True Colors - Volume VII: Meet Don Stokes

[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site. Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through the end of the month, although Paul is still on the clock over at ESPN and may be popping up here occasionally.]

By Phil Hecken

As most of you are aware, I love old photo colorizations, especially old time baseball photographs, and I’ve featured a number of posts over the years from a few of the colorizers I’ve “met” (and usually interviewed). You know the names: Chris Whitehouse (“ManCave”), George Chilvers, Larry Bodnovich, Matt Olbert (“Fenway Photoshops”), Mark Truelove, Gary Chanko; I’m sure I’m missing some. I also used to run a sub-lede segment called “Colorize This” which lasted for a couple years. Today, I would like to introduce yet another outstanding artist who colorizes the black and white photos of yesteryear: Don Stokes.

I interviewed Don (that follows) and also asked him if he could show us 10 of his colorized works, with short descriptions. I’m sure you’ll enjoy them all.

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Uni Watch: OK, standard question first — are you a Uni Watch follower (and if so, for how long?) and what first brought you to the blog?

Don Stokes: Yes, it started 2010 with Colorize This with some 1913 Washington Senators and have been following since.

UW: How old are you?

DS: 73 and live in Galesburg, Illinois.

UW: As readers know, I’ve always loved colorizations, and featured many (including one or two by you so far) on the blog. How long have you been doing them?

DS: Since 2009 off on on.

UW: I was first introduced to your work by Ron Bolton (OT Baseball Photos), who has contributed many pieces to Uni Watch. How long have you know Ron, and how often have you worked with him?

DS: I’ve known Ron going on 4 years in November. Actually I work with Ron almost on a daily bases as far as baseball research goes.

UW: Do you only use photoshop? Or do you have other programs you use, like Illustrator? When I did colorizations (and not well, I used GIMP, which is of course the “free” version of Photoshop).

DS: I started out using a program called Recolored then I went to Photoshop Elements 9 and now up to Elements 14. And I also use the on-line Pickmonkey photo editor to sometimes fine tune My work, but that’s just me. I also use a on line color picker to get all the color codes I need before I start.

UW: What attracted you to colorizations? Do you do any non-sports ones?

DS: I’ve done a couple of football ones for Ron Bolton but no other sports.

UW: Is this a hobby or do you do any of this professionally? If not professionally, would you like to try to turn it into a money making venture?

DS: Just a hobby and no intention of making any money for doing it.

UW: How long did it take you to “learn” to colorize? Do you use any ‘tricks’ or special techniques?

DS: I picked it up rather quick but always learning and some of my early stuff was pretty bad but I don’t really do anything special

UW: How long does an “average” colorization take? What picture took you the longest?

DS: The small ones without much surroundings maybe an hour. And the longest maybe 12 hours over a period of days.

UW: What’s been the most difficult or challenging photo?

DS: Doing crowds and some whole team uniforms take the most time.

UW: Where can we see more of your work? Do you have a website or blog? We can obviously follow you on twitter @ Dto716, but do you have any other social media presence(s)?

DS: Here you go.

UW: Great! Thanks, Don — ok, can you show us some of your work and give us some quick descriptions?

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1903 New York Highlanders

The 1903 New York Highlanders first year road uniforms with a mystery player finally revealed. Third player in the top row was for years was mistaken for Doc Adkins but is actually Bill Pounds who didn’t even make the team.

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Ty Cobb Sliding

Charles Conlon’s famous 1910 photo of Ty Cobb of the Detroit Tigers sliding into third base occupied by Jimmy Austin of the New York Highlanders at Hilltop Park in New York.

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1911 Washington Senators

The 1911 Washington Senators with 23 year old Walter Johnson at Hilltop Park in New York. The Senators have 11 losing season until Clark Griffith takes over in 1912 as owner, manager and player.

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Miller Huggins

Always been a Miller Huggins fan and this photo taken around 1927 is just a great photo with Miller probably thinking about how to keep his great player Babe Ruth in line.

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Walter Johnson and Babe Ruth

1926 Walter Johnson and Babe Ruth munching on some Ruth candy bars. I wonder if they tasted any good?

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Babe Ruth with Jack Barry and Rabbit Maranville

1935 Babe Ruth with Jack Barry and Rabbit Maranville at Braves Field. Jack played with Ruth in his rookie year with Boston Red Sox.

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Bob Feller and Satchel Paige

Bob Feller and Satchel Paige (July 7, 1948) of the Cleveland Indians talking about pitching in the majors and 2 days later Paige would make his major league debut in relief against the St. Louis Browns.

