During one of our recent discussions of anniversary patches, ordinals, and the like, reader Kurt Crowley posted a comment that caught my eye:
Can’t wait until 2019, which will feature MLB’s 150th anniversary, the Padres’ and Royals’ 50th anniversary, college football’s 150th anniversary, the NFL’s 100th season, and the 60th season for the eight original AFL teams and the Cowboys.
Sounds like a potential jersey patch bonanza, right? But the bonanza might be even bigger than that, because it turns out Kurt barely scratched the surface of what will be happening in 2019. Here’s what else is on the calendar for that year:
• In MLB, the Nationals and Brewers will be marking the 50th anniversary of their respective franchises (although both of those franchises were founded under different team names and in different cities than the teams’ current incarnations); the Mets will be marking the 50th anniversary of their 1969 “Miracle Mets” championship; and the Indians will be marking the 25th anniversary of Jacobs/Progressive Field.
• In the NFL, the Packers will be marking their 100th anniversary, and the Rams will be opening their new stadium.
• In the NHL, the Sabres and Canucks will be playing their 50th seasons; the four remaining WHA franchises will be marking the 40th anniversary of their merger with the NHL (although only one of those teams — the Oilers — still plays under its original name and in its original city); the Jets will be marking the 20th anniversary of their franchise (although, again, that franchise was established in a different city and under a different team name); and the Wild and Blue Jackets will be playing their 20th seasons.
• In the NBA, the Cavaliers and Trail Blazers will be playing their 50th seasons; the Mavericks will be playing their 40th season; the Magic and Timberwolves will be marking their 30th anniversaries; and the Jazz will be marking the 40th anniversary of their move to Utah.
Note that some of these 2019 events will be anniversaries and some will be ordinals. Depending on how the teams and leagues choose to handle things, they could end up wearing patches (or helmet decals, or whatever) in 2018 or 2020, rather than in 2019. Let’s take a case-by-case look and see if we can figure out what’s most likely to happen:
• MLB’s 150th anniversary: MLB’s centennial is what gave us Jerry Dior’s famous design in 1969. There was a 125th-anniversary patch in 1994, so it seems like a pretty safe bet that we’ll see a new MLB-wide patch for the sesquicentennial in 2019. (Yes, I just wanted an excuse to say “sesquicentennial.”)
• The Padres’ 50th anniversary: The Padres have been inconsistent with their patch protocol. They wore a 25th-season patch in 1993 but then wore a 30th-anniversary patch in 1999 and a 40th-anniversary patch 10 years after that. Will they have the discipline to wait until 2019 and wear an anniversary patch, or will they get impatient and go with a 50th-season patch in 2018? I suspect the latter, because (a) they might not want their patch to have to compete with the MLB-wide sesquicentennial patch that’s likely to be worn in 2019, and (b) this team never does anything right uni-wise, so I’d expect them to be impatient and go with the ordinal instead of the anniversary.
• The Royals’ 50th anniversary: The Royals are another team that’s been inconsistent. They went with a 25th-season patch in 1993 but then wore a 40th-anniversary patch in 2009. My hunch is that they’ll hold out until 2019 and do a true anniversary patch (even if it has to compete with the sesquicentennial patch), because the Royals are pretty much doing things right these days.
• College football’s 150th anniversary: Many schools wore the college football centennial logo on their helmets in 1969. I’m fairly certain we’ll see something to mark the sesquicentennial, although I doubt it’ll be as prominent as the ’69 display. (Also: As we recently discussed, the NCAA allowed several players to wear No. 100 in connection with the centennial. How cool would it be if they let some players wear No. 150 in 2019?!)
• The NFL’s 100th season: NFL teams wore a 50th-season patch (which many observers, myself included, have often mistakenly called a 50th-anniversary patch) in 1969 and a 75th-season patch in 1994. I expect that they’ll stick with that 25-year cycle and go with a centennial patch in 2019, even though the date range would look sooooo much better if they held out until 2020.
• The Packers’ 100th anniversary: How is it that the Packers and the NFL aren’t on the same anniversary/ordinal cycle? Simple: The Packers played their first two season as an independent team, before the NFL was founded. They wore a 75th-season patch in 1993, which leads me to suspect that they’ll go with a 100th-season patch in 2018, not an anniversary patch in 2019.
