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“So relax! Let’s have some fun out here! This game’s fun, OK?…

Cubs Rays Hed - 550

By Phil Hecken

…It’s fun, Goddamit!” — Crash Davis, Bull Durham

Yesterday the Cubs, continuing their throwback-to-each-decade-in-Wrigley’s-existence promo, turned back the clock to 1988, for their game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Of course, the Tampa Bay Rays weren’t in existence in 1988, so instead of throwing back to a minor-league team, they had some fun with the whole idea and “created” a uniform they “might” have worn, had they been in existence in that year.

We’ll get into them in a minute or three. But first — the Cubs.

The Cubs, in theory, selected 1988 as their year in the 80’s, since that was the year they entered modern baseball. The uniforms the Cubs wore in 1988 looked like this (for these and all images, click to enlarge):




As you can see, the uniform is similar to today, with pinstripes, and the same “C-ubs” logo, but with a different (angry bear) patch, and a pullover jersey with sansabelt pants. You can also see that the stirrups were ribbons (and as you’ll see, it’s possible that 2-in-1’s were also worn). The unis were quite tight-fitting. How’d the 2014 Cubs do?:

Rays v Cubs 8-10-14

Cubs v Rays 8-10-14


Pretty well! They got the pinstripes, the pullovers, the sansabelts, the “angry cub” sleeve patch. Everything.

Cubs v Rays 8-10-14

Rays v Cubs 8-10-14

Very nicely done! I have to say, over the past four or five years, I’ve given a lot of grief to Majestic for their treatment of throwbacks, but these were pretty spot on (as have been most of their throwbacks for the past couple years). These were great. Just one problem — the players.

If you saw in the splash photo, almost ALL the Cubs wore 2-in-1’s (if you’re not familiar with what that is, look here or here). They were “created” in the 80s to emulate the look of the ribbon stirrups that were popular at the time. They’re a single sock, with the pattern made to look like a stirrup. Dig:

Rays v Cubs 8-10-14

Cubs v Rays 8-10-14

Yuck. Not only did they wear 2-in-1’s, the wore them wrong. Because the players cuffed their pants too high, the top portion (the solid color) of the sock was showing. Even if you accept the fact that the 2-in-1’s are legitimate baseball hosiery, they were NEVER to be worn with the upper portion showing. Player fail.

But wait, you say — even though the Cubs were throwing back to 1988, didn’t one of the greatest pitchers of all-time, a guy who played for the team in 1988, and who just went into the Hall of Fame this year, Greg Maddux, wear 2-in-1’s? Is it possible they were doing it to “honor” him as well?

That’s actually the rationale I heard yesterday as this game was being played. Indeed, Maddux wore 2-in-1’s and he pitched for the Cubs in 1988. I searched for photos of him from this year, and while I found some of him in 2-in-1’s, it appears he was wearing actual ribbon stirrups in 1988:

Greg Maddux 1988

Greg Maddux 1988

Greg Maddux 1988 greg-maddux

It’s tough to tell, but the top two photos clearly show Maddux wearing ribbon stirrups, while the bottom two may show him with 2-in-1’s. So, if the Cubs indeed wore these to honor Maddux, then I’ll give them a plus for that — but a minus on the guys who cuffed their pants too high.

Still, it looked like the players were having fun with this one — so more power to them!

Now…about those Rays…

If you read yesterday’s Uni Watch (and I know you did), then you know that these uniforms were designed by Stuart Sternberg. Sternberg described the uniform thusly:

The new road “fauxback” uniforms the Rays will debut for today’s ’80s Day game against the Cubs were designed by principal owner Stuart Sternberg, who admits he was inspired by the 1978 Padres. “Pure ripoff,” Sternberg said. “With a little, you know, here and there.” The pants (beltless, by the way) and most of the jersey are light blue, with the sleeves, trim and socks yellow. Sternberg, who also designed the original Rays logo and the first fauxbacks, was quite pleased with his latest. “The retro uniforms I’m in love with,” he said, “and clearly the rebranding and logos worked out beautifully.”


We’ve covered the other Rays’ fauxbacks before — you know, the ones they’ve worn the past three years and that look like this:


The difference (which we’ll get to momentarily) between yesterday’s fauxback and the previous one was pretty much just a color swap. They took the navy blue primary and made it a powder blue, took away the powder blue sleeves and made them gold yellow, and changed the cap. They also removed (or didn’t add) the City of St. Petersburg patch. They also, um, had the “ZIM” patch for recently deceased (2014) Don Zimmer — if they were wearing that patch in 1988 it would have been pretty scary. Oops.

Zim Patch on Fauxback

Rays throwback comparison

How’d those look on the field?

