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WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

[February 26th] -- This post might not keep your attention unless you're old enough to remember A. B. & W., the WPGC money car, Mal Campbell and Resurrection City.

One of the first things that Bob Short did after buying the Washington Senators in 1968 was to travel to Florida and sign Hall-of-Famer Ted Williams as the team's new manager, replacing another slugger, Jim Lemon (who replaced another slugger, Gil Hodges).

I was 13 in 1969 and I clearly remember the excitement when Ted Williams took the field for the first time in a Senators' uniform. Pompano Beach was abuzz with reporters. That said, I don't recall ever seeing a photo from spring training that year, and television coverage of the Grapefruit League was still a couple of decades away. So the first time I actually saw Williams wearing his Senators' uniform was on opening day in 1969 (the Senators lost something like 8-3 to the New York Yankees. It was a dreary and rainy day; the game likely would have been called had it not been opening day. The only highlight was Frank Howard getting a kiss from "Morganna the Wild One"). In his three years as manager, Williams wore but one home uniform, the one we old folks remember clearly; creme white with no pinstriping or piping around the sleeves or neck. Simple yet attractive.

So it came as a real surprise when I came across this magazine cover featuring Ted Williams in his home Senators' uniform. His home pinstriped uniform.

Huh?

That uniform was worn from 1963-1968 ('63-'67 with a blue cap, '68 with red cap). Short didn't care for pinstripes however and helped create the uniform that we remember today.

So if the Senators never wore that uniform after the end of the 1968 season, and if Ted Williams joined the Senators after the uniform was "retired," exactly why is it that Williams is gracing the June 1969 cover of Sport Magazine wearing that old uniform?

All I can figure is that this photo was taken during spring training (though the background doesn't look like anything I ever saw at the Senators' spring training complex in Pompano). Perhaps the new uniforms hadn't arrived yet and the team was forced to wear the previous years uniform.

That's certainly plausible.

However, if that's true, then Williams is wearing Frank Howard's uniform (remember, Hondo graciously gave Ted his #9) and though Williams is a big man, he wasn't nearly as large as Frank. That uniform should be hanging loose on him.

Any ideas? I really don't have a clue. I'd be curious to find out.


Comments:
I read that exact issue of Sport Magazine while nervously sitting in the maternity ward waiting room at Holy Cross Hospital on May 30, 1969, awaiting the birth of our first child. When I left the hospital and got to my car, I realized I was still clutching the magazine in my hand. (I still have the magazine.) Since I had tickets for a Senators/White Sox double header at RFK that day, I drove directly to the ball park. The Senators and White Sox split. The only other detail I recall was that Walt "No Neck" Williams had four hits for the Chisox in the the first game.
 
I am fairly positive that this uniform was never worn during a regular season game. There are pictures (one of Frank Howard that he signed for me) of players wearing this uniform in Spring Training 1969 and baseball cards from that year also. If I remember, the ownership did not like the navy pinstripe with red trim when they first arrived. Its took the uniform maker 6 weeks or so to make the non pinstripe, cream color they wore. Thus, that is way you are seeing this pix. Every picture I have ever seen of Senators Players in this uniform is a Spring Training setting.
 
I don't know screech, I'm fairly sure that's the same uni that they wore with the blue caps with red piping from '63-'67.

Isn't? If not, what's the difference?
 
Since you can't see any numbers on the uniform, Williams could have been wearing any home 1968 jersey that fit, not necessarily Howard's #9. I don't remember seeing ST pictures of Williams where he wasn't wearing a Senators jacket, so he could have been wearing any jersey underneath.

Since the picture was posed, it was probably arranged to take place at some mutually convenient Florida venue other than Pompano, with Williams being asked to wear a home uniform for the occasion.
 
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