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There’s No Service Like Wire Service, Vol. 53

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Hi there. In case you missed it yesterday, you can find out what I did during my August break here. Meanwhile, it’s time for another round of wire service photos. All of these were submitted by Bruce Menard, so big thanks to him. Here we go:

• Major find here: Yankees outfielder Ping Bodie wearing what appears to be a vented cap in 1920. I was curious, so I looked for more photos of him and found this. I guess he didn’t want to overheat!

• Here’s a rare sight: Davey Concepcion, and his captain’s “C,” pitching.

• Just as rare: Lefty Gomez in a Washington Senators uni. He pitched one game for them in 1943.

• Two interesting things in this 1974 shot: The Braves’ wives wore pullover jerseys and shorts for a pregame softball contest, and pitcher Danny Frisella’s 15-month-old son tried to get into the action in his birthday suit.

• You might know that Pumpsie Green was the first black player to play for the Red Sox. Here he is as a Minneapolis Miller.

• Interesting souvenir vendor at the 1954 MLB All-Star Game. Look at all those pins with ribbons — didn’t realize those were once popular items with fans.

• Sandy Koufax is probably baseball’s most famous Jewish ballplayer, so it’s funny to see him as part of a “Merry Christmas” photo.

• Speaking of Jewish players, I love the juxtaposition of massive Hank Greenberg and tiny Lenny Merullo Jr. Good to see the tyke wearing the period-appropriate uni, right down to the striped stirrups!

• Didn’t realize that slugger Jimmie Foxx once managed the Fort Wayne Daisies, a women’s team. Quite a difference between his uniform and theirs.

• Another Hall of Famer coaching the ladies: Ty Cobb gives batting tips to female players, but at least these women got to wear pants.

• Love the fireworks sleeve patch on this 1948 McAlester Rockets uniform.

• Check out Pee Wee Reese wearing a 1939 American Association all-star cap. Wish we could see the jersey.

• The 1937 San Francisco Seals had two sets of brothers — a pair of Lillards and a pair of DiMaggios. No NOBs back then, so they didn’t have to worry about initials. Also, note the assorted belt buckle positionings.

• Oooh, here’s a beauty from the gridiron — I give you the 1936 Boston Shamrocks. Someone colorize that!

• Another great football shot, this time of the 1927 Cleveland Bulldogs. Love those sweatshirts!

• House of David players had an unfair advantage for the hidden-ball trick. Also, very cool to see the awesome Babe Didrickson in a baseball uni!

• Here’s Babe Didrickson again, this time in a track and field uni. Love the collar points. Also: Was she sock-less?

• Let’s just say that this wasn’t the Brooklyn Dodgers’ proudest moment and leave it at that.

• Back in April I did an entry on black MLB trainers who wore uniforms (or at least jerseys), one of whom was Waller Irvin of the Giants. Here he is wearing a jersey in the clubhouse with Rogers Hornsby.

• Here’s baseball’s first commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, wearing a cap of uncertain origin.

• You’ll never get a better view of the 1907 St. Louis Browns’ sleeve patch.

• The 1922 World Series featured a chimp in a New York Giants uni. (Doesn’t quite match what the team was wearing, however.)

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Baseball News: According to this entry, the Cubs will be wearing a “2008 home throwback” on Sunday. That same promotion is listed here. Not sure what to make of that, since their 2008 home jersey was identical to their current one. … Speaking of the Cubs, they wore Jackie Robinson West tribute uniforms for BP yesterday. … Jonathan Nisula wonders what the Philllies’ uniforms would be like with a bit more blue. … Andrew McCutchen mistakenly wore the Pirates’ alternate cap with the road grays yesterday (from John Dankosky). … Speaking of the Pirates, catcher Russell Martin wore bogus two-in-one throwback stirrups on Sunday (from Greg Shemitz).

