By Phil Hecken
Beautiful looking game in Chicago yesterday (well, beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder, but if you loved the uniforms of the 1970s and 1980s, this one was for you). The Brewers threw back to circa-1982, a year they played in the American League and in which they went to the World Series. Their opponents were former AL rivals the Chicago White Sox, who just happened to already possess the perfect 82 Beach Blanket Bingo uniforms of their own. It’s a matchup you might have witnessed on the South Side some 36 years ago.
For reference, here’s a look at Bill Henderson’s writeup of the uniforms worn during this time period:
It seems like the Brewers (or the White Sox, who are responsible for furnishing the uniforms) did a pretty good job of replicating the unis:
Let’s see: gold front panel/blue ball-in-glove cap? Check. Script Milwaukee? Check. Pullover jerseys and sansabelt pants? Check. NNOB? Check.
The team seemed to do an excellent job of recreating the uniforms, right down to the smallest details — I like how they even made sure to get the fonts correct — notice the “5” above has the same telltale notch as it did back in the day. About the only discrepancy I could find between the original uniforms and the throwbacks was the helmets: back in 1982, the helmets were blue with a white panel painted on it, while yesterday’s helmets were solid blue. Both had the ball in glove logo.
Nicely done. Of course, I’ve given up complaining about players wearing a much more form-fitting uniform (as was the style in the 1980s), and hoping for any hosiery, much less stirrups, is usually a fool’s errand. But other than these minor quibbles, the Brewers looked great.
The White Sox, of course, had have their own 1982 era throwbacks for several years, so they looked superb:
It was a good looking matchup between both teams:
There are a few teams I think should return to powder blue, and the Brewers are definitely one of them. This may be a “fan favorite” (and I admit I do love the script Milwaukee wordmark), but the Brewers actually have a couple different powder blue iterations from which to choose. I actually preferred the Hank Aaron era powder blues, when the team wore gold sanis under blue stirrups. But this would be equally acceptable for a throwback. And when worn with high cuffs, this one really still looks pretty good today:
I’m sure many of you who didn’t grow up during a time when uniforms like this were considered just normal, and par for the course, think stuff like this looks dated and/or ridiculous, but for those of us who saw unis like these in our formative years, it was a nice trip down memory lane.
I sure enjoyed it.
For those who don’t wish to click the links, Graig paints baseball heroes (and regular guys) from the past, and is an immense talent.
Occasionally, I will be featuring his work on Uni Watch.
Here’s today’s offering (click to enlarge):
Title: “A New Home”
Subject: Joe Jackson, 1911
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 18″ x 22″
Like most baseball history buffs, I’ve always been fascinated with Joe Jackson. It’s hard not to be, as his tale has been so incredibly intriguing on every level: his beginnings as a mill hand, how he acquired his nickname, his otherworldly statistics, the Black Sox scandal in 1919, the aftermath, and even how his merits and foibles continue to be debated today. Though gone since 1951, in 2018, he remains very much alive.
In this painting, he appears with the Cleveland Naps in 1911, his first full year with the club. The photograph I had used for reference was especially appealing, not only from a standpoint of light and (possible) color, but also its unique design. It’s the architecture of Comiskey that really sells it here, with the awkward slope of the roof coming straight down onto Jackson’s neck, and then that movement being echoed by the shadow shape on his shoulder and down his arm. Speaking in terms of classical picture making or portraiture, that structure of the ballpark should have had some serious editing done to it to make the image more ‘successful,’ whether that’s changing its shape or getting rid of it altogether.
I guess the fact that it comes down and seemingly cuts his head off just resonated with me in some way. Perhaps it was a metaphor for the treatment he received from Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis in 1920? There’s probably some of that in there, but I also just think it was that shape that made the piece so interesting. In a way, I found that I was breaking the rules of picture making by leaving it there. And I guess when you speak of Joe Jackson, the idea of questionably breaking the rules is a familiar motif.
Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.
for the Ticker
Got an e-mail from UW Pal Ray Hund.
The message was short, but the goodness inside was not to be missed (check out the pics after the e-mail):
The 1968 World Series between the Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals featured at least two players who did not wear protective helmets while batting: 1) Mickey Lolich and 2) Norm Cash. The homerun Lolich hit in game 2 (see pic) is the only one he ever hit in his entire career. And old guys like me gotta love the floppy victory cap Dick McAuliffe is wearing in the winner’s locker room.
I’m not sure if this is a popular opinion or not, but those 1968 road flannels with their tv numbers were (IMO) the best Tigers roadies ever, and easily one of the top 10 all time road uniforms for all teams.
