On Tuesday 5/5, the Red Sox commemorated the 40th anniversary of the 1975 team by wearing throwback jerseys from that much-celebrated season. The only thing better than the drama and talent of that club? Its style.

In recognition of the ’75 team and the anniversary, here are my Top Ten MLB Throwback jerseys. All are from the past 40ish years.

I’m a child of the 70s and 80s so these are my revisionist visions of the best of the best. These are the uniforms I saw on Topps baseball cards. These are the uniforms guests wore on The Baseball Bunch. These were the uniforms I saw on This Week In Baseball, pre-Twitter, pre-Baseball Tonight.


 

10. 1972-1974 Oakland A’s. If it wasn’t baby blue in the 70s and 80s it was yellow. The A’s from this era had as much yellow as they did talent. Reggie Jackson. Rollie Fingers. Catfish Hunter. Vida Blue.

9. 1973-82 Kansas City Royals. Royal (sky) blue ruled the 70s and 80s and this is a respectable place to start. George Brett and Rollie Fingers. Though they  won the World Series in 1985–after debuting the button-downs–I choose to remember the very blue V-neck. (Is that some pine tar on your jersey, Mr. Brett?)

8. 1981-82 Milwaukee Brewers. Blue skies over and in the Mighty Midwest. Long before the millennial obsession with sans-serif fonts, the “Brew Crew” put together this treasure. Molitor, Yount, Cooper, Fingers, Oglivie. They wore it well.  The yellow and blue mitt logo is a classic; it brings the whole kit together.

7. 1957-70 Pittsburgh Pirates. Mazeroski. Clemente. Classic style. Lots of teams have tried to go the sleeveless route, but none come close the the class of Clemente & Co.

6. 1977-84 Pittsburgh Pirates. Black and yellow. Steele city. Classic look. Willie Stargell, Dave Parker. Goose Gossage. Smoking in the boys room? How about smoking in the dugout. The flat-topped hats completed the look.

5. 1976-84 St. Louis Cardinals.  Classic logo. The two cardinals perched on the bat dates back to 1926. Ozzie Smith, Keith Hernández, Bruce Sutter, Willie McGee and the all-time best name selection, Joaquín Andujar. These were my formative years in baseball and I loved to follow these clubs from afar.

4. 1975-1978 Houston Astros. The Astros probably thought they were setting the new standard: “In a few years everybody will be playing on turf, in domes with horizontal stripes on. We have a good feeling about the numbers on the pant leg too. You just wait!” Thankfully better sense and sartorial choices prevailed. Despite lack of staying power, this look did make a statement.

3. 1978 San Diego Padres. Brown + Gold = Bold! Rollie Fingers is a Hall of Famer and an All-Sartorial Selection. Dave Winfield is an all-time talent too.

2. 1975 Boston Red Sox. Clean lines, V-neck, all the flash that the team of Fisk, El Tiante, Yaz, Rice, Evans and Lynn needed. This look is synonymous with the rebranding–if not rebirth–of Red Sox baseball.

1. 1976 Chicago White Sox. Collars. Polyester for days. Plus the shorts to complement the kit. Singular and never to be seen again!

Conclusions:

  • Sky blue and yellow ruled the 70s and 80s.
  • V-neck jerseys have a place in the game–but thankfully that place is the past.
  • Polyester people! Wicking or just wicked cool?
  • All-time all-uniform hero: Rollie Fingers.
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