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Jezus_Ghoti

My dream assignment

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Many of you know that I've been a contibuting member of these board for several years. Unlike several of you guys, I don't have any great skills in graphic design. It's a hobby, but I'm far from a pro. I just know that I love looking at and critiquing sports uniforms.

I'm employed as a writer for a web company. I basically write instructional manuals in website form. I just recently finished writing a humorous guide to college life.

Anyhow, my new assignment is an informational site for people interested in buying sports jerseys (ideally they will purchase them online by clicking on my site's advertisers). It's basically my dream assignment. I've already written pages about the top 5 jerseys in every major sport, the ugliest jerseys ever, the difference between authentics, replicas and fashion jerseys, what to watch out for when buying a jersey on eBay (the "Expose the Basards" thread was VERY helpful), etc.

Those pages were all a breeze to write, but now I'm trying to write a page now about the history of sports jerseys and it's tough. I've done a bunch of research (there are very few helpful sites out there) and this is the timeline I have so far:

?1849. The Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York is the first baseball team to wear official uniforms.

?1882. Baseball teams experiment with having a different uniform for each position on the field. The multi-colored uniforms are criticized as being reminiscent of clown costumes.

?1907. The Reading Red Roses are the first baseball team to assign a number to each player (it?s unknown if they ever played a game with numbers on their uniforms).

?1929. The Cleveland Indians are the first team to put players? numbers on the back of their jerseys.

?1932. Every baseball player in the major leagues has a number on his jersey.

?1960. The Chicago White Sox are the first team to put players? names on the back of their jerseys.

?1996. Six NHL teams (the Canucks, Mighty Ducks, Penguins, Kings, Bruins and Blues) introduce third jerseys.

Obviously it isn't even close to complete. However, I'm running out of material to put in it. I clearly need to include some football, basketball and soccer info. I was hoping some of you guys would have suggestions for landmark dates in jersey history. (Keep in mind that it's a site about jerseys, so I can't write too much about helmets/socks/etc.).

Also, if you can think of something that I absolutely have to include in the site but may not have thought of, let me know.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

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Here's some hoops ones

Michael Jordan starts baggy shorts trend (check on date of shorts but drafted 1984)

Toronto Raptors (c 2000) First two-colored uniform (front purple, back black)

New Jersey Nets (c 200) First wide shouldered jersey (grey alts)

Charlotte Bobcats (2004) First front and back v-neck collar

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1994: The NFL celebrates its 75th Anniversary with a majority of the then 28 teams wearing uniforms from certain eras from their history.

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Thanks. I don't know how I forgot the 1994 NFL season. I'll also add the NHL's 75th anniversary.

I know that throwbacks got started in MLB in the 1980s, but is there a specific year or team I should mention?

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there is a great set of books called true colours football. (soccer if you like). obviously there is a slant toward soccer kit design but it has a few nice chapters about gerneral sporting attire and how clubs chose their colours / why away unis tended to use certain colours etc. really intersting stuff. might be helpful.

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Thanks. I don't know how I forgot the 1994 NFL season. I'll also add the NHL's 75th anniversary.

I know that throwbacks got started in MLB in the 1980s, but is there a specific year or team I should mention?

The first Turn Back the Clock day was July 11, 1990 at Comiskey Park, between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago White Sox.

Both teams wore their 1917 uniforms, they turned off the electronic scoreboards and used a megaphone for pregame lineups.

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Thanks for all the help.

Are the Cowboys the first team to wear a non-throwback alternate jersey in the NFL (the 1994 star-shoulder jerseys)? Or, am I way off-base?

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Fantastic writing assignment!

You should be very careful about the 1849 Knickerbockers claim. Make sure that whatever source provided you with that information contains a specific reference to a primary source (Kninckerbocker club document, contemporaneous newspaper, personal diary, etc.). There is a lot of poorly sourced hokum out there concerning early baseball organizations. I've read widely enough from secondary sources on the subject to feel like I've "heard it all," and I've never heard the Knickerbocker club cited for originating the baseball uniform. Could be true, but any claim about pre-1876 baseball not based on a specific primary source that you can check should be regarded as an attractive myth.

One early baseball uniform claim that is on solid ground is this:

1869: The Cincinnati Red Stockings popularize knickers and stockings for baseball players.

Good luck, and I hope we get to see some of your finished product!

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here's one from the site fraser mentioned: "Liverpool Home 1979?82

Design: Umbro

Sponsor: HITACHI

The shirt that started the commercial ball rolling! Although non-league side Kettering Town had experimented unsuccessfully with shirt sponsorship a few seasons earlier, in 1979 Liverpool signed a deal with Japanese hi-fi giants Hitachi and pulled on the first ever sponsored shirt worn by a professional club. However, the Hitachi shirt was only worn at non-televised games as strict TV regulations at the time prevented the inclusion of sponsors? logos at matches in which the cameras were present. The design of the kit itself (worn from 1976 to 1982) was a classic: confident and simple with white V-neck and cuffs and yellow Umbro logo and Liver bird badge. "

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You should be very careful about the 1849 Knickerbockers claim. Make sure that whatever source provided you with that information contains a specific reference to a primary source (Kninckerbocker club document, contemporaneous newspaper, personal diary, etc.). There is a lot of poorly sourced hokum out there concerning early baseball organizations. I've read widely enough from secondary sources on the subject to feel like I've "heard it all," and I've never heard the Knickerbocker club cited for originating the baseball uniform. Could be true, but any claim about pre-1876 baseball not based on a specific primary source that you can check should be regarded as an attractive myth.

