Remember those halcyon days when MLB made everyone wear American flag patches on July 4th, leading to unforgettable moments like this? Definitely made for a fun-filled holiday.
Alas, there are no more flag patches. Fortunately, MLB unveiled those stupid new ALS patches on Saturday, and those may end up being even more entertaining than the flag patches were. Now, I didn’t watch any baseball on Saturday (was too busy hosting on buncha folks in my back yard and cooking a perfect herb-crusted rack of lamb, among other goodies), and I spent most of Sunday recovering from Saturday’s festivities, so I’m still kinda catching up on all of this, but here’s what I’ve been able to ascertain so far:
• Nats starter John Lannan began the game without a patch. Someone must have noticed, because he suddenly was wearing the patch when he came out for the top of the second (and you thought that jersey couldn’t look any clunkier). But then he was patch-free again in the top of the 3rd and 4th, and I stopped checking after that.
• In that same game, Braves starting pitcher Tommy Hanson’s patch fell off as he delivered his first pitch in the bottom of the 2nd. You can see it fluttering off to his left in this sequence (if you want to see it in real time, I’ve made a short video file available for download here; first time I’ve tried that, so let me know if it doesn’t work). Not sure when, or if, the patch was picked up from the mound, but Hanson went patchless for the rest of the game.
• Orioles starter Jason Berken had the patch at the beginning of Saturday’s game, but as you can see, it was already beginning to peel off. By the time he left the game in the bottom of the 5th, it was gone. Not sure when it came off.
• One other player with two chest patches: Jason Varitek. And as you can see, his patch was peeling off too.
• As Phil noted yesterday, the Royals wore their patch on the other side, presumably because their “uphill” insignia would have forced them to position the patch too high up on the jersey (a situation that apparently didn’t both the Cardinals, not to mention the White Sox).
• These patches had been announced way back in March. But I don’t think there way any advance word that the patch design would also be used as a helmet decal. Because, as you know, anything worth doing is also worth overdoing, at least to MLB.
And yes, the red caps looked awful too, but we all knew that already.
(Special thanks to Josh Wilson, Dan Cichalski, Joe Alvaro, and Jack Krabbe for their contributions to today’s post.)
Uni Watch News Ticker: Actually, one team did wear America flag cap patches over the weekend: the Twins, who wore armed forces caps yesterday. …
Bit of a snafu on the MLB Network. Look at the date tag at the top-left of this screen shot. Then look at Junior Griffey’s T-shirt (good spot by Alex Melendez). … I was out for my daily bike ride in Prospect Park on Friday when I passed a guy wearing old-school Orioles stirrups. I hit the brakes, turned around, approached the guy, and said, “You must be a Uni Watch reader.” Sure enough, it was Mike Noble, who’d obtained the stirrups as part of Robert Marshall’s stirrup club and was wearing them for the very first time. … Caleb Borchers declares that the most interesting jersey in international rugby belongs to Fiji. “One of the great things about rugby, is the role of tiny nations that are so delightfully non-corporate,” he writes. “The Fijans have some sort of traditional, ancestral mask on one side of the jersey. When I first saw it I thought it might be a little gimmicky, plus I’m not a fan of asymmetry. Given how lazy many nations are, however, just taking corporate templates, it’s nice to see something original and thoughtful. I love the traditional hooped socks, too.” … New Haven has become the second college football team to have a blue gridiron, and Boise State apparently isn’t too happy about it. … “These graphics were posted by an anonymous poster on 4chan.org’s sports board,” writes Dennis Abrams. “He took sprites and banners from NHLPA Hockey 93 for Super Nintendo but applied the colors and designs of the current NHL teams. The original thread in which each team was posted individually can be found here. He also took requests in that thread and created some designs not pictured in the compilation of NHL teams.” … Another new member of Stirrup Nation (or at least new to me): John Baker (with thanks to Doug Keklak). … Good news