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Why Were the Packers Playing on an Infield in 1969?

If you click on the video above, you’ll see some highlights from a 1969 Packers/49ers game. The Packers were the home team, but the field included a baseball infield diamond, so you can tell that the game was played at County Stadium in Milwaukee, where the Packers used to routinely play two to four home games per year.

But wait a minute — the Brewers didn’t yet exist in 1969. (They were born in 1970, when the Seattle Pilots franchise relocated to Milwaukee.) So why did County Stadium include a dirt infield that year?

The answer, as reader Peter Fredrickson recently explained to me, is that the White Sox played a handful of home games in Milwaukee in 1969. They had also done so in ’68. The situation is explained here, as follows:

In an effort to return Major League Baseball to Milwaukee after the departure of the Braves, local businessman and minority Braves owner Bud Selig brought other teams to play at County Stadium, beginning with a 1967 exhibition game between the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins. The exhibition game attracted more than 51,000 spectators, so Selig’s group contracted with Sox owner Arthur Allyn to host nine Chicago White Sox home games at County Stadium in 1968.

Selig’s experiment was highly successful ”” those nine games drew 264,297 fans. … In Chicago that season, the Sox drew 539,478 fans to their remaining 58 home dates. In just a handful of games, the Milwaukee crowds accounted for nearly one-third of the total attendance at White Sox games. In light of this success, Selig and Allyn agreed that County Stadium would host Sox home games again the next season.

In 1969, the Sox schedule in Milwaukee was expanded to include 11 home games (one against every other franchise in the American League at the time).

I was completely unaware of this chapter in MLB history. Interesting!

That video, incidentally, includes all sorts of great NFL and AFL footage from 1969. I recommend watching the whole thing, but I’ll single out a few highlights, starting with this footage of the Broncos in their orange pants:

And here’s some footage from a Jets/Chargers game, with San Diego wearing its gorgeous powder blues:

And there’s a lot more — have fun exploring it. And as you’ll see, the NFL teams are all wearing the league’s 50th-anniversary shoulder patch.

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College Hoops Preview reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, my annual College Basketball Season Preview — featuring coverage of more than 160 schools, by far the most of any season preview I’ve ever done for any sport — is up now on ESPN.

A few additional college hoops items trickled in yesterday after the preview was published. Here you go (click photos to enlarge):

• UT Martin has added a Pat Summitt memorial patch:

• Nevada has a new court design:

• Elon has a new gold alternate uniform:

• Rider now has a shoulder harness and new trim toward the bottom of the shorts:

• New home whites for North Carolina-Wilmington — old version on left, new on right:

• New gold uniforms for Quinnipiac (updated white and blue sets will be unveiled soon):

• • • • •

StripeRite reminder: The second batch of StripeRite socks, shown at right, is now available for ordering. For those of you who’ve already ordered, the socks will start shipping on Nov. 21.

My thanks, as always, for your consideration.

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: We already noted that Chicago is rolling out celebratory Cubs L trains. The city has a few Cubs “W” flag buses as well. Here’s the complete design (from Ben Obecny). … MLB will destroy, not donate, phantom Indians championship apparel. The official reason is to “protect the team from inaccurate merchandise being available in the general marketplace.” I maintain that if Chicago would’ve lost Game 7, Cubs title gear would’ve been the hottest troll/joke gift items of all time (from Ted Arnold). … Good photo here of Larry Bird playing college baseball at Indiana State (from Marc Viquez). … The Port Angeles Lefties of the WCL revealed their new logo. The angry marmot will be a hero for left-handers everywhere (from Michael Carman).

NFL News: As hinted the other day, Washington will wear their burgundy throwbacks on Sunday. In 2012, the team wore leatherhead brown helmets, but because of the one-shell rule, last year they just wore their regular helmets without the stripe. That’s the case again this year, though they will have grey facemasks (from Phil). … Bears QB Jay Cutler threw a pass without a grip on the seams last weekend. … Gene Sanny found a team-issued USFL Michigan Panthers jersey. “What I found interesting was the number font,” he says. “While the slightly curved sans-serif 7 was a staple of the USFL’s numbers, I didn’t know the fonts between front and back were thinner. Sure the back numbers are usually bigger than front numbers, but these look either stretched a bit, or simply a taller, thinner version of the front numbers.” … With the Ravens slated to go mono-purple for tonight’s game (the Browns will be going mono-white), The Baltimore Sun has taken a look back at the team’s best and worst uni combos over the years (from Phil).

