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Who Knew Batman Choked Up?

Screen shot 2011-04-13 at 9.50.15 PM.png

Well, I’ve been saying all along that uniforms are getting more and more like superhero costumes. Turns out I was a few decades behind the curve on that one. The nice thing about this configuration is that you still get to yell, “C’mon, blue!” at the ump. And hey, the catcher has a mask. But you can tell the artist wasn’t a baseball fan, because he drew home plate backwards.

New ESPN column today — here you go.

(Special thanks to Ricko, who posted the comic book cover in yesterday’s comments.)

Uni Watch News Ticker: Jackie Robinson Day is tomorrow. The MLB office told me last month that players would once again be wearing No. 42 for the occasion, so I assume that’s going to happen, but I’ve heard exactly zero build-up since then. Interesting that the annual one-day 42 revival has now become so routine that there’s no hype for it at all. … The Knicks plan to wear orange socks for their home playoff games (with thanks to Steve King). … Here are this season’s most popular NBA jerseys at retail. … Mmm, love those Northwestern-striped Terps stirrups (big thanks to Jack Krabbe). … Here’s a slideshow of notable sports hairdos. … Pretty groovy leatherhead helmet here. … Micah Hudgens reports that Julio Borbon of the Rangers went stirrups-clad yesterday. … Tillamook, Oregon, is famous for its cheese, which explains this awesome 1930 basketball uni (with thanks to Mark Deuel, who put together a good post about Oregon high school uni history). … Field note from Brice Wallace, who reports that Huntington High School in West Virginia has a grass outfield and a fake-turf infield — including fake-turf sliding pits. How do you slide on that stuff? … Now there’s a good-looking curling squad. They’re from the College of St. Scholastica in Minnesota (big thanks to Dan Michon). … Remember how Penn State football announced that they’ll be removing the trim from their collars and sleeve cuffs next season? Here’s an interesting video clip that explains why (good find by Larry Bodnovich). … Adidas will unveil a lightweight basketball shoe today at 3pm Eastern. There will be live video here. … Some commentary on recent college football uni changes here. The column also confirms the longstanding rumor that big changes are afoot at Oklahoma State (with thanks to Matthew Robins). … Mike Hersh found this really fun gallery of Michigan football ticket stubs. … The Twins were wearing their navy “Twins” alts yesterday, but Alex Burnett was wearing the navy road jersey while warming up in the 7th inning. Someone must have noticed, because he had the proper jersey on when he came in to pitch the 8th (with thanks to Matthew Hiett). … Remember the new Purdue Pete? Now forget about him (with thanks to Andrew Moeschberger). … NHL Western Conference uni-based playoff predictions here. … The Houston Dynamo will wear special jerseys for Earth Day (with thanks to Tim Lewis). … Another MLBer who wore earplugs, or at least cotton in his ears: Steve Carlton (great recall by Jerry Wolper). … The folks and Mitchell & Ness got to pay a visit to Grey Flannel Auctions and wrote up a nifty report. I especially like the Rawlings tag shown in the very last photo — don’t think I’ve ever seen the Rawlings logo executed with outlined white-on-white lettering like that before (big thanks to Dan Cichalski). … Somebody really needs to button up (with thanks to Grant Goldman). … Here’s some good background info on some Pirates uni-number switcheroos (big thanks to Jim Vilk). … Cardinals pitcher Edwardo Sanchez came to bat wearing a blank batting helmet last night (screen shot by Will Posthumus). … Really good story about the first team ever to wear Nike uniforms (with thanks to Kenn Tomasch). … Why have three stripes on your cleats when you can have four? That’s reader Benjamin Smith in his Little League uniform, circa 1980. Not sure who made those four-stripe cleats. … How great is this little guy? Answer: Very! Even better, he’s the new logo for the newly reinvigorated Stirrup Project, which is a charity raising funds for youth baseball programs in disadvantaged areas. If you donate, you’ll not only feel good for supporting a good cause, but you’ll also have the chance to put a photo on their fridge. You know what to do.

 

141 comments to Who Knew Batman Choked Up?

  • Scott | April 14, 2011 at 7:26 am |

    Regarding Huntington High School and its all-turf infield. That is becoming more and more common – one of the primary benefits of the new-style turf is that it is much softer and so you can slide and dive on it without worrying about getting cut up.

    The baseball fields tend to have more sand in their mixes than football/lacrosse/soccer fields (to more closely mimic a dirt infield) but they are both so much safer than the old style turf.

    Most of those baseball turf fields now just have dirt on the pitching mound with some also leaving the plate area as an old-style dirt cutout.

    • TSP Calvin | April 14, 2011 at 7:59 am |

      A lot of Japanese teams also have the turf infield/sliding pits with a grass outfield. Also, on the lessening of injuries due to turf sliding pits, my ankle says differently. One wrong turn towards home obliterated it during a freshman practice a few years back, but who knows, maybe it does for the pros.

