Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Was the Dodgers throwback voting rigged?

Meet Bob Halfacre, the man behind the throwback uniforms.

The Dodgers and Cubs will be wearing throwback uniforms tomorrow as part of their six weekday-afternoon throwback games.

Uni Watch has an excellent interview with Bob Halfacre, who produced these uniforms. At first it was said that Majestic were going to make these uniforms. Last February I asked the Dodgers front office about these uniforms and I was told Majestic were going to produce them. {linked here}

Majestic couldn't do these fast enough so the Dodgers hired Halfacre.

Uni Watch (A really cool site about uniforms) interviewed Halfacre and had some really interesting things to say! {linked here}

Highlights of the interview -

UW: So the Dodgers chose to work with you, instead of Majestic?

BH: Well, about two weeks before the contest ended, I got call telling me, “Majestic can’t do these uniforms, do you want to do ’em?” And I said sure.

UW: And why couldn’t Majestic do them? 

BH: They can’t react that fast, with the contest finishing so close to the start of the season. Had they known all along that it would be the blue Brooklyn jersey, they probably would’ve said sure.

UW: Because they had blue fabric in stock?

BH: Yeah, or could get it fairly easily and quickly. But when you’re a big company, you can’t react that fast. I mean, they’re unbelievable at reacting quickly for the things that they do do, like if a player is traded. But for a project like this, they don’t move quickly from A to B to C.

But even for me, I couldn’t have done the Braves’ uniforms without Liebe. They did the chain-stitched tomahawks, they cut the lettering. I couldn’t have done that here in that time frame — we don’t have the firepower. So Liebe did that for me, and they did a beautiful job.

UW: So toward the end of the contest they brought you on board. And then what happened?

BH: They said, “We’ll need prototypes, because we want to do photos when the contest result is announced.” And I said oookay. I was a little nervous about the one with “Brooklyn” down the placket, because those pinstripes were very close to each other — much closer than today, and thinner too. But I figured it was a great opportunity, so I said yes.

Now, I’ve been doing this for 25 years, and I know most contests already have a winner before they even start. I remember there was a minor league team, and they told me, “We’re having a ‘Name the team’ contest, and the winner is gonna be this. First person who sends in that name is the winner.”

UW: Wait, so are you saying the Dodgers throwback voting was rigged?

BH: They were leaning toward the blue — that’s what they were really hoping would win. But they weren’t fixing it or anything like that. It was legitimate. But we knew the vote totals on a daily basis, so we could see where it was going and plan accordingly.

Toward the end, the pinstriped one was still in the running, and I knew there was no way I was gonna get a roll of pinstriped fabric printed that quickly. So we were literally gonna make the uniform panels, make sublimation paper, and try to sublimate it on straight. I thought, “I can wing it for three prototypes.” But of course it didn’t come to that.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *


The 1st game where the Dodgers used these throwback jerseys, I noticed the underbrims of the Brooklyn hats were not green. That was disappointing.  But Halfacre says green was not available.

I did appreciate that the visitors are also going all out with the throwback uniforms. The Braves did it on the first game and the Cubs will be wearing 1944 uniforms.

The other four games are -

June 15 vs Cincinnati Reds
June 22 vs Detroit Tigers
August 10 vs Philadelphia Phillies
August 31 vs San Diego Padres

I'm looking forward to the Cubs uniforms tomorrow but also looking forward to the Reds, Tigers and Phillies. Those are old school teams. Not sure about the Padres.

Go with the late 70's look? I know, I know, it looks bad.

That's Dave Winfield -

Oh and if you didn't know, I did not vote for the 1940's satin version. I voted for the 1911 edition. {linked here}

In case you missed it, check out these pictures and videos that I took from the April 21 game vs the "Boston" Braves. {linked here}

Never got around to upload these two videos from that game.

The bullpen -

Jonathan Broxton warming up.

One last note, all players should be wearing stirrups when wearing these uniforms!

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