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Rolls Reuss, Volume II

Jerry Reuss Wins Game 5 - 1981 World Series

By Phil Hecken

My greatest thrill in baseball is winning the World Series in ’81. Without at doubt, because that’s what everybody wants. And you know why the no hitter isn’t Number 1? They don’t give you a ring for a no hitter. But they give you a ring when you win the world series.Jerry Reuss

Last weekend I brought you a portion of my recent interview with Jerry Reuss (you can read that here). I’m back with Jerry today with more from that interview. In Volume I, we primarily discussed his playing career, and in particular, his appearances in the 1975 and 1980 All Star Games, and his no hitter in 1980. Jerry would rank the no hitter at #3 in his list of “Greatest Achievements in Baseball,” following his first day in the big leagues at #2. But Jerry’s greatest thrill, then and now, is winning the World Series in 1981.

But this is Uni Watch, so of course Mr. Reuss wanted to discuss that which draws all of us here: uniforms. We won’t get to everything we discussed in this article, because we sure did discuss a lot. So pull up a chair and enjoy Volume II:

~~~

Many of you already know this, but Jerry Reuss is an everyday reader of Uni Watch. He hasn’t commented (yet), but he does check out our comments. He seems to rather enjoy some and others, well…

Uni Watch: You obviously have quite an interest in uniforms.

Jerry Reuss: I always have. When I was five or six, I would draw team logos on my white undershirts. I can’t tell how many times I attended Sunday mass proudly wearing my own design underneath my coat and tie.

I took pride in my baseball uniform through Little League, High School, American Legion and my professional career and how I wore it. I learned in my younger years that there will be good days and bad days on the field, but you can always look good everyday in your baseball uniform!

The respect for the uniforms worn in every sport is why I enjoy the articles, comments, tweaks and the passion that everyone brings to the UW site. I understand where you’re coming from. I just have a different perspective. From the point of view of wearing a uniform every day, I can see where some ideas presented would work in a practical sense while other ideas would work in a different context.

Some ideas look great on paper. They don’t always translate to a baseball uniform. Now, I don’t know much about football, basketball, or hockey uniforms. When the topic turns to other sports, I just skip over that. I have no idea what our uni brethren are talking about.

UW: A lot of times I don’t either…

JR: But I know what baseball uniforms should look like, what looks good and what’s practical. So, with regards to some of the designs that are sent in — I think they’re good designs and they’re well thought-out — but for one reason or another, they won’t work. Especially the way the uniforms are worn today, which is another discussion.

In fact, some of the designs that are outstanding on paper, and put on a t-shirt, a golf shirt, or a novelty shirt that looks like this Hawaiian shirt, it becomes something special.

UW: Sure, I know exactly what you’re talking about.

JR: And I think some of these designs, for instance, the tattersall designs that appeared last summer, would be perfect for the novelty shirt and but not for a uniform. On some hi-def TV sets, the patterns, if displayed on a uniform, would be distracting.

Recently the site ran a link to a design by a well-known clothes designer whose name escapes me. He designed a Yankee uniform.

UW: Tommy Hilfiger. That was in the comments and Paul “tickerized” it.

JR: I took a look at it and I thought “Terrible baseball uniform, but a nice golf shirt.”

UW: And of course he (Hilfiger) did it to the Yankees — and I don’t know if there’s any “untouchable” uniform out there, but I would have to imagine between the Dodgers, Yankees and Cardinals, and maybe the Tigers, they’re the one’s that…

JR: Let’s call them “DCAT”

UW: Yes! — “Don’t Change A Thing”

JR: There are many major league uniforms that fall into that category and you just named four of them.

UW: Who else?

JR: The Phillies, with the red pinstripes, chain-stitched script, red hat, belt and shoes. The uniform, when placed in the ballpark setting against that green grass and the blue sky, creates a perfect picture.

The Pirates current home uniform is the best they’ve ever worn. The yellow highlights bordering the black numbers and lettering and black and yellow piping frame the uniform perfectly.

When I worked as an instructor at their fantasy camp in January of 2010, I wore the most comfortable uniform I ever put on. It was a lightweight knit, lighter than anything I’ve ever worn. It wicked the moisture and allowed complete freedom of movement. Twenty years ago, uniforms would lose their shape and elasticity with countless washings. I wonder how well today’s uniforms last by comparison.

