Whatever you think of the House the Ruth Built, its impending demise has had at least one salutary side effect: New York’s tabloid papers have been publishing plenty of historically minded retrospective articles filled with, as Scott M.X. Turner puts it, “lots of photo yumminess.” Scott noted some interesting pics in this past Sunday’s Daily News, and reader Eric Hoey found something truly astonishing in Sunday’s Post. Let’s take a look:
• Scott describes the memorial armband in this Joe D. photo as “the world’s thickest mourning strip” (also, note the belt buckle disappearing into the belt tunnel). Interestingly, I had a similar comment last August about this Joe D. jersey, which was displayed in the Museum of the City of New York’s “Glory Days” exhibit. The two jerseys aren’t the same, obviously, since one is home and one is road, but the Yankee Clipper apparently liked his armbands extra-wide.
• Remember my recent blog entry about the “ruptured duck” honorable discharge patch, which several Cubs players wore in 1945? At the time, I mentioned that Red Ruffing of the Yankees also wore the patch, but I didn’t have a photo. Now, however, thanks to Scott and the Daily News, I do.
• “Forgit the beauties here,” says Scott. “Check out the different number fonts. Yankees fans forget — or more likely don’t know — that the Yanks and Red Sox shared that ‘Red Sox font’ for much of the Ruth/Gehrig/DiMaggio eras.”
• Here’s the real prize, spotted by Eric in Sunday’s Post: The Yanks won the 1932 World Series, so they raised their championship banner on Opening Day in 1933 (exactly 75 years ago today, coincidentally). And what were the players wearing there in the foreground? Check it out: Yankees capes! How cool is that?! Or maybe they were blankets, because I found this shot of Babe Ruth from an exhibition game a few days earlier — same white trim as the capes had, although the capes looked shinier. Anyway, we’ve all seen sideline capes in football, but I’ve never seen or heard of anything like this on a baseball field. Anyone know of any other examples? (Oh, and that other team across the way? That would be the Boston Red Sox, who had no idea how many decades of frustration lay ahead of them.)
Uni Watch News Ticker: Cool socks worn by Kiara Franciso of Winter Haven High School in Florida (with thanks to Bob Rios). … Dave Concepcion not only wore No. 13, he also wrapped a Friday the 13th calendar page around the barrel of his bat! … “I grabbed this off the trailer for the Love Guru movie,” writes Carl Carlson-Drexler. “It looks like they’ve got Justin Timberlake wearing an old fiberglass mask, which would be slightly anachronistic — and bizarre, since they seem to have a lot of other things pegged (down to the Stanley Cup playoff patches).” … Check out the unusual downhill insignia worn by the 1924 Waterloo Hawks (the latest contribution from photo-historian David Eskenazi). … Good catch by Jere Smith, who was watching a replay of Mike Witt’s perfect game (September 30th, 1984) and noticed that all of the Angels had vertically arched NOB lettering — except for Reggie Jackson, whose lettering was radially arched. I couldn’t find any other 1984 rear-view pics of Reggie, so I’m not sure if this was a one-game aberration or something more extensive. Anyone know more? … Sharp-eyed Brett Crane notes that home plate ump Joe West was wearing two sets of memorial initials during last night’s Angels/Rangers game. The “EG” is for Eric Gregg, I’m sure, and I’m assuming that the “SC” is for former National League ump Shag Crawford, who died last summer. … Reader Paul Wiederecht was in town over the weekend and joined me for a beer. I paid for the suds, which was the least I could do after he presented me with a pair of genuine Mets stirrups, circa 1980. … While channel-flipping last night, I was surprised to stumble across the NCAA women’s bowling championships. Even more surprising: Arkansas State wore these skimpy shorts, while Maryland Eastern Shore wore short skirts. Can’t they just wear slacks, like the guys? Also note the NCAA patch, just like in the hoops tourney, and check out the uni numbers on the sleeves. And although I didn’t manage to get a photo, I just about slit my wrists when I saw one of the Maryland girls wearing one of those thin Nike swoosh bands on her upper calf (just like the ones being worn by most of the guys in this shot). … Max Rosenthal says this page features “a good roundup of/commentary on the shirts to be worn at Euro 2008 (the European soccer championship),” and I’ll take his word for it cuz I’m too busy right now to actually read the page. … I’m not the only one who has issues with corporate sponsorship (with thanks to Tom Konecny). … Jeremy Brahm reports that the Japanese softball team for this summer’s Olympics will look like this.