How to Be Uniform Snob: Phillies vs. Braves (1974 Throwbacks)

Quick note: some of the pictures are from Uniwatch’s write-up of last year’s Phillies-Brewers throwback game as well as the excellent “MLB Game Worn Jerseys of the Double Knit Era” by Bill Henderson.

Well then, other than the fact the Phillies got the “L,” that went pretty well, don’t you think? For the second part of their UniTastic series, both the Braves and the Phillies are throwing back to 1974. That’s right, the Powder Blues and whatever disco-tastic getup the Braves rocked back then.

But, what’s that? These teams already threw back to 1974?! Yep. In 2002. Today’s game will look something like this.


 I get a lot of questions like this: “How can I be a uniform snob, too?” Thankfully, “turn back the clock” baseball games really offer the best way to let your snob flag fly.

Your guide is after the jump.

Let me note that this tongue-in-cheek guide is a bit spoiled by the fact that this combination has been seen before, so there’s a good chance it’ll be a repeat of the 2002 game. Of course, that was nine years ago, so maybe it won’t be so cut-and-dry.

 1)      Are the players wearing stirrups? Everyone wore them in 1974, few wear them today (or they just wear solid color socks without the sanitaries showing through.)

2)      Are the players wearing the old uniforms in the new style (the extra baggy, extra long pants look of the last ten years)? Note: the answer to this question is almost always “yes,” so make a comment about it not looking “right,” players’ comfort be damned.

3)      Did the teams spring for matching batting helmets? In 2002 the Phillies did, in 2010 they didn’t.

4)      Do the big details match? Traditional belted pants or Sansabelt? Pullover or buttons? (or for the 70s Phillies, zipper?) Are they wearing their normal pants because they’re “close enough” – see the Braves catcher above in Throwback jersey, normal pants.

5)      Are the little details correct? No Majestic logo on the sleeves? No MLB logo on the back of the hats?

6)      Do the tiny details match? Let me lift this quote from the UniWatch Blog (one of the “weekend writers,” Phil Hecken, analyzing the throwbacks worn last year against the Brewers:

The Phillies, for the most part, got it right. They went with button-down jerseys (so, 1972-3, if we’re talking the period they were representing), but didn’t spring for the retro helmets. OK, it’s a one-off, no big deal. They wore period-correct caps in dark red (almost burgundy). Well done there. It’s tough to tell, but it appears they went with the closed loop logo on the jerseys, more closely approximating the 1987-1988 jersey. Meh. And they elected to go not only with NOB, but they again went with the 1987-88 radially arched nameplates. OK. Not a big deal, to be sure, but how difficult would it have been to get those details correct.

 7)      Finally (and unexpectedly, after all the other analysis), how does the match-up, you know, look?

 My quick take: It’ll be a fun match-up to watch. The powder blue Phillies uniforms are seen all-around Citizens Bank Park at each game, and they show up every few years in throwback games (and twice in the last two), so we’re a bit accustomed to them. I like the 89-91 away uniforms more (swap grey for powder blue, and the whole thing immediately looks much less “1970s”), but it seems fans prefer the powder blues.

The Braves 1974 uniforms are actually pretty neat – even more “disco-y” than the Phillies, being that they’re made from a template which is out of use. Raglan sleeves still show up, but not with the sleeves in a different color than the body of the jersey. Funky. So, if yesterday’s uniforms were described as “understated” and “classic,” today’s could be defined as “pass the coke.”

For completeness’ sake, let me point out that the 1974 Braves away jersey was the opposite of the home jersey (White sleeves, Blue body). Ahh, the 1970s.


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7 Responses

  1. In today’s throwback game looks like the Phils again didn’t spring for correct batting helmets, instead using their regular gear.

  2. braves sprung for ’em, though. looks good. the most annoying part of the phils not matching the helmets is the two shades of red, just throws everything off.

  3. Yep. Usually the home team is responsible for paying for both teams uniforms if throwbacks are being worn, but this might be a different case because it’s formally a “Civil Rights Game” not some team-based promotion. Kind of perplexing that the Braves have the helmets but the Phillies don’t. They even got a flapless helmet for McCann’s catching duties.

  4. I like the power blue in other Phillies gear, but I do not like these uniforms. As was said, it’s way too 70’s. They should have a throwback day with the classic Phillies 1980’s uniforms.

  5. Nick,
    Do you mean the grey version of the uniform they wore today, or the home (white/maroon pinstripe) uniform from the 80s? I agree, both of those were great, and unfortunately, they were in the blue for all but two years of the 80’s and it seems that fans around here really like those a lot. Kind of like a less severe version of how the tequila sunrise Astros jerseys (from the same era) are also remembered fondly.
    Here are all the uniforms from 1970–1992; there’s a lot of blue in there.

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  7. I wish the Phillies would go back to wearing the 70’s & 80’s unis on a permanent, full-time basis. They were, IMO, the classiest, finest-looking baseball uniforms ever worn! Personally, I prefer the gray road uniforms that the Phils wore in the late 80’s, with the close-looped, stylized ‘P’ and the matching, darker maroon caps & batting helmets.

    I think if you took a poll of Phillies fans, most would prefer the 70s/80s uniforms. From a designer’s perspective, they were flawless!

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