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Field of Dreams Game: Grading the White Sox and Yankees throwback uniforms

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MLB's Field of Dreams Game is all about nostalgia. 

Nostalgia about the movie it's based on, about days gone by, and about baseball from an era that's long gone. Everything from the graphics to the setting is supposed to make us yearn for yesteryear, and that includes the uniforms. 

The uniforms for the two teams playing in the Field of Dreams Game on Thursday — the Chicago White Sox (the designated home team) and New York Yankees — were unveiled last week, and they're based on the uniforms the clubs wore around 1919.

CHICAGO - AUGUST 03:  Eloy Jimenez #74 of the Chicago White Sox poses for a portrait wearing a special throwback vintage uniform in preparation for Major League Baseball
Eloy Jimenez models the White Sox's Field of Dreams Game uniform. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)

Why 1919?

"Field of Dreams" doesn't take place in 1919, but the year plays a significant role in the movie. That's the year of the Black Sox Scandal, in which eight members of the 1919 White Sox were kicked out of the game and banned for life after being accused of throwing games in the 1919 World Series. All the players were acquitted in a 1921 trial, but commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis never lifted his ban. 

In the movie, Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner) reveals that he and his father had a relationship-altering fight over Shoeless Joe Jackson, who was (and remains) the most famous player to be involved in the scandal. Shoeless Joe was Ray's dad's favorite player, and Ray mocks him for having a hero who played a central role in the greatest scandal baseball had ever seen. When baseball players start appearing in Ray's cornfield baseball diamond, it's the banned players from the 1919 White Sox — including Shoeless Joe — who show up to play. 

CHICAGO - AUGUST 03:  Eloy Jimenez #74 of the Chicago White Sox poses for a portrait wearing a special throwback vintage uniform in preparation for Major League Baseball
White Sox star Eloy Jimenez displays the back numbering of the special uniform Chicago will wear in the Field of Dreams Game. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)

Grading the uniforms

These uniforms are based in history, but that doesn't mean we can't have opinions on them. With the theme being "nostalgia," how nostalgic do these uniforms really make us feel, since most of us aren't 102-plus years old and won't remember when they were originally worn?

Let's start with the home team, the White Sox. 

CHICAGO - AUGUST 03:  Andrew Vaughn #25 (L) and Gavin Sheets #32 of the Chicago White Sox pose for a portrait wearing a special throwback vintage uniform in preparation for Major League Baseball
Andrew Vaughn (left) and Gavin Sheets model the throwback Chicago White Sox uniforms being used for MLB's Field of Dreams Game. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)

These uniforms are pretty great. They heavily reference what the team wore at the time, with navy pinstripes on an off-white or cream colored fabric and a period jersey logo. There's even a navy stripe at the sleeve. They went the extra mile with the cap, including pinstripes and a navy visor without a logo, which is how it was designed in that time period. 

The uniforms are the perfect combination of vintage and modern — you get the feel for 1919 without going too far (like using wool, which is actually what uniforms were made of back then, instead of polyester).

The Yankees uniforms, on the other hand ...

Aaron Judge models the New York Yankees uniform for the 2021 MLB Field of Dreams Game. (MLB/New York Yankees)
Aaron Judge models the New York Yankees uniform for the 2021 MLB Field of Dreams Game. (MLB/New York Yankees)

They just look like Yankees uniforms. The lettering is a little different than it is today (their current uniforms use a white outline), and there are numbers on the back (which the Yankees didn't start using on their uniforms until 1929), but it's still a plain gray uniform. It's very faithful to what the Yankees actually wore in 1919, but if they'd gone back just two years to 1917 they could have used a gray road uniform with pinstripes. That would have been so much more interesting than the same old Yankees uniform we've been seeing for literally 100 years. 

Final grades? 

White Sox: A

Yankees: C-minus 

You'll be able to see the full uniforms — pants and all — in action on Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET on Fox, where the game will be broadcast nationally.

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