A few weeks ago I featured some David Boss photos from the U.S. Presswire archives, but I didn’t spend much time exploring the rest of the U.S. Presswire database. Fortunately, reader Bill Kellick did, and he’s come up with some really good stuff. Let’s take a look:
• Great shot of a 1973 Vikings/Rams game, with a sensational view of the Met scoreboard. Ricko, were you at that game?
• Dwayne Crump had unusual NOB lettering, no? Looks to have been sans serif, and larger than the standard size.
• Maybe the weirdest football facemask of the bunch: Look what Toni Fritsch was wearing with the Houston Gamblers. It’s like like a double-bar version of Scott Player.
• Here’s an oddity: a Giants/Steelers photo with the Jints wearing logo-less helmets. The caption lists it as “unknown date,” but it must have been a preseason game.
• Arguably an even bigger oddity: Denver Broncos running back Lonnie Perrin kicking off. The date is listed as 11/13/77. Anyone know if Jim Turner was injured during that game?
• Here’s an unusually good shot of a clear-shell helmet. You can really see how the merit decals are on the outside of the shell while the striping and paint were applied from the inside. Interestingly, the nose bumper has the Wilson logo, but it’s actually a MacGregor helmet. Jeff Fedenko, who’s our resident clear-shell expert, speculates: “There may have been some sort under-the-table endorsement deal for the then-‘amatuer’ Mr. Dorsett, as he was in the midst of the Heisman chase during his senior season. His helmet lacked the Wilson bumper in his previous seasons.”
I’m sure there’s more good stuff in the U.S. Presswire archives — updates to follow.
ITEM! Everyone loves talking about pants and socks: Nick Swisher of the Yanks went high cuffed on Friday night, which prompted the following bit of discussion between announcers Michael Kay and John Flaherty (with special thanks to Joshua Paster, who pointed me toward this one):
Flaherty: Going with the high pants, Nick Swisher.
Kay: Were you a high-pants guy at the end?
Flaherty: No. I laugh when I see the high pants. I always thought if you saw a guy with his pants high, he’s just telling everybody, “I’m struggling, and I’m changing it up a little.” That’s the way I always felt. Now, Nick had one of those days yesterday — he was 0-for-3 with walk, hit the ball hard every time, had nothing to show for it. Maybe switching it up a bit.
Kay: And then you have A-Rod. He wears ’em high, doesn’t struggle. Home opener, Swisher had bell bottoms on.
Flaherty: I was playing for Tampa one year, and Hal McRae came in as the new manager, and he made it a rule that everybody had to wear their pants up high. Randy Wynn, who’s now on the Yankees, was part of that. [This is inaccurate, or at least an overstatement. McRae’s actual rule was that players had to cuff their pants at least four inches above their ankles, which is a far cry from Swisher’s high-cuffed look. — PL]
Kay: Did you fight it?
Flaherty: I was not a big fan.
The director obligingly posts a shot of Flaherty during his Yankees days.
Kay: There’s John Flaherty. Shown’ a little sock — a little.
Flaherty: A little. I tried to take the elastics out of the bottoms of the pants so they’d hang down.
Kay: Now you didn’t start your career like that when you were with the Tigers, right?
Flaherty: Well, I started with the Red Sox, and I would wear the traditional stirrup, but I still didn’t like it high. I liked it down by the ankle.
Kay: I want to say one thing, because I know you get sensitive with me: I knew you started your career with the Red Sox. But you really played a lot more with the Tigers. So that’s what I meant.
Flaherty: Yeah, but I still wore my pants the same way, whether I was ridin’ pine in the bullpen or actually playing. You just never paid attention, because I wasn’t a starter.
Kay: That’s a good point. But of course you were a huuuuge starter, and star, with Tampa Bay.
Flaherty: I don’t know if you actually could have been a star on Tampa Bay, with those lean years with the Devil Rays back then.
Kay: But I think you still did a good job there. Signed some big contracts. That’s a star. Let’s take a look back at your time in Tampa. [Screen shows a clip of Flaherty as a Devil Ray.]
