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Cubs and Reds Play Beautiful (Looking) Field of Dreams Game

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[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site (although he’s still writing his weekly Bulletin column and may pop up here on the blog occasionally). Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through the end of the month.]

Good Friday morning, Uni Watchers. We made it.

Yesterday was just one of those days: major uni news all throughout the day, including two “Classic” editions for NBA uniforms being revealed for the Washington Wizards and later, the Milwaukee Bucks. And then later in the afternoon we learned that the NBA will retire the late Bill Russell’s #6 leaguewide. Phew! I wish they’d spread these things out.

And of course, last evening we were treated to the second edition of MLB’s “Field of Dreams” Game, which is played in Dyersville, Iowa, the setting for the “Field of Dreams” movie. Like last year, both teams emerged from the corn to begin the festivities.

When the uniforms were first unveiled earlier this week, we learned the Reds would be wearing 1919 uniforms, as they were the team who defeated the Chicago Black Sox in the 1919 World Series — a scandal in which eight members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of throwing the games. While the Cubs wore the uniform announced for a number of seasons, I believe the specific year they were targeting was 1929, a year in which they won the National League Pennant, but lost the World Series (4-1) to Philadelphia A’s. (However, their cap was worn only in 1914.)

The uniforms were on point. Obviously, concessions are made for modern materials and cuts, as well as some anachronisms like uniform numbers and batting helmets. But for the most part, both uniforms were fairly true to their originals.

The Reds wore an all white uniform with pinstripes, including a pinstriped cap. The team created a special batting helmet (meant to mimic the cap, but not quite matching the striping), and I was prepared to hate it, but it honestly didn’t look too bad.

More players than not went high cuffed, which was a pleasant surprise. The Cubs who did so wore dark navy socks with a thickish red/thin white striping pattern at the calf.

Almost all the Reds went high cuffed, but their hosiery was a mix of basically solid red socks, or a white bottom/red top sock (which looked much better).

I was curious to see how both teams would handle the number on back situation, since neither the 1919 Reds and 1929 Cubs had uni numbers (The Cubs started wearing numbers on their uniforms on June 30, 1932. They were the last team to add uniform numbers to their jerseys). The Cubs went with the McAuliffe font (which a number of teams once wore, and the Red Sox are the last team to do so). Those numbers were rendered in red with a navy blue outline.

The Reds went with just a standard block font in solid red. You’ll note from the photo below, the collar is actually a bit of a modified cadet collar, which the 1919 squad wore.

You can see how the collar looks from the front here:

With their blue caps and helmets (and in a very light cream colored uni), players for the Cubs who wore their pants pajama-style looked a LOT like today’s Red Sox from the side and rear.

Another concern that I had had was the fact that both teams were wearing very light uniforms: the Reds were in white with thin pinstripes, and the Cubs were wearing a light cream. While the hues provided little differentiation (which isn’t really needed in MLB, anyway), the Cubs had more than enough navy to easily distinguish the two clubs apart on the field.

This was definitely one of the best looking MLB games in a long time. Of course, the setting is incredible (even if they do Hollywood-it-up on the broadcast). But there are just some guys who seemed destined to appear in a Field of Dreams game…

And I can’t get enough of those cornfield in the background photos…

Both squads posed for team portraits using the field to terrific effect.

Unfortunately, the umpires were not wearing any kind of throwback apparel. But the Reds equipment crew had some fun “throwing back.”

A bit of a uni malfunction happened to Cubs catcher Willson Contreras, who came up to bat in the first inning missing his helmet decal. It returned to his helmet in the third inning.

One of my favorite moments of the evening wasn’t uni related…but it was tremendous.

This was interesting: A Harry Caray hologram sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch.

Even though the game wasn’t particularly exciting, and even though the Reds and Cubs have had better seasons, I thoroughly enjoyed the uniforms and the setting. MLB hasn’t yet dubbed this the “annual” Field of Dreams game, but I’m guessing after how well received the first one was (and with an exciting walkoff finish), and with how great this one looked, it wouldn’t surprise me if they do turn this into an annual thing. I’d love to see an annual designated “throwback” game here with all the pre-expansion teams getting to play in “realistic” 1910-1930s throwbacks. Take me out to that ballgame.

You can see tons of additional photos here.

Uni Tweet of the Day

“And the Reds, similarly, are wearing uniforms from a long, long time ago…”

Either you GetIt™ or you don’t.

And finally...

…that’s it for me for the morning (and hopefully for the day). It’s been a week.

Here’s a link to today’s Ticker.

You guys have a great weekend, and I’ll catch you back here on Monday (and possibly later today as well, if anything big uni-wise happens).

Peace,

PH

Comments (42)

    The Cubs actually did wear this uniform with the McAuliffe font, red numbers with a navy outline, in 1936. Great collection of photos, including this jersey, here:

    link

    Hokey smokes, look at the script on that Cubs roadie from 34-35! And chain stitched to boot! Missed a golden opportunity to wear that last night.

    That’s a nice one but I like the ’33 home even more; it looks just like the one they wore in this game, but with dark blue placket down the front. I’d love to see them wear that (maybe with blue digits and a red outline) as their regular home uniform or a home alternate.

    The Griffey moment somewhat cheapened by Jr wearing his own Nike logo, as if he is beyond association with a team. I appreciate that Sr was linked to the Reds, but the moment would have been better served if he was in full uniform, maybe 70s vintage.

    I’m just here to be the resident contrarian, so you kids get offa my lawn. But I’m of the mind that the Griffeys only cheapened a thing that has been cheapened over and over since “Shoeless Joe” was made into a movie. I’m willing to give the Griffeys some slack, but only because the whole operation is maudlin and saccharin in my eyes.

