me that Martinez made no comment about the well-circulated conversation the M’s had with Ebbets Field Flannels a couple years back. In fact, he seemed to go out of his way to only mention MLB and Majestic. Obviously, those two are the key (only!) players in the Big Leagues, but most of us who have been following this have been aware of the EFF connection for some time.

  • Hodges14 | January 24, 2015 at 8:43 am |

    I have to admit, the new Mariners jerseys feel refreshing. This blue and green schtick gets boring after a while, so it’s nice to see a change, even if it’s to an older color set.

  • Joseph Gerard | January 24, 2015 at 8:54 am |

    The Rams-Packers photo I’m guessing is from the early 1960s, since that’s when the Packers adopted the “G” logo, while the Rams adopted the blue-and-white Fearsome Foursome unis in 1964 (another underrated look that should be a throwback option)–anyone have an exact year?

    Also, the new Mariners uniform is a nice clash between throwback and current, like how the Cleveland Cavaliers have done in the past.

    • timmy b | January 24, 2015 at 2:29 pm |

      It is anywhere from 1961 through 1963. Note that the “G” is positioned just above the earhole. I THINK in 1963 the G was centered a little better. So I’m guessing this shot is from either 1961 or 1962 or possibly 1963. Certainly not before of after these three seasons.

  • Duck Hater Paul | January 24, 2015 at 8:56 am |

    Like the new Ms alts very much. Maybe a precursor of a full tilt switch to Blue/yellow? (Its not gold). I hope so

  • Vee63 | January 24, 2015 at 9:42 am |

    Block numbers on the M’s alts look great.

  • Will S | January 24, 2015 at 9:53 am |

    I think that 1914 Vancouver Millionaires is one of the ones Canadian Colour colourized:
    https://www.facebook.com/canadiancolour/photos/pb.239067996276742.-2207520000.1422110705./268706933312848/?type=3&theater

    Sparky Chewbarky does some great stuff. He goes all out with his concepts: a couple videos that shows all the ideas (arenas, merchandise , mascots, etc.) for the Beavers and the Highlanders.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-s-A5gaaa4

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oivlQCceg0U

    • Andrew Seagraves | January 24, 2015 at 3:09 pm |

      One neat thing is the guy in the center with the Tuscan-esque(?) V which was different than the rest of the crew.

  • Rand | January 24, 2015 at 10:08 am |

    1993? Or how about 1977, yea that’s better. There’s a long history of baseball in Seattle, what’s wrong with referencing it? I think the new alt is great. I also agree that including the trident would have been a nice touch. Now lets all go catch a game down at Sick’s Field. And go M’s!

  • BeTheBall | January 24, 2015 at 10:14 am |

    The arms on the compass over the Mariners jerseys also appear tweaked. The shadowing appears more pronounced on the arms going east-west on the old jerseys, but was switched to the north-south arms on the new jerseys.

  • MLPromotions | January 24, 2015 at 10:15 am |

    While the Hello Kitty bobblehead might be odd, it does sell tickets. It’s a smart move by the Athletics. The Dodgers have had a Hello Kitty game every year since since 2011 and sold out every one of those games.

  • Ryan L | January 24, 2015 at 10:38 am |

    I wish the White Sox took their ’83 Sunday throwbacks and rendered them in the current black and silver colors. Reverse of what Seattle just did

    • El Duderino | January 24, 2015 at 12:51 pm |

      Ditto

  • VedderCup | January 24, 2015 at 10:39 am |

    Seriously love the new M’s alts, and agree with virtually everything Phil noted above. The cream is understated, and while they don’t incorporate any of the original M’s wordmark styles, at least this set doesn’t *clash* with the inaugural look by adding pinstripes or other weird elements. The first M’s unis didn’t have a headspoon or NNOB obviously, but why the hell not harken further back into baseball lore for the “Sunday day game” alt when the original home uni never saw the light of a sunny day in the Kingdome anyway. And the striped stirrups are goddamn beautiful.

    Minor complaints:

    – Why no kudos for Ebbets Field Flannels? The leak on SportsLogos back in 2013 was supposedly based on the team consulting with Ebbets on a throwback alt that became what we see today…but the quotes from Kevin Martinez only praise Majestic and MLB. Punishment for the early rumor leak? The team did keep an impressively tight lid on these bad boys.
    – No trident. As a commenter complained above, it would have been a much more solid nod to the team’s heritage to incorporate the original trident M, if not on the cap, then in the wordmark or at least on a sleeve. But it’s not a deal-killer. The yellow S at least harkens to the first S cap the team wore in the ’80s. And the hybrid of the current fonts and logos with the old colors is a cool approach. It also allows for continued throwback events with the trident, and creates a whole new category of team merch. No doubt the trident throwback designs will continue being sold right alongside.
    – Fantastic writeup by Phil. Still look forward to Paul weighing in…did PH take this one because PL thought they were ‘nice, but no big deal’?
    – the ever-clueless Padres will probably see all this as vindication of their approach of marginalizing brown and gold to an alt or promotional throwback. They need to ditch the current set altogether, obviously.
    – New lettering on the standard home and away sets probably are too busy and less readable from a distance, but that’s a fair tradeoff for a much-improved look up close, and for gear worn by fans.

