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Are the Los Angeles Angels Planning a 1970s Throwback?

Yesterday I wrote about how the Mets are apparently changing the design of their alternate black cap. Although they haven’t yet announced anything about that, we can read the tea leaves based on merch listings.

One of the commenters on that blog post was reader Jack Hibbert, who noted that another team has a notable addition to its online merch listings: the Angels. This cap recently appeared in their shop and is described as “on field“:

If this is truly an “on field” cap, that would seem to indicate that a throwback is in the works for 2024.

The Angels first wore this cap, as part of the uniform shown in the photo at the top of this page, from 1973 through 1992. The design had a pullover jersey and sansabelt pants from 1973 through 1988 and then switched to a button-front jersey and belted pants from 1988 through 1992.

The Angels have worn this basic design as a throwback many times over the past 20 years or so (sometimes with the pullover/sansabelt style, sometimes with buttons/belts), most recently for two games last season:

But all of those previous throwback incarnations of this uniform were just for one or two games, not as a full-fledged alternate uniform that would merit an “on field” listing for the retro cap. So it appears that the Halos may be leaning into the nostalgia factor a bit more this season than they’ve done in the past. We’ll have to stay tuned to see how that plays out.

(My thanks to Jack Hibbert for spotting the cap listing, and to Phil for correcting me on the Angels’ most recent throwback games.)



The Patches Have Arrived!

In case you missed it yesterday, the Uni Watch 25th-universary patches are now available for ordering. Full details here.



Can of the Day

If you’re worried about the recent news that the Phillies’ City Connect uni will be rendered in the colors of the Philadelphia city flag, here’s proof that those colors can lead to a very pleasing design.

Comments (46)

    Love the Can of the Day! Anytime Uni Watch and railroading (whether it’s model trains or the full size version) intersect, it’s a good thing! There is an entire railfan community out there who are really Uni Watchers, but their subjects happen to be machines, railways, and rolling stock instead of athletes, stadiums, and arenas.

    I used to have the HO scale track cleaning car! It was a tanker with a sponge on the bottom, and when filled with this fluid, it rubbed it on the track and loosened the gunk. Worked surprisingly well.

    Probably contained chemicals that are all banned now due to known carcinogens. :-)

    I have to say it every time I see it, although I may disagree: the sansabelt/pullover era was baseball’s best uni era. To hell with all you button down shirt classicists!

    I came to this conclusion last year. I’m a pure classicsist in other sports, but for baseball, I’m all pullovers and polyester. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the 80s. This is how the Angels should look.

    Although I loved the sansabelt/pullover look as a kid, it doesn’t look near as good on today’s players because of how baggy players currently wear their uniforms. Something about it doesn’t translate well if it doesn’t have a slimmer, more tailored appearance.

    As a kid, I played LL ball in the early/mid-’70s. My first few team uniforms were the baggy, wool, button-down style. However, in my last year of playing, I wore a polyester pullover/sansabelt in the green/gold/white colors of the Oakland A’s (and Uni Watch!). I loved that uniform and it made me a lifelong fan of that look.

    100% agree with you. I’m a traditionalist with almost everything in baseball but man, the pullover jerseys were so nice. I wish they’d at least bring them back for BP. I have 3 Red Sox mesh BP pullovers, Jim Rice with the hanging socks on the chest, Wade Boggs, and Pedro Martinez with the 99 All Star logo on the sleeve. They’re actually my usual attire when I go to the games.

    I’m pleased the Angels appear to be running with such a handsome uniform. That they were the penultimate MacAuliffe baseball team was not lost on me, since their suits and those of the Red Sox looked so much alike.

    I grew up in Long Beach, with the location being good for both Angels and Dodger games. I’ve always liked the Angels navy blue cap with the red bill. My favorite was the Halo on top of the hat, with the interlocking “CA”. This hat and uniform is better than when they used lower case letters. I who’s they went back to this blue and red hat, but according to the Angels they switched to red since there weren’t any other red hat teams in the American League at that time.

