By Phil Hecken
First, and most important thing: Paul has his annual College Football Preview today (one of the most anticipated columns of the year). Here’s the link.
Now then. Yesterday, the Chicago Cubs continued their year-long celebration of Wrigley Field by donning their 1994 alternate jerseys, jerseys which many have said fairly resemble the Cuban national team uniforms. The year to which they were throwing back was 1994, memorable in its infamy as the Year Without A
Santa Claus World Series, as that was the year a players’ strike canceled the season. It was also a forgettable season for the Cubs, who would end that year with a 49-64 record, good enough for fifth (and last) place in the newly formed National League Central Division.
As with all of their previous throwbacks, the folks at Majestic did a nice job with them. Those uniforms (or at least the jerseys) are noteworthy for three things: the 125th Anniversary of Baseball patch, the alternate “Cub” head, and the script “Cubs” which looks a LOT like “Cuba” if you look at it right. Many actually nicknamed these the “Cuba” jerseys, and even Bill Henderson had noted the similarities. Here’s a few pics from the game (click on any image to enlarge):
Note the patches, which Majestic seemed to replicate perfectly:
Here’s what some of the original 1994 uniforms looked like:
Other than perhaps a desire to sell some of these jerseys to the public (and well, they were different), I am still wondering why the Cubs chose to throwback to these or to the 1994 year. The club was awful (although they did have a young Sammy Sosa — who hadn’t yet become Sammy Sosa, Mark Grace and Ryne Sandberg, among others), and the most memorable thing about 1994 was the fact that there was no World Series. I’m not even positive the Cubs wore this uniform at home in 1994 (or the entire three year run of the “script Cubs” font). The script Cubs more often was worn in gray. It was designed as a road alternate, to mimic the gray jersey. 1994 hadn’t ushered in the “softball jersey at home” epidemic we’re currently experiencing. Probably the most notable aspect of the blue top (and the gray roadie) was the fact that it bore such a strong resemblance to the Cuban National Team uniform, nicely documented below by Bill Henderson:
The Cubs’ opponent yesterday, the Baltimore Orioles, were outfitted with 1994 uniforms as well, and those looked A LOT better (a few guys even mixed eras, wearing the 1954 stirrups!):
All told, not a bad looking game — just a really odd year to which to throwback — unless it’s for some special 20th Anniversary of which I’m not aware. You can see more photos from the game here.
Also, as a bonus, reader Matt DeLeon was at the game and took these photos. If you can’t see the slideshow, click here.
Matt adds the following observations:
“100th anniversary of Wrigley Field, going back to the strike shortened 1994 season and the infamous “Cuba” alternate jersey (Harry Caray’s term, which turned Cub nation against them from the start). The Orioles joined in and wore their 1994 Road Unis.
Most notable uni bits for me: Cubs seemed to add a white outline to the 1994 version of the angry bear patch which wasn’t there in 1994. Orioles Roads had the nice touch of the name plate. 125th anniversary patch was nice–forgot how gaudy looking it was. Many Cubs went high cuffed, with Matt Szczur wearing actual stirrups. The stripes on the Jones and Cruz socks were cool, but not reminiscent of 1994. Orioles hats were nice, but I prefer the cartoon bird. No matching “ornithologically” correct helmets for Orioles.”
Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.
I usually run these on the weekends (so you weekday-only readers are in for a treat). Been holding on to these for a few weeks, so I thought today would be a good day to air them out.
Today’s colorizations all come from colorizer-extraordinaire George Chilvers, who has a few for us today:
Click on any image to enlarge:
Europe has been remembering the start of World War I this week in 1914, and this colourisation has relevance to that, and is a little tribute from me to those millions of brave men on all sides who were caught up in the chaos and carnage.
Sometimes when I do my colourisations I look at the people involved and wonder what became of them, particularly when I do photos from about 1910 to 1914. This is a sad one, I fear, but is hugely relevant and has to be done. I’ll quote from the Imperial War Museum:
“The Football Battalion
The formation of the ‘New Armies’ during World War One (1914-18) allowed footballers to enlist en masse in ‘Pals’ battalions. Clapton Orient (now Leyton Orient FC) were the first English Football League club to enlist together. Following the example of club captain, Fred Parker, around 40 players and staff volunteered. They joined the 17th (Service) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment, which was known as the ‘Football Battalion’ and soon went on to attract players from other clubs.
