I was in Toronto for only 39 hours last week (about 15 hours less than I’d originally planned, thanks to a broken fan belt that left Uni Watch Ontario bureau chief Liz Clayton and me temporarily stranded in Sarnia), but it was an extremely uni-eventful visit nonetheless, beginning with Tuesday night’s party at the Imperial Pub and Library. About a dozen readers showed up, including John Edwards, Brian Kallion, Braden Liebovitch, J.C. Plante, Matt Irving, Erich Reich, Scott Ingram (who buttered me up by mentioning that he had all 10 issues of Beer Frame, the zine I published a million years ago), James Leroux (whose T-shirt drew raves), Nana Kwamie (whose Black Fives throwback, based on the 1918 St. Christopher’s Club in Harlem, was another hit), Jonah Weslak (who pointed out the irony of a Pete Rose jersey being part of the Cooperstown Collection), Jonathan Deery (who later removed his Belleville Bulls jersey to reveal something even cooler), and the aforementioned Liz Clayton (my favorite shirt of the night, although I may be a bit biased, since I’ve known Liz for over a dozen years).
Two other guys who attended the party were Paul Morris and Tommy Gough, who run Big Stick Custom Hockey Jerseys, a small shop that I visited the next day. It doesn’t look like much from the outside. Inside, however, it’s a treasure trove of jersey samples, template posters, swatch books, boxes and trays full of letters, numbers, and patches, binders full of logo crests (additional examples here and here), and the kind of stuff you’ll only see in a hockey shop. Way too much cool stuff for me to list here, but suffice it to say that I got to witness lots letter cutting, heat pressing, and jersey dispaying during my visit.
Later on that evening, I did a non-uni-related reading as part of the excellent Pontiac Quarterly series. But uniforms still managed to stalk me, because during intermission I met the lovely Amber Roga (renowned as Toronto’s finest barista), who informed me that her hometown of Kitchener, Ontario, is the home base of Barbarian Rugby Wear, which sponsors both the Canadian and German national rugby squads. You can probably guess which part of their catalog I like best.
Speaking of which: My only regret regarding the visit was that the pseudonymous sock savant known as Witesock, who lives in Toronto, was out of town, so I didn’t get to meet him. Next time.
Membership News: Thanks to everyone who weighed in yesterday regarding Dan Netser’s Pacers design. Most of you seemed to prefer this version; more importantly, so did Dan himself. So that’s the one we’re going with.
Meanwhile, today’s the last day to enroll as a Charter Member (although of course I hope people will continue to sign up after today as well). New material is being added to the design gallery on a near-hourly basis, so check out the goods, leave comments, etc.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Looks like Jarrod Saltalamacchia is about to set the all-time record for the longest-surnamed player ever to be traded. … Interesting item here about some of the Redskins wearing soccer cleats (with thanks to Kim Kolb). … Jeremy Brahm nominates South Korean men’s basketball coach Choi Bu Yung for the title of worst coach’s shirt. … Jeremy also noted lots of interesting things on the court at the FIBA Asian Championships, including the following: The United Arab Emerites team wears “UAE” on the back but only has their flag on the front; the Philippines team wears the country name on the back; and Indonesia is going seriously old-school. … Interesting note from Jeremy Poursine, who writes: “The New Orleans Zephyrs, the Mets’ triple-A affiliate, play at Zephyr Field, which is actually in the suburb of Metairie. Someone realized that Mets and Metairie share some letters and made some hot merchandise for the team. This one spells out the whole name, while this one uses Metairie’s well-known nickname.” … Jason Palmer sent along this great photo of several players from the Mineral Wells Steam (“a Texas Collegiate League team — wooden bat league similar to the Cape Cod summer league,” he says). Gotta love how the non-game-day pitchers wear stirrups with their shorts. … Loads of great striped rugby uniforms displayed in this gallery (with thanks to Caleb Borchers). … The Tulsa Drillers are retiring No. 29 and wearing a memorial patch for Mike Coolbaugh, the coach who was recently killed by a line drive (with thanks to Matt Porges). … I knew that the baseball scenes in Pride of Yankees were essentially shot backwards, because right-handed Gary Cooper was portraying the left-handed Lou Gehrig. What I didn’t realize, however — until Ethan Rowley pointed it out to me — was that the same thing was done for certain scenes in 61*, because right-handed Anthony Michael Hall was playing southpaw Whitey Ford. Rowley pulled a few screen grabs from the “Making of” segment of the 61* DVD that show how they did it, as seen here and here. … Reprinted from last night’s comments: Decent view here of the Broncos’ dual memorial decal for Darrent Williams and Damien Nash.