Cubs & Turks Party Like It's Nineteen-Aught-Nine

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By Phil Hecken

Yesterday afternoon/evening, the Seattle Mariners, playing as the Seattle “Turks” and the Chicago Cubs, playing as, well, the Chicago Cubs, put on a wonderful *historical* turn-back-the-clock game. Both teams were dressed in the fashion of the year one thousand nine hundred and nine. And the Mariners, er…Turks, really went all out with this one. (All images can be enlarged by clicking.)

But before I get into that, why 1909? Seems like an odd date to be throwing-back to — usually teams will celebrate 100 years or the anniversary of the opening of their stadium (Fenway, Chicago next year). And who, or what, are the Turks? Well, the 1909 Seattle Turks were a professional baseball team that played in the Class B Northwestern League, and in that magical year of 1909, that particular team won 109 games, losing only 58. An excellent article on this team can be found here.

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1909 Seattle Turks

In the comments yesterday, and also in the article, it was asked why “Turks” was the team’s nickname (not quite in the same league as the name of the Washington football club, but still, a term not likely to be used today). The article notes the “1909 club is generally referred to today as the “Turks,” Seattle newspapers of the time steadfastly avoided using the nickname in connection with the team in any of their game accounts.”

A reader who goes by “BvK1126″ offered this assessment of the name:

Here’s another interesting bit of writing proposing an origin of the team’s name.

“Young players contributed to the team’s first-place finish with a handsome 109-58 mark. Local newspapers praised the team for “playing like Young Turks.” Capable and aggressive young men were known in this era as “Young Turks.” The “Young Turks” were a reformist, nationalist, revolutionary group in Turkey, comprised mostly of young men—some of whom were military school students—who demanded an end to the Ottoman Empire.”

From the book, Baseball Team Names: A Worldwide Dictionary, 1869-2011, by Richard Worth. (As a side note, this looks like it has the potential to be a fascinating book that would be of real interest to the Uni Watch community. I just stumbled across it myself trying to find more information about the Seattle Turks, and I have to say, my curiosity is piqued!)

This explanation make some sense to me as a history buff. Certainly, the term “Young Turks” has continued to have traction as a descriptive for members of various youth-oriented political and social reformist movements.

I’m having trouble reconciling the two different stories of the Seattle media’s reaction to the team’s name, however. Worth suggests that the name originated with the local press, while the SportsPressNW.com article I mentioned in my post above makes it sound like the media wouldn’t touch the name with a ten-foot pole. The two narratives aren’t necessarily contradictory, but I’d like to know the rest of the facts that would explain how both accounts are true.

BvK1126 continued,

Here’s another quick bit of research that muddies the waters about the Seattle Turks’ name and histocial reactions to it. Check out this headline and story from the Spokane Daily Chronicle’s June 30, 1910 edition: “Close Game to Seattle – Turks Win Out in Ninth Inning from Tacoma by a Score of 4 to 3.”

Granted, Spokane and Seattle are almost 300 miles apart. But why would the Spokane media of the day have no problem using the Turks nickname, whereas the Seattle media purportedly eschewed it? Moreover, according to Richard Worth and other sources, the Seattle team was known as the Giants in 1910. Strange.

Fascinating. Unfortunately, aside from the photo I posted above, there don’t appear to be any other historical photos from the 1909 season, so the Mariners based their uniforms from yesterday upon that (and whatever records and historical artifacts may exist). I was able to find two other photographs from around the same time period, the first of which shows a very similar uniform to that worn in 1909 (but the cap is different), while the second photo shows a different wordmark/font (but a very similar cap):

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So…as a throwback…how did the Mariners (Turks) and Majestic do? You can judge for yourself, but I was pretty impressed with it. Of course, it’s about as simple a uniform as you can have — block front lettering on a white jersey, with white pants, a two-toned cap (in modern cut), with navy blue-and-white socks. Both teams went NNOB, but did make a modern concession to put on numbers, which would not have been present on the original uniforms:

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. . .

