Wet T-shirt Contest

Screen shot 2011-03-09 at 7.21.26 PM.png

The guy you see pictured at right is Ed Sudol, who umpired in the National League for 21 seasons. Up until now, the most notable line on his résumé was that he was working the plate for Jim Bunning’s perfect game in 1964. But Sudol is now destined to be known for something else, at least among uni watchers: He umpired part of a game in his T-shirt.

The date was July 12, 1969. Sudol was working the plate for a Phils/Cubs game at Wrigley (and it was a day game, natch — Wrigley didn’t yet have lights). He began the game wearing his jacket, but the umps working the bases had eschewed their jackets and were working in shirt sleeves — pretty standard for a warm day.

Sudol stuck with the jacket through the first five innings. But during the commercial break between the end of the fifth and the start of the sixth, he apparently removed his jacket and his shirt — or else he never had a shirt under his jacket to begin with — because he was suddenly wearing nothing but his chest protector over a T-shirt. He stayed that way for the rest of the game. We’ve seen plenty of instances where umps lost their luggage and had to wear makeshift gear, but this is the first time I’ve seen an umpire strip down to his tee.

Play-by-play man Curt Gowdy, working the game for NBC, took note of Sudol’s wardrobe change and quipped, “If you don’t think it’s hot out there…” But how hot was it? According to historical weather data, the high temperature that day was 91 degrees, with the humidity topping out at 93% — uncomfortable, for sure, but we’ve all dealt with hotter days than that. And this was 1969, which means the players were still wearing flannels — what if some of them had wanted to remove their jerseys? Would Sudol and his umpiring crew have allowed it?

Sudol died in 2004, so I can’t ask him that question. But I’m going to try to contact former Cubbie catcher Randy Hundley — as he crouched a few inches in front of Sudol while wearing a flannel uni under his tools of ignorance, what did he think of the ump getting to shed a few layers?

Meanwhile, here’s an interesting footnote: At several points during the game, Sudol was approached by someone dressed like an usher. Although you can’t see it in those screen shots, that guy was giving Sudol fresh baseballs — he was the ballboy. Never seen someone dressed like that for that task. Can anyone familiar with Wrigley history tell us more about this?

Finally, you’re probably wondering where I got all this material. It’s from this site. Scroll down a bit and click on “Baseball,” and then click on “1969 Chi. Cubs vs. Phila Phillies pt. 2″ — that video clip begins with the first glimpse of Sudol’s T-shirt stylings.

(Major, major thanks to reader Chris Falvey, who brought all of this to my attention. Great find, Chris!)

+ + + + +

Media convention reminder: On Monday afternoon I’m going to be a guest speaker at a convention for journalism and media students, and you’re welcome to attend. Details here.

Uni Watch News Ticker: Marcus Cousin of the Jazz, a last-minute call-up from the D-League, had to go NNOB on Wednesday. … In a related item, Nick Hanson reports that Red Sox prospect Jose Inglesias forgot his #76 jersey with his name on it for yesterday’s game against the Rays and had to wear a #95 NNOB jersey. No photo, alas. … Unbelievable: The Cubs wore special “10″ caps in BP yesterday for Ron Santo, but they weren’t allowed to wear them for their Cactus League game against the Indians because the caps didn’t include the MLB logo. Thank god the sanctity of spring training headwear has been preserved (with thanks to Neil Berger). … George Deaton notes that the MLB uniform renderings on Wikipedia now feature the annoying Nike logo creep on the undershirt collars. … JetBlue CEO David Barger was recently presented with an unusual Red Sox jersey. Aside from the NOB appearing on a home jersey — scandalous! — what’s up with the “B6″? “It’s JetBlue’s airline code,” explains Alex Melendez. … Lots of truly sensational old roller derby photos here (big thanks to the Rev. Nørb). … If you want to see how Tommy Hilfiger would redesign a bunch of today’s uniforms, be my guest. … Tony Serio has reimagined all 32 NFL franchises as basketball teams. … Jonathan Cain notes that Florida Atlantic’s hockey team is wearing some ridiculously thick sleeve stripes. … Always a hoot to see Tom Glavine as a hockey player (with thanks to Jay Sullivan). … Here’s a fun look back at Notre Dame’s old shamrock hoops uni. … Someone else noticed that Andre wasn’t Breathing Ethier in his Photo Day mug shot (with thanks to Michael Smith). … Great stirrups story from Brian Fletcher, as follows: “On Wednesday some friends and I took a trip down to Port Charlotte to see the Rays and Blue Jays play. As with every Rays game I attend, I wore my wonderful Rays stirrups, which usually get a few comments, almost always positive. After the game, we headed back towards the interstate, but stopped at Target and ran into Ben Zobrist, shopping with his wife and son. I’m not one to bother athletes just to get an autograph, but we did walk by, and Zobrist walked up to us and said to me ‘Hey man, sick socks!’ Yeah, he called them socks, but at least he liked them. I joked that I was on a grass-roots campaign to get all Rays players to wear them. He told me that I’d never get all the guys but that he might start.” … Lots of chromatic confusion in el NBA last noche, as the Mavs and Heat both wore color at home. Is this the first time the Lakers have ever worn white on the road? … Current issue of ESPN Mag has a breakdown of which MLB caps are favored by which street gangs (big thanks to Terry Duroncelet). … The Mets have been bowling during spring training, and they’ve gotten themselves their own bowling shirts. But come on, no rear-view photos? … Some very cool old Indians program covers on display here.

