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What Is The First Team You Fell In Love With (and Its Unis)?

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Good morning, Uni Watchers. I hope everyone had a pleasant Monday.

One of the amazing things I’ve discovered about Uni Watchers over the years is that we’re frequently (or at least sometimes) “thinking the same thing.” One of those instances occurred last week, when reader Jay Anderson reached out to me with an idea for a column that was very similar to one I’d been considering writing about, after reading my article about how a simple comment changed the way I will think about uniform critique going forward. He wrote, in part,

Congratulations on taking over as head of Uni Watch. I’ve always appreciated your attention to detail, and as (likely) one of the few black UWers, I really appreciated today’s story about Malik Nabers and the need for folks on UW to be more open-minded. It really spoke to me on a personal level and I just wanted to say thanks.

I do have an idea, and I’d be more than willing to be a guinea pig and write the first edition for you: guest posts about “the first team you fell in love with and their uniforms.”

For me, it would be the short lived first iteration of the Charlotte Hornets, a team with only 5 proper uniforms that somehow single-handedly changed the way NBA teams design uniforms.

After I thanked him for the kind words, Jay completed his article, which is below.

I think this is a great topic for discussion, and I would welcome all readers to share their own first favorite team/uniform stories (maybe in a couple hundred less words than Jay’s piece). But I’d be very curious as to your what you consider your “first favorite uni love” and feel free to do so in the comments below!

I’ll now turn it over to Jay. Enjoy!!!

• • • • •
The First Team (And Its Unis) I Fell In Love With
by Jay Anderson

Growing up in North Carolina in the 1980’s was a lonely time for the professional sports fan. We didn’t have any of the Big Four, instead living with whatever teams came on local or cable TV regularly. This meant the Washington R*skins (NFL regional rights), Atlanta Braves & Hawks (thanks to TBS) and the Chicago Bulls (WGN) were the only teams we had to cheer for. I sometimes wonder just how many people became Braves and Bulls fans solely because their games aired on cable networks.

Either way, the default for hoops fans was the ACC, a collegiate athletic conference whose games aired multiple times a week via the Raycom/Jefferson-Pilot Sports Network. This meant a heavy dose of my hometown NC State Wolfpack, my beloved UNC Tarheels and the hated Duke Blue Devils among others. In many ways, the ACC still dominates sports fandom in NC but in 1988, we got our first proper professional sports team, the Charlotte Hornets. They became the first team (and its unis) that I fell in love with.

The expansion Hornets were absolutely terrible, winning only 65 games (a 27% clip!) over their first 3 seasons. But the team, however awful, was ours. And their uniforms frankly, were like none other.

In the 1980s NBA uniforms were, in a word… uniform. Plenty of red/white/blues, standard number fonts, some occasional spiffy striping, but nothing too out of the ordinary. The ’89 expansion class included a basic “by the numbers” Timberwolves set and an Orlando Magic uniform that was maybe toeing the line between menacing and whimsical. The ’88 cohort included a fairly basic Heat uniform (despite the drop-shadowed numbers).

The Hornets though… really pushed the envelope. The uniform was conceived by international designer and North Carolina native Alexander Julian of ’80s Colours clothing brand fame. Julian used some of the stripes/bold colors of his clothing line to create something never before seen in professional sports. And it all began with the color palette.

Teal was, to be polite… not seen as an intimidating color. But the goal wasn’t to blend in, as an expansion team the goal was to stand out and show the rest of the world that NC wasn’t just about tobacco and retrograde civil rights. Nope, we were here to show the rest of the NBA that we belonged and the uniform made that clear.

The Hornets, if not the first NBA team to wear pinstripes, were most definitely the first to wear pinstripes of differing colors. Four stripes, in teal, green, blue and purple covered the jersey, but didn’t extend to the shorts, presumably to show some constraint. Julian subsequently redesigned the UNC men’s basketball uniform with the signature argyle side panels that’s still being worn today.

The uniform became a cultural phenomenon that surpassed the world of sports. Starter jackets with Hugo The Hornet could be seen everywhere, from street corners to hip-hop videos. The signature teal color became momentarily trendy, as the expansion Vancouver Grizzlies, Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks, Florida Marlins and San Jose Sharks, among others, jumped on the bandwagon. The team added a somewhat unnecessary purple alternate in 1994 which always struck me as garish.

While that inaugural set was worn from the franchise’s inception until 1996 and widely considered one of the greatest uniforms of all time, it’s not my favorite Hornets uniform. Nope, that would be the one that came immediately afterwards.

The overlooked ’96-’02 set was likely overlooked because it came after the franchise’s Larry Johnson/Alonzo Mourning/Muggsy Bogues era and coincided with the team’s nosedive, which included a tragic death, a forced trade of a future goat, star players suddenly deciding they were too big for Charlotte, dwindling crowds and a sexist owner.

The second Hornets uniform fixed some of the flaws of the original. Awesome side panels added some much needed balance, they doubled down on pinstripes, moved the Hugo logo to the shorts hem and threw in some neck/armhole trim for good measure. The overall effect is, for me, the second best uniform of all time.

Sadly, the Hornets fled the Carolinas for the Big Easy in the early ’00s just as I’d fled the Carolinas for DC a few years prior and became (hold your jokes please) a Wizards fan. The New Orleans Hornets went on to don comically awful variations of this uniform there (and briefly in OKC while New Orleans rebuilt after Katrina) before finally giving the Hornets moniker back in 2014 to the expansion Charlotte Bobcats who’ve tried to recapture the original aesthetic to varying degrees of failure. That the team has embraced both uniform sets from the original Hornets in recent years speaks to the design’s enduring charm and uniqueness.

And that’s why the Hornets were my first Uni Love.

• • • • •
Thanks, Jay! That was a great story and a fantastic topic for discussion. (And thanks again for your kind words.)

OK readers — now it’s your turn. Do you have a first uni love? Fire away!



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 Steve Fitzpatrick.

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



Uni Tweet of the Day

Let’s debate anyway…


And finally...

…that’s it for today’s early lede. Big thanks to Jay for sharing his first uni love story with us, and let’s hear yours down below!

I’ll have at least one more article today, and likely more, so be sure to check back here later.

Everyone have a good Tuesday and I’ll see ya back here in the morning.



Comments (152)

    Casey Stengel said it best … “the kids don’t say ‘mommy, daddy’ they say ‘Metsie, Metsie!’” Yes, the classic home Mets uniform was the one for me. Just the number on the front and back. No names; 14/41/36/45/7/20/21/8 etc…. Amazin’!

    Same here, the 1986 Mets in my case. I fell in love with the uniform, both home and away, but the love cooled off when they returned to classic pinstripes, buttons and no racing stripes. Still my number one sports uniforms, including the royal blue hat with the orange squatchee.

    1975 Cleveland Indians. We lived two hours away from Cleveland and about three hours from Cincinnati. Big Red Machine mania had swept Ohio but Dad was a fan of the Tribe so to Cleveland games we went. Always in search of more bang for the buck, Dad always took us to doubleheaders and giveaways like bat day. We took in a twinbill with the White Sox. The Tribe wore the all red uniforms in game one and navy tops with white pants in the second game. From the crooked caveman C logo and font to the red, white and blue, I was hooked. Nearly 50 years later I wish the Guardians adopted that logo as an alternate.

    I keep a caveman C hat that I wear for special occasions. Once in a blue moon someone will recognize it and that always makes my dad.

    I loved how, for a while, AL teams generally wore their colored tops at home (A’s excepted) and NL teams generally wore their colored tops on the road (Pirates excepted). And no gray pants with any of those.

    Yes to the crooked C! And yes to the mix-and-match red white and blue jerseys. Maybe it was because my younger brother had the “Garanimals” clothes, that seemed a natural thing for a team to do. I still remember my dad took us to a t-shirt day with red “caveman” shirseys being given out. We were taken out behind the center field fence in cavernous Municipal Stadium to find the right size. My love of baseball started on the Lakefront!