The 1909 Cubs, on the other hand, were a professional Major League team, having won both the 1907 & 1908 World Series (and as most Cubs fans sadly know, that 1908 title was their last ever). What I love about that season, however, was that the Cubs wore a style which never took off in baseball, and which was prevalent for only a few seasons in the late 1900s and 1910s: the vertical name on front placket (VNOP?). In fact, one of my first ever columns on Uni Watch dealt with just this short-lived phenomenon. Either I didn’t have the research skills then I do now, or the Interwebs weren’t as forgiving with photo-research, but I wasn’t able to find a photo of the actual 1909 Cubs road uniforms. Well, I found plenty:

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1909 Chicago Cubs

With so much visual evidence, it was fairly easy for Majestic to reproduce the uniform. Unfortunately, they didn’t do quite as well as I would have hoped — aside from the modern cut (which I cannot fault), and the uniform numbers, they made the throwback uniform’s pinstripes far too far apart — on the original uniforms, the pinstripes were much closer together. Other than that, however, I thought the uniforms looked divine! Obviously, no helmets were worn in 1909, so they attempted to retrofy those as well as they could. (Of course there was still the matter of the anachronistic blue cleats, but we’ll let that slide as well.)

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Cubs Mariners Baseball

What made the game all the more special, however, was how Seattle attempted to go out of its way to give the game a throwback feel. Little amenities like having a megaphone announcement, and dressing the singer of the national anthem and groundscrew in “period” garments.

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Truly, truly, a great looking game. Well, I guess that depends on your perspective. The twittersphere had mixed thoughts:




To each his own of course, but aside from the vertical city name on the placket, I love that the Cubs (and other teams back in the day) wore a matching cap — in the case of the Cubs it was gray & pinstriped. And while I am personally NOT a fan of pinstripes on road uniforms, if teams were to carry that look to their caps, I’d make a happy exception.

Readers? How did each team do? Is the Cubs look something you might wish to see some team today adopt (or adapt, as the case may be), or is that something best left in the past? You can see plenty more photos from the game here or here.

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all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.

