Thursday, July 16, 2015

Pittsburgh Pirates: The final uniform

You just never know what surprises are lurking in the old newspaper archives. I came across this stunning shot of Archie Briden, a left winger for Pittsburgh's first entry in the NHL, the Pirates. Briden played for the team during their disastrous fifth and final season, 1929-30, eventually being sold for money by the cash-strapped Corsairs.

In this era, game-action images were rare in newspapers. When there was imagery to go along with a story, it was usually a posed shot such as this one. I've never seen such a clear picture of a member of the Pirates sporting this style of uniform, though. The details really jump out at you.

The Pirates had almost as many uniform styles (three) as they did seasons in the league (five). This one was black and orange and in many respects was way ahead of its time. Notice the diagonal striping, similar to the original Mighty Ducks of Anaheim jerseys, and the pirate logo on the front left pant leg, which to my knowledge wasn't widely used until the 1980s.

For my money, you can't beat the Pirates' original black and gold uniforms, but this shot proves just how much of a winner the final version was - even if the team wasn't.

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