By Phil Hecken
So, last evening the Philadelphia Phillies hosted the San Diego Padres in a “Turn Back The Clock” (to 1983) game, and while it was a treat to see both teams in relatively correct throwbacks (and it’s always great to see the Padres wearing brown jerseys), the game was still marred by several minor (and not-so-minor) anachronisms and inconsistencies in the uniform department.
While I’ve given up hope that the players will ever wear “throwback” unis in their appropriate cut and style (which is their wont — I’ll give them that if they’ve made it to the show, they have the right to wear the unis in their preferred tailoring — Chris Sale would agree with me). Still, it would be nice to see tight cuts and stirrups. But I won’t complain about that anymore (other than just now).
What does bother me is when Majestic either doesn’t care enough to get the little (and easily fixable) details right — or simply just doesn’t care — putting out throwbacks that are *close* enough to correct that 99.9% of the public won’t notice or won’t care. It’s the .1% who are Uni Watchers to whom these details make a difference.
Let’s take a look at what the respective teams actually wore in 1983 (thanks to Bill Henderson for his invaluable guide, and to Paul for giving me the screenshots below):
Here’s some game action shots:
And some video:
Looked pretty great, right? As you can see from Bill Henderson’s page, the team wore that style for quite a while, but 1983 is the year the team made it to the World Series (losing to the Orioles). It was also their 100th Anniversary, and they wore a special patch on the left shoulder. Aside from the distinctive burgundy color, the thing you probably most notice is the fact that the jerseys were zipperfronts, rather than the pullovers or buttonfronts which were much more common at the time. They were raglan style, with NOB’s on nameplates. Pants were belted. Jerseys and pants had solid thick stripes, including side panels on the jersey.
Some action shots:
As you can see, the jerseys were in the v-neck pullover style with vertically arched, direct-sewn NOBs. The caps featured a unique panel cut that neatly formed a mission bell shape. They wore white pants on the road (as did several teams during those years when they wore dark jerseys instead of gray road shirts/pants). They had beautiful brown stirrups with gold sanis, and of course, white cleats. It goes without saying that batting helmets back then were semi-glossy. Their pants were of the sansabelt variety, with brown/orange/gold striping (same as the sleeve striping)
So…how’d they match up last evening?
The first thing that struck me was the helmets worn by the Padres. Yes, they are one of those teams who have gone to matte helmets, including on their Friday Brown alternates. So, instead of the glossy or semi-glossy hats they wore back in 1983, they just wore their current helmets.
In the words of the immortal Keyshawn Johnson “C’mon Man!” Seriously, would it have been *that* difficult to affix some gold decals with old school “SD” on them? They’ve worn the 1983-style unis as throwbacks before, and they had shiny hats with ‘correct’ graphics back then.
They got the front of the jerseys pretty much correct (font-wise, stripe-wise etc.) and they did outfit the players with white sansabelt pants. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see much (any?) hosiery, and they wore black shoes, completely ruining the throwback vibe:
They tried to replicate the 1983-era cap, but (and this isn’t the first time this has happened), it didn’t quite make the cut:
How about the NOB’s? Were they nameplates, vertically arched like in 1983 (I think you know the answer to this one):
Time to play ball in 1983 threads!
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) July 7, 2017
Nope. Radially arched (but with with nameplates).
Perhaps these errors (small though they may be) aren’t as egregious as an apostrophe catastrophe — they are one of those (to steal Paul’s wonderful turn of a phrase) niggling little thing(s) that drive me totally batshit.
I dearly, sorely want the Padres to #BringBackTheBrown (a popular Twitter hashtag), but it kills me when they actually do bring back brown from their past and screw so many little things up. I mentioned earlier they’ve thrown back to 1983-era unis before — both on the road…
…and at home:
As you can see from Bill Henderson’s meticulous documentation, Majestic screwed those up as well (though not as badly, it seems, as last evening). It would be easy to blame the Phillies (since they supply the Padres with the unis) for this, but the Pads even screwed up the throwbacks when they wore them at home.
I know I can’t hope the players will wear 1983 tight cuts, stirrups and sanis, but they could have at least had white shoes and glossy helmets. Guess the Phillies didn’t want to go the extra-extra yard (and apparently the Padres didn’t care in the least).
How about the Phillies?
Well, they did a *pretty* good job of replicating the 1983 uniform — right down to the anniversary patch. They got maroon-red helmets, and had their side panels in tact.
