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As most of you know, I don’t usually get excited about soccer. But there was a small discussion in yesterday’s comments regarding a topic that I found very intriguing: the uni number font on Real Madrid’s new jerseys:

The interesting thing about the font is that the numerals look like folded paper, sort of like origami. Here are some additional examples (click to enlarge):

Some of the other numerals are less origami-like but still attractive. The “8,” for example, doesn’t feel like a single piece of paper that’s been folded — it’s more like a “o” overlaid with a horseshoe shape. I really, really like it:

And the “3″ is like a backwards “c” overlaid with a backwards “L” (click to enlarge):

And so on. A few other thoughts on this:

• While I like the numerals a lot, I don’t think the font works well at all for the NOB lettering.

• I usually don’t care for custom number fonts. Why do I like this one so much? Is it strictly on the merits, or is it partially because I don’t follow soccer and therefore have no emotional stake in it? Simple exercise: Would I like this font as much if it were being used by an NFL or MLB team? Hmmm — probably not. So I’ll be interested in hearing whether soccer fans like this font as much as I do.

• If you like the idea of a font based on folded-paper patterns, check out this alphabet from the Danish graphic designer Kasper Pyndt. So cool! (Big thanks to my pal David Wilson for that one.)

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NFL Decal-o-rama: The Steelers had said they weren’t going to unveil their Chuck Noll memorial decal until Opening Day, but I can tell you it’s going to look like the design you see at right. I’m sure some folks will say it’s too plain or whatever, but I think the design’s understated dignity fits Noll’s character (or at least his public persona). My only gripe is that the lettering was rendered in the Steelers’ current NOB font, which was never used during Noll’s career.

And as long as we’re talking about NFL helmet decals: Pinktober and G.I. Joe-vember are back for another season, and all teams will once again wear USA Football’s “Heads Up” logo for preseason games, just like last year.

(My thanks to Mako Mameli, without whom this section wouldn’t have been possible.)

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Baseball News: The Mets wore brutal orange “Los Mets” jerseys last night. And if you look at that photo, you can see that they didn’t even try to adjust the angle of the “Mets” script to make it flow properly with the “Los” — they just reduced its size and kept it at its normal angle. That’s some lazy-ass shit right there. … Love this: The Nashville Sounds forgot or lost their road caps on the way to last night’s game, so they had to wear blank caps (from Barry Brite). … Here’s one of those old-timey “base ball” leagues where the players wear 19th-century uniforms. I especially like this guy’s belt (from David Alexander Hatch). … Even better: An old-timey base ball game staged in an old Gold Rush ghost town (from Matt Sepersky). … Here’s one of the ugliest Star Wars jerseys yet, for the Brooklyn Cyclones (blame Phil). … “I was sitting at the pool yesterday, reading a Pirates game program I had in my bag, and I noticed this strange little quirk in this photo from Neil Walker’s introduction after has was drafted in 2004,” says Rob Ullman. “The zero in the ’04′ on his jersey looks to be an 8 with the middle cut out!” … Can’t recall if we’ve seen this before or not, but just in case: Here’s a breakdown of all the unis in that AT&T U-verse commercial (from Steve Vibert). … You know how there’s a tech assistant who helps the umps when they’re contacting the MLB office during a replay? Mike Guterman notes that the techie at last night’s Jays/Bosox game was MLB- and Samsung-branded. When did that start? Definitely hasn’t been a universal thing this season. … The good news is that the Bridgeport Bluefish have decided not to wear that godawful naked-torso “military appreciation” jersey after all. The bad news is that they’ll probably just use the default camouflage option (thanks, Phil). … The Single-A Charleston RiverDogs used to be called the Charleston Rainbows from 1985 through 1993. They’ll wear Rainbows throwbacks this Saturday to mark the start of the 2014 Charleston Pride Festival (thanks, Phil). … The Big 12 logo has been added to Baylor’s cap (from Coleman Mullins).

