By Phil Hecken
The Oakland A’s became the Kansas City A’s, at least for one day, as they threwback (sorta) yesterday. While the uniforms looked great, the team didn’t quite match the one worn from 1965. According to Marc Okkonen, in Dressed to the Nines, this is what the A’s wore in 1965. If you look at the splash, and a few photos below (click to enlarge), it’s easy to spot the slight differences:
OK — those look gorgeous, right? Yep. Unfortunately, if you refer back to Okkonen’s rendering of the ’65 A’s, you will notice that the team had not yet adopted white cleats (they still wore black in 1965), and the stirrups, beautiful as they are/were, were not of the striped variety the players were wearing yesterday — they were solid green. They wouldn’t add white shoes until 1967, which is when they also began wearing the featheredge stirrups.
They wouldn’t add the gold sanitaries until that year either. Also, according to Okkonen, in ’65 the A’s wore uniform numbers on the undersleeves — those were missing yesterday. So, the uniform the team was more appropriately throwing back to yesterday was 1967, not 1965 (despite this being billed as a 1965 throwback). While the historical accuracy would have been nice, it was still a beautiful looking game (at least for the A’s, who went throwback as the Kansas City A’s). Their opponents, the current Kansas City denizens, didn’t come into existence until 1969, and as such, couldn’t have thrown back to either 1965 or 1967. But they could have worn gray tops…
Also disappointing, although not altogether unsurprisingly, the A’s didn’t create kelly green helmets with the “KC” logo, instead opting to wear their current forest green “A’s” helmets:
It appeared that every player wore the beautiful striped stirrups with gold sannies. Well, all except for Sam Fuld, who for some unknown reason went with a pair of the dreaded 2-in-1’s. Yeah, it looked as well as you might expect:
It was a good looking uniform the A’s put on, but it’s disappointing they didn’t go the full nine yards to make the throwback correct to 1965 — either that or just say it was the 1967 uniform. But I guess the 50th Anniversary was a more important date. One more thing, the “vest” the A’s wore yesterday was much more like the true vest worn back in the day, not the ‘sleeveless jersey’ that teams have worn of late. Nice touch, at least, there.
And at least the A’s didn’t “invent” a uniform the Royals “might” have worn in 1965, as they did not yet exist as a franchise (or give them a minor league or Negro League team uni to wear — of which the Royals have plenty to choose from and have worn over the years). It would have been great if they’d given the Royals these sweet thangs to wear.
But speaking of teams who “invented” a uniform they never wore (because they didn’t exist): the Tampa Bay Rays (again) threw back to their made-up, navy and powder blue “Padres-esque” uniforms yesterday, against the Boston Red Sox, who reprised the wearing of their own 1975 throwbacks (which they wore earlier this year). Since I’ve written extensively about the Rays throwbacks, I won’t repeat any of it here (but if you do care, you can read here, here and here). You can read more about yesterday’s game here, and there are plenty of photos here.
So what do you think, readers? Should teams make every effort to get every exacting detail (from shoe color, to socks, to batting helmets, etc.) correct when they play a throwback, or should they just do what the A’s did and have fun with it, but throw historical accuracy out the window? And should they (or any team hosting a throwback) have outfitted their opponents with a period-appropriate throwback as well, or should just one team go it alone? Clearly guys don’t wear the unis the way they wore them back in the day, and the helmets (sometimes not even appropriate for a throwback game) and shoes are usually going to look much different anyway — so most throwback games don’t have a true throwback look regardless of how much else is correct.
I used to get very upset when teams missed the details like the A’s did (and I still do), but I’ve gotten a bit more relaxed about it over the years, since I realize a perfect throwback game will never really happen. What do you think?
Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.
I have a bunch of colorizations this week, and they all come from Uni Watch favorite Bruce Menard.
Just thought I’d send along my latest, it’s a reworking of a colorization I/we posted last year: Uni Watch » 2014 CFL Preview.
You’ll see the Babe Ruth Father’s Day pic is there too.
Anyways, it’s the “Babe Ruth Slides In Safe At 3rd” photo, taken June 23, 1925 at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. I had been playing around with it for the past few weeks…and then ironically I saw that Chris Whitehouse/ManCave had done a close-up take it! Maybe he was inspired by my old post?
