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The Best and Worst Uniforms of All Time: The Los Angeles Dodgers

Nov 11, 2010, 2:00 PM EDT

Walt Alston

The Best: The Dodgers are one of the three best lookin’ teams of all time (I’ll get to the other two in the coming days, but you can probably guess).  Since adopting the basics of their now-classic design in 1938, they have really only changed two things: (1) the addition of the red number in 1952; and (2) the words written in script on the front of the roadies. Take your pick between “Brooklyn,” “Los Angeles,” and “Dodgers.” They’re all sharp as a friggin’ tack.

Worst: You’ve gotta go back a ways to find a time when anything was different, but the red socks (sox?) were interesting. Hey, look! Early road blues! If you think those Giants plaids I mentioned this morning were wacky, get a load of these. The Nats think they’re patriotic for putting a red, white and blue curly W on their new uniforms? Pfft! Check this out, losers. That was in 1917, of course, and the Dodgers were doing their best to stick it to those fiendish Huns. 1935’s baby blue pinstripes weren’t much to look at. This alternate jersey from 1944 looks like a Kansas City Royal stepped into a time machine.

But my choice for the worst is a conditional one, because I can’t confirm that they ever wore it: a vest, in 1999.  The Hall of Fame database shows it as an actual road uniform that year. I found this, showing it as a faux-vest prototype, but the caption says it was never used. I could not find pics of any Dodgers actually wearing it.  I can’t for the life of me remember them ever wearing it, but I’ll admit, 1999 was a nadir year for baseball watching for me. I was too busy thinking I was going to be a successful lawyer one day. Any Dodgers fans have insight? If they did wear it, however, it boggles the mind.  How does someone, after 60+ years of uniform perfection, say “hey, the classiest organization in baseball needs to go sleeveless”?  I hope whoever thought of that got a big freakin’ promotion, because you just can’t find genius like that every day.

UPDATE: I should have just asked Bob Timmermann to begin with. In addition to being a Dodgers expert, he’s a librarian, so he knows this stuff. Bob writes: “The Dodgers did not wear any vest style uniforms in 1999. They did wear solid blue tops for one home stand that season. The uniforms were not received well.”  Thanks Bob!

Assessment: In life you don’t mess with perfection. The Dodgers rarely have. Good on ‘em for that.

  1. Bob Timmermann - Nov 11, 2010 at 2:29 PM

    The Dodgers did not wear any vest style uniforms in 1999. They did wear solid blue tops for one homestand that season. The uniforms were not received well.

  2. lar @ wezen-ball - Nov 11, 2010 at 2:30 PM

    Look under 1999 here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=lukas/070823

    The vest isn’t mentioned there, but I bet they were all related somehow (possible alternate jersey for Think Blue week, maybe?). I’m betting, if it were worn during a game, Paul would’ve been all over it in that article.

  3. Adam - Nov 11, 2010 at 2:36 PM

    They also have the greatest hat of all time: http://l3.zassets.com/images/z/1/3/5/1358688-p-MULTIVIEW.jpg

  4. craigbhill - Nov 11, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    Yes, the blue tops were used for 6 games during the Think Blue week in 1999. That was Fox. I’ve long thought since they switched to the current road fabric, the unis have looked like misshapen pajamas. For me, change is good, but only on the road. The Dodgers should wear those blue tops on the road, and not the blue vests. A lot more Dodger Blue for the road cities and for us on tv to see, and a lot less dull gray.

    The blue top roads contrast nicely with the white homes, making the latter even more distinctive.

  5. mvd513 - Nov 12, 2010 at 5:12 AM

    According to your rules, don’t the road unis have to say Los Angeles on them?

    • craigbhill - Nov 12, 2010 at 11:54 AM

      They didn’t for maybe a couple decades. I believe the Fox regime brought back Los Angeles on the roadies.

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