UW: That’s six. What other teams are DCAT?

JR: Here’s the remainder of my list: The Red Sox, Orioles, Rays, Braves, Cubs, Royals, Twins, Mariners, A’s, Giants (love that cream color!) and the Padres.

The Angels and the White Sox just miss.

UW: What about the rest of the teams?

JR: All good but for whatever reason, I’m just not “feeling the love.”

UW: How many uniforms were you given for a season?

JR: I was always given two sets of home and away uniforms. The Reds, Angels, White Sox and the 1990 Pirates also wore batting practice tops. The everyday players always had extra pants made and used them as needed.

UW: Makes sense. And how often did you get a new cap?

JR: I always had two hats available…one for the game and the other for the rest of the time. I usually asked for new hats after the All Star game.

UW: Were you ever superstitious about your cap?

JR: I never had any superstitions. They always caused bad luck!!!

At the start of the season, I chose a glove, sleeves and shoes that were the most comfortable and I wore them only when I pitched or during my work in the bullpen between starts. I considered that combination to be “work” clothes.

UW: How about stirrups? Did any of the clubs you played for try to control how they were to be worn?

JR: I remember Red Schoendienst, manager of the Cardinals, reminding players to show the stripes on the stirrups. I don’t think Red cared. That order came from the front office.

The Astros had all the stirrups removed from the lockers and replaced them with stirrups with openings of about four inches. That lasted for a day as Cesar Cedeno, who was ticketed for super-stardom, bitched about it. We had our regular stirrups back the next day.

Larry Himes, as GM with the White Sox in 1988, threatened fines if the stripes didn’t show. He, too, tired of being the “stirrup police” and, in 1989, the White Sox wore solid blue stirrups.

UW: The Cardinals, at one time, required all minor league players to wear their pants high to show the stripes on their socks.

JR: I saw that during the years I was a minor league coach. How the uniforms are worn is a big deal in the minor leagues. I remember during minor league spring training with the Mets in 2004, Jeff Wilpon, called a meeting with the minor league staff just to discuss the Mets policy on how the pants should be worn. We had just finished another 12-hour day and he wanted to discuss the merits of pants worn at all lengths.

UW: How did it end?

JR: I still shake my head recalling this meeting. We couldn’t reach a consensus. Some coaches wanted high, some low. I just wanted to shower, eat dinner and go to bed. I didn’t care if we wore the damn socks over our pants — just make a decision.

Finally, Jeff spotted two posters of Mets players on the wall. Al Leiter wore his pants six inches above his shoes. Jose Reyes wore his just below his knees. So, Jeff announced proudly, “The official minor league policy of pants length for the New York Mets is from below the knees to six inches above the shoes. Gentlemen, thank you for your time.” He then walked out. I sat there in total amazement. It took forty minutes that I’ll never get back to determine that revelation!

UW: In most of the pictures of you during your playing days that are posted on your Flickr page, you wear your pants bloused with a large portion of the stripes or colors showing. Was that your choice or the teams’ directive?

JR: My older brother taught me when I was playing little league ball how to blouse my pants. Pull the elastic on the bottom of the pants to an area just above your calf and roll the excess material to the top stripe. I wore my pants that way from little league through my entire pro career with only brief exceptions

To me, the stripes on the stirrups are an important part of the look of the uniform. They gave the uniform a finished look with balance from head to toe. Because of my height (6’5”), I could show more of the white “sanitary” socks underneath the stirrups and still proudly display my “colors.”

UW: You’re preaching to the choir here. And Paul obviously feels the same way, although he prefers the 7” or even the 9” stirrup. You know, the ribbon ones, whereas I prefer the 4” with the much smaller opening front and back.

Did you have a preference for stripes or solids?

JR: No preference at all. I preferred to show more white by wearing them about 7” high. Here’s the breakdown on the stirrups by the team I played for: The Cardinals had stripes on their stirrups. The Astros had a blue star on the orange stirrups, the Pirates wore stripes from 1974-1976 and went solid in 1977-78, the Dodgers and Reds were solid, the Angels had the “A” logo on red, the White Sox wore stripes in 1988 and solid in 1989, the Brewers were solid and the Pirates of 1990 were solid black.