I’ll have to send you the other colorization from Sunday too, of Cliff Melton, New York Giants pitcher and the small boy playing catch.
Here’s the Cliff Melton colorization I made for Father’s Day. My guess is that the photo is c.1937-38. I wasn’t really going for a photo realistic look, but more of an artistic addition of color (like vintage tinted photos). Cliff had an amazing rookie year in 1937 pitching for the New York Giants, going 20-9 with a 2.61 ERA. Unfortunately, he finished that season by losing two games in the ’37 World Series vs. the New York Yankees, and his career was never quite the same. It looks like the photographer (or somebody next to him) is tossing the ball to the boy…I’m not sure if that’s Cliff’s son or not, but it’s still a classic photo!
Last night I started playing around tinting this pic of Ernie Banks and Lee Maye from June 28, 1965 (50 years ago this coming Sunday). Love that Astros star on Maye’s stirrups!
Here’s the completed colorization of that Cubs/Astros wire pic from 50 Years Ago, June 28, 1965 at Wrigley Field, Chicago.
I really hadn’t intended to do a full color/tint on it, but once I added one color to see how it looked, I kept on going.
And finally, while this isn’t a colorization, per se, it’s still good for this section:
I also just finished another Baseball Magazine edit from June 1918, featuring HOF’er Edd Roush…
…Interesting thing is, they rehashed the original illustration for a cover in February 1924! (which I also edited a while back).
That’s it for today. Tremendous job, as always, Bruce.
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.
And so, lets begin:
First up today is Pete Woychick who has some changes to the Calgary Flames (note I run these in the order received, so some of the info in the setup is dated):
I apologize for the late submission. With Calgary on the brink of elimination, I thought I’d better send this sooner rather than later. I’m not a Flames fan, but I am rooting for them versus Anaheim.
Orange-y red, unique to Calgary
simple, traditional, blue-collar, no nonsense
visual references to fire departments and ”Mounties”
multi-directional, multi-stroked striping
italic or extended type
yellow adjacent to white
national or provincial flag patches
faux-historic (e.g. laced collars)
And we close today with James Liberatore with third sweater for the Buffalo Sabres:
Paul & Phil,
First of all, please let me say I really enjoy your site. We share the same opinion on many topics involving uniforms. They are such an important part of sports. That being said, I was horrified a couple years ago when the Sabres unveiled the Turdburger. Although, Steve Ott forcing Ted Black to do it early was a classic. I have always wanted the Sabres to use their original home whites as a third jersey. I think it’s the best jersey they’ve ever had. I don’t know what the current league rules are regarding 3rd’s. I would imagine they don’t allow white, even though I know I’ve seen Toronto and Montreal wear them in the past as 3rd’s.
Anyway, that’s why I had this idea. I took the original classic Sabres home jersey, and turned it blue. I’ve also used the scripted Buffalo from their 40th anniversary jersey. I didn’t want to have the same or similar crest on all 3 jerseys. I also thought it was a very nice tribute to Buffalo hockey history. I’ve also created one in yellow, in case the team wanted another shot at that color.
I’d love to get your take on them. I don’t have the best graphics program, so I apologize for them being a bit sloppy.
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
Design contest reminders: In case you missed it, Paul is running an ESPN contest to redesign (or, if you prefer, re-redesign) the Clippers. The deadline is next Thursday, July 2, 7pm Eastern. Full details here.
