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Even More 'Murica: USA Baseball Jersey Design Contest Part II

jersey contest hed 550

By Phil Hecken

We’re back today with Part II of the USA Baseball Jersey Design Contest (if you missed part one, with it’s long description and the first 18 contestants, click here). The second group (sets III and IV) will be revealed today — with VOTING — so be sure to cast your vote below. As with the first two sets, BE SURE TO VOTE AFTER EACH SET OF NINE IS SHOWN. You can vote for as many (or few) as you like, but you can only vote once. It’s that simple. The top two vote getters FROM EACH SET will advance to next weekend’s final vote. I’ll have the winners from last weekend’s first round of voting at the end of this post.

All set? Let’s get started!

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Bruce Genther

Bruce-Genther-USA Redesign 1

Bruce-Genther-USA Redesign 2

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Dan Corbalis

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Mason Fiske

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Ron Verrecchio

Ron Verrecchio-USA Baseball

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Ryan Ripperton

Ryan Ripperton-USA Baseball Concept

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Kevin Callahan

KevinCallahanUSABaseballRedesignContest

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Sean Flaherty

Sean Flaherty-Team USA Baseball uniform white Sean Flaherty-Team USA Baseball uniform grey Sean Flaherty-Team USA Baseball uniform blue

Sean Flaherty-Team USA Baseball Hat blue Sean Flaherty-Team USA Baseball Hat white panel

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Derek Buchheit

Derek-Buchheit-USA Baseball Redesign Contest

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Sean Connor

Sean-Connor-USA Baseball Redesign Contest

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AND NOW…VOTING FOR THE FIRST NINE TODAY — “SET THREE” (You may pick as many as you like)

USA Baseball Redesign Contest – SET THREE

 
pollcode.com free polls

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Brendan Gargano

Brendan-Gargano-USABaseballRedesignContest

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George Teaford

George Teaford-USA Baseball Contest

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Ben DeRosa

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Ben DeRosa-usa home robertson Ben DeRosa--usa road jones

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David Timmerman

David Timmerman-USA

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Ryan Lindemann

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Steve Spurgeon

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STEVE-SPURGEON-USA Baseball Redesign Contest5 STEVE-SPURGEON-USA Baseball Redesign Contest6

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Lonnie Walker

Lonnie Walker USA Baseball Redesign Contest

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Nick Lineback

Nick Lineback - USA Baseball Redesign Contest - Home Nick Lineback - USA Baseball Redesign Contest - Word Marks

Nick Lineback - USA Baseball Redesign Contest - Road Nick Lineback - USA Baseball Redesign Contest - BP Jerseys

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Matt Harvey

Matt Harvey-USA Baseball 4 Matt Harvey-USA Baseball 5

Matt Harvey-USA Baseball 1 Matt Harvey-USA Baseball 2

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AND NOW…VOTING FOR THE SECOND NINE TODAY — “SET FOUR” (You may pick as many as you like)

USA Baseball Redesign Contest – SET FOUR

 
pollcode.com free polls

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And that’s it for today. Great stuff, yes? And there’s still one more batch (Sets Five and Six) to come. Make sure you voted in BOTH polls. The top two from each poll will advance to the final round.

Let all the concepters know what you think in the comments below!

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Surviving and Advancing

Congratulations to last weekend’s four winners (first and second place vote getters) in SET ONE and SET TWO! You are moving on to the finals next weekend:

Bryan Spangenberg and Andrew Stone from Set One:

USA Baseball Redesign Contest winners set one

Aaron Ganci and Trayton Miller from Set Two:

USA Baseball Redesign Contest winners set two

I’ll have the winners from today and tomorrow for you next weekend, when we’ll run the finals. Make sure to vote today and tomorrow for the final four sets.

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Too Good For the Ticker
Too Good…

for the Ticker

Got an e-mail from Brice Wallace regarding the passing of an icon from years ago. Anyone around my age remembers the Gong Show, and with it, its creator and crazy host. I’ll let Brice take it from here. It’s a bit too long (and too good) for the ticker, so I’m running it here. Here’s Brice…

. . .

With the passing of Chuck Barris of the “Gong Show” this week, I’ve seen a few videos from the show (which I loved as a teenager), and some of these show clips indicate Barris “got it.”

In this one, he’s wearing two great jerseys, although they’re not great together:

In this one, Gene Gene the Dancing Machine has a stuffed-toy baseball bat thrown on stage and handles a couple of basketball passes:

At the end of this clip, Barris wears a nice three-stripe 1976 Phillies cap:

— Brice Wallace

. . .

Thanks, Brice. That brings back memories — I used to watch that show during lunch time when I was in grade school (we were sent home for lunch back then). Every. Day.

RIP Chuck.

