By Phil Hecken
Yesterday, the Cleveland Indians hosted the Kansas City Royals, and both teams threwback to the 1970s, with the Tribe wearing their blue “caveman” top and white pants, while the Royals wore full powder blue. Unfortunately, I didn’t see the game, but from the photos I did see, it looked dee-lightful.
As with most throwback games, I had some problems with the players wearing their uniforms in contemporary cuts, and of course, many a player sported pajama-style pants — an anachronism that my OCD finds off-putting. But aside from that, it was a beautiful looking game.
I spoke to Jimmer Vilk, who did see the game, and he thought both teams did a good job with the uniforms. Of course, if you read Uni Watch on Friday, you’ll note the Indians screwed up the jersey patch. But other than that — it was a game chock full of color, pullovers and sansabelts (and a few players even wore their pants hiked up, exposing some delicious hosiery.
Here are some shots from the game (click on any photos below to enlarge):
While this is a pretty good job of hosiery, unfortunately, the Indians didn’t go the extra mile and put the old “Caveman C” on the helmets, instead opting for the current block “C” version
It’s one thing to have the current helmet not match…it’s another to have the throwback cap and the current…undershirt:
Tribe manager Terry Francona going with both Cs tonight pic.twitter.com/D9fN8J5O00
— Jim Vilk (@JimVilk) June 5, 2016
But it seemed that other than that, the Indians really nailed the throwback (and who amongst us doesn’t think the Caveman is their signature look?)
The club also got the NOBs and number fonts correct:
I know it’s just one of those things, and since MLB has no policy regarding lower leg stylings, stirrups/socks vs. pajamas will never be a mandatory thing (since it would have to be collectively bargained). I often wonder if stirrups/socks someday return (where everyone wears them) and teams do throwback games to the 2000s — will everyone wear pajama-style pants then? I hate this, but it’s not a battle worth fighting. However, stirrups with throwbacks should be mandatory. Just look how much better they look:
One thing I couldn’t 100% positively remember (so I had to ask Jimmer for confirmation): Did the Tribe ever actually wear the blue tops at home (remember, in the 1970s, many teams had no gray uniforms, and wore white unis at home and colored jerseys with white pants on the road). Jim confirmed that indeed, the Tribe had worn the outfit depicted yesterday at home — so the navy/white Indians vs. powder blue-clad Royals could have in fact taken place in the 1970s. Although you’d never mistake an oversized, pajama-clad game for one from that decade.
For their part, the Royals nailed their mid-70s unis as well. They are one club that always seems to do their throwbacks right.
The Royals, of course, didn’t need to get throwback helmets or caps — since what they’re wearing now they wore in the 1970s. But the unis were spot on:
All in all, a great looking game (I wish I could have seen it). And while I still enjoy a good looking white (home) vs. gray (road) game, I see no reason why one or two teams can’t return to the powder blue roads (and I wouldn’t mind seeing one or two teams completely ditch the gray pants and opt for wearing white at home and color over white pants on the road — although I know there was some talk that there may now be some requirement the road team has to wear pants other than white, so it might not be doable).
If you want to see more photos click here.
But wait…there’s more
In another game I didn’t see (but wish I had), Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers threw back for a Negro League game yesterday. Both teams have worn these uniforms in years’ past, and the games then (and yesterday) have always looked spectacular. A few select tweets should give you an idea of how the game looked:
— #VoteTigers (@tigers) June 4, 2016
— Chris Creamer (@sportslogosnet) June 4, 2016
— #VoteTigers (@tigers) June 4, 2016
— SI MLB (@si_mlb) June 4, 2016
White Sox throwbacks for today pic.twitter.com/NX9q8fNtmn
— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) June 4, 2016
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) June 4, 2016
— #VoteTigers (@tigers) June 5, 2016
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) June 4, 2016
Quite the pinstripe matchup with both the Tigers & White Sox sporting throwbacks today pic.twitter.com/TxCrraTUVG
— The Cauldron (ICYMI) (@CauldronICYMI) June 4, 2016
Nice, huh? Lots more game photos here.
Well guys — what did you think? And is it time for the Royals (or some team, if not they) to bring back a set of powder blue roads? I do.
Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.
Got a few colorizations today — all from John Turney, who runs the excellent blog Pro Football Journal. John (like Bruce Menard), tweets a number of his colorizations, amongst other excellent photos, and you can (and should) follow him @NHL_Journal. The following shots are from his blog (I’ll host some of these periodically).
Thanks John — tremendous stuff, as always!
