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Bored already?

dodgers falling pants

By Phil Hecken

There were two “throwback” (Turn Back The Clock) games played this week in MLB — last Saturday, the San Diego Padres and the Washington Nationals hooked up in a TBTC game wearing pretty decent approximations of what those teams wore in 1936. It wasn’t perfect, as several readers pointed out, but I really enjoyed it. Majestic, for all its faults, did a good job with the unis, and the players went the extra yard, wearing the uniform with good tailoring and period appropriate stirrups. OK, some of the guys had fun by wearing completely inappropriate colored sanis, but for one game, it was a great look (at least to me).

This past Wednesday, on the other hand, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds played a game wearing approximations of the 1944 season. Unlike their previous two TBTC games, when the Dodgers played the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs, and both teams sported nice tailoring and period appropriate hosiery, this past week neither the Reds nor the Dodgers seemed to care about their on-field appearance, with only one or two players even bothering to wear visible hosiery, and the uniforms appeared to be “tailored” to the players current specs. As a result, in my opinion, the game looked like shit.

For the most part, we Uni Watchers loved the Cubs & Braves games, including the attention to detail, both by the players and the manufacturer. I’d love to give Majestic some credit, but if you will recall reading Paul’s interview with Bob Halfacre, Majestic didn’t manufacture those throwbacks. It was Halfacre’s company, Bobcat Athletic. The uniforms made for the June 15th game between the Dodgers and Reds were made by Majestic. The difference was like night and day. WTF?

Did the players on both teams, particularly the Dodgers, since they’d already played two throwback games wearing the 1944 ersatins, forget how to dress? Or did Majestic simply take the players current uni specs and produce uniforms for both teams based upon those. Were they so loose and baggy (and with pants so long they couldn’t be properly bloused) to reveal stirrups? Or did the players just forget they were supposed to? Did they just get bored with the whole thing? I’m kind of thinking it’s a combination. But I can’t help but place more of the blame on Majestic, who we already know has a hard enough time turning around special uniforms (if you read that Halfacre piece, you’ll recall that Majestic couldn’t do the first two throwbacks because there simply wasn’t “enough time” from the fan voting until the time they unis had to be ready). Surely they could have manufactured those uniforms in a different cut.

On the other side of the coin is last weekend’s game between the Nationals and Padres, where all the uniforms looked great. Clearly, Majestic can outfit the teams in throwbacks that look good, if the players are willing to play along. So did the Dodgers and Reds just not want to play along, or were the uniforms simply so pajama-esque they couldn’t even if they wanted to do so? That leads us to Exhibit A. That’s Todd Coffey, who clearly couldn’t be bothered blousing his pants, and looked like an idiot. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t care however. The point is, because Majestic properly tailored the pants, it was either blouse them or go with the Raffa look.

~~~

Now, I’ve come to accept that the pajama look is part of the game. I don’t agree with it, but it is pretty much like pissing upstream in the battle to ensure proper hosiery. Unless, of course, attitudes (and tailoring) change. There are a lot of theories on how the pajama look came into vogue over time. One I’d never heard until yesterday, however, was that steroids are to blame. Wait…what? Go back and read that article now. It raises an interesting theorem. It also provides a great assessment:

The baseball body appears to have left the steroid era. Its uniforms have not. On most nights, you can catch entire teams blowing in the wind. Baseball has often preferred its uniform loose, freeing hitters to run, pitchers to throw, catchers to squat without restriction. But there was style in that looseness. There was what we can now call classicism.

The author makes some great points, but I’m wondering if there isn’t some truth to it. Yes, styles on the baseball field evolve and clearly the hip-hop world, as the author points out, has had some influence. But was the rise in the pajamists actually due to the steroid use of the past several decades? And, if players are no longer taking performance enhancing drugs (they aren’t right?), will the uniforms remain as large (really, many players are wearing uniforms that are at least two sizes too big) as they are? Or will there be the inevitable push-back to more tailored, better fitting uniforms. Discuss.

