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When a baseball team WORE its strike zone

You know what people love to write about? Ugly baseball uniforms. C'mon, 'fess up ... You've done it, haven't you? Writing about ugly baseball uniforms -- okay, and reading about ugly baseball uniforms -- is fun. And easy! Because they're all out there on the Internet somewhere, plus we've got Uni Watch as our trusted guide.

If you really wanna get wild, though, you gotta check out the minor leagues. For example, last spring I wrote about some truly atrocious togs worn by the Tucson Toros in 1980. And of course there were the shorts-wearing Hollywood Stars, and by the way I'll really be impressed with Magic Johnson if he brings back the shorts for a throwback game.

But until this morning, I'd completely forgotten about this bizarre experiment, brought to you by the Denver Bears in 1952 ...


What the hell, right? Well, there was actually a method to this madness. Here's the story from Ebbets Field Flannels, which is now selling an authentic replica of this bizarre item:

Sometimes baseball experiments take root (as in the DH), and sometimes they fail to gain traction. In the latter category was Denver's "strike zone" uniform, which made its debut against Omaha in August, 1952. Now, why the Denver management thought making it easier to call strikes against its players was a good thing we don't know. Or perhaps they were responding to the quality of umpiring in the Western League by being helpful. Either way, folks have asked us to make this jersey for years, so here it is!

I wouldn't wear it. Unless the umpires were calling too many high strikes on me. But here's a real guy in 1952. And I'd like to send my best wishes to my friends in the Denver area. I hope you're all safe and dry, and I'm thinking about you.