• The Rams’ new stadium: After three seasons of playing at the L.A. Coliseum, the Rams will move into their new building in 2019. They’ll almost certainly have new uniforms that season, and I expect they’ll have an inaugural-season patch for their stadium as well.
• The original AFL teams’ 60th season: 2009 was the year that the AFL’s charter franchises wore throwbacks, along with a patch that said, “50th Anniversary Season.” But that was inaccurate — 2009 was the 50th season for these teams, but it was not the 50th-anniversary season, which wouldn’t come until 2010. Interestingly, each AFL team had its own commemorative logo that year, none of which used the word “Anniversary” (and two of which correctly used the word “Seasons”). Anyway: The NFL and AFL have always celebrated their benchmark seasons in tandem, dating back to Super Bowl IV. So if the NFL goes with a centennial patch in 2019, I suspect the AFL teams will also do something for their 60th seasons, even if it’s just a helmet decal. Now let’s hope none of them mistakenly uses the word “Anniversary.”
• The Cowboys’ 60th season: The Cowboys are another team whose patch protocol has been inconsistent. They wore a 25th-season patch in 1984 but then went with a 50th-anniversary patch in 2010. Will they go with an ordinal mark in 2019 or an anniversary mark in 2020? Your guess is as good as mine.
• The Nationals’ 50th franchise anniversary: The Nats act like the Expos never existed. I don’t expect that to change in 2019.
• The Brewers’ 50th franchise anniversary: The Seattle Pilots’ heritage is largely claimed by the Mariners these days, not by the Brewers. There’s no way the Brewers will wear a patch to honor their franchise’s 50th anniversary in 2019, although there’s a chance they could wear a patch for the Brewers’ 50th season that year. Or they could wear a Brewers 50th-anniversary patch in 2020 which is what I hope they’ll do. (Meanwhile, it would be nice to see the Mariners do something mark the 50th anniversary of the Pilots’ lone season — not a patch, but maybe a Sunday throwback for 2019.)
• The 1969 Mets’ 50th anniversary: It’s hard to overstate how momentous the Miracle Mets’ championship was. This was a team that had finished in ninth place the year before, a team that had never won more than 73 games, and they become the first expansion team to win the World Series. With the players on that team now entering their golden years, I’m fairly certain we’ll see a patch in 2019.
• Jacobs/Progressive Field’s 25th anniversary: Teams don’t usually have 25th-anniversary patches for their stadiums, but I’m including this one as a possibility because the Indians wore a 10th-anniversary patch for Jacobs field (which seems pretty ridiculous) in 2004. I suppose there’s a chance they could do a 25th-anniversary patch in 2019, although the ballpark’s name change would muddy the waters a bit. In other words, 2019 will be the facility’s 25th anniversary, but can you really say it’s Progressive Field’s 25th anniversary, when that name has only been in use since 2009? Just another way in which corporate naming rights totally suck.
• The Sabres’ 50th season: As we’ve noted in previous discussions, the anniversary/ordinal distinction becomes blurrier when dealing with sports whose seasons extend across two calendar years. Case in point: The Sabres’ first season was 1970-71, so 1994-95 was their 25th season. That year they wore a patch that included the word “anniversary” (even though it was not their 25th-anniversary season), and they fudged the date range by using the first calendar year of the inaugural season and the last calendar year of their 25th season. Fifteen years later, they wore a 40th-season patch, although the design was so simple that it could literally be used for any anniversary or ordinal. Anyway, given that they’ve worn patches in their benchmark ordinal seasons, I expect they’ll wear something in 2019-20.
• The Canucks’ 50th season: The Canucks, whose first season was 1970-71, are another team that has played fast and loose with the date range. They wore a 20th-season patch in 1989-90 but made it look like an anniversary patch by doing the first/last thing with the years. They’ve also been sloppy with their language, wearing a 25th-“anniversary” patch in 1995, which was actually their 25th season. Interestingly, they didn’t wear a 40th-season patch in 2009-10, instead waiting until 2010-11 to wear a 40th-anniversary patch — which didn’t include the word “anniversary.” This team has been so inconsistent that it’s impossible to predict whether they’ll wear an ordinal patch in 2019-20 or an anniversary patch in 2020-21. And whichever route they choose, they’ll probably fudge the wording and/or the date range.
