I’ve somehow let an entire month of 2011 go by without running a single wire photo entry, so it’s time to do something about that. Most of these were submitted by Mike Hersh, plus a few came from Bill Kellick. Dig:
• You probably know Hack Wilson holds the single-season RBI record. But he also appears to have led the league in personalized wagons.
• Here’s one of the more unusual baseball uniforms I’ve ever seen. Such an odd mix of block type and script. It’s from the 1920s, but unfortunately no further details were provided.
• Not many football fans realize that facemasks were extremely controversial when first introduced, in part because it was thought that an upward blow on the mask could push the back edge of the helmet into the player’s neck or spinal cord — and that’s how the neck bumper was developed. You can see that evolution playing out in this 1961 photo and caption.
• We’ve all seen giant knuckleball mitts before. The interesting thing about that photo, however, is the caption, which sort of suggests that this may have been the first knuckleball mitt ever made specifically for that purpose.
• Four eyes on the ice! Really nice typography on the USA insignia, too — I don’t think I’ve seen that before.
• Coupla interesting things about this 1947 Reds shot. First, the big felt logo on the back of that jacket looks completely awesome. And I love how the caption refers to the equipment guy, who must be about 50 years old, as a “clubhouse boy.”
• Here’s something you won’t often see: Warren Spahn as a Tulsa Oiler. Looks like the uni number had the opposite color scheme from the script.
• Anyone know why the Snake would’ve had a smiley face on his helmet? (Answers that include the term “green dot” will immediately be disqualified.) I showed this photo to Ricko, who said, “In the NFL Network’s recent show on the top 10 left-handed QBs, there was sideline footage of Stabler with a huge smiley decal on the back of his helmet. So evidently he wore both at one time or another.” Weird.
• Speaking of the Raiders, Skip Thomas is lurking in the background of this photo with no helmet decal. But it was a preseason game, so we’ll cut him some slack.
• I assume these were practice jerseys. Gotta love the little rocket icons on the shoulders.
• Hmmm, might be time for a new jersey.
• What’s going on here? According to the caption: “Democratic and Republican members of the House of Representatives met on the baseball field today for the annual contest for the championship of the capital.” Love that elephant on the GOP jersey, but how come the Dems didn’t get to wear a donkey?
• In light of the weather many of us have been facing lately, this shot seems like a good one to go out on.
And hey, speaking of the weather, check out this shot of Wrigley last night. Brinke sent that in — nice one.
But where’s the Anna Benson advice column?: Are you married to a professional athlete? Is your professional athlete spouse male? Or, alternately, are you a lesbian and you live in Iowa, Vermont, or the handful of other states that treat you and your professional athlete spouse like human beings instead of second-class citizens? Then you may want to read — hell, you may already be reading — Professional Sports Wives magazine.
PSW has been around since 2004 (although I didn’t learn about it until I saw this very entertaining post yesterday on Can’t Stop the Bleeding), which is long enough to have built up what appears to be an impressive back catalog of you’ve-gotta-see-it-to-disbelieve-it material. “Husbands Who Won’t Lead; Wives Who Won’t Follow”? Sure, got that right here. “MLB’s Weddings to Remember”? Why not. Paul Byrd’s wife spells her name “Kym”? Duh, what did you expect. Ads promising to help you stop spending all of your man’s millions so he won’t smack you around? But of course. Carlos Beltran playing right field? Well, sort of.
As a longtime collector of trade magazines (my library includes copies of Elevator World, American Funeral Director, Hay & Forage Grower, American Jails, Religious Conference Manager, and many more), I’m more than a little fascinated by Professional Sports Wives, which manages to take the most endearingly awful things about trade mags (bad design, bad grammar, super-specific niche content, the tortured self-delusion of relevance, etc.) and combine them with the most annoying awful things about women’s mags (squishy subject matter + “You go, girl!” attitude + millionaires = Oprah on steroids). It’s pretty much a perfect confection of, oh, two-thirds of the things that are wrong with American culture at the moment, and as such it’s irresistible. I hate to trot out so shopworn a cliché as “If it didn’t already exist, we would’ve had to invent it,” but the phrase does seem made for situations like this one.