UW’s Friday Flashback
In case you missed it, Paul’s Friday Flashback on ESPN took a look back at NBA Christmas Day unis from an historical perspective. Coming on the heels of Paul’s scoop of this year’s X-mas day NBA unis earlier in the week, he documents to progression (some might say regression) of NBA special unis over the past decade or so. There were some awful unis mixed in there, along with some nice ones.
Great read, so be sure to check it out if you didn’t catch it on Friday!
I’m sure everyone has heard the very sad news by now that Muhammad Ali, nee Cassius Clay, passed away on Friday night. I posted one of my favorite Ali quotes as yesterday’s QOTD.
I wasn’t going to say anything about this today, but in retrospect, I did want to say just a few words. Ali was the ‘first’ boxer I ever knew, having grown up during his reign (and also his biggest defeats). He became heavyweight champ before I was born, while he was still known as Cassius Clay, and subsequently became a Muslim, changing his name and also (among other things), refusing induction into the United States Army. During this time he was stripped of his heavyweight title, and a political lightning rod. He subsequently regained his license to box and with it, he began his climb back to the top of the boxing world. This is about where I have my first memories of Ali. I can barely remember his first fight (in 1971) against Joe Frazier, and as a young boy, followed his return to the top of the boxing ranks along with my pop, who always loved Ali. Over the next several years, Ali would win and lose several huge fights (many of which I was able to see either on TV delay, or a couple times live, when my dad brought me to a local bar that had either satellite or closed circuit tv or something that carried the fights. Later on I’d see them on HBO, which had scored a major coup by securing the rights to broadcast some of the big fights). I followed Ali through all of this, up through the really *final* loss — to Larry Holmes — in 1980. By that point, Ali was but a shell of his former self. Throughout all of this, my dad was always a big Ali booster and we’d frequently watch his fights (either live or on tape) together.
I’m not sure why my pop turned me onto boxing (he was far more of a ‘lover than a fighter’) and why he liked Ali in particular. If anything, I’d have thought his politics and Ali’s would have been in direct opposition. During the whole roughly 9-10 years I followed Ali as a fighter, I was never really aware of any of his life outside the ring — it was only later that I learned of these things and my respect for him grew only from there. I knew Ali only as “The Greatest” and then, not long after, of his downfall in the ring. Years later, I asked my dad why he liked Ali so much (after I’d learned about his conversion to Islam, his opposition to the Viet Nam, etc.). I don’t remember his exact line, but to paraphrase, he said something like: “He had more guts than any man I ever saw…and I don’t mean in boxing…I never thought Viet Nam was a good idea, but his statement on it really stuck with me. Anyone who is willing to go to jail for what he believes in has my utmost respect.”
At the time, this was one of the ‘deepest’ things my dad had ever said to me, and it made me see him in a new light too (something that a teenager — I was probably 16 or 17 at the time — doesn’t often see). What was it that Ali said that struck my dad so?
Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.
Whether you agree or disagree with that, it’s one of the most powerful statements I’ve ever read.
I said I wasn’t going to say much about Ali, but I guess once I got started…I couldn’t stop. I could have written 10,000 more words, but these are plenty. I think tomorrow Paul will have more to say on the passing of an American icon.
Rest In Peace, Muhammad Ali.
[H/T to Brady Phelps for the graphic at the top of this section]
for the Ticker
I think our friend Leo Strawn, Jr. has found a special niche here on Uni Watch — and I have another submission from him for this “TGFTT” edition. This will probably end up being a semi-recurring (probably weekly) feature in the future. I’ll need to come up with a special name for it, but for now…here’s Leo:
The Scarlet and Gray version of TGFTT
I have a Buckeyes trivia question for you this week:
Who was the only team THE Ohio State Buckeyes ever played in back-to-back football games?
While you’re cogitating on that, let me share a couple of photos of Paul Sarringhaus and the National Champion 1942 Buckeyes.
This team photo contains some prominent names in Ohio football lore; Coach Paul Brown, Dante Lavelli (whom Brown chose to play for him in the AAFC just a few seasons later and who would be a member of 4 AAFC and 3 NFL Championship teams in Cleveland as well as being inducted into the NFL HOF), Les Horvath (who would win the Heisman in 1944 and go on to play for Coach Brown again in 1949 after a stint with the Rams in the NFL), and some lesser-knowns like Paul Sarringhaus.
This link has two shots of Sarringhaus. The first photo shows Sarringhaus running the ball in what I believe is the October 24, 1942 game at Evanston v. Northwestern. Bucks won 20-6. Apparently he suffered a facial injury during the season because that second photo shows him wearing a facemask during the final game of the ’42 season. Sarringhaus would go on to play a couple of seasons in the NFL for the Chicago Cardinals and Detroit Lions.
