But apparently that wasn’t enough for the Nats. Yesterday’s game against the Mets was billed as “Jackie Robinson Night.” They unveiled a 42 on the outfield wall, and 42 was worn during the game by Ray King, Lastings Milledge, and Willie Harris (all shown in that photo).
This raises a bunch of questions for me:
• Why wasn’t the 42 already on the wall? Like, it was already retired, right? I realize it’s a new stadium, but so what? The number was already supposed to be retired on an MLB-wide basis.
• Why did the Nats get to dress players in 42 again? Okay, so they were on the road last week, but so what? Is every road team from April 15th gonna get to do this? I disagree with people who say that the annual April 15th celebration cheapens the number, but I do think it got cheapened a bit last night. I realize some people will say, “Anything that raises awareness of Jackie Robinson is a good thing,” and I generally agree with that, but turning his memory into a way to add another promotion to your home schedule is totally bogus. The whole point of April 15th is that it’s a one-day thing — a tribute day, a special day. If we start to make every day special, the practical result is that no days are.
• Why was Ray King wearing white cleats in the preame ceremony? He switched to black for the game.
• While we’re at it, why is Ray King so fat?
It’s also interesting to see the design scheme the Nats chose for the 42 on the outfield wall. Many (most?) teams have chosen to depict it in the old Brooklyn Dodgers design scheme, or at least in blue (additional examples here, here, and here), although not every team has done this (additional examples here, here, and here). The Nats chose to use their own font with the numbers trimmed in blue and gray, which I find to be an unsatisfying middle ground. By trying to have it both ways, they ended up with neither.
Uni Watch News Ticker: “This site has a ton of photos from the Arizona Fall League (especially from 2002),” writes Steve Delaney. “One of the most interesting finds is this — that’s Jerry Hairston of the Orioles throwing and Alfonso Soriano of the (at the time) Yankees on the right. Looks like a Little League World Series game.” … UMKC is having a logo-redesign contest. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Best shot I’ve ever seen of Pete Maravich’s “Pistol” NOB. … A new book about goalie masks, called Saving Face, will be published this September by Wiley. The editor sent me some sample spreads, which you can see here. These pages are v-e-r-y preliminary — the text and layout will probably change significantly in the finished product — but they at least provide a sense of what the book will be like. … Jon Helf, who runs the awesome Fleer Sticker Project blog, checks in with another Pilots-related post: “Some of the late-’60s Fleer issues had different colors and styles from what the Pilots ultimately used in their intial season. You can see what I’m talking about here.” … Good article here about George Sherrill and his flat-brimmed cap. … Man, I wish I could’ve been in Seattle for this bowling alley auction. … Minnesota’s new football uniforms, unveiled yesterday, look like this, and holy shit do I hate that pants-striping treatment. No rear-view photo yet, but you can see that the stripe does a butt-cheek wraparound, which is bad news. Idiotic piping on the jersey, too. Piece o’. … And here’s the latest on Hawaii’s new uniforms. Not great, but I’m always in favor of more green, and their look has always been somewhat cartoon-ish, so it’s hard to get worked up one way or the other (with thanks to Jeff Osbun). … While searching for something else on YouTube, I came across the classic old Warner Bros. cartoon Dog Gone South, which I hadn’t seen in probably 20 years. I’d forgotten that at one point Belvedere finds himself wearing a Yankees jersey (yes, it’s in inaccurate, but hey, artistic license and all that). … “Great stirrups being worn by St. Helens High in Oregon,” writes Travis McGuire. “But what’s up with that mound?” … Attention, Jeremy Brahm: Steven Wyder spotted this on eBay. Can you offer any insights regarding its provenance? … Helmet logo problems last night for Kosuke Fukudome (with thanks to Cara Morefield). … “I was watching How I Met Your Mother from last Monday,” writes Mike Rich, “and noticed Ted (played by Josh Radner) wearing a bizarre T-shirt with a Cleveland Indians logo surrounded by a Cincinnati Reds logo. There was also a logo on his left sleeve, but they never showed a clear view.” … Several amazing new contributions from northwest baseball historian Dave Eskenazi: The first two are of the Vancouver Beavers, circa 1918. Nice, right? But the real prize is this shot of the 1938 Vancouver Maple Leafs. Man, is that totally gorgeous or what? “The players probably hated it, especially the veterans,” says Dave. … New member of the stirrups club: Matt Kemp. … The NHL’s great front-office coordination strikes again.