Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Rarely Seen 1968 - 1969 Baltimore Orioles Vests

After MP34 recently pointed me to Getty Images to find some more pictures of the Orioles all orange uniforms, I came across this amazing picture:

This is the first picture I'd ever seen of Brooks Robinson in the rarely seen 1968-1969 Orioles vest. In fact, after seeing this, I realized I have not seen very many photos of this uniform which was only worn a few times and then retired.

Once I came across this picture, the search was on for more pictures of the Orioles vests. I found pictures from an auction of a Brooks Robinson vest

as well as a Curt Motton jersey:

I also asked Paul Lukas from Uni Watch if he had any pictures, and he put the word out to Rick Pearson who provided these shots (thanks Ricko!):

Since the caption under the Paul Blair photo looks like it was from Sports Illustrated, I checked out the SI Vault, and searched the 1968 - 1969 issues and found an additional shot of Brooks

as well as this great SI subscription ad featuring Brooks and Elrod Hendricks:

I was only able to find one other picture of the vest on Getty Images:

Since I have the 1969 Orioles ALCS and World Series programs, I checked those as well, and was able to come up with a few more pictures, including this shot of Frank Robinson:

another shot of Brooks:

a nice series of shots of Dave Johnson and Mark Belanger:

another shot of Dave Johnson:

and another shot of Paul Blair:

I really like the look of these vests, and would enjoy seeing the Orioles bring them back as an alternate. I'm not sure why the Orioles discontinued the vests, but I could have sworn that I read at one point years ago that the pitchers didn't like them so they stopped wearing them. Don't quote me on that, but I seem to remember reading that somewhere.

I'd like to say thanks to MP34 for directing me to Getty Images where I found the Brooks picture that started this search as well as the help from Paul Lukas and Rick Pearson that led me to check out the SI archives and find a few extra shots.

If anyone has any other shots of the Orioles in their vests from 1968-1969, please let me know, and I'll add them to this pictorial collection.

UPDATE: 2/2011

I came across another picture of the vests in which something doesn't look quite right:

This is picture of Brooks Robinson, Paul Blair, and a young girl's head on Andy Etchebarren's body. The picture comes from this blog where the young girl in the photo shares some of her other pictures taken with various Orioles players.

Apparently this was a cardboard cutout for fans to have their picture taken as an Oriole at one of the annual Bethlehem Steel Family Nights that used to be held at Memorial Stadium. Its interesting that the cutout that was used for taking pictures was a uniform that the team rarely wore.

UPDATE: 6/2011

Two more additions to the collection:

Boog Powell:

Eddie Watt:


UPDATE: 5/2012

Another addition to the collection:

What a great shot of Mike Cuellar with the original Memorial Stadium scoreboard in the background on May 24, 1969.

UPDATE: 7/2016

These pictures are from May 21, 1969 against the Twins:

These pictures are from a few days later against the A's on May 24, 1969:

And here are a few shots of Davey Johnson:


Anonymous said...

I remember in 1990 or 1991 the Orioles played one their first "Turn-Back-the-Clock" games at Memorial Stadium and the Orioles wore the vests. I know the game was in the summer (June/July) and was a mid-week day game. Gregg Olsen blew a save opportunity late in the game and later said the vest uniforms brought him bad luck and he threw it in the trash.

Orioles Magic said...

Wow, I don't think I had ever seen that uniform before your post. Thanks so much for sharing all of the great pictures!

Anonymous said...

Club68- You are mostly correct about your statement about the O's throwback uniform, except they did not wear the sleeveless uniforms in 1991. They wore 1966 replicas that day in honor of the '66 World Series champions. These were the sleeved version.
In May/June of either 2005 or 2006 they did finally wear the sleeveless vest jerseys in another "throwback game".
I was pleasantly surprised the day they wore the sleeveless vest jerseys. I think they are the best uniform ever worn buy the O's.

Jonathan Strahan said...

In 1998 Starter made a replica of this jersey and I was given one as a gift. I had never seen it before, until now, and so I thought it was a random design that Starter came up with like a lot of companies did in the 90s. Its my fav because no one else has one and its old school classy. It doesn't have numbers and the sleeves are attached but everything is the same.

Anonymous said...

The sleeveless vest throwback game was June 26, 2004.

bigreg said...

Hi, glad to come across your article on the 1969 vest of the O's. I have been looking for a picture of Weaver in one but no luck. I have the Weaver vest from 1969 it was a size 42 it is 1969 set 3. It also has a cigarette pocket sewn into the inside of the vest, pretty cool. The name is no longer on the back but it is #4. My dad managed the Miami marlins from 1969-72 and of course in those days they just used hand me down jerseys from the big club, wish we would have keep some others. My father was Woody Smith, who played for Miami in the late 50's. email me with any questions or comments, thanks, Reggie Smith

jack said...

where can you buy the jersey's worn that day in 2004?...i have seen some people at the games but never asked?

Anonymous said...

Just ran across this site trying to locate photos of my father. He was a former pitcher with the Orioles from '73-'75...Jesse Jefferson#38. If anyone has any they would like to share please let me know. Wanted to add them to my collection and trophy room. Appreciate it. jeffersons38n2@gmail.com

Unknown said...

I saw them wear these once in 69 i think. I liked them too. I saw the A's wear something like this also. I believe numerous other teams also had these. Some still might.