Got a note the other day from reader Mike Williams (that’s him at right), who informed me a of a fun DIY project he’d recently undertaken:
I had read early last summer that the Twins’ base coaches had been wearing throwback helmets while on the field. I loved the concept and decided it’d be great if my hometown Pittsburgh Pirates adopted a similar look. But I wanted something a bit different, something less average, something less commercially available — something more pillbox-y.
I started by taking some head measurements and hat measurements using my replica pillbox cap. From those, I made a pattern, which I used to cut out a styrofoam mold. The mold was then covered with plastic wrap and petroleum jelly (as a mold release). I applied six or so layers of automotive fiberglass and polyester resin over the mold, one at a time. After everything cured, I pulled the helmet shell off of the mold, cut off the rough edges, and ground the edges into shape. Next came sanding and adding a little body putty to achieve a smooth finish.
After that I primed and painted the helmet — first yellow, then black (I used masking tape to mask the areas that would stay yellow). Several coats of clear followed. Lastly, I added interior padding, using double-stick carpet tape and some foam stolen from an old hockey helmet. Voilà!
I’m sorry I don’t have many step-by-step process photos. At the time I was doing this, I didn’t think it would be of any interest to anybody.
Great stuff. The final stage of the project, says Mike is “to get these things into the hands of the Pirates organization. Little effort and no progress have been made to date.” And that’s where Uni Watch comes in, because I know there are people in the Pirates’ PR office who follow this site. Hey, Dan Hart, these lids look pretty cool, don’tcha think? Let’s arrange to have your coaches wearing them in 2009.
Uni Watch News Ticker: While the rest of you were watching the second half of Sunday night’s Giants/Panthers game, I gathered with 10 friends for a major feast: the Bo Ssam dinner at Momofuku Ssam Bar. Lots of great food and drink, happy people, and good times, plus my friend Victoria Rich wore these awesome gloves, plus-plus she had these amazing Bettie Page buttons on her cardigan. Plenty of additional pics here. … Tremendous letterman sweater worn by the guy in the center of this photo. That’s the 1914 Jefferson School baseball team (courtesy of David Hill). … Jack Krabbe attended Saturday’s Cowboys/Ravens game in Dallas and documented one of history’s most disturbing displays of fandom. … According to this passage from Roy Blount Jr.’s book Three Bricks Shy of a Load, Dock Ellis “was once called upon suddenly to pinch-run. He ran out of the dugout wearing a Steelers warmup jacket. An umpire told he couldn’t run the bases dressed like that. So Ellis took off the warmup jacket and had nothing on underneath.” Sounds apocryphal to me, but a fun story nonetheless (with thanks to Joe Carney). … I have a feeling this is very old news for most of you, but I wasn’t aware that Dr Pepper was using a football-themed can design (with a reverse-field version for their diet product). … “After the WHL’s Portland Winter Hawks scored their first goal, fans tossed teddy bears onto the ice as part of a toy drive,” writes Dave Medina. “If you’ll notice they’re playing The Seattle Thunderbirds, and three of the four Seattle players have the same jersey, but the fourth (in the middle of the pic) is wearing a jersey seemingly featuring the team mascot.” Anyone know what that’s about? … Bizarre discovery by Matt Harris, who writes: “I was on the Jets web site, looking at illustrations of how the new stadium will look, and one view of the concourse area shows mock fans in jerseys and whatnot — including someone in green Strahan jersey.” Seems like way too many Pennington jerseys too, no? Must be an old illo, but that still doesn’t explain the Strahan thing. … Little-known fact about the Winter Classic jerseys: They make excellent cat pillows. Lots more “Awwww..!”-inducing photos here. … Now there’s an unusual helmet design. That’s Rancho Cordova High in California (as spotted by Scott Hansen). … Is Teemu Selanne’s injury due to Reebok’s excessively thin NHL socks? Yes, at least according to this article (with thanks to Paul Richard Cook). … “My grandfather, Joe Robson, loved his scotch and always kept it in this bottle, which is sterling silver on glass,” writes Justin Rectenwald. “He always told us that the bottle was stolen from the New York Athletic Club during Prohibition by his father, Earnest Walton Robson, a prominent NYC osteopath who was apparently a member of the ‘private club’ at that time. When my grandfather died, I got the bottle. I never did any research to confirm the story, but the bottom of the bottle has an etched logo similar to the one shown on the NYAC web site, which is good enough for me.” … Good catch by Jonathan Kinney, who spotted Adrian Peterson wearing an unusual mouthguard holder on Sunday (here’s another shot). Never seen this accessory before. Anyone..? … Remember how I mentioned this Cavs uni yesterday? Joshua Exline figures these shoes must but part of the package. … Cheesecake artist extraordinaire Rob Ullman‘s latest masterpiece is this treatment of Eric Braun‘s wife, Jinelle. … Anyone out there remember that some NFL players used to wear downhill skiing suits under their jerseys? I didn’t, until John Lesnick reminded me. … Very odd scene at Sammy Baugh’s funeral, where his football and ranching careers were represented sartorially (with thanks to Jason Brown). … Larry Johnson lost a shoe on Sunday (with thanks to Greg Riffenburgh). … The always-interesting Fleer Sticker Project devoted its Dec. 21st entry to this 1966 Browns/Redskins program. Note the stylized NFL logo at lower left — a major find! But that’s just the cover of the program. The interior pages feartured this Coke ad and two ads showing the Browns’ phantom “CB” helmet logo. Additional details, and many other treasures from the pages of this program, here. … Decal malfunctions last night for Lance Briggs and Roberto Garza (screen grabs courtesy of Tony Caliguiri). … Color-on-color games are becoming so common in college hoops that soon I’m gonna stop listing them — but not yet. That’s Vanderbilt and Furman from last night (thanks, Phil). … The 49ers will be wearing throwback uniforms and moustaches this weekend (thanks to Roger Faso).