By Phil Hecken, with Comrade Robert Marshall
This post has been a long time in the making, and it almost didn’t make it to the board today, but it’s a good one: “Design A Stirrup: The Contest.” As most of you know, the head of the Stirrvp Revolution Party, our own Comrade Marshall, has been fighting the good fight to ensure Party members are outfitted with right proper hosiery. He joined with Comrade Pearson and myself on a stirrupy good column a few months back. And as you know, he is the founder and leader of the Stirrvp Club.
Shortly after that column, we hatched a plan to allow both members and non-members to participate in what we’ll simply term the “Design A Stirrup Contest,” which Robert will explain below. I’ll have the official rules and some handy guides to help you in this endeavor after the jump.
And with that, I now turn this portion of the post over to the one and only Robert Marshall:
I hope to have a new stirrup order ready to go early this week, but in the meantime, Phil and I had an idea that I think some of you can have some fun with. As some of you may remember, with last month’s order, I went with a conceptual stirrup for Pączki Day. My better half is of Polish decent, and I thought it would be fun, even if very few people wanted it. And boy howdy, was I right about that last point, we didn’t come close to the minimum, but who cares, I ordered it anyway, and it turned out fantastic. Might be like the membership cards to some extent where sometimes crazy colour combos will make for kind of an interesting look, even if they are somewhat bizarre to a traditional crowd like the stirrup club. Simply stated the concept for the Pączki Day stirrup was this, the body on top and bottom was old gold to represent the golden colour of pączek, and in the middle was a fat purple stripe to represent the powidła, or plum jam filling that I prefer.
What I am now proposing is this, that you all have an opportunity to come up with the next “conceptual” design. I am not going to put any rules on this, but I obviously would like you to be succinct, and yes yes yes, points are awarded for clever. Don’t come at me with my team wears these colours and i think it would be cool to have one. That will be a fail, thank you come again. If that is indeed why you are designing it, you need to come up with a better back story. And it does not have to be one of the more legit holidays, it can be anything from the winter solstice to Flag Day, Arbour Day, Nap Lajoie’s birthday, whatever, just be clever.
How will the stirrup get picked? I may enlist the help of the crazies who have the largest stirrup club collections for their input, but ultimately I may operate with an iron fist, and choose the few I like the most, and offer them up for a vote. What will you win? A pair of stirrups natch, maybe a couple if the design warrants it in some way. Care for a couple of examples? Okay, how about one absurd and one less so, but it should show the range of what i am looking for.
• Opening of crab season on the Chesapeake: Other then baseball, what symbolises the coming of the summer to me more then anything? The opening of crab season, April 1st. To celebrate this glorious day this stirrup has 4 stripes for the month of April, and uses the colour of Maryland blue crabs, a columbia blue body with teal and orange stripes, or highlights. (Yikes! Pretty bad no? But i bet it would still look sweet in a bizzarro way.)
• Labour Day: The history of Labour Day in this country is long and complicated, from the aftermath of the 1894 Pullman Strike and 1896 Haymarket Massacre, to it’s move from May to September (no metaphor there). But at its core Labour Day and the protests around it were a fight for an 8 hour day, and I think we can all be behind that. So this Labour Day stirrup is black to remember those who fought for conditions that we all take for granted today, with 8 red stripes to commemorate the 8 hour day movement that the day sprang from.
Thank you Robert. Now that you have the basic rules, here’s what you can do. You can create a stirrup, based on the guidelines stated above, and you can send the idea (or picture) directly to Robert (or to me), or, you can also post your idea in the comments section below. You don’t need any special skill set, just a brainstorm. To further make your task easier, here is a set of patterns, which will be helpful in identifying your final product. If, for example, you come up with some crazy idea to have a burgundy, yellow and green stirrup, and you think it would look good in the “Ranger” pattern, that’s all you’ll need to tell us. If you can come up with one graphically, so much the better, but it’s definitely not necessary. What Robert is looking for is the backstory.
Simple, right? Right.
