For all photos, click to enlarge
As you all know by now, I have no interest in purchasing or wearing mass-produced retail jerseys, but I do like vintage jerseys from high school teams, factory teams, softball teams, and the like. It had been a while since I’d picked up one of those, but I recently found this beauty on eBay (only $14!), which appears to be from the 1970s or ’80s.
I love so many things about it, beginning with the color scheme. Maroon and mustard — mmm, tasty. I also love the lettering (looks like it was hand-cut), including the endearingly clunky “B & S” across the chest. The font is similar to what the Red Sox and Mets use on their road jerseys, but not quite the same. Here’s a closer look:
The back is just as nice, thanks to some really nice NOB lettering:
I like how much of the negative space disappears on the mustard layer.
One thing I like about vintage jerseys is that they have stories to tell. What is this one’s story? A tag on the front-left hemline indicates that it was made by a shop called Johnny Mac’s in Crestwood, Missouri — a suburb of St. Louis:
The Missouri location got me thinking that “B&S Parts” could refer to Briggs & Stratton, which has a Missouri plant in Poplar Bluff, about two and a half hours from St. Louis.
As it happens, Johnny Mac’s is still in business. In fact, they’re a chain, although none of their eight current locations is in Crestwood. I contacted them to see if they could tell me more about the jersey and heard back from a manager named Clay Keeney, who said the jersey was likely from the 1970s. He said my Briggs & Stratton hunch was probably correct, and that he thinks B&S used to have a plant that was closer to St. Louis than the Poplar Bluff facility.
As for the “Martin” NOB, we’ll likely never know who Martin was. Too bad.
And how does it fit? Like the proverbial glove (photos by Mary Bakija, click to enlarge):
The one thing I don’t like about the jersey is the crossover collar, which is a topic I want to talk about for a minute. I’ve never liked that style, which always seems like it ruins the symmetry of the jersey. It’s interesting to see the crossover on a baseball/softball jersey, though. I checked with Bill Henderson, who confirmed my initial thought that no MLB team in the pullever era (1970-1992) ever wore a crossover collar.
I associate the crossover style mostly with basketball — think Knicks, Hornets, last season’s NBA All-Star Game, Rutgers, etc. And then there were the early-1960s Dallas Cowboys, who had that weird variation on the crossover collar.
Interestingly, all of the examples I just cited have the top crossover layer on the same side, and my vintage jersey also has it on that side. Have there ever been crossover collars with the top layer on the other side? If not, how did the prevailing side get to be that way? Hmmmm.
’Tis the season: I’ll soon begin work on my annual Uni Watch Holiday Gift Guide. If you have any suggestions for items or companies that should be featured, I’m all ears. Thanks.
By Kris Gross
Baseball News: The University of Texas football equipment staff congratulated the Astros on their World Series championship with an Astros-themed football helmet. How about that tequila sunrise helmet stripe?? (From Dave Jones.) … Everyone in Houston is celebrating the Astros championship, including this priest in tequila sunrise vestments (from Anil Adyanthaya). … The Phillies’ new manager Gabe Kapler will wear No. 22, a number he never wore during his 12 seasons as a player (from Todd Zolecki). … Now this is cool: The Indians’ Instagram account posted an old photo showing “Tribe legends” Charlie Nagy, Mel Harder and Sandy Alomar playing catch in era-appropriate uniforms on the site where Jacobs Field would be built (from @History_Cle). … Oops. No matter what anyone at Sportsnet may say, Texans DE JJ Watt is not a World Series champion. … Following up on Tom Konecny’s post from Tuesday about the changes at Dodger Stadium, reader Les Campbell points out the changes that have replaced lots of foul ground around home plate with seats. … Here is a cool story on a man who sold his 1957 Cubs jersey off his back after wearing it to a convention (from Brett Clark). … Speaking of old-school jerseys, check out these 1965 uniforms for the “newly renamed” Houston Astros (from BSmile). … The Coastal Plain League reimagined their team logos as football helmets.
NFL News: The Jets wore their kelly green unis and the Bills went mono-white last night. More photos here. … The Eagles are going mono-black this Sunday (from Blake Fox). … New 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo explains why his No. 10 is so important to him. … There’s more at stake than you might think when the Cowboys host the Chiefs this weekend. An ”unsightly” trophy, which cost less than $100 to make, is up for grabs. The Preston Rd. Traveling Trophy was named for the “Dallas street on which both Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones lived.” More info here. … Cross-listed from the MLB section: Is Texans DE JJ Watt spending his time on the IR with the Astros? … Reader Steve King reminds us that Dan Marino didn’t have the NFL 75th-anniversary patch on his jersey during the “Fake Spike Game.” … The promo poster for Kenny Chesney’s concert at Gillette Stadium features a modified Patriots helmet with Chesney’s logo (from Matthew Olson). … Mike Hersh was watching last night’s episode of The Good Place. “One of the characters is a Jaguars fan and they gave him a bag with a fake Jaguars logo and a fake Jags jersey,” he says. “It’s not great but would be a vast improvement over their current uniforms.”
College and High School Football News: We know what TCU, Liberty, and Stony Brook will wear on Saturday (from Patrick Muffley). … Cross-listed from the MLB section: The University of Texas football equipment staff congratulated the Astros on their World Series championship with an Astros-themed football helmet. (from Dave Jones). … Virginia Tech posted this video of their 1995 win over Miami. The interesting part? “Not all of the Hokies have sleeve stripes,” says J Fletcher. … Brice Wallace passed along this graphic of Weber State DB Jordan Preator and, wow, there’s a lot going on with his uni here. “The leg bands, leg sleeve, biker shorts with the laces flowing from the crotch. The under ‘skirt’ and long sleeves.” … Surprising that the refs would allow this black-vs.-grey matchup in a Texas high school game (from Chris Mycoskie).
Hockey News: The Blackhawks will celebrate G.I. Joevember on Sunday (from James Beattie). … Pinktober may be over, but the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL will skate on pink ice Saturday night (from Brock Nelson). … All of Nike’s Olympic hockey jerseys have been released. …
Basketball News: New jerseys for Weber State (from Brandon Garside). … Dayton will continue to wear a No. 5 patch memorializing Steve McElvene. They originally added the patch last season (thanks, Paul). … New court designs for Washington and Missouri State (from Carlos Montalvan and Kyle).
Soccer News: Cameroon has a rich uniform history, including the one-piece unitard from 2004 and serving as the basis for Serena Williams’s outfit at the 2002 French Open. Here’s their latest kit (from Justin Bell).
Grab Bag: Olympics news incoming! We’ve got a uniform reveal for the United States freeskiing team (thanks Phil). … The US snowboard team will wear NASA-inspired uniforms (from Rudy). … Is the future of footwear in 3-D printed, customized shoes? (From James Gilbert.)