      • daniel | April 14, 2011 at 8:05 am |

        James Madison University also uses an all turf baseball field. I believe their softball field is an all dirt infield and a field turf outfield

      • scott | April 14, 2011 at 8:19 am |

        Frontier League baseball teams in Marion and Normal, Ill., and Traverse City, Mich. all use all-turf fields. The mounds, sliding pits and homeplate area are turf in each park, I believe. It’s an unfortunate and disturbing trend; even if it is safer, baseball is supposed to be played on grass and dirt. There’s no longer a way in those parks for batters to dig in at the box or for pitchers or infielders to manicure their positions.

    • Andy | April 14, 2011 at 8:22 am |

      You still get cut up (the rubber infill is still pretty abrasive), but you don’t get dirty. Slides just like dirt, though, with a little more rugburn.

    • BF | April 14, 2011 at 9:59 am |

      Disch-Falk Field at the University of Texas is all Field Turf and has been for a few years, including the batters box area (albeit the outfield and warning tracks are field turf and not natural). Hard to dig in. The only dirt is on the pitcher’s mound.

      http://farm4.static....

      • MN | April 14, 2011 at 10:47 am |

        There are two of those all turf fields here in Westchester County, NY. Sliding is not bad but your shoes fill up with little pices of rubber that they use as fill, and man is it hot on a summer day.

        • Randy Rollyson | April 14, 2011 at 11:47 am |

          The Ripken baseball experience in Myrtle Beach, SC has the sliding pits on their fields. Not too bad when the turf is a little wet. I would be worried about older players catching a spike in the turf when sliding. As far as the stains, the little black rubber pellets do leave a nasty stain on white pants that is very hard to get out.

    • Brendan | April 14, 2011 at 1:30 pm |

      Some other colleges which use the all turf baseball fields are Pitt, Louisville, and Tulane.

      • Eric | April 14, 2011 at 1:43 pm |

        Illinois as well.

  • RS Rogers | April 14, 2011 at 7:39 am |

    The Twins jersey switcheroo nicely illustrates the issue with teams like the Natinals: Before taking the field with an erroneous jersey, one or more members of the Twins organization (A) Noticed, (B) Cared, and (C) Corrected the problem.

    To err is human. To notice, care, and correct the error is professional.

    • scott | April 14, 2011 at 8:20 am |

      It also illustrates how much having softball tops sucks. For some reason, we never hear about these problems with the Yankees or Dodgers.

      • The Jeff | April 14, 2011 at 9:23 am |

        It also illustrates how much having two different softball tops sucks.

        /fixed that for ya

        Colored alts are fine.

    • Andy | April 14, 2011 at 8:24 am |

      You spelled ‘Nationals’ wrong. Maybe you should have (A) Noticed, (B) Cared, and (C) Corrected the problem before posting.

      • Paul Lukas | April 14, 2011 at 8:34 am |

        Dude, he did it on purpose, referencing the team’s historic jersey typo from two years ago.

        • Shane | April 14, 2011 at 11:02 am |

          And ever since that fateful day, I’ve been using “Washington Natinals” for my fantasy baseball teams.

      • JimWa | April 14, 2011 at 9:08 am |

        Wow. Could get into a whole ABC war here, but I’ll take the high road. All I’ll say is that was a pretty snippy response to someone who’s comment ISN’T critical, – and was in fact supportive – on the subject he’s covering.

        • RS Rogers | April 14, 2011 at 2:05 pm |

          It actually gladdens my heart to see that there’s a Nats fan who cares passionately enough for the team to get all up-in-your-business over a perceived insult to his beloved team. Yeah, my “Natinals” spelling was deliberate, but no, it wasn’t mean to be an insult. I love the Nats, and if Andy’s response is coming from where I think it’s coming from, I love Andy too. People sticking up for the Nats is a good thing.

      • Andy | April 14, 2011 at 3:12 pm |

        I know he did it on purpose. But that one is getting as old as ‘epic fail’ by now, and just as annoying.

  • RS Rogers | April 14, 2011 at 7:48 am |

    Time then to stop the everyone-wears-42 thing. Once it becomes so routinized that the people doing the tribute no longer bother to make a big deal of it in advance, it’s no longer a tribute at all. It’s just a chore.

    One of the best publishers I ever worked for encouraged innovation and new features, but he would come down hard on any editor proposing to make a new feature into a regular series. The metaphor he used was that it’s like digging a hole in your back yard that you’ve gotta fill every time. The first few times, you may have enough valuables in your house to fill the hole with buried treasure. But you’ll run out of that pretty quick, and then you have to fill it with whatever’s lying around the house. After a year or so, you run out of that, too, and then the only way to fill the hole is to use it as a latrine. And then all you’ve got is a hole full of shit. Wise counsel in publishing, and it would seem that MLB’s everyone-wears-42 thing has entered the hole full of shit phase of any recurring feature.

    Time now for MLB to move on, and at most have every player wear a commemorative patch on the left breast of his jersey or something.