    Two stories, two sports, both happened at about the same time:

    THE Ohio State Buckeyes won the National Championship after beating USC in the Rose Bowl when I was in grade school. QB Rex Kern was MVP of the bowl game and was from my hometown. His mom was the lady who took our lunch money at the school I went to. That was the first season they wore their (now) classic uniforms. Mrs. Kern brought her son’s helmet, full of buckeye leaf stickers, to work with her and placed it beside the register for about a week (after the Rose Bowl victory) for everyone to see. That experience put me on the road to being a football uniform aficionado and loving the Buckeyes look.

    It was around that same time I got the Cleveland ball cap (red with blue wishbone C outlined in white, which I wrote a Leo’s World about) from my grandpa which got me paying attention to baseball uniforms. Cleveland was wearing those great looking vests then!

    Wow, Leo, that was cool to read. I’m from Lancaster too. I was in 8th grade at Ewing the year Rex led them to the National Championship as a soph. What a thrill to have our homeboy do that, and what a great team that was! And agree about the OSU unis that debuted that year.

    I went to West School that year (1968-69), and then Sherman a few years later. We moved across town when I was in 7th, so I also went to Ewing…Go Senators!

    9 year old me lived on Lawn Guyland (not exactly a hotbed for college football, unless you count the ND Subway Alumni) , and those TOSU uniforms ROCKED, especially compared to that godawful – to my eyes – BORING blue and yellow uniform and the helmet with the weird stripes worn by that school up north. Still a fan to this day – good times

    “9 year old me lived on Lawn Guyland”

    So did I (and I still do). What town and when?

    Great feature! Uniforms were not the main reason I fell in love with my first pro team, but the 1981 Phillies’ uniforms and colors were definitely in the matrix. Then a few years later when we moved to Minnesota, the dreadfully poor quality of the team’s pre-1986 uniforms definitely didn’t ease my adoption of the Twins as my favorite team. I became a lifelong Twins fan despite, not because of, their uniforms. And after a decade-plus of quality uniforms, in which the Twinkies won two World Series, they reverted to their old pattern of constant uniform uglification until just recently. Being a Twins fan for me has mostly meant rooting for a team I consider ugly and poorly dressed.

    Those 80’s Phillies unforms are so sharp. I have a (self-imposed) rule to not purchase or wear a hat belonging to a team in a city I’ve never visited, and while I have been through Philly via the airport, I can’t count that as justification to buy one of the maroon caps. Gonna have to make a trip.

    Philly is a great town to visit! I haven’t been to a Phillies game at their current stadium, but I’ve heard good things. Terrific museums and historical sites, and the surrounding area has even more. Valley Forge, Trenton, multiple arboretums. My top tip though is to steer well clear of either Pat’s or Geno’s if you want a cheesesteak. Both are tourist trappy to the extreme and pander to self-aggrandizing mythologies while serving decidedly inferior steaks. Find a non-chain establishment where Cheese Whiz isn’t the default serving option, and you’ll have a much better sandwich than at the big downtown spots.

    I can relate to that feeling, being a fan of the 2007-2016 Pittsburgh Penguins – truly one of the worst-dressed sports teams of all time. Who designs a jersey with a color pattern that can only be seen from the back???

    My first uni that I still love today is that 80s SF Giants set. The home uni is the basis of my membership card, but I loved that road set. The SF logo on the left side. Simple and clean. I have always wished that the team would bring it back.
    The inaugural SJ Sharks unis were, of course, a revelation to me. Teal? Teal wasn’t really a sports color then. The Hornets were wearing teal, but nobody else. It was cool in the early days going to first the Cow Palace and the SJ Arean (Now known as HP Pavillion) and seeing so much teal.

    1986 Denver Broncos, i was five years old and saw the blue helmet with an orange D and a horse inside. Then you see the bright orange jerseys and i have been a Broncos fan ever since. (Doesn’t mean i want them to go back to that look at all, actually preferred the Color Rush with the navy blue trimmed jersey and navy blue helmet)

    The Baltimore Colts all-white set. Until I was nine, we lived a few blocks from Memorial Stadium. In the summer, this meant we’d see the Orioles on an impulse and hear the cheers through our screened windows at night. In the fall, this meant we’d hurry home from church before all the street parking was taken.

    I never did see a Colts game live; my parents briefly had season tickets but gave them up when I was born. I remember my great-aunt visiting some Sunday afternoons when her husband and son went to the games, and watching on our small black-and-white TV. The first and only football game I saw in Memorial Stadium was the first exhibition game for the Baltmore CFL franchise, at that point nameless but called “Colts” by the fans. I had moved to North Carolina by then, but happened to be in Baltimore for that game. (The next season, they played as the Stallions, won the Grey Cup, and decamped for Montreal as the Browns moved in and became the Ravens.)

    The white set really stood out to me as being the ideal look for the Colts — the blue jerseys were OK, but the white was what said “Colts” to me.

    Post-1983 I spent a couple of years cheering for whatever good teams I saw on TV a lot, and when I went to my dad’s hometown of Philadelphia for college I became an Eagles fan–at the start of the Buddy Ryan and Randall Cunningham era. There are lots of Eagles fans among my dad and his family.

    (I’ve always said that I’m among the happiest of Eagles fans for a simple reason — every morning that I wake up and they haven’t decamped for Indianapolis is a good day.)

    Love this article SO much. I share the same sentiment re: the Hornets and Heels. Props to Alexander Julian for knocking it out of the park both times. Would be great for the hornets to finally have some real on-court success to match!

    Also that long sleeve polo shirt is awesome.

    1985 Michigan football. Winged helmets. Harbaugh to Kolesar.

    Six-year old Sleepy was hooked.

    1964 Cleveland Browns. I was six years old and fascinated that the Browns seemed to be about the only team to wear white at home. Growing up, I made sure to watch when the Browns played at Dallas or LA, just to see the brown jerseys.

    Great prompt today Phil!

    I was born in ’85, which makes me a 90s kid through and through. And like many 90s kids, it’s the Mariners uniforms for me. I really dug (and still do) the navy and not-quite-teal combination, and was on board for every short lived variation the team tried in the 90s

    I really appreciate that the Mariners have stuck with with the navy and teal through the years. I got my hands on a teal crown/navy brim hat a few years ago… and would really like to find an on-field turn ahead the clock hat as well.

    I should add: I’m not from Seattle, though I’ve visited a couple of times as an adult. My Mariners fandom had everything to do with watching highlights on Sportscenter and occasionally being allowed to stay up late in the summer to watch an M’s game when they were broadcast nationally.

    I’ve grown tired of pushing against this tide, but the Mariners are NOT a teal team. The color is officially Northwest Green and is clearly darker than true Teal. But like the people who swear they grew up eating Jiffy peanut butter, this Mandela Effect will never seem to die.

    Ken Griffey Baseball on Nintendo and watching him at the ’96 Home Run Derby…when I think of the 90’s, its that backward navy and teal cap.

    Growing up in Philly in the 80’s and 90’s, I had some very good unis to watch, but the Phillies were always my favorites. The “P” logo with the baseball in the middle is still as good as it gets for a baseball logo.

    Their powder blues always looked amazing, but I’ll admit that my favorites are their road grays from 1989 to 1991. I think that is an underappreciated look, mostly because the powder blues are so great, too.

    Bingo bango, sir. I wish the Phils brought those uniforms back full-time. I’d like the maroon pinstripes, road gray and alternate powder blues.

    As a fellow child of Philadelphia of the ‘80s and ‘90s, I could not agree more. The road grays were awesome. My best friend had a Lenny Dykstra gamer that I loved.
    That said, the uniforms that hooked me weren’t local.
    BASEBALL: Expos… pinwheel hats, number font, logo and racing stripes. We also had family in Montréal. Honorable mention to the Taco Bell Padres, for adding orange to brown and athletic gold (henceforth yellow).
    FOOTBALL: LA Rams… the horns on the helmets and the sleeves, the yellow numbers with the white NOBs. Honorable mention to the Honolulu blue and silver of the Lions and the blue/silver/neonless green of the Seahawks.
    BASKETBALL: SuperSonics… the green/yellow, the arc across the ch

    …the chest and shoulders, and Jack Sikma’s perm. Honorable mention to the rainbow Nuggets.
    HOCKEY: too many to pick one, from the days when teams wore their dark sweaters to the Spectrum. Nordiques, Canucks, Kings (purple, not black), Whalers.

