Been over a month since our last Ricko installment, a gap that I’m sure has sent many of you into withdrawal (me, too). Without further ado:
• Check out all these white-shod N.L. all-stars from 1981. Also, note Dave Concepcion wearing red cleats — not quite as much a statement as white, but still a deviation from Cincy’s usual black footwear at the time. In this shot, from the same game, you can see Andre Dawson wearing white.
• Speaking of footwear, check out Dave Parker’s gold Brookses (interesting shin-lacing technique, too). “This shot is from ’81 also and, while not from the ASG in question, this photo got saved because it matched the shoes he wore when he made those two great throws,” says Ricko. “I know, cuz I watched that game like a hawk trying to figure out ‘What’s he wearing THIS year?'” Yes, back in the day, Ricko actually kept a running tally of the Cobra’s cleats. Unfuckingbelievable.
• “I actually have sketches (on 3 x 5 cards) of what I call ‘Innovators,’ mostly for football,” says Ricko. “First guys to tape shoes, first guys to wear white shoes, first to wear colored shoes, first to wear Saucony, adidas, puma, k-swiss… I actually did this well into adulthood. Drawn on vellum, then taped to black cards. Always thought they might look cool enlarged, that the effect would be interesting. I was right. Anyway, here are the ‘Tape’ and ‘White Shoes’ sketches for Namath. And from the ‘Colored Shoes,’ series, a NY guy like you should appreciate these.”
• “How many socks did the White Sox wear when the White Sox wore white socks?” asks Ricko. Answer: Lots, as seen in this slideshow.
• “This photo interested me for two reasons,” says Ricko. “First, Lance Alworth, rookie year, ’62, wore No. 24. Also, Fred ‘The Hammer’ Williamson, one of the early tape guys, started spatting up his Sauconys that year (Alworth didn’t start spatting till ’63, when he changed to No. 19).
Interestingly enough, each of them had worn Sauconys the year before; Alworth at Arkansas, Williamson with Raiders. Will have to dig those photos out later. And here’s the Hammer again, also from ’62, but with more tape. Also note one of his teammates must have preferred his ‘Bears-style’ helmet from the two previous seasons (no gold stripe is first thing you notice).”
• “Here’s one of the most uni-oriented magazine covers I ever saw,” says Ricko. “And speaking of Don Maynard, that’s him in this 1960 shot, wearing his funky original Titans helmet. And here he is in the first year of the Jets, still wearing his funky Titans helmet, now repainted to lustrous white and kelly. The reason he has no helmet logo is likely because it was a preseason game, just like in this shot (although now the Jets had two stripes, not one).”
That’ll do for today. More Rickosity coming next week.
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Uni Watch News Ticker: You already knew that the Vikings use a metallic finish for their helmets, but you might not have known that they also used metallic flake in their helmet decals (with thanks to Dan Smith). … This page has the following tidbit: “The next year , a Royals employee went to the Dominican to scout some games or whatever. And in the middle of the day, he hears someone call his name. He turns around and it’s Jose Lima … WEARING A FULL ROYALS UNIFORM. Everything. Pants. Socks. The whole bit. During the offseason. In the middle of the day. In the Dominican Republic” (thanks, Vince). … The Magic’s new jerseys appear to have been leaked (with thanks to Rob Payne). … The Hiroshima Carp will wear 1977 throwbacks later this month to mark their final year at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium (as reported by, of course, Jeremy Brahm). … Good article here on the guy who cleans the jerseys for the Jets and Giants (with thanks to Dane Drutis). … Check this out: The 1902 Oklahoma Sooners — with their coach wearing a Texas Longhorns sweater. That shot comes our way courtesy of Dan Bewley, who also sent this early article on football equipment (here’s the second page). … Travis Hafner, like most rehabbing MLBers, is wearing his big league helmet while down in the minors (with thanks to Brendon Yarian). … Big thanks to a reader who shall remain nameless, who was kind enough to send me a set of Phillies stirrups, complete with laundry tags and Liberty Bells. And in case you were wondering the Liberty Bells are embroidered, not printed. … Speaking of reader generosity, last month I mentioned that I became a 49ers fan because I pulled this football card out of a box of cereal when I was six years old but that the card had gotten lost along the way. Three different readers arranged to have the card sent to me — you guys are amazing, really. Thank you. … Lots of chatter that this may be the Sabers’ new third jersey. Not sure if it’s legit or not, but we’ll all find out soon enough. … Rezoning and rampant giveaways to developers here in NYC have taken a massive toll on the institution of the neighborhood tavern. But yesterday local DJ Mr. Fine Wine and I spent Monday afternoon drinking and shooting pool at this fine establishment, which is only a 25-minute bike ride from my apt. but had somehow eluded my bar radar over the past two decades. Just as perfect inside as it looks from the outside. … Good site devoted to retro soccer gear here (with thanks to Michael Doucette). … My recent coverage of high-positioned shin guards led Mike Engle to point out that Henry Rodriguez pioneered that style years ago. … The Packers wore white shoes in the preseason (just as they’ve done for years), but they broke out black shoes last night. First time they’ve gone black-shod since 1975. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: New center-ice designs for the Hurricanes and Habs. … Also from yesterday: Shorpy scores again. … Decal problems for the Huskies (with thanks to Casey Moses).