    You can be the resident contrarian, and I’ll be the landlord. I haven’t made it through a single Kevin Costner movie. Including FoD. Night Shift is the exception, but his part was teeny.

    Not even Bull Durham? Wow. I’m no fan of Costner generally, but hard to imagine anyone else in BD, and it seems to be most people’s favorite baseball movie. (For me it’s in the top 3, with Long Gone and A League of Their Own.)

    The Ratchet does seem to make it likely that the Field of Dreams game will be annual henceforth. I think WP Kinsella, RIP, would have approved of regular professional baseball in Iowa. If MLB is going to do that, then a league-wide throwback night would be terrific, though I wouldn’t limit it just to the 16 original 1901 teams. For one thing, several original teams play in different cities and maintain varying, often minimal, ongoing connections to their 1901 predecessors. We do not really need to see the St. Louis Browns, RIP, play under the dome of Tropicana Field. For another, everywhere has baseball history worth celebrating, whether their own franchise’s earlier days, prior white major- or minor-league teams, local Negro Leagues squads, industrial semi-pro ball, even notable scholastic or youth teams. Heck, the Rays have better fauxback uniforms than most teams have actual throwback options. Unleash the historical creativity!

    I don’t understand why there had to be two different styles of Red’s socks for one throwback uniform, or why some wore pajama style pants. Today’s MLB players continue to dress like clowns.

    The FoD game will not take place next year due to construction, and there are currently no plans to hold another one.

    Agree 1000%. Today’s players have no idea how to wear a baseball uniform. So sloppy these days. Everything is extra baggy XXL. No stirrups. Those gawdawful pajama pants (really HATE that look). And now shoes of all colors…no matter the color of the uniform. Hate seeing my Yankees wearing white…not to mention green…shoes. Ugh.

    That’s what I was gonna comment, his first at bat he had a blank blue helmet but everybody else had a logo, he had a logo the rest of his at bats also so that was crazy…

    Typo alert:

    ‘This was interesting: A Harry Caray hologram sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch.’

    Did you mean “this was pretty fucking weird…”?

    Both clubs had wishbone C’s on their shirts. You expect that from the Reds but the Cubs discontinued that long ago.

    While I love McAuliffe, the Cubs’ unique numbers might have been a better choice.

    So, you were looking for the Cubs throwback uniforms to exhibit their current uniform components? I don’t get it, do you?

    I love McAuliffe too, but the Cubs really did use it when they wore these uniforms (in the ’30s) so I think using it here was best. (And the Cubs still wear it, sort of: it’s used on the batting helmets!)

    If they had thrown back to ’37 to ’42 we could have seen the original iteration of the Cubs number font, by famed artist Otis Shepard. It’s less square than what they have been using almost every year since 1943, and the “1” is a plain line with no serif. I’d love to see them go back to that.

    Both teams looked great but I do agree that there was a missed opportunity. As the designated road team, the Cubs should have been in a road jersey (that’s on Nike, err MLB). It’s not as if there was a dearth of choices (i.e.,1911-12s, and 1913) link

    I looooove that dark blue Cubs road uniform and have been praising it on this site for years. The Cubs have worn it as a throwback; in 1997 against the White Sox and then again in 2012-13(?) against the Giants. I prefer the 1997 version because of the non-block number font they used.

    Instead of the Field of Dreams being an annual game, they should have it alternate every year with a Negro League throwback game that gets played at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, AL. The first game should be Atlanta vs. Kansas City as the Barons and Monarchs.

    I thought the Reds batting helmet looked goofy.
    And the Cubs should have been in gray.

    After that, it was about as good looking as players & Nike will allow a MLB game to look.

    Lee

    The one flaw in the Reds’ uniform was that the batting helmets were a cream color, not white. At least that’s how they appeared on TV.

    Even though I loathe the Cubs, Pat Hughes is a great listen. He describes the uniforms of both teams at the beginning of every game with that same level of care and detail.

    Good looking game, and fun. And not that it matters, but let’s be honest, the Cubs just look like the Red Sox.

    No FOD game for 2023 per Frank Thomas (who has ownership of the site now.)

    I’ve read that MLB is looking around for other unique spots for a game, one is Bosse Field in Evansville, IN. 3rd oldest ballpark in the US and it’s where they filmed most of A League of their Own. So here’s hoping for some skirts next year.

    link

    As for last nights game, I enjoyed the pinstriped helmet as a one off. Though the c flap (which also had pins) looked a little odd to me.

    It would have been really cool if the catchers wore some gear that looked like the old leather (?) gear they wore back then. I’m assuming most of the gear was just brown. Would have been cool to see.

    I think they should let the teams who didn’t wear number go without for these games. Of course, this will never happen because of merchandising, but still. There are no problems on Jackie Robinson day when everyone wears 42, and there were no problems back in the day when uni numbers weren’t worn. Okay, I wouldn’t say no problems, but those problems don’t justify neglecting historical accuracy and the “cool factor.”

    Not disregarding your point. It makes some sense. One difference, however, between the Jackie Robinson everyone-in-the-same-number games and this game is that in the All-42 games, they are being viewed by almost solely the fans of the two teams who already know the players. The FoD game is being viewed by an audience largely unfamiliar with every one of the players. It’s only a small difference, though.

    There is no good reason for any player or coach to take part in this game without high cuffs and stirrup socks.

    In any of these throwback games, regardless of the sport, the officials never take part. They wear what they always wear. As long as doesn’t affect their ability to call the game, they should take part, especially in an event such as this. Wearing a suit and tie for one game can’t be that bad, after all their predecessors did it all the time.

Comments are closed.