    The Angels wore this cap as part of a throwback last summer (they were worn July 21 & July 22)



    It’s possible these are “leftover” from 2023, but perhaps they’ll do another throwback this season as well.

    I believe (and this is based on when the Mets first brought back the black jersey) the team is permitted to wear non-“4+1” uniforms (or really, jerseys) up to five times without violating the “rule”

    The Angels have a white, gray and red jersey (plus their CC), so they could be introducing a throwback to be worn more than five times and remain within the 4+1 parameters as well.

    Oooh, I missed that from last year. My bad! Still, I don’t think a two-game promotion usually results in an “on field” cap listing.

    I don’t understand the insistence on calling them the Anaheim Angels. They’re the Los Angeles Angels. Anaheim is a suburb of Los Angeles, it’s not a major city in its own right. There is no “Greater Anaheim.” They’re in the Greater LA area. They identify with LA, and putting stadia outside of the city proper is a very common practice. Of course the most glaring examples are the NY Giants, NY Jets, and NY Red Bulls, none of which play even in the state of New York let alone the city. No one snidely insists on calling them the East Rutherford Giants because that would be stupid. It makes perfect sense to call them the Los Angeles Angels, no one outside of the US, or even within the US (but outside of CA) no one outside of baseball and hockey fandom knows what Anaheim is. It’s a big town, it’s Disneyland, four lane highways and strip malls, I’ve been there. Everyone needs to get over the name. Long live the LA Angels.

    Oh haha no I apologize I didn’t even realize it was a mistake, I just see people freak out all the time over referring to them as Los Angeles so I thought this was that.

    “No one snidely insists on calling them the East Rutherford Giants”

    Well…almost no one.

    There are definitely people who snidely call them the East Rutherford Giants. Plenty of people used to talk about the Auburn Hills Pistons. In Northeast Ohio, we often referred to the Richfield Cavaliers before they moved downtown.

    I miss the Richfield Cavaliers.
    And the *California* Angels.

    I prefer to call the Jets and Giants “New Jersey,” but Phil wants me to say East Rutherford instead. Sometimes I listen.

    According to the US Census Bureau, Santa Clara is a suburb of San Jose, not San Francisco. So the 49ers’ name is just wrong on all levels now.

    I definitely heard plenty of people calling the Braves the Cobb Braves when they moved out to the ‘burbs. I liked calling them the Smyrna Braves but never really did it in front of anyone else.

    It was the city of Anaheim who first insisted on the nomenclature – they ponied up a lot of taxpayer money to renovate the Big A pre-Moreno and made sure the team acknowledged their home town as part of the lease agreement.
    “Putting stadia outside of the city proper is a very common practice”…today – but back in the 60s it was a newer concept (I think all MLB teams pre-1960 played in their name-sake cities), and teams corrected their locators when they moved. The Twins wound up playing in Bloomington, so they adopted ‘Minnesota’ as their identifier, and then Gene Autry opted to reference CA when they left LA proper for Anaheim.
    I still intentionally (and wrongly) call them the California Angels – and I’m OK with that.

    Are you sure that’s the reasoning behind the Twins name? I thought they were Minnesota because they represent the whole Twin Cities and whole state. Today they play in downtown Minneapolis and I would be beyond shocked if they ever change their name to the Minneapolis Twins it would kind of defeat the whole brand.

    That classic Angels cap changed a bit in ’88 when they switched to button-up jerseys and belted pants: it had squatter “A” and a thicker halo than the earlier version. I know this well because that’s the version I bought during my first on-field cap buying spree in the early ’90s.

    Not only is it a good look, it will perfectly link the team’s mediocre past to its mediocre present.

    Good. There are too many red/blue teams in baseball already, but on the other hand, the current Angels uniforms are probably my least favorite in baseball. Red on red? Boring and bland. Lean into that yellow halo and add some yellow accents, with or without the navy blue, please, I am begging you.

