Pretty cool photo + caption, right? Dan Cichalski sent it to me the other day. Fascinating shot on several different levels. One thing at at time:
• We can now add the Austin Braves to our list of minor league teams that have worn shorts.
• To my knowledge, this is the first time we’ve encountered a team wearing red shorts.
• According to the caption, these shorts were repurposed from regular baseball pants. I wonder how many other shorts-clad teams have done that, as opposed to having their shorts made from scratch.
• Sure, the red shorts are interesting, but they were just a one-game thing. The real story here, methinks, is that the Austin Braves were wearing red pants as a part of their standard road uni “a number of years” prior to 1966. Now that’s unusual. I’d love to know more about that.
• They don’t make baseball names like Hub Kittle anymore.
• The caption states that the red shorts were an attempt to get under opposing manager Chuck Tanner’s skin. Did it work? Yes, somewhat:
Wish I’d known about this when I interviewed Tanner a few years back for my ESPN column on Dave Parker’s masks. Now, of course, it’s too late, because Tanner died a few months ago. Too bad.
We haven’t done a raffle in a while, so here we go: I have an extra ticket to that Pop-Up Magazine sports-themed performance thing I’m participating in, so I’m going to give it away to a lucky reader. I believe the winner will even get to sit with me near the front of the theater (now there’s a thrill).
Obviously, please don’t enter this raffle unless you can actually attend the show, which will take place in Manhattan at 7:30pm on May 11.
To enter, send an e-mail to the raffle address by this Friday, May 6, 10pm eastern. I’ll announce the winner on Monday.
Signing on: As some of you know, Kirsten Hively recently launched Project Neon, which up until now has consisted of a blog and Flickr set devoted to NYC’s neon signage. Now she’s taking it a step further: She wants to develop an iPhone app that will function as a neon sign locator. If the NYC version of this app goes well, there may be additional versions for other cities.
The app will be free, but creating it is not. So yesterday Kirsten launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds. I hope you’ll consider supporting this excellent project.
Uni Watch Stirrups Club update: With May Day having passed yesterday, Comrade Robert Marshall is in particularly good cheer, and he has put together a new batch of stirrups to mark the holiday. I hereby surrender the floor to him:
While the revolution fails to see significant inroads in MLB, it brings merriment to every revolutionary’s soul that more and more players rising up with right proper aesthetic on the college, high school, minor league, and even Little League levels — dire news indeed for the pajamist.
With those glad tidings in mind, here are our latest stirrup offerings:
But wait, what is this?! I always assumed these stirrups had three stripes, but look at Alan Trammel — that’s a minimum of five feather edge stripes showing there in 1978. In the name of all things John Wockenfuss, did the increasingly lower pantaloons of the day mask what may have been the last great crazy-striped stirrup? Paul, please investigate! Despite this late-breaking development, the revolution’s version of this stirrup will have three feather-edged stripes. The five-stripe edition may surface at a later date.
• Next up: a color combo we have not had yet — that of the 1929-30 Boston Braves. Please note that there will be no white on the base here — just the cardinal and gold.
• The 1970 L.A. Angels stirrup was clearly inspired by what the Redlegs wore from 1939-46. And now you can wear them in 2011! (And yes, that’s a Seattle player in one of the Angels pics, but that’s a spring training shot from 1970, before the Pilots were officially re-christened as the Brewers.)
• And for our fourth and final stirrup of the month, we turn to the 1915-16 NY Giants. A great style, and in a color combo we don’t have enough of. I have a feeling when this is finished that this large-block primal color hose is going to be one baaaaaaaad…shut your mouth.
Our four new selections are shown here. But one final note, my dear comrades: It is my sad duty to report that Twin City Knitting — without informing me, I might add — raised their prices before our last order, and much more significantly then their usual increase. The revolution, alas, cannot absorb this on its own, so please read carefully when ordering, as prices and procedures have changed a bit.
