By Phil Hecken, featuring the memorabilia collection of Dan Martell
A few weeks ago I got an E-mail from frequent Uni Watch “tweaker” Dan Martell, who you may remember from various uni tweaks (scroll down) over the past several months during my “uni tweaks” sections, and who showed me a set of pictures from his personal memorabilia collection. Intrigued, I asked him to tell me more.
Dan, who it turns out is not only an artist (if you didn’t look at his uni tweaks, go back and do so now), AND a memorabilia nut, he’s also a black belt in karate (more on that below). Now, that in and of itself is pretty amazing, but he attained his belt at the age of 10! He agreed to pen the following, which is just a taste of his collection. Dan happens to collect a lot of things Yankee- and Blue Shirt-related, but I promised not to hold that against him.
Having not had much time to devote to UW this past week, I haven’t had the ability to really follow up with Dan about his pursuits, but I’m sure he has some incredible stories. Perhaps next time. But for now, here’s a wonderful look at Dan’s “stuff”:
Ever since I could remember I was a collector, from model cars, to golf balls from various courses, to hats and more notably sport memorabilia. For me the collection of memorabilia really picked up when I was 7 years old. My father took me to my first convention where many retired Yankee players were signing autographs from that day I have a baseball and a hat signed by numerous players. To this day I still don’t know who signed the ball and hats but yet I still keep it. I even remember going into a store to buy the team photos of the 1927 Murders Row and the 1977 World Series Championship pictures and the shop owner saying “I’ve never seen a kid who wanted these.”
Since then I have amassed a good deal of memorabilia from my favorite teams and players. But when it came down to it my collection is largely Yankee and Ranger items. As my parents have decided to sell my childhood home it became apparent that I needed to move most of my items out of the house and into my apartment. I decided to share some of my more uni-centric items with Phil and my fellow Uniwatch readers.
First up is a sign I believe my grandparents gave me. What I like about this piece is it gives an old time Yankees feel to it. I mean when was the last time you went to the stadium and saw Root Beer for 5 cents or even Meloroll or Egg Cream even for sale. As a person that loves the fact that history is so prevalent in baseball this sign just reminds me of 1920’s baseball.
Next is a sign I received one year for Christmas. This sign goes through the history of the Yankees uniform and the changes that have occurred over the years (right up the Uni-Watch alley if you ask me). Again this has the feel of old baseball history that makes me think to the days of Babe Ruth.
[Phil here. Here’s the breakdown on nine of those images:]
(1) Beginning with the Baltimore Orioles in 1901, and up through the early Highlander Days of 1904 & 1910.
(2) The uniform of today looks very similar to this one introduced in 1912.
(3) Perhaps the greatest team ever assembled, this “Murderer’s Row” uniform was worn by the 1927 Yanks.
(6) Next up, the World Series unis of 1978 & 1981 (both against the Dodgers); note the memorial arm band in ’81 for Elston Howard.
(7) The 1996 and 1998 World Series winning teams both sported the now ubiquitous World Series patches on the right sleeve.
(8) The 2000 uniform would also be worn in a victorious World Series, taking the first “subway series” since 1956 from the crosstown Mets 4 games to 1. Note the memorial arm band for Bob Lemon.
(9) The final close up, the 2003 uniform, which would mark the Yankees last World Series appearance until 2009, when they again returned to the summit, capturing their 27th World Championship.
As the Yankees began winning in 1996 my collection of Yankee hats went into full swing. The first hat I bought was the Yankees vs Braves 1996 World Series hat followed by the victory hat. This of course was before I knew what a New Era Authentic Hat was or that patches on the side of the hats. That didn’t occur until the 1997 All-Star Game. I bought that hat and wore it for over a year until the Yankees got to the 1998 World Series. From 1999 to 2003 each year I bought a New Era cap and the subsequent victory cap (when they won). I would wear the New Era cap as long as the series lasted and then would hang the hat up in my collection. This past year was actually the first year where I did not get a New Era hat or a victory cap. Also in my collection I have an old Yankee hat my father used to wear in the 70’s and 80’s. More recently I purchased a replica 1928 Yankees hat I wear this hat occasionally. In total I have about 15 different Yankee Caps.
Even though Mark McGwire has had his issues over the last few years, as a kid I absolutely loved him and I still have continued respect for the man. Among my memorabilia items I began collecting McGwire and subsequently Sosa items. Of course at that time the whole steroids issue wasn’t as well known and as a naïve 12 year old I began following the race and collecting whatever I could get my hands on. I bought framed posters, plaques, a limited edition ceramic paintings, and various drawings.
Now one of my favorite items is from the Mark Messier retirement game. At that game I was able to buy a banner in memory of his retirement which happens to be a replica of the banner currently hanging at Madison Square Garden. The stick you see on top of the jersey is actually a signed stick by Mark Messier in commemoration for the winning goal in the 1994 Stanley Cup. When my dad came home with that stick I almost died.
