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Sweater Weather Revisited

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Last month I did an entry about old-timey baseball sweaters, in which I wrote, “I love these old sweaters and wish they’d make a comeback (or at least get a Mitchell & Ness treatment).”

That prompted two notes. The first one came from Scott Turner, who’s been working for Ebbets Field Flannels out in Seattle. He told me, “M&N did make baseball sweaters. So did Ebbets — these two were based on Negro Leagues designs from the 1920s. They sold for $295. We’re scouting for mills to bring these back, along with other knit vintage styles.”

Then I got a note from Morris Levin, who used to work for Mitchell & Ness back in the 1990s. He wrote:

One of [former M&N honcho] Peter Capolino’s pet projects at M&N back in the early ’90s was having the baseball sweaters recreated. He had a number of samples made — they were quite beautiful (and expensive). Ahead of MLB’s 125th anniversary in 1994, he had discussions with MLB about producing the sweaters for all 28 teams and had artwork done for a few. (There was art for a whole series of KC Royals sweaters around the M&N office for a number of years — old cut and style, with contemporary colors and logos, plus the 1994 patch.) If I recall correctly, he had found someone to produce them domestically — I believe in Maine or upstate New York.

The first thing I took from all this was that I had completely missed the boat on these sweater reproductions — I had no recollection of them. The second thing was that I thought it might be good to talk to Peter Capolino about all this, so I got in touch with him.

Capolino, of course, is the guy who presided over M&N’s transformation from a fairly standard sporting goods outfit into the best-known brand for licensed throwback reproductions. He hasn’t been involved in M&N’s day-to-day operations since Reebok bought the company a few years ago, but he’s still an active historian and keeps his eye on the merchandising scene. He was happy to talk about baseball sweaters. Here’s how our chat went:

Peter Capolino: Let me give you a little background on what I’ve done. From 1989 until about 2001, I made those kinds of sweaters. They retailed for as high as $700 apiece. We even had a contract to do sweaters for all the major league teams in 1994. But what happened was that there was this guy named Rick White — you probably don’t remember that name.

Uni Watch: No, I don’t.

PC: He actually got kicked out on a sex scandal, and the whole project fell through. But during those years I just mentioned, I probably sold from 18 to 36 of those sweaters a year, at $700 a sweater. They weighed two and a half to four pounds, depending on the model. I had a special maker in Maine named Norma Reichert — she made them all for me. Jerry Cohen of Ebbets Field Flannels was very helpful to me by discovering the makers in New England that could accomplish the task of knitting them so accurately. We still share lots of sweater information to this day.

UW: So you sold just a couple of dozen a year?

PC: Yeah. I produced about 16 different styles, and I had researched a lot more than that. There was an old ballplayer named Whitey Witt — he was Babe Ruth’s first roommate in spring training during Ruth’s first season with the Yankees. We had Witt’s sweater. It eventually sold on the collectors’ market for about $25,000.

UW: How were you able to produce such limited quantities? Don’t you usually work on a more mass-produced basis?

PC: No. Whenever I made things domestically, I worked in small quantities.

UW: Yeah, but this is really small. I mean, 18 to 36 a year..?

PC: That was one of the things I loved most.

UW: So this woman up in Maine, was she knitting these sweaters for you by hand?

PC: No, she’d make them on flat-bed machines, which is similar to what the original sweaters were made on in Scotland.

UW: Wait, the sweaters we see in those old photos were made in Scotland?

PC: The early ones, up until about 1898. After that, there were American knitters who were doing them. Norma, up in Maine, she’s 70 years old. And she bowls on Friday, so I can’t talk to her on Fridays. She knits some of the most beautiful things my company ever made.

UW: And these few dozen that you’d sell, would that be through mail-order, or at your own store, or other stores?

PC: All three ways. Remember Andy Hyman at Distant Replays? He’d sell some. A few at the Hall of Fame, too. I even made some for some of the rappers. Remember Andre 3000 from Outkast? He had me make some for him, and he actually used them in an ad.

UW: Based on your research, did every single big league team have a sweater? In other words, were they a standard-issue item in the sport, the way dugout jackets are today?

PC: Yes, up until about 1925. Then they started changing over to the jackets.

UW: Did that happen all at once, or was it a gradual transition?

PC: It seems to have happened all at once. So in 1925, for example, the Washington Senators were in the World Series against the Pirates. That’s the last appearance of sweaters I’ve seen.

UW: Were these sweaters all 100% wool, or was there any other fiber content?