While the Baseball Hall of Fame is not above inaccuracies, I think they're a pretty good primary source.

HOF uniform timeline

You could always add "According to the Baseball Hall of Fame..." and be covered.

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Here's some hoops ones

Michael Jordan starts baggy shorts trend (check on date of shorts but drafted 1984)

Toronto Raptors (c 2000) First two-colored uniform (front purple, back black)

New Jersey Nets (c 200) First wide shouldered jersey (grey alts)

Charlotte Bobcats (2004) First front and back v-neck collar

Wait a second. Wasnt it the Fab 5 that started the baggy shorts trend?

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1987: The city of Charlotte is awarded an NBA franchise. Two decades later, and the uniform world is still recovering.

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I'll contribute a little knowledge...the NHL info, I gleamed from NHLUniforms.com, and the footy, from Mero's footyjumpers.com. The rest, I've committed to memory.

1873: players for Essendon FC, then of the Victorian Football Association, begin wearing red sashes over black shirts. This is considered the longest-standing uniform design in the sporting world.

1925: North Melbourne FC enters the Victorian Football League. In the 1924 VFA, North had worn blue and white hoops, however since VFL club Geelong already wore navy and white hoops, North was forced to switch to blue and white stripes instead.

1927: the Toronto Maple Leafs become the first NHL team to wear a second jersey, adopting plain white sweaters with a blue leaf for games when their opponents wore blue. a remnant of the primary blue jersey remains on the Leafs' current uniform: the sleeve stripes of the '27 blues inspired the stripes on the current socks.

1935: the Montreal Maroons fold, becoming the last NHL team to never wear a white jersey.

1951: the NHL mandates that all teams wear white jerseys at home. This forces the New York Rangers to adopt traveling whites, making them the last of the Original Six to do so.

1955: the NHL does an about face, as dark jerseys become the home attire. the Boston Bruins begin wearing three jerseys: gold, white and black. This lasts for two seasons until the B's drop the black jersey.

1957: the NFL mandates that the home team must wear their dark jerseys, and visitors must wear white. The Los Angeles Rams tried to skirt this rule by using their longstanding gold jersey as their road, but the league forced them to drop it in favor of a white version. The Rams would not wear gold jerseys again until their 1994 throwbacks, and have not worn yellow gold or metallic gold jerseys since.

1959: the Bruins alter their design, and in the process begin wearing three jerseys again: gold, white and black. This would last until 1965, when the black jersey was again dumped.

1967: the Great Expansion...at the same time the Los Angeles Kings adopt gold jerseys as their traveling colors, the Bruins make changes again, this time replacing their gold jerseys with black. Boston would not wear gold jerseys again until 1996.

1976: for the NL's 100th anniversary, the Pittsburgh Pirates adopt pillbox caps, as do the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals. While the latter two only wear them a few times, the Pirates adopt theirs fulltime, and the caps become part of the club's infamous 1979 mix-n-match uniforms. star slugger Willie Stargell became known for doling out stars to teammates in similar fashion to Ohio State football's buckeye stickers, and said stars were then sewn onto that player's cap.

1983-94: the NCAA mandates for football, color at home and white on the road. the LSU Tigers, who traditionally wear white for nearly all games, wore purple during this time, and Georgia Tech dons either black or navy blue. Both revert to mainly white at home after the rule is finally changed in 1995, though GT wore gold for all home games in 2006.

1981: the Pittsburgh Penguins begin wearing a gold "Sunday jersey," or what we would call a third jersey today. This jersey would be worn until the end of the 1984-85 campaign.

1988: after 21 years of wearing the Lakers' purple and gold, the LA Kings switch to the Raiders' silver and black scheme. This meant the gold jerseys used as LA's light jerseys were replaced by white jerseys.

1989: the Vancouver Canucks return to white jerseys after a decade plus wearing gold, becoming the final NHL team whose main "light" jersey wasn't white.

Mid 90s (I forget the exact years): Sacramento Kings wear an alternate uniform that is about 40% black, 60% purple.

1995: the Fremantle Dockers, with their distinctive purple jumpers with the red/green yoke and white anchor, enter the Australian Football League, and remain the only purple-clad team in the league's history. The Dockers are also, amazingly enough, the only team in AFL history to wear a green jumper...green with red cuffs, a purple yoke and white anchor served as Freo's away jumper from 1995 to 1997.

1997-98: the New York Cityhawks are the only team in Arena league history to never wear a white jersey (that I know of). Their homes were black and their roads were gold. They are also the only team in league history to alternate between helmets during a season, wearing gold helmets with the black jerseys and black lids with the gold shirts in 97. In 98, it was all black home, all gold road.

