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ManCave Returns: Colorizing the 1917 Chicago White Sox

By Phil Hecken

Several months ago, I had the great pleasure of introducing Chris Whitehouse, aka “ManCave” to you fine readers, along with a follow up to that original piece. If you click on those links (or look at today’s splash photo), you will recall Chris is an outstanding colorizer of old baseball photographs. Chris returns today.

100 years ago, the Chicago White Sox won the 1917 World Series, and this season marks the centennial of that event. The team actually wore four different uniforms that season, according to uniform historian Marc Okkonen, and in a rare but not unprecedented move, the team actually got new uniforms for the 1917 World Series (the 1905 NY Giants and 1907 Chicago Cubs also got special Series unis). And they were beautiful.

That 1917 Chicago White Sox team won 100 games (losing 54), a record that still stands today. Having finished 9 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox, the team had some time before the end of the season to come up with the special uniforms. You’ll note that Okkonen shows every uniform worn that season with a flag patch on the sleeve — I’m unsure if it was on the uni for the full season, or if it was added after the season began, but the United States had declared war on Germany in April of 1917, bringing the United States into the Great War. As far as I can tell, this is the first baseball uniform with a special flag patch on the sleeve. The Washington Senators did add a patriotic shield to their jerseys in 1917, but not a flag. The Brooklyn Dodgers added a flag patch to the front of their jerseys that year as well. Clearly, the national pasttime, at least in several major cities, was awash with patriotic fervor.

The 1917 White Sox uniforms for the regular season were nice, if unspectacular. But the World Series uniform was a thing of beauty. You can see how good those unis look even today, as the White Sox threw back to them this summer. Our pal/ally Todd Radom feels very strongly about them as well:

 

I could give Todd an argument, but it wouldn’t be a strong one. How great would it be to see the Sox return to those unis (or at least make them their Sunday alternates, replacing the beach blanket bingo alternates they sport today?)

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Anyway, I’m pleased to bring you Chris’ 1917 White Sox colorizations (we’d actually had this one in the works for a while, but Chris wanted me to hold off until this weekend). Here’s Chris with a bit of a writeup:

On October 15, 100 Years ago, and two years before many of these same players disgraced themselves by throwing the 1919 Series, these Chicago White Sox defeated the New York Giants to win their last Championship before 2005.

Thanks to New York photographers, who took most of the photos from that era that we have today, and the Library of Congress, there are a lot of great photos of these White Sox players. They are faded and dirty and scratched, but with the high resolution made available I was able to first restore them and then bring them to life with color.

There are a few with their special World Series uniforms, designed for patriotic display due to our recent entry into World War I, but most of them are from regular season games taken at the Polo Grounds.

The White Sox have been running animated versions of these on their own social media outlets over the past week. I look forward to doing a lot more work with them in the near future.

Below (and you can click on any photo to enlarge), I have a colorization along with the original photo from which Chris worked. As you will see, he not only colorizes the photos, but he restores them as well. I asked him if he could comment a bit on his technique, and, well…

How I do them would take pages, especially if I include how I do the restoration of the base image. I wouldn’t say that the restoration is more difficult than the coloring, but it does take an entirely different skill set and a lot more patience to pull off.

You could say that photos from this era are always more difficult because of the fading and spotting and scratching and staining that took place before they were acquired and preserved by the Library of Congress. But that is a very big part of the satisfaction I get when I see my final result, because they are not just colored. They really are “rescued” from something that you might never want to look at because of the quality.

(The White Sox were very excited to see these and plan to make use of them and others in the near future)
[Take note other teams…]

Good stuff Chris! And now, here’s the great stuff:

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Claude “Lefty” Williams

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Buck Weaver

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Clarence “Pants” Rowland, Manager

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Eddie Cicotte

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Eddie Cicotte

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Ewell “Reb” Russell

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Joe Benz

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John Shano Collins

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Ray Schalk

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Ray Schalk

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Red Faber

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Red Faber

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“Shoeless” Joe Jackson

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Swede Risberg

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Ted Jourdan

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Joe Benz with John McGraw

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Murphy, Collins, Jackson, Felsch, and Leibold

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WOW. Tremendous work, as always, Chris. If you click (and enlarge as much as possible) some of those color portraits, you can really see the amazing attention to detail — the lines on the faces, the expressions — such great work!

And just to show you how great Chris’ work is, one of the last colorizations I ever did (before I realized I should leave it to the experts), was of Eddie Cicotte and Pants Rowland (and I thought it was one of my better efforts — but it doesn’t compare to Chris’).

