What’s the only thing better than a birthday? An extended birthday. That’s what I got to enjoy yesterday evening as I came home from a few games of bowling and found the jersey you see above waiting for me, courtesy of a certain very thoughtful bench coach. Pretty swell, no? It’s cotton flannel, with a chain-stitched insignia and tackle twill rear numbering. I’m kind of in love with it.
As for the bowling, I was joined by the estimable Bart DeCoursy (proprietor of the excellent DeCoursy’s Sidecar, don’tcha know). I tossed some good games — 160, 205, 185 — but the highlight was picking up a 4-10 split for only the third time in my life. Yee-freakin’-haw!
New ESPN column today: the 13th annual Uni Watch MLB season round-up. Very little in the column that we haven’t already covered here, but it’s nice to have all the info in one place, right? Many of you have told me this is always your favorite column of the year, so enjoy.
Popeye update: In case you read yesterday’s entry in the morning and didn’t return to the site after that, at around 11:45am I added an important update to the Don Zimmer story. To wit: While it’s true that the Mets asked Zim to model the team’s new road uni on Feb. 11, 1962, it turns out he wasn’t the only player in uniform for the photo shoot.
That photo, which was found by reader Dwayne White, ran in the 2/12/62 edition of the St. Petersburg Times. As you can see, pitcher Bob Miller was also in uniform (and, like Zim, also made his home in St. Pete at the time). So Zimmer wasn’t the really the first Met to suit up — he was one of the first.
I’ve asked the Rays PR guy to show the photo to Zim, to see if it jogs his memory about Miller being on hand that day. But as you might expect, all MLB teams are a little berserk this week, so I doubt this is going to be a top priority. Might have to revisit it next month, when things are a bit calmer.
In any case, it’s a great example of how you can think you’ve nailed a story and then it turns out that it’s not the whole story. History, as we’ve learned again and again here at Uni Watch, is a tricky thing.
Collector’s Corner, by Brinke Guthrie
MLB opens up this week, so we’re focusing on baseball this time around. Here we go:
• We’ll start with one for Paul — a complete set of 1966 Mets tumblers.
• Some much better than camouflage: a 1940s Marine Corps baseball jersey!
• Here’s a 1970s Sand-Knit baseball jacket with a tequila sunrise flair.
• All you Seattle readers might be interested in this game-used jersey from the very first Mariners game.
• President Carter signed this 1979 World Series ball.
• Ever seen a Cubs “baseball bendable” before?
• And we wrap up with a 1940s Pepsi vendor’s tray from Shibe Park in Philadelphia.
Seen something on eBay that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
Contest reminder: I’m currently sponsoring a design contest to create a logo for the Baseball Project. Full details here.
Membership reminder: The membership enrollment fee will go up to $20 at the end of this month. If you want to sign up at the $15 price, there’s no time like the present.
Spring cleaning reminder: While poking around in my basement, I found an extra box of T-shirts promoting a certain protein-based foodstuff in the design style of a certain team. Once they’re gone, they’re gone — so if you want in, speak up.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The Connecticut Whale honored Gordie Howe on Saturday night with a banner and by having the players wear New England Whalers warm-up jerseys, plus the Howe family was on hand (with thanks to Chris Hernandez). … Only in spring training will you see a player and coach wearing the same number (good catch by Frank Mercogliano). … Ryan Dowgin has built a web site to showcase his Colgate football memorabilia collection. Lots of good stuff here — programs, tickets, etc. Recommended. … Here’s a great look at how Topps did a really crummy Photoshop rush job just so they could be first with a Jayson Werth card (with thanks to Ted Bloss). … “I was curious about the baseball uniforms at my alma mater, Drury University,” writes Aaron Duncan. “I was appalled at what I found — they might qualify as one of the worst baseball uniforms of all time. Feeling low and ashamed, I checked to see how the softball uniforms looked. Much better.” … Here’s our first look at the new Miller Park video board (with thanks to John Okray). … Here’s something you won’t normally see: Josh Beckett pitching at Fenway with an NOB. Paul Gaiser spotted that in this ad for MLB 2k11. … When I went out to Ada, Ohio, back in January for the Wilson football factory story, I stopped in Columbus and had dinner with longtime pals and indie-rock legends Ted Hattemer, Jerry Dannemiller (both of the great band Moviola), and Ron House (former frontman of Great Plains and the Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments). Last week those three guys recorded a Buckeye State anthem for our times: “Fire Tressel, Not Teachers.” … Bill Hoppe found this old shot of Craig Ramsay wearing a helmet with football-style center striping. … The Minnesota-Duluth hockey team went with yellow-bleached hair for last weekend’s NCAA East Regional games in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Dane Drutis took that shot, among many others. … I knew the Mets used to have a mascot character named Lady Met, but I didn’t know there was also something called the Lady Met Club, which was apparently some sort of women’s auxiliary fan club. … Mike Hersh just scored a 1970 football helmet decal catalog on eBay. I was planning to bid on it myself, but he spotted it before I did, so I stepped aside, as long as he promised to scan the entire thing for us to see. I’m happy to report that he has delivered. … The new Broadway production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying apparently includes a football-themed costuming production number. … We all know the Marlins are planning to re-brand for next season. Could that include adopting orange as a new team color? Could be, judging by this graphic, which Gregg Clifton spotted on the MLB.com home page. Then again, the Marlins won’t even be using the “F” logo next season, because they’re going to become the Miami Marlins, so it’s hard to know what to make of this. … New logo for Nebraska-Omaha athletics (with thanks to Chris Bisbee).