By Phil Hecken
Last evening, in what was quite possibly the most eagerly awaited throwback game of the year, the Chicago White Sox turned back the clock to 1976. And it was, for the most part, gloriously garish.
Here’s several game photos: click on any to enlarge.
Unfortunately, I did not get to see any of this game (only a couple of highlights) but I did see plenty of photos. I also listened to the chatter of those who did have the game on. For the most part, consensus is the White Sox did a very good job of recreating the 1976 uniforms, right down to the faux collars. The fonts seemed spot on, as did the caps. The team even went the extra mile and got period-appropriate batting helmets:
In fact, the biggest complaint was that the players wore the uniforms in sizes and fits typically larger than those worn in 1976, so the effect of the untucked jerseys (which is how these were designed to be worn) made them look, well…sloppy:
The color seemed to match the same hue of midnight blue of those 1976 unis (although the White Sox would wear these uniforms from 1976 through 1981, they changed sock patterns several times, and in latter years, the uniforms took on a much slightly lighter blue than the originals).
Of course, in 1976, even though worn less times than one has fingers on their hand, it seems to be a somewhat common belief the Sox wore shorts (the only major league team to ever do so) often. Even a quick google search of 1976 White Sox gives multiple photos of the Sox in shorts. There was, therefore, some initial “hope” the team would don shorts last night. Those rumors were quickly quashed (although there was talk the coaches would wear shorts, which didn’t happen either).
The Sox nailed the font (and that 1976-81 font itself was a throwback), although it did appear the 1976 version was slightly larger than the one used on last evening’s throwbacks (although that could just have been an optical illusion, or due to the fact the players wore larger jerseys than in 1976, relative to their body sizes):
Rear NOB and numbers were also in the throwback font, and those too seemed to match up well with the originals:
Even the sportscasters got into the spirit, as did “Southpaw,” the mascot:
One minor trifling point — the Sox wore their memorial patches (for Minnie Minoso and Billy Pierce) on the throwbacks, which they obviously didn’t have on the originals. It wasn’t a big deal, but it would have been nice to have been completely true to the 1976 versions.
About the only truly disappointing part of the game/night was the fact that the White Sox’ opponent, the Mariners, didn’t participate (by perhaps wearing 1977 powder blue roadies?). Maybe that’s because the Mariners didn’t yet exist in 1976, but the Sox wore those same unis in 1977, so they could have fudged it a bit. Mariners PR guy Kevin Martinez explained the team was not asked to participate, so the M’s wore their road grays — not a bad look, but it could have been so much better:
So why did the Sox choose to throwback on a Thursday night in August, to a year that’s not particularly anniversary-ish (this would have marked the 39th anniversary of the year these unis debuted)? Apparently, everything is being driven by social media these days — and SportsCenter last evening noted they wanted to have a “Throwback Thursday,” which is quite popular nowadays. So we got this game where only one team played along. The team even changed their twitter avatar for the event:
Hey — if that’s what it took to get to see these uniforms on the field then I’m all for it. But it probably could have been a bit better planned, and they could have selected a team that was around in 1976 and outfitted them as well. Next year will be the 40th anniversary of the introduction of these unis — I hope they bring them back. And with the shorts next time.
All in the spirit of 76.
Thanks to Brinke for a few of the hi res shots above.
Readers — your thoughts?
ESPN reminder: Paul here. In case you missed it yesterday, my annual college football season preview column is available now on ESPN. Enjoy.
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 Eric Sullivan who has tweaks and concepts for the Patriots and U Mass:
Hey Paul & Phil,
Had two designed I wanted your opinions on.
The first one being Pats logo and uni redesign. I hate the current flying Elvis logo but know fans are attached after 4 Super Bowls so updated it to actually look like it has something to do with the revolutionary war by adding the hat and hair style. The six stripes coming off the back of the logo instead of the current 3, as well as the 6 combined over the shoulders and down the pants legs represent the 6 states of New England. Wanted these unis to look current but similar to old pat patriot day unis.
Next is UMass logo redesign. I hate the current all maroon font that has 3 different levels so I updated it to look like the schools new released logo from 2012 but as an even horizontal line.
Love the blog and updates on Twitter. Hope to hear back with your thoughts.
And we close today with Andre Padovani who made this design for the “Redesign the Rays” contest, but sent it well after the deadline (it’s from the Tom Bierbaum/Jim Vilk school of design):
I know its late but I really worked hard.
16 years old
from Lynnfield, Massachusetts
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: “I was at a Pawtucket Red Sox game last week and saw this picture of Jim Rice when he played for the team,” says Stephen Hayes, who adds, “It looks like a 1776 patch, not sure when he would’ve worn this (couldn’t be the bicentennial, as Rice was in the majors in 1976. If it were a rehab assignment he probably wouldn’t be posing like this). Also a different ‘P’ on the hat from what we normally see from that era (the ‘P’ from that time matched the ‘B’ on the parent club cap). All in all pretty interesting I thought.” … The Colorado Rockies have more or less had the same logo and look since their inception in 1993 — this article asks (and polls) would you change the Rockies uni & logo? … The Eugene Emeralds revealed they’d be wearing “Portlandia” inspired unis last night, and here’s what they looked like (via Stefan Boehmer). The actual game unis — and this might be the ONLY time I ever say this — looked better without showing sock. But then, that’s how they were designed … Apologies if this has been posted before (I don’t think it has), but check out this GIF showing the evolution of every MLB Logo over time. At once (from Kristina Cruz). … Oops: St. Louie Cards player Carlos Martinez came to bat without a logo on this helmet last night (via Brendan Surmeier). Seems as though the missing logo returned by the 4th inning. … Check out the hosiery sported by Daniel Murphy last night — too bad it was hidden by his pajamas (nice grab by Mr. DNA).
