Been a while since I played show-and-tell with my library of vintage uniform and equipment catalogs, and I’ve acquired some interesting new additions to the collection since then. Here’s a breakdown:
• 1964 AALCO Backboard Catalog: This is a bit of an oddball, beause it’s so specific. Like, c’mon, 12 pages devoted to nothing but basketball backboards? But that specificity turns out to be pretty fascinating — who knew there were so many different ways of suspending and folding backboards, or that they had cool names like Cent-R-Strut or forward jacknife model? I vaguely remember my high school gym having something like these contraptions, but nothing as elaborate as this. And look, they even had special tools for hoisting the gear. Way nifty. (Full page-by-page breakdown here.)
• Spalding Sports Show for 1949: A cross between a sporting goods catalog and a comic book, this is one of the most interesting additions to the Uni Watch library in many a moon. Each page features a gallery of cartoons by the great Willard Mullin (more on him here), sort of Ripley’s Believe It or Not-style, and then concludes with an ad for Spalding equipment toward the bottom of the page. Oddly, the gear being pitched usually has nothing to do with the cartoons on that particular page, but whatever. Can you believe I got this awesome artifact for only $10.50? (Full content available here.)
• 1961 Champion Catalog: No surprises here — the usual assortment of jerseys, hose, more jerseys, and so on. The notable thing about this is that the catalog was keyed to Champion’s Rochester operation, which means I think our resident Rochester sporting goods expert, Terry Proctor, will be weighing in with some thoughts. Also worth noting: another appearance of basketball target stirrups, some rather anorexic-looking illustrations of girls, and a fully intact order blank. (Full content available here.)
• Yarrington Mills swatchbook pages: Speaking of Terry Procter, he recently sent me a bunch of vintage swatch pages from Yarrington Mills, and it’s pretty fascinating stuff. There are stripes, braids, patterns, even sparkle fabrics. Swatches are so damn cool. Thanks, Terry! (Full content available here.)
Something odd that I just noticed: I was checking something on the Uni Watch Membership Roster yesterday when I noticed something odd: Not a single enrollee has chosen No. 70 for his or her membership card. Granted, 70 isn’t the most hallowed number in sports history, but I figured someone would’ve chosen it by now.
Other numbers that have so far gone unclaimed: 62, 64, 85 and 95. So if you want a unique card and a number all to yourself on the roster listing, you’ve got some options.
And now a quick word from Phil: “All uni trackers, if you’ve been keeping track of your favorite baseball team’s record by uniform, please contact me, if you haven’t already done so, as I’ll be posting the first of the tracking results this weekend. Thanks.”
Uni Watch News Ticker: For those who’ve lost track of the Syracuse lacrosse team’s uni changes this season, Chris Drouin has provided a handy overview: “They started the season with home whites jerseys, white shorts, white gloves and white helmets with their numbers on them. Then they switched to white jerseys, orange shorts and gloves, and orange helmets with numbers on the back. Then, for championship weekend, they stuck with the orange shorts/helmets/gloves, but the helmets had player’s name on the back of it instead of their number.” … Uni cameo: Kevin Johnson as a Cav (with thanks to Nick Houser, who has a blog devoted to Ohio sports cards). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Now that’s a bullpen buggy. Note the great usher’s cap, too. … “I was recently in Belgium and went to the museum where they house the costumes/uniforms for the little statue Mannekin Pis (the famous one that is something of a symbol for the city of Brussels),” writes Kelly Phillips. “I was surprised to see that he has actually donned not only a Montreal Canadiens sweater (a gift from the Canadian prime minister in the 1950s) but even a Toronto Blue Jays jersey in the mid-’80s. He has worn more than 700 outfits over the years, and a number of them have been sports uniforms — mostly European football teams, as well Belgian hockey teams, and even the Latvian ice hockey team when they won the Championships in 2006. The uniforms are incredibly well made and done with meticulous care to appear like the real thing. Which is amusing since the statue is only a little over a foot tall.” Additional info on Kelly’s blog. … Lots of old-timey baseball photos from Lincoln, Nebraska here, here, and here (with thanks to Bob Andrews). … Pictorial history of Moroccan volleyball available here (with thanks to Jeremy Brahm). … Awesome little tidbit buried on this page: “Reliever Seth McClung [of the Brewers] altered his warmup apparel Wednesday, when he wore a long-sleeve shirt with ‘Not Coffey’ printed on the back. McClung was trying to help out the fans who sit behind the bullpen, who have been known to mistake McClung for fellow reliever Tim Coffey” (great spot by Harry Bergmann). … Don’t step on that logo (big thanks to Brinke Guthrie). … Stunning news last night out of Chicago, where career low-cuffer Aaron Heilman, of all people, became the latest member of Stirrup Nation. Lots of additional pics here (as first reported by Michael Romero). … Not uni-related, but an interesting article here about pro sports’ losing-est franchises. The 13 “winners” are presented in this slideshow (thanks, Teebz). … The uniforms of all 64 NCAA baseball tourney teams are described and photo-linked here (nice find by Mike Camello). … The AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins are looking for a third jersey designer (with thanks to Johnny Griswold). … The UC Irvine Anteaters use an interesting shortened version of their name on their jerseys (with thanks to Ben Teaford). … Happy Birthday to Kirsten, a day early. Looking forward to tomorrow’s festivities!