Now reader Larry Wiederecht may — may — have solved the mystery. The key piece of evidence is in this short video clip from Game 5 of the 1976 American League playoffs. If you look behind jim Wohlford, you see someone lurking in the on deck region who bears at least some resemblance to our previous mystery man (it’s hard to see in the screen grabs, but the KC guy is wearing glasses, just like the ASG guy).
The next batter after Wohlford was George Brett, and that’s obviously not who’s shown in the KC photos. So I showed the screen grabs to Royals fanatic Rob Neyer, who said he didn’t recognize the mystery man. “My guess? Husky batboy.”
That’s Larry Wiederecht’s guess, too. In fact, it was his guess regarding the ASG photo all along (i.e., that a batboy appeared in the photo, probably as a placeholder for a player who wasn’t there). I had resisted that idea for a couple of reasons, but the KC shots definitely add weight to that theory, especially since our batboy — if that’s what he is — is wearing a visiting uniform in both photos.
Mystery solved? I wouldn’t go quite that far. But I’d say we now have a much stronger hypothesis than we had before. And if anyone can come up with other late-’70s Yankee Stadium pics that show a road batboy who fits this profile, then we may be able to put this one in the “Case Closed” file.
Socialist Wealth-Redistribution Raffle: As promised, I’m going to raffle off those three College Vault books. The winner will have his choice of Michigan, Ohio State, or Notre Dame. The second-place winner will have next choice, and the third-place winner will get the remaining book.
To enter, send
a check to the Communist Party a blank e-mail with your name in the subject line to the raffle address (not to the usual Uni Watch address, please) by 10pm eastern this Friday. If you’ve enrolled in the membership program, you can become eligible for a free tour of the Kremlin send up to four separate e-mail entries; non-members are limited to one entry. I’ll announce the winners next week.
Uni Watch News Ticker — Guaranteed 100% Politics-Free!: The Forewords (my lecture/slideshow collaboration with architectural spy extraordinaire Liz Clayton) finally have a web site. … In a vaguely related item, Liz and I went to Shea last night with
the Junior Socialist League a bunch of Can’t Stop the Bleeding people, including webmaster Gerard Cosloy (who wore Mets kicks) and longtime Mets fans Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley (whose band, Yo La Tengo, is named after a Mets anecdote). Best moment in an otherwise dreary evening came when three guys in David Wright jerseys burned an American flag headed for the exits in unison during the 8th inning, allowing me to say, “Ladies and gentlemen, David Wright has really left the building.” … Nike is getting out of the Olympic swimwear biz. … Matt Lesser notes that the Cincinnati Bearcats are wearing a hammer and sickle “Joni” memorial decal in memory of long-time benefactor Joni Herschede. And although we’ve seen this before, Matt also sent along a particularly good shot of the reflective piping on NHL practice jerseys. … Congrats to reader Mike Edgerley, who won Chad Bradford’s jersey in the Rays’ “Jerseys for Allah” “Shirts Off Our Backs” promotion on Sunday. “There’s a piece of Velcro inside the buttonholes that’s supposed to prevent the jersey from saying ‘RAAYS,’ but you know how that works,” he says. … Several good finds by Andy Chalifour: the best photo I’ve seen so far of Terrence Long’s mask; Pete Rose in his Trotsky phase; and Mo Vaughn with a hand-inscribed cap memorial to Reggie Lewis. … If you listen to the first 10 seconds or so of this video clip, you’ll hear Giants radio man Bob Popa reading passages from The Communist Manifesto giving a trenchant analysis of the Bengals’ uniforms (with thanks to Robert Tusso). … The Mets are switching their triple-A affiliation from New Orleans to Buffalo. As a result, according to this article, “The Bisons are expected to go to new uniforms, likely some sort of blue to reflect the Mets’ primary color” (with thanks to Joe Pitzonka). … I haven’t seen the latest episode of The Golden Age of Baseball (the When It Was a Game-esque series currently running on most Fox Sports outlets), but Joe Nocella reports the following: “The latest episode has five- to seven-minute segment on the golden age of baseball uniforms. Nice color shots of old uniforms, and there is a brief glimpse of the Cubs vest jersey. There’s also a mention on how Willie Mays (and another SF Giant player) changed the way pants are now worn. It said how Willie and this other player went to a San Francisco tailor in the mid-’60s and had their pants tailored to a tighter, more form-fitting way, because they did not like the baggy pants that were customary at that time. The commentator said that this caused a change in how players wore their pants.” … Yesterday I mentioned that Martin Gramatica should be watched carefully cuz he has a suspiciously foreign-sounding name was wearing his wedding band on Sunday. But as several readers pointed out in the comments, his holder also