    • LI Phil | April 14, 2011 at 8:35 am |

      as paul says, the addition of #42 to every jersey is a “one-way ratchet”

      the removal of 42 will say MLB no longer cares; the only next logical step is to have the home team wear original brooklyn dodger homes with current caps; the road team will, of course get to keep their *regular* unis for one season, only to be followed by brooklyn roads the next year; brooklyn caps will be added by both teams in successive seasons; by year 5 of this ongoing plan, the city of new york will, at taxpayer expense, have a new *temporary* ebbets field constructed in brooklyn, where all teams will play one inning, dressed in period-era unis (but pajama style), to honor Jackie’s memory…

    • Paul Lukas | April 14, 2011 at 8:37 am |

      >>Once it becomes so routinized that the people doing the tribute no longer bother to make a big deal of it in advance, it’s no longer a tribute at all. It’s just a chore.<< I disagree. It's not becoming a chore; it's maturing out of its infancy ("Let's make a big fuss every time, wheee!") and becoming a dignified ritual. Most of us here scoff at big "Look at me!" campaigns. Well, here's an initiative that isn't doing that. It's just quietly going about its business. Personally, I find this refreshing. And I still like the one-day revival of 42.

      • Kyle | April 14, 2011 at 10:44 am |

        I find it similar to the Pat Tillman memorial on the new ASU jerseys. Hasn’t been mentioned at all regarding the new specs but that is my favorite aspect.

    • Mark in Shiga | April 14, 2011 at 10:05 am |

      I’d rather see 42 worn by everyone than by nobody at all.

    • Hank-SJ | April 14, 2011 at 10:06 am |

      The patch idea works for me: A discreet 42 worn all season, every season and ball parks can still hold the commemorative ceremonies. Or, why not designate one player per team to wear #42 on that day?

      • RS Rogers | April 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm |

        why not designate one player per team to wear #42 on that day?

        I’d much prefer this. Even better, make the wearing-of-42-on-4/15 an honor bestowed by the Jackie Robinson Foundation upon one player from each team in recognition of service to the community and minority youth.

        But the one thing I bet I agree with Paul about on this is that, unlike so many of the commemorations MLB does, this one at least their hearts are definitely 100 percent in the right place. And the players do seem to take it seriously.

        • Mark in Shiga | April 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm |

          I like that idea, but why not have the designated player wear the number all season long? And give him some kind of recognition on Jackie Robinson Day in addition. Seeing a player suddenly wearing a different number from previous years just on one day will be forgotten by October, but not if he’s got it on his back until the end of the season.

        • RS Rogers | April 14, 2011 at 3:26 pm |

          Thing is, players and fans get attached to certain players wearing certain numbers. If it’s for one day, getting to wear 42 would be a prize and an honor. If it’s for the whole year, having to switch to 42 would be a duty and a chore. I could see a lot of guys turning down the offer if it was an all-year thing.

        • Simply Moono | April 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm |

          @Mark in Shiga: Also keep in mind that the season just started two weeks ago today. I think it would be weird, hasty, and almost unfair to bestow that that kind of an honor to a player for a whole season after just two weeks.

        • JRD | April 14, 2011 at 6:09 pm |

          ” And the players do seem to take it seriously. ”

          I must disagree. If the players took it seriously, they would not wear pajama pants and wear stirrups.

    • Rick | April 14, 2011 at 10:49 am |

      I love the analogy about filling the hole. But in regard to Jackie Robinson and the #42 it transcends baseball. It represents the movement that had made who we are and where we are going a major part of our national fabric. Jackie Robinson was not the first black man to play professional baseball. He was the first in the era of modern baseball and modern racism. Jackie Robinson to most young people today is unknown. By having a Jackie Robinson Day every year it keeps the memory of a great baseball player, and who was a greater man, alive. One story that I will always remember is the day he crossed the ‘color barrier” and started at Ebbets Field, he told his wife, Rachel, “I’ll be easy to recognize. I’ll be wearing #42”

    • =bg= | April 14, 2011 at 9:56 pm |

      I agree…enough is too much. We get the idea, he’s an icon.

  • Mike Hersh | April 14, 2011 at 8:05 am |

    The Michigan ticket site is actually part of a bigger Michigan archive site that’s worth checking out. Tons of great team photos for baseball, football and hockey dating back to the late 1800’s.

    http://bentley.umich...

  • Jon | April 14, 2011 at 8:35 am |

    Hey Superman isn’t wearing a chest protector! Oh wait, I guess he doesn’t need one. Is the Flash a designated runner?

    • Travis | April 14, 2011 at 8:46 am |

      Holy Tekulve, Batman! The pitcher is a Submariner!

    • teenchy | April 14, 2011 at 8:56 am |

      We always knew Robin was a catcher, didn’t we?

      • Aaron | April 14, 2011 at 10:09 am |

        Nice.

    • LI Phil | April 14, 2011 at 9:03 am |

      i always found it comical that superman would stand firm while a bad guy would empty an entire chamber into this chest, only to have the bullets fall harmlessly to the ground, but when there were no more bullets and the perp would throw his gun at him in frustration, superman would duck to avoid it

      • LI Phil | April 14, 2011 at 9:25 am |

        see?

        • JimWa | April 14, 2011 at 9:59 am |

          That’s just super, man. Seriously. I’d never thought about that before.

        • Rob S | April 14, 2011 at 11:35 am |

          That’s an MST3K-worthy moment right there.

        • scud missle | April 14, 2011 at 2:31 pm |

          the greatest observation of all time.

      • Ricko | April 14, 2011 at 10:01 am |

        Not to mention, Why throw away a perfectly good gun.

