Quiet day in the NFL yesterday, at least uni-wise, so let’s skip the football today and look at something else. To wit: Back in January I wrote an entry about the excellent Vintage Minnesota Hockey site. I hadn’t visited that site in a while, but a few days ago I learned that they’d uncovered something pretty fascinating. Here — take a look.
As you can see, the logo on those jerseys is different from the standard North Stars logo. Different TV number font, too. So was that a minor league team wearing a knockoff logo? Nope — those were your Minnesota North Stars, as they looked during their inaugural preseason in 1967. They apparently went to the more familiar logo when the regular season started, but the preseason logo variation ended up appearing on magazine covers, hockey cards, publicity stills, and so on.
Maybe this is old news to serious hockey fans (and to Ricko, who no doubt attended several of those 1967 preseason games), but it was an absolute revelation to me. According to the Vintage Minnesota Hockey site’s analysis of the situation (which you can find in the middle of this page):
We are not 100% [sure] as to how long this style of logo was used but think it may have only been for the Stars’ pre-season games from October 11-16. In looking at other early photos of the Stars 1967 season, one can see that the players’ crests appear to be adhered or taped onto the jerseys loosely. We think that the public, owners, or graphic artist hired to produce the N-Stars logo and number font hated the appearance of the early jerseys [and] stripped them off and re-worked the logo and numbers and re-cut twill for these jerseys that was then later sewn on.
Faaaascinating. So amazing to think that a team could just tweak its logo on the fly back in those days. Reminds me of the ’62 Mets, who announced that their uniform would look like this on 1/19/62 and then eliminated the script’s tail and the striped socks in time for spring training a month later.
Anyway, did everyone else already know about this early version of the North Stars’ logo? Fill me in, people.
One final note: If you go back to that first photo I linked to, you can see that the pants had lace-up flies. Don’t think we’ve ever discussed that element of hockey pants. Was it common in the late ’60s?
Deep Freeze Update: If you’re planning on attending the Uni Watch Deep Freeze in Minneapolis next month (Jan. 22-24), Ricko and Teebz need to hear from you so they can confirm a block of rooms at the local Ramada, which is currently quoting a rate of $71.20 per night. If you want in, please e-mail Teebz immediately and let him know how many nights you’re in for, how many people, etc.
Research Project: I’m currently working on my “Most Unusual Uni Moments of the Decade” column, which will run on ESPN on Wednesday. It’s shaping up as a doozy (so many interesting incidents I’d forgotten about until I went back through my archives), but contributions and nominations are still welcome. If you have any suggestions, contact me asap.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Here are some ideas for next season’s Winter Classic. … Cooperstown Ballcap Co. has gone belly-up (sad news delivered by Paul Ziobro). … Missouri and Illinois went color-on-color last Weds. night. “I was having a lot of trouble distinguishing the gold from orange,” says Kevin Zdancewicz. … Joey Morris notes that some of NC State’s NOBs are radially arched, while others are straight. “It appears that all the freshmen’s NOBs are straight, while the returning players’ are arched,” he says. “I wonder if this is related to their aborted jersey redesign, which they decided to scrap, and then they just kept the jerseys from last year instead of ordering new ones. Of course the freshmen wouldn’t have had jerseys last year.” … Over two dozen new images — mostly from bowl games — have been added to Andy Moursund’s set of vintage program covers. … Barely two minutes into Friday’s Chargers/Titans game, Kris Dielman already had a busted bolt (screen shot courtesy of Rob Ullman). … Big Ben dressed up as his QB coach the other day. … This shot is from a 2008 Wisconsin semi-pro game between the Fox Valley Force vs. the West Bend Junkyard Dogs. Note that the defender has begun to peel off the ball-carrier’s uni number. A moment later, he was left clutching a shred of the numeral and the runner was left with a partial 2 (with thanks to Caleb Bentz). … Good video of UCLA’s football gear being packed for the team’s upcoming bowl game (with thanks to Erkki Corpuz). … Interesting soccer incident described by Dave Cappel, who writes: “In the late stages of a game, the Pohang Steelers goalie was issued a red card. Having already used up all of their substitutions, the team couldn’t bring in a reserve goalie, so they had to put a field player in goal. However, he had to wear a goalkeeper’s jersey, and I guess the team didn’t have an extra one since they had to stop the game for quite a while to go into the locker room and get the jersey from the ejected goalkeeper. Not only was the replacement keeper wearing the wrong nameplate, he was wearing a jersey previously worn by a teammate in the same game.” … Terence Kearns‘s latest DIY project: a Tottenham Hotspur retro track jacket. “You’ll be happy to know I de-swooshed a Nike track jacket to make it,” he says. “I fear Powers might be mad, but I think it is spot on!” … Excellent NJ Devils observation from Zak McGinniss, who writes: “Unless a player joining the Devils is already an established all-star, he’ll be assigned a number from 1 to 30. This has led to three different players wearing the same number in a year, or a player being sent down to the minors and his replacement immediately taking his number. Numbers 3 and 4 are retired, and 13 has never been issued since the Devils moved to New Jersey. This finally reached a breaking point this year, and now defenseman Matt Corrente is sporting number 32, the first player to wear a number over 30 since Stephane Richer did in it the year 2000.” … Coupla screen shots from Shaun Tunick: First, check out Dan Marino with some rather sloppily cut-off sleeves. And who is No. 84 in this shot? Is that a McNOB with a space between the “Mc” and the rest of the surname, or is that a pair of initials, or what? … Granted, it’s just one sentence in a Wikipedia entry, so take with a grain of seasoning, but this page says the 1929 Newark Tornadoes “experimented with using letters instead of numbers on player jerseys.” Anyone know more about this? (As forwarded by Rob Leavell.) … Phil isn’t the only one who likes to play “Guess the Scoreboard.” Over on the always-excellent Fleer Sticker Project site, webmaster Jon Helfenstein recently found an old slide his father had shot decades earlier. He describes how he figured out which game it was here. … Reprinted from last night’s comments: Mickel Yantz scanned a super-cool 1952 Tacoma Rockets program.