Rays v Cubs 8-10-14

Cubs v Rays 8-10-14

Rays v Cubs 8-10-14 Cubs v Rays 8-10-14

OK! Now, I happen to think these uniforms are horribly awesome — so I was incredibly pumped to see them. There are clearly a number of problems with them, not the least of which is the fact that we are required to suspend disbelief to accept that not only did the Rays have a team (and uniforms) in 1978, and that not only did this mythical team exist into 1988, they kept essentially the same uniforms (and uniform style) from a decade earlier — a design that was (admittedly) a ripoff of the 1978 Padres. Logic dictates the trajectory of the “1988 Rays” uniforms might have evolved along these lines. Nope — the team that didn’t exist was caught in a uniform timewarp of 10 (design) years. But still, the unis were great. Awfully great, but great. And clearly it looks like the Rays are having fun with this.

Although they did create new caps for this uniform, the went with the ‘1978’ batting helmets, which actually didn’t look too bad at all:


The other concern raised by several in yesterday’s comments, and elsewhere, was the fact that these Rays began their “real” baseball life as the “Devil Rays” so therefore, shouldn’t either the dark blue 1978 fauxbacks, or these 1988 jobbies, have said “Devil Rays” instead of just the shortened (and current) version? To which I say, “so what”? They’re making this all up, they should be able to call themselves “Rays” for their mythical team.

After all, there is certainly precedent for a team beginning life with one name, changing it, then changing it back (as the Reds/Redlegs/Reds) have done. Maybe there was a push after 1989 to name the team simply after the animal “Devil Ray” due to the harmful effects of the sun’s rays? Then they came to their senses in 2008 and returned to just “Rays”? Who knows.

Interestingly, a couple weeks ago, Rob Holecko came up with a mythical 1978-1997 Rays->Devil Rays progression. Perhaps they could have gone with something like this for their fauxback.

There was also some internal discussion amongst the CorC (a secret, sub-UW-society) as to why they didn’t just go with a minor league team (for their throwbacks). Well, there were (at least) two minor league teams in the Tampa/St. Pete area in 1988 — the Tampa White Sox and the St. Petersburg Cardinals — both of which probably would have posed some issues — so they went with the mythical Tampa Bay Rays instead. And it was good.

I really enjoyed the uniforms yesterday — even the Cubbies miswearing of the 2-in-1’s. This game is fun, OK?

“And don’t hold the ball so hard, OK? It’s an egg. Hold it like an egg.”

Readers, what say you?

[special thanks to Cork Gaines and Jamal Wilburg for two of the photos used above]



And now a quick word from Paul: The Uni Watch 15th-anniversary patches are now in stock and available for ordering, and I don’t mind saying that they look pretty damn good. Full details here.

+ + + + +


Raffle reminder: Remember, we’re currently raffling off three copies of this visual compendium of baseball uniform history.

Full details here.


Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: The Braves will be wearing this “Pete” patch, in honor of Pete Van Wieren, for the rest of the season (h/t Mike Nessen). Who is Pete Van Wieren? Now you know. … This is neat! Apparently based off of Paul’s tweet, C. Trent Rosecrans has mocked up possible pillbox caps for the 2015 All Star Game. C’mon Reds, make it happen! … Todd Radom notes that the pillbox style was known as Anson for the 1981 Pirates. … From Bruce Menard, feast on this 1953 Bowman Color Baseball Card 5 ¢ Box – featuring Joe DiMaggio. Also from Bruce, check out The Mick and the Yankee Clipper (with Jerry Dior’s patch), from 8/9/69. … On Friday night, the Baltimore Orioles had a 60th anniversary celebration in which they wore 1954 throwbacks. They looked awesome. Also, that night, Gary Thorne pulled out the sleeve patch from 2011 (to honor the late Mike Flanagan) and used it as a lapel pin for the Orioles 60th anniversary celebration (great grab by Jack Krabbe). … On Friday, The Ogden Raptors wore camo for Military night (thanks to Tyson Jex). … The York Revolution wore 1969 York Pirates (AA Eastern League Champions) tribute jerseys & caps on Friday. … “My father-in-law shared a State College Spikes (short season A, Cardinals) program with me that he picked up recently at a game,” writes Mike Wissman Check out the photo I found on the back page — it’s your ‘Play Ball Family Of The Game’!” … Is that the MLB logo on Curtis Granderson’s right sock? Sure looks like it (thanks, Paul). In fact it definitely is (thanks, Brinke). … “It strikes me as odd that the Oakland A’s use two different button layouts on their alternate jerseys,” writes Peter Fahey. “Even though the basic designs are the same, the gold jersey uses a large gap between buttons on the placket as if lettering was to be included there. In contrast, the green one uses evenly spaced buttons, as common sense would dictate, because there is nothing actually sewn on the center of the jersey. Is it possible to ask Mr. Vucinich from the Oakland staff about this discrepancy?” It’s especially odd since the A’s old green jersey used to spell “Athletics” across the rubicon (and would need the uneven button spacing), since changed to A’s on the left breast and placket piping while the gold jersey never had anything but an “A’s” in this style. You’d think if anything, the uneven spacing would be reversed. … JD Denison was looking at the “A Visual Compendium of Baseball Uniforms” print and found a mistake: The Mariners TATC jersey (second from the bottom, sixth from the left) is listed as having been worn in 1999. It was actually worn in 1998. The 1999 Mariners TATC jerseys were red. … Despite the dearth of players to actively wear the Iso-BLOX protective cap, the MLB union is working to get better head protection for pitchers. … The Brewers broke out their ‘retro BP jerseys’ (again) on Friday night. … The Brewers did their annual ethnic heritage celebration yesterday, and it was Cervaceros Day at Miller Park (h/t Jeff Ash). … One added benefit of the O’s throwback game — on Sunday, Zach Britton was still wearing the striped stirrups! (via @ColonelWill). … I’m not exactly what the “Perfect Game All-American Classic” is, but it was played at Petco Park yesterday (h/t Brady Phelps). If you dare, you can see more photos and tweets here. … The Toronto Blue Jays wore red caps & jerseys yesterday because “Canada Baseball Day” (more photos here).