      • teenchy | April 14, 2011 at 11:31 am |

        Absolutely. It was also through watching the George Reeves Superman TV show that I learned about product placement. I never saw that many Nashes on the road in real life yet Metropolis was full of them.

    • RS Rogers | April 14, 2011 at 9:27 am |

      I like how Supes is squinting. Just goes to show that it doesn’t matter who you put behind the plate; the ump is always blind.

      Also, of course Batman chokes up. That’s the beautiful thing about Batman: He doesn’t have any special talent or superpower; he’s just a normal guy who works really, really hard at it. Bats is like the Craig Counsell of superheroes. So he’s gonna choke up to hit for contact, not swing for the fences.

      • Splint Chesthair | April 14, 2011 at 12:39 pm |

        Superman is squinting because he’s using his telescopic vision to umpire a game in Japan going on at the same time. How do they hear his calls all the way out there? Super-ventriloquism, of course.

      • GoTerriers | April 14, 2011 at 3:41 pm |

        My problem is that anyone who’s ever umpired knows that with a right-handed batter at the plate, the home plate ump sets up “in the slot” over the catcher’s LEFT shoulder. X-Ray vision or not, Superman is NEVER going to call the inside pitch correctly from where he’s set up.

    • Jon | April 14, 2011 at 10:46 am |

      Not a stirrup in sight!!

      Oh yeah, Home Plate is backwards too. :^\

      • Ry Co 40 | April 14, 2011 at 11:19 am |

        although, robin and even batman have some texture showing at the bottom of their tights.

      • jdreyfuss | April 14, 2011 at 11:34 am |

        Of course there’s no stirrups. Don’t you remember the reason for stirrups disappearing being that guys started wearing high top cleats? You don’t get higher than those.

    • jdreyfuss | April 14, 2011 at 11:36 am |

      I’d be more worried about Robin not wearing any protective gear than Superman not wearing it.

  • Jeffrey Lowery | April 14, 2011 at 8:39 am |

    Liverpool FC did in fact go BFBS for the new away kit. Very disappointing.

    http://store.liverpo...

    • Chance Michaels | April 14, 2011 at 10:12 am |

      Yes, but here I don’t mind it.

      Change kits are traditionally outside of the team’s regular color system. Have been since, what, the 1950s?

      By adding change kits in popular colors, teams get to satisfy their merchandising departments without having to ditch their classic colors.

      Short of eliminating merchandising altogether, this seems the perfect compromise.

    • Silver Creek Doug | April 14, 2011 at 10:24 am |

      Sorry man. No such thing as BFBS with futbol change strips.

      With some exceptions, clubs pick completely different colors for their change strips, colors that usually have no connection to the club.

      Unfortunately for me, the club I support (Manchester United) has taken the easy way out and picked white for their change strip. I really enjoyed it when they wore blue, for example.

      I would like to see the MLS get a little more adventurous with their change strips; it seems like most wear white.

    • Jeffrey Lowery | April 14, 2011 at 11:07 am |

      But isn’t this a perfect example of BFBS? They already had a perfectly acceptable 3rd kit that used black and yellow (something they have done in the past).

      http://www.historica...

      For the new kit this time it is basically all black and gray.

      This also leads me to the aggravation of the new practice that teams have new kits every year. It is despicable that sponsors and manufactures are using the teams for even more profit and leaving fans, most of which might not be able to afford merchandise in the first place, to already be out of date. If someone wants to purchase a shirt that is the same that is being used on the pitch they shouldn’t have to buy a new one every year.

      • Ben Fortney | April 14, 2011 at 12:10 pm |

        But isn’t this a perfect example of BFBS?

        No, they’ve had black as one of their colors for years. It’s black for the sake of incorporating one of the alternate colors in their scheme… and to sell some more jerseys.

  • JimWa | April 14, 2011 at 9:16 am |

    Has anyone heard any info about the Cubs’ plan for the softball jerseys in 2011? After checking, I can confirm the Cubs have worn real jerseys in all 6 home games so far (including a Zambrano start, one of the strongest indicators that the team will get the blues on a particular day), and only worn real jerseys in 3 of 6 road games in 2011.

    I remember a few years ago they took the softball tops away for the entire season, and another year where I think they took them out of the home rotation.

    • Mark in Shiga | April 14, 2011 at 10:12 am |

      It was 2007 when they wore only white at home; I’d prefer white at home and would love to see the blue jerseys only on the road. Or, better yet, dump the gray entirely and make blue the road standard. They wore blue on the road for many years until 1993, and today’s blue jersey has the really classy-looking “walking bear” logo, which deserves to be used more. I say white at home, blue away, and no gray.

      • JimWa | April 14, 2011 at 10:37 am |

        The road jerseys are fine … for a batting practice jersey. The need something. I think adding piping and end-of-sleeve stripes (surely there’s a name for that that’s escaping me right now) would do a WORLD of good. In fact, take that look, turn the blue to white, and I think you’d have an absolutely PERFECT home standard OR home alternate.

        • Mark in Shiga | April 14, 2011 at 3:12 pm |

          Is “sleeve hems” the word you’re looking for?

          They had big sleeve hems in the ’80s; maybe today they could do something a little thinner and less noticeable.

