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Pat Patriot, Silver Wings and Monochrome White Sox

Discussing the Best and Worst of Sports Uniforms

A Nice Image of the 1906 World Series
football
tombierbaum


I love this shot of the 1906 World Series, with the White Sox playing at the Cubs (going back before Wrigley Field -- this is West Side Grounds), with the White Sox wearing the precursors to the 1976 Bill Veeck monochrome navy road uniforms. It's cool to see those striking uniforms circling the bases on a key play in that series. I loved the classic style of the Veeck 1970s uniform but hadn't realized the basic look had once graced a World Series champion.

This and several other classic World Series photos were posted on the great website Uni Watch last weekend, provided by a collector of old-time baseball photos, Ronnie Bolton. If you're at all into sports uniforms, it's must to check out Uni Watch.

On Bolton's Twitter page he gives this description of the Sox-Cubs photo: "Here is a key play from series, George Rohe hitting a bases clearing triple for all the runs in White Sox 3-0 win in Game 3."  The underdog Sox took the '06 series in six games.

The Old AFL at Its Finest
football
tombierbaum


On YouTube a highlight film of the 1962 Houston Oilers popped up and I gave it a try, eventually pausing it at this point in the film. When I reopened the computer the next morning, it struck me that this shot epitomizes for me the best of the old AFL uniforms. These are actually the first two sports teams I adopted at about the age of 6 and very specifically because I loved their uniforms -- the sky-blue color of the Oilers with the white oil-derrick emblem and, of course, the lightning bolts on the Chargers' imaginataive uniforms. I eventually came to like even more the great Pat Patriot logo and flaming red jerseys of the Boston Patriots, but this visual sure brings back the sports aesthetics I first fell in love with.

Cincinnati Bengals Re-Design
football
tombierbaum
A few months late, but here are the entries I came up with for a Cincinatti Bengals Uniform Re-Design challenge conducted over the summer on the Sports Illustrated website (note that the Uni Watch blogger Paul Lukas, who runs these contests, has moved from ESPN to SI).


This is a design inspired by a made-up team called the Trenton Tigers that has a long, long history among the Bierbaum brothers.

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Seattle Evergreens / Pilots Design Contest, Pt. 2 -- Legion Crossovers
football
tombierbaum
OK, here's part two of my entries for the Seattle NHL uniform challenge being put on by the Uni Watch column at ESPN.com. As described in my prior entry, this is my adaptation of the wonderful uniforms of baseball's short-lived Seattle Pilots to a hockey configuration.

So here are white- amd dark-jersey versions...




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Seattle Evergreens / Pilots Design Contest, Pt. 1 -- Legion Crossovers
football
tombierbaum
For my friends who are fans of the Legion of Super-Heroes and have some interest in my uniform re-designs, this entry is for you. ESPN.com's Uni Watch column is running another design contest, this time to suggest a look for the expected Seattle NHL expanson franchise. Luckily for me, the deadline came after the Thanksgiving weekend and I was caught up enough on things in general that I was able to devote the necessary time to pull an entry together -- in fact I couldn't narrow it down to just one concept and managed to do two entries.

Part of the issue was that it popped into my mind to suggest hockey adopt one of the best designs in sports history, and one that's criminally left ignored and unused these days, the uniforms for the beloved 1969 Seattle Pilots (who were moved after a single season to Milwaukee, where they've played ever since as the Brewers). And once I got that idea for a Pilots hockey team in my head, I had to go with it, even though it felt like it wouldn't get full consideration as a "real" entry but rather a kind of novelty entry (even though I personally would 100% love to see the name and design actually take to the ice in the NHL). And in any case, a Pilots concept would be based on somebody else's long-ago design rather than something completely original on my part.

So I felt compelled to do a second totally original submission. And when I thought I abouy doing something that showcased the neon green color Seattle sports fans have so embraced, I tried to think of a name that suggested a green uniform, and with Washington being the Evergreen State, the name "Evergreens" seemed like a natural, especially when I then saw in my mind an unabashedly joyous pine tree cartoon character playing hockey. If I needed one more nudge to go with an Evergreens concept, I got it when I also saw in my mind a big capital "E" like what Legion of Super-Heroes member Element Lad used to wear in his early days (in the case of the Evergreens, I'd add a lower-case "s_attle" to that big capital "E" to spell out Seattle). With these different ideas feeling rightand falling into place for me, I felt like this, too, was a design I must get down on paper.

