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Looking Back at the Cubs’ Wrigley Field Anniversary Throwbacks of 2014

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Good morning Uni Watchers! And welcome to hump day.

A couple months ago, I took a look at the fifteen throwbacks worn by the Cincinnati Reds in 2019, the year the team celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Cincinnati Red Stockings. Up until then, the Chicago Cubs held the record, lasting a mere five years, of wearing the most throwbacks in a season, with nine. Since this year marks the 10th anniversary of that epic undertaking, let’s take a look back at the throwbacks worn by the Cubs in the 100th Anniversary of Wrigley Field.

MLB teams still occasionally wear throwbacks, either their own or from the Negro Leagues, of course, but it feels like we’ll never again see such serious throwback undertakings as those of the Cubs or Reds. Nike’s “4 + 1” (four jerseys plus one City Connect) seems to have put the kibosh on clubs celebrating their own uniform histories. That’s not to say we’ll never see something on this scale again, but it’s probably pretty unlikely going forward.

And now for a little trip down memory lane.

1. 1914 Chicago Federals home

The first throwback worn by the Cubs wasn’t even a Cubs throwback — the team was celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the opening of Wrigley Field — and the ballpark wasn’t known as “Wrigley” at the time. It was worn by the Chicago Federals, who played in the short-lived Federal League and were Wrigley Field’s original tenants. The uniform was somewhat simple, even by the standards of the day, with a solid navy cap and socks, and “CFeds” logo on a pinstriped uniform. Of note, this uniform wasn’t traditional button-front jersey — it was a pullover henley, with only four buttons.

2. 1929 Cubs home

Like the 1914 uniform, the 1929 throwback was also a pullover henley. The ’29 home uniform was also fairly plain, but featured a tiny bearcub inside a wishbone C logo worn on the left chest. (Here’s a closer look.) The team had McAuliffe numbers on the jersey back for this throwback. A wonderful feature of this uniform were the blue stirrups with red stripes, which players seemed to take pride in wearing. As a bonus, the Cubs outfitted the Cardinals in throwbacks as well, leading to a very aesthetically pleasing game.

3. 1937 Cubs home

This throwback featured one of many innovations the Cubs have brought to the uni-verse: the first zippered MLB jersey, which was pretty faithfully reproduced for this occasion. The 1937 uniform not only looked great on the field, it would make for an outstanding alternate now. The rear of the jersey featured rounded number fonts, something for which the Cubs would also be known. And the Cubs opponents that day, the Milwaukee Brewers, were given a fauxback of their own. Old UW pal Chance Michaels detailed the unis worn by the Brewers that day.

4. 1942 Cubs home

This was definitely one of the more radical designs ever introduced, and especially for the early 1940s. The top is deceptive: while it looks like a jersey, it’s actually a zippered vest with an oddly designed undershirt. And the Cubs and Majestic (who made the jerseys back then) really went out of their way on this one: this throwback wasn’t just a standard jersey without its sleeves. This throwback was designed with a completely different tailoring pattern — larger in the armholes and narrower across the shoulders — which is true to how old-school MLB vests used to be. The jersey also included the Hale America “Health” patch, which all MLB teams wore that season. I love the symmetry of the three red stripes on the undershirt sleeves and the stirrups. I’m not sure if I’d like this design if introduced today, but it was great to see as a throwback on the field. If you’re curious about that Hale patch, Paul had a great writeup back in the day.

5. 1953 Cubs home

While I love the simplicity of this design, it was actually quite similar in a number of ways to the earlier throwbacks worn in 2014, and perhaps a better choice would have been the 1953 road uniform. Like the previous throwbacks, this one was also a zipper front. Some might call this uniform a bit too plain, but the royal blue caps, sleeves and stirrups give it just the right amount of pop.

6. 1969 Cubs home

This seemed like an odd choice for a throwback, considering the Cubbies wore this uniform for 10 years, and 1969 didn’t exactly turn out that well for the Northsiders. Still, it’s a beautiful uniform, and featured a fantastic cub head logo patch on the left sleeve. The opposite sleeve bore the Jerry Dior MLB batterman logo, which most teams wore in 1969.