Nick Williams due up first in the bottom of the 9th after the Padres took a 4-3 lead in the top of the inning. pic.twitter.com/7PoOUqeUKT
— Phillies (@Phillies) July 8, 2017
They looked to have nailed the fonts pretty well, and the jerseys were raglan-style, they did have nameplates (sadly, suffering the same radially arched fate as the Padres). The originals were vertically arched:
But wait — take a look at that photo again. Notice anything…”missing”?
That’s right — the damn things are buttonfronts, not zipperfronts! Now, I understand there is a concern for player safety nowadays, and zipperfronts fell out of fashion (literally) not just because of how they looked — they could pose a genuine hazard. BUT…when the Chicago Cubs unveiled their nine throwbacks for 2014, THEY had zipperfronts. Those look to be a much “safer” style than what the Phillies wore in 1983 (or the Cubs wore in several years) — so clearly Majestic can make a zipperfront jersey for a throwback. Perhaps the Phillies didn’t ask for one? More likely, they probably thought no one would notice.
They did pretty well on the rest of the uni — getting the caps (and burgundy) correct, the racing stripes on the pins were fine…1983 patch on the shoulder. Just not the zipper.
OK — all things considered, I liked seeing the throwbacks (warts and all). And anytime the Padres are in brown it’s a good thing. Here’s some nice videos (one before a rain delay, one at the end of the game):
RT SInow "Jose Pirela with a no-doubter in the first inning against the Phillies pic.twitter.com/6NbaLphuW9"
— Dak (@dak2zeke) July 7, 2017
After hitting a pair of homers, Austin Hedges' bat came through in the 9th, but not in the way you'd expect ðŸ‘€ðŸ‘‡ pic.twitter.com/VHwMgXcQPw
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) July 8, 2017
It looked good. Great even. It just could have looked even better. And I hope Padres management realizes it’s time to #BringBackTheBrown. The Phillies do!
(The Rangers and Angels will throwback to 1977 today — more on that in the ticker — lets hope they do a bit better than the Pads/Phils.)
Your Final Eight Finalists…
…in the Fauxback Jersey Contest.
The results of the third and fourth set of voting are in, and we have our final eight (four from each group) finalists. Let’s look at Group III’s finalists first, followed by Group IV. They’ll join our previous 8 finalists in tomorrow’s final set of voting to determine the winner.
Congratulations (for Group III) go to: Bryan Phillips, Michael Malinowski, Matt Medium, and Justin Peterson. Here’s a look at the voting:
Here’s a look at the entries of our third four finalists:
Bryan Phillips (1940s Anaheim Mighty Ducks)
Using the Mallard as inspiration, I picked Forest Green, Athletic Gold, and Purple for team colors, and made the collar white to replicate the ring around the Mallard’s neck. I designed a Mallard logo in a 1940s logo style and kept “Mighty” because adjectives in team names were more common.
Michael Malinowski (1967 Anaheim Ducks)
My submission is an imagining of what the Anaheim Duck’s jersey might have looked had southern California been awarded two expansion franchises for the 1967 season instead of Oakland getting the California Seals.
Matt Medium (1979-80 San Jose Sharks)
Description in graphic
Justin Peterson (1965 Florida Marlins)
The 1965 Florida Marlins sport a cream colored, vested jersey, featuring orange piping around the neck and sleeves, teal undershirts with team patches, a Miami art-deco style logo and era-approprate NNOB.
And in Group IV, congratulations go to Brian Wenzel, Gene Sanny, Matt Tibaldi, and James Yaques. Here’s a look at the voting:
Here’s a look at the entries of our final four finalists:
Brian Wenzel (1920s Anaheim Ducks)
This concept imagines the Anaheim Ducks as if they’d existed in the 1920s, as California’s original hockey team.
A bold ”˜A’ and prominent orange color proudly represent the city of Anaheim and Orange County (unlike Anaheim’s other team).
Clean striping and a sublimated flying-V complete the look.
Gene Sanny (1932 Iowa Barnstormers)
Iowa Barnstormers arena football team fauxing back all the way to 1932 :)
Matt Tibaldi (1978 Miami Marlins)
No description given
James Yaques (1977 Miami Marlins)
Description in image
And there you have it. The second half of our finalists. Everyone make sure to check back tomorrow when we’ll vote for the winner.
Congratulations to the finalists, and thanks to everyone who participated!