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Walter Johnson, Patsy Gharrity and Steve O’Neill

1935 Cleveland Indians manager Walter Johnson and his coaches Patsy Gharrity and Steve O’Neill. Just love the photo and the Cleveland Indians road uniform.

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Stan Musial

Stan Musial at Shibe Park against the 1946 Philadelphia Phillies. Just a great photo of a Hall of Famer who I got to see play in many games at Chicago’s Wrigley Field an Old Sporstman’s Park in St. Louis.

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Jake Atz

Always liked this photo of Jake Atz in a 1907 Chicago White Sox road uniform. Jake only played four seasons.

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Wow. Great stuff, Don — thank you for sharing! OK readers, whaddya think?

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The U Goes Green…

Yesterday afternoon, the University of Miami Hurricanes unveiled a “new” uniform — the first-ever football uniforms made with repurposed and upcycled materials created in partnership with Parley for the Oceans (if Adidas and “parley” sound familiar, it’s because they’ve been making soccer kits with Parley before). But this is a first for a football uni.

The team will be breaking out these uniforms for their opener, September 2, versus LSU.

Here’s a couple more looks:

According to the corporate-speak press release,

Creating a unique look for the Canes, the Miami x Parley A1 uniform features “The U’s” home jersey orange colorway that is accompanied by accents that are an ode to the cause to end plastic pollution of the oceans. The jersey sleeve caps and the stripes white pants feature a wave print that fuses Miami’s signature dark green with the EQT green colorway that adidas x Parley has become synonymous with. Subliminal tonal palm trees on the sides of the jersey pay homage to South Floridian landscapes and the environment that enriches the biodiverse local ecosystem. The literal thread tying the Miami jersey to Parley is continued in a green stitched pattern within the white block numbers.

I couldn’t really find a photo that showed the sublimated palm trees, but we’ll just take their word for it. You can kinda sorta see the “wave” print on the sleeve caps:

The jersey is orange — similar to Miami’s new home jersey — but noticeably different with the green sleeve caps replacing the striping, as seen below. The pants look to have slightly different striping as well, with a green logo on the pants waist, as compared to an orange one for the new 2018 unis (new 2018 uni on left, parley uni on right):

Apparently the unis look good when wet…

“Our players and staff are excited to wear the new adidas Parley jerseys and gear for our season opener. We’re also excited that adidas and Parley are teaming up with UM to help promote sustainability around the world,” Hurricanes coach Mark Richt said in a statement released by UM. “Community service has always been an integral part of our football program, and this partnership with adidas and Parley helps us continue those efforts.”

Yeah, yeah. So what exactly is this “parley” uniform material?

Highlighted by elements of the ocean from top to bottom, Miami’s new special edition adidas x Parley A1 football uniform is composed of over 70% regenerated ECONYL® yarn; a raw material transformed from fishing nets and other nylon waste intercepted in marine environments. As a part of their partnership, adidas x Parley rework these various marine plastic waste materials into technical fibers that create the material framework of a durable, yet breathable fabric that is optimal for adidas performance apparel

You can read more about these new uniforms here.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot the hype video…

I don’t hate these. I prefer the new orange jersey (and its accompanying white pants) because I’m not a fan of the green sleeve caps, but these are nice as well. And hey, if these are made from “fishing nets and other nylon waste intercepted in marine environments” then that’s a good thing as well.

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Collectors Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Here we have a pair of 1970s Pittsburgh Penguins salt and pepper shakers because why not? They are three inches tall and the logo shown was used from the 1968/1969 through 1971/1972 seasons. Now for the rest of the week:

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• This 1970s Rawlings Miami Dolphins jersey featured #22 for RB Mercury Morris, though it doesn’t show his name being on the back- I don’t think kids jerseys did that at the time. I remember going to the Sears near our house in Dallas for a felt number kit- punch out the numbers from the sheet and your trainer, er, mom sews ’em on. Not sure if she put my last name on the back, but I think she did! (If you look closely you can see “17” on my sleeves; I think I did that for Don Meredith for some reason- he had already retired by the fall of 1971.)

• Of course, these days baseball bobbles resemble a specific player. It wasn’t always like that, and early on they had a generic little kid look to ’em, as you can see on this San Francisco Giants 1960s paper mache bobble.

• Fans of the Brew-Crew will like this 1970s Brewers baseball sponsored by The Golden Arches.

