So here’s a little something: In last Friday’s ticker, I mentioned that Arizona State shortstop Andrew Romine had been wearing green sleeves (as shown at right) a few days earlier, while the rest of the team was wearing maroon. Probably a holdover from St. Paddy’s Day, I opined.
But then I got a note from ASU spokesguy and longtime Uni Watch supporter Randy Policar, to wit:
It has nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day. Since the beginning of the season, one member of the team has been assigned the green undershirt for each game. The player who is assigned it must wear it directly under the jersey, no exceptions. The meaning of the sleeves is known only to the student-athletes.
Hmmm, intriguing. I wrote back: “How is the assignment made each game? Like, does the last guy who wears the green get to pick the next guy, or is it a team vote, or what? Does the shirt get washed each time, or is it some kind of skank-o-rama contest?” That brought this response from Policar:
Before every series, the green undershirt appears in a player’s locker. No one is sure who assigns it, but the players think it is Coach [Pat] Murphy. Anyways, the player must wear the green shirt directly under their jersey for the entire series. The first series we wore our sleeveless road jerseys was in Auburn, and our CF Jarred Bogany was assigned the shirt. When he came out for infield/outfield, he had the green sleeves under his maroon undershirt. The players told him he had to switch it, so he played the entire game with green sleeves under the sleeveless jersey, just like Romine did on Wednesday.
I asked Murph who assigns the shirt, and his response was, “What green shirt?” (with a smile, I might add).
My road roommate, Steve Kirkman, handles the laundry on the road (with assistance from me, since folding game jerseys is actually quite thrilling for me), and we do wash the shirt, so it’s not collecting any flies.
Policar (who recently a very nice ASU St. Paddy’s Day cap to Uni Watch HQ) hinted to me that he knows a bit more about this than he’s letting on, but he’s keeping the details under wraps. So for now we’ve got a team ritual and a mystery, wrapped up in the world’s greatest color.
Can You Believe Ron Hodges Once Wore That Number?: Yesterday I asked if anyone knew more about exactly when Marc Sagmoen changed his uni number from 42 to 37 — was it immediately after MLB announced that 42 had been retired in honor of Jackie Robinson, or did he wear the number for a day or two before switching? Reader Jeff Backschies, who attended college with Sagmoen at Nebraska, sheds a bit more light on the subject: “Sagmoen and I had common friends in college, and both being Seattle kids in Nebraska, we kinda knew one another, so I followed his post-Husker career. I remember pretty clearly that he had worn 42 at least the day it was retired, after the announcement.” So even if Sagmoen switched numbers the very next day, it sounds like he wore 42 at least once in the number’s post-retirement era.
Meanwhile, the roster of players who’ll be wearing 42 next Sunday is filling up. In addition to the names that were originally reported (Griffey, Bonds, Cameron, Randolph, and the whole Dodgers team), the list now includes Coco Crisp, Dontrelle Willis, Gary Matthews Jr., Jimmy Rollins, Derrek Lee, Gary Sheffield, Josh Barfield (along with C.C. Sabathia on the bench), and Dmitri Young (an interesting choice).
One other Robinson-related note: When news of the whole 42 thing broke on Wednesday night, the AP put a bunch of old Jackie photos out on the wire. The weird thing is, Robbie’s uniform number isn’t visible in any of the photos they chose (one of which is a little undignified to boot).
Uni Watch News Ticker: The long-threatened crackdown on Barry Zito’s glove (first reported here) has finally come to pass. … Next NBA team to do the Noche Latina thing: the Spurs, who’ll be wearing the flags and jersey patch on Monday. Additional pics here (with thanks to Uni Watch intern Vince Grzegorek, who’s also found another athlete who wears cap pins: LPGAer Paula Creamer, who usually has a pin on the side of her brim). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments; Dice-K took the mound yesterday wearing an orange bracelet. But he was told to remove it, and it ended up in his pocket (great job on the screen grabs by Anthony Memme). Plus he had some odd-looking undersleeves, and that big belt buckle. … Todd Krevanchi notes that the Basketball Hall of Fame’s latest class of inductees were given honorary jerseys the other day. … Umpire Jim Wolf wore a ski cap again yesterday (with thanks to Uni Watch cold-weather umpire headwear specialist Mike Comeau, who has now documented this phenomenon for two days running). … Speaking of cold-weather attire, several of the Devil Rays were doing the convenience store stick-up thing last night (even while batting). … Good article here about Creighton University pitcher Pat Venditte, who wears a special glove because he pitches both left-handed and right-handed. … As some of you are aware, there’s a fun little controversy brewing regarding Frankie Rodriguez, who definitely appears to have something on his underbrim, a spot he happens to reach for quite a bit. To get the full story, start here, then go here, and then here. … The Coyotes retired Dale Hawerchuk’s number last night, and he got to wear that super-cool Jets jersey. … Pink?! Did he lose a bet or what?