By Phil Hecken
With baseball season winding down (how bout dem Royals?), this post by reader Tristan Ridgeway is still quite pertinent. It started out with an e-mail in which Tristan explained his genesis for this project:
I’m not sure if this is in Uni Watch’s wheelhouse or not (or if you’ve covered this before), but I was wondering if you’d be interested in the idea of a blog entry or article on uniform-related accessories. I’m sometimes fascinated when I see unusual accessories on professional sports league players that are above and beyond the basic, standard uniform – especially those that seem to skirt the seemingly tight guidelines for professional league sports uniforms. As I’m more of a Major League Baseball fan than any of the other “big four” American professional sports leagues, I’m initially focusing on those players. And “accessories” can have a broad definition, depending on your viewpoint.
For example, accessories may include necklaces, earrings, hair ties, headbands, etc., but may also branch into the areas of protective or functional equipment, health-related devices, tape, personal appearance choices, religious symbols, personal adornments, tattoos, piercings, etc. As such, I thought it would be interesting to compile a list of the top 10 (or top 20, 30, etc.) of “the most memorable uniform accessories.” I use “memorable” because some of the items on this list may be some of my most favorite and least favorite choices – but they are, indeed, memorable (even dubious, in some cases).
My interest piqued, I said, “sure.” Tristan’s original list included his top 50 of such “accessories” (some of which I wouldn’t deem accessories — they’re more hairstyles or the like), but it eventually blossomed to become 69. There’s no other significance (you can take your minds out of the gutter, thanks) to that, other than it’s where he stopped. If this post ran next weekend, the number might be up to 80.
Some of these might also be considered “only” rather than “best” — but that’s part of the fun, no?
Anyway, with that setup, here’s Tristan’s list of the…
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Top 69 Uniform Accessories of Baseball
By Tristan Ridgeway
1) Headband – Tito Fuentes
2) Beard Tie – Brian Wilson
3) Hair Tie – Nick Swisher
4) Head Scarf – Manny Ramirez
5) Rosary Beads – Victor Zambrano
6) Earring – Barry Bonds
7) Pin – Nomar Garciapparra
8) Skull Cap – Andrew McCutchen
9) Nail Polish – Jorge Posada
10) Cornrows – Bronson Arroyo
11) Bleached Hair – Mike Piazza
12) Hair Beads – Manny Ramirez
13) Hair Cover – Manny Ramirez
14) Throat Protector – Steve Yeager
15) Arm Sleeve – Giancarlo Stanton
16) Phiten Necklace – C.J. Wilson
17) Puka Shells – Jerome Williams
18) Ivory Necklace – George Scott
19) Long Hair – Johnny Damon
20) Afro – Oscar Gamble
21) Facemask – Dave Parker
22) White Shoes/Green Shoelaces/Snug Tie bands/White Shoes – Jim Nash
23) Cap Stars – Willie Stargell
24) Sunglasses – Lowell Palmer
25) Eye Black – Bryce Harper
26) Dreadlocks – Jose Reyes
27) Gold Chain – Curt Schilling
28) Eyeglasses (Aviator) – Ryne Duren
29) Mutton Chops – Jim “Mudcat” Grant
30) Sideburns – Brady Anderson
31) Mustache – Al Hrabosky
32) Neck Piercing – Coco Crisp
33) Black Dye – Brian Wilson
34) Lumberjack Beard – Jayson Werth
35) Eyebrows – Andy Etchebarren
36) Gray Hair – Harmon Killebrew
37) Mohawk – Yasiel Puig
38) EvoShield/Wrist Guard – Andrew McCutchen
39) Shin Guard – Matt Holliday
40) Cap Substance – Gaylord Perry
41) Toe Guard – Vida Blue
42) Tattoos – Ryan Roberts
43) Underjacket – Darold Knowles
44) Bracelet – Victor Martinez
45) Hand Warmer – Hanley Ramirez
46) Ski Mask – Aramis Ramirez
47) Sliding Glove – Brett Gardner
48) Shortened Helmet Brim – Brooks Robinson
49) Red Contact Lens – Bryce Harper
50) Tube Socks/Shorts – Bucky Dent
51) Vest-Only – Ted Kluszewski
52) Handle-Bar Mustache – Rollie Fingers
53) Pitching Helmet – Alex Torres
54) Number Zero – Al Oliver
55) Goggles – Chris Sabo
56) Pine Tar – George Brett
57) Corked Bat – Sammy Sosa
58) Muscles/PEDs – Mark McGwire
59) Stomach – Terry Forster
60) Mullet – Randy Johnson
61) Fractional Number – Eddie Gaedel
62) Pant Cuff Straps – Barry Bonds
63) Babe Ruth Cap – David Wells
64) Cleat Number – Mark McGwire
65) Chewing Tobacco (Mouth) – Luis Tiant
66) Chewing Tobacco Tin (Back Pocket) – Pete O’Brien
67) Wedding Ring on Necklace – Matt Harrison
68) Catcher Shoulder Pad – Kurt Suzuki
69) Bubble Gum – Kurt Bevacqua
Also, after considering all of the players who seems to go in for various accessories, it’s pretty clear that “Mr. Accessory” would have to be Andrew McCutchen
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Thanks, Tristan. This is actually a pretty cool list! Some of these I’d never even thought of and others well…lets just say you’re VERY thorough!
