Easy as A-B-C: History Mystery Solved!

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Remember Friday’s post about Dodgers minor leaguers wearing letters instead of numbers during spring training? That mystery has now been solved, as reader David Highhill has come up with a 1960 article from the Spokane Daily Chronicle that cracks the code.

A few thoughts and follow-ups on this:

• The highlighted paragraph covers all the letters we’ve seen on Dodgers uniforms (plus several we haven’t seen), with one exception: X. But we’ve only seen the X on that one jersey, not being worn by anyone, so it’s possible that the X had nothing to do with spring training minor leaguers and was used for something else.

• The alpha sequence sure is odd — why start with A, B, and C and then jump to E, H, and N? I’d love to know more about how the letter assignments for each team were chosen.

• Up until now, our only look at a “T” jersey was this, which might possibly have been a 7 (although that’s unlikely, the since the player was wearing a blank cap, and our other photos indicate that blank caps correlate strongly with lettered jerseys). But now reader Matt Malinoski has provided us with a look at a T jersey that leaves no room for doubt.

• I’ve grouped all of our lettered jersey photos into this set.

• Meanwhile, Steve Stern has come up with an image of the Dodgers wearing letters in a different format than we’ve seen before. No mystery on this one, though since those initials stand for Vero Beach.

Finally, although I don’t have visual evidence for this, my notes from a previous research project indicate that all of these Dodgers spring training jerseys had letters only on the front, with conventional numbers on the back. Which means the Dodgers were total pussies compared to the 1951 Kansas City Monarchs, who had the guts to take the alpha concept all the way. Is that amazing or what? My fellow SABR member Mark Aubrey sent me that shot over the weekend. Of course, the breaking of the MLB color barrier had sent the Negro Leagues into steep decline by 1951, so switching from numbers to letters may simply have been a desperate gimmick. Fascinating nonetheless, though.

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Collector’s Corner, by Brinke Guthrie

Still recovering from the long holiday weekend? Here are some vintage items to get you back in the Uni Watch frame of mind:

• Here’s something different — a 1970s ABA Virginia Squires garment bag.

• Cool set of Expos/Canadiens/Montreal Olympics patches, eh?

• Nice-looking 1970s Patriots helmet. Pat is so much cooler than Elvis. [Attention Jeff Fedenko -- it's a clear shell! -- PL]

• From reader Aaron Duncan, a cool (and pricey) California Golden Seals jersey.

• Here’s a terrific NY Giants helmet plaque with the rarely seen modern NY logo.

• This umpire ashtray from the ’50s will help you kick the habit in no time.

• Here’s something you don’t often see: an Eagles bobble in red.

Seen something on eBay that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: Sigh. … On Friday I mentioned that David Einhorn — the guy who’s saving Fred Wilpon’s sorry ass buying a piece of the Mets — had reportedly worn a homemade Mets jersey for Halloween when he was a kid. Now Alan Kreit has provided a photo of a young Einhorn dressed as Dave Kingman. The rat was presumably cropped out of the photo. … Speaking of Einhorn, he showed up in a private box for Saturday’s Mets/Phils game and wore a blue cap, which is just the sort of thing I like to see in a new owner. … If you’re stuck wearing a baseball jersey with stupid-ass side panels, it sure helps if you can accessorize the uni with feather-edged stirrups. That’s ECS High in Memphis. I like the block-shadow on the numbers, too (with thanks to Nick Armstrong). … Oh baby, look at this amazing Lou Gehrig uni from a tour of Japan. Click on the larger photos to see an even larger version, which reveals the magnificent chain-stitching on the chest patch (awesome find by Bruce Menard). … There are messy shoes, and then there are Messi’s shoes. … “Butt patches have long been a fixture in motocross and supercross,” says Sean Clancy. “Here’s a story about them.” … “Watching Game 7 of the Bruins/Lightning series, I noticed Dwayne Roloson had a shamrock on his backplate,” writes Brian Mazmanian. “I wondered if he was looking for a little luck from the leprechaun. Turns out it was for a much better reason.” … Latest ballplayering to join the stirrups revolution: Mike Leake. Insert obligatory “No word on whether he stole them” line here (with thanks to Derek Linn). … Here’s something you probably never expected to see: table tennis infographics (nice find, Kirsten). … Kaleb Stuckey reports that the Oklahoma softball team has added “12″ to its batting helmets to honor OU linebacker Austin Box, who passed away last week. … Steve Uhlmann reports that Seton Hall baseball wore tequila sunrise-esque jerseys the other day. … Even better: a sunrise-ish uniform in Uni Watch-ish colors. That’s an American Legion uni from Evansville, Indiana (great find by Taylor McGillis). … And in yet more tequila sunrise news, look what’s being worn by the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s NPB for their interleague games (big thanks to Billy Lovotti). … Interested in old Russian hockey photos? Then you’ll definitely want to check out this site that Mike Raymer turned up. Maybe someone would like to comb through the pics and find some of the more uni-notable ones for us..? … Check out the NOB on the second guy from the right. That’s the Polish volleyball team in the FIVB World League (good find by Jeremy Brahm). … Kenny Crookston notes that Sudden Sam McDowell appeared to have an extra panel of fabric on the underarm area of his vest — maybe a stretch panel? — in this photo. … Stanley Cup Finals miscellany, Part 1: According to Matt Fedorka, this year’s Bruins/Canucks match-up marks the first final round since 1999 (Stars vs. Sabres) not to feature at least one team with a primarily red jersey, and is also the first since 1991 (Penguins vs. North Stars) not to feature at least one team with at least some red trim. … Stanley Cup Finals miscellany, Part 2: In a really surprising development, no goalie wearing No. 1 has won the Cup in well over three decades (with thanks to John Muir). … No visuals yet, but a small note toward the bottom of this page indicates that Ohio University will wear a helmet decal featuring “a black ’6′ with the word ‘Deuce’ written behind in white” in memory of noseguard Marcellis Williamson, who recently passed away (with thanks to Mark Maxwell). … Here’s an unusual promotion: The minor league Tacoma Rainiers will be wearing U. of Washington-inspired jerseys in late July (with thanks to Kyle Hanks). … Chris Bruno notes that the typography on TCU baseball’s purple jersey appears to owe a bit of a stylistic debt to the Blue jays. … Speaking of TCU, they recently pulled off one of history’s ugliest “Think pink” promotions. … Here’s a really fascinating — and beautiful — set of old “swivel” cleats. Apparently the rear cleats rotated so that a player wouldn’t blow out his knee if his heel planted in the turf. … Here’s a look at the history of the Canucks’ uniform, plus a piece on how to design an NHL uni (both courtesy of Steve Strohl). … Science Hill High in Tennessee has some funny ideas about uni design. The player in those photos is Daniel Norris, who has a thing or two to learn about blousing (with thanks to Paul Friedlander). … Greg Trandel reports that Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard has been playing a guitar with a retro Mariners logo decal. … Here’s a Uni Watch rarity: a hurling item, courtesy of Paddy Fleming, who writes, “Ever since helmets were made mandatory in hurling a few years back, it has irked me that teams have not had all their players wear the same color helmet. However, in Sunday’s Cork vs. Tipperary match, the Cork players were all outfitted in red helmets (aside from one who was in blue, but only because the red one he was originally given didn’t fit properly). Apparently it was a decision made by the players themselves. What was funny was that the commentators were complaining that it was making it more difficult to identify the players. You can see highlights from the match here.” … That controversial dress code for women’s badminton has been scrapped. … Kenn Tomasch notes that Vanderbilt baseball wore red, white, and blue jerseys on Sunday. … Also from Kenn: New retro-themed alternate kit for the Minnesota Stars. … Lots of controversy over a New Zealand rugby team’s new kit. Details here and here (with thanks to Caleb Borchers). … Also from Caleb: “English rugby player Paul Sackey is in the middle of free agency negotiations (so to speak) and has yet to announce where he will play. This weekend, however, he played for the Barbarians invitational side. The BaaBaas somewhat famously wear black and white hoops, but each player wears his home club’s socks. Sackey wore the pink of Stade Francais, suggesting that he will sign shortly with them.” … Morris Levin’s latest “Talks Baseball” event will feature Peter Capolino discussing Mitchell & Ness’s role in the throwback jersey movement. Full details here.