~~~

And on that note, we’re going to end this portion of the interview. As you can see, Jerry is clearly “one of us.” I’ll be back with Volume III next weekend. In the future we’ll be discussing more of Jerry’s uniform likes and dislikes, his own tweaks, and much more!

Big thanks, once again, to Jerry Reuss for taking time out of his busy schedule to bring us his uniform vision, expertise and sage advice.

~~~~~~~~~~

Benchies HeaderBenchies

by Rick Pearson

~~~

Spring. Good time to improve your surroundings. Right?

d-favorite

And, of course, the larger version.

~~~~~~~~~~

all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks

We have just one very special set of tweaks today.

If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.

Remember, if possible, try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per tweak. You guys have been great a keeping to that, and it’s much appreciated!

And so, lets begin:

~~~

Just one tweak-set today, but it comes from Mark Peterson, who I hope to be profiling at some point in the near future — he posts as “concealed78,” and aside from his awesome Padres tweak and logo/wordmark submissions, which he sent in for the “Design an MLB Jersey” contest, these are his first set of tweaks. He’s done a tremendous job:

Hey Phil,

Alright, I might as well give you the goods to my first batch of Tweaks. Even after the hours I put on this, it still doesn’t feel like it’s good enough, and I’ve included a few pieces of the process as well. Here’s my written explanation. Included should be:

a scanned sketch
home white
gray road
alternate
logos
early ideas
cream pinstripes home
gray pinstripes road
cream placket home
gray placket road

“Basically pulling a Uni Watch version of “the Doors on the Ed Sullivan Show”, some Rockies concepts featuring purple as the predominate color, and wanted to avoid using any metallic silver or black, going for one color & white clean look. I’ve never really liked the Rockies look other than the mountain part of the logo. The font seems kinda generic and boring, and they haven’t really changed much since they came out in 1993. I’m also making these purple because why do we need another team in black when so many other teams sport it? They should had been primary purple in the first place. After sketching out some ideas which were mostly to get them down to see & get past them to avoid any obvious looks or mannerisms. The Rockies wordmark is some bizarre custom hybrid of block & cursive letters that may have looked cleaner but didn’t invoke the detail I was striving for, and some other cap logo ideas. The primary mountain logo has some really awkward lettering but decided to just go with something that looked like points.

Finally, I decided on the Rockies should wear ice cream man caps at home with sleeve piping. The roads are gray with sleeve & pants piping & a logo on the left sleeve & a solid purple cap. The obligatory alternate jersey is solid purple with white wordmark & numbers, with either cap.

And if that wasn’t enough, I also wanted to create something really retro looking, I created some plain rounded block home & road scripts vertically arched, cream home / gray roads, added some placket, sleeve & pant piping, pinstripes for the cap & full uniform. And a non-pinstriped version featuring cap stripes on the homes and the roads with a solid purple cap. No alternate jersey and all numbers & wordmarks with no trim.

At this point I would still change and mix a few things, and prefer the cream pinstripe homes but the road version with no pinstripes.”

— Mark Peterson

Thanks Mark. That will be the only tweaks for today, but back tomorrow with a full slate.

~~~~~~~~~~

And that’s IT for today. Make sure you guys thank Mr. Reuss for all his time and efforts. He’s really, really been just a gem to work with, even serving as my copy editor for a good portion of today’s segment.

Have a great Saturday, and I’ll catch you folks tomorrow!

~~~

It would have little impact if, say, Phil went to a Mets game with a sign reading,
PLAY HARD, MEN; PHIL IS HERE. — “No, shit? Phil? Damn, we’d better hustle, Phil expects a lot from us.”
— Rick Pearson

 

54 comments to Rolls Reuss, Volume II

  • Juke Early | March 26, 2011 at 8:20 am |

    If only more current players had Jerry Reuss’s eclectic passion for the game of baseball. It would be unfair to suggest all athletes be articulate – I know it’s not their primary gift. Still it’s always good to hear from one; it yields a deeper understanding of it all.

    BTW I’m curious as to the fabric content of that Pirates uni from the fantasy camp(2010). Does Jerry think any other MLB teams are using it now? or just for specials such as that?