PC: They were all 100% wool. And that’s what our reproductions were, too. They were really my favorite product. They had a shawl collar, button placket…

UW: In the batch of photos I recently ran, there were some where the buttons came straight up the placket and others where the buttons sort of veered off to the side. Did you do both styles?

PC: Yes.

UW: What’s that second style called?

PC: I don’t know.

UW: When you were making these reproductions, did Major League Baseball ever have any current players — players who were current at the time, I mean — wear the sweaters for any kind of advertising?

PC: No, that never happened.

UW: Why did you stop making the sweaters?

PC: From 1989 through 2000, M&N was a small specialty business. In 2001, we started to blow up at an incredible rate. The sweaters were something that I personally researched, designed, sourced, and made. I was even the best salesman of them. Once M&N blew up, I didn’t have the time to keep that part of the business going. I regret that I did not delegate that category off. Also, retailers in 2002 and 2003 were afraid of the $700 price point. So the sweater business went by the wayside. Then MLB wanted me to do those sweaters for every team in 2004, but that idea died and the sweater business never came back.

~ ~ ~

And there you have it. Here’s hoping someone brings back these awesome-looking sweaters soon.
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Mystery solved: We now have an explanation for the tiny Chief Wahoo sleeve patches that the Indians were wearing in 1980. The answer comes from reader Tom Rogers, who writes, “The small Chief Wahoos were from a weekly promotion run that season by the Cleveland Press newspaper, in which readers could vote for the ‘Press Star of the Week.’ The weekly winners would accrue patches for each week they won (à la buckeye leaves or Stargell Stars). I was a carrier for the Press during that season. If memory serves, 1980 Rookie of the Year Joe Charboneau won the honor the most times that season.”

Sure enough, Charboneau won the award five times, as you can see on this message board thread. A particularly good view of his Press Star patches — the best photo I’ve seen so far — is available on this page, which was sent my way by Robert Erdtmann.

This is yet another case of a uni storyline you’d think we would’ve known about, and a reminder that we don’t know as much as we probably think we do.

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Major NBA research project: We have solid uni-historical databases for baseball, football, and hockey. These databases have their limitations, and they certainly aren’t perfect, but they’ve been enormously useful in educating all of us about their respective sports. It’s no exaggeration to say much of my work over the years wouldn’t have been possible without them.

The problem, as I’ve often lamented, is that there’s no comparable database for basketball. Now reader Alex Martin is working to change that. Here’s a note he sent me last month:

For years I’ve been re-creating NBA and ABA logos, wordmarks, and uniforms, and researching the dates for all of them. I’ve created about 450 uniforms so far — some ABA, mostly NBA — and have created about 200 sorted files, each of which contains team information, dates, and close-ups of the uniforms.

I create the files in Illustrator and export them as jpegs into a folder. One thing you may not see at first glance is that each jpeg features several tags. Ideally, when the project is complete the tags will provide enough information so you can sort all the uniforms throughout history by pinstripes, or by color, or by any of the other attributes contained on the tags.

However, the speed bump I’ve run into is finding some uniforms. And even after I find some pictures, recreating the artwork and numbers is often very difficult.

It’s no surprise that Alex is having trouble finding some of the uniforms — even the folks in the NBA offices often have a hard time piecing together the league’s uniform history. But that, dear reader, is where Uni Watch comes in.

I’m no NBA history expert myself, but I suspect there are some of you out there who have photo collections, files full of old clippings, and so on. Similarly, I know some of you are tech-savvy enough to be able to help out with digital renderings.

If you’re interested in helping out Alex in any capacity, or if you’d just like to hear more about his project, contact him here. In addition to helping him, you’ll be helping to fill one of the major uni-cational gaps that’s been plaguing us for years.

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Giveaway reminder: Our friends at Gridiron Memories are giving away a college football helmet to lucky Uni Watch reader. Full details here.

Stirrups Club reminder: Robert Marshall is currently taking orders for his latest batch of stirrups. Full details here.

