Bill Henderson recently sold a copy of his excellent jersey guide to a woman named Patsy Elmer (that’s her at right), who runs an Arizona operation called BigTime Jerseys She’s done work for the Suns, Globetrotters, and Diamondbacks, and she liked Bill’s guide so much that she wrote back to him with some interesting stories. He shared them with me and now, with Patsy’s kind permission, I’m sharing them with you:
I was one of the ladies setting up the jerseys behind the stage during the Diamondbacks’ expansion draft party held at the Civic Plaza in downtown Phoenix. The draft was being shown on live TV and we didn’t know who the names were going to be, so we had to be prepared with plenty of each letter so as to not run out. One of the officials would give us the name of the next draftee and we had about five to seven minutes to prepare the jersey before his name was announced. To speed up the process, the numbers 1 through 35 had previously been sewn onto the jerseys to reference each draft round. Once a player’s name was announced, the jersey was brought to the stage and everyone applauded. Then the jerseys were hung up in the rafters until all were done.
The most interesting aspect of this, at least to me, is the realization that jerseys have become routine parts of the show surrounding the NFL, NBA, and NHL drafts, but baseball drafts don’t work that way — except when there’s an expansion draft like the one Patsy was describing.
Patsy also shared some of her experience regarding hand-cut lettering:
I could identify with the White Sox “Wild West” letters looking like they were cut by hand. When we did the old-style Phoenix Suns jerseys (1970s), we used patterns made of paper with tiny holes poked through to create the design of the letter/number. We laid this “pattern” over the fabric and dusted it with a powder, which would fall through the tiny holes to create our cutting line. After we cut them out, they were pressed onto the next color of tackle twill, sewn, and then the second color was hand-cut. It was all done by hand in those days. In fact, my old employer didn’t get an Ioline cutter until just two years ago.
In addition, Patsy sent along photos and descriptions of some notable jerseys her company has produced:
• “I did six of those giant Mavericks jerseys. Stackhouse, Harris, Finley, Nowitzki, and a couple others I can’t remember right now. They hung in the American Airlines arena in Dallas for a while and now hang in someone’s house. Must be a big house.”
• “This statue in downtown Phoenix is usually naked and every time I’d pass it I could imagine making a Suns jersey for him. During the 2010 Western
Conference Finals, I asked all the right people for permission and was granted the opportunity to make it happen.”
Great stuff. My thanks to Patsy for sharing her stories and photos, and to Bill Henderson for telling me about her in the first place.
Collector’s Corner, by Brinke Guthrie
To mark the beginning of the Fall Classic, which opens tonight here in San Francisco, this week’s edition of Collector’s Corner is devoted to the two participants, the Rangers and Giants. And although you can guess my current allegiances from the photo shown at right, I have some history with the Rangers as well.
• Here’s a Rangers game program from their first season in Arlington. I had this one — still do, in fact.
• That 1972 season featured some brutal airbrushing work by Topps.
• Here’s a great batch of Rangers stickers and also pennants. I had that bottom one on my wall!
• Moving over to the N.L., here’s a corresponding batch of Giants stickers.
• I happen to know my wife bought one of these Bruce Bochy bobbleheads for me for my birthday. [Bochy is notorious for having the biggest hat size in the game, so shouldn’t his head be larger? — PL]
• A crime against humanity by New Era, of course.
• In a quasi-DIY move, someone took a Brian Wilson bobblehead and painted a beard onto it.
Seen something on eBay that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: One nice aesthetic side-benefit of the Giants being in the World Series: At least two of the games will begin in daylight. … Two winters ago I did an ESPN column about a Christian high school whose basketball team wears short sleeves and long pants. Now Becky Taylor has found a photo of a Georgia school that was doing the same thing back in 1956. That’s Georgia Christian Institute in the pants, playing Cook High. Great, great find. … I always wanted one of these NFL magnetic standings thingies. … Toronto FC is inviting fans to help design a new kit for the team (with thanks to Ben Wideman). … Here are Marquette’s new Jordan sneakers (courtesy of David Merrill). … Check out this Boise State helmet display. “I particularly the blatant Denver Broncos rip at bottom-center,” says Eric Bangeman. … The Nats will unveil their new uni set on Nov. 10. … Jose Theodore’s new Wild mask hasn’t arrived yet, so he had to improvise the other night (with thanks to Vernona Elms). … Here are some interesting uni-tracking stats for the A’s (with thanks to Zachary Charles). … Here are all the charity-specific jerseys that the Milwaukee Wave will be wearing this season (as noted by Kenn Tomasch). … Looks like someone at Swoosh Inc. did some sloppy Photoshopping. As you can see, that’s a Florida Pro Combat jersey with a Miami collar logo (with thanks to Jeff Cooperman). … New basketball uniforms for Detroit Mercy, and there are several notworthy aspects of this one. First, that’s the Horizon League logo on the upper-right chest. Second, this is the first time I’ve seen the NCAA’s new authentication logo appearing on the shorts instead of the jersey. And as for the black “KB” patch, Michael Martinez provides an explanation: “It’s for Kathy Bush, the associate dean of liberal arts and education at UDM who passed away this summer. Apparently, she worked closely with the players and they wanted to honor her this way. I think it’s pretty cool to see a faculty member honored like that.” Agreed. … Shaun Tunick spotted Casey Stengel showing off some Pedro Porthole action back in 1953. … A few weeks ago I linked to this photo. Now Curtis Worrell of Helmet Hut has found that same player in these two photos. According to the captions, that’s Frank Sinkwich of Georgia, wearing a “jury rigged harness” to protect a broken jaw. … A de facto Nashville Sounds jersey history timeline can be found on the team’s Flickr stream. Scroll down and then click on the additional pages for more (good find by Mike Hersh). … Big birthday wishes to Uni Watch’s own Scott M.X. Turner, who’s pulling an amazing feat by turning 29 again. Remarkable.