Jump to content

Charlotte Knights in the 90s

Recommended Posts

One thing that's always caught my attention has been uniforms. You can probably already figure this out from the number of uni mods I've released over the years - but there has always been one little thing that's been nagging me, and it's been the Charlotte Knights. In the 90s, the only ways to really tell what a minor team wore was to either look at their baseball cards or be fortunate enough to catch a game on local TV or be able to purchase merchandise from the team store. Nowadays with the internet, things have come a bit easier but tracking down what a team wore during these eras can be difficult. So here's an overview of the Charlotte Knights and why they've been such a pain in my backside.


We'll start in 1992. This was the Knights' final year with the Chicago Cubs. During this time, they wore a set they debuted in 1991, back when they were a Double-A Southern League affiliate. For a recap here's the 1992 uniforms:


8459-61Fr.jpg   618DRnthMaL._AC_SL1107_.jpg


You'll notice that the uniforms very vaguely resemble their parent club. The cubs didn't have the "racing stripes" but the big C on the left chest and then the block letters of the city name on the road uniform were close enough. After the Indians came to town and brought Triple-A baseball with them in 1993, there were a differences. The pinstripes remained, but instead of the big C, a new "Knights" script was featured at home, and a brand new "Charlotte" lettering was featured on the road.


0000293452__49990.1557805035.jpg?c=2    image.jpg


This was a one-year stopgap as in 1994, the Knights joined the 90s trend of teal and purple, rolling out an entirely new uniform set. In fact, one could argue that the teal and purple craze was born in Charlotte. When the NBA awarded the city a franchise in 1988, the Hornets debuted a teal road uniform and a white home uniform, each with spaced out vertical pinstripes. In 1994, the Hornets would add a purple alternate uniform. The Knights seemed to capitalize on this growing trend. The Knights' home pinstripes were retained, albeit in teal, with an updated "Knights" lettering on the front. The pinstripes carried over to the road uniform. A new teal hat with "K" stylized as a castle turret logo and a purple bill was adoped. Also added was a purple alternate jersey with the new "Charlotte" wordmark from the road jersey being featured in teal. Numbers on the front of the jerseys were dropped and wouldn't reappear until 1999.


13102612513872.jpg  117963a_med.jpeg   image.jpg



In 1995, the Knights affiliation switched to the Florida Marlins, and they kept the same home uniform until 1999. However after 1996 (either 1997 or 1998) the Knights switched their road uniform to a solid gray without the pinstripes. There is no picture evidence that I was able to find for this change, with the exception of an eBay listing, which I'll show below:




There are two glaring errors in this jersey, and it comes from the sleeve patches. On the right sleeve is an Anaheim Angels patch that would have been used from 1997-2001. However, the Knights were never an Angels affiliate, immediately making this incorrect. The other issue is the left sleeve patch, which features and American and Canadian flag, suggesting the CanAm league, which didn't come into existence until 2005. That being said, I WAS able to find another eBay listing with the same jersey without the patches, dated later than the previous picture. This seems to lend credence to the idea that this was indeed a legit Charlotte Knights jersey that didn't have random patches added to it.


This was a good start, but I needed to prove it's authenticity somehow. I scoured footage of old AAA All-Star games without luck, when I decided to visit the team website. In the front office, it showed the Director of Broadcasting to be Matt Swierad, who has worked with the team since 1998. Score! I was able to ask him if he remembered what the Knights wore on the road that year. Matt graciously replied to me a couple weeks ago, and told me that he did not recall pinstripes on the road. He remembered the home pinstripes well, but was almost positive that the Knights wore solid gray on the road that year.


That was good enough for me. So, in looking at old eBay listings featuring the pinstriped road jersey, I've been able to determine that the Knights wore pinstripes on the road until AT LEAST 1996, with a small possibility of 1997 as well. By 1998, the team dropped the pinstripes on the road, switching to a solid gray jersey with black piping. The sleeve stripes were white at the tips, followed by a middle strip of black, then a top strip of purple. So far as I can tell, no patches were worn on the sleeves. The purple alternate jersey remained unchanged.


This new look would be dropped in 1999, as the Knights switched affiliation to the Chicago White Sox. With the new affiliation came new uniforms. Navy blue and green, formerly used back in 1993, were returned as the team's primary colors. The team wore green caps with navy bills, and the home pinstripes were retained with a new "Knights" wordmark across the chest, while a new solid gray road uniform with another new "Charlotte" wordmark was featured, this time with a number on the front. An alternate green vest, worn with blue sleeves was added to the rotation.


s-l500.jpg    Luis-Raven.jpg?id=d73d2232-c3e7-46e8-8d4  Kip-Wells.jpg?id=1e938ffb-e36e-4256-a6ab


You can see from the last two cards, both issued in 2000, there was still some use of the old Knights logo (in center) and the new logo (at right). In the years since, there have been a few other alterations, a couple of rebrands, but as of 2023 teal has returned! After all, with the rich history of teal in Charlotte, who could blame them for celebrating it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...