And so, lets begin:

~~~

Just one set today, and it’s from Matt Malinoski, who you will recall has been redesigning the uniforms of all 30 MLB teams, and who was recently featured in one of my recent Designing Minds series. Matt is back today with the National League East:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Here are my NL East concepts:

Braves-Set - Matt Malinoski

Atlanta Braves:

Probably the best baseball uniform ever made. I only had to change the cap logo for this one. 1946-51 Boston Braves uniform with the Atlanta “A” cap logo.

Has that great script, thick/thin strokes with bulb terminals. Much better than what they use now, especially that distorted “Atlanta” script. Zipper not only breaks up the lettering nicely, but allows the soutache to be spaced apart more, looks more balanced.

Black tomahawk looks great even though black is not a team color. I don’t like the red tomahawk. Love the Indian head patch on the sleeve. Really completes the jersey.

. . .

Marlins-Set-4 - Matt Malinoski

Miami Marlins:

Completely redid theirs. Never liked any of their uniforms, except that I liked the marlin in their old primary logo.

The 1951 St. Louis Browns uniforms, and Miami’s Art Deco architecture were the inspiration behind these.

I used a font, Mostra Nuova, for the cap logo, jersey script and numbers. The zeroes are very large, so I don’t think a double-zero would be possible.

I used all of their current colors except for yellow.

. . .

Mets-Set-2 - Matt Malinoski

New York Mets:

1962 uniforms with never-used stirrups with orange stripes. 1969 cap logo.

For the road uniform, I used the “MLB Block” numbers on the road jersey.

For the “NEW YORK” script I tried to recreate it in the McAuliffe-style lettering because I don’t like the Wilson tuscan lettering (compare the 1978 and 1979 Red Sox jerseys).

. . .

Nationals-Set - Matt Malinoski

Washington Nationals:

One of the best cap logos in baseball. I made some tweaks to the last concept I uploaded. I shrunk the “W” on the road jersey and fixed the connecting stroke between the “s” and “h”.

I made a patch out of the team logo, and changed its font for “Washington”. Also added stripes to the stirrups, whose pattern is based on the 1954 Athletics.

. . .

Phillies Set 1 - Matt Malinoski

Phillies Set 2 - Matt Malinoski

Philadelphia Phillies:

1950-70 set with two cap designs. One is based on logic (an upright cap logo) and the other is based on what I am used to seeing (an italic logo). I can’t make up my mind on this one.

Reworked old script into current logo. This is another jersey that I would love to buy, but replica and throwback manufacturers constantly get it wrong. The lowercase letters should have boxy terminals and the numbers on the back are heavy and the counters inside the numbers are more octagonal, not square.

. . .

Thanks Matt! Back with more concepts next time.

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And that’s going to do it for this last posting of June, 2013. Big thanks to Matt (again) for his MLB (NL East) concepts.

Everyone have a wonderful Sunday, and I will catch you next month!

Follow me on twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

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One For The Road

.. … ..

“The Seattle Turks, because Native American nicknames aren’t enough.”
–“oneblankspace”

 

71 comments to Cubs & Turks Party Like It’s Nineteen-Aught-Nine

  • John | June 30, 2013 at 7:16 am |

    I wish MLB teams would stop wasting money on all these ridiculous uniforms. I know I’m paying for this garbage in the cost of my ticket.

    • MRB | June 30, 2013 at 9:44 am |

      Whatever. It costs more to option a kid up from the minors to the majors for a month than to build all these uniforms. Talk about penny-wise and pound foolish.

    • Connie DC | June 30, 2013 at 10:32 am |

      Greetings, John. This may not be the website for you. Unless, that is, you’re an obsessive athletics esthete poking fun at yourself, in which case you should run for the empty seat on the UniWatch Board of Directors.

      • Phil Hecken | June 30, 2013 at 11:12 am |

        Well said, Conn.

        And the fan sales alone from promos like this (in terms of $ spent at the park, retail sale of authentics/replicas, etc.) probably MORE than pay for the costs of the uniforms for both teams. I’m quite sure you’re not seeing an increase in tix prices because your team held a TBTC day.

        • Mark in Shiga | June 30, 2013 at 12:53 pm |

          I bought one of the game-used Cubs 1911 throwbacks last year. Rest assured that even the non-players’ gear retails for more than game-quality stuff at the MLB shop does, and is far more than the production costs of the stuff.

    • Tenz | June 30, 2013 at 1:40 pm |

      I have some sympathy for this point of view since I really oppose multiple uniforms for college teams (conspicuous consumption in an era where many people can’t afford college or are plunged into literally decades of debt by its costs). But that logic doesn’t apply as much to the pros. And I’m always willing to make an exception for an alternate uniform that helps preserve and enhance the tradition of a sport, which is, after all, the primary thing that makes a bunch of guys hitting a ball with a stick something that holds the interest of millions of people.

