As I mentioned yesterday, I’m running an ESPN design contest to create new uniforms for the Hornets. But today I want to talk about the Charlotte Hornets’ original uniforms, which were designed by menswear maven Alexander Julian. The unveiling, which you can see above, took place 25 years ago.
Whatever you think of that inaugural Hornets uni set, it certainly was a bellwether, at least in terms of its purple-and-teal color scheme. Over the next decade or so, nearly every new Big Four franchise team wore purple, teal, or both:
NBA: Grizzlies (teal) and Raptors (purple)
MLB: Marlins (teal), Rockies (purple), Diamondbacks (purple and teal), and Devil Rays (purple).
NFL: Ravens (purple) and Jaguars (teal)
NHL: Coyotes (purple), Sharks (teal), and Mighty Ducks (teal)
That’s a lot of purple and teal! Did I miss anyone?
Out of those 11 teams, only four of them still use purple and/or teal — the Rockies, Ravens, Jags, and Sharks — which underscores how dated those colors now seem. Still, ya can’t deny how influential that initial Hornets uni was. In fact, it’s arguably the most influential uniform of the last generation, and ranks up there among the most influential unis ever.
What other designs would rank among the most influential unis? I’ll get the ball rolling by nominating the Pirates’ mid-season 1970 set, which introduced pullover jerseys and sansabelt pants to MLB. I can think of a few others, but I don’t want to hog the floor. What ones would you rank up there? Post your choices in the comments.
(My thanks to Erik Morris for the Hornets unveiling video clip.)
PermaRec update: The latest entry on the Permanent Record Blog is about a stash of very evocative old slides (including the one shown at right) that were found in an antiques shop and eventually revealed a family’s history. Good stuff.
The knish is almost cooked: Just thought you’d like to know.
Uni Watch News Ticker: New 20th-anniversary logo for the Florida Panthers. I like it! … Rut-roh — labor strife at Majestic (thanks, Phil). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: There’s a blog out there devoted to female TV news reporters who wear boots. Now that’s a niche fetish! … A local flag football league where Keith Thibault lives has a rather familiar logo. … Vintage baseball uniforms and zombies: two great tastes that taste great together (big thanks to Chris Modarelli). … Have I mentioned lately how much I love Hamilton Nolan? … Elgin Baylor is auctioning off some of his stuff, including a phantom David Robinson Clippers jersey that was prepared in advance of the 1987 NBA draft lottery (from Chris Cruz). … New kit, with mismatched shorts, for Cardiff City, and also a new kit for Bastia (both from Trevor Williams). … Coors is embroiled in a controversy with Puerto Rican community leaders in New York due to a logo on cans of Coors Light (thanks, Kirsten). … Lots of uni-borne shout-outs to the Oklahoma tornado victims at Saturday’s motocross national in Colorado. “Ironically, Trey Canard, a popular pro and Oklahoma resident, didn’t have any special gear, although he plans to have some at the next race,” says Sean Clancy. … Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels wore a Boston police vest to “guard” pitching coach Mick Billmeyer during a TV interview. … Big news in the meat biz yesterday, as factory-farm pork purveyor Smithfield Foods was sold to the Chinese. All the more reason, as if any were needed, to buy your meat from small, local operations. … Ontario — the one you never heard of in California, not the one you ignore in Canada — is getting its own indoor soccer team. I know, pretty sweet, right? Even better, they want you — yes, you! — to help name the team and choose its colors (from Hugh McBride). … Todd Radom has written an excellent (and excellently documented) piece about how the Phillies briefly became the Blue Jays. Strongly recommended. … The undefeated 1975-76 Indiana basketball team is selling off a bunch of memorabilia (from Mike McLaughlin). … With Ashley Cole of England having reached the 100-cap mark, he received a commemorative cap prior to yesterday’s match (from Yusuke Toyoda). … New logo for the American Athletic Conference (from Matthew Blinco). … Adidas is coming out with some super-light soccer cleats (Phil again). … Orioles infielder Manny Machado started last night’s game against the Nats by going high-cuffed but then changed his mind (from Andrew Cosentino). … Bit of mistaken identity on an old Saskatchewan Roughriders football card (from Jon Solomonson. … Trevor Curtis is working on a set of minimalist NBA team logos. … This is pretty awesome: Footage of Satchell Paige’s one game appearance for the Kansas City A’s in 1965 (from James Ashby). … Here’s a slideshow of what players are wearing at the French Open (thanks, Brinke). … Whoa, check out this awesome Coast Guard hockey uniform. Further details here. “What a jaunty hockey kit!” says Caleb James. … New York State and a Manhattan coffee shop are embroiled in a trademark dispute over the coffee shop’s logo.