May 31, 2012
Editor's Note: Longtime baseball uniform expert and author Morris Levin writes weekly for Authentically Speaking.)
By Morris Levin
When the San Francisco Giants moved to Pac Bell Park (now AT&T Park) for the 2000 season, the team tweaked its uniform, changing the fabric color to a light cream color from the standard home white. In 2012, the Giants, Mets, Twins, Cleveland, Atlanta, and the Phillies all wear cream uniforms.
The Pirates were the first team to switch from wool flannel to double-knit uniforms in 1970. Whereas white flannel was truly an off-white cream, the new double-knit unis were a clean white. By 1973, all twenty-four Major League teams had switched to double-knits, and home whites were bright white.
The White Sox hosted the first Turn Back the Clock game on July 11, 1990. Rawlings reproduced the 1917 uniforms in double-knit, using a clean white fabric with midnight navy pinstripes. This was the first Turn Back the Clock game and Rawlings' reproduction work was impressive for an event for which there was no previous example.
In 1993, Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Co. was invited to make uniforms for many Turn Back the Clock games, specifically 1925 Pirates uniforms for a July game against the Reds, and 1933 Phillies uniforms for an August game against the Pirates. Mitchell & Ness used historically accurate felt for lettering and numbers, and precisely matched the fonts, but per-the request of the teams, used polyester fabrics. But to increase the authenticity of the unis, Mitchell & Ness used a cream colored fabric rather than bright white.
Many teams have subsequently worn cream uniforms for TBTC games.
The Giants were the first to introduce cream uniforms as their primary uniform. Prior to the 2008 season, the Phillies introduced alternate uniforms recreating their 1948 uniforms in cream color. The Mets changed the fabric color for the pinstripe home uniforms to cream in 2010. The same season, the Twins moved into Target Field and introduced alternate uniforms recreating the team’s 1961 to 1971 flannel uniforms. Atlanta introduced an alternate uniform prior to this season recreating their late-1960s jerseys.
Who says it's not the uniform? Now we know why the Twins are wearing the "M" cap more often than not lately as we wrote yesterday. It's simple; they're winning with it.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune the team 's record was 27-68 from August 7, 2011, the last time the team wore the "M" cap as part of a 20th anniversary celebration of the 1991 World Series championship team at Target Field last summer, until this past Monday when the Twins wore a Stars and Stripes "M" cap to begin a three-game series against Oakland, who they swept yesterday wearing the traditional "M" cap the last two games.
Friday night the Twins are in Cleveland. Which road jersey will they wear if they do indeed keep the "M" cap in place?
A) The gray "Minnesota" jersey
B) The blue "Minnesota" alternate
We'll guess "C" as the fonts match up, and we'll check our results on Monday.
Authentic store buzz: There's no doubt that the largest demographic that has made Citizens Bank Park a "cool" place to hang out during the Phillies almost three-year long consecutive sellout streak are 20 and 30 somethings, especially women.
We can tell by the amount of women that shop at the store for Phillies merchandise, wanting to look fashionable while rooting on the home team.
To that end, a new Nike ladies track jacket and hoodie (pictured above) has arrived, and next week look for ladies "cadet" Phillies caps from Banner 47. Check with the store for details.
A reminder: For more news about Pro League Authentics and thoughts on the world of sports uniforms, Like our Facebook page, converse with us @PLAphilly, and visit our YouTube page.
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