NFL News: This article featuring Frederic Remington’s 1800s American Football Prints is “kinda interesting from a uni perspective,” notes submitter Jonathan Daniel. … The Tennessee Titans’ nose bumpers have gone from flat to raised this year (thanks, Paul). … Take a gander at these beautiful helmet carts (from PressRoomGFS). … The Cleveland Browns will be going with brown jerseys, white pants & brown socks for their preseason matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on 8/29. … Here’s the 2015 New York Football Giants uniform schedule — note the G-men are wearing their white pants versus Washington and New England (h/t Alex Sinclair).
College/HS Football News: Yesterday, the Louisville Cardinals revealed a new uniform, a one-off, to be worn on September 17 vs. Clemson. You can see it here, here, and here are closeups of the jersey and pants (from Paul Murphy). The press release describes them: “Centered around an all-black theme, the jersey features oversized chrome and red metallic numbers, accented by chrome and metallic red wings on the shoulder pads. Additional detailing includes the use of Louisville’s signature Old English font to highlight player names on the back of the jersey, along with a matching oversized Old English ‘L’ logo on the pants. Further infusing the all-black theme with traditional Cardinals’ colors, an oversized red translucent Cardinal logo is prominently displayed on the black glossy and metallic red helmet.” … Commie Football is creating a “helmet color stripe” for all 196 American college football teams in Tiers 1 and 2 of PUACF, for identification purpose on its site. Every team stripe is representing official school colors, “in some case reverting to superior colors from past era of team history (such as Pitt Panthers),” says submitter Georgy. … For the first time (ever?), the UNC Tar Heels are going color vs. color in their September 3rd game versus the USC Gamecocks (here’s the tweet that mentions the first time bit); h/t to James Gilbert. … Ferris State has some new uniforms (h/t Paul). … Here’s a look at Valpo’s new white uniforms, which they’ll wear this season (h/t Paul). …. Andrew Lewis is honoring WDBJ Channel 7 Adam Ward’s memory in its season opener. Ward played at ALMS (h/t Clark Ruhland). … Not only do the UNC Tar Heels have new unis this year, their equipment truck does too (via James Gilbert). … Idaho State has revealed new all-orange uniforms (h/t Kyle Franko). … Will one of the unrevealed alts for ASU be another “Desert Fuel”-type uni? (via Joey Artigue). … In news that we all knew two weeks ago, Jim Harbaugh ‘finally’ confirmed Michigan will wear 1974-esque all white unis on the road this year. … Hmmm — this flyer for Alabama/Wisconsin watch party has Bama wearing black face masks (from Christian Moffett). This led to a a bit of an awkward word wrap on Tweet Deck (as pointed out by Shaggy Matt).
Basketball News: “Life imitating logos” read the subject line of Saurel Jean‘s email. “Does this remind you of anything?” Whoa. Do the Milwaukee Bucks get residuals on this? … Does this photo show new unis for Michigan State hoops? (h/t Spartan Jerseys). Here’s what their 2014-15 unis looked like (h/t Mike Cooper).
Hockey News: “I found this 1977 Phil Collins interview wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs #7 Lanny McDonald jersey,” says John Chapman, who adds, “Pretty strange. I wonder what the connection is.” … Tyler Earles designed his first specialty jersey which will be worn by the Knoxville Ice Bears on October 24th. … The Dallas Stars, Dallas Mavericks and American Airlines Center have signed a multi-year partnership with Lexus (via Landry Heaton). Also from Landry, here’s a look at the Texas Stars ice. … New jerseys for the Tri-City Americans.
Soccer News: Real Madrid have revealed their third kit (via Tim Cross). Also from Tim, here is a look at the new Manchester United third kit. … Borussia have unveiled their new 2015-16 Champions League kit (thanks to Ed Å»elaski).
Grab Bag: AC/DC are selling sports-themed jerseys at concerts. The jerseys sold correspond to the host city (h/t Patrick O’Neill). … “An American student who helped stop a terror attack on a Paris-bound high-speed train said Wednesday it’s been a “crazy few days” and he is happy to be home,” says Chris Flinn. “Anthony Sadler spoke briefly during a news conference with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who presented him with a basketball jersey.” … In addition to the JMU-branded NASCAR unveiled last week, BK Racing driver Matt DiBenedetto will be sporting a fire suit and helmet combination that features JMU prominently when he competes in the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Sept. 12 at Richmond International Raceway (from Andrew Rader). … In response to the horrific shooting of a newscrew in Virginia on Wednesday, TV journalists and local news stations are using “Color Bars” as their Twitter and Facebook profile pictures” (from Booted Newswomen).
And that will do it for today — and this week for me. I had thought my weekday run would end today, but Monday is still August, so you’ll have to put up with me for one last weekday (until next August). Got some big things in the hopper for college football season, including a new 5 & 1 grader. On Monday, I’ll announce the lineup.
Paul will be back tomorrow and Sunday, since webmaster John Ekdahl and his lovely wife Amy were blessed with the birth of their second child this week. Congrats to John & Amy and their new son.
Everyone have a great weekend (with Paul!) and I’ll be back on Monday. Till then,
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Minor point but it is KikÃ© Hernandez, not Kike Hernandez. One is a nickname, the other an ethnic slur.”