• The NHL/WHA merger’s 40th anniversary: This is a tricky one. The Oilers, Whalers (who are now the Hurricanes), Nordiques (who are now the Avalanche), and Jets (who are now the Coyotes) were folded into the NHL for the 1979-80 season. Interestingly, the Oilers have worn several patches that essentially treat 1979-80 as the team’s first season, ignoring the franchise’s seven years in the WHA, but these patches have been riddled with problems. In 1988-89, for example, they wore a 10th-“anniversary” patch, even though that was actually their 10th season in the NHL, not their 10th anniversary. In 2003-04, they wore a 25th-season patch. The weirdest move came in 2008-09, when they wore a patch that said, “Est. 1979” (patently false — the team was founded in 1972) and “Celebrating 30 years of Oilers Hockey” (ditto). Given this history — or, rather, revisionist history — they’ll likely wear a 50th-season patch in 2018-19, rather than an anniversary patch in 2019-20. (It’s worth noting, incidentally, that other the other merger teams did not pretend that they’d never been part of the WHA. The Jets wore a 10th-season patch in 1981-82, and so did the Whalers.)
The situation for the other three surviving WHA franchises is murkier, because they have new identities. All three of them have worn patches celebrating the anniversaries or ordinals of their new incarnations and have never worn anything acknowledging their old cities or team names. I don’t think that will change now.
• The Jets’ 20th franchise anniversary: The current edition of the Winnipeg Jets began play in 1999-2000 as the Atlanta Thrashers. To my knowledge, the franchise does nothing these days to acknowledge its past in Atlanta, so I don’t expect them to wear a patch to mark its 20th anniversary.
• The Wild’s 20th season: The Wild’s first season was 2000-01. They wasted no time getting on board the commemorative patch train, wearing this patch in 2005-06. This was a tricky situation — it was their fifth anniversary, but it was also arguably their fifth season, because the 2004-05 schedule had been wiped out by the lockout. So the wording they chose was “Year Five,” a format that I don’t think has ever appeared on any other anniversary or ordinal patch. Then they wore a 10th-anniversary patch in 2010-11. Given this history, I don’t think they’ll wear a 20th-season patch in 2019-20 — they’ll probably hold out for an anniversary patch in 2020-21.
• The Blue Jackets’ 20th season: The Blue Jackets wore a 10th-anniversary patch in 2010-11. So, much like the Wild, they probably won’t pull the trigger for an ordinal patch in 2019-20. Instead, expect a 20th-anniversary patch in 2020-21.
• The Cavaliers’ 50th season: The Cavs, whose first season was 1970-71, have consistently celebrated their ordinals. They had a 35th-season logo in 2004-05 (but didn’t wear it as a patch) and a 40th-season patch in 2009-10 (although they fudged the date range by doing the first/last thing). Given this history, I’m fairly certain they’ll go with a 50th-season patch in 2019-20.
• The Trail Blazers’ 50th season: To my knowledge (and please correct me if I’m wrong), the only anniversary or ordinal mark the Blazers have ever had is this 25th-season logo, which they used in 1994-95 but did not wear as a patch. I’m pretty sure they’ll go with a 50th-season patch in 2019-20, though.
• The Mavericks’ 40th season: Again, correct me if I’m wrong here, but the Mavs do not appear to have had an anniversary logo or patch at any time in their history. Tough to say if they’ll have one for their 40th season in 2019-20, or if they’ll hold out for an anniversary patch in 2020-21, or if they’ll just continue their practice of not bothering with this type of thing.
• The Magic’s 30th anniversary: The Magic, whose first season was 1989-90, have been one of the sports world’s most logo- and patch-happy franchises. They had a 10th-season logo in 1998-99 (not worn as a patch, fudged date range); a 15th-“anniversary” logo in 2003-04, which was actually their 15th season, not their 15th anniversary (not worn as a patch); a 20th-season patch in 2008-09; and a 25th-season patch in 2013-14 (fudged date range). All of these were in celebration of ordinals, not anniversaries, so I expect they’ll wear a 30th-season patch in 2018-19, not an anniversary patch in 2019-20.
