Almost exactly one year ago, I posted this entry, which concerned the players apparently wearing the “S,” instead of uni numbers, in this spring training photo. Twelve months and three days later, I still haven’t gotten a definitive explanation of what was going on in that shot (and believe me, I’ve tried). Last week, in fact, the mystery deepened — and a related mystery was added to the queue.
Here’s the deal: Last Wednesday Scott M.X. Turner sent me the link to this eBay auction (now ended), which as you can see was for an “X”-emblazoned Dodgers jersey. Even more interestingly, we can see that this jersey had a regular uni number on the back — something we couldn’t know for sure about the jerseys in that other photo. I still have no clue about the story behind any of this. If any of you do, I’m listenin’.
As it happens, I was already pondering the vagaries of the Dodgers’ spring training uniforms when Scott got in touch with me, because reader Paul Wiederecht had contacted me just the day before with an intriguing Dodgers discovery of his own. As you know, this spring has marked the final year of Dodgertown, the team’s spring training facility in Vero Beach, and there were lots of Dodgertown tributes floating around the web last week. One of them was the video report found on this page. And that’s where things get interesting.
At about the 1:45 of the video, the narrator says, “[Tommy] Lasorda first came to Dodgertown in 1948.” And just as he says that, the video shows this image. Yes, that’s Lasorda at far left, but whatever — the real news is faint but unmistakable:
Dodgers in pinstripes!
In addition, the “LA” caps would suggest that this photo was taken at least a decade later than 1948, but that’s basically a red herring — the video producer probably just said, “Find me an early photo of Lasorda at Dodgertown,” and this might have been the earliest one they could find. None of that detracts from the central question at issue here:
Dodgers in pinstripes!
I’ve shared this photo with all the usual suspects — Todd Radom, Tom Shieber, the SABR listserv — and nobody has a clue. Do you?
Uni Watch News Ticker: Super-duper thanks to all my birthday well-wishers from Friday (and especially to Minna H. and Nicole Haase, who sent me an e-cards with this image and this image, respectively). No writer has ever had a better audience than you people — thanks for everything. … Reprinted from Friday’s comments: O.J. Mayo wore NBA socks on Thursday. … Check out the 1947 Tamko Roofers, who beat the Harlem Globetrotters by one point. Note the unusual uni numbers (further details here, courtesy of Phillip Rerat). … Just when you thought logo creep couldn’t get any worse, check out the palms of these gloves (with thanks to Kevin Werther). … Interesting Japanese soccer facemask here (as forwarded by Jeremy Brahm). … Photos of those really boring Mets jerseys for the Civil Rights Game on display here (with thanks to Corey Kanterman). … Tom Adjemian notes that when the Red Sox gave personalized jerseys to two U.S. military officials in Japan on Friday, they wise chose to use road jerseys. … Someone on the Chris Creamer board recently pointed out that the NHL logo has been missing from Stu Barnes’s collar lately. … New Quad Cities River Bandits uniforms here. … As most of you know, the Red Sox will be wearing EMC advertising patches for their games in Japan tomorrow and Wednesday. For their weekend exhibition games against Japanese teams, the Sox also had Ricoh helmet decals, which I assume they’ll be wearing against the A’s as well. But Oakland’s exhibition games found the A’s wearing Pepsi sleeve patches. If this distinction holds up on Tuesday and Wednesday, it’ll mark the first time that the two teams in a season-opening series in Japan have worn different advertising sleeve patches (wow, there’s a real landmark). … Is that a fridge magnet or what? … And was it really necessary to put the “Opening Series” logo on David Ortiz’s (or anyone’s) sake masu? … Cool photo of the 1947-48 North Mankato Vikings (courtesy of Sam McCullough). … You probably know that the Yankees, Dodgers, and Giants wore a trylon and perisphere sleeve patch in 1938 to promote the 1939 World’s Fair. What you may not know — and what I didn’t know myself until I stumbled across it while looking for something else — is the situation spelled out in this photo and caption. Looks like it was just a photo-op thing, not something worn in an actual game, but it’s still pretty cool. … Reprinted from last night’s comments: Todd Helton appears to have switched to Adidas cleats (a big change from the situation profiled here). … Faaaaascinating corporate logo quiz, guaranteed time-waster, here (great find by David Soline). … Chris Smith notes that the Texas A&M player in this photo is wearing a Nike knee brace, even though the Aggies are an Adidas school. … Tom Turner recently wrote in to tell me the following: “The Rangers under Billy Martin once wore their road powder blues at home with white pants around 1974 against the A’s. It was on NBC’s Saturday Game of the Week.” Can anyone verify this claim, or at least say if it rings a bell? … Interesting photo here of Robert “Tractor” Traylor with a “Tractor” NOB. “This appears to be from some league in Puerto Rico,” writes Jim Roddy. “This link has additional details and photos.” … You have got to be kidding me. … “This is from the NCAA 09 football game web site,” writes Marcus Ramsey. “What the hell is with that underarm?” Good question. Anyone..? … Scott Little has this Japanese jersey in his collection. Doesn’t look so remarkable until you take a closer look at the sleeve patch. Ride that hawk! … Many readers are justifiably excited about Sports Illustrated‘s new “Vault” search feature, which essentially lets you search the magazine’s complete archive — articles, photos, the works (further details here). Should come in handy for research projects.