As you’ve probably noticed via the ad just to the left of this text, our friends at Grey Flannel Auctions are running their annual Basketball Hall of Fame induction auction. I always look forward to this sale because, as I’ve been pointing out lately, basketball is by far the worst-documented of the major team sports, so any large grouping of NBA historical artifacts or photos is likely to have more surprises and revelations than a comparable batch of, say, MLB or NFL material. That’s certainly the case with this latest Grey Flannel sale, which is loaded with interesting items. Let’s take a look:
• Not sure what I like best about this jersey: the number font or the team name “Peoria Caterpillars.” Here’s the full auction listing.
• Here’s another Warriors jersey, this time from the late 1950s, with a really fascinating design. Never seen that horizontal stripe before, and the gold outlining on the type is an interesting touch (full listing).
Want to see more from this auction? Look here.
A stiff belt: Yesterday’s ESPN column prompted a note from A’s equipment manager Steve Vucinich, who told me something I didn’t know about the team’s 1970s pants. Those look beltless, right? But Steve says no: “We, and a few other teams, continued to wear belts. The belt would slide into the striped waistband, which by the way was NOT elastic — just looked like it might be. The waistband would completely cover the belt. I believe we didn’t go beltless until Wilson began making our unis in ’82. I will have to confirm this by checking my special historic closet when we return from this road trip.”
Looking back, I feel like I’ve heard this before — not about the A’s per se, but about seemingly beltless pants actually having hidden belts. In any case, the pants certainly lacked visible belts, so it’s sort of the same thing, at least from a visual standpoint. Plenty interesting nonetheless.
Collector’s Corner, by Brinke Guthrie
Lot of great finds as we wind up the month here at Collector’s Corner. Let’s take a look:
• Ouch, $400 for a 1961 Detroit Tigers bobble. Cute little guy, though.
• Staying with the same period, here’s a 1960 “Washington DC Souvenir Baseball Catcher” — with blinking Vari-Vue eyes!
• Here’s a great-looking 1950s Montreal Canadiens “antique felt” patch.
• Huge set of 1984 MLB “Fun Food Buttons,” right here.
• Here’s a really nice 1960s Buffalo Bills bank.
• The Indians were doormats during the 1970s, so why not a set of 1970s Indians placemats?
If Paul wasn’t already planning to take a vacation from the blog next month, that last item would probably have sent him in that direction. I’ll have one Collector’s Corner column per week while he’s gone, instead of the usual two.
Seen something on eBay that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Sensational piece about UGA football helmet history was posted yesterday, including the surprising tidbit that the Bulldogs almost went with a white helmet back in the 1960s. … We all know that the three NYC baseball teams wore trylon/perisphere sleeve patches to promote the 1939 World’s Fair. Here’s a photo of that patch being unveiled, and here’s that same photo as part of a small news item. But the best use ever of that symbol would have to be here. All those photos were sent to me yesterday by Bruce Menard, who also sent along this shot of Joe D. and the Iron Horse at a baseball clinic. Love those “lefty” and “righty” shirts! … New college hockey jerseys on tap for Bowling Green (with thanks to Tom Konecny). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: The Ravens’ practice jerseys now have a National Guard sponsorship patch. … Hey, Steve Vucinich: One of your players is missing the dot on his “i”. … New jerseys for the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL, who are the Anaheim Ducks’ top affiliate. It’s hard to see, but that’s a “D” logo patch on the shoulder, which may give credence to the rumors that the Ducks will be switching from their jersey wordmark to a web-foot “D” crest (with thanks to John Muir). … While looking for something else, I found this great shot of Sal Bando. … The MLB schedule used to start on a Monday. And then they added the Sunday-night opener. And now next year’s schedule will begin on a Friday. … Chelsea’s third jersey has been leaked (with thanks to James Court). … Last item on this page indicates that the Steelers will be adding advertising patches to their practice jerseys (with thanks to Chris Hilf. … There was a glitch on the Broncos’ web site yesterday, as the team wordmark and background image were cross-pollinated with the Texans (Jhan Ganyen got the screen shot). … Cort McMurray‘s son is a big Manchester City fan, so they recently drove from Houston to Atlanta to see Man City play Club America. “Lots of interesting uni-related stuff,” says Cort. “First, striker Craig Bellamy does the Big Klu thing with his training shirt, the better to show off his extensive tattoos. Second, the Georgia Dome (a lovely stadium that the Atlanta Falcons are inexplicably trying to have replaced by a new venue) features a display of every high school football helmet in the state. What’s most remarkable is that there is so little imagination on display: lots and lots and lots of college and pro knock-offs. Finally, City’s practice togs look rather sharp, including the maroon and gray ensembles worn by the coaching staff.” … Dan Cichalski reports that the Trenton Thunder — the Yanks’ double-A affiliate — are wearing the Steinbrenner memorial patch. I haven’t been able to find recent photos of other Yankees farm teams — anyone know if they’re all wearing the patch? … Latest evidence of the baseball cap’s worldwide ubiquity: Eric Trager is in Egypt and spotted a rack of baseball caps for sale at a stall in Cairo. A closer look reveals lots of interesting knock-off designs. “The best part,” says Eric, “no Yankees caps in sight.”
There is danger in the summer moon above: As most of you know by now, I’ll be taking the next month off from the site. Phil will handle weekdays, webmaster John Ekdahl will take care of the weekends, and you’ll all live happily ever after (or until September 1st, when I’ll reclaim the manager’s office from Phil). Although I’m taking a break from the site, I’ll still have at least two ESPN columns during August, and Phil will let you know when they’re up.
Speaking of ESPN, my annual college football season-preview column will be running on September 1st or 2nd. So if you spot new college gridiron uniforms being unveiled over the next few weeks, please let me know at this address. Thanks.
Try not to overwhelm Phil with too many Ticker submissions. Also, wish him luck in this weekend’s Clothesline Art Sale, where he’ll have several photographs for sale. Knock ’em dead on Saturday, buddy, and thanks a million for keeping the shop open in August — you’re the best.