  • Ted Machnik | June 30, 2013 at 8:16 am |

    Cubs-Mariners…great look and feel to the game. When the White Sox did their turnback the clock game in 1990, they turned off all electronics, used megaphones, and period costumes as well. See link (http://www.whitesoxi...)

    Matt Malinoski has done a great job again (love the Marlins concept). What wonders to behold when you eliminate black accents and trim. MLB should hire him and let him design their uniforms. Bravo.

    • Michael Emody | June 30, 2013 at 2:29 pm |

      I enjoyed watching the game also – until I couldn’t listen to the organ player play the same three horrible songs one more time! They should have hired Nancy Foust, or at least someone that knew a wider variety of period pieces. Or a wider variety of anything. Other than that, the game was great.

      • NinerEd | June 30, 2013 at 5:38 pm |

        Except Nancy Faust is associated with the White Sox, not the Cubs. And I heard more than three songs at the game, btw.

        • Ian Carr | June 30, 2013 at 10:05 pm |

          Except Nancy Faust no longer works for the Sox, having retired in 2010. She currently plays select games for the Kane County Cougars….

          The Cubs’ AA affiliate.

  • Arr Scott | June 30, 2013 at 8:36 am |

    I don’t see a necessary contradiction on the Turks name. The “Worldwide Dictionary” account holds that the press nicknamed the players “Young Turks,” and provides references to at least regional newsmedia doing so. Elsewhere, we see an account that “Seattle newspapers of the time steadfastly avoided using the nickname in connection with the team in any of their game accounts.” But that last account is malarkey. “Steadfastly avoided” is an editorial judgment of intent, and in this case it is not backed up with any evidence. It would be more accurate to have said “Seattle newspapers of the time did not use the nickname in game accounts.”

    So some reporters used an informal nickname for the team, while other reporters either did not, or did so only in stories other than game accounts. If you read enough primary sources on early baseball, when team names were often informal press coinages, you see this phenomenon all the time. Even today, you’re much more likely to see informal nicknames, such as “Bombers” for the Yankees, in columns and player profiles and the like rather than in game accounts.

    • Gusto 4044 | June 30, 2013 at 9:42 am |

      We have to also remember the huge difference between major and minor league baseball, a large number of Seattle fans quite naturally, would have recall about the 1909 Turks. The nickname issue is also present across minor league teams from those days to today, many odd choices. One of those weird nicknames was the Gravediggers, I forget the name of the town where the team played.

      • Gusto 4044 | June 30, 2013 at 9:43 am |

        Oops, should have said “a large number of Seattle fans quite naturally, would have no recall”…….

    • Connie DC | June 30, 2013 at 10:54 am |

      Two small notes to Scott’s customary erudition.

      In 1909, “official” nicknames hadn’t yet become ubiquitous. Sometimes a club would be the Mudville Nationals or the Mudville Americans to denote their league. Teams could have unofficial nicknames – the team that became the Red Sox were called the Pilgrims, the Beaneaters, the Somersets – but rarely did such transient monikers make it onto the jersey. My guess is that “Turks” was akin to the “Beaneaters,” an unofficial name used mostly by sportswriters. If a sportswriter or his editor didn’t like the unofficial name for whatever reason, he probably just didn’t use it. Seattle sportswriters probably felt superior in about 17 ways to those hayseeds in Spokane.

      “Young Turks” was still a compliment in my youth. It denoted young males impatient with encrusted, antiquated regimes blocking the way of Progress. The original derivation from Ottoman politics was rarely cited. [The great Ataturk embodied the final vindication of the Young Turks by his establishment of the secular Turkish Republic after the First World War.]

      The word “war,” of course, reminds us that on this date in 1863 a mighty storm was forming in the skies over south-central Pennsylvania.

      • BvK1126 | June 30, 2013 at 5:14 pm |

        “Young Turks” was still a compliment in my youth. It denoted young males impatient with encrusted, antiquated regimes blocking the way of Progress.

        My impression is that the term still generally carries those same positive connotations. It might suggest a bit of a “bull in a china shop” approach to effecting reform, but usually the idea is that their cause is righteous. There is, in fact, a progressive online news website that proudly refers to itself as “The Young Turks Network.”

        Also, great reminder about that rather significant sesquicentennial approaching. I’ve had the solemn experience of visiting those hallowed fields on several occasions, and it never fails to move me.

    • BvK1126 | June 30, 2013 at 5:03 pm |

