The A’s turn back the clock to 1965 in Kansas City

Posted on June 30, 2015

The Oakland Athletics stand for the National Anthem before the game against the Kansas City Royals at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

 

I have written this before and I will write it again. No team in baseball puts on a turn back the clock day better than the Oakland Athletics. Thanks to a rich team history and fantastic equipment manager Steve Vucinich the A’s wear some of the best throwback uniforms each time they honor their past. Their game last Saturday against the Kansas City Royals looked back at 1965 when the A’s were still playing in Kansas City (they moved to Oakland in 1968). Every time the A’s break out a version of their classic uniforms, be it the 1969 all gold togs I wrote about in 2013, or the 1968 uniforms they wore back in 2008, my favorite part of the uniforms is always the Kelly Green. This beautiful color was a staple for the A’s as a main trim color, and the color of their hats for many years until they made the switch to their current darker Forrest Green color in 1982. After seeing this fabulous color again and having the chance to photograph the A’s wearing Kelly Green hats again on Saturday (with the very cool white KC logo) it makes me wish they would ditch the dark green permanently and go back in time every day and honor their great tradition. I know I am not alone with this opinion.

Kendall Graveman #31 of the Oakland Athletics gets a photography lesson from team photographer Michael Zagaris before the game against the Kansas City Royals at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

The old Oakland Athletics mascot Charlie O. the mule walks on the field during turn back the clock day ceremonies before the game against the Kansas City Royals at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Former Kansas City Athletics star John “Blue Moon” Odom waves to the fans during turn back the clock day ceremonies before the game against the Kansas City Royals at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Coach Mike Gallego #2, manager Bob Melvin #6, and coach Mike Aldrete #14 of the Oakland Athletics wait in the dugout before the game against the Kansas City Royals at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

The pre-game highlight for me was getting the chance to see and photograph the famous mule Charlie O., who would be making his first appearance on the field in many years. The crack A’s PR staff had tracked down his original blanket and I just had to see this famous A’s mascot from the early days in Kansas City that I first laid eyes on back in 1972 when I attended my first A’s game (against the Texas Rangers. Vida Blue pitched. It was a Monday night half-priced Family night) as a 7-year-old kid with my grandma Clara and my grandpa Augie. What little kid doesn’t love seeing a mule on the field before a game? It was awesome! While eating lunch in the press dining room before the game I asked A’s Media Relations & Broadcasting Coordinator Zak Basch when the mule was coming onto the field. I was afraid I would miss Charlie O.! He assured me I had plenty of time and promised me I would get a great shot of the mule. He was right. Thanks so much for all your help Zak!

Stephen Vogt #21 of the Oakland Athletics bats against the Kansas City Royals during the game at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Detail of cleats and striped socks worn by Josh Reddick #22 of the Oakland Athletics while batting against the Kansas City Royals during the game at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Sam Fuld #23 of the Oakland Athletics slides safely into third base against the Kansas City Royals during the game at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Sam Fuld #23 of the Oakland Athletics runs from third to home to score a run against the Kansas City Royals during the game at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Sam Fuld #23 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates after scoring a run against the Kansas City Royals during the game at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Since the visiting Royals were wearing their current 2015 road grey pants with road alternate dark blue tops I was not very excited to shoot much of them on this day that showed Kansas City vs. Kansas City on the scoreboard. For me it was all about the A’s in their sweet 1965 uniforms. Sure they weren’t perfect. In 1965 when the A’s first went green and gold under the brilliance of owner Charlie Finley they still wore black shoes but that’s OK. The white vests with the proper single capital “A” in Fort Knox Gold trimmed in Kelly Green looked fabulous. I could not get enough pictures of the A’s on this day. I needed extra innings. Lots of runs. Lots of action. I got none of that, but I did get some wonderful cloud cover that provided a terrific soft light that made the pictures look great in the later innings.

Scott Kazmir #26 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Kansas City Royals during the game at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Scott Kazmir #26 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Kansas City Royals during the game at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Scott Kazmir #26 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Kansas City Royals during the game at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Scott Kazmir #26 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Kansas City Royals during the game at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Stephen Vogt #21 of the Oakland Athletics bats against the Kansas City Royals during the game at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Ike Davis #17 of the Oakland Athletics bats against the Kansas City Royals during the game at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Brett Lawrie #15 of the Oakland Athletics bats against the Kansas City Royals during the game at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Brett Lawrie #15 of the Oakland Athletics bats against the Kansas City Royals during the game at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Brett Lawrie #15 of the Oakland Athletics bats against the Kansas City Royals during the game at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Jesse Hahn #32 and Sean Doolittle #62 of the Oakland Athletics sit in the dugout on Gatorade containers during the game against the Kansas City Royals at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Jesse Hahn #30, Pat Venditte #29, Brett Lawrie #15, Sonny Gray #54, Jesse Hahn #32, and Sean Doolittle #62 of the Oakland Athletics watch from the dugout during the game against the Kansas City Royals at O.co Coliseum on Saturday, June 27, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

By the time this game ended I was sad it was all over. This is one game I look forward to all season. They don’t do this every year. They did not have a turn back the clock day last year in Oakland. Who knows if they will do it again next year? I remember shooting Dennis Eckersley pitching for the A’s at my first turn back the clock game in Oakland back in 1992. Why do I have such vivid memories of that game in 1992? Because I love turn back the clock day! Let’s do it again  next year. Please?

What Others Are Saying

  1. Tom Duffy July 1, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Something about a nostalgia piece on baseball that really grabs my attention these days. Maybe it’s my age. 😉

    Really enjoyed this one- well done, Brad.

  2. JD Denison July 1, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    The guys looked great, certainly. But, these shots are all you. Man, you’re a talented guy! Great work.

    Thank you very much for sharing.

  3. Doug McWilliams July 1, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Great photography Brad, and great memories, I like the TBTC games best also, especially when they honor the old Oakland Oaks of the PCL. But that is showing my age.
    I’ve been told there will be new uniforms for the A’s next year – maybe they will use Kelly Green again. We can hope.

  4. Z-Man July 2, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    As usual…you nailed in…both in imagery AND text. I’m just sorry the late vendor Abe Souza wasn’t aboard Charlie O as they led him around the field (It was Abe’s 90th birthday)…or YOU atop Charlie O with Zach leading him…

  5. jimmymac August 25, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    thanks for the great piece I collect A’s flannel vests from the Finley era The white w gold logo and numerals is the hardest of all to find I have a George Williams from 1964 Its the only one Ive come across in my research Finley believed people who bought color tv sets were getting cheated by baseball I think he went to Notre Dame and may have borrowed the colors from there but he wanted people to know it was his team on the field It may have been that the gold on white didn’t show up so well on black and white tv which was still predominate in early/mid sixties anyway those jerseys never made it to Oakland
    they were all stripped and send down to the minors

  6. jimmymac August 25, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    first time to comment Im a big fan

  7. Brad Mangin August 26, 2015 at 12:41 am

    Thanks for the nice note jimmymac- glad you like the blog post. The uniforms were beautiful in person!

    Brad

  8. jimmymac August 26, 2015 at 1:51 am

    you are right the A’s are long overdue to return to those colors if not the colors the A from 1963 would be a cool start keep up the great work

  9. Barbara Morgan October 11, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    I was just watching the video of the band that opened for tbis special game. Too bad they I’d not get a mention or photo published. Did you take any shots of the band, if so I’d live to see some. As I recall the band’s singer also sang the National Anthem that day. Besutiful game/players shots.

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