The sports industry is always transitioning and changing each day. It doesn’t matter if its Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association or the National Hockey League – they are always evolving.
Logos are the number one feature of a team’s identity. Whether it’s the New York Yankees interlocking NY, the Dallas Cowboys star, the Detroit Red Wings wheel or the Los Angeles Lakers gold uniforms, each emblem represents the organization’s rich history. Why, you ask? There’s a simple answer.
They have hardly changed since their inception. While there have been minor tweaks along the way, the logos mentioned above have rarely been tinkered with. For the most part, however, almost all uniforms and jerseys evolve as well.
For every Yankees, Cowboys, Red Wings and Lakers franchise, there are dozens of teams in each league who go through visual changes each year. Whether it’s a slight twist on a team logo or completely changing the color schemes, every new season for each sport will have at least one team modifying their look.
Although a lot of the time the changes are made to either modernize the uniforms or alter a poor identity, they don’t always work out for the better.
With that being said, take a look at this list of 20 old jerseys that need to make a comeback with their respective franchises.
20. Original Arizona Diamondbacks Home
Although the current black and red scheme by the Arizona Diamondbacks is a good look, their original digs were innovative and fresh during the team’s 1998 inception.
For the inaugural uniforms, the Diamondbacks adopted a white base with purple pinstripes, along with the full Diamondbacks name on the front of the jersey. The Diamond was teal and outlined in white, while the Backs had white letters with a purple backing.
Sure, these uniforms would probably be made fun of in today’s world; however, whether it was the unique colors at the time or the full Diamondbacks logo instead of the corny abbreviated “DBacks” we see today, they deserve a spot on this list.
19. Dallas Stars Star Pattern
In what started out as an alternate jersey during the mid-1990s, the Dallas Stars adopted the look as their full time uniforms from 1999-2003, and again from 2006-2007.
Sure, the white, black and green color selection wasn’t the best, but the star pattern that started on the front of the jersey and ran through the back was both innovative and impressive at the time. No matter what jerseys the Stars don, these will always hold a special place in fans’ hearts; they won their only Stanley Cup while wearing these uniforms.
18. Allen Iverson’s Sixers
During the peak of Allen Iverson’s illustrious career, the Philadelphia 76ers decided to modernize their look.
While each uniform in team history had a similar style, ownership scrapped those plans and adopted a completely different feel. The new logo had a wavy “Sixers” font, with a star dotting the I while being underlined by a streaking basketball. For the first time in team history, they opted for black road uniforms, while adopting a shiny blue look as an alternate.
During the late 90s and into the mid-2000s, each of the three jerseys with the name Iverson on the back were seen everywhere, and for good reason; they were just that cool looking.
17. Inaugural Houston Astros
Sure, many have criticized the rainbow looking jerseys the Houston Astros wore in the mid-to-late 1970s. However, the uniforms have become iconic over time.
When many teams were straying the traditional look of jerseys around the same time, the Astros brass decided to take it to another level. The white jersey featured stripes of red, orange and yellow as a backdrop for their dark blue star. What was also different was that their numbers weren’t only featured on the back of their jerseys, but on the pant leg as well.
I’m sure these uniforms will never make a comeback. However, they are still popular, as many little league and high school teams have adopted the look with their own colors.
16. Vancouver Canucks – Red, Black and Yellow
Before the Vancouver Canucks wore their current blue, green, silver and white look, they had one of the more unique – and odd looking – uniforms in the NHL.
After dropping their storied “Flying V” logo, the Canucks adopted a new design that was placed on the front of their jersey. Sure, no one could really tell what the backdrop of the emblem was – it was often referred to as a flying skate, but looked like random streaking lines (some call it the spaghetti jerseys). However, the creative font and diagonal placing gave the team a cool look.
While many fans aren’t clamoring for this look to return, the red, yellow and black was a strong color wave during that time.
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Creamsicles
While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers currently have the remodeled Nike look, their older jerseys seem to be loved by their fans. Before the red and dark grey, the Buccaneers used a color scheme that resembled the nickname it has adopted today; a creamsicle.
The team’s original look had a bright orange jersey, along with white numbers, white pants and a primarily white helmet along with an orange facemask. The red was primarily used as an accent color, whether it was on their team logo, the piping on the jersey and pants or as a stripe down the middle of the helmet.