      Scott, I agree with your assessment that it might be a more accurate characterization to say that Seattle sportswriters in 1909 “did not” refer to the local baseball team as “the Turks” rather than that they “steadfastly avoided” doing so. My curiosity is aimed more at the question of why they didn’t call the team “the Turks” if others were doing so with enough frequency that it is now the team’s historically accepted nickname for that season.

      In addition to the Spokane newspaper article from 1910 mentioned in the lede, I also uncovered a couple of http://oregonnews.uo... from Oregon newspapers in 1909 labeling the Seattle team as “the Turks.” This doesn’t necessarily prove that everyone – other than the Seattle media – was calling the team by that name. But it does demonstrate that the nickname was well-known enough to have traveled beyond the confines of the team’s hometown.)

      If I may be so indulgent as to quote myself from yesterday’s comments:

      I noticed the lack of nickname on the uniforms as well. It’s my understanding that team names in the first few decades of professional baseball were fairly informal – fluid, not necessarily exclusive of other, concurrent nicknames, and often bestowed upon the team by local sportswriters. That could easily explain the birth of the “Turks” nickname for the Seattle team.

      What makes less sense to me is why local sportswriters would refuse to call the team “the Turks.” Seattle’s minor league teams had variously been referred to (before and after the “Turks” moniker) by such names as “Chinooks,” “Indians,” and “Siwashes” (a regional term for Native Americans). What, then, would make “Turks” so unpalatable to the local populace that they would complain to the papers? Or to the area sportswriters that they would, of their own accord, refuse to print the term? Surely it wasn’t offended sensibilities or concerns about ethnic insensitivity.

      As I mention above, it seems highly unlikely that journalists in 1909 would decline to use a term like “Turks” because of their objection to it based on social ethics. Did the local sportswriters simply not like the phrase? Did they have a preference for another nickname? Why did other newspapers persist in calling the team “the Turks” if the local media didn’t even refer to them as such? I’d love to know the answers to those questions, but what I’ve turned up so far just seems to add to the mystery.

      • BvK1126 | June 30, 2013 at 5:05 pm |

        Whoops! Fail on the second hyperlink. It should have read “stories.”

  • RavenFanInIndy | June 30, 2013 at 9:26 am |

    Love the signage in the old Cubs photo: “Please Do Not Throw Bottles…..” Leaves me wondering where we aren’t supposed to throw them. On the field? At the players? At other fans? At the Umpires? Picture must have been taken in Philly, old habits die hard I guess!

    • muddlehead | June 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm |

      I took that sign to mean don’t throw your bottles in the regular trash bins. Recycle them in the marked containers. Please!

  • BvK1126 | June 30, 2013 at 10:15 am |

    Thanks, Phil! It’s an honor to see my random musings from the message boards featured on “the front page.” I’m glad to see you found the history of the Seattle Turks name to be as interesting as I did.

    • Phil Hecken | June 30, 2013 at 11:14 am |

      It’s not often (almost never) I will quote someone’s prior day comments in the lede but your research was so well done it deserved to be included in the main article. Thank you for undertaking it!

  • Josh Petty | June 30, 2013 at 10:37 am |

    Looking at the 1909 Cubs on Dressed to the Nines, I kind of wish they had included the “cadet” collars (instead of some blue around the neck to simulate it). http://exhibits.base...

  • chuck rios | June 30, 2013 at 11:36 am |

    Love those unis’! I’d like to see the cubs do this at wrigley with the 1916 uniforms next year for the wrigley 100 year anniversary. Maybe a Sunday throwback like teams do…

  • Frank Turner | June 30, 2013 at 11:45 am |

    I really appreciate Matt’s extremely detailed work. We see alot of tweaks and concepts on this site but to my mind his are the most well thought out and, in evey instance, best capture the essence of the franchise. With the sole exception of the Reds, who I think are best represented by the clean, home pullovers of the Red Machine, he has nailed every team I have seen him do. As a Braves fan, it wouldl be great to see them adopt his suggestions (albeit unfortunately likely without the “offensive” old Boston sleeve patch of the noble brave in full regalia). Thanks, Matt!

  • "Terry Proctor | June 30, 2013 at 11:53 am |

    Another great post by Matt. You should work for MLB as teir official designer.

    A few comments on each of your designs:

    BRAVES- Perfect, Just add front numbers.

    MARLINS- Perfect. The Art Deco lettering and numbers work a lot better than what they now use. I really like the Orange/Salmon primary color. It reminds me a little of the old International League team of 1956-60.

    METS- See Braves.

    NATS- Add front numbers. And I love the MacGregor full-block numeral font.