NFL News: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger showed support for DE Brett Keisel, whom the team has not yet re-signed, by wearing Keisel’s No. 99 in practice (from Tony Shiffman). … Looks like the Pats are now using Flying Elvis on their nose bumpers. Remember, the Riddell logo can no longer appear in that spot, so a lot of teams may be experimenting with new nose bumper graphics this season (from Garrett Heller). … Sports Illustrated ran a Drew Brees cover story that included photos of Brees wearing a TRX T-shirt and also quoted him talking approvingly about TRX but neglected to mention that Brees is a TRX investor. … Buried at the bottom of this Browns article: “[Coach Mike] Pettine ended practice with a drill in which the offense had to gain 20 yards against the defense. In a best-of-five format, the side that prevailed won the right to wear orange jerseys Thursday.” Unfortunately, there’s no explanation of what’s so special about wearing orange jerseys. … The Dolphins have come up with a motivational T-shirt (thanks, Brinke).

College Football News: Jell-O has come out with out with a line of college football logo molds. The Texas A&M one features a double whammy — bevels and a backwards apostrophe on the package (from David Wilson). … New helmet for Tulane (thanks, Phil). … Here’s a cool display of Minnesota helmets (thanks, Phil). … Nebraska will wear an alternate uni for one game this season (thanks, Phil). … Louisiana Tech will be doing a red-out, including this new helmet design, against UTEP on Oct. 4 (Phil again). … Seriously ugly new jerseys for Cincinnati (Phil yet again). … New jersey for Arkansas State.

Pro and College Basketball News: Here’s a slideshow of LeBron James wearing No. 23 at various points in his career (from Jerry Wolper). … ACC logos are being added to Virginia Tech’s court (from Andrew Cosentino). … As you’ve probably heard by now, UCLA’s court might be a little damp for a bit. Details here. … Here’s Maryland’s new B1G uniform (from Matt Shevin).

Soccer News: New third kit for Man U. … New kit for Dynamo Moscow. … Interesting study on how teams perform when wearing their away kits.

Grab Bag: Here’s a very detailed look at the history of U.S. Navy uniforms (from Jason Nofsker). … An English cricket player has been told to stop wearing “Save Gaza” and “Free Palestine” wristbands on the pitch (thanks, Phil). … Unusual intellectual property case here in NYC, as a popular housewares shop has been told to stop selling a line of dishes featuring the NYC skyline because some of the buildings belong to the Port Authority. … There’s been a mild kerfuffle over Nigerian ahtletes wearing inconsistent jerseys at the Commonwealth Games. … Want to pay to have a pro golfer wear your logo at the upcoming PGA Championship at the Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky? Here’s how. … You’ve got to be fucking kidding me: Reebok-branded bacon (blame Cavan Happel).

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What Paul did last night: Last night I went to a free outdoor screening of the 1976 baseball film The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings, which is about a barnstorming Negro Leagues team in 1939. I’d always heard good things about it but had never seen it. It’s really more of a old-school black vaudeville movie than a baseball movie, but whatever — it has Richard Pryor, Billy Dee Williams, and James Earl Jones all making fairly pithy observations about segregation in the 1930s (Pryor spends the movie studying a Spanish phrase book so he can reinvent himself as an ersatz Cuban and crack the color barrier that way), so it’s pretty damn enjoyable.

Even if you’ve never seen the film, you might be familiar with its famous Bingo Long uniforms, which look sort of proto-tequila sunrise:

But there are several other Negro Leagues teams whose uniforms are shown in the film, along with a House of David team and more. Unfortunately, the outdoor lighting conditions were poor, but I did manage to get some halfway-decent shots of the St. Louis Ebony Aces and the Baltimore Elite Giants:



But my favorite uni-related thing in the film was the uni number treatment for the Ebony Aces. Each jersey had a big “A” on the back, with the player’s number inside the letter (click to enlarge):


Really like that design. Anyway: Good movie — worth seeing. Even more worth seeing outdoors for free on a crisp summer night.

Uni Watch Book Club: ‘Stars and Strikes: Baseball and America in the Bicentennial Summer of ’76’

Reader Ed Kozak recently tipped me off to some good uni-centric content in Dan Epstein’s recently published book, Stars and Strikes: Baseball and America in the Bicentennial Summer of ’76, which was published in late April.

Epstein is the same guy who wrote Big Hair and Plastic Grass, so I guess he’s becoming something of a 1970s-baseball specialist, which isn’t such a bad thing to be. His new book, as its title indicates, focuses on 1976, which is the year that White Sox owner Bill Veeck introduced the team’s untucked “leisure suit” uniforms (including the now-infamous shorts option).

