By Phil Hecken, with Jim Vilk
A couple of weeks ago, an article written by Ben Cosman appeared on MLB’s Cut4 entitled “Reminisce with us: Which uniforms of yore should be brought back?” If you take a look at the article, the author mentioned several uniforms from the 70s and 80s complete with pictures. The premise was simple: The Padres had just announced they would be wearing their brown uniforms for a few games during the season, and they put together a few other retro uniforms they’d like to see make a comeback.
I tweeted out that article, and got a few replies, but our own Jim Vilk replied to me with a dozen (or more) retro uniforms from the near and distant past he’d like to see make a comeback. After a while, I said to him, “why don’t we just do a post on this for Uni Watch?” After discussing it for a while, we decided the article didn’t nearly go far enough, and that we’d need to do a column on retro uniforms that need to return…on steroids.
After a few back and forths, we decided we would break it down into two different types of uniforms that would need to make a comeback: pre and post-polyester era uniforms. We also decided to break down the uniforms into four categories: (1) A “one-shot,” meaning a team would break out an old uniform and wear it once, then retire it again (similar to what the Cubs did in 2014 when they had their “decade” uniforms); (2) An “alternate,” meaning the team should introduce a retro uniform into the uniform rotation, to be worn as an alternate (and hopefully sparingly); (3) “Sunday Home”: A uniform to be worn on Sunday home games (the way the Mariners, Pirates and White Sox do); it would ONLY be worn on Sundays; and (4) “Just Go Back To This”: A uniform that should replace a team’s current uniform, and be worn as the standard home or road (or both).
We’ve come up with quite a few (and some of the teams were very difficult, as there are probably two or three retro uniforms we’d like to see return), and we tried to keep the list to one single franchise each. We’ve broken them down chronogically, so the list you see today are not only pre-polyester, they’re also likely uniforms worn before most of us were born. Click on any inline images to enlarge.
I’ll let Jim do his intro and then we’ll get into the first set. Here’s Jimmer:
When MLB asked what old uniforms we’d like to see, they probably figured most people would give one, maybe two answers. I didn’t know if they meant for good or just a throwback, so I sent them replies for every team. I wanted everyone, even the Yankees, to take part in this exercise. Looking back at my original list, there was a bit of a gap – lots of turn-of-the-20th-century looks and lots of pullovers, but not as much from the so-called “golden age of baseball.” Going through it again I tried to even things out a little. My overall guideline is the same, though – whether it’s a redesign or a one-off, I want to see something different. Oh, and I have two more guidelines: 1) If it’s from the pre-numbered era, I want numbers on it, or forget it. 2) I picked these because I’d like to see both the homes and the roads (with one exception). Anyway, let’s get started with Part One.
In each case, we’ll indicate whether the uniform was Jim’s choice (JV) or mine (PH):
1900 St. Louis Cardinals (JV): Even the “best fans in baseball” need a little break from their “best uniforms in baseball.” Love the laces on the home jersey! One and done.
1901 Baltimore Orioles (PH): While this franchise technically is the Yankees, I’d want the O’s to wear this, and I’d love it. Just the road version, but they could wear it at home. Those socks! One and Done.
1903 Cleveland (Naps) (JV): Take these Naps unis and take the even older “Blues” name, and keep them. Imagine a Reds/Blues battle of Ohio! Everyday use.
1904 Yankees (Highlanders) (JV): Rest easy, Yanks fans…it’s just a good idea to remind everyone that on the eighth day the Yankees weren’t formed from the clay wearing pinstripes. One and done.
1906 Washington Nationals (PH): In 1905, the “Nationals” became the first team ever to wear a team name on their jersey, and that’s righteous. They’d keep that for two seasons, but in 1906 they introduced a dark roadie. Each one should be worn once at home (yes, this is the Minnesota franchise, but c’mon…) One and done.
1908 Boston Red Sox (PH): The Sox have actually thrown back to this one before, so it’s completely logical they do so again. I LOVE the logo on the chest (the could probably ditch the drawstring collar though, because I’d like to see this one more than once). Alternate.
1912 New York Highlanders/Yankees (PH): Unlike Jim, I ONLY accept the Bronx Bombers in pins, and this was the FIRST year they wore the pinstripes. This is close enough to their current uni (and the roadie is sweet) that it could almost replace it. We know that won’t happen, but I can dream. I’d like to see this one a few times a year (home and road). Alternate
1916 Cleveland Indians (PH): It not that this uniform is remarkable in and of itself, but it represents the first time numbers were ever used on an MLB uni. And look at those gorgeous numbers on the sleeve! Yeah, just once, and just the home, but I’d like to see it. One and Done.
1924 Philadelphia Athletics (PH): This one was worn for a few seasons, but I just LOVE the outlined elephant on the chest. It could work for the current Oakland club, since there’s no indication this is a Philly uni. Not one I’d like to see more than once, but that’s fine. One and Done.
