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A Look Back at MLB Teams Wearing White Pants on the Road

Twitter user @JCL513 recently asked me about phenomenon I hadn’t really thought about before: MLB teams wearing white pants on the road.

There are no teams that wear white pants on the road today. But it was surprisingly common in the 1970s and ’80s. The white britches were always paired with solid-colored jerseys. And for the most part, those solid jerseys weren’t alternates — they were the primary road jerseys for the teams in question. Sometimes a team stuck with white road pants even when moving on to a new road jersey design.

The first teams to have worn white pants on the road appear to have been the A’s and Braves, both in 1972 (for many of today’s photos, you can click to enlarge):

The Braves stayed with the white road pants through 1975, while the A’s continued to go white-legged on the road (at least for some of their road games) through much of the 1980s. They were doing so much mixing and matching during that era that it’s hard to be sure how often they wore the white road pants.

Other teams the fit this pattern including the following (I’ve tried to find photos that make it fairly obvious that the player was not pictured in his team’s home ballpark):

Indians, 1974-77

Astros, 1975-79 (see note later in this entry)

Padres, 1976-84

White Sox, 1976-81

Giants, 1977-82

Pirates, 1977-78

Cubs, 1982-89

Rangers, 1983-85

One note: There’s a lot of confusion about the extent to which the Astros may have worn white road pants (and, for that matter, white-based road jerseys) from 1975 through 1993. Bill Henderson’s guide spends several pages examining this question — it’s too much to summarize here, but the short version is that (a) the team’s road greys during much this period were a very light grey; (b) they also appear to have used a road cream, which wasn’t all that distinguishable from the home whites; and (c) the only seasons during which they definitely wore white pants on the road were 1975-79, so those are the years I listed above.

Did I miss any teams?

I grew up during the era when this was all happening, and I was already pretty uni-aware at that time, but I never really thought about the use white road pants back then (or, really, until this week). It was just one of those things that I accepted.

It’s interesting that white road pants fell out of favor, just like pullover jerseys and sansabelt pants. Today many teams have solid-colored alternate jerseys specifically intended for road games, but they never pair those jerseys with white pants. Should they? Even if you’re a “white at home, grey on the road” traditionalist, does that protocol seem less important when a team is already wearing a blue jersey (or red, or whaever)?

Discuss.

(Big thanks to Sean Farrell for his research and photo assistance.)

• • • • •

Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik

I’m a Brewers fan, and Carlos Gomez has been my favorite player for several years. For a while there on Wednesday night it looked like he had been traded to the Mets. Fortunately (for me), the deal fell through — but then he ended up being traded to the Astros yesterday. It’s been a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me (and, I’m sure, for him too).

Has your favorite player ever departed your favorite team, either via a trade or free agency? What did you do when you found out? How did you feel? Did you stop rooting for the player? Stop rooting for the team? If you bought any souvenirs or merchandise featuring the player (a jersey with his name, a bobblehead, whatever), what did you do with it? As always, leave your answers in today’s comments.

• • • • •

’Skins Watch: A Native American artist is addressing the sports mascot issue by doing very interesting paintings on football helmets (big thanks to Chance Plett). ”¦ The school board in Goshen, Indiana, has voted to retire school district’s “Redskins” team name, effective on Jan. 1 (from Goshen alum CJ Hague). ”¦ Meanwhile, another Indiana community is also debating the use of “Redskins” for its local schools (from Dave Flapan). ”¦ According to this SI piece on the NFL’s most hated people, places, and things, Dan Snyder is the most hated owner, in part because of the ’Skins name controversy. (As a uni-related aside, the Broncos 1961 throwbacks with the vertically striped socks are listed as the most hated uniform.) (From Kary Klismet.)

Baseball News: The Marlins played fart noises during the Nats’ batting practice. What’s that word that begins with “sports”? Oh, right — sportsmanship. ”¦ Instead of having a singer for the national anthem, the Mets had a trombonist (!) yesterday. He was wearing an outdated Mets jersey with the black drop shadow. And although you can’t see it in that photo, he was also wearing one blue sock and one orange sock. ”¦ Little plastic dinosaurs and other toys have been showing up in the Giants’ dugout. Further info here (thanks, Brinke). ”¦ You know those little MLB authentication hologram stickers? Newly acquired Blue Jays SS Troy Tulowitzki appears to have one right next to the Rawlings logo on his glove. He had it while playing in Colorado, too. Never seen that on something that’s still being used on the field (great spot by Chris Short). ”¦ What’s better than making a highlight-reel catch? Making a highlight-reel catch while wearing picture-perfect green stirrups with gold stripes. That’s Iowa City West’s Kevin Delaney (from Jesse Gavin). ”¦ The trade deadline means lots of fans making modifications to their overpriced polyester shirts. ”¦ After P Alex Wood was traded from the Braves to the Dodgers yesterday, he used MS Paint to Dodgers-ify his Twitter avatar. ”¦ Speaking of Twitter avatars, the A’s added a black stripe to theirs as a memorial to a fallen police officer. ”¦ Brutal two-in-ones last night for Cubs P Jake Arrieta. Cubs beat writer Carrie Muskat provides an explanation here, here, and here. Even Cubs skipper Joe Maddon had something to say about it (Arrieta screen shot by Chuck Rios). ”¦ Here’s an unsual look for the diamond: white jerseys and blue pants. That’s the old Iowa Oaks, from the 1970s. Huge uni numbers, too (from Marc Viquez).

NFL/CFL News: The 2015 Electric Football World Championship and Convention is being held today through Sunday in Richmond (from Tommy Turner). ”¦ “I have been bothered by the TSN graphic that indicates a penalty flag during CFL games,” says Seth Moorman. “The graphic is yellow like it is for NFL coverage, but the CFL refs use orange/red flags. I have tweeted TSN and the CFL about this, to no avail.”

