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1967 Softball Game: MLB All-Stars vs. Celebrities

Reader William Yurasko recently pointed me toward something very cool on YouTube: the full broadcast (shown above) of a 1967 softball game between a team of MLB all-stars and a team of celebrities. The game was held at Dodger Stadium with Vin Scully and Jerry Lewis handling the broadcast duties.

The MLB all-stars wore their regular road greys (which, given the 1967 time frame, were just about perfect in every conceivable way — fabric, tailoring, drape, stirrups, etc.), and the celebs wore white uniforms with a “Celebrities” chest mark and a star logo on the cap.

The full broadcast, which I heartily recommend watching, is full of good uni-related moments. Here are some of the highlights:

1. The game had a seriously goofy logo and was billed as “first annual,” although I don’t know if any subsequent installments were ever played:

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2. Although the game was played at Dodger Stadium, the field was reconfigured for softball — shorter baselines, shorter pitching distance, and the infield dirt was painted green:

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3. Interestingly, the celebrities were managed by a real MLB skipper, Leo Durocher, and the MLBers were managed by a celebrity, Milton Berle. Durocher wore FiNOB for some reason (all the other members of the celeb team had standard NOBs), while Berle had a Dodgers-style uniform with “Pros” on the front and a standard NOB, along with a “P” cap:

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4. Most of the celebs’ uniforms were pretty standard fare. The exception was Woody Allen (at the time a popular stand-up comic, with his film career just getting started), who wore No. 0:

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5. Woody’s NOB didn’t include a first initial, even though the celeb team also included comedian Steve Allen (I didn’t get a screen shot of his NOB, but it too didn’t have a first initial):

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6. Most of the celebs — some of whom were fairly obscure even in 1967 — are now either deceased or faded from public memory. Aside from Woody Allen, the only one who’s still active and in the public eye is Robert Morse, who had a notable role on Mad Men:

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7. No surprise to see that the celebrity who looked best in his uniform was James Garner, who almost always looked good in whatever he was wearing:

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8. Other familiar faces and names — both, like Garner, now deceased — included Don Adams and Peter Falk:

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9. The MLBers included Willie Mays, Maury Wills, Don Drysdale, Roberto Clemente, Frank Howard, Harmon Killebrew, Willie McCovey, Brooks Robinson, and other luminaries. From a uniform perspective, the most notable moment was probably the sight of Pete Rose wearing the Reds’ drop-down NOB style (insert obligatory joke about Rose probably having put money on the game here):

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10. Not uni-related but still very interesting: Although most of the MLBers played their usual positions, Roberto Clemente came in to pitch a few innings (underhand, of course)! This crummy screen shot was the best I could do, but you can see for yourself by going to the 37-minute mark of the video at the top of this entry:

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11. I was intrigued to see that Maury Wills appeared to be wearing an ascot, or something like that, during his postgame interview:

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One final thought: While the MLB team included several black players and at least one Latino (Clemente), the celeb roster was 100% white. If any subsequent editions of this game were held, maybe a celebrity version of Jackie Robinson got to break the color barrier. Anyone know?

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Click to enlarge

PermaRec update: A guy in Chicago recently rescued these two old photo albums from a self-storage auction. You can see some of the photos from inside the albums, and help find the family shown in those photos, over on Permanent Record.

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Baseball News: This is pretty cool: an animated GIF of baseball cards that creates — well, see for yourself (big thanks to James Poisso). ”¦ Mr. Rogers uniforms last night for the Altoona Curve (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Whoa, check out this Esquire magazine patch. It comes from this uniform (from Douglas Ford). ”¦ Aug. 6 is the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, and the Hiroshima Carp will mark the occasion with these “Peace” uniform. The 86, which will be worn by all players, refers to Aug. 6 (from Jeremy Brahm). ”¦ Pirates TV studio hosts are getting into the act with the striped socks (from Justin Wagner).

Pro Football News: I know we’ve seen this before, but once more won’t hurt: WFL-era teammates Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick with completely different NOB lettering specs (thanks, Phil). ”¦ The CFL’s Toronto Argonauts have a hashtag on their neck bumpers (from Dan Bly). ”¦ Check out this old, and presumably not officially licensed, Miami Dolphins sticker.