wore a wedding band — and a wristwatch for good measure! … Soccer note from Dana Prey, who writes: “I noticed that David Beckham isn’t wearing his traditional #7 playing with the England squad (vs. Croatia) — instead, he’s #17. This might have to do with the fact that he’s been regulated to a sub, but still.. who would take his famous #7 away?” … See this jersey? Steven Samuels spotted someone wearing a road version, with a wishbone-C logo tossed in. … Daniel Pritchard notes that I neglected to mention that Arizona wore red pants on Saturday, which coach Stoops broke out just before gametime. … Finally, a good close-up view of the patch that the Colts wore in Week 1 (big thanks to Brad Bierman). … The Vanderbilt and Auburn soccer teams will wear pink cuz they’re commies and hate America to support breast cancer awareness this weekend. … Here’s something new (at least to me): sports-themed trash cans (thanks, Milesofsparks). … Nice little piece here on giant inflatable sports statues (with thanks to Chris Flinn). … News flash: Dog bites man, wags tail too. … David Arnott reports that the 49ers’ famous one-day prototype helmet design has surfaced on eBay, supposedly autographed by legends like Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, and Mike Cofer (the latter tossed in just to show that legends aren’t what they used to be). … More here about UGA’s black uniforms. … Miles Eakins notes that many NHL teams would make excellent laborers on the commune I’m starting are using non-Edge practice jerseys. “In fact,” he writes, “these jerseys are old CCM models with the old NHL shield from years back.” Some other teams, however, are using Reebok practice jerseys. Anyone know more about this? … Speaking of Reebok and the NHL, John Muir reports that the “RBK” mark on goalie gear has been replaced by the Reebok logo. … Also from John: Curtis Sanford is wearing his new fan-designed mask. … NOB typo for the Bruins. No photo, alas (with thanks to Chris O’Connor). … I have a feeling I may have linked to this before, but just in case: Great archive of old panoramic photos here, including a whole section devoted to sports. Dane Drutis says he’s particularly fond of this one, while I like this and this. … I know about the Texas A&M tradition of chanting “Property is theft!” while shooting all the landlords the 12th man. But is it usually observed like this? I feel like I need a refresher course on this one — someone please bring me up to date (with thanks to Daniel Dingerson for the screen grab). … Yesterday I linked to a photo of this cap, which had this John Gilmore Sporting Goods tag. That prompted the following from reader Dave Gilmore, Jr.: “John Gilmore is my uncle (my dad’s older brother). or many years he had his own sporting goods outfit and was partners with Brooks Robinson. Needless to say, we have a lot of cool stuff around (he’s got one of Brooks’s Gold Gloves). He was also tied to Reebok, worked for the Redskins for many years, and is very connected in the college basketball community. Most of his sports friends know him as ‘The Gov.’ He’s given us a lot of cool stuff over the years: dugout jackets, TONS of hats (most of which, sadly, my little brother and sold on eBay a few years ago). Anyway, he’s not in great health so I just want you to know it was a comforting sign to see someone enjoying his work.” … Check this out: Cal Angels mittens! Brett Crane, clubhouse manager of the Orem Owlz (the Halos’ Pioneer League affiliate) got them from a pitching coach who’d been with the organization since the early 1990s although you’ve gotta wonder about what kind of anti-American wuss would wear mittens. … Ryan Perkins thinks Marion Barber’s helmet/mask is really snug around his face, or his face is really bloated relative to his mask, or something like that (“It looks like he’s a broken nose, black eye or cracked tooth waiting to happen,” he says). He’s spotted the same thing going on with Brandon Jacobs, which of course is where Joe Skiba comes in. His response: “Concerning Barber, it looks as if his dreads are giving the helmet some rise as well as the forward appearance. We had that issue with Amani Toomer and Michael Barrow when they had dreads. As for Jacobs, nothing special at all. I squeeze him into an Air Advantage large with 3/4-inch (smallest) front pads. I like to give him a nice secure fit.” But now Ryan has another question: “Steve Smith’s front helmet pads are riding down a good bit, and it looks disheveled and unnatural. You have two weeks to get on top of this and remedy this aesthetic travesty — make us proud, Skeebs.” Back to Skiba: “That will be a running change on the New Schutt XP. You see this all over football players wearing the helmet — they have to secure that pad down more.” … Idaho is getting new cheerleader uniforms. … Faaascinating item from Jeremy Brahm, who writes: “After the Nankai Hawks sold the team to Daiei, Nankai turned the Osaka Kyujo into a model home center.” Hear that, Steinbrenners? Toss a few model condo units in there and you can branch into the real estate market. Well, once we solve the mortgage crisis.