By Phil Hecken
A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of introducing you to Chris Whitehouse, who is the genius behind “Man Cave Photos” (or “Man Cave Pictures”), who was also nice enough to do a little Q&A with me. The seven before/after colorizations Chris share were just the tip of the iceberg in terms of his talents, and he’s back again with me today to share another batch of his work. If you missed that post, or are more interested in Chris and his work, give the linked article a quick read. Let’s get right to Chris’ latest batch (you can click any photos to enlarge). As before, I asked Chris for a bit of a description of each before/after.
John Tortes “Chief” Meyers, Brooklyn Robins, 1916, with manager Wilbert Robinson behind. This is a good example of the detail that can be coaxed out of badly faded areas of an old photo. And if you think that coloring pinstripes is a chore, just multiply that by checkerboard. I do love it when the players are photographed in dirty uniforms though, for that added dash of color.
Another from 1916. Christy Mathewson at his last pitching performance, after which he went on to manage the Reds. Very glad that these pinstripes were in grey.
The ’82 Mets
The Original Mets! If you zoom in close enough in the high rez image, you can see that these shirts are actually polka-dotted.
Photo studio backdrops in Victorian times were not in color. Because what would be the point? But they look so much better like that that I tell Victoria to look the other way.
Philadelphia Phillies infielders Dolph Camilli, Leo Norris, Chile Gomez, and Pinky Whitney 1936-37. It was a bit of a pain coloring the outlines of this jersey logo. And then I had to do three more just like it. And again, thanks for the dirt.
The second-best Rube Foster in baseball, but such a great photo.
Red Sox Rube Foster, 1914-15. How much do you love that warm-up sweater?
Leroy Robert Paige
Satchel Paige pitching in Detroit in 1945. I really love working on that old glove leather.
The always smiling Bob Feller, Right, with Manager Steve O’Neill and Mel Harder at Fenway in 1937. But why are they wearing old Bears helmets?
“His fastball looked about the size of a watermelon seed and it hissed at you as it passed.”
””Ty Cobb on Walter Johnson
This is one of the Walters Johnson images that I have restored for display at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland. The athletic director there noted that a good number of students probably had no idea who their school was named after. When we delivered the other photo, he was in the process of digging out a beaten-up old black and white blowup of Walter – a gift from the Class of ’64.
And that will do it for this batch. Tremendous job, once again, Chris! I love all of those but the one of Satchel Paige is just infuckincredible.
Let Chris know how much (I think) you guys enjoyed these as well, in the comments below! I’ll be back with more from Man Cave further down the road.
Cubs & Bucs Throw It Way Back…
Last night, the Pittsburgh Pirates hosted the Chicago Cubs, and the two teams played a Negro League Throwback Tribute game, something the Pirates do often (and well). They, along with the Milwaukee Brewers and Kansas City Royals (as well as other teams like the Tigers and Nats to a lesser extent) seem to always put on an aesthetically amazing game, and last night was no exception.
The Pirates, as they have done before, wore the uniforms of the Homestead Grays (a team which is also a throwback favorite of the Nationals). Our pal Chris Creamer had an outstanding write-up prior to the game, which you should read. He gives a terrific history of both teams represented last night. The Pirates, of course, have worn these uniforms before. The Cubs, however…
The Cubs played as the Leland Giants, and their uniform selection commemorates a three-game series between the Cubs and Leland Giants played in October 1909, which was the first time the Cubs played an African-American team. From the linked article,
Baseball historian Ed Hartig says former player Frank Leland organized, managed and owned several African-American teams in Chicago, beginning in the late 1880s. In 1901, Leland merged two teams, the Chicago Unions and Columbia Giants, to form the Chicago Union Giants, one of the top Negro teams in the Midwest.
In 1905, Leland renamed the team the Leland Giants, and two years later, he hired Andrew “Rube” Foster to replace him as manager. In addition to playing exhibition and barnstorming games, the Leland Giants played in the Chicago Baseball League in 1909 and won the city’s integrated semi-pro league championship by seven games with a 31-9 record.
After the 1910 season, the Leland Giants split into two Chicago teams, one remaining the Leland Giants, the other calling itself the Chicago Giants. The Leland Giants went on to be called the Chicago American Giants and played through 1952.
