MLB’s continuing drive to mark every single game with some sort of uniform tribute ventured into new territory last night, as a few teams trotted out the first-ever Earth Day treatments. The Red Sox wore a patch with the logo shown at right (unfortunately, this is the best photo I’ve been able to find), plus I hear they renamed their left-field wall “the Green Monster” for a night. Over in Houston, the ’Stros wore green caps (additional views here and here). The message on the side is “Play Green.”
I’d heard that the Phillies were going to wear green BP jerseys during pregame warm-ups, but I haven’t seen any photos — does anyone know if they actually did this? If so, it’s by far the most appropriate Earth Day gesture, since the green BP tops were no doubt the same ones they wore back on St. Paddy’s Day, which is a much more recycling-related move than manufacturing a bunch of new patches or caps. (Update: I’ve now gotten word that the Phils didn’t wear green BP jerseys last night after all.)
Speaking of recycling, you know that familiar tri-arrowed logo that’s the basis for the Red Sox patch? It’s arguably one of the most successful and recognizable logos of the past 40 years, but it has no legal meaning, no legal owner, is not trademarked, and can be used by anyone — for some background, check out this page and this page, both taken from the book Recycled Papers: The Essential Guide by Claudia Thompson.
Perhaps most interesting of all, the symbol’s designer — a 23-year-old USC student named Gary Anderson, who submitted the design as part of a contest held in conjunction with the original Earth Day back in 1970 — was completely off the grid for years. In that last page I linked to, Claudia Thompson writes, “I have tried to locate Mr. Anderson in the hope of recognizing and reproducing his original pen-and-ink drawing, but unfortunately without success.” That was in 1992; five years later, I wrote an article about recycling imagery (for Spin magazine, of all places) and made my own attempt to track down Anderson, but I came up empty.
Ah, but nobody stays hidden in the broadband era. Two excellent articles about Anderson and his symbol (both downloadable as PDFs) are available here and here. When he came up with the Möbius Strip-based symbol back in 1970, I’m fairly certain he had no idea his creation would end up on Dustin Pedroia’s left sleeve (especially since Pedroia hadn’t yet been born), but that’s recycling for ya.
Betcha Thought I’d Put a Photo of a Can of Spam Here: OK, here’s the deal: Our old spam filter — the one that was generally fine until last Friday night — is still going through this bizarre phase in which it insists on treating every single post as spam. That’s obviously unacceptable. We don’t know why it’s behaving this way (it worked fine for so long). Last night we tried re-installing it, using a newer version of it, using an OLDER version of it — no dice.
The filter we used on Monday and Tuesday is better, but not good enough. As many of you discovered, it treats lots of legitimate posts as spam. What’s worse, it doesn’t allow me (or John, or Bryan) to go into the filter and rescue lost/eaten posts.
So for now we’ve gone back to a security system that requires you to enter a computer-generated code word. I know, I know — it’s a major pain. But this system is better than the similar system we used a while back. For example, if you enter the code incorrectly (or click “Say It!” without remembering to enter the code at all), your post won’t simply be rejected and disappear — instead, your comment will be preserved and you’ll be taken to a “try again” page.
We hope this will be just a temporary fix. Our goal is to get our original spam filter working again. Please bear with us while we try to make that happen.
And just to underscore how necessary it is to have some kind of filter: It took John about 30 seconds last night to disable the old filter and install the new security system. In those 30 seconds, two porno spams were posted on the site. It’s like The Matrix — the machines are fucking relentless, man, and they’re coming after us.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Really interesting piece here about some of the Rockets players wearing Chinese-made sneakers (with thanks to Brett Crane). … My thanks to everyone who explained that the bracelet on David Ortiz’s left forearm is a saints bracelet. … Yesterday’s note about the Apollo 11 astronauts have to-do lists sewn into their gloves prompted this from Kevin Friede: “Today’s discussion reminded me of a prank played on the Apollo 12 astronauts. In addition to the quarterback-style wrist checklists, each astronaut had a fairly thick mission checklist booklet, and some NASA people managed to sneak some Playboy centerfolds into the middle of the checklists.” … Here’s a truly amazing conribution from Jared Wheeler: “Ray Dumont was the founder of the National Baseball Congress, which is an organization of semi-pro leagues throughout the U.S. and Canada. It has been up and running since 1935. In 1951 Dumont attached a walkie-talkie device on the umpire, so the fans could hear the conversations between the umpire and the batter.” … Who needs Joba in the rotation? Just put Brian Urlacher in there (with thanks to Brian Russ). … So get this: The Patriots are still trying to trademark the term “19-0.” … While looking for something else, I found this really awesome Cubs training video — don’t miss. … The David Ortiz jersey that was buried in the Yankee Stadium concrete will be on display at the New England Sports Museum. … Another reader has commissioned Rob Ullman to create a jersey-clad pin-up illo. This time it’s Michael DeAloia, who had Rob depict his girlfriend, Rachel, “in the best college jersey of all-time — the Notre Dame green and gold.” Michael reports that Rachel “digs” the results. … Cricket report from Jordan Owen, who writes: “After last year’s success with their pink breast cancer awareness unis, Middlesex County cricket debuted their new One Day unis — spectacular navy and pink quarters — this past Sunday in a victory over trans-Thames rival Surrey.” … Tons of amazing Tiger Stadium photos here (with thanks to Paul Wiederecht). … The new Minnesota football uniforms will be unveiled at 1pm today. … Jeff Barak has found a bunch of really beautiful posters showing the progression of baseball stadiums in various cities, including New York (click on each individual ballpark for a larger image), Boston (ditto), Cleveland (for this one and all the ones that follow, you can see more detail by using the links below the poster), Cincinnati, Detroit, Philly, and St. Louis. The guy behind all this, an Ohio illustrator named Jeff Suntala, has a blog called Historic Ballparks, and has also put the stadium illustrations on a series of T-shirts, coffee mugs, and so on. His illos are gorgeous, and edumacational to boot. Check the full lineup here.