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The sadness of Little League uniforms without major league affiliation

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I was jealous of those who got to play in logos of real teams

It’s jersey week at SB Nation, but my main experience with an Angels jersey wasn’t of the major league variety, nor even a close proximity. And that’s the problem.

I’m not much of a jersey-wearing type these days, but if I was, my Angels jersey would definitely be a Dave Spiwack jersey from The Naked Gun. It’s the perfect era of Angels uniforms for me, plus an homage to the best baseball scene ever in a movie.

But my real experience to date wearing an Angels jersey, or shirt in this case, came in Little League. I grew up in Palm Springs, and we got all the Los Angeles television stations. The Angels and Dodgers were our local teams, and both had radio affiliates in the desert. Palm Springs was even the part-time spring training home of the Angels at the time, and their Class-A team played in the city. There were definite Angels vibes in Palm Springs.

I don’t remember the exact year, but my one year on the Angels might as well have been in name only. Because our jerseys did not say Angels anywhere on them. I mean, look at this:

Jerseys is a loose term, because they were essentially shirts, which is fine. We were kids, after all. No need for extravagance. But some sort of baseball recognition would be nice. I wore a baseball shirt underneath to make it feel more real.

I tried to mask the sadness in my face in that “Angels” jersey, but I couldn’t hold it in here, maybe a year earlier. I don’t even remember what team this was BECAUSE WE DIDN’T HAVE TEAM NAMES ON OUR JERSEYS.

The face of dejection

All I wanted was to have a real team name, feel like a major leaguer. I even bought flip-up sunglasses one year, trying to prolong the illusion. I knew I wasn’t a good player, and a professional future on the field wasn’t going to be in the cards. Little League was my chance to pretend, but it was harder with such generic jerseys.

I was jealous of my cousin, who not only wore major league licensed uniforms, but also had a baseball card made. His last name isn’t Rockefeller, either. And look at our own Blake Harris, seem here in his Angels years. Look how happy he is, knowing his team has major league affiliation.

Thanks for signing this card, and for wearing a dad hat at age 12.
The pure happiness of wearing a major league team name while playing baseball

I eventually got my wish, for two years in senior league when we had a major league name. But this was a real monkey’s paw situation, because that name was the hated Giants. Ugh. Luckily, my coach was cool and allowed us to wear whatever hat we wanted during games. Notice that even then we didn’t have real major league logos, just script writing. And I had to make my own baseball card, taking an X-Acto knife to a 1990 Topps Candy Maldonado card.

No power whatsoever, but I had a good eye.

This picture was taken at our little league field, just behind Angel Stadium, where the Class-A team played and where major league spring training was held. You know, where players wore real jerseys.

Please share your favorite jerseys, Angels, Little League, or otherwise, in the comments below.