[Deputy Editor’s note: You guys may recall that last year, I asked uniform and logo designer Todd Radom if he’d share some of his logo case studies during Paul’s vacation, and he happily obliged. Todd is back again this year, allowing me to share with you some of my favorite columns — I’m sure you guys will enjoy it. After Todd’s guest column, be sure to scroll down for the THIRD Set (Groups E & F) of the Griffins Design Contest, with voting! ”” Phil]
The 1969 Seattle Pilots””One Team, One Season, Many Uniforms
By Todd Radom
The Seattle Pilots occupy a unique space in the modern annals of Major League Baseball. They played only one season””162 games””in their sole campaign in the Pacific Northwest, wearing some of the most distinctive uniforms in the history of professional sports. The club moved to Milwaukee just prior to Opening Day of the 1970 season, reborn as the Brewers.
St Louis Cardinals coach Joe Schultz was named as the team’s first manager on October 10, 1968. The announcement took place during the ninth inning of the decisive seventh game of the World Series between St Louis and Detroit. He was depicted that day wearing a prototype road jersey and cap. The headwear features a simple italicized lower case “s.” The jersey typography is straight across; the “s” in “Seattle” matches the cap. The road jersey lettering is fairly close to what the Pilots would eventually wear during their only season.
I recently came across an image that was published in the New York Times on December 4, 1968, the contents of which blew me away. The shot shows MontrÃ©al Expos manager Gene Mauch and scout Peanuts Lowrey posed in front of a set of uniforms at the MLB meetings in San Francisco. The frontmost jersey is that of the expansion Kansas City Royals (it contains a detail that never saw the field of play in the end of the script tail, under the “R”.”) Next to that is a jersey for the Seattle Pilots with a blocky “Seattle” wordmark, something that I have never seen before.
We can only guess what some of the details were (including the “S”.) The coloration looks similar to what was eventually utilized. Here’s a rough but educated stab at what it may have looked like:
When the team reported to Spring Training in 1969 they wore simple jerseys featuring a block-serif “PILOTS.” The headwear contained a simple yellow/gold “S” with no additional embellishments. There were two jerseys, a white home version and a gray road version, each of which were devoid of trim or detail.
The Pilots played their first ever game on the road in Anaheim on April 8, 1969. Their distinctive powder blue road uniforms featured four gold “captain’s” stripes on the sleeves, an arched “Seattle,” and a derivative of the club’s pilot wheel logo.
The Home Opener took place on April 11, against Chicago. Here’s the white home jersey, manufactured by Wilson:
The team’s visual identity was created by Seattle Post-Intelligencer artist Stuart Moldrem. An April 11, 1969 P-I article says that the caps were originally to be “white”¦ with (a) blue bill on which was placed a gold band”¦on the bill (was) what the Armed Services call “scrambled eggs.” The American League seems to have had a rule against two-tone hats at this time, so the cap became all blue:
The same article indicates that the home uniforms were to feature blue belt loops and a gold belt buckle, neither of which ever saw the light of day. Multiple sources say that the jerseys were a work in progress right up until Opening Day.
Pilots pitcher Jim Bouton famously documented the 1969 season in his seminal book “Ball Four.” In it, he says of the Pilots uniforms:
“There was a lot of grousing about the uniforms. ”¦ I guess because we’re the Pilots we have to have captain’s uniforms. They have stripes on the sleeve, scrambled eggs on the (bill) of the cap and blue socks with yellow stripes. Also there are blue and yellow stripes down the sides of the pants. We look like goddamn clowns.”
Phil here — THANKS Todd. As always, a tremendous article (and one of my personal favorites). I think the readers here know that I think 1969 was the greatest uni-year in Baseball, and the Pilots’ unis were a big part of the reason I liked it so much. Looking forward to sharing more “Radom Thoughts” as my weekday Uni Watch run continues.
And now for Part III (Groups E & F) of the Griffins Design Contest…
GRIFFINS ALTERNATE JERSEY DESIGN CONTEST, PART III
Welcome to Part III of the Griffins Alternate Jersey Design Contest. Today we’ll look at Groups E & F, and have voting after each of the Groups are displayed. If you missed Part I please click here, which contained a full writeup and the rules on voting. As with the previous two design reveals (and every day there is voting held), the TOP THREE VOTE-GETTERS will advance to the “finals” (with the Grand Prize Winner to be ultimately selected by the Griffins).