• Nice 1980s poster of Walter Payton, though he never wore Puma to my knowledge. All the Payton shoe pix I ever saw were either Roos or taped up.

• This shirt says “NFL Alumni Baltimore Colts” on the chest. Since it is a size medium- did it belong to the punter or kicker?

• This 1970s Champion Minnesota Vikings T has some interesting stripe placement.

NFL Game Plan by Tudor from the mid-1970s is an absolutely terrific board game, and I highly recommend it! Between this one and the SI board game from the same era, I was the master of my domain.

• Niners fans will want to check out this 1970s 49ers watch from Bulova, still in the box.

• This 1970s L.A. Lakers light switchplate has also never been removed from the package.

• The facemask on this 1970s Placo Bucco Bruce helmet plaque is riding a little low- I bet it’s just loose and can be fixed easily.

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LAST CALL! DEADLINE TONIGHT AT 11:00 EDT

Griffins Design Contest

In case you missed it, I’m running the third annual “Grand Rapids Griffins Jersey Design Contest,” in which readers are asked to submit jersey design concepts for a third (or alternate) jersey for the team.

Like past years, the team is asking for a jersey (only) design, but other than that, it’s pretty wide open.

All of the details are here in this post, but the important big detail is the contest submission deadline, which is TODAY Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 (by 11:00 pm E.D.T.). Everything else you need to know is in that post.

Update The jersey of the winning designer will be worn on December 29, 2018 and not February 15, 2019, as previously announced.

OK? OK!

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: I’m all for this brown-gold-and-orange “tequila sunset” Padres concept. What say you, Dads fans? (From @BBTB2018). … Braves P Bryse Wilson made his first MLB start last night wearing No. 72. He’s  the third player to wear that number this year (from Daren Stoltzfus). …  If you have a few hundred bucks laying around and the time/ability to drive down and pick it up from Great American Ball Park, you can own this Reds logo spotlight that’s being auctioned off. Note the caveat: Does not function. … The White Sox are giving away a Blackhawks mascot bobblehead tonight (from Griffin Smith). … The Stockton Ports, the A’s Single-A affiliate, are planning a British Night promo, and OT Sports has a first draft of the jersey design. … Brendon Yarian was at the National Silver Ball Tournament, an 1860s base ball tournament that took place in Mumford, New York earlier this month and took a ton of photos. … Michael Goldberg found this 1930s Ohio Oil baseball uniform (including red pants!) and a nifty Astrodome pennant at an antique store in Woodstock, Illinois. … Mikey Brethauer found this Mets knockoff shirt at a discount store in San Francisco. Not quite Paul’s “Meats” shirt, IMO.

Pro Football NewsAs the NFL season inches closer, another thinkpiece has been published on the intersection of militarization and football, and how merchandising plays a role (from Phil). … Since he’s been coaching in the CFL, Saskatchewan Roughriders coach Chris Jones often wears all black. However, coaches wore specific T-shirts this weekend for the league’s “Diversity is Strength” campaign, so we were treated to the rare site of Jones coaching in color (from Wade Heidt).

College Football NewsHere’s a look at some of the new jerseys and helmets that have been introduced so far (from Phil). … Virginia Tech has already unveiled their new jerseys, but here’s a good look at how the shoulder striping will look on the back (from Andrew Cosentino). … A few HBCU teams have unveiled new Under Armour jerseys (from Phil).

Hockey News: A three-on-three pickup lacrosse team in Vancouver has been told to hand over their jerseys that feature a modified version of the Canucks’ Johnny Canuck logo (from Phil). … Repost: The Chicago White Sox are giving away a Blackhawks mascot bobblehead tonight (from Griffin Smith).

Soccer News: Norwich City in England’s Championship has gone the Iowa route and painted their visiting locker room pink (from Alex Evans). … Brazilian club Inter went GFGS on Sunday (from Hit The Glass). … Fans at a Dutch Eredivisie league game between Excelsior and Feyenoord threw stuffed animals on the pitch Sunday. The toys were donated to sick children at a local hospital (from Alex Evans and Jamie Rathjen). … Louisville City FC signed Jose Carranza yesterday. However, they photoshopped him into a 2017 jersey — the sleeve ad is wrong and the 2018 jersey has gold accents (from Josh Hinton). … 3rd Degree has updated his 2018 MLS tracker.

Grab Bag: The Charlotte Hornets will be giving away a number of retro bobbleheads for their 30th “season” (from James Gilbert). … Ole Miss has a new alternate logo to go with their new “landshark” mascot and unofficial nickname (from Gregg Elkin). … Madison, Wisconsin’s transit department’s logo its (from Shawn Dobbins).