College Football News: In the 1962 Gator Bowl, which featured Florida vs. Penn State, Florida wore helmets with the Confederate battle flag on the sides (from David Dupuis). ”¦ Here’s a rarity: color film from a 1939 Notre Dame vs. Iowa game (from Warren Junium). ”¦ Someone thinks Kansas State will add “edgier” uniforms to aid in recruiting. Yeah, because schools with non-edgy uniforms, like Alabama, Auburn, and Notre Dame, have major recruiting problems. Yup.

Hockey News: Here are some thoughts about a possible Coyotes third jersey (thanks, Phil). ”¦ “Last Thursday there was a ticker item about a youth hockey team that wore 1911-12 Montreal Canadiens throwback jerseys,” writes Jeff Barak. “I do not believe those jerseys were ever actually used by the Canadiens and have written a story for my blog about why I doubt their existence.”

NBA News: The court used for the 1986 NBA All-Star Game is still in use at a small gym in upstate New York. Further details here (thanks, Mike).

Soccer News: Tottenham Hotspur’s new kit has leaked (from John Muir). ”¦ Looks like USWNT player Megan Rapinoe wasn’t wearing the neon socks. It appears that she just had neon leg-warmers and wore those over a different kind of sock (good spot by Brady Phelps).

43 comments to 1967 Softball Game: MLB All-Stars vs. Celebrities

  • terriblehuman | July 6, 2015 at 7:23 am |

    Megan Rapinoe *was* wearing the neon socks, but like many players these days, she wears Trusox and cuts the feet out of the uniform socks. She wore yellow Trusox against Australia, but she’s gone with white since then.

    Tobin Heath does the same thing, as does Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez and a bunch more top men’s players.

    • Sunny Moon | July 6, 2015 at 4:06 pm |

      Nice spot. Never even knew about TruSox until your post.

      • terriblehuman | July 6, 2015 at 4:23 pm |

        I only learned about them a few years ago. I never noticed it before, now I find myself looking for those patterns on the heel.

        • Sunny Moon | July 6, 2015 at 4:47 pm |

          Looks like a huge hit among the athletes. When guys like Bale, Neymar, and Suarez are using your product over Nike or Adidas, the potential exposure is huge.

        • terriblehuman | July 6, 2015 at 7:23 pm |

          And by “few years”, I mean “few weeks”. It looks like pretty much every top player (Messi and Hazard too) is cutting up their uniform socks.

          This feels like where Under Armour was a few years ago, under-the-radar brand that was being picked up by the pros, and it really says something about the products when players are literally mutilating brands that make them rich.

    • Rich | July 8, 2015 at 11:39 pm |

      I just typed a whole message about Truesox then scrolled back up to see you covered it. I always find myself examining the players’ socks ever since I discovered Truesox. It’s interesting to see how the players will fix up these makeshift socks to match the team uniform. I tried a pair myself and it definitely works as advertised, preventing slipping and keeping sock/shoe/foot functioning as one.

  • DenverGregg | July 6, 2015 at 7:31 am |

    Wow that game film is a find!

    None more sixties than those typefaces used to list names of participants.

  • KT | July 6, 2015 at 8:14 am |

    Csonka, not Czonka.

    • Paul Lukas | July 6, 2015 at 8:17 am |

      Right. Fixed.

  • marc | July 6, 2015 at 9:07 am |

    It’s still hard for me to read the name “Durocher” and not pronounce it “DOO-rocher” as the Beverly Hillbillies did.

    • Dumb Guy | July 6, 2015 at 10:50 am |

      I pronounce it Du-ROW-sher. Like the Munsters did!!

  • Bernard | July 6, 2015 at 9:20 am |

    As a Pirates fan I am ashamed to admit I never paid attention to the fact that the Bucs had a gold squatchee in the 60s. What was the range of years for that detail?

    • timmy b | July 6, 2015 at 10:14 am |

      Not 100% sure on the beginning, but they wore a yellow button on their caps from c.1962 through the 1970 All-Star Break (Roberto Clemente, was the lone Pirate All-Star that year and he wore the pre-knit style uni with the yellow buttoned black cap in the game).

