By Phil Hecken, with Jim Vilk
Last Sunday, Jim and I brought you the first in a short series of articles called Days of Yore, in which we argued for a number of uniforms that should, nay, need to return to the Major Leagues, even if just for one shining moment. If you’re not familiar with the concept, take a look back at that link.
We broke the unis down 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). Click on any images below (or the splash) to enlarge.
It might not surprise you to see that in this part (since we’re primarily dealing with mid-century uniforms), I have more choices than Jimmer. Fear not, Jim will make up for that in Part III.
Here’s Jimmer with a short intro, and then we’re on to Part II:
There was a lot of positive response to the first part of this little endeavor.
That could change dramatically once you see how many teams I want wearing pullovers..
1940 New York Giants (PH): I’d almost want the Mets (who I may or may not pick for a throwback) to wear the road version, but I’d love to see the denizens of SF bust this out just once, and just for the home version. They’ve been black and orange for so long, I’d love to see them once in royal and red-orange. One and Done.
1942 Philadelphia Phillies (JV): You don’t have to be named Phil to love that Phils jersey, right? One and done.
1948 Brooklyn Dodgers (PH): Another team with a uni unchanged for so long, and virtually unchanged since the move to LA. I love the satin alt, with the thick piping, and I’d love to see this return (but not in satin) to the mix. Home Alternate.
1953 Chicago Cubs (PH): The Cubs have had a few fantastic unis throughout their history, and some of them come close to perfect. This is one of those (and they even wore it last year for the 100 year Wrigley celebration). Once was not enough. This home uni needs to be permanent. Everyday use.
1953 St. Louis Cardinals (PH): The Cards are another team with a pretty established uni, but I’ve always loved this particular style (especially the script). It probably can’t replace the current unis, but I wouldn’t mind them wearing them a few times a season. Piping, zipper — all of it. Alternate.
1956 Cincinnati Reds (PH): I’m generally not a fan of vests, but this road with Mr. Red(legs) is so awesome, I’ll gladly make an exception. Pair the home rups with this and I’m a very happy camper. Road alternate
1956 Washington Nationals (JV): Zipperific! Plus, if Dad would have gotten the call to The Show, he probably would have worn these cool unis. Sunday/alt.
1961 Kansas City (Athletics) (JV): This is my one exception. I only want to see the Royals in the road version. One and done.
1961 Los Angeles Angels (PH): There were a few teams who “got it right from the beginning” and the LA Angels were one of those teams, particularly with these roads. The halo cap, the “LOS ANGELES” on the front. Perfect. The current team needs to make these roads their permanent ones. Go back to this road already.
1965 California Angels (JV): The less red the better, Angels. Plus, if you’re not actually in LA, go back to being “California.” And the halo caps have really grown on me. Everyday use.
1965 Houston Astros (PH): If you know me, you know I’ve been wanting the Astros to return to this full time for years (and I was so pumped when they threw back to it in 2010). But once isn’t enough, and the current harkbacks just don’t cut it. Just go back to this already.
1969 Montreal Expos (PH): Until Montreal gets another team, I’ll have to settle for the Nationals wearing these gorgeous duds at least once, both the home and road version. This is another example of a team “getting it right” from the beginning. One and done.
1969 Oakland A’s (JV): I’d love the MLB logo featured prominently on every jersey, but it really popped on these great uniforms. Sunday/alt.
1969 San Diego Padres (PH): The first Padres home is the uniform they should return to
if when the finally “bring back the brown.” Perfect in every way, it wasn’t too campy (as later Pads unis would be), and it would work as well today as it did back then (I’d love to see the road too, but…just wait). Everyday Home Uni please.
1969 Seattle Pilots (PH): No, not for the Brewers, but for the Mariners. This road jersey (and unique scrambled eggs cap) was absolutely perfect for the ill-fated Pilots, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t see the light of day with the Mariners. Yes, they have 5 jerseys already, but this would be a perfect alternate road, no? Yes. Road Alernate.
1971 Pirates (JV): Make those caps full-time! As for the rest of the uniform, I’d gladly settle for Sunday.
1972 Braves (JV): I’ll give you 716 reasons why I want these: 715 for Hank, and one for the fact that Atlanta’s never looked better. Just Go Back To This.
1972 San Diego Padres (PH): Did I mention the Pads unis got campy as the years went on? This is certainly one of those, but it’s still a favorite of mine (but it’s gotta have the gold sanis!). That is not “mustard” folks, it’s athletic gold. I don’t think I could handle it every road game, so it would need to be an alt. Alternate Road.
1973 Oakland A’s (PH): Even though we did see the monochrome gold throwbacks once, I want to see them again. And I’d love to just once see the monochrome green unis (so bad it’s good). But that’s it. One all gold, one all green. One and Done.
1974 Milwaukee Brewers (PH): Remember how much I liked the ’69 Pilots road? I almost like the Crew’s ’74 roads as much, especially with the colored sanis. This needs to return in a big way and replace the Brewers awful road. Permanent Road.