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41 comments to True Colors – Volume VII: Meet Don Stokes

  • Kelly | August 21, 2018 at 8:10 am |

    I love revisionist sports history.
    It’s not really “30 years” of Charlotte basketball…as there was no “02-03 or 03-04” seasons. Granted, there’s no reason to acknowledge the Bobcats as part of “Charlotte” basketball history, but hey, what the hell…let’s bring back the old logo, uniform and history / drama that was part of the bad ownership that were the reasons the team were sold off and relocated to begin with.

    Loyalty!

    • Rob S | August 21, 2018 at 8:19 am |

      That’s why I did this edit to the logo that was revealed months ago.

    • Matt Beahan | August 21, 2018 at 1:49 pm |

      The Hornets aren’t celebrating 30 seasons, more 30 years since the first Hornets season.

      I’m looking forward to all the festivities, god knows there’s not a lot else to get excited about this season!

  • Rob S | August 21, 2018 at 8:17 am |

    Braves P Bryse Wilson made his first MLB start last night wearing No. 72. He’s the third player to wear that number this year (from Daren Stoltzfus).

    I count four players.

    • Rob S | August 21, 2018 at 8:59 am |

      To specify, in addition to Wilson:
      Yonny Chirinos – 11 games pitched for the Rays
      Jack Reinheimer – 4 games played for the Mets
      Enny Romero – has pitched for 3 teams this year, wearing 72 for all three teams.

      So, yeah, that’s four total. Guessing someone didn’t look beyond the empty batting stats for Chirinos – who wouldn’t be listed as wearing 72 this year on B-R if he hadn’t played, much less having a WAR stat – to see his pitching stats.

  • Matt | August 21, 2018 at 8:19 am |

    Edit: “Norwitch” should be “Norwich”

    • Jamie Rathjen | August 21, 2018 at 8:49 am |

      Sorry, fixed.

      By the way, not sure what that last item in Grab Bag is supposed to say.

  • jerseyb | August 21, 2018 at 8:28 am |

    “an ode to the cause to end plastic pollution of the oceans.”

    bwahahahahahahahaha!

    that had to be THE alltime jakiest line of bullsh*t ever for these marketing pukes.

  • Joe Rodgers | August 21, 2018 at 9:15 am |

    Why are you calling the standard orange Miami uniforms new? Unless you’re referring to the new template, they’ve been around since 2016.

    http://caneswatch.blog.palmbeachpost.com/2016/09/19/photos-video-miami-hurricanes-unveil-new-throwback-uniforms/

    • Phil Hecken | August 21, 2018 at 9:27 am |

      First of all, the orange (and green & white and presumably black as well) uni is new this year because it’s a new template. Yes, the style is almost identical to the 2016 version. This parley version is also different (look at the side by side I posted) from the current orange with the green sleeve caps (as opposed to sleeve stripes). So it’s “new”. Maybe not radically brand new, but new nonetheless.

      • Joe Rodgers | August 21, 2018 at 10:02 am |

        I’m surprised a purveyor of this site would get caught up in the template gobbledygook.

        But the design of the 2018 orange, white, green and (ugh) black uniforms are not new. But whatever. There are *probably* more important things going on.

        • Phil Hecken | August 21, 2018 at 10:35 am |

          Regardless of whether or not YOU consider the 2018 uniforms (with the new template) to be “new,” there is no question the parley jersey IS new — the sleeve caps are different, it looks like the pants are slightly different from the standard white, and the makers mark on the waist is a different color. Even if you only consider this a “tweak,” it’s still not the same jersey (and I’m not considering the materials here).

          Surprised you’re taking issue with an obsessive study of an athletic aesthetic.

  • mild bill | August 21, 2018 at 9:38 am |

    Love the photograph of Bob Feller and Satchel Paige but puzzled by the date (July 7, 1948) since Feller is wearing a jacket and Paige has long sleeves.

    • Don Stokes | August 24, 2018 at 8:56 am |

      I could be wrong on the date. I just used what was on the back of the original photo.

  • Greg | August 21, 2018 at 10:02 am |

    That is not a bad alternate for Miami. Though I prefer the standard orange. And for once I don’t mind the marketing talk since it is bringing attention to an important cause. HOWEVER, if they are trying promote sustainability and less waste, perhaps stop doing one-off jersey designs, as they are yet another example of materialism and consumer culture. How about you just make their standard color and white jerseys using recycled materials instead?