    The first team I fell in love with because of its uniforms was probably the L.A. Raiders, although as a child I had always liked the Jets because green was my favorite color. But in 1983, after another multi-INT performance by Richard Todd it became clear that the Jets, coming off an AFC Championship Game appearance, were not going to take the next step that season as I had hoped. I watched a Monday Night game between the Raiders and Cowboys, who I knew were two of the best teams in the NFL at the time, and really dug the silver and black. The Raiders won that game, I followed them for the rest of the season, and they won the Super Bowl. So, I was hooked.

    Of course, it was all downhill from there, and nothing good ever came of that; it ended around 1996. I stopped watching football altogether for a couple of years, until the Jets brought back their classic look in 1998, and I fell in love with them all over again.

    Of course, …

    In the summer of ’75, a pivotal moment unfolded in my childhood when my father decided to whisk my brother and me away to my inaugural baseball game. At a tender age of five, I stood hand in hand with my ten-year-old brother, anticipation tingling in the air like static before a thunderstorm. As we approached the colossal stadium, its sheer magnitude loomed before us, a coliseum of dreams reaching towards the sky.

    The throng of eager fans congregating at the gates mirrored the excitement pulsing within me. With each step closer, the grandeur of the spectacle enveloped me, a sensory symphony of sights, sounds, and smells. Passing through the turnstiles felt like crossing a threshold into a realm where magic was woven into the very fabric of the air.
    A gift awaited us as we entered – a full-sized bat, a symbol of the game’s storied history, and a program detailing the players who would soon grace the field with their prowess. The aroma of sizzling hot dogs mingling with the yeasty tang of beer wafted through the bustling concourse, igniting my senses with an intoxicating blend of nostalgia and excitement.

    Clutching my father’s hand tightly, I gazed wide-eyed at the bustling crowd swirling around us. My brother, a seasoned veteran of double digits, offered a reassuring smile, his excitement mirroring my own as we navigated the labyrinthine aisles towards our seats. Every step felt like a journey deeper into a realm where dreams danced upon the diamond.

    Then, a gentle descent down a sloping ramp unveiled a sight that stole my breath away. Before me lay a verdant expanse of emerald perfection, bathed in the golden light of the sun. The bases gleamed like pearls amidst the sea of green, while the white lines traced a path to glory, beckoning players and fans alike to embark upon the timeless ritual of America’s pastime.

    The stadium, a behemoth of steel and concrete, rose like a colossus, its every nook and cranny teeming with the energy of anticipation. The scoreboard, a titan among giants, loomed far away, its moving lighted graphics were state of art. And then, like a herald of destiny, came the announcement: “Here comes your Cleveland Indians!”

    As the home team took the field in a blaze of red with some white and blue emerging from the dugout, I found myself mesmerized, a silent witness to the grandeur unfolding before me. Their blue hats which a large C, that word INDIANS scripted in all white those gorgeous socks. And then, as if on cue, a player cladded in the colors of white pants, and a yellow trimmed with green jersey and a green shinny helmet with an A’s on it stepped into the batter’s box, his every movement a testament to the beauty and grace of the game. And with a resounding cry of “Play Ball!”, the symphony of baseball began, its rhythms and cadences weaving a tapestry of memories that would endure for a lifetime.

    I’ve been an Atlanta Braves fan as long as I can recall, since the early 80s, but I always loved the Expos’ uniforms, the cleanliness, the colors, everything. To be fair, it took me a long, long time to see the “M” in the logo–as a kid, I thought it was “elb” which my dad told me stood for “le expos baseball”. It’s still the first thing I see. I cannot see the “M”.

    But I love it nonetheless.

    The New Orleans Jazz. The Knicks had just traded Walt Frazier to the Cavaliers and I was done with them. I read in Sports Illustrated that the name, Jazz, was chosen as the new NBA team in New Orleans. and the colors were purple green and gold. I loved that and they have been my favorite NBA ever since. They hadn’t even gotten Pete Maravich yet.

    1969-71 A’s ‘Fort Knox Gold’ as Charlie Finley would say. Vest top; Old
    English A (no apostrophe); McAuliffe font front and back. Need I say more?

    Late 90’s and early 2000’s Tennessee Volunteers football. As a kid growing up in northern California, I had good uniforms to root for in the 49ers, SF Giants, Cal Berkeley, and my dad‘s alma mater Colorado Buffaloes, but I had never seen a color like that sherbet orange on a uniform before. I loved the big orange “T” on the helmet. I remember playing as Tennessee in video games all the time, they were the coolest. And when anybody asked why I rooted for a team across the country? Because I loved the uniforms.

    I’m from KC and I am a lifelong Chiefs and Royals fan, but as a kid I loved the teal and orange of the Miami Dolphins. There was just something about how they stood out that appealed to me as a 6-7 year old.

    Sixers uniforms, especially seeing the home jerseys pop on cable (Prism!) or in person at the Spectrum. Phillies powder blues. And then in the early 90s, I fell in love with the Georgia Tech basketball unis and Michigan’s Fab Five look. Even bought a Georgia Tech hat, since I loved that logo and color scheme so much.

    For me the Oakland A’s uniforms were the first set of uniforms that caused me to like a team based on what they wore on the field. Specifically the 1971 Topps baseball card of Reggie Jackson. The vest, the shade of yellow and green, and of course the stirrups. I am still an A’s fan to this day because of that baseball card.

    I’m an Orioles fan with orange blood running through my veins. But when I saw Rickey Henderson in an Athletics uniform, I thought THAT was the perfect uni! In fact, I too had been thinking about an article to submit, and began collecting pictures of Rickey through the years. Once I write it, I will share with Phil. Hopefully it makes the cut to be shared with you all.

    The Man of Steal wore so many different unis over the years (including a bunch of Minor League/Independent teams after most of his big league career had ended). And I’d agree, Rickey always wore the uniform perfectly!

    What a fantastic idea to run. Reading through the comments it’s wild how so many went through the same thing. I too grew up in a state without the Big 4 at the time; sans the Suns. I was born in Cleveland and my parents were big Browns fans. This was the 80s so they still got some network time. But catch the Tribe never happened. We got the Cubs, Braves, Dodgers and Rams mostly.

    But to my shame, when I was about five years old I caught a Cowboys/Falcons game where the Boys wore their navy jerseys with the silver number and silver pants. I loved that look. I eventually recanted allegiance to Dallas and returned to the Browns.

    Another team that drew me in by their uniforms was the Boston Red Sox. I was 10 years old when they played the Mets in the 86 Classic. I distinctly remember how enamored I was with the idea that their road uniforms were much blander with a plain navy “BOSTON” across their chest rather than the ornate “RED SOX” they wore at home. I only pulled for Boston in the series. Didn’t become a fan. But was very happy when I saw them attempt to return to a somewhat familiar look of navy on the road uniforms in the early 2010s. They’ve since returned to the red “BOSTON” road font but ah the little joys.

    Yeah, I’m sad the navy “BOSTON” lettering didn’t stick. It was a sharp look.

    Great question! Mine was the Dallas Cowboys’ 1994 “double star” jerseys. I still have my tiny Emmit Smith jersey from being 5-6 years old. It was the first article of clothing I wanted. I was just fascinated with the giant stars and even then remember liking that it was something different from what they always wore.

    I know I will get blasted for this. But the first time I saw the white Chicago Blackhawks sweater and Tony Esposito with that primitive goalie mask had me drawn into hockey fandom that I have never left. The embroidered logos with all those colors just shouldn’t work and yet it does. Eventually, when I got to see the red uniform I was hooked. I still believe today it is one of the top uniforms in all of sports.

    Thank YOU Jay! As I said in the intro, I’d been thinking about a *similar* column, but your specific topic and writeup jumpstarted everything!