from Michigan, where Lisa Lark reports that high schools will not be allowed to have ads on uniforms. … You may know that Gold Glove winners who wear Rawlings gear get to wear a gold-colored Rawlings logo patch on their gloves. But here’s something I hadn’t seen before: Yadier Molina also has the gold logo patch on his chest protector (great spot by Laife Fulk). … Lots of good sports photos in this gallery of 1970s photos from Philadelphia (with thanks to Marc Malfara). … Is it really possible that a Central Connecticut State volleyball player was wearing an iPod during a game? … Carlton Football Club, an Aussie rules football team, wore yellow Livestrong uniforms yesterday (with thanks to Alyssa Miller). … Here’s a great shot of Grover Cleveland Alexander wearing the Cards’ 1927 World Champs uni (with thanks to Bruce Menard). … Nice shot of the Kings’ old subscript NOB format man. Man, the lettering was huge (with thanks to Brett Sawyer). … Back in 1983, Mariners pitcher Bill Caudill shaved off half of his beard in between innings, pitched the next half-inning, and then shaved off the rest of it. I’ve written about this story before but had never seen Caudill’s half-and-half look until Steve Mandich sent along this screen shot. I’m frankly a bit disappointed to discover that Caudill didn’t also shave off half of his moustache. … Speaking of facial hair, all the Cardinals’ starting pitchers are growing slump-buster moustaches. There’s some discussion of it in the first minute or so of this video clip (with thanks to Mark Nothum). … Cricket umps apparently don’t wear helmets. But maybe that will change after this. … An Italian swimmer wearing one of those new high-tech swimsuits was DQ’d from a meet last week when her suit split open in an unfortunate spot. Additional pics and details — all safe for work — here and here. … Here’s a real beauty. That jersey was worn by Julian Grant‘s uncle when he was in second grade, circa 1936! Here’s the team portrait, although Julian’s uncle isn’t actually shown in the photo. As Julian explains, “There’s a notation on the back of the picture that said he had the mumps that day!” … Canada wore Mountie-themed uniforms at the recent Classic Eagles vs Classic Canada rugby match (with thanks to Roberto Santiago, who also notes that Canterbury released some very odd footwear; additional view here). … Also from Roberto: “A harlot rugby tournament is one where players register as individuals and are randomly assigned a team on the day of the event. Most of these tournaments will include a game jersey as part of the registration fee, so as a player you get a quality game jersey and a fun day of rugby. But it makes it hard to match up your full kit, since you never know which color you’ll be wearing until you get there. This makes it easy to spot the players who ‘get it’ (or are just lucky) and are able to match their socks with the random jersey they are given. Some participants plan ahead and bring a lot of socks.” … Good view here of the “15” on Roger Federer’s jacket (with thanks to Brinke Guthrie). … Gumball maven Bill Jones made himself a full set of the red stars/stripes caps, including both versions of the Indians design (the Chief Wahoo one wasn’t worn on the field but Bill saw a retail version for sale and figured he’d execute that one as well). … Livan Hernandez continues to wear blue undersleeves on the road while the rest of the team wears black. … Latest player with the annoying Phiten-branded socks: Mike Napoli. Fortunately, they’re mostly covered up by his shinguards for half the game. … Speaking of socks, for a second I thought I’d spotted the most gratuitous American flag placement ever — take a look at the player high-fiving on the right side of this photo. Looks like a flag on his sock, right? But it’s just a really big laundry tag. … Even with the crummy jersey and ridiculous cap, Ubaldo Jimenez looks my-t-fine. … Awesome article on the artist who created Pat Patriot here (with thanks to Anil Adyanthaya). … Does Ryan Sadowski’s cap look a bit big? It’s fitted with a plastic insert, due to a brain injury he suffered in 2003. Details in the last six grafs of this story (with thanks to Brandon Davis). … Very interesting analysis of the new Yankee Stadium by design historian (and my longtime friend) Steve Heller here (thanks, Kirsten). … Several readers have noted that a new wordmark has shown up on the Astros’ home page. Hmmmm.