To the north of the border, we go for today’s post, featuring the Winnipeg Maroons and their simplistic jersey as seen below.
Back row (left to right) – C.H. McFadyen (President), Art Morrison (Publicity), Hugh Filson P, Hank Ruffing P, Fred Crinkovich P, Don Godfreson P, Ian McDonald (Trainer), Joe Mowry MGR/OF, John Jackson (Exec), Johnny Peterson (Business Manager).
Front row – Windy Hansch 2B, Bill Barnacle CF, Hugh Gustafson 1B, Frank Danneker SS, Al Erickson C.
There’s also the matter of this maroon colored cap….
This is probably the most simple uniform I have found in the MiLB historical research that I’ve done to date. It’s also the ugliest one I have ever seen. The maroon color of that cap is awful, I don’t find many baseball uniforms ugly, but this is one of them. It’s also intriguing to me that there existed many international MiLB teams. There were MiLB teams in Cuba and Canada, there’s also the current Mexican League.
Alumni of the Maroons include Hank Miklos who pitched a total of seven innings for the Chicago Cubs. He wasn’t a notable major league player, but looking at Baseball Reference he died in Adrian, Mi. The same town in which I went to college (that’s pretty neat if you ask me). Miklos posted an ERA of 7.71 in those lone seven innings for the Cubs.
Another alumni of the Maroons was Joe Mowry who played three seasons for the Boston Braves who posted a stat line of .233/.284/.313/.596 in 192 games.
As the case goes with many of the historical MiLB teams, there’s not much out there on the 1939 Winnipeg Maroons, but you can find of the most simple and ugly uniforms in MiLB history.
Today’s post features the 1961 Duluth Dukes who wore the jersey below; which you can purchase here.
I was doing some MiLB research; it’s hard to find information, photos, etc. on the lesser known MiLB teams. Yes, you can find the stats at baseball reference, but this isn’t a stats blog. I originally wanted to write today about a team from the Michigan State League. It only seemed fitting since the title of this blog is Greetings From Michigan. Eventually, I stumbled on the Duluth Dukes, and they intrigued me immediately.
On this particular jersey, the side patch caught my eye. The Top Hat with the eyeglass, that’s a cool little patch. MiLB teams have so many different names and mascots and logos its always refreshing to see something different and unique like that little patch.
Here’s a photo of Bernie Gul playing for them in ’52:
The Duluth Dukes played in the Northern League from 1935 to 1942, and then from 1946 until 1955. Additionally, they were a part of the short-lived (it only lasted six weeks) Twin Ports League. In 1956, they merged with the Superior Blues and played as the Duluth-Superior White Sox until 1960 when the Dukes Moniker was restored.
The Duluth-Superior Dukes were an affiliate of the Tigers from 1960-1964, in ’65, they were affiliated with both the Tigers and White Sox. ’66 saw an affiliate with the Cubs. In 1967, they had affiliations with two teams again (the Cubs and White Sox). Their final years (’68-’70) saw them affiliated with the White Sox.
Notable alumni of the Dukes include Detroit Tigers Center Fielder Mickey Stanley. Here he is in ’68 with the Tigers
He played all fifteen seasons with the Tigers batting .248 with 117 home runs and 500 RBIs where he was a four-time golden glove winner and was a part of the 1968 Tigers World Series. Stanley hit .259 that season while winning the first of three consecutive Gold Gloves. Late in the season Stanley switched positions to play shortstop (he had never done that before in organized baseball) and became an integral part of the Tigers World Series Win.
Earlier Today the Columbus Clippers had a Throwback Throwdown where you could vote on which Throwback Jerseys the team would wear during the game.
You can’t see it now, but they changed their name to the Columbus Jets and even changed their Twitter avatar. It was pretty cool. I’ve talked about the Jets before, which you can read here, the focus of that post was the ’52 Jets.
I’ve also talked about the Clippers before, earlier in they year they paid tribute to the 213th birthday of Ohio with these custom caps. The Clippers are one of the several teams I watched growing up (and still attend games when I have a chance). I have family in Columbus, and I’m never one to pass up a MiLB game.
