The sentence I’m about to write will pretty much shoot your day to hell, so brace yourself: The Baseball Digest archives are now available online.
The archive goes all the way back to 1945, which means it’s a mother lode of hardball arcana. Fortunately, reader Bruce Menard has
already wasted several days generously devoted some free moments to sifting through the material in search of uni-related highlights. He’s come up with some particularly interesting bits among the advertising, as you can see here:
• From the May 1960 issue: Love this baseball necktie ad.
• December 1961: Wait, forget the necktie — I’d rather have this bedspread and rug.
• July 1966: You’ve got to love an ad whose first two words are “Blow yourself…”
• December 1969: Kangaroo leather, choice of the pros.
• April 1973: Does anyone have any of these mini-sport kits?
• August 1973: I always wanted one of these magnetic team standings boards when I was a kid.
• August 1974: Is there anyone who didn’t have a team wastebasket back in the day?
That’s what Bruce came up with. Unfortunately, it’s not quite enough to suffice as a lead entry, so I had to do some actual work myself — incredible, I know — to pad out the rest of today’s entry:
• June 1972: What as the deal with that early-’70s ad trope of using all-lowercase headlines? And hey, speaking of lowercase letters, check out the Cubs pennant shown on on this page. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that wordmark before.
• June 1974: Oh man, how great do these watches look?
And so on. It’s pretty much a bottomless time-sink once you start clicking through this stuff, so just close the office door, order a pizza, tell the wife you won’t be home until Saturday, and enjoy.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Longtime Uni Watch pal/contributor Joe Hilseberg is offering a good Father’s Day deal in the Uni Watch Classifieds. … Man, the Nats, can’t spell anything right. That photo showed up in the comments two days ago. At first I thought it was a Photoshop job, but it’s real. It’s from last summer, though (with thanks to Peter Greenberg). … If you look thru this gallery you’ll see that Dwayne Bowe has some interesting ideas about football sock protocol (with thanks to Greg Riffenburgh). … Coupla days ago I mentioned that K-State was planning to wear an older uni design for its spring scrimmage. Thanks to Sean Kautzman, we now have photographic confirmation. … The schedule for the AFL Legacy Game throwback match-ups has been announced. Four games for Pat Patriot! … Lipscomb, a team in the Atlantic Sun Conference, wore powder blue throwbacks over the weekend, in tribute to the school’s 1979 NAIA national championship team (with thanks to Eric Moyer). … The Chicago Fire will wear white jerseys with green letters and a Chicago Fire Foundation patch for Saturday’s game against the New England Revolution. The jerseys will be auctioned off to fans at the game (with thanks to Kenn Tomasch). … Rugby news from Caleb Borchers, who writes: “The All Blacks unveiled their new kit recently. Given the iconic nature of the jersey (read: never changes), these press conferences are really much ado about nothing. They talked up the fact that they were lighter (a member of the netball team that also unveiled their new dresses said ‘Honestly, it feels like we’re wearing nothing’), but that’s the standard claim. Somewhat interestingly, they have ditched the grey alternate uniformly hated in NZ and gone back to the traditional white alternate. The alternate rarely is worn but will get a run against the nefarious French, who you might remember changed from blue to deep, dark blue, just so they could force the All Blacks to wear an alternate strip (Nike villains!). One should also respect the fact that the All Blacks still refuse a corporate sponsor on the front of the jersey, a lone beacon in the rugby world’s haze that is logo creep.” … Anyone ever notice that titan of stage and screen Dom DeLuise, who passed away yesterday, looked exactly like famous so-fat-he-needs-a-scooter chef Paul Prudhomme? … This is pretty cool. I don’t have time to track down all the versions for all the other teams, but I assume some of you do, right? (With thanks to Travis Cuomo.) … The L.A. Kings’ web site now includes a new uni history section. … Funniest thing about the Wilbur Pox scare is that it’s coinciding with the onset of allergy season. So when I let loose with a few hay fever sneezes on the subway yesterday, everyone kinda moved away to the other side of the car. Hey, more legroom for me. … This is so awesome, on so many levels (big kiss, Kirsten). … Oh man, here’s something really awesome: a set of vintage baseball-themed cake toppers. There’s another set with a slightly different design. … Here’s a weird one: a Green Bay Packers baseball jersey. … Other eBay finds: a really nice Little League uni; a Jersey Giants sun visor, circa 1937; an absolutely killer 1920s basketball uni; a very cool Durene football jersey; a nice UCLA-striped Durene pullover; a nicely chain-stitched basketball warm-up top; another warm-up top — with a mosquito chest logo; a 1950 football equipment catalog; a 1964 basketball backboard catalog; and a 1923 baseball glove catalog. … Major development last night in Atlanta, as Livan Hernandez wore blue sleeves on the road, and damn did it look sweet. All the other Mets wore their usual black road sleeves, providing a useful counterpoint that only highlighted the beauty of Livan’s azure-clad arms. Yo, Charlie, ditch the frigging black already! … Hey, what happened here — pit bull attack? Violent slide on a really coarse infield? Factory seconds from Majestic? Nah, just your everyday uniform catching on fire. If you read the story, you’ll see that the moral of the tale is this: Always wear two pairs of socks (big thanks to Kevin Rood). … “A nice improvement on the aesthetics at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” writes Kyle Donnelly. “The ‘Bombardier Learjet Pagoda,’ which looked like this last year, now looks like this. That new logo is taken from the top of IMS’s ‘Centennial Era’ logo, which you can see in the watermark on those photos. The addition of the ‘Est. 1909’ is pretty slick, too. Trés chic, no? Also, for the first time since the mid-’80s, this year’s Indy 500 will feature a pink car. That’s Englishman Alex Lloyd, sponsored by a women-oriented energy drink called Healthy Energy Regenerator (HER) or something like that.” … Shane Victorino was using Matt Stairs’s bat last night (as spotted by Mike Meech). … For about 1.2 seconds, I thought Andy Thoele had come up with a major find: an old brimless catcher’s helmet with a Red Sox logo. But then I realized that the logo didn’t look right and was probably an after-market addition to the helmet. … If you look at this poster, you’ll see the Saints player wearing a black helmet, which was only used during the 1969 preseason (good spot by Tom Farley). … Doug Keklak notes that Ian Snell had this notation on his cap last night. I’m assuming that’s a memorial tribute for Nick Adenhart. … Latest collection from Steve Mandich: a bunch of Mariners scorecards. … A’s catcher Kurt Suzuki switched uni numbers this year, going from 24 to 8 because the A’s will likely retire No. 24 once Rickey Henderson’s inducted into the Hall of Fame. But his shinguards still have the old uni number (with thanks to Brandon Davis). … Maybe Darren O’Day wasn’t the first MLBer to wear someone else’s name on his back after all. According to a small mention in this article, Blue Jays pitcher Huck Flener “actually wore [Shawn] Green’s jersey in his 1993 major league debut because his wasn’t ready” (good research by Brian Kallion). … Have fun at Shea tonight, Phil. And be sure to ask the “Bottled Beer” vendors why they’re selling beer in cans!