Show-and-tell update: Last month’s Open Mic Show-and-Tell at the City Reliquary was such a hit that we’re doing it again this month. Same deal as last time: Come on down with an item of personal significance and be prepared to talk about it for up to three minutes (or just watch other people do so). Date: Next Thursday, Dec. 16, at the Reliquary. Doors at 7pm, showing/telling at 8pm. Beer will be available. Hope to see you there.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Yesterday I mentioned that Falcons coach Mike Smith was wearing a coat with three vertical zippers, but I didn’t have a photo. Still no photo of Mike Smith, but Chris Bieniek provided a screen shot of Lovie Smith wearing the Bears version of that coat. … Virginia Tech wore VPI throwbacks on Sunday night. … Crazy coincidence: The Brandon Wheat Kings — that’s a major junior hockey team — have a player named Wheaton King. I think he’s just gonna have to play for that team for the rest of his life, period (great find by Donnie Gould). … You know what doesn’t look good with football throwbacks? Biker shorts. That’s Greg Jennings, who looked like he was wearing tan shorts over a navy bodysuit. Also, was he wearing throwback-brown shoes? Looks like it (with thanks to Shane Frederick). … Here’s one of the weirdest high school logo rip-off examples we’ve seen so far. That’s the web site for Saunders Secondary School in Canada. Check out their logo at upper-left — you probably recognize the Sabres’ swords, but you might not realize that the leaping tiger is swiped from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ logo (good find by Didymus Henley). … More on Jason Witten’s “Betsy” helmet. Yesterday we learned that it’s a reference to his high school (Elizabethton). Today we have this article, which includes the following passage: “[Cowboys equipment manager Mike] McCord has repeatedly offered veteran Jason Witten newer models of helmets to try, but the Pro Bowl tight end ultimately sticks with the helmet that he’s worn since his rookie year, which he has nicknamed ‘Betsy'” (big thanks to Scott Martinho). … Hey, check out this unique Dayton helmet design. “According to the Helmet Project, they wore that design from 1975 to 1985,” says Josh Neisler. … A while back I ran this old catalog page scan. Terry Proctor liked the striping on the “Unit #109” model (top row, second from left) and used it as the basis for a new hoops uni for his hometown Livonia High School Bulldogs. “The manufacturer, Letrell Sportswear of Knoxville, Tennessee, had a sample prototype uniform made up. I showed that sample to the coach and the team and they liked the design. We then went to the Athletic Director, who gave his OK and the order was placed. Mike Johnson of the Livingston County News, our county paper, took the photos.” … Jeff Mayer notes that Aqib Talib appeared to be sockless on Sunday. … Amidst the flood of Don Meredith photos that emerged yesterday, one was particularly uni-noteworthy. Never seen that shot before (big thanks to Clay Hervey). … I wouldn’t expect to see Jeremy Roenick posing with his NHL jerseys on Facebook, but that just goes to show that I don’t know jack (big thanks to Eric Bunnell). … Two Uni Watch favorites for the price of one: Rob Ullman’s work is being featured on Jeff Barak’s blog. … Another week, another round of EPL kit reviews from Michael Orr. … Bosox outfielder Mike Cameron will give up his No. 23 to newly signed teammate Adrian Gonzalez in return for a donation to the Boys and Girls Club (with thanks to Mike Ortman). … Also from Mike: Now that he’s on the Nats, Jason Werth will have to keep his beard in check. … Volleyball news from Jeremy Brahm, who reports that there are new logos for the World League (that’s the FIVB men’s circuit) and the Grand Prix (where the women compete).

 

87 comments to Sweater Weather Revisited

  • Teebz | December 7, 2010 at 7:56 am |

    Just a couple of hockey notes:

    The Brandon Wheat Kings are a major junior team in Canada. They play in the WHL (Western Hockey League) as a part of the CHL (Canadian Hockey League). They would be equivalent to the NCAA or the USHL (United States Hockey League) in the US.

    The Jeremy Roenick Facebook info (“I don’t know jack”) is listed twice on the Ticker.

    Great interview, Paul! Love the old sweaters!

    • Dane | December 7, 2010 at 8:02 am |

      And Mr. King will not be able to play for the Wheat Kings for the rest of his life. Canadian major junior hockey is only for ages 16-20.

    • Paul Lukas | December 7, 2010 at 8:18 am |

      Thanks, Teebz — I’ll fix the Wheat Kings designation.

      Roenick repetition now fixed, too.

    • Ian K | December 7, 2010 at 8:54 am |

      I live in Winnipeg, MB, fairly close to Brandon (2 hours or so by car), and the Wheat Kings are huge in rural Manitoba, so it’s not that surprising to see that Wheaton was born in Brandon.

      My guess is that with the last name ‘King’ his parents definitely just decided to go with it and use Wheaton. The fact that he played less than a dozen games last season is a good indication he may actually have been drafted for his name alone.