The book has two multi-page sections that address the Sox and their unis. Here’s the first one, with one section of particular interest highlighted:

It’s all fun stuff, but the highlighted bit, about the three pants options, is particularly intriguing, no? Now, it’s true that White Sox players from this era wore their pants at differing lengths (as did players on all the other teams), but I don’t see that as one guy wearing “clamdiggers” and another wearing “knickers” — I just see two guys with different inseam preferences. Does anyone know more about these White Sox pants?

The book also has a couple of pages devoted specifically to the shorts. Here’s that section:

I raised an eyebrow at Lamar Johnson’s quote (“I got the nicest thighs you ever saw”), because he’s now the Mets’ hitting coach.

Big thanks to Ed Kozak for bringing these sections of the book to my attention.

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What might have been: Back in January, as you may recall uniform designer/historian Todd Radom uncovered the intriguing historical factoid that the Mets’ logo was originally rendered in pink and black. Unfortunately, he couldn’t figure out the reason for this unusual color scheme, and neither could anyone else.

I’m happy to report that Todd has now turned up the explanation for why the Amazin’s almost ended up wearing pink and black. All I’ll say here is that it involves horse racing. To get the full scoop, you’ll have to read Todd’s latest blog entry.

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Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

The NFL exhibition season begins soon, which means we’ll be getting our first on-field look at the Tampa Bay Bucs’ new uniforms — which, sadly, do not incorporate the classic Bucco Bruce look. If you miss Bruce, consider this varsity jacket from DeLong, a preferred Collector’s Corner brand.

Here’s the rest of this week’s eBay haul:

• Switching sports but sticking with DeLong, check out this Chicago White Sox varsity jacket, along with this NBA All-Star Game jacket with a Nestle’s patch.

• Remember this jacket template from Starter? True story: A Cincinnati radio station that I worked for did a grueling “Baby and Family Expo” indoor event north of town every year. Someone showed up wearing a UC Bearcats version of this jacket. They told me they were on sale across the way at a sporting goods box store. Got Bearcats and Bengals versions for like $20 each. Great quality with these.

• Starter’s competition in the 1990s included Logo Athletic, and their main design template was the “Sharktooth,” as seen on this Dolphins jacket.

• Nice-looking vintage 1960s St. Louis (football) Cardinals glass.

This powder blue Cubbies T-shirt has a classic 1970s vibe, eh?

• The pennant itself is kinda beat up, but check out the old-school type font on this Virginia Squires ABA pennant. (They later changed to this font, which reminds me of a 1970s fast food burger chain.)

• Is it just me, or does Sweet Lou look a little silly wearing this Seattle Pilots cap?

• An Atlanta Falcons … bowling ball? Sure, why not.

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Tick-Tock: Today’s Ticker was compiled and written by Garrett McGrath.

Baseball News: The Mets wore camo last night and will be wearing the “Los Mets” jerseys tonight. … Paul asked the Padres why they didn’t wear the Hall of Fame anniversary patch on Sunday. They said it was due to a logistical snag. … Great giveaway: The first 40,000 at Dodger Stadium get a Vin Scully 65th-anniversary talking microphone (thanks, Phil). … A Yankees fan returned a lost Red Sox World Series ring to its owner. … Uni Watch friend MLB Cathedrals sent in this photo from Cooperstown of the New York Giants’ 1905 uniform. Bring back the collar! … Minor league craziness: The Louisville Bats had their Star Wars night on Sunday and reader Zach Scantland and son were in attendance. Thank you for sending in pictures! … In a related item, the Tennessee Smokies, Double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, are having a Star Wars night on Aug. 1 (thanks, Phil). … Not to be outdone, the Fresno Grizzlies are having a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles night on Aug. 2 (thanks, Phil). … The West Michigan Whitecaps are wearing six different uniforms from July 29th until August 3rd (thanks, Phil). … The Midland RockHounds are going camo for “Duck Family” night.

NFL News: The Packers have opened a 21,500-square-foot pro shop at Lambeau Field. … Washington TE Jordan Reed will not be wearing any special protective helmets this season. His 2013 rookie season was shortened due to concussions. … Packers RB Eddie Lacy, however, will be wearing a SpeedFlex helmet to reduce the concussion risk. He also had a shortened 2013 season due to head injuries. … Ravens WR Steve Smith now has SrOB (thanks, Phil).

