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Atlanta Debuts CCs on 49th Anniversary of Aaron Breaking Ruth’s HR Record

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Good Easter Sunday morning, Uni Watchers. I hope everyone had a good Saturday.

Last evening, Atlanta became the first team of 2023 to debut their “City Connect” (CC) uniforms, doing so on the 49th Anniversary of the great Henry Aaron breaking the legendary Babe Ruth’s (then) home run record of 714, at the time considered one of the greatest feats in sporting history. In case you somehow never saw that event — or even if you have and you want to relive it — here’s video of that historic evening:

Because of the magnitude of the game, it was broadcast on national TV (NBC) and Curt Gowdy had the call. The recording you hear above is from the immortal Vin Scully, who called the game for the Dodgers. I was always struck by his words:

“What a marvelous moment for baseball. What a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the State of Georgia. What a marvelous moment for the country and the world. A Black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol.”

I have vague recollections of that evening, but I know my pop had the game on and I witnessed the moment in real time, although its significance was somewhat lost on me as an eight year old. But forty-nine years later, it is still one of the greatest sports moments I ever saw on live TV.

And last night, on the forty-ninth anniversary of that seminal moment, Atlanta debuted their new CCs, in uniforms more than reminiscent of those worn by Aaron and his teammates on April 8, 1974.

Paul covered the unveiling of the CC unis as the news broke, so if you want to read (or re-read) about the gimmicks particulars of the unis, you should start there.

As far as CC unis go, these are fine. They are enough differences between what Aaron wore (here’s a look at the back) and the CC’s as to qualify them as merely 1974-inspired, but the similarities are there.

Both uniforms featured royal blue raglan sleeves and a two-tone royal cap with a white crown (the CC cap is in a modified bell shape).

The CC unis, rather than spelling out the team name on the jersey, feature a script “The” and the “A” logo the team currently wears. I don’t love this, but I guess this is the best Nike could come up with as a nickname for Atlanta.

The 1974 Atlanta team featured a similar white crowned royal blue cap with a lower case “a”, while the CC caps use the current upper case “A” logo, rendered in blue with a red outline.

Note that the white panel on the CC cap features the modified bell look, whereas the 1974 unis had a slightly different panel color construction. Also, the “a” was red outlined in blue, while the CC cap is blue outlined in red.

The 1974 uniforms also featured a stylized “feather” logo on the sleeve, and uniforms were NNOB. The CC unis have what to me is the best part of the new uniform — a stylized “A” that actually forms a graphic “base”. The CC unis have NOB in red, in a slight radial arch.

If you look at the first picture above, you’ll also see the pants have a thick royal blue stripe, bordered by two thin red stripes.

Helmets were in the same style as the caps, and featured a raised plastic “A” on the crown. Most players wore their pants “pajama style,” but the few who went high cuffed wore team issued CC socks.

You can see more photos here.

After promising to release all the CC uniforms by 2023, Nike has dialed that back, with only six teams debuting them this year. Those are: Atlanta, to be followed by the Rangers, Mariners, Reds, Orioles and Pirates. Here’s the schedule for the five remaining team debuts (and we can assume each will be unveiled shortly before their scheduled debuts):

Texas Rangers: April 21
Seattle Mariners: May 5
Cincinnati Reds: May 19
Baltimore Orioles: May 26
Pittsburgh Pirates: June 27

Assuming MLB/Nike release the remaining CCs in 2024, that would mean TEN teams will be outfitted next season. (7 in 2021 + 7 in 2022 + 6 in 2023 = 20 teams). MLB has gone on record as saying “Over the course of its first two seasons, the Nike MLB City Connect Series has been the most successful consumer product initiative we’ve ever had,” (from MLB chief revenue officer Noah Garden). So don’t expect them to be going away anytime soon. But six of these in 2023 won’t be too bad.

One down, five to go.