NFL/CFL News: The new CFL “third” uniform unveilings have begun – here’s what the Saskatchewan Roughriders will be breaking oot (Mike Styczen will have a full breakdown on the new CFL unis shortly). … Check out the backplate on Hakeem Nicks. Connor (@CKruggs) wonders if he brought his NY Giants gear with him. … Here’s what the Panthers 20 Seasons logo looks like on their field, and on their jersey. … The Eagles have finally adopted the “Elite 51” style uniform from Nike. Look at that collar — woof! … On Friday, we revealed the Bucs awful number font was “reflective.” Here is how reflective those jerseys looked under the lights (big thanks to Samuel Lam for those grabs) — full gallery here. … Johnny Ek had this on Saturday, but ICYMI: During Friday night’s Washington football team game, there was an upside-down “3” on the field (thanks Rydell Commisso). … Red Zone adverts (h/t @TheRealBirdGang) is really getting out of hand (via CJ Fogler). Here’s some more on that (thanks, Brinke). … Looks like the Jaguars didn’t update their logo for the area where the ref goes under the hood to check a replay (nice spot by David Gambill). … According to this article, then-Chiefs offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz (now with the Giants) spoke at the Hyman Brand Hebrew Day School, the only Hebrew day school in Kansas City, where he was presented with a personalized yarmulke with his uniform number and HNoB (that’s “Hebrew name on back”.) No photos though (thanks to Gregory Koch). … Reader Kenneth Warren was watching the Browns preseason game and noticed what appears to be an error in the height of the uni numbers. … On Saturday night, Kevin Dorsey of the Packers was missing TV numbers on his jersey (from Taylor Meiklejohn).

College/High School Football News: Here is a nifty little slideshow of Wyoming helmets from 1969 through today. … Here’s an example of a memorial patch on a high school team from 2000. Says submitter Raymie Humbert: “Note the ‘KV 50’ memorial patch and the ’50 on the back of player #54’s bumper. This was Sunnyside High School in Tucson, Arizona.” … Ugh: Pearland High School in Texas has introduced a gray uniform with gray numbers (thanks to Chris Mycoskie). Chris notes this is a clear violation of first rule mentioned on page 3 here. “Now will officials actually enforce it?” he adds. … The Marshall Thundering Herd released a shot of their all green unis for 2014. Clint Richardson, who submitted this, thinks those numbers might be illegal. Marshall says “no”. Here’s another look (from Graham Nesselrode). And another and another (from Coleman Mullins). … Also from Clint Richardson, new home, away and “blackout game” uniforms for Middle Tennessee State University. … Also getting new uniforms are the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks (h/t @TheNotRealLeo). … GT posted a picture of this billboard with the same uniforms and the new ACC logo. Submitter Daniel Hargis says, “this billboard shows the GT helmet has a white facemask. Either this is new or the Tech marketing department is being lazy and not showing any attention to detail, which it has been guilty of for years (especially since they have Russell as it’s uniform provider).” … This is the new University of the Incarnate Word helmet (via Chris Mycoskie). Since I knew you’d ask. … “This is my high school in Northwest Indiana,” says Gary Moore. “Our school colors are black and gold, there is much uproar on Facebook about the new field being yellow instead of gold.”

NBA News: On Friday I mentioned that NBA fans (per Darren Rovell) could get a refund on their Andrew Wiggins jerseys if the item was in original condition an still had its tagging. Well, he amended that to note the jersey can be returned with or without tags (thanks, Brinke). … Reader Mike Wernsing, Jr. saw this picture of Mitch Richmond with the Golden State Warriors. On his jersey he had a Captain “C” patch. “Thought that was odd with him only playing for 3 years in Golden State (to have the Captaincy patch),” says Mike, but then “vaguely remember something in the ticker a few days ago about Chris Mullin with a C patch also.” … NBA Rookies get style advice “the Rest Of Us Can Use” (from TommyTheCPA. … From this weekend’s Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement: both Alonzo Mourning and Mitch Richmond posed with mid-90s alt unis, Mourning in the red Heat number and Richmond in the Kings’ black/purple checkerboard getup (from Yusuke Toyoda).