 

133 comments to Wet T-shirt Contest

  • odessasteps | March 11, 2011 at 7:34 am |

    I skimmed the new ‘fashion/style’ issue of the 4 letter mag last night and didn’t see Paul’s name anywhere, even in the history of uniform article.

    Did I miss something, Uni Boss?

    • Paul Lukas | March 11, 2011 at 7:41 am |

      Rather amazingly, I wasn’t asked to participate.

      I didn’t even realize they were doing a Style issue until four different fact-checkers called me to confirm various points in four different stories. Sigh….

      • possum | March 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm |

        When they’re doing pieces like the Hilfiger-laced redesigns & gang cap articles, I can’t say I’d have been proud to say my name was involved, were I in your shoes.

    • Joey | March 11, 2011 at 9:34 am |

      I don’t understand. Why have someone on staff at ESPN hired specifically to write about uniform design, and when your Magazine (granted, a different staff, but still…) puts out a STYLE/UNIFORM ISSUE, you don’t use the writer on your staff who arguably is the best source of the information??

      I don’t get it. I too, was expecting to see your name in the issue, Paul. Very disappointed.

  • Vincent | March 11, 2011 at 7:56 am |

    Am I the only one getting really sick of the “wear away uniform at home or a throwback (even a road one) as soon as this is a nationally televised game”? I can’t take it anymore.
    I understand it’s for merchandising purposes but come on. Don’t you think the fans that come at the arena watch your games on the road on TV? Would it be too much to ask for you to wear road throwbacks only on the road? I really found the black/white Heat-Lakers game awful to watch yesterday.
    And on a more pleasant note, thank God Tommy Hilfiger doesn’t have a say about uniform designs, these are godawful as well.

    • The Jeff | March 11, 2011 at 9:02 am |

      Don’t you think the fans that come at the arena watch your games on the road on TV? – Maybe they think the fans that come to the games don’t want to see the same white jersey 40 times.

      I find the El and Los on the jerseys to be far worse than the lack of white on the home team.

      • Chance Michaels | March 11, 2011 at 9:33 am |

        Whdn exactly did consistency become a bad thing?

        • The Jeff | March 11, 2011 at 9:50 am |

          I dunno, just throwing out possible ideas.

          I think the idea of white at home (or colored at home, whichever) should be decided by the team though, not any league rules. So, if the Pistons choose to wear white for every home game while the Knicks wear blue for 10 of them… so be it.

      • concealed78 | March 11, 2011 at 11:09 am |

        Without the consistency in rules, we have chaos.

        The lines of tradition are being blurred with casual attitudes when the rules “home” and “away” uni sets are being fast and loose. The whole point of designations was so the two teams wouldn’t end up on the field wearing the same thing. But now it’s all “how many uniforms did your equipment manager pack” and they use merchandising as a cop-out. The NFL bugs me the most about this and especially the Cowboys.

        And for the fans that come to the games: 41 games of the home team in white with 41 games of the visitors in a different color. #Winning

        • Jim Vilk | March 11, 2011 at 2:53 pm |

          Chaos is when you start having pinkouts and blackouts and color-of-this-week’s-cause-outs. If you’re wearing your regular “home” and “away” unis, I don’t see the problem with switching them around. I’m with The Jeff on this one – home team can choose.

        • concealed78 | March 11, 2011 at 4:14 pm |

          Jim, I don’t think that’s fair to the visitor’s equipment managing team that they have to pack for every single possible combination (and we’ve seen some videos, it’s a lot of stuff). I would be in favor of a league policy as opposed to a team policy.

          To me it just doesn’t look right, like powder blue roads at home. Perhaps some teams find it “fun”.

        • Jim Vilk | March 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm |

          All they have to do is mandate the home team to announce ahead of time what they’re wearing. Then the visiting team only needs to pack what they need.

    • Paul Lee | March 11, 2011 at 11:39 am |

      If only they’ve made the throwbacks and Noche Latina jerseys in both home and away colors… It might not have anything to do with merchandising, and more to do with not wanting to spend more money to create yet another set of jerseys, at least when it comes to Noche Latina; the league is definitely milking the throwbacks.

      Wonder what would’ve happened the “Los Lakers” played “Nueva York,” since both teams only have the white jerseys made. I guess that’s also why “Los Rockets” didn’t get to play “Los Spurs” this year.

      By the way, the best looking Noche Latina jersey for me would be a tie between the Maverick’s and the Knicks’ jersey. The worst would have to be the “Los Suns.”

      Anybody else noticed how the Mavs’ “Noche Latina” jersey doesn’t seem to be made from the Revolution 30 material? Or is my TV just too low-res to see it?

      • A.J. | March 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm |

        I’m pretty sure they thought about who was playing who when they made the jerseys so that they wouldn’t have a conflict…

        And I have no problem with the home team wearing dark. Maybe it’s because I’m a Rangers and Giants fan and to me, the Blueshirts should be wearing blue shirts and Big Blue should be big and blue. That’s the way it was when the league started, and they did just fine with that. TV is the reason leagues stopped doing color on color, otherwise teams would still probably be wearing something colored so long as it doesn’t conflict.

        • Vincent | March 11, 2011 at 12:28 pm |

          The thing is, I’m not opposed to home teams wearing dark, as long as it is consistent.

