Okay, so I know I’ve been obsessing over buttons quite a bit lately, and I also know some of you think I write too often about the Mets. But this thing with Pedro Martinez has officially crossed over into freaky-deeky territory.
Quickly, the backstory: As many of you are aware, when Pedro made his very abbreviated first start of the year on April 1st in Florida, his second button was unfastened. Two months, two days, and one calf injury later, he returned to the mound in San Francisco — with his second button undone yet again.
Martinez’s third appearance of the year was eight days ago in San Diego. I didn’t watch that game, but he seemed to be fully buttoned, at least judging by this photo. So I chalked up the other two instances to bizarre coincidence and figured that was the end of that.
Pedro returned to the mound yesterday. And guess what returned with him: the phantom second button. Like, whiskey tango foxtrot?!
That got me wondering about Pedro’s previous start — the one in San Diego where the photo had shown him fully buttoned. So last night I checked out some video from that game, and look what I found. As it turns out, Martinez was fully buttoned in the 1st inning but reverted to his new signature style in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th (after which he was removed from the game, presumably for remedial button-fastening lessons).
So Pedro is now four-for-four with this new look of his. Is it some sort of ritualistic superstition? A secret shout-out to Lefty Grove or Leo Durocher? (Pedro is rather lippy, after all.) More to the point, what shall we call this style — a hole-in-two? The jersey unshored? Petey’s problem? Post your suggested terminology in today’s comments and I’ll give a free Uni Watch membership (or, for existing members, a new card design) to the person who comes up with the one I like best.
Something else about Pedro yesterday, by the way: no Father’s Day ribbon. Lots of blue ribbons and armbands elsewhere throughout MLB, though. I don’t know about you, but my prostate feels better already.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Weekend throwback scorecard: Awesome to see the cartoon Oriole cap logo, and even nicer that they went to the trouble of making throwback helmets — except they made them wrong (the white panel should look like this). Interesting to see that they kept the Jim McKay memorial armband. And look — no MLB logo on the back of the jerseys or the caps! … Meanwhile, over in the Bay Area (where the Giants had the MLB mark on jerseys but not on caps), Barry Zito had something poking out of his waistband. I was hoping they’d go with the orange sanitaries, but no such luck. … And in Cleveland, the Indians went with belted pants when an elastic waistband was called for. This was the weekend’s only throwback game featuring both teams in retro attire, as the Padres stuck to their regular batting helmets and used belted pants and radially arched nameplates (with no MLB logo) when they should have gone with striped waistbands and a vertical arch. Major bonus points, however, for including the 1978 All-Star Game patch. Jeff Mouldin was at the game and has dozens of additional pics (including several of Heath Bell’s brown-on-gold stirrups) here. … More on the Padres’ uniforms, from Mike Hersh: “I noticed most of the Padres didn’t like their brown undershirts with the mock-turtleneck collar. Most of the guys looked like they used scissors to cut the neckline. Edgar Gonzalez did the worst job of it. And Edgar’s younger brother, Adrian, decided to say screw it and just wore a white undershirt.” … Want to make your own vintage socks? Okay, you probably don’t, but this piece is still pretty interesting (with thanks to Joe Hilseberg, who also pointed me toward two old-school “base ball” uniform sources, here and here). … “Hens and Hogs Night” in Toledo last Thursday, with the Mud Hens wearing Harley-inspired jerseys (courtesy of Wayne Koehler). … Civil War regiment? Nope — it’s a circa-1900 baseball team. Amazing jackets! (Big thanks to Jim Herrmann.) … Kevin Brotzman notes that this story on Jonathan Ogden’s retirement includes the following passage: “Ogden recalled getting handed a white Ravens baseball cap with black block lettering when his name was announced during the draft. ‘I’m like, “What is this?”‘ he said, drawing hearty laughs from the crowd. ‘We didn’t have colors, we didn’t have logos, we didn’t have nothing. And I remember coming to minicamp and my first rookie card, I got a white helmet on.’” … “One of my friends lives in Austria and his local team is FC Blau Weiss Linz (Blue White Linz), a lower level Austrian team,” writes Chris Cruz. “I was watching a video clip of the team and noticed that although the team was sponsored by ‘Lenze,’ one guy (the captain) was wearing a shirt sponsored by ‘is.’” I’d never seen such a thing before, but apparently it’s not unheard of in Austria for a specific player to have a contract with a different sponsor.” … While searching for something else, I came across this photo of Gaylord Perry. Looks like he cut his collar). … Reprinted from Friday’s comments: The Cubs apparently wanted to use zippered jerseys for last Thursday’s throwback game, but MLB wouldn’t let them — or at least that’s what it says in the bottom-left of this page, which was printed on the inside front cover of the program for Thursday’s game (and was generously scanned and forwarded by Kasey Ignarski). … Steve Sundell reports that NASA has a new spacesuit manufacturer (and no, it’s not Nike). … NPR’s Marketplace program ran an interesting sneaker-history piece the other day. Listen to it here (with thanks to Jonna Pedrioli). … “The Grizzlies ‘celebrated’ Friday the 13th by wearing special jerseys with slash marks across them,” writes Aaron Wiens. “They also all wore the number 13.” … Steve Ashpole reports that Green River Community College has two interesting stirrup designs: Packers-striped (additional view here) and team-monogrammed (additional pics here, here, and here). … The Carolina Mudcats celebrated Rocky Mount Night this week by wearing 1960′s era Rocky Mount Leafs uniforms from the old Carolina League. Lots of pics here. … No photos, but a troubling communiqué from Jeremy Brahm: “I’ve noticed a problem with Nike’s soccer uniforms: They are tearing on the front of jerseys. I’ve attended numerous Portland Timbers games this year and have seen three uniforms tear in front of me, and one during a televised road match. I have seen one of the Nike uniforms at the Euro2008 tournament do the same. The tear happens on the front of the jersey, around the numbers. Maybe it’s because of the numbers are heat-pressed as opposed to being sewn? But then you’d think that the sponsor logo would do the same, but it always seems to be below the sponsor’s logo.” … “I found this page, which details the uniforms worn this past season by the soccer EPL’s latest member, Hull City,” writes Geneva Fox. … Argentina NT and Uruguay NT played a friendly basketball match the other day, and Alejandro Macri (writing all the way from Buenos Aires!) reports that Uruguay used a zero for all sub-10 numbers. Here’s a good view of the Argentine design. … Has MLB always sold sleeve patches online? If so, I wasn’t aware of it, but they’re definitely doing it now (as discovered by Chris Brown). … Gorgeous (but expensive) 1912 baseball equipment catalog available here. … Very odd item here: a raglan-styled vest. Did it originally have full sleeves that were later cut off? Why would you construct a vest with vestigal raglan “sleeves”? … Here’s something I’ve never seen before: a Spalding uniform tape measure. … Reprinted from Sunday’s comments: Cool little site documenting ice cream sundae helmets here. … Here’s something I hadn’t seen before: a short video clip showing a very young Shaq in his McDonald’s All-American uni (nice find by Dominick Carfello. … I met Gabriel Urist at a party on Friday. He’s a metalsmith who does all sorts of sports-themed jewelry — NBA-related, mostly, but he told me he just got an MLB license and will be producing lots of baseball stuff soon (he’ll have a booth at the All-Star Game’s FanFest blowout). His stuff is way too blingy for me, but he struck me as an interesting guy, and I plan to stay in touch with him.