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Some Great MLB Footage from 1963

Reader Bob Gassel recently found some 1963 home movie footage on YouTube. It shows a few games shot at Kansas City Athletics games that season, and although it’s only five minutes long, it has a ton of uni-related goodness. Ready? One at a time:

•  The first few minutes of the footage are from an A’s/Indians doubleheader. The game was played at Kansas City Municipal Stadium, and the A’s were wearing their mono-gold vest uniforms (they wore that design at home and on the road that season). The weird thing is that the Indians appear to have been wearing their home whites. Check it out:

Cleveland’s 1963 home whites and road greys were basically the same except for the flannel color, so it’s hard to be sure. Maybe their shade of grey wasn’t as dark as most other teams’ (the same video later shows the A’s playing the Yankees, and the Yanks’ greys look a bit darker), or maybe it’s just the lighting and the limitations of home movie footage. Still, those uniforms look pretty white to me.

• 1963 was the year that many of the A’s began wearing their first names or nicknames on their jerseys. There’s a good shot of future Hall of Famer Tony La Russa, who was an A’s infielder at the time, with “Tony” on his back:

Unfortunately, none of the other NOBs in the video are legible.

• One of the games featured Cleveland pitcher Early Wynn, who was 43 years old at the time, going for his 300th career victory. There’s some good footage of him warming up prior to the game (in front of his team’s dugout, as was standard at the time), and it shows that he was quite the portly fellow at that point in his career, with a lot of extra belt loops (and again, his uni looks pretty white):

There were two different sets of Little Leaguers at the ballpark — in full uniform! That was a much more common thing before advent of retail jersey merchandising.

• There are two different bits that show the A’s owner Charlie Finley’s mechanical rabbit, would pop up out of the ground behind the home plate umpire and deliver fresh baseball to him. Here’s the first view of it:

And here’s the second view:

There are several shots that show the A’s groundskeepers. Interestingly, their uniforms were a preview of what the team would eventually wear in the doubleknit era in Oakland:

There are also several shots of an A’s batboy, who for some reason was wearing No. 98. Maybe they just wanted to give him a number that they knew nobody else would be wearing:

Now that you’ve seen all the choice bits, I highly recommend watching the entire video:

(My thanks to Bob Gassel for pointing me toward this great footage.)

• • • • •

For those who’ve been asking or wondering: The Jags-redesign contest submissions have been evaluated, and my column with the winners has been written and is ready to go. ESPN’s NFL editors didn’t want to run it this week because it would have been buried under all the combine news, so it’ll run next week. Thanks for your patience.

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The Ticker
By Kris Gross

Baseball News: The Braves wanting Ronald Acuna to wear his hat straight is causing a stir (from WK). … Why did Chipper Jones stop going high cuffed? The knee braces (from Blake Pass). … The Salt Lake Bees, Triple-A affiliate of the Angels, will wear Jazz-inspired uniforms in June (from Kristopher Sharpe). … New uniforms from the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol minor league teams Diablos Rojos del México and Toros de Tijuana (from Cesar). … Bruins ECHL affiliate Atlanta Gladiators will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with warmup jerseys inspired by the Gwinnett Stripers, Triple-A affiliate of the Braves (from Chris Treft). … New throwbacks for Hawaii.

NFL News: A video posted by the Titans appears to show the team’s logo with a slightly updated color scheme. The Titans are slated to reveal their new uniforms on April 4. Never mind, it’s not new. … Notre Dame draft prospect Mike McGlinchey’s number was peeling off his combine jacket the other day (from Daniel).

College Football News: UCLA added rear bumper raised lettering for the Cactus Bowl in December, but it’s here to stay (good work, Evan Custer). … Florida State will have throwback end zones for its spring game (from @broc1984). … Also listed in the NFL section: Notre Dame draft prospect Mike McGlinchey’s number is peeling off his combine jacket (from Daniel). … Rex Henry spotted Georgia Tech football coach Paul Johnson wearing a Nike shirt. Not great for a coach of a current Russell Athletic, future Adidas team. … This is awesome — a helmet cart and race car on the sidelines at an old Iowa State game (from Jay Wright). … Washington Capitals D John Carlson will wear a Navy Football-inspired outfit before tomorrow’s Stadium Series game (from Eric Griffin).