Rockies Wear CC Uniforms with White Pants

In an unannounced move (at least as far as I was aware), the Colorado Rockies broke out their CC unis last evening but with a twist. Instead of pairing them with their green pants, as they had worn in 2022, the team paired the CC caps and tops with white pants!

The difference was, almost literally, night and day:

Also note how the team’s “30th Anniversary” patch is on different sleeves in the picture below. The Rockies don’t have a uni sponsor advertiser yet, but clearly they will.

But I do love the white pants! Interestingly, this isn’t the first time we saw this look. Last season, Chad Kuhl — perhaps forshadowing the 2023 development — wore this very same combo:

Without a doubt, the most debated feature of the Rockies CC uniforms is their overwhelming green. Having seen the original and now the 2023 edition featuring white pants, I think replacing the green pants is the proper aesthetic choice.

The Rockies aren’t the first to “modify” their CC uniforms either. Last season, the Arizona Diamondbacks added tan pants to their CC uniforms, which were originally worn with white pants. The tan pants were clearly an improvement

The Los Angeles Dodgers also slightly changed their CCs. The original 2021 uniform featured a solid blue cap with “Los Dodgers” in script. The 2022 uni changed the cap to read “LA” and replaced the blue brim to a black brim.

In all three of these cases, I think the teams made the correct decisions to alter their CC unis — of course, the new pants for both Arizona and Colorado are major changes (both for the better, IMO), while the Dodgers modification of their cap was minor, but also for the better. It will be interesting if the green Rockies CC pants are now gone for good, or if they will mix-and-match as the season progresses.

You can see more photos from yesterday night’s game here.


The Dallas Cowboys Missing Golden Receiver

Mystery solved!

Got an e-mail from UW friend/pal and contributor Jimmy Corcoran, who has solved a missing persons mystery that has bugged him since he was but a wee Uni Watcher back in the day. It’s a fun story. Enjoy!

• • • • •

The Dallas Cowboys Missing Golden Receiver
by Jimmy Corcoran

Well Phil, it took me forty-five years to solve this, but I finally see what they did here, and I can finally put this Cowboys caper to rest. As a kid I collected team photos, most teams would send you one for free if you wrote a nice letter and some teams would charge you a dollar. I would also get some cool team photos that weren’t available to the public, my father’s old coach Ron Waller had friends on just about every NFL team, he was a star player for the Rams in the 50’s and spent the rest of his career as a coach or scout so he would get quite a few Christmas cards from friends in the NFL. Some of these cards were team photos and a few teams would do a sort of gag photo where they would clown around in the team picture and that would be their Christmas card. The cards that had a team photo on it he would bring with him and give them to me when he would stay with my family for Christmas.

One of those cards was the 1978 Dallas Cowboys and that’s when I first came across the mystery that Golden Richards disappeared. The Cowboys Christmas card he gave was small and the photo was black and white so you couldn’t see it very well, but I was intrigued by how the regular photo was so serious and a second later they were all joking around? as I looked at each individual player in the Christmas card I got to the top of the photo and saw something odd, where was Golden Richards? He was in the regular 1978 team photo I had, this Christmas card photo was taken at the same time, how did they make him vanish, and why did they make him vanish? players are sometimes released after a team photo is taken but you don’t see teams removing them from the team photo.

As a kid this would be twenty years before I would own a computer and I had never heard the word photo shop before and had no idea what it was. I recently came across a large color photo of the Cowboys playing around like in the small Christmas photo I had as a kid and it’s a lot easier to see what happened now. Teams take their team photos at different times of the year, the Cowboys would take theirs before the first game of the season, other teams would take their photo well into the season. The Dallas Cowboys opened the 1978 season on Sept. 4, 1978, a 38-0 shutout of the Colts. This would be Golden Richards last game as a Dallas Cowboy, he played sparingly after losing his starting job to Tony Hill and caught one pass for 2 yards and was traded the next day to the Chicago Bears.