          The Giants and Rangers wear blue at home, always have been, always will be (except for a couple days ago for the Rangers and -god forget- the red catastrophe by the Giants in ’06 if I remember well).

          NBA teams should have one home jersey and one away jersey. Period.

          By the way, twenty years ago, would people have imagined in their worst nighmares that in 2011, the Lakers would have a white home jersey, that they would wear it on the road with Los Lakers written on it?

        • JTH | March 11, 2011 at 1:18 pm |

          20 years ago, the Rangers wore white at home — the way God intended it.

        • A.J. | March 11, 2011 at 5:14 pm |

          And 60 years ago the Rangers didn’t even have a white uniform and wore blue all the time.

          In people’s worst nightmares 20 years ago they had this to look at http://cdn.bleacherr... I’d take a season of white Los Lakers jerseys over that.

  • scott | March 11, 2011 at 7:57 am |

    Why didn’t those Santo tribute caps have the MLB logo in the first place?

  • Mike Hersh | March 11, 2011 at 8:04 am |

    That Tommy stuff sucked!!!

    • Josh | March 11, 2011 at 8:35 am |

      All of the TH gear looked like All Star BP unis! Except for the Lakers jersey. I did like the horizontal striping and #’s on the shorts.

    • Josh | March 11, 2011 at 8:37 am |

      And the collar on the yankees jersey (and only the collar) is interesting.

    • RS Rogers | March 11, 2011 at 9:10 am |

      I kind of dig the boldness of the Tommy designs, but it still gets an automatic F for me. It appears that the football and hockey designs take no account of the various pads and safety equipment athletes in those sports have to wear. Arguably the first rule of design is that function precedes form. In sports with mandatory equipment, uni design has got to start with the pads and equipment.

      • Mike Hersh | March 11, 2011 at 9:25 am |

        I work in the fashion industry and have even put my time in at Tommy Hilfiger. It’s sad to say, but for the most part no one understands sports uniforms (color combos, function, fabrics, etc…) When I say this I’m talking about fashion houses not the performance companies like Nike and Adidas.

        • DanKing9 | March 11, 2011 at 10:20 am |

          Reminds me of a time when I was watching that top designer show and they were supposed to design outfits for the opening ceremonies of the olympics. pretty much all of the designers got blasted for not taking into account they were making stuff for muscular athletes, not models. it was quite funny to watch and listen to.

        • pflava | March 11, 2011 at 12:17 pm |

          That’s not surprising at all – sports uniforms are not fashion. Fashion designers have no business even attempting uniforms.

    • concealed78 | March 11, 2011 at 11:12 am |

      I thought the logos looked like generic liquor bottle labels.

    • Hank-SJ | March 11, 2011 at 12:07 pm |

      Hideous. Similar to when ‘celebrity’ chefs do their take on traditional meals and sandwiches. And come nowhere close to what the sandwich is really like.

    • A.J. | March 11, 2011 at 12:14 pm |

      I liked a lot of parts of the uniforms. The number on the side of the hat, while totally unnecessary and totally nontraditional, is an interesting aspect. it’s on headwear for a lot of other sports, I’m kind of surprised it hasn’t made it’s way to baseball yet, especially for the expansion teams. They could sell a ton more hats if people got them for individual players (not saying that’s a good reason to do it, but one that I’m surprised MLB or the teams haven’t jumped on).

      And I like the Lakers look. The Habs striped jersey is interesting as well. It’s like the heritage one they wore for the 100th last year, but not quite as over the top and barber pole. The sash is a bit much though.

      And I’m totally in favor of the Cowboys one. Whatever makes them look more like jackasses is something I’m 100% for!

    • Simply Moono | March 11, 2011 at 5:36 pm |

      This is my opinion of the Tommy Hilfiger designs:

      http://images.fanpop...

      However, I did enjoy the collar on the Yankees monstrosities. And I’ll give him SOME credit on his Habs design, combining Rugby elements into a Hockey design. Makes you think of other sports uniform elements that can work for other sports, kinda like “Uniform Cross-Dressing Part II” in a way.

      But overall, the designs suck SO hard. Hey, Tommy Hilfiger! This is what I think of you right now:

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

    • StLMarty | March 11, 2011 at 5:56 pm |

      Yankees, Lakers, and Cowboys.
      Of course.

  • Steve | March 11, 2011 at 8:10 am |

    That’s some bullsh!t the Cubs couldn’t wear the Santo hat. Do theFCNY and NYPD hats have the MLB logo when the teams in NY wear them on Sept. 11 (or whatever day they wear them)?

    • Paul Lukas | March 11, 2011 at 8:15 am |

      THe first reponder caps do not have the MLB logo, but those were cleared in advance with the MLB office, while the Cubbie caps probably were not.

      I agree that it’s bullshit, of course.

      • Austin | March 11, 2011 at 8:18 am |

        Grapefruit League? you mean Cactus League?

        • Paul Lukas | March 11, 2011 at 8:22 am |

          Right you are. Will fix.

    • scott | March 11, 2011 at 8:16 am |

      Probably not, but I’m sure that’s an exceptional circumstance and isn’t really germane. It seems the Cubs should have known that the tribute cap would need the MLB logo if it was to be worn in a spring training game, so why it didn’t have the logo is a question that needs to be answered.

