It is the baseball off season and it can be a lonely time in the world of sports for baseball fanatics like me. Fortunately, in January of 2009, the MLB Network was launched and that was something to pacify my time until real games began. It became a place where if I were not watching a hockey game (my “winter” sports obsession) or some tv show, my tv was usually on this network.
Surprisingly, there is a lot of good stuff on the network and over the past two years it continues to evolve and get better. Aside from having shows that tell you the latest goings on with the Hot Stove, there is also original programming.
One of the shows I have come to enjoy a lot is called Prime 9. It is a show that does a countdown of the top 9 whatever in baseball. Some of the subjects include best pitching seasons, best short stops, left fielders, cinderella season, etc. There are usually ground rules as to how they went about assessing things and they even say the point is not to make a definitive list, but to start debate.
This past week’s episodes were the best double play combos and (unique) worst uniforms. The episode about the keystone corner duos was fun to see. Only 2 of the combos on the list have i actually seen in action and from what I remember, I understand why they were listed. The other 7 in the list, I have only seen highlights from. The show also does a good job of not only showing highlights of those who played before I was aware of baseball, but also having others explain why those made the list.
The list of best double play duos is
9. Joe Morgan and Dave Concepcion
8. Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese
7. Lou Whittaker and Alan Trammel
6. Roberto Alomar and Omar Vizquel
5. Nellie Fox and Luis Aparicio
4. Joe Gordon and Phil Rizzuto
3. Bill Mazeroski and Gene Alley
2. Johnny Evers and Joe Tinker
1. Bobby Grich and Mark Bellanger
The uniforms episode was awesome to see. This was a chance to look back at some of the fashion choices that teams have had over the years. Of course, most of these choices came from the color tv era. Some of the uniforms you just couldn’t appreciate unless you saw them in full technicolor glory. And at times, it would look like your tv was puking with all the fanciful choices made. Of course as I watched this, I was wondering who on earth the owners of the teams at the time consulted in coming up with the particular colors, etc. It was also interesting to hear what some of the players had to say about wearing some of the worst uniforms that could have ever been thought of. This show also reminded me of some teams, like the Dodgers and Yankees that have only had a couple uniforms throughout their history and imagining those teams wearing anything other than their normal uniforms would probably cause me to keel over from shock. Camouflage uniforms were not included because those are to honor the troops (and I am all for doing whatever can be done to honor them and what they do for me.)
The most unique (worst):
9. San Francisco Giants and their orange jersey (back when it was a regular part of the rotation and not just on fridays) and the orange stockings.
8. Florida Marlins (in particular, the teal colored sleeves when they first came into existence)
7. Anaheim Angels (this was the uniform pre-2002 that had the wings, pinstripes and the periwinkle blue sleeves)
6. Cleveland Indians and the RED uniforms of the 70s. The players they talked to about this uni were united in their dislike of looking like giant peppers or ketsup
5. San Diego Padres’ uniforms from the 70s that were brown and mustard colored.
4. Kansas City / Oakland Athletics. These uniforms were due to Charlie Finley with the Gold and Green and it sort of fit in with his marketing of the players and various nicknames they had. Seems to have worked as there is still the green, gold and white that you see in Oakland.
3. Pittsburgh Pirates. These uniforms were from the 70s and while the Yellow and Black colors wasn’t a big deal, the sheer number of uniform combinations was mind-boggling. Their poor equipment guy
2. Houston Astros of the late 70s / early 80s. These uniforms had a bit of a rainbow look to them. Surprisingly, it is one of the common ones for throw-back uniform looks and you can see a lot of people wearing them in the stands at times.
1. AND THE MOST UNIQUE / WORST UNIFORMS????? Feel free to guess. As I was watching the episode, I was thinking the entire time, if this particular team’s uniform didn’t appear on the list, the people who put the list together really just did a huge injustice with the concept. Seeing it as the worst however, I couldn’t agree more with the list makers. Fortunately, on throwback uniform days, this team has NEVER sought to resurrect these uniforms, which is the best thing ever.