OK. Now, on to the ticker…

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: In their countdown to opening day, the Cincy Reds posted a beautiful photo of Sparky Anderson yesterday. … “Any chance this is the @Nationals new alternate hat? Or is this BP? Never seen it before today,” asks Matt Windsor. … Henry Aaron was number 44 right? Not always. As a rookie he wore number 5 “after incumbent Bobby Thomson broke his leg sliding. But he switched to double digits (No. 44), which he considered a good luck symbol, after establishing himself in his first season.” That picture is from this tweet and the factoid from this article, which is well worth the read. … Here’s one from Mike Schindler on a pair of Dunnings in White Sox jerseys: “This seems like an odd jersey. Looks almost like the BP jerseys from 2015. But also, the Sox have never used a name plate thing.” … Kansas softball will be wearing orange jerseys today. Clint Richardson notes, Kansas the jerseys are for kidney cancer. KU coach’s husband passed away from the disease years ago. … In a completely not shocking development, the Chicago Cubs will be wearing gold-outlined elements and gold NOBs in celebration of their World Championship on April 10 & 12 (from Drew Hill and Joe Ringham). The Cubs’ Home Opener is April 10, and the “ring ceremony” day is April 12. … Our ACC Tracker Rex Henry got this “sweet” (his words) NC State baseball jersey yesterday. … Of course Bruce Menard spotted the similarities immediately. … The Beloit Snappers will wear these Hawaiian themed uniforms on June 17 when Pohlman Field turns into Snapperitaville (from Garrett Mansfield). … Tweeter Geoff asks, “hey, @UniWatch, @PhilHecken can you remember (the) last player to play with glasses on?” I can think of several players to wear glasses (and and are we counting those fancy “speed racer” glasses or regular, plain old ‘glasses’?) … Whoops, there was an upside down number 8 in Cleveland on a banner counting down til opening day (good spot by Labflyer). … New Era already has Braves caps with the SunTrust Park patch for sale (from Malir Sal). … According to a certain ESPN scribe (whose tweet is embedded in the article), we can expect the Red Sox to wear their “BOSTON” (strong) uniforms on Patriots’ Day (April 17 this year). … EMU Football may have a shitty field, but they sure do have some purdy new pinstripes (from EMU Baseball). … You know you’re dying to see a photo of the Philadelphia A’s basketball team featuring Jimmie Foxx, from 1931, right? (from Bruce Menard). … New Easton helmets have triple logo creep: on left, right, and top. “Seems like a little much,” says John Furstenthal

NFL News: Lots of outdated NFL helmets on this promotional flyer from Sports Illustrated, says John Flory. It allows you pick your favorite teams sweatshirt as a free gift by submitting the teams helmet sticker and mailing it back. … DAMMIT: The Philadelphia Eagles generated a little bit of a stir for uniform critics following the NFL this offseason, but a proposal to allow for an alternate helmet design in addition to the standard helmets for each team has been yanked from the agenda by the team. Dammit. Here’s more on that. Dammit. … More good bad news: the Pittsburgh Steelers have dropped the bumblebee “throwbacks” for good, but they won’t be wearing any throwbacks in 2017 at all.

College Football News: Not much news on the NCAA FB front means stories like this become news: Jeff Darlington reports Just had a nice chat w/ Jim Harbaugh about his khaki game. He upgraded to @lululemon pants and says, ‘I’ll never wear anything else.’ Smart.” That comes from James Gilbert). It even became a story on the Mothership (thanks, Paul). Here’s more on that from the WaPo (thanks to Tommy Turner). … On a non-Lululemon note, watch the new video board come to life with the ASU Sun Devil Stadium construction cam. … TJ Hudge noticed a few Michigan players still had their CapitalOne Bowl stickers on their helmets for spring practice.

Hockey News: Tweeter Saxon Brack seems to thing that T. J. Oshie has an autograph on his number, but I’m thinking it’s either from the boards or even a puck mark. … Buried in this article is the news that the Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators will play two games in Sweden next season, the NHL’s first regular-season games in Europe since 2011. While we probably can’t expect special unis, you know there will be at least a commemorative patch. … Here are your NHL Jersey Fouls (of the week), submitted by Alan Kreit. … You guys remember the Grand Rapids Griffins jersey contest right? Well, Dan Kennedy was the “winner” but the Griffins graciously selected a runner up, and that was Adam Cain, who was on hand to receive his OWN jersey, which was based on this design which he submitted to our contest last August. Congrats Adam! (thanks to Grand Rapids Griffins for the pics). … The Charlotte Checkers will be wearing & auctioning these throwback sweaters on April 8th (from Thomas Harris).

NBA/Pro Basketball News: “(Yester)day the logo I designed for the European Championships 3×3 Basketball was revealed,” says Lucien de Groot. “The FIBA format has a portrait and landscape template and standard fonts. The image has to show basketball action and an iconic landmark. The tournament will take place in a pop-up stadium at the Museumplein in Amsterdam, just in front of the Rijksmuseum.” … Following up on an item mentioned in yesterday’s ticker, here’s an article on Hassan Whiteside’s non-personalized personalized shorts (thanks, Paul). … The Delaware 87ers announced the team will host Beau Biden Foundation Night on Saturday, March 25. Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden is scheduled to be in attendance as the two organizations look to raise awareness for the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children. They will wear jerseys (like the custom one above) which look like this. (thanks, Paul). … According to this tweet, it sounds like Stance is no longer the ‘official on-court’ sock sponsor/advertiser for the NBA (from Cane from the 6ix). Apparently Nike’s deal includes socks, too. … Shaquille O’Neal, who was among other things, was honored with a giant statue last night, also had his jersey made into a cake, even with the NBA logo under the collar (from Mandy Lopez). … And the nightly NBA uni update, from Zach Loesl: Color on color for Denver vs. Indiana (in their Hickory unis!), white on the road for the T-Wolves vs. Lake Show, and white on the road for the Hawks at the Bucks.