When I look at the large color photo now of the Cowboys playing around, I can now see what happened to Golden Richards, they used a crude form of photo shop and made him disappear. If you look at #80 Tony Hill they were unable to save his hand, they made it into a nub with what looks like a white towel wrapped around it and his forearm has an unnatural looking bend to it. It looks like he was probably shaking hands with Golden Richards the same way that #86 Butch Johnson is shaking hands with #87 Jay Saldi, it also looks like they drew blue pants on the coach and the coach behind Tony Hill now has a much bigger and squarer shoulder than he did in the regular team photo. Why remove Golden Richards in the first place, were they mad at him? players get cut or traded all the time after a team photo is taken.

Also interesting is that when Golden Richards got to the Chicago Bears, they had not yet taken their team photo, so he ended up in two different team photos in 1978, I wonder how many players have been in team photos for different teams in the same season? The timing would have to be perfect, if the situation had been reversed and he was traded from Chicago to Dallas he wouldn’t have been in either team photo since the Bears had still not taken their team photo when the first game of the season was played, and the Cowboys had already taken theirs. I can rest a lot easier now knowing that Golden just didn’t vanish into thin air.

Jimmy Corcoran

• • • • •

Great detective work, Jimmy! Thanks for sharing with the UW community!


Guess the Game from the Uniform

Based on the suggestion of long-time reader/contributor Jimmy Corcoran, we’ve introduced a new “game” on Uni Watch, which is similar to the popular “Guess the Game from the Scoreboard” (GTGFTS), only this one asked readers to identify the game based on the uniforms worn by teams.

Like GTGFTS, readers will be asked to guess the date, location and final score of the game from the clues provided in the photo. Sometimes the game should be somewhat easy to ascertain, while in other instances, it might be quite difficult. There will usually be a visual clue (something odd or unique to one or both of the uniforms) that will make a positive identification of one and only one game possible. Other times, there may be something significant about the game in question, like the last time a particular uniform was ever worn (one of Jimmy’s original suggestions). It’s up to YOU to figure out the game and date.

Today’s GTGFTU comes from Chris Hickey.

Good luck and please post your guess/answer in the comments below.


Uniform Concepts and Tweaks

Time for more Uni Tweaks from the UW readership.

I hope you guys like this feature and will want to continue to submit your concepts and tweaks to me. If you do, Shoot me an E-mail (Phil (dot) Hecken (at) gmail (dot) com).

• • • • •
Today’s concepts come from Jeffrey Kruger.

You may recall last weekend Jeffrey sent the following, and then followed it up with a bit more fleshed-out set, which you can see below.

Hi, Phil.

Love this feature, pleased to participate!

Goal: Six hockey teams that could go color-on-color

Theme: Defunct Las Vegas Strip Hotels

My choices, and their specific branding style dates:

• Dunes – 1955
• Desert Inn – 1961
• Frontier – 1967
• Stardust – 1972
• Aladdin – 1977
• Sands – 1981

It was fun to collect various samples from photos and ephemera, and whittle down the assets. Most resorts had evolving color schemes, wordmarks and secondary identifiers to select from. Making it perfect for hockey sweaters, don’t you think?

Wishing you a fine day.

Jeff Kruger
Las Vegas, NV

Here’s Jeff’s addition:

Good day, Phil.

Please allow me to substitute the attached quartet of items for my prior, one-jpg submission. Thx!

This now has a title page as a cover, an important part of any book report, I seem to remember. LOL

I’ve included my inspiration board. These selected morsels are reflected in the uniforms I created.

Then, two clusters of concepts, six in each jpg (my Original Six, and Expansion Six).

I realize that this will be retained for deployment during slower sports news intervals (mid- to late-year).

So I’ll be on the lookout for this eventual post, to enjoy when then becomes now.

Thanks, PH, for permitting me to share this expanded design exercise.

