[Editor’s Note: With the College World Series upon us, Omaha resident Bryan Redemske checks in with his annual CWS survey. I’ll see you down in the Ticker. — PL]
By Bryan Redemske
We often make a big deal about tradition here at Uni Watch. Changes to our favorite teams’ uniforms, colors, or ballpark tend to ignite passionate pleas for the status quo.
In terms of college baseball tradition, Omaha has the market cornered. Since 1950, Rosenblatt Stadium has been the home of the men’s College World Series. Next year will be the final CWS at the stadium on the hill. In 2011 it’s moving to a downtown stadium called TD Ameritrade Park.
Rosenblatt Stadium will be demolished, and the land will be handed over to Henry Doorly Zoo, which will probably use it for monkeys. Or maybe, just maybe, those pandas will finally come to Omaha. Pretty sweet, huh?
As long as we’re talking about tearing things down and destroying tradition, it’s a good time to welcome Arkansas to the College World Series. Nobody kills baseball fashion tradition like the Razorbacks. Here’s a look at their crimes against the sport, along with the rest of the bracket. If you need me, I’ll be out back parking cars on my lawn ($20/game).
Oh, Arkansas. What the hell? Adidas was to blame for the whole football uniform thing last fall, so we may as well keep it up. Here’s the jersey seen most of the time, in white and red. As you can see, it’s equally offensive on the front and back. If there’s a matching gray set out there, I couldn’t find pictures. And I’m not going to go looking for it, either.
The Tigers are back in Omaha for the second straight year, which makes bar owners happy. LSU fans take over bars for a week at a time, especially now that RV parking has been limited at Rosenblatt.
The good thing about LSU being in Omaha is the familiarity. The yellow and purple jerseys have been largely unchanged for years. Seems like having two sets of white uniforms (pinstriped and plain) is a bit much, no? There’s also a white-crowned hat that sometimes appears with the purple jersey.
Cal State Fullerton
For the past few years, I’ve crowned Fullerton the winner of the uni bracket at the CWS, mostly because all of their looks are consistent. Many teams use several different seasons’ worth of uniforms all at once, which saves on laundry but annoys people (me).
The Titans win again this year, even though there are a few new bits hanging in the closet. The traditional white and gray pinstripes are standard, as is the blue alternate jersey. There’s a second blue alternate that’s completely unnecessary but still looks OK. Same for the white-crowned lid.
Nike teams are a bit of a pain in my ass, at least for this annual roundup. Elite teams like UNC are often oversupplied, with about nine different jerseys on hand. Refreshingly, the Tar Heels seemed to have exercised a bit of moderation this season.
Perhaps it’s because I like Charlottesville, or maybe it’s because it’s similar to Fullerton, but damn if Virginia doesn’t look good.
The Eagles make me neither excited nor angry. I guess that’s like a win compared to the stylings of some of our less civilized CWS attendees.
I’ve determined that Arizona State officials don’t want us to see their uniforms. Because seriously, ASU media people, I’m not downloading anything to get to the multimedia viewer. No way.
Finally, we get to Texas. Another Nike school. Here’s the good thing about Texas, though: They haven’t changed much over the past few years. Consistency is king here, once you get past the overkill thing.
White vests, white sleeves, white pinstriped vests, burnt orange, gray. That’s actually not horrible, considering Florida State had nine jerseys last year, followed closely by North Carolina’s eight. [Also worth noting: All of the Texas jerseys are pullovers with one-button collars, much like MLB’s batting practice jerseys. — PL]
And yes, that’s the landscape of college baseball today: five jerseys doesn’t seem so bad. Help us, Johnny Rosenblatt’s ghost — you’re our only hope.
Ah, crap. There’s a lady trying to double-park her Dodge Caravan out back. If she gets in there sideways, no way that black Corsica is going to fit. Back to work!
Some other news of note: Paul here, with a few tidbits that may interest you:
• As you may know, the very wonderful rock band Wilco will be releasing a new album later this month and is already on tour to support the new record. You may also know that four of the band’s shows next month will be held at minor league ballparks. But what you can’t possibly know, because I haven’t told anyone until now, is that I’ll be raffling off two pairs of tickets for each of those shows.
I’ll have more details on this during the week of June 22nd. Just wanted to get you excited about it now.
• True story: When Kirsten and I arrived at the WNYC studios yesterday for our radio interview, they sat us down in front of two microphones — one green, one purple. You can guess which one I took. As for the interview itself, our time slot got cut in half because the guy who was on before us (who happens to be the Governor of New York State) ran long, so we didn’t really get to discuss anything in any kind of depth. But if you want to hear very cursory chatter about Candela, Uni Watch, and “I’m Calling It Shea,” you can listen to the segment here.