College Hoops News: Looks like the NCAA is having a little trouble spelling Notre Dame (from Josh Claywell). … Tweeter Alex Gerwitz has been “color trackng” the NCAA tourney. Here’s a look at Thursday’s games. … Mike Briggs proclaimed last night’s Baylor/South Carolina tilt “turrible.” I’d say that’s our &1 next weekend from Jimmer Vilkanova, no? Jimmer thinks not. He also notes they glow in the dark. … Check out this pretty good Marquette uniform tracker graphic (from Andrew Terenzio). … I was a bit nervous to click on the email with the subject line, “Look closely at Coach Calipari’s butt,” but Douglas Ford merely wanted to share, “UK JEANS! CBS showed Calipari visiting a donut shop in Memphis. As he stood up I noticed the UK logo on the pants pocket.”

Soccer News: James McClean will honor Ryan McBride by wearing number “5” for Ireland (from Squad Numbers Blog). … ‘Footy McFooty Face’ is currently leading the San Diego MLS nickname vote. (This is why we can’t have nice things.) That comes from KLM. … In case you missed it, the new Barcelona jersey has been leaked. … LouCity (Louisville City) got a “back (of the jersey) sponsor advertiser a day after GE was announced as the main sponsor advertiser (from Josh Hinton).

Grab Bag: If you’re into typography or that sort of thing, a Pennsylvania advertising agency has released a second collection of Philly fonts, including one called “Soda Tax” (from Thom D.). … “The 2018 Winter Paralympics released their event pictograms, the little stick-figure logos that stand for each sport,” says R. Scott Rogers. He adds, “Apparently, the pictograms incorporate Korean letter shapes into their forms. From the press release: “The pictograms are designed to showcase this vision using South Korean alphabet known as Hangeul. Like the Olympic pictograms that were launched at the start of the year, the lines of the Hangeul letters are reflected in the pictograms representing the six Para sport disciplines for the Paralympic Winter Games.” The similar, but color-reversed, 2018 Winter Olympics pictograms were released in January.” … Looks like Indy car driver Graham Rahal has an apron with a pocket for his phone (from Tyler Johnson). Yes, I know that’s not an actual apron. … Everyone knows how much I love Loudmouth Golf pants, so I follow them on Twitter. That’s why I’m not sure if the guy on the right is wearing a BoSox visor and Yankees pants is doing it as a goof…or if he’s just confused. … Everyone has custom jerseys it seems, even the Halo Video Game World Championships (from Damon Hirschensohn). … “When I saw the new Kentucky State Fair logo, it flashed to mind the “time vortex” that is shown in the opening of the old TV show, ‘The Time Tunnel’,” says Kevin McLaughlin. … Corporate-funded art or culture can easily be called a win-win, says contemporary art curator Nato Thompson. Social justice causes get money and sponsors get the benefit of looking good. But what’s the difference between advertisement and actual social good? Thompson offers his humble opinion (from Marc Rivlin).

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And that’s it for today. Big thanks to ALL the entrants in the Redesign the USA Baseball contest. Good luck to the second 18 today. Make sure you vote (in BOTH sections). I’ll have the final entrants (for both today’s voting and tomorrow’s) next weekend.

Everyone have a great day, and I’ll catch you next tomorrow. But until then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“My sister has a Soul & seems to enjoy it.”

— Ryan M. (discussing car models)

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Proposed NFL Rule Changes Would Allow Color Rush Opt-Out, Eliminate One-Shell Rule

NFL owners will be meeting next week to vote on a slew of proposed rule changes, bylaw adjustments, and more, ranging from the momentous (the Raiders’ possible move to Las Vegas) to the minor (the Competition Committee wants to reduce the length of preseason overtime periods from 15 minutes to 10 minutes). And buried within the list of proposals are two uni-related items that, if passed, could have a major impact on the game’s look.

The one that’s getting most of the attention so far, because it basically qualifies as low-hanging fruit, is that Washington has proposed amending the NFL Constitution and Bylaws — specifically Article XIX, Sections 19.8(B) and 19.9(B) — to permit teams to opt out of the Color Rash program. Here’s the text of their proposal:
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2017 BYLAW PROPOSAL NO. 3

Amend Article XIX, Sections 19.8(B) and 19.9(B) of the Constitution and Bylaws to read (new language underlined, deleted language struck through):

Choice of Game Uniform
19.8 (A) Subject to the provisions of subsection (B) hereof and at the option of the home club, the visiting team in all preseason and regular season games shall wear the colors awarded to such team under Section 19.9, and the home team shall wear white. In the event that the colors of the visiting team conflict with the white worn by the home team, the visiting team shall wear other colors approved by the Commissioner. The provisions of this Section shall also apply to the Divisional Playoff games, Conference Championship games, and to the Super Bowl game.

(B) Provided written approval is obtained from the applicable television network of the home club prior to September 1st in any year, neither club in any preseason or regular season game shall be required to wear white jerseys, but shall be permitted to wear the colors awarded to their respective clubs, provided that each participating club shall have the option to elect to wear its traditional colors rather than uniform colors determined pursuant to 2014 Resolution BV-2. The same provisions shall likewise apply to the Divisional Playoff games, Conference Championship games, and to the Super Bowl game, provided such permission is received from the applicable television network before 5:00 p.m., New York time on the Tuesday preceding the playing of such game.

Conflicting Club Colors
19.9 (B) The home club shall have the option of deciding whether the visiting club shall wear white jerseys or shall wear the colors awarded to the visiting team in any League game, regular season or preseason. The home club is obligated to give written notice to the visiting club and to the Commissioner of its decision on the colors of the jerseys to be worn by the visiting club, which notification must be given by July 1st of the year in which the game is scheduled to be played. If either participating club fails to conform to the jersey colors designated for such game, then there shall be an automatic fine against the offending club of $5,000, which sum shall be payable to the League office; provided, however, that there shall be no discipline imposed upon a club that elects not to utilize the jersey colors designated pursuant to 2014 Resolution BV-2. Despite the foregoing, in the event that the colors of the participating teams as so designated are in conflict for a League game, regular season or preseason, the Commissioner shall have the right to designate the traditional colors to be used by the competing teams in such game.