    • Jerry Reuss | March 26, 2011 at 10:14 am |

      I don’t know if other MLB clubs are using the same fabric as the Pirates did in 2010. If they aren’t, I’d like to know what they’re using. I don’t know how anyone can make a baseball uniform more comfortable. The uni’s worn at the Fantasy Camp are the same as the Major League players wear.

    • RS Rogers | March 26, 2011 at 10:23 am |

      Is that the “Cool Base” fabric? It is great stuff. Wicks sweat as well as any high-performance outdoor gear from REI, but drapes and moves like a well-made silk or rayon camp shirt.

      Thanks to Phil and Jerry for another fantastic installment. Can’t wait for part III!

    • Jeff P | March 26, 2011 at 3:49 pm |

      I’m betting that it’s the cool base stuff. Interesting to hear such an endorsement from a former major leaguer.

      It also somewhat repudiates the people on here known to whine about all the stuff equipment makers are doing to make the jerseys better for players just because it makes the jerseys less pretty.

  • jdreyfuss | March 26, 2011 at 8:54 am |

    Those Rockies submissions are great. It’s interesting that Mr. Peterson would go with a very neotraditional look in general for the uniforms, but a definite 70s feel on the logos. That mountain logo is out of this world, by the way.

    • Gusto44 | March 26, 2011 at 11:05 am |

      Agreed, the Rockies should have embraced purple from day one of that franchise. Those ideas are terrific, and help set the Rockies apart from other teams. Too often, Colorado looks like the White Sox.

    • pushbutton | March 26, 2011 at 11:20 am |

      I love the fancy lettering on the first home and away set. Really sets them apart.

  • Jet | March 26, 2011 at 9:43 am |

    What makes Jerry’s contributions even more wonderful is that he’s played for so many teams — all the more unis to discuss and obsess over!!

    -Jet

    • Patrick_in_MI | March 26, 2011 at 11:49 am |

      I second this! It’d be boring if Jerry had only played for one team his entire career, luckily for us Uniwatchers he had quite the resume. In fact, I never realized how many teams he played for. Good stuff, can’t wait for part III.

  • Jet | March 26, 2011 at 9:45 am |

    I’d like to hear more of Jerry’s thoughts on his ’87 Angels uni:
    http://www.flickr.co...

    Does he think it looks unbalanced with all that red in the stirrups and cleats, while there’s a lot of navy up top with the sweatshirt sleeves and cap? Does he think the stirrups or cleats should have been navy?

    -Jet

    • LI Phil | March 26, 2011 at 10:00 am |

      we actually touch on that uni in another portion of our interview (stay tuned) — but perhaps he’ll follow up in the comments (or with me later)

    • RS Rogers | March 26, 2011 at 10:28 am |

      To my eye, that’s the very definition of “balance.” The red and the blue are balancing each other. If a team wants to make red and blue coequal colors, that’s a great way to do it. I kind of wish the Nats would have gone more in that direction (though maybe with the colors exactly reversed).

      On the other hand, for me, that look is all kinds of wrong for the Angels, even if it is one of their classic unis. A great look for a team, but not necessarily for that team.

    • Jerry Reuss | March 26, 2011 at 10:35 am |

      The Angels wore this home uniform in the era of pullover uniform tops and pants with waistbands. So the rules on the balance of uniform colors was askew. Looking at the image again with your suggestions in mind, I have to agree with you. Navy blue stirrups and black shoes would correct this fashion faux pas. This is why, on the 8th day, the Good Lord created photoshop…to correct such blunders!

      • Jeff P | March 26, 2011 at 3:53 pm |

        Perhaps just black cleats or navy stirrups. The way I’m imagining that look, both would make it a little too heavy on the navy/dark elements.

  • traxel | March 26, 2011 at 9:46 am |

    Been way too busy and haven’t been as involved here at home base lately. Still on the periphery though. Jerry, Phil, I dig this stuff. Mucho enjoyable.

    I think I like that shot, Jerry, of your little league team, the Beavers (Colts, Jets, Cubs…) the best. Every uniform different. Brings me back as we had the same thing going but about 10 years later. In our case, grocery stores changed names, but only some uniforms did. Must be a Missouri thing.

    Hey Rockies tweaker, this http://farm6.static.... should be on a T-shirt sold at the stadium.
    And I like the old western type font. Fits much better.

