Several people have contributed good info about the College World Series, but I’m gonna save that until tomorrow or Thursday. Today we’re going to look back a bit further than college baseball — all the way back to Little League.
That topic was inspired by a note I got last week from reader Wally Steidley, who said he coached Little League in Wylie, Texas. “My assistant coach and I are huge fans of Uni Watch,” he wrote, “so we took it upon ourselves to spend a little extra and get our boys outfitted like real baseball players. We have some limitations from the league but put together a pretty nice combo, including stirrups and sanitary socks. All the other teams went with the one-color soccer sock, so we really stood out as the finest uni’ed team in the entire league.”
Cool, I thought — teach ‘em young and all that. So when Steidley offered to send me some photos, I said, “Sure, let’s have ‘em.” That’s when I discovered that he’d left out one pertinent detail. He hadn’t just dressed up his team like real ballplayers — he’d dressed them as one of history’s most idiosyncratic teams: the A’s. Here’s Steidley‘s rundown:
We had some challenges getting the kids to wear everything correctly, but it was worth it, as everyone in the league noticed our classic stirrups and gold sanitary socks. We did have to explain the stirrup and how to wear them to the kids, but the parents thought it was a cool look, so they helped us out by requiring that they wear them correctly. You will also note the white cleats, which were difficult to find, but we talked the parents into them.
The gold belts were used because last year we were the Pirates, and the parents didn’t want to have to buy more belts. I gave in because my assistant coach and I had already purchased helmets, with MLB sticker packs, and fronted the money for the socks and stirrups. This is something we’ll be able to fix with next year’s team.
Amazing. So now there’s a bunch of nine-year-olds in Texas who think “real” ballplayers wear yellow sanitaries and white cleats. That should warp their little minds quite nicely. Still, Steidley’s devotion to uniform protocol is admirable. After Jason Giambi arranges to have Bud Selig bumped off, could we maybe get Steidley in line to take over the Commissioner’s chair?
Membership Update: I’ve added about two dozen more rear-card designs to the membership roster and to the card gallery (including, as you can see at right, our first referee-based design). My continued thanks to all who’ve joined.
Uni Watch News Ticker: One of the San Diego Union-Tribune columnists wrote a bit of a Padres uniform manifesto yesterday (with thanks to Josh Berliner). … And a St. Looie columnist has weighed in on the suits-on-the-sidelines situation (with thanks to Luke Pellegra). … Good photo here (helpfully provided by Tom Konecny of the Toledo Mud Hens’ uni-laundering scene. The accompanying article isn’t really about uniforms, though. … One last Father’s Day oddity: Ray Durham wore one of those light blue wristbands on his head during BP (with thanks to Bosox blogger Jere). … Ehan Lewis notes that the NFL recently held its annual NFL Softball Challenge event. If you’ve always wanted to see Jeff Lurie swinging a bat (among other sights), a full gallery of pics is available here. … Nice find by Ethan Rowley, who came up with this portrait of Cardinals greats, which functions as a de facto timeline of the team’s uniform. According to … this article (forwarded by Wes Johnson), “[Minnesota] Gophers football coach Tim Brewster made it clear that there will be only one change in the team’s uniforms this fall: the letter ‘M’ on the helmets will be much bigger.” Which means it’ll look even more like an upside-down W than it already does. … Excellent slide-show essay on the history of — and problems with — U.S. soccer uniforms here. … Latest player spotted wearing Oakley Thumps during BP: Bartolo Colon (great shot by Zach Gibson). … Member Eric Bonus has scanned and uploaded an excellent 1987 article about hockey uniform numbers. … More really disturbing Chris Cooley hot pants pics here. … Carlos Delgado went high-cuffed last night, and it was a thing of beauty. Take note, class: His pants didn’t break right at the knees but, rather, just slightly down the shins. This is exactly — exactly — how it should be done. Such a splendid example of the form that I’m willing to overlook the lack of stirrups. … Pitt’s new secondary logo has been leaked. … Michael Maurino works for the single-A Dunedin Blue Jays and recently attended the Florida State League All-Star Game, where the teams wore East and West jerseys that almost make the Pro Bowl look good by comparison — especially when you factor in the number font — yeesh. The guy wearing double-zero in that last photo is Francisco Cervelli of the Tampa Yankees, who normally wears 34, but that was taken by Omar Malave, who managed the West team. Anyone know which other minor leagues use generic all-star unis instead of letting the players wear their regular team attire? … The Angels are giving away an item I’ve never seen before: wristbands with a built-in watch. If you haven’t seen it already, check out the super-cool animated Watch Your Back ad, now running near the top of the right column.