College Football News: Effective immediately, teams wearing “non-contrasting” uni numbers will be penalized one time-out per quarter. … “I was checking out pictures of Notre Dame’s synthetic field turf installation,” says Scott Marakovits. “It looks like the end zones only have nine stripes, instead of the traditional 10. Kinda odd.” … Tulane Watch: Color change in their logo andnew unis. Here’s a look at the turf being laid down at the new Yulman Stadium, too (thanks, Phil). … Louisiana Tech has added a new flag decal to their helmets for this season (thanks, Phil). … The Longhorns have installed the new Big XII logo on their field (from Coleman Mullins). … Army’s head equipment manager posted a photo on Twitter that shows a lot different helmet variations (thanks, Phil). … The South Dakota State Jackrabbits will have this uniform for the upcoming season.

Hockey News: Designer Ann Frazier created a video of an animated map which shows every team and logo in the NHL by year and location dating back to 1917. Really cool stuff! … Some new roster numbers for the Ducks (thanks, Phil).

Soccer News: “I love when soccer goalies wear baseball hats,” says Benton Payne. “We had that happen in Vancouver on Sunday as the FC Dallas goalie, Raul Fernandez, sported a team-colored red and blue hat (which, of course, wildly contrasted with his neon green keeper’s outfit). The sun was blaring towards the away goal, but I guess the hat hurt more than it helped, as Vancouver scored a goal in the 11th minute and Fernandez went hatless the rest of the match.” … English football jersey styles from 1938-39, 1968-69, and 2014-14 in an infographic (from Graham Clayton).

NBA News: The Decision Part II-A: LeBron James number decision sent the Indianapolis Adidas plant into overdrive (thanks, Paul). … Comcast Sportsnet ranked the jerseys of the NBA’s 30 teams (thanks, Paul). … Is the NBA’s move toward advertisements on uniforms inevitable? At least one observer thinks so, but let’s hope he’s wrong (thanks, Phil).

Grab Bag: The UFC is discussing a potential uniform deal where all fighters would get similar apparel that they would wear during matches. … The 2015 Preakness logo has been unveiled. … “High-tech” workout apparel is selling briskly.

A Road Design Worn at Home


For all of today’s photos, you can click to enlarge

The Cubs held their latest throwback game yesterday. The year on tap this time around was 1978 and, as you can see above, the team wore their infamous pinstriped powder blues. (In case you missed it, Phil had an excellent primer on this design in yesterday’s entry.)

I’m a little conflicted about the Cubs’ inclusion of this uniform in this season’s throwback program. On the one hand, it’s precisely the sort of “so bad it’s good” design that makes for a great throwback uni, and I’m happy to have seen it on the field yesterday. But remember, the Cubbies’ throwback program this season is a celebration of Wrigley Field’s centennial, and this road uni was never worn at Wrigley, so it feels like a bit of a ringer.

Anyway: From what I could see, all of the Cubs went high-cuffed yesterday, as has been the case with all of their throwback games. Some wore stirrups and others wore solid socks:




So that’s all pretty straightforward. But what about the Cubs’ opponents yesterday, the Cardinals? The Cubbies were already wearing a road design, so did the Cards wear? They could have worn their own 1978 road design, setting up a delicious power blue vs. powder blue game. Or they could have worn their 1978 home whites. But instead they wore a seriously unsatisfying gray fauxback:


This design is more or less what the Cards wore in the mid-1980s — kind of a bogus move for a 1978 throwback game. (The blame for this goes to the Cubs, because they got to choose what the Cardinals would wear.)