    Ricko – great Phil hustle comment.

  • Kub | March 26, 2011 at 10:10 am |

    White Hats? That just furthers the idea that white hats are cool.
    Automatic F

  • Joel Manuel | March 26, 2011 at 11:02 am |

    I really like the plain purple & white (and cream) look of those last 4 Rockies tweaks.

  • Paul Lukas | March 26, 2011 at 11:04 am |

    Great stuff from Phil and Jerry — thanks for making these past few weekends so enjoyable!

    • Broadway Connie | March 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm |

      Yes a million times. Way to go, Phil, and thank you, Jerry. Herr Reuss ist zehr neuss.

  • mmwatkin | March 26, 2011 at 11:31 am |

    I don’t know if the Tigers are DCAT. There are minor tweaks that can be made

    • Patrick_in_MI | March 26, 2011 at 11:45 am |

      Such as?

      • mmwatkin | March 26, 2011 at 1:09 pm |

        – Switch from pro-style button style to traditional button style on the home uni
        – Removal of white outline trim on the road unis
        – Change the squatchee from orange to midnight navy on the road cap
        – Change the MLB logo from white to orange on the road cap
        – Get rid of colored squatchee decals on home & road helmets. Match the caps
        – Change the rear numbers on the road helmet from white outlined in orange to just the outline orange (match the white numbers on the home helmet

        Just small things that bug the hell out of me.

        • RS Rogers | March 26, 2011 at 6:41 pm |

          Great points, and they make a general argument: There is no such thing as DCAT. Every uni could be improved when you get into the fine details and the margins. Even the Yankees.

          Except maybe the burgundy-era Phillies.

  • concealed78 | March 26, 2011 at 11:39 am |

    Another great installment from Mr. Jerry Reuss! I’m curious on what he would do with the White Sox. The homes are pretty classic, the roads on the other hand…

    And thanks for all the kind words on my Rockies tweaks.

  • MEMAL | March 26, 2011 at 11:40 am |

    Fantastic post today. Great article, thanks Jerry for the wonderful insight. Thank you concealed78 for the awesome Rockies design. I hardly ever find myself nodding my head with every tweak I see, but I was doing it with each page I opened of yours. Lastly, thank you Rick for another fantastic Benchies. Whenever I read them and laugh out loud I realize that I missed seeing them every week.

  • Best Tennis Rackets | March 26, 2011 at 11:48 am |

    Great Post! I personally really enjoy your article. This is a great website. I will make sure that I stop back again!.

  • Patrick_in_MI | March 26, 2011 at 11:50 am |

    This Rockies mountain logo is awesome, except maybe open the k. And it took me a while to notice the two bats and ball formed an R. Good job!

    http://farm6.static....

  • KT | March 26, 2011 at 12:12 pm |

    The winner of the contest to determine the motto that will be stitched on the back collars of the US national team’s jerseys beginning with tonight’s friendly against Argentina is INDIVISIBLE.

    I like it.

    http://www.youtube.c...

    • Jim Vilk | March 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm |

      Me too.

  • KT | March 26, 2011 at 12:12 pm |

    Sorry, not collar. MLS teams put those things on the back collars. It’s going on the sleeve.

  • StLMarty | March 26, 2011 at 12:16 pm |

    Really great stuff today.
    I forwarded it to my dad and all of my older brothers. I can’t tell you how great it is to have a guy like Jerry Reuss represent St. Louis.

  • Silver Creek Doug | March 26, 2011 at 12:53 pm |

    Wales rocking the striped socks against England in Euro 2012 qualifying today.

    No screen shot though.

  • johnj | March 26, 2011 at 12:54 pm |

    Hey guys, happy weekend!

    Just came across this elsewhere, not sure if its been on UW but I figured I’d post a link…

    Tommy Hilfiger did some uni-tweaks for ESPN a little while back, here’s the Cowboys, Canadiens, Lakers and Yankees:

    http://www.mysananto...

    Thoughts?

    • jdreyfuss | March 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm |

      Cowboys: Awful.
      Lakers: I like it, but that’s not a Lakers uni. Maybe for a team that started in the ABA or was founded in the 1970s as a fauxback?
      Yankees: No. Just no.
      Canadiens: Again, I like it, but that’s a soccer kit, not a hockey uniform.

