When the A’s and Rangers wore those 1968 throwack uniforms a few weeks back, several readers wrote in to tell me that the game reminded them of a book called This Great Game, which featured a lot of photos from around 1970. I tracked down a used copy, and sure enough, it’s a keeper. Among the highlights:
• Speaking of the umps, the book features a lot of shots that show the American and National League patches that the umpiring crews were wearing in 1970. Additional pics here, here, and here. (That last shot had to have been taken during the World Series, since it shows an N.L. ump with Earl Weaver.)
• The felt lettering on this jersey looks so thick, I want to reach out and touch it.
• Odd sight here: Looks like Willie Mays is wearing a short-sleeved windbreaker under his jersey, instead of the more common long-sleeved model.
• Here’s another shot of Frank Robinson and his customized stirrups, with an extra strip of fabric added on the bottom so the stirrups can be pulled up higher.
• Never thought I’d see Junior Gilliam, of all people, wearing backwards stirrups.
• You might think I’m including this photo because of the striped stirrups. And yeah, they look hot. But the real point here, at least for me, is that the 1960s Chisox wore uni numbers on their right sleeves on the road — something you wouldn’t know from Dressed to the Nines, because right sleeves aren’t visible.
• Here’s an old shot of the Polo Grounds. Check out those stripes between the mound and the plate! So many fungo circles (or at least that’s what I’m assuming they are) around the plate, too. Anyone know more about either of these details?
• This is also the Polo Grounds, albeit a bit later. The Yankees played there before Yankee Stadium was built. That’s Babe Ruth, in the pre-uni number era, launching one.
Want your own copy of this book? You can get one for almost nothing.
Research Project: Got a note from No Mas prexy Chris Isenberg the other day. “I want to look at the historical fonts used for yard-line markers and outfield dimensions, esp. at key stadiums. Do you know of anyone who has compiled this sort of thing?”
We’ve occasionally touched up on this topic here at Uni Watch (the little pitchforks used on the field at Sun Devil Stadium, e.g., or the “410” marker at Shea Stadium being changed from white to black during the mid-1980s after Keith Hernandez complained that the white numerals were distracting him at the plate), but I’m not aware of anyone whose compiled a database of stadium or on-field typography. If you know of such a repository, and/or if you’d like to contribute some particularly interesting visuals (no obvious stuff, please), you know what to do.
Do Sharks Really Swim in Rivers, Anyway?: The Camden Riversharks’ “Old-School Baseball Night” promotion — featuring the entire team wearing striped stirrups and yours truly throwing out the first ball — is this Thursday, June 5th. Discounted box seats are still available for Uni Watch readers who follow these steps:
• First, go to this link. You’ll see the Riversharks’ June schedule. Click on the June 5th game, and then click on “Let me pick my seats from a seating chart.” You should then see a diagram of the Sharks’ stadium.
• See the teal seats right behind home plate, and the yellow seats extending down the baselines? All of those seats are available for the $8 price. Just click on the section you want and choose your tickets from the resulting “Eligible for Stirrups” seat listing.
• When you select your seats and click “Add to Cart,” the screen will initially show the regular ticket price. But when checking out, enter the promotional code “stirrups” in the appropriate field, and you’ll get the special $8 Uni Watch price.
