Nice Day for a White Wedding Ballgame

White cap2

Thanks to the rise of the term sabermetric, many people think SABR — the Society for American Baseball Research — is just a bunch of stat geeks devoted to crunching numbers all day long. And while that is indeed part of what SABR’s about, it’s far from a complete picture. As a SABR member myself, I routinely use the group’s listserv to query the membership about uni-related research projects. And sometimes other people discuss uniforms on the listserv too.

One such instance recently came up regarding the 1967 Washington Senators. It started with a post from Father John Hissrich, who’d noticed something on the Baseball Hall of Fame’s “Dressed to the Nines” uniform database:

The Washington Senators are shown with an extra uniform in 1967. There are no stripes on the socks, as in the regular home uniforms, and the caps are white with the same red piping and red script “W.” This uniform is not found in Okkonen’s book. I have never seen a picture of this uniform. Did the Senators wear it on particular occasions? Was it what we would today consider an “alternate” uniform?

(An aside: “Okkonen’s book” is a reference to Marc Okkonen’s essential tome, Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century, which is the basis for the Hall of Fame’s database [and is an absolute must for any Uni Watch reader]. The book was published in 1993, but Okkonen and Hall of Fame curator Tom Shieber have conducted additional research since then, so there are a few spots in which the online database has been updated and no longer matches up with the book. The “extra” uniform for the 1967 Senators, which isn’t in the book but is shown in the online database, is one of those junctures.)

Hissrich’s query drew a quick response from Dave Baldwin — an ideal source, because he’s not only a SABR member but also actually played for the 1967 Senators. Here’s what he wrote:

This discussion inspired me to dig out my old white Senators cap. … As I recall, [the white cap and white socks] were worn for one series only, and that was against the Oakland A’s. This was a protest of sorts against Charlie Finley’s “innovative” uniforms that the A’s began wearing when they were still in Kansas City. In particular, George Selkirk, the Washington GM, was irked that the A’s were wearing white shoes. It seems that batters, being a sensitive lot, were confused and befuddled by too much white in unnatural places on the mound. So George countered with the white caps and white socks. The white socks were simply the white sanitary socks that all players wore under the stirrup socks — we just didn’t wear the stirrups (which was somewhat cooler, actually).

The powers that be in the American League decided that white caps were not to be tolerated because overhand pitchers were releasing the ball too near that distraction. (Since I was a submariner, I was hoping to blend my pitches into my socks.) The AL ruled that we couldn’t use these caps or socks, but I believe the A’s were allowed to continue wearing their white shoes. This struck George as a double standard, and maybe he was right.

I had never heard this story before — the White War! But Baldwin’s memory was a bit off, because the A’s were still in Kansas City in 1967. That mistaken factoid, along with a few others, was soon corrected by researcher Lloyd Davis:

A search of ProQuest [an online database] shows that the Senators did wear the white caps and socks in 1967, and on more than one occasion against the Kansas City A’s.

On page C1 of the May 4, 1967, edition of the Washington Post (“Ortega Hurls Nats Past A’s”), George Minot Jr. wrote, “The Senators again wore white caps and socks in answer to the A’s white shoes.”

On page C2, a photo caption [to this photo] said, “The new attire is the club’s gag rebuttal to the A’s white shoes, as worn by Campy Campaneris as he flies through the air. The Senators introduced their white accessories in Kansas City Wednesday night [a doubleheader on May 2], when they swapped 1-0 shutouts with the A’s.”

The A’s and Senators next met for a doubleheader at DC Stadium on May 30. A blind item appeared on page C2 of the Post, under the headline, “Nats, A’s Will Renew Sartorial Feud Today in D.C. Stadium Doubleheader.” It read: “The Senators and Kansas City Athletics will resume their fashion-show feud this afternoon when they meet for a doubleheader at D.C. stadium. … This will be the Washington fans['] first chance to see for themselves how delightful their athletes look in white accessories. If you remember, the Senators stunned the Midwest when they played in Kansas City earlier this month by wearing “snow white” caps and matching socks (along with their regular jerseys, of course). The Senators haven’t worn their whites since but they’re taking them out of storage as a further reaction to the Athletics’ white shoes, which some opposing batters find distracting. … Aware that the white socks didn’t make as favorable [an] impression as the red-accented white caps, the Senators’ fashion coordinator ordered new, heavier knit stockings for today.”

The next day, in Minot’s account of the game, he wrote that “The A’s retaliated with off-white hats of their own.”

The teams’ next meeting was a July 4 doubleheader in KC. A story in that day’s Post (“‘Uniform’ Problems Plague Nats, A’s in Fight for 9th,” page D1) mentioned, “The Senators are trusting their white hats to break them out of their slump,” and quoted manager Gil Hodges as saying, “Maybe a change in uniform will help.”

Actually, nothing could help the Sens that year (they finished tied for sixth, 15.5 games back), but their White War with the A’s surely ranks as one of history’s coolest and most underrated uniform incidents. Seriously, this story should be legendary, right? But I’d never heard about it until it came up on the SABR listserv, and I bet nobody reading this had heard about it either.

Here’s a good way to publicize this long-neglected chapter in baseball history: Next year is the White War’s 40th anniversary, so let’s see the A’s and Nationals pair off for interleague play next season, and the Nats can wear white caps and socks for the occasion. Now that would be would be a cool throwback concept.

 

88 comments to Nice Day for a White Wedding Ballgame

  • Chris | July 13, 2006 at 8:49 am |

    What?

