Two weeks ago, while writing about the amazing Vintage Card Traders site, I mentioned the old flocked helmets that the Pirates used to wear. That prompted a note from reader Josh Curran, who pointed me toward this photo of a flocked Reds helmet — the first one I’ve ever seen. In fact, the only other photos of flocked helmets that I have handy are these shots of Mickey Mantle and Manny Sanguillen (also note Duke Sims’s brimless catching helmet), although I know there were other fuzzy-helmeted players out there. This would be a good research project, so if anyone knows of other players who wore the flocked domes (preferably not from the Pirates), let me know.
That Reds photo, incidentally, comes from Dave Grob’s page on the Crosley Field site, both of which are friggin’ gold mines. Grob, a serious collector of game-used unis, has loads of great photos. Among the many highlights:
• Here’s one of Ted Kluszewski’s jerseys, with the sleeves tailored extra-extra short (not just torn off, as is often mistakenly reported).
• Lots of good sleeve patches on display here, including the WWII-era star-spangled shield and “Health” emblems, the National League’s 75th-anniversary patch (note the slight differences between that version and this one), and the baseball centennial patch.
• Most people don’t realize that the Giants’ colors were once red and blue.
• Check out this nifto uni-numbered jacket sleeve.
• Thing of beauty, no?
There’s more on Grob’s page — see for yourself. And the rest of the Crosley Field site has even more, including the evolution of Mr. Redlegs (1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1967), tons of old stadium photos (look here, here, here, and here), and this totally boss usher’s cap (dig the caned brow panel!), among other treats. Well worth exploring.
Quiz Results: I’ve put the results of the Distant Replays gift card raffle into a separate blog entry, which you can find by scrolling down to the post below this one.
But wait, before you do that…: We’ve got another giveaway. The good folks at Helmet Hut are donating a free helmet from their Gridiron Memories online store. The lucky winner will be able to choose from any non-autographed college helmet on the site. They have killer stuff, as you can see from the models shown here, here, and here (the full inventory is here), and I can personally vouch for the incredibly authentic workmanship on these reproductions, right down to the stitching patterns on the fabric used in the interior web suspensions.
No time-consuming quiz this time, either. Just send an e-mail to helmetraffle at earthlink dot net (please note that this is not the usual Uni Watch address) and that’s it, you’re entered. I’ll choose the winner at random from all the entries received by next Monday at 9pm eastern time. I probably won’t even open these e-mails, so don’t bother writing anything clever — just think of it as putting your name in a hat. There’s no downside to entering, so everyone should do it.
Only one entry per person, but I’m going to stack the deck ever so slightly, like so: Everyone who’s donated to the cause by ordering Uni Watch temporary tattoos over the past couple of weeks will automatically have their names put into the hat a second time — a small gesture of thanks for supporting the site. And I’ll extend that same benefit to anyone who donates between now and next Monday. Same terms as before: $1 apiece for the first five tats, 50 cents apiece after that, with a five-tat minimum. PayPal those retirement funds to paul_lukas at earthlink dot net.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The Blues, desperate for offense, cloned Brett Hull last night. Okay, they actually just retired his number, which meant everyone had to endure that now-trite routine where all the players wore his jersey during pregame warm-ups. … Rob Bironas’s pants appear to be beltless (which is particularly odd considering the Titans have those little belt buckle sleeves). … Nice job by Bill Blewett, who writes: “Last night SDPBS had on a program about the history of South Dakota high school football, called 100 Years, 100 Yards, and I was able to snap some pics of some of the better get-ups. This one‘s from 1908. I wasn’t able to catch a year on this one, but that’s some pretty nice striping. The next one is from the 1954 six-man Claremont Honkers — unfortunately, this was the best pic I could get. It really doesn’t do these vertical stripes justice. Next is some numbering I thought was cool from the 1954 Sioux Falls Washington High team. The last ones are a few basketball pics they had thrown in throughout the program — nice socks on the defender, and some cool belt and chest striping.” … Chad Klenk usually only writes in to talk about Ohio State, but today he’s got the 1984 Orange Bowl on his mind: “They recently showed the game as one of those ‘Classic Replays’ that ESPN does. They had Turner Gill and Bernie Kosar making comments throughout the game, and one of the topics they specifically talked about was that two Nebraska DBs actually switched jersey numbers before the game. They showed an old newspaper article covering the switcheroo, but I was unable to find it — although I think I found a link to where that article can be purchased for $2.95″ (and the link provides a good summary, too). … Marquette news, courtesy of Dan Kinderman, who quotes a local newspaper columnist thusly: “Coach Tom Crean has been affiliated with Nike since coming to MU in 1999. And since the Golden Eagles advanced to the Final Four in 2003, they’ve been designated as an Elite program by the shoe company, meaning they receive one of the best outfitting deals around. Their gear could have a new look next season, though, thanks in large part to former MU star and 2006 SI Sportsman of the Year Dwyane Wade. Crean has been in discussions with Converse — the company Wade has endorsed since entering the NBA in 2003, and has since been purchased by Nike — to switch over. Assuming the deal goes through, the Golden Eagles will become the lone team in college basketball to sport ‘Brand Wade’ uniforms and shoes.” … Speaking of Wade, how the hell did he end up wearing a Nike jersey on SI’s cover this week? The Adidas people can’t be happy about that. … I had some boxing on the tube as I was working on this blog entry. Wasn’t paying close attention to it, but at one point I looked up and was surprised to see that one of the fighters was wearing faux stirrup baseball socks. … Good breakdown of Cavs uni history here (with thanks to Justin Kadis). … Disturbing bit of logo creep unearthed by Jeremy Brahm: “I just saw an article apples in Japan with the Hanshin Tigers logo on them. Before the summer, the apples had tape placed on their skin, which turned the taped areas white as the apples grew.”