It was about a year ago that Ryan Zimmerman pulled a unique version of the hidden-ball trick by losing a ground ball in his jersey (video of the incident is available here). Fifteen years before that, Daryl Boston of the Mets got one of history’s strangest game-winning RBIs when he came to bat with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 13th of a scoreless game and was “hit” by a pitch that lodged inside his jersey (an account of that oddity is here).
Both of those games came to mind yesterday when Braves pitcher Jeff Bennett undressed Pittsburgh’s Jason Michaels — literally. As Michaels tried to dodge Bennett’s inside pitch, the ball buzzed Michaels’s jersey and ripped it open, leaving the hitter seriously exposed. Michaels buttoned up on his way to first base, but he somehow forgot to tuck in.
You can see the whole thing in real time here. Boy, those Atlanta announcers really get caught up in the excitement of the moment, don’t they?
The weirdest thing about this is that the exposed edge of a right-handed batter’s jersey is facing away from the pitcher (if you’re wearing a button-front shirt, look down at your chest and you’ll see what I mean). So the ball couldn’t have caught the edge of the placket, as I had originally assumed; it must have caught a billow or flap. Which means his jersey was probably too billowy to begin with. Which I guess doesn’t really amount to much when you compare it to this jersey.
Raffle Reminder:Today’s the last day to enter the raffle for a free helmet from Gridiron Memories. If you haven’t entered already, send an e-mail to uniraffle [at] earthlink [dot] net (please note that this is not the usual Uni Watch e-mail address) by 10pm tonight. Only one entry per person, I’ll automatically add three bonus entries for all membership program enrollees. The winner will be announced tomorrow.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The Twins wore their Minnesota sesquicentennial sleeve patch over the weekend (betcha all forgot about that one, even though it was in my MLB season-preview column, right?). They were supposed to wear it last night, too, but they went with their patch-free vest look instead. My understanding is that the patch will now be removed for the rest of the season. … “Here’s Tottenham Hotspur at home in striped socks against Liverpool,” writes Gordon Wood. “Their regular white home kit does not have stripes. According to the match day report, they were wearing next season’s kit.” … Mike Pelfrey has stopped wearing his mouthpiece, because he was tipping his pitches by chewing on it. … Memo to the Phillies: Please call Joe Bisenius up to the bigs immediately (with thanks to Danny White). … Great article plus accompanying video here about the Angels’ laundress/seamstress. This is one of the best articles I’ve ever seen on this type of team employee, with loads of good details — highly recommended. … Yesterday I linked to this photo. “I’m pretty sure that’s an all-star game thing,” reports Scott Turner. “For a while, Japanese teams were divided East/West for their all-star game, rather than the current Central and Pacific Leagues.” … Someone posted this 1938 photo over on the Chris Creamer board. Not sure if that’s a logo on top of the Chicago helmets, but it sure looks that way. If so, it’s one of the earliest (and most oddly positioned) helmet logos on record. … Naru Oda and Jeremy Brahm report that the Hanshin Tigers have unveiled some really awful uniforms (here’s the rear view), which they’ll wear in interleague games. “The new unis now have 100 grams less material weight, which would enhance player’s mobility,” says Naru. “Instead of embroidered logos and names, they’re now printed. The shaded pants stripes are supposed to give the impression of a wild tiger (I question that part).” … The Houston Texans have “Take It Away!” and “Protect the Ball!” printed on the back of their practice shorts (good find by Chris Smith). … FNOB alert: Afonso Alves of Middlesbrough (with thanks to Greg Riffenburgh). … Speaking of NOBs, Mike Kingery was poking around the Sporting News archives and came up with this 1963 article. Among other things, it indicates that the second and third teams to use NOBs (after the White Sox, who as we all know were the first) were the Cardinals and Braves, which I hadn’t been aware of. … With all the Mother’s Day rainouts, lots of teams wore pink ribbons in the first games of their doubleheaders yesterday, including the Indians, Pirates (tough to see, but it’s there, plus Freddy Sanchez used a pink bat), and Braves. The Braves/Bucs game had pink-accessorized umps, too. … Here’s something you don’t often see: a Little League throwback game, with the kids wearing uniforms based on the 1978 Cubs road design. “We weren’t able to pull of the white pinstripes,” writes the team’s coach, who prefers to remain anonymous, “but the classic impossible-to-read royal blue lettering on powder blue jersey was preserved. We even did the names on the back in the true to the original vertical arch.” … Not uni-related, but this video clip is pretty funny. … “On Friday, La Salle Prep in Milwaukie, Oregon celebrated Senior Day in style,” writes Travis McGuire. “They broke out the striped stirrups for the first time this season. I think they looked pretty sharp with the off-white unis.” … Speaking of striped hose, check out Chris King of Tennessee Tech (with thanks to Ernie Goens). … And still more lower-leg goodness, this time from Matt Campbell, who reports that the Toledo Mud Hens were all wearing stirrups on Sunday. He also notes that the Mud Hens had the International League’s 125th Anniversary patch on their vest chests (other teams are wearing it on their sleeves) and that Charlotte player Brad Eldred “must have left his locker in a hurry, because right before the national anthem I happened to glance in the Charlotte dugout and saw this horrifying sight.” Best of all, Matt took a bunch of dynamite shots at the traveling Minor League Baseball Museum (part of this promotion) — check out his slideshow of photos here. … We’ve all seen batters drop their bat in disgust and leave it at home plate if they don’t like an ump’s call. And then there are the players (and managers) who’ll throw stuff from the dugout onto the field after getting tossed from a game. But last night is the first time I’ve seen a catcher shed his gear in protest: Yadier Molina got into an argument and left his gear at the plate. Very short video clip here. … Have you seen these Dodgers wigs thingies? There’s a good article on the woman who makes them here (with thanks to Murketing‘s Rob Walker).