~~~

Like most if not all of you readers, I love uniforms — their history, their structure, their evolution, their various machinations — and I hope teams never stop trying. Either trying to recreate the past or to improve upon the present. That’s why I think throwback games are (or have the potential to be) so great. They can serve not only to give us a glimpse into our past, but hopefully, provide an historical lesson to both players and fans alike. The “Everybody wear 42” (JRR tributes), even though they seem to be more of a “oh yeah, we’re doing that again” exercise, still are wonderful because if nothing else, at least some of the players feel an obligation to, even if for one day only, dress the way that Jackie Robinson might have, if were still playing today.

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colorize thisColorize This!

Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.

Lets get right into this week’s submissions:

~~~

First out of the blocks is George Chilvers, who recently welcomed his first grandchild into this world (again Congrats! George):

could try to say this is my new grandson’s first attempt ;)

It’s going to be one of the first things I teach him though lol.

This is “my” team, Wigan Athletic, back in 1934/1935.

Cheers

George

~~~

Next up is a newcomer to the colorization game, Jocelyn Becker, who has a few wonderful Dodgers colorizations:

Hey Phil,

I decided to take a stab at a couple of them there colorizations I’ve been hearing so much about. I’m a Dodger fan and an Angelino, so that’s where most of my pieces come from. To start out with we’ve got Duke Snyder shutting out the Giants. [Duke Snider? Must be an inside joke, because he named the photo “Don Drysdale” — PH] I guessed on the color of the walls, and then later was told they were probably grey. So, historically inaccurate, but Drysdale sure looks good : )

Next up, we’ve got Sandy Koufax, celebrating a World Series victory.

Last but not least, an infamous event in the history of the Giant/Dodger rivalry.


Cheers,
Jocelyn Becker

~~~

Another first timer, Cadu Schmidt, checks in with this great Packers/Eagles colorization:

Hey Phil,

I was very interested in the tutorial about colorizing so I gave it a try.

I live in Brazil but I’m a huge fan of the Philadelphia Eagles, so I found a nice picture of a game between the Eagles and the Packers. There was no information about the game so I had to search the possibles dates for the game. In the end, I concluded that the picture was taken in Franklin Field on November 11, 1962. The game finished 49-0 for the visiting team.

The players in the picture are: the HOFer Chuck Bednarik (#60), Don Borroughs (#45), Jimmy Car (#21), Ben Scotti (#48) and the wide receiver Max McGee (#85), who later became the commentator for radio broadcast of Packers games.

It was really funny to colorize this picture so I will continue to colorize more pictures and submit them to Uni Watch.

Keep up the good work!

Cadu Schmidt

~~~

Of course, George wasn’t satisfied with just one submission, so he sent in another:

Hi Phil

Another Wigan Athletic group – this time 1972/1973.

A couple of points. The comment last week about black & white pictures being untouchable is proven wrong by this picture. This one was taken when colour photography was in full use for home pictures, but the Press still used black and white – newspapers weren’t in colour then. There wasn’t the option then of changing from colour to black & white – so the pictures were shot on black & white film. However, had papers been able to use colour photos then there is no doubt whatsoever that this would have been shot in colour. Artistic approaches etc don’t come into it. This is how the Editor would have wanted the picture if he could have had it printed in his paper.

The second point is the observation that there are 39 years from when this picture was taken to now, compared to 38 years between this picture and the previous 1930s picture. Yet the gap to the older picture I’m sure would have seemed so much longer back in 1972.

Best wishes

George

~~~

Thanks again to all the colorizers. Glad to see some more of you are taking an interest in this — that’s great — keep at it and keep sending them in. As always, if you have a submission or a question send them to me and I’ll feature them in an upcoming segment of “Colorize This!”

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all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks

We have another new 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 at keeping to that, and it’s much appreciated!

And so, lets begin:

~~~

We start with Matthew Duke, who has a couple Rangers & Rockies ideas:

Some MLB tweaks for you guys…

Rockies – New logo, new uniform set. I stuck with the purple to accompany the mountains majesty, however I ditched the black for a charcoal gray color. The “Rocky C” logo resembles the Colorado state flag “C” with giving it a Rocky baseball twist.

Rangers – Similar, but new logo. I got rid of the drop shadow and gave it a 3D effect. Assuming the Rangers will still go primarily red next year, I made one uniform set based on that knowledge. The other, a blue set, I think looks better.