      • Flip | March 11, 2011 at 9:28 am |

        Still. Bullshit.

        • Csikos | March 11, 2011 at 11:09 am |

          seconded

  • Simulated Steve | March 11, 2011 at 8:25 am |

    In the cubs shot, that is an “Andy Frain” usher. Wonder if the regular ball boy called in sick that day?

    I too was shocked to see a uni-article authored by someone other than our gracious host. But then after reading the topic and throwing up in my mouth, I figured you just passed on this as well to save us all.

  • Cmoney | March 11, 2011 at 8:38 am |

    Did anyone notice the point in the gangsta hat article that KC’s addition of black led to their hats being worn by gangs?

    • Flip | March 11, 2011 at 9:29 am |

      It was wrong, wrong, wrong for KC to introduce black to its uniform scheme. As if the decision needs affirmation it was wrong, this is it.

    • Chance Michaels | March 11, 2011 at 9:31 am |

      Sure did. The Royals wanted to boost sales, but I doubt they knew who these new customers were going to be.

      • LI Phil | March 11, 2011 at 10:14 am |

        i bet they knew exactly who their customers were going to be — maybe not gangs, per se…but certainly youth who seem to embrace any color garment, as long as it’s black

        • Evan | March 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm |

          I hated the idea of the custom color combo hats for gangs. I now think that these teams should have them, if only so this scum is recognized more easily.

        • Simply Moono | March 11, 2011 at 5:58 pm |

          As embarrassing as this is to say this because I’m a college student, my brain hates reading during a workout, and I saw this at my local gym last night, flipped past the page after Tommy’s fashion costumes, saw the Capology article, and just took pictures. I didn’t even read what it had to say, so I didn’t even know that it was about gang preference or anything like that. But thank you for putting it in today’s post. I’m about to head out to the gym for another session, so I’ll give it a good read when I get there.

  • Kasey Ignarski | March 11, 2011 at 8:40 am |

    The Cubs for years never had a regular ball boy They did have batboys, but they stayed in the dugout to help the players. The Andy Frain usher on the field did the ballboy thing. They used one of the “Andy Frain” ushers as ballboys. He would sit on the field and give the umpire the balls as needed. This practice was ended in the early 80′s when the Tribune bought the Cubs and installed Marla Collins as the 1st Cubs Ball girl. (I have a picture of Marla Collins at my website at http://www.cubsbythe...)

    • Paul Lukas | March 11, 2011 at 8:43 am |

      Fascinating. Thanks for the great info!

      • Kasey Ignarski | March 11, 2011 at 9:12 am |

        Heck..even today, they don’t have ballboys. They use one of the security people sit off to the side of the dugout and he supplies the balls to the umpires. I remember a few years ago, there was one of these security people “ballboys” who would always sprint out to retrieve foul balls. It was a SUnday night game and the ESPN guys were making comments on this guy all night.

        • concealed78 | March 11, 2011 at 10:16 am |

          Yeah, that old guy with the beard, at least that I know of a few years ago.

          Dusty Baker’s kid pretty much ruined it for all future ballboys.

    • Simulated Steve | March 11, 2011 at 9:42 am |

      This brings back memories of the great Harry Caray sound bit about Marla Collins. Some background, as you can see from the pic, Marla looked great in her ball girl uni, then one one day Marla wore pants which prompted this exchange by Harry in the booth.. http://www.pmaxinc.c...

    • Eriq Jaffe | March 11, 2011 at 9:50 am |

      That’s probably not the best known picture of Marla Collins. (link is very marginally NSFW) ;)

  • DJ | March 11, 2011 at 9:00 am |

    Back in the 60s, I’d bet it was quite common for the home plate umpires in the NL to merely wear a t-shirt under their blazer and chest protector. I recall one umpire (although not his name) who would push up the sleeves of his blazer to the elbow when working, showing bare arms. I wonder if incidents like this got the NL to start thinking about issuing short sleeve shirts to the home plate umpires that would fit over their gear for a better image.

    • timmy b | March 11, 2011 at 9:41 am |

      I don’t think the AL home plate umps were as lucky in the 60′s. They wore the balloon style chest protectors and were usually more inclined (league edict?) to stay in dress shirt and tie longer than the NL crews when the weather got hot.

      BTW, my heart goes out to the citizens of those in Japan affected by the earthquake/tsunami. Hope all of our UW contributors from Japan are OK.

  • GoTerriers | March 11, 2011 at 9:46 am |

    Skimmed through the NFL teams reimagined as NBA jerseys and can’t help but notice how much a couple of them evoke current or former actual NBA jerseys. Specifically, the Washington treatment is reminiscent of the Cavs, the Kansas City version is almost a spot-on replica of the old Atlanta Hawks jerseys and there’s no way to do a purple and gold Vikings treatment without evoking the Lakers.
    Not by any means a criticism, just an observation.

  • concealed78 | March 11, 2011 at 9:54 am |

    93% humidity at 91 degrees as uncomfortable is being frank. That’s like tropical rainforest air like walking into a sauna that makes breathing difficult. Combination’s of temperature & humidity that high are not that common in Chicago.

    Pretty much once you get Dew Points into the 70s and temps over 80 degrees is when things start to feel sticky and uncomfortable.