      • Bernard | July 6, 2015 at 10:16 am |

        Thanks Tim!

  • Rich | July 6, 2015 at 9:31 am |

    “Pirates TV studio hosts are getting into the act with the striped socks”

    The host on the right is Kent Tekulve.

  • DJ | July 6, 2015 at 9:59 am |

    “Woodie” Allen?

  • LT | July 6, 2015 at 10:45 am |

    I would say Adidas got away from the traditional Notre Dame unis when they were the outfitter. I get your point though.

    • The Jeff | July 6, 2015 at 11:03 am |

      I, for one, am absolutely shocked that traditional powerhouses like Alabama don’t need to rely on gimmicks for recruiting, while less successful teams do.

      • terriblehuman | July 6, 2015 at 11:51 am |

        I heard that some teams some players join the San Antonio Spurs for less money than offered elsewhere. Paying high salaries for good players is useless, obviously.

  • PaulS | July 6, 2015 at 10:58 am |

    RE: the Canadiens’ white sweater with sash – while I don’t have any information to add about the actual existence of this sweater, I found it amusing when I read the descriptions of it and others, defined by the presence of a [i]’stylized'[/i] C on the front. Yes, the Francophone Quebecois can’t bring themselves to credit the English for ANYTHING, even if the rest of the world knows it as the Old English font.

  • terriblehuman | July 6, 2015 at 11:12 am |

    Someone thinks Kansas State will add “edgier” uniforms to aid in recruiting. Yeah, because schools with non-edgy uniforms, like Alabama, Auburn, and Notre Dame, have major recruiting problems. Yup.

    But that’s precisely the point – established schools can simply point to their trophies and former players in the NFL and coaches and state-of-the-art facilities. Lesser programs can’t compete by doing the same things as the power programs.

    I think you’re straw-manning a little here – nobody’s saying fancy new uniforms will transform Kansas State into a powerhouse, or that Alabama is missing out on recruits by not modernizing their uniforms. But the “edgy” uniforms do have a couple of effects:
    1) Get attention in the offseason
    2) Signal to recruits that it’s a program that cares about what they want, and we’re talking about teenagers here

    I’ve made the comparison to a pool table in the employee lounge – you can’t poach software engineers from Google by saying “We have a pool table!”, but it does signal to potential employees that it’s a fun workplace.

    • Matt Shevin | July 6, 2015 at 9:03 pm |

      This may have been discussed in the past, but when Bill Snyder began his first coaching stint at Kansas State, he was enamored with the Dallas Cowboys, and asked that KSU’s uniforms be redesigned with them in mind. They are pretty much a purple version of the Cowboys, and that may seem dated 25 years later.

  • Leigh | July 6, 2015 at 12:02 pm |

    All this time when it was said that we were cheering for laundry, we’ve all been Hiroshima Carp fans. After seeing the “Peace” uniforms, I went to the website and found this:

    http://www.shop.carp.co.jp/shop/i149502.html

    Go Laundry!

    ;)

    • RobYaz | July 6, 2015 at 12:52 pm |

      I’m not a fan of side-panel patches, but the Carp caps with the dove are very nice. I would wear it.

    • Gusto4044 | July 6, 2015 at 2:31 pm |

      It’s unfortunate the Japanese government didn’t heed the idea of “Peace” themselves during that era. Their own actions led directly to the U.S. response. Probably wasn’t a smart idea to align yourself with the Axis powers.

  • Ted Mark | July 6, 2015 at 1:36 pm |

    Vin Scully interviewing James Garner in that screen shot. Still bringing it!

    • Dumb Guy | July 6, 2015 at 4:30 pm |

      Is there anybody better that Vin Scully?
      (the answer is “no”.)

      Is there anybody cooler than James Garner?
      (that answer is also “no”.)

  • Andrew | July 6, 2015 at 1:41 pm |

    Re: the possible Coyotes 3rd, isn’t there an NHL rule that says when you introduce a new uniform set, you can’t have a 3rd jersey for a season or two?