          How about a white home alternate vest with that logo on the front and a one-color number on the back? Like a combination of the early 1940s vests and the 1948 home throwback jersey that they had in 2008, but with the walking-bear logo replacing the C-UBS logo?

        • word guy | April 14, 2011 at 3:41 pm |

          Is “ribbing” the word you’re looking for?

  • Terry Proctor | April 14, 2011 at 9:26 am |

    Paul, I remember the four-stripe shoes but can’t remember who made them. I’ll try and figure it out for you.

    On the visit to Grey Flannel Auctions. That Wilt Lakers jersey was made from Yarrington’s Nylon/Durene fabric by Galbraith and Tiernan of Glendale, Ca.

    The Dr. J Squires jersey was actually made by Coane Athletic of Phila FOR Pearson Sporting Goods. Pearson was no different than any dealer. We all had companies that would exclusively “private label” uniforms for us.

    And now, an ode to the struggling New York Metropolitans…”A foggy day, in Flushing Town, Our Paulie’s Mets keep going down…”

    • Paul Lukas | April 14, 2011 at 9:33 am |

      It was foggy yesterday, but it’s a bright sunny day today. In fact, it’s such a nice day, let’s play two!

  • Eric | April 14, 2011 at 9:27 am |

    Wow, red letter day for Duluth in UniWatch…first the U of Minnesota, Duluth shot in the best hair and the College of St. Scholastica in the curling shot!

    I can just see the battle for UniWatch bragging rights going on somewhere on College Street between the two schools. I give UMD (my alma mater) the edge just we’re about 3X bigger.

  • RS Rogers | April 14, 2011 at 9:32 am |

    Most disturbing thing I’ve seen in a long, long time.

    Mainly because obviously, Jesus would wear 7″ stirrups, even if he were just coaching.

    Also, the catcher has his cap backwards, but he’s not wearing a mask. What’s the point of that, and shouldn’t Jesus show a little more interest in the kid’s safety?

  • Ricko | April 14, 2011 at 9:47 am |

    More SUPEY in baseball…

    http://www.coverbrow...

    Scroll down to #60 and #66…
    http://www.coverbrow...

    • Rob S | April 14, 2011 at 11:41 am |

      Heh. I’m most amused by the Orson Welles cover.

    • marc | April 14, 2011 at 1:08 pm |

      A couple questions…

      From the first link:

      Is that kid pitching from SIX feet, six inches?

      From the second link:

      (#s 51 &52) Superman can chuckle away with a lion chomping on his forearm, but why can’t he tolerate the pain of a biscuit to the toe? Super-gout?

      (#60) Why does Superman need a facemask?

  • interlockingtc | April 14, 2011 at 9:57 am |

    Derek Yoder and Josh Jenniges, this is pure goodness!…..

    http://thestirruppro...

  • jim greenfield | April 14, 2011 at 9:58 am |

    No Pete Rose Phillies Beatle do? A classic!

    • jdreyfuss | April 14, 2011 at 11:12 am |

      There was also a disturbing lack of Anderson Varejao in the slideshow. That’s got to be better than Scot Pollard’s neckbeard pigtails.

  • Chris Holder | April 14, 2011 at 10:01 am |

    Paul announced an adidas shoe press conference, and didn’t bash them in some way? Clearly his anti-Nike bias is showing again.

    Re: the article about changing college football uniforms… I know it was touched on here in the comments yesterday, but isn’t there only so far these schools can go with this? How ridiculous does the “different uniform every game” policy get before the schools inevitably have to put a stop to it? I think that fans and alumni will eventually tire of it. And yeah, I realize it’s a trend, so maybe what I’m saying deserves a big “duh”. But I just wonder if the only reason these schools have waited all this time to be the “Oregon of _____” is because the Ducks started winning big. Another thing, do these 50,432 uniform combinations cost the schools extra $, or are they paid by Nike? If it’s the former, I could see it ruffling some feathers as it concerns the budgets. What about other sports? When do they get jealous and start wanting a different uniform for every game? What then?

    It’s just ridiculous.

    • Chris Holder | April 14, 2011 at 10:02 am |

      For the record, my first paragraph above is in jest. This is Paul’s blog, which means he gets to say whatever he wants. I totally support that.

    • LI Phil | April 14, 2011 at 10:23 am |

      well, oregon was doing its *different uni each game* before they started winning big, so we have to ask ourselves…

      • was the program getting better, stronger faster on its own?

      • did the introduction of the new uni each game simply coincide with the first point?

      or

      • did the new unis actually help recruit better, stronger, faster players, thereby making the program stronger?

      and

      • did uncle phil’s tremendous $$$ support (facilities, free swag, training, new buildings, etc.) also add to the allure of UO? were the uni’s just a tertiary benefit but in the end, the tail wagging the dog?

      the attraction of UO is more than just the unis, of course — that alone won’t vault you to the #2 program in the nation…but were they the cause or the effect? or a bit of both?

      other programs see the success the nikification of the football program has had at UO and think, “hey, they must be doing something right — maybe it’s time to rethink how we attract recruits”

      we only look at the uni aspect, but are other nike schools spending huge bank simultaneously to upgrade their facilities & training in an effort to score the coveted high school studs? there’s likely more to it than the unis, but when that’s all we SEE on a week-in, week-out basis, it’s easier to simply draw the conclusion that the unis make the team

      it’s no longer “I WANNA BE LIKE MIKE” — it’s “I WANNA BE LIKE NIKE”

      • Gusto44 | April 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm |

        Oregon was winning big before the wild uniforms, they had reached the Rose Bowl in 1995. That early success paved the way for where the Oregon program is today. The Ducks would make another BCS bowl appearance in 2002, and of course, played for the national title last season.