Hockey News: Dana Heinze, Penguins head equipment manager, celebrated his 2000th game with a custom jersey last night (from Jerry). … Also listed in the college football section: Capitals D John Carlson will wear a Navy Football-inspired outfit before tomorrow’s Stadium Series game (from Eric Griffin). … Also listed in the baseball section: Bruins ECHL affiliate Atlanta Gladiators will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with warmup jerseys inspired by the Gwinnet Stripers, Triple-A affiliate of the Braves (from Chris Treft). … The Hamilton Steelhawks of Allan Cup Hockey will wear throwback unis tonight (from Ross Taylor). … Here’s a great piece on how an Alabama player honors Sandy Hook victims with his helmet and number (from Griffin Smith). … See the dark-colored team in this 1980s shot? That’s the University of New Hampshire, and Tris Wykes says they were actually wearing Cooperalls, even though it doesn’t look like that. “They were colored to look as if they were traditional pants and socks, and they had zippers at the knee so they could attach white ‘socks’ for home games,” he says.

NBA News: The Blazers’ red uniforms blended in with their court’s red paint last night. … The Wisconsin Herd, G-League affiliate of the Bucks, will honor the old NBL with Oshkosh All-Stars jerseys tomorrow (from Ray). … Also listed in the baseball section: The Salt Lake Bees, Triple-A affiliate of the Angels, will wear Jazz-inspired uniforms in June (from Kristopher Sharpe).

College Hoops News: Do you know how many retired and honored jerseys there are in UNC’s Smith Center? (From James Gilbert.) … Interesting article about UNC coach Roy Williams’s attire (from Mike McLaughlin).

Soccer News: Here’s a video running through Sporting KC’s uniform history (from Benjamin Dallman). … Club Brugge has new kits for the Belgian playoffs (from Ed Zelaski). … Nottingham Forest FC, Championship league team in England, has a new kit manufacturer (from Andrew Cairns). … In case of snowfall, Arsenal FC painted their markings blue (from Laurence Holland). … Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola continues to wear a yellow ribbon in support of Catalan independence, despite getting fined (thanks Anthony). … New team logo for Star Madrid. … The Seattle Sounders and Santa Tecla went highlighter vs. highlighter last night (from Timothy Pontzer).

Grab Bag: Due to the movie’s popularity, people are creating Black Panther jerseys (WaPo link) (from Tommy Turner). … A new Nike ad features Bill Nye the Science Guy in running shorts saving the world (from Kary Klismet). … Adidas and the Woolmark Company have come together to make a new and innovative athletic shirt for top finishers of the Boston Marathon. … The trophy for the Serbian Volleyball Cup matches the federation logo (from Jeremy Brahm). … Pro tennis may soon have line calls made by machines (NYT link) instead of human beings. Key quote: “One of the biggest issues was determining what sound [the machine] should emit in making an ‘out’ call. ‘We tried horns, buzzers and beeps,’ said Gayle David Bradshaw, the ATP’s executive vice president for rules and competition. ‘We didn’t want it sounding like the buzzer on the Family Feud. Finally, we decided to record different human voices yelling “out,” so it doesn’t sound monotonous. We’ll add a different voice for the foot fault call.'” … The Tour de France is considering eliminating the use of podium girls, following similar moves by other cycling events and other sports. … A Tokyo school has hired armed guards in response to an uproar after the school adopted expensive Armani uniforms.

Comments (52)

    Georgia Tech wears Nike shoes…Russell Athletics dumped them no longer produces team gear for anyone out of that business. Adidas deal hasn’t started yet…Coach is good. I

    Well that makes sense. Thanks for the clarification.

    The uni watchers simply didn’t notice. Neither did I… I mean, seriously, how often do you really look at a team’s shoes? Georgia Tech crawled to freedom through five hundred yards of shit smelling Russell Athletic foulness I can’t even imagine, or maybe I just don’t want to. Five hundred yards… that’s the length of five football fields, just shy of half a mile.

    A bit more detail about the Hamilton Steelhawks throwbacks in the hockey ticker.

    This team is the Senior A Steelhawks of the Ontario Hockey Association which were started in 2015.


    They are throwing back to the look of the major junior Hamilton Steelhawks of the OHL. The OHL’s Steelhawks existed from 1984 to 1988 before relocating to Niagara Falls. They are the present day Erie Otters.



    Thanks for adding the info Wade. I am the one who sent in the info and am heavily involved with the team. Stick tap to Paul for posting it. Live sports needs all the help they can get in promotions these days.

    “the Gwinnet Stripers” Gwinnett
    “during for the Cactus Bowl in December”
    “the Boston Marathon (from ).”

    That Kansas City A’s footage is from the weekend of July 13-14, 1963. They played back-to-back doubleheaders against Cleveland on Saturday and the Yankees on Sunday. That was Early Wynn’s last major-league win. He finished with exactly 300 wins. You can find the box scores here: link

    Fascinating that a team which play different opponents on a Saturday and Sunday…was this common?

