Baseball, our national pastime. All fans have great memories of their teams. We also remember those things that we wish we could forget: the errors, the mental mistakes . . . and the ugly uniforms.
In an ode to those eyesores, Todd Radom has collected and chronicled some of the swing-and-misses we’ve seen on the baseball diamond. Remember when the Chicago White Sox thought wearing shorts in 1977 was a good idea? How about when the Baltimore Orioles wore their all-orange jerseys in 1971? Do you remember the 1999 “Turn Ahead the Clock” campaign? Or the most recent all-camo jerseys of the San Diego Padres?
Yes, there is much to talk about when it comes to the odd uniform decisions teams have made over the years. But just like there’s love out there for French bulldogs or Christmas sweaters, ugly uniforms hold a warm place in the heart of all baseball fans, and Winning Ugly is just that: an ode to our favorites from today and yesterday that bring smiles and sighs to all baseball fans.
Sure they didn’t affect wins and losses (unless you mention Chris Sale), but a fan’s love and ire goes well beyond the current standings. So whether your team appears in Winning Ugly or not, fans of the sport will enjoy reliving the moments most teams would like to forget.
Todd Radom is an independent graphic designer specializing in branding for professional sports franchises and events. His work includes the official logos for Super Bowl XXXVIII and the 2009 NBA All Star Game, as well as the graphic identity for Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Angels. Todd makes frequent media appearances, most recently on ESPN College Gameday and NPR, and has been profiled or quoted in many publications, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine, and Sporting News.
“This book is a fun look at baseball uniforms, showing how the evolution of the game compelled teams to try new styles with vibrant colors and nontraditional designs. It is enjoyable to relive some of the epically bad uniforms, like the all-brown once worn by the San Diego Padres, and wonder what they were thinking.” —Ed Sherman, Chicago Tribune
“Winning Ugly is a visual delight of the more untraditional looks to appear on a Major League ballfield over the years, with original illustrations sketched by Radom himself, as well as a wealth of historical photos and newspaper clippings to help tell the story. . . . In between the stunning visuals you have the stories of each of these garish getups, how they came to be, their reception by players and media of the day. Bottom line, if baseball uniforms are your thing, you’re going to want this book.” —Chris Creamer, SportsLogos.net
“Still, it seems that if anyone is more qualified than Radom to go through the MLB’s closet and expose it on this subject, speak now or forever hold your Sansabelt slacks up with a safety pin. . . . We’re not sure whether to thank him or remind him that some people actually embraced these as being so bad they want them back on those 'Turn Back The Clock' promotions. . . .How it goes down in the scorebook: Uniformly superior to anything we’ve seen like this before.” —Tom Hoffarth's The Drill: More Farther Off the Wall
"Throughout Winning Ugly, Radom discusses historical changes, the materials and fashions of the day dictating the on-field designs, and even how formative designs were in shaping the future of uniforms. He discusses color, marketing, trends, and the 1970s revolution of flamboyancy." —Tim Newcomb, HOW Design
"Despite its title, Winning Ugly is a beautiful book . . . it should be on display in a fan’s home." —Dennis Anderson, Journal Star
"Radom's book provides enjoyable, fascinating, and a detailed account of baseball uniforms." —Thomas Biblewski, The Inside Game, SABR Deadball Era Committee