Sunday, May 13, 2007

Jerseys.. jerseys...jerseys

It's been hard to keep up without a functioning camera, so here's a little update on a hobby of mine. In fourth grade I was extremely jealous of another student who wore an authentic Steve Garvey Dodger jersey to school. I nagged my dad to the point where I got him to take me to a store, but once he saw the price tag I got a couple of packs of baseball cards as a consolation prize. Anyways, I vowed that once I became of age that I would correct the mental scars left by my childhood by starting my own collection.

I originally started out by buying anything seen as a bargain($20 tops), but like any hobby you want the taste of the high life eventually. I have a few batting practice jerseys which are great because of their cost and makeup you don't fear wearing anywhere. But now I'm up to looking for three different types of jerseys, those from my favorite players, designs that I really like and game used jerseys that are cheap enough, but still have at least solid designs. The '82 Expos jersey is my latest purchase. It's a Cooperstown Collection jersey, but it's probably been my most sought after jersey(although I'd like the home version as well) since the real thing would cost about a month's worth of rent. The lettering definitely adds to the jersey and the 1982 All-Star Patch is a real bonus.

I'm getting to the point now where I'm starting to be real selective because I can't afford all the jerseys I sort of like. So to see where I'm going, these are the top five jerseys I'd be looking for in an ideal world:

1935 Homestead Grays - I've always been a big fan of the Negro Leagues. Satchel Paige is my favorite player but the Monarchs jerseys look too cartoony. John Gibson is my next favorite so the Homestead Grays win. Not just by default, but really think the simplicity and lining looks great.

1915 Chicago Whales - Most people don't know that there were other rival major leagues in the early days of baseball. The Federal league was created in 1914 and only lasted two years. Weeghman Field was built specifically for this team, but their stadium is still in use although it currently goes under the name of a gum manufacturer. I like the jersey because it is nicest remnant of a part of baseball history that is virtually forgotten.

1987 Cleveland Indians - Major League is a damn good movie and not just because of the jerseys. I'd say that block lettering is normally a deterrent, but it fits really well on the jersey. Plus I've always been a big fan of Chief Wahoo. I'd like to own one of these jerseys before political correctness destroys any opportunity.

1948 Oakland Oaks - Before baseball moved cross country, the west had it's own version of the majors called the Pacific Coast League. The quality of play was on the AAAA level and some quality players even stayed because they made a better living by doing so. Others, like Joe Dimaggio, Ted Williams and Billy Martin decided to move on. There is a real rich history of this league, but since I'm Bay Area centric I tend to favor the Oaks. In their time, they went through a number of color schemes, but this is my favorite.

1992 Albuquerque Dukes - Watching the Dodgers growing up I was always fascinated by the players who'd be called up soon, so whenever I first saw pictures from their triple-A affiliate I fell in love with their jerseys. I have no rationale for it because they are ugly colors, but they look uniquely good as a baseball uniform. I like the home white and the earlier road red, but the duke caricature on the arm is what puts the jersey over the top.