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: The Minnesota Twins will wear these “M” caps on July 22 vs Tigers. The caps will feature a patch commemorating the 30th anniversary of the 1987 World Series. … Here’s a nice colorized shot of these Baseball legends (none of whom need first names) at the All-Star Game: Gehrig, Cronin, Dickey, DiMaggio, Gehringer, Foxx & Greenberg (which took place in Washington, D.C. on July 7, 1937). From Bruce Menard. … Speaking of great colorizations of famous sluggers: check out this one of the infamous Yankees’ Murderers Row (from Chris Whitehouse). … Interesting: “Local news has story on Indians and babies they are having after their #WorldSeries run …Storks wearing ballcaps!!!” says Andrew Jenkins. What’s also interesting is how the players are all in Wahoo caps, but the storks are wearing block C’s. … Mikkeller Brewing, “one of the world’s most venerable gypsy brewers,” will build a brewery at
Shea Citi Field, home of the Mets (from Andrew Cosentino). … When asked the question everyone wants to know, “I just want to know if you guys [Padres] are going to bring back the brown uniforms for good?,” the response of the Padres’ owner was the team will study “uniform situation.” Just #BringBackTheBrown already!!! … Thhere are certain two word phrases that seem destined for each other. Where their coupling achieves a sort of simple, evocative poetry. Summer’s breeze; good dog; sand castle; cold beer, and perhaps most effectively, in New England vernacular anyway: Yankees suck (from Tommy Turner). … The Fort Wayne TinCaps got special jerseys for their 70s night last evening (from Zachary Loesl). … The Cedar Rapids Kernels wore these Iowa State-inspired jerseys last evening (from MiLB Promos). … Here’s the 2017 All-Star Game uniform for the CPBL (Chinese Professional Baseball League), which are featuring Taiwanese aboriginal patterns (from Max G.). … From Gary Chanko: “5 Baseball Jerseys So Swaggy You””and Chance the Rapper””Might Actually Wear ‘Em.” — Don’t let the hed fool you — there are some decent concepts here (including one I’ve been advocating for for a while). … The Portland Sea Dogs wore these A League of Their Own jerseys Thursday Night (from OT Sports). … Of these supposedly game-worn autographed jerseys, Robert Hayes says, “I don’t recall those specific hats ever being worn? Definitely not from this season, anyone have an idea?” (They were worn, I believe, in 2011–PH) … This article makes a case (and not a bad one at that) for the ugliest jerseys in MLB All Star Game history. … This photo is of Brooklyn Dodgers 1B Gil Hodges showing off hands that earned him 3 Gold Gloves. More importantly, he’s showing off Brooklyn’s 1944 satin unis (from Vintage Baseball). … Last evening, the Texas Rangers wore their blue jerseys at home to mark the one-year anniversary of the 2016 shooting of Dallas police officers (thanks, Paul). In a somewhat related note Evan Elder writes, Heard an interesting note from tonight’s Texas Rangers game regarding why every jersey in their current catalogue reads “Texas.” A few years ago they had a marketing campaign called “My Texas, My Rangers” and the team was trying to align their brand with the state of Texas. It was sent it by a friend of the broadcast team and confirmed by team official, John Blake. As a fan of the team all my life, I remember the marketing campaign but I believe their home uniforms said Texas prior to the campaign. I agree their home uniforms should read “Rangers” but in case you or you readers were looking for an explanation, it appears we finally have one. Cool. … There are things that need to happen and then there are things that MUST happen (h/t MiLB Promos). … The Daytona Tortugas wore First Responder Night jerseys yesterday (via Daytona Tortugas). … More MLB throwbacks: here’s a look at the jerseys the Rangers will be wearing tonight night in celebration of 1977 (wish they showed the pants — it’s very important they go full powder blue). Thanks, Paul. Even in this article on the game, there’s no mention of pants. It’s very important to have sansabelt powder with those henley jerseys! … Here’s a look at the Coastal Plain League (college summer league) all-star logos (from James Gilbert).
NFL/CFL/College/High School Football News: With Thursday’s news that the Miami Hurricanes will feature green and black alternate jerseys in the 2017 season, The State of the U set out to mock those up. … “How might an East Coast company come to Westwood and elevate the image of UCLA above its current standing?” Here’s the story of how UCLA & UA hooked up. … In an article, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, an offensive lineman for the KC Chiefs, jokes at the end about putting “M.D.” on his jersey. Submitter Kyle Koekkoek says, “I have to imagine that would be a first.” … A man outside of Harrisburg, PA, recently completed his 23 year long quest to get the autograph of every player (and coach Chuck Noll) that was on all 4 of the Steelers’ Super Bowl teams of the 1970’s. The last player to sign the helmet was LB Loren Toews (from Joe Werner). … Could the NFL be close to allowing advertisements on gameday jerseys? Some thoughts on that are contained in this article, which itself is a response to this Mike Florio diatribe, who basically feels ads on unis are a foregone conclusion, the public’s will be damned (h/t Rob S. for the tip). … A Nebraska commit will wear a jersey number in memory of his deceased brother.
