1968: The film "Yellow Submarine" is released. The story line's villains are known as the Blue Meanies, obviously a cleverly coded warning against the perils of blue baseball uniforms. But the cautionary message goes unheeded because commissioner William Eckert, convinced the Beatles are dangerous radicals, forbids anyone connected with baseball from seeing the movie.
1972: The White Sox come up with yet another blue design, and the Phillies unveil their first. With the Expos still wearing blue and the Pilots having morphed into the blue-clad Brewers, this brings the count up to four teams. At the season's conclusion, Dick Allen is named AL MVP and Steve Carlton wins the NL Cy Young, further legitimizing the cerulean style.
1975: On March 29, Bob Dylan's "Tangled Up in Blue" hits the pop charts. Its cryptic lyrics are explained two weeks later, when the Rangers and Cardinals take the field in their new road unis, bringing the count up to eight teams. A 12-year-old Canadian boy named Malcolm Gladwell, noting that this constitutes fully one-third of MLB's 24 clubs, is starting to devise the term "tipping point" (or if he's not, he should be).
1978: The count reaches 10 teams, as the Cubs go blue -- complete with reverse pinstripes. A mortified Ernie Banks is overheard saying, "Forget it, let's not even play one."
1980-81: Powder blues reach their high-water mark of 11 teams, as the Braves become the final club to catch blue fever.
1982-89: A slow period of decline, as the Cubs, Rangers, Mariners, Cardinals, Brewers, Twins, Braves, Phillies and Blue Jays all abandon the baby blues. By 1989, the Expos (the only team to have worn road blues during their entire existence) and Royals are the lone indigo holdouts, a status they maintain for three seasons.
1992: The Expos and Royals, finally realizing that the '70s ended more than a decade ago, give in and switch to road grays, bringing the powder blue era to a close -- at least for now.
So which team currently has powder blues on the drawing board? Uni Watch isn't at liberty to say, but here's a hint: A person connected to the project recently remarked, "Light blue would be a such a strong statement for a lame franchise." That should narrow it down to, oh, seven or eight teams.
Why Pierre Can't Read
Anyone else think the NHL totally blew it when revising its logo from this to this? The silver motif is fine, the beveled effect is cool, and Uni Watch doesn't even mind the typeface. But having the lettering flow up instead of down (no doubt intended to make us all believe the league is moving onward and upward, oh boy!) is such a total joke that you've gotta wonder who's running the show over there. Oh, right -- Bettman and Goodenow.