I knew (maybe 2011ish) when I did that it was a great uni. Is it the best of all time? You could certainly make an argument for it. How about a nice hand for Chris’ colorizations of the 1917 ChiSox!

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What They’re Wearing Today…

The following is a list of some (though by no means all, obviously) uniforms, patches or helmets teams have announced for their games today.

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UW trading card-Lukas 2
Paul’s Latest on ESPN

On Friday, Paul had his annual NBA preview, and it’s one of the largest columns he’s ever done, especially for a pro league. I’m not a huge NBA fan to begin with, and even less so now that they’ve added advertiser patches to more than half the teams’ uniforms, but as always, Paul has done a stellar job with his preview.

Great read, so be sure to check it out if you missed it!

Enjoy!

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MLB Uniform Tracking – 2017

ABW
Got a final update from reader Edward D. Kendrick who has tracked four teams this season: the Diamondbacks (and there is a LOT to track there), as well as the Red Sox, Nationals and Orioles. Now that the seasons for all those teams have completed, Ed’s final trackers are up-to-date for the full season.

To see the tracking Ed has done for each of the teams, click on the links below:

Arizona Diamondbacks

Boston Red Sox

Washington Nationals.

Baltimore Orioles.

Great stuff Ed. Thanks!

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The Ticker

By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: The Astros did their orange softball top thing for last night’s ALCS Game 1. … The Buffalo News has a great piece on the manufacturing of New Era on-field caps (from Bill Kellich). … Padres’ SB Nation fansite Gaslamp Ball has conducted a survey on the best uniforms in Pads history, and you can probably guess what won (thanks, Phil). … The NPB playoffs are going on, and the league is apparently allowing a red-on-red matchup between the Seibu Lions and Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (from @GraveyardBall). … Also posted in the football section: @bturner12387 sends along this pic of a Padres jersey personalized with Johnny Manziel’s name and number. … Jorge Cruz spotted a Facebook ad from Lids which reveals the design of the Yankees’ American League Champions T-shirts. The Astros’, Dodgers’ and Cubs’ T-shirt designs should be largely similar.

Football News: The Rams are wearing their blue jerseys for the first time with their white pants this Sunday, because the Jags are wearing white at home (from Alex Dwitt, @ShyMarcus and others who sent this in). LA’s light self-deprecating joke in the reveal tweet drew some attention as well (thanks, Phil). … Robert Hayes has conducted his weekly interrogation of the Browns’ social media guy and found out that they would be wearing all white again this week, but mixing it up with orange socks. … The Bears will wear their white jerseys for the first time this season this Sunday in Baltimore (thanks, Phil). … Cross posted from the baseball section: @bturner12387 sends along this pic of a Padres jersey personalized with Johnny Manziel’s name and number. … Marcus Solis noticed a bizarre uniform number glitch on a Syracuse player during last night’s game against Clemson. … Fairfield Prep (CT) has what looks like a memorial but the initials stand for Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, a Jesuit motto (from Alex Giobbi).

Hockey News: Josh Claywell found this awesome NHL lunchbox and thermos on Facebook. Judging by the inclusion of the Cleveland Barons, Colorado Rockies and Atlanta Flames, this lunchbox is probably from 1977. … This is so cool: Egypt apparently has an ice hockey team that just started playing last month. The super cool part? Egypt’s logo features King Tut’s death mask with an old-school goalie mask. Need to get my hands on one of their sweaters (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Flames forward Curtis Lazar added a decal honoring his former coach Bryan Murray, who died in August (from @MarkInVictoria). … Speaking of the Flames: the team took a little inspiration from the 1989 classic film Major League to break a little skid, and brought Jobu into the locker room (from Wade Heidt). … The Avalanche are having a “Grateful Dead” night against the Blues on Oct. 19, and the first 500 fans will receive Grateful Dead-inspired replica jerseys (from Aaron Davis). … Air Force is throwing back for their alumni week (from John Muir and Patrick Thomas). … The Sharks will give away these “Los Tiburones” jerseys to everyone in attendance tonight for Hispanic Heritage Night.