As has been the case with many of the Cubs’ throwback opponents this year, most of the Cards went low-cuffed. The only high-cuffed exceptions I saw were Kolten Wong, John Jay, and Matt Adams, the first two of whom are shown here:





Uni Watch reader Matt DeLeon attended the game. “I liked the uniforms,” he says. “Definitely harkened back to the time, except that the unis were a lot tighter back then. Only quibbles would be that the front numbers looked a bit big, and the placement was not within the arched ‘Chicago’ lettering under the ‘AG’; seemed more under the ‘GO.’” Matt also got some superb photos, which I’m happy to share with you here:

Rizzo throws in 1978 throwback

Matt Adams in Cardinals assigned throwback

Luis Valbuena numbers too big

Castro cuts a ball off up the middle

Rizzo and Carpenter

One final note on this game: Most of the other MLB teams wore the Hall of Fame 75th-anniversary patch yesterday, but the Cubs and Cards were given a waiver because of the throwback thing. So they wore the patch a day early, on Saturday:

So that’s another retro game game in the books. Next up on the Cubs’ throwback calendar is a snoozer: the 1988 home pins, which will be worn on Aug. 10.

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And speaking of that Hall of Fame patch…: Except for the Cubbies and Cardinals (see above), almost all of the other MLB teams wore the Hall of Fame 75th-anniversary patch yesterday. Umpires, too. But there were some glitches:

• Angels first baseman Efren Navarro began yesterday’s Tigers/Halos game patch-free, but someone must have noticed, because by the third inning he was sporting the patch like everyone else.

• Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers wore his patch below his chest insignia, instead of above.

• Giants pitcher Jake Peavy’s patch was coming loose, until it finally came off and Peavy put it in his pocket.

• Early in yesterday’s A’s/Rangers game, Alex Rios’s patch came off when he took a big swing, so he picked it up and pocketed it (if the video below isn’t working, click here):

• For reasons that aren’t clear to me, the Padres didn’t wear the patch. (And no, it wasn’t just that one guy, as you can see here.)

(My thanks to Matt Bunting, Chris G, Richard Paloma, and Phil for their contributions to this section.)

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Baseball News: One observer thinks the Bridgeport Bluefish’s military-appreciation jerseys — which looked like a naked torso, not the usual camouflage — were seriously disrespectful (from Andy Chalifour). … Joakim Soria, recently traded from the Rangers to the Tigers, arrived to meet his new team carrying a Rangers equipment bag (from Brett Ballard, who also says Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker was wearing his wedding ring on his glove hand on Saturday — no photo, alas). … The Ft. Wayne Tincaps wore Vera Bradley-designed jerseys yesterday (thanks, Phil). … If you’re one of the poor souls who got stuck with that misspelled Tulowitzki giveaway jersey the other night, the Rockies have an apology and an exchange program for you. … The Mets will be wearing their G.I. Joe costumes for tonight’s game against the Phillies.

NFL News: You know all those people who say the ’Skins should change their logo to a redskin potato? It turns out that football and potatoes have a connection that goes way back (great find by Daniel Klempner). … Here’s a gallery of NFL logos redesigned as Disney characters (from Jim Walaitis).

NBA News: As you’ve probably heard by now, LeBron James will wear No. 23 with the Cavs. … A promotional video for Adidas’s latest sneaker gimmick includes a clear view of what appears to be the Bulls’ new alternate uniform. Thanks for the self-leak, Adidas!

Grab Bag: “Unlike a lot of Tour de France leaders in the recent past, whose bikes and kit get often got covered in yellow, Vincenzo Nibali has mostly avoided straying from his normal gear, even to the extent of wearing the same yellow jersey whenever possible during each stage,” says Sean Clancy. “That changed for the final ride into Paris, though, when his bike was touched up with yellow graphics.” … David Firestone has written a story about how a photo of Jack Jones became the basis of the NHRA trophy. … “Back in 1943 an amalgamation of Australian rules football and American football, called AUSTUS, was created so servicemen of both countries could play against each other,” says Graham Clayton. “Here is an introductory booklet on the game, with the front cover showing U.S. Marine William Jost wearing the unique AUSTUS uniform.” … “I recently had brunch at Keke’s Breakfast Cafe in Winter Park, Florida,” says Jim Nedelka. “In their outside porch/waiting area, I noticed some chairs made by a company called Wildcat Construction, which appears to have ‘borrowed’ Kansas State’s logo.”

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What Paul did last night over the weekend: When I go to a Mets game, I don’t wear a Mets jersey. When I go to see a band, I don’t wear the band’s T-shirt. When I go to a Uni Watch party, I don’t wear Uni Watch gear.