Although the bright orange could be an eyesore today, the unique colors made the Buccaneers stand out. And let’s not forget the logo change; Bucco Bruce was much cooler than the current skull and sword.
14. Original Arizona Coyotes
People still question why Arizona has a hockey team. While the question is valid, one thing is for certain; their original jerseys should be brought back. Although they screamed 90s, the red, black and green colors blended well together, making their uniforms stand out. Their cartoonish, hockey stick wielding coyote was a unique, and the pattern along the arms, waist and collar made the jersey really pop.
However, there is good news for people who like this jersey; the Coyotes will wear the uniform on select nights throughout the 2015-16 season.
13. Steve Francis Houston Rockets
While the Houston Rockets currently have a sleek looking jersey, they are incredibly bland; something that wasn’t a problem when Steve Francis was the focal point of their franchise.
With the main colors being red, white and navy blue, the jersey had faded pinstripes (navy blue for home, white for away) along with a bold Rockets logo on top of a rocket orbiting the graphic. The number – which was on the top right corner on the front of the jersey – strayed away from the typical center position, and its metallic print made it stand out.
Although fans haven’t seen the Rockets wear these jerseys full time since 2003, I’m sure they would enjoy seeing James Harden dominate in this look, just like Francis used to.
12. Late 80s, Early 90s Cleveland Cavaliers
Continuing on the topic of bland jerseys, the Cleveland Cavaliers currently have one of the worst sets of uniforms in the entire NBA. Whether it’s the common fonts or odd colors, the look doesn’t support a perennial championship team.
However, their old uniforms from the late 1980s into the early 1990s would be a better fit.
Although these jerseys weren’t particularly eye-popping, the white, blue and orange blended together well. The “Cavs” across the center of the chest was accompanied by a ball going through the V, with an illustration of a basketball net inside of the letter.
While the Cavaliers have worn versions of this uniform as throwbacks recently, bringing these jerseys back would be an upgrade over their current digs.
11. Stockton/Malone Era Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz have worn several different colors throughout their team history. However, there were none more popular than the ones worn during John Stockton and Karl Malone’s heyday.
While the music note symbolized their team name, they decided to use mountains as the main look on their jerseys. Sure, it didn’t fit the name, but it made for an awesome looking graphic. The white, blue and alternate black jerseys featured pictures of a white and blue icy-looking mountain that worked it’s way down to the left side of the shorts, with “Jazz” featured in the middle and number in the lower left corner.
Although the Jazz didn’t use this uniform for a long time, these are among the best in NBA history.
10. 1997-2001 Detroit Pistons Alternate
The Detroit Pistons are one of the few teams in professional sports that really haven’t changed their uniform look over their history, except from 1995-2001, where they went completely against the grain and adopted a new look.
During the Grant Hill years, the Pistons used teal, burgundy, gold and black in the place of the traditional red, white and blue. While the fans didn’t enjoy their new color scheme or the teal-heavy jerseys, their red alternate had a nice touch to them.
The unique fire-headed piston behind the Pistons lettering wasn’t a favorable logo at the time, but would make for a cool alternate uniform today.
9. Kelly Green Philadelphia Eagles
While the Philadelphia Eagles have kept their helmet logo, their change from “Kelly Green” to “Midnight Green” was to catch up with the times. Unfortunately, their jerseys from 1985-1996 had a much better look than the current version.
The Eagles jerseys were simple. The main color was Kelly green, while the numbers were silver, the pants were white with two green stripes, two silver and green eagles were featured on the sleeves and the helmets featured the same Kelly green with silver eagles wings.
While the Eagles wore a variation of this uniform in 2010, it would be a good look to see them use this style more in the future. Plus, how fitting would it be for the Eagles to have a ‘Kelly’ green jersey now?
8. Red, White and Blue New York/New Jersey Nets
When you think of iconic NBA uniforms, one that stands out is Julius Irving donning the then New York Nets red, white and blue jerseys during the ABA era.
The uniforms, which were also adopted by the team when they moved to New Jersey in their NBA tenure, have a classic look that jerseys are missing today. The home pair had a white base that had red block names and numbers, with the road set being blue with white names and numbers. However, the best part of these digs was the stars and stripes that ran down the left side of the uniform.
This past season, the Nets brought back the template of the jersey, but instead of using the original colors, the team decided to stick with their current black and white look. While they did look good, it would’ve been even better if they wore them in their first form.
