Time to continue our look through the Life photo archives, this time focusing exclusively on baseball. Just like last time, I’m linking to smaller versions of the pics so you can see the captions, but you should click on each photo to see the larger versions. Let’s get started:
• Spectacular, and not just because of the awesome sock stripes. Look at the composition, the framing — really great photo.
• The archive features a mother lode of photos showing the Hollywood Stars’ shorts, most of which I hadn’t seen before. Dozens of additional examples, including some that show a player sliding (and the effects thereof), here.
• So many great details to savor in this shot: The thin, graceful lettering, the texture of the various fabrics, the stitching on the seams, the way the pinstripes on the collar placket don’t match up with the pinstripes on the body (this was intentional, to give the placket its own visual identity), the top button of the undershirt peeking out, etc. Gorgeous.
• There are sandlots and then are, like, really sandy lots.
• This is odd — why is the rubber so close to the edge of the mound, instead of in the center? (Update: Several readers have now pointed out that this must have been a small-ish bullpen mound.)
• Awesome detail here: Note the little “44” on the undershirt placket. Don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. Can’t tell if the guy in the background has a number on his undershirt as well.
• Although it’s hard to tell in a black-and-white shot, I’m pretty sure the guy with his back to the camera is wearing one of the Dodgers’ old blue satin uniforms. And several of the guys in the audience are wearing the satin whites (discernable by the shoulder piping).
• Good view here of the memorial left-armhole band that the Reds wore in 1961 for owner Powel Crosley. Instead of removing it the following year, they simply added a corresponding band to the other side.
• Look at Frank Robinson’s left stirrup in the lower-right corner of this 1961 shot. Looks like he was already adding fabric to his stirrups at that early date (as he clearly did later on with the Orioles).
• Love the uni-numbered wooden boxes above each locker.
• Not sure what I like best about this shot — the cigarette, the pay phone in the background, the unbuckled belt, or the fact that this is how Birdie Tebbetts spent his time between games of a twinbill.
• What’s the deal with this jersey lettering?
• Check out the embroidery on the grounds crew shirts.
• Hand-numbered stirrups alert!
• Double-cap alert!
• Someone get Honus Wagner a new belt.
• What’s that little strip of tarp outside the third base line? Also, why did the fans sitting way out in the right field seats need to be protected by a screen?
• This had to have been staged, right? And even if it was, it’s still hard to fathom.
• Man, I’d give anything to be at this bar.
That’ll do for now. My thanks to the many of you who contributed photos to the foregoing list.
Signal Flare: Dave Graf, I’ve been trying to contact you for weeks, because I have a question about your membership order. Can you please get in touch? Thanks.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Shame on me for not including lots of NHL news from the weekend in yesterday’s Ticker. First, the Canadiens retired Patrick Roy’s number, so they wore a commemorative patch and, interestingly, didn’t wear the centennial and all-star patches they’ve been wearing all season. … Meanwhile, the Leafs honored Wendel Clark, so they did the pregame thing where everyone dressed up as him and then throwbacks with a special patch during the game. … In addition, the Coyotes have unveiled their alternates (additional info here, and here’s a closer look at the shoulder patch), the Kings’ alts have made their on-ice debut, and the Sharks have sold their soul to Seagate®, which definitely qualifies as the douchebag move of the week. … Here’s a nice view of Walt Tkachuk’s jawguard (with thanks to Alex Shuman). