Uni Watch wouldn’t be nearly as good as it is if not for all the tips, info, screen shots, and discoveries that so many of you generously share with me. Today, in the spirit of the holidays, is the day I give something back. Or, if you’re more cynical, it’s the day I clean out all the crap that’s been accumulating in my desk drawers over the past year. Either way, two dozen of you stand to win something for free, because I’m raffling off a bunch of stuff. Here’s what’s available (with apologies for the truly crappy photography):
Lot 1: A free Uni Watch membership.
Lot 3: An MLB 100th-anniversary sleeve patch, autographed by MLB logo designer Jerry Dior.
Lot 4: A bunch of cool old sportswear tags.
Lot 5: A spectacularly garish Mets belt buckle.
Lot 6: An awesome vintage 49ers mini-pennant.
Lot 8: An “eco-friendly” Reebok/NHL T-shirt. Includes press release explaining the supposed eco-friendliness. Tagged as size XL; measures 25″ pit-to-pit.
Lot 10: A different 76ers T-shirt, blank on back. Includes NBA and Adidas tagging. Marked as a large but measures 24.5″ pit-to-pit, which means it’s really more of an XL.
Lot 12: Baseball Cards of the Houston Astros booklet. Shows all of the Colt .45s and Astros Topps cards from 1962 through 1986. Also includes 50¢ coupon for Surf laundry detergent with no expiration date!
Lot 13: “I’m Calling It Shea” T-shirt, size large.
Lot 14: “I Still Call It Joe Robbie” T-shirt, size medium.
Lot 15: “I Still Call It Mile High” T-shirt, size medium.
Lot 16: “I Still Call It the Jake” T-shirt, size medium.
Lot 17: Hebrewers T-shirt by Tararrel & Sons. Tagged as a medium but has a very slim cut — more like a generous small.
Lot 19: A Ravens/Orioles mash-up cap, complete with catastrophically upside-down apostrophe. Significantly more purple than the photo indicates. One size fits most (elastic headband).
Lot 20: Five pairs of MLB batting gloves, assorted styles and sizes. Yes, these are left over from last year’s holiday raffle.
Lot 21: Vintage Asheville Tourists T-shirt with awesome Teddy Tourist embroidery. Purchased at McCormick Field in 1997-ish, worn a few times, and then forgotten at the bottom of my T-shirt draw for a decade-plus. No size tagging but is basically a boxy medium or a snug large.
Lot 22: Vintage Meats T-shirt with massive NY insignia on the back. Given to me as an Xmas present several years ago but rarely worn because (a) I tend not to wear royal blue tees, and (b) it’s too big for me. Later became the basis for this design. No size tagging but measures 21″ pit-to-pit, which means it’s a classic large.
Okay, so that’s what’s up for grabs. Here’s how to go about grabbing it (please read carefully, as some procedures are different from last year):
1) Everyone can submit only one entry for this raffle. Membership Program enrollees are not eligible to send extra entries — for this raffle, I want everyone to be on equal footing.
2) To enter, send your one entry to the new-ish raffle address.
3) In the body of the e-mail, please indicate your top 10 choices, in order of preference, by lot number. If you’re only interested in, say, seven items, then just list your top seven choices; if you want to list more than 10, you can do that too, all the way to 24, but I don’t really expect anyone to go that far. I’ll do my best to accommodate everyone’s choices.
4) Please include your shipping address.
Entry deadline is 10pm eastern next Wednesday, December 23rd. I’ll announce the winners on Christmas Day.
One additional note: A few of these items are gifts that some of some of you have thoughtfully sent me over the past year. Believe me, I genuinely appreciate each and every item you folks send my way. But sometimes I have duplicates on certain items, or I can’t find a good place for a particular item in my home, or I’ve gotten some enjoyment out of an item but am now ready to let someone else enjoy it. No offense intended — thanks for understanding.
Culinary Corner: Tonight I’m going to be making this monster 34-ounce ribeye for dinner. The best way to cook it, of course, would be to toss it on the grill, but I don’t grill in the winter, and most of you probably don’t either. Indoor-wise, the classic methods would be either cooking it over very high heat in a cast iron skillet or putting it under the broiler, but both of those methods can leave your kitchen very smoky (my kitchen doesn’t have an exhaust fan), plus this steak is nearly two inches thick, which means the exterior would probably end up nearly incinerated by the time the center reached medium-rare. What to do?
This: I’m going to melt about half a stick of butter in my cast iron skillet over medium heat — not high — until it starts to foam and sizzle. Then I’m going to put the steak (which I’ll already have rubbed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and brought to room temperature) into the skillet and cook it for about six or seven minutes per side, until a nice crust forms. Then I’ll pop the skillet into a 325-degree oven until a meat thermometer says the steak has hit 120 degrees. Then I’ll take the steak out and let it rest until it comes up to 140.
The beauty of this method is that you get a nice external crust (and some buttery flavor) without smoking up the whole house. It’s a little counterintuitive, because most of us have been told for years that steaks should be cooked over the highest possible heat, but it turns out that that’s not the only way. For steaks that aren’t as thick, you can reduce the stovetop time to four or five minutes per side and skip the oven segment of the procedure altogether. I’ve been cooking all my steaks this way for the past seven years or so (well, except for the ones I cook outside in the summer), and it’s nearly fool-proof. Plus it won’t set off the smoke detector.
Signal Flare: Hey, Mike Kinney, please give me a shout. Thanks.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Looks like Justin Smith has an Anheuser-Busch logo tattoo (good spot by Joe Hirsch). … Jess Haines attended Sunday’s Packers/Bears game and noticed a few things from his spot behind the Green Bay sideline: “First, all the offensive linemen sit on their own bench in order. The receivers sit on their own bench in depth chart order (Donald Driver is first, but hidden by the equipment case; also, you can see Jermichael Finley’s newfangled jersey with its tiny NOB). And long snapper Brett Goode had a well-placed hole in his pants. Watching him practice long snaps all day was not pleasant.” … Yesterday I posted this cover shot from an old Rangers program that Matthew Hackethal recently acquired. Now he’s provided some scans from the interior pages. … Here’s something I hadn’t seen before: the Jackson 5 wearing basketball uniforms (with thanks to Steve King). … New team name and identity package for the Pirates’ high-A affiliate. … Someone on the White Sox will finally be wearing white socks — or at least white sanitaries — now that Juan Pierre is headed to the South Side. … Always fun to see Marty Schottenheimer’s NOB (nice find by Jacob Pomrenke). … Nice work by Shaun Ploenzke, who colorized those shots of Mel Ott and the Cubbie catcher from yesterday’s entry. Boy howdy, is that Cubs jersey hot-cha-cha or what?! … New logo for the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open. Really rolls right off the tounge, no? (With thanks to Kenn Tomasch.) … Yes, it’s true: The Giants will have an alternate cap next season. It’ll be worn with an alternate jersey, but I’m not allowed to talk about that until January. … Dayton will be wearing 1969-70 throwbacks on Saturday (with thanks to Tim Bennett). … Sad news from the design world, where I.D. Magazine, for which I’ve written on and off over the past 15 years, is folding. … Totally swank Georgia Tech marching band uniform piece here. … Check out this box for a MacGregor NFL uniform. Never seen that packaging before. … Hey, Michael Ferry colorized the Mel Ott and Cubbie catcher photos too!