Reds Wore Full-Length Ponchos in ’72 World Series

The first baseball season I watched from start to finish was in 1972 when I was eight years old. I remember watching the American and National League playoffs after the regular season ended, and I particularly remember the World Series between the A’s and the Reds (which marked Jackie Robinson’s last public appearance before Game Two included).

What I don’t remember, however, are the full-length ponchos that at least two Cincy players wore in the dugout during the sixth game in Cincinnati. Reader Tristan Ridgeway spotted them while watching this highlight video (they appear around the 31:08 mark).

Actually I don’t remember ever Seeing MLBers wearing this type of clothing. I remember seeing a few photos of players wearing long coat-like jackets in cold weather – I think the examples I’ve seen show all players wearing them in the bullpen – but these Reds ponchos act more like raincoats, much like the NFL sideline capes. At least one of them even had a hood!

I poked around a bit online to see if I could find a vintage example – not dice. So I asked a few baseball historians and people associated with Cincinnati (including our own Collector’s Corner columnist Brinke Guthrie, who said he was indeed took part this World Series game as a kid!), who all said they’d never seen anything like the Reds’ ponchos. But one of the people I interviewed, Baseball Hall of Fame Trustee Tom Shieber, referred my query to Reds Hall of Fame Trustee Chris Eckes. He replied like this:

The Reds were definitely wearing the kind of coats or parkas that Paul remembers wearing other teams [in the bullpen]. There were at least two different styles, both by Wilson: one with the lettering “Cincinnati” seen in the 1972 World Series screenshots, and another with domed block letters that resemble the look of a post-1971 street uniform. We have examples of both styles in our collection.

These are quilted but not heavily which leads me to believe that the coats/parkas seen in the World Series images are the same style/construction as the examples we have. I don’t remember ever seeing one Not quilted.

Eckes provided the following photos of the items from the Reds Hall collection:

Note that none of these had a hood. In fact, Eckes told me he’s never seen one with a hood. Maybe what I thought was a hood in the 1972 World Series video was actually the back of the collar. Here’s a comparison – the World Series “hood” on the left, the back collar of the Reds Hall parka on the right:

Hmmmm, maybe the “hood” was actually just the collar. So if the Reds players actually wore full-length parkas instead of raincoats/ponchos during this World Series game, it would be the first time I’ve seen such a garment in the dugout instead of the bullpen.

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Definitely: Fun Rabbit Hole! And also a good reminder that we are getting closer to the start of this year’s MLB Playoffs and World Series.

(Big thanks to Tristan Ridgeway for bringing the 1972 footage to my attention, and also to Tom Shieber and Chris Eckes for their invaluable assistance with this post.)

It all depends on how you look at it

At the end of yesterday’s post about the Brewers’ home plate region, I mentioned that they also use a “dead spot” angle for their center field camera setup, which I find a little irritating because I’m not used to seeing it .

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This prompted reader Ryne Jungling to comment directing me to the video above. It analyzes how our perception of different types of pitches (slider, change-up, cutter, etc.) is strongly influenced by centerfield camera orientation. Faaaascinating stuff, and highly recommended. Thank you Ryne!

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Uni Watch Plus update

We had 10 registrations for Uni Watch Plus yesterday (thanks!). As promised, I randomly selected one of the new candidates, who turned out to be Mike Mulcahy. He won a Uni Watch prize package consisting of:

  • Three Uni watch pins
  • A Uni Watch Koozie
  • A Uni Watch trading card
  • A Uni Watch magnet
  • A set of three Uni Watch coasters

I will do this for each day that we receive at least seven new UW+ signups.

Pricing notwithstanding, we’d really like to continue growing the UW+ community. So if you enjoy Uni Watch and have the means to support it, I respectfully ask you to join UW+. (Would you like to learn more about UW+? Look here.) Thanks!

competition reminder

In case you missed it last week, I teamed up with the Official League cap brand in a competition to design an unofficial USMNT cap for the upcoming World Cup. All details here.

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