Flaherty: See, the pants are down.
ITEM! Mets actually get something right: I meant to mention this about a week ago, but somehow it got lost in the shuffle. So: I attended the third Mets game of the season and was seriously impressed by the new Mets Hall of Fame. They clearly hired a professional exhibition-design firm — the space is well-conceived, with lots of cool features like video kiosks. Plenty of attention is paid to all phases of the team’s history, including the early Shea era — no Wilponian whitewash here. Bravo.
A few notes:
• Most fascinating artifact in the entire place is a sheet of handwritten notes from Casey Stengel.
• If you liked that, you’ll probably also like this Darryl Strawberry scouting report.
• Never seen this Shea Stadium dedication magazine before. Wish I could’ve seen the interior pages. Does anyone have a copy of this?
• For those of you who are still arguing over what the team’s colors were originally supposed to represent, add this to the debate.
• One thing that’s always puzzled me: During the first 20 years or so of the team’s existence, Mr. Met was always shown wearing an orange-brimmed cap (additional examples here). That even extended to this bobblehead, which I’d never seen before.
• Funniest thing about the entire exhibit: Ron Hodges made the Mets Hall of Fame! Nice of the Mets to honor his number every April 15th.
All in all, a pretty good job. Would’ve been nice if they’d had it ready to go when the stadium opened last year, but hey, we’re talking about the Wilpons here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: In addition to wearing those A’s logo stirrups, Rajai Davis has also been wearing a gray-underbilled cap, at least on the road. Ditto for Ryan Sweeney (as noted by Brandon Davis). … No photo, but here’s an interesting note from Jackie Robinson Day: When the Phillies received their N.L. championship rings prior last Thursday’s game, they wore their regular uniforms with their standard uni numbers and NOBs. Then they changed to their NNOB 42s for the game (as reported by Kevin Collins). … Rochester Red Wings uni history is available for download here (with thanks to Kris Lincoln). … New memorial patch for Oregon State baseball and softball. It’s in memory of Al Reser, for whom the school’s football stadium is named, so I assume the football team will be wearing a patch or decal this fall. According to Aaron Maisel, the patch design is patterned after Reser’s company logo. … Is this the world’s largest knit jersey? “It’s a knit replica of the Japanese national team uniform, but it does not have the adidas logo, nor does it have the Japanese Football Association logo,” says Jeremy Brahm. “It’s 30 ft. by 23 ft. They are hoping that it will break the Guinness World Record.” … You know those colorful jackets worn by stock and commodities traders? Here’s a nice little item about the company that makes them, plus a video report (as noted by Lori Baker on her Facebook page). … Bengie Molina is refusing to wear those new padded batting gloves, because the yellow padding clashes with the Giants’ color scheme (with thanks to Brinke Guthrie). … Those white cleats that some players wore on Jackie Robinson Day included a little silhouette of Jackie sliding (with thanks to Brian Rowland). … Ryan Connelly came across a photo blog filled with sensational old photographs. Mostly non-sports, but whatever — not to be missed. … You have got to be kidding me (courtesy of Brinke Guthrie). … A little birdie has the following report regarding the Penguins: “They’re scrapping their new alternates for at least a year. The reason is Winter Classic-related. Just found out about it on Friday.” … Rare sight: Kent Tekulve as a Red (good find by Nick Houser). … Now that‘s a prom outfit (with thanks to John Muir). … Coupla championship ring questions from Bill Grindler: First, what is the symbol inside the Stargell Star on the Pirates’ 1979 ring? Second what’s the significance of the number sequence on the scoreboard on the Dodgers’ 1978 N.L. championship ring? Anyone know? (Update: I’m informed by several readers that the number on the Dodgers ring represents the team’s attendance that year — the first time an MLB team had drawn three million people.) … Cork Gaines explains the odd quirks of the Rays and Bosox on Saturday night: “They completed a suspended game from Friday night. On Friday all of the Rays were wearing