Submitted by Washington

Effect: Permits clubs to opt out of the “color rush” jerseys created for Thursday Night Football.

Reason: Garish uniforms.

The great thing about that, of course, is the rimshot at the end — “Reason: Garish uniforms.” Never thought I’d be saying these words, but let the record show that I’m saying them: Nicely done, Dan Snyder.

In case you’ve forgotten, teams were permitted to opt out of the Color Rash program during its first season, 2015. Last year, though, it became mandatory for all Thursday-night games. Washington opted out in 2015 and didn’t have a Thursday-night game in 2016 (they were slated to go mono-yellow), so they’ve avoided the Rash up until now, and Snyder apparently wants to keep it that way.

Naturally, I’d love to see Washington’s proposal pass, although my hunch is that it will fail, if only because NFL owners tend to value solidarity over individuality.

Leaving aside the proposed rule change, it’s interesting to see that the default uniform format, as spelled out in the bylaws, is for the home team to wear white (but with the home team having the option to change that). I always thought it was simply the home team’s choice, without any predetermined default option. Interesting!

The other uni-related item on next week’s agenda, which so far has gotten a bit less attention but actually has the potential to have a much great visual impact, is that the Eagles have proposed doing away with the one-shell rule. Here’s the text of their proposal:
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2017 RESOLUTION G-1

Amend the NFL’s On-Field Policy (2016 Game Operations Manual, pgs. A46-A47, C (2), Miscellaneous Uniform Areas-Third Uniforms) to read (new language underlined, deleted language struck through):

C. Miscellaneous Uniform Areas
(2) Third Uniforms — Each club is permitted to wear a League-approved third uniform and helmet for up to two (2) regular season games (home or away), and must submit its selection(s) to the NFL Football Operations department by July 1, along with all other jersey color designations for the upcoming season.

Only current, primary helmets may be used as part of a third uniform. Alternate helmets are not permitted. Alternate helmets are permitted to be worn only with the League-approved third uniform or its Thursday Night Football uniform, and must conform to all safety standards applicable to the club’s primary helmets. Additionally, Cclubs are permitted to change the color of facemasks for either its alternate/throwback uniform or its Thursday Night Football uniform. Please refer to the Uniform Policy on page A39 for more information.

A visiting team may only wear a third uniform if the jersey color is of sufficient contrast to the home team’s jersey color, as determined by the NFL Football Operations department.

Third uniforms can only be worn for regular season games scheduled on Sunday afternoons and which are played in stadiums in the United States in any week prior to the start of “flexible scheduling.” Third uniforms cannot be worn in the preseason or postseason.

Any requests for an exception to the Third Uniform policy must be submitted in writing to the NFL Football Operations department by July 1 of that year.

Submitted by Philadelphia Eagles

Effect: Permits clubs to have an alternate helmet in a color to match their third uniform.

Reason: Current rule is unnecessarily restrictive; by our equipment manager’s estimate, players at certain positions can go through 15-20 helmets per season and players regularly switch helmets during the game (e.g., helmet breaks, player with C2P components needs to switch to helmet without C2P components).

A few thoughts on this one:

• Some Eagles blogs are speculating that this proposal must mean the Iggles want to bring back some kelly green throwbacks. That’s good news, relatively speaking (the kelly throwbacks would certainly be better than the current BFBS alternates), but of course it would be better if they’d go with kelly as their primary color, not just as a throwback.

• I love that the Eagles cited their equipment manager when explaining why the rule should be changed. Their equipment guy, Greg Delimitros, was named co-winner of the league’s equipment manager of the year award just two days ago, so his voice should carry some authority. Adding alternate helmets would actually make his job harder (more helmets to maintain, more gear to keep track of, etc.), so it’s interesting to see that he went to bat for this proposal.

• If adopted, this rule change would strike a middle ground between the NFL’s current helmet policy and the free-for-all that we see at the college level, because (a) teams would be allowed only one alternate helmet, and (b) the alternate helmet would be permitted to be worn only as part of an alternate uniform, not as a mix-and-match option with the primary unis.

Does this one have a chance of passing? It may come down to whether the two advisory panels that came up with the one-shell rule — the Head, Neck, and Spine Committee and the Player Safety Advisory Panel — are willing to change their positions on the matter. (For a refresher course on the one-shell rule, look here.) I’d like to see this one passed, if only so we can get Pat Patriot and Bucco Bruce back on the field, although I worry about some of the alternate designs Nike might come up with.

Speaking of Nike, imagine how they must feel about these two proposals. They must hate the one that would allow teams to opt out of Color Rash, but they’re probably champing at the bit to get the one-shell rule tossed out.

One additional note: If you look toward the bottom of each proposal, you’ll see that the first one was “Submitted by Washington” and the second one was “Submitted by Philadelphia Eagles.” Just so you know, those are both direct quotes from the NFL’s official PDF that lists all the proposed changes. In other words, I didn’t omit Washington’s team name there — the NFL did. (Update: Reader/commenter Matt points out that all of the proposals throughout the PDF are attributed to the city name — except for the Eagles’ proposals, where the city and team names are both used. So the Eagles attribution is the anomaly here.)

The NFL owners will have their annual meetings on Sunday through Wednesday. It’s not clear, at least to me, on which day they’ll be voting on these proposals.