      • LI Phil | December 7, 2010 at 9:16 am |

        “I live in Winnipeg, MB, fairly close to Brandon (2 hours or so by car)”

        heh.

        in the “everything is relative” department, anything “2 hours by car” is not close…of course, on long island “2 hours by car” can some days mean 10 miles

        • The Jeff | December 7, 2010 at 9:37 am |

          Well, when you live in a frigid, barren, 5500 mile wide arctic wasteland… 120-ish miles is “close”.

          /just kidding Canada, you’re not a complete wasteland

        • Stephen King | December 7, 2010 at 4:07 pm |

          Those of us that don’t live on the East Coast have interesting opinions on the Eastern concept of driving distances. Two hours is not that far, because you can make it there and back on a day trip (to watch a game, for example). Of course Easterners aren’t completely ignorant of that–I understand that is the length of commute for some people, distances being calculated differently in traffic.

          Of course distances west of the Rockies get even more ridiculous, where you can drive two hours between gas stations.

        • Ian K | December 7, 2010 at 4:31 pm |

          We’re NOT a complete wasteland?! Damn, I must’ve missed when they took that title from us.

          Dude, I live in the dead center of the Canadian Praries, the largest mountain you ever see is the snowbanks piled on the side of the road, we’re about as wasteland as it gets, and proud of it. Why else would we put out so many hockey players and musicians, we got nothing else to do.

        • Oakville Celery Root (alias Endive) | December 7, 2010 at 10:25 pm |

          Canada a waste land ? – have you seen Buffalo? Not Biscons on the prarie , but Buffalo NY, a town that if you knocked one building from the 70’s – it’s a sky line that has stood still since 1950.

  • The Jeff | December 7, 2010 at 7:58 am |

    $700 sweaters… pfft. It’s no wonder no one remembered them being made.

    Oh, and the Lovie Smith link is broken and merged with the Virginia Tech link

    • Paul Lukas | December 7, 2010 at 8:19 am |

      Thanks — now fixed.

    • dunderbear | December 7, 2010 at 4:08 pm |

      I noticed those jackets on a number of coaches this weekend. This isn’t Mike Smith, but someone else on the ALT sideline had one on. Here is it in the NFL shop

      • dunderbear | December 7, 2010 at 4:21 pm |

        Oops, meant ATL. Tampa Bay would’ve been the alt sideline at that game.

  • Andy | December 7, 2010 at 8:32 am |

    In the ‘biker shorts’ pic, are those brown and tan shoes?

    • MPowers1634 | December 7, 2010 at 8:26 pm |

      Those are player exclusive versions of the same cleats that Paul liked on Devin Hester a few weeks ago, the Nike Super Speed D.
      http://www.sportsdep...

  • C Thiele | December 7, 2010 at 8:50 am |

    “Hey, check out this unique Dayton helmet design. “According to the Helmet Project, they wore that design from 1975 to 1985” – that just happens to be when Jon Gruden was a back-up QB for the Flyers. It’s almost possible to make out the unique design in pic in the following link:

    http://www.daytonfly...

    • HomicideMD | December 7, 2010 at 1:48 pm |

      I remember watching the Dayton-Widner Division III National Championship game on television in 1981. I don’t recall that helmet logo (granted it was 29 years ago), but I did remember Widner’s uniform. Now this link (http://www.collegefo...) is for Widner’s 2009 Media Guide, and this link (http://fs.ncaa.org/D...)is for an NCAA publication. Since the photo’s are B&W you have to use your imagination. Widner’s colors were the same as those god-awful Eagles throwbacks from ’07. The jersey is light blue, with yellow numbers trimmed in white. The helmet logo, stripe, & facemask were all light blue. If memory also serves me correctly, I believe Dayton put “All-American” on the backs of their jerseys for the title game.

      • HomicideMD | December 7, 2010 at 2:03 pm |

        Go to page 35 (on the PDF, it’ll be page 33 of the guide itself) of the Widener guide and page 5 of the NCAA publication.

  • Jeff | December 7, 2010 at 8:51 am |

    Packers throwbacks worn Sunday being sold today as sets — jersey, pants, helmets. Unwashed. Pricey. http://packersnews.g...

    • The Jeff | December 7, 2010 at 9:33 am |

      Why unwashed? I get the idea of wanting a game worn jersey… but I don’t think 3 hours worth of NFL player sweat is something that needs to be preserved, nor can it smell very good… and it probably would contribute to the jersey decaying even if you’re just buying it to put it in a frame. Throw the damn thing in a washing machine. Freakin uncivilized, cheese-head wearing…

      Unless of course you’re planning on cloning Aaron Rodgers or something. Then I guess unwashed is alright.