There had initially been talk of a pregame Uni Watch party, but lots of people told me they wouldn’t be able to make it to the ballpark early enough for that (plus I’m gonna be busy beforehand getting ready for the first pitch, showing the players the right way to wear stirrups, etc.), so we’ve scrapped that idea. But I’ll make a few rounds through the stands to meet up with readers, OK? OK.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Footwear note from Mark Mihalik, who writes: “I’ve noticed that Mark DeRosa and Michael Young have been wearing identical cleats throughout the season. However, when I found a close-up view of , I saw that DeRosa’s cleats actually have a ’10’ imprinted on them. DeRosa wears No. 7, but he’s a close friend of Young’s (they were teammates in Texas, where Young still wears No. 10), so I can only assume that Young gave DeRosa a pair of his personalized cleats earlier this year.” … The MLB All-Star Game BP jerseys will look like this and this. … Oxymoron Dept.: dirtiest sanitaries ever (courtesy of Greg Riffenburgh). … Jeff Francoeur wore stirrups on Friday. “He’s been know to change up his pants, going from low to high, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen him wear stirrups,” says Byron Wages. … Maple bats are becoming controversial (with thanks to Marriott Rewards enrollee Minna H.). … Also from Minna: Rafael Nadal has been wearing green at Roland Garros — including the little championship icons on his sneakers. … And speaking of the French Open, remember a while back when I wrote about the Hawaiian women’s soccer team wearing that weird kinesio tape? Robby Ginepri has been wearing lots of that stuff (additional pics here and here). … If you liked my recent entry about this catalog, there’s another copy up for auction. … Nice little tidbit from Brad Dugan, who writes: “Back in ’99, Giants third baseman Charlie Hayes charged DBacks pitcher Todd Stottlemyre from second base, causing a bench-clearing fracas. In the ensuing confusion, Randy Johnson (not pitching that day) lost his hat, picked up Giants third base coach Sonny Jackson’s cap, and put it on. He wore it for a few seconds before realizing it didn’t fit well, and took it off to find out not only was it not his cap, it wasn’t even a DBacks cap. Now every time the Unit pitches against the Giants, they make sure to play that highlight from the archives.” … Liverpool FC has a new mascot, with an interesting NOB (with thanks to Hasan Masood). … Soccer footwear note from Chris Lehmann: “Cristiano Ronaldo (who had been wearing the new Mercurial Vapor IV shoes in red) was wearing what appears to be the Vapor IVs, but without the lace cover, in a carbon fiber color for the Champions League. They also had the date stitched on them on. Since then, in practices for Portugal’s national team, he’s worn the Vapors in a matching green colorway, but he’s gone back to the lace-cover version. The change might be because he blew his shot during the shootout after extra time.” … The Mariners wore their Latino jerseys on Saturday. … According to this article, NHL ref Dan O’Halloran wears No. 13 as a reminder of how he almost died from a gunshot wound. … Reprinted from Saturday’s comments: Ryan Braun has a contagious ear infection, so some Milwaukee players have been wearing earplugs as a preventive measure. No photos, alas. … The Baltimore Sun is reporting that the Orioles will restore “Baltimore” to their road jerseys next season. … Excellent article here about corporate sponsorships at the Olympics. … Speedo’s LZR swimsuits have some competition (with thanks to Jeremy Brahm). … The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has compiled the Braves’ record as broken down by uniform (with thanks to Mike Rich). … Best uniform story of the weekend. … Awesome stirrups (worn with varying degrees of success) sported by Monroe Community College of Rochester, New York, last week (with thanks to Kevin Lewter). … “Japanese LPGA golfer Akane Iijima won her first tournament of the year this weekend, and she wore a No. 1 on her shirt for the final round,” writes Jeremy Brahm. “She did have the lead in rounds 1 and 2 (it was only a three-round event), but she would have looked stupid if she’d lost.” … Jeremy was also at yesterday’s Mariners/Tigers game, where he snapped this photo. “That guy must have lost a bet,” he says. … Happy to report that Brinke Guthrie won the NFL Playbook. Glad to see it end up in a Uni Watch reader’s hands. … Dustin Pomprowitz reminded me of something I’d completely forgotten about: The refs in the 2000 NHL All-Star Game had an extra red stripe on their jerseys (those pics are from the skills competition, but they also wore the extra stripe during the ASG itself). Whose bright idea was that? … No photo, but interesting note from Gabe Kleinfeld: “The Yankees announcers were talking about how the Twins’ Nick Punto’s wife gave birth on Friday night, and I believe he was wearing the hospital bracelet in Saturday’s game.”