Reader Jared Wheeler works for Mitchell & Ness, where he conducts historical research to help ensure that the company’s reproductions are as accurate as possible. I’ll be conducting an interview with him soon, but for now here’s a bunch of killer hockey photos he recently sent my way:
• “Here are some photos of the first ‘all-star’ game in 1934, which was a benefit game for Ace Bailey of the Maple Leafs,” says Jared [this was 13 years before the first ‘official’ NHL All-Star Game — PL]. “Check out how the Leafs wore ‘Ace’ on their jerseys. And here’s a shot of Bailey himself after two brain surgeries. After he was hit from behind on December 12, 1933, in a game against the Bruins, some of the B’s started wearing protective headgear.”
• “This is a is a 1937-1938 photo of Milt Schmidt wearing a crude mask. Here’s a later photo of Schmidt — look how his captain’s C is between the two numerals. Both photos ran in Sport magazine in 1948.”
• “Here’s a shot of the Red Wings’ diamond-shaped captaincy patches. And dheck out the in a diamond-shaped sleeve designation here. The ‘R’ team, by the way, is the amateur New York Rovers. This shot was taken at training camp in Lake Placid in 1948.”
• “Here are some great old sweaters: Seattle Metropolitans, circa 1919 (here’s a tight shot of the crest), New York Americans, mid-1930s (plus a rear view), and Philadelphia Quakers, circa 1930. We got these shots from the Hall of Fame.” [As an aside, what’s the deal with that little collar ribbon on the Seattle sweater? — PL]
• “Look at the two jersey logos in this shot. It appears that the face on Hull’s logo is much darker.”
• “Is that a back pocket on the player at far right?”
Awesome stuff. And in the non-uni category, Jared even found another shot of an athlete smoking (and baling hay): That’s Bobby Hull.
Signal Flare: Do you work for Under Armour? If so, I have a quick question for you. Please drop me a line here. Thanks.
And you should’ve seen the notes that came in from Tom Tancredo and Lou Dobbs: Of all the reactions to yesterday’s entry about Los Spurs and Los Suns (most of which were posted in the comments section, although a few readers e-mailed me their thoughts directly), the most interesting and thoughtful one was an e-mail from Pablo Souki. Check it out:
I grew up in Venezuela, speaking Spanish. Of the American major sports leagues, I followed MLB very closely, the rest not at all. Some of the team names were always translated back then, like Cerveceros and Gigantes, who seem to have gotten it right. Others were not. The Yankees were always the Yanquis (phonetic translation, I guess, but nothing else), the Phillies were always the Filis, the Dodgers were the Dodgers.
I get the feeling (no hard evidence of any kind here, just me remembering my childhood) that the ones who were translated were the ones who had a literal translation: The Reds were the Rojos, the A’s the Atléticos, the Blue Jays the Azulejos, and so on. This seems to have changed with the Marlins, though — there was an actual translation for Marlins, but I don’t remember ever using it.
If I had to guess, I would say that the other translations had happened at earlier times, when we had no access to U.S. broadcasts of games, only translated ones. Cultures were less intertwined, and names were translated. By the time the Marlins and Rockies appeared, we could watch games on satellite TV and were more used to English terminology. However, this theory is destroyed by the fact that the Devil Rays were always the Mantarrayas. So maybe “Peces Espada” was just too cumbersome a translation for “Marlins.”
Two other notes: First, Spanish is spoken so differently in terms of syntax and jargon from country to country (the word used in Venezuela for “receipt” is used in Argentina for “pastry”, for instance, and words that are perfectly common in one country are terrible swear words in others) that I would be hard-pressed to believe that my childhood experiences hold true elsewhere. ESPNdeportes.com itself has such a variety of nationalities that the inconsistencies from one column to the next are huge. As a matter of fact, some writers use the “Los” article before team names, others don’t. All of this just illustrates the point that “Latino” encompasses so many nationalities that it is very hard to get something like this right. But we have been all thrown in the same group, whether we like it or not.
Second, I have never seen a Latin team wear “Los” on its uniform., The Caracas Lions don’t wear “Los Leones,” just “Leones.” The La Guaira Sharks only wear “Tiburones,” no “Los.” So maybe that is the best reason to not add the “Los” to any team’s shirt.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The web site Improbable Soccer is running a series on team crests. The first installment is here. Expect new updates every day or two. … Did you know Navy once wore this helmet? Details here. … Unlikely stirrup alert: There’s a TV commercial currently running for the MLB 2K8 video game. Just past the 30-second mark, the voiceover (Denis Leary, I believe) says, “I wanna have the most fun you can have with those funny baseball socks on,” accompanied by a shot of the ’67 Cardinals in all their striped-stirruped glory (nice find by Chris Flinn). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Jerry Rice doesn’t mind if the Niners unretire his number so Isaac Bruce can wear it. … Gonzaga pitcher Cory Powell wore a helmet/mask combo the other day. “He recently took a comebacker in the orbital bone,” writes Matt Camino, who sent me the photo (which was taken by his fiancé, Meghan Moran). “He apparently wore a plastic mask like the ones NBA players wear after he first got hit, and now he wears the helmet and facemask to prevent it from happening again.” … Thing of beauty. … Excellent column here about a baseball card photographer who works for Topps (with thanks to Minna H.). … Just what the world needs: Billy Crystal in pinstripes. … Reprinted from last night’s comments: The A’s wore a way snazzy jersey patch yesterday. … Interesting note from Brian Vigue, who writes: “I played high school football in the mid-’60’s — and I wore a leather helmet! It wasn’t left over from the ’40s but was supposedly the latest technology at the time. There were at least three different helmets used by team members: the leather helmet, a suspension bubble-type thing, and an oblong close-fitting plastic job that kind of looked like Otto Graham’s. Many schools we played at the time also used the leather helmet.” … If you click on this link, you’ll download a PDF of a daily tournament update from the International Baseball Federation. Most of it is very official-looking, except for this amusing handwritten addendum from the Canadian coach. Also of uni-note: Check out the second numbered item here (with thanks to Bob Timmerman). … “Montreal’s going to have a new junior hockey team next year and they introduced their new jerseys today,” writes Paul Richard Cook. Full details here, and there’s a video clip that includes some previous Montreal junior hockey logos here.