College Football News: Ladies and gents, your new Arizona State uniforms, along with a good article on the backstory. Overall, these look fine — getting rid of the “ASU” on the sleeves is the very definition of addition by subtraction, and the pitchfork on the pants looks pretty cool. ”¦ A taxidermist has used stuffed chipmunks to depict the Michigan-Mich.State rivalry (from Red Goodish). ”¦ Great story about former Wisconsin player Fred Negus donating his uniform collection to the Wisconsin Historical Museum (from Shawn Dzwonkowski). ”¦ The 1986 Egg Bowl was played in rainy, muddy conditions, so Mississippi changed from red jerseys to blue at halftime (great stuff from Al Cummings). ”¦ New uniforms for North Texas.

Grab Bag: Here’s how the soccer team DC United got its name (from William Yurasko). … The U.S. Army’s Sergeant Major plans to survey the trops regarding several possible uniform changes, including the return of the Eisenhower jacket (from Andy Horne). ”¦ New rugby kits for Ulster (thanks, Phil). ”¦ All TaylorMade-sponsored golfers will be wearing this throwback logo hat during this weekend’s Quicken Loans National (from Ryan Lindemann). ”¦ The “Final Jeopardy” category last night was “Major League Baseball” and the answer was uni-related. All three contestants got the right question (from Chris Flinn).

•  •  •  •  •

Over and outta here: As I mentioned earlier this week, tomorrow marks the start of my annual August break from the site. Phil will be in charge and will handle the weekday content, and webmaster John Ekdahl will handle the weekends. Brinke will still be doing Collector’s Corner on Tuesdays, and Mike will still be doing the Ticker several days a week and will also still do the Question of the Week. He might also contribute a lede entry or two.

As for me, I’ll be taking a short vacation from Aug. 5-10, but for the most part I’ll be around. I’ll still be working on ESPN stuff, including a big, fun project that should drop in mid-August (more on that later) and the annual college football season preview. Phil will link to my ESPN work while I’m away from the site, of course.

I’ll also make cameo appearances to preview and launch the next Uni Watch T-Shirt Club design (which is a doozy — can’t wait to show it to you), and I might also drop in here or there as circumstances warrant. Everyone have a great August, okay? Okay!

127 comments to A Look Back at MLB Teams Wearing White Pants on the Road

  • SkillSets | July 31, 2015 at 7:44 am |

    June 1977. Tom Seaver to the Reds. Still not over it. And yes, there is video of George crying.

  • Toddro | July 31, 2015 at 7:47 am |

    Tulo’s glove is pretty worn-in too, I actually wonder if that is a sticker. There is no way it has stayed on that long.

  • BurghFan | July 31, 2015 at 7:54 am |

    The Pirates wore the striped white pants, as well as the black and gold, on the road in 1977 and ’78. I’ve wondered if the league office was involved in their not going all-white on the road in 1978, and then no white in 1979 and beyond.

    • Paul Lukas | July 31, 2015 at 8:02 am |

      Ah, good one!

    • Geeman | July 31, 2015 at 8:54 am |

      And don’t forget the entry from July 2010 in which we found the white whale of the Pirates wearing all-white pinstripes at Shea while the Mets wore the same.

      As for teams wearing white on the road: Actually, teams never wore anything but white pants on the road with colored jerseys until, I think, 1983 when the Indians started doing it. The A’s started the next year, the Orioles did it a few years later with the orange jerseys for the first time, and from there it became a trend and now it’s standard. I posted a comment about this here several years ago.

      • Paul Lukas | July 31, 2015 at 9:06 am |

        About to make a work-related phone call but will add the Pirates to the main entry when I’m off the phone.

  • L.N. Smithee | July 31, 2015 at 7:55 am |

    One wonders what would happen if someone did a survey and found out that just under 10% of Irish-Americans were offended by “Fighting Irish.” Would the U.S. Patent office lend its muscle and influence to remove copyright protection for Notre Dame?

    • Michael D | July 31, 2015 at 8:02 am |

      What a novel argument.

    • Paul Lukas | July 31, 2015 at 8:04 am |

      1) It’s trademark protection, not copyright protection.

      2) “Fighting Irish” is not a slur; “Redskins” is. That’s the basis of the trademark action.

      Thanks for playing, we have some lovely parting gifts for you.

      • Geeman | July 31, 2015 at 8:55 am |

        Haul that guy off in the Paddy Wagon!

        • KC | August 1, 2015 at 10:07 pm |

          Back when my wife (named Patti) had a Volvo wagon, I insisted on referring to it (over her objections) as the “Patti Wagon.”

          I’m sorry, that should read “ex-wife.”

    • walter | July 31, 2015 at 9:09 am |

      Maybe you consider this a related issue, maybe you don’t, but here it is: I think North Texas should drop the “Mean Green” nomenclature, because- y’know- it sucks. Find a proper nickname.

    • Kevin B. | July 31, 2015 at 9:47 am |

      While I acknowledge that L.N.’s comment only mentioned the ‘Skins case, Paul and many of the commenters here certainly don’t support Wahoo, et al. When you consider the long-held, negative stereotype about Irishmen being quick-tempered drunks who are always looking for a fight and that Irish immigrants were treated as second class citizens in the United States for decades, the depiction of a “Fighting Irish” cartoon leprechaun is no different than Wahoo.

      • DJ | July 31, 2015 at 10:30 am |

        The Notre Dame athletic logo is the ND monogram. The Leprechaun is a secondary logo.

        Moreover, the Leprechaun is not a depiction of a human being of Irish ancestry, but of a character of Irish folklore. An analogous example would be if, say Arizona’s hockey team were called the Arizona Apaches, but their logo was the Kachina Coyote.

        Furthermore, if you’re trying to equate the status of Irish-Americans in this society, then and now with that of American Indians, you fail miserably.

      • Paul Lukas | July 31, 2015 at 11:00 am |

        When you consider the long-held, negative stereotype about Irishmen being quick-tempered drunks who are always looking for a fight and that Irish immigrants were treated as second class citizens in the United States for decades, the depiction of a “Fighting Irish” cartoon leprechaun is no different than Wahoo.

        Such bullshit. (1) “Fighting” is used in many, many college nicknames. Fighting Ducks, Fighting Blue Hens, etc. (2) There’s no indication that the leprechaun is drunk. (3) Irish-Americans haven’t been a marginalized class in this country in many generations. (4) A leprechaun is, you know, A FICTITIOUS FAIRY CHARACTER, not a human being.

