I really like seeing Major League Baseball teams wear throwback uniforms. The throwbacks remind me of seasons past that I have seen personally or learned about through baseball history. With some exceptions, the most unique and colorful designs occurred in the 1970s and ’80s. Some looked great, and others were just plain ugly, but each one is memorable.
Here are 15 of my favorite throwback baseball uniforms:
15. New York Yankees Murderers Row, 1927
Even though the overall style of New York Yankees’ uniforms has remained consistent, no uniform list is complete without acknowledging the Yankees. The 1927 Murderers Row featured Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. They won the American League by 19 games. They wore a simple, baggy grey uniform with block lettering across the chest. The design is not the feature here, but the Yankees’ legendary history is.
14. Houston Astros Shooting Star, 1967
The Houston Astros did not play well in 1967, but they looked good. The uniform had the large Astros letters across the chest, with a shooting star streaking across the top, complete with its tail. Home and road versions had similar logos. Even in black and white, the uniform looks nice.
13. Oakland A’s Alternate Home Gold, 1972
The dynamic Oakland A’s of the early 1970s played hard and muscled their way to three straight World Series championships. They wore a variety of uniforms, but the most memorable is the gold home jersey, with either white or green numbers. I picture Rollie Fingers and Vida Blue pitching the A’s to victory when I see this jersey.
12. Florida Marlins Original Teal, 1993
The Florida Marlins’ 1993 original teal uniforms stand out for the brightness, especially the alternate jersey. No one could miss which team took the field in 1993. The Marlins finished in sixth place in the seven-team N. East, but they looked good doing it, so to speak.
11. California Angels Halo, 1986
The 1986 AL West champion California Angels had a powerful offense but a heavenly uniform. The halo surrounding the A is the first uniform I remember when I think of the California Angels of Reggie Jackson, Bert Blyleven, Bob Boone, and Brian Downing.
10. New York Mets “Miracle Mets”, 1969
The New York Mets’ 1969 uniform was basic in design with its blue pinstripes and orange-outlined lettering. However, it is the uniform that the 1969 Miracle Mets wore on the way to their first division title and World Series championship. The 1969 miracle makes the uniform as special as the team.
9. Montreal Expos Big M-E, 1981
Whether home white or road powder blue, the Montreal Expos’ 1981 uniform sported the big red, white, and blue M-E symbol. This is the uniform that the Expos wore in their first postseason berth, which followed the strike-shortened season.
8. Cleveland Indians All Red, 1970s
The image of baseball superstar Frank Robinson wearing the ugly all-red Cleveland Indians uniform of the 1970s gives me the creeps. I could take the red jersey and white pants, but the all-red combination did not look good. When I see it, I think, “Please pass the ketchup.” This uniform should stay in the past.
7. Houston Colt 45s Pistol, 1964
This uniform combined basic white with a powerful logo that let people know the Colt 45s were on the field. The Colt 45s won only 66 games in 1964, but the pistol on the front is a logo of which I do not recall the like on any other sports uniform.
6. San Diego Padres Mustard and Brown, 1970s
Another not-so-attractive look, the San Diego Padres uniform of the 1970s is tough to forget. The brown torso and mustard sleeves made for an ugly but unique combination. I do not mind seeing it worn for one throwback night, but thank goodness the Padres did away with this uniform.
5. Chicago Cubs Road Blue Jersey, 1984
The Chicago Cubs’ 1984 road jerseys were solid blue with the famous Cubs logo on one side and red and white trim on the sleeves and collar. They may look fairly plain at face value, but they remind us Cubs fans of the magical season that saw the Cubs make the postseason for the first time since 1945.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates We Are Family Black and Gold, 1979
I cannot think of the 1979 World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates without singing their theme song “We Are Family.” I cannot forget the various black and gold combinations that the team wore throughout the season either — or the star-studded caps. Whether all-black, all-gold, or half-and-half jersey/pants (either way), the Pirates may not have looked stylish, but they sure played stylishly.
3. Milwaukee Brewers Harvey’s Wall Bangers, 1982
Harvey’s Wall Bangers were the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers — led by Robin Yount and Paul Molitor — that won the A. West and made it to the World Series. The powder blue road jerseys looked nice, but the yellow-front hat with the glove-shaped M-B symbol makes this uniform unique and memorable.
2. Chicago White Sox Softball Shorts, 1976
In 1976, the Chicago White Sox sported the most laughable uniforms in sports history. The players wore softball-style uniforms — including shorts! The white jerseys and black shorts gave fans of the last-place White Sox reason to come to the game: to chuckle at the uniforms during a dismal 64-97 season.
1. Houston Astros Life-Savers, 1970s and 1980s
When I hear “throwback uniform,” I always think first of the Houston Astros’ Life-Saver-style uniforms of the 1970s and early ’80s. These uniforms blended in perfectly with the colors inside the Astrodome. In addition, they remind me of “The Bad News Bears: Breaking Training” movie in which Astro Bob Watson instructs the umpires to let the kids play, inspiring the full crowd’s chant.
Some of these throwback uniforms looked great and some did not. Either way, I like seeing them worn occasionally in throwback games.
Major League Baseball, Regular Season Standings (Years Lined Above), mlb.mlb.com.
Team Uniform Photos (Linked Above)
Raymond became a baseball fan at a very young age. He played baseball through high school and soon after became a varsity coach. Raymond previously produced radio sports talk shows and hosted a weekly MLB radio call-in show. His favorite teams are the Chicago Cubs and New YorkYankees. Follow Raymond on Twitter @RayBureau.
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