Meet Brent Proulx, assistant equipment manager for the Minnesota Wild and all-around swell guy, who was nice enough to give me and Phil a behind-the-scenes tour after Saturday night’s Wild/Blue Jackets game. He’s proudly holding one of the jersey-themed laundry bags he designed for the team’s players — an excellent example of how he sees everything in uni-centric terms.
I didn’t take many photos during the tour, but here are a few tidbits:
• The Wild locker room has a rug that looks like a hockey rink (which frankly seems a bit too much like a 12-year-old’s bedroom to me, but whatever). The team crest at center ice is exposed on game days but covered at all other times.
• All of the Wild lockers have a little memorial decal for Sergei Zholtok, who died in 2004. There’s also a much larger tribute to him in an adjacent room, but I didn’t get a photo of that.
• Here’s a small news item: If you look at this shot, you can see that the Wild have two different sets of green pants: the kelly-ish set with the stipe down the sides, which they wear with their home and road uniforms, and the slightly darker, hunter-ish set, which doesn’t have a stripe and is worn with the green alternate uni. Brent says they’ll be ditching the striped set next season and going with the hunter set full-time.
• I loved this skate blade shelving unit.
• Here’s the team’s stick room. As you can see, all the sticks are trimmed in Wild colors. But what about these sticks? Those are for players who’ll be participating in the Olympics — the sticks are rendered in their national colors.
• Here’s the thread for the sewing machine Brent uses to make jersey repairs. One spool for each team color (except for the blue spool — Brent told me what that was for, but I’ve already forgotten).
Brent, incidentally, is totally one of us. In addition to designing those laundry bags, he also designs the team’s locker nameplates, and his office was full of uniform tweaks he’d come up with and related ephemera. Uniforms aren’t just his job — they’re his passion. Meeting him was one of the highlights of my weekend.
I’ll have more to say about my Minnesota trip in today’s ESPN column
– link coming soon. which has just been postponed until tomorrow.
Bosox Numerology: Bill Nowlin has just finished co-writing the forthcoming book Red Sox by the Numbers, and yesterday he posted something to the SABR listserv about some interesting anomalies he found along the way:
There was the time in 1955 when Frank Sullivan’s jersey was so drenched with perspiration that he put on several shirts in the course of one game. The third was one #9. And this during a game when [Ted] Williams was playing left field, so there were TWO players wearing #9 in the same
game. Frank and I pinned down the game as the August 28 game in Kansas City.
Then there was the game in more recent times, in 2003, when Mike Cubbage simply put on one of fellow coach Ron Jackson’s shirts in error and didn’t realize it until after an inning or two.
Luis Tiant wore #23 most of the time, but there was one game in 1975 when Rogelio (Roger) Moret wore 23. Thieves had broken into the clubhouse and stolen some of the shirts, including Moret’s #29, so he wore one of Luis’s shirts.
Fascinating stuff, and a good reminder that things aren’t always so cut-and-dried as most of us would like to think.
Freebie Reminder: Today’s the last day to enter for the Soul Power DVD + T-shirt giveaway. Details here.
Contest Reminder: And tomorrow is the deadline for submitting your Cooperstown Hawkeyes logo design. Further details on that one are here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Good article about Ryan Miller’s Olympic mask here (with thanks to Bill Jones). … Can’t go wrong with a photo that’s captioned “Cleveland’s New Pro Cagers,” am I right? (Thanks, Vince.) … Looks like the Reds are giving away some nice throwback caps this season (with thanks to Joshua Exline). … The Capitals will be wearing 35th-season patch on February 5th (as reported by Mike Rucki). … Dept. of Not-So-Good Ideas: Eastern Washington is changing its football field to red turf (with thanks to Rob Leavell). … Dave Murray nominates this 1975 Hostess card for the title of Worst Airbrush Job Ever. “Note that they didn’t remove the Expos logo on the jersey, and only bothered to add some of the pinstripes. Staub had already been with the Mets three seasons when this thing came out!” … Here’s a serious rarity: a photo of Kurt Rambis in a Knicks uniform! The story behind it is pretty fascinating — look here. … Here’s Germany’s road kit for the World Cup — pretty nice (with thanks to Terence Kearns). … Miguel Tejada, who used to wear No. 10 for the Orioles, will wear No. 9 this time around (with thanks to Andrew Cosentino). … Whoa, check out U.S. Olympic snowboarding gear! It’s actually Gore-Tex, not wool or denim. Pretty cool concept (as noted on the Chris Creamer board).