        More to the point, Notre Dame is a Catholic institution. Much like Vikings, Celtics, etc., this is an example of an culture celebrating itself, as opposed to an example of cultural misappropriation.

        Apples and kumquats.

        • hsmith19 | July 31, 2015 at 11:33 am |

          There are probably decent and compelling arguments for why the USPTO shouldn’t get involved in/end the debate over the nickname, but repeating the “Fighting Irish” canard is not one of them.

  • The Jeff | July 31, 2015 at 8:01 am |

    Today many teams have solid-colored alternate jerseys specifically intended for road games, but they never pair those jerseys with white pants. Should they?

    YES. The whole reason the so-called softball tops look so bad is because of the gray pants which match nothing else on the uniform. It works for the White Sox since gray/silver is a team color, and it sorta works with the Mets one alt, and that’s it.

    • boxcarvibe | July 31, 2015 at 9:11 am |

      ..and I say NO! The white-pant phenomenon is rampant in college baseball, and it looks terrible. One has to look very carefully to identify the home team. And how many times have we seen BOTH teams wear color tops and white pants? Blech.

      • Padday | July 31, 2015 at 9:39 am |

        One has to look very carefully to identify the home team.

        I think you’re rather overstating how difficult a task that is. I mean, at worst you’ll spend two extra seconds identifying which team is which and then matching that to the score bug in the corner of the tv (or the scoreboard if actually at a game) which will identify which is which. Or, you don’t even need to know which team is which, just seeing that white pants team is up to bat and it’s the top of the inning tells you immediately that white pants team is away. Really, in most instances the context will reveal which team is which without any extra effort needed. And at the Major League level, with the recognisability factor of the uniforms, players, stadia etc., it would be even easier.

        All in all, your momentary confusion at which team is home and which is away seems pretty unimportant in comparison to the desire to have better dressed ballplayers.

        • boxcarvibe | July 31, 2015 at 11:44 am |

          Quick, who’s the home team?

          It’s not a good look, even if the TV might indicate who is home/road on the score bug. And I said college ball, not MLB. Its kinda easy to spot on that level.

        • The Jeff | July 31, 2015 at 12:14 pm |

          Who cares? Aside from the 9th inning and the game possibly ending slightly earlier… what difference does it make which team is at home? Just watch the game.

        • Padday | July 31, 2015 at 12:25 pm |

          Well you got me there boxcar, if you’re somebody who experiences sports solely via the medium of completely decontextualised still frames then you are absolutely spot on. Geez!

    • hsmith19 | July 31, 2015 at 11:37 am |

      I would like to see teams do the exact opposite of what you’re saying. I have always wished all teams would follow the Mets’ example and replace all of the white on the rest of their road uniforms with gray. I would love to see a road red Cardinal cap with a navy and gray StL instead of the white. It would be a subtle change, but I just love the way the gray on the Mets’ road jerseys and caps echos the pants. My only complaint is that on TV the gray on the jerseys frequently shows up as more of a metallic silver.

      • The Jeff | July 31, 2015 at 12:08 pm |

        I’d be ok with that too, I think… although there’s a few teams it really wouldn’t be good for. I can’t imagine the A’s wearing a green jersey with gray numbers/lettering. Ew.

  • DenverGregg | July 31, 2015 at 8:05 am |

    Two come to mind.

    2004, Larry Walker traded to St. Louis. Was glad to see him get the chance at World Series play.Matt Holliday became my new favorite player.

    2008, Matt Holliday traded to Oakland. Got pretty mad about that one until a few months into the season seeing that a healthy CarGo is a true phenom. CarGo became my new favorite player.

    2015, looks like CarGo might be on his way out of town.

    I don’t generally get player-specific memorabilia. When I do, it’s usually for players who have retired.

    Given how baseball games have become so expensive and so encrusted with carnival sideshows, I don’t go to games much any more, but that’s independent of losing favorite players.

  • The Jeff | July 31, 2015 at 8:07 am |

    So… question of the day… I remember switching from love to pure blackened hate back when Marcus Allen went to KC, and I was… annoyed when Tim Brown played his last season as a Buccaneer. But I’ve kinda stopped having favorite players now. Free Agency is so rampant, they’re all just mercenaries, basically. I just want the team to win, I don’t really care who the individual players are anymore. If I buy a jersey, I try to get a number no one else is wearing at the time and put my own name on it.

    • Jason M (DC) | July 31, 2015 at 8:55 am |

      I got my Caps jersey customized and put “Capitals” on the back with my favorite number, 13. Specifically because I didn’t want to get stuck with something like a Semyon Varlamov jersey. Loved having him as the goalie. But obviously, he didn’t stay with the team long. AND he changed numbers. I guess I could’ve gotten one of his jerseys for dirt cheap after he changed numbers.

  • Nate | July 31, 2015 at 8:14 am |

    The Red Sox trading Nomar Garciaparra was a real “it’s time to grow up and be a man” moment for me. I was heartbroken, but understood. There was no chance I was abandoning my Red Sox, and since he was traded to the NL there was no conflict in my rooting interests (that is, could still root for his success without rooting against my team).

    And hey, it all worked out!

    • Paul Lukas | July 31, 2015 at 8:20 am |

      Just curious: How old were you?

      • Nate | August 1, 2015 at 10:05 am |

        17 at the time. I was still living like a little fanboy (walls plastered with posters, 80% of my wardrobe being Sox gear, etc.). I guess that was the first time I really accepted sports as a business instead of merely a rooting interest.

    • boxcarvibe | July 31, 2015 at 9:15 am |

      Though I was only 14 at the time, I couldn’t stand seeing Mickey Lolich in a Mets uniform. He belonged in the Olde English D. I was truly heartbroken when he was traded.

      • Steve D | July 31, 2015 at 8:12 pm |

        After seeing him pitch in 1976, so were Met fans.

  • Adam R. W. | July 31, 2015 at 8:18 am |

    QOTD: I’m a lifelong Colts fan, so Peyton Manning leaving was a rough time for me. I ran the gamut of emotions and possible scenarios… Did I want him to retire? Come back and trade the #1 pick? Draft Andrew Luck and have him sit for a few years til Peyton retired? In the end I decided that the ideal situation was for Peyton to go to a different team, draft Andrew Luck, and hope it works out well for both parties, which it most definitely has. Peyton took back the TD record, set the yardage record, broke the career TD mark, and Andrew Luck has the Colts getting closer to a Super Bowl every year while looking like the best young player in the league.