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: LSU celebrated the 50th anniversary of their 1958 national championship team by wearing a jersey patch. … Some guy on eBay is selling two jerseys that he claims were worn by the Steagles (look here and here). Personally, I’m skeptical — no numbers on the back, for starters — but they’re still interesting (with thanks to Jason Bernard). … Scott Johnson was looking through the West Virginia Division of Culture & History State Archives and came up with two interesting shots of the WV State hoops team. This one is circa 1940, and this one‘s from 1948 — sleeves! … Forgot to mention yesterday that Washington State wore special helmets for the Apple Cup. … The Maui Invitational is currently underway in Hawaii, and here’s some news from Jay Bilas’s ESPN Insider blog (brought to my attention by Doug Simpson): “Oregon expects to be the best-dressed team at the Maui Invitational. The Ducks will be wearing specially made shoes by Nike with Hawaiian print, and the Hawaiian print will also be on the [yellow] trim of the Oregon uniforms. Also wearing the Hawaiian floral print shoes will be Saint Joseph’s, Texas and Alabama.” Apparently the coaches are going Hawaiian as well. … Video report on Jose Theodore’s new mask here (with thanks to John Muir). … Very nice old baseball uni available here. … Lots of good finds by Andy Chalifour: Moises Alou as a Pirate (he played only two games for them), Jim Abbot batting, and Jeff Reardon without a beard. … The Bruins third jersey schedule is available here (with thanks to Matt Porter). … Everyone knows about the U.S. Library of Congress’s photo archive. What you might not know about is that there’s a rough Canadian equivalent. Zac Neubauer was poking around there the other day and turned up some interesting stuff, including the South Alberta Regiment baseball team, circa 1943; the No. 1 Canadian Corps Ordnance Depot baseball team (which was playing the team of the 101st Squadron, United States Army Air Forces, in Godalming, England, on June 14th, 1945), and a women’s baseball game between the “Eager Beavers” — yes, that’s what the caption says — and officers of the Regina Rifle Regiment (in the Netherlands, August 31st, 1945). … Also from Zac: Great vintage ad archive here. … If you look at the first and third questions on this Q&A page, you’ll see that uni changes appear to be afoot for UNC’s 100th anniversary next year (courtesy of Chris Warfford). … “Corinthians, in Brazil’s second division of soccer, had a special promotion to put the pictures of fans on their uniform for the final game of the season,” reports Jeremy Brahm. “Each picture is 3cm x 4cm, and the fans had to pay 1,000 reais, or $410, for the privilege.” … The Twins unveiled their throwback alternates and stadium-farewell patch (which we first saw a few months ago) yesterday. The good news: NNOB. The bad news: The jersey is a button-front instead of a pullover, and they’re wearing it with belted pants, not elastic waistbands. Video coverage here, additional details here, and more photos here). … Wondering if Citi and other corporate parasites might free up a bit of cash by relinquishing their sports sponsorships? Fuhgeddaboudit. … Good video on the history behind the Cardinals’ team name and logo here. … Several readers noted that Ed Hochuli was wearing a head linesman’s jersey with No. 28 on Sunday, instead of his usual ref’s No. 85. Haven’t heard the story behind it, but I assume his luggage was lost. … Interesting NOB tidbit here (with thanks to John Wilmott). … Prentice James sent along some old Johnson C. Smith pics, including this awesome cheerleading shot and a basketball photo that shows JCSU palying against a sleeved Virginia Union team. … Ugliest uniform ever? Marc Walls thinks so. That’s Austin East High in Knoxville. Lots of additional pics here. … Lance Moore was wearing one eye-black sticker last night (screen grab courtesy of Chris Cocuzza). … Ace sports photographer Neil Leiffer has a new book out, and there’s an excellent slideshow of images here, plus a really nice video interview here (thanks to Steve Johnston). … Remember Marty Hick, whose amazing uniform drawings I wrote about more than a year ago? He recently got hitched (to a gal who appears to be a real dish) — congrats! “Holly recently turned 32,” he writes. “I made her a Jim Brown cake. I ain’t gonna lie: It was gorgeous! I am unable to articulate the thought and effort I put into this project. I just hope you like the pictures.” Looks like someone else liked it too. … Reprinted from last night’s comments: What would we do without John Daly? … Hey, the Pirates signed Derek Bell, and he couldn’t play baseball, so why not? … Adidas is now selling a branded sunscreen that comes out of the can in, of course, three stripes. No, really (disturbing find by Stu Taylor). … You never see Cleveland Browns personnel wearing anything emblazoned with a “C,” but check out this 1971 shot of Browns coach Nick Skorich. As JC Helf points out, the C appears to be very similar to this.