    Great hat, not so great uniform if they do the pullover sansabelt thing. I am a button down beltwearing classicist and proud of it. In order to wear a pullover and pull it off you have to be well under 6 feet tall, have a drooping moustache and a nickname like Rusty, Dusty, Busty, Crusty, Chipper, Dipper or Goose. A beer belly is an extra bonus.

    Over 6 foot, clean shaven, no beer belly and looked damn fine in a pullover…but he did have a nickname.


    The Angels first wore this cap, as part of the uniform shown in the photo at the top of this page….The design had a pullover jersey and sansabelt pants from 1973 through 1988…”
    This being California’s “signature” set…never liked the too-literal halo hat era or the lower case a/hovering halo button-front – same goes for the ’88-’92s and the short-lived retro set that followed.
    Sadly, the ultra-brightness of those will be replaced with that milky Nike White should LAA(ofA) decide to wear this design once again.

    Actually, I preferred the “small a” version that preceded the halo A version. Maybe it’s because I saw them for the first time when they played at Milwaukee on Opening Day (also a first for me).

    Just wanna say the Angels wore sansabelt pants from 1972 (paired with a button-down polyester jersey for one season) and 1989 was the year they went back to belt-and-buttons.

    1. Love the Angels throwback caps. This is what they wore when I was growing up, and remember a kid I grew up with having that hat, here in suburban Philadelphia, and thinking it was pretty cool. and anything that moves the Angels away from the all-red/ghosted numbers nonsense is good with me.
    2. The can is nice, but you don’t need to look any further than the Swedish flag to see that blue and yellow look great together, since the Swedish flag is where Philadelphia got it colors.

    Okay, I have a confession about “sansabelt pants.” In my head I always pronounce the “sans” part to rhyme with “plans” or “cans” despite the fact that I think it should actually rhyme with “con.” As in the French word “sans”, meaning “without” – since this style of pants are worn without a belt.

    It’s like my brain knows the right answer but stubbornly clings to the wrong one.

    That confession out of the way, I’ll agree that the pullover style really looks good on the Angels, whom I frequently refer to as the Anaheim Angels because for several years when I was living in the Greater Los Angeles area, they were, in fact, the Anaheim Angels. Also, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim was a stupid name, and if I’m not mistaken, there’s no reference to Los Angeles on their uniforms, stadium or merchandise. Also I sometimes refer to the Cowboys as the Arlington Cowboys, and when I do, I do it snidely.

    “Sansabelt” was originally a trademark of the Jaymar-Ruby Corp., based in Michigan City, IN. The Tonight Show used to feature live commercials for Sansabelt slacks and the first syllable was always pronounced to rhyme with “fans”, for what it’s worth.

    Interesting. I guess I was pronouncing it correctly all along, although it does seem like a missed opportunity not to go the “sans = without” route.

    Thanks for the info!

    While I absolutely loved the Angels’ uniform as a kid in the 1970s, the throwback version worn last season (Ohtani photo) seemed a bit off to me. Look at the haloed “A” on Ohtani. It’s taller, skinnier and far more pointy at the top compared to the “A” on Nolan Ryan’s jersey (very top). Also check the distance from the top of the respective halos to the point of the “A.” Again, Ryan’s version is so much better than Ohtani’s. YMMV

    I remember 30+ years ago, the men’s slow-pitch softball team my dad played for organized through our church all wore these same Angels caps. I thought that was the neatest thing, church team + Angels hats.

    50 year anniversary photo of the Angels? Based upon what I could figure out, that’s a 1973 photo of Nolan Ryan (30), Jeff Torborg (10) and Bill Singer (48) of the Angels.

    I’d fall asleep as a kid listening to Dick Enberg broadcasting the Angels or Vin Scully broadcasting the Dodgers (depending upon which team was in town). Those were the days.

    The promotions and events page on the Angels’ website shows a “Throwback Week” scheduled from July 25-31. Pretty sure that’s when they will be worn.

    Probably the 50th anniversary of the 1979 division winning team. 1st time in franchise history the team made the postseason

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