Saturday, June 2, 2012

Let's go back in time

No, not ahead.

Back! (I don't know what Major League Baseball was thinking with those "futuristic" jerseys in 2000. They were so awful.)

One of the more recent trends in the game today is breaking out the "throwbacks" every so often.

I don't know how others feel about them, but I think they're great. I didn't get to see most of the throwbacks when they were originally around, so it's pretty much acts as a time machine for younger fans like myself.

In honor of the 1912 throwbacks that both the Cubs and Giants sported in this evening's matchup, I decided to see if I had a "throwback" card of every team. (Exempting recent expansion teams such as the Rockies, Marlins, etc.)

So without further ado, let's take a trip into baseball history...

The Angels have had a bunch of different uniforms over the years.

I'm pretty sure the one Maicer Izturis is sporting there is a late '60s/early '70s model. I love the lowercase "a" with the halo over it.

I think the A's should bring their "psychedelic" jerseys from the 1970's back full-time.

It couldn't hurt.

I still find it hard to believe that someone as ferocious as J.R. Richard had to wear those awful Astros uniforms.

He deserved better.

On the other hand, I love the '70s-style Braves jerseys. They're among my favorites in the throwback realm.

The Blue Jays made a fine choice in bringing back their throwbacks.

There was barely any blue in their old duds, which kind of defeats the whole purpose of their name. I've always loved the "powder blues", anyways.

I'm not exactly sure what type of throwbacks these are.

They could be from a Negro League team. The Brewers were sporting their other throwbacks when went up to Milwaukee to see them last year.

I'm starting to think I'm just a fan of pinstripes in general.

Amazingly, the only Cubs throwback I could find was this Kevin Orie card. (From Collector's Choice, no less.)

You could call this one a "double throwback", since a member of the White Sox is clearly wearing an old-time Sox uniform in the background.

These were the uniforms they were sporting in today's game.

They lost, but I don't know if the fault can be placed on the throwbacks.

I didn't think I had a Cardinals throwback card, but apparently I'd forgotten about that gem of Tino Martinez.

Again, I'm not exactly sure what kind of throwbacks those are.

I already mentioned my feelings toward "powder blues", so you should already know how much I love those Dodgers duds.

The uniforms the Giants were sporting were simply blank, pinstriped jerseys. (Although not quite as bland as last year's Red Sox throwbacks.)

I didn't even know the Indians had throwbacks until I saw that Justin Masterson card.

One of the few good things to come out of the 2009 Topps Unique set were the "Unique Unis" inserts.

Every single one featured a player in a throwback jersey, including the above Jose Reyes. You'll see those a couple more times in this post.

I only own one card from last year's Tier One set, but I have to believe that it's the best one of all. Does it get any better than Ichiro and a throwback?

I'm not exactly sure if that's even an O's throwback, but it's the best I could find.

Is it just me, or does Brian Roberts look like he's wearing a Halloween costume gone bad?

There's the "Unique Unis" again, as promised. Another great thing about them is that they give some information on what uniform is featured on the front of the card. In Jason Bay's case, it's a Pittsburgh Crawford jersey, from the Negro Leagues.

Any uniform that Josh Gibson wore is okay with me.

If I had to pick a least favorite throwback, it would probably be these awful all-yellow Padres uniforms.

Who in the world thought those were a good idea?

But this is a great card, even with the terrible throwbacks. With it being a night card and all, I don't know if there's ever been a better color contrast on a piece of cardboard.

They almost glow in the dark.

This was the only Phillies throwback card I could find, definitely one of my favorites from Topps' flagship offering this year.

In my opinion, this is one of the few "must have" cards from 2012 so far.

After all, how often do the Phillies wear throwbacks?

As you'll see in a moment, the Rangers weren't the only ones to sport the old Washington Senators throwbacks.

Perhaps the most famous team to come out of the Negro Leagues was the Kansas City Monarchs. I've got a few cards of various Royals honoring their legacy. (On that note, whatever happened to Angel Berroa?)

These are throwbacks, as far as I can tell.

As is the case with a few other teams, I never knew the Reds had throwbacks.

While the Red Sox have worn throwbacks a couple times in the last few years, I don't have any cards of them in their old-time uniforms.

Their jerseys have pretty much stayed the same for the last hundred years or so. The above card was one of the best 15/$1 finds I've ever come across. It perfectly captures how different the game was around the turn of the century. (The open dugouts, the bats without barrels, even the stirrups in a lot of cases.)

But one thing that hasn't changed are the Red Sox uniforms. The one Jake Stahl is wearing in that shot is pretty much the same as the ones they sport today.

Once again, we have a subject from the fantastic "Unique Unis" insert set.

This time, it's Curtis Granderson sporting a 1909 Tigers jersey. I can't help but think of Ty Cobb whenever I see those.

As I mentioned earlier, the Rangers weren't the only ones to wear Washington Senators throwbacks. There's one-time Twins catcher A.J. Pierzynski wearing the old Senators unforms.

The first Senators franchise moved to Minnesota and became the Twins in 1961. (A new, expansion Senators club would also come aboard in '61, but they moved and became the Texas Rangers a decade later.)

I think I remember hearing that the Yankees have only worn throwbacks twice in their long history.

I don't recall the other instance, but they donned the old New York Highlanders jerseys for the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park earlier this year.

Throwbacks aren't really necessary with the hallowed pinstripes, probably the most recognizable uniform in all of sports.

This is probably the oldest throwback card I own.

It might also be the first 1991 Donruss issue I've featured on the blog as well. (There's not many "gems" from that set, after all.)

The Sox wore their old jerseys in the first-ever "throwback" game, a send-off to the old Comiskey Park in 1990. (Thanks to Wrigley Wax for that great factoid!)

For my money, I don't think throwbacks get any better than these.

Well, that's it.

Perhaps we'll see newer franchises such as the Rays and Diamondbacks start to bring back the throwbacks within the next decade or so. Only time will tell, I guess.

I loved digging through all my cards for this post. I managed to find a few "throwbacks" that I never knew I had before.

That was sure a fun ride through baseball history.


Robert said...

I grew up through the 70's & 80's, so the classic duds like the Phils, Braves and Astros just brings back memories every time I see them.

I'm also glad the Jays brought back the old logo; I didn't mind the newer logos, but the old Jay inside the baseball is what I've known since day 1 in 1977. The powder blues are good too, so long as Damaso Garcia isn't burning one of them in the clubhouse.

Wrigley Wax said...

A couple things...
...the Cubs throwbacks were worn the first time they played the Sox in inter league play. Both teams wore 1906 unis....from the year they played each other in the series.
...the McDowell card is from a game at Old was the last season in the old park. The game was called a "Turn Back the Clock" game. It was the first MLB throwback game. I took my dad to the game...the tickets were his Fathers Day present from me.

Hackenbush said...

I do love seeing the throwback unis. BTW I for one love the Astros rainbow unis. My least favorite would probably be the Pirates striped ones with the flat top caps.

JediJeff said...

That Milwaukee games was against the Royals:

Considering KC is in a Negro League uni, I am going to assume that the bland "Milwaukee" was also Negro League.