Chad’s post on uniforms got me thinking about mid-90s “ice cream man” aka “pajama” uniforms.  Actually, I was thinking about Kevin Mitchell in those uniforms, and how ridiculous he looked.

So I decided to take a look at the good and bad of Reds uniforms, through the years, courtesy of the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Uniform Database and various online sources.   In other words, how the uniforms are supposed  to look, compared to how they actually did look.  The project turned out to be way too big for one post, so here’s a start with the uniforms of my childhood.


This is your standard Big Red Machine uniform – simple polyester pullovers.  Often ill-fitting and cheap-looking, they were still pretty classy and strangely compelling. 

Get a load of that hat, and the ham-handed sewing job on that logo.

It varied only slightly over the years – a red batting practice jersey was adopted in the early 80s, and a stripe was added to the pants a couple years later.  The traditional black-only spikes were replaced with red in the late 80s, as the final second-to-last (I forgot facial hair) bastion of the Howsam dress code was chipped away.   

These uniforms saw more success than any other.  Six division titles, four pennants, and three World Series rings.  (Note for the kids:  The as-worn uniforms did not include any fine print list of the players’ individual accomplishments.)

Rather than some comical early 80s shot of Dave Van Gorder, I thought I’d offer my favorite Red of all time.

I'm not sure "fitted hat" had the same meaning back then.

This is from ED’s rookie year, and autographed copies are (or at least were once) actually available for $14.99 at his website,  Buy one, to support the Eric Davis Foundation.

Okay, here’s your Van Gorder pic.

Can you believe a career 547 OPS?

Since that again shows the batting practice top, here’s another early 80s catcher in the home whites.

The "hitting catcher." 618 career OPS and a mesh-back hat.

Finally, a Boom-Boom Hume, to show the road uni.  (Despite appearances, Tom Kite glasses were not  standard issue to 1980s Reds).

Only 92 career saves.