When someone close to a team dies, as Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock did on Sunday, the memorial gestures usually come on several levels. First there’s the official team remembrance, which in this case is a “32” sleeve patch that the Cards will be wearing for the rest of this season. Then there’s the now-obligatory display of the dead player’s jersey in his team’s dugout and bullpen. And then there are the personal memorials. Some players may inscribe the deceased’s number or initials onto their caps. Others may come up with a more unique marker, like Jason Simontacchi’s ankle band in memory of Darryl Kile.
But I’d never seen anything like what Tim Hudson did last night. In case you missed it, Hudson — who was Hancock’s teammate at Auburn back in 1997 — wore a big “JH” on his jersey. How big? Really fucking big. I hate to be a pill, but couldn’t he have worn a simple sleeve patch like the Cardinals did?
The most interesting thing about the XXXXL-sized letters is that Hudson clearly needed help in order to wear them. The team’s equipment manager and stitcher had to be in on the deal, and skipper Bobby Cox had to be okay with it too. Did the Commissioner’s office sign off on this too? None of the game recaps I’ve looked at have mentioned anything about that, but I’m wondering if this might be another example of Bud “Sure, Everyone Can Wear No. 42” Selig loosening up for a change.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The WNBA will be unveiling a bunch of new uniforms today. … The Reds are going to retire Dave Concepcion’s No. 13. … Never thought I’d be saying this, but there’s an AF2 team with some killer striped socks: the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz (with thanks to Jeff Rinker). … My recent breakdown of Star Trek uniforms prompted this communiqué from Uni Watch design director Scott M.X. Turner: “There was an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine that featured a baseball game between the various species of the Federation and an annoyingly soulless Vulcan team. The Starfleet team was called the ‘Niners, after the space station they’re all assigned to. Actors Avery Brooks (Commander Sisko), Cirroc Lofton (Jake, his son) and Alexander Siddig (Dr. Bashir) all wore their stirrups the right way, as you can see by clicking through this gallery. The Vulcan team, the Locicians, had goofy caps but otherwise looked like the road Yankees.” … Yesterday’s note about how the low man on the bullpen totem pole usually has to carry the bag of snacks and provisions led to this note from Brian Hilemon: “The Padres had a longstanding rule that the guy with the least service time not only had to carry and stock the bag, but the bag itself was actually a really lame little girls’ backpack.” … Very odd: Late last week I put out the call for photos of bloody-stained uniforms, and then this happens. … Cheers to the Deftones, whose frontman knows a thing or two about striped socks (with thanks to Mike from Vienna). … I’m extremely happy to report that I bought a Mitsubishi Galant yesterday, and you know what color it was.