Cleat Geeks

“Old School” Saturday; Throwbacks

Throwback jerseys became a hot topic a few weeks ago when Chicago White Sox pitcher, Chris Sale, refused to wear his.

We all know throwback jerseys are a financial gain for teams and for MLB.  The term throwback should be replaced by our favorite term “old school”.  We will call the throwback or “old school” jersey a uniform, because the term jersey wasn’t used back then.

If you want to properly wear the old school uniform, it can’t be cleaned, pressed, fit properly or look brand new. Let’s wear the old school uniform like old school players wore them.

HR_Derby.WLogoHow about little dabs of mustard or ketchup on the front.  A little rip in the wool socks and on the pants pocket. Make sure there are a few burn holes and that it reeks of smoke and clubhouse beer.  The cap must be properly sweat stained.  The cleats black, scuffed and most likely used all season long with some tobacco juice spots on them.

Most old school baseball players had to take jobs in the off season.  Owners always had the upper hand or really, the only hand, on a players pay.  The players sold insurance, cars, appliances or tended bar to supplement their income.

Free agency, agents, no trade clauses and collective bargaining were all non- existent in old school days.  Multi year contracts were unheard of. Every year a player would walk into the owners office, with hat in hand, hoping he didn’t have to take a pay cut, let alone get a raise. If your batting average dipped from 295 to 289, you more than likely were not getting a raise.

Locker rooms were no place for the timid. Headphones, IPads and laptops were not even a vision.  Gin Rummy and kangaroo courts were a common occurrence.  Reading material in the locker room consisted of a daily newspaper or a Racing Form.

Endorsement deals were only for the elite few.  The Yankees dominated the commercial scene with the likes of Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford. They were the darlings of the baseball world, on and off the field, and were regular participants in the World Series.

That’s a wrap for this week, next week lets talk about a couple of old school players, Don Zimmer and Billy Martin. If you have any thoughts, let me hear them on twitter@billsid726.

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