But there’s one day each year when I do wear the home team’s uniform, so to speak. It happens on the last Saturday of each July, when I attend the annual chicken barbecue fundraiser at my hometown volunteer fire department. This is what passes for the big social event of the year in the very small Long Island town (pop. 3,000-ish) where I’m from, and our family always attended when I was growing up. My parents and brothers gradually lost interest over the years, and my parents sold our house and moved away back in 2004, but I keep going to the chicken barbecue each year. It’s become a pilgrimage of sorts, a way for me to maintain a small connection with my spawning grounds and see how the town is doing. I usually bump into an old high school classmate or neighbor (one year I spotted our old mailman, which was really nice — always liked him). And even if I don’t reconnect with anyone, which occasionally happens, it’s still a good time.

Anyway: Back around 1990, give or take a year, I bought this chicken barbecue T-shirt (click to enlarge):

It still fits me fine, and I continue to wear it once a year, on the last Saturday of July. They only made this design for one or two years (they later switched to much less interesting designs and now no longer bother to sell T-shirts at all), so now it has sort of attained “classic” status. Each year someone will see me wearing the shirt and say, “Whoa, haven’t seen that one in a long time!” I readily admit to taking an inordinate amount of pleasure in that moment. I may not have much of a hometown connection anymore, but I still have something that gives me a bit of hometown cred.

Two days ago was the last Saturday in July, so I put on the T-shirt, put the New Girl in the car, and drove out to Long Island for my annual hometown visit. As per my usual routine, I drove by our old house to see what the family that owns it now has done to it (still looks pretty much the same from the outside), went to the pond around the corner to see how the ducks were doing (big flock this year), and drove around town to see if everything is still pretty much where I left it (yes, for the most part).

Soon it was time for the chicken barbecue, which takes place in the yard behind the firehouse. It’s a good deal: For $25 you get half a chicken, an ear of corn, a bowl of chowder, unlimited mussels, unlimited beer, and some sort of Entenmann’s-ish dessert. There’s usually a live band, dunking booths and pony rides for the kids, low-stakes gambling in the back room once the sun goes down (I lost $20 playing blackjack this year), and so on. Sure enough, we’d been there less than 10 minutes before someone commented approvingly on my shirt. And I bumped into the family that used to live next door to us (they’re no longer in that house but still live in the area). Hadn’t seen most of them in many years, and it was good to reconnect.

The New Girl took lots of pics at various points in the day. Here are my favorites (click to enlarge):





Footnote: We stayed overnight at a local motel, and then the next morning we drove about 20 minutes north and joined my mom for brunch at her retirement community, where I discovered that the most egregious typo of the weekend had nothing to do with Troy Tulowitzki:

Return of the Best Worst Uni of the Polyester Era!

1978 Cubs Splash - 550

By Phil Hecken

This afternoon the Cubs, who have been throwing back on home Sunday’s this season to different decades over the hundred year span of Wrigley Field, will be throwing back to what was, in my opinion, the worst uniform of the double-knit era — the road, blue, pinstriped uniform of 1978. It has everything I hate in a uniform, all wrapped up into one tidy package: a pullover jersey, sansabelt pants, polyester doubleknit, and pinstripes on a road uniform! And I LOVE IT. Like a traveler passing a gruesome car wreck — I can’t possibly look away.

Not counting their brief foray into blue-tinged uniforms in the 1940s, the Cubs wore blue road uniforms for six years: 1976 through 1981, with 1976 and 1977 being solid powder blue, adding the pinstripes from 1978 through 1981:

Cubs powder blue 1976-1981

Technically, the 1978 uniform was a “one-year” uniform, because it features the bear patch on the sleeve which was only worn for one season with the pinstriped roads. They added a red circle around the “angry bear” for the remaining three years of the run. I’m almost positive those 1978 uniforms were also without a name on the back; in 1979 the players’ names were added.


Cubs pins

Here is a look at the pinstripes in action (there are surprisingly not a lot of photos of players in this uniform floating around the interwebs). I have tried to find a definitive photo from 1978 showing NNOB, but am coming up empty found (thanks to Rob Holecko) the proof of NNOB. The 1979-1981 version of this uniform featured the Cub patch in the red circle.