1926 Chicago White Sox (PH): While both the home and road are outstanding, it’s the road uniform I would love to see made permanent for the Sox. Dump the bland gray, and bust this one out every road game. Winning. Everyday Use.
1927 Detroit Tigers (PH): If the current Tigers uniforms weren’t so damn purdy, I’d say this one should be their full time outfit. I mean, look at psychotic tiger on the chest! Nevertheless, I’d love to see both the home and road worn as alts. Except Detroit doesn’t have any alts, and that’s not a bad thing. Alternate.
1929 Detroit Tigers (JV): It’s different, yet it still has the olde English D. Love the socks, too. Sunday/alt.
1931 Boston Red Sox (JV): What do you know…red socks! Plus I’d love to see Boston wearing pinstripes when they play the Yankees. Everyday use.
1932 New York Giants (JV): Love the regular black and orange, but this has to be worn, especially at Citi Field. Everyday alt.
1933 Chicago White Sox (JV): Not just for the white socks…I like the home logo. One and done.
1933 Brooklyn Dodgers (JV): Just replace the B with an LA and you have your Everyday alt.
1935 Philadelphia Phillies (PH): How great are these unis? Both home and road are outstanding, but it’s the road I’d like to see made permanent, so that’s my call. Everyday road use.
1936 Cincinnati Reds (JV): Because red legs! Everyday use.
1937 Chicago Cubs (JV): I was going to pick 1909, but I REALLY want to see zippered jerseys make a comeback. Everyday use.
1938 Pittsburgh Pirates (PH): Before the Pirates wore black and gold, they wore red and blue, and some of those unis were gorgeous, like this one. They can never go back to these colors, so I’d love to see the home uni worn at home once. One and Done.
And there, folks, is our opening shot across the bow for this little exercise. Next time we’ll have much more modern unis, and we’ll breach the polyester era with that batch. Our final set will be ALL the more modern uniforms (many of which we grew up with) and that we’d like to see again.
What say you readers? Do you agree with any of these choices? Do you have a uniform in this range (1900-1940) you think you’d like to see brought back? Let us know.
Down a Rabbit Hole (sort of)…
Every so often, someone will tweet an old photo at me and I’ll simply re-tweet it, but those viewing it afterwards are crawling down a rabbit hole of history. Yesterday was one of those days, when a tweet of a photo we’ve seen on Uni Watch before led to some interesting replies:
Aging sluggers…the Mets script was too tilted back then. #cursiveproblems @PhilHecken pic.twitter.com/286orNGwIP
— Stirrups Now! (@uniformcritic) February 7, 2015
It’s an odd photo, as Willie Mays is seen wearing the pillbox cap prevalent during 1976 — but he’d retired by that point. He’s posing, of course, with Hank Aaron, who is wearing a uniform the Brewers did wear that year. And it’s an odd-looking Mets uniform. It was thought the photo might have been taken at the 1976 All Star Game, (that’s a road uniform Willie is wearing), and the Mets had some odd road uniforms that year — but the ’76 game was played in Philadelphia. Willie wouldn’t have been wearing a road uniform (he was a Mets coach in 1976). If you follow the replies to that tweet, you’ll see it those guys were playing in the 1976 Hall of Fame game which was played on August 9, 1976, in Cooperstown, NY. (You can read more about those games here.)
Nevertheless, that one photo led to some interesting twitter discussions and the following old photos were discussed — the Mets 1976 road uni and pill box caps. We may have seen these photos at one point or another, but it’s always cool to look back at the bicentennial and how some teams (and umps) celebrated:
@uniformcritic @PhilHecken Strange era for Mets road unis. Looked like DIY projects. pic.twitter.com/b4V8oIz8M7
— Steve Presser (@stevenmpresser) February 7, 2015
@scottj3232 @uniformcritic @PhilHecken Slight improvement in 1977 pic.twitter.com/BRzmsHJuAo
— Steve Presser (@stevenmpresser) February 7, 2015
Umpires wore pillbox caps in the 1976 World Series. @PhilHecken pic.twitter.com/qB94dR25Qf
— Stirrups Now! (@uniformcritic) February 7, 2015
@uniformcritic @PhilHecken A close-up look: pic.twitter.com/1ilUIhkxDz
— Dan Epstein (@BigHairPlasGras) February 7, 2015
@uniformcritic @PhilHecken nvm. found this shot in a YouTube video of Game 4 in Yankee Stadium. pic.twitter.com/oF5ZDATS7Q
— Scott Neukam (@scottneukam) February 7, 2015
So, cool stuff, and a history lesson for those who didn’t know to boot! See, Twitter is educational!
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 Weeks 23 & 24:
I know this is normally something that falls under the purview of Mike Chamernik, but after an extensive discussion on Twitter yesterday, I thought it would work for us as well.