College Football News: Here’s something I hadn’t realized: Notre Dame’s Shamrock Series uniform has gold flake in the facemask (from Adam Pavlovich). … Here’s a look at old uniforms worn by the Northwestern marching band (from Mark Graban). … Those white Michigan State helmets that have been circulating are bogus (thanks, Phil). … Utah was wearing a helmet decal for Spence Eccles’s 80th birthday last Thursday. “Eccles is a Utah alum and a major donor to the university,” explains Bob Aagard. “His name is on three buildings: the Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building, the Spence Eccles Field House (which is the football team’s practice facility), and Rice-Eccles Stadium.” … Northern Illinois has added a memorial decal for former athletic director Robert J. Brigham, who died back in May (thanks, Phil).

Soccer News: All of these are from Yusuke Toyoda: Brutal number font for Valencia. … There was a rare claret vs red match-up in the Premier League, with Southampton wearing its home kit against West Ham. “The Saints’ blue away kit would have also clashed with claret, and they don’t have a third kit,” says Yusuke. … Chelsea players wore black armbands this past weekend in honor of the late Richard Attenborough, who was a lifelong supporter and one-time club director. … Schalke 04 made its player tunnel look like a coal mine as a tribute to the area’s mining heritage. … Legia Warsaw has been charged by the UEFA due to fan’s rather impressive protest banner, which followed the club’s disqualification from the Champions League playoffs for fielding an ineligible player.

Back in the Saddle

I’m back. Miss me?

This was the sixth year in a row that I’ve disengaged from the site for most of the month of August (insert repeated mega-thanks to Phil for keeping the ship running smoothly in my absence). It’s not a full-on vacation, because I still have to do ESPN work, including the one-two punch of the pro and college football season previews, which are two of my biggest columns of the year. But taking a break from the daily grind of the blog lets me recharge my batteries a bit and, at least theoretically, frees me up to cross a few things off of my “to do” list.

I say “theoretically” because experience has shown that I’m not always so good at crossing things off that list during my August blog break. You go out for a few beers with friends, you see a few movies, you take a few naps, and before you know it the month is gone. With that in mind, I set more modest goals for myself this year. How’d I do? Let’s take a look at the list I created for myself:

1. Get new eyeglasses. It had been nearly two years since my last eye exam, so I went and got my eyes checked and got a new prescription (similar to but slightly stronger than the last one). I thought I’d singled out the new frames that I wanted, but then I attended a wedding and decided I really liked the groom’s frames, which, as it turns out, aren’t carried by any of my local shops. So I’ve mail-ordered a pair, which is slated to arrive on Wednesday. Then I’ll get the new lenses. So while I haven’t crossed this one off the list yet, it should be taken care of in another week or so. Check.

2. Get a new tattoo. This wasn’t actually on the initial list, but then I was at an early-August party with lots of people who had very nice tats, and I thought, “That’s what I should do during August break — get some new ink.” The thing is, I’ve been wanting to get a new tat for years now, but no design has really grabbed me. So while I tinkered with a few concepts (something bowling-related, a butchery chart, maybe an old toaster [that's was actually Phil's idea, and a good one]), I didn’t feel passionate enough about any of them to pull the trigger. Dang. Whiff.

3. Get a bird feeder. Obviously, something as simple as strolling over to the local hardware store and picking up a bird feeder isn’t the kind of thing that should require an August break to take care of. But somehow this became one of those tasks I kept putting off, so it went on the August list. Finally took care of it this past weekend, and now there’s a very nice feeder hanging on my kitchen fire escape. The cats are gonna fucking go nuts, which of course is the whole point. Check.

4. Grown-up stuff. I’ve been meaning to set up a living will and a healthcare proxy, and I figured August would be the time to take care of them. Instead, August turned out to be the time when I completely ignored them. Please don’t bother telling me how easy and important this stuff is — I already know, and one reason I’m telling you this is to publicly shame myself into dealing with it. Which I will do. Honest. Whiff.

5. Do some non-sports writing. My non-sports projects — Permanent Record, My Pet Troll, etc. — have been dormant lately, and that’s been bugging me, so I wanted to spend some time on writing that had nothing to do with uniforms or sports. As you may have seen, I did get one thing done — a design article about these little plastic chips embedded in the asphalt throughout the streets of New York and Boston. I’m working on another article for that same website and hope to be doing stuff for them pretty regularly, so that’s a positive. I also came up with the idea for a potential new project that I’m kind of excited about (more on that later). Still, I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t do any PermaRec or My Pet Troll work. Check-ish.