The opponent in that second photo of Sarringhaus is the answer to the trivia question: the Iowa Pre-Flight Seahawks, who represented the US Navy flight school at Iowa during the war years of 1942-44.
The more you know…Go Bucks!
Thanks, Leo. Next time I run one of these — it’ll have a new name!
OK. Now, onto the ticker…
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: Oooohhhh. Check out these awesome Shea Stadium paper placemats and napkins found tucked inside a 1975 scorecard (from Jon Springer). I remember those (and I definitely had a ’75 scorecard many years ago). … The Kalamazoo Growlers wore these jerseys last evening for “What Would Have Been Night” (from Kalamazoo Growlers). … The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers wore these Star Wars-themed jerseys last night (from OT Sports). … Whoa — check out Braden Webb with the full-on Wild Thing haircut (nice spot by Daren Stoltzfus). … Check out these sweet Padres inspired uniforms (from Eric Furniss). … Sometimes, you just gotta love Minor League baseball (from Thom Pucks). … Here’s a look at Texas Tech wearing Under Armour Curry 1’s on a field turf infield (from Alex Raney). … It was Superhero night in Frisco (from Tyler #TimStrong). … Check out this very cool image from inside the Cubs lockerroom (from Nick Yelverton). … The Padres are passing out surveys to their season ticket holders, and the author of the article is very serious about brown and gold being the team’s colors. … “We’ve all seen catchers wearing their shin guards on deck,” says Cassian Wykes. “But until today I’d never seen one wear just one in that situation. This New Hampshire softball player did though, on several occasions during a contest today.”
NFL/Football News: With the Atlanta Falcons moving into their new home next season (hence, this is their last one in their current dome), this article mentions rumors of a throwback uniform to be broken out at some point this fall. It’s poorly written and probably just wishful thinking on the author’s part. … CROSSOVER Alert! Marshawn Lynch wore a San Jose Sharks jersey at Game 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals (also posted in the Hockey ticker). Thanks to Chris Flinn. … Check out all the stripage going on in this photo of the Cowboys vs. the Eagles from John Turney. … Also from John, “Otis Taylor with the tackle-twill numbers curling up or unironed. Not sure why their numerals did this.” … Still more from John: Earthquake Hunt in his Riddells and Houston Antwine in his blue suede Adidas Tournaments.
Hockey News: Reader John Muir notes site friend Chris Creamer tweeted this yesterday: A trio of new 2017 #QMJHL anniversary logos spotted at their Draft today. … CROSSOVER Alert! Marshawn Lynch wore a San Jose Sharks jersey at Game 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals (also posted in the Football ticker). Thanks to Chris Flinn. … Patrick Laine isn’t a Winnipeg Jet yet, but you can already buy his jersey.
NBA/Basketball News: I think we’ve had this as an item before, but the Golden State Warriors pay tribute to the time they spent in Philadelphia with the jerseys on their practice court (from Casey McHugh). … This is pretty cool — check out the “Hoosiers’ Reunion All-Star Classic” (good spot by Jason Rosko). … Here’s a great tweet from the Fort Wayne Pistons: “In late 90’s, gameday dress up for Jr. High bball required sweet 90’s logo-action ties!”
Soccer News: As you’re all likely aware, Swansea introduced new kits the other day, and this article’s author feels it’s an early contender for best Premier League kit for 2016-17. … At yesterday’s Copa, the Paraguayan team wore tank tops under their jerseys with a sponsor on them. Here’s what the normal jersey looks like, and here’s what the team wore yesterday. And here’s another look (nice spot by Josh Hinton). Here’s an an additional look. … Here’s the new Ligue 1 match ball (from Patrick Thomas). … Also from Patrick, the new Leverkusen jersey made by Joma. … Here’s the Man City away jersey (replica version) in real life (Patrick again). … Chris Howell notes it’s “Odd seeing Brazil in blue shirts and white shorts.”
Grab Bag: Tweeter James Gilbert notes The Daily Tar Heel (a Student paper) uses an out-of-date UNC logo in their commemorative issue with ladies and mens lax pics. … As you all (probably) know, UMich is switching from adidas to Nike, and now there is a countdown to the Nike switchover on the M Den site (from Destry Sangregorio). … Life University’s highlighter rugby uniforms disappeared into the superimposed ad (from Andrew).
And that’s all for today. Everyone have a great Sunday and I’ll catch you next weekend.
I’ll be back tomorrow with much, much more, but until then…
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“The Cleveland Indians caveman throwbacks look great! It is a shame that most of these prima donna players will not go with stirrups for just one night! Shame on them!”