Soccer News: Most of the new Euro league kits have been released for their upcoming season, and here is a nice roundup of Barclays Premier League kits for 2014-15. … Interesting note from Gabe Oppenheim about the Liga MX (Mexican top flight soccer league) unis this year: “I’m watching Jaguares de Chiapas vs Leon right now. What makes Chiapas unis so interesting is that they’re covered in nature-conservation messages (in Spanish). One says, ‘Guard the water,’ another says ‘the rainforest is green’ and a third (the biggest one) says ‘Protect Nature’.” … “I was at a soccer game on Monday between my own team IFK and rivals AIK,” says Magnus Olsson. “AIK has Costa Rican World Cup player Celso Borges on their team but I did not expect him to play due to injury. He however did, and this was apprarently something that AIK did not count on either which resulted in an odd uni-issue.” … Southampton are going back to manufacturing their own kits (which Uni Watch has discussed before), after a dispute with Adidas (nice find by Gabriel Luis Manga). … Bogotá side Independiente Santa Fe wore throwbacks on Saturday, which doesn’t happen really often in soccer, notes Fernando Cardenas. If you want a look at the team regulars so you can compare, you can find them here. He adds the throwbacks don’t “really look that throwback (the red team) for two factors: 1. sponsorship, Honda Motors’ logo actually looks a bit funny because it had to be placed lower; 2. The team’s consistent look throughout time with red solids and white sleves.”

Grab Bag: A British food company is under fire for a new logo, which just happens to look like an ejaculating dick a phallus (thanks, I think, to Brian Wulff). … There’s a new kit for the Welsh rugby team Ospreys (from Eric Bangeman). … The Leicester Tigers have a new home shirt (via @TheLupineOne). … Back in the mid 1990’s South Australian National Football League team Norwood experimented with zip-up jerseys, but the idea was quickly abandoned (thanks to Graham Clayton). … Here’s the new BLK white kit for USA Rugby, shown with no adverts as it is for Women’s rugby World Cup (thanks to Adam Ingle). … This is pretty funny: A couple of uni-related gags in NBCSN’s new Ted Lasso promo (nice find from Yusuke Toyoda. … Check out this Bears jersey cake given to the cousin of Ryan Lindemann. “It was made by his sister-in-law,” says Ryan. I pointed out the GSH was missing and was harassed.” … Ooooohhhh — nice! The World Hockey Association has a Hall of Fame website that contains great photos and program covers (great, great find from Dave Hembree).


And that’s it for this fine Monday. Lots to discuss in the comments today, so don’t be shy. Hope everyone had a good weekend. And Paul, hope you’re enjoying The Pine Tree State.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken


.. … ..

“The team formed as the Devil Rays. Their pretend history as a team presumably founded in the 60”²s is kinda dumb when it uses the current name and colors. They’re basically saying that the entire Devil Rays era was a fluke, kinda like the blue/white/red Detroit Pistons’ teal era.”
— THE Jeff Provo


Comments (108)

    Any time the Brewers ditch their awful modern uniforms for the their True Blue color scheme is okay by me, even if it involves softball-top BP jerseys.

    Surprised they didn’t wear the BP caps to match.

    It might be helpful to point out that the Brewers’ retro item ended up in the NFL section instead of the MLB section…

    Yeah, sorry — now fixed. Not sure how that got there instead of the MLB section, but it’s in the MLB section now.

    Thanks. It does catch me off-guard when something like that happens, as my particular site-visiting habit is to scroll to the comments after each section, then go back up and read the next one.

    You can say the players “cuffed their pants too high” but Majestic should have made the pants longer to begin with. What is the inseam of these pants? Eckersley, I know was gone by ’88, but he wore the same style uniform and his sansabelt Cubs pants were 28″, that’s a start.

    I love the Rays’ uniforms, but yeah, I wish they had come up with a design that felt more like 1988. Otherwise, I’m totally cool with them inventing their own faux history. Why not? And heck, with the push we had in sports for “angry mascots” throughout the 90s and 00s, I could definitely see them deciding to go with “Devil Rays” and going heavy on the use of black for a while.

    Part of me would like to see teams such as the D-Backs, Marlins, and Rockies get in on this fauxback action, but perhaps it would just water down the whole concept.

    “… … The Eagles have finally adopted the ‘Elite 51’ style uniform from Nike. Look at that collar – woof! … ”

    I actually like the overall look (collar doesn’t bug me as much as it bugs Phil). The only problem is that damn shade of dark green. That uni in white-and-Kelly would be just fine.

    Let’s not overlook that Kelly Green is particularly appropriate for a Philadelphia team because Philly is the home of the greatest Kelly family of them all. John B Kelly was a bricklayer-turned-construction magnate who was the greatest oarsman of his time: Olympic gold and firsts at Henley. [Interested readers may want to check out the lively story of John B versus the Henley Establishment; the English toffs had some trouble with our man’s background.] Anyway, John B Kelly’s son – also John Kelly — himself was an Olympic gold medal oarsman. His brother George won a Pulitzer for playwriting and his sister Grace was a movie star. Which is why the Philadelphia Eagles should wear Kelly Green.