Thanks!
Matthew Duke

~~~

Up in the two-hole is Brett Frieze, with a Red Wings concept:

Hey Phil,

I have made an alternate jersey for the Red Wings since I am tired of their usual jerseys. I made the logo myself which was inspiration from the the Detroit Cougars crest. Thanks for looking at my work

-Brett Frieze

~~~

And in the final spot today we have Dennis Healy, with concepts for five MLB teams:

White Sox
Astros
Brewers
Marlins
Mets

Love the tweaks you show on the site!
Dennis Healy

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That’s it for today. Back with more next time.

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Benchies HeaderBenchies

by Rick Pearson

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With Big Klu it was the sleeves…

6-18-11 d-spanx

And here’s the full color, full-size version.

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OK, boys and girls, that is it for me today. In fact, that’s it for me for the weekend, as Paul will be giving me the day off tomorrow to spend with my pop, who’s still battling his leukemia and is currently in a (fortunately) nearby facility where he’s rehabbing so that he can begin his next round of chemo. So, I appreciate Paul giving me the day off. I’m also knee-deep in summer grad school class (taking three this summer), so I can use a bit of the *free* (hah) time to study.

If anyone happened to miss Paul’s announcement yesterday — he’ll be taking his annual summer sabbatical a bit early this year — from July 11 through August 7 — a well deserved break, to be sure. He’s leaving me in charge of the store then. Since I’ll still be deep into schoolwork (and hopefully NOT too deep into my full-time job, but it’s been brutal so far this summer), I’ll be welcoming any and all who have ideas for main articles for the site. If you have an idea for a story or suggestion for something you’d like covered, please drop me a line and lets see if we can’t line up some content for when Paul’s away. OK? OK!