      • Richard | December 7, 2010 at 9:56 am |

        Worked for a manager for a year in college. (Technically I’m a one year letterwinner in football. Pity I lost the pin)

        I want no part of anything unwashed from a player. Especially linemen on either side of the ball.

        • Jim Vilk | December 7, 2010 at 11:29 am |

          Maybe we’ve stumbled across the real reason behind the disappearance of football sleeves? Perhaps the equipment managers are behind it so they don’t have as much armpit odor to smell…

        • Richard | December 7, 2010 at 11:52 am |

          Our boss made us wear gloves when we were putting the laundry in.

          I expect guys are wearing moisture wicking shirts under their gear now. I don’t want to know how rank guy’s pads have gotten with that.

          I wonder what in-game duties are for student managers these days with wireless headsets. Our in-game function was carrying chords and getting yelled at.

        • StLMarty | December 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm |

          I remember these one guys in college. They poured Liquid Heat all over the football players’ jock straps. They stirred it around with a collapsable pointer.

    • Chance Michaels | December 7, 2010 at 5:15 pm |

      Best thing about the throwback sale? The authentication, with a special shout-out to Marge Switzer:

      Uniform comes with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by President & CEO Mark Murphy, a game photo and is also authenticated using a secured hologram. Each jersey has a signature mark from the seamstresses who prepared the jerseys for the game. The mark will be identified upon receipt of your purchase. A record of the signature mark will be kept on file by the Green Bay Packers for authentication purposes.

      No wonder it took her 105 to 140 hours to prep the uniforms for the game….

  • Jet | December 7, 2010 at 8:55 am |

    Great sweater article! In that pic of the Senators players with the sweaters with the buttons off to the side – I know the pic was posted previously but was there commentary on the two different caps then? The guy on the right has a white outline on the brim and the other guy doesn’t…

    http://farm2.static....

    -Jet

  • Jet | December 7, 2010 at 8:56 am |

    Wow, that Jeremy Roenick page is way cool. Except for the occasional stupid faces. If more players do this, I might actually break down and join Facebook. Or not join, and hope you continue to post them here!!

    -Jet

  • John C | December 7, 2010 at 9:12 am |

    Those sweaters are awesome … but $700? Wonder what the M&N markup was on those.

  • Seth H | December 7, 2010 at 9:17 am |

    Did Roenick lose his Flyers’ jersey?

    Maybe he used it to cover a bet.

  • RS Rogers | December 7, 2010 at 9:49 am |

    Oh, man, Super Joe Charboneau. Brings back memories. Aside from having perhaps the biggest flameout of a career of any Rookie of the Year winner, Charboneau went on to play for the 1939 New York Knights. Appeared in the film as a member of the Knights squad. Sort of an extra, in that I don’t think his character had a name or dialogue, but he was a recurring presence whenever the whole team was in the dugout or on the field. Not sure if he’s ever seen batting.

    When I made a set of APBA cards for the ’39 Knights for the guys in my fantasy dice league a few years back, I included a card for Super Joe as a sort of Easter egg. Say what you want about his glorified cup of coffee, but it’s a real distinction to have won the RoY award and played with Roy Hobbs.

    • LI Phil | December 7, 2010 at 10:16 am |

      you read my mind

      • RS Rogers | December 7, 2010 at 12:13 pm |

        you read my mind

        It was a short read. ;-)

        • LI Phil | December 7, 2010 at 1:00 pm |

          oh…sorry

          the correct answer was: “that took all of three seconds”

          please come again

  • Ralph | December 7, 2010 at 9:59 am |

    Quick note to say I loved your pictures yesterday from the Yonkers generating station.

    • Paul Lukas | December 7, 2010 at 10:05 am |

      Thank you!

    • Dwayne | December 7, 2010 at 10:39 am |

      I echo that statement.

      That power station looked a lot like the video game B.L.A.C.K.

    • RS Rogers | December 7, 2010 at 12:17 pm |

      I was going to say something about how kind of insane it is to decide to spend a Saturday clambering around an abandoned industrial site for fun, but then I realized that I’d spent my weekend rehabbing a Remington Remette manual typewriter from circa 1940 and, well, actually Paul looks like the sane one. And yes, awesome photos.

      • Paul Lukas | December 7, 2010 at 12:49 pm |

        I’ve been exploring abandoned industrial sites since 1988, when I spent an amazing day inside a decaying steel mill in Youngstown. Not everyone’s cuppa, but I find it addictive.