    And I do have a #18 jersey and an autographed football, and Peyton is an all-time great, so those are obviously not going anywhere.

  • Josh | July 31, 2015 at 8:27 am |

    The Texas Rangers wore white pants on the road 1983 – 1985.

    • Paul Lukas | July 31, 2015 at 8:50 am |

      Good one! I’ll add that to the main entry.

      • Geeman | July 31, 2015 at 8:57 am |

        And in 1985, they wore blue and red jerseys with white pants on the road but also an all-gray road uniform. That was the year they pulled the trigger and started wearing their new uniforms for next year halfway through the season.

  • Coleman | July 31, 2015 at 8:27 am |

    QOTW – I’m sure I’m not alone here, but growing up a weirdo rooting for the Packers here in WV, it really bummed me out to see Favre in any jersey but a Green Bay one. I would never root for anyone but the Green and Gold, but I would usually root for Favre to play well against any team but GB.

  • Hank-SJ | July 31, 2015 at 8:28 am |

    The only negative in the photo of Kevin Delaney’s catch: he wears a flat-brim cap.

  • -DW | July 31, 2015 at 8:30 am |

    QOTW – 2005 When Josh Beckett was traded from the Marlins to the Red Sox. I have always had a great distain for the Red Sox an it pained me to see him in that uniform. When he went to the Dodgers, it was OK, but not the same.

  • Mike K | July 31, 2015 at 8:34 am |

    Well white pants had a couple advantages. If they were plain white, extremely easily to wash on a daily basis. Also with the exception of the Cubs and White Sox, the White pants were the teams’ only pants, so less uniform components to keep track of.

  • Perri | July 31, 2015 at 8:41 am |

    Todd Hundley. I cried my eyes out.

    Since then, I’ve made it a point to not buy merch for my favorite players. I go more towards the goofy: Lastings Milledge, JJ Putz, etc. Sort of like having Twitter snark in T Shirt form.

    • Paul Lukas | July 31, 2015 at 8:44 am |

      Maybe I’m just being dense, but what’s the snark factor in Lastings Milledge merch?

      • Mark in Shiga | July 31, 2015 at 11:16 am |

        He wore a ridiculous jersey number for a while.

        • Mike Engle | July 31, 2015 at 3:13 pm |

          But ever as a Met? I kind of remember him as #44 for the Mets (totally in line with black right fielders: Hank Aaron, Reggie Jackson, and Eric Davis), only to go to #85 for Washington and beyond.

        • Mark in Shiga | August 1, 2015 at 7:14 pm |

          Mike, you’re right; he had a normal number with the Mets. In that case I can’t really see what’s ridiculous about his jersey.

  • DJ | July 31, 2015 at 8:44 am |

    Contrary to what Okkonen wrote, the White Sox did not wear white pants from 1976-1979. Bill Veeck added them to the rotation in 1980, but they were only worn a couple of times at home. When Jerry Reinsdorf bought the team and couldn’t change the uniforms for the 1981 season, he instead went to the white pants for both home and away games.

    It also seemed that because of the gradual shift from full double-knit to nylon mesh jerseys, the jerseys drifted from a straight navy blue to a dark shade of royal blue.

    • Thomas J | July 31, 2015 at 1:04 pm |

      Seems they were also the last team to wear white undersleeves.

      • Geeman | July 31, 2015 at 2:47 pm |

        The A’s wore them in 1981 too.

  • Tom | July 31, 2015 at 8:46 am |

    That top shot of “Tenace the Menace” is great because it’s got George Hendrick prior to his ankle-length pants days.

  • Jason M (DC) | July 31, 2015 at 8:51 am |

    QOTD… Dale Murphy
    I was sad when he was traded to Philadelphia. It was weird to see him in something other than a Braves uniform. Fortunately for me, I wasn’t collecting Murphy-specific stuff back then. (Jerseys and shirseys weren’t so big back then.) I’ve been working on a baseball card collection. It’s just odd to me getting the Philly and Rockies cards. But that’s part of his career.

  • Joey R | July 31, 2015 at 8:56 am |

    The ‘forced retirement’ / release / trade of rights, whatever you want to call it- of Brett Favre & the Packers. Growing up my favorite team was the Packers, because of Favre. That’s when my perspective on sports changed, forever.

    • Dave Mac | July 31, 2015 at 12:34 pm |

      Agreed. That was like literally going through a divorce. My entire attitude of team sports changed forever as well.

  • Bruce Menard | July 31, 2015 at 9:00 am |

    Have a great summer break Paul, Cheers!

  • scottrj | July 31, 2015 at 9:02 am |

    The Baltimore Bullets trading Earl Monroe, who NO ONE ever rooted against. (True story: I was at MSG the night the Knicks retired Bill Bradley’s jersey, and Monroe got a bigger ovation than any former player, Bradley included.)

    Reggie Jackson leaving the Orioles via free agency, who OF COURSE I rooted against b/c he signed with the friggin’ Yankees (though truth be told, even though O’s fans booed Reggie lustily they never really hated him b/c he handled his departure gracefully and never showed a hint of hot dog when he played against them).

    Christ, I’m old.

  • Jason M (DC) | July 31, 2015 at 9:08 am |

    Other teams are finally dishing out the annoying music during BP bit to the Nationals. Awesome. Although, I think the fart sounds are a bit too much. But I grant them the right to play whatever they want… as long as it’s family-friendly.

    • DJ | July 31, 2015 at 9:40 am |

      It’s not so much poor “sportsmanship” as it is juvenile — or infantile. My theory would be that if you’re going to play music during the visiting team’s BP (which in most parks is when the gates have just opened), play music that the early-arriving fans would enjoy. Whether the visiting te likes it or not is a matter of complete indifference.

      • Toddro | July 31, 2015 at 10:42 am |

        if it is two teams having fun at the other’s expense, I am alright with it. If the Nats normally do something similar to their visiting team, why shouldn’t they get a taste of their own medicine. Fart noises might be too extreme, but it gets the point across like a slap in the face.