Everyone have a great Saturday, a wonderful Sunday, and a great overall week. Catch y’all next weekend.

~~~

That may sound cynical, but I’ve seen the future of sports uniforms and it’s a chilling sight. — Jim Vilk

 

39 comments to Bored already?

  • Simply Moono | June 18, 2011 at 7:33 am |

    Mr. Halfacre did a phenomenal job with the first two Dodger throwback games — particularly the chain-stitched tomahawks for my Braves — and as a result, Bud “Apathy Out The Posterior” Selig should do the smart thing and reward the throwback uniform contract to Bobcat Athletic.

  • Michael Emody | June 18, 2011 at 8:19 am |

    So did Majestic re-make the Dodgers powder blue faux-satin uniforms for Wednesday’s game, and presumably the remaining throwback games? Did the tailoring look like shit because Bobcat Athletic’s cup of coffee was over, and their set had to be discarded for Majestic’s? It seems to be what I’m reading, though it makes no sense at all.

    At least Majestic placed the numbers on the back of the Padres, Nats (Senators), Reds, and I guess the Dodgers, in the right spot. And they didn’t use the default number font that so many teams use today. Seeing the Nats and Padres each with different fonts on their backs WORKED. Same with the Reds.

    I just can’t believe they replaced the entire set of Dodgers uni’s with ones with Majestic logos. Say it ain’t so…

  • Steve | June 18, 2011 at 9:27 am |

    My only thought as to why the players sometimes don’t comply with the non-pajama look during throwback games is comfort. If they are used to wearing their uniforms a certain way, and have been wearing it that way for their entire career (minor league, pro, etc), the tightness/more tailored fit might be something they aren’t comfortable playing in. Since baseball players seem to be creatures of habit and seem to be very superstitious, it might get into their heads and throw them off of their game if they wear their uni different.

    Also, in regards to the Dodgers…it could be that the players, after two or three throwbacks already, are tired of wearing tailor unis and high socks.

    And also also…I know you can’t compare a 9 to 5 job with a pro baseball job, but I know I definitely wouldn’t enjoy being told I had to wear something out of the norm a few times a year by my employers.

    • Graham Jaunts | June 18, 2011 at 11:06 am |

      Yup, I think at least a LITTLE consideration has to go to how the players actually feel wearing the uniform. Personally, I hated wearing my socks high not because I thought it looked stupid but because I didn’t find it nearly as comfortable as wearing the pajama look. I don’t doubt that the pajama look was, at least initially, a style movement rather than a comfort one, but now that players have been wearing their uniforms that way their whole life it’s tough to tell them to throw that out the window for a game.

      Put simply, if my team’s players feel even .01% “off” because they have to wear their socks in a certain way, I don’t want them doing it. While whole teams have gone high-cuffed in games before, I can’t really get upset if they don’t want to do it again.

  • R.S. Rogers | June 18, 2011 at 9:37 am |

    The thing is, the Dodgers game didn’t look any more like shit than it would have if the teams had worn regular uniforms. So that’s just not something I would hold against the throwback exercise. As an exercise in historical reenactment, the day fell short, sure. But is that the point of throwback unis? No. As uniforms, the ersatins still look terrific. Not as great as they would look if players wore their uniforms properly, but they don’t, and they don’t wear the ersatins any less properly than they wear their regular unis.

    Besides, since the Dodgers are wearing these unis on such a regular schedule, I don’t think they qualify as turn-back-the-clock unis anyway. They’re alt uniforms, no different than the Twins’ cream pins. The Dodgers just happen to be providing their opponents with alt unis of their own for these games.

    (Not arguing that Phil is wrong, just explaining the different perspective I have on the matter.)

    • JTH | June 18, 2011 at 10:07 am |

      Yeah, I agree with this. As a historical snapshot, it was a mixed bag at best, but as a game with two teams wearing alternate uniforms, it looked pretty good to me.

      I liked the Reds’ throwbacks better than their current road uniforms, but I prefer the Dodgers’ home whites to the powder blues. And something about gray vs. powder blue just doesn’t sit well with me. That’s why I was hoping that one of the other two throwback choices would have won that contest. But still, as a change of pace, it’s not a bad look for the Dodgers.

  • Connie | June 18, 2011 at 9:42 am |

    Phil, we don’t know the effects of your critical review of the goods and bads of throwbacks – yet – but I ‘m sure glad you’re doing it. Thanks.

    George, congrats on the wee grand-chisler! Your 1930s Wigan shot may be my all-time GC fave. Splendid. But tell me, why or how did you decide that the fellow in the second row (a keeper, I presume) should wear green?

    • George Chilvers | June 18, 2011 at 9:56 am |

      Hi Connie

      Many thanks.

