Throwback jerseys, such as a Mighty Ducks throwback jersey, are uniforms that are made to resemble the uniforms that teams wore in the past. Limited time or one-time uniforms are occasionally produced to be worn by teams in games or special occasions, such as significant events and anniversaries. Throwback jerseys have become popular with major college and pro sports, not only with fans but also with the merchandise departments. Since the authentic and replica jerseys have become popular at retail stores, the leagues have now referred to throwback jerseys as third jerseys.
Hockey Throwback Jerseys
Throwback jerseys in the National Hockey League were first introduced during the 75th anniversary season in 1991. At the time, only the original six teams wore any throwbacks but they were also used during the All-Star Game. The NHL has replaced the heavy wool sweaters they wore with more modern air knit jerseys but these new jerseys were consistent with the original versions with some few exceptions. Player names were also worn on the back of throwback uniforms even though this wasn’t always the case.
Other teams have introduced fauxback jerseys. These are jerseys that haven’t been worn in the past but look like they are vintage. In recent years, Reebok has made additional replica jerseys available in addition to those that are in current use. When Adidas reinstated the third jersey program in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, there were a few teams that used the occasion to reveal Heritage uniforms that are only used on a part-time basis.
Football Throwback Jerseys
Throwback jerseys in the NFL were started in 1991. The designs varied widely in their accuracy. Some of the throwback jerseys have become so popular that fans continue to want the jerseys for the regular season. During the 2013 season, the NFL prohibited the use of alternative colored helmets, which eliminated many of the historically accurate throwback jerseys that have been used up to that point. Teams are still allowed to use alternate decals for throwbacks but still must use regular helmets.
Basketball Throwback Jerseys
To celebrate the 50th anniversary, the NBA introduced throwback jerseys known as “Hardwood Classics.” In the past, the NBA has used some of the more gaudy uniforms. The usage of throwback uniforms has inspired some other NBA teams to acquire elements used from old uniform designs in creating their new uniforms. For example, the Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons, and Golden State Warriors have reverted to the original colors and added in some accent colors to have a more modern look.
Some throwback jerseys, such as the Mighty Ducks throwback jersey, are more popular than others. Some other popular ones include the 49ers 1955 throwbacks, Boston Burins 1927 Era Jersey, and the Steelers 75th NFL Anniversary Jersey.