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New chariot wanted: Do you live in the NYC area? Do you have a used car you’re looking to sell? Do you get a vicarious thrill from the thought that some of the road trips described on this very website might be taken in a vehicle that you used to own?

If you answered yes, yes, and yes, then we should talk. After an unprecedented string of money-pit mishaps (don’t ask), I’ve determined that it’s time to put the official Uni Watch buggy out to pasture and get myself a new set of wheels. Like most people, I find the prospect of shopping for a car stressful; unlike most people, I have a decent-sized readership I can reach out to. So here we are.

I’m looking for a four-door compact. A Nissan Sentra, a Honda Civic, a Ford Focus, a Toyota Corolla — something along those lines. Nothing fancy. I would also consider a two-door, although it’s not my first choice. Ideally, the car would be three to five years old and have no more than 40,000 miles on it (less would be better, obviously). Color-wise, it would be a nice bonus if the car could be green, but that’s not a necessity, as long as it’s not you-know-what. I’m prepared to pay cash.

If you have a car that fits the bill, drop me a line. Thanks.

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The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: The Daytona Tortugas — that’s the Reds’ high-A affiliate — will wear Craig Sager tribute jerseys on July 21 (from Jay Stencil). … The A’s are offering new A’s caps to fans willing to trade in their Giants caps (from Chris Cruz). … In a related item, a Muni stop in San Francisco is topped by a giant A’s cap (thanks, Brinke). … The Orioles have had lots of really great graphics over the years. This isn’t one of them (from Andrew Cosentino). … The Corpus Christi Hooks will wear 1975 fauxbacks for Friday home games this season (from Matt Campbell). … New home pinstripes for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (from Chris Mycoskie).

Pro and College Football News: As noted in today’s lede, Eagles equipment manager Greg Delimitros has been named co-winner of the NFL’s Whitey Zimmerman Equipment Manager of the Year Award. The other co-winner was Allen Wright of the Chiefs. The award is named for Whitey Zimmerman, who was the Falcons’ equipment manager from 1966 to 1994. Check out the trophy helmet that Delimitros received (from @cDubya242). … If you scroll down to the end of this column, you can see how some idiot at USA Today thinks the NFL can be improved by the addition of uniform ads (from Denver Gregg). … Here’s a video of Georgia players receiving their spring jerseys.

Hockey News: Back in January, SportsLogos.net reported that the Devils would likely be getting new uniforms next season. Now the team has set up a website to drive season ticket sales, and the site sort of implies a change back to green trim, plus reader Morgan Doninger says he got a promo email that included a lot of green. Then again, the SportsLogos.net story said the team would not be going back to green. Hmmmmm.

NBA News: This is pretty awesome: The “MH” waistband logo on Heat C Hassan Whiteside’s white shorts is upside-down, forming his initials — HW! Unfortunately, his black shorts have the conventional logo, and the Heat’s red shorts have a completely different graphic (good spot by David Clements). … The Spurs and Grizzlies went camo vs. blue last night in San Antonio (from Zach Loesl).

Soccer News: What will Louisville City FC soon have in common with the Boston Celtics? Both teams will have GE as a jersey sponsor advertiser.(from Andrew Ruble). … New 150th-anniversary kit for Sheffield Wednesday (from Patrick Barnett).

Grab Bag: A boxing memorabilia collector is suing Sotheby’s, because he says some Muhammad Ali collectibles he bought are bogus (from @GKG_77). … American Airlines is making new uniforms available to flight attendants who said the previous unis were causing skin irritations. … In a related item, a small note at the bottom of this article indicates that Alaska Air will have new employee uniforms designed by fashion designer Luly Yang in mid-2019. … A new law in France makes it illegal for children under 12 to ride a bicycle without a helmet.

Bulls Add Memorial Patch for Jerry Krause

Word came down on Tuesday that Bulls former GM Jerry Krause had died, so the team added a memorial patch, shown above, for last night’s game against the Pistons. While the patch may look simple and straightforward enough, there are actually several notable aspects to it. One at a time:

1. According to Bulls spokesman Tony Hyde, the patch is just a placeholder, with a new patch to follow for tomorrow’s game against the 76ers. Placeholder memorials aren’t unheard of, but they’re usually just simple black bands. Not sure I can recall a placeholder memorial that included typography.

2. As our own Mike Chamernik points out, the Bulls had worn a simple black band on Tuesday. So that makes two separate placeholder designs, which might be unprecedented.

3. Memorial patches are always a little tricky on basketball uniforms, because the jerseys don’t have sleeves (well, usually). So you can do a little chest patch, or you can do a band that runs across the shoulder strap, like Golden State is doing this season with its Nate Thurmond memorial. But the Bulls have taken a sort of hybrid approach here — the Krause band isn’t really a band, because it doesn’t extend across the piping (which left them even less space in which to fit Krause’s surname). It’s more like a patch that happens to be positioned where a band would normally go. Interestingly, they have put memorial bands across the piping in the past.

4. NBA memorial bands almost always go on the left shoulder. (Using the right should is not unprecedented, but it’s rare.) But starting next season, teams will have advertising patches just below that space. Will they move memorials to the right side, in order to keep mourning from commingling with corporate marketing? Then again, the Nike logo will be on the right side. Hmmmm.

5. The team didn’t wear its regular uniforms last night. They wore “Los Bulls” (and, as you can see there, the Pistons wore blue, creating a color-on-color game). How often does a memorial patch make its debut on a special occasion uniform? I’m sure there have been plenty of other examples, but I can’t think of any off the top of my head. Anyone..?