College Football News: Veterans Day helmets for Bowling Green this weekend. They include an extra touch: The names of students who died in combat will appear on the helmet stripe (from Phil). … Central Florida will wear military appreciation helmets on Saturday. The left side will feature a stars-and-stripes UCF logo. For the right side, players chose the seal of one the five branches of the military (from David Staples). … Lids is selling a BFBS Michigan cap that says “Go Blue.” Reminds me of the Stroop effect (from Marc-Louis Paprzyca). … Troy will wear flag-themed helmets this weekend (from Ben Whitehead). … Northern Illinois played a game at White Sox Park last night. The Huskies had a Chicago skyline decal and Chicago flag stars on the backs of their helmets (from @TheBufordTannen). … Middle Tennessee will wear white-over-gray this weekend (from Lee Wilds). … Arizona will bring back its chrome red helmets on Saturday (from Ryan Kelapire).

Hockey News: Dartmouth goalie Adrian Clark has a Dr. Seuss-themed mask. The children’s author, whose real name was Theodor Geisel, attended the school in the 1920s. He took up his pen name during his time writing for Dartmouth’s humor magazine (from Tris Wykes). … The Panthers will wear camouflage jerseys with military division patches for pregame warm-ups on Saturday (from @mypintofview).

NBA News: Nuggets cheerleaders will wear pin-up girl-inspired (I think) outfits for their Veterans Day game. … During Game 1 of the 1989 Eastern Conference Finals, Phil Jackson, who was a Bulls assistant coach at the time, wore a pair of Air Jordans IVs.

Grab Bag: New crest for Brentford FC (from Ed Å»elaski). … Toblerone chocolates have a new shape. The triangular pieces are now smaller, with more space in between them (from J. Max Weintraub). … Hillary and Bill Clinton both wore nonpartisan purple for her concession speech yesterday (from Ted Machnik).

Comments (57)

    “We already noted that Chicago is rolling out celebratory Cubs L trains.”

    The trains in Chicago are nicknamed the “El Train”, not the “L Train”. El is short for Elevated.

    I’m a lifelong Chicagoan and have seen it in print both ways. While “El” should be the correct way because of shortening, I don’t believe there is any designated “correct” way.

    Nine games in Milwaukee and the other 58 in Chicago. That makes 67. Where are the other 14 home games?

    Probably doubleheaders. It says home “dates,” not games. Back then teams played lots of doubleheaders.

    In fact, that is it — I just checked and the White Sox did indeed play 14 home doubleheaders in 1968.

    Even with shorter games, that’s giving up a lot of stadium revenue.

    Do we even have single-ticket doubleheaders anymore? Or just day-night?

    Mike, not necessarily giving up revenue if the crowd (or revenue, really, figuring in differences from parking, concessions, cost of opening the ballpark, etc.) for the DH is much bigger than the sum of two single games would be.

    It doesn’t work so well now that crowds are routinely more than 1/2 park capacity, but if you can draw 20,000 for a DH when you’re only getting 8,000/game for single games, it can work. That’s presumably why they did them.

    I have double header questions. I guess I’m too young to remember them. I don’t remember the Rangers ever having them unless they were makeup games.
    Did you buy a ticket for both games or was it one ticket 2 games? Did they cost more?
    How much time between games?

    1 ticket for two games.

    Regular price.

    Minimal time between games — drag the infield, warmup pitches for the starter, etc. That was about it.

    Like JTH said, 1 regular-price ticket, 2 games, about 20 minutes between end of game 1 and start of game 2.

    When I was a kid (in the late 60s) we lived about 3 hours away from the nearest major-league team, so we’d generally only get to go once a year, maybe twice. So we always picked Sunday afternoon doubleheaders, which were pretty plentiful then. First game usually at 1 pm, 18 innings of baseball, you’re on the way home by 7. It was fabulous.

    From the late 50s until we moved out of the NY area my Dad took me to nearly every Sunday doubleheader at Yankee Stadium between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Always sat behind home plate upstairs in GA, always got there for BP, always moved out to right field (Hey Roger! Ya bum!) late in Game 2 to be closer to the subway.

    Best Sunday at the Stadium? 1963, linkwho came out of the stands during the game. I’ve never forgotten that.

    You sure that’s the subway, not the El? :-). El is right for NYC, L for Chicago. (L in NY means the Canarsie Line nowadays.)

    Thanks for the USFL jersey fix this morning. First: I like that number font. Different without being jarring. Second: With a uniform that pretty, I can forgive another “Panthers” team. Third: Take away every Reebok/Nike “freshening” of an NFL franchise, and replace it with a good old USFL uniform. Much more aesthetically pleasing.

    Those Michigan Panthers uniforms were purdy. Kinda wished the Lions had picked up the color scheme when the Panthers folded their tent here and merged with the Oakland team.

    Those numbers (especially the curved 7’s) were primarily a Champion specific font, not necessarily a USFL one. For the Champion football jerseys, several of the numerals were slightly different between the front, back, and shoulder/TV numbers.

    Didn’t the Jets have that kind of “7” back when they had black borders around the numbers?

    I remember seeing a guy at Yankee Stadium years ago with a “Chicago Cubs 1908 World Champions” shirt that was styled like a tacky modern day clubhouse celebration shirt. I couldn’t tell if he was a Cubs fan or just trying to be funny.