Let’s first take a look at the throwbacks worn by the Pirates (playing as the Homestead Grays):
The Grays wore several different uniform styles over the years, but this one is my absolute favorite. These had a slight cream tinge to them, and featured the classic headspoon and shoulder/sleeve piping with “GRAYS” in a Tiffany-esque font.
As Paul likes to point out, many Negro League uniforms feature contrasting-color pocket flaps, and these did as well. This is, for some reason I can’t quite explain, such an endearing feature of these uniforms:
Of course, batting helmets didn’t exist back when these uniforms were worn, so the Pirates wore their regular matte helmets, keeping the “P” logo on the front:
Most of the players went high cuffed, showing off solid midnight navy(?) socks. Sadly, not everyone rocked the high sock:
You may have noticed the Pirates wore caps with “G” logo, which is a great look. Unfortunately, the league’s cap supplier couldn’t resist sticking their advert on the side, really ruining the throwback look:
Still, it was a great look, and one that I think would look good on a modern uniform should some team ever want to add the shoulder/sleeve piping.
The Cubs, playing as the Leland Giants, sported a look that’s rarely been seen on a baseball diamond:
The light gray uniform featured a full (functional) collar, meant to replicate the the 1905 Giants (that’s an EFF replica), as well as a bold red sash with “Lelands” in script across the chest:
The jersey buttons also did not traverse the entire rubicon of the shirt, instead stopping mid-belly — mimicking the style of the time:
To mark the occasion, the #Cubs will wear throwback uniforms honoring the Leland Giants. pic.twitter.com/QYHIrUHp0O
— Cubs Authentics (@CubsAuthentics) June 16, 2017
The team wore a plain black cap. It too, was infected with NE logo creep:
If you didn't hate that logo before, @PhilHecken @UniWatch , look how it sticks out on the Leland Giants uniforms the Cubs are wearing pic.twitter.com/iWEpECcVmI
— Berserker (@ptakers) June 16, 2017
The pants were plain, and it looked like every player went high cuffed:
Some couldn’t resist a bit of styling with royal cleats and sweatbands, however, kinda ruining the aesthetic:
The team even created (or had commissioned) special matte black helmets for the game, a nice “extra mile” touch opposing (road) teams don’t often do:
@PhilHecken Cubs are wearing mate helmets as the honor Negro league tonight pic.twitter.com/nSkpGiKeOA
— Smiley (@GuySmileys) June 16, 2017
Of course, there was almost an “OOPS” moment:
@UniWatch @PhilHecken Wilson Contreras was on deck with his standard blue helmet. Someone caught it before he got up to the plate… pic.twitter.com/kNakkIIvpJ
— Todd Pratt (@ToddPratt7) June 16, 2017
I have to wonder why the EQ manager even had the blue lids in the dugout though.
And a TRUE “Oops” moment as Wade Davis was wearing his regular Cubs pants, instead of the plain throwback version everyone else wore (h/t to Joe):
And of course the game itself was not without almost immediate uniform controversy:
Low-hanging fruit. ðŸ¤ pic.twitter.com/QtuWnY2Lch
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 16, 2017
That was Cubs starting pitcher Eddie Butler, who went to the mound wearing long white undersleeves (a no-no — as this is deemed to interfere with the batter’s vision and the white ball). Many of the position players (and manager Joe Maddon) were also wearing long white sleeves, but the pitcher can’t.
All in all, a terrific looking game, by both teams. Here’s a couple videos so you can get a feel for how the unis looked in action and on the field:
Run @kschwarb12 Run!!!! #Schwarber scores from first base!!9-4 #Cubs! âš¾ï¸ðŸ’ªðŸ¼ pic.twitter.com/bLgo8pig5F
— sapito7 (@sapito7) June 17, 2017
KB ain't having any of Gary's stop sign #Cubs pic.twitter.com/dzVLx4kHWl
— Jase Roan (@jroan23) June 17, 2017
Josh Bell lifts a fly ball to center field that just clears the wall for a solo home run, cutting the Pirates' deficit to 3-1!!! #LetsGoBucs pic.twitter.com/ZqwTsBSZjb
— TheRenderMLB (@TheRenderMLB) June 17, 2017
In Search of…
…the “Perfect” Baseball Card
Earlier this year, I ran a post in which reader Ray Hund described his quest — and “rules” — for a “Perfect” baseball card. I had asked readers to submit their own submissions for what they considered to be their own version of the perfect card. I’ll run these periodically. If you have a submission for your own “Perfect” baseball card, shoot me an email with a short(ish) writeup and of course, an image (or images) of your own perfect card.