        It’s fair to say the coaching during the Rich Brooks era got everything rolling. Next, the increased flow of Nike money has played a key role, and the wild uniforms are a by product of that Nike money.

        By now, Oregon doesn’t really need the attention getting uniforms, but it’s become a part of their identity, and the athletic department doesn’t say no to Phil Knight.

  • aflfan | April 14, 2011 at 10:20 am |

    Julio Borbon wearing stirrups led to a discussion by the Detroit Tigers announcers about it being old school. They said Jim Leyland is old school and even he doesn’t wear stirrups. I recorded the replay to get a transcript but of course they cut that inning out due time restrictions.

  • jdreyfuss | April 14, 2011 at 11:15 am |

    Despite the discussion about it, I hadn’t notice last week, but doesn’t the new design’s face look a lot like this guy’s face? I’m not making any judgment on it, just saying it reminds me of an ukiyo-e portrait.

    • Ry Co 40 | April 14, 2011 at 11:24 am |

      looks more like johnny damon to me…

      • Bernard | April 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm |

        I think he looks like one of these guys.

  • Paul Lukas | April 14, 2011 at 11:16 am |

    As you can see at the top of the right sidebar, the Dealometry folks are now offering a deal on — wait for it — bow ties:
    http://dealometry.co...

    I have a feeling this one won’t sell as well as the discounted Chucks, but we’ll see….

    • LI Phil | April 14, 2011 at 11:18 am |

      is ken rosenthal a reader?

    • Chance Michaels | April 14, 2011 at 12:09 pm |

      Are you kidding? Bowties are cool!

      • Ben Fortney | April 14, 2011 at 12:15 pm |

        I relocated to DC 9 months ago, and I’ve never seen more bow-ties worn as normal attire in my life. What’s become of this country when, this guy, is a fashion icon?

        • Ben Fortney | April 14, 2011 at 12:17 pm |

          …and right on cue, an ESPN column about Washington. well played Mr. Lukas.

        • Chance Michaels | April 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm |

          Ah, that clown just thought if he dressed like George Will, people would take him as seriously as they take George Will.

          But ol’ Tuck couldn’t actually pull off the bow tie, so he dropped it years ago.

      • Shane | April 14, 2011 at 1:07 pm |

        You forgot that fezzes are cool, too.

      • Ricko | April 14, 2011 at 1:48 pm |

        Only when you tie them yourself.
        Pre-tied bowties are no different than clip-on neckties. Nice for the Geek Squad. For the rest of us, not so much.

        (Except with a very formal standup collar shirt and tux or tails—see “Jack Dalton,” TITANIC—and that’s pre-tied with a exposed collar band.)

        Why? Because, of course, the essence of suavetude (suavedidity?) is to, late in the evening, while holding your brandy snifter in one hand, reach up with the other and unite your bowtie.

        However, in all fairness I must note that, even though I can tie a bowtie, I have never been afforded the opportunity of such a snifter moment. Not yet, anyway.

        • LI Phil | April 14, 2011 at 2:04 pm |

          not even with liz taylor?

        • Ricko | April 14, 2011 at 2:28 pm |

          Man, am I sorry I ever brought that up. Just wanted to verify, for any potential colorizers of the lead photo that day, that her eyes were, indeed, violet. That it wasn’t Hollywood hype.

    • Ricko | April 14, 2011 at 1:34 pm |

      So, is there a Vegas Line yet on which catches on first, bowties or stirrups in MLB?

      It seems to me that in a lot of ways, the places they hold in their respective “fashion fields” are quite similar…

      Never really gone.
      Certainly never wrong.
      But not exactly the common preference.

      • RS Rogers | April 14, 2011 at 1:51 pm |

        Was that bowties in baseball? Because I can easily see an entire MLB team wearing bowties sooner than an entire baseball team wearing stirrups. All it would really take is somebody sending Joe Maddon a box of light-blue plaid bowties.

        But as a guy who cares about cravats almost as much as about hosiery, I’m pretty confident that stirrups are much more common and mainstream in MLB than are bowties in the general population. Unless you happen to live near a concentration of men who were members of a College Republicans or Young Americans for Freedom chapter in the 1980s or 1990s, you can probably go years without meeting a man wearing a real bowtie. Most MLB teams have at least one guy who wears stirrups from time to time.

        • Ricko | April 14, 2011 at 2:08 pm |

          Bowties in general. A comma there (at the least) would have helped, huh.

          I meant the odds of them suddenly becoming widely fashionable. Beyond the niches they now hold.

