I was out of town all weekend (hiking here and here, spending the night here, and eating this and this, among other consumables), so it may take me another day or two to catch up on all the Ticker submissions that piled up while I was away, but I think today’s main entry will make up for it, because some pure gold came my way on Friday, and I’m super-stoked to share it with you today.
First, last Wednesday I mentioned that Dave Parker had worn this mask and this mask. One of the comments that day was from Ricko, who said Parker had actually worn a third facemask, which he described as “a basic two-bar late ’60s style.” I was intrigued but got distracted by other things and had forgotten all about it by Friday, when Ricko sent me this. Is that totally the shit or what? Dude’s even got a four-point chinstrap rig!
And wait, it gets better. When I asked Ricko what publication the photo came from, and he said it was from something called Baseball Superstars 1979 and promptly sent me scans of the complete article — which included another photo I’d never seen before. Check this out.
Although the article doesn’t discuss it, here’s the story behind that photo: When Parker returned from his broken cheekbone, he wore the hockey mask for his first time at bat — a pinch-hitting appearance in which he was intentionally walked. I’ve known for years that he reached base but didn’t know there was a photo of it. Amazing stuff.
Also, if you look again at the photo, it appears that the forehead and possibly the right eye area of the mask may have been cut away, revealing what appears to be a Rip Hamilton-style mask underneath. That isn’t so apparent in the other hockey mask photo, however — maybe it’s just a trick of the light or something. In any case, all very interesting.
Meanwhile, the text of the article (which you can see here and here) includes a jewelry note regarding Parker that I’d forgotten about: He wore a necklace with a Star of David pendant, because “I’m David and I’m a star.”
As I was chuckling over that, Ricko sent me more Parker mask shots: this one (similar to the action shot I already had of that mask, but much better quality), this one (which I definitely remember seeing when I was a kid), this one (that’s Pete Rose Jr. in the Phils uni), and — the real prize — this one (from the intentional walk appearance).
Can you believe all this stuff? Let’s all just chip in now and buy Ricko a climate-controlled vault for his archives. As an added bonus, this Wednesday is the 30th anniversary of Parker wearing the hockey mask and the double-bar mask (in the first and second games of a doubleheader, respectively).
The Parker stuff would have been enough to make my (or, I’d think, anyone’s) day. But then I heard from a guy named Mike Steiner, who wanted to talk about the White Sox’s shorts. It’s a topic fairly near and dear to his heart, because — brace yourself — he owns a pair of them.
There’s soooooo much to love in that display — the drawstring, the triple snaps, the striped inner stitching, the chain-stitched “Gossage 38” tag, that awesome dougout photo. And once I saw that Chicago Tribune article he’s got in there, I immediately tracked it down in the Trib’s archives. It has two photos I’d never seen before — look here and here. The article itself, which you can read here and here, includes some interesting details, including the fact that the Sox had wanted to wear the shorts earlier in the season but weren’t able to because, as Bill Veeck explained, “[W]e had to get the right pads under the socks to protect the knees.”
Steiner says the framed shorts display is the centerpiece of his extensive Chisox uniform collection, which is documented here. He’s got some great stuff, including beauties from 1946, 1967, 1970, and plenty more. Plus he’s also got an additional shorts photo I hadn’t previously seen (obviously part of this shoot, but you can’t have too many photos of this stuff).
All of which sent me into the weekend with a big smile on my face. Hope it puts a smile on yours, too.