        • RS Rogers | December 7, 2010 at 1:18 pm |

          No, it’s totally my cuppa too, I just lack the commitment necessary to actually get my butt out and do it. Which is why your occasional field reports are so cool!

        • LarryB | December 7, 2010 at 8:12 pm |

          Paul DO you remember where you were? I worked at Youngstown Sheet & Tubes Coke Plant out of HS long ago for a year or 2.

          Growing up in Youngstown area, the mills were booming for a long stretch from McDonald, Ohio to Lowelville along the Mahoning river.

          And College Game Day had a great segment about Youngstown and steel and football and the coaches from Youngstown

          http://www.youtube.c...

  • interlockingtc | December 7, 2010 at 10:03 am |

    Love this passage:

    ” Norma, up in Maine, she’s 70 years old. And she bowls on Friday, so I can’t talk to her on Fridays.”

    Also:
    Way to go, Alex Martin! This should be great. Keep up the good work.

    And…while I dig the design of Livonia High’s uniforms…um..is that length of shorts truly beyond reason or am I seeing things?

  • Rob S | December 7, 2010 at 10:16 am |

    I still love the NHL 1992 ASG sweaters! Too bad Roenick didn’t include the Blackhawks’ throwback from that season, though. Also, it’s interesting he’s wearing his commemorative team 75th anniversary sweater from 2000-01, instead of one from his actual playing days with them.

    That Coyotes uni, though… I get what they were trying to accomplish, but it’s not a very good look. We’re lucky he didn’t break out the ugly green third from that era!

    • Eric | December 7, 2010 at 10:47 am |

      I agree. Roenick never wore that Hawks sweater with the Hawks, since he had moved on to Phoenix by 2000. He would have worn the NHL 75 patch back in 1992, but never the Hawks specific 75th patch wich was worn much later.

      • Rob S | December 7, 2010 at 2:24 pm |

        The Hawks did present Chris Chelios with one during a pregame ceremony at their home opener that year, but all Cheli did was kind of hold it awkwardly… considering he was in full gear and about to play against the Hawks as a member of the Red Wings!

        It was also one of the only times that the Wings wore their franchise’s 75th anniversary emblem. Kind of odd that a team would not wear one for more than a couple of games, but then again, the last time the Wings wore a team anniversary patch for a full season, they finished dead effing last (the 1985-86 season). And, as we all know, hockey players are superstitious about their uniforms (although they’ll deny it until they’re blue in the face, and claim it’s just “habit” or “routine”).

        In any case, Roenick probably got the jersey from the team when the Coyotes came to town that year.

  • Brent J | December 7, 2010 at 10:46 am |

    Jackets with 3 vertical zippers are the new sideline jacket.
    Seahawks version here:
    http://www.nflshop.c...

    I am assuming all teams have them….

    • Anthony | December 7, 2010 at 11:34 am |

      Damn, you beat me to it! It took about 45 seconds on nflshop.com to find these. Kinda surprised it was such a mystery for so long.
      Okay, that was a dick comment, but still–not that hard to find.

  • Jim Vilk | December 7, 2010 at 10:55 am |

    Alex Martin, you’re doing a service to our community! Looking forward to seeing your NBA/ABA database.

  • Chris W. | December 7, 2010 at 10:57 am |

    Is it just me or are the shorts for that high school basketball team HUGE? I realize that’s the style today, that basketball shorts are gigantic, but those seem to be particularly gargantuan.

    I mean the unis look great, for sure. But those shorts are just so big.

    • Paul Lukas | December 7, 2010 at 11:05 am |

      Yeah, I wasn’t gonna say anything about that, esp. cuz I know how Terry Proctor feels about oversized shorts. Must’ve killed him to have had a role in that….

      • LI Phil | December 7, 2010 at 11:20 am |

        interesting you featured greg jennings and livonia in the same ticker

        because we’ve already passed the tipping point where shorts are longer than pants…

        but this is rifuckindiculous

        • concealed78 | December 7, 2010 at 11:23 am |

          “Nice evening gown, ladies.”

        • Jim Vilk | December 7, 2010 at 11:25 am |

          Was thinking the same thing. Wow, two great unis ruined by the folks who wear them.

        • DJ | December 7, 2010 at 11:25 am |

          John Wooden use to have the UCLA uniforms tailored for each player. Would it be that much trouble today?

        • The Jeff | December 7, 2010 at 11:34 am |

          I can’t imagine actually trying to play the game in those things. Steal a pass and try to breakaway for a layup… and trip on your own uniform. Brilliant!