7. Dallas Cowboys Throwback Thanksgiving
The Dallas Cowboys are synonymous with Thanksgiving Day football. And their uniforms worn on that day is one of the best in football. While the team is known for their silver helmets and navy blue, silver and white jerseys they wear today, it is the throwback uniform that is head and shoulders above the pack.
The Cowboys have a navy blue base with white numbers, with white sleeves and navy blue stars accenting it. What completes the look is their simple, yet great looking helmet. The all white shell with two simple navy blue stars tops off the impressive alternate uniforms.
Unfortunately, it looks like these jerseys won’t be worn anytime soon. With the NFL having emphasis on player safety, the league has mandated wearing the same helmet for every game.
6. New York Yankees 1912 Road Jersey
When you picture the New York Yankees on the field, they’ve really only worn two jerseys: their iconic navy blue pinstripes and their road, “New York” greys.
However, when the Yankees played the Boston Red Sox during the 100th Anniversary of Fenway Park, the team broke out jerseys that they wore all the way back in 1912.
When the Yankees took the field, the uniforms looked very similar to their home apparel. However, instead of the pinstripes, the Yankees had grey tops and bottoms, with the same interlocking NY on the left side of the chest. The team also wore primarily grey hats with a navy blue brim as well.
Although the Yankees will probably never change up the look of their jerseys, it would be a welcome sight to see them wear their throwback road jerseys more often.
5. New York Rangers Lady Liberty Alternate
With the New York Rangers being an original six team, they have stayed the course and opted to not change their jersey look. Their classic home blue and away white uniforms with “Rangers” going diagonal from left to right have been a staple in the NHL for years.
However, from 1996-2007, the Rangers adopted a modern alternate jersey that featured the face of the Statue of Liberty on the front, with “NYR” placed underneath. These navy blue digs also featured silver piping and partially red sleeves. The team also introduced a white version in 1999, but it only lasted one season.
Although the team abandoned the popular look, the team continues to use the logo on their practice jerseys.
4. St. Louis Rams Royal Blue and Yellow
At the turn of the 21st century, the St. Louis Rams decided to change their colors to “millennium blue” and “new century gold.”
However, the team didn’t need to do that – their uniforms from 1973-1999 had a classic and clean look to them.
While the design of the uniforms hasn’t changed at all, they now have a more traditional blue and gold. Although the blue and yellow was a basic look, the colors really stood out on the field. The gold numbers and piping looked great on the blue jersey, and the similar gold horns on the blue helmet worked just as well.
Fortunately, the Rams use this jersey as one of their alternates. And it looks just as good today.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers Powder Blue Brooklyn
While the colors and logos of the Dodgers have largely stayed the same since their move from Brooklyn, one uniform that didn’t make the cut was the satin powder blue jersey worn during the 1940 season.
Steering away from the traditional white and blue uniforms, the powder blue jerseys – featuring “Brooklyn” written in script across the chest – looked great with the Dodger blue hat.
Fortunately, the Dodgers have worn these jerseys – minus the satin – in past seasons. However, it would be cool if they adopted them as a full time alternate.
2. New England Patriots AFL
Over the years, the New England Patriots have become the premiere franchise in the entire NFL. And just like their storied history, they have a great uniform that goes along with it, the AFL red home jerseys. These uniforms, used as an alternate from 2009-2012, is the definition of how great something so simple can look.
The all-red top with white letters, numbers and white and blue stripes on the sleeves blend perfectly with traditional white pants with a two blue and one red stripes down each leg. To top it off, the white helmet is a great fit, along with the patriot logo snapping the ball.
The current Patriots jersey has a modern feel to them. However, there would be no complaints if the team went back to their roots and used the AFL jersey full-time.
1. Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
When there is a list of jerseys that need to make a return, no other uniform can top this countdown other than the original Ducks jerseys, worn from their inception until 2006.
While the organization received help from the popular Mighty Ducks movie franchise, their main logo was, well, badass. The hockey mask shaped like a ducks face with interlocking sticks behind it was easily the best logo in the NHL, with fans from all over the country donning the emblem.
The colors for the Ducks were jade green, purple, white and grey; while they don’t sound like a good mix, they blended together nicely. Both home and away jerseys had a distinct, eye-catching look to them.
Although the team has a patch with the logo on their sleeve, the black, white and orange colors just don’t have the same feel as the original colors. The world would be a better place if the Mighty Ducks jerseys make a comeback.
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