From each according his strype,
To each according his stirrvp.
Thank you, Comrade Marshall. I, for one, have always loved that Angels design (and no, I’d never seen the five-striped Tigers hose before). Good work!
Membership update: A few more designs have been added to the membership card gallery (including Paul Hovey’s Padres-themed card, shown at right). The last eight cards shown in the gallery should be printed either today or tomorrow, and I hope to get them trimmed, laminated, and shipped before I leave for St. Louis on Wednesday.
As always, you can get your own custom-made Uni Watch membership card by signing up here.
On a serious (yet still uni-related) note: I got a rather poignant note the other day from Mets by the Numbers impresario Jon Springer. I’ll let him tell you in his own words:
My sister Jen has ALS — Lou Gehrig’s disease. It totally sucks, but it’s been great to see how her many friends have rallied for her and rewarding to be involved in ALS charity projects. One event we’re participating in this year is fundraiser called the Fiesta 5K. Our team, Jen’s Journeymen, has raised almost $7,000 so far.
The team is comprised of several members of the 1981 Harborfields High cross-country team, who were friends with my sister in high school. Their uniform top served as the inspiration for the design we’ll be wearing for the Fiesta 5K.
Jon’s a good friend, a pioneering uni-numerical blogger, and a great guy, and I can only imagine how he and his family are dealing with this. Anyone who wants to run with his team or support them with a donation can do so here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: For those of you who like to follow every little thing I do, I had a book review in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal. … Several readers noticed something about Prince Amukamara’s NFL draft photo-op: the return of the Giants’ old red neckline triangle. The Jints haven’t worn the red detailing since switching to the super-stretchy jerseys two seasons ago, but the triangle has still be present on the retail jerseys sold to fans. So Amukamara was apparently posing with one of the retail versions. … Look at this unusual hockey jersey I spotted on eBay. Never seen that chain-border treatment before. … Hauls of Shame editor Peter Nash has traced the various of Lou Gehrig’s 1938 road jersey from one auction house to another and another. It’s really interesting — recommended. … I think we’ve covered this before, but once more can’t hurt: A.J. Frey notes that Canucks goalie Kirk McLean had “Weird” written on the underside of his skate in 1994. … Also from A.J.: The Mets appear to have an interesting concept of their own history. He took that shot at Shea during a recent game. … Check this out: rubbers for your spikes. “Are people really going to bother with this?” asks Rick Friedel. … Laren Richardson has come across the ultimate butchery chart. … This is pretty great: The Orlando Sentinel has come up with an interactive page that allows you to see how Dwight Howard will look an another team’s uniform (major thanks to Steve Hoyle). … What’s with the one NNOB player? That’s Claudell Washington shortly after being acquired by the Mets in 1980. They hadn’t given him an NOB yet (with thanks to Andy Harris). … What’s so interesting about this shot? The guy on the right, at least according to the caption, is Paul Richards, who at the time was the Orioles’ GM — in full uniform! Shot was taken during spring training, 1957 (great find by Kenn Tomasch). … Shane Victorino was wearing a wire on Friday — unusual for a weeknight game (screen shot courtesy of Jason Hoffman). … How many sneakers did Gilbert Arenas wear this past season? A lot. … If you’re a Mets fan and have access to a super-8 projector, you might wanna pick up this old Casey Stengel flick. … Bryan Brazelton reports that Oklahoma baseball player Cameron Sitzer has been wearing a face guard. … Extremely disappointing news from the Bronx, where Mariano Rivera went back to low-cuffery on Saturday. … Kyle Hanks reports that U. of Washington freshman QB Nick Montana was wearing a helmet camera for the Huskies’ spring game. … R.A. Dickey has some interesting protocols for naming and writing on his bats (with thanks to Dan Chichalski). … Interesting bit of