Brewers and Pirates Turn Back the Clock

Paul here, still pinch-hitting for Phil this weekend.

The Brewers and Pirates wore late-1990s throwbacks last night in Milwaukee. The Brew Crew’s unis were designed back in the day by longtime Uni Watch pal/ally Todd Radom, who I’m sure enjoyed seeing his creation back on the diamond.

Most of the players went low-cuffed, which makes sense, since we’re talking about a late-’90s look here. A few went high-cuffed, and Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison wore period-inappropriate striped socks:

You can see lots of additional photos here.

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“You sunk my battleship!”: What’s the dealio with these 1940 Louisville Colonels players wearing alpha-numeric uni designations? Turns out it was based on their positions and their status on the depth chart. The starting second baseman would wear 4-A, the primary backup would wear 4-B, and so on. It was supposed to make things easier for fans but ended up being more trouble than it was worth.

This all came to light thanks to some home movie footage that was recently discovered. Further info here and here, and you can see the home movie footage below.

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Click to enlarge

Bearly there: Yesterday some friends and I went to the New Museum, where we saw an exhibit about collections and the collectors who collect them. The show-stopper was a room filled with 3,000 old photos of people posing with teddy bears, all collected over many years by one person. There were musicians with bears, people with guns and bears, families with bears, children with bears, grown-ups with bears, naked people with bears — pretty much every teddy bear-inclusive situation you can imagine.

Including sports teams with bears. The great thing about the photo shown above is that the bear, who’s in the center of the photo, in front of the keeper, is wearing the same striped jersey as the soccer players!

There was also a baseball team with a bear, a basketball team with a bear, a soccer or rugby team with a bear (note that the bear’s stripes are horizontal while the players’ stripes are vertical), and more. I have no idea why posing with a bear became a thing, but it definitely appears to have been a thing. Weirdly endearing.

For more on the bear photos and the woman who collected them, look here.

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The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: The Mets retired Mike Piazza’s No. 31 last night. Players wore Piazza patches on their sleeves and caps. … The Indianapolis Indians wore Negro Leagues throwbacks on Friday night. Here’s some video footage. … Charleston RiverDogs president emeritus Mike Veeck, whose family helped create the Chisox leisure suit design, has responded to the Chris Sale incident by issuing an “ex-Veeck-utive order” that all RiverDogs jerseys will have collars for the rest of the season. “Mike was out of town, so it took a few days to make this happen, but better late than never,” says team spokesman Nate Kurant. … Mariners closer Steve Cishek had his left stirrup come untucked yet again yesterday. Something like the fourth or fifth time that’s happened this season (from Paul Demay). … Red vs. red! That’s Lebanon vs. Alton in the New Hampshire American Legion state tourney (from Tris Wykes). … Here’s one of those time-lapse GIFs, this one showing the evolution of MLB team logos (from Scott, who didn’t give his last name). … Here’s Giants P Madison Bumgarner next to a Lego version of himself (from Nathan Reid).

NFL News: Check out this shot from a 1984 game, which appears to show a Chargers player with two Band-Aids on his helmet. “Maybe that’s how they treated concussions back then,” quips Gene Sanny. … Good article on the electric football championships (from Tommy Turner). … The Cowboys are adding a helmet decal to show solidarity with the Dallas Police Dept. and the local community, but only during practice (from Chris Mycoskie).

College Football News: This is supposedly Michigan’s new number font. We’ll find out for sure on Tuesday afternoon, when the unveiling is scheduled to take place (from Seth Gladstein). … I think we’ve already seen this, but just in case: New uniforms for Appalachian State (from Chris Daniels).

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Over and out: Tomorrow I start my annual August break from the site. Phil will be running the show here, and webmaster John Ekdahl will be handling the weekends. I’ll probably be making cameo appearances now and then, and I’ll still be on the clock over at ESPN (we’ll have the Timberwolves-redesign contest results soon — maybe on Wednesday), but for the most part I’ll be avoiding the blog. See you in September!

26 comments to Brewers and Pirates Turn Back the Clock

  • PaulS | July 31, 2016 at 7:59 am |

    Don’t understand the evolution of MLB logos link: it just shows a photo of an American Legion team?

    • Paul Lukas | July 31, 2016 at 8:01 am |

      Refresh the page and try it now.

    • simon | July 31, 2016 at 6:59 pm |

      Still does not have the cowboy-hat-on-baseball first logo of the Rangers

  • Joe | July 31, 2016 at 8:18 am |

    “the bear, whose in the center of the photo” — should be “who’s”.

    • Paul Lukas | July 31, 2016 at 8:28 am |

      Thank you, Joe. Fixed.

  • Richard Grossman | July 31, 2016 at 8:51 am |

    Enjoy your break, Paul – we’ll look forward to Phil’s work this month, and catch you on the blog when you’re back from break!

