As many of you know, I often play softball on Sunday afternoons, and I practice what I preach by wearing stirrups. For years I’ve been going with basic navy, because I always wear navy sweatpants. But as you may recall from a few weeks ago, the folks at Mitchell & Ness recently sent me a box filled with hose-a-plenty, so I’ve decided to inaugurate a new project: the Uni Watch Stirrups of the Week. Yesterday was my first game of the year (we’ve had shitty Sunday weather up until now), so here’s our first installment:
This week’s design: navy with red stripes, medium-cut.
Ideal for feeling like a member of: the 1950s Cubs.
Color-coordination factor: Easy.
How I felt: Totally bitchin’.
How I played: Rusty day at the plate — F7, GIDP (ugh), and 5-3. Saw a lot of action in left field, most of which I ran down, although I’m still pissed about one shot over my head that I couldn’t quite corral (it glanced off my glove, which prolonged what turned out to be a damaging inning for my team). All in all: lots of room for improvement. But godDAMN did my stripes look good!
I’ll continue to wear a different set of hose each time I play. There were 11 pairs in the box from Mitchell & Ness, plus I have those genuine Mets stirrups that Paul Wiederecht recently gave me, so that should get me through most of the season (I don’t play every week).
And hey, speaking of Mitchell & Ness, I had a blast on Saturday at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, where the M&N folks had set up a display devoted to Philly’s uniform history. This was my first time meeting M&N prexy Peter Capolino, who turned out to be a really sweet guy and a great storyteller. Also on hand were M&N researcher and longtime Uni Watch contributor Jared Wheeler (my first time meeting him, too — great, great guy) and Victory Pennants honcho Morris Levin, plus some Uni Watch readers stopped by as well.
Peter had set up a few racks of old Philly A’s jerseys (plus he included that black New York Giants design, cuz that’s what the Giants wore against the A’s in the 1911 World Series), and a similar display for the Phillies (thanks for the prop assistance, Kirsten). Plus there were lots of patches, pennants (this one was my favorite), caps, and related ephemera. And check this out: a few items from the Phils’ short-lived Blue Jays period.
But my favorite item on display had nothing to do with Philadelphia: these pants, which had an incredible blue/gold pinstripe pattern (additional views here and here). Is that gorgeous or what? Peter says he isn’t sure what team wore this — someone gave him the pants, but no corresponding jersey, a few years back.
The Philadelphia A’s Historical Society had a table too, stocked with assorted photos, yearbooks, programs, and so on. Interestingly, they also had a team portrait of the 1955 Kansas City A’s (that was the franchise’s first year after leaving Philly) — I love that map that shows all the radio affiliates.
After a checking out the Reading Terminal Market and getting a pork sandwich at DiNic’s, it was off to Bob & Barbara’s for the latest Uni Watch gathering. Great time (esp. seeing all the locals slowly going out of their minds as the Mets beat the Phils on the bar’s TV), but I just wasn’t in the mood to take photos. Sorry ’bout that. Big thanks to everyone who came out, and bonus thanks for all the drinks, gifts, and kind words — Philly fans may have legendarily tough exteriors, but I can now attest that they’ve also got soft, friendly hearts.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Cool vintage Celtics sweaters here and here (as discovered by Mike Cooperman). … Attention everyone who’s been asking me where to buy stirrups — look! … NHL note from Al Stone: “Very early on in Thursday night’s Flyers/Caps game, Ovechkin had his facemask cracked and had to very quickly grab Boyd Gordon’s visor-less helmet off the bench. It was very unusual to see him finish the shift without a visor — didn’t look like the usual Ovie at all. The very next shift, however, he was back out on the ice with a repaired helmet with visor.” … Here’s another Sparky Anderson shot, this time from his days with the Fort Worth Cats (with thanks to Jeff Meyers). … James Maino reports that Virginia Tech will have a “whiteout” game on September 6th, with 1970s throwbacks. … See any glaring similarities here? I don’t, but some idiots in Miami do (with thanks to Greg Mays). … We all know about sponsor-driven team uniforms, but how about sponsor-designed umpire uniforms? (Nice find by Steven Wyder) … Speaking of sponsorship logos, check this out (with thanks to Jeremy Brahm). … Have bat weights been logo-emblazoned all along? That photo is the first time I’ve noticed it. … The KC T-Bones have backed off their idea of wearing prison-striped uniforms in “honor” of local prisoner Michael Vick. