A while back I got a note from Tom Jacobsen, who collects game-used Denver Broncos gear and said a lot of his jerseys included special modifications that had been made by the players and/or equipment staff. It isn’t football season, but there’s never a bad time for good uni-mod photos, so here’s a sampling of Tom’s stuff, in his own words:
• “This John Elway jersey (worn 1983-86, cold-weather games only) has a sewn-in hand warmer. But they didn’t just add the pocket — a rectangle was cut out of the jersey front by the Broncos equipment staff and then this pre-fab hand warmer, made from some sort of insulated material, was sewn in from the inside, and it is warm!”
• “Ed McCaffrey made major modifications to his uniforms to give him more speed. For this 1995 jersey, he basically cut it to the length of a half shirt and then would tape it to his body to cut down on wind drag.”
• “A friend of mine has a pair of Eddie Mac’s cleats, and he actually wore them a size small and then cut a hole for the big toe because he thought they made him go faster. My friend also has these McCaffrey pants. ‘I love how he cut out almost all of the heavy, thick elastic band,’ he says. ‘He left just a few strips here and there. And you know, they actually do weigh 15 ounces less than a comparable pair of pants I had — maybe that DOES make him faster!'”
• “This 1982-83 Billy Bryan jersey was a forerunner of the modern-day lineman’s style. He had the sleeves completely taken off then sewn back on at more of downward angle (similar to this 1996 Tommy Nalen model, but Tommy’s was manufactured that way to start with). He also had the sides taken in and a stretch panel added to both sides for a tighter fit.”
• “Remember how Bill Romanowski would add laces to his jerseys, to make them tighter? You can see where they added the eyelets here. Romo also had darts added to his shoulders. And note the adjustable crotch piece — ouch!”
It’s not clear if Romo also had a little inside pouch for stashing his, uh, vitamins, but I’m sure Tom would’ve mentioned that if it had been there. Big thanks to him for sharing his collection with us.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Japanese Olympic swimmers will be allowed to wear the LZR swimsuit (with thanks to Jeremy Brahm). … Rare sight here: Goose Gossage batting in pinstripes. This was during the 1981 World Series, when the DH was used in the World Series in alternating years, instead of depending on the home team’s rules. “I wonder if that was the only time he batted in home pinstripes,” says Eric Stengel. … Tim Stoops reports that his dad is volunteering as a marshal at the U.S. Open this weekend. Here’s a slideshow of the gear he’ll be wearing. … Fun “Twins by the Numbers” breakdown here (with thanks to Brinke Guthrie). … “I believe this is Alabama celebrating an Orange Bowl victory in 1953,” writes Travis Cuomo. “What really stuck out to me was the ‘MGR’ shirt the manager was wearing. Can’t remember ever seeing anything like that before.” Looks like they’re endorsing Coca-Cola, too. … Curt Schilling attended Game 2 of the NBA Finals and wore a Celtics jersey for the occasion (while his daughter apparently took dictation for his blog). … This page has short videos showing each of the national uniforms in the Euro 2008 tournament (with thanks to Greg DiLeo). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: According to the fifth-to-last entry on this Q&A page, the NFL is planning some sort of uni-based commemoration of the AFL’s 50th anniversary in 2009. … Also from yesterday: New 49ers unis in 2010. … I might have shown these before, but just in case: The excellent Fleer Sticker Project site has some awesome old NFL posters on display here and here. … Reprinted from last night’s comments: L.I. Phil notes that Todd Helton’s footwear has been alternating between Adidas and Nike lately. He used to wear fake Mizunos, as explained here. … Did you know the Giants were conducting spring training in Arizona while the team was still based in New York? I didn’t, until Kenn Tomasch sent me this and this. Both shots are from 1947. … Went out to catch Kung Fu Panda last night (pretty damn good) and saw the trailer for The Express, which looks like it has major uniform potential. … Ben Nickerson spent a good portion of last night obsessing over Kevin Garnett’s sneakers. “He’s got ‘The Finals’ and the championship trophy depicted on the inner,” he notes, and the outer is marked to denote Game 1, Game 2, Game 7 (if necessary), etc. Plus there’s a little red “KP 34” notation on the back, which is a Kirby Puckett memorial (we can add this to the very short list of cross-sport memorial gestures). Further details here.