We begin today with Larry Soles, with a Rock of a card:
The 1989 Topps Baseball Card is, without a doubt, my favorite design of all time. This particular card combines my favorite card design, the excellent powder blue Expos uniform, and a nickname. What a perfect trio.
And we conclude today with Dave Robb, with a Swingin’ card:
My favorite team is the A’s. My favorite all-time-any-sport uni is the A’s all white w/pullover tops from the 70’s. Looked through all the Topps cards of the era. Came up with this one. What better captures the essence of the A’s of 1972 – and the essence of Joe Rudi and Gene Tenace – two extremely key players in 1972, ’73 and ’74 – than this 1973 Topps card? Of course it’s not Rudi. Of course it’s Tenace. How could Topps make that mistake?
Keep up the great work
Santa Rosa Ca
I received these two this week, but once again, we’re on empty — so if you guys would like to continue with the this little segment, please send me your “perfect” card, my e-mail address is above.
LAST CALL!!! FAUXBACK CONTEST REMINDER
In case you missed it, last weekend I announced our latest jersey design contest — all the deets are in that link.
Several of you had posted questions in the comments that may be best addressed to me in an e-mail if you’re concerned about meeting the parameters of the contest (questions as to whether a team that existed before 1990 but moved and changed names and others — such as one formed in 1989 being eligible). If you’re looking to do something like this, please send me an email and I’ll be happy to address it.
REMINDER: DEADLINE IS TUESDAY JUNE 20.
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: House of Rep’s Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi were both wearing LSU baseball gear in a joint interview late Thursday evening. Looks like Pelosi was also sporting a Seersucker Thursday jacket. … Also at Thursday’s game, Rep. Ryan Costello was sporting a Reading Fightins jersey. … Ernie Ballard, the Media Relations Director at LSU, added this: “Saw the note about the LSU gear at the baseball game. The university did provide t-shirts, hats, and LSU towels. The shipment arrived and many players wore the LSU hats. The Congressmen who organized the game had placed an order for LSU t-shirts separately as well, but that shipment didn’t arrive. The LSU shirts we sent were to supplement what they had already ordered. The LSU Alumni Association D.C. Chapter did get more LSU shirts on the day of the game and delivered them to the stadium. As you noted, most the players chose to wear uniforms from their home districts with many wearing the LSU hats we sent. I just wanted to clarify that the shipment from the university did arrive and was distributed for the game.” … The Ogden Raptors have new uniforms for 2017. For the 1st time since 1994 the front wordmark is new. You can read more and see photos here (from Sean L). … Regarding the Texas Rangers more prominent use of the color, Bob Gassel notes, “I wonder if this gave them the idea to make red a more prominent uniform color.” … “I noticed the attached patch on the [Las Vegas 51s] 2013 road jerseys, here’s why I think it’s a little weird,” says Matthew Moschella. “Cashman Center is a convention complex, of which Cashman Field/Stadium (used interchangeably, not unlike the Mets script logos) are a part of. I’ve never once heard the team reference Cashman Center. It’s always Field or Stadium. Also, it was on road jerseys. But not at home. I could understand that in the Majors, but the Minors? It seems a bit off.” … The Nippon Professional Baseball (NBP) All Star game jerseys are out. Based on the 2 host teams, Chiba Lotte Marines and Chunichi Dragons (from Graveyard Baseball). … The Padres blog “Gaslamp Ball” has a good explanation of why the team mixes colors and eras of unis. … As you know, Father’s Day weekend (which technically begins today) will feature MLB teams in costume again. Here’s a look at some of the footwear adidas guys will be sporting (from Paul Murphy). … Hats off to Brewers bench coach Pat Murphy, who was going without the New Era advert on his cap last night (from Ryan Ziegler). … Color vs. color action last night between the Astros and BoSawx (from Nate Gilbert). … Here’s a look at the Cubs Anthony Rizzo wearing six different throwback unis (from MBD Chicago). … I’m guessing at one time this was a Troy Tulowitzki jersey (from Dante Mileta). … TREMENDOUS skyline at sunset image from Comerica Park last evening (nice grab from Beau Parsons). … The new “Star Wars”? The Toledo Mud Hens wore Sgt. Pepper’s-themed jerseys last night (thanks, Mike).