    PHILLIES- DYK that the Phils used chain embroidery for both their lettering and numbers through the run of this style uniform set? I know that at one time it was all direct embroidery for both lettering and numbers. Not sure about when in the late 1960s they embroidered on tackle twill and then sewed it to the jerseys. The only other team that I ever knew of that used that numeral font was the Havana Sugar Kings of the International League.

    • Mark in Shiga | June 30, 2013 at 1:04 pm |

      I love every single one of those. Especially that Marlins number font!

    • Steve D | June 30, 2013 at 1:54 pm |

      Agree 100% with Terry on everything…Matt has a rare talent and knowledge. Just one teeny thing…the Met road jersey should always use its original Wilson Varsity font.

      • Steve D | June 30, 2013 at 1:58 pm |

        One more thing…just noticed…Met squatchee must be blue.

    • Browncoat | June 30, 2013 at 4:11 pm |

      FYI – I have a replica 57 Milwaukee Braves Jersey. On my Jersey the Tomahawk is navy blue, not black. It would make sense for the tomahawk to be navy.

      • Matt Malinoski | June 30, 2013 at 8:50 pm |

        Browncoat, that makes sense. Navy felt would look darker than navy embroidery. I would love to see a closeup of this, especially against the navy and red soutache. Also, is there any black in the sleeve patch? I’d like to see a closeup of this as well.

    • Matt Malinoski | June 30, 2013 at 8:33 pm |

      Thanks, Terry. You’re too kind. Regarding the Phillies jerseys, it looks like as far back as 1951 they were embroidering onto white felt. I love how the chain stitching is done in whorls. It was done that way on the “Thoroughly Modern Phillies” jerseys until 1974 for home, 1972 road.

      I have never seen a photo of the Sugar Kings’ numbers. The only other place I have seen this number style is on Jimmy Stewart’s jersey in “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

  • quiet seattle | June 30, 2013 at 12:37 pm |

    I was at the Mariners (er, Turks)/Cubs game yesterday.

    The uniforms looked real fine from high up in the 300 level in right field. Everyone was high cuffed, and what a difference socks make. It truly makes all the difference in the world, aesthetically. It’s astounding. The Turks uniform was plain, yes, but it felt so right. It felt like you were watching a team, not an individual players.

    What was most striking about yesterday’s game was the absence of electronic, piped-in music. There was incidental organ music (was it played live?…not sure) between innings sometimes, but mostly just… beautiful silence. Just ambient crowd buzz. No one telling you how to respond, no one “entertaining” you between lulls in action. Like the socks, it makes a huge impact on the experience.

    Most troubling, however, was the very 2013 price of a beer. $9.75!

    • Joseph Gerard | June 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm |

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the Indians brought back 1974 prices for beer in order to attract fans. I mean, they’re currently a game back behind the Tigers and are the only team preventing the Tigers from running away with the AL Central this year, yet they still can’t attract fans to the Jake.

    • Tenz | June 30, 2013 at 1:45 pm |

      Agree completely about the importance of socks / high cuffs to the look of a baseball game. The traditional all-white or all-gray uniforms lose such a big part of their visual appeal and distinctiveness when the socks disappear.

    • Komet17 | June 30, 2013 at 2:15 pm |

      Quiet,

      I agree with you re: the electronic, piped-in music, and would add the “walk-up music” and all the video noise. I grew up loving baseball and going to games in San Diego, when it was simply live organ music played on the stadium Wurlitzer organ between innings.

      I simply don’t enjoy games anymore in person–too loud, amped-up, etc. Not fun anymore, at least to me.

      • quiet seattle | June 30, 2013 at 3:16 pm |

        Besides the outrageous cost, that’s the primary reason I don’t go to games, Komet.

        When and why did the notion of the game itself not being enough take hold?

        The game doesn’t have to compete with current social or popular culture trends. You’re not pulling in more customers because you fill every minute with some eletronic or visual stimulus.

        People go to the game because they like baseball, they like the game, or they like that everybody else is liking the game and they want to be part of it. If your team is winning then they’ll really like the game.

        • Komet17 | June 30, 2013 at 4:45 pm |

          Quiet,

          Total agreeance on everything you say.

          My best memories of baseball games are of going with a buddy and being able to have a nine-inning conversation interrupted about every 20 seconds by a pitch, and nothing else…

          ~Komet

  • LarryB | June 30, 2013 at 12:41 pm |

    I like that baseball has these throwback games.

    I do not like that college football mostly has one game creations.

    And a day late thanks to the colorizers from Saturday. Good job as always.

  • Attila Szendrodi | June 30, 2013 at 12:49 pm |

    Am I the only one who had that shitty Rod Stewart song stuck in their head the whole time while reading this? God the 80’s were bad…

    • Don't Mess With The 80s! | June 30, 2013 at 5:27 pm |