        • Aaron | December 7, 2010 at 4:14 pm |

          Seriously, how do you dribble between your legs with shorts like those?

    • Mark K | December 7, 2010 at 11:29 am |

      Especially huge considering those kids are both upwards of 6-7.

      • LarryB | December 7, 2010 at 8:51 pm |

        I was thinking those unis make the kids seem like they are 6 or 7 years old in adult unis.

      • Terry Proctor | December 8, 2010 at 9:06 am |

        Actually those two kids are the shortest on the team. I don’t know why the photog picked those two. They’re great kids but c’mon, we’ve got a 6’6″ center and a 6’4″ forward that look much better in their “pantaloons.” To refer to PL’s remark, yes, I didn’t WANT to sell the team the 9″- inseam shorts but that’s what the players wanted and we wanted to keep them happy. Besides, a few years ago when the team was still wearing the 5″-inseam shorts an opponent’s student section began serenading our team with the Royalteens’ 1958 hit “Who wears short short?…Livonia wears short shorts…” So I hope our players are happy now.

    • pflava | December 7, 2010 at 12:09 pm |

      Really I think we’ve reached the point where we should start referring to them as basketball pants.

      Those kids from Livonia are wearing basketball pants.

      Greg Jennings wears football shorts.

    • StLMarty | December 7, 2010 at 5:14 pm |

      I like my shorts a little bigger. I hardly ever wear them, but when I do… they’re kind of big.

      I love the realistic bulldog on the sides. I wish more logos were like that.
      I wish they were called the Rat Terriers.

  • Alec | December 7, 2010 at 11:10 am |

    $700??? Are you SERIOUS?

    No !@#$% wonder they only sold a couple of dozen.

    What M&N really needs is some help pricing its merchandise to SELL. LL Bean sells stuff that looks like this for $100. I realize that they sell in bulk to a degree the baseball sweaters wouldn’t, but even that should only account for an extra $100 or so.

    Varsity jackets and wool jerseys for $400?

    I can’t believe that this is anywhere near optimal pricing to maximize return on investment.

    • concealed78 | December 7, 2010 at 11:21 am |

      I always wondered in the baseball pics if their sweaters & jackets were as expensive as their contracts; or at least a good % of it. I thought baseball caps were expensive because they were made out of wool, but since that’s no longer the case, is that polyester material really worth a big chunk of the $34??

      I would not pay $700 for a sweater or even $70 for that matter; tho I am a cheap bastard. I think scarcity is what drives up the price.

    • Nick W. | December 7, 2010 at 11:39 am |

      I picked up a fantastic old school knit Notre Dame sweater, last time I was in South Bend. It was only about $80 bucks. Well worth it. I LOVE the Cardinals, but can think of many things that I’d rather spend $700 on

    • Paul Lukas | December 7, 2010 at 12:58 pm |

      Personally, I buy almost nothing but vintage clothing, so all these price points are kinda moot for me.

      HOWEVER, I think $700 for a sweater is no more (or less) outrageous than $300 for a polyester jersey. I’ve never been able to wrap my head around that one…

      • StLMarty | December 7, 2010 at 5:15 pm |

        What he said.

      • don vincent bonifacio suarez IV | December 7, 2010 at 8:39 pm |

        I’ve spent over $700 to have a two liter of my favorite soda shipped halfway around the world overnight to a village in rural Central African Republic without an air strip (It was Mtn Dew Code Red if you’re interested). One time I paid a member of the US House of Representatives $25K for a lap dance just to see if they would do it (they did). I’m rich byatch! But alas, I don’t wear sweaters. I’ve got two young ladies who I pay $30 an hour to keep their hands always warm (never less than 85 degrees) and rub my arms if I detect a chill. Maybe I’ll buy one of those nice antique sweaters to turn into handkerchiefs though because occasionally I sneeze.

  • teenchy | December 7, 2010 at 11:53 am |

    Shows how out of it I am; I didn’t even known Peter Capolino was no longer involved with M&N. Back in the early-mid 1990s I helped Peter ID the dates of some Nats v1.0 photos based on unis, players and locations. (I have a very small window of expertise and 99% is Washington baseball.)

    That’s how I ended up with a ’59 Nats replica jersey with Roy Sievers’ #2 and not Harmon Killebrew’s #3. Peter & co. were also good about servicing what they sold; the leather sleeves on the 1942-53 Nats warmup jacket from him started to flake and peel and they replaced them for only a labor charge. Very good customer service gone by the wayside. I’d love to be able to give Peter my regards today.