With kind regards,


• • • • •

OK readers (and concepters). If you have some tweaks or concepts, shoot ’em my way with a brief description of your creation and I’ll run ’em here.


Uni (Helmet) Tweet of the Day

This comes from our own Jimmer Vilk. Take a gander and see if you can’t help him out…

And finally...

that’ll do it for me today and for the week as well, as we enjoy this fine Easter Sunday.

Everyone have a great week and I’ll catch you back here next Saturday. Till then…



Comments (32)


    11-08-1998 Tennessee Oilers 31 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 22. Raymond James Stadium.

    My first instinct was “Oh this has to be a recent game, that’s Tom Brady, he’s wearing 12” and then I saw the facemask

    This game is actually an ‘easter egg’ for another TB12 – that’s Terry Bradshaw’s SB X Dungard in front of Trent Dilfer’s face… sadly not left in its’ original gray:

    Well done, Morris!
    Wonder if you spotted the mostly-hidden Oilers helmet at the bottom of the…hope that helped with your ID of the game.

    Given the context of Atlanta’s division and the need to move away from the tomahawk, I’d love to see Atlanta adopt something like the CC unis as their primary look. The bright royal, with the contrasting cap panels and sleeves, would make for a more distinctive look in the NL East. As huge a fan as I am of Atlanta’s basic uniforms – assuming a navy cap with a red brim – I think something like the CC uniforms would be a better look.

    According to this tweet, the Rockies will wear white pants on day games, and green pants on night games, with the City Connects.

    Rockies CC looks great with the white pants. Now if they would change that hat to something that looks like a baseball hat.

    The Braves CC jerseys perfectly represent Atlanta, boring and uninspired. Most of the teams had designs that reflect something about the city or region they represent. Atlanta has nothing like that to go on, so the Braves made it about themselves.

    I knew there was a reason I liked it more than any other CC. You nailed it for me.

    The Rockies wore white pants with their CC uniform a few times last year.

    Also has a lifelong Braves fan, their CC reminds me of a time the team played awful baseball. In fact the teams were so bad in the 70’s; it wasn’t unusual to see bumper stickers that read, “Go Braves and take the Falcons with you”. As with most CC uniforms, not very good and very uninspired.

    “The Rockies wore white pants with their CC uniform a few times last year.”

    Are you sure about that? I’m pretty sure this is new for 2023. Love to see a pic of them (other than the tweet I posted) actually wearing white pants with the CC uni in 2022.

    I apparently saw the Chad Kuhl photo last year and was mistaken. After an hour of research, I proved myself wrong!

    No worries. I ended up doing about 45 minutes of research, checking EVERY Sunday home game they played last year. I wasn’t sure if they *only* wore them on Sundays (some teams ‘break’ protocol), so I did want to be sure I didn’t miss the white pants. I was fairly>completely certain that if they *had* worn the green tops with white pants last year, we’d have made a big(ger) deal about it.

    That being said, I’m glad they switched. Also glad they aren’t eliminating the green pants, but I think the green over white is slightly superior. Now, if every player went high cuffed, I might feel differently, but solid dark pants worn pajama style is even more brutal than white/gray pajamas.

    They did not wear them only on Sundays, interestingly enough. I wasn’t paying attention to the days of the week as I went through, but I know they at least wore them on Monday, June 5 against Atlanta.

    It definitely wasn’t *only* Sundays — they debuted them June 4th (a Saturday) last season. link

    June 5 was a Sunday, not a Monday, last year. link

    They did wear them on the 5th as well. I’m not 100% certain they wore them any other non-Sundays in 2022 (they very well may have), because I only checked the Sunday games from their debut thru the end of the season. They always wore green pants.

    Ugh. You’re right, of course. Regardless, I know they wore the green unis on both June 4 and 5. Regardless of how incompetent I may be at reading a calendar, I know those days couldn’t have both been Sunday!

    Not sure what you might be thinking of, but a quick run through Getty’s game images for the Rockies last season confirms that they only wore the CC jersey with green pants.