So that's Legion reference #1, with a second one coming later on.

So first, here's that Evergreens design, home and away (or I guess actually away and home since I guess the NHL is currently using dark jerseys at home in a switch they made several years ago that I still haven't really gotten used to)...



Here's a close-up of that happy Evergreen mascot, then, it's kind of hard to see, but the Element-Lad "E" logo that also says "Seattle" in neon green lettering, and finally the inaugural patch that was required in the ESPN.com contest...

For the opposing teams, versus the white-jerseyed Evergreens, I finally put down on paper the idea I had back in the 1990s when I failed to enter the local contest to name the Erie minor-league hockey team -- at that time I should have suggested a team identity I made up with some of my brothers (Bob and / or Jim?) for a fictitious hockey league we were playing, the Erie Specters. Here for the first time in 45 years or so I'm updating whatever visuals we may have created for the Specters back then and a giving them team colors of gray and white and a wordmark and numbers in the kind of dashed lines comics used to use to illustrate phantoms and invisible characters.

Versus the dark-jerseyed Evergreens is a re-design of the Calgary Flames.

And I think I'll do a separate post for the Pilots artwork.

Tennessee Titans Re-Design
football
tombierbaum
One more recent set of entries for an ESPN.com Uni Watch Uniform Re-Design contest, this one for the Tennessee Titans. In this case, I went with a favorite color scheme from the team's distant past when it was the Houston Oilers -- sky blue, metallic sky blue and red.  And there are a couple of my trademark cartoon-ish logos.  Here's the home version...



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Las Vegas Raiders Re-Design
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tombierbaum
Catching up on the entries I've done for the last few ESPN.com Uni Watch re-design contests, here's what I came up with for the Las Vegas Raiders...

Cartoon mascot? Check. In fact, two of them.

Brighter colors? Check (though one could scarcely get any less bright than the Raiders' traditional colors of silver and black).

Here's the home design...



Note that I've augmented the old silver and black with Vegas gold. The opposing team is a Denver Broncos design that takes that team's orange and blue colors, adds metallic orange, uses the 1968-1996 helmet logo and combines the great shoulder panels of the 1965-66 uniforms with the number logo of the current uniforms.Read more...Collapse )

Jacksonville Jaguars Re-Design
football
tombierbaum

Here are my entries in the recent ESPN.com Uni Watch contest to re-design the Jacksonville Jaguars...

As usual, I went for bright colors and a some kind of cartoon mascot...



That's the home uniform, showing the Jags squaring off against the New Orleans Saints in a new Saints uniform that puts a gold halo on their helmets and includes the classic Saints mascot "Sir Saint" on the front of the helmets presenting the player numbers.Read more...Collapse )

Merry Christmas II
football
tombierbaum
Here's another shot from that great snowy 1963 Patriots-Bills playoff game...



For some reason, this photo takes me right back to visiting relatives in Queens, NYC right before Christmas in 1963, though the game is in Buffalo three days after Christmas. Again, that almost impossible combination of a snow-covered football field when the sun is out makes it look the way I remember the snowy days up in New York City or at home on Christmas when I was a kid.

Oh, and for once I'll perform the important courtesy of attributing the photo, which I copied out of a greet book on the AFL history of the Bills, called "Rockin' the Rockpile," with this photo being credited to Robert L. Smth of Orchard Park, N.Y. I found the prior photo on a "Best AFL Photos" page on Pinterest, though I'm unable to track it down again.

Merry Christmas from Pat Patriot / Silver Wings / Monochrome White Sox
football
tombierbaum
Here's a nice Christmassy football photo featuring a couple favorite uniforms, the  Patriots and Bills of the 1960s...



What makes this picture so special is the very rare occurance of a snow-covered football field on a sunny day. Since they keep the fields covered until game time, any snow on the field has to fall after the game starts. So snowy games are a rare occurence to begin with and  it's infinitely more rare to get enough snow to blanket the grass and then also get sunny conditions within the same game. This happened for least a brief period during the 1963 AFL East playoff, won by the Patriots 26-8 on Dec. 28, 1963.

We were living in Delaware at this time and got a rare white Christmas that year. Pictures from this Christmas week game sure take me back to what snowy days looked back then.

I really didn't start rooting a lot for these two teams until they went into decline in 1967 and beyond, but I now have great nostalgia for their battles that decided the AFL East title in '63, '64 and '66, in part because I remember decorating the Christmas tree one year when they were playing a vital game late in the AFL season.