Also: I’m running a contest to redesign the Rays. Deadline for that one is next Tuesday, June 30. Full details here.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: “Interesting to see umpire C.B. Buckner wearing one of those ‘Copper’ arthritic compression sleeve(s),” writes Dustin Semore. “Don’t think I’ve seen an umpire with that kind of accessory before.” … Another Saturday, another Star Wars jersey promotion: here’s what the Williamsport Crosscutters wore last night (h/t MiLB Promos). … Check out this official scorecard from the first MLB night game ever in Cleveland (from Bruce Menard). … The Potomac Nationals (affiliate of the Washington Nationals) will be giving away a Wilson Ramos Buff-a-rine on July 5. Here’s a bit more on that (from Andrew Hoenig). … “An ad for this officially licensed shirt showed up in my Facebook feed,” says R. Scott Rogers. “The uni watcher in me is deeply offended. Killebrew never wore his name on his back on a home uniform during his career. And the Twins never wore red numbers and pinstripes at the same time during Killebrew’s career. That’s a 1987-2014 home jersey, and Killebrew’s number 3 had been long retired by the time the Twins introduced that jersey. Maybe it’s just that I’m a Twins fan, but this bothers me much, much more than all those ‘Jeter 2’ jerseys on the backs of Yankees ‘fans’.” But how do you really feel? … The Corpus Christi Hooks wore Boy Scout unis last night, complete with the Boy Scout logo on front below team name, with a backpack on back with number & name (via Tom Tagliabue). Here’s a close up look at the front and at the back (also from Tom), who adds the back “No NOB, instead South Texas Council & number over backpack image which includes some orange thing rolled up (tent? Jacket?) Obviously I was never a Scout. Front: Team name, Boy Scouts logo & green backpack shoulder straps. Sleeves: Boy Scouts logo on one; American flag on other.” … The Boise Hooks went with a dark gray (charcoal?) uni yesterday (from Corey Barnes). … The Montgomery Biscuits wore Back To The Future themed unis last night (via CR Griggs). … Reader Jeff Funke writes, “The socks you’ve seen McCutchen and others wearing lately for the Pirates look an awful lot like the ones Iowa wears. I sent you a picture back in 2012. Man, striped stirrups don’t get any better than these Iowa beauties.”
NFL/Football News: Check out this tweet from Jeff Nelson (of PSU), of Bud Meredith holding a PSU helmet. Reader Chris Flinn thinks it’s “interesting that they chose a different font from the one that used to be on the helmets.” … I’m sure we’ve seen this photo of Herschel Walker holding a Vikings jersey with the mismatched purples before, but once more couldn’t hurt (h/t AOL Sports).
NBA/Basketball News: Interesting piece here on how Muslim girls have designed new basketball uniforms to preserve their religious culture. Key line: ‘Using an extremely breathable fabric, they created leggings, a flexible skirt that would allow them to move freely, a long-sleeve tunic-style top and a tighter hijab that had a Velcro closure for added security.’
Hockey News: There were a few nameplate affixation issues during Friday Night’s NHL draft, including this shot of Ivan Provorov of the Flyers. Says submitter HT Adjemian, “I know the NHL likely didn’t have a lot of time, but comparatively the NFL doesn’t do this poor of a job on nameplates.” … Paul says, “I think you got everything, but here’s a good round-up of all the NHL news. Probably worth including in tomorrow’s Ticker.” … Reader Jim Wooley was at the draft in Florida Friday and Saturday. “Nothing special to report,” he says, and adds, “Lots of draftees were walking around the concourse after they were drafted – and wearing the team jersey with “15” on them. I noticed that the Bruins were the only team to have an asterisk which I found odd (and tacky).” [I believe that’s because it’s retired for Milt Schmidt — PH] … Here’s a shot of one of the Nashville Preds players sporting the All Star Game patch (from Max Herz).
Soccer News: Although the submitter of this item, Tony Bruno, didn’t explicitly say, I’m going to assume this is a soccer entry: “My daughter played US Club regionals in Greensboro, NC last weekend. That is where I saw the QR code on the sleeve of a U-14 boys team.”
Grab Bag: Here’s another one from Paul (and I know we’ve touched on this one before): The NASCAR chairman wants the Confederate battle flag banned (or close to it) at races. Key lines from that, from President Brian France, “I personally find it an offensive symbol, so there is no daylight how we feel about it and our sensitivity to others who feel the same way. We’re working with the industry to see how far we can go to get that flag to be disassociated entirely from our events.” Wow. That seems like a pretty big step (and a welcome one) from NASCAR. … Even though Nike doesn’t officially take over the Tennessee contract until July 1, there is apparel appearing already (from Chad Fields). … Check out these Packer Mini Golf Hole pictures (from Michael Bialas), which were taken in Appleton, WI..
That’s all for today folks. Everyone have a great Sunday. Thanks to the Bruce, the colorizers and those who sent in for the ticker. Catch ya soon.
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“I was not aware that a hockey puck would actually stain anything.”
— The Jeff