  • Jersey Mark | July 13, 2006 at 8:55 am |

    Your probably gonna win the bet that no one ever heard of thie before, but we should have. Thanks for this piece of history Paul

  • Paul | July 13, 2006 at 9:00 am |

    Let’s start the petition to Bud Selig to make that Nat’s & A’s interleague matchup next year! That would be awesome!

  • Brian | July 13, 2006 at 9:05 am |

    Love the 9′s database. I found an interesting style for the 1906 NY Giants.

    They actually had “World’s Champions” written across the front of their jerseys.

    http://baseballhallo...

    That’s sportsmanship…

  • N. | July 13, 2006 at 9:10 am |

    This would make for a cool display at Cooperstown.

  • dirwuf | July 13, 2006 at 9:24 am |

    So the Dressed-To-The-Nines image is STILL incomplete as the white hats and socks were worn with road as a well as home unis…

  • dirwuf | July 13, 2006 at 9:30 am |

    …and did the Senators really go the expense of geting white batting helmets too? You can’t really tell from the pic, but it looks like they might have.

  • Ryan | July 13, 2006 at 9:32 am |

    While no “Uniaction” was ever taken that I know of, I do remember a story from football where the Lions and Cowboys were playing and each quarterback was complaining that the same colour scheme for the helmets increased the difficulty in picking out receivers vs defenders with quick glances. Not that far fetched I bet with having to look over the linemen.
    As for the white hats thing and the reason given for the AL to shut them down, the Tigers wear Detroit Stars throwbacks every once in a while. Couldn’t find a game pic but the attatched is the hat they use in this uniform. Wouldn’t that cause the same ‘problem.’

    http://www.capsleagu...

  • Ryan | July 13, 2006 at 9:34 am |

    [quote comment="2586"]…and did the Senators really go the expense of geting white batting helmets too? You can’t really tell from the pic, but it looks like they might have.[/quote]

    Would everyone be wearing helmets yet in 1967? Could be a batter just wearing his cap.

  • Terry | July 13, 2006 at 9:35 am |

    [quote comment="2581"]Love the 9′s database. I found an interesting style for the 1906 NY Giants.

    They actually had “World’s Champions” written across the front of their jerseys.

    http://baseballhallo...

    That’s sportsmanship…[/quote]

    Hey, putting “World Champions” on your jersey wasn’t exclusive to baseball. Check out the NHL Uniforms website and check out the 1924-25 jersey of the Montreal Canadiens!

  • Casey | July 13, 2006 at 9:37 am |

    Also of note: those white hats are pretty slick-looking, except when you realize they were worn with pinstripes. Still, an awesome story.

  • dirwuf | July 13, 2006 at 9:41 am |

    …the White Sox had white hats as part of their “pajama” uni introduced in 1976. I believe they wore them for just one series before the league put the kibosh on them. I remember seeing a 1977 trading card with a Sox player wearing a white hat at what appeared to be Yankee Stadium.

  • Matt | July 13, 2006 at 9:44 am |

    “While no “Uniaction” was ever taken that I know of, I do remember a story from football where the Lions and Cowboys were playing and each quarterback was complaining that the same colour scheme for the helmets increased the difficulty in picking out receivers vs defenders with quick glances. Not that far fetched I bet with having to look over the linemen.
    As for the white hats thing and the reason given for the AL to shut them down, the Tigers wear Detroit Stars throwbacks every once in a while. Couldn’t find a game pic but the attatched is the hat they use in this uniform. Wouldn’t that cause the same ‘problem.’

    http://www.capsleagu…”

    I have that problem a lot in Madden. I play as the panthers and the Lions, Cowboys & Patriots through me off.

    Also, what other teams wore white hats in baseball. I know the Reds wore them for most of the 90s and the Mets wore them in 97. Has any other team worn white hats?

  • Michael Toriello | July 13, 2006 at 9:44 am |

    There must not be a ban on white caps anymore. Which nrings up an interesting question: What teams have worn white caps in recent years? I can remember the mid-90′s Reds had a home white cap with (hideous, imo) red piping. I think the Royas might have had one too.

    Anyone else?

  • Michael Toriello | July 13, 2006 at 9:46 am |

    [quote comment="2594"]There must not be a ban on white caps anymore. Which nrings up an interesting question: What teams have worn white caps in recent years? I can remember the mid-90′s Reds had a home white cap with (hideous, imo) red piping. I think the Royas might have had one too.

    Anyone else?[/quote]

    must… spell check…

  • CubsFanBudMan | July 13, 2006 at 9:47 am |

    Love the white W caps… and I wish one team would take a risk and use piping again (loved the White Sox’s 2001 Sunday update of the 1917 caps). Most importantly, great research and great story! It’s discovering new stuff like this that makes this blog and other boards and uni fans great. I had no idea that a uniform war went on in 1967. Great stuff.

  • Randy | July 13, 2006 at 9:50 am |

    In running the risk of asking a dumb question – did the newspaper headlines really refer to the “Nats” back when the Washington team was the Senators? Was “Nationals” a secondary nickname back then?

  • CubsFanBudMan | July 13, 2006 at 9:50 am |

    [quote comment="2594"]There must not be a ban on white caps anymore. Which nrings up an interesting question: What teams have worn white caps in recent years? I can remember the mid-90′s Reds had a home white cap with (hideous, imo) red piping. I think the Royas might have had one too.