Basketball News: NBA 2K17 has leaked that the Lakers’ new “Classic Edition” unis will be the old Minneapolis Lakers powder blues (from Conrad Burry). … The official Final Four Twitter account posted this map purportedly showing the geographic breakdown of support for each of the NCAA’s Division I basketball teams. One major error I noticed immediately: southern Maine is most certainly not UNH territory. Even though we in Southern Maine are geographically closer to Durham than Orono, Wildcat support ends at the Piscataqua River. I imagine there are a few other things wrong with it that will frustrate fans (from Dan Hillery). … Hofstra’s midnight madness logo features the Manhattan skyline, which would be fine, if the team was located 30 miles outside of Manhattan on Long Island (from John Muir). … @cdiddy79 sends along a nice comparison of the Grizzlies’ new and old court designs. … New basketball uniforms for Oklahoma State University (from @Sturg_23). Here’s a better look at all of them. Dan Medina explains what the numbers on the trim mean. … OK, this is kinda bizarre: North Carolina has new shorts with an intertwined NC front and center (from @UniCORT69). Fortunately, these are likely NOT game shorts (from Chaz Thomas).

Soccer News: AC Milan is signing a new kit deal with Puma, making them between 10 and 15 million euros. Their current providers are Adidas. … FootyHeadlines has a rundown of Dutch kits that were designed for a World Cup, but weren’t worn at a World Cup because of a failure to qualify. The Netherlands failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup last week. … Jim Vilk sends along this video of Major American Soccer League side Baltimore Blast rolling out their turf in their home arena. … Colombia’s clash kit for the World Cup has been leaked (from Michael Romero).

Grab Bag: Sorry, but “Wisconsin Utes” isn’t nearly as good of a name as “Wisconsin Badgers.” That error spotted by Tyler Barry. … Speaking of NCAA gear mix-ups: purple-and-white Washington State beer coozies will piss off everyone in the pacific northwest (from Cooper English). … Australian paper The Daily Telegraph has images of every strip for the forthcoming Rugby League World Cup (from Alex Seddon). … Joshua P. Cohen sends in this excellent piece on the Duke equipment staff.

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SMUW Needs YOU!

Hey folks.

My main SMUW dude, Terry D, will actually be indisposed for much of this afternoon and evening — and I’ll actually be curling for a good chunk of tonight as well. As such, TJ will only be able to bring us the early games today (12 noon and 3:00 pm EDT games) for tomorrow’s SMUW, and I won’t be around to see any of the late afternoon and evening games either. So I’m looking for you guys, if possible, to TWEET or E-MAIL (uniwatching at g-mail is fine, but you can also use my g-mail addy) any new/odd/interesting photos to me for any games that take place today (later games a must, early games still fine – I know many of you tweet at me anyway). I’ll try to report on the later games in Terry’s stead. Also: if you do tweet, please “at” (@) me, rather than tag me, as I get hundreds (sometimes over a thousand) notifications daily, so I might miss a few of those, but I always get mentions. OK? OK!

On a semi-unrelated note, I want to take a moment to again praise and thank ALL of the guys who contribute to SMUW. Tomorrow will be the first time ever (in over 4 years) that TJ has asked me for some “time” off (he even said he’d skip his event if need be, but I told him not to worry), and over the years he’s battled a computer that was held together with scotch tape and rubber bands (I think he may have even written one of his SMUW’s on his phone!), and all the other guys have been great too (one guy, Ethan, even apologized for getting married in the middle of the season — but we still were able to cover for him with Rex filling in). Dennis, my PAC-12 guy, literally lives within a few miles of the California wildfires and sent me his tracking early — in case he’s forced to evacuate! These guys get me their stuff thru natural disasters like hurricanes and fires and floods. Truly amazing dedication. So please give each of them a nice thank you tomorrow for all their efforts (or today, too!).

Thanks — hope you guys can help us with the games tomorrow.

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34 comments to ManCave Returns: Colorizing the 1917 Chicago White Sox

  • BurghFan | October 14, 2017 at 7:43 am |

    “The Rams are wearing their blue jerseys for the first time this Sunday”

    They wore them two weeks ago in Dallas. (There were also the throwbacks last week, but I assume those don’t count here.)

    • Steve S | October 14, 2017 at 10:23 am |

      First time wearing blue jersey with white pants, but yes that quote should be edited a little bit. Hopefully this weeks look with the white pants will look a little bit better with the white horns and facemask than the atrocity that the look in Dallas was.

      • Anthony Emerson | October 14, 2017 at 1:28 pm |

        Apologies, I’ve fixed it. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • Daniel Tarrant | October 14, 2017 at 8:05 am |

    UNC grad here. Those shorts are awful, awful…but it would actually be funny to see them used in a game, just because they might provide a distraction for the opponents, whose eyes would be drawn towards the UNC players’ crotches…

    • MJ | October 14, 2017 at 10:30 am |

      This fellow alum agrees. Good Gawd, those are hideous.

