I recently came across a bunch of old uniform ads from assorted sporting goods brands. I started to add them to the Ticker and thought to myself, “Terry Proctor’s gonna shit when he sees these.” But then I thought, “Hmmm, why not run these by Terry before posting them on the site and get him to comment on them?”
So that’s what I did. Here are the ads, along with Terry’s commentary:
• Medalist Sand-Knit, 1975: “This ad shows some of the more popular versions of the Sand-Mark series of uniform coordinates. All that the team had to do was pick out a template and in effect ‘color-by-the-numbers’ to complete its uniform. The design on the left was introduced by Marquette (big surprise) and also used by the Cleveland Cavaliers.”
• MacGregor, 1955: “MacGregor made uniforms for all levels of baseball. They made their share of MLB and MiLB uniforms including both sets for their hometown Reds and at least one set for the Dodgers, Tigers, NY Giants, Pirates, and Indians. Minor League teams they outfitted included the Buffalo Bisons, Syracuse Chiefs, and Montreal Royals, to name a few. Several MLB teams would split their orders, using Rawlings, Wilson, and MacGregor. The home unis would be by MacGregor and the roads by Wilson, for example.” [Anyone else think the kid on the right looks kinda creepy? — PL]
• Spanjian, 1968: “This print ad also appeared in the Spanjian catalog. The jersey was columbia blue with black and white lettering and stripes. Spanjian’s entire catalog was always done with these hand-drawn illustrations. We dealers would complain about it — photos would have been better — but our protests always fell on deaf ears.” [I love the heavily ribbed trim on the collar and sleeve cuff. I bet it wasn’t like that in real life. — PL]
• Spanjian, 1967: “This is the only time I’ve ever seen Spanjian use a real photograph in an ad. The ad shows Spanjian’s nylon/durene cotton knit baseball uniforms that I mentioned this past summer in connection with the 40th anniversary of the Pirates’ switch to knits. I don’t know if the Dodger uniform shown in the ad was an actual prototype, but when you consider that the Spanjian plant was located at 535 N. Fair Oaks Ave. in Pasadena, it might have been. But considering the Dodgers longstanding rivalry with the Yankees, I don’t think that they would have ever worn pinstripes. The ad probably was just trying to show that any color of knit-in pinstripes was available and the name ‘Dodgers’ was selected because it was well-known to everyone.” [I’m not sure which disturbs me more about that Dodgers photo: the pins or the white belt. — PL]
• Hanesport, 1967: “Hanes is best known for their underwear, but in the late 1960s they began making and marketing football jerseys. They should have stuck to T-shirts. Trying to compete with Russell and Champion for the football market was not a good idea. Ironically, the Hanesport uniform division turned into Southern Athletic, which then became Bike Athletic. Russell Athletic now owns Bike Athletic. What goes around comes around.” [Again with the heavily ribbed collar and cuffs. — PL]
• Rawlings, 1968: “The hometown Redbirds used Rawlings forever.” [Interesting to see Rawlings was pushing the sex-appeal angle in this ad. Not exactly the best way to earn credibility or respect, but advertising was all over the place in the late ’60s, as ad agencies tried to figure out the new moral landscape. — PL]
• Yankiboy, 1951: “I’m not familiar with this distributor/manufacturer, but I do remember my mother buying me a very similar baseball uniform at J.C. Penny when I was seven or eight years old. It was made out of 100% cotton cricket cloth, which was the standard for Little League uniforms for decades. It came with stirrups socks, a cap, and iron-on transfer letters and numbers. I’ve always been a Yankee hater, so I had my mother put ‘RED SOX’ on my uniform. My number was 2.”
Have I mentioned that I love Terry Proctor? I do. Thanks, as always, for sharing your expertise with us, buddy!
Gift sourcing reminder: I’m working on my annual holiday gift guide column for Page 2. If you know of good uni-related gift ideas — or if you’re offering some product or service yourself that you think might be appropriate — please let me know. Thanks.
ESPN update: My latest ESPN column, which was supposed to run last Friday but got bumped, is finally up today. It’s mostly stuff we’ve discussed here before, but there’s one new segment that I think you’ll find interesting. Link coming soon.
Memberships for the holidays: A new batch of membership designs have been added to the card gallery (including Kenny Loo’s Peruvian national soccer team treatment, shown at right). If you’ve been waiting for your card, it should mail out today or tomorrow.
Meanwhile, what if you want to give someone a membership for Xmas but don’t know what design motif to use? We’re once again offering a voucher to help smooth that process. Just pay for the giftee’s membership and I’ll send you larger versions of these voucher designs. You can choose the one you like, print it out, and enclose it in a card (or whatever) for the lucky giftee, who can then redeem it for the membership card of his or her choice. Cool?
As always, full details on how to sign up are available here.