OK, readers? What say you? Do you have any other nominations? Did he miss anything (Tim Raines’ coke vial?)? What would you add (or omit)? Either way, lets have a nice hand for the effort!
Classic Ballpark Scoreboards
I’m pleased to continue with a new weekend feature here at Uni Watch, “Classic Ballpark Scoreboards,” which are created by Gary Chanko. You probably know Gary best for his wonderful colorizations, but he has been a solid contributor for many years, and this is his new project. This segment will appear every Saturday on Uni Watch.
Here’s Gary (click on images to enlarge):
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Classic Ballpark Scoreboards – Seventh in a Series
by Gary Chanko
Sportsman’s Park (or Busch I) and Anaheim Stadium are this week’s featured classic scoreboards.
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Home of: St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Browns
Last baseball game: May 8, 1966; Demolished:1966
When the Cardinals were sold (1953) to Gussie Busch and he then purchased Sportsman’s Park from the departing Browns, the plan was to change the name to Budweiser Stadium. Makes good marketing sense, but not to MLB’s then Commissioner, Ford Frick. So the owner went with naming it after himself. Busch brand beer, of course, finds advertising space in left field shortly after!
Unlike most of the scoreboards of this era, the scoreboard hardly appears to have changed over the years. Looking a photos and video it’s difficult to find any significant changes from the initial installation to the last game. The American and National League game scores were expanded at the scoreboard bottom after league expansions. Check this video and see for yourself.
This graphic illustration recreates the scoreboard layout from the mid sixties.
A Few Things to Know
• With new ownership came much need improvements to the ballpark. The most prominent addition was a new scoreboard in left field. The advertising was now focused singularly on Busch’s signature product Budweiser.
• The new scoreboard was simply a make over of the existing structure, which dates from the late thirties. The ubiquitous Longines Watch was replaced with the colorful Anheuser-Busch logo. The logo was animated and after a Cardinal home run the eagle would flap its wings. Not to be left out, the Cardinal logo on the left side of the scoreboard would swing its bat and similarly fly about.
• Busch Memorial Stadium (1966) had its own cutting edge version of flying Cardinals and wing flapping eagle.
• Big League Dreams Gilbert, (AZ) an elaborate amateur-baseball complex built a decade ago featured recreations of several classic ballparks, including Sportsman”s Park.
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Home of: Los Angeles, Anaheim, and California Angels
Opened: April 19, 1966; Still in play after many redesigns and renovations
Angel Stadium of Anaheim (originally Anaheim Stadium, then Edison International Field of Anaheim) opened in 1966 and immediately was adopted as the Big A. The Big A, of course, was inspired by the 230 foot tall A-frame scoreboard topped with a giant halo.
I remember that scoreboard well. In the seventies and eighties I lived in Orange County. My daily commute on the 57 freeway was by the highly visible Big A landmark. South Orange County is relatively flat and the Big A scoreboard was the tallest structure at the time.
The illustration brings back the Big A’s scoreboard as it appeared during the inaugural 1966 season.
A Few Things to Know
• The 200 ton, 230-foot high scoreboard cost $1 million (about $7 million in today’s dollars). It was the largest scoreboard ever built at the time and in 1966 was twice as high as any other building in Orange County.
• The Angel’s media sponsor, Standard Oil of California (Chevron), paid for the scoreboard based on 10 year sponsorship agreement.
• The scoreboard featured Message Board Spectaculars – high speed animations with special effects designed by Stewart-Warner. The display system even had its own computer memory system capable of storing a 1000 programmed messages. Remember this was only 1966!
• Stewart-Warner was a major creator, manufacturer and distributor of scoreboards during the 60s and 70s. Their resume included these MLB ballparks: Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Fenway Park, Tiger Stadium, Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Anaheim Stadium, Arrowhead Stadium and Royals Stadium, Milwaukee County Stadium, Three Rivers Stadium, Veterans Stadium, Busch Stadium.
• Angels owner, Gene Autry, reportedly offered a $1,000 bonus to first player who hit a home run in Anaheim Stadium. The records show it was Willie Mays, but there’s no report of him collecting the cash bonus.
