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Pirates' 1970s mid-season uniform switch - old cap and/or helmet used with new uni


Ferdinand Cesarano

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The Pirates changed their uniforms mid-season in 1970 when they moved into Three Rivers Stadium. Here is an interesting shot of Robeto Clemente in the new uniform standing nex to a statue of himself in the old uniform:

tumblr_m68rm1xOZW1qm9rypo1_1280.jpg

In today's UniWatch, there is a link to a drawing of Clemente wearing the old hat with the new jersey:

10414697255_98897b8a0e_o.jpg

I assumed that this was just a mistake, a case of mixing elements of the two uniforms in a way that the Pirates never actually did. I had seen only the new hat worn with the new uniform.

But today I ran into a couple of images of the old helmet (but not cap) being worn with the new uniform:

PP-AAHW041.jpg

121412-roberto-clemente.jpg

This was very surprising, as I had only ever seen the new uniform worn with the new helmet:

roberto-clemente.jpg

The sight of the old helmet with the new uniform made me think that perhaps the combination shown in the drawing (old hat with new uniform) was actually used in a game. But in that second shot with the old helmet, we can see the new cap underneath.

So I still haven't seen an instance of the old cap worn with the new uniform.

Does anyone know the details on this? Did it perhaps take some time after the uniform-switch for the team to get the new helmets in?

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I'm sorry I cannot answer your question, but to add more confusion, I believe there are pictures of a yellow pillbox hat (maybe it's mustard) at the tail end of the run of the 70's pull overs. I'm pretty sure they showed Bob Walk wearing that combo to get him to wake up for a pre-game show. Have you checked this site or dressed to the nines (is it still up?)

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I'm sorry I cannot answer your question, but to add more confusion, I believe there are pictures of a yellow pillbox hat (maybe it's mustard) at the tail end of the run of the 70's pull overs. I'm pretty sure they showed Bob Walk wearing that combo to get him to wake up for a pre-game show. Have you checked this site or dressed to the nines (is it still up?)

Right, the Pirates used the 1970 uniforms through 1976, during which year they introduced the pillbox caps.

1977-topps-jerry-reuss.jpg

Dressed to the Nines does not show a combination of the old cap (or helmet) with the new uniform:

nl_1970_pittsburgh.gif

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The Pirates changed their uniforms mid-season in 1970 when they moved into Three Rivers Stadium. Here is an interesting shot of Robeto Clemente in the new uniform standing nex to a statue of himself in the old uniform:

tumblr_m68rm1xOZW1qm9rypo1_1280.jpg

In today's UniWatch, there is a link to a drawing of Clemente wearing the old hat with the new jersey:

10414697255_98897b8a0e_o.jpg

I assumed that this was just a mistake, a case of mixing elements of the two uniforms in a way that the Pirates never actually did. I had seen only the new hat worn with the new uniform.

But today I ran into a couple of images of the old helmet (but not cap) being worn with the new uniform:

PP-AAHW041.jpg

121412-roberto-clemente.jpg

This was very surprising, as I had only ever seen the new uniform worn with the new helmet:

roberto-clemente.jpg

The sight of the old helmet with the new uniform made me think that perhaps the combination shown in the drawing (old hat with new uniform) was actually used in a game. But in that second shot with the old helmet, we can see the new cap underneath.

So I still haven't seen an instance of the old cap worn with the new uniform.

Does anyone know the details on this? Did it perhaps take some time after the uniform-switch for the team to get the new helmets in?

Yes, the Pirates did continue with their black batting helmets for the rest of the 1970 season, even though the mustard uniforms were new. Then, those helmets were replaced with the yellow version with the black bill for the 1971 season. The black batting helmets wouldn't return until 1987 I believe. I don't think there was a delay issue in getting the 1971 batting helmets in, rather, it was more convenient to continue wearing the black ones. In those days, consistency was an issue, uniforms weren't followed anywhere close as they are today. Marketing and merchandising were in the stone age as compared with today.

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Yes, the Pirates did continue with their black batting helmets for the rest of the 1970 season, even though the mustard uniforms were new. Then, those helmets were replaced with the yellow version with the black bill for the 1971 season. The black batting helmets wouldn't return until 1987 I believe. I don't think there was a delay issue in getting the 1971 batting helmets in, rather, it was more convenient to continue wearing the black ones. In those days, consistency was an issue, uniforms weren't followed anywhere close as they are today. Marketing and merchandising were in the stone age as compared with today.

Right, I see. That makes sense. Here is Willie Stargell's 1971 card, showing him in the old helmet / new uni combination:

StargellWillie1971Topps.jpg?itok=qE8H6Q7

(By the way, there are almost no action shots in the 1971 Topps set, so not many chances to see helmets. Most hitters are posing with their caps on; Stargell is one of the few wearing a helmet in his posed shot.)

And here's a Pirates-Expos game from September of 1970 showing the same thing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGoaf64HD0Y

We see there that the Expos' solid blue helmets also didn't match their pinwheel caps.

Which brings me to a flaw in Dressed to the Nines: it doesn't show helmets in the cases where they differed from the caps. I already knew about the mid-70s Twins and Brewers from personal memory (which begins in 1972), and about the 1971 A's from seeing clips of Reggie's All-Star home run; but I didn't know this about the 1970 Pirates.

This makes me realise that I have never seen good photos or clips from the 1970 NL Playoffs.

Thanks for the answer.

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Dressed to the Nines sucks. They portray themselves as a great resource, and aren't accurate.

Wow -- "sucks"? What other problems, aside from the lack of helmet designs, do you see with it? Have you found many inaccuracies?

They are missing so many teams' current and recent alternate uniforms it's not even funny.

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