cross-sport Boston rooting going on at Fenway (good spot by Mike Delia). … In a vaguely related item, Michael Limpinski reports that the Phillies are selling Flyers-themed T-shirts. … The 2011 World Series logo has been unveiled. On strictly aesthetic terms, I really like it, but it doesn’t feel very World Series-ish to me. The washed-out colors feel more like November than October. Feels more like a Thanksgiving logo, no? … Neil Bisman was watching Friday Night Fights and noticed Hylon Williams Jr. clearly angling for some Uni Watch love. … Remember how Victor Martinez used to wear a first baseman’s mitt when catching Tim Wakefield? It appears that Salty was doing the same thing yesterday (good spot by Tim Antone). … The Cubs wore their blue alt jerseys yesterday — except for Koyie Hill, who for some reason was wearing his road grays (screen shot courtesy of Kevin Schlauch). … White Sox broadcaster Steve Stone has written a new book. According to this item, “The back jacket features photographs of Stone pitching for the White Sox and the Cubs … [but] Stone made sure the publisher used a picture of him in 1973 White Sox pinstripes, before the team switched to its regrettable late-’70s fashion statement: open-collared, untucked jerseys. ‘Those ’77-’78 uniforms were ugly,’ Stone said, shaking his head. ‘They were just horrible'” (with thanks to Marc Malfara). … While looking for something else, I came upon another catcher who wore a brimless helmet back in the day: Jose Azcue. … Interesting to see that the Yankee Stadium scoreboard is still using the old Blue Jays logo (as noted by Brian Cheung). … Victor Yoshida spotted this bizarre Tacoma Giants jersey at the Fan Go-Round at renovated Cheney Stadium yesterday. Crazy design, no? Not sure which year(s) it was used. Would love know more. … “I recently bought an authentic MLB jersey,” writes Louis DeGeorge. “For some reason, the tag says to ‘Log on to majorleaguebaseball.com,’ even though MLB has not used that URL for a number of years. As you may recall, MLB initially had to use the majorleaguebaseball.com domain name because MLB.com was taken by a law firm. Eventually MLB purchased the domain name from that law firm, but that was many years ago. Odd that they’d use the old domain name on a merchandise tag.” … Buncha great stuff from Jay Shelton. One thing at a time: (1) “I never was able to afford those cool magnetic NBA standings boards when I was a kid, so in 1981 I made my own using poster board, Flair markers, masking tape (to affix the team logo squares), and glue.” (2) “While I was at it, I created a fictional pro league of my own that I named the American Professional Basketball League. I remember trying to create teams based in cities that currently did not have NBA teams. Many do, now, such as Minnesota and New Orleans.” (3) Jay also sent in a Xerox of his original submission from the White Sox 1981 uni-design contest, along with a modern rendering of it. … Little Leaguers in Burlington, Vermont, are wearing jerseys that honor team names from Vermont’s baseball past (big thanks to Morris Levin). … Here’s Michael Orr’s latest round of MLS kit coverage. … Also from Michael: “Also, I’ve curated an exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society that features game-worn shoes and jerseys from the Portland Timbers during their NASL era (1975-82). From a uni-perspective, there are kits from 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980/81 (indoor goalkeeper), and 1982.” … Ryan Simmelink came across a baseball infographics site that I don’t think we’ve seen before. I haven’t had time to give it more than a skim-through, but it looks really promising. … Here’s the Seahawks’ seamstress sewing the nameplate onto first-round pick James Carpenter’s first jersey (with thanks to John Doodigan). … Saturday was Rickey Henderson Bobblehead Day in Oakland, and it turns out Rickey art-directed some dirt onto his bobble’s uniform. … About two miles from my house, a fellow Brooklynite has been updating this sign every morning for years. Today she can finally stop. Bravo.
Meow and Woof Dept.: Happy birthday to Uni Watch mascots Tucker and Caitlin, who turned six years old on Saturday. And big get-well-soon wishes to bench mascot Bizkit, who’s been under the weather. Feel better!