    Anyone else?[/quote]

    Off the top of my head, the Red Sox and Mets had white caps in the mid-’90s. The Royals had gray road caps, as did the Orioles.

  • Ryan | July 13, 2006 at 9:50 am |

    I never checked out that NHL site before pretty sweet. For more world champs take a look at the ’21-’22 Ottawa Senators.

    http://www.nhlunifor...

  • Matt | July 13, 2006 at 9:54 am |

    Here’s a pic of Rick Reed wearing the White Mets hat. I think they wore them in 1997 the year before they went to black. They introduced the solid white jersey with the White hat. I don’t think they ended up wearing the hat for too many games (the only one I remember was when they retired Jackie Robinson’s number).

  • dirwuf | July 13, 2006 at 9:54 am |

    AH HAH! I finally found a pic of the White Sox white cap, check out the montage at:

    Link Name

    ..and while you’re at it, get a load of the airbrush job done to Steve Stone’s hat!

  • Scott | July 13, 2006 at 9:54 am |

    Lovin’ that NHL uniforms site. I forgot how nice those Penguins jerseys were before they switched to black.

  • CubsFanBudMan | July 13, 2006 at 10:04 am |

    Also, it’s a day late for JFL, but here’s that photo of Carlos Zambrano fielding with a glove on his throwing hand at the All-Star Game:

    Zambrano pic

  • CubsFanBudMan | July 13, 2006 at 10:09 am |

    The classic Mets photo I always see when the white caps are mentioned:

    Bernard Gilkey

  • Noah | July 13, 2006 at 10:10 am |

    As for the white caps, the KC A’s wore white hats in 1962

    1962 A’s Unis

    The Expos had the front panels of their hats in white to…

  • Terry | July 13, 2006 at 10:42 am |

    Didn’t the Boston Red Sox pull out the white caps for a couple of games during the ’90s?

  • Stormy | July 13, 2006 at 10:43 am |

    I loved my white Mets hat. I like those a lot better than the black ones.

  • Brett | July 13, 2006 at 10:46 am |

    I was wondering where those white Sen’s uni’s came from. Cool to know.

    The Mets with their white hats look like the Good Humor Man. As did the Red Sox when they had white hats for 1-2 games in the late 90′s. (looking for pics of that now)

  • Jersey Mark | July 13, 2006 at 10:49 am |

    [quote comment="2606"]The classic Mets photo I always see when the white caps are mentioned:

    Bernard Gilkey[/quote]

    WOW, the Wilpons must have ordered a changed from the White as soon as they saw this pic!

  • Matt | July 13, 2006 at 10:52 am |

    I think the Diamondbacks were originally supposed to have a white hat but the canned it before the first season…

  • JT | July 13, 2006 at 10:53 am |

    [quote comment="2599"]In running the risk of asking a dumb question – did the newspaper headlines really refer to the “Nats” back when the Washington team was the Senators? Was “Nationals” a secondary nickname back then?[/quote]

    Yup, the newspapers in DC continued to call the team the Nats for short. When the team moved to Washington in 1901, it used the name “Senators”. It was newspaper sports writers who came up with the name “Nationals” in 1905 at the request of the team’s owner. The name was used on the
    1905 and 1906
    uniforms, but due to confusion of having an American League team called the Nationals, the name started to get less use. The team kind of went under either the Senators or Nationals until 1957, when the team formally adopted the “Senators” moniker. However, during this time and beyond D.C. sportswriters used the term “Nats” to refer to the local team. There is a nice little history on this in Wikipedia on the Minnesota Twins page.

    Prior to 1901, there had been some other teams in Washington DC, through the years the teams have tended to be named one of the following: “Nationals”, “Statesmen”, or “Senators”, with the odd “Blue Legs” and “Olympics” thrown in. Prior to the 1901 Senators team, the previous team had been the “Statesmen” in the 1891 American Association, then the team moved to the National League for 1892-1899 and were known as the “Senators”.

  • Jack H. | July 13, 2006 at 10:59 am |

    [quote comment="2594"]There must not be a ban on white caps anymore. Which nrings up an interesting question: What teams have worn white caps in recent years? I can remember the mid-90′s Reds had a home white cap with (hideous, imo) red piping. I think the Royas might have had one too.

    Anyone else?[/quote]

    Hideous? That white hat with red pinstripes was pretty sweet, I used to have a nice fitted one one back in like 8th and 9th grade (and I’m not a huge Reds fan or anything). I thought it was a cool throwback-looking thing.

    Oh, and I know that the Royals had a grey one that they wore with the road uniforms for a time, but I don’t remember the white.

  • Jack H. | July 13, 2006 at 11:03 am |

    Oh, and Baldwin’s Senator’s cap seems really nice and clean if you count the fact that it’s white and he PLAYED in it in the 60′S. Or maybe he didn’t actally play in any of those games. It just seems really nice and not dirty.