That’s a lot of commentary generated by one little patch!

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ESPN reminders: In case you missed it yesterday, I had two ESPN pieces. The first tells the inside story of how Alex Ovechkin is about to become the first NHL player to wear custom-painted skates. You can check that one out here.

The other piece ranks all the uniforms for the Sweet 16. That one’s available here.

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What a mensch: A week ago we had an entry about Team Israel’s “Jew Crew” T-shirt. Today our own Alex Hider has the inside scoop on another Team Israel storyline.

Mensch on a Bench Q&A
By Alex Hider

With the World Baseball Classic now over, I want to briefly look back at one the most memorable parts of the tournament: Team Israel’s Mensch on a Bench mascot.

Mensch on a Bench was created by Neal Hoffman, a toy marketer who wanted to create a Jewish answer to the popular Christmas story The Elf on the Shelf. Hoffman wrote a Mensch on a Bench book and designed a doll, and he eventually pitched his product on ABC’s Shark Tank program. He ended up landing a deal with entrepreneurs Robert Herjavec and Lori Greiner.

As it happens, Hoffman lived next door to my parents in the Cincinnati suburbs for a few years while I was in high school, and I met him once or twice during that period. I knew he was the man behind Mensch on a Bench, and I saw the Mensch make his appearance during the World Baseball Classic, but I somehow didn’t make the connection until last week, when I suddenly realized we’d been neighbors. I recently got in touch with him to find out how the Mensch made it to Team Israel’s bench.

Uni Watch: So, who first introduced the Mensch to Team Israel?

Neal Hoffman: That is a mystery to me. That’s what I love about this — it’s organic. When [Team Israel] was doing their qualifiers in Brooklyn, somebody brought them a Mensch on the Bench and put it on their bench. They thought it was hilarious.

UW: No guesses?

NH: It could have been someone in the organization, but I have no idea.

UW: When did you find out the team had adopted the Mensch?

NH: I watch everything Mensch-related through Google alerts. When Team Israel was playing [WBC qualifying games] in Brooklyn, I started seeing Mensch on a Bench mentioned in [major outlets] like The New York Times. We were getting a decent amount of press out of that.

Cody Decker was definitely the ringleader. He ended up running on the field with the Mensch over his head when they won the qualifiers. He brought it with him to the press conference.

I reached out to him through Twitter — as the Mensch — and we just started talking and becoming friendly. I ended up sending him a five-foot mensch. If you look at his Twitter, he does the funniest things. He has it out sunbathing on the porch, he’s driving with it in the carpool lane. He told me that he was going to bring it to Korea and buy it a ticket. Looks like the Mensch brought them a little bit of luck.

UW: Decker and Team Israel seem to have fun time playing around with the Mensch. Was there one moment in particular that you enjoyed the most?

NH: I love how they bring the Mensch to the press conferences. That to me is the funniest thing. When they give a seat to the Mensch and he’s sitting right next to the players. Cody Decker was answering questions in character for him.

UW: Most baseball teams use live-action mascots, while the Mensch is a doll. Do you think that added to hoopla?

NH: I think the fact that it was a stuffed doll versus a mascot means it’s more versatile. You can bring him to more places…and he doesn’t give you any attitude.

The Mensch reflects the team’s personality. The Mensch is fun, tongue-in-cheek, it celebrates Judaism through Jewish humor. The team is definitely filled with Jewish pride, but they’re also just having fun with what they’re doing. It’s like the Mensch on a Bench: It’s a mix of serious and humor.

We are hoping to have a Mensch costume one day, which will be a lot of fun.

UW: So, are you saying there could be a live-action Mensch for Team Israel in the next WBC?

NH: If they ask, the answer is yes. In July, the [Israeli] female softball team is playing in Orlando for the world championships, so hopefully a Mensch will make its way down there. When the [WBC] qualifiers start again in three years, hopefully Team Israel will choose to let Mensch be involved again.

UW: Were you a baseball fan before the WBC?

NH: I’m from Boston originally, so I’m a big Sox fan. And now, I’m a big Cody Decker fan.

———

Paul here. Nice job, Alex. And just to tie things together with last week’s post, here’s a shot of Cody Decker wearing a “Jew Crew” T-shirt and posing with the Mensch — perfect.

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A real sausagefest: Among the many nice birthday gifts I received earlier this week from the Tugboat Captain was this amazing assortment of house-made sausages from various NYC salumerias. The small pair at top are wild boar sausage (“Made from feral hogs,” says the label). The others, from left to right, are pepperoni; two different sweet soppressatas; and a hot soppressata.

And speaking of meaty matters, The New York Times ran a story about beef yesterday, accompanied by a header photo that mostly shows various cuts of lamb, not beef. Yes, the piece is about how beef consumption is decreasing, so I suppose you could say that a non-beef photo is actually appropriate, but there’s no mention of lamb in the story. Seems like they just grabbed a photo of red meat without worrying about the details.