1999: BYU changes its hues from royal blue and white to navy blue and gold (deny it all you want, but that's navy.) With the change comes new football uniforms, including the now infamous bib home jersey. The bib jerseys got their nickname from the bib-like white fronts of the otherwise blue jerseys. After visiting players complained of an inability to tell apart their teammates from BYU players, an NCAA rule change effectively banned the bibs (which is why Oregon's last two white jerseys have had very little yellow).

2002: the NFL allows third jerseys for the first time, becoming the last of North America's major leagues to do so.

2006: The AFL controversially mandates that all clubs must have a clash jumper by the start of the 2007 fixture. Essendon fans are particularly incensed by what they perceive as the league trying to destroy the club's tradition of wearing the same design of a red sash over black since 1873. For the 2007 season, a version of the Essendon jumper with a very wide sash is adopted, and is first worn in a win over St. Kilda.

Star with Cold Feet: the Minnesota North Stars had planned to switch from predominantly green uniforms to mainly black for the 1981-82 season, but the team surprised even themselves in making it to the Stanley Cup finals. Although the matching white jersey was adopted, the black jersey never saw the light of day, and the Stars stayed in green for the next decade.

In the summer of 2003, the now-Dallas Stars get cold feet again, as their new thirds, in the same star pattern as their normal duds but in a gold on black scheme with a squared collar, are panned by many. Not wanting to put em to waste, the Stars sell these woulda-been thirds in their team shop while going back to the drawing board. Yes...this was passed over for Mooterus.

Man it's Hot: in 2002, the Steelers asked for gold alternate jerseys. The NFL reportedly said yes to the jersey, but no to wearing it on the road...which was the reason they were asking for it in the first place: basically, they wanted to have it in the event they had an early road game or two in the south, where the home team usually opts for its white jersey until it gets cooler. Even though the NFL has since allowed alts to be worn on the road, the Steelers haven't brought it up again.

Neutral Power: the Buccaneers reportedly tried to adopt pewter thirds, which the NFL rejected as being too neutral. I'd assume they mean they'd blend in too much with the grass.

Hardwood Red Sox: the New Jersey Nets, for the last several years, have worn red socks with their home white unis during the playoffs. This season, with the introduction of new red thirds, they brought the red hose with em to Toronto.

edits made: Freo-forgot to mention how long the green was worn; BYU-listed two years early, previously said 1997 when it should be 99.

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Could be true, but any claim about pre-1876 baseball not based on a specific primary source that you can check should be regarded as an attractive myth.

While the Baseball Hall of Fame is not above inaccuracies, I think they're a pretty good primary source.

HOF uniform timeline

You could always add "According to the Baseball Hall of Fame..." and be covered.

I'd certainly be willing to assume that the HOF makes the statement based on primary sources, either Knickerbocker club documents or contemporaneous newspaper accounts.

Plus, the rest of the HOF's comments about early uniforms, other volunteer associations, and social status among big-city ball clubs, jibes with the best scholarship on the topic.

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Thanks. I don't know how I forgot the 1994 NFL season. I'll also add the NHL's 75th anniversary.

I know that throwbacks got started in MLB in the 1980s, but is there a specific year or team I should mention?

The first Turn Back the Clock day was July 11, 1990 at Comiskey Park, between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago White Sox.

Both teams wore their 1917 uniforms, they turned off the electronic scoreboards and used a megaphone for pregame lineups.

Just for the record, the Brewers wore their regular uniforms.

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in 1956, eight of the 12 nfl teams begin wearing jersey numerals on the sleeves. known as "tv Numbers", it makes easier to identify players when their sides are shown on tv.

the first eight teams to wear sleeve numbers were:

colts

bears

lions

packers

rams

giants

eagles

steelers

the redskins would join in in 1957

the 49ers in 1958

the browns in 1961

the cardinals in 1962

special note: the steelers would drop the sleeve numbers in 1957 and keep them off until 1962. they instead affixed numbers to the yellow helmet from 57-61.

tb

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1997: BYU changes its hues from royal blue and white to navy blue and gold (deny it all you want, but that's navy.) With the change comes new football uniforms, including the now infamous bib home jersey. The bib jerseys got their nickname from the bib-like white fronts of the otherwise blue jerseys. After visiting players complained of an inability to tell apart their teammates from BYU players, an NCAA rule change effectively banned the bibs (which is why Oregon's last two white jerseys have had very little yellow).

Are there people who deny that this color is Navy? Really? I'd like to have a talk with them...(!)

Oh, and didn't board member "ebod" (or whatever his current handle is...I forgot!) design those bibbed unis back in the day?

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Toronto Raptors (c 2000) First two-colored uniform (front purple, back black)

New Jersey Nets (c 200) First wide shouldered jersey (grey alts)

Call me crazy, but I believe the Raptors were the first team to wear those wide shoulders when they came out with the two-coloured uniform.

BTW, I believe the Kings had a two-coloured alternate (same colours actually) back in the mid 90s

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1960: The AFL becomes the first professional football league to require players names on the back of their jerseys. The NFL adopts the policy in 1970 following the AFL-NFL merger.

I'm not sure if any NFL teams voluntarily used names during that time, but I seriously doubt it.

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