  • walter | July 31, 2015 at 9:14 am |

    QOTD: I was sadder than sad when the Yankees sent Dick Tidrow to the Cubs for Ray Burris. (I was sixteen at the time.) At least I was proven right when Burris turned out to be a belly-itcher of the first order.

  • Jeff B | July 31, 2015 at 9:18 am |

    QOTW – Sort of the reciprocal scenario. I attended Blackhawks @ Flyers this past season as a Hawks fan shortly after Timonen was traded to the Hawks after a long career in Philly. It was very interesting observing the fan reaction to seeing their guy come back without having any real ties to Kimmo or any to the Flyers.

  • walter | July 31, 2015 at 9:25 am |

    I love the dark top/light bottom look in baseball, but it was very much of its time. It doesn’t look so hot now, owing in part to the Sansabelt which neatly divided the player in two. The belt tunnels don’t lend themselves to that treatment; they are too formal-looking. Also, the once-popular raglan sleeves enhanced the jersey two-toning of the ’70s. The Braves and Padres might have opted for vest blouses had the decade been different.

    Finally, has there ever been another one-uniform team aside from the 1976-84 Astros? Did they need to keep extra copies on hand, because of the 162-game wear and tear?

    • DJ | July 31, 2015 at 9:37 am |

      They had several sets anyway; teams usually have a couple jerseys and a couple pairs of pants for each player, home and away.

  • Matt D | July 31, 2015 at 9:25 am |

    QOTD – 1989, and the Mets trading Dykstra. I can tell you I drifted away from the Mets for most of the 90’s and it started there.
    Did anyone notice in the 1st picture Mr. pajama pants himself, George Hendrick, wearing quite-visible stirrups?

    • Tom | July 31, 2015 at 9:47 am |

      Mentioned Silent George up above in the comments.

      Good eyes!

  • arrScott | July 31, 2015 at 9:28 am |

    Fascinating story on the origins of the United name. An American soccer team aping the naming style of a European team started as a joke by a non-fan, and was at first treated as a laughing matter by the league. How far things have changed for MLS!

    • inkracer | July 31, 2015 at 10:06 am |

      What I’m curious about it what names were in the running for the New England team that got the Revolution name if United and Revolution were the finalists for the DC team.

      • DJ | July 31, 2015 at 10:34 am |

        Supposedly, they were to be the New England Nitro.

        Jeez…imagine if they would have succeeded with that, LA Groove (another name that was rejected), Chicago Rhythm (rejected because Phil Anschulz’s executive assistant was a devout Catholic and offended by the name and snake imagery)…the mind reels.

        • kooklaFran&Ollie | July 31, 2015 at 6:32 pm |

          I wish baseball teams would ditch the generic names and do something similar to the olden days when teams were the ACME PACKERS or HALEY BEARS. Instead of the generic, dull and possibly insensitive “Braves” I would have preferred the “Turner 9” (at least when Ted owned the team). Though I’m not sure if they would become the “liberty media mob” once they were sold.

          Maybe this is a bad idea after all.

  • JAson | July 31, 2015 at 9:42 am |

    QOTW…

    December 5, 1990 is a day that will never leave my memory. I walked into 8th grade homeroom just like every other day and then it happened, Simon Doyle told me that the Indians had traded Cory Snyder. I was devastated. I’m sure Shawn Hillegas is a decent man but I’ve never liked anyone less. I kept all my Cory stuff (and still have a majority of it today- much to my wife’s chagrin.) I even went out and bought a White Sox hat when I got my Christmas money. I remained an Indians fan and continue to suffer along as an Indians fan.

  • BigMatt | July 31, 2015 at 9:46 am |

    QOTW – Harold Baines and my beloved White Sox. Over and over again.

  • Rob Ullman | July 31, 2015 at 9:49 am |

    Thinking back, I’ve always been more of a “favorite team” guy than a “favorite player” guy…as such, I generally write those players off in an extremely immature, “aw he was a hump anyway” kind of manner (see: Maxime Talbot). Jaromir Jagr being traded to, of all teams, the hated Caps, was DEVASTATING at first…but combined with the corresponding onset of the Pens’ rancidness of the early aughts, it was almost beside the point. At least the rumored trade of Mario Lemieux to the Leafs for one last Cup run never came to pass.

  • Matt E. | July 31, 2015 at 10:02 am |

    I was 17 when Darryl Strawberry signed with the Dodgers. It had been a foregone conclusion that he was going to be leaving the Mets but it still stung when it was official.

    I’m still a die-hard Mets fan but something definitely changed for me after Straw left. That probably had as much to do with my age & life circumstances changing as well but this also had an effect.

  • Jerry | July 31, 2015 at 10:03 am |

    Here’s the new packers throwback improved… http://i.imgur.com/08sacvh.jpg

  • Gusto4044 | July 31, 2015 at 10:25 am |

    Always felt the Astros missed a golden opportunity with having a different road uniform during that era. They could have used blue on the rest of the home jersey, with “Houston” in white lettering across the top. The team could have gone even farther and had blue added to the pants for a monochrome look.

    • Geeman | July 31, 2015 at 10:37 am |

      Or at least had a grey version of the rainbow uniform. They had one uniform, home and away, for five years. Pretty amazing when you look at the multiple uniforms teams have now.

  • Jordan | July 31, 2015 at 10:31 am |

    QOTW: I was at Fenway Park in 2012 (with the intention of seeing Chipper Jones one last time, though he didn’t play) when my favorite Red Sox player of all time, Kevin Youkilis, was traded mid-game to Chicago. I had the good fortune to be in the center field bleachers so I had a great view of his final Red Sox hit (a little league triple) and see him hustle around the bases and slide hard into third as he had so many times before. After the play, he got pulled for a pinch runner and spun around a blew kisses to the crowd (somewhat out of character) and then gave a short curtain call before disappearing down the tunnel forever. I teared up as he jogged off the field, and made it a point to be at Fenway a few weeks later when he returned with the White Sox.

  • hershky | July 31, 2015 at 10:36 am |

    QOTW: My favorite team is the Dodgers but my favorite player was Nolan Ryan so I never cared when he kept switching teams.

