Big League Stew

White Sox go red: Will wear Dick Allen era retro uniforms

David Brown
Big League Stew

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Former White Sox slugger Bill Melton (left) and manager Robin Ventura model the team's new/old red pinstripes. …

The Chicago White Sox have a notorious uniform history. They've worn tuxedos. They've worn pajamas. They've even worn shorts. Shudder.

Amid a virtual minefield of fashion, the team has announced it is reaching into history to pull a retro look forward. And it's not horrifyingly ugly.

The White Sox will wear red pinstripes for home Sunday games in 2012, replicas of uniforms they sported in the early 1970s when franchise icons Dick Allen, Wilbur Wood and Bill Melton ruled the South Side of Chicago. From 1971-1975, the White Sox hit on a sharp look that combined their iconic "Sox" logo and a red pinstripe color scheme, rarely used at that time in Major League Baseball. So what if it looked like something the Boston Red Sox might wear at Fenway Park?! It was better than what came next.

It will also provide a nice weekly break from the regular uniforms they wear.

Aside from the aesthetic, fans old enough or just familiar with Sox history also associate these uniforms with sluggers Allen and Melton, two of the best players the team has ever had. (That's Melton on the left with new manager Robin Ventura in the photo.) Under manager Chuck Tanner, the Sox won in these uniforms. Or, at least they lost less.

[Related: Nine former college hoops champs will don gray uniforms]

It's impossible to say for sure based on the photo, but the only way the retro look will be complete is if the Sox wear GIANT numbers on the backs. How giant?

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What number did Dick Allen wear? He wore FIFTEEN! (Getty)

Even fans in the far reaches of the upper deck could tell what number Dick Allen wore. Not only that, but did you know he wore a helmet in the field? He was Hipster John Olerud, doing it before it was cool. (It might have been a passive-aggressive wink to the designated hitter rule, which was new in '72.) Paul Konerko MUST wear a helmet in the field this season if he plays first base on a Sunday in Chicago.

The powder blue road uniforms were even better than the home ones, you might have noticed. The Sox should make like the Toronto Blue Jays and wear those instead. Also: You might not be able to tell, but the Sox's '70s uniforms were zipper fronts. (The Philadelphia Phillies did that too.) Melton and Ventura's uniforms are button-up, sadly.

Other than those relatively minor details, the White Sox are doing a good thing here. It'll be a nice distraction when the Detroit Tigers come to town.

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