    Jay, I love your overview of the Hornets uniforms and why they were special! Great piece.

    Great piece, Jay. I also appreciate encountering a fellow black UWer.

    I went to my first Washington Capitals game when I was two weeks old, wearing a tiny white screaming eagle Caps jersey. From the time I can remember, I was rocking the old screaming eagle logo and jerseys, with the Capitol building logo on the shoulder. I even got selected to be recipient of a game worn jersey after the last game of the season in 2004. We all lined up on the ice and the players drew our names out of a bucket. My favorite player of all tiem, Peter Bondra, picked my name out, came right over, and gave me his black Capitol building jersey he had worn that. I still have it framed in my house, right next to my game used Olie the Goalie stick. I’d do just about anything for the team to go back to those uniforms

    My first and greatest sports love will always be the Pittsburgh Penguins, for reasons unrelated to uniforms (though they have generally been solid in that department).

    But my first great uni love was the Buffalo Sabres – to be specific, their white home uniform in 1988-89 (the year I started paying attention to the NHL at the age of six). I actually wasn’t a fan of their blue uni (more on that in a minute), but the white set was perfection in my childhood mind. I loved the combination of blue, yellow, and white, and I especially loved it on hockey cards that didn’t print the colors quite right and the yellow came out looking slightly orange. I loved the blue shoulder yokes, and I really loved the little circular primary logos repeated on the shoulders. Intellectually, as an adult now, it seems a bit absurd to have the same logo in three different places on the jersey, but I can’t lie, I still think it looks great.

    As I mentioned, I did not like the blue jersey, primarily because I felt like the yellow-to-white balance was off. It had too much yellow and not enough white. In my mind, the white uni was classic perfection, but the blue one kinda made the players look like silly bumblebees.

    Many years later, as an adult, I commented on the Facebook page that I thought the Sabres should bring back their classic royal blue jerseys but with some white striping this time. And then, in 2021, they did exactly that! And when Andrew first posted the new unis to the Facebook page, he actually tagged me and said something along the lines of “Hey Daniel, looks like you got what you wanted!” I can’t lie, that was pretty cool!

    70s through 90s Nebraska Cornhuskers. Similar to Jay’s post, we had no major pro teams near. The simple uniform in scarlet and cream was our whole state’s identity, and we wore the emotion of it on our sleeves. Removing stripes from the pants, changing the field logo, etc was either heretical or extremely progressive, depending on your point a view. Calls for changing it more drastically was on par with being anti-American. The uniform was near sacred.

    Some teams can (and should) change their uniforms. Perhaps even frequently.

    Nebraska is not one of those teams. White/red/white at home, white/white/red on the road. That is it, that is all.

    The only change I’d be fine with: they can go back and forth between shoulder stripes, sleeve stripes, or just the N on the sleeves.

    An unusual question, because though it leads to a uniform I like, I would not consider them my *favorites*.
    Early in the 1977 season, the “A” game for the NBC Saturday afternoon MLB Game of the week was rained out (let’s say, the Yankees and Tigers) so they had to go to the “B” game: the Dodgers vs. the Padres. Los Angeles is familiar to everybody, but I must admit I’d never seen San Diego play. They took the field in dark brown jerseys with yellow raglan sleeves and V-neck collar, a yellow “San Diego” in an antique font, and yellow player numbers on the back. Hats were brown with a yellow “mission bell” pattern on the front with interlocking “SD”. Pants were white with brown and yellow stripes and Sansabelt. Cleats were white, sannies were yellow, stirrups were brown.
    The Pods were showing off two of their newest free-agent acquisitions, Gene Tenace and Rollie Fingers. Dave Winfield knocked one out of the park for the visitors, but as happened often that year, San Diego lost the game.
    I was mesmerized. Never had I seen such a cleft between tradition (LA) and innovation (SD). Not only did I fall hard for the Padres’ colors, I noticed the graphic harmony between the triangle on the hat, the widow’s peak of the collar. and sweep of the raglan sleeves. Then and there I adopted San Diego as my new favorite team.
    Only later did I realize this unity of design was an accident of piecemeal replacement of older components. My favorite baseball uniform *now* is the rainbow-guts Astros’ set, very much created out of whole cloth. But that Padres/Dodgers tilt coalesced the vision of a nascent Uni Watcher.

    I first fell in love with the Chicago Blackhawks sweater. No, not the one everyone thinks of the Red, but the White. Back in the early 70’s the Hawks home games were not on TV, so I only saw the red sweaters. When I was lucky enough to get taken to home games it was a real treat to see them in the White.

    After that I would say the next were the Pirates when they came out in 1977 with the mix and match uniforms. Just bought a new Dave Parker black jersey this year!!!

    2011 Cleveland Browns. They sucked, but I was so fascinated by the fact that they wore their all white set for all 16 games that year. Still don’t know why that captivated me so much but I absolutely fell in love with that uniform and have been a huge Browns fan ever since. I live and grew up in northern Minnesota so I bleed purple through and through. But the brownies will always be my second team. Orange and brown, colors of the fall.

    Without a doubt the late 1970’s Oakland A’s!! Those teams with their swagger and mustaches and those unis had it going on!! Thanks for posting this question….took me about a second to answer!! Great memories!

    I’m guessing that I’ll be the only one to list this particular trio of favorites from when I first entered the fascinating world of uniform aesthetics in the late 70’s.
    *Note: Some of you may wish to be seated before reading further.

    NFL-Denver Broncos “Orange Crush”
    MLB-Houston Astros “Tequila Sunrise”
    NHL- Vancouver Canucks “Flying V”

    So I’m guessing you like the color orange. By the way, how come oranges are called “Oranges” but peaches are not?

    Beat me to it! The Christmas jerseys definitely gave it away

    How was 2016 already 8 years ago?!

    May I offer up a few?
    As a boy, I was captivated by the Yankees classic pinstripes and NY logo. First cap I ever bought with my own money.
    Growing up in Milwaukee, the Brewers ball-in-glove MB logo was an all-time favorite. Bummed when they eliminated it in 90’s. So happy they listened to the fans and brought it back a few years ago. So unique.
    Also, remember liking the A’s because their uni sets were so different. Kelly green, gold, and of course, the white spikes.

    Growing up in the UK, we didn’t get a lot of US sports in the 80s until the NFL came along, but in the 90s there was a slow explosion as each league became more available, and my defining moment was the 1993 NBA Finals, those Phoenix Suns unis, the vibrant purple (sorry Paul, wherever you are) the big sunburst logo, the orange and black trim and the way it angled on one short leg…

    They’re my team, I’ve never seen them play in person, but they’re my team

    My memory was a little fuzzy in 1969. I was two years old, after all. Dad says I was a huge fan of Joe Kapp and the Minnesota Vikings. I think he and Paul Krause (why haven’t the Vikings retired his number?) were the first reasons I loved that team. Fred Cox and yes, the uniforms, probably helped seal the deal. I didn’t realize until recently that was the first year they switched from sleeve stripes to shoulder stripes for the road jersey. I wish they still had those stripes.

    I was hoping I’d find a fellow Viking uni admirer from this particular time period. It’s 1968 and 7 year old me began following the horned helmet gang. Maybe from growing up in the Seattle area and no Seahawks until ’76. So I just really loved those Vikings uniforms. Those dark purple lids and the overall ensemble is why I clearly began rooting for laundry. Aside from the fact they played a great number of games in the snowy confines of Metropolitan Stadium which really made the purple pop just that much more.

    I miss Metropolitan Stadium SO much. Especially the snow games!
    I followed Bud Grant’s philosophy of not wearing gloves when I played pickup football. I didn’t even wear them for snowball fights!

    Once the Vikings moved indoors I lost a little respect for them. I still root for them, but they’ve fallen down my list of teams several notches. And since they’ve been indoors they’ve never been back to a Super Bowl. Coincidence? I think not.