      “In 1909, in a bid to assist referees in identifying the goalkeeper amongst a ruck of players, the Laws of the Game were amended to state that the goalkeeper must wear a shirt of a different colour to his team-mates. Initially it was specified that goalkeepers’ shirts must be either scarlet or royal blue, but when green was added as a third option in 1912 it caught on the extent that soon almost every goalkeeper was playing in green.” (Wikipedia)

      When I started watching football in the 1960s all keepers wore green except on very rare occasions (or if they were playing Plymouth Argyle). As said above, the only permitted colours were scarlet, royal blue, white or green. As hardly any teams wore green it was a useful safe bet to avoid clashing with either team.

      Yellow was not permitted in English League games, but was worn by international keepers for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

      It all changed in about the late 70s early 80s when a variety of colours started to be worn.

      • Michael Emody | June 18, 2011 at 8:19 pm |

        Thank you for the interesting bit of info concerning goalie jerseys. The big problem I have with almost all keeper kits is they rarely resemble those of the rest of the team. Except for the damn ad, the rest of the kit looks as if the team is forcing the goalies to buy their own uniforms. And on the cheap.

        The different colors are nice to see. Providing continuity in the jerseys will stop the visual impression that the goalies are just some guys who slipped into the stadium thru the maintenance gate and assumed a position no one else wants to play!

  • Joey Guns | June 18, 2011 at 10:02 am |

    http://www.bartowpel...

    check out the June 18th happenings…..

    Saturday, June 18, 1 p.m.
    Take Me Out to the Ball Game 1864! Celebrate Dad all weekend long with a Saturday afternoon “base ball match.” The New York Mutuals play with 1864 rules, balls, bats, and uniforms—but no helmets or gloves! After the game, kids get to join in the fun with a game of rounders with team members. Plus free house tours and a raffle for the game ball! Registration requested. Cost $10 adults, $8 seniors, $5 children 6 – 17; members $8 adults, $6 seniors, $3 children 6 – 17

  • Connie | June 18, 2011 at 10:02 am |

    Couldn’t ask for a better anser. Thanks, Geirge.

  • Connie | June 18, 2011 at 10:03 am |

    Answer. George

    • JTH | June 18, 2011 at 10:08 am |

      Tourney time again?

      • Connie | June 18, 2011 at 2:44 pm |

        Nope. Just the normal palsy when confronting the iPhone.

        GEORGE! Still there? Another, maybe better question. In the Wigan 34-35 photo, I notice that there are eleven guys in uniforms and twelve guys in jackets and ties. Only starters got to pose next to the big cup? And why did the nephew of the Vice-Chairman of the Grounds Committee get a place before one of the reserve players? Was this the convention of the time? No culture (of which I’m aware) makes class and rank distinctions more readily than the English, so I’m ready for the answer…

        • JTH | June 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm |

          You need to turn on autocorrect so that shit never happens.

          Instead, this shit will happen.

        • George Chilvers | June 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm |

          Hi

          Still here – but just had family round to celebrate Ben’s arrival, Father’s Day (tomorrow) and my retirement from work!!

          The others in the photo were the Board of Directors and club officials, who wanted a piece of the action. The trophy is the Cheshire League championship trophy and for completeness here’s who’s who:-

          Back Row: Arthur Roberts, Richard Farrimond, E. Robinson, John Worswick, Harold Plimmer Kidd, Rev. Fr. Thomas Greenhous, Peter Dwyer.
          Middle Row: F. Senior (Trainer), Teddy Felton, Jack Roberts, R. Talbot, E. Case (President of the Cheshire League), Lewis Caunce, Norman Robson, George Scott, Charlie Spencer (Manager).
          Front Row: J. Rutter, Joseph Howarth (Chairman), Andrew Patterson, Norman Watson (Captain),Sid Tuffnell, Tom Heywood. Sam Armes

        • George Chilvers | June 18, 2011 at 5:28 pm |

          Sorry – forgot to answer your question. And perhaps it’s the easiest answer:

          I saw nothing wrong in this :) Yes – the starting eleven and the club officials. Other players don’t feature. O tempora, o mores!

  • Jordan Sogn | June 18, 2011 at 10:06 am |

    Hey Phil, enjoy your time with your dad this weekend.

    • LI Phil | June 18, 2011 at 4:48 pm |

      thanks…i most assuredly will

  • Graham Jaunts | June 18, 2011 at 11:08 am |

    Love that Rockies logo tweak, by the way. I could see that looking great on a hat.

  • DenverGregg | June 18, 2011 at 11:30 am |

    The Brewers’ concept is outstanding. One of the best I’ve ever seen on UW.

  • Jeremy Kelly | June 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm |

    Turquoise on the Sox tweak is a little too much for me.

  • Caleb Nason | June 18, 2011 at 1:15 pm |

    The Rangers concept wasn’t great, but the one for the Rockies was really nice.

  • Valjean | June 18, 2011 at 1:54 pm |

    One I’d never heard until yesterday, however, was that steroids are to blame. Wait…what? Go back and read that article now. It raises an interesting theorem.

    So … big, juiced players wore big unis and now all the “clean” (smaller?) players a decade later are wearing … big unis so therefore they look … big?

