Big thanks to everyone who attended last night’s Uni Watch party in San Francisco. Looking forward to fun tonight in Dallas (the Ginger Man Pub, 7:30pm).
Meanwhile: I recently got an interesting note from reader John English. “Found a YouTube link to some late-season and World Series footage of the 1929 Cubs,” he wrote. “The Series footage is toward the end of the clip and features the Cubs against the eventual champion A’s. But what’s the big black circle the A’s are wearing on their backs?”
The video, which was shot on a home movie camera, is amazing — check it out. The “big black circle” English is referring to isn’t easy to spot, but you can see it as a dark splotch on the backs of some jerseys at the 2:49, 3:09, and 3:14 marks of the video.
I didn’t know what to make of this, so I consulted longtime Uni Watch comrade-in-arms Tom Shieber, who curates the Hall of Fame’s Dressed to the Nines online exhibit. He solved the mystery in relatively short order. Here’s his analysis:
This was a fun one to research. I wasn’t aware of this video but really enjoyed watching it. The “1929 World Series” billing, however, is incomplete. The park is definitely Wrigley Field, but not all of this footage is from the 1929 World Series.
Here’s my research: In 1929, the Cubs’ wishbone “C” had an image of a bear cub inside it. In 1930, however, they used “UBS” inside the wishbone “C” to fashion the word “CUBS.” The footage from 00:30 to 00:43 fairly clearly shows the Cubs wearing the 1930 design. This was the first clue to me that the video showed more than just 1929 World Series.
From about 1:05 to 1:42 or so, you can see the Cubs carrying a flag and, right behind them, a club that definitely has something on the back of their jerseys. The next clip, from 1:43 to 2:05, shows that what the players had been carrying was a “Champions / National League / 1929” pennant, and it’s being raised on the flagpole next to the scoreboard. Note that at the top of the scoreboard, it shows that the “CUBS” are playing “BOSTON.” Also, New York is at Pittsburgh (game in progress around the 6th inning or so), Brooklyn is at Cincinnati, and Philadelphia is at St. Louis.
Put everything together and it’s clear that this footage is from Flag Day (June 21) in 1930. The Cubs paraded toward centerfield with the 1929 NL pennant, followed by the visiting club, the Boston Braves, who in 1929 and 1930 wore their Indian head logo on the back of their jerseys [remember, most teams weren’t yet wearing uni numbers at this point — PL]. Indeed, a quick check of Retrosheet shows that on June 21, 1930, the clubs noted above all played one another. Indeed, the partial linescore for the Giants/Pirates game even matches up. […]
From 2:06 to 2:37, the two teams then parade back to the infield, the Cubs on the third base side, and the Braves on the first base side. From 2:38 to 3:14 or so is various action from that days doubleheader. You can even see Cubs southpaw pitcher Bud Teachout deliver a pitch from 3:11 to 3:14.
Soon afterward, the footage switches to pregame and game action from the 1929 World Series. Note that at 3:29, the bunting you’d expect to see at the World Series [which was absent at the 3:07 mark] is clearly visible. The rest of the film appears to indeed be from the 1929 World Series at Wrigley Field, though I am not sure if it’s Game One (October 8) or Game Two (October 9).
So the “big black circle” was actually the Braves’ rear-jersey Indian head logo. That’s another one of those uniform details that I had only seen depicted in illustration templates, never in an actual photograph. In fact, if not for the “Dressed to the Nines” templates, I probably wouldn’t even be aware of the Indian head (it’s not shown in the Marc Okkonen book on which the “Dressed to the Nines” templates are based). When I mentioned this to Tom, he pointed me toward this photo. Thus endeth the lesson, at least for today.
Uni Watch News Ticker: South Carolina’s football teams will be outfitted by Under Armour next season (thanks to Jim Lichty). … Good shot of a hockey helmet outfitted with a football mask here (not quite as good a photo as this, but still…). … Excellent article here about the new U.S. Army uniforms. … The Indiana Ice of the USHL wore Colts-themed helmets on Tuesday night (with thanks to Chad Stegemiller). … Last week I reported that the Chargers and Dolphins might be tweaking their logos. The Chargers have now confirmed that news (with thanks to JoJo Tarantino for the link). … Joshua Eisenberg notes that Gregg Easterbrook’s latest “Tuesday Morning Quarterback” column included the following note from one of Easterbrook’s readers: “My alma mater, the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, is poised to make its DIII debut in 2008. … [C]heck the cool-looking helmet. The obvious question: How can you have a scuffed-up, battle-worn helmet when your team has never played a down?” … Great catch by Fernando Fuentevilla, who notes that this photo appears to show Norv Turner wearing Raiders shorts with his 49ers shirt. … Anyone know why the Ducks and Sharks both wore white at home during this week’s home-and-home series?