  • Just another tequila sunrise | December 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm |

    Re: the high-school custom uniforms.

    The bulldog on the side of the shorts is interesting — is that a picture that is transferred to fabric? It’s much more lifelike than if it was a chenille or a stiched patch.

    Wonder what would happen if the Orioles or the Cardinals did the same.

    • Terry Proctor | December 8, 2010 at 8:56 am |

      It’s sublimated right into the fabric. You can reproduce literally anything in sublimation.

  • Tony | December 7, 2010 at 12:49 pm |

    That’s interesting about Adrian Gonzalez and Mike Cameron’s number. He was specifically asked about getting Cameron’s number from him yesterday afternoon on the radio and he said he has no interest in taking someone else’s number. He said he was just going to see what was not spoken for and select from that.

  • Jeff Pomerening | December 7, 2010 at 1:11 pm |

    Nice little uni-related story here: http://blog.oregonli...

  • b-t-p-h | December 7, 2010 at 1:21 pm |

    Some of the original MLB warm-up sweaters:

    http://imgs.inkfrog....
    http://imgs.inkfrog....
    http://imgs.inkfrog....

  • Johnnyphi | December 7, 2010 at 2:29 pm |

    Witten was just interviewed by Bob Sturm on the Bob and Dan Show on 1310 AM The Ticket (TheTicket.com) in Dallas. Bob asked about “82 Betsy” on his helmet.

    Witten was surprised by the question. (He didn’t know about the close-up during the game.) He said the label has been there for 4 years. He told a long story about how the label got there. As it turns out, Betsy is actually the NAME of his helmet.

    It all started when the equipment guys coerced Witten into trying a new helmet. He really liked his old helmet, so he secretly asked the assistant equipment manager to keep his old helmet as a backup. They didn’t want the head equipment manager to know, so they put the “82 Betsy” label on the old helmet, instead of the standard “82 Witten”.

    The head equipment manager eventually found out about “Betsy”, and Witten’s helmet has been called Betsy ever since.

  • KT | December 7, 2010 at 4:37 pm |

    Brian Ching modeling the Houston Dynamo’s new shirt (with a collar for the first time) and shirt sponsor:

    http://yfrog.com/afc...

    • KevinW | December 7, 2010 at 6:06 pm |

      Good to see they got rid of that weird blue sleeve.

  • RS Rogers | December 7, 2010 at 4:54 pm |

    More uni-punditry from politics & culture blogger Tom Scocca. The mainstreaming of uni-watching continues apace.

  • LS | December 7, 2010 at 4:55 pm |

    I remember when M&N offered those sweaters. I used to order jerseys from them as far back as the early 90s. In fact when I visited the store once in Philly, they recognized me since I probably was the only person who ordered from Mpls. As a Cards fan, I coveted the StL sweater but couldn’t justify the cost.

    Anyway, I know the Cards wore those sweaters in 1926 since I remember a vintage video of the ’26 series when Grover Cleveland Alexander had one on when he was walking to the mound in game 7. Sure enough a search finds this video on youtube and there is Grover Cleveland Alexander wearing a sweater at 1:33.

  • LarryB | December 7, 2010 at 8:06 pm |

    Peter Capolino, thanks for the info on those classic sweaters. Very interesting and interesting to know 1925 was last year for them. As I type this I see LS comment about the Cards in 1926.

  • kyle | December 7, 2010 at 10:22 pm |

    ran across this high res photo of the oregon unis from last weekend, and it looks like the outline around the numbers was in fact green (some people didn’t think so) and the nose bumper also looks green too.

    http://twitpic.com/3...

    • StLMarty | December 7, 2010 at 11:09 pm |

      They were totally green.

      • LI Phil | December 7, 2010 at 11:14 pm |

        totally?

        • Komet17 | December 8, 2010 at 7:11 am |

          And by “totally,” we mean “not partially”…

  • Andrew DeFrank | December 8, 2010 at 7:40 pm |

    Watching NFL Network and there is a story on a player safety conference. They were showing prototype helmets etc. and there was a RED Falcons helmet with the current logo, stripes and all. It looks pretty cool! I can try to get a picture up.

  • Will Sentowski | December 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm |

    In the Greg Jennings pic you were sent…that’s me behind Greg, with a camera and a VERY BRIGHT yellow/green winter stocking cap on. (Tough job I have, huh?)

    Better or worse than the Packers’ brown helmets? You tell me. :-)