Welcome to The Vault, the weekly blog post that takes a look back at some of the best (and worst) jerseys throughout sports history. Each week, a classic set of threads each from the sports of football, basketball, hockey, baseball, and soccer will be revisited.
All submissions are welcome by messaging @tftb_smalls on Instagram.
Football: Houston Oilers QB Warren Moon
Our first jersey this week was worn by Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon. This University of Washington product went undrafted in the 1978 NFL Draft, and proceeded to spend six years playing for the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League (gross, I know), where he won five straight championships. When he came to the NFL in 1984, Moon became the starting quarterback for the Houston Oilers. He went on to throw for 49,325 yards in his career, and led the league in passing yards in both 1990 and 1991. Moon also played for the Vikings, Seahawks, and Chiefs throughout his career. By the time he retired, Moon ranked third all-time in passing yards, despite playing his first six seasons in Canada. The baby blue Oilers jerseys are iconic, and since Moon was one of the best players to ever don it, it is featured as this week’s set of football threads.
Basketball: Boston Celtics PF Brian Scalabrine
Our first featured basketball jersey is none other than the White Mamba himself, Brian Scalabrine. Most known for his modest fundamentals and cheerleading from the bench, “Scal” was a fan-favorite in Boston, where he played from 2005 to 2010. The 6’9″ red-headed monster was on the team for the 2008 NBA championship win over the Lakers, and was later traded to the Chicago Bulls. He is currently working as a broadcaster for NBC Sports Boston. He’s also on the Ball Hogs, a Big3 showcase team, with other former NBA players. While he doesn’t have the stats or accolades to land him in the Hall of Fame, Scalabrine still remains in the hearts of all Celtics fans. It’s because of this and his incredible display of fundamentals shown below that I’m including his edition of the already timeless Celtics jersey in this week’s Vault.
Hockey: Buffalo Sabres G Dominik Hasek
The featured hockey jersey this week was worn by NHL legend Dominik “The Dominator” Hasek. Johnny Violence already went in-depth on why he believes Hasek is his #3 goalie of all time, so I’ll just give you the condensed version:
- Two-time Hart Trophy winner
- Six-time Vezina Trophy winner
- Two-time Stanley Cup champion
- Six-time NHL All-Star
Although his Stanley Cups came during his stints in Detroit, Hasek still won all six of his Vezina Trophies while minding the net in Buffalo. I personally love the 1996-1997 Sabres jersey because it’s a very distinct alternative to the current design up in Buffalo. Because of that and Hasek’s dominance that season, this sweater locked up the hockey portion of this week’s Vault.
Baseball: Auburn Tigers OF Bo Jackson
For this week’s baseball portion, we’re gonna go the college rout and look at perhaps the greatest collegiate athlete to ever live, Bo Jackson. While everyone knows about Jackson’s incredible and Heisman-winning football career at Auburn, he also was on the Tigers’ baseball team. In his 1985 season at Auburn, Jackson had an impressive .401 batting average and .500 OBP. In a 1985 scouting report, a major league scout called Jackson the “best pure athlete in America today”. After being suspended from playing his senior baseball season for visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jackson was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1986, and made his major league debut just one season later. He made the MLB All-Star Game in 1989, and before a career-ending hip injury that occurred while playing for the Oakland Raiders, he hit 141 homers during his major league career. Since Jackson is considered to be one of the greatest athletes of all time, his rarely-seen Auburn baseball jersey is included in this week’s Vault.
Soccer: Unites States CB Alexi Lalas
Our last jersey this week is somehow both hideous and patriotic at the same time. This kit was worn by the United States squad in the 1994 FIFA World Cup. It was the first and only FIFA World Cup the United States had hosted, and the men’s national team went on to advance out of Group A to the knockout round. In the group stage, the US defeated the Colombian national team, which was considered one of the best teams in the world at that time. In that match, Colombian defender Andres Escobar scored his infamous own goal to put the US on the board first. The game ended 2-1 in favor of the Stars and Stripes. It was one of the great moments in American soccer, and to have it happen on our own soil for the whole world to see was incredible. The jerseys themselves did look like Uncle Sam himself took a s**t on a blank Adidas t-shirt, but they were still worn in one of the more memorable games in US soccer history. I only picked Alexi Lalas because, well… look at that glorious goatee and lettuce he had going. What an American hero.
If you have any jerseys that you’d like to see on the Vault, please feel free to message @tftb_smalls on Instagram. Input is always welcome.