• One problem with the Candela exhibit has been that the City Reliquary is only open on weekends. But they’ll be open next Thursday, June 18th, from 6pm-10pm, and their very nice back yard will be available for lounging, drinking, etc. You know what to do.
Uni Watch News Ticker: My favorite item of the day comes from Nolan Brett, who writes: “Toronto brought in reliever Jason Frasor in the 7th vs Texas last night, and catcher Raul Chavez realized his signals weren’t getting through. So he just reached over and stuck the back of his hand in the chalk, turning his hand and fingers white.” … Major news at NHLuniforms.com, where the site has gotten a serious upgrade. … Here’s a good view of Derek Jeter not wearing the Yankees’ cap patch (with thanks to Steve King). … Ten more illustration scans have been added to our gallery from The Professionals (with continued thanks to Jim Mellett). … In a related item, here’s an interesting note from Noel Basnight: “A few of the images from The Professionals seemed familiar, so I checked my library. My search uncovered a ‘playbill’ from an NFL-sponsored show called The 100 Yard Canvas. Several of the images were identical to the ones from The Professionals. I’m including scans of some of the full-page color images (trying to avoid overlap in the process), as well as the cover sheet and foreword.” Never heard of this show before — anyone know more about it? … Jason Smith commissioned Rob Ullman to do this illo of his girlfriend, Jennifer. “The resemblance is incredible — Rob is a great guy to work with,” he reports. … Sad news from helmet collector Jeff Fedenko, who reports that Helmet Hut historian Jim Parker passed away this week. Jim had weighed in here several times on helmet-related issues, most recently regarding the Lions silver/gold debate. My sympathies to all who knew him and to the Helmet Hut community. … I haven’t seen the new Eastbay catalog, but Chris Edwards has, and reports the following: “In the football equipment section they had a picture of a line of football players in full uni. They were Nike schools — Penn State, Florida, Ohio State, etc. — and they all had either the team name or school initials in embossed or raised lettering on the thigh pads.” Not positive, but this appears to be part of the undergirdle, or maybe part of the pad itself. Not sure if this will be showing up on the field or if it’s just for the ad. … Here’s a new baseball glove brand I hadn’t heard of before. Bizarre designs here and here (with thanks to Jeremy Brahm). … DIY project of all time: Two Arkansas convicts escaped (and were later recaptured) by making their own Arkansas prison guard uniforms. Details and photos here (big thanks to Steve Lega). … When you lie down with dogs, expect to get fleas. … Back in 2007, Mario Fontana wrote an entry about the charity Wiffle Ball tournament he participates in. For this year’s edition, he created an awesome logo that he’s making available on shirts and patches. For details, look here. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Audio Outmania! Josh Outman discusses his stirrups, among other things, about a quarter of the way through this radio interview. … Plenty of Broncos uni discussion in this article (with thanks to Brad Shannon). … The minor league Florence Freedom will wear special police and firefighter tribute jerseys on Sunday (with thanks to Jim Ransdell). … Mark Fightmaster reports that the city of Cincinnati has a new logo. … Oh man, look at this: In happier times, GM had its own hockey team (great find by Mike Hersh). … With ads on uniforms looking more and more inevitable, locker rooms are gonna have a lot more signs like this one (with thanks to Chad Todd). … Washington State will unveil new football uniforms tonight (with thanks to Spencer Bowen). … The All Blacks have a new alternate jersey — and it’s white, paradoxically. Details here (with thanks to Haydn Green, who also came up with a bunch of photos from the 1965 Springbrook/South African tour of New Zealand). … Very odd to see pillbox caps for American League teams. Kyle Pineda found that auction, and also found this. That can’t be right, can it? … The NBA will be playing preseason games in Mexico and China this fall. Here are the logos they’ve come up with for the occasion — not bad.
Looking back, looking ahead: Thanks yet again for all the supportive words and thoughts in recent days. It’s no exaggeration to say that the Uni Watch community played a major role in helping me get through this very stressful week. I’m a lucky fella.
I had a lengthy road trip planned for today through the middle of next week. After initially thinking I’d cancel it, I’ve decided to go ahead with it. This means you’ll be in Phil’s capable hands for the next five days, and I’ll look forward to meeting the Baltimore/DC crowd on Wednesday night, 7pm, at Hillendale Lanes. Remember, it’s BYOB, and don’t worry about actually bowling — I just like the idea of hanging out at a duckpin house, even if we don’t toss any games. Of course, if people want to bowl, that’s fine too.
Okay, that’s it. See you at the end of next week.