OK. Now, on to the ticker…
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: Here’s a great photo of the legendary Satchel Paige doffing his cap to the photographer as a member of the Dragones de Ciudad Trujillo (from Alex Cheremeteff). Looks like Ol’ Satch had some problems aligning his buttons! … OT Sports had some photos from Brannock Device Night (in which Paul threw out the first pitch Thursday). … CROSSOVER: Philadelphia Eagles players joined together for a charity softball game that benefits the building of sports complexes in Haiti. Half the players wore Kelly green softball jerseys while the other half wore light gray. The jerseys were a nod to former day’s when the Eagles wore Kelly green. Owner Jeffrey Laurie participated in the home run derby that preceded the game. About 25,000 fans “crowded” into Citizens Bank Park for the event. From John M. — also posted in NFL. … Here’s more on that from John McMunn: “a picture of Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Laurie in uniform for the AO1 charity softball game at Citizens Bank Park on Friday evening. Note that he is wearing jersey #7 which I assume is a nod to Ron Jaworski.” … There’s a note in this article about Johnny Wyrostek of the Phillies in the left-hand column, who wore eye-black in 1946 (great find from Jerry Wolper). … The Peninsula Pilots of the Coastal Plain League sported some interesting jerseys (from Marc Víquez). … In yesterday’s ticker I mentioned all the Cubs wore their cuffs high for Friday night’s game. Turns out there was a specific reason (from Topher Flounder). … Cut4 had a nice review of Todd Radom’s new book, Winning Ugly. They interviewed Todd, so he provides some perspectives. Good read. Also some good responses to my tweet on that. … Next weekend (June 8-10) the Marlins will wear their teal throwbacks to help celebrate their 25th Anniversary season. … “Grandaln (#9) a switch hitter has reason for two helmets, but Kike Hernandez (#14) is purely a right handed hitter,” writes Stetson Pevear. Still, he has two helmets. I can’t tell if the top helmet has a C-Flap or not. I could not find any 2018 pictures of Kike without a C-Flap.” He followed up with a “mystery solved” e-mail: “I was just watching the game and Kike comes to bat with a helmet without a C-Flap. So mystery solved/confirmed. He has two helmets, one with and one without a C-Flap.” … The Durham Bulls debuted their Copa De La Diversion jerseys which were made by OT Sports on Friday. … How bad are things for my (and Paul’s) team? The Mets were scheduled to distribute Todd Frazier replica batting practice pullovers to the first 15,000 fans through the turnstiles before Saturday’s game, but they announced before gates opened that they would not be giving them out because of a “quality control issue in the production of the item.”
NFL/CFL News: I am not sure how factual any of this is, but check out this twitter thread on possibly uniforms for the LA Rams (from Patrick Thomas). … CROSSOVER: Philadelphia Eagles players joined together for a charity softball game that benefits the building of sports complexes in Haiti. Half the players wore Kelly green softball jerseys while the other half wore light gray. The jerseys were a nod to former day’s when the Eagles wore Kelly green. Owner Jeffrey Laurie participated in the home run derby that preceded the game. About 25,000 fans “crowded” into Citizens Bank Park for the event. From John M. — also posted in baseball. … Here’s more on that from John McMunn: “a picture of Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Laurie in uniform for the AO1 charity softball game at Citizens Bank Park on Friday evening. Note that he is wearing jersey #7 which I assume is a nod to Ron Jaworski.” … In a preseason game Friday, the Calgary Stamps & BC Lions played a color vs. color game (from Tom Pachuta). Not only that, it was orange versus red. Wade Heidt notes that in addition, the BC Lions wore new orange socks. They had worn only black socks at home and white socks on the road since they switched to this uniform design in 2016. … “I found a pretty good article on the Saints uniforms on Nola.com,” says Douglas Malicki. “I didn’t know they planned to wear different color helmets for home and road games at one point, pre dating by many years what is the norm in college football these days.” — UW Pal Scott Turner notes this includes “a photo of a “navy-tan” prototype from 1985 that I’d never seen or heard of before”. … Little bit of chatter here on the Steelers new throwback unis, including the question “do they throw back far enough?”
Hockey News: According to Kyle Arnott, here’s a Columbus Blue Jackets “prototype jersey (in a style I haven’t seen before!) just popped up on eBay and it’s already out of my price range—I envy the lucky person who ends up taking home this incredible find.” … Kyle Arnott seemed to have a theory on the CBJ prototype. … From @FoShizGriz, now that the NHL Finals will have first game in Washington, it appears that the restaurant next to arena can’t use the term “Cup.” … Saxon Brack found what appears to be a Dallas Stars prototype sweater. … This is cool: “In this story, the word “Fuck” has been replaced by “Zamboni” throughout,” writes Tris Wykes “Developer who loves hockey. So awesome.” Agreed.
NBA News: The Nuggets recently began to phase the powder blue out of their color scheme. Their 2017-18 uniforms relied more heavily on a deep navy blue than on its powder counterpart. Now, as uniform and logo aficionado Conrad Burry reports, they’re taking a head-first dive into the threads of their past.
Soccer News: The Hibs have launched their new home and away kit for the 2018/19 season. The Easter Road club unveiled the striking new designs which they describe as “a nod to the past as well as the future,” (from Ed Żelaski). … The Republic of Ireland marked the beginning of Pride month by incorporating the rainbow flag into their team kit as they faced the USA in a friendly yesterday (from Ted Arnold). … Arsenal’s 2018-19 away kit has leaked (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh: Toluca’s 2018/19 home and away kits have leaked … San Marino’s Men’s National Team 2018-19 away kit was released (Josh again). … U.S. soccer player Jaelene Hinkle didn’t want to wear LGBTQ ‘Pride Month’ jersey, so she refused to play. … “Noticed something while watching @ATLUTD tonight – notice how the club badge is centered perfectly in the red stripe on Martinez’s kit (right), but it splits two stripes on Gressel’s kit (left),” tweeted Robbiñ’ Seasoñ. “Curious as to why that would be.” … Doug Keklak sent in this video and said, “haven’t seen that one before. Richmond Kickers’ USL broadcast was using outdated logo for Pittsburgh Riverhounds FC in score bug and fixed it mid-game!”
Grab Bag: NASA is getting ready to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo Program that landed a dozen Americans on the moon! Friday night they revealed the official anniversary logo. Check it out! (from James Gilbert).