Friday, April 17, 2009

The Centennial Patch

A few days ago in this post, I mentioned that it was easy to spot a photo from 1969 because all the teams wore the centennial patch. The patch was worn in honor of professional baseball's 100th anniversary. The first professional team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, started in 1869 (and went undefeated, by the way).

I misspoke, though, when I said every team wore the patch. For some unknown reason, the Pittsburgh Pirates did not wear the patch at all. And the San Diego Padres only wore the patch on their home uniforms.

I'll use the Topps 1970 set to show you.

Most of the teams,19 of the 24, wore the patch on their left sleeve.

You'll have to look carefully (or click on the card for a larger version) to see that the Padres have the patch on their left sleeve in this team picture, in their home uniforms.

But this card, taken in Shea Stadium in 1969 shows this San Diego 200th anniversary patch on the left sleeve and a blank right sleeve.

Two teams, the Cubs and Braves, wore it on the right side. Both teams already had patches on the left sleeve, so the centennial patch was placed on the usually blank right side.

There were three teams wearing vests that season. The A's had the patch at the bottom left of the vest, while the Indians wore it on the upper right.

But the Pirates, also wearing vests, did not wear the patch at all. I wonder if they opted out because of the vest. No sleeves, no patch? These two cards have pictures that had to be taken in 1969 because that was the first season these players were with the Pirates.

And you can clearly see, no patch. So what gives, Buccos? No love for professional baseball?? And why did MLB let them get away with that? As strictly as uniforms are controlled now, there is no way they could get away with that today.

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