Tremendous moment at Yankee Stadium yesterday, as my ESPN colleague Jim Caple and CC Sabathia had the following exchange during an afternoon press conference (you can watch the exchange by skipping ahead to the 7:02 mark of this video clip):
Caple: CC, this is a little [bit of a] goofy question. It’s always been considered a great honor to wear the Yankee pinstripes, and there’s been a lot of speculation that since you are such a broad-shouldered, broad-chested man, that perhaps you have more pinstripes on your jersey than any Yankee in history. I’m wondering whether you’ve ever considerd that? Have you ever counted the pinstripes and where you think you may rank with the other Yankee greats?
Sabathia [smiling]: I don’t know. I mean, I never thought about that, never counted ’em. I do know I probably have the biggest uniform in the history of baseball, though. Proud o’ that.
By “a lot of speculation,” of course, Caple was referring to this column I wrote last December (to my knowledge, nobody else has ever addressed the topic). As you can see, Sabathia handled the question rather adroitly, but others were less amused. Over on WFAN (New York’s top sports talk station), afternoon blowhard Mike Francesa abruptly terminated the station’s coverage of the press conference after Caple’s query, declaring it the dumbest question he’d ever heard, and then dispatched a gopher to determine who’d had the temerity to pose such a worthless query within the hallowed halls of Yankee Stadium. (If you watch the rest of the presser video, you’ll see that the more “serious” questions were real deep-thought material like, “Does the weather forecast concern you?” and “What does it mean to be the ace of a staff?” — soooo much more illuminating that Caple’s question.)
And if the press conference question was enough to raise Francessa’s blood pressure, then he’ll probably bust an artery when he sees this video clip that Caple and I shot at Yankee Stadium yesterday afternoon. (And yes, you can all go ahead and crucify Jim for his jersey choice, but the wardrobe dept. was a bit strapped yesterday.)
Naturally, I’m pleased that Caple has revived this discussion. My only gripe: He asked the question almost apologetically, labeling it “goofy” before the fact. Never apologize, Jim — no compromises, no apologies! In fact, Caple tells me that several reporters asked him for further details on the pinstripe topic after the presser was over, which just goes to show that there are other media folks who take uni-related storylines seriously, even if a certain radio windbag doesn’t.
Research Request: Got this note yesterday from reader Bruce Genther:
I am writing and illustrating a book on the various professional franchises that have called Baltimore home and the uniforms they wore during their tenure. The sports include baseball, football, basketball, hockey, indoor and outdoor soccer, lacrosse, and indoor football. Almost finished, but information on the 1992-98 Baltimore Spirit soccer uniforms is hard to come by, so I would like the membership’s help. Any photos, descriptions, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Any and all information can be sent directly to me via e-mail. Thanks very much.
Stirrup Club Reminder: Robert Marshall has a new set of stirrups — and football socks! — available for order. For details, look here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: A high school x-country runner was disqualified for wearing black compression shorts with white stitching, which violated a rule against contrast-color stitching. … A Massachusetts high school is changing its logo because it looks too much like Virginia Tech’s (with thanks to Scott Kaplan). … Dana Czerwinski notes that Nebraska’s sleeve stripes were slightly off-white on Saturday. Anyone know more about that? … New rugby kit for Fiji (“Pretty epic,” says Adam Hainsfurther). … Another pair of interesting practice socks for Raheem Brock (with thanks to Jonathan Mayer). … Speaking of socks, why not get some for your furniture? For further examples, click on “Products” here (nice find, Kirsten). … Tremendous little video clip of Blackhawks logo crests being chain-stitched in a Quebec City factory here. It’s in French, but whatever, chain-stitching is the universal language of beauty, non? (Big thanks to Matt Smith.) … The first time I wrote about my uni catalog collection, way back in July of 2006, I included a paragraph about this Harv-Al catalog. Yesterday I got the following note from Bernadette Lipkin: “My son found your 1966 Harv-Al Catalog on the internet. What a great surprise! My husband is the ‘Harv’ in the Harv-al; his partner at that time was ‘Al’ Rimer, who passed away years ago. They were both young entrepreneurs from Winnipeg. The company was owned by my husband until 2002, when it was sold to Badger Athletic Teamwear of Statesville, North Carolina, where my son now works. I believe the company was started in 1950 or so. In 1972 a branch was opened in Fargo, North Dakota, and then it was moved to Ranger, Texas, in 1979 for marketing and business reasons. What a lot of memories come back when seeing the catalog out there!” … Now there’s a supermarket name! Too bad they don’t sell uniforms (great find by the Baroness Karen McBurnie). … If you liked the curling photos in yesterday’s entry, you’ll love this old curling footage from 1952 (great find by Nathan Haas). … Josh Jedwab has created a set of Mets-themed hockey jerseys. “I’ve lurked around uni web sites long enough to know that people like what they like and hate what they hate, so feedback isn’t my primary aim here. The fact is, I like them. What’s more, I like them enough to be interested in having a prototype of each one fabricated.” Anyone know a likely source where he could get that done? … Reprinted from last night’s comments: Ricko posted some pics of Lincoln High, a Minnesota school that wore vertically striped hose in the early ’60s. … Check out this old shot of Johnny Ramone in a Miami Dolphins tee (and yes, some fan in an Adidas tee, who cares). That’s from this photo exhibit, which is half a mile from my house. I’ll be checking it out shortly. … The Lakers got their rings (further ring info here, and additional photos here and here) and raised their banner last night, and then wore their Opening Night championship patches while beating the Clippers. … We also got our first look at the new NBA officiating attire, which looks very odd from behind.