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: Team USA’s Eric Hosmer had a black armband on his right sleeve last night in the WBC title game, but Adam Jones and the rest of the team did not. Jay Abbott surmises it was probably a memorial for Yordano Ventura, who was Hosmer’s Royals teammate. … The island of Puerto Rico is running short on hair dye as fans are imitating the WBC team that has been sporting blonde and silver beards and hairdos this spring. … One of Paul’s sources says the Rays will likely wear road fauxbacks (not to be confused with their usual home fauxbacks) for a game this August. That’s the design they previously wore for a 2014 game at Wrigley. … Yesterday’s entry speculated that the Pirates might be bringing back Stargell Stars. According to this article (the full text of which, unfortunately, is behind a paywall), they’ve being used in spring training to recognized “performance above and beyond the call of duty.” No indication that they’ll carry over to the regular season, though (from Jerry Wolper). … A fan wore a Nolan Ryan jersey to a recent Astros minor league game. Apparently, he didn’t know Ryan himself was seated right next to him. … Texas A&M wore throwbacks on Tuesday (from Davis Jaye). … Former NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace is a big Cardinals fan (from David Firestone). … Budweiser will sell cans with MLB team logo designs on them (from Mike Cole). … Indiana wore stars and stripes uniforms for Military Appreciation Day yesterday (from Darrell Frazier). … Sweetchick NYC, a waffle restaurant in Brooklyn, has made a few Dodgers-themed T-shirts (from Robert Brashear).

NFL News: Giants WR Tavarres King will cede No. 15 to new teammate Brandon Marshall. King will now wear 12. That article also says that in 2005, Giants punter Jeff Feagles made a deal with Plaxico Burress to give him No. 17, but Plax never paid up. I’d say karma caught up on that one (from Neil Vendetti). … Menus at Joe Theismann’s restaurant in Virginia have a page where kids can design their own football uniforms (from Joseph Andersen). … Arthur Savokinas spotted this mascot on the sidelines at a Giants game in 1983. Does anybody else remember that, or know what it might be? … Jon Volpe saw a Panthers truck in Jersey City, N.J. “There is a New Jersey tie to the ‘Keep Pounding’ slogan,” he says. “It was used by the late Sam Mills, who was from N.J. and played at Montclair State.” … Zane Tuck’s son made a torn paper collage based on a Tom Brady thowback jersey. … “I work at a thrift store in Fairbanks, Alaska, and we received this Lions beanie as part of a donation,” says Sue Valdrow. “I hadn’t seen this logo before and thought it was pretty neat.” SportsLogos.net shows the Lions using a similar logo in the 1950s.

College Football News: Last year Paul did an entry about the handful of college football players who wore No. 100 in 1969 to celebrate the sport’s centennial. That entry showed a black-and-white photo of Kansas punter/kicker Bill Bell. Turns out there was a color photo of him on the cover of the team’s 1969 media guide (from Josh Wood). … Here’s what NFL Draft prospects will wear at Notre Dame’s Pro Day today (from Matt Walthert). … And here are Pitt’s Pro Day shirts (from Jerry Wolper).

Hockey News: Petteri Lindbohm of the AHL’s Chicago Wolves had his nameplate peel off during a fight Tuesday night (from @ethanmay4). … A goalie and an opposing skater collided and got their skates tangled up during a recent Swiss league game. … The South Carolina Stingrays will wear 1997 throwbacks on March 31. … The Canadian Mint is producing commemorative quarters for the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup. Here’s a photo of the coin (from @PureLipschitz). … Bobby Orr wore No. 27 during his first training camp with the Bruins. He famously wore 4 for the rest of his career (from @ideserveabeer). … A Molson box and smart phone allows fans to watch hockey with a virtual reality experience (from Ted Arnold).

Basketball News: The Wizards and Hawks went red vs. black in Washington (from Brian Stoll). … Yesterday we noted that the Blazers’ Meyers Leonard wore socks with a dog on them. He’s wearing them to support his dog, Bella the Husky, which is recovering from surgery (from Tim Baker). … Illinois and UCF went orange vs. black last night in the NIT (from Neal Surrena).

Soccer News: New jerseys for OKC Energy FC of the USL (from Matthew Montgomery). … Baseball hall of famer Mike Piazza is the majority owner of Reggiana, a third-division Italian soccer club. Aram Gumusyan created a new crest concept for the team. … Here’s a ranking of digital lineup card designs that MLS clubs use on social media (from Greg Franklin). … Looks like the Tampa Bay Rowdies are about to unveil a new uniform (from Kody Allenson).

Grab Bag: The shirts for the Big Ten Network 10 K race have been unveiled. The run will be held in Chicago in July (from Kenneth Traisman). … An ongoing legal spat ended yesterday as the Supreme Court ruled that cheerleader uniform designs can be copyrighted (from Marc Burgess). … Towson revealed a new lacrosse helmet for Military Appreciation Day on Saturday (from Chris Daley). … New logo for the Kentucky State Fair.

Could Stargell Stars Be Making a Return?

Click to enlarge

Intriguing sight at Pirates camp the other day, as infielder Gift Ngoepe appeared to be wearing Stargell Stars. Could this be heralding a full-fledged return of the fabled cap ornaments? I’m hoping to find out more today — stay tuned.

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Sweet 16 rankings: With the Sweet 16 set to tip off tomorrow, I’ve prepared an ESPN ranking of the uniforms that we can expect to see on the court. Check it out here.

In addition, I have another ESPN piece today, about how Alex Ovechkin is poised to become the first NHL player to wear custom-painted skates. Check it out here.

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T-Shirt update: Last month we debuted our Uni Watch Artist’s Series of 2017 T-shirts with a sensational design by Todd Radom. Our next shirt will be by Larry Torrez — aka the great Eltee of DC — and it’s a stunner. Take a look (click to enlarge):

Amazing, right? Here’s the quick story behind this one: As you may recall, about a year ago Larry created a series of meat-themed caricatures of me based on classic MLB mascots, which he dubbed “Meatscots” (you can see them by scrolling down to the middle of this entry). This T-shirt design is variation on that project. The batter is a Japanese samurai warrior playing for the mythical team Kyoto Yakitori. His bat/sword has been reimagined as a kebab, honoring Japanese yakitori restaurants, which serve skewered chicken (which makes perfect sense because “samurai” literally means “one who serves”). The neon sign is a shout-out to the signage that such restaurants often have in Japan.

