One of my favorite holiday rituals is the annual arrival of a package from Uni Watch pastry chef Elena Elms, who always comes up with some sort of baseball uniform-themed cookie concept. In past years she’s done stirrup-clad feet, caps, jerseys, baseball patterned shortbread, and even gingerbread ballplayers.
This year she’s rendered the large stirrups you see pictured above, each of which is about seven inches long (here’s a closer view), along with a handy decoder sheet. Bonus points for the Liberty Bell on the Phils cookie! And doubleplusbonus points for making the A’s design, which matches a lot of my wardrobe. Thanks so much, Elena — you’re the best.
New ESPN column today. The subject is a more in-depth look at a phenomenon we’ve discussed lately here on the site: cross-dressing. Here’s the link. — Paul
There I go again, bashing Nike and giving everyone else a free pass: As you may have heard yesterday, Maryland is in the market for a new football coach, and they supposedly have their eye on former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach. What does that have to do with uniforms? Check out this quote from that article (which reader Colin Sherrod pointed out to me): “Leach has already had discussions with potential members of a Maryland coaching staff and has the strong support of Under Armour, the Baltimore-based athletic apparel company run by a former Maryland player, sources said.”
That’s funny, I thought Under Armour worked for Maryland, not the other way around. Seriously, can someone explain to me why the fuck Under Armour (or Nike, or Adidas) should have even the teeniest say in who coaches a given school? Why are they even mentioned in that article? I don’t care if Kevin Plank is a Maryland alum — if he’s qualified to have a say in this, then let him coach the team. Otherwise, he and his company should get out of the way and stick to making shoes and jerseys.
I’ve been saying it all along, people, and I’ll keep saying it: The corporate uniform manufacturers have way too much influence in these football programs. The whole thing reeks, and then some.
Collector’s Corner, by Brinke Guthrie
Last CC of the holiday season. We’ve made the list and checked the URLs twice — the rest is up to you:
• Submitted by some fellow named Lukas: a 1948 Boston Braves Santa ornament.
• Shoot some hoops with a 1950s Mr. Basketball game.
• Get your 1940s “Bee Hive NHL Team Shields” here.
• This 1960s Atlanta Falcons poster is terrific.
• Reader Matt Mallonee sent in this great Chicago Fire decanter, circa 1974.
• Great patch from the 1979 MLB Japan tour.
Okay, here’s hoping Santa treats you right. From the entire staff of Collector’s Corner (wait — that’s just me), Merry Christmas!
Seen something on eBay that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
Culinary Corner: Made some killer roasted pork belly on Sunday, which I cut into little cubes. Imagine a club sandwich, only instead of bread, turkey, and lettuce, it’s made from layers of pork, fat, and skin — that’s what the little cubes were like. The recipe was somewhat involved, but it was totally worth it. (If you want to try it yourself, read this and then click through the step-by-step instrux that begin here.)
Since the pork is so rich, it’s good to pair it with something light. Or you could just say, “Screw that, I’d rather make some Parker House rolls,” which is what I did (here’s the recipe for that). Mmmm — protein, fat, and starch. All your major food groups, except for the ones that, y’know, are really boring.
(Special thanks to Kirsten for the photos and sous chefery.)