No. 42 (they didn’t play on Thursday). But when they completed the game on Saturday, they were wearing their standard road jerseys. So every player was wearing a different number than he was wearing when the game started. Also, after completing the suspended game, the Rays switched to their navy blue alternate for the regularly scheduled game. So the Rays wore three different jerseys in less than 24 hours.” … New uniforms for Indiana football (with thanks to Jordan Owen). … Mike Hersh was nice enough to send over some scans from this 1976 hockey catalog. You can see the full set here. … Jonathon Binet was looking at photos of Auburn’s spring football scrimmage and noticed that the helmet logo appears to be slightly larger. … Bill Kellick found some spectacular home movie footage of a 1969 Oklahoma/K-State game. Among the many fun details, note that the officials did not have uni numbers. … In case you missed it in Phil’s Sunday report, the Indians wore khaki caps “made from recycled materials” on Saturday. … I may bid on this bizarre 1970s basketball warm-up shirt. I’ve never seen anything like it, but sporting goods maven Terry Proctor has: “I have sold that uniform series before. Back in the early 1970s, SandKnit made a whole series of basketball uniforms, girls’ uniforms, and coaches’ wear that they called SandPlaid, if I remember correctly. They had a few different plaid patterns (MacGregor, Black Watch, etc.) made up in combinations that would coordinate as inserts or panels with team uniform colors. The whole package had a limited appeal and was fairly expensive, and was dropped after a few years. We sold a couple of sets. One was to Wheatland-Chili Central High School in Scottsville, New York — there was a heavy Scottish heritage in the area and the teams were then known as the Scotsmen. Their colors were royal and white and they bought the whole thing with a blue/white/gold plaid pattern.” … As most of you are aware, the Yanks have changed the color scheme of the MLB logo on the back of their jersey this season, going from blue-white-red to blue-white-silver. The thing is, the silver is too light — it kinda fades into the background, so all you see, is the blue portion on the left, which makes the logo look off-center. … David Teigland reports that the U.S. Postal Service plans to issue these Negro Leagues stamps in June. Nice. … One of Brooks Robinson’s stubby-brimmed helmets was recently up for auction (with thanks to Bruce Menard). … Mets outfielder Frank Catalanotto has an “F-Cat” label on his helmet (good catch by Mike Mattison). … Good article about Coyotes goaltender Jason LaBarbera’s wrestling-themed mask designs here, plus a photo gallery Here (with thanks to Jacob Kubuske). … Matthew Hackethal recently picked up some old programs — Giants/Cardinals 11/4/62 and N.Y. Rangers 1/13/52 — and was nice enough to scan the covers and some ads. … There are long NOBs, and then there are really long NOBs. That’s Mats Zuccarello-Aasen, who’s about to sign a contract with the Rangers (with thanks to Seth Horowitz). … Spring football news from Robert Eden, who writes: “In a very confusing move for the Red/White game, Nebraska had offensive players for both teams wearing red jerseys, and defensive players for both teams wearing white jerseys. So how were fans supposed to tell which team was which? By the colors of their pants, of course. The Red team wore red pants and the White team wore white pants. So here’s the White offense against the Red defense, and vice-versa. The whole thing gave me a headache, trying to concentrate on a player’s pants instead of his jersey.” … Some San Francisco Giants uniforms have ended up in a very interesting final destination (big thanks to Jeff La Haie). … Unusual uni number font for Brewton-Parker College (with thanks to Erik Morris). … I hate gyms, so I get my exercise by cycling in Prospect Park for an hour every day, a routine I fell into shortly after buying my last bike in 1998. That bike has served me well, but as of last Thursday I’ve been been doing my daily cruise on a new set of wheels, and I’m very, very happy. Big thanks to Uni Watch cycling guru Bryan Redemske for all his help with this purchase. … The best song you’re likely to hear this year is “The Radio,” by PT Walkley. You can stream it for free (along with two other tunes, both of which are okay but not in the same league) here. Enjoy.