  • Ralph | July 13, 2006 at 11:04 am |

    Clearly, the AL had a different uniform policy than the NL, as the Reds sported the white with red bill and red pinstripes caps throughout the ’60s. If I were smart enough to post a link to the 1967 TOPPS Pete Rose card (#430), I could confirm this. If my memory serves, A’s manager and coaches wore white caps on the bench durin this era, but not players on the field. I have an Alvin Dark card wearing his white cap…

  • Stormy | July 13, 2006 at 11:37 am |

    [quote comment="2619"]Clearly, the AL had a different uniform policy than the NL, as the Reds sported the white with red bill and red pinstripes caps throughout the ’60s. If I were smart enough to post a link to the 1967 TOPPS Pete Rose card (#430), I could confirm this. If my memory serves, A’s manager and coaches wore white caps on the bench durin this era, but not players on the field. I have an Alvin Dark card wearing his white cap…[/quote]

  • Zach | July 13, 2006 at 11:43 am |

    [quote comment="2599"]In running the risk of asking a dumb question – did the newspaper headlines really refer to the “Nats” back when the Washington team was the Senators? Was “Nationals” a secondary nickname back then?[/quote]

    In fact, during a doubleheader with the A’s in 2001, the Twins (descendants of the original DC franchise) wore throwback unis with “Nationals” across the front. Unfortunately, I can’t find a pic. It would be interesting to see them do that again today, especially in an interleague game against the current Nats – Nats vs. Expos, perhaps?

  • a arauz | July 13, 2006 at 11:43 am |

    yes, Ralph—

    I think I’m w/ you on this one. The coaching staff of the swingin’ A’s did have white hats while the players themselves had the yellow/green billed.

  • Dave Zalatoris | July 13, 2006 at 11:44 am |

    [quote comment="2603"]AH HAH! I finally found a pic of the White Sox white cap, check out the montage at:

    Link Name

    ..and while you’re at it, get a load of the airbrush job done to Steve Stone’s hat![/quote]

    I always thought Rolling Stone Brian Jones died in a swimming pool. Who knew he came back as Brian Downing?

  • BStu | July 13, 2006 at 11:44 am |

    Ah, man. I had sucessfully repressed memories of that white Mets hat and you had to go ruin my psychological cushion. I know I’m in the minority, but I actually like the Mets black cap with the blue visor. The all black is just trash and they do use too much black on the jersey, but I did think the black/blue look worked. One of the few “creative” things the Mets have ever done uni wise that did.

  • Jack H. | July 13, 2006 at 11:48 am |

    Did anyone happen to catch the AAA All-Star Game? I just saw the highlights on Sportscenter, and it looks like there was a high percentage of players with cool socks. I also want to know if anyone noticed the uniforms, I always like to watch the minor league ASGs to see the uniforms. If anyone watched, any sweet minor league unis this year? Any duds?

  • Pedro | July 13, 2006 at 11:51 am |

    The Pirates also wore gray road caps for a while in the 90′s.

  • Yinzer | July 13, 2006 at 12:05 pm |

    If you noticed in the link from entry #21, 3 players are wearing double eared batting helemts.
    Paul put them on the list.

    Also, I have this Sox hat, it is a vintage 1917 throwback hat (it is at the bottom of the page)

    http://www.whitesoxi...

  • Scott Turner | July 13, 2006 at 12:26 pm |

    Throughout Charley Finley’s reign as A’s owner, white caps were a constant. While the team wore all green caps, and later green with athletic gold visors, the coaches wore white caps: Dick Williams, later in ’72, and the entire ’73 team.

    The A’s would also wear white jerseys at home for Sunday games during the early ’70s, and had to get special dispensation from MLB to wear white pants on the road.

    Historically, white caps weren’t at all uncommon during the early days of baseball — nor were all-dark uniforms.

  • Mark in Shiga | July 13, 2006 at 12:39 pm |

    The Hanshin Tigers in Japan wore white caps at home for years:

    http://www.interq.or...

    …until new manager Katsuya Nomura dumped them in 1998 because they looked “weak”. The fans love the white hats, though, and they still sell them here in a country which s notorious for not pleasing fans of vintage gear. The Chunichi Dragons wore white hats with their cool alternate uniforms in (I think) 2001; only on Sundays, they had pinstriped, number-only jerseys with no sleeves. The fans didn’t appreciate them and they were gone after one season.

  • Eriq Jaffe | July 13, 2006 at 1:17 pm |

    The White Sox also broke out white hats (with piping) in a game against the Cubs earlier this year:

    Here’s a picture

    They’ve only worn them for one game so far. Considering they lost the game, they might not bring them out again. (as a side note, the number font is the same one they wore during the late 70′s).

  • JTH | July 13, 2006 at 1:26 pm |

    I liked the predominantly white/gray caps, but I did not like them when combined with the all-white or all-gray uniforms (except for the Reds, those ruled — maybe the pinstripes helped). I always thought they’d look better if they were worn with dark jerseys, but I don’t recall any team doing that.

    I actually bought a gray Orioles cap before the baseball season started the year (1995?) they introduced them. I had no idea they’d actually be wearing them in games.

    The Diamondbacks’ white cap was particularly bad, though because it was designed to go with a pinstriped uniform. I remember seeing a picture of Buck Showalter wearing that combo in a magazine.

  • JT | July 13, 2006 at 1:26 pm |

    [quote comment="2624"]In fact, during a doubleheader with the A’s in 2001, the Twins (descendants of the original DC franchise) wore throwback unis with “Nationals” across the front. Unfortunately, I can’t find a pic. It would be interesting to see them do that again today, especially in an interleague game against the current Nats – Nats vs. Expos, perhaps?[/quote]

    Unlikely, as the current Nationals franchise seems to be doing it’s best to forget about it’s time in Montreal. Maybe a few years down the road though. It would be fun, followed with a Twins vs Rangers throwback as the Senators vs Senators.

