[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 may be popping up here occasionally.]
By Phil Hecken
The Buffalo Sabres unveiled two new uniforms and a new logo yesterday, and you’d be forgiven if you got a sense of déjà vu all over again. For all intents and purposes, these “new” uniforms are a return to the look the team wore from its inception in 1970 through the 1995-96 season — but with a few minor differences.
The fans have been clamoring for a return to the royal and gold color scheme basically since the team abandoned it (and suffered through a series of bad-to-awful uniform sets in the years since). Before we look at the new get-ups, let’s first see what the inspiration for the new uniforms was (for all images you can click to enlarge):
That is essentially the uniform the team wore from 1970 thru 1996. The new uniforms attempt to replicate that overall look, but as mentioned, there are a few slight differences between the two.
Let’s look at the home (dark) uniform first.
As you can see, the team has returned to the royal shade of blue that made up the first quarter-century of their existence. The jersey features a slightly larger crest than the original (more on that in a second) which is slightly different than its predecessor, and the sleeves and hem feature three gold stripes, separated by a thin white stripe of the bottom of the top stripe, and on the top of the bottom stripe. That pattern is repeated on the sleeves. The white stripes are new — those were not a part of the original jersey, which had three solid gold stripes.
The new jersey features gold numbers outlined in white:
That feature mimics the original. The pants have a gold stripe down the sides. The socks that will be worn with the home jersey also mimic the striping pattern found on the jersey:
In what is seemingly becoming a rarity these days with jersey reveals, the team also showed a look at the back. The numbers will be gold with a white outline (same as on the shoulders), and the NOB will be solid gold in a basic block font:
The new away (white) jersey also bears many similarities to the original.
That jersey had an interesting quirk: the striping pattern on the sleeves was blue/white/gold/white blue, but on the hem it was the opposite: gold/white/blue/white/gold. In an attempt to recreate that look, the new white jersey also features the mismatched striping patterns. The shoulder yoke, like the original, is royal with a gold stripe wrapping around it.
The socks which will be worn with the white jersey have the same striping pattern as on the sleeves:
Interestingly, in the original uniforms, the team wore multiple sets of stripes on their socks (both home and road) — with the new set, the socks have just one set of stripes (mimicking the sleeves on the white, and the sleeves and hem on the royal).
Numbers on the sleeves and back of the jersey are blue outlined in gold. NOB is solid blue, in the same basic block font as the home jersey (and on a nameplate):
I mentioned above the crest, aside from being larger than the original, is slightly different. How different? The differences are almost negligible, and only uni watchers will probably notice (or care), but our pal Chris Creamer over at SportsLogos has detailed the discrepancies.
It’s a good looking crest (and always has been):
The team also provided surprising details on the new jersey/uni design, starting with this nice graphic:
They also provided several graphics to give more detail into the design process.
Our goal throughout this process has been to create a timeless uniform system that respects team heritage and looks boldly towards the future as well. Returning to our beloved royal blue was just the start – we wanted to create something truly unique. To do that, we needed to identify key elements that harken back to what’s made this franchise so special through the years.
Old Meets New
Neck Detail – The inner neck collar is our way of paying homage to our hometown, touching upon the City of Buffalo’s official crest. This team enjoys an unparalleled bond with the community at large, so it felt appropriate to honor that within the jersey itself.
Striping – We wanted to pay tribute to the striping patterns of the past but also introduce some nuanced detail. We layered some simple white piping on top of the gold stripes to accomplish this. In conjunction with Adidas, we also developed the white uniform shoulder striping.
The Final Design
Crest & Main Logo – The crest has been slightly simplified from the original, with silver accents removed to create a sleek modern appeal. Also, details first seen in the 50th season jersey crest have been carried over to this uniform system, most notably the stitching pattern in the buffalo.
All in all a very nice job! Even though the fans have been clamoring for a return to the full-time royal and gold unis since forever, the team has teased this look a few times over the years.
The team basically returned to this look for the 2008 Winter Classic:
In 2006-07, the team wore a royal alternate:
In 2010, for the 40th Anniversary, the team broke out a royal blue alternate (which they wore several more times into the 2012 season):
And for the 2018 Winter Classic, the team again sported a royal-based uniform with many elements from the original, but with some striping differences:
As I like to say, there are some teams that “got it right the first time” in terms of their uniforms, and the Sabres were definitely one of those clubs. They will look great (again) in time for the 2020-21 season (if there is one — it’s expected to begin in December of this year, assuming the coronavirus is under control by then). But no matter when they break it out, it will be spectacular! My one complaint is the addition of the new white piping on the royal jersey/socks. I know designers think it makes them “pop” more, but I think the original, with just the gold stripes, was better. And as much as we all like striped socks, keeping the new sets to a single set of stripes is a marked improvement. The rest (including the very very minor changes to the crest) is basically a throwback to the original set, which was awesome.
Wanna see a bit more? Here’s the hype video:
Readers? What say you?
Guess The Game…
from the scoreboard
Today’s scoreboard comes from Cey Hey Kid.
The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).
Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):
Please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.
The “BEST OF” Kreindler’s Korner
Hey guys & gals. You’ve enjoyed Kreindler’s Korner for several years now, mostly on the weekends, on Uni Watch, but with the recent coronavirus outbreak, Graig’s time is just too precious and he needs to tend to other things besides coming up with a new writeup each weekend.