The only problem is that you can’t subscribe unless you’re the wife of an athlete. That hardly seems fair. So hey, all you female Uni Watch readers out there — there must be, what, six or seven of you, right? — could one of you kindly marry David Wright so you can subscribe to PSW and then slide the issues in my general direction? (While you’re at it, tell him to cut down on the goddamn strikeouts already.) His paychecks will probably start bouncing soon, what with the latest Wilponian brouhaha, so be sure to put the subscription on your credit card, not his. My obsession with this magazine will probably run its course in a year or two, so you can divorce him after that. ’Kay? Thanks.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Yesterday I mentioned that the Wilson football factory in Ohio will repair an old ball for $15. If you’re looking to take them up on that offer, full details are available here. … I love this old hockey equipment retail display sign, even if it shows the Red Wings wearing blue pants. … Some Steelers showed up in Dallas wearing Michigan State jerseys as a tribute to Flozell Adams, who’s making his first appearance in the big game. “This is similar to what they did in Super Bowl XL for Jerome Bettis,” notes Doug Keklak. … The Atlantic Junior Hockey League is having the zebras in its all-star game wear tuxedo jerseys. … There are some rumors about Arizona State football going BFBS (with thanks to Eric Nuhfer). … New baseball uniforms for Oklahoma (with thanks to Scott Kingsolver). … Did you know they’re planning a new football stadium in L.A.? Here’s its new logo. … New Chelsea acquisition Fernando Torres will wear No. 9 (as noted by Kenny Loo). … As you may have seen in yesterday’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback installment, Gregg Easterbrook couldn’t get the Packers to tell him what kind of helmet Aaron Rodgers wears. Can’t imagine why they’d want to keep this secret, but whatever — as I quickly explained in a note to Gregg (and as many of you can probably tell without any help), it’s a Schutt Air XP Elite. … Here are Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez with their new jerseys and uni numbers. … New third jersey for the Philadelphia Union (with thanks to Enrico Campitelli Jr.). … Fantastic new throwbacks for Golden State. Click ahead to the third photo in the slideshow to get the full scoop on the excellent Franklin Mieuli memorial patch. … And while we’re at it, here are the throwbacks that’ll be worn later this month by the Kings, Celtics, Knicks, and Bucks. … Some interesting quips from Chipper Jones yesterday regarding cleats, pants, and socks. Check out the last five grafs here (big thanks to Michael Rich). … Like many urban newspapers, the St. Petersburg Times is helping to dig its own grave by publishing a small, free, light-news daily edition designed to appeal to short-attention-span 20somethings who can’t be bothered to read a real newspaper. Their version of this is called tbt* (yes, complete with the embarrassing asterisk). After my review of the Lightning’s uniforms appeared here on Uni Watch yesterday, one of tbt*’s editors sent me a note and asked if he could reprint the entry in his wonderful publication — for zero compensation, natch. Think about that: He could have interviewed me, gotten me to say most of the same things I’d written, and then whipped up a little story. Would’ve taken him an hour, max. Instead, he tried to get something for nothing — douchebag. Well, maybe he was just too busy. But when his number inevitably comes up in one of the paper’s upcoming rounds of layoffs, he’ll have plenty of time to think about his role in helping to devalue journalism. … Here’s the logo for this year’s MLS All-Star Game (with thanks to Matt Harris). … New soccer kit for Brazil. … Our friends at Stewart & Strauss are running a varsity jacket clearance sale. … Really interesting news/info about the little starburst logo in the Rays’ outfield, and about logos in MLB outfields in general, here. … Pacific Northwest photo archivist David Eskenazi recently started a weekly web feature called the “Wayback Machine,” in which he uses his photo collection to examine the history of Seattle-area sports. As you’d expect, most of the entries feature killer uni photos. Additional entries here. … If you missed the Bears/Packers conference championship game, now you can relive the experience with a genuine Soldier Field hot dog — complete with receipt! (Great find by Omar Sofradzija.) … Interesting video on the design process for the 2016 Olympics logo, including several looks at designs and fonts that didn’t make the cut. … Texas Tech hoops wears TNOB, and the spacing between “Red” and “Raiders” tends to be pretty tight. But that space appears to have disappeared completely on Brad Reese’s jersey (screen shot by Keith Pflumm). … New logo for the Ryder Cup. … Good story about the Predators’ equipment staff (with thanks to Lee Wilds). … Oh great, now camo-trimmed “military appreciation” uniforms are spreading to college basketball, at least at Texas A&M (as noted by Brandon Hamburg). … Attention Packers fans: Tiki Barber produced a video report yesterday in which he claimed that the Packers’ “G” logo stands for “greatness” — something I’d never heard before. Wikipedia agrees, but they provide no source citation, and I can’t find any other mention of it aside from rote repetitions of the Wikipedia language. Can anyone confirm or refute? … Dustin Potter is running two noteworthy eBay auctions. One is for a bunch of old Phillies programs, and the other is for a pretty cool 1950 National League schedule.