You can vote on ANY of the jersey designs below (or some, all or none), but you may only submit a ballot once in each section. Please be sure to vote in BOTH sections (there are two in total). If you click on a submitter’s name, the correct box will automatically be selected (so if the check boxes don’t align exactly, just click on the name if you’d like). Review both Groups (Group “E” and Group “F”), write down any and all of the designs you like, click the designers’ names, and hit “VOTE” for each set. That’s all there is to it!
Let’s get started.
Nice job by our third set (Groups E & F) — don’t forget to cast your votes in BOTH polls!
By Alex Hider
Baseball News: Has anyone else noticed that the white space (or webbing) of the Brewers “ball in glove” logo appears to be missing from the modern version the team has been wearing this season? (From Thomas Juettner). … The Brewers wore said alts on Friday against the Mariners in a color-on-color game (from Tim Dunn). … The Nats’ Clint Robinson had some issues with his pants the other night (from our own Mike Chamernik). … Jose Reyes had some neon-sleeve/green screen problems yesterday (from Noah Sidel). … We’ve seen the photo of Manny SanguillÃ©n and his eye white before, but check out Ron Hunt and his “lip white!” Looks like he has a mouth full of toothpaste (from Tristan Ridgeway). … The Miami Hurricanes’ baseball team will wear “Miami Maniac” hats for fall practice. Sebastian the Ibis is the school’s official mascot, but the Maniac is the only mascot that appears at the baseball games (from Matthew Lohr). … Check out the baseball branding on this jar of peanut butter (from David Firestone).
Pro Football News: We may have seen this already, but here’s the memorial decal the Saints will wear for Will Smith. … The Cowboys have an “evolution of the uniform” exhibit at their new practice facility (from Brad Sham). … Speaking of that display, has anyone seen this helmet or proposed logos before? (From Tim Roberts). … The Browns infamous, never-used “CB” helmet is included on this electric football game (from Pro Football Journal). … The Toronto Argonauts went mono-navy for the first time this season on Saturday (from Wade Heidt).
College Football News: Per Jason Terzis, the Miami Hurricanes are returning to a traditional dark green/orange helmet stripe after a few years of going metallic. Rutgers has a new BFBS alt (from Lee). … New unis for Monmouth (thanks to all who shared). … It looks like the artist gave a Texas Longhorn a Tennessee “T” in this Marvel drawing (from Brett Baker). … Check out this Nebraska-themed wedding cake (from John Muir).
Soccer News: Highly recommended: Great interactive graphic with every Premier League kit (from Derek Linn). … Here’s a look at the new kits in Serie A (from Josh Hinton). … The contract between Puma and the Uruguayan National Team expires in December, and Nike isn’t wasting time for a potential pitch. According to Christian Bergara, this is their mock-up for a potential kit. … New kits for the Florida Southern College women’s team (from Wayne Koehler). … AtlÃ©tico TucumÃ¡n, an Argentine club team, is going full Charlotte Hornets with a purple/teal striped kit (from Trevor Williams).
Grab Bag: Awesome graphic that shows the evolution of the Olympic sport symbols. … Interesting look at how Busch Gardens developed potential logos for a new roller coaster (from Michael LaJoie). … Douglas Ford spotted a Kansas City Chiefs fan at a Euro golf event in Prague on Sunday. … Matt Ryburn sends along a photo of the 1916 Fort Mill, South Carolina football team. If you look closely, you can see some of the players wearing nose guards. … Here’s a look at the logo for Mother Theresa’s canonization, and the artist who designed it. … Software company Mozilla is changing its logo.
And that’s it for today. Thanks to Todd for the main article, Alex for the Ticker, and of course all those who participated in the Griffins Contest, and good luck to the third 22 entrants.
I want to offer a belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY (it was yesterday) to Rick “Ricko” Pearson, who just may have been the original Uni Watcher. I’m not gonna give his age, but let’s just say he’s got 20 years on me, so you do the math.
I also want to say “GREAT JOB” to Mike Chamernik for handling Friday’s entry — he wrote the lede, added some great extras, and compiled the ticker — basically, handled the whole thing, top to bottom, all by himself. Way to go Mike! Thanks for helping me (and Uni Watch) out in a pinch, and in a big way.
I’ll be back tomorrow with the fourth and final set of Griffins Design Contest submissions (there are now six finalists in the books, with six to go) and have the full 12 finalists designs after the final set of votes following tomorrow’s entry. Everyone have a great Monday, and … if you don’t already…
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“The entire MLS trend of attempting to copy European names instead of establishing its own tradition is about the lamest thing in sports.”
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