ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Ever wonder what the Tampa Bay Rays would have looked like in 1979? Saturday night was a chance to find out.
A game between the Rays and Chicago White Sox was “Turn Back the Clock Night” at Tropicana Field, where both teams paid tribute to the 1970s. The Rays, of course, played their first season as the “Devil Rays” in 1998, 19 years after the date their throwback uniforms were created to depict. Meanwhile, the White Sox wore their home white uniforms from 1972.
The Rays’ uniforms, which included various shades of blue and yellow, were worn for a second consecutive year. The first time resulted in a loss to the Detroit Tigers on June 30, 2012, at Tropicana Field.
Here’s how the team’s game notes described the look: “This is the second straight year the Rays will wear a hypothetical uniform from 1979 that celebrates the style of the era while keeping the Rays’ modern colors … a patch on the left sleeve of the jersey features a City of St. Petersburg seal that was used in 1979.”
“Whoever designed them, I thought they did a really good job with it,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “It definitely reeks of the mid-70s. I like that. It brings back a lot of wonderful memories. My first uniform was kind of like that with the Angels (he played for Single-A affiliates from 1976 to 1979). … It’s kind of fun to wear them, and I think the fans will appreciate them.”
The night included a variety of ’70s touches. Various songs and highlights from the era were played during pregame festivities. Before the first inning, the Rays’ defensive lineup was introduced on the video board behind the right-field wall to the theme of the hit TV series “The Brady Bunch.”
“I think they’re very tasty,” Maddon said of the throwback uniforms. “I think they appeal to the fan base.”