Saturday, February 21, 2015

More Memories Of Uniform - Marines Edition

I was a little disappointed in the scope of BBM's Memories Of Uniforms set a few months back.  I felt that they could have given a somewhat better range of uniforms for each team.  I've decided to do a series of posts for each team that shows as many uniforms as I can find that did not make the BBM set.  I'm using two sources for this - my increasingly well worn copy of History Of Uniform and a mook called something like Professional Baseball Uniforms Encyclopedia 1936-2013.

My plan is to do the current teams in alphabetical order then hit the defunct teams.  I hope to do this relatively quickly but I fear this will drag out for a year or so like so many of my previous projects have.

First up is the Chiba Lotte Marines.  The Marines entered professional baseball in Japan in 1950 as the Mainichi Orions.  They played their home games in Korakuen Stadium in Tokyo.  Following the 1957 season, the Orions and the Daiei Unions merged to become the Daimai Orions.  They moved into a new ballpark (Tokyo Stadium) in 1962 and the team was renamed the Tokyo Orions before the 1964 season.  After 1968, Lotte bought the team and renamed them the Lotte Orions.  Tokyo Stadium went bankrupt in the early 70's which prompted an existential crisis for the team that nearly resulted in them merging with the Toei Flyers.  The team moved to Sendai for a number of year, then back to Kanto, replacing the Whales in Kawasaki when Taiyo moved to Yokohama in 1978.  The team moved from Kawasaki to Chiba in time for the 1992 season and was renamed again the Chiba Lotte Marines.

The selection of uniforms in BBM's Memories of Uniform for the Marines was pretty weak.  There are no cards for the pre-Lotte team and only one card showing a Lotte Orion uniform (the away uniform used from 1973 - 1991).  Also included were the away uniform from 1992-1994 and the home uniform from 1995 to the present.  The other uniforms were an alternate uniform used from 2005-07 and two throwback uniforms - the 1973-1991 Lotte home uniform used in 2008 and the 1992-94 Marines home uniform used in 2011.

The Mainichi home uniforms were white with pinstripes and an old English style "M" on the left breast.  The only real change in the eight years they used this uniform is that there was a red, white and blue patch that appeared on the left sleeve in 1951 and 1952 that celebrated the team's victory in the first Nippon Series in 1950.

2006 BBM Nostalgic Baesball #085

The Mainichi away uniform changed a couple of times however.  The initial away uniform in 1950 was gray with "Mainichi" across the front and a star patch on the left sleeve.  This is the best shot of it that I could find in the cards I have:

1950 JBR2 Shosei Go

They changed the text on the front to say "Orions" in the 1951-55 version of the away uniform.  Like the home uniform, the away uniform featured a patch for the 1950 Nippon Series championship in 1951 and 1952, which can be seen in this shot:

2009 BBM Legend Players #087 (Kaoru Betto)
The text changed again, this time to "Tokyo" in the away uniforms used for the final two seasons of the Mainichi era, 1956-57.  The red, white and blue left sleeve patch reappeared although this time it just said "Orions".

2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #040
Following the merger with Daiei the home uniforms remained white with pinstripes but they now had "Orions" across the front.  This card shows the home uniform but the color of the text is not correct - it was black not red.

1958 JCM 54 "Who Am I?" Menko (Shoichi Ono)
The away uniforms now had "Daimai" across the front.

1958 JCM 68 (Kihachi Enomoto)
The above uniforms were used in 1958 and 1959.  In 1960, the team modified the home uniform to include the number on the pants at the top of the left leg.  They also introduced an interlocking "D" and "M" hat that was only used this season.  The away uniform was grey with white pinstripes and said "Tokyo" across the front.  I have been unable to find any examples of the away uniform but here's two for the home version:

2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #094

2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #214
They removed the uniform number from the pants after the 1960 season and moved it to the front of the jersey.  The home uniform was otherwise pretty much the same but the away uniform went back to solid grey with "Tokyo" across the front.  The hat logo changed to something looking kind of like an old English "D" for 1961, an "O" for 1962-64 and a "T" and "O" for 1965.  Here's a couple examples of each of the hats with two shots of the home uniform and one of the away:

2006 BBM Nostalgic Stars #092

2009 Epoch All Japan Baseball Foundation 15th Anniversary #62

2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #249
The Orions introduced some color into their uniforms in 1966, changing the text on the uniforms to red.  The hat logo changed to a solid red "T".  Unfortunately I don't have color photos of either the home or away uniforms and the pictures I do have don't show the cap:

2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 #369

2007 BBM Draft Story #001
The uniforms changed again for the 1967-68 seasons.  For the first time, the home uniform did not feature pinstripes.  The text on the front of the uniform was still red but it was a smaller font and the number on the front was now in blue or black.  The hat logo changed to a white "T".  Unfortunately I do not have any cards showing this uniform.

The uniforms used during the first four years of the Lotte era were very similar to those of the final two Tokyo Orions seasons.  The text on the front of the uniforms remained red and the home uniform remained pinstripe free.  The biggest changes were that both the home and away uniforms now said "Lotte" across the front (with "Orions" on the left sleeve) and the numbers were removed from the front of the uniform.  The home and away uniforms were essentially identical except for the color.  The hat logo changed to an interlocking "L" and "O" design.

2002 BBM All Time Heroes #185

2002 BBM All Time Heroes #227

1973 brought the final Lotte Orions uniform - a design used until 1992.  Again the home and away uniforms were virtually identical except for color.  The player's name was added to the back of the uniform at this time.  Here's the home uniform (the away uniform was in the set):

1991 BBM #192
The name change in 1992 brought major changes to the uniform.  The front of both the home and away uniforms now said "Marines" in pink.  The home uniforms featured "Chiba" on the left sleeve while the away uniforms had "Lotte".  The hat logo changed to a fairly simple design with "CLM".  Here's the home uniform (the away uniform was in the set):

1994 BBM #236

The home uniform the Marines adopted in 1995 is the same one being used today.  It's very similar to the original Mainichi uniform, white with pinstripes and an "M" in black on the left breast.  The biggest change is the inclusion of the uniform number on the the front of the jersey on the right side.  (This card was included in the set).  The away uniform also did away with the pink text and simply said "Marines" on the front with the number on the left side.

1997 BBM #208
The Marines introduced an alternate black away jersey in 2000.  It's the same design as the regular jersey but with the black and grey inverted:

2000 BBM Late Series #568
I'm not entirely sure but I think that a black jersey became the standard away jersey starting in 2005.  This uniform featured red piping on the front and a red bill on the cap:

2005 BBM Marines #M030
The away jersey changed again in 2010 to the one now in use:

2010 BBM 2nd Version #708
The Marines have used a large number of alternate uniforms over the years.  I was not able to track them all down (most significantly I was unable to find a card showing the 1998 sleeveless jersey) but I was able to find the 2003-04 alternate (3rd) visitors jersey, the 2005-07 alternate home uniform, the 2008-09 home and away alternates and the 2010 "3rd" jersey.  I'm not positive but I think a bunch of the post-2004 alternates were used for interleague.

2003 BBM 2nd Version #718

2011 BBM Marines 20th Anniversary #86

2008 BBM 2nd Version #642

2009 BBM 2nd Version #602

2010 BBM 2nd Version #709


Ryan G said...

Great idea, and nice extensive research! I've considered putting together a frankenset or collection (whatever you want to call it) of all the uniforms on cardboard. If I decide to do it, I'll be using your post series for research! And if not, it'll be an interesting read and good resource.

I like the pink uniforms. They're just so unique. If I see any of them in a secondhand shop I'll pick one up.

NPB Card Guy said...

Thanks. I didn't realize going into this how much work this was going to be. This will be a slow project.