    Another reason to dislike Nike: the Elite jersey price went up from $250.00 to $300.00 – they are selling last year’s cut (not Elite 51) and will most likely unveil new jerseys next year or the year after.

    This is on the Eagles website, and the NFL Shop website. Dick move, all for the sake of hiding an unveiling we all know will happen.

    With the amount of counterfeit jerseys being purchased & “justified” by fans, to treat your loyal fans like this is shameful.

    As an Eagles fan (without seeing the Elite 51 in midnight green yet) it feels like this whole season is a colour test (looking for fans’ reactions).


    The Cubs and Rays are in different leagues. How on Earth are they playing against each other on Aug. 10?

    There are 15 teams in each league. That means that EVERY SERIES will feature at least one interplague game. You had one on opening day (Phillies v. Rangers) and you’ll have one on the last weekend of the season (Astros v. Mets) — and every series in between.

    there is at least one interleauge game every day during the season..

    i don’t get why they just don’t make all the Conference teams play each other more instead of all the interleague play..

    i mean like the ALC playing the ALE, ALW more often,for instance the Indians only have two series with the Rays, one at home and one away. why not the other divisions in your conference more often than force interleague play

    Obviously the Rays switched leagues at some point in the early 90’s. Maybe that’s why they added the Devil to their name.

    Or something.

    With the Rays in the AL and D-Backs in the NL in 1988, the AL would have 15 teams and the NL 13. So it’s safe to say the Rays were in the NL during their “fake” history, and switched to the AL when they became the Devil Rays in 1998.

    Those Northern Arizona uniforms are actually legible. C’mon Lumberjacks, get with the program. (Sarcasm mode off) I spent several years covering Texas high school football — the thought of tracking those Pearland jerseys would have driven me to the obituary desk, one way or the other.

    OK guys, I need your help. A paint scheme that I designed is one of three finalists. I would appreciate it if you would go to link and, unfortunately, you have to register (they will not send you any aggravating emails) to be able to vote for one of the three schemes. Mine is entitled, “GHOST FLAME.” Thanks in advance!

    They’re race cars, during a season they may use 4 or 5 different variants on a paint scheme, and many times one of those schemes is black. Not really BFBS.

    Why does anytime anyone wants to use black in a color scheme, it becomes BFBS? Is black an off-limits color?

    The company sponsoring the car has official colors. They are red and white. Every time the car has run, it has been primarily red and white, with the exception of a wood pattern during the NCAA tournament.

    If there’s no reason for the use of black besides “it looks cool/intimidating/fast/etc” That is the definition of Black For Black’s Sake.

    Seconded. I was won over by the appearance of the All-Star hats, this year. It could turn into a neat custom.

    Overall, I’m liking the pillbox hat concepts, except for the Dodgers. I would’ve used white piping and squatchee instead of red. However, the Marlins hat is especially eye-catching with the multi-color piping.

    The Tigers is wrong as well. The piping and “D” need to be the same color. If the style is adopted for next year’s game (where the AL would be the visitors), the Tigers would need a navy cap with orange stripes and an orange “D.”

    Did the Cubs wear grey pants with those 1988 road unis or white pants?

    I can’t seem to tell for sure. Okkonen appears to show white but elsewhere they look grey.


    On the Twitter, I once used “EPL” and was corrected to “It’s BARCLAYS Premier League” — so I was a tad gun-shy.

    If everyone is OK with it, shall I just use EPL from now on?

    I use Premier League (or English Premier League when I need disambiguation from other Premier Leagues), but always abbreviate it as EPL.

    I know BPL could theoretically stand for “British Premier League” given the presence of Welsh and Scottish teams in the past, but Scotland has its own Premier League so even that would be a misnomer.

    OK — I’m still trying to learn all this footy stuff, so please bear with me…

    Is the “Barclays Premier League” the “English Premier League”? or just “Premier League”? I’m just trying to figure out what to use (and I’ll just use “Premier League” if appropriate) instead of the corporate sponsor…


    “Corrected by who?”


    I don’t remember, maybe a troll — point being, I’m not as familiar with the proper names and such of all the leagues out there, and I don’t want to be improper. If EPL is essentially the same thing as Barclays, then I will use that.

    I know BPL could theoretically stand for “British Premier League” given the presence of Welsh and Scottish teams in the past,

    I don’t think there has ever been a Scottish team in the Premier League (or the top flight of English soccer).

    “I don’t think there has ever been a Scottish team in the Premier League (or the top flight of English soccer).”

    That’s correct. link played in the low levels of the English league system until 2002, when they were elected into the Scottish Football League. That’s the only Scottish side to have played in the English system.


    Eh, I find “EPL” (adding a letter that doesn’t exist in the name) and the apostrophe catastrophe more bothersome than the corporate-sponsored name.