    Seeing that the Indians had to play another doubleheader on the 14th as well…in Minnesota!.

    That was the weekend after the All-Star Game, which is the one time that baseball would have teams travel between Saturday and Sunday.

    And before Pennsylvania changed its blue laws in late 1933, the Pirates (and presumably the Philadelphia teams) couldn’t host Sunday games, so they’d travel after a Saturday home game.

    That was the end of an 11-day stretch during which those Kansas City A’s played four doubleheaders. July 4, July 7, July 13 and July 14. Three single games made it 11 games in 11 days, even with three days off for the All-Star break.

    Did the Indians wear their road grays in Game One and then used the clean white ones in Game Two. August in KC can be brutal in flannels. Can’t imagine getting another nine innings out a uniform.


    “Club Brugge has new kits for the Belgian Cup playoffs” – remove “cup,” Belgium has a playoff in its league where the top six teams play each other twice more. The Belgian Cup is a different competition from which Club Brugge were already eliminated.

    “Nottingham Forest FC, Championship league team in the UK” – you have to say England, not the UK

    Also, the Boston Marathon shirts item is missing whoever it’s from.

    The Titans logo you showed with an updated color scheme has been in the facilities since locker room renovations before last season. Don’t think it’s the new one.

    *IF* that’s the Titans’ new logo/color scheme, it looks like they’re going with one shade of blue instead of two; replacing navy and powder with royal and grey.


    Was it common for active players to act as base coaches back then? I ask because Yogi Berra is coaching first base in one of the videos. What’s more, he went 3-5 in the first game of the doubleheader that day: link.

    Just realized it’s one video, the other links were just to the rabbit robot and I kept watching. My bad.

    Nottingham Forest has a new kit manufacturer, not a new advertiser. The is kits used to be made by Adidas they will now be made Macron.

    The best part of the Iowa State helmet cart is it even has a chinstrap, or at least as much of one as can be seen from the side.

    It provides protection when the cart hits its maximum speed of about 10 mph. :-)

    I’m guessing that the Indians knew the A’s were going to wear gold, and asked if they could wear white, or the A’s indicated that they were welcome to….

    It’s the brightness of the sun and the color reproduction limitations of the film and developing techniques. Things we see in 50+ year old photography and photos are not always as they actually looked. How many grey flannel uniforms look powder blue in photos the late 60’s?
    I doubt the Indians would pack both sets of uniforms for a road trip. It’s possible, but highly unlikely.

    I like that the Athletic’s programs for 63 show the A’s in the 62 uniforms and are 62’s red and navy color scheme. They didn’t bother re-designing the programs to match 63’s “re-branding.” Though the initial green A’s uniforms did have the same style “Athletics” lettering. They may have added the sleeve numbers to make the player on the cover look more like he’s wearing a 63 uni. But the program’s red and blue scheme are definitely 62. Ironically, I bet 62’s programs showed the 61 uniforms and colors, as the A’s had two years of one-of’s in 61 and 62.

    I’ve been really trying to convince myself that those are grey unis, but I just can’t…especially when you compare them to the Yankees greys later in the video. Anyhow, see my post a bit below for another theory…

    I know – our eyes may deceive us, but photography really does. I’d like to find color photos of the all-star line up before each game to compare the shades of grey (and show that the White Sox were grey in 1970 compared to other powder blue teams!) Of course, in 63 the AL were the home team, but maybe a 64 all star pic would answer the question. Unfortunately, it’s really impossible to find photos of the all star line ups from the pre-internet era.

    If there’s some 63 Indian road jerseys pictured in sports auctions, that might give us a clue as to how grey they were.

    Re: U. of New Hampshire Cooperalls. So they did have the zipper and they did change out to white for the bottom of the legs?

    There were Cooperalls back then which were designed to look like socks and pants striping which did not have the zipper, as seen here with the Lethbridge Broncos in Memorial Cup action against Oshawa.


    Looks like WHL Billings Bighorns may have used a zipper version and did change the legs back in the day. This would be great jerseys if still around today.



    While I try and read daily, I often do not get a chance to and end up in a situation where I binge the past several days all at once. I know I am late to this discussion, however, one comment on your open letter to readers was met as almost a joke and thrown away by you, when I think that it deserves much deeper consideration. A reader had said something along the lines of affecting your influence, to which you replied, “how much influence do we have?”

    Why this is problematic, is that your revenue from ESPN, is directly influenced by the daily readers that you easily direct from uni-watch to ESPN. You have a built in following (to the tune of 300,000 views per month), which is why you are a valuable asset to and outlet like ESPN. Now, that number over 30 days, maybe results in 7500-10000 active readers daily, but, say with a paywall you lose your casual reader, and those ESPN redirects.

