May 17, 2016

In 1976, Atlanta Players Wore Nicknames On Back Of Jerseys

Paul Lukas, Uni Watch:
The '76 Braves weren't the first MLBers to wear nicknames, and they wouldn't be the last, but they were the first and are still the only team to do it on a team-wide basis. There's been a lot of misinformation and missing information about the nicknames in the ensuing four decades, and visual documentation of the nicknamed jerseys has been surprisingly difficult to find. But now, thanks to some excellent research by Braves historians Sam Wallace and Tony Cocchi and the discovery of some never-before-published photos taken by former Braves photographer Walter Victor, the full story can finally be told. ...

"We knew the team wouldn't be very good, but we also didn't have any money to spend on promotions, so we had to do things that generated publicity," said former Braves PR director Bob Hope (no relation to the famous entertainer) in a Uni Watch interview a few years ago. "We would say, 'It is better to go down the street as the village idiot and be noticed than to not be noticed at all.' We would do things that would stir up harmless controversy and get in the news but didn't really hurt anyone." ...

The nicknames were worn only from May 1 through June 24 -- a total of 28 home games, or about one-third of the team's home schedule.
Many photos at the link.

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