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Ultimate Pacific Coast League - Sacramento Solons update

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Since I finished up the Coastal Fog League I've been mulling over what to do next. I couldn't get out of the 1930's-50's baseball uniform mindset. It's just a fun era with a lot of bold colors and design choices. Coming out of the Great Depression and during the war years there was definitely a struggle to draw crowds, especially at the minor league level, so you can see the eye-catching and ever-changing sets were a ploy to attract fans. All this considered, the next logical series will focus on the "ultimate" version of original Pacific Coast League.

 

Basically, I want to focus on the pre-1957 teams and come up with their best uniform sets. It's obviously going to be a subjective exercise and I'm going to try and stick mostly to elements that actually existed. There'll definitely be some combinations that span different years and "improvements," but like before I'll post the visual references. So, without further ado...

 

 

Hollywood Stars - a team with enough flash for the big screen

We begin with the single most colorful team in the old Pacific Coast League - the Hollywood Stars. A team with a glitzy identity and a tiny ballpark literally right next door to CBS Television City could only exist in a city of celebrities. The Stars were a fun half of an inter-city rivalry with the Angels. The iconography is simple, but the devil is in the details. The first reference pic is what really drew me to the Stars for the first entry in this series, especially that road uniform. The unorthodox dark base color and contrasting white placket striping is striking. I really wish I was better at textures and shadows. Would have loved to have done a satin look like the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 40's. And I really love the "Hollywood" script (I still can't draw a good script tail). There are hints of the 50's Washington senators with the 3D jersey numbers and the one-of-a-kind star outline on the backs. And the hat just felt sort of underwhelming without an "H" inside the star.

 

I did some guesswork with the colors for the home uniforms based off that museum exhibit image, but the lighting may have got me off track. The base color is definitely more of a cream than white. However, the shade of red seems to be somewhere between a faded red and a much more vibrant red, like the Ebbets Field Flannels version of the hat. And anything to do with the Hollywood Stars would be incomplete without including their pioneering shorts look. It was always odd to me that the shorts had pinstripes, whereas the jerseys didn't. Just an awesomely odd look overall.

 

Feedback and critiques always welcome!

 

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Stars References

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1 hour ago, sportsfan7 said:

Great concept.

Personally, I cannot imagine having to play in shorts.

Agreed. I'm sure the players were super excited about this publicity stunt. An insane idea, but makes me respect the women playing in skirts of the AAGPBL all the more.

 

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San Diego Padres - the before-the-brown era for the friars

Long before Petco, the Swingin' Friar and the brown-mustard unis, the original Padres were the professional proving grounds for a young Ted Williams. Lane Field, the team's original home, was right on the water and became a popular diversion for sailors on leave during World War II. And while the Padres set down roots by the harbor, their visual identity lacked some consistency. Aside from the "Padres" home script, things constantly seemed to evolve. And surprisingly their colors were mostly rooted in combinations of red, white and blue. 


But what caught my eye was a brief period the Pads seemed to wear black and orange. Maybe it's the Giants fan in me. For the home set, I just visually tried to replicate that good looking uni in the middle of the first reference pic. I finally think I figured out how to draw a decent tail script! The home hat was an original concoction. Kind of cool to see the simple interlocking "SD" that carried over into the majors dated back that far. The road set was based off a unique looking jersey that popped up in a few old photos. The pseudo cursive style and same colored placket was an interesting choice, but one I wanted to replicate. Some mockups show it was red, but I decided to keep the color scheme the same throughout each set. The pants, including colored belt tunnels and uniform number, are borrowed from a totally different set in that museum. The fun or Frankensteining uniforms in this series.

 

The alternate set - I mainly just wanted to do something with that thin, upright script and the colored underline. Aside from the script the uniform is pretty basic. The hat with the large block letters and colored seams was too eye-catching not to include. I actually really like the stirrup style for that set as well. And the wordmark - it's a blend of styles, but I just equally liked both fonts too much. And the upright script felt very unique to the Padres. As always, comments and critiques appreciated and welcome.  

 

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Padres References

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Others in the Series

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Another good template you have there. Mind if you can send in the template in inbox please?

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Glad to see that this series is continuing! The Stars and Padres look really great. I think the script on the Padres road jersey should be brown with orange drop shadows since the “D” gets a bit lost on the head spoon.

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10 hours ago, Friedrich Stuart Macbeth said:

Another good template you have there. Mind if you can send in the template in inbox please?

 @Friedrich Stuart Macbeth Just sent you a message.

 

6 hours ago, coco1997 said:

Glad to see that this series is continuing! The Stars and Padres look really great. I think the script on the Padres road jersey should be brown with orange drop shadows since the “D” gets a bit lost on the head spoon.

@coco1997 I completely agree with you. I think the bizarre color-on-color aspect is what originally caught my eye. That first go-round was simply trying to replicate this look. I did invert the color on the chest script below and it looks a lot better.

 

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Sacramento Solons - the team with a strange name in California's capital

So first things first - the nickname. "Solons" has always stood out to me as unusual among all the original PCL teams. So what is a Solon? Derived from a prominent politician in Ancient Athens, the word has come to mean lawmaker. Fitting for the capital of the Golden State. After overcoming the confusing name though the team has an interesting uniform history.

The home set is based on the 1942 vintage when the look was heavily influenced by their Major League affiliate, the St. Louis Cardinals. The belt tunnel piping and S bird patch are clear nods to the Cards. The Solons script is very basic, but the traditional cursive style is unique in itself. The Health patch is a must for a war years set. And the traditional Cardinals stirrups complete look. Also the hat's seams are in an unorthodox "X" pattern leaving the central seams under the cap logo bare.

 

I'll briefly call out the patches. I recreated all of those from scratch. I feel like the S bird logo came out the best, followed by the capitol building and the Health patch. The Health one just seems a little off. In any case, the road set is based off of the 1947 version. Pretty straightforward an although the real Solons had transitioned from the Cardinals to Indians affiliation by this point, I decided to carry over the S bird patch. It just looked too good and gave the nickname a bit of an identity. And we introduce the capitol building patch which ties in....

The alternate blue heart jersey. I'm not 100% sure on the story behind the heart jersey look, but it's simple, clean and pretty nice. Strikes me as a good template for a Kansas City Royals alternate. Seemed like a good special occasion alternate for the Solons, mixing up the color schemes. Comments and critiques welcome as always.

 

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Solons References

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Others in the Series

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Great work on the Solons. I think I prefer the blue look to the red.

 

Hope to see more from this series!

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30 minutes ago, coco1997 said:

Great work on the Solons. I think I prefer the blue look to the red.

 

Hope to see more from this series!

Thanks @coco1997. I think I prefer the blue alternate as well. As I'm looking through research photos for this series it seems as though every PCL team (Stars, Angels, Beavers, Rainiers, Mounties, Mission Reds not to mention briefer periods by the Padres and Oaks) had the majority of their best looks in some combination of red, white and blue which makes for a very bland color palette. 

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