    My favorite Dodger in the 90’s was Piazza and I was mad when he got shipped to Florida. Eventually he got traded to the Mets and I kept rooting for him.

  • Niall K | July 31, 2015 at 10:38 am |

    When Barry Bonds left the Pirates, it felt like part of my childhood died. He was my favorite player growing up, we have the same birthday, etc. That the first time that baseball crushed my soul. I never booed him when he came back to town to to play against us like 99% of Pittsburgh did- LOUDLY. And yes, I own (and still wear) a Bonds Giants jersey.

  • Seth | July 31, 2015 at 10:47 am |

    BigMatt took mine, Harold Baines is a White Sox player regardless of where he played. Fans loved him. Yet Jerry kept trading him – he is Reinsdorf’s favorite player!

    Robin Ventura is my favorite all-time player. Him as a Met was fine; as a Yankee and Dodger, yuck.

  • Jonathan | July 31, 2015 at 10:53 am |

    I was 18 at the time and I cried when Jose Reyes left the Mets to sign with the Marlins. It crushed me.

  • Peter wunsch | July 31, 2015 at 10:55 am |

    Willie Mays to the Mets and then hitting a HR against my Giants on Mothers Day

    My daughter is choking in for Adam Graves to the SJ Sharks. His first game back at MSG wa amazing. During pre-game warmups 95% of the fans were in the Sharks side of the ice chanting, “Gravy”

  • arrScott | July 31, 2015 at 10:57 am |

    QotW: If I really like a player, I tend to keep up a rooting interest in him even when he moves to a new team. Unless he goes to a particular rival. So Doug Mientkiewicz remained my guy when he went to the Red Sox. But when A. J. Pierzynski went to the White Sox, he was dead to me.

    So, like, if the Nats unload Ryan Zimmerman, I’ll likely remain a Zimmerman fan, and root for him if he’s at bat even against my favored teams, unless he winds up in Philly, in which case I’ll hate him with the same white-hot passion that burns in my heart for all of Philadelphia’s players.

  • Drew | July 31, 2015 at 10:58 am |

    When I was 9, David Justice was traded from the Braves to the Indians at the deadline and I was heartbroken. I had just gotten a signed Justice picture and large poster for my room which I still have. But sending off the 95 world series hero the following season was an all time low for me. I still liked Justice through his career but it was Andruw Jones who really eased the pain.

    • Chris Holder | July 31, 2015 at 12:07 pm |

      I can relate on this one. I remember as a 12 year old, this being the first time a trade upset me. I grew up in north Alabama, big Braves country, and every kid I knew wanted to wear #23 because of Justice. It was made worse when Kenny Lofton (who the Braves received in the trade) seemed to hate being in Atlanta.

      The only thing worse would have been trading Chipper at some point. I followed his career from the minors to the very end. It was refreshing to see a guy never change teams.

  • -Vince | July 31, 2015 at 11:02 am |

    I went to The Catholic University of America, and I always wished they would use something like this as their football helmet logo.
    http://i.imgur.com/5FPqc2l.png
    Instead they used a wishbone-C… such a cop-out design.

  • Mark in Shiga | July 31, 2015 at 11:22 am |

    The thing that gets me about those gold 1970s A’s uniforms is how the number on the back is in a sturdy block font and the one on the front is in the polar-opposite Expos’ font. I love the Expos’ number font — why on Earth did they drop it? — but if you’re going to use it, you really have to use it on both the front and the back.

  • Eric Romain | July 31, 2015 at 11:23 am |

    Honestly I never had a player leave that I really cared about.

    My sports-following childhood spanned the late 80s through the 90s. My favorite players were Detroit Tigers Alan Trammell, Red Wings, Yzerman/Fedorov/Lidstrom. Lions Barry Sanders. All of them spent their entire career with their teams (except Fedorov who left after over a decade with the team and I was in college old enough to not be impacted).

  • Mario | July 31, 2015 at 11:28 am |

    QOTD…Griffey going back home to Cincinnati… A waste of my 2000s not seeing the kid play along side Buhner and Edgar …it was bittersweet when he came back to Seattle but the years had already caught up to him… Still rooted for him, even in his brief stop in the south side of Chicago…

  • Jason | July 31, 2015 at 11:34 am |

    Paul,

    Did you really think we wouldn’t notice the Indians picture contained another great find? How about the picture contained a view of the combo artificial turf IF with the grass OF at Comiskey Park. I am not sure but I think that it was only in place for 1 or 2 seasons and there does not seem to be a lot of pictures on the web.

    • Paul Lukas | July 31, 2015 at 12:10 pm |

      Good point!

      • PaulS | July 31, 2015 at 1:58 pm |

        The 70s was a very dark time in baseball, indeed. Just not a fan of the dark top/white pants look, period. Couple that with the long hair, stirrups pulled up into nothing but thin stripes, and the sacrilege of plastic grass in Comiskey Park, and it becomes one of the worst things ever captured on film (outside of, you know, death and such).

        • Geeman | July 31, 2015 at 2:29 pm |

          Sure, the turf was bad, but the uniforms were not. The A’s in gold jerseys and white pants was such a great look that they don’t even wear grey pants with the gold jerseys now even though they could on the road.

          And at least players wore stirrups then. The lack of any kind of visible hosiery on the uniforms now just makes them look atrocious.

          No, the ’70s were good. Players stayed with the same team for years and you know that 50 homers was legit.

        • Geeman | July 31, 2015 at 2:31 pm |

          And the All-Star Game meant something, a lot of the very best athletes still played baseball, and when you got into the postseason you earned it. I could go on.

      • Paul K | July 31, 2015 at 6:13 pm |

        The fake grass at Comiskey was called Sox Sod. It was there from 1970 – 1975. One of the first things Biil Veeck did when he repurchased the team was to have it ripped out and replaced with real grass.

    • mike 2 | July 31, 2015 at 5:33 pm |

      I spotted the young Dennis Eckersley and missed the turf entirely

  • Kirby | July 31, 2015 at 11:40 am |

    Minnesota fan here. I don’t have any heartbreaking instances of viewing my favorite player on another team.