    Overall a great addition and one that hopefully they won’t be too strict about wearing only on Sundays. It would be amazing to see another road set for Sunday road games that used the original sky blue, and hey, throw the trident on those too.

    The Mariners do a great job of listening to their fanbase and not marginalizing those who love the team’s heritage look and colors as a ‘vocal minority’. Watch, listen and learn, San Diego Padres.

    • Padday | January 24, 2015 at 11:26 am |

      I don’t like the way the Brewers have that weird split personality complex as a result of reintroducing the ball-in-glove logo to their identity. I think the Mariners are exercising good restraint in not making the same mistake with the trident logo. A nod to the past is fine if you must do it, but don’t completely dilute your identity by shoehorning every beloved visual moniker into your style guide.

    • Paul Lukas | January 24, 2015 at 11:46 am |

      did PH take this one because PL thought they were ‘nice, but no big deal’?

      Phil took this one because the unveiling was on a Friday and he’s in the saddle on Saturdays. Simple as that.

      My recent Ticker comment about these being “nice but no big deal” was based on incomplete info. Didn’t know about the striped hose or the home/road changes. Mea culpa.

      I’m generally fine with everything they’ve done here.

      • Greg Brown | January 25, 2015 at 1:14 pm |

        After the branding discussion about the CFB Playoff, I find it very interesting that the Mariners took this step.

        I remember when the Mariners went to their current logo and uniform in 1993. At the time, I thought they were just hopping on the early 90s teal bandwagon started by the San Jose Sharks. If their past uniform history was any indication at the time, in a few years they would probably be off to something else. What wasn’t apparent at the time was that the Mariners, who had only one winning season prior to 1993, were about to embark on a run of unprecedented success. Between 1993 and 2003, the Mariners won three AL West championships and had eight winning seasons in an 11 year span.

        In the intervening 20+ years since 1993, the Mariners have built a brand for baseball in the Northwest. The compass rose logo has become iconic – its combination of font and graphics screams aerospace and technology. Even though the on-field achievements of the Mariners have been no great shakes the last few years (aside from King Felix, of course), their brand is very strong.

        Starting around the time Ken Griffey, Jr. retired, merchandise emphasizing the Mariners’ blue and yellow of his rookie/early years began appearing. Thanks to the Cooperstown Collection and shopping mall fan stores seeking more product offerings, the long gone Mariner trident has made something of a comeback. I suspect the new Sunday alts are a means for the Mariner organization to redirect the blue and gold revival back into the current brand.

        That said, I think the M’s move to the new alts is excellent. I would argue that uniform reflects all of Seattle’s baseball history – the cream represents the minor leagues, whild the blue and yellow is a proxy for the M’s beginnings. They even included the Pilots with the captain’s stripes on the socks.

        Now, along with those wonderful new Cardinal/Blue Jay stirrups, if they would just wear the teal billed alt cap as part of the standard home uniform…

  • C Sciria | January 24, 2015 at 10:54 am |

    A Dan Marino wax statue was unveiled at the Dolphins stadium today, it has the classic 70s-mid90s helmet with the jersey that debuted in 1997 with the new logo of the dolphin with the eye. Oops. The pants look wrong too.

  • Ted E | January 24, 2015 at 10:58 am |

    Ok so I am in the minority of folks liking the cream Mariners alternate jersey. For me it looks pretty good and the Mariners are one to the few teams that can pull it off, The Giants being one. On the other side there are teams that should never ever try a cream colored jersey, Red Sox, Yankees, and Dodgers leap to mind right off the bat (pardon the pun).

    Sounds like an interesting topic on its own, with a Yes, No and Maybe look. A maybe team would be the Marlins.

    The sleeve patch with the compass rose seems redundant and the compass rose itself bothers me being a sailor and all. All the major points, North, South, East and West should be equal size.

  • JohnK | January 24, 2015 at 10:59 am |

    Glad to see the Mariners come out with the striped stirrups/socks, and wish more teams would. They have a few high-cuffers on the team, and look forward to seeing how they look in action. I already have a pair of the blue/yellow Pilot’s stirrups (thanks Comrade Marshall) and hope that the new look is available somewhere, also.