          Wasn’t suggesting any kind of statistical similarity of the fashionality of stirrups in MLB and bowties in the general populace, was more about the way they’re regarded. And that still holds up: Never gone, never really wrong, but not the common choice.

        • RS Rogers | April 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm |

          I know, Ricko. Not grammar-policing you, just going off on my own odd tangent.

    • Rob S | April 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm |

      Let’s not forget that Dhani Jones is on the forefront of the bowtie revolution.

  • andrew | April 14, 2011 at 11:17 am |

    can’t tell if he’s wearing stirrups or just very striped socks, but Lil’ Wayne sure does know how to put together an outfit…
    http://deadspin.com/...

  • Tim E. O'B | April 14, 2011 at 11:24 am |

    Little 5 is this weekend, and in the middle of the PDF is what uni each team is wearing

    http://www.idsnews.c...

    yellow is the reigning champs, Green is the poll an errybody else gets to pick their unis (I think).

  • Teebz | April 14, 2011 at 11:29 am |

    Entries for the HBIC Playoff Pool still being accepted until tomorrow!

    Batman choked up for better bat speed. We all know bat speed is the key to the long ball, and Batman is all about hitting the -WHAP!- dingers.

    Just as an aside, I always thought Robin was a catcher and not a pitcher. ZING! LOL

  • BoilerWes | April 14, 2011 at 11:32 am |

    As a Boiler alum, the news of the new Purdue Pete being shelved makes my day!

    • Aaron | April 14, 2011 at 12:37 pm |

      I know I was immediately on the phone to family and friends letting them know the good news when it came across my radio.

    • Ricko | April 14, 2011 at 2:38 pm |

      http://www.indystar....|newswell|text|Sports|p

      Proving once again that at Purdue—as at virtually any other college campus—some kind of head is enough to satisfy most students?

      • scallywag | April 14, 2011 at 2:49 pm |

        ba dum bump tssst
        boy oy oying
        zzzzzing
        wacka wacka
        ay oooooooh

        phil…command A, command C, command V into notable quotable for saturday.

  • Paul Lukas | April 14, 2011 at 12:03 pm |

    Today’s ESPN column is up:
    http://sports.espn.g...

  • KT | April 14, 2011 at 12:10 pm |

    My folks are Penn State season ticket holders, and I’m going to guess they’ll be happy about the revamp of the uniforms, mainly because (as you saw in the video), John Cappelletti had a simple blue with no trim jersey and my folks just loved Johnny Cappelletti.

    • Gusto44 | April 14, 2011 at 1:43 pm |

      I think Penn State should go ahead and bring back the helmet numerals from the Cappelletti era, and also return the single blue pant stripe from the Jack Ham era.

    • LarryB | April 14, 2011 at 4:37 pm |

      The white trim was ok but it seemed to get wider over the years.

  • KT | April 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm |

    Wow, the Steve Wallace video has 1,800 views in a day and it’s unlisted, so one of you lot must have sent it somewhere.

  • Bando | April 14, 2011 at 12:27 pm |

    That four-stripe cleat photo instantly makes me think of the 80’s kids book “Alexander’s Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day,” where part of the title character’s various misadventures is the shoe store running out of shoes with three stripes, so he had to get a pair with four.

  • The Jeff | April 14, 2011 at 12:31 pm |

    Oh, Ry Co 40, I’m afraid my work schedule is going to force me to have to decline any kind of meetup on Saturday. I could have done Sunday, but Sat’s no good. Sorry.

    • Ry Co 40 | April 14, 2011 at 3:28 pm |

      ahhh, that sucks. no worries then! i’ll give you a heads up next time i’m out that way. usually there about 2-3 times a year

  • Paul Lukas | April 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm |

    Great Wayne Hagin moment a few seconds ago: Ball sails over an outfielder’s head and Wayne says, “What you almost just saw there was [long pause, as he searches for the right term] an optical illusion.

    In other words, what you DID just see was, uh, reality.

    Except you didn’t actually see any of it, because you’re listening to the radio.

    Fire Wayne Hagin already!

    • LI Phil | April 14, 2011 at 2:08 pm |

      so the wayner’s not painting a mental pixture?

    • Ricko | April 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm |

      “My mistake, I thought I saw an optical illusion.”
      “Really?”
      “Yeah, it looked a lot like a mirage, but it wasn’t.”

      (ba dum bum)

      • Ricko | April 14, 2011 at 2:15 pm |

        “So you’re saying you didn’t see anything at all.”
        “No, I saw something. It just wasn’t what I thought it was.”

        • Rob S | April 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm |

          Wow. Ernie Harwell he ain’t.

    • KT | April 14, 2011 at 6:17 pm |

      “Ladies and gentlemen, look at that! You can’t see that…I’m on radio.”

      • DenverGregg | April 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm |

        Bad day for Mr. Lukas. His Mets are getting creamed by a team in purple – a team that usually chokes badly in Queens. To add insult to injury, that purple team used to have Wayner as an announcer and is lucky enough to have moved on from him. Paul will still have Wayner around for a while. (I have no doubt that Hagin is a fine fellow, but he is as unsuited to be a big league announcer as I am to be a neurosurgeon.)

        Bright side: the Mets’ play on the field seems pretty darned good when compared to Wayner’s descriptions thereof.