Uni Watch News Ticker: I added this link to Friday’s entry in the middle of the day, so some of you may have missed it: If you want one of those Beanie Wells Heisman T-shirts, look here. … Here’s a sleeve patch I hadn’t seen before: New York City’s diamond jubilee, worn by the Mets on the dugout jackets in 1973 (big thanks to Paul Wiederecht). … Finally an action shot of shorts. That’s the Sacramento Solons, 1975 (big thanks to John Moist). … Also from John: interesting minor league shots of Pat Corrales, Shem Lollar, and a young Johnny Lemaster, plus a bunch of Pacific Coast League shots from 1975 (which is the year the PCL switched from flannels to double-knits). … Doug Mulliken reports that Kearney High near San Diego has worn this football uni at least since the 1960s. … The Chicago Athletic Association’s historian, Ron White, sent me a bunch of old materials showing the CAA’s logo (forerunner of the Cubs’ logo) in various settings. I’ve grouped it all into a slideshow here. … New addition to the list of smoking athletes: Jason Taylor (with thanks to Al Stone). … Interesting coincidence here (with thanks to Dave Bloomquist). … On Friday I asked why Carl Hubbell was referred to as “Ol’ Square Pants.” William Gornall responded with a few archival articles in which Hubbell is variously referred to as “the slim southpaw with the baggy pants, which tumbled halfway down his shinbone,” “colorless except for … his custom of wearing his uniform knickers long (claiming that he had no backside to hold them higher),” and “Old Long Pants.” But if you look at photos of Hubbell, his pants look pretty normal for his era. Odd. … Saw WALL-E the other day (really good, and not just because WALL-E collects bowling pins) and was intrigued by a trailer for a sappy-looking movie called The Perfect Game, which looks like it’s gonna feature some awesome Little League flannels. Check the trailer here. … Gary Majewski of the Reds wore stirrups on Friday. Screen shots (and Nicole Haase‘s living room light fixture) here and here. … Lots to admire (or at least marvel at) in Vanderbilt’s 1956 football uniforms (thanks, Ricko). … Ronnie Belliard’s latest stunt: wearing mismatched batting gloves (good catch by David McGee). … Check out the Blues’ blue and gold skates (nice find by Jaymes Progar). … “My local team, the Corpus Christi Hooks (AA for the Astros), wore 1958 Corpus Christi Giants throwback unis on Friday to honor the ’58 Texas League championship team,” writes Nicholas Bean. “Awesome unis, and I’m proud to say that every single player on the roster is wearing high socks and stirrups.” There’s a gallery here. … Awesome old baseball sweaters here, here, and here, and check out this turtleneck (thanks, Milesofsparks). … This is hilarious (kudos to K.C. Kless). … The Yankees have added a memorial armband for Bobby Murcer. … Randyt Williams notes that Melvin Mora appears to have blacked out the Franklin logos on his batting gloves. … More great label shots from Tommy Turner: This one is from these basketball shorts; this one is from a 1970 Colts jersey; and this one‘s from an Astros rainbow jersey. … The Raptors logo character usually has an R on his jersey, but Sean Doherty just noticed the logo on this page, which shows the character now wearing the team’s secondary logo. When did this switcheroo take place? … Tim Fiorvanti has put together a photo gallery of really great baseball paintings that are currently on display in NYC. … notes that Man U coach Sir Alex Ferguson is wearing his initials his top number. … Reprinted from Saturday’s comments: David DeJesus was wearing a black belt (instead of KC’s standard-issue blue) the other night. … Also from Saturday: Randy Johnson unveiled his own version of the Pedro Porthole over the weekend. … Still more from Saturday: You almost never see track and field athletes wearing glasses, but apparently Belgian heptathlete/high jumper Tia Hellebaut (additional pics here and here). … Double no-no for Paul LoDuca, who wore faux stirrups and white shoes on Sunday. … Wren Wanger sent along some pics of an Indians matchbox from 1992. … Gumball helmet collector/designer Bill Jones, who I profiled on ESPN several months back, has created stars/stripes versions of the A.L. and N.L. veterans caps. “The Angels and Brewers were TOUGH!” he says. … Larry Wiederecht has most of the All-Star Games from the 1980s on tape and has been doing some truly heroic video research for me. Many of his findings will be in my ESPN column tomorrow (a timeline of ASG uni aberrations), but a few are better suited for the Ticker: Check out this shot of John Stearns from the 1980 ASG. I hadn’t recalled that the Mets wore such huge uni numbers on their helmet brims at the time. This shot from the ’81 ASG shows the Braves’ Atlanta child murders ribbon decal on Bruce Benedict’s helmet. And here’s the real prize: In 1983, George Brett broke his left toe and wore a specially tailored Nike shoe on that foot to accommodate the bandage — even though he was wearing a non-Nike shoe on the other foot. Wow! … After all the speculation, UMich’s new football uniforms are shown here. Interesting to see that the road replica looks nothing like the authentic (which is a real stinker — woof!). … Stewart Small reports that Crystal Langhorne of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics had her NOB misspelled as “Langhorn” (missing the “e” on the end) during the first half of yesterday’s game against the Connecticut Sun. It was corrected in the second half.