    Good grief. Players wear baggy digs because it’s the fashion. Started with rappers, spread (rather quickly) to the NBA, then migrated to baseball. It’s hanging (pun intended) around because it’s still the fashion.

    I’m constantly amazed at the tortured explanations for this phenomena, like some kind of quasi-racist stigma is attached to noting an obvious cultural influence. I’ve never heard it adequately explained why immoral motives would apply to an accurate observation.

    • Connie | June 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm |

      Good point, Les Miz.

  • Ilana | June 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm |

    Not a comment on today’s wonderful post, but rather an alert to golf fashions:

    http://www.nytimes.c...

  • Alan | June 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm |

    Why can’t MLB have a quasi uniform standard? The guys have to wear stirrups or at least have socks showing? It just looks better..like a tie with a suit. The Pirates if they ever wore the uniform the way they did 30 years ago would be the best looking team in the game. Just look at photos taken prior to 1990.. the players look more athletic and just styled a lot nicer. I can understand pitchers wearing the unis a little baggier for comfort but the jammy look is god awful. At least at one point the guys wore the pants tailored without the socks..not anymore. I take pictures at every game I attend and it is sometimes impossible to tell the difference between the guys.

    • Jet | June 19, 2011 at 6:23 am |

      What a concept. Makes too much sense, though.

      -Jet

  • Negretsby | June 18, 2011 at 3:32 pm |

    Wonder how the players felt, when in the early 90’s the TBTC unis were provided by mitchell&ness. The unis were made of real baseball flannel(!!)

  • jBailey | June 18, 2011 at 3:44 pm |

    I will add another explaination for the looser style pants…When I played in high school and I know this will not go over well I HATED wearing knee high scocks. So I would just wear some crew socks in team color. Plus it was a comfort thing. Same reason basketball shorts are not at the same barely covering your undies lenghts they used to be. If you feel comfortbale chances you will play a little more at ease even if simply perceived.

    All that said mine were not at Manny’s level instead closer to that of ARod’s early years with the Yankees. http://cache4.asset-...

  • Jocelyn Becker | June 18, 2011 at 4:28 pm |

    Hey Phil,

    First off, Jocelyn Becker is a she not a he! Also, yes that’s Don Drysdale not Duke Snyder, I was looking at one thing while sending another. : )

    • LI Phil | June 18, 2011 at 4:47 pm |

      heh…sorry — and i consciously made an effort in the intro to avoid using “he” or “she” (i had a feeling you weren’t a “he”) — and then in my parenthetical, i reflexively referred to you as “he”…my bad

      keep them coming! great job and again, my apologies

      PH

      • Connie | June 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm |

        Good stuff, Jocelyn. Loved Don Drysdale especially. I figured Phil knew what he was talking about (note to self: trust no one) and that you were one of those skeevy English guys with gender-neutral names like Sidney, Evelyn, or Joyce. Or Connie.

  • Patrick_in_MI | June 18, 2011 at 8:40 pm |

    Ubaldo Jimenez wearing stirrups tonight on the mound for Colorado. A thing of beauty! I’m usually not a fan of the ‘rups but Jimenez has it right with the blousing.

    • Simply Moono | June 18, 2011 at 9:21 pm |

      Not to rain on the hosiery parade, but Ubaldo always wears stirrups. Even though I have a grudge against him for pitching a no-hitter against the Braves last year, he does know how to look like a baseball player in a sea of white and gray bags.

  • wollen1 | June 18, 2011 at 9:13 pm |

    Good article about the uniform preferences in throwback games. I’m sure someone has already brought this up, but the Philadelpia-Atlanta series approximately a month ago featured the most stark comparison in my opinion.

    During Saturday’s Negro League tribute game, it seemed that every single player and coach wore their unis in the traditional style and the game looked great. The next day, the teams played the ‘Civil Rights Game’ and dressed as 70’s Phillies/Braves. In this game, the players were almost uniformly pajamaed. I was very disappointed by the half-assed attempt. I don’t know who manufactured the unis of these games, but the uniform styles were unquestionably different.

    Maybe we should all send letters to Selig telling him that pajama unis remind us so much of the steroid era. That may cause a policing of the uni standards.

  • Simply Moono | June 18, 2011 at 9:18 pm |

    Texas Men’s Baseball is wearing what I believe to be Nike HyperCool jersey tops with special panels on the sleeves and the back to pull heat and sweat away from the player. Technology-wise, I like this. Design-wise… not so good. It looks like a cross between a gray workout shirt and the Nike HyperElite “Sweatback” design for basketball.

  • Jet | June 19, 2011 at 6:24 am |

    Brett Frieze – I always thought it would be sacrilege to mess with the Redwings unis, but you’ve done a masterful job!

    -Jet

  • Matt Thomas | June 19, 2011 at 12:15 pm |

    Does anyone know the uniform sets for this Wednesday’s game at Dodger Stadium? I know the Dodgers will wear some type of Brooklyn set but I’m not sure which year and I din’t know if the Tigers will follow suit.

    Thanks.