• Sadly the “Big A” scoreboard didn’t survive the Rams move to Anaheim or Disney’s Imagineering team as the ballpark was reconfigured and redesigned over the decades since the initial installation. It now lives outside the right field fence in the parking lot as an advertising billboard.
Next week the series visits Dodger Stadium and Jarry Park’s tableau indicateur.
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If anyone is interested in purchasing a digital copy of these posters, Gary is working on an online purchase option. In the interim you can contact him directly at Classicscoreboards@gmail.com.
Division II & III Games
By Andrew Seagraves
Week Five of the UWFFL is upon us and this week’s cynosure Division II showdown will see the Pacific Coast Conference’s Calgary Alpines (3-1) slide on into the Borough of Staten Island to take on the undefeated Swordfish (4-0). The High Altitudinal pugilists from Stampede City will wear their standard away gear of White over Red with golden trim. Their opponents, the Pointy Fish from Richmond County, will don their teal over white with black accents. Both of these squadrons have gotten off to a fantastic start to the season and this tilt should prove to be the bee’s knees of DII’s first weekend of interleague play.
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Other key interleague games on tap will pit the enigmatic 4-0 Iowa Corn against a plucky 1-2 Roanoke Giraffe team, the 2-2 Connecticut Convicts will try to put lightning in a bottle as they face 2-1 Las Vegas in the desert, and the upstart Winnipeg WinterHawks, at 1-1, will head to the Music City Launch Pad to face the Nashville Rockets (not to be confused with the Adelaide Crows).
Get your friends, get your family, get the stranger waiting behind you at Starbucks while you order your double mocha whatchamacallit Grande latte to head on over to www.uwfantasyfootballleague.com to vote on which squads you think are dressed to the… uhh… first and tens this week. We’ll be back tomorrow with action from the UWFFL Premier League to vote on.
for the Ticker
Got an e-mail from Nolan Jones, and it’s both a bit too long for the ticker, and too good for it too:
One uni-thing I look for during football games, especially for teams that I follow is facemasks. I look forward to seeing which players changed facemasks and which facemasks they changed to. I’ve noticed this year that Alabama’s running back TJ Yeldon has changed facemasks 3 times already this season in 6 games, but has kept the same Riddell Revo Speed helmet.
Last year, Yeldon wore the facemask he wore for this year’s Florida game, every game last year. For the first game of the year against West Virginia, Yeldon wore a similar facemask that he wore last year, but without the second bar at the top of the facemask. For the next two games, against Florida Atlantic and Southern Miss, Yeldon wore a facemask with the extra bar at top as well as the center vertical bar on the bottom portion of the facemask. And for the next game against Florida (see above). After the Florida game was the Ole Miss game, which he changed to what is often referred to as the “Robot” facemask for the Revo Speed helmet. The following week against Arkansas, Yeldon stayed with the Robot facemask.
Looking forward to see if Yeldon sticks with a facemask, or continues to change.
Link to Flickr album
Great stuff Nolan — thanks so much for sharing!
OK, now onto the ticker…
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: So, you thought the “Royals” were named for kings or something? (Of course not, but some do). Well, reader Jim Wagner saw this article in the Wall Street Journal while looking for the Dunce/Chessmaster feature on Yost and Showalter. Says Jim “This one is much better.” … Our CC man, Brinke also sent in an article about the Royals not being named for Royalty. … Yesterday, the Washington Nationals released a 10 year anniversary patch (thanks to Bryan Martin Firvida). … The Rockies posted this pic of Carlos Gonzales on their Facebook account yesterday morning. Says submitter John Romero, “Apparently they used to fancy shorts in Venezuelan Little League.” … This is pretty interesting: Both managers (Bruce Bochy for the Giants and Ned Yost of the Royals) were Tidewater Tides players (at different times). That comes from Brady Phelps who adds, “Notice how different the hats are too.” … Yesterday, Paul noted that the Cardinals did not once wear their standard home uniform during their series against the Giants. Well, this was true of the Orioles as well: They wore their black alts in Game 1 (as is customary on Friday nights) and wore their orange alts in Game 2 (as is customary on Saturday home games). They wore their road grays for Games 3 and 4 (from Andrew Cosentino). … A few readers sent this in (and I happened to see it last night as well). The Mets may not be playoff bound anytime soon, but the Negro League throwbacks they wore this season seemed to accurately predict this year’s World Series opponents. … Reader JD Denison asks, “have you ever seen a teal Diamondbacks jersey and helmet?”