    • Perry | March 11, 2011 at 10:31 am |

      I’m not a meteorologist, but basically I think you’ll find that 90 degrees with 90% humidity never happens, at least in the US. You’ll get that combo on the same DAY, but not at the same time. Even in sweatboxes like Houston or St. Louis you usually get the 90+% humidity (even 100%) in the morning when the temp is maybe 70. Warm air can hold more moisture, so as the temp rises to the 90s the humidity generally drops to the low 50s. Which feels absolutely miserable.

      • Ricko | March 11, 2011 at 11:05 am |

        I remember standing in formation early one muggy Summer morning in the Army at Ft. Ben Harrison just outside Indianapolis. Radio had said the humidity was 100%…but it wasn’t raining. Temp wasn’t in the 90s, either.

        As the CO spoke to us for about five minutes I looked down and WATCHED the starch go out of my fresh-off-the-hangar, non-permanent press khakis. The crease down the front of my pantlegs virtually…disappeared.

        As we are accustomed to saying in Minnesots, “It isn’t he heat, it’s the humidity.”

        —Ricko

        • concealed78 | March 11, 2011 at 11:35 am |

          I meant to say this but didn’t, but I thought Saturday’s Benchies was hilarious, Ricko.

        • Ricko | March 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm |

          Thanks.

          I’m trying to decide if I should market…
          NUKE ‘IM
          ‘TIL HE
          GLOWS
          …t-shirts.

          Could be dragged out for whichever country’s martinet was being annoying at the time.

          Y’know, Libya, Iran, North Korea…

          —Ricko

        • Ricko | March 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm |

          for reference…
          http://farm6.static....

      • Sean L | March 11, 2011 at 3:04 pm |

        I am a meteorologist and can certainly confirm that Chicago has almost certainly never seen temperatures in the 90s with a relative humidity above 90%. That would give you a heat index of 130, which would make heatstroke likely for anyone attending the game, much less working the game. The day would probably be memorable much more for the number of people who would have died that day than an umpire in a t-shirt.

        Typically, the day’s highest relative humidity coincides with the morning low, and the lowest relative humidity coincides with the afternoon low. The day’s minimum RH of 36% would have been a more appropriate number to use. It also would have spoken more to the point that it was certainly quite hot, but not absurdly so, rather than referring to an essentially unbearable situation as nothing more than an annoyance.

        • concealed78 | March 12, 2011 at 10:40 am |

          Thanks for the info, Sean!

          After I posted what I did, I wondered if Paul was actually making a joke which would make my post rhetoric.

  • Hedgehog | March 11, 2011 at 10:03 am |

    Quite a wake up call! I went to school with one of Satch Davidson’s daughters. She was en employee of mine for a while. Our folks went to school together. And I KNOW that HE was behind the plate for Hank Aaron’s 715th home run which broke Babe Ruth’s career record and called the game in which Carlton Fisk hit a game-winning home run in game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Confirmation lots of places but here’s one: http://kilt.cbslocal...

    • Paul Lukas | March 11, 2011 at 10:22 am |

      ’Twould appear you are correct:
      http://www.baseball-...

      My note about Sudol being behind the plate in that game was based on this article:
      http://www.historicb...

      Guess I should have double-checked. I’ll adjust the text now. Thanks for the correction.

    • umplou | March 11, 2011 at 2:05 pm |

      Actually Sudol had quite a bit to do with Met and MLB history. The Mets hold several records for long games –

      The infamous Memorial Day DH against the Giants in 1964

      , where they played just short of 10 hours. The second ran 23 ininngs.

      The Mets and Cardinals played 25 innings on 9/11/1974 – which is the longest game innings wise with a decision.

      The Mets lost to the Astros 1-0 in 24 innings on 4/15/1968, the longest 1-0 game in MLB history, innings wise.

      Guess Who was the home plate umpire in EACH of those games??

      And as Casey always said – You can look it up!

      Sudol DID have a reputation for having a fairly large strike zone…..

      And yes, to answer the question, the AL was VERY conservative about allowing its umps the leeway to go in shirt sleeves….

      • umplou | March 11, 2011 at 2:24 pm |

        Should also mention that back in the day the uniforms and equipment that umps wore weren’t exactly heat friendly. Uniform/equipment tech today for umpires is light years ahead of where it was back in 1969. Now the ump shirts are all mesh, with undershirts that wick the sweat off, plus the chest protectors these days do a better job of ventilating that the ribbed protectors of the old days.

        When I first started umping softball 20+ years ago, we had to wear the old elbeco button down dress shirts, and they were HOT – no matter how far you unbuttoned them.

  • concealed78 | March 11, 2011 at 10:08 am |

    On Wednesday night the Bobcats wore blues at home & the Bulls wore home whites in Charlotte for no reason. This shit needs to stop.

    • Paul Lee | March 11, 2011 at 11:42 am |

      I was also wondering why they did that. I know Jordan owns the Bobcats and all, but it’s not like Charlotte wore those awful checkered-flag alternate jerseys.

  • Juke Early | March 11, 2011 at 10:08 am |

    F**k the Cub Santo cap issue – Ron Santo should’ve been elected to the Hall of Fame before his death. Shameful.

    As for style matters –

    • Thugs can wear any cap they want. But if they wear them oversized & flat brim – they will still look like assholes

    • Tommy Hilfiger NYY redesign? there’s no need for a collar on a baseball uni. BUT that lameass crest really makes it lamer than shit

    • concealed78 | March 11, 2011 at 10:24 am |

      Santo’s stats are borderline at best. Cubs fans act like it’s a national tragedy that Santo isn’t in the Hall; going so far as they shamelessly introduced Ron as “future Hall of Famer Ron Santo…” in WGN radio broadcasts.