We’ll keep the contest open for a few weeks, and you may submit more than one suggestion. Don’t let us down Uni Watchers…
Five Four & One, World Cup Edition…by Jim Vilk, with guest submitters, Joe Delach and Mike Engle (still wearing his playoff growth).
Seems as though Mr. “I’d Wear That” Jim Vilk got his interwebs all duct tape and glued back together, so he’ll be providing us with his usual wordsmithery with the uni-matchups of the World Cup — but in the nonce, two guest reviewers also submitted their selections as well. So, because they stepped up when we hoped thought Jim might be unable to serve as uni-arbiter, we’ll have a special “three pack” of 5&1’s today. There’s only one problem — there have only been five games played as of post time Saturday evening, so each gentleman has submitted a “Four and One”. For those of you unfamiliar with this segment, it’s a selection of the top five (or in this case, four) best uniform matchups, and one worst. Let’s see what the three have come up with (and did they all select BFBS Mexico as the worst?):
First up is Mike Engle:
4) Argentina/Nigeria: The Nigerian all-greens seemed to disappear in the pitch, and Argentina’s #17’s striped jersey (he’s behind Coach Maradona in the picture) looked like the compression shirt from hell.
3) South Korea/Greece: The color palette special of the day!
2) France/Uruguay: Two blue teams, so one team had to give way. The right team changed, because those white French jerseys are awesome! This game was a crummy Puma template away (what terrible socks!) from being an all-time look.
1) USA/England: Though the referees were debriefed on English curse words, all you need to say is, “Damn, that’s a beautiful match in the beautiful game.”
and the one of shame:
South Africa/Mexico: Throw out our recent BFBS poll, because that Wal-Mart special Mexico kit is the worst thing I’ve ever seen. And South Africa: come on! You’re THE home team, and yet I can’t tell the difference between Australia and you. Disappointing.
Next up is Joe Delach:
2) England – USA: The US blue kit is far superior to their white kit. England was classic but I wouldn’t have mind seeing their red jerseys for a color-on-color match. And while Robert Green didn’t have the best day, he was the best-dressed keeper of the week.
1) Argentina – Nigeria: Argentina has one of the best kits in the world. With Nigeria looking sharp in all green and Diego Maradona’s numerous hand accessories, this was the best-dressed match of the week.
And now we close with Jim Vilk:
4) Greece/South Korea: Don’t mind the color vs. color, but the unis don’t inspire me.
3) USA/England: At least the US didn’t have to add “Miss Congeniality” to the sashes in this David vs. Goliath matchup.
2) France/Uruguay: Uruguay OK, but I’m head over heels for France’s away kit.
1) Nigeria/Argentina: So classic, even this Brazil fan can’t disrespect the unis.
And the Non-winner:
Mexico/South Africa: Host country was gracious, but it takes two to make the good side of the list.
Well, well, well. Thank you gentlemen. At least I see you’re in agreement on the worst uni matchup. Hope you weren’t all pre-disposed to hate BFBS, but I would have picked it as well.
Back next week with a full 5 & 1…and lots more matchups to pick from.
Time for an ALL TIME classic Benchies from the Rickster:
Chicks dig the long ball, right? Well, every once in a while one gets tagged so hard you can’t believe how far it carries. In this case, there must have been some kinda wind blowing out, cuz it got taken SERIOUSLY deep…
Enjoy your Sunday Benchies.
Yesterday we were treated to not one, but two, interleague throwback games. The first game featured the Detroit Tigers, playing as the Negro League Detroit Stars, which was a pretty good approximation of uniform. You can read about the Stars here. Their opponents for the game were the Pittsburgh Pirates, playing as the Negro League Pittsburgh Crawfords. I believe the Crawfords were supposed to be representing somewhere around the 1931 era (that’s Josh Gibson). This was, according to MLB TV the 16th Annual Negro Leagues Tribute game and “all the players look slower in those uniforms.” Both teams wore pinstripes and their regular batting helmets, with the Crawfords wearing a red cap with a white “C” and red and white socks. The Stars sported a white cap with a red star and an anachronistic Ernie Harwell patch. Detroit has played as the Stars before and looked great. Likewise, the Pirates have played games as the Crawfords previously, although I do not believe they were ever the road team before.
