On August 16th, the Oakland Athletics celebrated the 80th anniversary of the 1929 Philadelphia Athletics, who won the World Series, by dressing up in their old uniforms from the '29 season. $18 outfield tickets were dropped to $9.29, $30 box seats were dropped to $19.29, and 10,000 fans walked away with retro A's jerseys. A's manager Bob Geren came out in a suit and tie, a nod to the legendary skipper of the 1929 team, Connie Mack. There was also a pregame parade of Model A cars, music was played from that era, and the public address announcer called the game from an old-time microphone near the playing field.
The Chicago White Sox, who were the A's opponents that day, even played along by wearing their duds from the '29 season. Overall, the amount of attention the Athletics put into the promotion was terrific, worthy of an A+. But what about those A's and Sox uniforms? Were they good enough to be worn on a regular basis or should they have been left in the past? Find out after the jump...
The 1929 Athletics went 104-46 and beat the Chicago Cubs in the World Series in five games. That team featured four Hall of Famers: Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, Mickey Cochrane, and Lefty Grove. Other excellent players on the roster included Mule Hass, Bing Miller, and George Ershaw, who led the team with a 24-8 record. Also in this game, the grandchildren of Jimmie Foxx and Connie Mack threw out the ceremonial first pitches.
The A's won it again in 1930, which was their last championship before moving to Kansas City in 1955. After 13 terrible seasons in Missouri, where they finished no higher than sixth in the American League, the Athletics moved to Oakland where they've been ever since. The White Sox have stayed in Chicago since they joined the American League in 1900.
The White Sox uniforms looked okay. The gray and dark blue went well with each other, and I dig the SOX logo on the baseball cap. But the giant SOX on the left side of the shirt could use some improvement. The current SOX logo that the team wears, which has a Gothic spin to it, looks much better and doesn't stick out as much.
Okay, see here's the problem with the '29 A's uniforms: they are completely blank except for a stripe on the pants, a blue A, and an exaggerated neck line. And I'm sure a neckline that goes down to the buttons was a good idea at the time, however, it looks a little... phallic, if you know what I mean.
Poor Bob Geren, no wonder he got ejected in the ninth inning. An umpire isn't going to take you seriously when your shirt looks like that.
The highlight of the game came in the bottom of the ninth, when A's second baseman Mark Ellis hit the game-winning, walk-off homer with two outs. Here we see him celebrating with his teammates. The blue helmet with the white A looks solid -- just so you know I don't totally hate the jerseys.
I have to come down kind of hard on the Athletics uniforms. I'm not against retro promotions, especially when it lowers the ticket prices, and I think it's cool that the A's were respectful enough to honor the '29 team. That being said, if you gave these to the current A's and you told them that they'd being wearing them full-time, I guarantee they'd recoil in horror. I'm sure they looked great in black and white photographs in 1929, but they don't look good today. Chicago's isn't much better, though at least theirs could blend into a later decade.
Classic Athletics home uniform: D
Classic White Sox road uniform: C
Photos taken by Ben Margot, Associated Press