      Am I the only one who had that shitty Rod Stewart song stuck in their head the whole time while reading this? God the 80′s were bad awesome!!!

      Fixed.

  • Joseph Gerard | June 30, 2013 at 12:49 pm |

    The Cubs road throwback surprisingly enough are pretty close to their current home uniforms. They’re supposed to be coming out with new road uniforms next season anyways. Why not adopt a modern version of these full-time?

    • Mark in Shiga | June 30, 2013 at 1:03 pm |

      They should do that very thing. Either these or the even more awesome navy-blue road uniforms from that era.

      And at the very least, ditch the NOBs at home. They really had perfection in their hands with the 2005-06 home uniforms, which didn’t have NOBs but did have the red border around the numbers. Those hadn’t yet been added from the ’50s to the ’90s when they just had the blue numbers and also had blue sleeve cuffs. I could take or leave the cuffs.

      • Joseph Gerard | June 30, 2013 at 1:27 pm |

        I think they are considering the navy blue road uniforms as a Sunday alt for next season.

        But yeah, I could see the Cubs adopting yesterday’s throwbacks with the current hat replacing the pinstriped gray hat (gray hats never work), the current logo in place of its earlier predecessor, and last names on the back.

        And talk about a mash-up: Mike LaValliere is wearing a batting practice jersey in this 1988 Topps card that has the 1968-86 logo but the current hat without the pillbox-style pinstripes. He just arrived with the Buccos when the old logo was dropped. Hmmm…

        • Tenz | June 30, 2013 at 1:51 pm |

          I actually disagree, to my eye, gray caps almost always work. That Pirates road design with the gray cap is for me one of the best Pirates uniforms since they strayed from the classic vests of the 1960s.

        • Phil Hecken | June 30, 2013 at 2:08 pm |

          I’m with Tom here. One of the reasons I dislike softball tops so much, especially on the roads, is that they don’t go with the uni (even the Mets, who added gray NOB/#s to try to match the pants). Still looks amateurish to me.

          But adding a gray road cap (even with pins) to me makes much more sense (that and wearing colorful sleeves and actual socks). Really those Cubs with the matching cap/road uni (despite the pins) looks GREAT.

          Teams who don’t wear pins would look just swell with gray caps (and contrasting brims) for their roads. I hate the forthcoming flag desecration caps, but I bet those road teams whose colors actually match the brim will look pretty good.

        • Mark in Shiga | June 30, 2013 at 2:17 pm |

          One reason I think people dislike gray caps these days is that the caps are so big. Go back to the low/soft-crown, smaller-bill caps of yesteryear and the gray looks a lot better.

          But I’d still vote for blue-oriented teams to have blue-shaded road uniforms instead of gray. The Cubs look just fine in either pale or dark blue on the road.

  • Joseph Gerard | June 30, 2013 at 1:36 pm |

    Pirates are wearing their 1971 throwback Sunday alts as expected, so the black alts streak ends at seven games.

  • Steve D | June 30, 2013 at 1:37 pm |

    The Cubs throwbacks look pretty good. Unfortunately, I am really obsessive and they totally blew it on the number font…or in this case fonts. I have not seen every number, but of the ones I saw, the 1, 2 and 4 are Wilson Varsity and the 3 and 9 are Block Standard…two totally different fonts that do not go well together. This is an amateur mistake I would expect on a cheap Yankee replica from Modell’s.

    http://scores.espn.g...

    • Mark in Shiga | June 30, 2013 at 2:22 pm |

      Oh, yeah, that’s the only thing that really looks bad about them. They’ve used this ugly, boring font three times in a row now (1918 against the Red Sox, 1912 against the Giants, and now 1909 against Seattle).

      All their previous throwbacks had had the regular Cubs number font, which looks just perfect on any Cubs uniform.

      I wonder if the reason for this is that when the original jerseys didn’t have numbers, they just went with the default block style. Then again, back in 1997 when they first wore the all-dark-blues, they had a curved number font that looked pretty good.

      Really, all they had to do was make some digits using their regular number-cutting process and everything would have been fine.

      • Steve D | June 30, 2013 at 2:37 pm |

        You make a good point that the unique Cub font would have been better. I just watched video of yesterday’s game and based on the number 5 conclude that the font used was not mismatched as I originally thought…it was what Bill Henderson identifies in his book as “Majestic Varsity Variation.” This is Majestic’s house font…makes sense now, since these are Majestic Jerseys. Of course, it does not explain why such a stupid amalgam of varsity and block fonts even exists. When will Rawlings ever get the MLB contact back?

        • Mark in Shiga | June 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm |

          Who made the Mets’ early-1900s Giants throwbacks, with the big “N Y” on the front, that they wore on a regular basis a few years ago? Those also had this funny-looking font.