Year-end giveaway reminder: Remember, the annual reader-appreciation giveaway is now in progress. Details here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Speaking of coaches and sportswear outfitters, Mount Union, which paraticpated in the D-III title game last weekend, is a Nike-outfitted school, but coach Larry Kehres was wearing Under Armour gear on the sidelines. “He did wear a Nike cap, however,” says Tom Pachuta. … Yesterday I asked if anyone had a shot of Ahmad Bradshaw playing with his mouthguard atop his helmet, and Ryan Perkins came through. … Ryan is also one of several readers who’ve noted that the Schutt logo appears to have been scraped off the neck bumpers of several Giants’ helmets. … Interesting article about the Giants’ World Series rings (thanks, Brinke). … If you’re gonna airbrush Carl Crawford into a Red Sox uniform, couldn’t you at least get the helmet logo right? (As noted by Ryan Harrington.) … Check out this super-convoluted sleeve logo. That’s a member of the 1910 Female Professional Giants, an old women’s team, so I think the sleeve insignia is NYFG, for New York Female Giants (great find by Mike Hersh. … Latest phenomenon in Gumballville: NFL mini-trucker’s hats (as reported by Randy Williams). … Wouldn’t it be cool if the first down line we see on TV could also be seen at the stadium? It turns out someone’s been working on that (with thanks to Chris Fox). … It’s hard to be sure based on one screen shot, but Jacob Reed says Chris Chambers of the Chiefs was using an atypical fabric for his jersey on Sunday. “Wasn’t mesh, wasn’t the super-stretchy material the Giants are using,” he says (and he’s right about that — the super-stretchies have a paper towel-like textured surface). Hmmmm. … New cycling kit for Quick Step (with thanks to Sean Clancy). … Counterfeit jersey bust in Minnesota (with thanks to David Teigland). … White vs. gray is fine on the baseball diamond, but on the basketball court? That’s a new one on me (good find by Jonathan Mayer). … The Hershey Bears are the latest minor league hockey team to “honor” the holiday season with a really ugly jersey (with thanks to Mike Rucki). … The Binghamton Senators did a little better with their Festivus jersey (big thanks to Joe Schmidt. … Speaking of holiday gestures, Werder Bremen — that’s a German soccer team — modified their crest to look like a Christmas tree last weekend (with thanks to Jeremy Richardson). … Another soccer note from Jeremy: Here’s a look at the development of the new Orlando City crest. … I’m not sure why Ron Gardenhire and Tsuyoshi Nishioka wearing Justin Morneau snuggies, but it sure makes for an amusing photo (with thanks to Eric Davis). … Tim Lincecum wore a neon-green Seahawks jersey while raising the team’s 12th Man flag the other day (with thanks to Jay Winkler). … Matt Bonner’s sneaker came apart on the court the other night (big thanks to Leo Thornton). … Not sports-related, but here’s a really cool interactive slideshow on the evolution of spacesuit design. Somehow they missed the Astros’ groundskeepers (awesome submission by Jim Santel). … Looks like Colorado football is bringing back either black or gold road pants (as noted by William Sour). … Soccer note from Timothy O’Malley, who writes: “Manchester City player Pablo Zabaleta had a head injury, so he had to get stitched up and switch jerseys — only for his wound to open up again, getting blood on his blood jersey. He ended up wearing this jersey — his third of the game.” … Very nice story about a journeyman MLB pitcher’s jersey from the 1960s being returned to his widow (with thanks to Dan Cichalski). … I live a few blocks away from a very important wall. It was (probably) part of Washington Park, the ballpark where Brooklyn Superbas — the forerunners of the Dodgers — played, prior to the construction of Ebbets Field. The wall has been the subject of various preservation efforts, which I fully support, even though it’s just a wall — there’s nothing about it that suggests, y’know, ballpark-ness, so you kinda have to imagine how it used to look. But no amount of imagination prepared me for the photo that Peter Capolino sent me last night. Never seen that one before. To repeat: That’s just a few blocks from my house! … Peter also sent along this truly spectacular Eagles scan from 1964. I initially thought it was an LP cover, because of the polka reference. “Wow,” I thought, “that’s the greatest sports-themed polka LP cover ever! Okay, so that’s probably a somewhat limited category, but still.” Slightly disappointing to realize it was just a magazine cover. Still really nice, though. … Dayton debuted their powder blue alternates last night — that was expected. The unexpected part is that the blue alts were part of a color-on-color game (with thanks to J. Cristiano). … Several broken decals in the Vikes/Bears game last night, although the only photo I got was one of Matt Forte’s slightly chipped “C” (screen shot courtesy of Mark Epstein).