For years — long before I came up with the idea for Uni Watch — my favorite spot at the Baseball Hall of Fame was the third floor, where they had a big display of old uniforms. The bad news is that reader Jay Braiman tells me that the third floor has been renovated and that the uni display is no longer there; the good news is that he found a bunch of photos of the display, which he took during a visit to Cooperstown back in 2001. Let’s take a look:
• Great view here of the Angels’ old halo-topped cap.
• Here’s the old Seattle Pilots uniform from 1969. Note that the sleeve stripes also showed up on the 1970 Brewers jersey — that’s because the franchise’s move to Milwaukee wasn’t a done deal until just a few days before the start of the 1970 season, and they just removed the Pilots insignia from the old uniforms and replaced them with a hastily devised Brewers insignia. (Also in that last photo: Dig the striped A’s stirrups!)
• Still more Chisoxiana: Whenever someone refers to the White Sox wearing shorts for one game in 1976, the photos that usually show up are this, this, and this. But if you look at this shot of the Cooperstown display, you’ll see another photo of a shorts-clad Sox player.
• Great view here of the Braves’ experimental reflective satin uniform, worn for night games in 1948. (Also: Note the great Phillies road uni, White Sox stirrups, zip-front Cubs jersey, and Indians cap.)
• Tons of great stuff here — I’ll let it speak for itself.
• I can remember the first time I saw the catalog page with the little uniform swatches shown at the left side of this photo. “Man,” I thought, “I sure would love to have some catalogs like that!” Now, of course, I do.
• Real oddity here: a special jersey prepared for a Casey Stengel tribute day at Yankee Stadium. (Gaylord Perry once wore something similar, although I’m unsure of when that photo was taken — maybe at his Hall of Fame induction?)
Special thanks to Jay for the pics, and for the stroll down Cooperstown’s memory lane. Here’s hoping they restore the uni exhibit soon.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Genuinely hilarious video commentary about black uniforms here, complete with references to the Nazis, Mafia funerals, and Nike’s child-labor practices. Essential viewing. … Great article here about Barry Bonds and his earring (with thanks to Jameson Costello). … Small item in Saturday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (as forwarded by Shaun Schnur): “The [Pitt] athletic department has made some subtle changes to the Panthers’ uniforms, and they will be unveiled later this summer. The biggest change will be a return to blue pants for certain games.” … Speaking of new college football uniforms, here’s Michigan State’s new design. Too bad about the logo above the nameplate, but overall these look solid. Further details and pics here. … Unfortunate news out of St. Looie, as Anthony Reyes and his striped stirrups have been sent to the minors. … Meanwhile, Jose Reyes has been hitting without batting gloves lately. … Good article here about the Phillies’ uniform numbers (with thanks to Marc Malfara and Bernie Langer, among many others). … Miguel Cabrera has unveiled a pair of predominantly white shoes. … Cabrera is also one of several Marlins who wore rather war paint-ish eye black on Sunday. … The Twins and Blue Jays both wore military caps on Sunday. I had read that the Jays’ caps would honor the Canadian military, but it looks like they were wearing the same caps as the Twins. … Even weirder: Can someone explain why the Jays wore American flag cap patches while playing in Toronto yesterday? … More Memorial Day cap patch observations: Some players had them in front of the ear, others had them riding a bit high, and the Royals had them on the wrong side. … We’ve all seen still photos of the White Sox wearing shorts (like the ones in today’s main entry, above). But the only video footage I’ve ever seen — momentary but very worthwhile — can be found at the 44-second mark of this video (great find by Johnny Garfield) … Obligatory Serena Williams comment: What’s with the bustle? … Meanwhile, did you notice that her first-round opponent, Tsvetana Pironkova, paired an Adidas shirt and shoes with a Nike visor? … For years Johnny Estrada has worn real stirrups. But David Arnott recently snapped a photo of Estrada wearing total phonies — boooooo! Further details on this observation, and several others (including Tony Gwynn Jr. saying he won’t wear the new BP cap style because “It sucks!”), in this installment of Arnott’s blog. … Terry