I’m a pretty big fan of baseball uniforms. The variation, the re-designs, the failures and successes, each is interesting in it’s own way. Today, I wanted to post some of my favorite Giants uniforms. It’s a departure from the usual stat-work but I think we can all agree that the uniforms are a huge part of the thing that makes baseball fun.
If you’re into uniforms, I can’t recommend the Uni Watch blog enough. It’s basically the blog on the Internet for uniform geeks. Also, all of the uniform pictures today are coming from the awesome Baseball Hall of Fame Uniform Database. You can browse tons and tons of uniforms by team, city, and league. An essential link for uniform enthusiasts.
Let’s check out some of my personal favorite Giants uni’s of past and present.
1906 New York Giants
Is this the ultimate in-your-face uniform or what? In 1905 the New York Giants won the World Series and in the next year, their uniforms made sure you knew who the champs were. The uniform database also notes that this was the first collarless baseball uniform. The 1906 team had such legends as: John McGraw, Roger Bresnahan (AKA ‘The Duke of Tralee’), and Christy Mathewson. Fun fact about Mathewson’s 1906 season, it was a tough year for ‘The Christian Gentleman’. From 1901 (when he became a full-time starter) to 1905 he never posted an ERA+ under 130. In ’05 his ERA+ was an amazing 230 — the league average ERA was 2.93 and Mathewson posted an ERA of 1.28 — but in 1906 his ERA+ dropped to a mere 87. The next season Mathewson righted himself and rattled off seven straight seasons of amazing performances. Over those seven seasons — 1907 to 1913 — he never posted an ERA+ of under 123 and posted a high of 222 in 1909. Still, how ballsy do you have to be to wear this uniform? I just love it.
1916 New York Giants
Now these are some stylish threads. You’ve got to dig the weird pink-ish tablecloth pattern and the matching socks. I don’t know much about the 1916 team other than it was Mathewson’s last year with the Giants. He was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in July of that year. The team finished in 4th place in 1916 making the uniforms more interesting than the actual team. I’m not sure if I should put this thing on or spread it out over a table and eat my lunch on it.
1979 San Francisco Giants
The 70′s were a weird time for baseball uniforms. You had eye-bleeding colors — the Giants’ road cone orange, the yellows, the baby blues — along with some weird designs. For example, the Pirates had the infamous ‘conductor hats‘ which never looked good, even in the haze of the 1970′s. The Astros might have had the most offensive uniform for those cursed with sight. But, for some reason, I really dig the Giants 1979 uniforms. Sure, they have all the characteristics of terrible 70′s uniforms. Elastic waistbands? Check. Offensive colors? Check. Orange socks? You betcha’. Yet, I still really like — nay — I love these uniforms. First, I love the Giants cursive handwritten logo. Don’t ask me why, I just do. Secondly, I’ve got a thing for black alternates. I know, most people despise them but I’ve got a soft spot for them. Throw in some stirrups — which I can’t express to you how much I miss in today’s game — and you’ve got yourself the 1979 Giants uniforms. This style of uniform first appeared in 1977 but the 1978 and 1979 designs had the black alternate style making it my favorite.
1989 San Francisco Giants
The last uniform in today’s post. One of the big reasons that I love the 1989 uniforms is that I started to become aware of the Giants in the late-80′s and early-90′s. By 1989 I was six-years-old, but, I remember watching Will Clark, Kevin Mitchell, and Robby Thompson fly around the ball field in these uniforms. I really like the Giants logo with the bookends of the big ‘G’ and ‘S’ containing the rest of the letters. I love the piping up and down the pants. And I like the road jersey with the large SF logo blazed over the left breast of the uniform. I still remember my Will Clark poster when I was growing up. He was wearing a Giants uniform in this style. And, as I said above, they had stirrups. The pants that players wear today are largely baggy and go over the cleat. David Ortiz might be the worst offender in the ‘super large baggy pants’ style that’s become common. I’d like to see some stirrups! Or, at the very least, some sock! I think baseball uniforms look much better with the ‘high sock’ look as opposed to the ‘teenager baggy pant’ look.
Comment Starter: What’s your favorite Giants uniform? Or a favorite from another team.