6. Do something nice for my mom. My mom and her best friend, Marcia, have known each other since first grade, when they were growing up in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights, which is just a few neighborhoods over from where I now live. They have a very special bond, but both of them are now 90 years old and can no longer travel on their own, so for the past eight years their friendship has been restricted to phone calls. I thought they should have a chance to see each other at least one more time, so on Aug. 10 I drove Mom up to Maine, where Marcia now lives, for a visit. Here they are (that’s Mom on the left, Marcia on the right; click to enlarge):

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A lot of things could have gone wrong with this trip. The traffic could’ve sucked, the weather could’ve sucked, being locked in a car with Mom for extended periods and then sharing a hotel room with her could’ve sucked, and so on. But none of that happened — it was all a breeze. And even if those things had happened, it would’ve been worth it, because seeing these two women reconnecting — each of them clearly starved for the other’s company — was very, very special. They recalled shared experiences from the 1930s and ’40s like they’d happened yesterday, and they also discussed current developments in art, music, and world events with a mutual ease that basically said, “I can speak in shorthand because you understand me and I understand you.” It was a really something to see, and I felt privileged to witness it. Best of all, it was fun and exciting for Mom, who at this stage of her life doesn’t often get to have much fun or excitement. I’m really happy to have provided that for her, even if only for a few days. Check and double-check.

And there you have it — thanks for listening. On Tuesday we’ll get back to normal Uni Watch content. Meanwhile, enjoy the holiday today (or, if you have to work, please accept my thanks for keeping the world spinning while the rest of us get to enjoy a day off). See you back here tomorrow.

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Baseball News: Here’s an article on a guy with a truly massive jersey collection (from Douglas Ford). … This is pretty good: a list of teams that have worn throwback uniforms from a city other than their own. … Hmmm, what does Jake Peavy have written on his underbrim? (Good spot, Phil.) … Royals pitcher James Shields was wearing his throwback stirrups backwards on Saturday night (from Blair Riffel). … In a related items, compare Shields’s relatively low-cut stirrups to the super-high-cut pair worn by teammate Norichika Aoki. That’s surprising for a throwback game — usually everyone is issued the same cut.

College Football News: We’ve all seen plenty of memorial helmet decals, but Troy’s memorial for Jadarius Garner, first mentioned on the site yesterday by webmaster John Ekdahl, might be the first one I’ve seen that’s shaped like a jersey. … Just what the world’s been waiting for: Arkansas Razorbacks orthodontic braces. … Chris Perrenot notes that at least one of Navy’s helmets on Saturday had some striping issues. “Also,” he says, “I have never seen such a huge logo on a football.” … Uni number malfunction on Saturday for Georgia Southern FB Nardo Govan (from Sean Halstead). … Excellent spot by Kevin Brown, who writes: “Watching the Notre Dame game Saturday afternoon and saw an ad promoting next week’s ND/Michigan game. Apparently NBC or Under Armour changed the logo in the tunnel that leads out onto the field from the game footage from two years ago.” Douchebags. … Arkansas State has added a memorial decal for Markel Owens and Barry Weyer. Wonder if there are any non-Christians on the team, and how they feel about wearing that. … Another memorial: Colgate is wearing a “72″ decal for former teammate Brian Crockett (from Ryan Dowgin). … At first I thought this Clemson player was wearing a Russell Athletic base layer beneath his Nike jersey on Saturday, but that’s actually the logo on his Russell shoulder pads (good spot by Drew Mastin). … Number font inconsistency for Tennessee-Martin: a pair of defensive backs with two different “2″s (good one from eagle-eyed Lee David Wilds). … Two FCS teams — Incarnate Word and Sacramento State — went color-vs.-color on Saturday (from Chris Mycoskie). … Might just be the lighting, but has Michigan’s helmet and numbers always been two different shades of maize? (As noted by Jim McCormick.) … Tennessee has added a tri-star logo helmet decal. … Sam Houston State debuted new uniforms on Saturday. “First time they’ve worn blue pants in at least 20 years,” says Chris Mycoskie. … Here’s what Miami will be wearing against Louisville today. … Check this out: The brick facing you see at Baylor’s new stadium isn’t real (from Matt Shevin). … Cal has added a California state flag helmet decal (from John Furstenthal). … Several readers noted that Oregon’s uniforms on Saturday didn’t quite match what they wore in the Alamo Bowl. Also, what’s the deal with that vertical stroke running through some of the numerals?