This design will be available on a black T-shirt either later this week or early next week. If you have feedback, Larry and I would love to hear it. Thanks.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball NewsCubs OF Jon Jay, who has a history of sock shenanigans, is now the new brand ambassador for Stance socks. Also, why don’t the stripes line up on these socks? (From Phil.) … Speaking of the Cubs, they’re holding a series of “community nights” this season, and integrated their logo into the symbols of the groups they are honoring (from Jordan Cutler). …  The Marlins’ Dee Gordon swapped jerseys with his much larger teammate, Justin Bour, during a workout yesterday (thanks Mike). … Patrick Johnston spotted this Rockies/Avalanche frankenjersey at Rockies spring training the other day. … The Fresno Grizzlies and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, aka the Fresno Tacos and the Lehigh Valley Bacon, are letting fans pick their favorite food. The loser has to wear the other team’s “Fighting Food” cap for a game in June. Phil doesn’t know what to do. … The Biloxi Shuckers will be wearing jerseys designed by a local tattoo artist in late April (from Mike). … The Corpus Christi Hooks will wear some sweet powder blue fauxbacks during Friday home games this year (from Sam Levitt). … Rough dark gray/black matchup between Louisville and Cincinnati yesterday (from Jason). … Color-on-color matchup yesterday between Charleston and West Virginia Tech (from Dan Reilly). … Lots of stripe action for Louisiana Lafayette last night (from Travis Webb). … Wyoming club baseball has tequila sunrise jerseys (from Jon Spencer). … You don’t often see a batting helmet with such a curved brim.

NFL NewsNew Ravens S Tony Jefferson says he used Madden to help him model the uniforms for his potential new teams during free agency (from Phil). … Speaking of the Ravens, here are their new number assignments (from Andrew Cosentino). … The NFL made this graphic after QB Josh McCown signed with the Jets, though he won’t likely be wearing No. 12 this season. The Jets have retired No. 12 for Joe Namath (from Josh Kail). … Chiefs K Cairo Santos put on lineman Mitchell Schwartz’s size 18 shoes and tried to dunk on a hoop in the team’s locker room. It didn’t quite work (thanks again, Mike). … We can add former Chiefs punter Jerrell Wilson to the list of players that have played with an unbuckled chin strap. Also, it’s weird to see a punter wearing No. 44 (from Bill Kellick). … The Lions responded to rumors about a new helmet design (from Phil). … Newly signed Steelers DE Tyson Alualu wore a German national soccer team jersey to his introductory press conference.

College Football NewsRussell Athletic is losing one of the few FBS teams it still outfits, as Ohio is switching to Adidas. As a former Bobcat myself, I really, really, REALLY hope Ohio’s shoulder loops won’t go the way of UCLA (from Jon Dies). … Coastal Carolina’s new teal turf — aka “Surf Turf” — should be ready for their home opener (from Brandon Long). … Ohio State’s practice jerseys have sublimated buckeye leaves in the numbers (from Karl).

Hockey News: The Penguins will break out their Stadium Series unis on the next two Sundays (from Jerry). … The Islanders are holding a design contest: They’re looking for the best Islanders-themed beer glass (from Brian Widman). …Check out this old photo of Flyers player Jimmy Watson wearing what appears to be a classic two-bar football facemask attached to his helmet (from Tom Asher). … The US National U-18 Developmental Team is auctioning off some fine-looking military appreciation jerseys the team wore earlier this month. The best part? You can bid on the striped socks as well (from Matthew Talbot).

NBA News: The Timberwolves will unveil their new logo on April 11. … The Bulls are expected to add a memorial patch for former GM Jerry Krause, who died yesterday (from C.D. Tatak). … Steph and Seth Curry wore “Family Business” shoes when their teams played each other last night. … Color-on-color matchup in Toronto between the Raptors and Bulls, as the Raptors broke out their Huskies throwbacks and alternate floor design. … The Trail Blazers’ Meyers Leonard wore socks with his dog on them during warm-ups last night (from Alvin Nguyen). … Sneakerheads might want to check out the first edition of Classic Kicks Magazine (from Nick Santora). … More color-on-color action last night in Brooklyn, as the Nets wore black “Los Nets” unis and the Pistons wore their road blues (thanks, Mike).

College Hoops News: Wisconsin’s Bronson Koenig just got quite the haircut (from Rob Montoya). … Spotted in Lexington, Kentucky: a March Madness soda display (from Nate Hargis). … Here’s what players will wear in this year’s McDonald’s All-American game.

Soccer NewsTeams in the English Premier League will have a new number and NOB style next season. … New kits for the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League (from Marc Viquez). … This was in the NFL section, but we’ll put it here too: Newly signed Pittsburgh Steelers player Tyson Alualu wore a German national soccer team jersey to his introductory press conference.

Grab BagLove a good sign dust-up: Wind recently knocked over a bunch of highway signs in upstate New York, but the Federal Highway Administration doesn’t want the signs replaced. The feds claim the signs are illegal because the text isn’t uniform with other highway signs (from Bradley Loliger).

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My thanks to all of you who sent along birthday greetings yesterday. It was a fun day, if a somewhat exhausting one. Good thing it only comes around once a year! — Paul