I don’t generally get too worked up one way or the other about all-star designs, so let’s quickly tick off the notable points: They’re gonna be going color-on-color again; the L.A. skyline in the lettering is kinda weird; looks like they’re planning some snazzy metallic tone for the uni numbers; and so on. Whatever.
I’m more interested in the wording of the insignia. Seriously, “The East”? “The West”?
There are some types of terminology in this world that are greatly enhanced by tacking on the definite article — diseases, for example (the gout, the clap, the pigthrax). Similarly, in Ball Four, Jim Bouton noted that when ballplayers discussed a woman’s legs, they’d describe her as having “the good wheels” or “the bad wheels,” as the case might be. And I’ve found that you can let some of the air out of certain over-hyped internet phenomena by referring to them as, say, “the Twitter” or “the Facebook.”
But for a chest insignia? Nuh-uh (well, with one notable exception). It’s bad enough when we have stuff like “Los Mets” — we don’t need to start adding “The” to team jerseys.
Which brings up a question: Aside from the assorted “Los” examples and the above-referenced Golden State jersey, has the definite article ever appeared before on a professional team jersey? I say professional because things like this have begun showing up in “the” college ranks, and I suspect we’ll be seeing more of it in “the” NCAA. But hey, college is for 20-year-olds. I’d like to think we could avoid such antics at “the” pro level.
Uni Watch Resarch Project: Oh man, that Ricko. Just when you think he’s pulled every conceivable rabbit out of all of his hats, he tops himself. Check it out the gauntlet he threw down in last night’s comments:
Sometime in the mid-’70s — it would’ve been 1975 or later — I was helping a friend move on a Saturday afternoon. We stopped at a neighborhood bar for a burger and beer. On the TV, the network game of the week, the Rangers were playing at Tiger Stadium.
I did sort of a double-take, because the Rangers were wearing their white home pants with their powder blue road jerseys. Don’t know how often they did that, but I definitely know they did it at least that one time. Looked for photos the next day and thereafter but never found any.
Can someone run down a photo from that game? A black-and-white will do, because even that would enable us to confirm the difference between the jersey and pant colors.
The funny thing, of course, is that pairing a powder blue top with white pants is exactly what the Royals and Rays do nowardays (which kinda makes me wonder why Ricko never mentioned the Rangers episode when KC and Tampa debuted their powder blue alt jerseys, but whatever). Anyway, this sounds like a case worth cracking, so someone please start researching when the Rangers went to Detroit for a weekend series in 1975ish and take it from there. There’s a free Uni Watch T-shirt waiting for the first reader who can punch Ricko’s ticket on this one.
Sock Giveaway Reminder: I’m currently giving away a pair of very cool soccer-inspired socks. Details here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Here’s the latest article about minor leaguers complaining about the S100 (with thanks to Jason Hillyer, who also sent me a photo of a guy whose future looks, uh, bright). … Here’s a better view of Ruben Tejada’s scoreboard photo. “If he doesn’t do his eyebrows, then I am Queen of England,” says Stan Olechowski. … In my recent interview with Bengals helmet designer Bruce Claypool, Bruce mentioned that he didn’t even have a Bengals helmet. That situation has now been rectified, as he just received a helmet from Bengals honcho Mike Brown himself. … Did you hear about the three-way on the baseball diamond? No, not a sexual encounter (get your brain out of the gutter, Huening). I’m referring to the three-way exhibition game played by the Dodgers, Giants, and Yanks in 1944. It was a war bonds fund-raiser, and you can see the program from the game — including yet another Willard Mullin cover illustration — here. “According to pp. 107-9 of this book, the Dodgers and Yankees shared the visiting clubhouse AND the dugout during the game,” says John Saiz. “For the three innings the two teams played each other, they shared the dugout at the same time!” Now if we could just find a box score. … Excellent observation by Brooks Simpson, who notes that the crest on the Islanders’ original white jerseys had a blue border that’s missing from the team’s new throwback road whites. “They’ve simply taken the crest from the retro third jersey and placed it, unmodified, on the white jerseys, so the outer ring is white,” he says. “Looks like the old crests on many a replica jersey sold in the 1970s and ’80s.” … Hmmm, uni number or pause button? (Thanks, Brinke.) … Nice to see Nike is upholding its high labor standards (with thanks to Alex Higley). … You know how football players like Devin Hester sometimes double up on their socks? Uruguay’s keeper, Fernando Muslera, appears to have done the same thing (as noted by David Muir). … Have I mentioned lately that button-front jerseys can look really stupid? (Good spot by Bob Harrison.) … I’m totally gonna be bidding on this Pepsi driver’s uniform catalog. … I’ll be busy helping out my Mom with a few projects out on Long Island today, so Phil will have the keys. Treat him right — thanks.
Uni Watch 2.0 Update: Aside from few very minor hiccups, the new version of the site has been humming along quite nicely. But there’s been some debate over the new format of the comments section, which some readers say they like and others say they hate. I’d like to get a better sense of what you’re all thinking about this one, so I asked poll-meister James Huening to whip up the following survey:
Thanks in advance for your feedback, and über-thanks to James for his polling assistance.