Yesterday I highlighted a bunch of uni-related items currently being auctioned off by Leland’s. As I mentioned at the time, they have a separate auction catalog just for old photos, many of which are doozies. Here’s a rundown of some that caught my eye:
• You’ve heard of a player winning “the batting crown,” but how often have you seen him wearing an actual crown to mark the occasion? That’s Dixie Walker, who led the National League with a .357 average in 1944.
• We’ve all seen old baseball jerseys with lace-up closures. But I’ve never seen the laces look as, well, lace-y as they do here.
• You all know how I’m fond of old-school baseball sweaters, so you can imagine how much I love this shot of Christy Mathewson.
• Great cross-sport photo here: Ty Cobb in golf attire.
• Although I’ve seen it before, it’s always hard to accept that old-time ballplayers kept their fielding gloves tucked in their back pockets. (Also: Lots of dead-ball players looked sort of stiff and unathletic, at least by contemporary standards, but this shot — which is of Larry Doyle, circa 1910s — looks unusually supple and fluid for a hitter from that era.)
• We’re so used to the Yankees wearing “NY” at home and “New York” on the road that it’s easy to forget that they wore “Yankees” — on the road — from 1927 through 1930.
• Here’s future American League prexy Joe Cronin wearing a very unusual uniform. The shot — which is one of the nicer baseball portraits I’ve ever seen — was taken in 1922, when Cronin was only 16 years old and playing for the Columbia Park Boys Club team. Look closely at the chest logo and you’ll see that it repeats the “CPBC” lettering on the placket — unusual case of an acronym appearing twice on the front of a jersey.
• Major find here: a bunch of old San Francisco 49ers publicity pics. These were shot in 1946, when the team was about to begin its inaugural season in the All American Football Conference. Not sure if they didn’t have real uniforms yet or if the stenciled jerseys were their regular practice attire. Either way, very cool.
• Speaking of the Niners, did you know that they originally wore red helmets? Check out these shots of them playing the Browns in 1954. Not sure who the other team is in this shot, but that’s the Niners trying to block the punt, and they’re running the ball here. (And as long as we’re talking about the Niners, check out this interview shot — are those old mics and logos totally hot or what?)
• Check this out: some pics from the Baltimore Colts’ first season, 1953. No shoulder stripes!
• Sixty-eight years after the fact, the Chicago Bears’ sleeve striping is instantly recognizable, even in black-and-white.
• Awesome Uni Watch fodder here, as Blackhawks coach Paul Thompson is shown inspecting the team’s new 1944 uniforms.
• I guess they needed an XXXXL jersey for this guy. That’s Leo Durocher being a good sport.
Raffle Reminder: Today’s the last day to enter the NameFrame raffle. If you haven’t already entered, send a blank e-mail with your name in the subject line to uniraffle at earthlink dot net (not to the regular Uni Watch e-mail address, please) by 10pm eastern tonight. One e-mail per person, but membership program enrollees will automatically get three bonus entries.
I originally said I’d announce the winner next Monday, but I’d forgotten about the long weekend, so instead I’ll reveal the winner on Tuesday. And that brings us to…
Holiday Schedule: We’ll have a weekend-style entry on Monday. Back to regular office hours on Tuesday.
Research Project: Shea Stadium has Cow-Bell Man (who’s a fan), and PNC Park has Camera Guy (a working photographer, who actually has his own MySpace page). Do other stadiums have folks who regularly roam the stands wearing a uniform with an entrenched NOB persona? I’m not talking about some yayhoo who shows up every now and then, or about a team-employed mascot — I mean a regular person who everyone knows because he’s always at the game, and who happens to wear some sort of specialized “fan name” on his back. If you know of any, please get in touch.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Clever jersey display at PNC Park (with thanks to Ryan Connelly, who also provided that Camera Guy photo). … I’m sure the NFL was pleased to see Rocky Mountain News cartoonist Drew Litton using the league’s new logo. … Hanif Johnson, a high school track-and-fielder in Pennsylvania, apparently favors some seriously rad socks (with thanks to Rich Canulli). … This is hilarious (and for those who want more coverage, I believe my ESPN colleague Jim Caple will have something on it today on Page 2). … Very cool Coca-Cola uniform catalog available here. … UAB has unveiled its new football uniforms. Details here (with thanks to Shane Maddox). … Shane also got access to some screen grabs from an upcoming NCAA video game. “Looks like Sryacuse went back to a little of McNabb’s era on the helmet. The S on the side is outlined in white now, too.” … I’m going to be out and about for most of today, so Bryan will be minding the store, and I’ve entrusted him with the site’s top-secret self-destruct sequence, so play nice or else. Happy Memorial Day Weekend to one and all — see you next week.