    To me, “EPL” sounds like saying “NAMLB” to abbreviate “Major League Baseball”, but it doesn’t bug me enough to send threatening emails to Phil.

    I just go by “the Prem” if I need to shorten (“PL” might be a tad bit confusing for this site, nobody says “FAPL” for “F.A. Premier League”).

    People use “E”PL to differentiate England’s version of the Premier League since there are so many Premier Leagues, globally.
    If people aren’t worried about differentiation, then Premier League or the Premiership is generally used.

    Only corporate partners use “B”PL, and for the layperson to do so seems like shilling.


    I still end up referring to it as “The Premiership” more often than not, even though it appears that name is no longer in any official use. The fact that the Saturday evening highlights show which appeared on Irish television for much of my childhood was called “The Premiership” probably helped to permanently ingrain it into my psyche.

    To me, “EPL” sounds like saying “NAMLB” to abbreviate “Major League Baseball”, but it doesn’t bug me enough to send threatening emails to Phil.

    Not to mention it sounds kind of “noobish”. While I had probably seen it written before, I had certainly never heard anybody say EE-PEE-ELL until just a few years ago when I first became aware of American European soccer fetishists.

    You make it sound so seamy!

    Well, that’s our Padday. ;)

    Phil, I think you can just use “Premier League”. Everyone understands what it means in context. There are other leagues which have adopted the name, but have none of its prestige.

    FWIW, the Men In Blazers, whom I consider authority on all things English soccer consumption in America, uses “EPL”.

    Still, I’m not sure there are enough “Premier Leagues” in the world, at least link. “La Liga” would seem to require more differentiating it, but people seem to get that you’re talking about the Spanish league.

    “Phil, I think you can just use ‘Premier League'”


    Thank you Chance — that was the answer I was looking for!

    You could call it THE Premier League, and people would know what you mean.

    Unless Barclays pays your bills, you don’t have to invoke their name at all. EPL is fine.

    Not a Uni Watch issue, but what’s with the file names vs. pictures on the Tampa White Sox and St. Pete Cards examples from the end of the main article?

    Filename: Len Barker
    Actual Player: Leon Baham

    Filename: Dennis Casey (played in 1900!)
    Actual Player: Dennis Carter



    I like the idea of “Tampa Bay Devil Rays” being an anomaly, a fluke. Try this on:

    It’s 1974. Amid massive cost overruns and charges of corruption, the IOC takes the unprecedented step of revoking Montreal’s bid for the 1976 Olympics. The Games are awarded to runner-up bidder Moscow, where poorly built stadia, crumbling infrastructure, and comically inept organization serves to put the failings of the Soviet system on an international stage. Within four years, the USSR is no more. Gerald Ford, riding a tide of goodwill and American confidence fueled the the USA’s performance at the games, wins election in 1976, and is present in 1979, as the Berlin Wall is dismantled.

    Meanwhile, in Montreal, the Expos are in trouble. Jarry Park, never meant to be more than a temporary home, is inadequate. City fathers, stinging over their Olympics fiasco, refuse to put any public funds into a new stadium. Left with few options, the Bronfman family decides to sell the club to a consortium of investors from central Florida, which includes the Tropicana Company, noted songbird, evangelical Christian and Florida orange juice pitchwoman Anita Bryant, and St. Augustine School for the Blind alumnus Ray Charles.

    Just weeks before the start of the 1976 season, Major League Baseball announces that the Expos would be relocating to Florida, and be rechristened the Tampa Bay Rays. The club played its first three seasons at Al Lopez Field, while a new baseball only stadium, modeled after Kaufmann Stadium in Kansas City, was built for them.

    The team name and colors were designed to reflect the personalities and interests of its principle owners. Tropicana insisted on elements evoking sunshine and citrus fruit. Ms. Bryant felt that “Rays” evoked the notion of spiritual enlightenment, rays of light descending from Heaven (Ms. Bryant’s involvement with the club ended following her 1977 “Bible Night” promotion, which saw the Rays forfeiting the second game of a doubleheader to the Chicago White Sox after fans bombarded the field with Old Testaments. Sox centerfielder Chet Lemon was briefly hospitalized after being hit in the head with a well-thrown book of Scriputure).

    For fans, the “Ray” in “Rays” was Mr. Charles, who frequently appeared at games. His pregame rendition of “America” became a revered and much anticipated staple of the Rays experience.

    I could write about the World Series victories, the long and storied careers of Randy Johnson, Gary Carter and Tim Raines, the sale of the club to Ford Motor Credit and their brief infatuation with shimmery rainbow effects, cephalic finned fish of the Gulf of Mexico, and Wade Boggs, but I have already gone on too long.

    While reading this, I imagined the whole scenario illustrated by Bruce McCall paintings, a la the National Lampoon. Brilliant.

    1988 was a year where baseball’s scale was sliding toward the conservative. Texas and San Diego had dumped their flashy duds, yet the Astros continued in the tequila sunrise threads. It was canny branding to continue the Rays’ graphic iconography to illustrate their fictional past, but a stickler for details (not to mention a person to avoid at parties) would prefer something plain. The calendar suggests something ordinary-looking, like the Red Sox’ grey uniforms of the era. Maybe “Tampa Bay” in blue block lettering, outlined in Columbia blue, on the front of the jersey.