It began simply enough. I saw a tweet which showed a Los Angeles Angels of Los Angels cap, but in A’s colors. Now, we’ve seen stuff like this before — they’re fashion caps created for the sole purpose of selling $30 caps — and I didn’t think much of what I considered to be a throwaway tweet in response:
This shit needs to stop @Shakabrodie @hughcmcbride @HatClub From the “Start a Fight in the Parking Lot” collection? pic.twitter.com/V5E0RuUoDa
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) February 7, 2015
However, reaction was swift and severe, and eventually folks were tweeting all kinds of awful caps at me: A Dodgers/Giants frankencap, a Yankees cap in BoSox colors, caps in opposite colors for both New York teams. They apparently make these things for basketball too. It got so bad that I learned there is even the ultimate frankencap: the split team cap.
Turns out there must be a whole new batch of New Era Twisted Caps out there — you can get almost any team in the colors of that teams rivals, cross-town Interplague opponents, even teams that don’t seem to have a rivalry (actually, as Hugh McBride, the guy who “started” the whole tweetfest, pointed out — throwing out the “why the fuck would you ever do this?” aspect, the A’s colors look pretty damn good on every team).
Some people couldn’t even believe these things existed — I even got a DM from Keith Olbermann asking if these things were real. Sadly they are all too real.
So here’s my question(s) to you: What do you think of these frankenhats? Do you own, or would you ever wear one? It is blasphemous, as it were, to wear your rivals colors, even with your own team’s logo? Do actual “fans” of either team depicted actually wear these things, or are they strictly a fashion piece? Have you ever been to a game where one of these caps is worn?
Personally, I think these are 1) incredibly stupid, 2) borderline offensive, and 3) completely unnecessary. But a guy who I corresponded with works in a store that sells them, and he says they’re constantly restocking this particular type of cap, so clearly there are SOME people buying them.
But what about you? Let’s hear your thoughts on this.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: Here’s a bee-you-tee-ful shot of the Brooklyn Dodgers during Spring Training in 1935 (from Bruce Menard, of course). Also from Bruce, check out this shot of Casey Stengel during 1935 Spring Training (love those sleeves!!!). … I’ve touched on this before, but the Rays will be outfitting many little leaguers this year — there are 18 different uniform tops in all. Lets hope the big club doesn’t get any ideas. … Our friend Clint Richardson will be doing an Auburn softball tracker this season. … Here’s another look at the new San Francisco Giants alternate black jersey. And speaking of the black alt, Brinke has some interesting news: “The Giants will wear new alternate black jerseys on Saturdays, starting with Metallica Day on May 2. Players and coaches wore the black tops as they walked around AT&T Park on Saturday, but (Javier) LÃ³pez admitted he wanted a different look. ‘I voted for orange pants,’ he said.” … Still more goodness from Bruce Menard: this beautiful 1936 composite of the St. Louis Cardinals (is it too late for me to change my throwback preference?). … Here are a couple of neat photos of Satchell Paige wearing an Astros uni “testing out” the Astrodome in 1965 (thanks to Jonathan Daniel). … Look at the beautiful 1950 Philly A’s jersey (h/t Stirrups Now). … The writer of this article thinks the Astros should change uniforms — but it’s not quite what you think — he wants to change up the caps worn with the current unis.
Hockey News: This is just: The AHL All pink everything (h/t jStevenO). … The guys on UMD Hockey team were using pink sticks last night in support of fighting breast cancer (via Darren Rovell). … Top shelf camo: “Saw these Flyers jerseys in a lids the other day,” says Jason Ricles. “No context on what the camo was for. But pretty ugly and hope they don’t wear any time soon.” … The Lake Erie Monsters wore Cleveland Cavaliers-inspired uniforms last night (h/t Chris Creamer). … The Bruins invited the Patriots to their game last night and Rob Gronkowski spiked a puck so hard, he broke the interwebs. … Michigan and Michigan State played the “Hockey City Classic” at Soldier Field (outdoors) in some alternate unis (h/t CJ Fogler). Western Michigan and Ohio also played earlier in the day. Here’s a close up look a the MSU uniform (via TomboyChick). And here are the jerseys.
Soccer News: Apparently there was a leak of the Columbus Crew’s new jersey yesterday. I’m told the leak was repaired, but the damage has been done. The full (official) reveal is, I believe, March 3 (thanks to Patrick Mulcare). … Speaking of leaks, this is apparently the new jersey for Sporting KC (h/t Alex Boyer). … Leaking still, it looks like we have our first look at the new New England Revolution secondary kit (via Doug Hazard). I like this one. … Still more leaks: the Houston Dynamo, the Portland Timbers and Toronto FC. … In non-leak news, MASL’s Baltimore Blast & San Diego Sockers played “in a glorious color vs color matchup” (according to Jim Vilk). Wait, aren’t a lot soccer matches color vs. color? Does the MASL play a lot of white/color matches? So many questions.
