New ESPN column today, and it’s a doozy — here’s the link.
Meanwhile: Does fabric adhesive not stick as well to polyester as it does to wool? That’s the obvious question after yesterday’s Independence Day ballgames, where an unusually high number of MLB players didn’t have the little American flag cap appliqués that everyone was supposed to be wearing. A small sampling of the many, many flagless players includes Todd Jones, Jose Contreras, Orlando Hernandez, Joe Kennedy, Chris Sampson, and Miguel Cairo (center of the photo).
I suspect that many of these players began the day with a cap flag, but then it fell off. That’s what apparently happened to Tim Wakefield, who was flag-clad at the start of yesterday’s game but flag-free by the end. It’s also what happened to Junior Griffey (early, late), and it was about to happen to Tigers reliever Jason Grilli, whose flag was about to fall off when he was mercifully removed from the game.
The best flag situation involved Padres started Chris Young, whose flag began to come loose in the top of the 7th. That’s when he felt the urge to adjust his cap, causing the flag to come loose and flutter down to the ground (it appears as a blur just below Young’s ear here, and in front of the r on his jersey insignia here). Without missing a beat, Young picked it up and put it in his back pocket.
Best flag of the day: The amazing patriotic dessert that Uni Watch medieval studies chair Andrea Boffa brought to my Independence Day cookout. Tasted even better than it looked. A bit of rain eventually forced us to move indoors, where Uni Watch mascots Tucker and Caitlin were unimpressed.
(Special thanks to readers Jeff Cohen, Jim P., and the pseudonymous commenter Liberty for their cap-related contributions.)
Membership Update: Big news on the membership front, as we’re now offering NBA designs. Most teams are available (although the purple brigade is, of course, off-limits), and we’ll consider throwback requests on a case-by-case basis (hint: Scott’s particularly partial to old teams like the Syracuse Nationals and the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons. Longtime Uni Watch antagonist/hero the Rev. Nørb has already gotten the ball rolling with this Miami Floridians treatment — or, more technically, a Miami Heat throwback design, since the Floridians didn’t have names on their jerseys — which is the most horrifically garish card we’ve created so far. (It could have been worse: Nørb originally threatened to picket outside of Uni Watch HQ if his demand for a purple-centric card wasn’t met.)
We’re now well over 200 members, incidentally. David Fetterman was the one who pushed the odometer to the double-century mark, so Scott has added a special milestone seal to the front of his card. We look forward to see who the 300th member will be.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Interesting eBay find by Robert Eden, who writes: “In the 1980s, Nebraska bought its uniforms from Russell (no freebies like today) in lots, numbered 1-99. To save money, the jerseys were blank aside from the numbers. The ‘N’ on the sleeves, and the stripes that replaced the ‘N’ in later years, were screened onto the jerseys locally. It surprises me that a big-time college football team would be taking these seemingly amateurish steps to get its game uniforms ready to go. Anyway, the jersey in this auction was never used or screen-printed. Nebraska had a few retired numbers in the ’80s (they have since been unretired), so when the school received a shipment of jerseys numbered 1-99, the equipment manager pulled out those with the retired numbers and effectively stuck them in a closet. He held onto them and now they’re being sold here and there. The jersey looks so odd with only the numbers on it.” … Member Korryn Mozisek notes that Lance Berkman now appears to have the Texas state flag on his batting gloves. … According to a thread over on the Chris Creamer boards, images from NBA Live 08 indicate that the Sixers are tweaking their black jersey and the Pacers are adding a gold alt. … Member Steve Patterson recently made some screen grabs from a DVD devoted to Broncos history. As you might expect, he provided several shots of the infamous vertically striped socks (additional views here and here), but the most interesting thing was the officials’ uniforms. I knew that AFL officials wore red and white stripes, instead of black and white, but I didn’t realize that their uni numbers were sometimes black and sometimes orange. I also didn’t know that AFL chain gangs used conventional black and white stripes. And speaking of the chain gang, check out this guy — he’s got a button-through cuff, which is something I’ve never seen before on zebra-striped jersey. Patterson adds: “The DVD also included an interview with Frank Tripuka where he’s talking about how the jerseys were all too small, so they had to cut holes in the sides for full arm movement.” … How much does Sarah Land like Orlando Hernandez’s high-cuffed look? This much: “Whenever El Duque pitches in a night game, and I am home, I whip out a pair of knee socks that I have and roll up some old sweatpants to recreate his look. I don’t sport this look, however, if there is company over, so I don’t want to submit a picture. But let me tell you, wearing socks up and pants up feels as awesome as it looks.” … Clare Perretta reports that the Houston Chronicle recently ran what may rank as the best photo ever of Craig Biggio’s skanky helmet, plus a good shot of a rip in Lance Berkman’s pants. … Mark Swienki recently came across a great web site devoted to Sulphur Dell, the ancient Tennessee ballpark that was once home to the Nashville Vols. The site includes a dynamite photo gallery, the highlight of which is a shot of a Mobile Bears player wearing shorts. But there’s plenty of other great stuff in the gallery — highly recommended. … As some of you discovered last week, the Dressed to the Nines online exhibit recently disappeared when the Baseball Hall of Fame reconfigured its web site. But don’t fret — the exhibit is still there, but it has a new URL. Its home page is now here. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: This year’s World Series sleeve patch will apparently look like this. … Not sure if this has come up before, but here‘s a good site devoted to Manchester United’s uniform history. … A source in the Texas Rangers clubhouse checks in with the following: “Interesting streak going on right now with us, as we’ve worn the blue alternate (Cool Base) jersey 13 games in a row. Why? Nobody has really talked about it, but I would guess it has to do with the recent success of the team: 9-4 in that span. Anyway, I thought this was worthwhile because I don’t remember seeing a team doing this before. I’m intrigued to see which starting pitcher decides to break the streak. And for the record, the clubhouse staff is all for it as it means less scrubbing!” … The Flyers will unveil their new uniforms on Sept. 16th (with thanks to Mike Shaw). … Not uni-related, but still of interest (thanks, Vince).