    In fact, MLB could honor a lot of it’s franchise histories this way (just going from 1901 onwards):
    Twins vs Red Sox – Nationals vs Americans (would also work with current Nationals team)
    Orioles vs Brewers – Brewers vs Brewers
    Orioles vs Cardinals – Browns vs Cardinals
    Braves vs Red Sox – Beaneaters/Doves/Rustlers/Bees vs Americans

    As well as several others.

  • Chris | July 13, 2006 at 1:38 pm |

    just a point of clarification- the official name of the washington (a.l.) team up until the 1960s was the Nationals, even though everyone called them the Senators, except for sportswriters. That’s also why the current washington (n.l.) team is called the Nationals (plus, since D.C. doesn’t have voting representation in Congress, the mayor didn’t want the name “Senators,” and Grays would have taken too long to explain.).

    If you go to the A’s online store, you can buy their white hat, which has a green bill and green lettering and noted as their 72-75 hat.

  • Mark Mihalik | July 13, 2006 at 1:42 pm |

    [quote comment="2609"]Didn’t the Boston Red Sox pull out the white caps for a couple of games during the ’90s?[/quote]

    They did, in 1997. See below:

    http://www.personal....

  • Josh W | July 13, 2006 at 1:46 pm |

    Here’s a picture of the Red’s hats, for those who dont remember.

  • Mark Mihalik | July 13, 2006 at 1:53 pm |

    And one more picture of the rare white Red Sox hats:

    http://www.personal....

    It seems they only did this in April of ’97, since I can’t find any others from that year. Off-topic… the picture searching got me reaquainted with the best Red Sox stirrups of the past decade in Wilton Veras:

    http://www.personal....

    Ah… the good ol’ days.

  • Brandon Davis | July 13, 2006 at 1:56 pm |

    The Swingin’ A’s did indeed wear the Kelly Green and Fort Knox Gold caps while the coaches wore the Wedding Gown White hats with Kelly Green Brims starting in 1963 (good info on Charlie Finley).
    The A’s wore the ’72 throwbacks in July of 2002 and I remember the coaches wore the white hats – here’s Zito and Dye, can’t find any photos of the coaches though. Like Chris mentioned (since I’m too slow posting, I’m at work), the coaches wore this version while the players wore the Kelly Green hat in the bottom right corner (That Harville jersey is from ’02 also).
    This was also one of the last throwbacks before MLB started slapping the MLB logo on despite the inaccuracy.

  • Bob | July 13, 2006 at 2:19 pm |

    On a somewhat related point, I think that the Buffalo Bills switched from the white helmets to the red helmets because Joe Ferguson had trouble distinguishing between the white helmets of the Dolphins, Patriots and Jets(I think they were still wearing white then)and the helmets of his receivers…

  • JTH | July 13, 2006 at 2:22 pm |

    [quote comment="2644"][quote comment="2609"]Didn’t the Boston Red Sox pull out the white caps for a couple of games during the ’90s?[/quote]

    They did, in 1997. See below:

    http://www.personal....

    Didn’t they also wear a red cap with a blue brim (and a white B?) for some games that year? Or was that just a batting practice cap or something?

  • Mark Mihalik | July 13, 2006 at 3:01 pm |

    [quote comment="2651"][quote comment="2644"][quote comment="2609"]Didn’t the Boston Red Sox pull out the white caps for a couple of games during the ’90s?[/quote]

    They did, in 1997. See below:

    http://www.personal....

    Didn’t they also wear a red cap with a blue brim (and a white B?) for some games that year? Or was that just a batting practice cap or something?[/quote]

    You’re right… it was 1997 when they did the red hats too. See Jeff Suppan below:

    http://www.personal....

    I figured it would be another year, and actually started snooping around for it myself before you even mentioned the red caps, but apparently 1997 was just the year of alternate caps for the Sox. Good work.

  • Stormy | July 13, 2006 at 3:20 pm |

    [quote comment="2644"][quote comment="2609"]Didn’t the Boston Red Sox pull out the white caps for a couple of games during the ’90s?[/quote]

    They did, in 1997. See below:

    http://www.personal....

    Nice find. I was looking for that shot. My boss has a framed 1997 Hartford Courant sports page hanging in his office & that’s the photo featured on the page.

  • Mark Mihalik | July 13, 2006 at 3:21 pm |

    [quote comment="2631"]Did anyone happen to catch the AAA All-Star Game? I just saw the highlights on Sportscenter, and it looks like there was a high percentage of players with cool socks. I also want to know if anyone noticed the uniforms, I always like to watch the minor league ASGs to see the uniforms. If anyone watched, any sweet minor league unis this year? Any duds?[/quote]

    Check out this picture:

    http://us.news2.yimg...

    A fair amount of pajama pants, but a refreshing amount of stirrups, too. Let’s hope that the ones that make it to the next level don’t get corrupted like David Wright and go for the “professional look”.

  • a arauz | July 13, 2006 at 3:51 pm |

    I don’t think Joe Ferguson was the reason the Bills went to a red helmet…. I think it was at the begining of the Jim Kelly era. If it was driven by Ferguson’s inability to differentiate the white helmets in the division… why did they wait until he had pretty much retired?

