Who’s that dude with the stickum and the white ball? It is, of course, one Rick Pearson, aka Ricko, doing his best Fred Biletnikoff impression. Here’s the latest batch of scans from his photo archives:
• Speaking of monochrome outfits, lots of teams were wearing them in the early ’60s, including Rice (navy with gray trim), North Texas State (kelly green), South Carolina (burgundy), and Holy Cross (purple). Plus Virginia went with solid orange in 1980.
• “I’d forgotten that West Virginia once wore white helmets around 1980,” says Ricko. “Quite unlike what they wear now.”
• So weird to see the Bears wearing block numbers instead of their usual rounded font. Here’s another example; note that the Vikings’ sleeve stripes are missing in that shot. And speaking of missing sleeve stripes, here’s another Bears shot that simply does not compute.
• Thing of beauty. That’s Oilers vs. Chargers, circa 1963.
• Long before there were fantasy leagues, there were games like these. That ad’s from the early ’60s.
• “Here’s Ernie Ladd chasing Jack Kemp in 1965,” says Ricko. “Chargers blue not as dark as Bills royal, but still not truly powder.”
• “I put these two shots together because sometimes we forgot just how blue those Cowboys pants were during the Staubach era,” says Ricko.
• Speaking of the Cowboys, here’s a great shot of Eddie LeBaron, the team’s first QB, who was somewhere between 5’7″ and 5’9″, depending on which source you believe.
• More NFLers playing basketball. “That’s Warren McVea of the Chiefs (in shorts that match Chiefs’ road pants) popping a jumper over Dave Costa and the Broncos team (wearing their game socks, it appears),” notes Ricko. According to the accompanying text, someone once had ideas about staging an NFL basketball tournament — yikes.
• “Here’s Ollie Matson, probably the Chicago Cardinals’ best player ever, in tennis shoes in 1958,” says Rickko. “After that season, Cards traded him to LA Rams for 11 players. No draft choices — 11 players.”
• “Here’s something pretty rare: a color shot of the Raiders’ 1960-’61 road jerseys (’62 were white without any gold trim). ’63, of course, was switch to silver and black.”
That’s enough for now. Incidentally, another reader has recently come forward and begun sharing images from his own archive of old photos and clips. More on that development soon.
Apostrophe Catastrophe, Continued: This is the Baltimore Orioles’ official team art/logo sheet (and please don’t bother asking me where I got it or how you can get a bigger version of it). Seems straightforward enough, until you take a closer look at these.
Can you fucking believe that?
Now, I realize an argument can be made that there shouldn’t be an apostrophe there at all, because plurals don’t take apostrophes. But you could also argue that the apostrophe is standing in for “riole,” plus “O’s” is less visually awkward than “Os” would be, plus-plus there’s a strong precedent for using an apostrophe in this type of logo. So let’s assume that the apostrophe belongs there.
But once you’ve decided it belongs there, how can anyone who got past the third grade orient it incorrectly?
This small but telling example of illiteracy (and make no mistake, that’s exactly what it is) extends to Baltimore’s alternate cap, BP cap, “portion of the proceeds” cap, and other gear. It’s been part of the team’s official graphics program since 2005, and I’m embarrassed not to have noticed it until now.
But the people who should really be embarrassed are the IQ-32 types who executed and approved this logo design. C’mon, a backwards apostrophe? Being worn by a major league sports franchise? And the culpability isn’t limited to the Orioles’ front office — how come nobody at MLB Properties said anything when this logo design came across their desks? How come nobody at New Era said, “Y’know, that cap doesn’t look quite right”? Guilty, each and every one of them.
And people wonder why America’s going down the crapper.
Uni Watch News Ticker: MLB has designated July 4th as an ALS-awareness day, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s famous speech. According to this story, “MLB will ask all players to wear a ’4♦ALS’ patch on their chest.” Interesting that they say they’ll “ask” players to wear the patch, instead of simply saying “All players will wear the patch” — not sure if this means the patch is optional. Also not sure what, if anything, this means for the bogus stars/stripes caps. I’ll try to find out. … “As part of their ‘RAC in Black’ promotion, University of Maryland-Baltimore County wore black at home Monday night against Boston University,” writes Bob Nolte. “While BU probably could have worn their red road jerseys, they opted for home whites on the road.” … This is completely brilliant (thanks, Kirsten). … I consider myself a reasonably serious bowler, so you’d think I’d know what AMF stands for. Fact is, though, I’d never even thought about it until Scott Turner loaned me this old magazine, which has this ad on the back cover. Note the company name at the bottom — I had no idea. … Also from Scott: Two photos of bowling teams wearing neckties. … Roger Faso notes that This eBay seller has some really cool posters (and also a lot of fairly pedestrian jerseys, so skip those and just dig the cool poster action). … How awesome is this? That’s the 1922 baseball team from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. “They had many great victories including an 8-5 triumph over Harvard Dental,” says John Donovan, who scanned the photo from an old yearbook. … Douchebags. … Brad Richardson was missing a letter last night (screen grab courtesy of Lucas Burdick). … If you liked that Astros baseball card book I showed scans of yesterday, here’s the Indians version from that same series of books (with thanks to Tom Pachuta). … According to this 2008 story, after Maryland lost a game while wearing black uniforms in 2004, they more or less decided never to wear black again. But that changed last night against UNC — and they lost again (with thanks to MJ Kurs-Lasky). … The Rangers retired Adam Graves’s number last night. The pregame ceremonies featured some old Rangers in white jerseys, other old Rangers in blue jerseys, and the current Rangers squad wearing full white uniforms with a “9″ in the captain/alternate position (a nice touch). Interestingly, these white jerseys were CCM-made and straight hemmed (although the NOB typography was way off), while the old-timers in blue were given Reebok (as was Graves himself). The Rangers then switched to their home blues for the actual game. All jerseys — pregame white, pregame blue, and game-worn — featured this patch, which was worn on the shoulder, as per the Rangers’ usual protocol. Oh, and for some reason there was also this (all screen grabs courtesy of Mark Kluczynski).