  • Jonathan L. Ford | January 24, 2015 at 11:30 am |

    Man… seeing those gorgeous M’s uniforms makes me wish the Brewers would finally redesign their whole set. Cream home unis, royal blue, Ball n Glove logo, the triumphant return of Barrel Man…

    • Tape | January 24, 2015 at 2:50 pm |

      This M’s unveiling is almost like a preview of a Brewers throwback-ish redesign, given the Seattle Pilots/same shades of blue and yellow connection. I’d be soooo down with that.

  • scott | January 24, 2015 at 12:02 pm |

    Love cream uniforms, and these are no exception. I disagree strongly with the commenter who writes “Nostalgia, false or otherwise, is keeping baseball in aesthetic stasis.” Major League Baseball already had its experimental uni era back in the 1970s, and thankfully has put that in the rearview mirror. Minor League and college baseball teams still do a lot of pushing the envelope; it’s completely unnecessary for that to happen in the big leagues.

    • Padday | January 24, 2015 at 12:37 pm |

      Major League Baseball already had its experimental uni era back in the 1970s, and thankfully has put that in the rearview mirror.

      This is a depressingly common misconception. Baseball uniform design was constantly evolving throughout the 20th century and teams were constantly experimenting – with sleeveless jerseys, satin jerseys, zippers, white cleats, looking beyond white and grey and many more ideas which were born in the pre-double knit era. Baseball design was never so afraid to look forward as it is now, never so content to cynically condescend to fans by marketing itself as a “heritage product”.

      • scott | January 24, 2015 at 10:01 pm |

        Eh, I think teams finally realized what looks good and what looks like crap. The Dodgers and Yankees continued to look good in the 1970s and continue to look good today. If the Mariners want to introduce a cream colored uniform that is gorgeous, I fully support that, and consider far from being a condescending move.

  • Douglas King | January 24, 2015 at 12:32 pm |

    Can’t stand cream, it looks bad on the cast majority of teams. Teams are trying to achieve a style that harkens back to the old days but it always looks like someone waited to long after a sweaty game to wash the unis.

    I especially don’t like cream (yellow sweat stained white) when paired with athletic gold. I think these uniforms would have looked fantastic with a clean white look and would have been much more reminiscent of their actual pre-teal uniforms. To me the most memorable thing about those was way the way the royal blue and athletic gold popped off the white, now the gold just doesn’t stand out against the cream.

    If they were going to go back to a non white look to simulate an old school feel they should have gone with powder blue, a look they actually wore and one that would allow them to wear them every single Sunday instead of just at home.

    And finally one question: do y’all think teams would have worn cream so those decades ago if they had the ability to keep white uniforms clean? I just don’t get why teams keep throwing back to a look that only existed because of how hard it was to keep them clean.

    • Jim Vilk | January 24, 2015 at 1:38 pm |

      Just because you can get uniforms cleaner and whiter now, doesn’t mean you should. It’s a game played on dirt. Embrace that and stop trying to look all blinding white.

  • Eddie | January 24, 2015 at 12:37 pm |

    To those asking why no mention of EFF, I’m wondering if it’s because of that leak. I know there’s still some in the sports marketing hemisphere, who appreciate discretion. I doubt there were any bad intentions when things leaked, but maybe Seattle doesn’t feel the same.

  • Gary | January 24, 2015 at 12:46 pm |

    Excellent colourizations today. Plus job George.

    • George Chilvers | January 24, 2015 at 2:36 pm |

      Thank you

  • Benji | January 24, 2015 at 1:18 pm |

    It appears the compass on the new uni is set lower and even cuts into the M

  • Jim Vilk | January 24, 2015 at 1:28 pm |

    I know there are some who feel…that teams who weren’t around in the flannel era probably shouldn’t be wearing uniforms that evoke that era…

    “All of us in baseball, in sports for that matter, can get a bit superstitious at times,”

    PFFFT.

    So what if the Mariners weren’t around in the so-called golden age of baseball? If they want to wear cream (which I prefer to blinding white, especially on a sunny day) and look old-timey, let them. So what if the Rays weren’t around in 1979? If they want to wear pullovers and sansabelts and look funktastic, let them. The main thing is that they look good.

    And if you think you should wear a horrendous looking jersey just because you’re on a winning streak, or if you refuse to wear a great looking throwback because you used to have a bad record when you wore them,

    • Jim Vilk | January 24, 2015 at 1:29 pm |

      (I wasn’t finished!)

      …then you deserve to lose.

      /stomps away, stepping on the foul line as he does

  • LarryB | January 24, 2015 at 1:56 pm |

    Great colorizations George. As usual.