  • JT | July 13, 2006 at 4:12 pm |

    [quote comment="2643"]just a point of clarification- the official name of the washington (a.l.) team up until the 1960s was the Nationals, even though everyone called them the Senators, except for sportswriters. That’s also why the current washington (n.l.) team is called the Nationals (plus, since D.C. doesn’t have voting representation in Congress, the mayor didn’t want the name “Senators,” and Grays would have taken too long to explain.).[/quote]

    Close. History of baseball in DC

    * 1871-1872 Olympics (National Association)
    * 1872-1873 Nationals (National Association), sometimes called the Blue Legs
    * 1875 Nationals (National Association)
    * 1884 Nationals (Union Association)
    * 1884 Statesmen (American Association)
    * 1886-1889 Nationals (National League)
    * 1891 Statesmen (American Association)
    * 1892-1899 Senators (National League)
    * 1901-1904 Senators (American League)
    * 1905-1956 Nationals (American League) – often called the Senators
    * 1957-1960 Senators (American League)
    * 1961 team moves to Minnesota, expansion team begins in DC
    * 1961-1971 Senators (American League)
    * 2005-present Nationals (National League)

    The Greys are indeed hard to understand, as the Negro League Homestead Greys were based in Pittsburgh, but played many home games in Washington in the 30s and 40s. Somehow they ingnored the Washington Capitol Cities, an original Negro league team.

    Personally, I thought the Nationals was a lousy choice for the current team. Yes, the team was named that from 1905 to 1957, but it had pretty much fallen out of use by the 1930s, in favor of the Senators. If the name didn’t work then, why try it again?

  • Greg | July 13, 2006 at 4:47 pm |

    A couple of cool tidbits from today’s issue of Sports Illustrated:

    1) I don’t know if this is the reason, but the article about Italy’s World Cup victory mentioned that some of the team members (all?) were in Doce & Gabana underwear ads in Germany during the Cup. (Fortunately, no photo evidence) Is that why those Italian guys took off their shorts in celebration?

    2) I always thought French keeper Fabien Barthez’s socks just had high ankle taping, but the close-up shot of his backside in that same article made it look like he was wearing something resembling football socks.

    3) Many of the photos in the cover article on the Mets showed the all-blue hats which seem to be quite rare. Looks good!

    4) Rafael Nadal wasn’t wearing his trademark capris in the Wimbledon finals, but his shorts were still significantly longer than those of others. Plus, Federer wore his jacket.

    5) Finally, on the Inside Sports spread, the Rockies and D-backs are both wearing their purple-encrusted pinstripes which makes it hard to tell the difference between the teams at a glance. The hoisery is nice though.

  • Greg | July 13, 2006 at 5:00 pm |

    That Fabien Barthez link didn’t work, so let’s try this.

  • Shane | July 13, 2006 at 5:51 pm |

    [quote comment="2652"]
    You’re right… it was 1997 when they did the red hats too. See Jeff Suppan below:[/quote]

    I think they need to pull the red hats out when they wear the red alternate jerseys. It just looks stupid with a navy hat.

  • Chris | July 13, 2006 at 6:10 pm |

    [quote comment="2658"]
    Personally, I thought the Nationals was a lousy choice for the current team. Yes, the team was named that from 1905 to 1957, but it had pretty much fallen out of use by the 1930s, in favor of the Senators. If the name didn’t work then, why try it again?[/quote]

    well, the powers that be only really gave themselves 3 options: nationals, senators or grays. the mayor nixed the senators (no voting representation), and there really wasn’t alot of interest in the grays, so nationals it was. i think the new owners have the option of changing the name, if they want.

  • Tom O'Grady | July 13, 2006 at 6:35 pm |

    Charlie O. Finley is UniGod.

    The late 60′s A’s kits are some of the best uniforms of all time.

    If I ever get the energy to go after a doctorate degree in marketing my thesis will be on the Days and Ways of One Charles O. Finley (I think the O. is an abbreviation for Orange as in orange baseballs).

    Sure Charlie was an a–hole of sorts…but sometimes you got to to be the straw that stirs the drink.

    Thank you Charlie-

    Paul, I’m dying for a full week of Charlie Finley articles

    T.

  • Bryan S | July 13, 2006 at 6:48 pm |

    As a former suffering Orioles fan, when the Nationals came to town, I couldn’t have been more excited. I made the trip down to Viera, Florida to see them play in their first spring training. Dressed in these jerseys- which Paul has professed to dislike (which have been since replaced with this ensemble, seen again here.)

    When I got home, I also went to the Nats inaugural home opener, in which I noticed this patch on their jerseys, seen here.

    The last time I checked, the year was 2005, not 1905. The patch was off by 100 years! After some further research, and some confirmation by Paul, I determined that the “Established 1905” was based on the 1905 Nationals, also referred to as the Senators.

    It seemed kind of stupid to me for a team that was looking for a fresh start, (going so far as to un-retire the retired numbers of Expos: Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Rusty Staub *note the white hat*, and Tim Raines) to say they were setting the date of their inception 100 years earlier than it actually was.

    As for the patches, the Nats still feature the “Established 1905” on their home jerseys, but feature this patch on their away jerseys and on their Cool base jersey.

    That’s just my two cents, keep up the good work Paul and everyone else… and GO NATS!

    -Bryan

  • jrh | July 13, 2006 at 7:50 pm |

    [quote comment="2655"][quote comment="2631"]Did anyone happen to catch the AAA All-Star Game? I just saw the highlights on Sportscenter, and it looks like there was a high percentage of players with cool socks. I also want to know if anyone noticed the uniforms, I always like to watch the minor league ASGs to see the uniforms. If anyone watched, any sweet minor league unis this year? Any duds?[/quote]

    Check out this picture:

    http://us.news2.yimg...

