The 1967 A’s and their occasional use of white caps, which I first wrote about last Friday, continue to present an intriguing rabbit hole, as reader Dave Robb has just provided me with some photos he scanned from the team’s 1968 yearbook. Take a look:
There are several points worth making here:
• The first two yearbook photos in that slideshow are of Blue Moon Odom and Tony Pierce. They both pitched in the white-capped game A’s/Tigers game that was the subject of last Friday’s post, so the yearbook pics could be from the same game. In other words, these two photos don’t necessarily show an additional example.
• I’m assuming that the batting helmets in these photos were gold, not white, but it’s interesting to see how similar they look in b&w photography. Take a closer look at the one photo that features caps and helmets together — you can’t really tell them apart. In fact, based on this evidence, you could just as easily make a case that the caps were gold, not white — except, fortunately, we have this color photo showing that they were white (and lots of old color photos showing that the helmets were gold).
• The fact that white and gold are largely indistinguishable in the b&w photos bolsters Ricko’s contention (first made in the comments on Monday, I believe) that the white caps may have had gold brims. You wouldn’t know it from looking at the b&w pics, but you can make out a hint of gold edging on the underbrims in that one color shot.
• I was so obsessed with the caps that it took me a few minutes before I noticed that three of Dave Robb’s yearbook photos show the players wearing black shoes. “Wait a sec,” I thought, “1967 was the year the A’s went white-shod.” Then I checked Okkonen, who shows the A’s wearing white and black shoes in ’67. “Oh,” I thought — so I guess it isn’t so weird after all.”
But then I took another look and noticed that Okkonen shows the black shoes being paired with a jersey with gold typography and the white shoes paired with green typography — while the yearbook photos appear to show black shoes and green-numbered vests, a combination not shown by Okkonen. (Also: Note that the players in the dugout are wearing colored caps, not white, which furthers the case that the batting helmets weren’t white.)
Now, I’ve been saying for years that we shouldn’t take Okkonen as gospel (case in point: He missed the boat on the white caps). And maybe he didn’t mean to imply that the shoe/typography pairings were exclusive; maybe he just didn’t have room to show every mix-and-match combination.
So what I’m really getting at here is that the 1967 A’s were one hell of a mish-mash — one that continues to confound. Which I’m sure would make Charlie Finley very happy.
Research project: Make a wish(bone): With the Bears once again vying for a spot in the Stupor Bowl, I’ve been thinking a bit about their wishbone-C helmet logo. Variations on this design have been worn by several other teams over the years, including the Reds, Indians, Cubs, Hiroshima Toyo Carp, the University of Chicago, Carroll College, the Chicago Cardinals (although I’d feel more confident about including that logo on the list if I could see it in situ, not just on a web page), and probably a bunch more. We could even include the Twins, although their wishbone-C is part of a more involved logo.
Are there more wishboned teams I’ve overlooked? Did people think it was weird when the Cubs, Indians, and Reds were all wearing it in the mid-1930s? And what are the origins of the C — who designed it, and which team was the first to wear it? The U. of Chicago claims to have been wearing it since 1898, so I called their athletics dept. yesterday to see if they had any additional info — no dice. If anyone knows more, please speak up. Thanks.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Cool slideshow about the Polo Grounds. … Craig Bates ordered a Panthers visor online. When it arrived, he was surprised to find a slight error on the back strap. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: a hilarious 1960s group portrait illo of the Southwest Conference’s mascots. … Also from yesterday: Fascinating shoulder yoke panels on this 1930s Aggies jersey. … Another treasure from the Texas A&M archives: Check out these makeshift shinguards (good find by Matt Mitchell). … Hey, ladies, wanna impress your valentine next month? Give him this. … While looking for something else, I stumbled upon this sensational Cubs scorecard cover. … New 10th-anniversary uniforms for some arena football team nobody cares about (with thanks to Tod Hess). … Man, there’s a lot going on in this high school football shot: striped socks; an NFL logo rip-off; merit decals in the center stripe; and additional dogbone-shaped decals. The two teams are James Bowie High School in blue and Hawkins High School in white (with thanks to Seth Hubbard). … Who doesn’t like Nike’s new soccer kit for France? Oh, just the team’s coach. … Awesome report from Michael Koch, who writes: “While I was at work last night, I saw a guy wearing an ‘authentic’ Yankees jersey with a nameplate that read, ‘NNOB.’ Had I been able to talk to the guy, I would’ve asked him if he’s a Uni Watcher.” No photo, alas. … Yet another team unveiling sweatbacks: West Virginia. … I was doing some newspaper archive research last night and came across a bunch of uni-related items. Among the highlights: a 4/10/81 AP story about the unveiling of the Bengals’ tiger-stripe uniforms; a small 1/18/81 AP item indicating that Bobby Bonds wanted to wear No. 007 (Bond, Bonds, get it?); and a 9/11/81 item about the Wisconsin cheerleading uniforms. … I first decried the new conference championship trophy designs way back in March, but that was just based on illustrations of the new hardware. Here’s the real thing. … New kit for the Seattle Sounders (with thanks to Jerry Gardner, Jr.). … Weber State is inviting fans to design its new gridiron.
Tomorrow: I’m working on something very cool for Friday’s post. Trust me, you’re gonna like this.