• The Timberwolves’ 30th anniversary: To my knowledge, the T-Wolves have had only one history-based mark: this 20th-season patch, which they wore in 2008-09. Although they fudged the date range, the patch explicitly says, “20 Seasons” and “Twentieth Season” — seems like overkill, but at least they didn’t mistakenly use “Anniversary.” Anyway, given that they celebrated their 20th ordinal season, I expect they’ll go with a 30th-season patch in 2018-19, not an anniversary patch in 2019-20.
• The Jazz’s 40th anniversary in Utah: Have the Jazz ever had any kind of anniversary or ordinal logo? I can’t think of one, and SportsLogos.net (which is the only database for NBA-related stuff) doesn’t list any. Hmmmm.
Phew — that was a pretty deep rabbit hole! Bottom line: We’re probably gonna see a shitload of patches in 2019, along with a decent number in 2018. Big thanks to Kurt Crowley for getting the ball rolling on this very interesting topic.
Caricature T-shirt reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, Larry Torrez’s caricature of me is now available as a T-shirt. We’re offering it in a variety of colors and styles — grey, black, white, and a white baseball shirt with green sleeves. We’ve also added women’s sizes. Further details here, or just order it here. Thanks.
By Phil, making a rare weekday appearance
Baseball News: The Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate, the Scranton-Wilkes Barre RailRiders, announced that they’ll be wearing all-black uniforms with neon-green sleeves and trim for their upcoming “Glow in the Park Fridays” promotion (from Hall of Very Good). … With Opening Day just around the corner, Craig Brown wanted to share some recent updates to Threads Of Our Game site, his excellent 19th-century baseball uniform database project. There are many interesting things to see and read from the year 1888. … Check out this amazing photo of the Houston Astros and their bullpen cart (from Super70s Sports). … The Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs will be the first and so far only minor league team to wear Majestic on-field uniforms. Of note: the team has an MiLB logo tramp stamp on the belt tunnel. Here’s a look at the full set of unis, which includes a Phillies-style throwback treatment and a bacon-themed alternate. … On April 18, the San Francisco Giants will have a “playoff send-off with a co-branded #SFGiants and #Warriors cap” (from Paul). … The Mets’ 1986 throwbacks will be pullovers, just like the ’86 originals, but MLB The Show has them as button-fronts. This is apparently a glitch in the video game, which tends to show all throwbacks as button-fronts. … On April 15 the Birmingham Barons will wear special #42 Brooklyn Dodgers inspired jerseys to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day (h/t MiLB Promos). … The Binghamton Mets will honor former longtime official scorer Steve Kraly with an “SK” jersey patch this season (h/t Tim Heiman via Paul). … The Boston Globe posted a gallery of photos by Stan Grossfeld taken using an infrared camera — they give an almost otherworldly perspective of spring training. Submitter Ryan Frazer adds, “The photos of Dustin Pedroia wearing sunglasses(?) are particularly interesting because the lenses appear clear, although I’ve never noticed him wearing clear lenses on (or off) the field before.” … Whoa — check out this photo of a very young Pete Rose as a Tampa Tarpon (h/t Dugout Legends). … The Durham Bulls have teamed up with RUNAWAY for DURM Night Uniforms (h/t Axle Foley). I particularly love the dark sanis/stirrups combo. … MLB has negotiated a deal with Apple to place iPad Pros in all 30 clubhouses (from Tommy Turner). … Check out these awesome Detroit Tigers cufflinks (modeled by Dan Epstein). … The Brooklyn Cyclones will wear “Piazza-era” uniforms on Hall of Fame Day — July 24. … “Check out the uni my alma mater Cardozo High in Queens wore in 2015,” says Aaron Scholder. I’m more interested in the hosiery, which look to be the (never worn) original Mets striped stirrups with orange sanis (that a few UWers, including yours truly wore for stirrup Fridays a while back. … Tweeter Tom Denne says, “Reds still not wearing new uniform pants with MLB logo on rear; haven’t all Spring Training.” … Check out this tremendous photo of Mike Hegan of the Seattle Pilots on the March 1970 cover of Boys’ Life (h/t Sports Paper). … Here’s a look at the Opening Series Logo being applied to PNC Park (photo by Michael Senserino). And here it is being completed. … Marshall Baseball will be wearing military camopreciation tops & caps this weekend (via Marshall Equipment). … The Buffalo Bisons’ new caps have an almost childlike simplicity. [It’s hard to express how much I love this. ”” PL]
NFL News: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: the NFL Draft Caps are here (h/t Tony Crespo). The caps themselves will feature “liquid chrome logos” (ugh) and some other marketingspeak. … The MMQB went behind-the-scenes to look at the logistical complexity of the Rams’ nomadic season to come (thanks, Brinke).
