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Uni Watch Book Club

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A week or two ago I mentioned a very promising book that I’d just become aware of, Now Batting, Number…: The Mystique, Superstition, and Lore of Baseball’s Uniform Numbers, by Jack Looney. At the time, I hadn’t actually obtained a copy of the book itself, but by now I’ve gotten one and spent some time with it.

The good news: There’s a small mountain of information here, including team-by-team historical roster breakdowns of every MLB team (i.e., if you want to know what number Tommie Agee wore for the White Sox in 1967, it’s in here), all-time “best of” rosters for each uni number (i.e., the greatest players to wear No. 3, No. 7, etc.), an entire chapter devoted to equipment managers, plenty of fun anecdotes, and a lot more. The production values are generally quite high — good color photos, high-quality coated paper, etc. At 545 pages — many of them rendered in relatively fine print — you’re getting a lot for your dough.

Here’s the book Bill is referring to in his comment above — not about uniforms, but very much in keeping with the spirt of minutiae obsession and systematic classification that informs Uni Watch.

And now I’m going to keep writing a bit in order to fill up the space created by that Amazon link. So: Rick White, who wore double-zero with the Indians, Pirates, and Reds, has been claimed off waivers by the Phillies. He’s listed on their web site roster as wearing double-zero, but he hasn’t been in a game for them yet (they went through most of the pitching staff in yesterday’s 12-inning game but somehow managed not to use him), so I don’t yet have a photo of him in his new 00 jersey.

  • Lars | June 27, 2006 at 11:13 am |

    If anyone ever gets the chance to pick up the book titled Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century you should do so. I know Paul has written about it before. It is an amazing book. It was my preliminary training before UniWatch.

    Also if anyone does know of the book, I am curious if the author, Mark Okkonen(sp), has updtated it. My edition only goes up to 1995 or 1996. I would love to see an updated version – hopefully with more color pictures in the team detail pages.

  • Jill | June 27, 2006 at 11:30 am |

    Federer’s gettin’ fancy at Wimbledon…

    http://www.wimbledon...

    http://www.wimbledon...

  • Jill | June 27, 2006 at 11:32 am |
  • Chris | June 27, 2006 at 11:57 am |

    Is that Federer’s custom logo on the jacket pocket? Never seen that before. Surprised it’s not a big swoosh.

  • todd krevanchi (krvanch) | June 27, 2006 at 12:12 pm |

    from various newspapers…

    Federer was wearing a smart white jacket that had been made for him by his kit manufacturers, Nike, with a crest that included a tuft of grass, the Swiss cross, the symbol for his Leo star sign, an F for his surname, and three rackets which represent his three Wimbledon titles. As much as Federer liked the jacket, he is hoping that he will require some tailoring in a just over a fortnight’s time, adding one racket to the crest.

    sharapova last year sported a business style warm up suit as well…
    vs. venus williams 1

    vs. venus williams 2

  • Grant | June 27, 2006 at 12:20 pm |

    I found it a little odd that in the Royals vs. Brewers throwback game, the Royals stuck with blue helmets although their jerseys were red and white. (no picture)

  • Jared | June 27, 2006 at 12:25 pm |

    I found a good pic of ARod wearing the Nike Sphere MVP batting glove we were talking about the other day…..

    http://espn-i.starwa...

  • John Ekdahl | June 27, 2006 at 1:10 pm |

    I’ve noticed some people are having trouble posting links in the comment sections, so here’s a quick tutorial…

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  • SmellyCat | June 27, 2006 at 2:23 pm |

    [quote comment=”1605″]If anyone ever gets the chance to pick up the book titled Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century you should do so. I know Paul has written about it before. It is an amazing book. It was my preliminary training before UniWatch.

    Also if anyone does know of the book, I am curious if the author, Mark Okkonen(sp), has updtated it. My edition only goes up to 1995 or 1996. I would love to see an updated version – hopefully with more color pictures in the team detail pages.[/quote]

    Okkonen’s book is brilliant, but it only goes up to the 1993 season, and as you mentioned, hasn’t been updated since.

  • Chris | June 27, 2006 at 2:26 pm |

    espn.com’s Ivan Maisel is running a feature on the best college football players for each number 1-100.

  • brandon | June 27, 2006 at 3:56 pm |

    any link to that feature?

  • Chris | June 27, 2006 at 4:12 pm |

    The feature is on the main page of espn.com about half way down under “Must Read”, it is actually a pop-up that you can’t link to (or I don’t know how to) he is currently up to number 40, he adds 20 a day all week.

  • Drew | June 27, 2006 at 4:13 pm |

    Here is the link to the numbers feature:

  • Drew | June 27, 2006 at 4:16 pm |
  • JJ | June 27, 2006 at 4:35 pm |

    Heard snippets about how the women players have to be more conservately dressed at Wimbledon but no articles – anyone have anything?