Ultimately the powder blue unis one (I cast my vote on this uni, so I’m biased) and between the two, they were the much cooler ones.
That 70/80s baseball uniform style is the epitome of cool (at least I think so) and these are awesome. But, what’s even better is the interaction with the fans. Look at the MLB vs. the MiLB. Yes, the MLB has better caliber talent, but the MiLB makes up for that lack with teams doing things like this. There’s no way you can convince me that Major League Baseball has better promotion events than Minor League Baseball.
The Clippers are a storied team in Columbus, having a long time affiliation with the Yankees (twenty-six years to be exact), and are currently affiliated with the Indians.
Notable alumni of the Clippers include many Yankees (Jeter, Rivera to name a couple) as well as current Detroit Tigers Skipper Brad Ausmus, who played for the Clippers in 1992 where he batted .242 with 2 home runs and 56 strikeouts. That was Ausmus’s last year in the Yankees system (he spent a total of five there before being drafted by the Rockies in the ’92 expansion draft.
Back to the historical jerseys; today’s is the 1913 Durham Bulls, featured in the photo below.
As you can see from the picture, not much as changed from the uniform the Durham Bulls wear today, both the trademark D as well as the jumping Bull can be seen in the picture above. Today, you see the Bull jumping through the D, whereas in the photo you can see the D and Bull are on opposite sides of the uniform.
It’s cool to see that in 103 years, the Bulls haven’t changed their uniform very much. Both today’s logo and the logo then feature their trademark D and the jumping bull. Everything changes over time, and sometimes it can be good. But then there are times when you don’t need to change anything. The Durham Bulls Logo is one of the things which doesn’t need changing. While the logo is a variation of what it was 103 years ago, it’s not all that different.
The Durhan Bulls are the AAA affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays currently playing in the International League. They were founded in 1902 as the Durham Tobacconists, later that year the league which the Tobacconists joined folded. The Tobacconists reformed in 1912 as the Durham Bulls joining the North Carolina State League until the League folded in 1917 when the United States of America joined the Allies in WWI.
After the war, the Bulls joined the Piedmont League on October 31, 1919. In 1932, the Bulls became affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies. In 1951, the Bulls helped make history when their 5-4 loss to the Danville Leafs featured the first black player in Carolina League history, Percy Miller Jr. It would not be until April 18, 1957, that the Bulls fielded African-American players when third baseman Bub Morton and pitcher Ted Richardson.
In 1967 the Bulls became affiliated with the Mets and were then renamed to the Raleigh-Durham Mets. They would then become an affiliate of the Phillies and the Braves.
1988 saw the start of the Bull Durham Era, the release of the Kevin Costner Movie saw a surge in stadium attendance and interest in the team.
The Bulls have a long, storied history of winning titles; including
|Class titles (1)||2009|
|League titles (13)||
|Division titles (16)||
Notable Alumni Include:
Lawrence “Crash” Davis
Johnny Vander Meer
Trekies have no worry, you aren’t being neglected from MiLB promotional nights. The Frisco RoughRiders are doing a Star Trek Fan Night Saturday June 11.
You can vote either Team Spock or Team Picard here. I grew up in the 90’s so Team Picard is an easy choice for me. Enterprise was my favorite Star Trek Show, but unfortunately that was short-lived.
Anyway, its cool to see that MiLB teams are branching out to do different promotional nights, and while Star Wars Night is more common, as well comic book heroes are becoming pretty popular. But, Star Trek night is less popular, so I think its something cool to see.
The Frisco RoughRiders are the AA Affiliate of the Texas Rangers, playing in the South Division of the Texas League. The RoughRiders are the the most recent incarnates of the Shreveport Captains, whom had their inaugural year in 1971. In ’71 and ’72 the Captains were affiliated with the California Angels. In ’73 and ’74 they were affiliated with the Milwaukee Brewers, then from ’75-’78 they were affiliated with the Pirates. ’79-2002 saw the longest affiliation for the Captains as they were affiliated with the San Francisco Giants.
