Sandomir: Marc Okkonen, baseball maven of a sartorial bent, dies at 85

From Richard Sandomir at the New York Times on May 31, 2019:

Marc Okkonen was watching the movie “The Natural” in 1984 when his attention shifted from its story of the mysterious slugger Roy Hobbs, played by Robert Redford, to the uniforms worn by Hobbs’s opponents onscreen.

Mr. Okkonen, a commercial artist and baseball aficionado with an appreciation for vintage apparel, spotted flaws in the purported uniforms of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs and wondered why they were not precise replicas of the originals from 1939, when the movie takes place. Given how thoroughly documented baseball’s history is, he thought, accurate details would not have been too difficult to uncover.

But, to Mr. Okkonen’s surprise, he could find no single volume containing images of historic uniforms, so he set out to fill that void. He spent the next five years poring through books, microfilms and archives, including those at the Library of Congress and the Baseball Hall of Fame, to find images of every home and road uniform worn by all major league teams, starting in 1900.

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Originally published: June 3, 2019. Last Updated: June 3, 2019.