The Washington Americans uniforms of the 1970s Ball Four TV show

Last year, I learned that Jim Bouton starred in a television series based on his autobiography, Ball Four. The fictional team was the “Washington Americans” and the opening featured views of RFK Stadium.

I decided, granted only based on the opening credits, to take a look at the uniforms and logo.

ben-davidson-americansThe home uniforms are not far off of the classic “Dodgers look.” Red stars to dot the “i” too, like the 1960s Phillies uniforms. Not bad, certainly better than the set the San Diego Padres would have worn had they moved to D.C. in 1974.

That’s Oakland Raiders legend Ben Davidson, by the way, making his triumphant return to Washington. He played for the 1962-63 Redskins.

washington-americans-roadie-frontThe road uniforms were similar to some jerseys (Dressed to the Nines) that the Senators wore over the year with WASHINGTON in block letters on the front. On the back, the name was in blue with the number in red, a look the Chicago Cubs have used (sportslogos.net).

The Americans logo, shown here is was on the sleeve. washington-americans-logo

There is also a bicentennial logo (Wikipedia), probably best known in sports for appearing on the Super Bowl X jerseys and mentioned in UniWatch last month.

jim-bouton-americans

There’s Bouton wearing the red cap. It doesn’t come through clearly because sadly, screengrabs from 1970s television are less than high-definition. Was it an A or W? I can’t say.

Overall, it’s a decent uniform that I wouldn’t have minded being able to see in person growing up, but alas D.C. baseball was just a fantasy until 2005.

Here’s the opening, complete with Harry Chapin singing the theme.


It’s 3 days until Pitchers & Catchers Day

It’s 48 days until Opening Day

It’s 51 days until the Home Opener, which should be on Opening Day

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What the L.A. Rams uniforms ought to look like

I’ve always had a soft spot for the L.A. Rams. My neighbor J.J. was a big Rams fan, having moved from Southern California to Northern Virginia the same time we arrived from New Jersey. He moved to Michigan though when I was 8 and became a straight ticket Detroit sports fan, while I eventually did the same with D.C. The move back to Los Angeles was announced on J.J.’s birthday.

I don’t have any strong feelings about St. Louis, well maybe one (just don’t click), and it did produce one of the greatest Americans of our or anyone elses lifetimes, Yogi Berra. It always felt weird though that the Rams were there and not in L.A.

About five years ago, I got wind of the movement Bring Back the Los Angeles Rams and the real possibility that the Rams could someday play their home games in the Southern California sunshine again. Back then I blogged a lot more and when the Rams came to play D.C., I floated the idea of the Rams heading back and adopting a yellow jersey and mocked something up back then.

In what turned out to be their final game in St. Louis, the Rams wore yellow “color rush rash” uniforms. The all yellow below the helmet was excessive but a yellow jersey looks sweet, so here is what I’d like to see them go with as their primary design:

la-rams-primary-prototype-uniform-wfyurasko

The early L.A. Rams started a bit of a precedent with yellow uniforms that the Lakers and Kings later embraced. The upside of the yellow jerseys is they could probably wear them on the road most of the time too, creating some excellent color vs. color matchups even better than the 1994 throwbacks games.

For their secondary jersey, I’m advocating the blue jersey/yellow pants combination they wore for 20 years.

la-rams-secondary-prototype-uniform-wfyurasko

Lastly, for an alternate, making a white/blue combo that is reminiscent of the Fearsome Foursome era, but with the modern Ram horns on the jersey. They could theme it with the fourth game of the year or something. I don’t like the look as much as the other ones, but I gather there is an attachment to it for some Rams fans. I like it when teams in the same city have similar colors and that look works really well with a Dodgers cap too, though the others are good enough.

la-rams-alternate-prototype-uniform-wfyurasko

One common change, that I haven’t depicted as well as since I’m getting used to the poorly named free graphics program GIMP (miss you PhotoShop) is Northwestern-stripes on the socks, an homage to sleeve stripes of the past. The 50th L.A. season patch is based off of the 40th season patch and modified from a Bring Back the Los Angeles Rams graphic. Primary sources for the graphics are Gridiron Uniform Database, Sportslogos.net & the NFL.

By the way, the Rams started in Cleveland, moving after winning the 1945 NFL Championship to Los Angeles. Vince Guerrieri, a former colleague of mine, recently appeared on the Railbird’s Nest podcast to talk about their first city and departure.

As for St. Louis, they are probably done with the NFL, but should a team ever return, I have something in mind for them too. Call them the St. Louis Archers and have it similar to the early 2000 Rams uniforms and colors.

St. Louis Archers

I didn’t quite round off the sleeve arches, but you get the idea.

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William F. Yurasko's blog v.15 – Nats, Redskins, Capitals, D.C. life, transportation, not so much Penn State anymore,