With all these crazy cold-weather games that have been going on, I’ve found myself wondering, “Who the hell would go to a ballgame under these conditions?” I mean, I can sort of understand if it’s Opening Day, but who would bother to show up at the ballpark for a game when the temperature’s below freezing?
Matthew Lepke, that’s who. He attended Saturday’s Twins/Chisox game in Chicago, where the game-time temp was 31 degrees. Despite the frigid conditions, he managed to take some great photos — mainly of the players dealing with the frigid conditions. Here’s his report:
Nick Punto wore a stocking cap/toque under his game cap. I wonder how many cap sizes he had to go up to pull this off. At first Torii Hunter wore a balaclava, but later on he just slapped his stocking cap over his game cap (I never knew how cool I was as a kid sledding back home in Iowa with this look until I saw Torii do it). First base coach Jerry White went with the hoodie-under-jersey look the whole day. I can’t blame him — I had four layers on and was still cold.
I know I speak for everyone when I thank Matthew for being
foolhardy intrepid enough to brave the elements on our behalf. Next time we’ll have the Uni Watch St. Bernard at the ready to bring him a nip of hooch during the 7th inning stretch.
There was also plenty of cold-weather headgear on display yesterday in Pittsburgh, as you can see in these pics of Yadier Molina, Adam LaRoche (here’s another shot), and Jack Wilson. And in case you were wondering, yes, all those knitted hats are fully MLB logo-fied.
But wait, this just in: It turns out that Uni Watch intern Vince Grzegorek himself was in attendance at Friday’s game in Cleveland. He’s now thawed out enough to deliver the following dispatch:
Dressing for the Indians’ 2007 opener was like dressing for a Browns game. My strategy at staying warm included three to four shirts, double-layer socks, hat, gloves, jacket, and sweatpants under the jeans. Even then, the snow delays eventually wore away my defenses and I yearned for some little heat packs to put in my gloves.
When Cleveland decided not to cancel the game before it even started, I was pumped. This is our weather. Snow, cold, and wind. Lake Erie was going to be our Monster this day. Seattle was playing in our elements, and no amount of face-warmers or long-sleeve shirts could prepare them for what they were about to endure. Then a snow delay. Then a snow delay. And by the time Paul Byrd was working on a no-hitter in the 4th inning and he was walking guys left and right and shaking off pitches, I knew that the lack of hits was as much a testament to the weather as to Byrd’s arsenal, if not more. Santana may have the change-up, Dice-K may have the gyro Ball, but Byrd had the unhittable Lake Effect Flurry Ball, if just for one day. Too bad he won’t be able to throw it in Milwaukee.
Incidentally, speaking of cold weather, there were lots of comments yesterday about a new line of MLB parkas with a very, uh, subtle logo. Love to have been present at the design meeting where that was approved.
Let the Chatter Begin: Because of relaxed pace of play, baseball offers more opportunities for uni-related banter among broadcasters than any other sport. Reader Blaine Williams alerted me to just such an exchange that took place between Reds announcers George Grande and Chris Welsh during Sunday’s Reds/Pirates game. We pick up the discussion just as Adam Dunn has taken a borderline called third strike that appeared to be low…
Welsh: The only way Adam Dunn’s going to get that low strike called consistently a ball is to hike those pants of his up around the knee, and I don’t think it’s worth the loss of style points for him.
Grande: Ain’t gonna happen. Fashion statement. In this day and age. Remember when you played? You had to wear the stirrup socks for the Reds. You got fined if you didn’t.
Welsh: That’s right. Your uniform came with an inseam about 25 inches long, and you had no other choice but to hike those babies up. You were showin’ legs whether you had calves or not.
A few thought spring to mind here: (1) Hiking up one’s pants constitutes a loss of style points? (2) Even if the preceding sentiment were true, Dunn would rather strike out than go high-cuffed? (3) “Whether you had calves or not”?
Uni Watch News Ticker: The Twins, as promised, have removed their memorial black armband for broadcaster Herb Carneal and replaced it with a sleeve patch, which features a microphone and the word “Herb”. … Iowa State’s football team is switching to gold pants for the 2007 season. In addition, the school expects to have a completely new uniform (including gold pants) for 2008, and is inviting fans to send in their design ideas. Full details, including a link to video of the press conference where this was all announced, here. … Back in February, I mentioned that Dominican University’s teams are called the Penguins, because Dominican is a Catholic school that used to be run by nuns. Now Brandon Davis, who’s the school’s sports info director, has sent along some photos of the school’s lacrosse team. “Coach Ned Webster and I came up with the ‘look of a Penguin’ for our team’s uniforms,” he writes. “The unis are black with white chests, like a penguin. The helmets are black and the chin is white to blend in with the chest. Unfortunately, the referee today said that regulations on lacrosse unis are probably changing next year — jerseys will have to be full blocks of color, which means that the penguin design would become illegal. We’ll see how that plays out.” … Davis also provided a photo of a softball team with a very unusual sock design. Logo creep issues notwithstanding, that’s one weird pattern — anyone ever seen this before? … Brian Roberts is about the last guy I’d expect to be wearing white shoes. … Reader Jeff Barak has found two hockey videos full of cool uni- and equipment-related stuff. The first one, an hour-long fan’s history of the Winnipeg Jets, is available here, and is essential viewing. It includes a short music video for a song called “Dale Hawerchuk,” by a French-Canadian band called the Dale Hawerchuks, which is available by itself below:
I’ll be off the grid today (yet another birthday — this time my Mom’s), so talk amongst yourselves. Back tomorrow.