And there, folks, is our second round for this little exercise. This one covers the gap from the end of the “classic era” to the modern age, including a few of the polyester age. 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 (1940-1974) you think you’d like to see brought back? Did we miss any? Are we nuts (don’t answer that). Let us know. We’ll have Part III soon, so make sure to check back often.
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 24 & 25:
Raffle reminder: Paul is giving a uni-based presentation next Thursday at the NYC offices of a big-shot architecture firm, and he’s raffling off the chance to be his guest at the presentation and at dinner afterward. Details here.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: From the Virginia Tech Instagram account, it looks like Virginia Tech baseball will be rolling with matte batting helmets (thanks to Steve H.). … North Carolina has some new batting gloves and they made their debut yesterday. … The Omaha Storm Chasers are having several jersey-theme nights, including May 23rd, Autism Action Partnership, July 3rd, Stars & Stripes, July 11th, National Turkey Federation Outdoors Night, and August 1, Omaha Royals Night (thanks to Jeff Funke). … The Villanova Wildcats will be sporting 150 year patches “celebrating 150 years on the diamond.” … Not sure if we’ve seen this one before: Curtis Granderson with underbrim writing that reads “Don’t Think Have Fun.” (via Oliver Lee) … Look at this wonderful photo and amazing stirrup action on the 1966 St. Louis Cards (from James Ruffin). … The new Arkansas-Little Rock baseball uni set includes Phillies-style piping (thanks Paul). … The Minnesota Twins have released their 2015 promotions & giveaways calendar. Some cool stuff there. … Speaking of cool giveaways (and this may have been mentioned before), on May 25, the Dodgers will be giving away a Tommy Lasorda garden gnome. … If this Jayson Werth chia-beard isn’t real, it needs to be (h/t Jayson Werth’s Beard). … But wait, apparently there IS A CHIA BEARD, as one of the Nats promos (thanks to William Yurasko). William points out that contained within that article is the following: “Through its preexisting partnership with Majestic, the team will start making Curly W-branded merchandise in the colors of several local colleges. The Nats, of course, cannot use the marks of these schools, but there will be Nats logos on maroon and orange gear for Virginia Tech fans, for example. In addition to Virginia Tech, the Nats will sell their gear in the colors of Virginia, Maryland, Georgetown, George Mason, George Washington, American and the Naval Academy. Those items will be sold throughout the season.” William adds, “The missed opportunity is burgundy & gold Nats gear. I’ve seen some around, but it could be custom made. Of course, the red curly W cap was good enough for Sonny.” … Opening day for a lot of colleges yesterday, featuring this for the Pitt Panthers (h/t Paul) and this for Mississippi State. … Here’s the uniform for the Miami Hurricanes (thanks, Paul). Still with Nike, last hurrah. … Here’s The Citadel (Paul, again). … Here’s Notre Dame (h/t Tyler Freeman). … Here’s North Carolina State (thanks Paul). Here’s the Louisville Cardinals set (via Micah Brown). … The Cincy Bearcats weren’t just satisfied with any jersey and went digi-camo BP tops (via Chris Creamer). But they turned things around at game time and wore these sweet dark gray roadies with contrasting placket! Wow! (via Doug Smith). Doug points out the Bearcats have been “quietly doing it for a while now”. … Navy had some nice unis yesterday, in their first season with UA. … Here’s Auburn (via Clint Richardson). … The Florida Gators went with standard white unis (via David Doop). … Stony Brook had some sweet stirrups on display (via Michael Schwartz). … Rutgers went mono gray with scarlet caps and scarlet stirrups (from Dan and Tyler Freeman). The USF Bulls went with 50 shades of green (via Dave Doop). … Here’s what Oklahoma State wore (from Kyle Sutton). Here’s another look (via Joshua Dryer). … Some sharp new unis (and great ‘rups) from App State (h/t CA Daniels). … New camo BP tops for Nebraska (h/t Paul). … EMU went with a simple road gray (via “Dan-Splaining”). … As did Virginia Tech (via Sully). … The University of Arkansas wore cream colored unis (from Jimmy Shaddock). … Luther Baseball have alternate caps for this season (from Blaine Barthel). … Here’s a look at the Tony Gwynn Memorial Patch on SDSU. Nice (via CBS Sports).
Football News: Check out this awesome 1985 preseason program cover for a game between the Tampa Bay Bandits and the New Jersey Generals (h/t The Press Room). … Ever wonder what would have happened if The Drive failed? Here’s your answer. Of course, the Browns would have lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl anyway, but hey…you never know. … Here’s the Mount Union football uni (via Chris Beck). … Neat look at the planned improvements to the new Miami Dolphin stadium.