    Growing up a Quebec Nordiques fan I loved the uni…but when 11 year old me saw the San Jose Sharks jersey and logo for the first time, it was a game changer….it was so different than the other 21 teams at the time…I harrased my parents to get the jersey, it did not happen

    Like Daniel E above, I fell in love with the white home Buffalo Sabres sweater when I first saw them on TV during their 1972-73 playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens. Daniel expressed my exact thoughts so I won’t bother repeating his words. It’s possible that the Sabres sweater attracted me because royal blue and gold was the same colour scheme as my beloved hometown Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
    I also agree with Daniel regarding the Sabres’ original blue sweater. It wasn’t bad but it needed some white trim, which they have since instituted on their beautiful current set.

    As a kid, even though I saw the obvious beauty in the uniforms of the Yankees (of whom I was a fan) and of the Mets (of whom I was not a fan), the first uniform that I really flipped out over was the uniform of the A’s starting in 1972.

    In general I don’t approve of pullover jerseys and waistband pants, nor do I approve of jerseys other than white and grey. But the A’s broke all these rules, and looked great doing it. (The only other pullover jerseys that I liked are those of the 1970s Pirates and the 1970s White Sox, though I wish that the White Sox’ collars went all the way around the shirt.) That A’s uniform, combined with the players’ signature mustaches, created what I consider to be the best look in baseball history.

    The first time I realized that uniforms were cool to look at was around 1984. I was raised (and still am) a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. I remember noticing how they only had a logo on one side of their helmets. It was puzzling to my little brain at the time. Then I remember seeing the University of Iowa play in the 1986 (1985 season) Rose Bowl. Such a blatant copy of the Steelers uniforms, but it amazed me that they had a Hawkeye logo on both sides of their helmets. I remember thinking that Pittsburgh was better off having a logo on just one side because it was different from everyone else. I guess I’m still like that today in my uniform tastes. I love a “classic” uniform, but I love the little oddities that make some stand out. Examples: Lakers different shades of purple road unis, the different interlocking “NY” logos on the Yankees caps, jersey, etc., and the Bengals striped helmets.

    Bulls on WGN in the 80s? What about the Cubs?

    I mean, yeah, in the early 80s, WGN carried some Bulls games but the vast majority were shown on SportsVison (which became SportsChannel, which became Fox Sports Net, which became Comcast Sports, which became NBC Sports Chicago, which will apparently be succeeded by Chicago Sports Network) but I digress. Damn near every Cubs game was on WGN.

    Anyway, yeah, Cubs for me… 70s pullover/sans-a-belts. I loved the powder blue road unis, especially when they added the pinstripes. Rick Monday… Bobby Murcer…

    Although a White Sox fan, I watched Cubs games on WGN in the early 80s. I lived in Austin, Tx. and like many cable systems around the country, Austin’s filled out their 40 or so channels with WGN and WTBS. WGN carried a spattering of Sox games, but the Cubs were on every day.

    I wondered if WGN was even charging cable companies for their feed, as local ads for Chicago car dealers, furniture warehouses and accident attorneys went out across the country, where they were useless. TBS obviously had a national feed, separate from their local channel 27 programming. It wasn’t till the mid to late 80’s that WGN figured out they (and the Cubs) had a national audience.

    For the first three years of Bulls championships, almost all their games were on WGN’s (now national) feed. I was traveling a lot then and happy that almost everywhere I went had WGN on local cable.

    To get back on topic: Growing up on the south side of Chicago, I always loved the White Sox uniforms. Something about rendering that classic design in different color schemes every few years through 1975 appealed to me.

    WGN aired a good chunk of the Bulls games during the first 3 championship seasons but the majority were on SportsChannel. I was away at school for the bulk of the NBA season so I definitely did not get to watch as many games as I wanted to. I had to settle for Pacers games if I wanted to watch the NBA.

    Of course, the Bulls appeared on a lot of the national broadcasts (I can’t remember if TBS was showing NBA games at the time, but NBC definitely was).

    Though I didn’t grow up in NC, for me, it was also the Charlotte Hornets. They were the first team I ever decided was my favorite team on my own (as in, not inherited from my father), and it was because of the uniforms and Muggsy Bogues. This happened back in 1991, when I was 5 years old. I still remember, in 1992, when my little sister was born, to make me feel not forgotten in all the fuss over the new baby, my grandmother got me this awesome Hornets hat that I still have. I stopped watching the NBA when they moved in 2002, didn’t come back to the Bobcats. When the Hornets were reborn in 2014, I got the NBA package, but honestly, not being local and having to pay extra, it hasn’t been a worthy investment. I still watch them when they play the Knicks and Nets and the 1 national TV appearance they get per season. Hoping eventually they’ll be worth buying the out of market package again.

    Yes, the Cubs also, but they played day games and I usually had other more fun stuff to do then. :)

    My grandad was a HUGE fan though.

    For me sports and uniforms came close together. I didn’t follow sports leagues as a child except for my curiosity in the WHA standings (final season, only 6 teams) that I saw in a tiny corner of the Stars & Stripes newspaper that my Dad got, and the article on the WFL found in the annual World Book Encyclopedia update for 1974. Finding photos of those teams became an obsession because it was so difficult.

    But I lived overseas on military bases so TV coverage consisted of (no kidding) black & white kinescopes of 2-week-old NFL games. That’s how I discovered Earl Campbell during his 199-yard Monday night game as an Oilers rookie in ’78. So I didn’t even know what the colors were. The next spring we moved to New Mexico where there was plenty of baseball coverage, and I caught Astros fever as they had their first ever divisional race. Not only was I fascinated by the uniforms, but the fact that the Astros seemed to wear the same one home & road.

    In the Alamogordo High School library I found a big coffee-table book on the 10th anniversary of the AFL (meaning the end) with many color photos. So now the whole history of sports uniforms was an interest.

    In spring 1974, I was a 9-going-on-10-year-old baseball fan without a team. A couple of my friends were fans of the Big Red Machine, but I was looking for something different. In my school library, when I paged through the March 18 issue of Sports Illustrated (pp. 26-27), I was immediately taken by a spring training photo of Ron Santo, #10, in the last year of his career and only season with the Sox, wearing this powder blue and red road uniform, and I pretty much instantly became a White Sox fan. I follow the Sox closely to this day.

    Although I grew up in KC in the 80’s as a Royals fan and sports logos nerd I was fascinated with the Houston Astros tequila sunrise jerseys. It was bold, bright and different, just the right combination to strike a pre-teens fancy, Nolan Ryan really helped too. Somehow my parents tracked down a kids sized jersey for me, which at the time was probably no easy feat, I still have it today. My interest in the Astros was 100% tequila sunrise, I lost all interest when they phased out that uniform set.
    I also adored the Kansas City Comets of the Major Indoor Soccer Leagues jersey. Like the Astros the Comets jerseys were bold and colorful. I’m wearing a Comets jersey in my 4th grade class photo. I also photo bombed my senior class panorama photo with at the time brand new black and silver Los Angeles Kings jersey. And like the Astros jersey, I still have the Comets, Kings, and a closet full of other 80’s and 90’s jerseys.

    My first love was the Pittsburgh Pirates, 1966. They wore the classic sleeveless uniforms. Only select road games were televised then. The Pirates were seldom on the Game of the Week. But the Detroit Tigers were, and I fell in love with those elegant whites with the D logo. Also the Cardinals who reached the 67-68 World Series. In football, easy choices. Gabriel era Rams and the Minny Vikes in purple.

    I’m a lifelong Hornets fan after I saw the logo on a t-shirt when I was 10 and thought it was awesome.

    That wasn’t my first love, though. I became obsessed with basketball after seeing the 1984 Olympics, although there was virtually no other coverage in the UK at the time. Then Dire Straits released their video for “Walk Of Life” which was full of American sports bloopers and gave me my first taste of NBA (and MLB) uniforms. 2 stuck out straight away – the rainbow skyline Nuggets, and my absolute favourite uniform of all time, the Bucks’ Irish Rainbows. Green was my favourite colour and my bedspread had similar stripes as the Bucks’ unis, I was smitten straight away.

    It’s still my favourite uniform 40 years later and was the basis for my UW membership card.