This photograph depicts several players from the battalion, including Richard McFadden of Orient (seated centre) who was awarded the Military Medal before being mortally wounded during the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
Standing second right is Frank Bullock of Huddersfield Town and England, who survived the war. Edwin Latheron of Blackburn Rovers and England stands second from the left. He was killed in action at Passchendaele in October 1917. 17th (S) Battalion, The Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex Regiment), 1915″
Remembering is about more than wearing camo.
I notice that because of the changing responsibilities you haven’t used my picture of the “Football Battalion”, so I’ll send you a couple of others to make up a triptych of football related/WWI related colourisations. These all have a little story – and I hope you’ll forgive the lack of (football) unis per se. If you don’t think they fit into UW, then I really won’t be offended.
The first shows an ad hoc match between officers and men of the Artillery Train in Salonika in Greece on Christmas Day, 1915. On Christmas Day, 1914, on the trench lines of the Western Front British and German soldiers stopped trying to kill each other briefly, and they actually played a “kick about” of football in No Man’s Land. A number of websites use this image to illustrate the story, but as I said this is 1915, and of course no-one had a cellphone on the front line then to snap a picture or selfie of the 1914 “Christmas Day Truce”. I like the fact that in this picture they pretty well all have hats and caps – presumably there was something in King’s Regulations about being in uniform without your cap.
The second picture is of Walter Tull in Army uniform, a man who should be more widely known.
He was of mixed race, raised in an orphanage,and became a professional football with Tottenham Hotspur, becoming one of the first black/mixed race players in the Football League. However he was so strongly racially abused in one game he left them, and moved on to Northampton Town. When War came he joined up into the Football Battalion, mentioned in the first picture I sent, and during his military training was promoted three times. In May 1915 he was sent home suffering from PTSD, but in September 1916 returned to the Front, and his courage and abilities led his superiors to recommend him for officer training.
There were at the time regulations forbidding ‘any negro or person of colour’ being commissioned, but despite this he was promoted to lieutenant in 1917, and became the first black officer in the British Army, and the first black officer to lead white men into battle. He was later recommended for the Military Cross (but didn’t receive it) and was killed in action at the Somme on 25 March 1918 trying to help his men retreat. His body was never recovered.
A memorial to him has been erected at Northampton Town’s Sixfield Stadium, and there are many calls for greater recognition of this man who broke down so many walls.
Thanks George. Tremendous stuff, as always. Please keep them coming!
Design Contest Reminder
In case you missed it, I’m hosting a WFL Design Contest. All the rules and instrux are in the link…
…but if you don’t want to click there it’s pretty basic: If the World Football League hadn’t folded in 1975, and the League were still active today, what would the teams’ uniforms look like in 2014? Click the link for more details. Deadline is September 1, and you can send all your submissions to me: Phil.Hecken@gmail.com.
Should be a fun contest, so if you are a concepter or designer, give it a whirl!
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: This is a new take on the current Marlins logo. Says submitter Travis Martin, “Found this gem outside the office this morning. At least they added a fish?” … Gotta love MiLB Part XXXVII: Albuquerque Isotopes’ Joc Pederson’s Car To Be Given Away Next Friday (via Jonathan Daniel). … Just what Paul will love: MLB will be using purple bats next season (see last paragraph of article), for PTSD awareness in June, 2015 (thanks to Nicholas Roznovsky). … “My friend recently ordered this Mets poster at the Topps online store,” says Eric Wright. “There is a uniform inaccuracy as Darryl Strawberry is wearing a uniform that didn’t debut until the 1988 season.” (This was worn in 1986). … Interesting baseball ‘fashion’ article on Cut4 asks, “Where do you stand on these five pressing baseball fashion debates?”, and includes such things as “High socks vs low cuffs” (get the terminology right! It’s “high cuffs” not “high socks”). Thanks to Chris Flinn and Steve Dodell for that. … Matt Larsen was watching Eight Men Out and noticed some discrepancies: “First of all the White Sox are shown with a striped cap in Cincinnati — contrary to the Dressed To the Nines website which shows Chicago wearing a striped cap only at home, solid on the road. Also, the movie shows the White Sox buttons on the road jersey going all the way down instead of down to the about the navel (I know there’s a name for that type of jersey but can’t recall it).” [I believe those are known as Henley-style shirts -- PH] … From Mike Engle (via CJ Fogler), comes this “UW moment of zen”: Eduardo Nunez, incapable of keeping his helmet on, gets homemade tape strap. … Wow! Check out this video on baseball uniform making and fashions: St Louis Cardinal manager Red Schoendienst looking at uniform drawings 1968 (great find