By Phil Hecken (with a big assist from Ricko)
There are certain things certain athletes always do (or did) — or almost always do (or did) — in the way they wore their uniforms, or the way they dressed for their sport. In some cases, they were the first to do what they did. In others, it was just them, and their way.
Beyond that, there isn’t much need for introduction, so here we go. We’ve numbered the athletes, and included a picture of their ‘trademark.’ The hint and the picture will hopefully lead you to guess at the star. Keep track, and the answers will be at the end. Good luck!
1. He spatted his shoes (as if didn’t look quick enough?).
2. He cut off his sleeves, super short, showing those guns.
3. He was the first to wear white cleats in pro football (well, Fred Williamson of the Raiders wore ‘em, too, in ‘64).
4. Wore knee pads (or were they huge elbow pads?) around his shins.
5. One of the first to have his pants tapered, and pull his stirrups up high.
6. Before George Scott and John Olerud, he wore his batting helmet playing defense.
7. First to wear a batting glove during regular season (a golf glove, actually).
8. The first great big man wore some great big knee pads.
9. Cut those sleeves off super short (Tommy McDonald did earlier, though).
10. White tape on baseball cleats, football-style, inspired by his facemask, evidently.
11. That one wristband, way up high. And he did rise above things.
12. In the 60’s, was totally color-coordinated, even his spikes.
13. Oh, them golden slippers.
14. Combined two pair of stirrups, leading the way to the high-stirrup era.
15. Short pants and stickum-covered socks. Stickum-covered everything, actually.
16. A houndstooth hat while prowling and growling the sidelines.
17. Just how much pine tar can one helmet handle, anyway?
18. This was the Afro of Afros, or probably the most remembered.
19. Oh, that’s just a doo-rag being…
20. Now, this mustache was a real “Schwinner”. Or did he sing barbershop on the side?
21. Somehow, he seemed b
jorn to wear this headband.
22. “Well, sometimes it really hurts when the center snaps that pigskin.”
23. “Afterward, let’s, like, hang out at the beach and dig for, like, clams or something.”
24. Appropriately for the classic imagery of his “plus-fours”, at his funeral the bagpiper disappeared into the early morning mist.
25. Before his big NBA contract, he couldn’t afford new socks.
26. Two words: Sunday. Red.
27. Always hit the links in all-black or black & white.
28. Playing with her, you should never be so stupid as to ask, “You’re pink, right?
29. He liked white trim: kneehighs, wristbands and a drawstring on the fly…so to speak.
30. Old lady Voorhees’ kid musta been a fan of the guy who marked the stitches he woulda had.
So, how did you do? Some of them were, admittedly, quite tough, others were easy. Here’s the answers, by picture:
And now a quick word from Paul: Anyone out there ever submit an unsolicited uniform or logo proposal to a team? If so, did you ever hear back from the team’s front office (even if only via a “No thanks” form letter), or did you get no response at all? If you’ve any sort of experience of this nature, I want to hear from you. Thanks.