    The Kardiac Kids Browns…classic no-logo helmet with white facemask, brown jerseys with orange pants.

    Great piece today, Jay! I thoroughly enjoyed the story of how you fell in love with the Hornets and their unforms, and I was especially enthralled by the way you told it. Here’s hoping we see more of your writing hear at Uni Watch in the future!

    There is a team that made me fall in love with uniforms and a team I fell in love with whose uniforms I quickly came to love. The first is the Pittsburgh Pirates in the late ’70s. l was still learning sports at that point (despite having played a couple of years of little league baseball), so the Pirates blew my mind with their mix-and-match black and yellow uniform sets and their pillbox hats. I didn’t know things like that were possible in baseball, and I was fascinated by it. I can’t say I ever became a devoted fan of the Pirates (I was already a Dodgers and Angels fan by then), but I’ve always had a soft spot for the Pirates because of that. The fact that I played on a little league team in 1980 called the Pirates, with black and yellow uniforms, certainly added to it.

    The team I fell in love with, whose uniforms I quickly came to love, was the Denver Broncos. A casual fan of the team because of my dad (he grew up in Denver), I’d followed them (but not closely) throughout my childhood. But it was the 1986 team that really captured my attention and turned me into a devoted and committed football fan (and devoted fan of all sports, really). Those “Orange Crush” uniforms were a thing of beauty to me, and I loved how unique they were in comparison to every other team in the NFL. Every game with them in their orange jerseys with those royal blue helmets was a feast for my eyes, and I will probably never love another uniform set as much as I did those beauties.

    If Phil’s crazy enough to allow me back, I’ll write 10000 words about how awesome those Tarheels uniforms are.

    Any time, Jay!

    Maybe not 10,000 words, but I’d love a good Tar Heels breakdown ;)

    You’ll get no argument from me about the awesomeness of those Heels uniforms, Jay! (link)

    Bengals 82 redesign with stripes on helmet
    Been interested in uniform designs ever since

    The Pirates were only team besides the A’s that really looked good in pullovers and waistbands. (You could throw in the White Sox, if their 70s jerseys had had collars that went all the way around the shirt.) And that unique shade of gold on the Pirates’ uniform was beautiful.

    I’m a diehard Montreal Canadiens fan today after living there for McGill University, and I always loved Ken Dryden ever since I realized he’s a Cornell grad just like my mom…but I’m pretty sure seeing the Habs red jerseys with the blue torso and elbow full horizontal stripe trimmed in white and with white numbers outlined in blue was my first uniform love. So cool! Nobody else had a stripe through the belly like that! Shoulder yokes yes, hem stripes yes, but that’s the Habs look and I’m pretty sure I loved it. So much so I asked for a Habs jersey as a kid but I was secretly disappointed I was gifted the white version. Never told my dad about that one.

    Interesting to read how many folks became fans of a particular team BECAUSE of the uniforms. Can’t say the same — growing up in central Ohio in the mid-60s, you rooted for the local teams because…well, because you just did, that’s all. I never even knew it was an option to root for anyone else.

    Consequently, when I became a sports fan around age 8 or 9, the 3 teams I loved were the Cincinnati Reds, the Cleveland Browns, and Ohio State basketball. (The Cincinnati Royals of the NBA existed, but were never on TV, so they might as well not have. To this day I’ve never really become an NBA fan, although I like basketball.) The Reds’ unis at the time featured vests with red sleeves, and the white “ice cream vendor” pinstripe hats with red bills and a rounded “C” — not a great look in retrospect, but hey, they were my team. Soon enough they switched to a nicer set with the now-iconic C-Reds logo and all-red caps, both featuring the wishbone C, and no pinstripes on the jerseys. The 1968-69 Reds uniforms, before the switch to pullovers, remain the perfect Reds uniforms in my opinion.

    The Browns at the time wore white jerseys with white pants and the iconic logo-less orange helmets, and to me that’s still the perfect Browns look. They were one of the few teams (along with the Cowboys and I think the Rams) to wear white jerseys at home, which meant they wore them basically every week unless they were playing in Dallas or LA. It was always a bit disorienting and disconcerting to see them in brown jerseys.

    Other unis I remember loving as a kid in the 60s, without becoming fans of the teams: Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Dodgers, Cardinals, Raiders, Chargers.

    Later in life, in the 70s, I attended college in St. Louis and transferred my baseball loyalties to the Cardinals, where they remain to this day. And naturally I love their uniforms.

    growing up in central Ohio in the mid-60s, you rooted for the local teams because…well, because you just did, that’s all
    Growing up in northeast Ohio in the 70s, you were chided for not rooting for the local teams. That didn’t stop me. I rooted for some Pittsburgh teams because that’s where my parents came from, but most of my choices were based on favorite players, favorite uniforms or favorite styles of play. I’m not bound by region, and my fandom is fungible.

    Wonderful idea for a series. Now, the first teams I fell in love with were the Philadelphia teams, because I live here and that’s how I express my civic pride. I will always be a Philadelphian at heart, and follow our teams.

    That said, the first team I fell for due to their uniforms, it’s their less-mythologized uniform that I fell for.


    The navy Hartford Whalers set was, to my mind, the greatest uniform ever worn by a team outside of Philly. I know the Whalers are traditionally considered a “green” team, but even within that, the Whalers’ navy set managed to draw attention to the green through just the striping and the W of the whale tail, and made the whole set pop. The old green jerseys, with the flat white logo, seemed bland and boring in comparison, whereas the navy/grey/green logo on the navy kit managed to highlight every individual element while bringing it together as a cohesive whole. I was still a Flyers fan, but the Whalers were my second team until *%&#$^ Karmanos decided he wasn’t making enough money and killed them. It took the Hurricanes acquiring my then-favorite player, Rod Brind’Amour, to bring me back from loathing them to just seeing them as a sad missed opportunity.

    I know that hoping for an NHL revival of the Whalers is just tilting at windmills, and the Rangers, Islanders, Devils, and Bruins would stomp any attempt to death, but I will never stop hoping that the Rangers will move the Wolf Pack to literally anywhere else, and the Hurricanes will establish the Hartford Whalers as their AHL affiliate, just so we can get back some semblance of that glory.

    I’m pretty sure this happened pretty much simultaneously in my 5-6 year old life:
    -Roman Gabriel in a grass stained all white Rams uni.
    -Joe Nameth in either white or green jersey, post game, looking so cool and tough, with grass stained white tape still wrapped around his wrist.
    Of course, these were pics I saw… have no idea where… maybe SI?

    Love the idea and the execution of this piece Jay, good stuff! I’d have to say my first uniform love was the New York Mets uni set circa early-2000s, especially the black unis (which was the design I chose for my first membership card). I’m more of a basketball fan now, but back then baseball was my only love, and I dreamt of one day playing for the Mets, specifically in those black jerseys underneath the lights at Shea. They enraptured me, the blue and orange and white lettering popping off the black background, the blue piping and the glacier twill, the black version of the classic Mets baseball/skyline logo on the left sleeve. Those uniforms just had so much character, which matched the vibe of the Mets teams of that era too, so much more fun and eclectic than those staid Yankees, whose tradition other than winning was to look as uninteresting as possible, from the uniforms to the players’ own style. I will say that I do think the Mets removing the black drop shadow on their white and gray unis and getting rid of the awful black crown/blue bill caps has been an overall upgrade (I’m not completely anti-traditionalist!), but them slowly stripping away all of the elements that made the original black design so eye-catching (first changing the sleeve logo to the non-black Mets baseball/skyline and not having glacier twill, then removing the blue piping from the jersey, and now this year removing the white trim from the jerseys and caps) has been nothing short of tragic.

    12 year old me loved the 1980 Montréal Expos. And so began a tragic love story between a fan and his team. Le sigh.

    I grew up in Ohio and am a Reds fan, but I obsessed over the Pirates’ bumblebee uniforms of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. I loved tuning into home games of the Reds, Cubs and Braves when they play Pittsburgh just because I wanted to see how the Bucs would mix and match for each game. To this day, I would rather see the Pirates in gold caps with black bills.