College Hoops News: It’s getting so that color vs. color matchups aren’t really that big a deal anymore, since they seem to happen almost every day. Yesterday had St. Johns vs. Creighton (thanks to Adam Treiber). Also going color vs. color was Pitt and Syracuse (via Mr. Mack). And Auburn wore orange at home against Ole Miss (in blue), for another color vs. color matchup (thanks to Clint Richardson). … More color vs color: last night Alabama and LSU played red vs. gold (nice shots from Stetson Pevear). … And here’s Gonzaga vs. San Francisco in living color vs. color (h/t Daniel Evans). … Yesterday, Georgia Tech wore special Autism Speaks shooting shirts for their game with Wake Forest (via GTJacketHive). … Reader Garrett Holt was watching the UT Arlington-Louisiana-Lafayette game and “number 25 on UT Arlington appeared to have inconsistent coloring on the neckline of his jersey. It’s not as noticeable in the picture as it was just watching the game.” … New uniforms for the Oklahoma Sooners ladies team (from Joe Buettner). … Northern Illinois University has a new floor (via DJD). … There are bad floor designs, like NIUs, and then there are really bad designs (h/t Matt Tulli).
Grab Bag: It seems like the French Rugby team was forced to break with tradition and had to wear red against Scotland in the Six Nations opener (thanks to George Chilvers). … Pink Beavers. Against cancer. Doing gymnastics. … You know how we always talk about how the shirts of the losing Super Bowl team end up in faraway lands? Well, here’s a whole bunch of Super Bowl Champions logos that never happened either (h/t @chibearsm)
And that’s going to do it for today. Thanks to Jimmer and Alex, and everyone who tweeted (it was a LOT) and who sent in ticker submissions via the e-mail. Everyone have a great week and I will catch you next Valentine’s Day.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Given the large number of games in a baseball season, I’m really ok with teams having more alternate uniforms than in other sports.”
— THE Jeff Provo
There are a bunch of uniforms that should be brought back permanently, off the top of my head, 1981-86 Mariners, 1973-88 Angels, a composite of the 1970s to mid-80s A’s, 1980-83 Padres, 1982-89 Cubs, 1983-90 Mets, 1973-82 Royals, 1973-91 Cardinals, 1988-92 Reds, 1987-90 Pirates with 1971 as an alternate, 1977-88 Blue Jays, 1970s zipper front Phillies, 1982-88 Astros. Did I miss anyone?
This was just part one (we only covered 1900-1940 today), so it’s possible (can’t say yet) that some or all of those uniforms will be either Jim or my choice to be brought back, but those will be revealed in a future post.
Anything in the pre 1940-era you would like to see?
The 1930 White Sox. link
Lots of cool little features. The collar and placket double piping in red and blue, the navy road uniform with the S-O-X on the sleeve, the two color home logo and especially this cap with the O and X in red. link
Anything in the pre 140-era you would like to see?
PD, I absolutely LOVE pullovers, striped sleeves and pants, but I don’t want every single team looking like the 70s and 80s. There’s room for all kinds of looks, including some that haven’t been designed yet. Trust me, you’ll love parts 2 and 3 of this feature…more so than most people.
Western Michigan played Miami (OH) in the Hockey City Classic.
Also, the blurb on the Astros caps is in the NHL, and not MLB.
It was a double-header. Michigan played Michigan State in one game (forget if it was the opener or the nightcap), Westerm played Miami in the other.
Moved the Astros item to the MLB section (good catch).
As DJ said, there were two hockey games played at Soldier Field yesterday. Miami/Western was the first game, and MSU/UM was the night cap. Apparently both games were delayed due to poor ice condition.
It still just says “Ohio” on the ticker. As a 1-year alumnus of Miami, I say please fix!
The one thing I like about the pictures from the 1976 World Series is that they played day baseball! Game 1 was played on a Saturday afternoon at 1 pm ET! Remarkable. Will we ever have day baseball again in the World Series? Probably not, but we can always hope!
Time to bring back daytime Super Bowls, too!
they pucked up the pucks at the “hockey city classic”.
I could be wrong, but if I remember right only National League teams wore the pillbox hats in celebration of both the nation’s bicentennial and the centennial of the National League. Notice in the picture of the umpires that the NL umpires have the pillbox hats and the AL umpires (the AL umps wore red coats in those days) have conventional hats.
France wasn’t forced to break with tradition; their usual change kit is white (with blue shorts). They chose to go with a red jersey.
As a kid in the early 90s my dad and I went to a Turn Back the Clock game in Pittsburgh where the Pirates wore those uniforms. The only picture I can find of these is off the program, which I still have somewhere.
here is a link to a couple pics also
Or just check out Zane Smith:
That was in 1992 against the Giants, who also wore 1939 uniforms. (In 1993, they turned back to 1925 against the Reds.)
The hockey camo jerseys are worn for the pregamr ice warmups and that’s it. There usually auctioned off during the game for the club’s main charity. The Kings have done this for a number of games. They have worn a camo, ugly Christmas sweater, and one that was the Dodgers with a royal blue jersey. On Valentine’s day, they will be wearing red jerseys for warm up.
If I remember right teams in the National League wore the pillbox hats not only to celebrate the bicentennial but also the centennial of the National League. Notice in the picture that the NL umps have the pillbox hats while the AL umps, the guys with the red coats, have conventional hats.
