Back in August of 2005, when this site didn’t yet exist and the Uni Watch News Ticker ran as part of my ESPN column every two weeks, I wrote an article that included this little nugget (which originally included some photo links that have long since expired):
The Marlins recently tried a bit of team uni-ty by agreeing to have everyone cuff their pants up high. “I heard Paul LoDuca started it, to give the team a spark,” reports Marlins fan and Uni Watch reader Kevin Sorg. “Todd Jones won’t wear it on the mound when he closes, but the second he gets the last out, he pulls up the pant legs to show the socks up.”
Three seasons later, Todd Jones once again finds himself on a team looking to strike a note of hosiery-based solidarity. This time it’s the Tigers, who went high-cuffed on Saturday (additional info in the sixth graf of this story, and note that Miguel Cabrera’s socks were logo emblazoned).
Just as he did with the Marlins, Jones chose to stay low-cuffed when he entered the game and then hiked up his pants after getting the final out. But that’s where the similarity ends. Back in Florida, Jones had full-length socks under his pants (no pics, but I saw video of it at the time, trust me). But when he pulled up his pant legs on Saturday, he revealed something else altogether — ewwwww. And although it’s tough to see in that screen grab, those are official NBA quarter-socks — a rare (and, in this instance, rather off-putting) case of cross-league apparel.
In addition to adjusting his cuffs at the game’s conclusion, Jones also went untucked. Unfortunately, no single shot showed the full bare-legged, shirttails-a-flappin’ effect, presumably because no camera was capable of capturing such an image without exploding.
And yet Jones didn’t seem the least bit ashamed of his appearance. In fact, you might say he looked proud out there, almost like he was rubbing the victory in the D-backs’ faces. Why be confrontational like that? See Todd Jones, hear him roar.
But I guess he’s got rights, or whatever.
Jones, incidentally, isn’t the only player wearing teeny little ankle socks. Reader Laren Richardson informs me that Jim Edmonds fouled a ball off his ankle during last night’s Cubs/Astros game and then rolled up his cuff to reveal this. Is this the new trend in baseball? Dainty little sockie-poos instead of gloriously full-fledged hose? And people wonder why this country’s going down the crapper.
Uni Watch News Ticker: While poking around in the Sporting News archives, I came across an incredible article about the Cubs’ 1937 uniforms. The Cubbies made a lot of changes that year, going from this to this (which featured, among other things, history’s first zipper-front jersey). Stop whatever you’re doing and read this — you won’t be sorry. … Bit of a javelin mishap in Utah the other day. Details here. … The Duke lacrosse team is wearing American flag left-sleeve patches — execept for Zack Greer, who’s from Ontario, so he has the Canadian flag (with thanks to Cosmo Santullo). … George Sherrill’s flat-brim look is catching on (with thanks to Jeffrey Soderberg). … Not uni-related, but I’ve been meaning to mention that when I was in Seattle a while back, Ebbets Field Flannels prexy Jerry Cohen took me to this amazing sandwich shop, which has its own curing room (in case you hadn’t figured it out, about the only thing I love more than design minutiae is meat). … John Lüders found a nice gallery focusing on corporate sponsorships in German and European soccer. “This shot shows something I’ve never heard of before in Germany,” he writes. “In 1988 FC Homburg wanted to advertise condoms (the brand was called London Rubber Company), but the German football league wouldn’t let it pass — too raunchy for the times apparently (personally, I think the overall jersey design is the far worse crime). And this one shows Eintracht Braunschweig in 1976. Back then, advertising was basically forbidden in German football, so what did the club, very high in debt, simply changed their whole emblem into the Jägermeister sign. The jersey now has reached cult status among supporters (similar to the Commodore shirt Bayern Munich was sporting in the early ’80s).” … My recent material about smoking athletes led Dan Jeffers to inform me that Leo Durocher once had Dodgers pitcher Tom Seats drink some brandy before a game, to settle his (the Seats’s) nerves. GM Branch Rickey was outraged by this impromptu bartending, so what did he do? He released Seats. Details here. … Matt Ryburn reports that the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes ran an American Gladiator Night promotion over the weekend, complete with AG-styled uniforms (additional pics here and here). … Ryan Connelly notes that Marty Biron has something written on the inner back panel of his mask. Anyone know what that’s about? … I grew up watching Thurman Munson wearing orange gear without thinking twice about it. But as Clark Farrand notes, that’s an odd color choice for a Yankees catcher. Anyone know the story behind that? … While researching something else, I stumbled upon something I’d forgotten about: When the Mets introduced their black jerseys in 1997, they sometimes paired them with blue sleeves. … The Lions have added a “75 Seasons” patch (with thanks to Eric Szczesny, who notes that this is the Lions 75th year in Detroit but actually their 79th year in the league). … Buried in last night’s AP beat story about the Yankees (with thanks to Bryan, who noticed it): “The Yankees will switch equipment sponsorship from Adidas to Nike next year under a five-year deal that has been agreed to in principle, Sports Business Journal reported. Nike spokesman Dean Stoyer said the company wouldn’t confirm or discuss the report until after the season and Yankees spokesman Howard Rubenstein said he wasn’t able to reach any team officials for comment. Adidas has sponsored the Yankees since 1997. All big league teams’ on-field apparel, however, is covered by Major League Baseball’s agreements.” … NASL-o-rama on eBay (with thanks to Bob Saietta). … College football query from Matt Powers, who writes: “Circa 1999, the NCAA instituted the rule governing the use of gray receiver’s gloves for all players, to make infractions such as holding more visible to officials. In 1998, my teammates and I were still allowed to wear non-gray gloves, as were the athletes at the major schools. I believe the rule is still in effect, although I still don’t know the particulars. Today, I received my Eastbay catalogue, which included this page. The gloves shown on the page are also linked on the Eastbay site. My question is this: There’s an all-gray model for sale, but all of the gloves are majority gray, with an accent color. Would all of these gloves be legal under current NCAA regulations?” Matt lost me about two sentences in, but I trust someone out there can help him out, yes? … John Hansen notes that Anika Sorentsam is apparently trying to max out her sponsorship $$$ before her retirement kicks in. Cool Swedish belt, though. … Erik Johns has found a site featuring some incredible Russian posters, several of which are sports-related (at least tangentially). I particularly like this one. … The additional site-anniversary announcement will have to wait an extra day — more details tomorrow.