Mark recently attended a single-A game between the South Bend Silver Hawks and the Dayton Dragons, and filed this report: “Hawks first baseman Brad Miller had a Hawks logo patch on his left sleeve, while the rest of his teammates wore the patch on the right sleeve. Also: The back of the Dragons’ jerseys are pretty busy, while the Hawks by comparison are much simpler (but the yellow numbers are hard to read from a distance). Every Dragons player and coach wore high cuffs, because the Dragons are a Reds farm team.” … Speaking of Reds minor league clubs, Matthew Lepke was at Sunday’s Louisville Bats game and got this photo of pitching coach Ted Power and starter Tom Shearn displaying disparate stirrup styles. He also noted that Buffalo Bisons LF Brad Snyder had a badly torn pant leg (additional pics here and here. … If you go to this page and click on “Game 6 Highlights” (right side of the page), you’ll see video of the really awful black jerseys that the North Carolina baseball team recently wore (with thanks to Brett Gray). … Longtime contribtor Kevin Gee has noticed something really interesting about Roger Clemens: Check out the little belt-mounted gizmo he’s wearing here, here, here, and here. I find it hard to believe that the Rocket could have diabetes and manage to keep it secret, so I doubt that the device is an insulin pump (like Jason Johnson used to wear). So what is it — heart-rate monitor? Cyborg control panel? … Blast from the televisual past from Jacob Bestebroer, who made some observations while watching old episodes of The White Shadow: “I’ve attached a few pictures from an episode that ran during the show’s first season, 1978-79,” he writes. “I was surprised to see that they are wearing Nike shoes. Where was Nike as a company at that time? Also, I’ve attached a photo from the opening sequence that shows the coach in the show during his time with the Chicago Bulls. I’m wondering if the Bulls actually ever wore that uniform.” I’ll let the rest of you address those queries, because I’m too busy blissing out over the striped socks. … Reprinted from Sunday’s comments: Trevor Hoffman is archiving his gear, because “Each time I save one, it’s a new record,” a line that really scales new heights in chutzpah. … Michael Fritzlar sent me this article about Tomo Ohka turning on several of the Blue Jays to the pleasures of toe socks (just as Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima have done with the Red Sox) and then cracked me up with the following: “A.J. Burnett referring to his toes as ‘guys’ [as in ‘I’ve got these shower shoes with this strap that separates the big toe from the other guys’] is nothing new. Between innings on the Jumbotron (do they still call them that anymore?) at Skydome (I know they don’t call it that anymore), A.J. was being interviewed by a 12-year-old girl who asked him, ‘How long have you been playing baseball?’ A.J. quickly says, ‘Since the age of seven’ and then attempts to do the difficult algorithm of subtracting seven from his current age. You could almost smell the fire burning: ‘I guess for 15, 18, uh, 20 years or so?’ 20 + 7 = 27. A.J. is 31 years old this year. So A.J.’s new fetish for toe socks makes sense, because he needs to see his ‘guys’ so he can use his fingers and ‘guys’ to subtract the number of projected wins someone with his talent should be producing (20) and his actual output of wins (14). His ‘guys’ can also count his stints on the DL, how many days J.P has left as G.M., and the number of creepy facial hair looks with which he has scared children at Skydome (4). I just hope he doesn’t attempt to figure out the exchange rate between American and Canadian dollars — that would surely result in another trip on the DL. I wonder if he has names for his ‘guys,’ but I digress.” … Julian Tavarez had shirt tag issues on Sunday. … Kudos to Dave Shucosky, who found this photo of, as he put it, “Huston Street wearing more ribbons than a five-star general.” … The Washington Huskies hoops team will join Nike’s System of Dress program next season. Further details in the second item on this page (with thanks to Jon Horton). … Where’s that Velcro patch when you need it? … Kaz Matsui’s purple batting gloves look so much like grape candy, I almost want to lick them. … Anyone know what’s on Cliff Floyd’s undershirt? … Ken Tobler reports that Dennys Reyes’s nickname is “Big Sweat,” and he has it embroidered on his glove. … Late-breaking contribution from Jamie Costello, who got some screen grabs of Kentucky Derby jockeys wearing lots and lots of goggles.