from Todd Abramson. … Um…check out the Harrisburg Senators urinal screen. Says submitter Charlie Charnigo, “Just about the coolest logoed thing I have ever seen. Don’t know why more teams don’t do this.” … Matt Ryburn was watching yesterday’s Cubs/Orioles game, and noticed the difference in the coaches hats. “I wonder if one is an original. (The one on the left.)” … Not only have stirrups largely disappeared from MLB, they’ve left the kids game too. Check out this photo of the 1971 Indiana Little League, in old footage from the 1971 LLWS (screen grab by Gary Brackle). … On Saturday evening, Matt Adams was having issues with the STL on his helmet (nice grab by Erik Spoonmore). … Gotta love MiLB Vol 273: the Tri-City Valley Cats have a Saratoga (horse racing) themed jersey (via Dave Plante). … This is pretty bad: “Found on the wall of a Buffalo Wild Wings,” says Patrick Bombard. “Disgraceful.” … Speaking of disgraceful, are these going to be the 9/11 ‘Patriots Day’ caps? (h/t Walter Young). Update: It’s just a false alarm
NFL/CFL News: Hopefully, once the regular season starts, the incidences of biker shorts will decrease. Until then, here’s Tim Masthay flouting a pair (screen shot by Jeff Shirley). … Apparently Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has switched helmets from the regular Riddell Revolution to the Revolution Speed helmet, (from Tony Shiffman). … “Ive been in the market for an authentic Chicago Bears throwback jersey and while shopping, I noticed something peculiar about the jerseys,” says Matt Gray. “They may in fact use two different number fonts for the front of the jersey and the back of the jersey.” This concerns Matt “because of my slight OCD about authenticity but I figured I’d ask for your input since you do write for a website devoted to sports uniforms. (T)here is a difference in the 6 on the front of Jay Cutler’s jersey and the 6 of Roberto Garza’s jersey. Thoughts?” … Rob Holecko documented six instances last season where officials were still wearing the 2006-2012 font, but in yesterday’s San Diego-San Francisco game, the Head Linesman #54, is still wearing it!. This was also spotted by David Wellerstein … Also from yesterday’s 49ers/Chargers game, Jim Harbaugh is still wearing his old Super Bowl cap (from Chris Perrenot). Will Hubert thinks Harbaugh needs to stop living in the past. … The field yard numbers at Sunlife Stadium on Saturday were outlines, says Rick Edelman. He asks, “Is that a pre-season only element?” … Alex Giobbi asks, “Are the Chargers helmet stickers bigger than they were last year?” … The Ottawa Redblacks played the Calgary Stampeders yesterday, wearing their new “alternate” uniforms. There was just one problem: the Redblacks helmets (you know, the plaid ones), weren’t ready. So they wore their regular hats. Here’s what the rest of the uniform looks like.
College/High School Football News: Did you ever want to meet the fan who makes the Mississippi State cowbells? Now you can (thanks to Ryan Perkins). … Jarrod Leder was at TCF Bank Stadium the other day and “I noticed that the Gophers’ jersey font including the numbers has made its way to the scoreboard including the ridiculous serif on the top of the 4. I didn’t get a picture, but here is one from the interwebs. Note the clipped corner in the middle of the 9 and the 5.” … Interesting helmets for Mohigan football in Morgantown (from Coleman Mullins). … “My son plays football for St. Paul High School in Santa Fe Springs, Ca.,” says Michael Crespo. “Their mascot is the Swordsmen and they have a sword decal running down the middle with the player’s number on each side. Do you know of any other schools or teams that have a similar type of helmet with a Sword?” … Rumor around Illini fan circles has been that there is going to be a gray “Galloping Ghost” alternate football jersey for the Nike rebrand, according to Brad Kruizenga. “Well, this just went on sale on Fanatics.com. … Wow! Check out this beautiful 1935 Football Letter Sweater from Eau Claire State Teachers College, now known as UW-Eau Claire. That comes from reader Kurt Vogler, and belonged to his cousin’s grandfather. … Apparently KU will have 3 uniform choices for their season opener — none of which include blue/blue/white (via Dave Hanson). … North Texas has a new helmet; here’s what it looks like without the filter. … Eastern Washington Eagle FB players honored victims of the Oso, WA mudslide with these helmet decals. … In case you missed it, Kent State is honoring fallen teammate Jason Bitsko by wearing “54” (his number) on their helmets. … In Saturday’s EWU Kickoff Game, the EWU quarterback had to remove his visor after referees noticed it was tinted in the 4th quarter (great spot by Coleman Mullins. … The Tulane GreenWave is going to have a float that leads them from Tailgating Village to Yulman Stadium (via Morgan Wittenberg). … The University of Houston honoring Heisman winner Andre Ware with an 11-yard line on their new field (from Chris Rodriguez). … Trés Lawless noticed that Vanderbilt freshman, Trent Sherfield, had a different helmet bumper than usual. Vandy is also expected to unveil a new helmet (and maybe full uniform) for their Thirsday opener against Temple. … Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has a shelf containing the helmets of the teams he has coached (h/t Andrew Lind), including all of the Shamrock Series helmets, and some at the end for the Cincy Bearcats (where he coached from 2007-09).