There are a few examples of game worn (or supposedly game worn) uniforms from auction sites. This, from Legendary Auctions, is a 1978 Rich Reuschel jersey, which shows NNOB. Interestingly, it looks like the “8″ was “upside down” on both the front and the back — anyone know if this was actually the style or if this is an oddity?

123805a_lg 123805b_lg

And while not from that same set, here’s a look at the pinstriped blue pants, in all their polyester sansabelt glory:

44431_02_lg 44431_03_lg


The Cubs’ opponent today, the St. Louis Cardinals, also wore powder blue, pullover sansabelt uniforms on the road in 1978. Since the Cubs have thus far been outfitting their opponents in period-appropriate uniforms, I am guessing they’ll put the Cardinals in the “home” white uniforms today. The Cards wore that style for a long time, and in fact have thrown back to that (although not the 1978 year) before. If they wear proper hosiery with their throwback (and not go pajama-pantsed), then this game might just have quite the 1978 vibe.

The Cubs themselves have done a nice job in wearing proper hosiery (or at least going high-cuffed) for each of their throwback games thus far (although their choice of footwear has sometimes crushed the excellence of their socks), but Cubs’ opponents usually wear their normal style of uniform cut (and if they go uncuffed during the regular season, they’ve usually continued that trend for the throwback games). Hopefully we’ll see the Cardinals, who have been known for ‘high socks Sunday’, will play along and wear their beautiful stirrups for today’s game.

While not the first instance, this is one of those very rare times when the home team will be wearing “road” uniforms. In most cases, the visitors are then equipped with their “home” uniform (and I would expect that will be the case today). However, when the visiting team is NOT equipped with throwbacks of their own, you get the rare sight of two road uniforms from different eras playing each other. And as great as a powder vs. powder on the awful scale would be, lets hope the Cubs outfit the Cards in white.


Hey, maybe the Mets can get this guy real cheap…

Tulo screwup

Take a close look at the image above. It was a giveaway yesterday at Coors Field in Denver. Looks nice, right? (Even if it is in Paul’s least favorite color). But there’s just one problem…his name is spelled TULOWITZKI (with an extra “T” before the “ZKI”), and those jerseys given away last night were ALL SPELLED WRONG.


As is its wont, the Twitter community jumped all over the mistake:

Now, I’m not one to dump on the Rockies, but apparently a lot of “fans” out there thought this was quite an egregious error. I’m of the mind that, yeah, it’s pretty bad — brutal, in fact — but it’s not like the Rockies actually misspelled Tulo’s jersey. That would be unforgiveable. And it would live in uni screw-up lore forever. And I could add it to this set of jersey screwups and misspellings. Alas, it doesn’t quite make the cut. Unfortunately, the guy (gal?) who had these all printed up probably will also not make the cut. Or maybe not — the 15,000 lucky fans who got these will instantly have collectors items, making it perhaps the best giveaway ever.

Mike the Intern found a funny story on Cespedes Family Barbeque that almost instantly complied a list of the funniest jerseys in MLB if the other teams made an error like the Rockies did yesterday. Definitely worth a read.


colorize thisColorize This!

Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.

Just one today — and it’s from Bruce Menard (plus a top/bottom comparison of the original and the colorized version).

Click either image to enlarge:

. . .

West Side Grounds Colorization - Bruce Menard

West Side Grounds Colorization and B-W - Bruce Menard

Hey Phil,

Just wondering if you might want to post my latest colorization for the weekend Uni Watch – (1904 [Jul23] West Side Grounds Chicago Cubs vs NY Giants Panoramic).
I made a before/after comparison as well. The original comes from the LOC, found here: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2007663698/


. . .

Thanks Bruce. Tremendous stuff, as always. Please keep them coming!


all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.

And so, lets begin:


First up today is Rob Holecko, who last weekend showed us what he thought a Devil Rays fauxback (based on what they did for their fake “1979″ uni looked like) would look like. Today, he transitions them from 1979 to the year they actually came into existence in MLB (1998):

1982-85 home - Rob Holecko1982-87 road - Rob Holecko1986-87 home - Rob Holecko1988-90 home - Rob Holecko

1988-90 road - Rob Holecko1991-92 road - Rob Holecko1991-92 home - Rob Holecko

Dear Phil,

Here’s a couple more uniforms as the 1970′s Devil Rays transitioned into the 80s and 90s…

Rob Holecko

. . .

