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Here’s the worst jersey in Cubs history

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What were they thinking?

Just who is Mark Grace playing for? The Cubs or Cuba?
Getty Images

The Chicago Cubs franchise has been in existence for more than 140 years. Despite the fact that the ballclub has now worn the current iconic pinstripe home uniform since 1957 (with a few minor modifications), they’ve had some odd-looking jerseys over the years.

For example, from the Hall of Fame’s Uniform Database, here’s the strange-looking “UBS” inside an elongated “C” that was used in 1918:

The Cubs also had script alternates in 1932, both home and road:

And in 1957, the Cubs felt it necessary to let everyone know both the city AND team name on the road:

Good thing they ditched the piping on the caps after ‘57, too. That looked ... weird.

But in my opinion, there was nothing worse worn by a Chicago Cubs player than what was termed the “CUBA” jerseys worn as a road uniform (and also a blue alternate worn a few times at Wrigley Field) from 1994-96. You can see Mark Grace sporting one of them at the top of this post, and here’s a look at it from the Hall’s database:

Why were they called “CUBA” uniforms? Here’s why. This is an image of the Cuban National Team after winning the Caribbean Games in 1997:

YURI CORTEZ/AFP via Getty Images

Cuban national baseball teams had been wearing similar jerseys for many years before that; the script on them is very close to the script that had been chosen for the Cubs’ road/alternate jerseys. This 2014 article by Paul Lukas at Uni-Watch has some more photos of the Cubs script jersey (they wore it for a throwback game that year as part of the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field celebration), as well as a photo essay by Bill Henderson showing the similarities between the Cubs jersey and various Cuba jerseys over the years.

After three years, Cubs management got tired of the jersey being mocked (and likely not selling very many replica jerseys), and so they changed back to the road jersey simply saying “CHICAGO” on it. The current version is pretty good:

Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

... but what I’d really like to see is the Cubs go back to the road jersey that was used for most of the 1960s. Here’s Jake Arrieta wearing the 1964 version in a throwback game in Philadelphia in 2014:

Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The slightly darker gray looks classier, as does the piping on the pants, sleeves and collar. This is an excellent road-uniform look. The Cubs should look into going back to that for 2021. If they wanted to add a small number on the front under “CHICAGO” as the current road grays have, I’d be okay with that.

I’ve mentioned this before, but figured I’d note it again now: I own the jersey in the photo above. Not a replica of the one Jake wore, I own that specific jersey. It was put on sale by Cubs Authentics not long after the game, at a reasonable price, and I bought it. It was before Jake became Jake! It’s one of the best Cubs Authentics purchases I ever made.

In any event, I’m certainly glad they got rid of the “CUBA” jerseys after only three seasons.

Poll

The Cubs’ 1994-96 "CUBA" jersey...

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Loved it!
    (192 votes)
  • 42%
    Hated it!
    (441 votes)
  • 39%
    Didn’t care either way
    (416 votes)
1049 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Should the Cubs go back to the 1964 version of their road jersey as their road jersey going forward?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    Yes
    (555 votes)
  • 35%
    No
    (306 votes)
861 votes total Vote Now