NFL/CFL/High School/College Football News: “Looks like new white unis for the University of Albany this season,” says Jason Palatsky. “V shape neck, no gold lining outside ‘UAlbany’ and different material.” Here are some additional looks at the uni, including an *anthracite* uni that may be new as well. … A Las Vegas man on trial for two murders has requested to wear a Tony Romo jersey in the courtroom (from Kary Klismet). … Several Chiefs will be testing out the new, potentially safer, state-of-the-art football helmet by Vicis in training camp. … The Giants plan to wear their all-white Color Rush uniforms and throwback ‘GIANTS’ logo helmet for their Week 14 home game against the Cowboys in December. … An Amite HS (LA) player wore an FSU inspired helmet (with LSU colors) to a Jimbo Fisher (FSU) football camp (from Broc).
Hockey News: Yesterday’s Hockey News section of the ticker referenced Dennis Dejordy wearing Rangers pants while playing for Chicago. “I believe he was wearing Buffalo Bisons pants,” says Ted Arnold. “Dejordy played for the Bisons and the BlackHawks in 62-63 and 64-65 before making it to the NHL with the Blackhawks more or less for good in the 66-67 season.” … Another response from Jeffrey Kruger: “Black Hawks goaltender Denis DeJordy wore Rangers pants during a game against the Canadiens during the 1964-65 season. ‘I don’t know the explanation for this wardrobe malfunction except that during the 1964-65 season, DeJordy played 30 games for Chicago and seven games for the AHL’s Buffalo Bisons,’ says Kevin Vautour. ‘I believe the Bisons had players from both the Rangers and Chicago on their rosters and had uniforms similar to New York‘.” … On the Twitter, the Carolina Hurricanes note “20 years ago (yester)day, a logo became a lifestyle.” (thanks Mike). To celebrate 20 years in North Carolina, the Hurricanes’ 2017-18 season will feature a 20th Anniversary Team, Top 20 Moments, a Platinum Puck Promotion, community initiatives and more. … More Vegas than before? “I just got this email from the Vegas Golden Knights. It might be more of a uniform preview – the Knights’ alternate logo is clearly visible on the player’s shorts.”
NBA/G-League/High School/College Hoops News: The NBA used to run a bumper for Goodyear, where the blimp tips in a ball on the rim. That’s offensive goaltending, as defined by NBA rules. The ad has been fixed so that the blimp rebounds and dunks a ball legally. That’s from this Reddit thread (thanks, Mike).
Soccer News: No pics (yet) unfortunately, but according to Conrad Burry the new, predominantly navy Gold Cup USMNT kit will be unveiled on July 1st. … Interestingly, and related to Conrad’s news, Andrew Dockery writes, “Stumbled across this on eBay the other day. Listed as 2017/2018 jersey. Wrote it off as fake until this news came out. Any chance it’s real?” Dear God, let’s hope not. … It’s more likely that this “leaked” shirt is going to be the new jersey (from Michael D.). … They did the same for last year’s pre-match jersey (from Donald Wine II”). … Arsenal fans waiting for news on their first summer signing will have to wait, but those curious as to what that player will be holding up with a big cheesey smile upon his official confirmation has become clear with the unveiling of the new Arsenal jersey in all of it’s forms for the upcoming season (h/t Mikey Traynor). … Wolverhampton took the kit launch to a whole new level – literally. Most teams play it safe and unveil new kits from the surface of Earth, but Wolves raised the bar by launching the 2017-18 home kit, unveiled Thursday, into space (from Ted Arnold).