    Alternatively, they could’ve gone with racing stripes. A few teams still had them (including the Astros), and a couple of teams hadn’t even gone through that phase yet (Cleveland 1989-93; Detroit road 1994).

    Forget having 1990’s expansion teams wearing 1960’s fauxbacks, why not have 1960’s and 70’s expansion teams wear fauxbacks? I’d love to see what the Mets would have looked like in 1935 or the Mariners in 1920.

    For that matter, I’d love to see what ’60s and ’70s fashion misadventures the Browns, Senators, and Pilots might have gotten into had they stuck around.

    ’60s and ’70s fashion misadventures would be more fun than ’90s misadventures (Brewers, Angels, Astros…)

    JD Denison was looking at the “A Visual Compendium of Baseball Uniforms” print and found a mistake

    There are a ton of errors on that print.

    They use the Yankees’ link everywhere, instead of the correct jersey or cap logos.

    The bill of the 1993 Marlins’ cap should be black, not royal blue.

    The Brewers never wore their 1994 primary logo on a cap, just the interlocking “MB”.

    And that’s even allowing for the hand-drawn nature that distorts scripts like link or the Brewers’ 2012 cap logo.

    I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that those 1959 Dodgers and 1927 Yankee uniforms are actually gray instead of the white they appear to be, but the 1937 Brooklyn Dodgers letters are clearly blue when they should be green. And while the tiny red numbers on the ’55 Dodgers could be chalked up to artistic license, the blue piping on the sleeves and pants is link.

    It’s a fantastic idea, but the execution needs some work.

    Update on the numbering color rule: Greeneville College (d-3) has been granted a temporary stay in the rule because they bought new uniforms just before the rule was created. However the next time they purchase new uniforms they must comply. If they were d-1 I wonder if the result would have been the same.

    Note, the Marshall uniforms are legal. They are contrasting enough, though they’re still aesthetically-challenged. Uggo!

    The issue isn’t the contrast, the issue is that NCAA rules require numbers to be one solid color.

    Actually, I stand corrected on my correction. There is nothing in the in NCAA rule book about one solid color. It’s the NFHS rule that says the numbers have to be a continuous color or solid. Here is the NCAA rule:

    Rule 1-4-4-c-3. Numerals. The jersey must have clearly visible, permanent Arabic numerals measuring at least 8 and 10 inches in height front and back, respectively, of a color that itself is clearly in distinct contrast with the color of the jersey, irrespective of any border around the number. All players of a team shall have the same color and style numbers front and back. The individual bars must be approximately 1-½ inches wide. Numbers on any part of the uniform shall correspond with the mandatory front and back jersey numbers. (Note: This rule change takes effect for FBS institutions in 2013 and for FCS, Division II and Division III institutions in 2014.)

    re: the Marshal numbers… the rule says the numbers “must be of one solid color that itself is clearly in distinct contrast with the color of the jersey”.

    I think the key word in that passage (which is out of the NCAA rules) is “solid”. Even though the Marshal equipment manager said they were solid, thats not how I (or I would assume most other people) define “solid”.

    I would think that because this was a 2013 rule, Marshall/Nike clarified the rule. I don’t know.


    Oh right, I guess I was thinking of it in regards to the clearly contrasting part of the rule. You care correct that they are not one solid color.

    Actually, I stand corrected on my correction. There is nothing in the in NCAA rule book about one solid color. It’s the NFHS rule that says the numbers have to be a continuous color or solid. Here is the NCAA rule:

    Rule 1-4-4-c-3. Numerals. The jersey must have clearly visible, permanent Arabic numerals measuring at least 8 and 10 inches in height front and back, respectively, of a color that itself is clearly in distinct contrast with the color of the jersey, irrespective of any border around the number. All players of a team shall have the same color and style numbers front and back. The individual bars must be approximately 1-½ inches wide. Numbers on any part of the uniform shall correspond with the mandatory front and back jersey numbers. (Note: This rule change takes effect for FBS institutions in 2013 and for FCS, Division II and Division III institutions in 2014.)

    “The new CFL “third” uniform unveilings have begun — here’s what the Saskatchewan Roughriders will be breaking oot.”

    Dang it, Phil! Can you please put a viewer discretion warning on those photos? What are you trying to do, blind somebody?

    Random question: what year did cool-base jerseys come into existence to be worn on the field? If I asked this question a few days ago on here…I forgot to check back to see if there were any responses. My bad haha

    For the third straight throwback, the cut of the sleeves for the Cubs is wrong.

    For the 1969 throwback, the Cubs used raglan sleeves and should have had set-in sleeves…for the 1978 and yesterday, they had set-in and should have had raglan. Obviously majestic can easily make either cut…so why screw it up 3 straight times?

