I didn’t realize it, but apparently, yesterday was Throwback Uniform Day throughout the major leagues. I was tipped off by my father, who I called for Father’s Day today; he had gone to see the Devil Rays play the Cardinals Saturday night, and reported that the Cardinals were wearing their 1982 powder blue road uniforms — from back when we as a nation decided gray didn’t look good enough on TV — and the Devil Rays were wearing early 1960s uniforms from the University of Tampa, i.e., Lou Piniella’s old college baseball uniform. Unfortunately, this is the best picture I could find showing the front of the Rays’ uniforms.
I may be watching baseball on TV every Saturday night until I get high-speed Internet installed at my new apartment, or a date, or — ideally — both.
Tonight I watched the rematch of the 1959 World Series, Dodgers at White Sox, with the Sox wearing 1959 uniform replicas, and WGN showing plenty of film footage of that World Series, all of it with that “16-millimeter educational film” quality that made it look like I was watching it in elementary school in 1982.
For the game, although WGN was using their usual information strip across the top of the screen, all the other graphics — which mainly means the “lower thirds,” as we say in the TV business — were just plain white text, which I guess was supposed to be 1959-esque, but because they were still attempting to present 2005-esque levels of information, the effect was more like the mid-1970s. (Except, of course, for the graphics that included a Web site address and/or a cell phone text message number, two things that would have been confusing and frightening in the mid-1970s.) And to their credit, they really didn’t call attention to the fact they were doing it — I heard Hawk Harrelson mention it once, when they showed the scores of other games the old-fashioned way, as full-screen graphics with three scores per page. And to give them even more credit, because I think they really deserve it for doing this, all the graphics that normally would have involved a sponsor logo didn’t have one — just the name of the sponsor in text. Yes, even the Southwest Airlines Super-Slo-Mo Replay or whatever it was only had the text “SOUTHWEST AIRLINES” at the bottom of the screen.
Seriously, I applaud WGN for doing that, and for not being anywhere near as cute and annoying as Fox was when they did something vaguely similar with a Cubs-Dodgers game a few years ago. I also applaud the White Sox for scoring four runs in the bottom of the 9th in order to avenge the 1959 Series, at least in this game.