For all of today’s images, you can click to enlarge
Today we have something very, very special — a 1965 promotional brochure from a company that made uniforms for stadium workers. It involves a lot of reading, but trust me when I say it’s worth it.
The brochure was sent to Denver Broncos assistant GM Paul Manasseh and later acquired by longtime Uni Watch reader Tom Jacobsen, one of the nation’s foremost collectors of Broncos memorabilia, who recently loaned the brochure to me. It was made by a now-defunct New York company called Saxony Clothes, which for many years had specialized in making uniforms for hotel and restaurant workers. Then, in the early 1960s, they decided to expand into stadium apparel. Here’s the cover letter that accompanied the brochure:
The first page of the brochure is a bit cheesy but sets the scene nicely and gives a bit of background on the company:
The next two pages describe how Saxony created uniforms for Shea Stadium, which had opened as the Mets’ new home the year before. Check this out:
The Shea attire was apparently a hit, because the next page in the brochure shows a bunch of newspaper articles referencing the new apparel:
I’m a lifelong Mets fan and was not aware of any of this. Some teams are famous for having had fancy employee uniforms back in the day, but I’d never heard anything like that regarding the Mets.
Let’s take a closer look at those newspaper clippings. Two of them are from The New York Times. Those were easy for me to track down. First there’s this one, from March 15, 1964:
And then there’s this one, from April 18, 1964. It mentions the “fetching usherettes” wearing “blue bowler hats, blazers of orange, white, and blue”:
There’s also a clip from the old Long Island Daily Press, a paper that went out of business in 1977. This clip is from April 15, 1964. Although it has no visuals, it has a bunch of good information about the stadium uniforms, including the name of the Saxony designer who created them:
There’s also a clip — it appears to be the back page — from the Aug. 24, 1964, edition of The New York Daily News. The News, somewhat surprisingly, does not have an online archive, and I haven’t had time to go to the main branch of the New York Public Library to look up the microfilm (anyone want to tackle that one?), but we can see most of the clip as it’s shown in the Saxony brochure. It appears to show Mets then-manager Casey Stengel with a bunch of usherettes wearing the Saxony uniforms:
Finally, there’s a clip from the now-defunct New York Journal-American. No online archive for that either, but here’s the portion of the clip that’s shown in the Saxony brochure:
That’s some serious Mets history right there!
But there’s a lot more in brochure. The next spread features the stadium apparel that Saxony prepared for Shea Stadium’s other tenants, the AFL’s New York Jets:
Unfortunately, the brochure does not show news clippings for the Jets attire (or for any of the other non-Mets designs).
Next up: Yankee Stadium, which was another Saxony client. Check it out:
When this brochure was sent out in 1965, the Angels were preparing to open Anaheim Stadium — the Big A — which would open its doors in 1966. Saxony was working on uniforms for them as well:
Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta was also getting set to open in 1966, and Saxony was working on designs for that too. This is the strangest spread in the brochure, as you can see here:
Obviously, that’s the early, late-1940s version of Chief Wahoo, not the Braves’ whooping Indian. Hard to understand how they got that wrong. (And yes, this version is even more unacceptably racist-looking than the current Wahoo.)
The brochure concludes with two spreads about uniforms for horse racing tracks — Pompano in Florida and Aqueduct
And that’s it. It’s a pretty remarkable document, and in pristine condition. Doubleplusthanks to Tom Jacobsen for sharing it with me. (Tom has also acquired lots of other interesting Broncos- and NFL-related documents, at least one of which is of major historical importance. I’ll be writing about that shortly for ESPN — stay tuned.)
By Alex Hider
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