And finally, although much of collecting life has been geared towards other people’s accomplishments I do have a little item dedicated to my own accomplishments. It has become my favorite piece of my collection just because I earned it on my own. I’m talking about my karate belt rack (the top of the rack has a sword my brother picked up for me while in Japan). From the ages of 7 to 15 I did karate and loved it. By the time I was 10 I had earned my black belt. Unfortunately, I ended up giving it up to center fully on golf tournaments right as I was about to take my second degree black belt test. Giving it up was one of my few regrets.
Thanks to everyone for reading. I had a lot of fun remembering all of these items. I will continue to collect and if anyone is interested in seeing some more of items just give me a shout.
So there you have it, fellow Uni Watchers. Pretty nice collection (and from the pictures, you can see Dan has a lot more we’ve yet to get into). But any questions you may have, fire away. I know many of you are also collectors (I happen to merely collect junk and bills, along with dozens of crappy replica jerseys, t-shirts and caps), and I’m intrigued by those who are serious about it.
Great stuff, Dan. Thanks for sharing. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from you (in the uni tweaking department AND the memorabilia department) in the future.
From The Squiddie Files: Ahhhhhh…the Sweet Sixteen® — or what remains of it — will be completed this weekend, as we get ready to see what survivors advance to the Final Four® (and then, the beginning of the REAL season — baseball season — starts). But before any of that, Lance Smith is here to turn back the pages of Life, and this wonderful look at college basketball before the shot clock and the SOD. Here’s Squiddie:
When it comes to sports, Life archives contain a lot of baseball, some football and everything else is hit or miss. Search for basketball and you’re just as likely to find a photo of poet Carl Sandberg (holding the ball) and his Lombard College basketball team as a photo of the practice of the 1938 Indiana basketball team. So this week in honor of March Madness I’ve just grabbed some, I hope, interesting random basketball pics.
Let’s look at some photos.
Pete Maravich and his loose socks at LSU.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lew Alcindor at the time) playing for UCLA.
Oscar Robertson in Cincinnati.
US women crush Soviets in the important socks and uni competition.
The best NYU could do in the NIT was two second place finishes. This team lost to St Louis in 1948.
Great stuff, as usual Squiddie. Where but UW can you find Bradley coeds, donkeyball and large Soviet women in one place? (Perhaps that’s a question to which we don’t want an answer.)
Guess The Game From The Scoreboard: OK, I’ll be honest with you — I KNOW the answer and I still can’t figure it out. Why? That’s because the pseudonymous Coachie Ballgames has a devil of a guest scoreboard today. Partial credit for even knowing the sport. Ready? Guess The Game From The Scoreboard. Date, location and final score, please, and be sure to link to your answer. And, as always, if you enjoy the game, please send me some new scoreboards! Drop me a line. Thanks!
Back again with more Uniform Tweaks, Concepts and Revisions today. Lots to get to, and if you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.
Kicking off today is Andrew Hall, who brings us his new vision for the Seahawks of Seattle:
The Seahawks rank highest on the “Redesign-Needed” poll. The 3 concepts (Home Uniform, Road Uniform and Alternate Uniform) are remodeled variations of the current look. The helmet is would have the same paint as the Jaguars, with a Silver shine on a Seahawk-Blue base. The logo would stay on the helmet, minus the white outlines. This look keeps the seperated sleeves, white bringing back the stripes in a new fashion. The head of the logo would be staring at the DBs as the Seahawks WR blow past them. The stripes on the pants represent folded wings, laying to the side of the hypothetical Seahawk body.
There is a silver pant as well as blue to offer variations and combinations. Just something I did last night. Thoughts?
Up second today is Skott Schoonover who has a few NFL tweaks for us:
Here’s a couple uni tweaks for you. I know two are the same, but I couldn’t decide which I liked the design better for, the Browns or the Dolphins. I also made a design for the Bills (with a tweaked logo), and one for the Lions (also with a tweaked shield logo). Hope you like them.
Moving along, we have Justin Wang who has a remake for the Golden State Warriors:
Here’s a very traditionalist redesign for the Golden State Warriors, done in MS Paint.
— Justin Wang
Closing down the show today is Matt Stewart, who has a few different concepts for the Broncos of Denver:
The Broncos need only to look to their past to find the future. The “D” with the modern horse is a marriage of old and new. As far as the throwback, I wasn’t trying to recreate the old AFL uniforms, but I felt like I achieved a throwback feel with the checkered pattern on the helmet and pants.
Thus ends the tweak show for today. Check back for more next time.
That’s it for this post, folks. The Elite Eight® remain, baseball is but a week away, Tiger tees it up at Augusta in less than two weeks, the NFL Draft is around the corner, puck & hoop playoffs beckon, and the countdown to the World Cup™ has begun. Life is good.
The hurricane flooded me out of a lot of memorabilia, but it can’t flood out the memories. — Tom Dempsey