In the other game, the Washington Nationals and the Cleveland Indians threw back to the 1920’s. The Indians, were sporting a black arm band (which they wore in 1920, in memory of Ray Chapman), one of only two major leaguers to have died following injuries sustained on the field. The Indians also won the World Series in 1920. You can read more about that team here. All players were high-pantsed, and the Indians were pretty true to their 1920 unis. Well, all except for the period-appropriate phiten socks. A fairly straightforward pinstriped uni with a blue cap, the Indians looked sharp.
Their opponents, the Washington Nationals, wore a very plain gray uniform, with a dark blue cap sporting a large white “W”. They also had a huge navy “W” on their left sleeves. Although I believe the Nats were throwing back to the 1920’s, their uniforms could have been anywere from 1924 through 1940. I’d have to guess the uniform represented 1924, since that is the year the Washington ballclub won it’s lone World Series, although the uniform looks more like the 1939-40 version. While I appreciate the simplicity of the uniform, it was quite stark. The caps, however, were sweet. Immediate ROY candidate Stephen Strasburg, who pitches today, looked sweet. Make sure (if you get TBS) you catch this kid — he is absolutely the real deal.
Well done Pittsburgh, Washington, Cleveland and Detorit. You made Interleague a little more tolerable with these sweet unis.
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. Still finding the tweaks have slowed to a trickle, so if you have something you’d like to show, give me a shout.
Beginning the tweak show today is Bowen Hobbs, who has a new look for the Nats:
I have an example of how a navy/red team could actually conceive original uniforms. I started with the Washington Nationals. From there I removed the beveled wordmarks and DC logo and gave the team a new primary logo. The logo is an ode to the DC area, as it features the three stars and two bars of the DC flag, as well as a rendering of the Capitol Building. The secondary mark remains the Curly W, and the tertiary is a sleeve patch that reconciles the two themes. The uniforms feature something no other navy/red team in MLB has done: a red-centric design (red caps, belts, shoes, trim) with navy type. The uniforms once again draw inspiration from the DC flag with doubling piping trim and three stars on each sleeve. The home uniforms use the Curly W on the chest with a front number flanking it to the player’s right. The road uniforms feature the “Washington” script currently in use on a grey base. The road alternate jersey is the one navy piece in the set, but once again, makes for an original look when paired with the red hat. The Sunday Alternate showcases a white DC flag hat and jersey with a red number on the back.
Next up is Matt Malinoski, who’s actually “tweaking a tweak.” (And it was an awesome tweak.) I’ll let him explain:
I never noticed how poorly I drew the “W”s, so I fixed them up. I hope nobody noticed!
The other thing I noticed is that the team’s official “W” logo in print has a mistake where the outline in the upper left crotch is warped. You can also see it in their background image on their website. It doesn’t seem to appear on the caps.
Closing down the show today is Jim Walaitis, who has a decidedly low tech old school way of bringing it to us:
Good afternoon! I hope all is well. I’ll just let you know I am absolutely sick and tired of the Cubs softball jerseys. Too close to the jersey worn by Leon Durham in San Diego in the fall of 1984. I don’t have photoshop, but I DO have access to the internet, to Word, and to a camera phone, so my submission is kinda old school, kinda new school. It’s simple, but that’s what I believe a Cubs jersey should be. I’d be fine with this same design in home whites or road greys, or both.
Uniwatch card carrying member since the site’s 4th birthday
Thus endeth the tweak show for today. Still getting a relative dearth of submissions, so this may become a once-a-weekend thing. Surely you guys aren’t out of ideas, are ya? Of course not. Keep ’em coming.
Everyone have a great Sunday.
A little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God. — Diego Maradona