    • George Chilvers | January 24, 2015 at 2:36 pm |

      Thank you

  • Phil Hecken | January 24, 2015 at 1:57 pm |

    “And if you think you should wear a horrendous looking jersey just because you’re on a winning streak, or if you refuse to wear a great looking throwback because you used to have a bad record when you wore them…”

    ~~~

    The rose goes in front, big guy.

    • Greg Brown | January 26, 2015 at 12:36 pm |

      “Don’t f with a streak.” – Crash Davis

  • LarryB | January 24, 2015 at 2:18 pm |

    Gary I have been enjoying the scoreboard series too. Old scoreboards are fascinating.

  • Tape | January 24, 2015 at 2:52 pm |

    M’s sunday throwback: yessssssssssssssssss oh yes. Switch to this full time.

    New M’s wordmark: bad. Having a white/very light color as the inside of a double outline is horrible for readability. Stop doing this, people.

    • Ryan M | January 24, 2015 at 3:42 pm |

      I scrolled all the way down here to say pretty much the exact same 2 things. The current logo and wordmark rendered in the throwback colors makes the current combination look very dated, very ’90s.

      As for the change of the wordmark outline, it’s kind of like Todd Radom highlighted a few days ago with the Twins’ ’87 style guide compared to the drop shadow that ended up on the logo. Switching the order of the colors on the border makes the navy pop more, but it’s too busy and, as my esteemed colleague above and slightly to the left indicated, is horrible for readability. Sometimes less is more.

  • Willard | January 24, 2015 at 3:59 pm |

    I like the M’s throwback but no trident on the cap???

    wtf

  • Brian | January 24, 2015 at 6:15 pm |

    Mariner’s jersey:
    Cream makes it look like the days before we were actually able to produce clean, pure white jerseys. CFCS is a misguided attempt at nostalgia. One of the reasons I can get behind baseball is its refusal to enter modern times. The styles and designs all look stuck in the early 1900s. I’m not saying we need silver outfits with blinking blue lights, but come on. Basketball shorts used to have belts, but not anymore! Why? Because technology!

    Rockets Pride Jersey:
    I had a very similar idea a few years back for certain teams to wear Chinese New Year jerseys, in addition to the Noche Latina oneoffs.

    http://blog.bluelefant.com/2012/03/23/noche-latina/

    • Brian | January 24, 2015 at 6:17 pm |

      *CAN’T get behind ….

      • scott | January 24, 2015 at 10:03 pm |

        Baseball tried uniforms without belts in the 1970s and realized that it was a bad idea.

  • RobYaz | January 24, 2015 at 9:03 pm |

    “If you lived in the greater New York area when the 1958 NFL Championship game was played, you likely never saw the TV broadcast — the game was blacked out!”

    Or you just went to a motel in Connecticut:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/sports/football/in-the-era-of-nfl-blackouts-ny-giants-nation-put-its-lead-foot-down.html

    “But when every home game was unavailable to watch within the teams’ markets, an informal bootlegging business grew with the purchase of powerful antennas that were pointed toward Hartford….“There were probably as many Giants fans in motels as at Yankee Stadium,””

  • Adam | January 24, 2015 at 10:47 pm |

    Lifelong M’s fan here. I like the idea of the M’s alts, but not necessarily the execution.

    Pros:
    Stirrups, obviously.

    Return of the navy and yellow scheme. You can invoke a lot of history that way and I think it shines a light on how long the current scheme has been around – over 20 years.

    I like the cream, personally, but we’re awfully close to it being played out.

    NNOB and block lettering look sharp.

    Cons:
    I hate the cap. Hate, hate, hate it. It looks like those weird color scheme caps available in every mall everywhere. It does not look like the cap of a current Major League team.

    Related, I don’t like the incorporation of the compass rose in the old colors. It’s not too bad in the wordmark, but I really dislike the sleeve patch. It just looks cheap, like an afterthought.

    Overall, I wish they’d taken a bigger swing for the fences. This team has a nostalgia problem, i.e., it’s constantly looking to the past. The teal alts are, in my opinion, the biggest offender. There’s something to be said for the fact that this alt strongly resembles one of the worst periods in the franchise’s history – the 87-92 M’s. Literally the only good thing the M’s did in this uniform was Griffey’s rookie card.

    In addition, the outline changes to the current unis are very reminiscent of the 1994 teal alts that rule the thrift stores of the greater Western Washington area.

    I just wish they would’ve gone in a completely different direction than what they did here – harken back instead of looking forward.

  • J.D. | January 26, 2015 at 9:26 am |

    That photo of Paul Brown with the early Bengals helmet designs is especially interesting because the Bengals played their first 13 seasons (1968-80) with a plain orange helmet that said “BENGALS” on the side before switching to their current striped design. I never realized it, but given this photo, it appears that they were considering stripes from the beginning.