By Phil Hecken and Larry Wiederecht
And you thought “80’s week” was over. Not quite yet. I’m joined today, once again, by Larry “Lwiedy” Wiederecht, who is here with the third in our on-going series looking back on the pages of All Star Game programs. And, with the 2009 version of the Mid-Summer Classic only two days away (and the Home Run Derby taking place tomorrow) in St. Louis, the timing couldn’t be better. Larry’s going to take us back to le classique du milieu de l’été. Or something like that. It’s the one from Montreal — or Montréal. Oui. Mon Dieu.
So, here’s one more program from the “vaults” before the game this Tuesday. Previously, we profiled two great publications from the 1972 game in Atlanta and Milwaukee’s effort in 1975. Filled with great artwork and plenty of local flavor, it’s always a gas to flip through the pages. The same can’t quite be said for the official publication of “Partie D’Etoiles”.
So why bother? Well, it’s yet another reminder of what happens when MLB gets their grubby little paws on something. While all the programs from the 1970’s and earlier were produced primarily by the host club, the 1980’s brought us “cookie cutter” programs produced by the Commissioner’s Office with just a tad of help from those hosting the event. The cover was a poor copy of the concept used just one year earlier.
Yes there was the whole bi-lingual concept, which was neat but no ads from the corner bar or car dealerships that gave the others a “homey” feel. Instead, all the typical national sponsors got their turn:
Ah, the “genius” of Betamax, Sony’s look into the future that lasted less than 10 years.
The Balfour ad featured that year’s ring whose design certainly reflected the departure of the typical all-star experience that came with the international setting.
An element of the program that truly said “made by MLB” was forgoing the listing of the actual participants for pages and pages of all-star “nominees”. This allowed them to publish the program far earlier than the game would traditionally allow thus expanding distribution to local newsstands. How ridiculous was this practice? Third row, fifth from the left is the immortal Alan Fowlkes. After logging a dozen or so game in the big leagues, Al was included with the likes of Steve Carlton, Bruce Sutter & Fernando Valenzuela. Perhaps the disappointment of not making the squad explains why his career only spanned 23 total games — in total.
It did provide a plethora of photos and you can still see them on Ebay today cut up as “mini-cards”. Pete Rose made it quite clear with whom his equipment loyalties lay. And why is George Foster smiling? Why he just signed the first major free-agent contract offered by the New York Mets. Too bad he left the numbers that earned him all that dough behind in Cincinnati.
As for the game itself, it was much of the same. Not much. The squads brought much color. That’s a lot of powder blue. The NL is led by a good number of hometown Expos and representatives from Montreal’s prior affiliation, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Not much on the “odd uni-watch” that typically characterizes the mid-summer classic. Oh, the obligatory Cincinnati Red wearing white shoes and a couple guys borrowing helmets. Eck may have been reminiscing his days as an Indian. They did have one friggin’ big field logo which I’m sure they hoped would distract everyone from the disastrous turf and silly oversize warning track with painted lanes. Or maybe it was so that these fans could see it as well.
The game was so boring that ABC couldn’t go more than a pitch or two without trying to improving the view. My edited broadcast included Mrs. Eckersley, Mrs. Yount, Mrs. Dale Murphy, Mrs. Fred Lynn (isn’t that cute, she’s wearing his #19) among others. Reggie and Rickey’s moms also received air time.
Some unintended comic relief was provided by this “conversation” between Billy and John McSherry.
Maybe the 1982 All-Star program and game doesn’t rate among the classics, but if this Tuesday’s game doesn’t live up to the hype, just remember it’ll have company. Unlike 1982, however, this one counts.
Thanks Larry! Always love the lookbacks. And maybe it’s just me, but it sure looks like Pete Rose is wearing a pullover, while the other Phillies are all in zippered tops.
Guess The Game From The Scoreboard: Once again, not a particularly difficult scoreboard, as all the clues are right on the field. As with yesterday, if you solve it, and without giving away the answer, if you could describe what about the photo you used for clues in solving the mystery. Good job yesterday, folks. Ok, ready? Guess The Game.
From the insane genius that is OCD-DIYer Robert Marshall, we now have “t-shirts” (I guess that’s what they’d be) for some of UW’s finest. That’s right. Don’t think these will ever make it to market, but if they ever did, I bet a few of us would be consumers. So, here’s the first “batch” of gag shirts:
I love that last one. “Sure to induce a heart attack” I’m calling it. Thanks, rpm. Anyone got any suggestions for other t-shirts? I’m sure Mr. Marshall would love to try his hand at some more. Of course, they have to be ‘UW reader related’. The rest is up to you. And of course, that third T-shirt is such a perfect segue to…
And now, a quick word from my doubles partner, Brinke Guthrie, who has found another sign the apocalypse is nigh. The only question is the over/under on the number of pairs Powers purchases. We’ll set the O/U at 1.5.
Got the following note from reader Randy Miller, who had read my A Reversal of
Fortune Color post a couple weekends ago.
A few days ago you had a post on uniwatch about teams using older color schemes with new logos and vice versa. I thought I’d do that with a few NFL team helmets.
Here’s the break-down and my thinking behind it. I have to admit, the only 2 I care for are my Broncos and Patriots design.
1. Seahawks new logo with original color scheme. I like the green in the stripe pattern like in the original logo.
2. Broncos new logo in the Elway era color scheme. This is my favorite one. I hated that the Broncos dropped the orange tops for blue. Only when they wear those orange alternates do I feel there is a connection to the past.
3. Colts modern design with the 1954-1955 color scheme. I thought this would be cool, but in hindsight, I think the Colts have a design that shouldn’t be touched.
4. Patriots modern logo with “pat patriot” color scheme. I have NEVER, ever liked the flying elvis or the silver color scheme. I enlarged the logo (since the white outline would be dropped) and put it on the Andre Tippett era white helmet/red mask helmet. Better I feel, still no pat patriot. Oh and I DO prefer the smaller pat patriot design and not the billboard sized one seen near the end.
Thanks, Randy. Interestingly enough, I had already prepared the following before receiving that comment, so Randy’s note serves as a nice intro to this:
Looking back on the “Reversal of Color” column and all the great reader submissions, I saved most of them to my flickr account and, of course, didn’t write down the names of any of those who submitted their work (although most of those can be found on that day and the succeeding day’s post). In no particular order, (and giving credit to none — feel free to say “hey, that’s mine”), here’s the ten best (IMHO):
San Diego Padres in modern logo, with 70’s colors.
Atlanta Hawks modern logo/old school colors.
Philadelphia Eagles modern logo/throwback colors.
Denver Broncos modern logo/original colorscheme.
Buffalo Sabres old/new color swap.
New York Jets current logo with Titans colors.
Tampa Bay Rays old/new color swap.
Denver Nuggets old school logo/modern colors.
Boston team logo mashup.
Great job to all those who did those logo “swaps.” Suggestions/comments are still being accepted, so if anyone wants to produce/request any others … fire away.
Phew…that’s a lot for a summer Sunday. Enjoy it everyone!