It’s been a weird six weeks or so for the Rays. First came the plaid blazers. Then the blazers begat plaid-brimmed cap design that somehow became anointed as the team’s BP cap. The kicker came last night, as the Rays trotted out the plaid-brimmed hats e for last night’s game against the Orioles.
I was out of the house all night — first in Manhattan at the “60 interviews in 60 minutes” radio thing (my teeny segment of which went really well, thank you) and then in Hoboken to see Dump and the Clean (who both rocked the house quite nicely) — so I missed this new milestone in baseball headwear. My ex post facto assessment, written at 2am while half-asleep, is something like this:
Did the caps look good? Not particularly, but they didn’t look that bad either. The Rays’ uniform is such a snooze that any bit of added visual interest is welcome from where I sit. Also, remember that this is the same team that added the striped socks a few months back. In an era when every team takes its marching orders from MLB HQ, I like that there’s a team willing to do its own thing. (And besides, it’s not like plaid has never appeared on a baseball diamond before.)
Moreover, the plaid program seems to fit skipper Joe Maddon’s studiously eccentric persona. So while the caps may simply be a marketing gimmick, they don’t feel like one, at least not to me. They just feel like an extension of Maddon’s sensibility. Look at this quote he gave after the game: “All this stuff has been done in different ways before. When something new comes out, people, some enjoy it, some frown upon it, some don’t get it and that’s OK.”
Good for him. And for them.
New ESPN column today — here’s the link.
Pretty amazing, even for them: I recently got a note from reader Eric Discher. “I’m the type of guy who removes the button from the top of all my baseball caps,” he said. “So when my wife bought me a cap from USA Soccer, I promptly removed the button. Well, on the underside of the cap, there’s the metal thing that keeps the button in place. Here’s what I found upon removing it.”
Boy, they don’t miss a trick, do they?
Giveaway reminder: I’m currently giving away an original uniform painting from the Maple Leaf Productions archives. Full details here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Yesterday I mentioned that Air Force would be wearing special uniforms this weekend against Army, but we didn’t have a photo. Now we do. “As an alumnus, I take a lot of pride in the lightning bolt helmets and am not a big fan of the change,” says Brett Waller. I love the bolts too, but I have to admit that I kinda dig this helmet. Reminds me of a circa-’62 all-star design or something like that. Necessary? Definitely not. More stupid than good? Probably. But I like it anyway. … Update: As several readers have quickly pointed out, the Air Force helmet design is based on the tail design of Thunderbird figher planes. … Hmmm, is this the Twins’ new BP jersey for next season? No, it’s not — I’ve seen the new BP designs, and that’s not what Minnesota’s will look like. I can confirm, however, the basic template shown there is accurate, and so are the illustrations shown here. Pretty awful, but it’s just BP gear so I can’t get too worked up about it one way or another. Those pages come from a Majestic catalog, which also shows something new on tap for 2011: Cool Base pants (with thanks to James Craven). … Remember the NFL’s pink-accented gear? Get ready to see a lot of this weekend, and throughout the rest of October. … Jeff Spry notes that Robbie Cano was missing his Steinbrenner memorial patch on Tuesday night. … The NFL is launching a line of women’s clothing and accessories, “including logoed jeans, branded yoga mats and even a purse made of recycled license plates.” Sounds, uh, groundbreaking (thanks, Brinke). … Decent video about how Oregon football chooses its uni design each week (with thanks to Kurt Witten). … The Capitals will unveil their Winter Classic throwback on Saturday. … The Falcons will be wearing their throwbacks this Sunday against the Niners. They’ll also be presenting throwback jerseys to all their former Pro Bowlers — except for one (thanks, Brinke). … Pitt State will be wearing camouflage jerseys this weekend (with thanks to Matt Newbery). … Check this out: Not just color on color, but blue on blue! That’s Pitt vs. UCLA, 1970 (with thanks to Larry Bodnovich). … Raheem Brock of the Seahawks wore green socks at yesterday’s practice. … Ladies and gentlemen, your Connecticut Whale logo. The water spout is a nice touch, no? (With thanks to Alan Kreit.) … New basketball uniforms for George Mason (with thanks to Josh Holman). … Interesting interview with Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer, in which he sounds like he’s expecting Reebok (which is an Adidas-owned brand) to lose the bidding for the new NFL license. We’ll all find out in about a month. … Here’s a weird one: Erick Yohe says this photo was taken in the “M” section of RFK Stadium in Washington during the Nats’ first season, 2005. What’s with the Dodgers logo on the armrail? I put that question to D.C. baseball expert R. Scott Rogers, who responded with a lengthy analysis that’s too long for the Ticker, but you can read it here. … Who knew BYU used to have players with triple-digit uni numbers? And here are some in the 200s! Those are all from the late 1920s, courtesy of Larry Bodnovich.
And now a quick word from Phil: Attention MLB uni trackers (and non-trackers): I’m planning on a postseason uni prediction piece for the weekend, and I’m hoping you guys who follow the possible postseason teams can help me out.
If you’re tracking the Braves, Phillies, Reds, Giants, Padres, Twins, Rangers, or Rays, please give me a shout. I’m looking to find out the uniform proclivities and protocols for those teams. For example, I know the Phillies will break out their creamy alts for home day games, but I’m not quite certain of how the other teams determine how they’ll dress on a given day. If you can let me know how it works for these teams, that would be great. Obviously, Yankees trackers need not apply.