I’ve got this theory about baseball uniforms.
More so than other sports, over the past 10-20 years, baseball uniforms have gotten more “traditional”, and I put “traditional” in quotes because tradition often means whatever you grew up with… Just like the best year there ever was for music was whatever year it was when you were twelve.
A lot of the current bunch of owners grew up in the 50’s and 60’s, and when they think of what a baseball uniform should look like, that era is what they go to.
If I’m right about this, then it won’t be long before another group of owners come in, owners who grew up in the 1970’s, the decade of polyknits and powder blue road unis and elastic waistbands.
Throwing back to the Seventies may not be an entirely bad thing. Baseball uniforms have gotten overly conservative in color and design, and it might be time to bring back a little “Seventies” in the same way that the current Blue Jays uniforms are updates of their original 1977 unis.
With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to run through some of the 1970’s hats, jerseys, or logos that I’d like to see brought back, even if just as an alternate.
…and don’t worry, I won’t suggest anything to do with these leisure suit monstrosities:
I’ve so much disdain for those White Sox uniforms that I didn’t even go back and correct the scan.
…But here is what I would like to see…
The red Red Sox cap (1975 – 1978)
I’ve never been a fan of the Red Sox, but I’ve always liked the 1970’s red and navy cap. I liked the cap so much in my younger days that I even owned one… and looking back on that, wearing a Red Sox cap on Long Island may not have been one of my better ideas… not that anyone ever gave me grief over it, but still…
By the way, the Red Sox have tweaked their road jerseys for 2014, and the lettering will be basically the same what Cecil Cooper is wearing — something I see as a definite improvement.
The angular Cleveland Indians cap logo (1973 – 1977)
I’m going to suggest this Cleveland Indians cap logo as an improvement not because it’s an inspired design, but simply because it’s the best Indians cap logo from the past 50 years… at least it is to me, but it’s what they wore the first four years I followed baseball, so I’m biased.
From a purely visual standpoint, it may not be as good as Chief Wahoo, but even if you take the stance that naming a team “Indians” is meant to honor Native Americans, you can’t say the same about Chief Wahoo. Chief Wahoo is just flat-out mean spirited, and I wouldn’t suggest that as an option.
the Brewers’ Yellow Panel Road Cap (1974 – 1977)
What the Brewers have now… it’s not bad, but it’s… I don’t know. It leaves me cold. If you’re going to be blue and gold, be BLUE and GOLD. I like the yellow-panel cap, and I’m partial to the the “typeface M” cap, but I know the “M-B Glove” logo is popular and would definitely be an improvement over what they have now.
The Tigers’ road Jersey (1972 – 1993)
Road jerseys that have solid navy or black lettering with no trim to offset the darkness are just “blah”… Too “Dark Knight”. I want to see something else. Hell, even the Yankees have white trim to offset the navy, and that makes it “pop” a little bit. The Tigers could do a lot worse than going with something like this:
I won’t ask for the road cap as well… It’s not bad, but the standard Tigers cap is a classic you don’t mess with.
I was going to gather together some Padres caps and jerseys that I like, but I quickly realized that it would probably be a post of its own. I’ll summarize my take on the Padres uniforms in two words:
“Fauxback” alternates I’d like to see: The Nationals wearing pseudo-Expo uniforms
Honorable Mention: I know the Nats downplay their Montreal roots, but how cool would it be if they did Expos throwbacks, complete with tri-color cap? They could swap the curly W for the Expos logo, but go with everything else.
WhICH uniform elements from the 1970’s would you like to see teams bring back?
Do you think I’m totally off-base on these? Would you rather see the Astros’ “rainbow” jerseys or the return of powder-blue road jerseys?
…or would you leave the Seventies dead and buried?