    I have no connection to this team but as a kid in the late 70’s early 80’s I remember thinking how absolutely perfect the Kansas City Royals uniforms were. Those beautiful white home uni’s and the powder blue roads, just perfection. To this day I think those Royals uniforms were the best ever.

    Ottawa RedBlacks of the CFL have removed the Red side panels from their jerseys.
    As a Stampeders fan, it will be easier to watch matches between these teams now.


    As a kid, my first team was the Philadelphia Flyers. Likely because they won when I started watching hockey, but I also had a big interest in logos that started early. Had crayon drawings of logos as well as I cut logos out of an old Loblaws NHL sticker book for whatever reason. No Flyers jersey back then but I did have a Flyers winter jacket and also had a favourite “number shirt” (orange t-shirt with big numbers on the back and front).

    Changed to the Leafs eventually, partially because my dad is a fan and partially because that was usually the only game on t.v. When I finally go completely fed up with the Ballard era, the teams (partially because of uniforms) that I picked were the Sabres and Nordiques. When the Nordiques moved to Colorado I had no interest in them (the move along with my dislike of Roy).

    Born in Milwaukee in 1978, and growing up a Brewers fan. The 78-85 Brewers jerseys with the ball in glove hat, blue road unis and home pinstripes are my favorite uniforms of all time.

    For me it wasn’t one team, but two. It was the famous USC/UCLA football game. It was the day before my 10th birthday. Both teams wore their home colored uniforms, and the contrast between the Trojans cardinal red jersey and helmet with yellow pants, and the Bruins light blue jersey with gold helmet and pants, was a thing of beauty.

    Excellent idea for a discussion topic!

    Also, per the lede photo I love that they used to use wooden folding chairs on the Garden floor for the players.

    Not a uniform per se, but when I was six or seven years old, in the early 70’s, I lived in the Sears Wish Book from the day it arrived in our mailbox until Christmas. I dogeared this page:


    and circled the LA Rams sweatshirt, because blue was my favorite color. (I grew up in Maine, but wasn’t really aware of geography at the time.) It was between that and the Chargers.

    Well, the local Sears didn’t have the LA Rams, but they did have the Dallas Cowboys, so my mom bought that because, and I quote, “I figured you would like it because it’s blue.”

    She was correct. And that’s how I grew up as a Cowboys fan.

    I had that Rams sweatshirt from the Sears catalogue!!! Also got the Rams helmet alarm clock. I’m neither a Rams fan nor am I from California but that uniform and especially the helmet was my first favorite. I really hate what they’ve done with this uni set in recent years.

    Yeah, I always have loved the blue and gold. They were great unis, especially in the sleeves era.

    Great idea for a post!
    The first MLB uniform that caught my eye were the circle C pinstriped Cubs Andre Dawson era. WGN was available in my area as well back then.

    Growing up in the early 70s, you had to love the Swingin’ Oakland A’s unis…

    I fell in love with the San Diego Chargers in 1979 for two reasons:

    (1) Their offense was sooooo unconventional – Throwing all over the place.
    (2) Those beautiful Air Coryell era uniforms.

    I love the powder blues, but if they were ever to change, I would want them to go back to those beauties from the last 70s – Early 80s.

    This SO much! January 2, 1982 was when I became a fan of the Chargers. Those royal blue helmets (and yellow facemasks) with the yellow bolt and yellow pants with the bolts down the sides. Dare I say it was…electrifying? I had never seen anything so shockingly beautiful. It didn’t hurt that that Fouts, Joiner, Winslow, et al were the bomb! Now boarding for Air Coryell. I recall watching this game at my uncle’s house and pleading with my parents to stay and watch the end of the game. I got no argument from my dad on that one! I still say that is the best that the Chargers have ever looked.

    No fan of 1960-70’s San Diego Chargers…but absolute fan of their unis. The bolt. The blue looked brighter. The yellow looked bolder. Always felt like a lurker when around true Charger fans.

    Late 70’s and I’m 6-7 and just started watching and playing football. We’re at my uncles house in south Jersey and I see a team beating the Steelers. I look and say “Uncle Jim! Who’s the team winning against Pittsburgh?” He says the Oakland Raiders. They’ve been my team since due to the just plain silver and black uni’s!

    For me it was the Packers. Sometime during the 2010 season I was watching player intros and noticed my jersey was missing the striped collar the players wore. My jersey was a Walmart knockoff AJ Hawk jersey, so it was basically a green shirt with numbers and the G logo on the sleeves. I wanted one with the proper striping, and stitched numbers. The #12 jersey I bought to replace it was the first name-brand jersey I owned, and I’ve been noticing uni details ever since.

    The Swingin’ A’s in the 70s, need I say more?

    Ironically, I love their old school vest unis that immediately preceded the World Series era as well, even more so the older I get.

    Cleveland Browns!

    Even back when all the TV pictures were black and white, you could easily identify the Browns by their classic look. (Of course, there weren’t nearly as many teams back then, so you could probably identify every team, but that’s besides the point.)

    And the Indians had a terrific hat — Chief Wahoo inside a wishbone C. Beautiful look. (I welcome your abuse.)

    Bengals fan.

    Fell in love with the 1980s jerseys. And two Super Bowls in them.

    I hope we wear them again as a throwback.

    Who Dey!

    My first love was the same as the author’s, the 90s Hornets. (I even liked the *pinstriped* NO Hornets version they wore for a few years after the move.) I had a black/teal/purple Starter – actually, it was the other brand, ProPlayer – jacket, and rooted for the team up until the late 90s, around the time they traded/lost Glen Rice and Vlade Divac.

    These days, I feel no affinity toward the team, and yeah, their uniforms are such a downgrade.

    Petty Enterprises #43…the namesake shade of blue, the DayGlo Rec, the custom number font worked its’ magic on 1970’s kid ChrisH.
    I remain a fan although most of that has been gone for a long time.

    As someone who grew up on the opposite side of the country, I can attest to ALL the cool kids having a hornets windbreaker or parka, and a Tar Heels hat or jersey. It was some combination of LJ and mugsy having so much charisma (I still remember grand-ma-ma! That old gal could dunk!) that cool cartoon hornet, the teal and purple! And UNC, of course MJ made them popular but it didn’t hurt that that they used that gorgeous Carolina blue, and no one else had thought of argyle.

    Oh what the heck. I am late to the game, but here we go! There are several unis that caught my attention as a young kid and hooked me into uniform aesthetics. First, that white helmet with the dark green wings for the Eagles. O don’t know why I was mesmerized by that uniform, particularly when they wore the dark green jersey with it. Second, when the Browns wore their rarely worn (at that time) brown jersey. Nobody wore brown and together with the orange helmet, I couldn’t take my eyes off it. Finally, like so many items, I loved the A’s. I was entranced by their all gold vest unis of the late 60’s and their 70’s gold, Kelly, white pullover options.

    this was a beautiful story with such beautiful details, thank you Jay. Side note: I oddly like the yellow ‘Nola’ jerseys and feel guilty for it.
    My favorite uniform is similar to Jay with accessibility. I grew up in Port Huron Michigan, with antennae tv, meaning we picked up Canada’s cbc. “hello Canada and hockey fans from the United States and Newfoundland”. Me my dad and brother’s watched every saturday night, this included coach’s corner. Most games were in the gardens or forum, and there wasn’t much interleague play between campbell and wales conferences, but once in awhile the red wings (red) would play against the leafs (white). It was and in my opinion is the most beautiful uniform contrast in professional sports.

    I can freely admit I harbored some resentment towards NO for stealing my team and wasn’t ever gonna like any of those designs for reasons beyond uni-watching.

    But the gold was kinda slick.

    for me, it was the tequila-sunrise Houston Astros uniforms of the 70’s that caught my eye as young man in Denver looking for a baseball team to root for . . . the uniform was soo different and unique to me!

    Still think this is the best uniform in sports – my Uni-Watch card is based on this uniform

    I’m in the minority but I actually like the purple Hornets uniform a little better than the teal. The numbers and wordmark just pop more to me.