  • Chris | July 6, 2015 at 2:05 pm |

    The only problem you have when talking about recruiting and the role uniforms have in that discussion…you mentioned the blue blood elite of the elite programs. Of course, they don’t have a problem with recruiting. However, Kansas State getting more modern could be the difference between a player or two each year picking them over say a Missouri or similar school.

    The blue blood programs wake up and a few 5 star guys are already committed. The rest need an edge where they can find it. Whether that is a new facility upgrade/renovation one offseason, or new gear the next offseason, anything like that.

    Uniforms do play a role. Ask any 17-18 year old being recruited. They aren’t going to win you a championship, but they’re part of the equation in today’s age.

    • Paul Lukas | July 6, 2015 at 2:10 pm |

      Actually, what little research and hard reporting that’s been done on this topic (by one of my ESPN.com colleagues whose name now escapes me) showed that uniforms were far, far down on the list of factors that recruits take into a account. The strength of the program, the coach, the school’s location, and other factors all ranked higher.

      • terriblehuman | July 6, 2015 at 4:20 pm |

        But that still doesn’t mean uniforms couldn’t affect recruiting.

        Most of the factors are outside of an athletic director or head coach’s control. The strength of the program depends on the quality of the players, the coach depends on how much your booster club’s willing to pay, etc, but you can control the relationship a program has with its uniform supplier.

        Again, I’m not arguing that a five-star recruit will choose Arkansas-Little Rock over Alabama because of uniforms. But it is a way to get noticed by second tier recruits who might not consider Little Rock otherwise, and it’s a way to signal a player-friendly environment.

      • Chris | July 6, 2015 at 4:34 pm |

        That’s true, but if it is even on the list at all than for some programs it is worth investing in. That is the state, whether it is good or bad is up to everyone’s personal opinion, of modern college football.

        Sure, a 4 or 5 star guy in Alabama is probably not going to look further than Alabama or Auburn for the most part no matter what the uniforms are or who is making them. But the 2-3 star guy that is maybe filling a spot in a big school but also being recruited to be an impact at a smaller school it COULD be the difference between Arkansas State and Louisiana Monroe. COULD being the key word. As long as that is out there the push for newer, ‘cooler’ gear will keep going.

    • Luke V | July 6, 2015 at 2:21 pm |

      Recruiting studies have been done that show uniforms play very, very little role in recruiting. You’re team is not going to land someone because of a uniform over a school with “a lesser” uniform.

      Edgier uniforms are more for the fans, who are now buying a new uniform every year, than for the players. It’s to increase merchandising revenue. It’s a marketing strategy to increase brand awareness of programs, not to land recruits.

      There is no correlation between uniforms and recruiting.

      • Sunny Moon | July 6, 2015 at 3:56 pm |

        To say that there isn’t any correlation between uniforms and recruiting isn’t true.

        http://espn.go.com/college-sports/recruiting/football/story/_/id/9523357/college-football-recruiting-uniforms-selling-point-schools

        “ESPN.com surveyed more than 700 high school recruits from the classes of 2014 and 2015 — including 90 who self-identified as a member of the ESPN 300 for the Classes of 2014 or 2015 — and asked them where uniforms ranked in their college decision. Uniforms were the top factor for only 3 percent of players, and uniforms ranked eighth on the list of criteria behind academics, coaching, playing time, school tradition, location, experience sending players to the NFL and television exposure.”

        Is a school going to land prospects JUST because of uniforms? No. Does it have a bigger role than academics, coaching, or other important factors? No. But it’s still a factor as 3 percent of players chose uniforms as the top factor. Sure, it’s only 3 but that’s still 3 percent.

        And fans don’t really buy college jerseys like they buy NFL jerseys. I think it’s more of a marketing factor.

        You really can’t tell me that Oregon started landing recruits because of no reason. The school preaches innovation, where that is on field with Chip & now Mark, or off field with the uniforms. Uniforms are a huge part of Oregon’s success in recent years.

        Just my two cents.

        • Paul Lukas | July 6, 2015 at 4:01 pm |

          The paragraph you chose doesn’t do a very good job of supporting your point. It indicates that uniforms are a minor factor at most, and that a school would be better advised to concentrate on other factors if it wants to land top recruits. Putting time, money, and other resources into uniforms would be, based on this evidence, extremely inefficient.

