It doesn’t take much to make my day — just genius, transcendence, perfection. Serve me up a tall glass of those and I’m an easy fella to please, ask anyone.
Case in point: Show me a 1956 Portland Beavers jesey and I’ll walk around with a big, goofy smile on my face for the rest of the day. The fun Cardinals-knockoff design (which is odd, because they weren’t affiliated with the Cards at that time), the gorgeous chain-stitching (that’s a modern reproduction, but still…), it’s a masterpiece. What could be better?
Oh, maybe this.
Holy shit holy shit holy shit, look at those sleeve stripes mimicking the stirrup stripes! It’s like a perfect call-and-response mating dance. It’s like that beautiful dream that you can’t quite remember when you wake up. It’s like heaven on a stick, only without the stick.
But was it just an isolated thing worn by that one guy? A mere tease to torture us with visions of what might have been? No!
Just imagine it: an entire team decked out in the game’s greatest stripe pattern, high and low. The mind reels, the body trembles. This, brothers and sisters, is what the political and corporate puppet masters don’t want the people to know about. This is the vision that could awaken the masses from their narcotic stupor and upend the establishment. This is How Life Is Supposed to Be.
I know of only one other baseball team that had matching sleeve and sock stripes: the early-1940s Cubs (see photos here, here, and here). I thought they were an isolated example, but the Beavers pics suggest otherwise. This changes everything.
Allow me to suggest a few immediate and urgent items for the agenda:
• There must be other photos of the 1956 Beavers out there. It is imperative that we find them.
• Now that we know the Cubs weren’t the only team with matching sleeve/stirrup stripes, we need to start scouring the old newspaper files for additional examples. I’m confident that they’re out there.
• We must — MUST — find one of these old Beavers undershirts. There has to be one stowed away in someone’s house, tattered and moth-nibbled. It is essential that we find out who manufactured it. (Jeremy Brahm, you live in Portland, so please start snooping around in people’s closets and attics, thanks.)
• Meanwhile, it is just as essential for someone, or perhaps several someones, to begin making reproductions of the undershirt. Jerry Cohen, Peter Capolino, whoever’s running the show over at Stall & Dean this week — I’m talking to you. Get crackin’. (Update: Cohen just told me, “Love to, but it can’t be done. No one will make a garment with knit-in stripes in low quantities. The machinery doesn’t exist anymore in the U.S.” Then he added, “If someone wants 10,000, maybe…” Okay, I’m in for the first thou. Who’s with me?)
• Finally, I hope all you Photoshop tweakers are already busily creating images to show us how other teams might have looked if their sleeves had matched their hose. Imagine a sleeve stripes based on this pattern, for example. Or this. Or, dare I even think it, this.
Okay, brothers and sisters, our mission is clear. But before we adjourn, let’s give a word of thanks — nay, a standing ovation! — to Pacific Northwest baseball historian Dave Eskenazi, who discovered these amazing photos and sent them my way a few days ago. I’ve been in a state of bliss ever since.
Like I said, I’m an easy fella to please.
Update: About an hour after this entry was posted, reader Roger Faso came up with this team portrait. Looks like five of the players are wearing the sleeve stripes in that shot.
Bigger Update: Dave Eskenazi has just come up with seven additional photos showing the sleeve stripes. I’ve put them all here.
Mardi Gras in November: The Hornets will unveil their new Mardi Gras alternates this afternoon. I’m not allowed to talk about them until the unveiling begins at 4pm eastern. So at that precise moment, I will post a short new entry here on the blog (probably just a photo and a few sentences) and will also have a new column going live on ESPN. Trust me — love ’em or hate ’em, you sure won’t be able to ignore them.
Uni Watch News Ticker: You’d think the NFL could use its current logo when turning people down for Super Bowl tickets (that’s the letter Bo Baize got). … Big Ohio State riflery photo gallery here, and a Miami riflery gallery here. … A little birdie — okay, a little birdie named Moe Khan — tells me the CFL will switch to having the home team wear white next season. … Kevin Marks got an excellent shot of Lendale White wearing what appears to be three pairs of socks (or two pairs plus a calf sleeve, whatever, same diff). … CJ Giannuzzi spotted this guy at last Sunday’s Steelers/Bengals game. … Wanna buy 200 really cool vintage sports T-shirts? I have just the link for you. … Jonathan Cain wonders why Benny the Bull’s uniform doesn’t match what the team wears. … You can really see the difference between the Packers’ seamless and standard jerseys here and here (with thanks to Jacob Shell). … This photo is full of Very Famous People but I’m not gonna tell you who they are because it’s such a great photo — why ruin it with celebrity baggage? (But Jen Muller knows who they are.) … Hey look, a big sportswear company has decided to treat its sweatshop workers like human beings after all. What a concept. … Memphis had one player going NNOB last night. Not sure of the story behind that (as spotted by Chris Salove). … Extremely garish new uniform for the Brisbane Lions (with thanks to Heather Hamilton). … Someone has started a petition demanding that the MLB Network air the Dock Ellis no-hitter. Not a bad cause, but it would be even cooler if they’d air the No Mas-produced Dock Ellis no-hitter animation.