    I understand that you are getting a lot of positive feedback from comments which may indicate a positive result, however, I would tend to believe that the vast majority of those not commenting negatively are the same ones that would just as well not continue reading once a paywall is in place. I would estimate that your niche content might see only as low as a 20% conversion rate to the new model. While still a substantial amount of money, I am wondering if this becomes a situation where as you increase 1 revenue stream (uni-watch), you severely impact another (ESPN).

    Trust me, MG: I could shut down the blog and ESPN would not care (in fact, they’d probably be happy that I had more time to work for them). They direct a lot more readers to this site than the other way around. And what they pay me is not based on traffic — I get a flat rate.

    Paul, what does more time working for ESPN entail? The vast majority of your content there is uniform related, correct? I assume they already choose to what extent they want coverage of uni-stuff from you? Or would they elect to allow you to get more into the details with more frequent articles than you already do?

    Greg, I’m sorry, but there are limits to how much I can describe my working relationship with ESPN. Thanks for understanding.

    One more theory regarding Indians wearing white…

    Remember that in 1963, most baseball games were telecast (or at watched) in black and white. It would be very difficult for a viewer to differentiate between gold and grey…and especially problematic with Cleveland, who wear vested jerseys like the A’s. So perhaps the Indians wore white at the request of one of the stations televising the game.

    I remember when Early Wynn was going for 300. I had a short wave radio and listened to some of the games. It took him a awhile to get that 300th win as I recall

    In that video, the Yankees seem to have two different number fonts on their players’ backs; #10 Tony Kubek has no base on the “1” whereas #15 Tom Tresh does. #7 Mickey Mantle has the base, and #8 Yogi Berra’s 8 has square insides, so I’m guessing that the “full block” style is the default and Kubek got stuck with something irregular.

    (Remember a few years ago when #30 David Robertson pitched in a playoff game wearing a jersey with the wrong font on it?)

    Ive seen pics of the rabbit, but never video. I didn’t realize it had light up demonic eyes. That things just creepy.

    This is awesome — a helmet cart and race car on the sidelines at an old Iowa State game (from Jay Wright).

    For what it’s worth, this game would have been Iowa State vs. Iowa from September 14, 1991, in Ames, Iowa. The helmet is a style worn by Iowa State from 1987 to 1994. The jersey striping is of a style worn by Iowa State in 1991 and 1992. The following clues indicate it’s an Iowa State home game: (1) the Cyclone player’s red jersey, (2) the red and yellow color scheme of the end zone and seating section number sign, and (3) the presence of the helmet cart and race car, which would not likely be taken on the road.

    There are numerous fans visible in the stands wearing Iowa apparel, which would lead one to believe they’re there to cheer on the visiting team. Since the two intrastate rivals played their annual match-up in Ames in 1991 and Iowa City in 1992, this game must have been the 1991 edition. For the record, Iowa won the game, 29-10.

    New throwbacks for Hawaii.

    Fauxbacks, really, not throwbacks. The color scheme is about right, but the front lettering is nowhere near accurate. The letters are way too small, and the font is the same one Hawaii uses currently, not the classic serif block font from 1979. These could have been so much better.

    Besides the mechanical rabbit, Mr.Finley kept real sheep and a biblical looking shepherd on the right field “hill”. You can see the shepherd right after the rabbit scene, around 41″.

    Great Video. Some notes:


    You can barely see “Norm” on the back of #7 Norm Siebern


    Looks like Elston Howard may have missed the plate on his Home Run.

    The Sounders/Santa Tecla FC colors come off a bit bright on that footage, especially Seattle’s green. That green doesn’t quite qualify as ‘highlighter’ (unlike some of the their past 3rd kit alts) in person. Shame it ended up blown out of broadcast.

    There’s another “found footage” video on You Tube apparently shot by the same person of a game on June 12, 1965 between the Indians and the Athletics. In this game, the A’s are in their home whites and the Indians are certainly wearing grey. But before we ascertain that the Indians must have been in white in the 63 footage, notice that it’s a cloudy day in 65. A raid delay and the infield tarp procedures are included in the 65 footage. So it could be that in the 63 game, the bright sunshine bleached out the Indians uni’s, making them appear white. Also note that the Indians’ 65 uniforms changed the blue numbers to red.

    It may have been shot on Kodachrome film and the processing produced grays that appear white. That’s about all I can spit out after googling blindly to see if grays were routinely bleached out in home films. An expert in Kodachrome film, or 8mm’s might be able to explain why Cleveland appears to be wearing white. Or maybe they WERE wearing white. But I think the mystery lies in the film processing, and not with the Indians equipment manager.

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