It was hot in NYC yesterday. Like, really hot. So hot you could feel your eyeballs perspiring and your nuts liquefying. So hot you could break a serious sweat just by breathing. Plenty humid, too. Very, very muggy. Did I mention it was hot?
So I confess that I questioned the wisdom of wearing a second set of hosiery yesterday. Still, the notion of playing softball without stirrups was unthinkable, so it was time for another rummage through the Uni Watch sock drawer.
This week’s design: royal blue, medium-cut.
Ideal for feeling like a member of: According to reader Paul Wiederecht, who gave me these stirrups a while back, these hose were originally the property of the 1978 Mets.
Color-coordination factor: Easy.
How they looked: Not too shabby, right? Nice and bright, with a pretty perfect color-to-white ratio (and yes, I know there’s a hole in the back of that tee, but I’ve had it since 1989 and have lived with a variety of cats in that time — rips and tears happen).
How I felt: Like Craig Swan, who was the N.L. ERA leader in ’78 and had pretty nice stirrup stylings.
How I played: 1-for-4 and a run scored. Did I mention it was really, really hot?
Before I went home, I noticed a gal on an adjacent field wearing these awesome hoop socks. Not a bad one-sock option for a hot day.
(Special thanks to Collateral Gammage for the pics.)
Research Project: Next time you see a home plate ump “cleaning” the plate by kicking the dirt off of it, instead of bending over and using his whisk brush, please make a note of the date, inning, and batter, and then let me know. Thanks.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Pin-up artist extraordinaire Rob Ullman created this 1969 Chisox rendition for Uni Watch reader Maks, and threw in a modern version to boot! … Rob, incidentally, is now offering a line of T-shirts. If you’re interested in them, and/or want to have Rob create a pin-up illo for you, contact him here. … Last question in this interview with Dwight Smith addresses his sock superstitions. … The annual Oldtime Baseball Game, a charity matchup in which Boston-area college players wear classic flannels, is coming up next month. Details here. … A little birdie tells me Texas Tech’s men’s basketball program will be outfitted by Under Armour this season. … Speaking of Texas Tech, Jon Arnold sent along this. “It’s only a replica, and I can only find it at one store, but it shows a white collar on Tech’s black jersey,” he says. “In the past it has been black, like the rest of the jersey.” … My pal Friederike Paetzold sent along some pics of artwork by a guy named Brian Jungen, who makes Native American/tribal-inspired pieces out of Air Jordans (additional examples here, here, and here). If you want to see more, check out Jungen’s site. … Here’s Babe Ruth in a different sort of uniform (with thanks to Jim Nedelka). … The Temple “T” logo is celebrating its 25th anniversary (with thanks to Morris Levin). … The Mariners and Indians wore 1989 throwbacks on Saturday. Additional pics here, here, here, here, and here. … Meanwhile, the White Sox wore throwbacks yesterday in honor of Harold Baines (additional pics here, here, here, here, and here). … God I hate it when teams wear BP jerseys for a regular-season game, as the Orioles did yesterday. … Miguel Cabrera is still wearing those Phiten-branded socks. Someone in the MLB office, please make this stop, now … Too bad I can’t afford this awesome-looking uniform catalog. … A-Rod had some helmet decal issues yesterday. … And Tim Lincecum had tag issues (thanks, Brinke). … Who does these stirrups belong to? Giants pitcher Geno Espineli, who tossed a scoreless frame yesterday in his MLB debut yesterday, that’s who. Let’s all wish him continued success (with thanks to Matt Garcia). … “I used to be a student equipment manager at the Univ. of Minnesota, with the football team,” writes Tris Wykes. “The Buffalo Bills trained at our complex when they were in Minnesota for the Super Bowl vs. the Redskins. One night, I went in and tried on Mark Kelso’s enormous helmet — the one with the ProCap on it.” … Last week I linked to the NYC Diamond Jubilee patch that the Mets wore on their dugout jackets in 1973. That prompted this response from Alec Orenstein: “The patch lists all the boroughs of New York, but Staten Island is listed as Richmond. That’s fine, because Staten Island is Richmond County. But following that logic, Brooklyn should be listed as Kings, because Brooklyn is Kings County. But instead it simply says Brooklyn.” … Hilarious account here of American synchro swimmer Christina Jones
behaving like a materialistic moron getting lots of free Olympic swag. Key quote, from an on-site photo assistant: “We definitely want the Nike logo to show.’’ Of course you do (with thanks once again to Brinke Guthrie). … Sage Bray participates in one of those “vintage base ball” leagues where everyone dresses in period costume (there’s a full photo gallery here). “One element you may particularly dig, although it may not be historically accurate, is that we wear white jersey lacing for home games and black lacing for road games,” he says. “I believe we’re the only team in the league with any sort of home/road uni distinction.” … Remember this shirt? The guy who makes them says he has a new batch in stock (plus he has this design in the works). If you want in, give him a shout and tell him I sent ya. … Uni-numerical mystery from Matt Walker, who notes that the Longhorns are retiring a bunch of numbers, including No. 22 for Bobby Layne. Thing is, Layne wore 22 in the NFL but, as Matt writes, “the only number I’ve ever known him to wear as a Longhorn is 41.” Anyone know more about this? … David Holland sent along lots of great Baltimore Bullets-related stuff. First, dig the classic old logo on Gus Johnson’s jersey. Next, check out this team photo and note that half the players have an older logo (capital B) and the other half have the newfangled one (lowercase b, outstretched hands on the double-l). And how can you not love this, this, this, and this? … Several readers are reporting that Lou Piniella’s jersey featured his All-Star Game sleeve patch yesterday. No photo yet, though. … This is beyond awesome (great find by John Muir). … Best baseball outerwear photo ever? Could be. That’s Ernie Shore in the plaid coat and Grover Cleveland Alexander in the sweater (big thanks to Bob Andrews). … Two interesting tidbits from Jim Parker, beginning with a UCLA tale: “In the mid- to late 1950s, UCLA’s legendary head football coach Henry ‘Red’ Sanders would purchase the team’s home powder blue jerseys in a lighter shade of blue each successive season, until they were almost as pale as the visiting teams white jerseys (although the jerseys were still blue enough for players and fans to tell the two teams apart). Several years later, UCLA’s longtime equipment manager revealed why: Players and fans could tell the two teams apart, but it was virtually impossible to make the same distinction on the black-and-white game or ‘scout’ films. In these films of the UCLA games, the offense and defense immediately blended into one indistinguishable group after every hike of the ball.” Next up from Jim, a little noted NFL factoid: “This is somehow a well-kept secret and oddity among most uni experts, but in 1949, at the owner’s insistence, the L.A. Rams wore red unis, complete with a red helmet. They lost in the NFL championship to the Eagles that year and went back to their traditional blues the following season.” … Remember those basketball capes I recently showed? Ryan Priest sent along this 1964 Evansville shot. “As you can see,” he writes, “unlike the capes you featured, these are robes with sleeves. (It was Evansville after all. Everything had sleeves.) ccording to an e-mail I received from UE Athletic Equipment Manager Daryl Buente, ‘Coach McCutchan’s team always wore pullover warmup jackets during pregame warmups and full-length robes, with snaps all the way down, on the bench. Until 1968, there were robes of many colors: red, green, yellow, light blue, and gray. In the ’50s, the robes were two solid colors, white and purple. When I was a freshman in fall 1968, Coach McCutchan bought orange robes and kept them until he retired in ’77.’ He went on to tell me that he gave Jerry Sloan the last robe in his possession (a gray one) upon his retirement as a player.”