In 2002 they were known as the Shreveport Swamp Dragons, before being moved to Frisco becoming known as the Frisco RoughRiders. The Rough Riders get their name after the Regiment headed by Theodore Roosevelt and Teddy serves as their mascot logo (as seen below)
The RoughRiders have won South Division Titles in 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2012. As well they won the Texas League Title in 2004.
Notable Alumi in RoughRiders History includes Mike Aldrete.
Mike “Enough” Aldrete (as called by Chris Berman of ESPN was an outfielder during his MLB career collecting a .263 BA, 41 home runs and 271 RBIs over his career spanning ten seasons.
Aldrete’s best season was 1987 when he hit .325 with 51 RBIs, 50 runs, 116 hits and 18 doubles, all career-highs. As well he was a member of the 1996 World Series Champions New York Yankees.
As you probably very well know already, Prince passed away earlier today. Many in the world have mourned his death and found a way to pay tribute to the legendary musician. Including, the Fresno Grizzlies who tonight and tomorrow will wear a ’98 Remix’ Jersey in honor of Prince and Purple Rain.
In the world of Minor League Baseball, there’s Star Wars Night, Taco Night, Cancer Awareness Night; the list goes on. It’s what separates Minor League Ball from the Majors, and ultimately its what makes the MiLB better than the MLB. Why some MLB teams might give a moment of silence in his honor, a MiLB is wearing jerseys dedicated to the man himself. Hands down, the game over-clear winner here. MiLB. I couldn’t find if they were auctioning the jerseys off after the game (I assume so, that’s the case), but it’s still something is cool to see when attending a game. Going back to yesterday, there has been talk of “making baseball fun again” If you ask me, MiLB has already done that. But I’m just a man with an opinion.
The Fresno Grizzlies are the AAA Affiliate of the Houston Astros playing in the Pacific Coast League. The Grizzlies are the modern day incarnate of the Fresno Raisin Eaters (Fresno has baseball dating back to 1898). The Raisin Eaters played one year in the PCL (1906) finishing dead last in the six-team league, with a record of 64-117 (.353). They then dropped out of the PCL after that year, returned to Sacramento, and re-entered the League in 1909 as the Sacramento Solons. Here is their logo:
The Grizzlies currently have been in existence since 1998, when the expansion of the MLB forced the Tuscon Toros to move from Tuscon, choosing Fresno and giving the city their first PCL team since 1906 as an affiliate of the Giants.
From 1998 through 2001 the Grizzlies played at Pete Beiden Field at CSU Fresno before moving to Chukchansi Park, where they still play today. The Grizzlies gained popularity last year when they played as the Fresno Tacos.
I thought I’d move away from the MiLB history for my next post and go to the unique jerseys that served as an inspiration for me starting this blog. Today, the Frederick Keys and their “Green Jerseys” that the team wore in part with the Living Legacy Foundation (a non-profit dedicated to organ and tissue donation).
As well, per the tweet above they had Green initiative around the park, during the game. To see MiLB teams have nights like this is cool, and its something that I think the MLB needs to adopt themselves. As of late there have been so many discussions about “making baseball fun again” and I think MiLB is already doing that with nights like this. Per every unique jersey night, the Keys auctioned off the jerseys and there are still some available to bid on (the proceeds go to the Living Legacy Foundation).
The Frederick Keys are a Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, I’ve written about them before (with their Rugrats Jersey) which you can read about here. Typically, I focus on the team history. However, I have done that with the Keys already, so instead I’m going to focus on a player in Frederick Keys History.
Barnhart played for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1920 until 1928 and was apart of their 1925 World Series Championship. He made his MLB debut in 1920 hitting .326 in 46 at bats in 12 games. Barnhart played for Frederick (called the Hustlers back then) from 1915-1917. The Pirates were constantly dissatisified with his performance, which hindered him from ever being a full time starter with the Pirates. Towards the end of his career he was plagued with injuries and finished his career with the following stats:
Barnhart is the only major league player to get hits in three games in one day. He collected hits in each game of a rare triple-header played on October 2, 1920.