    The Braves now have my second favorite city connect uniform after the Marlins. The Marlins is simply perfection and should be their regular uniform. For the Braves, if only they had gone with just the A on the front instead of “the A”. The “the” is superfluous and unnecessary. Also should have gone with the full white front hat instead of the bell. The bell is a San Diego thing and a nod to the local mission bells. Has nothing to do with Atlanta, and is another sign that the Nike “story tellers” have little idea about what they are doing.

    In the press releases for the Braves CC jersey the sleeve design said it was supposed to represent the top of a crown but I can see how it resembles an A as well.

    Well that crown idea makes sense, in that before Saturday’s game the Truist Park scoreboard showed a City Connect propaganda video that ended with those little red squares forming a crown-type circular design. I should’ve taken a photo / video but didn’t move fast enough. Plus there’s a t-shirt for sale with three of those little red squares in a row, kinda like a crown.

    In person the CC’s didn’t look as turrible out at a distance, but are a far cry from the 70’s throwbacks. To me the blue upper-case A on the cap outlined in red is too busy, not as simple as the throwback lower case a in red, outlined in blue.

    Wish more of the players had gone high-cuffed to show off the socks.

    The CC jersey front is plainer than most Braves jerseys, but at least they have the smaller jersey number. But the $200.00 CC jerseys being sold in the team store with player name & number on the back DON’T have the jersey number on the front.

    Once again, great job on the hockey uniforms influenced by the vintage Las Vegas hotels. You must take inspiration wherever you find it and those long-gone casinos are a perfect choice. I’d wear the Landmark sweater in a heartbeat.

    Jim Vilk-
    I say keep that helmet as-is…maybe get your hands on a distressed ANF decal somewhere. Plenty of empty space for that. Maybe some big honking white block numbers for the rear if you’re so inclined.

    Number 7 for Reggie Roby.
    Very tempting…we’ll see.

    There’s only one thing I know for sure: I won’t be turning it into a Falcons or Ravens helmet.

    Kinda like the original Ravens logo…and Falcons helmets should always be red (but you knew that already ; )

    No mention of the braves helmets last night. They had an interesting satin finish. Not quite matte but not shiny either.

    I did mention them (linked rather than inline), and noted the raised “A” logo. I actually watched most of the game but nothing about the finish stood out to me.

    Lame, derivative, uninspiring and just plain lazy effort out of Nike with these Atlanta City Connects.

    I don’t know what I expected from Nike (supposedly a World Class sports apparel designer & manufacturer) because they’ve been f***ing up uniforms for decades, but this is a new “phone-it-in” low for them.

    The Rockies’ CC jersey with white pants is about a 200% improvement. I hope this becomes the default look and the green pants return sparingly, if at all.

    Jimmy Corcoran,
    I don’t mean to rain on your mystery-solving parade, but…I don’t think Golden Richards is missing from the second photo. It appears to me that he’s seated behind Pat Donovan (#67). If you look closely, you can see a bit of those Golden locks behind Donovan’s ear, and his right arm and thigh between Donovan and Burton Lawless (#67). As for Tony Hill’s hand: he’s wearing white gloves and is making a fist.

    OK Howie- where were you in 1978 when I needed you? This drove me crazy since I was a kid! but it looks like you are correct sir. As far as Tony Hill, it looks like his hand is gone and the coach with the blue pants, they shaded his shirt, his pants and shirt look enhanced to me, but that’s just my opinion. Number 71 Andy Frederick has hair in the regular team photo, looks almost bald in the other one, lighting, toupee or photo shop? I wish Ron Waller never gave me that Christmas card in 78, looks like I went down a 45 year rabbit hole. But that’s the great thing about Uni Watch, you will always get an answer.

    I like the Atlanta CC uniform but I would label it in a new category: TC, as in Team Concept. It has no further connection with the city of Atlanta.

Comments are closed.