  • Jamie Rathjen | October 14, 2017 at 9:14 am |

    That map from the basketball section was actually stolen from some guy on Reddit by the NCAA Twitter people – it’s supposed to show the closest Division I team to each county. Nothing to do with fan support.

    Here’s a football version (https://i.redd.it/4cr15h5qrhkz.jpg), although it’s part of an exercise where for each game the winner takes all of the loser’s land on the map. I couldn’t quite find the original one; that one is after one week.

    • Ran Isaacs | October 14, 2017 at 10:04 am |

      Personally, my favorite bit of that map is the complete absence of The U.

    • Winter | October 14, 2017 at 11:38 am |

      Ah. So that explains why Buffalo apparently supports the Golden Gophers

      • Cole | October 15, 2017 at 12:44 am |

        And why southern WV supports VA Tech. Sooooo not!

    • Ryan M | October 14, 2017 at 11:48 am |

      Here’s (I think) the current thread…
      https://www.reddit.com/r/CFB/comments/758n8s/college_football_imperialism_map_week_6/
      Includes newest map, plus a GIF of the season’s progression.
      What would be really time-consuming would be to update the map each week such that each victor retains the territory it conquered, including any territory its vanquished opponents controlled the prior week. I guess, in theory, you’d end up with the whole country controlled by an undefeated team or teams by the time the regular season ends.

    • Anthony Emerson | October 14, 2017 at 1:29 pm |

      Ah. Well, good on the NCAA for crediting the original artist *eyes roll out of skull*

      Thanks Jamie.

      • Anthony Emerson | October 14, 2017 at 1:32 pm |

        Also this kind of ruins my whole rant about UNH.

        I’m very defensive of UMaine’s bad college teams.

  • Jecaec | October 14, 2017 at 9:15 am |

    I’m generally not a fan of today’s uniform cut. Usually too baggy. Because of this, throwbacks don’t look right to me. However, the White Sox 1917 throwback looks perfect to me. Not too baggy or tight. White socks, nice colors. Put the 1917 era SOX on the hat and you have your Sunday uniform

  • Fred K | October 14, 2017 at 9:41 am |

    First of all, big thanks to the whole Uni-Watch gang for all you do for the uni-verse. I can’t poop in the morning until the new days entry is published and it really helps to get my day going. I am truly grateful of your continuous efforts. Now, onto comments…
    1. Mancave is God. The colorized photos are always a treat and those unis are awesome. How were uniform designers better 100 years ago? One element that stood out to me was different colored stripes on the pants. A lot of teams (including my Orioles) used to use 2 different stripes and got away from it. The only current sports team I can think of with this look is Georgia Football
    2. The map displaying D1 basketball fandom is grossly inaccurate in the state of Maryland. Mount St. Mary’s, Towson and UMES do not outweigh UMD and Georgetown. In fact the basketball team at d3 Salisbury (my alma mater) had more fans than UMES. Sorry UMES. Stick to Football LoL
    3. The Neatherlands new kits were leaked because they didn’t qualify for the World Cup. With the World being ran by big business, it is a surprise the US and Neatherlands didn’t release these for qualifying just in case they didn’t qualify to the big dance. If memory serves me correct (doubtful) 4 years ago Mexico brought out their WC kits for Nike to sell just in case but ended up making the tournament anyway. I sincerely doubt the design gets rolled back so why not break em out now?

  • Rick | October 14, 2017 at 9:45 am |

    Fantastic work on the 1917 White Sox and Giants. I can’t argue against the best ever look for the Sox, but seeing John McGraw in the lilac hued uni is awesome.

  • Will S | October 14, 2017 at 10:32 am |

    Mark Truelove also colourized the top 1917 White Sox photo. He has a Facebook page ‘Baseball in Color’ (also has Canadian Colour website: http://www.canadiancolour.ca/ ).

    Here’s one from the Facebook page:
    https://scontent-yyz1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/13876680_149083175523460_6744105560116749123_n.jpg?oh=7f58b9cf9ab1d089dc0211b4377080be&oe=5A7C9DE7

    For those on Facebook here’s his page there:
    https://www.facebook.com/baseballincolor/

  • Gene Sanny | October 14, 2017 at 10:36 am |

    First, that’s an awesome Rams tweet… it’s nice to see them acknowledge how terrible it is they couldn’t change their jerseys. It felt like it was us against them AND the NFL, but now it feels like us AND them versus the NFL.

