By Phil Hecken
As many of you know, I love the Houston Astros “tequila sunset” jerseys — it was a great look for a “space age” (or cutting edge) team like the Astros, and I was sad to see it go as a uniform element.
But what made it great was that it was such a unique look — no one in Major League Baseball before or since has worn anything even close to that. I would think that if two or three teams had adopted the rainbow guts look at the time, it would have looked awful — probably ruining it not only for everyone else, but for the Astros as well. We wouldn’t look back so fondly at those uniforms today as we do.
We know the look is still popular amongst college teams — particularly adidas-clad teams — who have created the tequila sunrise look for several of their schools in the past couple of years. Admittedly, it looks better on some teams than on others.
I didn’t realize, however, that this mid-70s phenomenon would remain so popular today, as evidenced by several tweets I saw (and Paul R/Ted) yesterday:
— AbingtonSports (@abingtonsports) April 3, 2015
— Tyler Wesolowski (@TWesolowski11) April 3, 2015
— TJ Miller (@T_J_Miller) April 3, 2015
— Langhorne Basketball (@LanghorneBBall) April 3, 2015
— Pioneer Baseball (@Pioneerbaseball) April 3, 2015
The look, in my opinion, worked because it began during the height of the polyester/sansabelt craze — the jerseys were (and for the most part still are) pullovers, the pants unbelted. And they especially worked back in the day because players wore proper hosiery. To me — if you’re going to go for this look, the uni has to fairly resemble that worn by the Express (click to enlarge):
That look nailed all the right elements: a nice color scheme (athletic gold to orange to red), dark contrasting color for the sleeves and stirrups, even the white shoes work. And of course, pullover and sansabelt uniform. Because I think we’d probably agree it doesn’t nearly “work” as well as a look when you wear the uniform baggy, with belt and black shoes (and it doesn’t look all that great with the sansabelt either, if you wear it in a modern cut):
How about combining the tequila sunrise look with colored pants? Is that “too much” of a good thing, or is it “fitting”. Regardless, this is a look that really needs no belt and should show hose:
What do you guys think of the “tequila sunrise/rainbow guts” as a uniform look? Is this a relic of another time that should have been left there, or a great new way to inject a bit more color into the uniform palette? Is it fun when just one or two teams have this “signature” look — or should everyone (or many) teams have an alternate look like this — since we all know you can never have too many alternates? Is it too much color or just enough? Should one team (coughAstroscough) try and bring this look back — and if the Astros (or anyone did), should any other teams’ as well? Or would that just ruin it for everyone? If you look at the high school teams sporting the look above — some have magnificent stirrups, while others go pajama’ed — do you guys think this look basically demands socks/stirrups?
As always, post your answers in the comments below.
Classic Ballpark Scoreboards
I’m pleased to continue with a favorite weekend feature here at Uni Watch, “Classic Ballpark Scoreboards,” which are created by Gary Chanko. You probably know Gary best for his wonderful colorizations, but he has been a solid contributor for many years, and this is his new project. This segment will appear every Saturday on Uni Watch.
Here’s Gary (click on image to enlarge):
Classic Ballpark Scoreboards – Series II
by Gary Chanko
This week the series continues with a ballpark that soon will be no longer, the much maligned Candlestick Park.
The demolition of the Stick is happening now. Rick Monday’s ardent wish is finally a reality. They’re not imploding the structure, instead its being dismantled in pieces. Souvenirs might still be available, but hurry.
Home of: San Francisco Giants (1960-1999), San Francisco 49ers (1971-2013), Oakland Raiders (1960-1961)
Last Baseball Game Played: September 30, 1999
Last Football Game Played: December 23, 2013
Closed: August 2014 Demolished: Started February 2015
Also known as:
– Candlestick Park (1960”“1995, 2008”“2013)
– 3Com Park at Candlestick Point (1995”“2002)
– San Francisco Stadium at Candlestick Point (2002”“2004)
– Monster Park (2004”“2008)
Did you know? The ballpark’s location at Candlestick Point is named after an indigenous North American shorebird, called the Candlestick.
Throughout a four decade history as a ballpark, Candlestick Park had three primary nemeses: the wind, aka “the Hawk,” the cold, and the fog.
The wind problems subsided a bit after the horseshoe enclosure, but also lost was the ballpark’s true ambience. It was never intended as a football venue.
Despite all the negative player and fan reaction, the ballpark at the start was widely admired for its modern design, unobstructed sight lines, and scenic location. Except for the weather demons and the 1971 remodeling for football, the Stick in its original configuration was a great ballpark and might still be around today.
The illustration takes us back to that original configuration and the new state-of-the-art scoreboard just prior to the first game ever played. It’s opening day, April 12, 1960. The Giants with Mays, McCovey, and Cepeda in the lineup take on the St. Louis Cardinals.
A Few Things to Know
• When it opened in 1960 Candlestick could claim the first modern-day scoreboard installation and also the largest at the time, 94-ft high x 164-ft wide. The ubiquitous Longines clock was in its usual spot atop the scoreboard.