NFL News: Shane Vereen’s “N” became yellow/green during Thursday night’s Jets/Pats game (nice spot by Andrew Vazzano). … Why are the Tennessee Titans still wearing only white jerseys. The article doesn’t really identify a specific reason, other than the nebulous white jerseys are cooler than dark ones logic. Interesting note at the bottom says, “The Titans are scheduled to wear their throwback, navy blue uniforms in their next home game, on October 26 vs. the Texans.” Now they’re considering the (alternate) navy blue tops as “throwbacks.” … In an infographic about week 7 in the NFL, an ESPN illustration shows Peyton Manning wearing a Broncos home jersey with what appears to be the “NFL Equipment” logo at the base of the collar, which was removed from NFL jerseys before Manning started playing in Denver (thanks to Bobby Pinkham). … Here’s a nice spot by Brian Anderson, from a Packers.com gallery of past Carolina-GB games, we have a helmet with no decal, from November 20, 2008. … According to this WaPo article, the Washington football club will be wearing throwbacks this weekend. They will likely be the the same ones they wore last year (when they wore their normal helmets). … Here is a Dallas Cowboys’ “Salute To Service” jersey. … The Saints will be wearing gold helmets, white jerseys and gold pants on Sunday.
College Football News: The Missouri Tigers will be going shiny black/white/white today versus the Florida Gators (h/t to Nick Bianchi). … WKU will be honoring the winningest coach in that school’s history, Jimmy Feix, with a signature plaid hat decal. … The Black Knights of Army will be wearing full, head-to-toe camo today when they play Kent State (h/t Coleman Mullins). … Here’s a tremendous shot of Babe Ruth with the Drake University Football team (from Bruce Menard) — that photo is from October 17, 1926. … Baylor will be going Gold/White/White with pink gloves for road trip to West Virginia (h/t David Johnson). … Looks like Bowling Green will be wearing throwback helmets today (good spot by Noel Blaha). … Boise State went blue/orange/orange last night, while Fresno State wore some shiny chrome domes. … This subject was in yesterday’s ticker (and of course, many of you felt compelled to comment on it), but it looks like ASU will be banning facepaint during the blackout game. Key line from the article, “Face paint is no longer permitted for students and fans attending football games at Arizona State University, after an incident that many found shocking and offensive. Students involved in the incident, however, contend that covering a face with black paint does not necessarily equal ‘blackface,’ and that the paint is part of a long tradition and displays school spirit.” … Looks like Nebraska is going white/white/red for Northwestern today. NU, of course, is going gothic. … Our friend over at SportsLogos, Chris Creamer, does a neat little roundup of what the NCAA teams will be wearing over the weekend (and clearly, he
gets most of them from reads my tweets). Would you guys want an “NCAA Preview” feature to run on UW on Saturdays? Just throwing that out there…
Basketball News: Wyoming basketball has a new floor (from Bryan Stevens). … “So (yester)day Illinois released their 2014-15 season poster,” writes Brad Kruizenga. “On Nov 14th they are playing the Georgia Southern Eagles. Someone must of just googled GSU when creating it because the initial copy had Georgia State Panthers logo instead. Well wouldn’t you know, a couple hours later, fixed. I hope they hadn’t sent it to the printers yet.” … Last evening, the University of Maryland unveiled a new hoops set (thanks to Eric Garment). … Looks like the Nets jerseys will have a black and white NBA logo on the back (from Mike King).
Hockey News: Instead of wearing the typical pinktober gear, the Columbus Blue Jackets warmed up wearing purple as part of the “Hockey Fights Cancer” promotion. You can read more on the HFC promotion here, and it should be noted that the program supports more than just breast cancer awareness. … The ECHL’s Reading Royals’ have unveiled some “ghoulishly spooky” Halloween jerseys (from Jim Dornberger).
Grab Bag: Why were these Philadelphia police officers rocking Ronald McDonald socks? Why,
because striped socks are awesome for charity, of course. … Here’s an interesting article about a High School football team not wearing pink for breast cancer awareness (from Barkaat Masud). … Alexander Wang debuted his new athletically-inclined collection for H&M Thursday night and it’s a “Dystopian Sports Nightmare”. Says submitter Eric Juergens, “Made me laugh, then I got afraid.” … Who is this charming young chap in the Docksiders standing to the right of then-Akron Head Coach Gerry Faust? Why, it’s none other than our own Jim Vilk, in a rare throwback Saturday posting.
And that’s going to do it for today. Big thanks to Tristan, Gary, and Andrew, and of course to you guys for all the support, tweets and ticker submissions. Back with Sunday Morning Uni Watch tomorrow. Don’t forget, if you see a “good” or a “bad” looking football game today, make sure to send Catherine your tips and suggestions at UW5and1@gmail.com. Everyone have a great Saturday.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken
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“Will the Mets bringing in the fences make room to put in more empty seats?”