Sometimes fate lobs you a softball. I was wondering what I’d write for today, especially since my brain’s still kinda in vacation mode, and then there it was: yesterday’s A’s/Rangers throwback game (with the teams dressed as the 1968 A’s and the 1968 Senators, respectively). And this wasn’t just any throwback game — mere hours after Bryan had griped about teams not going the extra mile to wear throwback helmets, the A’s and Rangers went that extra mile. If you look at that last photo, you’ll see that Oakland catcher Kurt Suzuki even had a throwback catcher’s helmet — a nice touch. (And speaking of helmets, Jack Cust’s lid still had a sticker on the underbill.)
Other notes from the game:
• Just once, I’d like to see throwback vests with old-school tailoring. Back in the day, vests were tailored narrow across the shoulders, almost like basketball tank tops; nowadays (and in yesterday’s throwback game), they’re just sleeveless jerseys, with too much shoulder coverage.
• I guess asking the Rangers to wear black cleats, instead of their usual blue, would’ve been too much. Still, the footwear is definitely the fly in this otherwise pleasing ointment.
• Speaking of footwear, this design really doesn’t belong in a throwback game.
• Also too bad about the modern dugout jackets, although it’s nice to see that the A’s coaching staff wore white caps — with white underbills! And the Oakland players had green underbills. The Rangers, however, had black underbills, which brings me to the most interesting element of the game…
• That is not a throwback cap — it’s just a current Nationals cap. But isn’t the Nats’ “W” subtly different from the one the Sens used to wear? That’s what I thought, and the Nats’ own web site seems to confirm this: They sell this as the team’s current cap and this a 1968-71 Sens throwback — note the blunt end on the right tip of the W. Then there’s this, which is also supposedly a Sens throwack cap — the W isn’t blunt-tipped, but it’s more flat-sitting, less italic-ish than the Nats version. But then I did a little photo research and turned up this, this, this, and this. And frankly, those all look more like the Nats’ cap than they do like either of those Sens throwback caps. Todd Radom, if you’re reading this, could you fill me in on the distinctions between the old Sens W and the newer Nats version you rendered? (And if Todd isn’t reading this, I’ll check in with him myself and report back in a day or two.).
OK, that’s enough for the first day back. Mega-thanks to Bryan and Vince for minding the store in my absence — you guys rock. Speaking of Vince, he’ll be in NYC this Wednesday, which means we’ll finally get to meet in person, a mere year and a half after he started working for me. Looking forward to it, bud — travel safe.
Incidentally, I’m well aware that the site has been behaving sluggishly in recent days. We’re working on it. Should be fixed soon. Yes, I know that’s what we always say. We’ll say it next time, too. Patience, please.
Research Request: I’ve always wanted to do an ESPN column about horse racing jockey silks, but it’s a subject I don’t know a whole lot about. If anyone out there could give me a crash course on this topic’s history and current state, please get in touch.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Also want to thank reader Chris Falvey and his wife Sue for sharing New Orleans drinks and advice. Much obliged. … Someone has put together a site devoted to the Diamondbacks’ uniforms. Among the interesting photos: a prototype sleeve patch (never actually worn on the field) and a great action shot of the 1999 futuristic design. … Robert Steinau notes that Jim Edmonds was up to his old windbreaker tricks in at least two games early last month. Longtime readers will recall that he also did this during the 2006 World Series. … According to this article, Georgia Tech will wear white jerseys at home this fall (with thanks to Jeff Parker). … Shorpy scores again. … This vintage jersey doesn’t look like much — until you take a closer look at the shoulder embroidery. … Expect to see this logo on lots of Wake Forest corporate merch this summer, although it won’t replace the school’s athletic logos (as reported by Dennis Reid). … Looks like we may soon be seeing more MLB mustaches (with thanks to Fred Worth). … Mustaches have also hit the volleyball scene. Photos here (thanks, Bryan). … “As you may have known, the Rockies brass were in a frantic rush after their World Series run to trademark the term ‘Rocktober,’ ” writes Reid Tynan. “Based upon their performance so far this year I’d say this shirt I designed features a much more fitting slogan.” … According to this article, Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne “was offended when [a] Nike official told him, ‘You’re not as good as [Texas] and you’re probably never going to be.’ That blunt assessment, Byrne said, made his move [from Nike] to Adidas easier. The Adidas deal also provides more money for A&M than their Nike offer, Byrne said” (with thanks to Glenn Stern). … Anyone know why the Red Sox have a jolly roger flag hanging in their bullpen? (As spotted by Randy Williams.) … New uni number, of sorts, for John Smoltz. … Ryan Clark wanted to switch uni numbers to honor Sean Taylor, but his request has been disallowed. So he’ll switch numbers for practices, but not for games. Details about halfway down this page (with thanks to Daniel Weimann). … Matt Cain went low-cuffed on Saturday night. “Not sure, but I believe this was the first time a Giants starter didn’t wear stirrups since the staff decided they would do so in spring training.” Might this be related to Barry Zito’s demotion to the bullpen? … Scott Springer notes that Erik Ainge is still wearing his Tennessee Adidas cleats. … Dig this 1962 Wilson uni catalog I won on eBay the other day. … Ryan Howard scored the winning run for the Phillies yesterday. How’d he do it? According to a quote in this story, “I got a good jump, and I think that was because of the shoes. I wore lighter-colored shoes today, and that might have made me look faster” (as reported by Bernie Langer). … Memo to the Yankees: Instead of bringing up Darrell Rasner or Kai Igawa, please promote Chase Wright instead, for obvious reasons (big thanks to Eddie Brewer). … here. … “If you look closely at this photo, you’ll notice a half-inch of dark stitching just outside Anthony Kim’s shoulder blade, in the shadowed area,” writes Fred Haumesser. “It was very noticable on TV that he had pleats stitched into the back of his shirt to help keep it from tugging on his shoulders. Tiger used to have a habit of pulling his shoulders up on each side prior to a shot but doesn’t do it anymore. Must be able to afford a better tailor these days.”