  • Matthew Hackethal | March 26, 2011 at 3:29 pm |

    Anyone know if that is a 9/11 memorial on Henrik Lundqvist’s back plate? I think it’s an image of the Twin Towers with the words “Always Remember.” Just curious. Thanks.

  • Cainan | March 26, 2011 at 4:08 pm |

    It would seem that the current camoflauge trend has infected Rugby Superleague in the UK… Have a gander at this nightmare.

    http://shop.warringt...

    Granted, it’s all for a good cause, but still… Eeeeek!!

  • Jim Vilk | March 26, 2011 at 4:28 pm |

    “JR: Here’s the remainder of my list: The Red Sox, Orioles, Rays, Braves, Cubs, Royals, Twins, Mariners, A’s, Giants (love that cream color!) and the Padres.”

    A good list, to be sure, but there is one I’d consider tweaking – the Orioles.

    I’d like to see a combination of today’s unis
    http://exhibits.base...
    and the ’83 unis.
    http://exhibits.base...

    Basically, I’d wear the cartoon bird hat at home and the ornithologically correct bird hat on the road. I like how the current road jersey says “Baltimore,” but I would do it in the ’83 style, without the underline.

    Great stuff today, Jerry and Phil!

    • Dwayne | March 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm |

      I love the O’s uniforms except for the ornithologically correct bird. That just ruins it for me and it just looks tacky.

  • spurs214450 | March 26, 2011 at 4:42 pm |

    Didn’t know that the 1990 Pirates BP tops were the same color as the regular uniforms. I disliked those types of BP unis(white and gray) that teams like the Tigers, Giants, and Mariners(gray only) also had. Some fans couldn’t tell if they were the regular game jerseys or the batting practice ones.

    • BurghFan | March 26, 2011 at 6:33 pm |

      If it was batting practice, they were probably the BP jerseys. It it was during the game, they were the real uniforms.

  • Jim Vilk | March 26, 2011 at 4:44 pm |

    Yes, Mark Peterson!
    http://exhibits.base...
    That R logo is as inspiring as the old Brewers ball in glove logo. And although I normally don’t like jagged lettering, it works when you’re dealing with the peaks of the Rocky Mountains. Awesome.

  • Jim Vilk | March 26, 2011 at 4:55 pm |

    DCAT – are we pronouncing that “DeeCat”?

  • Jim Vilk | March 26, 2011 at 5:09 pm |

    “JR: I never had any superstitions. They always caused bad luck!!!”

    Great line. And true. Guys who worry so much about not stepping on the lines or having everything just so aren’t 100% focused on the game, which can lead to creating their own bad luck.

  • Tim E. O'B | March 26, 2011 at 5:58 pm |

    Great stuff today all around.

    Wondering if anyone else saw this on espn about the Sac Kings – http://sports.espn.g...

    That – of course – led me to post this.

    • Jim Vilk | March 26, 2011 at 11:05 pm |

      Nice!
      I’m in the “must have a ball in the logo” camp (well, not *must*), so I like it.

  • Coleman | March 26, 2011 at 7:17 pm |

    The new red USA jersey looks a whole not nicer with the white number below the crest. I think I might really like this kit!

    USA! USA!

    • Coleman | March 26, 2011 at 7:45 pm |

      Here is a quick photoshop job I put together to give an idea of what it looks like…

      http://i1205.photobu...

  • Ricko | March 26, 2011 at 8:43 pm |

    Probably been mentioned here before, but a teenager at tonight’s Twins-Red Sox game in Ft. Myers is wearing a white teeshirt with red and navy letters in the Red Sox font reading…
    DEFROST
    TED

    —Ricko

  • Ricko | March 26, 2011 at 10:03 pm |

    Want a Stargell star?
    http://cgi.ebay.com/...

    • Jim Vilk | March 26, 2011 at 11:07 pm |

      Only if I could wear it on a non-pillbox hat…

  • fwuk | March 26, 2011 at 11:42 pm |

    This is the best site I’ve seen.

  • Matt Malinoski | March 27, 2011 at 7:06 am |

    Looking forward to Part III of Mr. Reuss’s interview!