Thursday, July 12, 2007

Candy-Coated Uniformity

Did you know I never got to play baseball with a button-down jersey? My generation really got screwed on that one.

I started with T-ball in '82. From then until '85, we just got a T-shirt to wear with our jeans. Starting with "AAA" when I was nine, and all the way through high school, we got the full uniform--jersey, pants, and stirrups. But the jersey was always the pullover kind. You know why this was? Because that style was all the rage in the seventies. By the time youth leagues "caught up" with "the times," the majors were starting to go back to the classic button-down uniforms.

I remember in the 80s seeing the Brady Bunch episode where they showed Greg playing high school ball. Oh, how we laughed--"Look, it's the old, 60s button-down jersey with piping!" Little did we know that within a few years all the big league teams would be back to the buttons.

Granted, there are things I like about that era. The baby blues that a lot of teams wore were classic. And this was my favorite time in history--late 70s, early 80s. Those unis were the face of that era. So what am I complaining about? I guess I want the best of both worlds. If we could've kept up with the times, instead of being two steps behind, I would've had the pullover in the 80s, and the buttons in the early 90s when I was in high school.

At least I always got to wear stirrups. This current sock-fad is going to end soon. People are already going back to the stirrups, and considering we had those from the 1910s until a few years ago, I have a feeling they'll be right back after these messages.

So, was this jersey thing just a northeast thing or a rural thing? If any of you played baseball in the late-80s and got to wear buttons, let me know.

This candy bar commercial is what got me thinking about this. It's a classic song, and I searched for it and found a version. In this one, from around the early 80s, you see a Little League team, decked out like it's the 60s. Or, should I say, anytime before the 70s or after the 80s.... But getting back to the jingle--it's one of my favorites. Too bad the little birthday girl and the waiter sing some of the lines. But the dynamic moment in this song, to me, is when they hit the word "want" in "any time you want delicious chocolate." It just takes it to the next level. There's almost a sadness to it. Are they trying to convey the melancholy of all the mom 'n' pop chocolate shops going by the wayside? (I also happen to be reading "Candy Freak" right now....) I mean, they cut to the Native American right after that. Come on. He's representing the candy-makers of the past, while his more-naive-than-native son chomps on the addicting, white-man's sugar bar his generation will grow up with. Right? Yeah, I know, the dad's chomping away more furiously than the boy. That's 'cuz they starved him! Also, the violin or cello hit on the third syllable of "delicious"--great stuff.

In '75, playing in Trumbull Little League, I got to wear a button down uniform. Looked just like a Detroit home uni, except with a block "T" instead of the old english "D". And real stirrups, of course. I loved that uni.
Started wearing the button down jerseys in '92 and continued every year from then on.
Okay, so we've got one person from a decade before I started wearing a full uniform, and one who started the year I stopped. And both had buttons. Just as I suspected....

Post a Comment

If you're "anonymous," please leave a name, even if it's a fake one, for differentiation purposes.

If you're having trouble commenting, try signing in to whatever account you're using first, then come back here once you're signed in.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

My Photo
Location: Rhode Island, United States