Sunday Question: I’d have to agree. Team hats in opponents colors are offensive and discussing. As a Texas Rangers fan, if I saw a fellow fan wearing a green/yellow Rangers hat, it would take everything I had inside of me not to smack it off their head. That being said, I understand the purpose of fashion caps. I have a black and white Rangers cap, but it’s neutral and I can pretty much wear it with anything. Could you imagine an NFL version with a purple and yellow Packers hat? Haha
I would like to see the Braves play in an old Atlanta Crackers uniform. A cracker was someone from Georgia back in the day like a Volunteer was someone from Tennessee. Would also like to see the Astros back in Colt .45 uniforms but the PC crowd would go ape about it just like they did about the Bullets.
Don’t have a picture but the French Rugby match, other than Le Bleus being in red, had the tri-colors of the French flag painted atop the goalposts. Blue stripe, white stripe and red stripe from the top of each post.
To be fair, the Bullets to Wizards was a personal decision by the previuos owner – was there a recent throwback alt planned with Bullets explicity considered and then panned by a prospective PC crowd? Did such crowd materialize when they went back to the multi-stripes as their everyday uniform?
Where did Colt Firearms end up after leaving CT? Perhaps the Colt .45s can live again as a minor league soccer or baseball club.
I’m surprised that the 1934 Red Sox uniform set wasn’t selected…it being the prototype for the modern set and all:
As for the Sunday question, I don’t mind the Twisted caps at all. I mean, I’d NEVER buy a Red Sox/Yankees one, but some of the other ones look really good. (There’s a Phillies/Nationals road mash-up I’d buy in a dead second if it wasn’t a snapback).
And call me crazy, but this cap just looks right to me:
I’m not a fan of the modern Sox set. Even when they had the red caps and the pullovers. Just never did anything for me.
I *might* wear a frankencap. Those remind me of a bowl game field, or how the Meadowlands field should look. Picture Phil in a Giants/Jets cap. But I would never wear a twisted cap. Those are more of a mockery to me.
“Picture Phil in a Giants/Jets cap.”
Anyone want to step in for Jimmer for Parts 2 & 3 of this trilogy?
The Yankees did use those 1912 unis a few years back. Wore the road version at Fenway, 4/20/12.
Caps in rival colors seem weird to me. I could see wearing the colors of another team in another sport in the same metro area. Like an orange and blue Yankees cap could be seen as Knicks support, not Mets support.
It could be sorta like fan-camouflage. Quietly cheer for the road team while wearing the colors of the home team… from a distance you look “normal” and the drunk asshole 3 rows back doesn’t bother you.
The Pirates actually wore those very uniforms in a 1992 Turn Back the Clock game….tory here:
I’ve long been annoyed with far gear in alternate colors, and I blame the red Yankees caps for kicking it off in the nineties.
While it’s not a rival team, I was recently surprised to see a D’Backs hat in A’s colors. Where did I see it?
Does anyone else think colored pants should come back to baseball diamonds? I’d especially like to see the ChiSox in black pants paired with white socks. Of course we’d never see them under low cuffs, but colored pants with white/gray/clashing tops is at least as good a look as the colored tops, in my opinion.
Softball tops would be acceptable only with colored pants. Red/black/blue etc over white looks silly. I’d be down with white socks, rare as they may be, so as to not go full monochrome
Unis you’d like to see brought back?
“one-shot”: Phillies link; 1969 link; Nats in link; link
“Alternate”: link c.1969-70. Angels need to ditch the red cap andgo back to a navy cap at home, maybe link
“Sunday Home”: Nats and link from 2012, but get the helmets right.
“Just Go Back To This”: Padres link. Use the link perhaps, but keep the ’69 stirrups.
The ’69 White Sox were almost on this list. ’67 as well. I hemmed and hawed over that more than any other team.
LOVE the Padres ’71 road cap, too. That’s the team I spent the 2nd most time making my choice. Not much of a spoiler alert: I chose a brown version for the Padres. Which one remains to be seen. Stay tuned.
Ive seen those mashup twisted hats. But in Washington DC area there are nationals hats in skins colors. Ive seen several random people as well as coworkers wearing the Curly W in Skins colors hats. I dont particularly like that look.
On an unrelated note I think the blue twisted Red sox hat looks a great deal like the Brooklyn Dodgers hat. I had to go google the image as well as break out my own Dodgers hat to compare to the twisted hat. They look very similar.
Actually, the Pitt jersey’s in the color vs color game against Syracuse were black..Pitt had a ‘black out’ yesterday at the Peterson Event Center and the team ‘complimented’ that with black and gold uniforms.
Pitt is traditionally blue and gold, however as we all know Pittsburgh pro sports are all a version of black and gold. So this may have been a veiled attempt in bringing in the black and gold for a big game.
However it wasn’t conpletely all black, the collars were navy blue and there seemed to be a hint of blue on the trim else where on the uniform too, on TV they actually looked blue so it was nearly impossible to tell that way. Oh and these jersey’s had the normal sweat back too.
