Braves, Phils honor past with special uniforms

Braves, Phils honor past with special uniforms

Braves, Phils honor past with special uniforms
ATLANTA -- As Civil Rights Weekend draws to a crescendo on Sunday, the Braves and the Phillies will spend the final two games of their series sporting throwback uniforms to honor baseball's African-American legends.

On Saturday, both clubs took the field in Negro League uniforms. The Braves wore jerseys popularized by the Black Crackers, which featured off-white jerseys with "ATLANTA" in red across the front to go along with blue caps featuring a bold, white "A."

The Phillies honored the Philadelphia Stars as they donned their gray jerseys with "Phila. Stars" across the front.

"I really think it's fun to wear the throwbacks. I always like it," Braves utility man Eric Hinske said before the game. "All different kinds of them. The Negro League jerseys and all of that stuff is real cool."

Right fielder Jason Heyward also liked the uniforms, but acknowledged he would have preferred to have worn the Black Crackers uniforms that featured "ABC" across the front of the jersey.

"It's something different. There are worse things you could be wearing, like the Spring Training green," Heyward said, laughing. "That's not too fun, but it's going to be pretty cool to wear these."

Hinske's only complaint with the jerseys was the weight of the material, noting how it may be difficult to play in them should the game take place during the heat of the day.

"They're just not that comfortable. You kind of feel restricted," Hinske said. "The sleeves are long and you can get locked up a little."

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Phillies starter Joe Blanton, who suffered the loss Saturday after giving up two runs in five innings, agreed with Hinske's assessment.

"It was a weird uniform. It was different. When I first put it on it felt weird, but by the time I got warmed up you're not even thinking about it anymore," Blanton said. "They were super baggy. They were like sweatpants."

Hinske says he prefers Sunday's throwbacks better. The two teams will wear uniforms from 1974, the famed year that saw Hank Aaron break Babe Ruth's home run record when he hit his 715th on April 8.

The Atlanta uniform is white with blue sleeves and features "Braves" across the front in blue, while the Phillies will wear their classic blue uniforms with red stripes along the sides and "P" on the left chest.

How does Hinske plan to honor Aaron and the other African-American players from the past?

"I gotta go deep like Hank Aaron," he said. "Try and hit homers."

Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.