  • HomicideMD | April 14, 2011 at 2:38 pm |

    If you wanna see stripes check out the SI Vault ( http://sportsillustr... )and the 9/9/74 issue. Go to page 79. I came across this looking for something else. I don’t remember Converse making a 4 stripe sneaker. But then again, the ad does refer to them as “racing stripes,” and exclusive to Sears. Although, it does look like they were made for Princeton.

    • Ricko | April 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm |

      ProKeds had a two-stripe shoe for a while, too, as I recall.

      Like this…
      http://www.zappos.co...

      • Ricko | April 14, 2011 at 2:47 pm |

        Yes, that’s an remake, I know. I have some Pro Keds from the 1970s at home, but that’s what the shoe looked like.

        • HomicideMD | April 14, 2011 at 2:55 pm |

          I would’ve never known. I’ve only purchased one pair of sneakers in the past 15 years. I have no idea what Foot Locker carries. Of course I’m assuming they’re still open. I haven’t been in the market for a new pair of sneakers (tennis shoes to those from the South) since the Clinton administration.

  • LarryB | April 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm |

    That Batman at the bat is a pretty neat cover. I missed it yesterday.

    I used to play dice baseball and would use characters from Peanuts and also the Capt N Crunch game. Probably used others too.

    Dice baseball was a simple game 2=HR, 3=double,4=single,5=out or double play and so on. 12 was a triple

  • -Monty- | April 14, 2011 at 3:53 pm |

    re: Players wearing earplugs:

    Paul, you apparently forgot about your own column on the topic!
    See http://sports.espn.g...

    • Paul Lukas | April 14, 2011 at 5:55 pm |

      Do this stuff as long as I have and it all starts to blur together….

  • Ryan | April 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm |

    French soccer team Bordeaux and Puma just unveiled their unis for next year–they have a distinctive paint stripe motif going that I kind of dig, but their third/alt shirt is simultaneously BFBS and PFPS (pink for pink’s sake), and not even for a worthy cause like cancer awareness, as far as I can tell. For a team that does not historically wear black OR pink, this is pretty egregious.

    See for yourself: http://www.footballs...

  • George | April 14, 2011 at 4:33 pm |

    Mets going with blue hats again. They’ve gone with blue hats for every game at home thus far this season.

    We can only hope that this is the norm now that Charlie Samuels is gone.

    • Ricko | April 14, 2011 at 4:56 pm |

      Yeah, ain’t it beaut-i-ful. Think that every time I catch their highlights.

      Seriously.

      I mean, it’s like they’re trying to look like the Mets or something.

    • RS Rogers | April 14, 2011 at 5:12 pm |

      If the end result of the Bernard Madoff scandal is that the Mets wind up wearing blue caps more often, it will all have been worth it.

    • LI Phil | April 14, 2011 at 7:43 pm |

      winless in the snow whites (0-4)…one win in creamy pins (1-2)…

      1-6 homestand, all in blue caps

      why do i have a feeling we’ll be seeing more black next homestand?

  • Casey | April 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm |

    That Little Leaguer with the four-stripe cleats reminds me of a great sketch from The State about Eastern Europeans in their new “free market economy.”

    “I bought these Addidums tennis shoes. You get extra stripe for less money–is very good deal!”

  • StLMarty | April 14, 2011 at 6:20 pm |

    I’m catching up on things and I haven’t been in the comments. I’m not so sure that Ichiro is wearing toe socks in yesterday’s post. I think the combination of sheer hosiery and photography give that illusion. No?
    http://superichirocr...

    • Mike Engle | April 14, 2011 at 9:48 pm |

      Toe socks, indeed. They apparently help the wearer’s balance, and they are popular among the Japanese baseball players.

  • =bg= | April 14, 2011 at 9:54 pm |

    Superman’s S logo is borked. Everyone knows it’s yellow on a red field, not the other way around.

    And for YEARS growing up..I tried to draw that logo and couldn’t. Why? I couldn’t process the negative space issue. I did’t see the “S,” I saw the pieces around it. Duh.

    • Rob S | April 15, 2011 at 12:56 am |

      It was 1941, the shield was still evolving; it’d started out in 1938 as a police badge shape. It would eventually take on its more familiar appearance before the end of WWII.

  • Kyle Allebach | April 14, 2011 at 9:57 pm |

    The only problem I have with the new Penn State “look” is the freaking logo creep. I used to not mind Reebox until I got a hold of a nice Brian Dawkins Yellow/Blue Throwback, and it has a yellow Reebox on the powder blue sleeve. So much aggravation in one small area.

  • Aaron | April 14, 2011 at 11:49 pm |

    This guy has the sweetest basement I have ever seen…A Buffalo and sports shrine

    http://www.flickr.co...

  • mike 2 | April 15, 2011 at 12:50 am |

    Anyone watching Tiger-A’s?

    Coco Crisp is the new Oscar Gamble

    http://www.fangraphs...

    http://pinstripebirt...

  • Douglas | April 15, 2011 at 3:03 am |

    Far too many entities are switching back at the slightest disagreement with the decision.

    I’m not saying they shouldn’t but rather why are they not doing more research into reactions