[Editor’s Note: Reader Mike Miller recently attended the the 2008 Carolina League/California League All-Star Game in Myrtle Beach and provided such a thorough report that I’ve decided to run it as a guest-written entry — enjoy. I’ll see you down at the Ticker. — PL]
By Mike Miller
The game took place at BB&T Coastal Field, home to the single-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Here’s a rundown on the visual aspects of the game.
Batting Practice Jerseys. Nothing too remarkable here. Carolina League, as the home team, had powder blue — err, Pelican blue — jerseys with gold and navy trim and “Carolina” across the front. The design was straight out of the current MLB BP jersey template. (Yes, that’s Roger Clemens’ kid Koby in this shot.) Many of the players had BP jerseys with different numbers than their game uniforms, so I think the jerseys were pre-numbered then had nameplates added when the rosters were finalized.
The California League BP jerseys were similar, except with navy blue as the primary color and “California” across the front. Their numbers were three-layer, with powder blue, then white, then gold. Both leagues’ BP jersey had the all-star logo on the left sleeve.
Game Uniforms. The Carolina League got everyone to wear home whites. The California League couldn’t meet the challenge, with half of their players wearing a colored alternate instead of the road grey.
A few cool and weird tidbits:
• Wilmington probably has the only gold front number on a white uniform of any team in baseball.
• Although Myrtle Beach wears powder blue caps at home and on the road, they have black batting helmets. I was told that helmet manufacturers don’t make helmets in powder blue and that the team basically didn’t want to pay the money to paint them all that color.
• The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes have a fissure across their cap bill.
• Winston-Salem, a White Sox affiliate, have White Sox sleeve patches.
Field Markings and Stadium. The logo they painted behind home plate was not the actual all-star logo, but a watered-down version (the full version is much more detailed, with a palmetto tree and crescent moon, which of course are taken from the South Carolina state flag).
The grounds crew had some nice touches, outlining the home plate area and coaching boxes in red, white, and blue, plus they painted each league’s name in the coaching box closest to that team’s dugout. And before the game, the crew put down a stencil of the Pelicans’ “MB” cap logo of behind home plate. So after they watered that area, the logo was clearly evident.
The stadium has a “beach area” down the left field line, where folks can watch the game from beach chairs. They even have a few lifeguard chairs for good measure. Since the main scoreboard is in left field next to the outfield bleachers, they put in a manual scoreboard on the right field foul line so the bleacher folk and beach-dwellers could actually see the score. It’s got to be one of the largest flip scoreboards in history, like the ones you used in gym class. The poor ballboy (blue shirt between the B and S) has to get up after every pitch to change the count.
Uni Watch News Ticker: A little birdie informs me that SMU, now being coached by June Jones, is returning to traditional white helmets, and that the new uni “will look similar to throwback Bills — royal jerseys and white pants at home, solid white on the road.” Can’t show any photos yet, but I can tell you it looks pretty hot. Official unveiling to come in the next couple of weeks. … Joe Alexander loves No. 11 so much that he might not play if he can’t get that number (with thanks to Josh Exine). … Pink caps are getting bashed in Boston. … John Blatchford recently attended the http://www.ishof.org/”>International Swimming Hall of Fame in Florida and sent along some photos (look here, here, here, and here). Lots of info on their current “History of Swimwear” exhibit is in this PDF. … Some interesting uni-related content in this video clip about what the UGA baseball team does on an off-day. … Chris Warfford notes that Team Slipstream, in addition their argyle cycling outfits, “are going to have one of the most colorful team photos ever. They’ve got five national title-holders that will be representing their nations during the grand tours, and those riders will be allowed to wear kits that reference their national titles, in addition to the argyle. Of course, we haven’t seen the new kits with the Garmin logo (that will be resolved soon), but if the Giro d’Italia is any indication of the kits, very few colors will be left out of the team photo.” … Not sure if I’ve run this link before, but here’s a good site for UK soccer kits (with thanks to Patrick Murray). … I just scored this nifty old uniform ad. “Preferred by the leaders of Boyville” — how totally great is that?! … Totally love this label (which is on this old uniform). … The Western Michigan White caps are going to wear Star Wars uniforms on Saturday. … Footwear observation from Brian Jud, who writes: “I noticed the SportsCenter commercial with Pierce, Garnett, and Allen shows them wearing road jerseys with white sneakers, when everyone knows the Celtics wear black sneakers on the road. More details here. … Sartorial justice: Maria Sharapova and tuxedo-themed Nike outfit were beaten yesterday by Alla Kudryavtseva, who later said, “I don’t like her outfit. It was one of the motivations to beat her” (good find by Brinke Guthrie). … You know how UMich always wears special shoulder logos for bowl games? Here’s an article on the company that puts them on the jerseys. … Bill Sour was watching the 1984 film Supergirl, which includes a scene in an abandoned amusement park. “I did a double-take when I saw a bunch of bumper cars with NFL helmets on them. After further review there it was, an NFL-themed amusement park ride [additional pics here and here]. I’d kill to find one of these old rides.” Very cool, but they got the Falcons’ logo backwards. … “George Shinn had wanted to own an NHL expansion team in Raleigh, but got pushed aside in favor of Felix Sebates, the NASCAR owner,” writes Tris Wykes. “So he came to Hampton Roads and whipped up ticket and suite deposits and civic interest in his proposed team, the Rhinos. They were in the hunt before being turned down by the NHL in January of 1997. There were billboards and T-shirts and Coke cans with the Rhinos logo. The character’s name was Rhocky.” … By now most of you have seen the Timberwolves’ new logo (which continues the NBA’s odd practice of including a basketball in the vast majority of its logo designs). According to this article, they’ll be unveiling a new uni set in August. … “Sometime last year, I sent along the only unearthed picture of Auburn sporting the hideous orange jerseys from 1979-82,” writes Kris McInnis. “But I was doing some attic shuffling and have found a few more good color shots from a couple of old university yearbooks. I can’t imagine there’d be anymore of these laying around that are actually in color. These shots differ from the original one I sent along, as most feature striped sleeves that are not seen on the tear-a-ways.”