By Phil Hecken
Yesterday we were treated to TWO special throwback games — the Houston Astros and host Seattle Mariners turned the clock back thirty-five years, to that magical year of 1979. As you can see above, the Mariners wore their 1979 uniforms, featuring the iconic trident cap and pullover/sansabelt uniforms. 1979 was also the first year Seattle hosted the All Star game. I wrote about that a few years ago. The Astros wore their own iconic uniforms from 1979, the infamous “Tequila Sunrise” uniforms (also referred to by many other names, including “Rainbows”).
Also, yesterday, the host Detroit Tigers, and their opponents, the Texas Rangers, played in their annual Negro Leagues Tribute Game (it’s the 20th such game they’ve played). In that game, the Tigers wore the throwback uniforms of the Detroit Stars and the Rangers played as the Ft. Worth Texas Black Panthers. While much is known of the storied history of the Detroit Stars (and the Tigers have worn Stars throwbacks often), there really isn’t much information on professional black baseball in Texas (although that linked article tells some). We’ll get to the Tigers (Stars) and Rangers (Black Panthers) in a moment.
As a quick aside, yesterday I was at my summer place, and the Internet there is always spotty, at best, but yesterday it was out for several hours — as such, this is going to be a much shorter write up than I’d originally planned. I had hoped to follow along with both games, and get feedback from some contacts who were at the games. On Friday, I was able to speak with Kevin Martinez, who works in the Mariners Marketing Department, and yesterday he graciously was able to point me towards Nathan Rauschenberg, who works with Kevin. Nathan sent me some beautiful, hi-res images (a couple I’ll link to below, the rest I’ll post as a flickr set), which were taken by Ben VanHouten.
If you’d like to read about the genesis of this game, here’s the Mariners press release. Now for some photos from the game (click on any images below to enlarge):
Unfortunately, I didn’t see any of the game (or even highlights), but it appears both teams have done a pretty good job of replicating the originals. Nathan, in sending the photos to me, noted, “the all-stirrups look for the Mariners—some but not all of the Astros participated with that as well.” Every photo that I saw from the game showed the Astros going high-cuffed, but I will certainly take Nathan’s word that not every Astro played along. And, as seems to be the case more and more with these throwback games, the Astros wore black cleats, while the 1979 Astros sported white ones.
Here’s a few photos of the helmets, and from the field and the scoreboard — Kevin told me they were attempting to replicate the old Kingdome’s look (where the Mariners played in 1979) as closely as possible:
Pretty nice, huh? The Mariners batting helmets in 1979, as you may have noticed, featured a white front panel with a star behind it (which differed from their solid cap), and was the first year of that (previously the helmet was solid blue) — they’d wear that style until 1982. The reason they wore the different helmet? With Seattle hosting the All Star Game in 1979, the team decided to put the Game’ logo on their helmets. Pretty neat, eh?
As of 1:15 am (my time), there were 17 photos sent to me. If any more become available throughout the day, I’ll upload and post a link to them. But here’s the entire set from Ben. You can also view some much lower res photos of the game here.
The Negro League tribute game was, as most are, a beaut. Detroit wore the pinstriped home version of the Stars’ unis (which they have worn before):
The Rangers (who wore their normal batting helmets) were dressed in gray uniforms that I can only assume were replicas of the Black Panthers:
I liked the “Black Panthers” uniforms. It was a simple gray, with sleeve and placket piping, and the classic dark pocket flap that seemed common to Negro League uniforms. The Tigers didn’t say much about the uniforms worn by the Rangers, but you can read more about the whole tribute (it’s a three-day weekend tribute) in this Tigers press release.
There are lots more photos in this flickr set I prepared.
I wish I had been able to see either (or both) of yesterday’s games, because I’m sure even the photos don’t do the games justice. Good thing there are several more special games coming up over the course of the season.
Big thanks (again) to the Mariners crew for hooking me up with those beautiful photos!
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:
First up today is Alan Filipczak, who has a fairly interesting and intricate proposal, the bulk of which I’ll link in his writeup (make sure you click on the link below):
I’m a long-time reader and occasional contributor to Uni-Watch. I’ve attached package of items that I put together in reference to the new Double-A minor league baseball franchise that will begin play in Biloxi, Mississippi in 2015.
Please review my article and images, and let me know if it is something that would be deemed Uni-Watch worthy.
Next up is Brian (no last name given) with a concept for the Cleveland Browns:
Because I fear the radical change coming, I offer my own less dramatic change. Matte orange helmet, striped socks, shadowed numbers
And we close today with John C. Brubaker who has a reworking of the San Diego Padres:
Wanted to forward my Padres uniform redesign. No more dorky ocean motifs, no shampoo bottle graphic design-y Padres wordmark, no poser Navy Blue, definitely no “sand.” No identity crisis. Just the original colors, brown and mustard.
The home wordmark is based on the old PCL uniform and also the ones they wore in the mid-70s. The SD logo is the one they used before adding the horrible sharp edges, you know, just because they felt like it. The brown used here is a bit darker than the brown the Padres have used in the past. It creates a more striking, cleaner look. Mustard is used as an accent to prevent PTSD from the old all-mustard look.