  • MJ | July 31, 2016 at 8:52 am |

    Love the Michigan numbers – but why are the 4 and 5 so much thicker than the others? They’re the most distinctive numbers in the set – the others look like a version of Block Varsity worn by, among others the NHL Flyers and Red Wings.

    • Simon | July 31, 2016 at 1:02 pm |

      Yeah, the bottom of the 5 should be identical to the bottoms of the 3 and the 9. And the top of the five should be the same as the top of the 6, only with square corners.

    • Macky | August 1, 2016 at 2:25 am |

      4 matches the M. 5 for 5 National Titles.

      • MJ | August 1, 2016 at 9:22 pm |

        Interesting idea. Problem is, to 99.9% of the world, that meaning will be lost and people will just wonder why the 4 and 5 are noticeBly thicker than the other numbers.

        • Macky | August 1, 2016 at 10:16 pm |

          Typical Nike stuff, LoL. Not sure if you’ve seen it, but a V is also integrated in the M in some jerseys and apparel.

  • Sean | July 31, 2016 at 9:17 am |

    Is it just me, or does Appy State’s new white jersey not have the Sun Belt patch on it.

  • Wade Heidt | July 31, 2016 at 10:14 am |

    Mike Piazza had some good times in the black Mets uniform. This could contribute to why he likes it.

    I have to disagree with him. I like the Mets wearing traditional blue and orange, without the black. Was never a fan of the Mets in black.

    Same goes with the Knicks. When they added the black trim I was really not a fan of that. Glad both teams fixed it.

  • Ferdinand Cesarano | July 31, 2016 at 10:52 am |

    If the letter in each Louisville Colonels player’s uniform indicates his rank in the depth chart, does this mean that number 2-L is the twelfth-string catcher?

    • Tornaitbird in Sacremento on Vacation on iPad | July 31, 2016 at 11:32 am |

      Yeah, but at that point that guy is non existent. Probably didn’t even give the guy his own jersey if he’s that far down the depth chart- for a catcher, no less!

  • Jerry | July 31, 2016 at 10:53 am |

    Enjoy your vacation Paul and thanks for doing what you do.

  • Jim Vilk | July 31, 2016 at 11:33 am |

    I often put down the ’90s, and rightfully so…90 percent of the time. Those Pirates unis are one of the exceptions. After the strike, baseball *sort of* got me back in ’96. The ’97 Bucs brought me back all the way.

    • Pittsburgh Contrarian | July 31, 2016 at 12:54 pm |

      The ’97 Pirates – Cordova, Rincon, and Mark Smith. That was the highlight.

  • Jeff Ash | July 31, 2016 at 11:48 am |

    Watching last night’s Brewers game, I learned their interlocking MB logo of the ’90s was intended to suggest an industrial stamp, honoring Milwaukee’s manufacturing heritage. And here I thought it just looked crappy for all those years.

  • Neeko | July 31, 2016 at 11:50 am |

    Those were not late 1990s throwbacks

  • Phil W | July 31, 2016 at 1:45 pm |

    Pirates wore gray caps with a black bill with those pinstriped unis back in the late 90s. I like them better with the black caps myself. They’d make a nice road alternate.

    • Jon Rose | July 31, 2016 at 2:01 pm |

      I thought the black caps with the red bills circa 1997 were pretty sharp looking.

  • UmpLou | July 31, 2016 at 2:24 pm |

    Enjoy your vacation Paul!

    That GIF is fun – see how many times you have to watch it to catch the Pilots logo!

  • Jess | July 31, 2016 at 4:44 pm |

    MLB team logo evolution gif starts the Texas Rangers off with the wrong logo. Leaves out their original Cowboy hat logo of 1972-81, starts with the TR/state logo of 1982-83.

  • Bromotrifluoromethane | July 31, 2016 at 4:54 pm |

    I hate retro/throwbacks 95-97% of the time. The few exceptions seem to be for 90’s and early 200’s looks.
    The Brewers looked amazing last night, they need to bring that look back full time (the first version of it with the green on the road). And I always liked the Pirates look in the 90’s. I never did care for the plain gray hat they wore with the pinstripes. I always felt it would look better with stripes similar to the old Reds white home hat. But seeing the solid black hat worn with it looked very nice as well. And it was really nice to see the scripted “Pittsburgh” on the road again. Yes, I HATE the script PITT but love the script Pittsburgh. I’d love to see the script Pittsburgh used on an alternate road uniform and keep the one with just the “P” as a home alternate.

  • J Goede | July 31, 2016 at 9:54 pm |

    If you want the Brewers to go retro, it’s gotta be the ball and glove logo. The 90s logo was awful.