The design was simple enough, though I hate bfbs, unless black is a color of your school. But if you are going to do black, DO BLACK, don’t wuss out and put trim on it that doesn’t work. The best ( if there is a best bfbs) black Jersey’s are simple, clean and maybe only have one other color.
Those Pitt unis are terrible. The worst thing that BFBS can be is boring, and all too often, that’s exactly we get.
So I have to disagree with the “wussing out.” To me, the best (and this is relative, of course) BFBS uniforms employ the team’s normal colors in eye-catching ways, involving striping, number/NOB outlines, and other details to provide interesting contrast.
Good examples in basketball:
A black uniform should be used in a way similar to a white uniform: as a neutral foundation to which the “real” colors are then applied. They should “pop,” not be drowned out.
Yay, more link problems. Try this for the Malone pic…
The Cubs wore those 1937 uniforms last year as part of the Wrigley centennial and by Odin’s raven were they gorgeous!
The trim piping is a little larger that what teams use today and rendered in bright Cubbie blue it looked absolutely outstanding. Certainly a worth addition to this list!
My kind of Uni-Watchin pleasure’,
A good morning spent sipping on a hot cup of java and looking at some really great unis of the past in todays UW. Thanks for that.
No wonder we want to see them again, they are great examples of uniform design. Today, market dynamics have altered the way uniforms are manufactured and designed, but we could learn a great deal about what works and what doesn’t uni-wise by occasionally taking a look back.
It’s all there… if one cares to look.
Thanks, Larry! Appreciate the sentiments. BTW, yes, I did see your comment yesterday on the logo which bears a similarity to my twitter avatar. Nice catch.
I believe Detroit’s 1928 road uniform had a jersey which included the tiger head logo on the back, very unusual.
If we’re including 1940 in the first part of this series, then I would prefer the Pirates throwback to something they haven’t tried already. The 1940-41 set with the logo on the chest, and red, white, and blue hat definitely needs to be brought back at some point.
Yep. The 1928 uni moved the tiger head on the ’27 chest to the back. I strongly considered this one too, but 1) prefer the head on the chest and 2) they’d need a #OB for a modern uni so it would be tough to work that one in.
Re: second part — these are just Jimmer and my “would love to sees” — I’m sure others’ opinions will differ. But you should be happy I broke the “franchise” rule for two teams (Balto & DC), saying the current denizens should throw back using different franchise’s uniforms.
Lots of great Pirates unis of yore. I happen to like the one I picked, but I’d also like to see the all gold and all black We Are Family unis make (another) throwback appearance. Stay tuned, they may be in Part 2 or 3.
I came so close to picking the ’41 Pirates. But there are so many red/blue teams I just can’t take the black & gold away, even for one game.
I love the three-color cap. You know, if you take that design and use today’s colors, I’d be all for that. I smell a concept! A black hat with a white P and circle with a yellow brim? That would be almost as fantastic as the ’71 mustard/black hats.
Stirrups in 1941 were better than 1940, so if I were choosing either, it would be ’41 as well. That’s another good one, but I already had the Tigers (and A’s) with the logo on chest, so I went with the Pirates underlined script. But there are a bunch of great old Pirate unis.
I think those Twisted caps are largely extremely stupid. Being a fan is standing by the colors of the laundry. The only way it can be elevated to “it’s silly, but at least I wouldn’t disown my son over it” is if you’re a diehard fan of the baseball team matching to a hockey jersey of your favorite team, and wearing the modified cap to match the hockey jersey.
Thanks for sharing the AHL Pink in the Rink tweet. It is for a really good cause and like it or not, the pink is here to stay… Just like the camo. BTW, it’s “jStevenO” :-) Here’s another shot from last night’s game: link
Sorry! Made the change (twitter handles are hard sometimes)
The black monochrome NY Giants baseball set from around the 1900s/1910s for the SF Giants. If they are going to go black, they might as well go all the way.
Probably mentioned before, but the White Sox ’83 alternates are not Sunday exclusives; the starting pitcher decides what the team wears at home that particular day. Chris Sale is a fan of that look, as is Jose Quintana, so we see them a bit more frequently than the black top alternate.
As for the pillbox caps in 1976, some teams were on board and others went one-and-done Opening Day. The Cardinals took it a step further and painted matching stripes on their helmets.
I’m 100% ok with the hats in various colors. If I’m wearing a navy colored shirt I’m certainly not going to wear a blue/orange Mets hat as the colors would clash and I would look like a clown. It’s simply about fashion and matching the color of your hat to whatever outfit you’re wearing. I never imagined there would be such uproar and confusion as to why they exist. Then again, its baseball fans and they’re usually extremely pretentious.
Alas, I will never wear one as I’ve been unable to wear any New Era hat in about 15 years. They did something different to the cut where you can’t bend the brim properly and they sit high on your head like a damn cowboy hat. Fuck New Era.