          Come to think of it, remember that Yankees pitcher, wearing #30, who had the wrong font on his jersey a couple of seasons ago? I think that number was also in this plain undistinguished font.

          I’m not a big fan of the large, clunky serif on the 1, or the diagonal cut-offs on the 4 and 7. Even the plain semi-block that the Mets, Cardinals, and half the major league teams use would have been a better choice.

          Another idea would be this curved-digit font that was added to the 1906 team photo. When I first saw this picture as a kid, not knowing that jersey numbers hadn’t been invented yet, I thought that the numbers were part of the uniform (and wondered why #4’s number seemed to be positioned wrong) until I took a closer look!

          Incidentally, in camera shots it looks thicker than it really is. The digit on my Cubs throwback jersey (#5, Reed Johnson) looks much thinner in person than it would in a digital picture.

        • Mark in Shiga | June 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm |

          Addendum: here’s a picture of the infamous Yankee jersey with the wrong font. Looks the same to me; is this just Majestic’s default number font?

      • Phil Hecken | June 30, 2013 at 2:44 pm |

        While I agree with both of you (particularly Steve re: mismatched fonts), I’m not sure this is the Cubs’ fault. Majestic made them. And because this was Seattle’s party, the M’s (Turks) paid for them. It’s entirely possible Seattle had then entire job contracted, with the Cubs merely agreeing to participate.

        Not saying the Cubs weren’t consulted, but they probably didn’t sign off on the order, and the M’s might have just said “put any style number on there.”

  • Tenz | June 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm |

    Brilliant work by Matt — if these designs were adopted, these would probably be my five favorite uniforms in baseball. Your lineup includes improvements on my two favorite teams / favorite uniforms, Phillies and Nationals (I’d LOVE it if the Phillies ditched the current number font for the 1950-70 font).

    Interesting that the Braves tomahawk really does look better in black than red. Would navy blue make sense (since it’s “almost” black and is a Braves team color)?

    • Matt Malinoski | June 30, 2013 at 9:24 pm |

      Navy makes more sense. I’m going to send a navy tomahawk concept to Phil soon.

    • Turtle12 | June 30, 2013 at 9:43 pm |

      Tens totally read my mind on the navy tomahawk. I think they have way too much red in their current uniform.

  • Jesse | June 30, 2013 at 2:58 pm |

    Excellent job Matt on the Nats!

  • StLMarty | June 30, 2013 at 5:56 pm |

    Young hearts be free tonight…

  • Arr Scott | June 30, 2013 at 6:25 pm |

    Twins did the Armed Forces Appreciation Day thing today, which included a great special-event logo tweak that saw Minnie and Paul doff their caps. Also, Paul appears to have enlisted, while Minnie remained in his civvies. They also switched places, with Minnie standing on the east side of the river.

    https://www.facebook...

    All in all, I like.

    • Phil Hecken | June 30, 2013 at 7:01 pm |

      I would assume, of course, both the Twins and Royals (or at least the Twinks) wore some form of camo and/or flag desecration. No?

      You mean they dressed like two clubs playing a Sunday afternoon game?

      Preposterous. This will not stand. Why do they hate America so?

    • Mike Engle | June 30, 2013 at 8:05 pm |

      What a beautiful special-occasion logo tweak.

  • Douglas King | June 30, 2013 at 8:09 pm |

    Looks like the O’s are wearing their Black tops again tonight, I was under the impression that was only Friday Nights… And if they are going to go Softball top twice in a weekend it should be the Saturday Orange tops (one of the best Alternates in the league in my opinion).

    At least wear one of your other hats O’s! Heck your BP hat works perfectly with these, anything is better than the O’s hat.

  • mike d | June 30, 2013 at 8:43 pm |

    I wonder if the Cubs would consider making those throwbacks their new road jerseys.

    Great job on those NL east concepts

  • Noonan | June 30, 2013 at 10:12 pm |

    Video of John Gordon discussing how he designed the Packers “G” logo.
    http://www.packersne...

    • Mike Engle | June 30, 2013 at 11:52 pm |

      It’s a work of GREATNESS.

  • John Livewell | July 1, 2013 at 9:34 am |

    @Matt Malinoski… GREAT NL EAST… every one of them. As a Philles fan and Philadelphian, I say go with the italic Cap “P” logo. I agree that the current font should step aside for an oldger font… I love the “free” look of the 1936 font too. i would be happy with the 50-71

    • Matt Malinoski | July 1, 2013 at 8:46 pm |

      I prefer the italic “P” myself.

  • Jimbo | July 1, 2013 at 1:38 pm |

    Anybody else notice the word “Turkish” on the billboard to our left of the players, in the third Seattle Turks photo? (Third line from the top.)
    The sign appears to have a headline of “Club Ball” (or Club Baseball?), and an intriguing “SAY MAN!” line.
    I’d love to see the entire sign. I wonder if it refers to the team name?

    • BvK1126 | July 1, 2013 at 9:34 pm |

      Nice catch!

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