7. 1978 Cubs road

If there was ever a uniform that screamed 1970s baseball, it’s this one. The jersey was a v-neck pullover, paired with sansabelt pants, and for good measure, it’s powder blue with pinstripes. For anyone bemoaning the City Connects, this uni says “Hold My Beer.” No, kids, some uniforms almost 50 years ago weren’t that great, despite the affection some have for this look.

8. 1988 Cubs home

This was another interesting choice for a throwback. It’s actually pretty similar to what the team wears today (as well as 2014), except it’s another v-neck pullover with sansabelt pants. I’m also not quite sure what the Cubs were thinking as almost every player wore 2 in 1 socks, which was definitely not what most players were wearing in 1988. I mean, C’mon man. Maybe they were just having a bit of mid-summer fun, because their opponents that day, the Tampa Bay Rays, wore their own 1978 fauxbacks.

9. 1994 Cubs alternate

Talk about an odd way to close out the throwback season. Fans frequently refer to this as the “Cuba” jersey, and with good reason. It’s also just not a very good jersey. Still, it was historically accurate, even having the MLB 125th Anniversary patch on the right sleeve. But like the 1978 road pins, not every uniform is going to be a work of art, so it was probably nice for some to see on the field one last time.

And there you have it — a look back at the second most epic throwback season in MLB history. I don’t want to constantly bring up the CC program, but just imagine if instead of every team getting one of those, instead they could be given a specific throwback? (Well, I can think of one rea$on.) Or even better, maybe one of the other “original” 16 teams could introduce a similar throwback series!

Who would you guys consider to be a good candidate for a multi-year throwback program? I first thought “Yankees,” but their uniforms have been basically been unchanged since the 1930s, so a set of early throwbacks could be interesting. Cleveland has worn countless looks over the years, maybe more than any other team. There are infinite possibilities. Even some of the early expansion teams have a 50-60 year history now, which of those would you think is a good candidate for multi-throwbacks-in-a-season?

Love to hear your thoughts/possiblities!



Last Call for Fathers Day "Dads In Unis" Submissions!

Father’s Day is coming this Sunday, and Jim will be posting photos of Uni Watch readers’ “Dads In Uniform,” an annual tradition that began in 2013. This is always a very special day, and we’d love for as many readers as possible to participate — especially those of you who haven’t done so before.

To take part, email one photo of your father, grandfather, or uncle in uniform (it can be sports, military, work — as long as it’s a uniform). along with a short description of 100 words or fewer, to by Wednesday, June 12th, 11:59pm Eastern. Again, only one photo per person and limit the descriptive text to 100 words. Jim will run all of the submissions on Father’s Day. Thanks!



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 Mike Richards.

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



Uni Tweet of the Day

I’d rather they wear this than that Winter Warrior alternate…




And finally...

…that’s it for the early lede. Anthony’s Ticker will follow shortly, and I’ll have at least one more article today, so be sure to check back often!

Everyone have a great Wednesday and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow.



Comments (51)

    Those were all beauties. ! My wife is a Cubbies fan and I remember this like it were yesterday
    You know, 10 years ago things seemed so simple. No Nike Shitty Connect . No New era patch on the cap. No hideous ad patch on the sleeves. No greedy commishes named Manfred. My daughter didn’t have a drivers license or boyfriend ….
    Turn Back the Clock nights were seriously a thing: and i really miss those times.
    By the way, you are doing an amazing job Phil. It’s like Paul never left !

    One thing about the Cubs 2014 throwback extravaganza that nobody seems to remember is that they technically wore 2008 throwbacks on September 7th that year, at least that’s what was listed on the promotional schedule at the time (the “throwback” jersey was even on sale too!)

    Those always get forgotten, but technically they did wear different uniforms on that day. The inner tagging shows it. I wonder if those will be collectibles some day; surely people have bought and sold them thinking they were ordinary 2014 home uniforms.

