Ever hear of Hy Peskin? You may not know his name, but you almost certainly know his work. He was Sports Illustrated’s first staff photographer, and one of the greatest sports shutterbugs who ever lived. You’ve probably seen many of his iconic photos without even knowing they were his.
Peskin died in 2005, and now his estate is selling museum-quality prints of his work via a new web site. The photos are astonishingly good, with those deeply saturated colors found in so much mid-century photography. It’s tempting to showcase almost all of them, but I’ll stick to the uni-notable ones. Today we’ll start with baseball photos; in subsequent entries, we’ll look at other sports.
Okay? Here we go:
• Here’s one of the best shots you’ll ever see of the Reds’ 1956 uniform.
• Holy moly, the Phillies sure had some gigantic uni numbers.
• When I was a kid, if a catcher was on deck with two outs, he routinely wore his shinguards in the on deck circle. When did that go out of fashion, and why? Is it because commercial breaks between half-innings got longer, allowing more time for the catcher to strap on his gear if the third out was made?
• Speaking of on deck protocol, this pose used to be so iconic, I actually used to practice it myself when I was a kid — sometimes in front of a mirror (embarrassing but true). It was one of those “Hey, I look like a big leaguer” postures. When you thinking about it, though, it’s kinda lazy, no? Isn’t it better to be swinging the bat, timing the pitcher’s delivery, etc.? Maybe that’s why it fell out of vogue.
• Speaking of the Tribe, I don’t care for these mis-matched undersleeves. Probably a spring training game, but still.
• I’ve always hated mandals, even when worn with stirrups.
• Hard to believe that the outfield wall at Candlestick (and other ballparks) was nothing more than a chain-link fence. Aside from looking ridiculously rinky-dink, it was dangerous: If Willie’s spike had gotten snagged in the fence there, that could have been the end of his career.
• Hmmm — an early bullpen buggy?
That’s enough for today. More great Peskin imagery coming soon.
(Big thanks to Tom Shieber for bringing this new Peskin site to my attention.)
Stiff upper lip: Remember those MLB facial hair T-shirts that surfaced last week? Reader Matt Robinson points out that Nike cribbed the concept for those tees from a Ron Washington shirt that was a big hit in Texas until the lawyers ruined everything.
Now, maaaayyybe the Ron Washington guys got some sort of compensation for their concept. Or maybe MLB and Nike just cherry-picked someone else’s great idea. I’m trying to find out. Stay tuned.
Research query: Did you know that the Cricket World Cup gets underway later this month? Neither did I! But sure enough, it’s true. ESPN.com is going to be providing a lot of coverage, including a piece by a certain uniform columnist.
Just one problem: I don’t know jack about cricket uniforms (or about cricket in general, actually). Anyone want to give me a crash course? I’m looking to learn about cricket uni history and also the uniforms that will be worn in the Cup. If you have expertise in this area, don’t be shy. Thanks.
Collector’s Corner, by Brinke Guthrie
The NFL season may be over, but it’s always football season on eBay (plus it’s always baseball season, always basketball season, and so on). Here’s our latest round of cool collectables:
• I’ve got a pretty good memory about 70’S NFL stuff, and I don’t recall IHOP doing these NFL magnets.
• Pete Rose, a real-life role model.
• Love the cover on this 1971 Detroit Tigers scorebook.
• Gas stations used to be the best source of NFL collectables: beverage glasses, those great stamp albums, and this poster.
• Brady Phelps pointed out this great set of Padres patches
• And here’s a query: Dean Patterson is looking for a 1939 Bruins Victory Dinner menu. If you have any leads, contact him here.
Seen something on eBay that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Teams have graphics standards manuals (i.e., a guide showing the specs for how logos and colors can be used), and so do corporations, governments, militaries, and so on. For a long time, the holy grail in the design community has been to find the graphics standards manual used by the Nazis. And now design historian Steve Heller has finally found one. Fascinating stuff. … Here’s a really good article about the design process for the new Lightning uniforms. … Love this Dolly Madison Dairies basketball jersey. … Here’s something I hadn’t known about: After a shooting on the Iowa campus in 1991, Hayden Fry had the football team go without helmet decals, creating a solid-black memorial helmet. … New baseball uniforms for Arkansas (with thanks to Justin Bates). … Here’s a great story about a guy with a Milwaukee Braves stock certificate (with thanks to Jonathon Binet). … Vanderbilt hoops wore gold uniforms back on Saturday. … Dante Cunningham of the Blazers was wearing a very strange facemask during shootaround before Monday night’s Blazers/Bulls game. “He needed a facemask after getting elbowed in the eye against the Cavs,” says Malcolm Byers. “The strange thing is that the mask seems to have dark-colored lenses, which look much darker then the goggles Dwayne Wade was not allowed to wear last week. Unfortunately, Cunningham never got into the game.” … Remember the nine-year-old girl who was killed in the Tucson shootings? She was a Little League player, and now lots of Little League teams around the country are planning to wear a memorial patch for her (with thanks to Alex Benezra). … Dusty McGowan notes that one of the linesmen in this NHL fight video clip has a different zebra jersey than the other members of the officiating crew. Anyone know why? … Some pink rinks look pinker than others. “That’s from the San Antonio Rampage (AHL) Pink in the Rink game on Jan. 28,” says Gordie Taylor. … New sweatbacks for K-State (with thanks to Grant Goldman). … Somehow hadn’t noticed that Jordy Nelson tore one of his socks in the Super Bowl until O.J. De Castro sent me this shot. … Check out the big uni numbers on Matt Cooke’s skates (as spotted by Ryan Connelly). … This 1965 Bills/Raiders shot shows the Bills with an unusually chunky NOB font (good spot by Bill Kellick). … Britt Jackson has found a line of cycling jerseys based on MLB, NBA, and NHL designs. … Good observation from David Browning, who writes: “It has come to my attention that the confetti that rained from the roof of Cowboys Stadium on Sunday night was shaped like the Lombardi Trophy.” Interesting. I have a bit of confetti from Super Bowl XLII (Joe Skiba sent it to me after the game), and you can see that it was not Lombardi-shaped. … The Packers got to keep their Super Bowl jerseys, which occasioned some amusing hyperbole from player and writer alike. Start at the fifth graf and try not to laugh when you get to Brandon Jackson’s quotes (with thanks to Michael Drivas). … Sam Lam has custom-painted himself another A’s-themed Peanuts bobblehead.