    Also, first glance of sharapova in that warm-up suit reminded me of Princess Leia in “Empire Strikes back”..

    I’ll be watching here “in the bashement of the schienche building”

  • Bryan S | June 27, 2006 at 5:21 pm |

    I have a hard time believing that EPSN is having trouble coming up with a single adequate player to be the best to have worn #29… and while I can’t say that I can think of one, SURELY with the combined brain power of all Uni-Watch readers, we can come up with SOMETHING.

    Post if you find anything.

  • JayRaider77 | June 27, 2006 at 5:58 pm |

    [quote comment=”1634″]I have a hard time believing that EPSN is having trouble coming up with a single adequate player to be the best to have worn #29… and while I can’t say that I can think of one, SURELY with the combined brain power of all Uni-Watch readers, we can come up with SOMETHING.

    Post if you find anything.[/quote]

    Johnny Bright is a College Football Hall of Famer who wore #29.
    http://www.collegefo...

  • Jimmy | June 27, 2006 at 7:54 pm |

    The wifebeater is pure genius. Pure, absolute genius.

  • Retard | June 27, 2006 at 9:43 pm |

    Why is the wifebeater funny? I have no idea what it means.

  • Miguel | June 27, 2006 at 10:18 pm |

    This is why the wifebeater is funny (and sad).

  • John S | June 27, 2006 at 10:23 pm |

    One brief uniform note from tonight’s Cardinals – Indians game here in St. Louis:

    The pitching matchup of Anthony Reyes vs. C.C. Sabathia, besides being another chance to look at Reyes’ high socks, also features contrasting cap-wearing styles from the starting pitchers.

    Reyes wears a flat-brimmed cap; Sabathia wears his cap tilted to the side.

  • Greg | June 27, 2006 at 11:25 pm |

    Spain is the second team (like the Ukraine) to continue wearing the same uni and lose in the round of 16.

    http://fifaworldcup....

  • JayRaider77 | June 27, 2006 at 11:52 pm |

    [quote comment=”1649″]Spain is the second team (like the Ukraine) to continue wearing the same uni and lose in the round of 16.

    http://fifaworldcup....

    But the Ukraine won…

  • Greg | June 28, 2006 at 2:27 am |

    Wow, sorry. I guess I’m tired. :)

    So, correction: Spain is the first team to wear the same uni in it’s first four games and lose in the last one.

    Sweden & the Netherlands both changed for their fourth and lost. Italy changed for their fourth but won. Germany, Portugal & Ukraine kept the same uni and continued to win. They are the only three that are left to have worn the same uni in every game played. We’ll see how they fare this weekend. (Interestingly, none play each other)

  • Warren Thompson | June 28, 2006 at 7:46 am |

    [quote comment=”1638″][quote comment=”1634″]
    Johnny Bright is a College Football Hall of Famer who wore #29.
    http://www.collegefo...
    [/quote]

    In that game v. Oklahoma A&M, the broken jaw Bright suffered was the result of a deliberate attack by a Cowboy player who apparently took exception to the color of Bright’s skin.
    [/quote]

    As I recall, LIFE Magazine ran a series of photos showing the attack. It was graphic and sickening.

  • Jonathan | June 29, 2006 at 4:46 pm |

    Usually I love reader submissions, but I find the Brett Meyers “wife-beater” jersey design to be TOTALL INAPPROPRIATE AND TASTELESS. We’re talking about a 240-lb. athlete (and former boxer!) who repeatedly hit his 120-lb. wife with a CLOSED FIST AND DRAGGED HER DOWN THE STREET BY HER HAIR. Someone needs to explain to me how this is fodder for jokes!

  • Warren Thompson | June 29, 2006 at 7:22 pm |

    [quote comment=”1775″]Usually I love reader submissions, but I find the Brett Meyers “wife-beater” jersey design to be TOTALL INAPPROPRIATE AND TASTELESS. We’re talking about a 240-lb. athlete (and former boxer!) who repeatedly hit his 120-lb. wife with a CLOSED FIST AND DRAGGED HER DOWN THE STREET BY HER HAIR. Someone needs to explain to me how this is fodder for jokes![/quote]

    If this player did what he’s alleged to have done, there is certainly no reason to make a joke of it.
    Wife-beating is NOT funny. It ranks up there with child-molestation ….

  • Robert Eden | June 30, 2006 at 9:55 am |

    While wife-beating is abhorrent, it comes nowhere close to child-molestation. Sorry.

  • Lindsay | July 1, 2006 at 7:27 pm |

    I just got Looney’s book today and picked up instantly on a pretty funny error – apparently Dustin Hoffman pitched for the Red Sox in 2002 wearing Dustin Hermanson’s number 31.