    What? Those 1978 roadies are among the best uniforms of all time. It’s much to the Cubs’ aesthetic credit that the 1978 set is only the second-best road uniform in franchise history.

    I agree with half of Scott’s reply.
    That is THE best road uni the Cubs have ever worn.

    I’ll agree too. Those 1978 road uniforms are *fantastic*.

    They’re not the all-dark-blue awesomeness of the 1900s-1910s, but they’re close.

    And the 1978 version, without the names on the back, are the better version. NOBs look a little cluttery with this jersey.

    Ehhhh… I’ll put them above most of the CCs because at least they were essentially in team colors. But blue-on-blue pinstripes is not a good look IMO. Take the pins off and it might be decent.

    *white-on-blue, obviously. Oops!

    And while I’m at it, adding some red somewhere would be an improvement too. Maybe an outline around the letters in “CHICAGO”?

    Red outlines around blue letters & numbers is something they absolutely need to do with their current road uniforms.

    The white-outlined blue letters/red numbers are… OK I guess but everything in blue with a red outline would look so much better.

    I get that most people don’t accept road pinstripes of any kind, neither dark on gray nor light on blue. But why not? There is no conceivable objective standard of judgment by which one can accept dark pinstripes on white as lovely but pinstripes of any type on road uniforms as ridiculous. And yes, obviously pinstripes on an athletic uniforms, even a home uniform in the Bronx, is inherently ridiculous. It’s just that it’s a ridiculous fashion artifact that we’re accustomed to with home whites, so we accept it. But pinstripes are pinstripes; either the ’78 Cubbies are just fine, or the Yankees home is a laughable clown costume. It’s just that we’re used to the latter, not the former, so we dismiss the former as a joke. Our thoughts about things like the ’78 Cubs road or the 1986 Twins road tell us what we’d actually think about the Yankees home uniforms if we’d never seen them before and the Yanks unveiled them for the first time today. I’ve got a lot of problems with the Yankees home uni, which on its own I’d grade a low C-minus, bordering on D territory, but none of my gripes are with the pinstripes. Heck, I’d like more base fabric patterns based on men’s haberdashery, from windowpane to tattersall to plaid to checks, but if a team adopts one of those, I’d like to see it incorporated on the road uniforms as well as the home.

    Like I said, it’s just my opinion. No judgment if yours is different. As you say, there’s nothing objectively wrong with pinstripes on road unis. It just doesn’t look as good on a darker background to MY eyes, for whatever that’s worth.

    I agree that the Yanks don’t have great uniforms. The pins on white don’t bother me, but the general lack of color or really anything even remotely interesting in terms of overall design are significant flaws. The road uni, in particular, is just mind-numbingly dull.

    Would love the San Francisco Giants to do a few unis honouring the NY Giants, who were very creative with their look: orange and black was only worn in their last 10 years before relocation .

    The purple squares creation, the black with N Y across the front, the first orange unis – there is an absolute goldmine there!

    Totally agree that the Giants would be a great candidate for a series of throwbacks. There are so many looks to choose from that span the New York and San Francisco eras.

    The Rangers could also put their full red/blue conundrum on display with a throwback series.

    Given how the uni-world is merch driven now, I would expect we’ll get to see throwback marathons like this again, that’s a lot of on field advertising for merch.
    For a sport that has always been about celebrating its rich history (at least until the current commish took over) it would be odd for them to abandon fun stuff like this.

    Phil…excellent review of the Cubs 2014 retro tour. Forgot how good it was! Congratulations also on taking UW helm and making it just as great if not better!

    Man, the zipper is such a clean look – superior to buttons in every way. It makes me wonder why we never see that style anymore. Is there a logistical reason for it? Or did it just fall out of fashion favor and never come back?

    That 1994 jersey (and I do mean specifically the jersey, not the whole uni) is a disaster. What is that huge unwieldy font? This is actually the first time I ever recall seeing that uniform, which is odd because I feel like I was following baseball pretty closely in the mid-90s. But in any case, that one might be worse than the 1978 pins.