    Second, even though it’ll still be aweful, I think the white pants will be less awful. I said this the moment I turned that game on a few weeks ago… the blue pants were a mistake…. would have at least looked better with white to tie into the helmet white.

    • Special K | October 14, 2017 at 11:20 am |

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Rams could have changed their jersey, but then they’d have to wait five years before they could change them again, and they are planning to overhaul their uniforms in three years when they move into their new stadium. So they are sticking with the old jerseys for now.

      • Phil Hecken | October 14, 2017 at 11:53 am |

        You are correct. Many have suggested suspending the “5 year rule” if a team moves, but that’s not the case now.

        The simplest solution (which I and others have proffered) would simply have been to switch their primary and alternate jersey designations (moving from the wretched metallic gold blue jersey to the royal & athletic gold alternate/throwback), which at least would have solved problems when the team was forced to wear blue. It wouldn’t have helped the white (road, and also home) jersey, but at least that combo is somewhat palatable.

        • Cole | October 16, 2017 at 1:15 am |

          Could they do that? There were news reports that they wanted to wear the throwbacks for this game but NFL wouldn’t let them wear them more than twice. If they switched the throwbacks to the primary, wouldn’t that mean couldnt change in 2 years as planned?

          Ps the NFL has too many dumb rules…

    • Bill H | October 14, 2017 at 11:56 am |

      Gold horns or navy facemasks wouldn’t solve it but would help. Really wouldn’t be that hard to do either and within NFL rules.

    • Rob S | October 14, 2017 at 11:35 pm |

      The white pants will be much less heinous than the blue pants with the thick white stripe, but really all they had to do to avoid this was not ditch the millennium gold horns, at least with this jersey.

  • Special K | October 14, 2017 at 11:21 am |

    Quite

  • Special K | October 14, 2017 at 11:28 am |

    Quite the undertaking to track all those baseball uniforms. The Diamondbacks wore an astounding 27 combinations over the course of the year, with the most frequent combination worn only 29 times in 162 games. 17 of the sets were only worn 1-3 times each, 6 sets were worn 6-10 times, and the top four (standard home and road, teal alternate home and road) were worn 17-29 times each.

  • Jerry Reuss | October 14, 2017 at 12:55 pm |

    Excellent work, Chris! The image with the five uniformed men standing in the dugout sets the bar that all of us “colorizers” hope to reach.

  • Lindsay Resnick | October 14, 2017 at 1:13 pm |

    Just pointing out that you have a link to a tweet about “Santa Fe Christian” and their uniforms – that is a high school. It’s no big deal but it was a little strange that it’s just kind of stuck in the middle of all these college uni combos.

  • LarryB | October 14, 2017 at 2:45 pm |

    I really enjoy the work done by Chris. I wish he did more old football. But the baseball colorizations are fantastic.

    • Chris Whitehouse | October 14, 2017 at 7:26 pm |

      I would love to do more too. I have a few more Bears and Packers in the queue, and some great college shots. But MLB is most likely to pay the bills, so I need to focus on that for a while.

      • LarryB | October 14, 2017 at 7:43 pm |

        I hear you Chris. You do a great job on things like the dirt,bats,flesh and so on.

  • Hit the Glass | October 14, 2017 at 3:22 pm |

    Correction: “NBA 2K17 has leaked that the Lakers’ new “Classic Edition” unis will be the old Minneapolis Lakers powder blues (from Conrad Burry)”

    it’s 2K18, Phil.

    Sorry if I was too blunt. First time sending a correction.

    • Phil Hecken | October 14, 2017 at 4:34 pm |

      I didn’t do the ticker, but thanks for the bluntness.

  • hugh.c.mcbride | October 14, 2017 at 4:17 pm |

    Bravo, Mr. Whitehouse-ManCave. Amazing work that gives us a new opportunity to appreciate those glorious unis. Thanks so much for doin’ what you do!

  • Ferdinand Cesarano | October 14, 2017 at 11:10 pm |

    Editing note: “Hofstra’s midnight madness logo features the Manhattan skyline, which would be fine, if the team weren’t [not ‘was’] located 30 miles outside of Manhattan on Long Island”.

    And the Baltimore Blast are part of the Major Arena (not “American”) Soccer League.