Grab Bag: New uni set for the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL (from Adam Walter). … Here’s an old Columbus Blue Jackets prototype. … The football team for Collinsville High in Illinois unveiled new uniforms with gradient numbers. “Their play-by-play announcer complained that the numbers were very difficult to read from the booth,” says Tom Hunter. … Very interesting article on new materials being used to make sneakers. … Ralph Lauren is introducing “smart shirts” at the U.S. Open (from Tommy Turner). … “Aussie rules football playoffs start this weekend,” says Kerry Hudson. “Port Adelaide will host Richmond. As the home team, Port should be able to wear their home uni, which is mostly black. However, Richmond, whose home uni is also mostly black, does not possess a suitable clash strip (their clash strip is still mostly black, only with a bit more yellow). At first Port was going to wear their white clash strip, which they weren’t happy about, but now the league has told them that they can wear their heritage jersey (as opposed to clash jersey). The only catch? whether the jerseys can be produced in time.”

Ohio State's Jeff Heuerman Is Switching His Number to 5 in Honor of Braxton Miller

By John Ekdahl

Last week, Braxton Miller underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.

Braxton Miller won’t take the field for Ohio State this season. However, it appears that his No. 5 jersey will.

Ohio State senior tight end Jeff Heuerman put a photo on his Twitter account before the game today of a No. 5 jersey with Heuerman on it. Heuerman normally wears No. 86, but for this opener against Navy, he’ll pay tribute to his fellow captain Miller.

His surgery was successful. Here he is posing with Dr. James Andrews afterwards.

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Troy State will be wearing a helmet sticker honoring Jadarius Garner.

Garner was found dead on a Mississippi highway earlier this year. His death was later ruled “accidental”.

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The Diamondbacks broke out their purple-and-teal 90s-era unis last night. More photos available here.

It was “alumni night“.

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The Royals and indians both wore throwbacks last night. From the Royals’ press release:

The Kansas City Royals will host Retro Night at Kauffman Stadium on Saturday, August 30 when the club takes on the Cleveland Indians and celebrates the year 1974. First pitch is set for 6:10 p.m.

As part of the festivities, both the Royals and Indians will wear throwback uniforms from the 1974 season. Please see the attached image of Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer of the Royals and Mike Aviles of the Indians modeling the retro jerseys.

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SDSU will be wearing a memorial sticker honoring Tony Gwynn this season.

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Keep an eye on this today, Hurricanes fans. Announcement should come at 4PM.

You Won't Be Seeing This Jersey on the Field Again

Paul here. I’m returning to the site today, then webmaster John Ekdahl will have tomorrow’s content, and I’ll be back for good on Monday.

So: The controversy regarding Vanderbilt’s “Anchor Down” jerseys was resolved yesterday. In case you’re not familiar with the backstory, here it is: Except for the military academies, the NCAA no longer allows SOBs (slogans on back). This came up about two weeks ago, when USF announced plans to use “The Team” on its nameplates and then backtracked a day later after learning of the SOB prohibition.

So there was lots of curiosity and confusion when Vanderbilt unveiled a set of jerseys with an “Anchor Down” SOB just prior to Thursday night’s season-opening game against Temple. Weren’t they going to be penalized for the use of the slogan?

Yes, as it turns out. Referee Ken Williamson announced that Vandy would lose one timeout per quarter. But then Vanderbilt officials showed Williamson an email printout, which apparently indicated that Vandy had sought and received permission to wear the slogan. So Williamson restored the lost timeout and the game proceeded.

That left people with a lot of questions, the biggest of which was why the NCAA would bother to have a rule if they weren’t going to enforce it.