      And some of the glorified folklore built up about Santo is beyond ridiculous, including This Old Cub which they rerun from time to time as TV filler.

      • Paul Lukas | March 11, 2011 at 10:27 am |

        Let’s not get bogged down debating Santo’s merits (HoF or otherwise). Thanks.

  • Kek | March 11, 2011 at 10:18 am |

    Best part of that ND shamrock uni…the green one stars!

    I’ve been debating getting a pair of green chucks for St. Patty’s Day but if I could come across a pair of those one stars, that be even better.

    • JTH | March 11, 2011 at 10:50 am |
      • Kek | March 11, 2011 at 11:00 am |

        Nice! Thank you!

        • JTH | March 11, 2011 at 11:24 am |

          I might have to order a pair for myself. My damn-near-20-year-old black ones are starting to fall apart.

  • Johnny O | March 11, 2011 at 10:27 am |

    I really don’t get the big deal about the Cub’s tribute to Santo. Last year during a retro day, when the Crew threw back to the mid 90′s, their caps had no MLB logo on the back:
    http://s147.photobuc...

    How was that authorized, but the Cubs couldn’t show a tribute of a Spring Training game to a great announcer and player for their club who has passed away?
    _______________

    Also, I have been a ESPN the Mag subscriber for about three years, and find it unbelievable that Paul is not asked to write articles about uniforms or style. Granted, they don’t talk much about that stuff in The Mag, but I still find it incredulous Paul isn’t asked. Can I get in contact with someone to suggest it?

    • Chris from Carver | March 11, 2011 at 10:44 am |

      Those caps should have had the MLB logo on the back, unlike the jerseys. But this reminds me of the quote, “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.”

    • concealed78 | March 11, 2011 at 10:56 am |

      I have to wonder if it’s a New Era contractual situation thing.

    • Mark in Shiga | March 11, 2011 at 11:36 am |

      The only answer I can think of — and the Cubs didn’t have those stupid logos when they and the Braves threw back to 1948 a few years ago — is that they were replicating an actual uniform in the throwback games, whereas this Santo hat is a new design and there’s no original to be accurate to.

      It’s still garbage, though. I hope the Cubs start cutting the MLB logos off their caps and jerseys (and socks, and pants, and wherever else this little rectangular desecration has insinuated itself) in protest!

      • JTH | March 11, 2011 at 11:52 am |

        yeah, but as Chris pointed out, those circa-1998 Brewers throwbacks SHOULD have had the cap logo.

        • Mark in Shiga | March 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm |

          Good point; I’d forgotten that they had added that logo before 1998. I was confused with when they added it to the jersey collars, which was (I think) 1999 or 2000.

          Both are pointless distractions and should be dumped!

        • Chris from Carver | March 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm |

          2001. Caps got them in ’92.

        • Chris from Carver | March 11, 2011 at 3:38 pm |

          My bad, upon further review it was 2000. I now must wear a BFBS Vikings jersey with ownNOB tucked in.

    • Chance Michaels | March 11, 2011 at 12:56 pm |

      Dammit.

      I really miss those late 1990s Brewer unis.

      • Johnny O | March 11, 2011 at 3:09 pm |

        Hey Chance… you can still buy a Braun or a Fielder mid 90′s uni for the low low price of $207!

        http://shop.mlb.com/...

  • allthewayray | March 11, 2011 at 10:46 am |

    Yeah, I always remember an Andy Frain usher supplying the home plate umpire with game balls when I was a kid.

    • Paul Lukas | March 11, 2011 at 11:05 am |

      Confession: I’d never even heard of the term “Andy Frain” until all of you started mentioning it in today’s comments.

      For others who might not be familiar with Andy Frain:
      http://www.andyfrain...

      • JTH | March 11, 2011 at 11:13 am |

        Anyone know if they worked outside of the Chicago area?

        For that matter, did they work Soldier Field and/or the Stadium? I remember them at Cubs & Sox games when I was a kid, but I didn’t go to very many Bears, Bulls or Hawks games so I don’t recall seeing them there.

        Here’s a great photo.

      • Ricko | March 11, 2011 at 11:16 am |

        Probably has to do with where we lived.
        You can’t say “Andy Frain” that I don’t instantly think of Met Stadium, both Twins and Vikings games.

        —Ricko

        • JTH | March 11, 2011 at 11:18 am |

          Well, that answers my first question.

        • Ricko | March 11, 2011 at 11:31 am |

          Pretty sure they worked North Stars games at Met Center, too.

      • LI Phil | March 11, 2011 at 11:46 am |

        must be a mid-west thing

        never heard of it either

        • SkinnerAU | March 11, 2011 at 1:34 pm |

          all i keep thinking when i read andy frain is Andy Dufresne from Shawshank Redemption.

        • Ricko | March 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm |

          Yup.
          And in the midwest, we hear “per-dew” and think of a university.
          On the Eastern Seaboard it’s chicken.

          —Ricko

        • SkinnerAU | March 11, 2011 at 3:02 pm |

          Haha definitely agree with that. Although Tyson is the big wig on chicken down here in South Georgia.