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Habs goalie Carey Price is my kinda fella. … Also from yesterday: Check out this huge NOB lettering (taken from this cricket highlight vid). … Scroll down to the “Around Baseball” section of this page for news about Bobby Abreu’s cleats and his plans to become a sporting goods mogul (with thanks to Matt Powers). … Weren’t the new 5950s supposed to eliminate this problem? … Bit of a Mets jersey mystery over on Jon Springer’s site — look here. … “Nebraska football has worn black shoes for a number of seasons, maybe the duration of their contract with Adidas,” writes Bryan Hansen. “But in Saturday’s spring game, it looked like they may be in transition to a white/red shoe. There were several players in the (presumably old) black shoes and others wearing a new white/red shoe.” … Here’s the latest story on the tensions between teams, leagues, and media in the new-media era — recommended reading. … If the Blue Jays can make throwback powder blue uniforms, can’t they make a throwback smock for Joihn Gibbons? (Screen grab courtesy of Michael Moss.) … Speaking of managerial attire, what’s up with Terry Francona’s collar? Like, is it tucked under, or did he have it removed? (With thanks to Mark Shipman.) … Holy-moly (courtesy of David Soline). … Jeremy Brahm reports that the 2011 Women’s World Cup logo will look like this. … Cool old photo of Lou Gehrig here (rare non-Wisconsin contribution from Nicole Haase). … Speaking of Gehrig, did you know he’s the only Yankee ever to have worn No. 4? Or that the other players wore Joe D.’s No. 5 while he was in the military? You would if you’d read this excellent piece about Yankees uni numbers (with thanks to Alan Kreit). … Adidas can’t be happy about Shaq wearing a Nike compression shirt (good spot by Brett Crane). … “Looks like the Raptors are rolling out a new logo for the playoffs,” writes Sean, who didn’t give his last name. “Basically just the original dino logo but de-purple-ized.” … The Fresno Grizzlies wore autism-awareness jerseys on Friday (with thanks to Aaron Wiens, who also sent along some pics of the most disturbingly purple car I’ve ever had the displeasure of seeing). … “Lance Armstrong was at Fenway on Saturday (because he’s running the Boston Marathon on Monday), and some players on both the Red Sox and the Rangers wore yellow wristbands (not to be confused with the Livestrong bracelets) to support his charity,” writes Mark Mihalik. “Unfortunately the only picture I could find was this one. I also noticed that Jacoby Ellsbury went a step further by wearing a yellow arm band and yellow shoelaces.” … Another Rangers/Bosox report, this time from Nick Freeman: “I was at Friday’s game and noticed in the 1st inning that the Rangers’ bat boy was wearing their gray away uniform even though the team was wearing the blue alternates.We all sat there making fun of the Rangers for being too cheap to buy the bat boys proper jerseys. But then in the 4th, the bat boy had switched and was now in blue. Throw this in with all their other jersey issues and this is a team in trouble.” … “The Ravens, now under John Harbaugh, have stepped up their practice unis,” reports Joe Hilseberg, “going from Brian Billick’s high school rejects look to pretty darn close to the game-day jersey, even with names on the back. … Good interview here with the Sneaker Wars author, although the accompanying photo gallery has several caption errors (with thanks to Chris LaHaye). … My browser refuses to play this video, but David Sonny says the last 20 seconds or so show a sneak preview of the U. of Cincinnati’s new football uniforms. … Personal Foul, Abusing the Uniform, Part 1: Will someone please get these guys a box of Kleenex? … Personal Foul, Abusing the Uniform, Part 2: And while you’re at it, get this guy a snack. … The official wire service caption for that last photo, by the way, begins like so: “Rodney Stuckey #3 of the Detroit Pistons looks on while playing the Philadelphia 76ers…” That brings up a pet peeve: What’s the deal with the term “looks on”? I’ve been seeing it in sports photo captions since I was a kid, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it used in any non-sports context. It’s such a lame-o cop-out of a term — says nothing, means nothing. And yet a quick check of Yahoo! Sports (who I could never work for, if only because that exclamation point would drive me out of my fucking mind) reveals that there are currently 793 “looks on”-inclusive photos out there, which means there are some seriously lazy caption writers. I mean, whatever else Rodney Stuckey is doing, he’s not looking on. Please join me in campaigning to eradicate this annoying term from the sports lexicon. … Remember, Roberto Clemente documentary tonight on PBS.
No comment? No — comment!: As many of you are aware, our spam filter got all bitchy on Friday night and started grabbing every single reader comment. This forced Bryan, John, and me (well, mostly Bryan and John) to spend the weekend going into the filter and manually approving every pearl of wisdom you chose to share with us. Now, don’t get me wrong — it’s not that we don’t enjoy wading through hundreds of porno-spambot posts just to find the one legitimate reader comment that consists of a quotation from a Seinfeld episode — but we wouldn’t want you to think we were having too much fun, so John installed a new spam filter late last night. It appears to be working properly so far, but we’re still learning its quirks (and it’s still learning that terms like “stirrups fetish” are not cause for alarm), so it’s possible that some of your comments may still get waylaid, and/or that some spam will find its way onto the site. I trust you’ll bear with us as you continue to share your photos of USC cheerleaders (and high-minded reactions thereto), references to Major League, and all the other insights that make the comments section such a vibrant, stimulating forum. Thanks.