Uniform designs broke all the rules during 1970s
The first three years of the decade saw two franchise moves, the introduction of the designated hitter in the American League and the opening of a series of multi-purpose “cookie-cutter” stadiums – all juxtaposed against a background of ongoing labor strife.
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Vividly colorful uniforms and expansive graphics became a prime marketing tool for many clubs. The absolute peak of this movement would wait a couple of years, however, until 1975, when the Houston Astros debuted their uniquely memorable “rainbow” jerseys.
Since the Pirates memorably reimagined the baseball uniform, technical innovations have constantly evolved and uniform graphics and embellishments have waxed and waned, but the revolutionary changes that took place from 1970-73 remain unchallenged in their breadth, scope, and lasting influence.
Todd Radom is a graphic designer who specializes in branding for professional sports franchises and events. He is the author of "Winning Ugly: A Visual History of the Most Bizarre Baseball Uniforms Ever Worn."