      • D T Nelson | March 12, 2011 at 8:49 pm |

        Yes, at the Cubs games as a kid — when the games were in the daytime, so kids could go — we always addressed the ushers as “Andy.”

        “May I see your ticket stub, please?” “Sure thing, Andy.”

        “Hey, Andy, make that guy sit down!”

        Et cetera.

  • JimWa | March 11, 2011 at 10:48 am |

    Completely off topic, asking for prayers for those of you so inclined:

    My cousin, Hiro Tsuchiya, is in Japan in Togane, Chiba, about three miles off the coastline. His parents are elderly and medically frail, which is why he is “back home” to be with them. Due to communication outages, there has been no word from Hiro as of yet. Please keep them, as well as all effected, in your thoughts today.

    Thank you.

  • All Hail The Swoosh | March 11, 2011 at 11:07 am |

    QUESTION:
    does anyone know where i can find a vector template for basketball unis?

    Id like to do my own NFL-NBA uni set

    • Kerry P | March 11, 2011 at 2:50 pm |

      Go check out the forums at SportsLogos.net

  • Mark in Shiga | March 11, 2011 at 11:37 am |

    Regarding the B6 Barger jersey with Boston — could it be an airline seat, given that he’s with JetBlue?

    • Alex Melendez | March 11, 2011 at 11:10 pm |

      no, I sent it over to Paul, I work for the company. It’s the airline code.

  • Matthew Radican | March 11, 2011 at 11:42 am |

    Great job on the NFL team basketball unis! My favorites are the Colts (my hometown team), Chiefs, Chargers. Least favorite is the Jaguars – horrible colors. I’ve always thought they had the ugliest unis in the NFL.

  • LI Phil | March 11, 2011 at 11:50 am |

    the article is good, but the comments are hysterical

  • JTH | March 11, 2011 at 12:08 pm |

    Paul Lee said:
    Anybody else noticed how the Mavs’ “Noche Latina” jersey doesn’t seem to be made from the Revolution 30 material? Or is my TV just too low-res to see it?

    I didn’t see that, but I was wondering about the Hornets’ Mardi Gras set.

    I believe that the pinstripes on their regular unis preclude them from using the new material, but the Mardi Gras specials don’t have pins. The players are accustomed to the other fabric so they wanted to keep things consistent, maybe?

  • Greg B. | March 11, 2011 at 12:52 pm |

    Good to hear the 60s-era Curt Gowdy calling a baseball game again. It reminds me of lost summer Saturday afternoons of my youth watching NBC’s game of the week. Also interesting to note how he was the voice you heard about 80% of the time – Tony Kubek was really in a secondary role.

    Too bad the video didn’t retain the commercials that aired in that broadcast. Bet they would have been very interesting to look at now, 42 years later.

    • Gusto44 | March 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm |

      Yes, the older telecasts were fun to watch, even though the technology was primitive compared to today. Less sensationalism overall, and the focus on the game itself. No endless promos for a new sitcom, and missed plays.

      The funny part about the old games minus the avalanche of graphics, is that creates the impression of the picture being larger. The old games also didn’t have the burden of the annoying scroll at the bottom of the screen.

      Listening to greats like Curt Gowdy, you realize how he kept the focus on the game, rather than trying to come up with a sarcastic comment.

      • Ricko | March 11, 2011 at 1:29 pm |

        The picture WAS larger. It filled the entire screen, speaking top-to-bottom.

        The full-sceen/letterbox thing is involved, too, not solely repsonsible, but involved. The more horizontal the aspect, the smaller the images at screen-center.

        Not gonna explain it to those who don’t get it. Largely because I’m tired of explaining it.

        Let’s just say that if you view da Vinci’s Last Supper full width, it’s the equivalent of the wide aspect, and you can see everyone. View it in typical “full-screen” proportions and only six disciples are visible.

        —Ricko

        • JTH | March 11, 2011 at 2:06 pm |

          Unless you’re watching a Fox broadcast on a 4×3 screen, the picture should always occupy the entire space, top-to-bottom.

    • Jim Vilk | March 11, 2011 at 2:45 pm |

      Love watching that, and the old NBC/TVS broadcasts of college basketball as well. As Gusto said, the focus is on the game itself.

      Speaking of basketball, click on the St. Joes / Temple game. You’ll see an old Philadelphia Big Five tradition, where fans throw streamers onto the Palestra court after the first basket. The NCAA banned that in 1985, but fortunately it looks as if that tradition might be coming back:
      http://www.dailypenn...
      If I had a bucket list, seeing a game at the Palestra would be on there.

      • Ricko | March 11, 2011 at 2:55 pm |

        …or the 1965 Hula Bowl.
        Night game in black and white, but game is color-on-color (one team in mono, too).
        Butkus, Sayers, Craig Morton…

        In the booth, Paul Christman and Curt Cowdy, which brings back memories of the AFL.

        —Ricko

  • SkinnerAU | March 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm |

    ok not very sure were I should put this but today I find out that my secretary’s dad is Carl Erskine. He was a pitcher on the 1955 World Champion Brooklyn Dodgers. So my jaw dropped. haha needless to say she sent me this pick of Carl and the late Duke Snider.
    http://www.flickr.co...

  • Jim Vilk | March 11, 2011 at 2:17 pm |

    “The Mets have been bowling during spring training, and they’ve gotten themselves their own bowling shirts.”