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
[Ed. Note: I inadvertently ran this piece last Sunday -- but the French Open starts TODAY. Brinke's updated with some new info as well -- so enjoy. --PH]
It’s that time of year again — tennis season. Well, it’s pretty much always tennis season (they play almost 12 months of the year) — but it’s the time of the year when they play three majors (French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open) in the span of a just a few months and for a couple of days, anyway, people pay attention to the sport.
So today, I’m again joined by my doubles partner, Brinke, who’ll give us the rundown of the new looks (and more) for the…
2014 French Open
By Brinke Guthrie
Time for the tennis Grand Slam season to really get rolling, with the French Open starting today, Wimbledon in a month, and then the US Open three months from today. Nadal has won this event every year except for one since 2005- a truly legendary performance. Did I say legendary? Why, yes I did.
Let’s see what the other big guys are wearing on court.
• Novak Djokovic will wear this from Uniqlo. Has anyone been to one of these places? They just opened up by my house- they carry sizes like, um, XS, S, M, and L. Do they realize the US market is a physically a little bigger than Japan? Memo to Uniqlo Dudes: I was past size L in high school!
• Jo-Wilfried Tsonga carries the weight of France on his shoulders, which is considerable — ask Yannick Noah. Tsonga cannot win this event as long as Nadal has a pulse, but he is one of the rare players who will actually wear a classic look polo, from Adidas.
• Olive green and lime from Adidas, for Andy Murray. Olive green…and LIME. Erp.
• Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg take to the practice courts >with Google Glass, and the effect is a bit disorienting.
Classic Old School Italian Line News:
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Not a lot of ticker submissions (and that’s not all that surprising, given that it’s a “holiday” weekend). So it’s old school style ticker today:
Rays 3B coach Tom Foley is wearing Don Zimmer’s #66 jersey (from Mike Edgerley). … “Even USA T&F is going BFBS at the world relay champs!” exclaims Kenton Hagan. “What is Nike thinking? An international champs event and we can’t stick to the red, white, and blue? … San Francisco 49er’s draftee Carlos Hyde posted a picture on his Instagram of him wearing a visor with the 49er’s logo on it (nice spot by John Alexander). … Check out the old school UNM basketball photos, sent in by “JBird”. “Found at my local Tux Shop hanging on their wall.” … Couple old baseball jersey (beauties!) sent in by Bruce Menard: This 1950’s Rikers Island Nutcrackers (listing) and this 1930’s Wolf’s My Clothier Game Worn Flannel (listing). Of the last one, Bruce says, “Awesome clock patch on the back!” … Apparently, there are war helmets in the San Francisco Giants’ clubhouse (thanks, Brinke). … “A little while back I bought the hat in the attached picture because I had never come across such a retro design. … (W)hen I saw that the tag on the inside said ‘Sample Not For Sale” and it was, in fact, for sale, I decided I would,” says Jeff Matus. “Also, I didn’t know what the BPC stood for and figured I would just look it up when I got home but I have been almost completely unsuccessful with that. The only relevant BPC that I have come across is Battery Park City but I haven’t found anything about a baseball team there. Would you or your people know what the BPC stands for?” Anyone know? … Here’s a video of the five most memorable baseball jerseys of the 2014 College baseball season (thanks to Tim Dunn) — and 4 of those 5 may be memorable, but that doesn’t make them good. … Brewers team up on beer to help military families (from TommyTheCPA). … There have been a bunch of vintage baseball movies recently released on the Internets, so forgive me if this one, sent in by Frank Mercogliano has already been posted: 1917 World Series game one: The Chicago White Sox versus the New York Giants from Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois. Says Frank, “Not sure which is cooler to see….a Play-o-Graph type machine in action at the end of the video, or John McGraw’s killer sweater!” … Check out this unopened bobble head of Brian Urlacher (h/t “JBird”). … Check out the all orange uniforms (and sweet stirrups) of the Huntington Beach Oilers! More on that here. … Yesterday’s ticker featured a picture of colored sanis. Kevin Wright saw that and wanted us to know that Florida (sometimes) wears orange sannies with their blue throwback stirrups. … Our own Jim Vilk is VERY upset that the Chihuahuas’ cap was voted best in MiLB. … Anthony Nuccio Spotted this at the Kohl’s in Lake Zurich, Illinois — USA Soccer and adidas??? … Michael Kinney writes, “I know how much you love Memorial Day and how it is miscelebrated around the country. How about this sign on the video board at the Reds game tonight? They can’t even spell heroes correctly. Remember kids…not all soldiers are heroes, and not all heroes are soldiers.” Amen. … Ooooohhhh – check out these 1960 American Football League Custom Bobbleheads Nodders (from Leo Strawn, Jr.). The butt fumble jersey generates more than pocket change (thanks, Brinke). … And finally — does MLB have too many logos? Vincent Delestrée says, “Do you think it is a Major League Baseball game you’re watching? 7 logos in on argument.”
That’s all for today, kids. Be sure to check back in tomorrow, though, because Paul has something really special and you’ll want to see. OK? OK!
Everyone else have a great Sunday, and remember what we’re really remembering on Memorial Day, ok? The day isn’t about parades and barbeques and sales, and it surely isn’t about wearing camo — but MLB will anyway. Try to enjoy that. I’ll catch you next weekend.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Wearing 1984 throwbacks not once, not twice but THRICE against the Cubs? That’s a straight-up troll move. Fuck the Padres”
–James T. Huening