Paul Lukas from ESPN.com has a Uni-Watch blog. Currently, there's a contest on the site that asks readers to design a jersey for any MLB team. The design could be home, away or alternate.
Several months ago, I made this fan shot of a genuine 1909 road jersey:
I knew ahead of time that Al liked that jersey, and wondered if it would be a good one to update for a new alternate jersey. Well, thanks to this contest, I finally have an excuse to give it a shot.
We all know that the home pinstripes are classic, and shouldn't be messed with. Aside from the sleeve patch, they haven't changed significantly since 1957. While the uniforms are a big reason why I fell in love with the Cubs as a kid, I for the life of me can't figure out how a team that has such a legacy of languishing in the middle to the bottom of the pack clings to it's uniform design like the Cowboys, Steelers, Yankees or Canadiens do. They're teams with winning traditions. It's not a complaint. I just have always wondered why they wouldn't want to switch it up a bit.
Maybe the road jersey was always regarded by Cubs ownership through the years as a chance to switch it up. It has gone through many different looks, to varying degrees of success.
I propose for their next roadie, instead of thinking outside of the box like they did with the short-lived "Cuba" jersey, or the early 80s pinstriped pajamas, they should pull inspiration from their past, when they were regarded as perennial favorites.
What many people don't know is that the Cubs, before they settled on their current home design back in the '50s, were trendsetters. They were the first team to wear sleeveless jerseys, first to wear powder blue, and first to wear zipper front jerseys back in the '30s and '40s. Heck, they were even the first to wear pinstripes.
I also wanted to reflect this unique, uniform pioneering history as well.
So, here it is:
Pulling the vertical "CHICAGO" off of the Tinkers-Evers-Chance era jersey and combining it with elements from the Gabby Hartnett era uniform wore in the '30s (my personal favorite) were musts as far as I was concerned.
I decided to give the uniform a flannel like texture and keep the names off of the back to give it that old-school feel and tinted the traditional gray a little blue to pay homage to that first attempt to introduce light blue to baseball back in the 40s.
Of course, I had to add the Ryno era sleeve patch (again, my favorite of the various sleeve logos they've worn) to pay homage to the first team to return to the post-season after a 39-year drought back in 1984.
Hope you dig it.