THIS x10: “I’ve been unable to wear any New Era hat in about 15 years. They did something different to the cut where you can’t bend the brim properly and they sit high on your head like a damn cowboy hat. Fuck New Era.”
That ’38 Phillies away was actually one I had strongly considered — love the colors (and probably more representative of Philly colors). Good call, but I think the one I picked would have more (permanent) potential. That being said, the current “Phillies” script (either this one or the one they devised in the 40s that was the predecessor to todays) is so iconic, I can’t imagine they’d ever return to the more generic script with tail I picked today.
’27 Braves look awesome. ALMOST tempted to change my pick, but I’ll stand by it when it appears. I might have to mention this one in my description, though.
I considered the ’38 Phils as well.
“Frankencap” never knew what to call them but now I do. Used to call them “dumb idea just to make more money for the MLB” caps. Frankencap is much easier and rolls off the tongue.
Confused on the “one-shot” uniform idea, and granted I haven’t had enough java so it could be my brain not firing on all cylinders year. Does one shot mean once and never ever again or once a year. The next option is for bring the uni back into the rotation which lead to the confusion
I would love to see the Dodger break out the 1916 plaid uniform as a once a season thing. For me its that they look so bad they actually look good, in the awful movie becoming a cult classic way.
Never mind color against color, would have the Giants in their 1916 uniform setting up a plaid vs plaid game.
Would love the 1908 Red Sox uni to become an alternate.
“One-shot” for me means once a season. Doesn’t have to be every season, but also doesn’t have to be one-and-never-again. Phil’s mileage may vary..
I’d like to see a one-shot Dodgers or Giants in plaid as well.
Phil – Thanks for the great entry today. Speaking of baseball unis, I believe the Phillies have never in their long history had the entire city name of “Philadelphia” on their jerseys. They had PHILA but not the complete name. Are they the only MLB team to never have the complete city or state name on their uniform?
I can’t even believe how much I loathe that Dodgers hat in SFG colors.
I’m gonna have to go take a shower after seeing that.
I think your response is probably one of the reasons these caps exist. Living in Columbus and not giving a crap about the Buckeyes, I would absolutely wear a scarlet & gray Wolverines hat or shirt, simply because I know it would piss people off.
I think that’s actually a better reason for wearing a fashion cap than “my team’s colors clash with my outfit.”
If you’re worried about the cap clashing, then perhaps you should dress around your cap. But wearing one of these things just to piss people off? Still not a good reason (IMHO), but better than “well this Mets cap clashes with my navy blue shirt”.
So you’d rather have 1 hat and plan your clothes around that?!?
Another example; Im a HUGE Nebraska fan but I have never owned a hat of theirs that actually has red in it because I dont wear any red shirts.
Love the article, guys. Any idea when Part 2 will be posted?
Not sure. Hoping for next weekend, but I have a column already penciled in for Sunday (ASG kicks) and a potential column I’ve been working on with another collaborator for Saturday. Of course, if there is breaking uni news, that trumps both. So, hopefully next weekend, but nothing is set in stone yet.
Great vintage content today! Thanks to everyone involved.
I actually like the team caps in other team colours due to the absolute absurdity of it. Keep in mind I don’t take team loyalty seriously at all and have been tired of top tier pro sports for a long time, so nothing in it offends me.
I gotta agree with Phil that all of the designs in the A’s colours look great.
Some colors should never be used some schools, like red with Georgia Tech. I’m more lenient on the pros though. Not liking red, I would like to see the Falcons offer things in a “neutral” Color Like khaki.
I wished the Yankees had kept the white pin-striped caps. They added so much more to the uniform, similar to the Reds’ caps of the early 60’s.
My first attempt at buying a Brooklyn Dodgers cap, I ended up with a Red Sox cap in Dodger colors. I was very annoyed when I figured it out.
(This was long before Chance Michaels’ extensive piece on the subject ran on this site.)
On pillbox caps:
Here is a 1979 shot of the Major League team touring Japan, in which players from several teams sport pillbox caps:
* Pirates – Dave Parker, Jim Bibby, Bert Blyleven, John Candelaria, Chuck Tanner
* Padres – Roger Craig, Ozzie Smith
* Phillies – Tug McGraw
* Mets – John Stearns, Joel Youngblood (also featuring the wrong number font on his uniform)
* Reds – George Foster
* Tigers – Aurelio Lopez
* Expos – player’s face hidden — he’s right behind Lopez
Most notable is the pillbox Tigers cap. I have never seen another image of an American League pillbox cap.
On the Aaron/Mays picture: It’s strange that both players are in road uniforms. Why didn’t one team wear its home uniform?
On the caps in other team’s colours:
I don’t consider these caps to be a bad thing. There are many people who have divided or multiple loyalties. A good friend of mine is a perfect example: he grew up in Oakland, then lived for decades here in New York, and is now back in the Bay Area. He loves both the A’s and the Yankees. A Yankee cap in A’s colours would be perfect for him.
Also, sometimes someone wants to show cross-sport fandom. I can understand a Dodger cap in Lakers colours, a Twins cap in Vikings colours, and so forth.
