A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from a reader whose name I didn’t recognize. “Hello!” it began. “I’ve been collecting material from pro teams since I was a kid in the ’60s. I recently was going through some of the old stuff and thought your readers might like to see a couple of the images.” He attached some very good scans, including a 1953 Globetrotters program cover, a 1973 San Diego Conquistadors program cover (note that the game was at SDSU), a Chuck Canuck coaster, and a very poorly posed team portrait. “If you like these,” he said, “I have some more that I would be glad to share.”
Such was my introduction to Will “Doc” Ginn, a small-town family doctor from Ohio (that’s an Orlando Thunder jersey that he’s wearing in the photo, not hospital scrubs). How did he acquire all this stuff? “When I was a kid, I would basically just write to any professional sports franchise I could get an address from, and ask them to send me things,” he says. “A lot of times they did: stickers, team photos, schedules, etc. Sometimes, I’d just get a souvenir price list. But for several years there, I was writing to every team I could find — minors, majors, you name it. And I never threw any of it away. I carefully opened the envelopes and saved them, as well as all the contents. It’s all been shifted around the state with me as my wife and I have moved about, but it’s all been in my current home for the last 17 years.”
Faaaascinating. So how does Doc keep all this stuff organized? “When I had this house built, I put in my own study and had special drawers built in the bookcases to contain all my stuff,” he says. “I have about a dozen of these type of drawers, all with some of the items in them. It’s not as well organized as I’d like, but…”
Naturally, I’m always in the market for
free material interesting sports graphics, so I encouraged Doc to send anything he thought the Uni Watch readership would dig. Here’s some of what he’s sent since then:
• “This is a patch I got from the Minnesota Fighting Saints,” says Doc. Love that golden shoelace.
• “My dad was a rep for Sand-Knit, which made the uniforms for the World Football League in the 1970s,” says Doc. “This is the cover of the press packet introducing the new league. Interesting to see how many of those rules are now in use in the NFL.”
• Excellent Dayton Gems yearbook cover here.
• I love this Albuquerque Dukes program cover. Note that the pitcher is wearing No. 1.
• “The 76ers sent me individual pictures of their whole team in 1971,” says Doc. “You don’t see this jersey too much. Of course, you don’t see Connie Dierking too much, either.”
• “The Cincinnati Royals sent me a full set of team photos, too. This one features the captain’s ‘C’ on Tom Van Arsdale’s jersey.”
• “This is the ‘Press Guide’ from the 1973-74 Hershey Bears hockey team,” says Doc, clearly repressing a smirk. “I’m fascinated by its crudeness.”
• Here’s a rarity: a World Team Tennis program!
• Want to impress your sweetie on Valentine’s Day? Get her something from this gift catalog.
• Y’know, nothing says “classy” like a team portrait that paraphrases Hitler.
That’s enough for now. But I think there’s a decent chance we’ll be hearing more from Doc in the not-too-distant future. Big thanks to him for sharing these treasures from his stash.
Raffle Results: The bad news is that unless your name is Justine DeCotis, you didn’t win the soccer club jacket; the good news is that I’ve got three more raffles lined up for the next three weeks. Stay tuned.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Shea Stadium, more fun than ever! … As you may recall, Uni Watch pastry chef Elena Elms sent me some baseball-shaped shortbread cookies back around Xmastime. Now she reports that a commercial operation is getting in on the act. “Too bad the team logos aren’t on the cookies themselves,” she says. “Still a good idea — not enough sweets at ballparks. I bought my baseball cookie cutter, with which I made your holiday shortbreads, from this company. Their cookies are almost as good as mine.” … Here’s more about Trent Dilfer wearing Terry Bradshaw’s facemask for one game in 1998. Still no photos, though (with thanks to David Plante for the article). … Jeff Ash sent in some info on a now-deceased Wisconsin woman who made her own bowling shirts inspired by her African-American heritage. Further info here and here. … Ah, now it all makes sense: According to Darryl Strawberry’s upcoming book (excerpted here), Mets equipment manager Charlie Samuels once walked in on Straw engaging in a very personalized coaching session with a female fan in the Mets clubhouse. The incident no doubt left the emotional scars that have led Samuels to ruin the team’s uniform program over the past decade. … And speaking of emotional scars related to nakedness. … The Vancouver Olympics torch design and torchbearer’s uniform have been unveiled. Further info here (with thanks to Jeremy Brahm and Phil). … “As you know the AHL has both the Norfolk Admirals and Milwaukee Admirals,” writes Tris Wykes. “The latter was in the IHL for years. When the two leagues merged, both Admirals kept their nicknames. Here you can see Karl Goehring, who was briefly on Norfolk’s roster last season, wearing his Milwaukee Admirals mask with his Norfolk Admirals uniform. Weird, huh?” … New anniversary logo for the Raiders. … New penny designs! … First three pics in this gallery feature some killer socks (with thanks to Brad Keppler). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Lots of jerseys that appeared in movies available here. … The Nats introduced Adam Dunn to the media yesterday, and here’s a new wrinkle: They provided a jersey for Dunn’s son. NOB lettering looks a little big, no? (With thanks to Trevor Williams.) … Remember this? Here’s a much clearer version, and here’s the other Williams. Not clear why the first initials were handled differently (screen grabs, both from the 1980 AFC championship game, courtesy of Mako Mameli). … This happy Xmas moment brought to you by Sears. That’s Paul Ricciardi, circa 1973 or ’74. … Here’s something you don’t see very often: Uniforms being discussed on the evening news (thanks, Phil). … Hugh McBride reports that the State Archives of Florida have recently added a stream on Flickr that includes eight photos from the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. … Lots of uni number changes for the Cardinals. … New development in the controversy regarding the Candian Olympic hockey team: They may end up wearing the 1972 Team Canada design (with thanks to Joe Pelletier).