As you may have noticed, Grey Flannel Auctions recently signed on as a sponsor — a nice partnership, since I’ve been reporting on their auction items for years. Here are some of the more interesting items from their current auction catalog:
• Old sideline capes are always cool, even if they’re from the NFL’s most annoying team.
If you want to check out additional items, the full auction catalog is here.
The Proctor Files, Continued: Yesterday I mentioned that the Rochester Lancers used different uni number fonts for the front and back of their jersey. That prompted the following note from sporting goods maven Terry Proctor:
I’m partially responsible for the Lancers using two different numeral fonts. We (Ruby’s Sporting Goods) sold the Lancers those striped jerseys in 1968 when they were still in the old American Soccer League. Dick Howard, the goalie at the time, came into our store to order the Lancers’ uniforms. Dick was from England and liked the Bukta jersey style with the stripes. So we contacted the U.S.A. distributor for Bukta, the Peter Green Co. Ltd of West Chester, Pennsylvania, and placed the order for the knit-in striped jerseys, royal blue nylon soccer shorts, and solid athletic gold soccer socks.
The special-order uniforms came in to us directly from England. We had them lettered in Rochester by the Holley-Messner Corp.. who did most of the screen-printing and tackle twill for the Rochester market. The Lancers, who were always a seat-of-the-pants organization, could only afford one-color numbers on the back and no logo for the ’68 season. It was my idea to have the numbers sewn on with black thread to give them a little contrast. H-M used Stahls Pro Block, which is basically plain block, for the back numbers.
When the Lancers joined the NASL in 1970, they decided to spruce up the old striped shirts with the logo patch and front numbers, instead of buying new jerseys. We ordered the embroidered logo patches from Voyager Emblems in Canada through their U.S. broker. Then we had Rose Yacuzzo, our own seamstress, add the front numbers. Rose used Stahls Varsity Block font as her stock style, and that’s the reason for the different fonts.
The Greatest Achievement in Human History, Update: Remember those 1956 Portland Beavers undersleeve stripes, which I was so excited about a few days ago? Dave Eskenazi, who provided me with those photos, has now come up with seven additional pics that show the sleeve stripes. Oh man, does that look awesome or what? And Dave says he probably has more photos buried in his archive, including some action shots. “Coming your way as I excavate them,” he says — can’t wait.
The funny thing about all this is that Dave has apparently known about the sleeve stripes for ages but never thought to mention them to me. The main reason he sent me those first two photos — the ones that formed the basis of my Wednesday post — is that they were in color. Color PCL photos from the 1940s and ’50s are rare, so he was excited to share them with me. He mentioned the sleeve stripes in his e-mail, but he was clearly jazzed about the color, not the stripes. Makes you wonder how many other amazing uni-related tidbits have fallen through the cracks because nobody thought they were noteworthy.
Meanwhile, as you may recall, Jerry Cohen of Ebbets Field Flannels said the striped shirts couldn’t be reproduced in small quantities. But I got a note last night from Bob Halfacre — formerly of AIS Sports and now running his own Bobcat Athletic operation — as follows:
I am pretty sure we can make these in smaller lots. Maybe 100 pieces? We use a local knitter that can knit the striped sleeve panels, it’s just a question of their minimum. I’ll ask, and in the next week or so I’ll try and figure out what these would cost to do.
It would be good to gauge the readership’s interest in a shirt like the one in the Beavers photos. Would you consider buying one for the right price? If so, let me know.
Uni Watch News Ticker: That new powder blue Royals cap, aka the worst-kept secret of the off-season, has now officially been unveiled. … What’s worse than unveiling a really ugly new rugby kit? Unveiling a really ugly new rugby kit and bragging about it. … Here’s a weird one: an old shirt collar with a little bats/ball logo and a “Red Sox” imprint. … Other good eBay finds: a gorgeous rawlings undershirt, an interesting baseball cap, a really nice 1960s baseball jersey (way overpriced, though), a seriously old wool jersey, an Ohio State baseball jersey, a really nice jersey script, a baseball jersey made by Everlast (!), a seriously garish 49ers tee, a simple but very classy cycling jersey, etc. … Jacoby Ellsbury is changing his uni number from 46 to 2. … Check out the awesome maple leaf sleeve patch worn by the 1915 Victoria Bees (typically awesome contribution from Dave Eskenazi). … The Florida Panthers will finally unveil their alternate jersey on Monday evening. I’ll have an insta-review here on the site, much like what I did for the Mardi Gras design on ESPN, at 7:30pm Monday. … Nice visual timeline of Virginia Tech helmet history here (with thanks to Mike Kennedy). … Alberto Rodriguez-Baez sent along some great photos from his mid-1980s youth football team in Monterrey, Mexico. I didn’t realize there was such a football youth culture in Mexico, but Alberto says, “The football tradition [in Monterrey] is h-u-g-e! Growing up in Mexico, my favorite sport wasn’t soccer, but football. Football is still my favorite sport by far.” … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Tremendous color footage from the 1957 NFL championship game (Browns vs. Lions) here and here. … UC-Irvine now wearing yellow at home (with thanks to Nick Fox). … DIY news from Joe DeAngelis, who writes: “I had an annoying vacant spot in my sports room that called for some décor. I didn’t want to place a generic poster or photo but wanted something unique to display. So, after a trip to the local arts and crafts store and spending approximately $25 on supplies, I created a piece I’m very proud of. Granted, it’s no Picasso, especially up-close, but it’s created directly from my eyes and hands, and it’s become a nice conversation piece.” … Oh Dear. Full details here (with thanks to Ethan Hagen). … Will DeFord‘s wife has been making Chargers-themed cupcakes. … That was some bright game last night at the Garden. …