— Andrew Weatherly (@arwfsu) June 2, 2016
I have a bunch of MLB style guides from the late 1990s and early 2000s, but none from earlier than that. So when reader Andrew Weatherly recently sent me a tweet (shown above) about a 1980 MLB style guide in his possession, that definitely got my attention. I sent a reply asking him to email me privately, which he did.
During our ensuing back-and-forth, Andrew explained that his father had purchased a printing company in Oregon and that the guide had been left behind by the company’s previous owner. I asked if he’d consider selling it and he said yes, so we agreed upon a fair price and now the guide has been added to my Uni Watch library.
As you can see in his original tweet, Andrew described this as a 1980 guide. I understand why he thought that, because most of the individual style sheets carry a “10/80” notation in the lower-right corner. That means the specs were finalized in October of 1980, which in turn means that they were actually for the 1981 season, not 1980. Also, the guide was packaged in a binder with removable sheets, and the 1981 style sheets for some teams have been swapped out and replaced with updated sheets for the 1982, ’83, or ’84 seasons. So the net result is a bit of an early-1980s hodgepodge.
But it’s still an amazing document, full of invaluable information and some fascinating anomalies. I’ll do a team-by-team rundown in a minute, but first here’s some basic info on the guide: (Continue reading)