    I (Cub fan, Bud man) bought the same 1908 Champions shirt at a normal souvenir stand near Wrigley a few years ago. Not that we needed a constant reminder

    Under 14-game schedule Packers always played three regular season games at County Stadium (at least from late-1960s on). When 16-game schedule began, they scheduled fourth game in Milwaukee in alternating years between 1978-1983.

    The Packers ‘home opener’ at Lambeau in the 1982 strike season occurred Dec. 12, the only regular season game in Green Bay, the other three home games in Milwaukee. Thanks to the expanded playoff format that year, a first-round game v. the Cardinals was played at Lambeau.

    Both games against the Bears were cancelled, why announcers refer to Packers/Lions as the longest ‘continuous rivalry’.

    The UC Bearcat locker room building FAR away from field in 1969!

    As I understand it, the Packers to this day maintain two games of their home schedule as “Milwaukee” games. Home games 2 and 5. They’re obviously played in Lambeau but old Milwaukee season ticket holders get those games, and Green Bay season ticket holders get the other six.

    Yes! I think it was originally home games 2 and 6 but 6 often fell during deer season.

    It’s amazing to explain that the Packers did not play full-time at ‘legendary’ Lambeau Field until 1995.

    Deer hunting is closer to Green Bay (like across the street). Plenty of time to shoot a buck and make it back for kickoff. Longer drive to Milwaukee.

    (Humor based loosely on fact.)

    IIRC, in Ball Four Jim Bouton mentions screwing up a scheduled game time while the Pilots were in Chicago and missing the team bus–to Milwaukee. He had to take a cab.

    So if the White Sox played one game against each AL foe, didn’t that include a game against Milwaukee (who had been Seattle) and thus the Brewers were the road team in their home stadium? I believe I read that once, along time ago. The Pilots moved late (end of Spring Training) and the game had been scheduled already.

    The Seattle Pilots existed in 1969. Their first Milwaukee season was 1970. The White Sox, I’m sure, didn’t play home games in Milwaukee once the Brewers were there, since the whole point was for them to tap the Milwaukee market. Once Milwaukee got their own team, that no longer made sense.


    The Milwaukee games were Bud Selig’s way of showing that the city could host another big league club, and were in fact “presented” by his proposed Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club (as seen on the link and link programs).

    After losing the 1969 expansion spot to Montreal, Selig actually had a deal to buy the White Sox and move them north, but the American League killed the sale, learning from the National League’s mistake in abandoning New York.

    2 additional points about the CTA Cubs bus. They only wrapped one bus. Also in the pictures posted today you can see the design mock up is for a Nova Bus but the acutal wrapped bus is a New Flyer.

    Pretty sure I am the only one that would notice something like that as I am a mechanic for the CTA.

    Ah yes, the Nuggets’ cheerleaders, all dressed up… and giving a salute with the wrong hand. God bless ‘murica.

    The Packers played two to four home games per year at Milwaukee County Stadium from 1953 to 1994, after using Wisconsin State Fair Park in nearby West Allis from 1934 through 1951 and Marquette Stadium in 1952.

    And don’t forget that link, which they played in Borchert Field, the Milwaukee Brewers’ wooden ballpark. It was a long and narrow park, like the Polo Grounds in New York, link. You’d think such a shape would be link but apparently Curly Lambeau was so unhappy with the temporary bleachers they set up that the Packers never returned.

    Noticed a few other things about the NIU uniforms last night:

    Color scheme matched White Sox colors.

    Number font mimicked the White Sox black alts:link

    Shoulder patch on NIU jersey (link) mimicked Sox shoulder patch (link)


    Too obvious?

    Some things I noticed in the college hoops preview:

    – Sublimated names and numbers
    – Retro alts aplenty
    – Sublimated names and numbers
    – Those link have to be a result of an absolutely PLASTERED night behind the uniform builder. Camo trim, sleeves, and brush script? Christ.
    – Why are there SO. MANY. UNIS. With sublimated numbers and letters?

    In the Chargers video, it looked to me like the yardline numbers were gold, and possibly blue at the 50.

    Nevada has also replaced it’s original four-sided scoreboard with four video screens. Finally!

    St. Louis Blues unveiled the Winter Classic uniforms yesterday. It missed the ticker. The link is the unveiling video.

    They are beauties. Hopefully, they will follow the uniform evolution path of becoming the full time third. Then we can only hope they become full time uniforms in the future.


    My high school (Garden City, Kansas) had Champion home uniforms during the mid-1980s. The number font was the same as on the USFL uniforms. But while the back numbers were normal height, the front numbers were *extremely* squashed. They were probably slightly less than half the height of the back numbers.

    Our road uniforms were made by Russell Athletic and had the basic varsity block font. Because tihey were made by different manufacturers, our home and road unforms had completely different designs (but both of them were ugly).

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