So, going forward, for as long as the COVID-19 situation is bad in New York, I’m going to run a few “Best of’s” until Graig returns.
Here’s today’s offering:
Title: “The Beast Bangs Gomez, Yanks”
Subject: Jimmie Foxx, 1933
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 50″ x 38″
In the late 1920s and 1930s, the general consensus around baseball was that Jimmie Foxx of the Philadelphia A’s was the right-handed Babe Ruth. With his bulging biceps and broad body, Foxx drove fear into the hearts of opposing American League pitchers with his savage swing. It was he who posed the biggest threat to the Babe’s single season homerun mark by slugging an incredible 58 during the 1932 season, a total that was not eclipsed until Roger Maris’ magical 1961 season
‘The Beast’ was no slouch the year after, winning his second consecutive MVP award, as well as the coveted Triple Crown, leading the league with a .356 batting average, 163 RBIs, and 48 homeruns.
The Hall of Famer’s dominance in 1933 was evident during this sparsely attended June 8 game against the New York Yankees. Here he is shown crossing home plate in the fifth inning of the contest, greeted by teammate, catcher Mickey Cochrane. The slugger pounced on Yankee pitching all day, as we see him triumphant after his third round tripper off of hurler Lefty Gomez. The Yankee left-hander never faired well against the slugger, and when approached by catcher Bill Dickey to decide how Foxx was to be pitched to, Gomez replied, “I’d rather not throw the ball at all”. Jimmie’s slug-fest resulted in a 14-10 win for Connie Mack’s A’s during this swelteringly hot and hazy summer afternoon.
Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.
And now a few words from Paul
Hi. In case you missed the earlier announcements, I’ll be participating today in a Zoom panel discussion about the use of Native American imagery in sports. The event, organized by Baruch College, will run today from 12:30-2pm Eastern and is a follow-up to a similar discussion I took part in back in 2016 (you can see video of that one here).
Registration for the discussion is free and can be done here. (If the page asks you which part of the “Baruch community” you belong to, just say you’re an alum, even if you’re not — it’s fine.)
• In case you missed it on Monday, Bill Henderson has just released the latest edition of his guide to post-flannel MLB jerseys — and for the next day or two you can get this new edition at a significant discount. I cannot stress enough how wonderful Bill’s guide is — I refer to it literally almost every single day, and I’m sure most of you will find it just as essential as I do (even though you don’t write about uniforms for a living). Full details here.
• I’m fully caught up on Uni Watch trading card orders — all orders have shipped. If you don’t yet have a card, you can get one here.
• If you haven’t already check out the Uni Rock Shop, there’s no time like the present.
Okay — now on to the ticker.
By Lloyd Alaban
Baseball News: MLB Network was caught using the Marlins’ old logo, which the club hasn’t used since 2018 (from multiple readers). … Blue Jays 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr wore a bucket cap during warmups last night against the Marlins (from @EJL1984). … The Tennessee Smokies, the Chicago Cubs’ affiliate in the Double-A Southern League, have unveiled rendering of their proposed new stadium (from Kary Klismet). … Reader Kevin Cearfoss made a 3-D wall art rendition of the Astros logo.
Football News: The Patriots released photos of players in the team’s new uniforms, and there are a few number font inconsistencies (from many readers). … Reader Nicklaus Wallmeyer found a Steelers figurine with a Packers nose bumper. … Before the Bengals, a group of people formed Cincinnati Romans, Inc. in hopes of landing an NFL franchise in the city. Here’s what they could have looked like (from Timothy Jenkins). … Virginia Tech announced their new numbers (from Andrew Cosentino). … New turf for Big Cat Stadium in Morris, Minn., which serves as the home field for the University of Minnesota-Morris Cougars and the Morris Area High School Tigers (from Kary Klismet).
Hockey News: Here are the logos for the Motor City Rockers, the newest team in the FPHL (from Christian Gardecki).
Soccer News: German club 1. FC Köln publicly called out a fan who canceled their club membership because the skyline on the club’s new second shirt includes the city’s mosque (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … New away shirt for the New York Cosmos (from Ed Zelaski). … Also from Ed: New home shirt and kit manufacturer for Pogoń Szczecin. … One more from Ed: New shirt for Zagłębie Lubin.
Grab Bag: New home shirt for Newhampton Saints (from Sy Hart). … Here’s a helmet made of trophy plates you might see at this year’s Indianapolis 500 (from Omar Jalife). … New uniforms for the Lenawee County (Mich.) Sheriff’s Office (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: Team Canada unveiled its uniforms for the rescheduled 2021 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo. … Disney has renamed its three TV studio divisions — 20th Century Fox TV, Fox 21 TV Studios, and ABC Studios — to 20th TV, Touchstone TV, and ABC Signature. All three have been given new logos. When Disney bought Fox, the deal required the Fox name to be removed from all branding (from @PhillyPartTwo). … New logo for the Biden campaign, which includes his recently-announced running mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California (from Anthony Emerson).
And finally… that’s all for today. Love to hear what you think about the Sabres new unis!
Catch everyone tomorrow.