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.
About the Author
Todd Radom is a graphic designer, sports branding expert, and writer. His work includes the official logos for Super Bowl XXXVIII, the 2009 NBA All-Star Game, the graphic identities of multiple Major League Baseball teams—including the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Angels—and league and team identity and branding for the BIG3 basketball league. He has provided commentary about sports logos and branding for ESPN, National Public Radio, and the New York Times. In addition, he has been profiled or quoted in numerous publications including the Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Tribune, Sports Illustrated, The Athletic, and Sporting News. Radom is the coauthor of Fabric of the Game: The Stories Behind the NHL's Names, Logos, and Uniforms.
“Todd Radom is the Mike Trout of uniform and logo artistry. I'd argue that there should be a day when Todd is honored by the Hall of Fame, but remember, his work is already embedded there.” —Buster Olney, ESPN
“If I had played in MLB like Todd creates baseball designs, I would be in the Hall of Fame. His history book of baseball uniforms is a must for any serious fan.” —Greg Pryor, 10-year MLB player and wearer of the White Sox’ collared uniforms
“Winning Ugly 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
“It's rare to be a great designer, arguably rarer to be a great historian, and unheard of to be both. Todd Radom brings that unique skill set to bear in this look at a key chapter in baseball's visual history.” —Paul Lukas, Uni Watch
“If you’re a fan of baseball history and sports jerseys, Todd Radom’s Winning Ugly: A Visual History of Baseball’s Most Unique Uniforms offers plenty of insight and fun anecdotes from the uniforms of the very first organized baseball club in 1849, to the time the Chicago White Sox decided to wear shorts in 1977, to my personal favourite: the 1999 ‘Turn Ahead the Clock’ jersey campaign.” —Alex Wong, Yahoo! Sports
"Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder. This maxim applies to many things in life including baseball uniforms, and the idea is the basis of a fun and informative new book by Todd Radom. While an absolute-must for any collector of baseball uniforms, this book will appeal to virtually any fan who is the least bit interested in baseball sartorial history or to anyone who is engaged by nostalgia." —Mike Shannon, Sports Collectors Digest
“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