It doesn’t even have to pertain to the same city. I remember at last year’s Queens Baseball Convention, Russ Gompers wore a Met jersey in Miami Dolphins colours, thereby showing that he is a fan of both teams. A cap is no different.
And I remember reading that wearing a Washington Nationals cap in Redskins colours is now a standard practice for Redskins fans who don’t like the team’s racist logo.
On split caps:
I also like these, especially the A’s/Giants cap shown. First, there are undoubtedly some people who root for both teams. But, also, that cap commemorates the 1989 World Series. There is nothing wrong with wearing a cap of the event rather than one of the teams. Such a cap is the equivalent of the two-team scarves that you see at many matches in the Premier League and the Champions League:
People can wear whatever they want.
Having said that, if I saw your friend wearing a green and gold Yankee cap, I wouldn’t think “He must be a fan of both the Athletics and Yankees.” I’d think that he either didn’t know what the Yankee colors actually are, or that “his” team’s colors are less important to him than his personal aesthetic preferences.
The Dodgers have actually done quite a few cross-town caps. I have a Purple and Gold (Lakers) Dodgers cap, and I know they did light blue and gold (UCLA) and red and gold (USC).
In 2013 I believe, the Cubs came out with hats in all 12 (at the time) Big 10 school color sets as part of a Big Ten night celebration .
That blue court from CSUB actually is an improvement from what they once had. (Also I attend the school and I absolutely hate the court. It’s way too distracting and hard to follow the game).
The main one that comes to mind for a Turn back the Clock uniform that hasn’t been mentioned (LOVE the old O’s and that Ottawa team in FULL Tartan) would be the New York Giants Checkered link.
The main one that comes to mind for a Turn back the Clock uniform that hasn’t been mentioned (LOVE the old O’s and that Ottawa team in FULL Tartan) would be the New York Giants Checkered link.
Oh, Here’s the Ottawa tartan-clad squad from 1889
I know Paul shared this last year and I love this squad’s look!
Oh, BTW – Le Jimmer and Phil – Love today’s feature!
Some of the early NY Giants’ uniforms are amazing, particularly the ones from 1916. Be very appropriate for the Giants to wear them if they play in October again (but we know this happens only on even years).
I like the twisted color hats. I actually own a Dodger blue Padres hat, and a Rockies colored Padres hat that I wear with my softball teams. I have a few other “fashion caps” that I wear because they match. I absolutely only wear a team color hat when I go to watch them play though.
Good call on the Giants. Beyond awesome.
Wrong Tigers jersey. Give me an old English D on the road in Blue for Tiger fans around the country
Was sifting thru the BHOF website to satisfy my curiosity re “what teams wore red with blue which my nephews would never believe?”, and then came upon today’s post. Great stuff.
We’re never going to see anyone wear the Expos uniforms again, are we?
Hats – No.
Bad place below ground full of fire no.
Really? Except for the bad karma – the mid teens White Sox unis – o and x incorporated in the S is truly one that needs to come back.
I’ve seen those split Giants/A’s caps at A’s vs. Giants games since I was a kid. Even though the 49ers vs. Raiders rivalry is very active (sometimes overactive), the Giants and the A’s aren’t really seen as rivals in the bay. You could get away with wearing that cap at a game, as I’ve seen people do it. Ifyou wore some Raiders/Niners mixed gear to a game, you’d be in for a rough day.
Weighing in on the frankencaps. While I would purchase a Phillies cap in Mets colors, it would only be for the sole purpose of wearing it to a game at Citi.
Same for one in the Braves, Marlins or Senat….bad example, colors.
I like the subtle aesthetic. Ya kinda gotta make people look twice. In Philly wearing the colors of a rival is a huge offence. Lets not open up the “Philly fans” conversation, but when I go on the road to watch my teams, I generally wear something muted or neutral.
A fashion cap like these is something that appeals to me.
Say what you will about the “Frankencaps” but if nothing else the NY Mets cap in Yankee colors looked great. It would be the best cap in baseball if it was a real thing.
I addressed the A’s doing a Sunday-only throwback ala White Sox Pirates last Oct. in this piece suggesting they do the vest style they had in 1968-71
I think the frankenhats are cool as sort of a thought experiment, and I guess if an orange-and-black Twins cap floats your boat that’s fine, but it’s a little weird to buy a cap of your favorite team that’s in the colors of their rival. Like, if you buy a Packers hat in navy-and-orange or purple-and-gold, then you must not be that big of a Packer fan to begin with.
So basically you (and others Ive read here) think a team is defined by its colors?
Visually, a team is defined by its colors, its logo, the fonts it uses on its uniform…. That’s why so many of us recoiled when the Royals wore black, or the Pirates wore red vests. I’m not much of a fan of the Broncos’ current look in either color, but when I saw them in their orange alts, they looked more correct to me because I’d seen so much of them in orange; I imagine that people who got to know them in blue find the orange jerseys just as wrong.