    As far as the first uniform that made me fall in love with a team it was definitely the Miami Hurricanes early 2000s set.

    The purple wasn’t bad per se, it just… wasn’t Teal. Also, the team was starting to fall apart buy this time, with Zo leaving and LJ getting traded.

    Teal IS the Hornets so I definitely understand not liking the purple as much. Also a good point about the state of the team when the purple debuted in the 94/95 season. They did go 50-32 that first year with the purple alts but then it fell apart.

    Thinking on it I actually like(d) their newer set more but that’s probably because I remember seeing it more since my interest in basketball skyrocketed in 97/98 (due to my age and also because as a MN kid the Wolves were finally winning more than 20 games a year).

    I was born in Queens and was a Mets fan in my early youth but my family moved to Houston in ’77 so I really grew up with the Astros rainbows as a pre-teen and I thought they were an awesome home uniform. So very colorful! But it started to bother me they didn’t have proper road uniforms like all the other other teams. Then when they finally got a road uniform in 1980 I hated they weren’t a proper gray and were only (barely) off-white. Now that I’m (much) older I really miss the idea of wearing those rainbows on the road. What little video there is of the Astros in visiting parks from that era show how the tequila sunrise uniforms really sparkled outdoors, in both the day and night games. Best example I can give is if you ever see a replay of the 1980 All Star Game in LA that JR Richard started for the NL. Just beautiful.

    It was 1979 and my family flew down to Tampa, Florida where 6 year old me was introduced to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I fell in love with the orange, red and white. We drove over to Orlando and visited Disney World where I was fascinated by Pirates of the Caribbean. Later that spring I bought my first baseball cards and saw the Black and Gold of the Pittsburgh Pirates (the same colors of our School District) the Pirate font, the pillbox hats and the fact that they were like my swashbuckling Buccaneers had me hooked. A few years later I became a Milwaukee Bucks fan because they were the local team for us in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Those Irish rainbow uni’s had me hooked and now I was a Bucs, Bucs, and Bucks fan until I joined the Marine Corps and found out how much I missed home and the local Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers.

    San Diego Clippers. I was into NBA basketball in the early 90s and stumbled upon a Tom Chambers rookie card. That logo and jerseys would have been a timeless classic if it wasn’t for Donald Sterling’s boring Lakers ripoff.

    Baseball cards were an obsession as a kid of the 70’s and I caught Uni fever very early on. I was huge fan of The Reds but my favorite duds were whatever the AL Brewers were wearing. They were a great looking team that literally got no TV time. Would have to track This Week in Baseball and The annual All Star Game to check out those sublime colors on TV. Needless to say when they moved to the NL and wore those yucky wheat and dark navy outfits I found it to be the worst joke ever. They have come back around some now and the current sets are about 75% better. Nike has already f’d things up some with these outfits though. Cream? No. This sleeve stripes? No. Just wear the old baby blues and you’re all set.

    When you pause and think about it: Julian created two completely unique designs (UNC and the Hornets) that have both stood the test of time and are widely considered as two of the best uniforms ever.

    I don’t know if he ever designed uniforms again after these two, but that’s a darn good track record.

    I couldn’t agree more about Julian’s redesign of the Tar Heels basketball uniforms. He took what had been a pretty classic and iconic look (link) and somehow managed to improve upon it (link).

    I do miss the “Tar Heel” logo on the bottom of the shorts of those old ’80s uniforms a bit, but UNC owns the argyle now. And adding the dark outline around the lettering made it stand out better on both the white and blue uniforms.

    For me, it was never a team thing, but a detail thing. I absolutely hated how back in the day, and even now to a point, retail jerseys would always miss some detail compared to what the actual team was wearing. Take the 1997/2012 Dolphins uniforms. There were a ton of issues with the drop shadowing. Typically found on Zach Thomas jerseys. Or another example would be, how the Miami Heat replicas (1990s) never had the stripes down the one side like the on court uniforms. Or how the 4 on my Favre jersey was the wrong font. Just small details that would always drive me nuts..

    Cubs fan who watched WGN BC (before cable). That said–always liked early Expos. (Did not and do not like pullovers and sansabelts.)

    The uniforms were the entire reason for the MLB All-Star game in the 70s, a chance to see every team, which was not easy then. I am a life-long Cubs fan, but seeing the Expos and Padres unis, the A’s in 74 were wearing different combinations of unis and that’s when I became a uni fan.

    Agreed! I’ve been to two All Star Games in 1986 and 1995 and my absolute favorite part of being there is seeing all these different colorful uniforms mingling on the field together. I remember it being particularly striking in 1986 in the Astrodome seeing home jerseys of the National League team representives in my Astros home park. Just wonderful! Maybe it’s just me but this trend of MLB All Star Games veering away from proper team uniforms is a major downgrade. This used to be the only ASG I would actually watch but I find myself barely watching any of the game these past few years and it’s due to it just not being visually enjoyable any longer.

    Very late to the game here, but I love reading everyone’s stories! Acknowledging the fact upfront that I’m vintage, my sports uni love dates back to the ‘60s in Saint Louis.

    1967 was an epic year for a kid growing up in STL. The Cardinals were on fire and faced the Red Sox in the Fall Classic. Recalling that the World Series games were played in daytime, the Catholic nuns who ran my little parochial school would wheel-in televisions, darken the classroom lights and we kids watched the El Birdos. Instead of being hooked on phonics, we were hooked on the Cardinals. As an aside, literally across the street from my school, Lou Brock (HOF) and his wife ran a flower shop . To see Lou in the offseason all we had to do was cross the street.

    In that same year, NHL expansion brought the newly-minted St. Louis Blues to town. What a time in life for a ten year old! Every kid in town had new Blues’ sweaters, wooden sticks, roller skates, orange plastic pucks, athletic tape, etc. Many of the players were Catholic and lived near my home parish, and on many Sunday mornings I’d look-up at 10:00 Mass to see Al Arbour (HOF) in a pew. When I was 13 and an alter boy, the wife of the GM had passed away and the funeral mass was held at the church. Just prior to Mass, a chartered bus rolled-up and the entire team entered the church to honor Mrs. Lynn Patrick. I still remember looking out at my heroes who had been in three Stanley Cup finals. Man, what a time to be alive! Cardinals World Champion red and Blues Stanley Cup blue all in the same span!

    Great piece Jay!

    I loved those trend setting hornets unis too.

    1st Uni Love is my old High School Varsity basketball unis from 1991-92. The Kelley green and white of the Mason Comets!

    I grew up with the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning.

    I miss the Navy-On-Navy look, Peyton Manning, and Von Miller ;-;

    The Seattle Seahawks became my favorite team with their inception, with the original totemic hawk logo and gray facemask on the helmet, gray pants, royal blue home jerseys, and white socks topped with blue-white-green-white-green-white-blue (whew!) stripes.

    As an impressionable youngster I was smitten by the 1972-73-74 Oakland A’s.

    The colors! The personalities! Reggie Jackson, Vida Blue, Catfish Hunter, Bert Campaneris, Joe Rudi, Ken Holtzman, Sal Bando, Rollie Fingers, Gene Tenace, Dick Williams, Charlie Finley – they were the most successful team insports the theime and that success had a lot to do with me being star-struck as a kid, I’m sure.

    The Pirates may have been the first team to do away with the button up shirts and belts in 1971 (while winning a World Series), but the A’s were a color explosion in 1963 when they changed from the very traditional blue and red to green and gold. Then came the white shoes, the pullover jerseys and the mustaches (but alas, the orange baseball never caught on).

    Oddly enough, years later, I consider their uniforms that preceded them (the gold/white/gray sleeveless look) to be more appealing that the one worn in the championship years.

    Grew up with Sunderland’s red/white stripes and black shorts.
    Hooked on football by Marino’s Dolphins.
    First title* with the regal look of the Monarchs.
    Struck by the classy pinstripes of the Magic.
    Slugged senseless by Cardinal Red.

    * first title I was aware of – when Miami completed their Perfect Season, I was a little over 6 months old).

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