    North Stars: OK, many of them to Dallas. Ha. It was nice to see Neal Broten go elsewhere and win a cup. Maybe I’d have felt differently if the team was still in Minnesota.

    Wild: No

    Wolves: No. KG was never going to win a title here. I was happy he got a shot.

    Vikes: Not really. I suppose Cris Carter as a Dolphin was “weird” but he was past his prime and I did not care too much.

    Twins: Not really. Kirby going elsewhere would have been tough. But it did not happen. Chuck Knoblauch before he stopped being able to throw and became a turd? Kinda but I forgave all players from the two WS teams. Johan Santana? I don’t think he was around long enough for me to really be upset.

  • Clarybird | July 31, 2015 at 11:42 am |

    Not a nit: “The U.S. Army’s Sergeant Major plans to survey the trops…”

  • ChrisH | July 31, 2015 at 11:56 am |

    QoTW:
    Wearing my Kevin Harvick #29 gear shows the world I’m no front-runner :)
    I thought he’d be a lifer at RCR.
    I felt sad but not surprised to learn that Philadelphia MLB cut Steve Carlton, but remained a loyal fan of the team.
    I quit rooting for Philadelphia NFL when Reggie White was not re-signed. I used my fan gear for yard and automotive work until they became un-wearable or unusable.

  • Chris | July 31, 2015 at 12:07 pm |

    I am a graduate of North Texas, so I watched the uniform reveal video linked here. It’s OK, not great, not awful. But what caught my eye during the video was the two handed glove salute at the 1:15 mark. Two thoughts:
    1) Kinda sad their gloves have Nike’s mark, not their own.
    2) Nike’s word mark looks dated. Are they so busy updating everyone else’s look that they forgot their own? Or is it just me? I think the swoosh alone is still fine, but the word mark looks ancient.

    • SWC Susan | July 31, 2015 at 12:26 pm |

      I thought the same thing about the gloves… could not be bothered to make a mean green logo on the gloves.

  • quarlie | July 31, 2015 at 12:26 pm |

    I’m not much of a traditionalist, but it’s weird to see two baseball teams wearing white pants.

    QOTW: When the Indians traded Victor Martinez, I stopped watching for the rest of the season. I guess that wasn’t much of a sacrifice, since they went 65-97 that year. I’m still a fan of Victor when he isn’t facing the Tribe.

    My dad gave up on the Indians for decades when they traded Rocky Colavito. I don’t think he really followed the team again until the Jacobs Field era.

  • Ted E | July 31, 2015 at 12:37 pm |

    QoTW:

    1. Carlton Fisk, signing with the White Sox and the one day late via the mail fiasco. Still love the Sox

    2. Ray Bourque to Colorado. Even know the reason why, happy that he had a chance at a ring, still kinda hurt.

  • Thomas J | July 31, 2015 at 1:00 pm |

    QOTW: I think the worst was actually a broadcaster. I still hate Wayne Larrivee for switching from the Bears to the enemy North of the border.

    While we are on the subject of white pants on the road, how about the even rarer phenomenon of non-white pants at home? Especially paired with a white jersey. To my knowledge there was only the late 70’s Pirates and White SOx and the 1936 Reds.

  • Derek | July 31, 2015 at 1:04 pm |

    Re: QOTW
    Gaylord Perry traded from the Giants
    Will Clark leaving the Giants
    Joe Montana leaving the 49ers
    Yoenis Cespedes traded from the A’s
    Ichiro leaving the Mariners

  • Matthew | July 31, 2015 at 1:33 pm |

    QOTW: I’ve never really been one for player-specific merch, but it happened to me for the first time this week. My #1 team is the Cubs, but I’m also a fan of my adopted hometown Rockies. Last year I bought a (correctly spelled) Tulowitzki jersey. He attended Cal State Long Beach at the same time that I did (Go Dirtbags!), so I’ve been a fan for a while. It was kind of a bummer that he provoked some trade drama the past few years, but since I’m not a fanatical Rockies fan who feels betrayed, I’ll keep wearing the jersey.

  • Ryan | July 31, 2015 at 1:57 pm |

    QotW: I guess considering my town has had MLB & NHL teams for the past 25+ years, the more relevant examples I can provide are from the NFL & NBA. Joe Montana was my favorite football player in the late ’80s & early ’90s (when I started watching it), so while I did continue to follow Steve Young & the Niners (they remained my favorite team thereafter), I also began to pull for the Chiefs a tad. Michael Jordan was everyone’s favorite player around then, too; I started to root for Shaq, Penny, & the Magic during his first retirement, and gave up the notion of having a favorite team after his 2nd.

  • Charles N. | July 31, 2015 at 2:19 pm |

    QOTD: To be honest, the trade that left me the most upset happened just last month, when the Blackhawks shocked their fanbase and shipped Brandon Saad to Columbus. I think the reason this move rocked me so hard is that I’d been fed a steady diet of “They’ll sign him no matter what it takes” from the organization and every media outlet in town—it seemed like a forgone conclusion exactly which guys would be gone, and he was never supposed to be one. Even though he was a Blackhawk a short time, he was still an integral part of two Stanley Cups and seemed to be a cornerstone of the franchise for the next decade.

    I have a Saad bobblehead, which I plan to keep because of his aforementioned importance to the championship teams.

  • Bob | July 31, 2015 at 2:23 pm |

    QotW: October 1974. The Yankees traded Bobby Murcer to the Giants for Bobby Bonds. I was 18 and was absolutely crushed. I never stopped rooting for him during his time with the Giants and the Cubs and never felt the same way about any player since.

  • Gary-O | July 31, 2015 at 2:25 pm |

    I was twelve when Joe Kapp left me for the Patriots. Seeing him in a Patriots uniform still gives me pause.

  • mike 2 | July 31, 2015 at 2:25 pm |

    QOTD: When the Leafs traded Lanny McDonald to the fucking Colorado Rockies in 1979. Because everybody knew it wasn’t a hockey move, it was the owner deliberately trying to destroy Sittler. I still remember watching the first Saturday night game after the trade, Sittler had ripped the “C” off his jersey and was in tears during the anthem.

    Everything turned out fine, McDonald got his cup in Calgary, both players (and Salming) made the Hall of Fame, and the Leafs remained cursed 36 years later.

