June 19, 2012
Photo Credit: Typepad.com
(Editor's Note: Longtime baseball uniform expert and author Morris Levin writes weekly for Authentically Speaking.)
By Morris Levin
The Braves are playing the Yankees at Yankee Stadium through Wednesday.
On Monday night, Atlanta wore their road grays. They have worn this basic road uniform (except for a change in the road cap to all navy) since 1987. The Yankees wore the home pinstripes they have worn since 1973 when they first switched to double-knit polyester uniforms.
So it goes when teams come to wear a specific uniform for multiple generations. Even in the current season of 2012, I turn on the game and see the now classic Braves road uniform in the Bronx against the Yankees pinstripes. I see visual hints and allegations of 1996 and the first great Yankees club of this current cycle of a Bronx Golden Age.
The Phillies played in Toronto this past weekend. Toronto has returned to royal blue and white as its primary colors, and wear uniforms which read as 2012ized versions of the team’s early 1990s home, road, and alternate uniforms.
When the Phils and Jays were dueling at the Rogers Centre, I saw visual traces of the 1993 World Series with the Phillies in their road grays, and the Blue Jays in their home whites. Our visual memories live in these neuro-pathways.
Yes, the 1993 Series ended in a loss for the Phils, but that too is baseball history in general, and Phillies history in particular. And the image rendered by two teams wearing uniforms in a familiar ballpark, simultaneously speaks to the present and the past, and is among the components of a strong brand for the Phillies and Blue Jays alike. The name is in the jersey.
Authentically Speaking Trivia Time: Name the only NFL team that has never worn its white jersey at home? Answer tomorrow.