So I’m watching the All-Star Game last night with my buddy Large from No Mas. We haven’t seen each other since February (he lives in California these days), so I’m trying to not to get all Uni Watch on him. No need to make a pest of myself by pointing out every single pair of white shoes or other uni anomalies when we can enjoy universal pleasures like making fun of Dan Uggla, imagining what the youth of America is thinking about all the Viagra and prostate-shrinkage commercials, wondering how many pitches it will take for Billy Wagner to blow the lead, and despising Tim McCarver.
So when Ryan Ludwick came up in the eleventeeth inning, or whatever it was, with about 17 things wrong with his batting helmet, I held my tongue. Instead of saying, “Holy crap, look at that!” and pointing out all the aberrations Ludwick was wearing on his noggin, I just said, “I bet Dan Uggla’s sister got made fun of a lot when she was growing up” and reached for another drink.
Inside, though, I was thinking, “I bet my readers are all over this.” And I’m proud to say that you did not disappoint. Fourteen of you e-mailed regarding Ludwick’s headwear, and many more posted comments about it. For those who missed it, here’s Ludwick’s helmet, and here’s what was unusual about it:
• It’s red, which is the Cards’ home helmet. The National League was the road team last night, so he should have been wearing a navy lid.
• Although it’s hard to see in that screen shot, Ludwick was wearing a Coolflo helmet, which none of the Cardinals normally wear. (Albert Pujols also wore a Coolflo last night, but at least it was navy.)
• The weirdest thing is that Ludwick’s “StL” logo was red outlined in white, instead of white outlined in navy. If you look again at the Pujols shot, it’s obvious that they used a road helmet decal on Ludwick’s helmet.
Ludwick wasn’t the only National Leaguer improperly wearing a home helmet, by the way. Aramis Ramirez wore the Cubs’ solid-blue model instead of their red-brimmed road version. Fellow Cubs Geovany Soto and Kosuke Fukudome wore the proper helmet, however.
As for Uggla, that was some performance — I’m afraid all the Viagra in the world isn’t gonna help him now. Personally, I was rooting for the N.L. to run out of pitchers and be forced to put Uggla on the mound (whoever took over at second base would have to qualify as a defensive improvement, no?), but ya can’t have everything. And here’s a tidbit that only one reader caught: Uggla wasn’t even wearing his own wristbands. Maybe that was his problem right there.
(Thanks to Bob Sherron for the Cards screen grabs, and to Brett Crane for bringing Uggla’s wristband to my attention.)
Uni Watch News Ticker: Another brimless catcher: Jim Essian (with thanks to Andy Chalifour). … Another very stripe-centric football team: Ray High School in Corpus Christi (additional pics here, here, and here). “I’m almost positive they’ve worn an entire ‘candy-stripe’ uniform,” says Todd Hotz. “I’m looking for it.” … According to the third item in this web chat transcript, Idaho State will be wearing solid black at home, and the helmet will be tweaked (with thanks to Mark Snider). … “TCU’s top-ranked baseball team has been wearing throwback uniforms for Sunday home games for the past three years,” reports Mark Rybczyk. “They do a pretty good job and, I know that Coach Jim Schlossnagle requires his team to wear the stirrups on Sundays. I especially like the hats, which use a very old TCU Logo.” These are so nice, I won’t even complain about the purple. … With the Spectrum in Philly now slated for the glue factory, the Phantoms (AHL) and Kixx (MLS) will be wearing a farewell season patch (with thanks to Chris Ashworth). … New football uniforms on the way for Vanderbilt. … Jim Parker sent along a photo of some amazing UMich socks from 1953 — love to see more of these.