• It was the first MLB ballpark constructed entirely of reinforced concrete, and the first to be located in a purely suburban area.
• The “Cars Love Shell” scoreboard advertisement was part of a nation wide promotion at the time. If you visited your local Shell service station back then you could have picked up this nifty 33 1/3 record give away.
• A radiant hot water system was installed in the lower box seat areas to provide some warmth from the cold. Unfortunately it never worked.
Next time Classic Ballpark Scoreboards travels to the Midwest for a visit to Lake Erie.
If anyone is interested in purchasing a digital copy of these posters, Gary is working on an online purchase option. In the interim you can contact him directly at Classicscoreboards@gmail.com.
Don’t Forget The Latest Contest
In case you missed it or were distracted by Paul’s ESPN contest to design a uniform for the future Las Vegas hockey design, Jim Vilk & I are hosting another uniform re-design contest on UW.
You can read the full details here, but basically the idea is to “free up the great names, colors and logos of the USFL and reuse them” for other teams in current leagues — all teams/leagues are open (except football, since the USFL was a football league).
I’ve received a few submissions over the past week, but not the usual number I receive for a contest such as this. Fear not, however, because the deadline is April 15th, so you still have plenty of time.
Just wanted to make sure you guys didn’t miss this one.
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 David da Vinci with some new Milwaukee Bucks concepts:
Paul & Phil,
I’m perplexed by and cautiously optimistic about the Milwaukee Bucks rebranding effort, so I’ve put together two sets of uniform concepts – one containing their newly-unveiled color scheme, and one containing the belovedly-retro Irish rainbow color scheme. Cream is a nice, vintage color to add to their palette, but the blue and black could certainly go either way depending on how they plan to incorporate them and their execution. We’ll see!
And we close today with Matt Armstrong who has an idea for the Atlanta Hawks:
The Hawks have been changing the way everyone, including this life-long Hawks fan, looks at them this season. I was definitely excited when they updated their logo by giving a nod to the Dominique era with the new “paceman” logo. I was less than thrilled that they didn’t make a similar change with their uniforms. Their current unis are pretty bland, and I didn’t like the move to not have “Hawks” on any of their versions. I did a quick, rough idea of a direction I feel Atlanta should go to go along with their revitalized logo and team. Go Hawks!
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: Major League Baseball Properties has reached three critical extensions with New Era, Nike,’47 Brand for officially licensed on-field and fashion apparel. The agreements will end in 2019. Check out the nice stirrups from Presbyterian College. Appropriate, notes Ronnie Poore, since the school’s nickname is “Blue Hose”. … MLB has a video of Bo Jackson mic’ed up talking to Adam LaRoche’s son in spring training. Submitter Ed Lafayette notes the “E” at the end of his name is looking a little unfinished. … Lehigh Valley will wear Star Wars jerseys depicting Hans Solo frozen in carbonite May 8 at Coca-Cola Park (via Todd Zolecki). … The Civil Rights Game on 4/15 has a side patch this year instead of TBTC caps (from Andrew Jenkins. … Wow — check out these Classic Cardinals unis for The Winning Team (1952) starring Ronald Reagan & Frank Lovejoy (h/t Joseph Matlock. … Check out the MLB logos on Don Mattingly’s socks (from Gabe Ortiz). As Paul notes, “You have to have your pants hiked up *really* high for those to show.” … Here’s a ‘new one’: Phillies OF Don Lock, late 1960s, with his hat size written on his batting helmet brim (h/t Pat Costello). … Here’s a closeup of the new Mariners sleeve patch (h/t The Emblem Source). … The Greensboro Grasshoppers were decked out in Back to the Future unis yesterday (via William Gentry. … Check out Chase Utley’s new cleats for the 2015 Season (via Tyler Freeman). … Reader Will Scheibler was digging around the Library of Congress site, and found these great shots: Opening day Ebbets Field 1914 (from “Hauling flag–Ebbets field”); Opening Day at Hilltop Park, NY; and NY Highlanders (AL) & Phila. Athletics pre-game (baseball) – 1908; … Oklahoma wore 1994 throwbacks yesterday (via OU Baseball). … Check out this awesome video of Major Leaguers doing the Field of Dreams speech made by James Earl Jones (Terrence Mann). One of my favorite movies, and possibly the best baseball movie lines ever. … The Dodgers have mowed the shooting ball from their logo into their outfield grass (thanks, Paul, via Ken Weimer). … Beautiful George Herman Ruth photo restoration from Bruce Menard (who else?). … Here’s a great writeup on Darren Meenan of the 7 Line, who you may know is the guy behind bringing all those t-shirted Mets fans to your stadium. … In another attempt to show that Montreal
got jobbed with the Nats can still be baseball town, the Reds and Blue Jays hooked up last night in Olympic Stadium. Fans PACKED the house. And I do mean packed. They’ll play again today. … Todd Radom reminds us “Montreal Expos symbol-a mod-like “M” encompassing an “e,” italicized for forward motion” … “Here’s a pic of Tim Raines (middle), and with an earflap!” exclaims Mike Engle. “That has to be pretty rare. Raines generally used a flapless helmet in his career.” … Bit of a kerfuffle between adidas and MLB, which led adidas to erect a billboard across the street from Wrigley. Two words: service time. … “Literally stumbled across U.S.S. Maine’s Baseball Club in 1898/Cool Old Photos of the 1898 USS Maine baseball team picturing 10 team members who went down in Havana harbor,” writes Greg Glade. “Even I thought it was amazing.” … Here’s a GIF album of swings and windups of players throughout baseball history (from Mike Chamernik). Nothing to do with unis, but it would be great if you guys could all vote for Marcia Herold in the WFAN Fantasy Phenom challenge — she’s trailing, but if we can put the full Uni Watch movement behind her, perhaps she’ll move on.