    Rays fan here. Don’t care about the fauxbacks. They’re ugly, but so is Grant Balfour in a late-game situation. I would not waste precious synapses trying to fit them into a chronology.

    That said, Tampa Tarpons would have avoided the Cardinals/White Sox thing, but wouldn’t have been 1988, as the Tarpons were gone by then. And the Rays have worn Tarpons unis before (not that it would have made sense as a minor league team anyway).

    As 1978 fauxbacks, they’d have been fine. By 1988, things were starting to slide almost to the traditional. I think button downs made their return around 1990, as did belts.

    But you know what we DIDN’T have in 1988? Those stupid-ass rope-whatever necklaces that pitchers wear that cannot under any circumstances on this planet help you pitch better.

    Are you sure that the problem is pants that are cuffed too high? It looks like some of them may be tucked into the socks.

    That was how I was taught to wear baseball pants (but I would almost guarantee our pants were cut longer than what the players had yesterday).

    You’d drop your pants, them pull your socks up. Next you’d determine how high you wanted the pants to go, and pull the bottoms of the pants up inside-out to that height. Then you’d fold the socks (both stirrup and sanitary) over the pants. Pull up the pants and you’ll be wearing them properly.

    Though tucking the pant leg into the sock is a cardinal sin, it’s rather a moot point here – whether they were tucked or cuffed, they were too high either way. Period appropriateness would have dictated pant legs which ended around mid shin. Most, if not all, had the pant leg cuffed (or possibly tucked for some tucked) just under the knee.

    Aaaaaah, now I see why Melon Head said…
    “The first rule of CorC: You do not talk about CorC.
    The second rule of CorC: You do NOT TALK ABOUT CorC.”
    …I still say they should have gone with a twisted version of the 88 road Expos, or 88 road Astros, but it was a fun game none the less.

    Following up on all the Expos talk the last two days, today is the 20th anniversary of the end of the 1994 season.


    What could have been…

    If the Nats ever make it to the World Series, they should be allowed to wear 1994 Expos uniforms for one game.

    And that’s the only time I want to see something 1994-related when it comes to baseball.

    Since today is “inauthentic but fun” day, I’ll suggest the 1980s uniforms (powder blue! racing stripes! pinwheels!) to commemorate the 1994 team.

    I really enjoyed the Rays fauxbacks the first time they did it. It was an extremely enjoyable one-off novelty for a team that is known for not taking itself particularly seriously.

    I’m not sure of the exact number of times they’ve worn them now, but I’m fairly certain this is the third season in a row they’ve worn them, and the novelty is wearing off quick (Especially since they’re selling them on MLBshop for $340).

    I’d definitely buy an All-Star pillbox-style cap. I’m perhaps one of the few who loved the style at the time and wore it on the softball diamond throughout the 1980s. (On the other hand, I really dislike the white cut-outs on the fronts of the caps such as what was seen on this year’s all-star caps or more commonly on, for example, the home Orioles — always thought that was an unbalanced, cheesy look.)

    True, for the time being the hat thing is fun, but I see it wearing out its welcome down the road. Some teams don’t lend themselves to gimmicks. Far be it from me to speak for Frere Le Cracquere, but the white-fronted caps seem like the sort of thing he’d disparage for being “too 1970s”.

    The Tampa Bay Rays are so ashamed of their Devil Rays past that they engage in a series of tweets with the Cubs who flew their Devil Rays flag outside Wrigley for the throwback occasion.


    Regarding the TATC uniforms, are there any photos of the Orioles’ TATC uni’s?
    Speaking of the O’s, their throwbacks did look great, especially the cream color and the socks. The new white front helmet with them, not so much.

    I realize the Rays fauxbacks are a “just for fun” thing, but I would love to see the team adopt that navy/powder/yellow color scheme (in a less garish arrangement). It looks pretty good, no one else in baseball is using it, and Tampa currently wears some of the most generic uniforms in Major League Baseball. They can keep that sunburst/lemon slice/Ashokan Chakra logo, as well.

    Vilk, LIPhil, and other UW vets, just chiming in to say hello. I’m still alive and daily scanner if you wondered. The ticker these days is too long to pick through tediously, but dig the pillboxes. Not for a fan to wear but it’s the first alt hat I’ve liked for a players special occasion. Hate patches on the side though. Phil, try to get at least a little work done at your real job this month.

    Anyone watching the Kentucky basketball exhibition game? Kentucky is wearing what they claim are their “new”uniforms for the season. Horrendous!


    It’s been written (I think here) that these uniforms are only for UK’s foreign tour, and not for the upcoming NCAA season.

    Shhhh, don’t tell anyone, but the Cubs’ throwback jerseys are missing the (R) registered trademark letter that they had on the real 1988 jerseys (as they do today). I’m not complaining about this “mistake”.

    They also positioned the number a little too low (as Majestic always seems to do), and the “3” is a little too sharp; it has the same degree of sharpness as the corners of 6, 9, and 0. In reality, the 3 is slightly more rounded than those other digits. link

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