    They wore that blue jersey with “Cubs” in red script mostly in spring training, bringing it out as an alternate in (I think 1994) to stop a losing streak. (They might have just used the mesh practice jerseys at first and put NOBs on them; not sure.)

    You’ve probably seen that script logo, though; it was on their gray road uniforms from 1994 to 1996, in blue with a red outline, with a three-layer number below. New look with a red-billed road cap to go with it; everybody was calling them “Team Cuba”. Then they went back to tall “CHICAGO” lettering on the road and took the blue border off the numbers, and somehow have stuck with this (with some tiny tweaks to letter thickness) for almost 30 years. As a team that, until the ’90s, was very much “tradition at home, experimentation on the road”, I’m kind of surprised at how long the current gray road jerseys have lasted.

    Cleveland could do a decades promotion in 2027 easily, featuring an anniversary uni from each decade of the 20th century.











    The only question is would/should they ret-con the jerseys to say Guardians instead of Indians?

    If Cleveland plans on ret-conning…I’d rather they not throwback at all.

    Very much agree. The team has a rich uniform history but the vast majority of it is going to be unusable.

    While a great idea, they’re not going to wear anything with native imagery, or that says Indians. Even MLB The Show has altered uniforms so those aspects arent in the game. While removing a logo from a sleeve wouldn’t be so bad. You probably need to disqualify any uniforms that say INDIANS, have Wahoo on the chest or hat. If you can find 10 or so that fall into that category, you’d be onto something.

    Going back a few days to the meaning of “clean,” 1937 is my favorite, but the kids would probably want the 1953 w/o stripes. Can mono cream still be icy?

    Definitely the Padres.
    They have a very colorful history and many of those 70’s uniforms would be outstanding for TBTC days.
    They have done many of them already over the past 30 years or so.

    Great article!
    Wouldn’t the 4+1 rule be waived in a situation like this, since these are one-off uniforms? Like how the Jays’ Canada Day unis aren’t considered?

    Also, I totally laughed at the Cubs or Cuba jerseys, but in my head Cuba are a red team so the confusion wouldn’t have occurred to me.

    Phillies: 1989 Road Gray (Buttons; Schmidt retirement). 1983 Road Powder Blues (Zipper with 100th Anniversary logo; Works Series loss). 1980 Home Pinstripes (Works Series win). 1964 Home Pinstripes (The Great Collapse). 1950 Road Grays (World Series loss). 1945 (Philadelphia “Blue Jays).

    I left out 1946-49 (current creams are similar) and 1979 all-maroon “Saturday Night Special” (worn again in 2019 when my fiancée and I actually got on the big screen at CBP!).

    Beg to differ. June 27, 2015. Boston at Tampa Bay. Red Sox rocked their 1975 unis as well that day.

    GTGFTU – Tropicana Field, June 30, 2012, Detroit Tigers 6, Tampa Bay Rays 2. Obviously we can see Tampa’s 1979 fauxbacks (which were lovingly ripped off from the 1978 Padres), but the Tigers also went with 1979 throwbacks, in this case the vertically-arched, serifed “DETROIT” on the front of the road gray pullover with sansabelt pants. Austin Jackson hit a 3-run shot in the top of the 8th, while Jeff Keppinger and Carlos Peña got the only runs for the Rays on solo shots in the bottom of the same inning. Rick Porcello got the win while Jeremy Hellickson took the loss.

    Don’t understand why Nike put a limit on jerseys. Seems like it was a way to make more $$ on merchandise sales. It’s a shame teams can’t do throwbacks. Heard the Mets wanted to do ‘86 throwbacks for doc and Darryl retirement but were told no. Miss the throwback days. Make no sense to limit the teams ability to do what they want.