NFL News: This article seeks to put to rest five historic myths about the Browns’ uniforms (sent in my numerous readers). … Did you know local jersey retailers are terrified of Chip Kelly? Apparently they’re “afraid to order shipments of new uniforms due to Kelly’s constant roster churning” (from Scott Lederer). … Latest rumor going around is that these are the new Browns jerseys (h/t ”@Believeland1994). Like everything concerning the Browns, take it with a grain of salt. Supposedly those are in a Dick’s warehouse.
College Football News: If you’re into concepts, check out these 25ish or so mockups for Auburn football. … Those also exist for Alabama. … Could new football uniforms be on the way for UConn? … Boise State will honor Kellen Moore, but they won’t retire his number. … Should USC fans be more open-minded about uniforms?
NBA & College Hoops News: Looks like there is yet yet another Bucks logo leak out there (via Conrad Burry). … The Pacers and Hornets played a beautiful color vs. color game last night (h/t D. Brown). … The Spurs wore their Los Spurs unis last night. More photos here. … From the Clippers ’15 Playoffs marketing scheme, is this a new alt logo? (h/t Conrad Burry). … Good analysis of the Bucks new logo and colors here (by Brian Sanford). … The semi-finals of the NCAA tournament are today (in case you’ve been living under a rock) — and there are lots of prognosticators out there who think they can predict the winner. Well, check out this really in-depth piece that might help predict the winner. Says submitter Mykel Kovar, “In the post, I analyze each championship game that has been played since 1939.” … The Empire State Building is getting into the Final Four spirit, lighting up each side with the colors of one Final Four team (h/t Heather Zeller).
Hockey News: “I saw you had the new Bakersfield AHL logo on the site (yester)day but seemed to have missed this,” says Adam Hainsfurther. “Most interesting parts about the new team is it will share the name of ‘Presenting Sponsor’ Barracuda and the company’s logo is included in the team’s logo in two different places.”
Soccer News: Germany’s Women World Cup kit is “better than the men’s because it has proper black shorts,” writes Holy Calamity). I have to say — those kits do look great with black pants. … Did the new USA home kit accidentally get leaked? If so, me likey — looks 100% better than the bomb pop.
Grab Bag: “TheChive is releasing some ‘Rivalry’ shirts based on many MLB teams and their logo/colors/city/font,” says Coleman Mullins. Pretty cool crossover IMO.” … Pretty cool ”˜Star Wars’-Inspired History of the Iconic THX Audio Logo (thanks, Brinke). … “I’m sure this photo has been featured before but there is so much to enjoy about this color photo of Lucille Ball and Bob Hope,” says Mike Monaghan, who believes the photo is from 1956. … Here are the jerseys for the teams in the new South Division of the AUDL (American Ultimate Disc League), from Manzell B. … Check out this link to the Pitt Panthers Facebook page. “Coach Narduzzi asks 2015 graduates to pick up a ‘special gift’ from him,” writes Robert James. “A ‘Pitt’ script helmet iron on decal for their graduation caps. Cool stuff!” … If you haven’t been following the World Curling championships, you may have missed the fashion statements being made. … Looks like Chili’s is using 2016 FF logo year early (via Kyle Almekinder). … Over in the world of golf, John Huh has elected to leave the New Era sticker on his hat at the Shell Houston Open (nice grab by Matt Sottile). … Here’s the latest team to break out new camo unis (from Kyle Kalkwarf). … Hmmm. I hadn’t seen this appropriation of the Chief Wahoo logo from the Cleveland 90s hardcore scene before (via Mark Krugman).
And that’s all for today. For all those who celebrate, a Happy Passover (and an Early Easter). Thanks to Gary for the Scoreboards and the concepters and all who submit for the Ticker.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“(T)his is clearly [nothing] more than some guy’s extortionate strategy for negotiating a payout from UK in exchange for ‘licensing’ (or ‘relinquishing’) his trademark ‘rights’ to ’40-0.’ Wrapped in the American flag, no less. Patriotism truly is the last refuge of a scoundrel. A pox on both their houses, I say.”