New ESPN column today — here’s the link.
Meanwhile: In Monday’s Ticker I mentioned the Florida State League All-Star Game, where players wore generic all-star unis instead of their regular team designs. That led to a note from Doug TKTK, who informed me that the single-A Carolina and California Leagues have their respective all-stars play each other, with league uniforms. That discovery in turn led me to this page, which has a surprising amount of info about the past few years’ worth of minor league all-star games — and that’s where things got interesting.
For starters, I learned that although the Florida State League wore those awful East and West unis this year (there’s a full gallery here), the FSL stars wore their regular team unis last year and the year before that (which means some idiot had to go out of his way to create those East and West disasters they wore this time around).
That got me curious about some of the other low-level minor league all-star games, so I started combing through the archives. For the most part, the leagues have their players wear their regular team designs, but there were some exceptions and inconsistencies, as follows:
• NY-Penn League (short-season A): Standard team uniforms in 2005. Odd move last year, however, as players wore the jerseys of their parent clubs (this was actually discussed here on the blog at the time, but I’d forgotten about it). This year’s game isn’t until August, so we’ll have to wait and see how they handle it.
• California and Carolina Leagues (A): 2007: As noted above, these leagues had their players wear league-branded uniforms this year (check out the awesome star-patterned uni numbers on the California jerseys, shown at the top of this page and visible at full size in this gallery). It’s not clear what the players wore last year, but in 2005 they had regular team uniforms, so the league unis are apparently a fairly new thing.
It’s worth remembering, incidentally, that the “real” All-Star Game hasn’t always featured regular team uni designs. For the inaugural mid-season classic in 1933, the American League stars wore their regular uniforms, but the National Leaguers wore special all-star attire.
Incidentally, in the course of my research I discovered a historical all-star oddity that I’m currently trying to figure out. More details, I hope, tomorrow.
Raffle Reminder: The drawing for the free copy of the 2001 MLB Style Guide will take place tonight (after I get back from seeing this guy). Entries — one per person, please — can be e-mailed here and will be accepted until 10 pm eastern. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow. And remember, everyone who’s signed up for membership automatically gets three bonus entries.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Give ‘Em an Inch Dept.: First NFL coaches get the right to wear suits, and the next thing you know Rams coach Scott Linehan is walking around in a Russell polo shirt (nice catch by Mike Korczynski). … Haven’t oohed and ahhed about this guy in a while. … A little birdie tells me the 49ers will probably be switching to black shoes this season. … The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yanks will wear Pocono Raceway jerseys next month. … This smeared eye black thing — as shown in these pics of Alfredo Amezaga, both taken yesterday — is getting seriously out of hand (with thanks to Perry Gattegno). … Reprinted from last night’s comments: In response to yesterday’s Ticker item about Reggie Jackson wearing a Mariners uni for the AL team portrait prior to the 1979 All-Star Game, Steve J. Rogers came up with the portrait, and sure enough, there’s Reggie. … Greg Hanson and his buddies play a video game called Forza Motorsport, and some of them have created some pretty cool team-based car designs. As usual, I know zero about video games, but I like the designs, so I’ve put a bunch of them in this gallery. … Lucas Burdick provided these shots of Scott Eyre and Willie Eyre wearing odd Cubs/Rangers combo jerseys, apparently as part of an Illinois Sate Lottery commercial. No script, unfortunately — anyone know the supposedly storyline here? … Jeremy Brahm reports that Brazil’s teams will wear these uniforms in the Pan Am Games. … Reprinted from last night’s comments: The NHL has officially decided to stick with dark at home, white on the road (scroll down to the last graf of this page). … Kevin Gee says that when Reggie Willits came to bat left-handed in the bottom of the 7th in last night’s Angels/Astros game, he was initially wearing a right-handed batting helmet (he’d been hitting right-handed all game up to that point, but the ‘Stros had just brought in a righty pitcher). “Brad Ausmus [the Houston catcher] patted him on the head and reminded him he was wearing the wrong helmet, prompting him to go back to the dugout and get another one,” says Kevin. Unfortunately, the Anaheim broadcast, which is the only one I have access to, cut away to an aerial shot while this was happening. Did anyone in Houston happen to Tivo the game?