Grab Bag: Sure, why not! There’s a jersey for errythang now: “Something interesting from a sport I would not have though would have jerseys, surfing,” says Marcus Myers. “Interesting this is something new in a sport were clothing is such an important part of.” I knew surfers frequently wear wet suits, but a quick google image search for “surfer” definitely shows a “jersey”. And apparently some of these become walking billboards Sigh. … The University of Utah will be adding Men’s Lacrosse as a varsity sport in 2018-19. Here’s an article, which includes a look at their uniform (from Joel Mathwig). … It’s hard to get much more ‘murica than this (h/t Robert Hayes). He adds, “This takes soda box artwork to a new level.” … “So Utah Athletics can’t seem to get their logo straight. They have no real direction or design awareness in their athletic department,” proclaims Blake Beamer. “I’ve attached their logo from the website and it is a circle (perfect). However, on a lot of the graphics and what not coming from Utah Athletics, logo has been stretched vertically. The @utahathletics account on Twitter shows the stretched logo as well.” … Thanks to Jimmer Vilk, we can all sleep better knowing the Akron Zips volleyball mascot, Zippy, is a lady Zip.
And that’s it for today. Tomorrow with be the annual “Fathers in Unis” tribute to our dads, and the one day I do the blog when we’ll have no other content — no sub-ledes, no ticker, no bitchin’ about the MLB Father’s Day costumes … no nothin’ (sorry). If you’d like to send me a picture of your dad (or granddad) in uni with a brief write-up, I’d love to include it — but PLEASE get it to me by early afternoon as it’s a long column and I might not be able to include your piece if it comes in after that. OK? OK.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“If you’re gonna make a ‘I’m calling it Murph’ t-shirt
it better be in PROPER Padre colors of brown and gold!!”
Great post, I can’t get enough of thsee colorizations!
The throwbacks would look even better if the umpires also wore them.
Apostrophe catastrophe on the link about Arsenal’s new shirts.
New white uniforms for Under Armour? Perhaps when reading your notes, you mistook “UA” for the apparel company instead of the University of Albany,
There’s a jersey for errythang…..
Love your website, Thanks so much for doing it!
the Akron Zips volleyball mascot, Zippy, is a lady Zip.
Not just for volleyball…she’s the mascot for *all* sports. There’s only one Zippy, and since she has a pouch, she’s a she.
The pouch is zippered, by the way, which normally would bug me since I have a thing against putting teeth (even zipper teeth) on an animal that doesn’t have them. Given the school’s nickname I’ll allow it.
Hockey pants….not shorts….I know they look like shorts but we call them pants or breezers. I’m not saying it needs to be changed it’s just one of those that makes me cringe a bit. Pants.
I don’t think that’s the Vegas alternate logo as it’s the stars on the logo of the Draft logo.
I zoomed in. It’s definitely the Knights alternate.
It’s the expansion draft logo. They have he same two stars on it. Sorry man. Just coincidence of the placing of the expansion logo and the player. Not saying they won’t have the star on the pants but this is blatently the event logo.
Take a closer look. You’ll see a four pointed star being pierced by two swords – aka the Golden Knights alternate logo. I know it looks like the stars on the draft logos but it isn’t.
We can agree to disagree. The logo wouldn’t be on the leg anyways. But I still say it’s the two stars from the logo.
Even thought I *love* seeing my Cubs wear Negro League uniforms, it still has to be said: the number positioning on the back is total garbage; there was enough room to fit NOBs up there.
How about the Cubs using the Chicago American Giants dark-blue awesomeness some time? Those came directly from the Cubs teams (and also White Sox teams) of that era and the preceding decades.
Two mentions of New Era logo creep, but nothing about Majestic logo creep.
Does this mean in two years we won’t notice the NE logo when Under Armour moves the makers mark to the chest?
If we really want to stop logo creep, we can’t become complacent, because that’s what opens the door to more maker’s marks and jersery commercials.
Hockey pants. Never heard the term breezers until following uni related websites. I understand that is a term sometimes used for pants in the U.S. I started playing hockey at age 6 in Saskatchewan. During the time I played as a child and a teenager, my response would have been “WTF is a breezer?”
Great work Chris. I enjoy your work.
Wonderful colorized photos. Thank you.
Re: Father’s Day costumes.
Dodgers/Reds has neither team in baby blue.
Twins-Cleveland split doubleheader, full baby blues in first game, baby blue caps and regular jerseys etc. in second. Not enough time between games to do the laundry I guess.