That question was answered yesterday afternoon by SEC communications director Chuck Dunlap, who issued the following statement:

A miscommunication resulted in Vanderbilt wearing jerseys during its football game Thursday night that are not permissible under the NCAA football uniform regulations. Before production of the jerseys, Vanderbilt sought approval of the jersey design from the NCAA, which included the words “Anchor Down” on the back panel. The NCAA responded with written approval of the design as presented and Vanderbilt proceeded with the jersey production, assuming the approval was applicable to the slogan as well as the colors and overall design in the submitted layout.

NCAA football regulations do not permit the use of slogans on jerseys. Vanderbilt was originally penalized for the jerseys during the game and after being shown the written correspondence, the head referee also interpreted the correspondence to mean the slogan had been approved. Vanderbilt has been notified it cannot wear the slogan on its jersey for future games and has agreed to comply.

In other words, the NCAA approved the base design but not the SOB, and Vanderbilt officials and Williamson both misinterpreted that. It would be great to see Vanderbilt’s original submission and the NCAA’s response, just so we could see the full chain of (mis)communication here, but that’s obviously not going to happen (unless someone in the Vandy athletics dept. wants to leak something my way, hint-hint).

Lost in all the hubbub is the fact that the black-on-black “Anchor Down” lettering looked like shit, and that Vanderbilt lost, 37-7, thereby reinforcing the lesson I always like to remind people of: If you dress like a clown and win, you look like a winner; if you dress like a clown and lose, you just look like a clown.

Meanwhile, wondering why Mississippi State gets to wear “Hail State” on the front of its jersey? It’s apparently because that slogan is on the front, not the back.

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This is pretty cool: UCF and Penn state are facing off today in Dublin, and the Knights are marking the occasion by adding some shamrocks and a pot of gold to their helmets. No word yet on whether Penn State is planning anything similar, but I think it’s safe to say that any gesture from the Nittany Lions would be much more subtle — a small shamrock decal on the back of the helmet, say.

As long as we talking college football, here’s a bunch of additional news on that front: New uniforms for Kennesaw State. “Looks like Tour de France meets NASCAR,” says Douglas Ford. … NC State is retiring Mario Williams’s number (thanks, Phil). … Here’s a cool look at all of Florida State’s helmets through the years. … UTSA wore mono-white last night (thanks, Phil). … Speaking of mono-white, that’s what Ohio will be wearing today. … Blackout uni on tap today for Missouri. … Houston is adding memorial decals for former players Robert Newhouse and Sam Hairston. … New uniforms for Long Beach Poly. … NIU has yet another new uni design, this time in solid white (thanks, Phil).

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Patch reminder: If you haven’t yet purchased a Uni Watch 15th-anniversary patch, there’s no time like the present. And for those of you who’ve already bought one, have you sewn it onto anything? If so, please send me some photos — I’d love to see how the patch looks on your jersey, jacket, or whatever.

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Baseball News: The Angels wore 1970s throwbacks last night. Additional photos here. … New logo and uniforms for the 2015 Holiday League All-Star Game (from Kevin Olivett).

NFL News: Here’s a bunch of interesting and entertaining NFL maps (from Kyle Hanks). … Bears safety Ryan Mundy is considering legal action against Schutt after suffering a cut to his head during a preseason game (from Tommy Turner). … Wayne Koehler notes that the Bucs wore four different uni combinations in their four preseason games.

Grab Bag: New CFL uniforms for the Calgary Stampeders. … Speaking of the CFL, the RedBlacks and Alouettes went color vs. color — or is that colour vs. colour? — last night (thanks, Phil). … Abercrombie & Fitch is removing the logos from its clothing. Let’s hope that starts a trend that extends to the uni-verse (thanks, Brinke). … New logo for Hershey, and some folks think it’s crap — literally. … I couldn’t find a photo showing this, but several readers say that there was a “Share a Coke with Tony” bottle of Coke on the table during Tony Stewart’s press conference yesterday — the one where he was talking about, you know, the death of another human being. Douchebags. … Totally love this tag, which comes from this vintage varsity jacket. … PGA caddies wore memorial black caps yesterday in memory of Angela Bennett, the wife of Matt Kuchar caddie Lance Bennett, who died on Wednesday (from Richard Stover).