    A fair amount of pajama pants, but a refreshing amount of stirrups, too. Let’s hope that the ones that make it to the next level don’t get corrupted like David Wright and go for the “professional look”.[/quote]

    Looks like the stirrups-wearers are all Toledo Mud Hens. Any word on whether they require this look? I checked some pics on their website, and it seems like that may be the case

  • Dave Provost | July 13, 2006 at 8:52 pm |

    Wow, I’m a huge Red Sox fan and I completely blocked out any memory of those white caps! When the first mention in the comments came up, I thought, “No, he’s thinking of the red caps they wore 5 or 6 times in ’97 or ’98.” Without the photos, I still might not believe it.

  • Brodie | July 13, 2006 at 9:23 pm |

    First of all, it’s things little known historical tidbits like the white Senators cap that brings me to read uniwatch regularly. Kudos, Paul!!

    For those of you interested in a Rangers/Twins throwback game (that would feature Senators vs Senators unis), a similar thing happened a few years back in Milwaukee. The year that the Brewers first switched to the National League, they had an interesting throwback game during Atlanta’s first visit to County Stadium. During this game, the Brewers wore Milwaukee Braves duds while Atlanta wore BOSTON Braves unis for a cool Braves vs Braves effect. The strange thing is that there was little difference between the unis that both teams wore except for the hat (“B” and “M,” but all in the same colors). It was a bit surreal to watch the game, but damn cool.

    Pictures anyone??

  • Josh W | July 13, 2006 at 9:50 pm |

    Here’s the Brewers uniforms for the game, couldn’t find a picture of both teams together, but you get the picture by looking at that.

  • Kevin Bryant | July 13, 2006 at 10:17 pm |

    Okkonen’s book’s getting hard to find. I had to set a watch on eBay to get my copy. It doesn’t appear to be in current publication anywhere, which is too bad – it could be updated to at least the 2000s.

  • bob | July 13, 2006 at 10:54 pm |

    from this article, the data base should also show a white cap for the a’s, right? curren tpictures don’t show so…

  • Luke | July 13, 2006 at 11:01 pm |

    [quote comment="2642"][quote comment="2624"]
    Unlikely, as the current Nationals franchise seems to be doing it’s best to forget about it’s time in Montreal. Maybe a few years down the road though. It would be fun, followed with a Twins vs Rangers throwback as the Senators vs Senators.

    In fact, MLB could honor a lot of it’s franchise histories this way (just going from 1901 onwards):
    Twins vs Red Sox – Nationals vs Americans (would also work with current Nationals team)
    Orioles vs Brewers – Brewers vs Brewers
    Orioles vs Cardinals – Browns vs Cardinals
    Braves vs Red Sox – Beaneaters/Doves/Rustlers/Bees vs Americans

    As well as several others.[/quote]

    If memory serves me corectly, and I can’t produce any photographic evidence, the Orioles and Cardinals did do the Browns/Cards throwbacks in an interleague contest in St. Louis a few years back…

  • M'SH | July 14, 2006 at 12:23 am |

    I love it. This is the stuff that makes Uni Watch so great. Nice work, Paul and supporting cast.[quote comment="2590"]Hey, putting “World Champions” on your jersey wasn’t exclusive to baseball. Check out the NHL Uniforms website and check out the 1924-25 jersey of the Montreal Canadiens![/quote]It appears that was a fairly common practice in the early ’20s. The Sens in ’21-’22 (as Ryan pointed out), the St. Pats in ’22-’23, Sens again in ’23-’24, Habs in ’24-’25, and Sens one last time in ’27-’28 all had a commemorative patch/crest/logo in their sweaters after winning the Stanley Cup.

  • Keith | July 14, 2006 at 12:53 am |

    What would you change the DC name to? Personally I like the name, I am a fan, I live in the DC area. Senators would have been stupid, grays is to hard to explain, nats works well. Cant call em the capitals since thats the hockey teams name. I really think its a good name that I like. Its better than the Devil Rays by a long shot. I think the uniforms look good as well, are there any other teams that have such a huge difference between away and home ?

  • Andrew | July 14, 2006 at 1:43 am |

    [quote comment="2676"]The year that the Brewers first switched to the National League, they had an interesting throwback game during Atlanta’s first visit to County Stadium. During this game, the Brewers wore Milwaukee Braves duds while Atlanta wore BOSTON Braves unis for a cool Braves vs Braves effect. The strange thing is that there was little difference between the unis that both teams wore except for the hat (“B” and “M,” but all in the same colors). It was a bit surreal to watch the game, but damn cool.

    [/quote]

    I remember watching that game. If I recall correctly, the TBS announcers pointed out that both teams were wearing Milwaukee Braves uniforms, but that Atlanta wore “B” caps (for Braves) not out of any sense of accuracy but for better differentation between the teams.

  • Michael | July 14, 2006 at 8:13 am |

    The Braves and Brewers have done that again, too. I seem to remember even last year, or two years a go, a Braves v. Braves matchup.

    Also, I’m a diehard BoSox fan and they should never wear any hat other then blue on the field (although alternate hats for fans…red, white, green…often turn out nice.)

  • Lars | July 14, 2006 at 8:35 am |

    [quote comment="2581"]Love the 9′s database. I found an interesting style for the 1906 NY Giants.

    They actually had “World’s Champions” written across the front of their jerseys.

    http://baseballhallo...