Hockey News: In Friday’s ticker were the Alumni jerseys of the St. Louis Blues. “They read Alumni underneath the Bluenote,” notes Jeff Benton. “That was not Paul, but his father Peter Stasney taking the penalty shot in the video. They play charity games around town and even played against a nashville alum team after the March 17th game this past season in Nashville.” … The Edmonton Oilers’ AHL team, the Oklahoma City Barons, unveiled a new third jersey that seems inspired by the Oilers WHA orange/blue combination. “Not only that, but the jersey was tested last year in their ‘Barons Buddies’ auction benefiting Special Olympics Oklahoma,” notes Robert Newton. Pictures of the new alternate jersey along with the WHL jersey can be found here. A link to last year’s charity auction jersey is here. … Here is a new goalie mask for Andrew Hammond of the Ottawa Senators (from Jason Perrier).
Soccer News: Bit of a “mixing” of sponsor logos with Man U: Scott R. Jamison “thought it a bit odd” that Manchester United players were sporting the Chevrolet logo on their jerseys, but the coaching staff were sporting Aon logos. … More on Man U from Laurence Holland, who writes, “Manchester United wore their new away kit for the first time in league action against Sunderland yesterday. It looks as though Nike badly misestimated where they needed to leave a gap in the red sleeve stripe in order to accommodate the EPL patch, which is worn on both sleeves. So the patch touches the stripe below it and leaves an awkward space above it. It was consistent on all the United players’ shirts (cf. Van Persie and Cleverley) So it’s not a one-off misplacement of the patch.”
NBA/College Hoops/WNBA News: There is now a new Louisville Cardinal bird logo on floor of Yum Center (thanks to Alex Davis). … This Kentucky hoops photo op shows tremendous font inconsistencies (h/t Brandon Owen), especially the 1, 4 and 2. More evidence here (via Tyler Thompson). … There is a new basketball court in Tulane’s Devlin Fieldhouse (via Andrew Lemoine). … In Saturday’s game between the Indiana Fever and the Washington Mystics, Layshia Clarendon of the Fever wore a #98 jersey with no name instead of her usual #5. Apparently she forgot to pack the jersey for the trip to Washington. As #98, and her usual #5 (sent in by Kevin Brown). … Will new Cavalier Kevin Love be wearing “0” in Cleveland, or is that just a placeholder? (h/t Will Lombard).
Grab Bag: New university UT-Rio Grande Valley has narrowed its search for a new mascot down to the final ten contenders (thanks to Cort McMurray). … Here’s an interesting infographic on the Word Counts of Famous Books (sent in by Anthony Nuccio). … Want to break in your new cap? Wear it in the shower (thanks, Brinke). … Ouch. A $200 bottle of Johnnie Walker says “Holiday’s” (thanks to Chris Flinn). … Stripes, stripes baby! In the 1991/92 and 1992/93 seasons, English Division Two team Brighton and Hove Albion wore a strip which featured blue and white striped shirt AND shorts (great find by Graham Clayton). … Pacific Rim Correspondent Jeremy Brahm was watching the Japan vs. Belgium match from the World Grand Prix Finals and a Belgian player got substituted into the match, without a name on her jersey. Ilka Van De Vijver, and #20 was her registered number for the tournament. The rest of her teammates had their names. … A hand bag manufacturer is making bags out of the Baggie wall from the old metrodome (from Patrick O’Neill). … Looks like the big, bad Red Sox will be heading to court over a hockey team who wants top use the name “Stinky Socks” (thanks to Richard Stover).
And that’s going to do it for today. Looking forward to that College Football Preview, so make sure you check back here as I’ll post a link to it as soon as it goes live. There’s a LOT of news, new uniforms, fields, helmets, etc., so you won’t want to miss this one! Big thanks to George for the wonderful colorizations — make sure you guys let him know how great those are!
Everyone have a great Monday (or as good a Monday as you can have) and I’ll catch you all tomorrow.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Nobody should ever throwback to 1994. No, not ever.*
*Exception: if the Nats make the World Series, they need to wear ’94 Expos unis for at least one game.”