  • mike 2 | July 31, 2015 at 2:27 pm |

    Also: it didn’t affect me personally but Gretzky’s trade in 1989 rocked Edmonton sports fandom. Fortunately they won the cup the next year with Messier still in place, and I’d suggest that Messier is a bigger hero in Edmonton to this day.

  • RobYaz | July 31, 2015 at 2:50 pm |

    When the Mets traded away everyone who was on the 1986 team.

  • Will Hamar | July 31, 2015 at 2:53 pm |

    When big Z Left the Cavaliers in 2010. Growing up in Cleveland being a tall white kid, I looked up to the tall white guy on the basketball team. He was drafted when I was in kindergarten and played with the cave until I graduated high school so I grew up with him. I never blamed him for trying to win a ring with miami. After how much he sacrificed for this city, he deserves a ring.

  • Winter | July 31, 2015 at 3:13 pm |

    With the Tampa Bay Buccanneers in the news today naming Jameis Winston the starter, I am reminded of the question I really want to have answered:

    Who exactly thought their current uniform set was in any way an improvement over the ones they wore when they won the Super Bowl? This current set is just laughably bad.

    • The Jeff | July 31, 2015 at 3:24 pm |

      I assume that decision was made by the owner’s grandson’s best friend. AKA, a random 8yr old.

      I don’t hate the current uniform as much as everyone else… but it’s definitely a step down from the previous version.

  • Mike Engle | July 31, 2015 at 3:26 pm |

    QOTW
    I’ve been a hockey fan since I was 9, and I always appreciated the Habs’ history, but I REALLY got into them starting with the 2010 playoff run.
    Trading away Mike Cammalleri REALLY REALLY hurt. There aren’t ever too many Jews in hockey, but he’s one, and good lord was he fantastic as a Hab. I still see that swinging baseball goal against Pittsburgh. And to see him get traded during a game for René freaking Bourque. Ugh. Cammalleri called out his team for playing like losers, and he was right! Leaders have to admit hard truths to fire everybody up. Sure, trades happen, but trading him during the second intermission really pushed it over the edge.
    So how did I deal with it? I wrote a piece for Teebz’s hockey blog, ignored the rest of the season as a lost cause, and looked forward to Pierre Gauthier getting fired (he did!). I also made a promise to myself never to buy René Bourque merchandise. My Cammy jersey is still in my repertoire. It’s the blue centennial one. Still a Habs diehard!

  • Mike Chamernik | July 31, 2015 at 3:48 pm |

    Great stories, everyone.

    It’s really cool how we all have our guys, the players who mean something to us for different reasons. It sucks to be attached to a team and form a bond with certain players (you might not know them personally but you watch them, read about them, look up their stats, listen to them in interviews, etc.), only to see them depart.

  • Graham | July 31, 2015 at 4:06 pm |

    I’m sure it’s been covered here before, but TSN does change the “Flag” graphic on their CFL telecasts to pink in Pinktober (when the refs throw pink flags). Gross.

  • Anthony Nuccio | July 31, 2015 at 5:14 pm |

    QOTW: I’m a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan and was a supporter of Ryan Theriot. I used to own a t-shirt with his NOB based on the blue third jersey, but I think I gave it to Goodwill a few years after he was traded.

  • John English | July 31, 2015 at 5:33 pm |

    Where did that Iowa Oaks shot come from? Looks like video.

  • daveclt | July 31, 2015 at 9:27 pm |

    In 1987, the Pirates traded very popular catcher Tony Pena to the Cardinals for Mike LaValliere, Mike Dunne, and Andy Van Slyke. I was 14 at the time and the trade sticks out not only because I was a fan of Pena, but because I found out about it in an emergency news alert scroll at the bottom of a weekday TV show.

    Instead of thinking, wow Pittsburgh is a serious sports town, to use an emergency news alert for a baseball trade, I just thought wow this is big news.

    The trade ended up being great for the Pirates, because it literally made them strong up the middle. And it was a catalyst to building a great early 90s team.

    I was disappointed, but not heartbroken when Pena left. But I quickly got over it as Van Slyke soon became my favorite player.

    • Joe W | August 1, 2015 at 1:52 am |

      I was 10 when this trade happened, and for whatever reason I felt compelled to write a letter to Syd Thrift (The Pirates’ GM at the time). I’m guessing maybe as a short-sighted 10 year old I couldn’t possibly fathom why you would trade away your only established star player! Anyhow, I actually got a letter back that was very thoughtful and personalized, where Syd outlined how he saw each of the players helping the Pirates in the years to come (and for the most part he was right!). I can’t imagine any GM in this day and age bothering themselves with a reply (especially since my letter was hand-written, and obviously from a young kid).

  • jedi54 | July 31, 2015 at 9:52 pm |

    The Mean Green unis look good. If they take the strips off the britches and we would be okay!!

  • Mark | August 1, 2015 at 4:28 am |

    “The U.S. Army’s Sergeant Major” should be “Sergeant Major of the Army.” Sergeant Major of the Army is its own rank, separate from a normal Sergeant Major.

  • Doolin | August 1, 2015 at 5:14 am |

    Living in Indy but being an NHL fan, I really don’t have a “favorite team” but I was always a Brett Hull fan during his playing days and I would follow him where he went. And yes, I looked the other way when his skate was (allegedly) in the crease. I SAW NOTHING. LOL

  • kooklaFran&Ollie | August 1, 2015 at 8:18 am |

    Looks like “while the cat’s away the mice will sleep in and open up shop later than normal”.

  • Sam T. | August 1, 2015 at 9:48 pm |

    The Mets trombonist was not wearing an outdated jersey. He was wearing a vintage retro Mets jersey.

  • KDub | August 1, 2015 at 10:31 pm |

    My favorite player when I was in high school was Gorman Thomas. One Saturday my brother and I were watching the “Game of the Week”. The announcer said, “There’s been a major trade in the American League. We’ll tell you about it after this message.” I just had a feeling. I turned to my brother and said, “They traded Gorman.” When they came back, they said Thomas had been traded to Cleveland for Rick Miller. I got up, grabbed my Brewers hat, went outside and promptly torched it. I’ve never forgiven them…