Meaty visit: I spent the weekend helping my friends David and Lori with their new house in Saugerties, a town in the Hudson Valley, about two hours north of NYC. This provided me with two great opportunities: First, I had a good excuse to wear this jersey. And since Saugerties is only about 20 minutes away from Kingston, I finally paid my long-overdue first visit to the awesome Fleisher’s Meats, the shop whose sustainably raised protein, butchery classes, restaurant-supply operation, and DIY ethos have made it the most important meat purveyor in the nation over the past few years. I had recently shipped the Fleisher’s folks a few dozen Meats T-shirts to carry in their shop, and it was a genuine thrill to see them for sale there.
As I introduced myself to the shop’s staff, someone walked over and said, “Wait, you’re the guy with the Meats shirts?” When I said yes, he pulled up his sweatshirt to reveal that he was wearing one. Very cool.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Here’s the jersey being worn by the USA at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Buffalo. If you click on the zoom function, you can see there’s a little Sabres logo on the chest (with thanks to Dillon Scibelli). … Colby Wood spotted someone wearing a Pittsburgh Maulers Mike Rozier jersey outside Sunday’s Steelers/Raiders game. … Daniel T. Waguespack, who’s the equipment manager at VCU, notes that BYU — which is a Nike school — has pants striping that looks very Adidas-ish. “If BYU was in fact an Adidas school, these pants would not be NCAA-compliant. At VCU, we had stripes on our Adidas soccer shorts that looked like this, and we had to take them off.” … I love this old hockey card showing the Wembley Lions’ sweater design (great find by Jeremy Brahm). … Jeremy also sent me a note saying, “You’ll love these striped shorts” — and he was right. … Sean Patton spotted something new on Wikipedia: Each NFL team entry is now represented by a Riddell Revolution Speed helmet. … According to this auction listing, Kansas considered going with a red football jersey in 2000 but kept it mothballed until 2005 (with thanks to Chris Stoppel). … Notre Dame alum Dan Cichalski had sideline access for the Irish’s game at Yankee Stadium and took these photos. … The state of Louisiana has a new flag design (with thanks to Christopher Falvey). … Here’s something you don’t often see: an obituary that based partially on the deceased’s helmet. … We’ve occasionally seen baseball jerseys with UCLA stripes, but it’s super-rare to see one from the 1940s. Andy Garms spotted that at a vintage shop. … Was it just the lighting, or was UNLV wearing gray uniforms at home on Saturday night? (As noted by John Barnes.) … The Kannapolis Intimidators — that’s the White Sox’s single-A affiliate — has a new logo featuring Dale Earnhardt, after whom the team was renamed in 2001. “I understand the sentiment, seeing as how Earnhardt is a hometown hero and all,” says Benn Wineka. “But having grown up in nearby Salisbury and attended games since the team was incepted as the Piedmont Phillies in 1995 (when current Dolphins RB Ricky Williams roamed left field before returning to college to win a Heisman), I always thought the team’s best identity was as the Piedmont Boll Weevils, the named used from 1996-2000.” … Here’s Michael Orr‘s latest round of EPL kit reviews. … Another keen observation from Jeremy Brahm, who notes that the Saskatchewan Roughriders 1970s throwbacks, worn this past weekend, included helmet uni numbers in a little white box near the earhole, which doesn’t seem to be the way they handled the helmet numbers back in the day. While researching that, Jeremy came across all sorts of cool vintage CFL photos and other items, all of which I strongly recommend looking at — check them out here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. … Pat Burns memorial tributes: a jersey patch for the Devils and helmet decals for the Leafs (it’s hard to see, but it’s there behind the ear) and Canadiens (ditto). That Canadiens shot is from Saturday, but it might have been a one-game thing, because they didn’t appear to be wearing a decal last night. Not sure what, if anything, the Bruins are doing. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Bills WR Steve Johnson was channeling the Joker on Sunday. … “USF has a girl from Finland on their basketball team and her name on her warm-up has an umlaut on it,” writes Jessica Mosley. “The little o is weird, but at least they tried, right?” … Aussie-rules football news: New clash guernsey for Carlton. Even if you don’t care, you’ve gotta love the term “clash guernsey,” no? (With thanks to Scott Gleeson Blue.) … Lots of you have seen the “How to Wear Your Uniform” posters that appear in every NFL and MLB locker room. But I’d never seen the NBA version until Doug Keklak sent me this last night. Interesting that they require at least one inch of visible sock — I don’t have time to go poring over NBA photos right now, but aren’t some players wearing no-shows these days? … I really like these little football-shaped Miller patches. … But not as much as I like this old Oakland Invaders tee. … Hey, scroll down to check out the tagging on this jersey — must have been a salesman’s sample. Terry Proctor, can you tell us more about this? … Bastian Schweinsteiger of Bayern Munich played the second half of Saturday’s draw against Bayer Leverkusen with an upside-down sponsor logo (big thanks to Neil MacLeod).