    The first comment at the end of that piece:
    “if any one gets hurt bowling, i will be very upset.”

    Give me a break. And give me one of those bowling shirts, too.

    • Ricko | March 11, 2011 at 2:45 pm |

      Obviously, you’ve never seen the late night commercial for the “Greatest Bowling Fights” dvd.

      Or maybe I dreamt that.

      —Ricko

      • Paul Lukas | March 11, 2011 at 3:21 pm |

        I don’t know about that, but I have a copy of ‘Bimbo Bowlers from Buffalo,’ which is the greatest (and probably only) bowling porno flick ever.

        • Ricko | March 11, 2011 at 3:32 pm |

          Well, there’s always…
          SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA
          http://www.imdb.com/...

          But that’s only R-rated.

          —Ricko

        • Ricko | March 11, 2011 at 3:40 pm |

          Okay, I can’t resist.
          I thought I could but, nope…

          “Buffalo gals, won’t you come out tonight,
          come out tonight, come out tonight.
          Buffalo gals, won’t your come out tonight,
          and dance by the light of the moon.”

          (Hey, I wasn’t the ONLY one thinking of it)

          —Ricko

  • Broadway Connie | March 11, 2011 at 2:43 pm |

    Loved the photos of the old roller derby warriors.

    • SoCalDrew | March 11, 2011 at 8:26 pm |

      Any such thing as a throwback L.A. T-Birds shirt available?

  • JTH | March 11, 2011 at 4:25 pm |

    Hey, I just noticed the little you might like box at the bottom of the ticker.

    Is that new? I mean, like, *since this morning* new?

    • Aaron | March 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm |

      It sure caught me off guard with my “last hour of work” sweep of the comments.

    • LI Phil | March 11, 2011 at 5:07 pm |

      hmmmm…must be something ek (and/or paul) put in there…new to me

      • Paul Lukas | March 11, 2011 at 5:25 pm |

        Ek’s latest brainstorm. I’m not in love with it, but I also don’t hate it. How annoying (if at all) is it?

        • Aaron | March 11, 2011 at 5:42 pm |

          I think it’s fine. Kind of on the same page, I’m not enamored, but it doesn’t bother me, either. Give it a little bit of time, and at the worst we’ll learn to ignore it.

  • rpm | March 11, 2011 at 5:01 pm |

    hey phil, on top of what we talked about yesterday, there is also an extra hour of sunlight to enjoy every evening as of saturday.

    • LI Phil | March 11, 2011 at 5:08 pm |

      and one less hour of precious sleep…

      • rpm | March 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm |

        there is one less hour to the weekend, but not necessarily one less hour of sleep, and it is a small price to pay. turning the clocks forward isn’t a case of cup 1/2 full or empty, it’s cup runneth over.

    • Jim Vilk | March 11, 2011 at 5:24 pm |

      There’s not an extra hour of sunlight. It just gets shifted.

      I’ll take the sleep instead. Falling back is always more fun than springing forward.

      • Jim Vilk | March 11, 2011 at 5:26 pm |

        Alright, I saw the “every evening” part now. Don’t mind me…carry on.

        • rpm | March 11, 2011 at 5:35 pm |

          ha! right, the sunlight is shifted to when you can take advantage, after work. sitting on the porch, iced cream socials, BBQ’s, bags, a wiffleball game, etc. who needs that sunlight when they are in the office? if you get to bed late saturday, and have somewhere to be sunday morning, fine, i guess you lose an hour for one day, but that is such a small price to pay, and i wouldn’t think of crying about it for a second because of the whole summer of extra evening light. the day they turn the clocks back again is the worst day of the year, even if for one lousy day i can have an extra hour of useless sleep, which is for the birds anyway, who needs it.

      • LI Phil | March 11, 2011 at 5:43 pm |

        and if i hear one more person say “daylight savingS time” im gonna punch em in the mouth

        it’s funny…when we “gain” an hour in the fall…it’s like it never happened, but when we “lose” the hour in the spring…it takes my body a week to get adjusted

        stupid farmers

        • rpm | March 11, 2011 at 5:57 pm |

          unbelieveable

        • rpm | March 11, 2011 at 5:59 pm |

          a one word comment fail, sad…
          unbelievable

  • Michael Worley | March 12, 2011 at 1:17 am |

    Interesting, the “Los Mavs” jersey is a variant on a jersey that the Mavericks wore last year, but removed from their set this year.

  • spurs214450 | March 12, 2011 at 3:48 am |

    IIRC, Lee Weyer was the last umpire to exclusively wear a suit coat/blazer while working the plate–even on a really hot day. When I first started following MLB in the late 70s there were several NL umps who wore the plate coat even when the base umps were in shirtsleeves (John McSherry, Bill Williams, Dutch Rennert, Fred Brocklander, Eric Gregg, Joe West, Harry Wendlestedt, Satch Davidson, et al). A similar trend developed in the AL once the transition was complete from the outside chest protector to the inside one–although the list of such umpires who would do so is smaller (Jim Evans, John Shulock, Durwood Merrill, and Al Clark). Compare this to the present day–where there is a greater likelihood of the plate umpire in shirtsleeves while the base umps are in jackets on a cool to cold day. A good contrast to Weyer “suiting” up on a really hot day is Derryl Cousins in shirtsleeves behind the plate on a really cold day(eg an April 1996 game in the Bronx when the Royals and Yankees played in snow flurries).