NBA News: The NBA All Star Game is, of course, tomorrow, and the unis aren’t terrible. But in 1977, the All Star Game was in Milwaukee when the uniforms matched the host city’s colors, and the unis were fantastic (thanks to “devin the dude”). Here’s a closeup of the shorts from that game (I think the only “I’d wear that” we’ll here on those will come from Jim Vilk). H/T to CodyTheChicken & Todd Radom. … Shortly after I received that, I was informed, “I’m let you finish but these are the best all star jerseys of all time by “SUPERCAMPION”). … Of course, Jim Vilk has his own opinion of the best NBA ASG unis (those are from 1981). … Last night’s Celebrity Game unis came complete with ads (h/t Uni Nation Blog). Sigh. … Here’s a look at
OKC Thunder Seattle Sonics logos over the years. … “Paul George released his new PG-13 logo – not bad!” says Mike the Intern. I actually had similar sentiments prior to receiving Mike’s e-mail. But then, I happen to like “personal” logos. … Here’s a look at the Team USA jerseys for the NBA rising stars of the NBA All-Star Weekend (via Hornets). … And here’s a look at the world (Sean Golden). … And here’s how they looked together (via Hornets). … The floor of the Brooklyn Court resembles a subway stop sign for the ASG. Pretty neat (h/t Devin Kharpertian). … “The Biggest Thing in Fashion? An N.B.A. Player, of Course” (from TommytheCPA).
Hockey News: Here’s yet another example of the hockey helmet treatment matching what is also done for football: Bangor Rams Hockey. Here’s the football version (thanks to Paul Dillon). … Wow, check out this old Boston Bruins sweater (complete with Boston Cubs patch on the sleeve), worn by Eddie Shore. Old. Time. Hockey. (thanks to Kyle Clauss). Or are those really Boston Cubs uniforms (click the link in that tweet). … “Egads, the men’s ice hockey team at my daughter’s college is going all-in on the patriotic tip: camo PLUS flag desecration,” writes Scott Jamison. “Maybe the fact that they’re raising money for a veterans organization gives them a pass?” … Here are the Stadium Series helmet decals for the LA Kings (h/t Go Kings Go). And here’s an article with Quick & Jones on just that (thanks to Chris Bisbee). … Looks like Q-pac had some camoesque unis last night (via Swedes). Here’s another look. … “Eyesore pink AND purple cancer jerseys for the Greenville Road Warriors (last) night” says Cody Fields. … Speaking of unis that would make Paul physically ill, here are the Milwaukee Admirals doing something to Put Cancer In The Box (h/t Hotel Brooks).
College/Other Hoops News: Last night’s Toledo Rockets jerseys honored Toledo Mayor Michael Collins who tragically passed away after suffered cardiac arrest while driving during a snowstorm (thanks to Phil Burwell). … Thanks to Gregg Tiernan, here’s a look at some changes to college logos since 2014. Some have minor tweaks (color, size etc). … Here’s a very odd look for a hoops game. Not only is one time wearing white tops and red bottoms, they’re both wearing white tops! Maybe some kind of mixup (h/t to Paul and Scott Holland). … Last night the black and orange Beavers became pink Beavers for their “Dam Cancer” thingy (h/t OSU Beaver Dam). More Pink Beavers. … Speaking of pink-outs, Lamar had one Thursday night (from Ashly Elam). … And there was a pink out for Drake (don’t go there), from Parker Klyn. Here’s how those looked on court — a color on color matchup (h/t Sean Calhoun). … There will be another Pink Out (Play 4 Kay/Rally Against Cancer) by Vermont this week. … Georgetown ladies went pink too (via Georgetown Hoyas). … Neat old photo of Morris High School hoops — dig those belts (from Jeff Wilk). … Uni ads spotted at the high school level: Latham Western HS in Ohio’s shooting shirts (thanks to Alex Hider). … Fresno State is latest (and presumably last) school to add a memorial patch for Jerry Tarkanian (from Paul). … Toledo wore special warmups Thursday night for the Tie One On fundraiser. Looks like they missed on Angel Aparicio’s name juuust a tad (from Dan Bly). … What the hell is Bill Walton wearing? Apprently it’s this.
Grab Bag: “I was poking around that military site again and came across the below,” writes Jay Sullivan. “Sorry if you have seen this before but I thought it was pretty amazing if it was made by a POW. Then I saw this basketball jersey with the same flaming bomb. You are so right that MLB is missing the boat on using old military jersey designs for military appreciation.” … Did you ever wonder “What’s going on with the ‘D’ in the Disney logo?” Well, here’s your answer (h/t Jason Hillyer). … John Daly was a little early breaking out the St. Paddy’s Day trou, no? (thanks to Johnny Okray). … “I saw Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Pirates logos being used commercially in Ambergris Caye, Belize,” says Ken Traisman. … Due to extreme heat, Jimmy Florian competed in the NASCAR race at Dayton Speedway on June 25, 1950 without wearing a shirt, writes Graham Clayton.
That’s all for today. Big thanks to Jimmer Vilk for his contributions to the Days of Yore, and Alex for the EPL tracker. And of course all of you who tweet at me, and who send in e-mails for the ticker.
Enjoy the NBA festivities tonight, and the rest of the sports today. I’ll be back with a very special NBA-centric post tomorrow, plus a special audio treat. Make sure to check back in then, OK?
And a Happy Valentines Day to all who celebrate.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“If I knew about the leg thing I would have asked my boss if I could wear shorts while selling food and souvenirs in the seats…Makes me wonder why I wasn’t dating then — picking up some female companionship at a Force game should have been like shooting fish in a barrel.”
— Jim Vilk