The Chicago White Sox went retro during Sunday home games in 2012, donning the red pinstripe uniforms that franchise greats like Dick Allen and Bill Melton wore proudly in the early 1970s.
Not surprisingly, the throwback theme went over big with fans — and looked great on TV — so the team announced on Thursday that they will resume the new Sunday tradition in 2013. Only this time, with a different retro look honoring another of the franchise's most popular teams.
It just so happens the upcoming season will mark the 30th anniversary of the “Winning Ugly” crew taking home the old AL West division championship — at the time, their first postseason team since 1959. To honor that squad's success and further solidify their place in franchise history, the White Sox will indeed be wearing the classic tri-colored — red, white and navy blue — cap and double-knit pullover jerseys worn by the likes of manager Tony La Russa, Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk and the always popular Ron Kittle during that 1983 run. The Sox were stopped by the Baltimore Orioles in the ALCS. Oh, if only they could have gotten to Game 5 and LaMarr Hoyt. Darn that Tito Landrum, and poor Britt Burns.
"The 1983 White Sox remain a team that is near and dear to an entire generation of Chicago sports fans," said Brooks Boyer, White Sox senior vice president of sales and marketing. "This season marks the 30 year anniversary of that Winning Ugly Sox team, and we plan to honor that fan favorite team with these special throwback uniforms and a 1983 version of the 'retro racers' that we first unveiled last season."
For a little history, the pullover double-knit uniforms supplanted Bill Veeck's pajama look in 1982, but lasted only five seasons themselves as the White Sox transitioned to a more traditional look with the script throwbacks. I must admit, I'm glad they made that switch because the late 1980s update to their 1942 uniforms is my favorite of the White Sox bunch. I'd put the red pinstripes comfortably ahead of the pullovers, too, but it's still going to be very cool seeing the early '80s revisited a dozen or so times throughout the season.
Paul Casella of MLB.com adds the retro uniforms will have all of the same details from the 1983 originals. That includes the numeral on the pant leg and the vintage patch commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1933 All-Star Game played at Comiskey Park. The '83 All-Star Game also was played at Comiskey and won 13-3 by the AL. (The Stew's own Dave Brown was in attendance.)
Also, in addition to the uniforms and the updated 'retro racer' roster — which includes "Racing Harold" (Baines), "Racing Pudge" (Fisk) and "Racing Kitty" (Kittle) — the White Sox have announced five promotional dates commemorating the 1983 team. Those will be highlighted by bobblehead days for Baines (April 27) and Kittle (Aug. 10).
Once again, hats off to the White Sox for honoring their history while introducing younger fans to an era of unique uniforms that they had only heard about or seen pictures or grainy video of.