Hockey News: Check out this excellent Canucks hybrid beer league jersey on Etsy (as spotted by Wafflebored). … Reader Mike Engle asks, “Any idea whether this (rare 1995 All Star Lindros jersey) prototype is legitimate or not? I’ve never seen this star template in these colors before, haven’t seen NHL ASG jerseys use this color scheme at all, and I’m finally not aware of Athletic Knit doing any NHL work. But either way, it’s not an ugly jersey.” … The Binghamton Devils unveil release date for new logo and jersey — it’s July 29th (from David Feigenbaum).
NBA/G-League/College/High School Basketball News: The NBA has made a slight tweak to its logo, and Chris Creamer has the story. Don’t worry kids, “Jerry West” is still on there — it’s just a font change. … And NOW (at least according to Darren Rovell, it’s official: Nike’s deal with the NBA kicks in on Oct. 1, 2017. … Are these possibly new T-wolves unis? “Found these unis in the comm design in NBA2k. Look too good to be random. Onto something?” said the parent tweet, forwarded to me by Joe Bronk. Our friend Conrad Burry seems to think that’s not the case. … For his help in signing Paul Milsap, Denver has made Brandon Marshall an “Honorary Nugget” (from &rew). … Not sure this is actually official gear, but here are some Thunder unis with a swooshie (from Shane). … New
headache LA Laker Lonzo Ball “likes to wear shorter socks, but with @stance official NBA sock he had to modify- his first summer league game” (good spot by EZ).
Soccer News: Foreign soccer correspondent Ed Å»elaski” reports there is a new shirt for Jagiellonia BiaÅ‚ystok. Looks a little bit like a Gryffindor quiddich shirt, no? … The St. Louis Ambush (a professional indoor soccer club, dontcha know) are asking followers “As a part of the Culture of We, please take our survey to help decide which white jersey kit we add for the season!!” Jimmer Vilk, who @’ed me with that, adds, “My vote is for a St Louis Steamers jersey, but sadly that’s not an option.” … The Wycombe Wanderers, a lower-league English team, will be using a keeper kit based on a kaleidoscope next season.
Grab Bag: Cricket season (yes) is now upon us, and Jimmer Vilk (our fashion plate on the pitch) reports “1st game of the English T20 cricket season is a pink-over-blue vs all yellow matchup.” He follows that up with this gem: “Navy blue vs duck egg blue & black for Essex vs Surrey. The best dressed cricket league is back!” … “Saw this add (sic) during Wimbledon for Washington Kastles season tickets,” writes John Muir. “The championship years are listed in ‘reverse,’ newest/highest number on the left and descending in years to the right. While it makes sense to lead with the most recent title, it’s backwards compared to how most things are listed in English language sentences.” … Canterbury and England Rugby have unveiled the new England Women’s World Cup jersey ahead of the 2017 journey to Ireland. … What would it look like if ATC Memes and @airlinepilotmemes re-imagined all 73 MLB teams logos with their cities airport code? Here is a peek (from Gil Neumann). … Kevin Brown “came across this in an old S.I. and didn’t know if you’ve ever seen this (Faces in the Crown feature with Joe Mauer). The only other pro I know that was in this part of S.I. was Mattingly.” Here’s that section blown up, showing Mauer had talents aside from baseball. … This Sherwin Williams paint store bag was found in an old church rectory in Stevens Point, WI. Submitter Michael Bialas notes, “Apparently, the Panthers played in the NFC and the AFC.” … Jason Huber says he’s got a “nice little helmet collection going” on. … Glenn Chavez noticed this “nice borrowed logo on the semi, old color scheme and all.”
And that’s it for today. Tomorrow I’ll have your 16 finalists in the Fauxback Jersey Contest (and one last round of voting — will those that “won” their respective rounds continue with success…or will putting the top 16 in one bracket change preferences???) Make sure you check back tomorrow to pick your favorite(s). I’ll also cover the Rangers/Angels throwback tomorrow, but I promise it won’t be as nit-picky as today’s lede (and it will *only* be a sub-lede). I’ll catch all y’all tomorrow…but until then…
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“”˜Tar Heel’ is a two-word term.”
— James Gilbert