And we close today with Paul Lee who thought the new Celtics Logoman could transition to…well, the NBA logo? (this one is, unfortunately, full size):

Celtics logoman - Paul Lee


Change the secondary logo a little bit, and voila!

Paul Lee

. . .

And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.


help-wanted-signLi’l Help?

As I noted last weekend, soon Paul will be beginning his annual (and well-deserved) sabbatical, and as such, he’ll be leaving me in charge of the weekday Uni Watch postings.

As in the past, I’m always looking for readers for their help in suggesting topics and working with me to bring them about. I’ve already lined up a few of you for stories (plus I have some good ones that were already planned for the summer hiatus, including a uni design contest I think you’ll really like), but I can always use a few more. I’ll also be back for what has become a regular Friday feature while Paul is on summer vacation that I like to call “Fridays With Morris” (featuring Morris Levin), so that should be great.

If you’re interested in working with me on a uni-related story, please shoot me an E-mail (Phil.Hecken [at] gmail [dot] com) and pitch me.

On a related note, I’m planning on a doing a story with Randy Alleman, and he’s looking for a little help from you guys for his research. Here’s Randy:

I am working on a future Uni Watch article and could use some assistance from the UW community. If you know of any pitchers who have a visible marking on their cap (from rosin, pine tar, etc.) please let me know. You can contact me at rallemann13@yahoo.com.

Looking forward to working with a few of your fine readers in the next few weeks.


ticker 4
Uni Watch News Ticker…

[Not a lot of submissions yesterday, so we'll go with the old school format on the ticker today. -- PH]

Yesterday the Nashville Sounds, a minor league team, wore these jerseys (neat city skyline at night design too), with thanks to Steve Uhlmann. … The Western Storm made their debut in the Tasmanian State Football League in 2014, and their jerseys play on their nickname, with lightning flashes prominent on both the home and away kit (thanks to Graham Clayton). … The AFL is testing computer chips in its Australian Rules footballs. Aside from assisting in training purposes, the ‘chipped balls could also be used to assist in score reviews in the future (via Leo Strawn, Jr.). … Newly acquired catcher for St. Louis, AJ Pierzynski (shot by Benjamin Thomas) wore his old blue gear, including wearing a blue helmet, even though the Cards were wearing their red caps and helmets vs. Cubs yesterday (those photos from Matt Larsen). … Pallbearers at Leafs fan funeral wore Toronto Maple Leaf jerseys, to ‘let him down one last time’. … “Seriously I have a problem,” writes Frank Mercogliano. “Noticed on this pop tarts box (reduced for quick sale!) they use Milwaukee’s old ball and glove logo.” … Brandon Owen asks is this a “new number font for Kentucky basketball? Old on the left, new on the right.” … Several neat tid-bits from Gene Sanny (some I know we’ve seen before, but what the hell): 1) 1968 Mel Farr Detroit Lions helmet camera; 2) Broncos AFL early helmet cam; 3) Lee Majors wearing an LA Express shirt (part owner of the club) in an episode of Fall Guy; and 4) an Auburn player wearing a sun visor on his helmet during a game in the early 70′s. … Ryan Progin sends a correx: The link you posted yesterday to the FC Bayern Muenchen 3rd Kit is incorrect. The jersey shown on that site is the 2014/15 FC Bayern Away Kit; FC Bayern actually wore the Away kit yesterday. The actual 3rd kit has not yet been released but it is posted on Footy Headlines with all 3 kits for this year.


And that’s going to do it for this fine last Sunday in July. It will also be my last weekend post until after Labor Day. I’ll be taking over the weekday duties for Paul in August, and when that happens, our weekends will be covered by Johnny Ekdahl, our webmaster (whose had that duty each summer when I’ve subbed for Paul). So, for those of you who are used to having me on the weekends, I’ll see you in a little over a month — but I’ll be on weekdays beginning August 5th. So that’s the good/bad news, depending on your perspective. I’ll catch you real soon (and don’t worry, I’ll have a LOT of great stuff while Paul’s away — or at least, that’s the plan).

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“I would gladly keep my mouth shut about the Marlins’ disdain for their orange caps if the Padres would bring back the brown!”

– Jim Vilk