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1997 MLB All Star Game Oddity


benpc21

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I was playing around on google a bit earlier and came across a picture of Ken Griffey Jr pushing Sandy Alomar Jr out for a curtain call after hitting his 2 run homer in the 1997 MLB All Star Game in Cleveland. In the background I saw a young Alex Rodriguez and realized he had on the tradtional white M's jersey, while Griffey was wearing the sleevelss alternate from the day. The other pictures I found on Getty have Edgar Martinez and Randy Johnson both wearing the tradtional home uniform. Anybody know the story behind this? I assume it was just Junior doing his own thing, since the home team just has to wear a white jersey but maybe I'm wrong.

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This isn't uncommon at all for all star games. I don't know any recent examples off of the top of my head (because I can't even remember the last time I saw an ASG), but back in 'da day the A's players all wore different combos, as did the Pirates. In the early '80s, Pete Rose wore his Phillies BP jersey while other Phillies players wore the regular jersey. I'm sure there are other examples as well. Maybe in the modern era of merchandising the teams would have more of a say over what the players wear, but even then, you'd think they would want to advertise all of their different looks if possible. If the AL was the "home" team, then their only options would be to show off both of their white jerseys.

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I know players used to be allowed to select what jersey they wore, with players from the same team often wearing different jerseys. It was outlawed after the 1997 asg.

from wikipedia:

"Since the first All-Star Game, American League players have worn their respective team uniforms rather than wearing uniforms made specifically for the game, while National League players waited until the second game to do this. In the first All-star game, they wore uniforms made for the game with the lettering "NATIONAL LEAGUE" across the front of the shirt.

During the all star games of the 70s and 80s, alternate jerseys were commonly worn by players from the Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox. When the late 1980s and early 1990s approached, fewer alternates were worn for the games. They were back in use for the '92 game by White Sox pitcher Jack McDowell and infielder Robin Ventura, and for the final time in the '97 game by Seattle Mariners outfielder Ken Griffey Jr."

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Yeah, that used to be more common.

Here's a team photo of the 1976 All-Star rosters.

Check out the two A's: Rollie Fingers in the green jersey and Phil Garner in the gold; and the three Indians; Dave LaRoache and Bob Lemon in navy, Frank Robinson in red.

1976.jpg

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The Mariners going sleeveless was actually because of Griffey. He loved the way the sleeveless jersey gave him more range of motion and he asked the powers that be if the team could wear them. So the team hacked the sleeves off of a set of their home and away jerseys so Griffey could have his more comfortable jersey. I think they look pretty good and I don't doubt that this is the reason he wore it on that day. It was a pure Griffey idea.

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The Mariners going sleeveless was actually because of Griffey. He loved the way the sleeveless jersey gave him more range of motion and he asked the powers that be if the team could wear them. So the team hacked the sleeves off of a set of their home and away jerseys so Griffey could have his more comfortable jersey. I think they look pretty good and I don't doubt that this is the reason he wore it on that day. It was a pure Griffey idea.

Yeah I was gonna say, Griffey loved sleevless jerseys. They followed him to Cincy. And I never saw him wear anything but long sleeve UA sleeves.

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i see a lot of ugly powder blue in that all star photo

What I see is a lot of pullovers. Only two teams have a button-up road jersey...the Yankees and Orioles. (Texas has those two buttons, but it's a pullover). The Tigers had button up at home, I think. It still amazes me that the Red Sox eschewed tradition so much.

For me, there is not a single jersey in that picture that i prefer to today. And there is one hat, Texas...I actually like that hat and detest their current hat logo.

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Yeah, that used to be more common.

Here's a team photo of the 1976 All-Star rosters.

Check out the two A's: Rollie Fingers in the green jersey and Phil Garner in the gold; and the three Indians; Dave LaRoache and Bob Lemon in navy, Frank Robinson in red.

1976.jpg

Off topic -- Were there no shortstops in the AL in 1976? Freddie Patek and Mark Belanger?! I loved The Blade growing up, but he couldn't hit to save his life . . . and Patek was about 5'4".

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Yeah, that used to be more common.

Here's a team photo of the 1976 All-Star rosters.

Check out the two A's: Rollie Fingers in the green jersey and Phil Garner in the gold; and the three Indians; Dave LaRoache and Bob Lemon in navy, Frank Robinson in red.

1976.jpg

Off topic -- Were there no shortstops in the AL in 1976? Freddie Patek and Mark Belanger?! I loved The Blade growing up, but he couldn't hit to save his life . . . and Patek was about 5'4".

I guess they didn't have that mandatory one player from each team rule either...no Blue Jays in this picture.

Edit: I take that back, the Jays' inaugural season was '77.

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Away uniforms were truly hideous back then. At least home uniforms were still white, even if they were mostly pullovers.

There's one uniform in that mix that looks like a good baseball uniform, and not coincidentally, it's the only one of those in use today. So glad the Yankees never caved to that trend.

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Yeah, that used to be more common.

Here's a team photo of the 1976 All-Star rosters.

Check out the two A's: Rollie Fingers in the green jersey and Phil Garner in the gold; and the three Indians; Dave LaRoache and Bob Lemon in navy, Frank Robinson in red.

1976.jpg

Wonder why Boston had the stripe on their left sleeve and not the right?

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Wonder why Boston had the stripe on their left sleeve and not the right?

Looks like a black memorial armband, probably in memory of long-time team president and owner Tom Yawkey, who died July 9, 1976. The ?76 all-star game was played on July 13.

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