    It is absolutely unacceptable that the supplier tells the client what they are allowed to do.
    Seems like it should be the other way around.
    If Nike can’t handle the work, the teams should be able to use other vendors like they used to do.
    Nike seems to have the ability to ruin uniforms on so many levels.
    Just look at the NBA. It is awful that even in the NBA Finals teams have to wear the Nike designed clown suits instead of their iconic looks. Plus, it seems that via lockervision it is dictated to the teams what to wear. I cannot believe that the teams would make some of these choices on their own.

    “It’s a shame teams can’t do throwbacks.”

    Teams can and still do throwbacks. Since they’re worn for a limited (maybe once or twice) number of games a season, they don’t fall under the “4 + 1” rule, and are characterized as special or limited use, which are not prohibited under the rule.

    My point was that I highly doubt we’ll see any year-long throwback program for any team going forward. Nike had enough problems just getting teams their 2024 gear on time (a problem wrongly attributed at first to Fanatics). Imagine if they had to deliver 5-10 throwback uniforms in addition.

    The most obvious choices for a comprehensive throwback program are obviously the teams who change their uniforms often. I nominate San Diego, Cleveland, and Texas. I might have nominated Boston, Oakland, and the White Sox, but those teams have settled into venerable uniforms which haven’t changed in decades. Same goes for San Francisco, but that is a large library of old uniforms to tap; an excellent choice. A recent team that is barreling through designs at a ravenous pace would be Washington.

    The Brewers planned to do decade nights with throwback uniforms in 2020, as part of their 50th anniversary celebration. Unfortunately, we all know what happened in 2020. They ended up doing decade nights during the 2021 season, but without the special uniforms.

    Article in USA Today about Aaron Judge being the catalyst behind the Yankees altering their road unis to eliminate the white piping.


    While they are at it, they ought to change the number font on the home jerseys back to the font (not sure of the name) they had during the Mickey Mantle era. That would make the transformation complete.

    Good catch. Changed to 1988. (However, the Tampa Bay Rays reference to “1978” is correct — they didn’t exist then, so they created the fauxback based on the unis worn by the 1978 Padres link)

    The Phillies have their sesquicentennial in 2033; that might be ripe for a similar blowout throwback-a-palooza. (The San Francisco Baseball Giants are also turning 150, but, well, relocation kinda scuppers most of those retro designs making a comeback unless they’re retconned.)

    Over in the NHL, the Red Wings, Rangers, and Chicago are all celebrating their centennial in ’26, and I’m hoping at least one of them has a similar throwback series to the Canadiens. And I’m hopeful that the Sparks, Liberty, and Mercury have some throwback shirts for their 30th anniversary in ’27 as the remaining charter WNBA clubs.

    In 2004 for their 50th anniversary, the Orioles wore throwbacks from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s on different weekends during the season.

    Question for Phil et al: now that Paul is no longer running UW, will you be changing the template and/or host of the website? Because all of the ads are a bit much….

    Paul is still the owner, founder and Editor Emeritus. I’ve moved into his old role as Editor, but I don’t “run” the site in terms of the host nor the ads. Sorry.

    I know Paul’s “go to” response is to join UW+ and you’ll have an ad-free experience, so that’s really about all I can say. As far as the set up and such, that’s still Paul and webmaster John Ekdahl’s domain.

    Short history that they have, I’d like to see the Mariners do a program like this. Lots of blue and gold , before today’s uniforms.

    NL: As was said above, the Phillies turn 150 in 2033. So how about 1883, 1910 (wore green to start the season!), 1915 (1st pennant), 1921 (first pinstripes), 1934 (script wordmark, but not what they wear now, great socks), 1938 (1-year dalliance with blue/gold, like the City Connects, the city flag, and so on), 1944 (ill-fated try at being called the Blue Jays), 1948 (cream with blue caps, much like their day game alts today), 1950-1969 (Whiz Kids), 1979 (Saturday Night Specials, anyone?).
    AL: White Sox. For a team that has been remarkably stable in its look for going on 30 years, the Sox went through a TON of looks in their first 90 years.

    Man. This was such a great read. Thanks

    And especially as a lifelong 46 year old Reds fan

    NL Central!

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