    That’s sportsmanship…[/quote]

    My beloved Cleveland Indians did the same in 1921. We don’t get championships often so when we do we have to make a big deal (Super Bowls=0, NBA Titles=0, World Series=2 – 1920 & 1948). We’ve only had two championship series visits since I was born in 1975. I say if we win another we should revive those unis no matter what the sport is(except the indoor soccer titles we won, those don’t count).

  • Ryan | July 14, 2006 at 9:20 am |

    Now what we need to do is find someone to make replicas of those white caps. I know that I would buy one. Probably two. (cause, you know, you have to put one away and make sure it doesn’t get dirty)

  • Jared | July 14, 2006 at 11:38 am |

    [quote comment="2684"]What would you change the DC name to? Personally I like the name, I am a fan, I live in the DC area. Senators would have been stupid, grays is to hard to explain, nats works well. Cant call em the capitals since thats the hockey teams name. I really think its a good name that I like. Its better than the Devil Rays by a long shot. I think the uniforms look good as well, are there any other teams that have such a huge difference between away and home ?[/quote]

    The Indians did the same type of thing a few years back…. Red sleves, socks and shoes @ home and Navy (with black shoes) on the road.

  • Jared | July 14, 2006 at 1:38 pm |

    It was ’94 – ’99

    http://baseballhallo...

  • Lars | July 14, 2006 at 4:12 pm |

    [quote comment="2728"]It was ’94 – ’99

    http://baseballhallo...

    It seems Dressed to the Nines also acknowledges the steroid era with their models from 1995-2000. Too bad they also seem to be acknowledging the pants the the shoe tops idea as well with their recent models.

  • Bryan S | July 14, 2006 at 4:53 pm |

    [quote comment="2684"]What would you change the DC name to? Personally I like the name, I am a fan, I live in the DC area. Senators would have been stupid, grays is to hard to explain, nats works well. Cant call em the capitals since thats the hockey teams name. I really think its a good name that I like. Its better than the Devil Rays by a long shot. I think the uniforms look good as well, are there any other teams that have such a huge difference between away and home ?[/quote]

    There are a few reasons why they didn’t name them the Senators:

    A) The mayor wanted them to be named the Grays (pthhh)
    B) They wanted to go “traditional”
    C) The Texas Rangers still kinda own the name “Senators” although there was debate as to whether they had abandoned the copyright
    D) being DC, and being the most politically correct city in the universe, they COULDN’T possibly name them the Senators, in a city that has no representation in the senate

  • Jared | July 14, 2006 at 5:51 pm |

    [quote comment="2738"][quote comment="2728"]It was ’94 – ’99

    http://baseballhallo...

    It seems Dressed to the Nines also acknowledges the steroid era with their models from 1995-2000. Too bad they also seem to be acknowledging the pants the the shoe tops idea as well with their recent models.[/quote]

    It’s also too bad that they don’t acknowledge some current alt jerseys, such as the M’s DARK, DARK, DARK Navy one they’ve used since at least last year if not 2004 ……

  • charlie | July 21, 2006 at 1:24 pm |

    [quote comment="2586"]…and did the Senators really go the expense of geting white batting helmets too? You can’t really tell from the pic, but it looks like they might have.[/quote]

    I don’t think so. In the May 31, 1967 Washington POST (p. D1), Frank Howard is pictured after a grand slam HR. He, and other Senator players, is wearing a blue batting helmet. On page D2 in the same paper, Ken McMullen and other Washington players are shown in the field wearing the white caps.

    The earlier photo of Jim King in the May 4th POST shows him being forced out at second base, but his white hat looks like a cap, not a helmet (hard to tell). However, players (particularly the older ones like King) did not necessarily wear helmets while on the bases in 1967.

  • Bobby D | July 22, 2006 at 11:47 am |

    I love the white W caps as well but they’d get dirty after one game and with the way some of these superstitious MLB players are they’d end up the same color as infield dirt after 20/30 games. The clubhouse guys would be hating to clean those things…

    About the Oakland A’s white shoes, which as a kid I absolutely loved and still do, surprised no one mentioned when Billy Martin came on a manager that they had white undershirts for a while and for anyone that’s played that would be extremely distracting at the plate. That was in 1981 and I believe they played the whole season with those:

    Martin probably got the idea from an incident in 1976 when he was managing the Yankees and they were playing the Chisox, look for the info at the bottom of this page and on Page 3: white undershirts

  • Bobby D | July 22, 2006 at 11:51 am |

    Those links didn’t work, sorry.

    White undershirts image: http://www.baseballh...

    Info on Martin’s protest against Chisox white undershirts: http://www.findartic...

  • Dan G | August 3, 2006 at 3:52 pm |

    Just a correction, in regard to the patches on this year’s, 2006, Nats jerseys, they do not still feature the “Established 1905” on their home jerseys, but feature the DC surrounded by 9 stars patch on all of their jerseys, home, away, and their third red jersey. In 2005, they wore a DC patch with “Washington Nationals” circling it on their away jerseys and only wore their red batting practice jersey at the time once in a regular season game. This year teh batting practice jersey is blue.

  • seang | August 22, 2006 at 1:09 am |

    I read about the Senators white uniforms with great interest,as I attended a game in 1967 where they wore them.Before the game was the annual Congressional game,pitting the Republicans vs.the Democrats.Bob Mathias,the former Olympian,hit a long double to center in that one.In the actual game,Ed Stroud of the Senators,in his white socks and cap,stole home when Phil Roof,the A’s catcher,lazily tossed the ball back to the pitcher.I was 10 at the time,and having a team back in Washington has,at times,made me feel like a kid again.