  • Greg | August 21, 2018 at 10:03 am |

    Also, those penguin salt and pepper shakers are awesome.

  • Cris | August 21, 2018 at 10:48 am |

    Is it just me or in some of these pics, do the colors actually favor the Dolphins’ colors more than the ‘Canes colors? These almost look like a radical new alternate jersey for Dolphins at times.

  • Cris | August 21, 2018 at 10:55 am |

    I’m not so sure that the Dolphins #22 jersey might actually be for Tony Nathan instead of Mercury Morris. Nothing against Mercury, but he was not the most marketable player on those 70’s Dolphins’ team. That distinction would probably go to Bob Griese or Larry Csonka. However, during the period in between the Griese and Dan Marino, you could make a case for Nathan or Nat Moore as the “star” of those Dolphins’ teams.

  • Joe | August 21, 2018 at 11:18 am |

    I think autocorrect got you on the Padre post. “Dad’s” should be “Pads”.

    • Winter | August 21, 2018 at 12:53 pm |

      …but padres means dads…

  • Paul Bastia | August 21, 2018 at 11:29 am |

    Great work Don! Look forward to seeing more

  • JD | August 21, 2018 at 11:32 am |

    The lines in the numbers on the Miami jerseys just looks terrible and sloppy.

  • muddlehead dave #26 | August 21, 2018 at 12:12 pm |

    The Huggins and Ruth Yankee photos sure show the blue of their uni. When did they go to midnight blue? And then to the -it sure looks black to me – colors?

    • Don Stokes | August 24, 2018 at 8:50 am |

      It’s always been Navy Blue except for a few years.

  • Daniel Tarrant | August 21, 2018 at 1:56 pm |

    While kind of skimming the ticker I had to do a double-take after reading the Buccaneers item as a “1970’s Plaxico Burress” helmet…

  • Slappy | August 21, 2018 at 2:07 pm |

    Loved the pics of the Silver Base Ball tournament. Played there as a member of the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings back in 2005? 2006? Great village and had a blast.

  • Don Stokes | August 21, 2018 at 2:24 pm |

    Thanks, Paul!

  • Dumb Guy | August 21, 2018 at 2:25 pm |

    RE: Walter Payton poster….

    Does anyone recall the site that talked about those posters, and also showed the source photos that they were based on?

    the only one i can find… illustratednfl…. is no longer active.

    • Brinke | August 21, 2018 at 6:36 pm |

      Yeah too bad loved that site.

  • Marcus | August 21, 2018 at 3:06 pm |

    Virginia Tech needs to return to what it wore before. The back of the jerseys ruined it.

  • Ted Mark | August 21, 2018 at 3:49 pm |

    Any picture of The Man is welcome. Today’s is beautiful. Thanks.

    • Phil Hecken | August 21, 2018 at 3:53 pm |

      Yup! And that’s an especially awesome one too.

      Don is da man!

  • Chance Michaels | August 21, 2018 at 4:21 pm |

    Great article on the militarization of sports. It’s taken a turn for the worse lately, with leagues like the NFL selling their own kind of army drag. I particularly hate re-purposing team striping patterns as some sort of phony service ribbon.

    • Phil Hecken | August 21, 2018 at 4:28 pm |

      • Special K | August 21, 2018 at 6:24 pm |

        What???!! You can do GIFs in the Uni Watch comments now? First time I’ve seen that!

  • Jerry Reuss | August 21, 2018 at 4:34 pm |

    It makes my day to view colorized images in state-of-the-art quality. Many thanks, Don, for sharing!

    • Don Stokes | August 24, 2018 at 8:44 am |

      Thanks, Jerry Reuss!

  • Wade Heidt | August 21, 2018 at 6:40 pm |

    When it comes to Riders head coach Chris Jones wearing just black on the sidelines, I have to look at Jerry Glanville as the inspiration.

    Glanville was famous for the same thing as NFL head coach. You can still see Glanville in all black on the CFL sideline today as defensive coordinator of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. His team does wear black though. Still rocking the huge belt buckle in 2018:

    https://dynamicmedia.zuza.com/zz/m/original_/c/5/c55cb492-2f6e-4759-9657-0eb633d9faf4/B88221174Z.1_20180606183953_000_GTH75ORP.3-0_Super_Portrait.jpg

  • LarryB | August 22, 2018 at 1:16 pm |

    Great work Don. A day late.
    Hope to see more.

    • Don Stokes | August 24, 2018 at 8:45 am |

      Thanks, LarryB!