College Football News: Under Armour has inked its first contract for a Division II school — Texas A&M-Commerce — and they’re not terrible (but they have waaaaaay too many combos). You can read more here (from Zach Barnett). … I have no context for this, but are these new helmets for Citadel? (from Davis). Since red isn’t a Citadel color, I’m thinking that’s a “no.” It’s possibly Cornell. … Utah State is adding a memorial decal for Max Johnson’s grandfather, although it’s not clear who that is. Anyone..? (From Michael Lundberg.)
Hockey News: NHL Commish Gary Bettman says he regrets approving of the Islanders “fisherman” uniform redesign (from Mitch). … Reader Eli Ganias asks, “Was this ever a real Islanders logo on this shirt?” I’m about 99.9% positive it wasn’t (isn’t), and a quick check of Chris Creamer’s logo database doesn’t show it to be (still pretty cool, though). … The Kingston Frontenacs are partnering with United Way of KFL&A and Fort Henry and will wear uniforms honoring the Fort Henry Guard this Saturday (from Will Scheibler).
Basketball News: The Kings hosted Social Media Night on Wednesday with emoji-covered warmups. … “Just gimme the damn ball…for some swag”: Robert Horry said Kobe told teammates when Shaq was injured in 2002-03 season that he’d give his teammates Adidas gear if he kept getting the ball (from Brinke). Unfortunately, Horry said Kobe still hasn’t given teammates gear. Kobe said he doesn’t owe anything since he switched to Nike. … The Raptors wore their “Drake” alts last night, with the Hawks wearing white on the road. … Briana Day on the Syracuse women’s team has FNOB, and so does her twin sister, Bria Day (from Ricky Schumaker and Chris Sciria).
Soccer News: The Management Committee chairman of the Black Maidens of Ghana, Augustine Asante, has promised that the team will not wear oversized jerseys for matches again. The female national U-17 team had to use scissors to cut oversized jerseys to suit for their World Cup qualifier against Morocco. … According to Conrad Burry, these are the leaked kits for Manchester United for 2016-17. … “Two great looking match-ups (despite the sponsors) for the UEFA Women’s Champions second leg” Saurel Jean, Jr. writes. “SK Slavia Praha vs. Olympique Lyonnais had the homeside Czech team in red & white harlequin halves while the visiting French team wore all black. Paris-St. Germain vs. FC Barcelona had the French side in all navy uniforms against the Spanish side’s all golden yellow.” … The new Fort Lauderdale Strikers unis for 2016 (primary and secondary) were released last night (from Derek Reese).
Grab Bag: Here are this week’s Indy Car liveries for the race in Phoenix (from Tim Dunn). … “Here is one for your Grab Bag, I think,” writes Ken Traisman. “The first Jewish tartan, from Scotland.” … An artist named Cuyler Smith has an exhibit at Gallery 1988, a pop culture related gallery in Los Angeles. His show consists of trading cards based on TV/movie characters within the sports realm, with the card design being pretty accurate to the time the characters are from (nice find by Jake Sorg). … Two northeast Indiana high schools are using the “Patriots” name, one of which is using Flying Elvis for a logo (from Matthew LeBlanc). … According to this article, Reebok (yes, you read that correctly) is going to release “alien related sneakers” next month (from TommyThe CPA). … Several people sent in the disturbing story of a Chicago Tribune photographer who noticed an Adidas photo shoot taking place on a local street yesterday. It was a bit of a spectacle, including lots of fake snow to make the scene look more wintry, so he stopped to take some photos (which lots of onlookers were already doing with their phones), at which point a crew member grabbed his camera and other crew members threatened him. Why? Because the Adidas shoes featured in the shoot haven’t been released yet. [Douchebags. ”” PL]