It all began last week when memorabilia maven Mike Hersh drew my attention to this photo of Red Faber. “Look at his hat,” Mike wrote. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen that crossed-socks logo before.”
The photo was from a huge trove of old wire service baseball photos currently up for bids at Legendary Auctions. Intrigued by Mike’s find, I began poking through the hundreds of other photos in the auction and came up with a ton of noteworthy images. Let’s take a look:
• Here’s another shot of the crossed-socks logo that Mike spotted. Note that it’s also being worn as a sleeve patch.
• Can anyone explain why Chick Gandil had safety pins on his pants?
• I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it: MLB needs to ditch the dugout jackets and bring back sweaters (but maybe not that overcoat). Further convincing evidence here, here, and here (texture!).
• Check out the great textured chain-stitching in the birds on James Bottomley’s jersey.
• This is Tris Speaker, offering an excellent view of the Senators’ late-’20s sleeve patch.
• Speaking of the Sens, here’s an awesome shot of their 1910 uni (which would make a great throwback for the Nats, no?). Interestingly, Okkonen shows a serifed W, not the sans serif version shown in the photo.
• What interests me about this photo is the guy standing at right with his back to the camera. Look — a shoulder yoke! Never seen that on a baseball jersey before.
• If MLB insists on having a unique template for BP caps, they could do a lot worse than this. Totally digging the way the colored band runs around the base of crown.
• Speaking of pockets, here’s a good view of the one worn by the Pirates in the late teens.
• Maybe the White Sox should’ve gone with dark chest protectors back in the day. Looks like a brand-new catcher’s mitt, too!
• This is Silk O’Loughlin, an American League umpire from 1902-1918. Love the striped tie.
• Oh man, what I wouldn’t give to see the Yankees go back to this hosiery design.
• Speaking of socks, here’s a great view of the color on top, white on the bottom format that was common in the early days of stirrups (the idea was to hide the existence of the white sanitary). Remind you of anything? It is, of course, exactly what NFL players are supposed to wear, although few of them adhere to the mid-shin color-break point anymore.
• Coupla interesting things about this shot: First, the W on the sleeve almost looks like a little pocket, no? Or maybe there’s an inner pocket behind it, on the inside of the sleeve. Also, note the chest “patch,” or whatever it is. I’m guessing this shot is from 1917, when the Senators wore a flag-based shield, but in the photo it looks more like a pinned-on ribbon than a patch.
• Look at this cap! That’s Hick Cady, who played with the Red Sox from 1912 through 1917. If you look at the Okkonen templates from those seasons, you’d never guess that their cap ever had such a short brim.
• Don’t think I’ve ever seen a photo of this Cubbies jersey. GodDAMN, that’s a great insignia! The Okkonen version gives no hint of how awesome this design was. (This is another one I’d love to see colorized, if anyone’s so inclined.)
• Here we have the best photo I’ve ever seen of the White Sox’s special 1917 World Series uniform. That’s Chisox skipper Clarence Rowland and his daughter.
• Most of these photos were either posed or taken during pregame warm-ups, so it’s almost startling to see an action shot. Love the lines in that image — great sense of energy. Additional action shots here, here, and here.
That should be enough to keep everyone busy today. Hope you enjoyed these images as much as I did.
Sponsor Shout-Out: You may have noticed that we have a new advertiser: Ticket Journal, which is basically a hardbound album for displaying and saving your ticket stubs. I’ve been provided with a sample album and can attest that it’s a high-quality quality product — good binding, good paper, good design and production values. Of course, most of today’s tickets, which are just PDF printouts, aren’t exactly worthy of enshrinement. But if you have a big envelope full of cherished old stubs, like I do, this could be just what you’ve been waiting for.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Here’s the deal on that Navy player with a Seahawks patch: “There’s a Marine Corps air squadron, VMAQ-4, that’s known as the Seahawks,” explains Cory Wienckowski. “They have the Seahawks logo on the tail of their aircraft.” … Newcastle’s deal with Adidas is over (with thanks to Terence Kearns). … Robert G. Heft has died. He’s the guy who designed the 50-star American flag (with thanks to Jeff Fishman). … New logo for the Mobile Bay Bears. Jonathon Binet says it reminds him of this, but I think it draws more heavily from this. New uniforms and cap, too. … Also from Jonathon: Early in the year, the Jags’ non-Riddell nose bumpers featured the team’s new wordmark, but lately they’ve switched to a raised, rubberized version of their helmet logo. … New logo for UEFA EURO 2012, whatever that is (with thanks to Stephen Wong). … Cycling news from Jeff Mayer, who writes: “The Lance-less Astana team broke out new duds this weekend, going from this to this. Bad presentation form, though. As much as Specialized wanted to splash their red logo distractingly throughout the jersey, you’d think they’d get a new T-shirt or two printed up so that Bert and Vino wouldn’t be sporting last year’s Nike casualwear at the presser.” .. Here’s a pretty cool video clip: pitcher Jason Grilli giving a guided tour of all the jerseys he’s worn (nice find by Chris Josephson). … Matthew Hackethal picked up this gorgeous 1952 Rangers program during a recent visit to MSG. … Becky Taylor reports that Georgia Public Broadcasting is working on a special called As If We Were Ghosts, about sports in the segregated Georgia Interscholastic Association. Judging by the fantastic footage in the trailer, it looks like a winner. … Another Monday Night Football telecast, another helmet mistake by ESPN. The Niners lid should have a gray facemask, natch (with thanks to Jeff La Haie). … Speaking of last night’s game, Justin Smith tore his pants (screen shot courtesy of Aaron Wiens). … Meanwhile, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie gave new meaning to black for black’s sake. … This kneecap brought to you by Nike. … Great report from Andy Head, who writes: “The Detroit color guy during Monday night’s Wings/Coyotes game just said that the Red Wings’ equipment manager keeps a full home and road uniform set on hand for every single player under contract for the Wings, so he’s always ready when there are last-minute call-ups and doesn’t have to scramble.” … “I liked NHL alternate jerseys sooooo much better when they were way out there, like the first alternate jerseys of the Kings, Canucks, Coyotes, Penguins, and even the Rangers,” says Josh Jedwab. “They were truly different from the teams’ regular home and away jerseys. The newer alternates of teams like the Wild and Avalanche may be ‘nice’ or ‘sharp,’ but they’re sterile, corporate. They lack the sense of fun that the early alternates had.” With that in mind, he’s designed some interesting alternate concepts for the Islanders. … Absolutely spectacular hockey crest here. “It was titled as ‘M. Georges Monier (club hockey), St-André,'” says Jeff Barak.