Okay, so I know Phil devoted a lot of space to baseball hosiery yesterday, but we’re gonna spend a little more time on that topic today, because this past weekend featured some of the most aesthetically pleasing diamond match-ups in recent memory.
First, some quick background: As I’ve been steadily noting in the Ticker over the past few weeks, lots of college teams have been going high-cuffed this season. Not sure if this is really a new groundswell of old-schoolitude or if there are just more photos floating around the web and/or more readers noticing those photos and sending them my way, but we’re definitely approaching critical high-cuffed mass here.
Example No. 1: Slippery Rock U. in Pennsylvania is sporting these beauties. Even better, over the weekend they played Gannon U., creating a classic hosiery hoedown. Is that a cure for what ails ya or what? The problem, of course, is that only some of the Rock’s players are going high-cuffed. Still, a stripe-obsessed fella like myself can’t help but see this as a very encouraging sign.
Example No. 2: Texas A&M hosted Mizzou for a game on Friday. Now, the Aggies have been going high-cuffed for at least a season or two now, so it’s no surprise to see them looking my-t-fine. The real revelation was Missouri — yabba dabba do! Not only do the socks feature some killer stripes (okay, so they’re not stirrups, but I think trading ’rups for striped socks is an equitable deal), but the uni fabric has a very flannel-like look. And who makes this marvelous uniform? Wow, who’da thunk! Nice to know they can make a nice uni if they want to (or if the school insists on one).
Example No. 3: A&M and Mizzou played again the next day. This time the Aggies wore their pinstriped vest uni — nice (except for some unfortunate pinstripus interruptus). Meanwhile, the Tigers stuck with the same road grays from the day before — nothing new, but I’d have to say this is in the running for all-time Uni Watch money shot. Look, even bunting looks kickass when you’re wearing striped hose, to say nothing of a stretch at first base. (More photos from this game here.)
One question about all this lower-leg action: Is it actually counter-productive, at least in terms of achieving a high-cuffed revolution at the MLB level? My concern is that if players are required to expose their socks in college and/or in the minors, they’ll start thinking of the high-cuffed look as something annoying that the Man makes them do. Then when they make the bigs, they’ll say, “Screw that — I’m not wearing my pants up high anymore, just like I’m not gonna wear a double-flap helmet either.” And if they don’t decide that on their own, peer pressure will help make the decision for them, since many of their veteran teammates will say, “Hey, kid, you’re in the majors now — wear your pants down, like a pro!”
There are way more minor league and college players than MLBers, of course. Given how many teams require the high-cuffed look throughout their minor league systems, there may actually be more high-cuffed professional players in America right now than pajama-pantsed players. But the MLB players get the most exposure, and have the biggest influence on Little Leaguers and such — they set the tone for everyone else. So I’m wondering if all these high-cuffed college teams might actually be setting up a backlash in the majors.
Then again, if there were no high-cuffed college or minor league teams, that wouldn’t be helpful either. Revolution, apparently, is a complicated business.
(Special thanks to Zack Tanner and Ryan Levy for sounding the alert on this one.)
Uni Watch News Ticker: Reprinted from Friday’s comments: Gotta love this awesome Yankee Stadium vendor’s cap. … Jim Vilk was nice enough to send me some oversized football cards. Love that John Jefferson shot. … The football Giants have struck an apparel deal with menswear designer Joseph Abboud (with thanks to Tom Turner). … Hideki Matsui’s been wearing some pretty groovy wristbands. … After wearing “LW” on his cap as a memorial to a fallen friend, Troy Tulowitzki has now moved on to eye black. … Jason Heyward, the non-roster invitee who’s made the Braves’ Opening Day roster, now has a new uni number to go along with his new status (with thanks to Britton Thomas). … Was at a party a few nights ago and saw this dude wearing a shirt with awesome sleeve striping. He said it was a 1920s football jersey. … Jenny Sweet recently scored this vintage Bills jersey on eBay. “When she bid on it, she didn’t realize it still had its original NFL SuperPro Club tag attached,” writes her boyfriend, Jason Bernard. “Evidently, the SuperPro Club was some kind of NFL fan club for kids. As you can see from the back of the tag, membership kits were slated to be mailed September 1, 1982. Wouldn’t it be amazing to get your hands on one of those kits?” Indeed. I’d never heard of the SuperPro Club. Anyone else? … Thomas Courtman was watching the 1990 film Problem Child and noticed a cap-logo inconsistency. … Interesting illustrated timeline of Delta Airlines stewardess uniforms through the years, beginning with the propeller era and continuing to the jet age. … Coupla Braves observations from Shaun Tunick: First base coach Glenn Hubbard has been wearing Brian McCann’s All-Star Game catching helmet and Omar Infante has been wearing mismatched batting gloves. The black glove is padded, to protect the hand he broke a while back. … The Danish Creamery was a butter manufacturer in Fresno, and here’s their 1937 baseball team. Gotta love those caps, and I’d give anything for one of the jerseys (great find by John English). … Yikes. That’s Steve Austin wearing the Biblical note on his jersey, and what looks like kinesio tape on his hands (with thanks to Chris Flinn). … What the hell is going on here? Jeremy Brahm explains: “Japanese model Sayaka Isoyama participated in the ceremonial first pitch before the Chiba Lotte Marines game on Saturday — not as a pitcher, but as a catcher, in a wedding dress. The pitch was thrown by outfielder Takashi Ogino.” … Giants catcher Steve Holm wore his home jersey to a road game the other day — on purpose. Details in the last section on this page (with thanks to Tremaine Eto). … Pretty odd poster design here. Ya think maybe they should’ve devoted a little more space to the helmet images and less to the team names? (As found by Brinke Guthrie.) … Janssen McCormick forwarded some cool pics of the DCU Center ice being prepped for the Northeast Regional. … Some tweaks reportedly in the offing for the Cavs. … Keith Olbermann made a big fuss about Twins prospect Chris Cates wearing the S100 helmet. But Cates is a minor leaguer — he’s already been assigned to Minnesota’s high-A affiliate — and Olbermann apparently doesn’t realize that all minor leaguers are required to wear the S100 this year (Brinke Guthrie again). … The 2012 Olympics logo is still prompting negative critiques.