          As for Oregon, don’t you think the much-trumpeted state-of-the-art training facilities, funded by Nike, are more attractive to recruits than any uniform could ever be?

        • Sunny Moon | July 6, 2015 at 4:38 pm |

          Paul,

          I’m not sure what you thought I was trying to prove but I was trying to make it clear that uniforms WEREN’T a top priority for prospects. I’m saying that it DOES have a place in recruiting. I don’t care how small it is, but it’s there. To say that uniforms have no place in recruiting is foolish.

          Perfect example here:

          ” Dupre concurred. “That’s probably a better example of when uniforms can come into play. If they’re both [equal], and this one school has better uniforms, then that’s going to bump them up a little for me and for almost every recruit out there.” ”

          And to your Oregon point, I firmly believe that they can afford the facility because of the exposure of the uniforms and the revenue it brings. Yes, I know that Nike is based out of Oregon, but they’re not getting the facility if no one’s watching their games. I don’t see Alabama touting a state-of-the-art facility even though they’ve had more success than Oregon on the field. I mean it’s nice, but show the two facilities to a non-sports fan, and they’d probably think Oregon was a more successful team.

          Trying not to get off topic here, but when these kids come out of high school, obviously they’re gonna wanna play for coaches of prestige, good academics, history of winning but like Malachi Dupre said, if a prospect is stuck on two schools, uniforms can come into play, no matter how big or small of an impact it may be.

          And I agree that schools shouldn’t spend the majority of their resources on uniforms for recruiting purposes, because that’d be silly. Schools like Alabama are able to land top players because of their winning tradition and coaching. But for those schools that are in the middle of the pack, bringing in fancy, bright uniforms may attract more prospects.

    • Luke V | July 6, 2015 at 2:22 pm |

      *your. Sorry, didn’t proof read.

      • BvK1126 | July 6, 2015 at 2:40 pm |

        “It’s a marketing strategy to increase brand awareness of programs…

        How does wearing a different outfit every game – oftentimes in non-school colors – help to increase brand awareness? If anything, I suspect it would dilute brand awareness because it’s almost impossible to recognize what teams are playing.

        • Luke V | July 6, 2015 at 2:46 pm |

          The brand awareness comes from the increased sales (more jerseys equals more brand awareness). This is part of Nike’s pitch to schools and the constant variations of the uniform. They sell it among several factors, including brand awareness.

        • marc | July 6, 2015 at 3:23 pm |

          Whatever it is they’re doing, it doesn’t work for me. I’ll turn on a game and quite often can’t readily tell who’s playing by the unis alone. Not even team colors are sacred anymore what with all the GFGS and BFBS unis and helmets.

          I miss the days when a team simply had a home uni and an away uni. You instantly recognized who was playing. No throwbacks, fauxbacks, alternates or tributes to interpret. Those things are great for marketing to fans, but on the field of play it’s getting old and annoying.

          But maybe it’s just me.

  • JimWa | July 6, 2015 at 2:24 pm |

    Cubs and White Sox to honor fallen icons in a major way in July and August …

    http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2015/7/6/8901231/cubs-white-sox-honor-ernie-banks-minnie-minoso

  • umplou | July 6, 2015 at 4:47 pm |

    Some other neat things about that Celeb/Stars ASG:

    They may not have had any African American celebs, but they did bring out Emmett Ashford, the first black MLB umpire, and possibly the greatest showboat ump of all time – Luciano was calm and restrained next to Emmett. Ashford worked 1B to start, but he came in to work the plate later on, and worked some shtick with – who else – Jimmy Piersall.

    They also gave the celebs a ringer whenever they celebs got in trouble, they skewed the substitution rules a little, and allowe the celeb tram bring Eddie Feigner – the softball legend who used to tour with the King and His Court act, where it would be Feigner, a catcher and two fielders. taking on all comers. Feigner was supposedly ‘the fastest pitcher at 46 feet’.

  • Paul B. | July 7, 2015 at 6:46 am |

    I know I’m late to point this out, but in the Notre Dame v Iowa footage, the Irish change their uniforms after the first half. It appears they go from blue with gold numbers to green with a white yolk.