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Battle of the uniforms: The Championship Round 1940 vs 1969 - A Hunt and Peck

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Florida Marlins v St. Louis Cardinals Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

A few weeks ago I posited the question: What is the best Cardinals uniform ever?

Well friends, there is only one way to find out: Battle Royale.

So, to determine the best Cardinals uniform ever, I have, with your gracious assistance, created a bracket where each uniform will duke it out until we have a winner.

(Many of you have asked about the alternate jersey the Cardinals debuted in 2013. Don't worry, folks. I have a plan. Trust the system.)

Here is the bracket, updated to reflect the winner of the previous matchup:

1940 doubled up on 1991 to make it to the championship round. And now, to decide our winner.

This week the voting continues with...

I think we all knew at the beginning these two uniforms would be dueling it out for supremacy and it is easy to why. Both these uniforms combine that classic Cardinals look, but manage to bring their own distinct style from their eras into the mix as well. The team also experience a considerable amount of success in each respective uni, upping the nostalgia factor as well.

The 1940 uniform took the number one seed and it is not difficult to see why. The uniform displays the beautiful simplicity we have grown to know and love with the team’s current design. The team deviated from this iconic logo a few times, but ultimately always brought is back. In 1934 the team brought back the Birds on the Bat with the city name inscribed on the front. Around 1940, the team changed the city name back to "Cardinals". The simple birds and font coupled with the red piping has made this uniform an instant classic (despite the fact that it featured a zipper in 1939). It is modeled above by who I think is Billy Southworth, the manager in 1940.

Notable achievements:

  • The 1940 team finished 84-69 for third in the National League, led by first baseman Johnny Mize with 7.4 bWAR
  • Between 1934 and 1954, the era this uniform or some similar variant was worn, the Cardinals we 1884 - 1344, good for a .577 winning percentage and went to the World Series five times, winning four times
  • The uniform is largely associated with the "Gashouse Gang" of the 1934 Cardinals, a term meant to be an insult at the team’s shabby appearance, but became a source of pride, a shot at the "aristocracy" of the American League

The 1969 uniform was truly adopted around 1962 - when the players numbers began appearing on the front of the jersey - though with slight modifications to the birds on the bat over the years until the version we see above modeled by the lovely Steve Carlton. The Cardinals would essentially stick with this version to this day (with perhaps a much-maligned addition of "googly eyes"). The birds are a bit smaller than the present day’s version and these uniforms were wool, giving them a more rugged, durable look. The hat, of course, is the same iconic hat we know and love. Simplicity is key with jersey - it doesn’t try to do too much, there is no piping or gimmicks. It is the perfect combination of white space and design, which is why it is a classic uniform that has truly stood the test of time.

Notable achievements:

  • 1964 was the year the Cardinals acquired Lou Brock. The Cardinals would go on to face the Yankees in the World Series that year. Bob Gibson pitched three games of that series with thirty-one strikeouts across those games. He earned the MVP. His battery mate, Tim McCarver, also put up good numbers with a .478 series average with a double, triple, homer, and five RBI
  • The next two years belonged the Dodgers until 1967 when the Cardinals returned to the series, besting the Red Sox in seven games
  • The Cardinals repeated as National League Champions in 1968, but lost the series to the Tigers in seven games
  • 1969 was one of the final years in this uniform and the last year before AstroTurf was added to the stadium
  • Harry Caray was also fired in 1969, marking what truly was an end of an era
  • Bob Gibson and Curt Flood won Gold Gloves in 1969

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The Evolution of the St. Louis Cardinals Jersey

St. Louis Cardinals Uniform and Team History | Heritage Uniforms and Jerseys

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