 

133 comments to Easy as A-B-C: History Mystery Solved!

  • The Jeff | May 31, 2011 at 7:58 am |

    Here’s another peek at the Bills’ new home uni, courtesy of this video clip

    ___

    No, that’s their old throwback uniform. The red standing buffalo is on the helmet, not the blue charging one.

    • Paul Lukas | May 31, 2011 at 7:59 am |

      Oops, you’re right. A lot of today’s Ticker was assembled last night when I was exhausted and drunk from a party. Quality-control standards may have slipped…

  • Teebz | May 31, 2011 at 8:16 am |

    People always say goalies are a different breed, but that Dwayne Roloson story always gets me a little teared-up. The man deserves some serious recognition for helping a family cope with the loss of their child. Well done, Roli!

  • Jeremy Brahm | May 31, 2011 at 8:32 am |

    Can we call the Rakuten Golden Eagles uniform “Sangria Sake Sunrise”?

    • LI Phil | May 31, 2011 at 8:48 am |

      あなたが狂っている

      • J-Dub | May 31, 2011 at 1:54 pm |

        What ‘choo talkin’ ’bout “deviated”? :-)

    • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 9:20 am |

      Excellent culutral adaptation on the Sangria Variation.

      • Connie | May 31, 2011 at 9:26 am |

        Most cool.

        But the “sunrise-ish” variation in “Uni-Watch-ish colors” may be the ugliest thing I’ve seen in a year or two. Blecch!

        • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 10:03 am |

          I meant the “Sangria Sake” name. :)

        • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 10:09 am |

          Speaking of that, what DID we christen the variations?

          Today’s was “Sangria Sunrise”
          The green version is, I think, “Midori Sunrise”
          The blue was “Blue Curacao Sunrise”, maybe?

  • Eric | May 31, 2011 at 8:49 am |

    On the Dodger’s front, the letters seems to denote minor league levels, with plenty of space between them to ensure ease in denoting what level of baseball the player was at. (http://www.baseball-...).

    AAA
    A-Montreal
    B-Spokane
    C-Saint Paul

    AA
    E-Atlanta

    A
    H-Macon

    B
    N-Green Bay

    C
    S-Great Falls
    T-Reno

    D
    W-Kokomo, Panama City, Orlando, Odessa,

    • Terry Proctor | May 31, 2011 at 10:07 am |

      This really doesn’t apply to the topic but I was at the very last game the International League Montreal Royals ever played. It was on Sunday, Sept. 11, 1960 at Red Wing Stadium in Rochester and the Wings won. Following the 1960 season the Dodgers sold the International League franchise to a group from Syracuse who brought back the “Chiefs” nickname. Syracuse became the Minnesota Twins affiliate. The Dodgers moved their second AAA club to Omaha of the American Association. They would eliminate the second AAA team after 1962 and just go with Spokane in the PCL.

  • Joey Guns | May 31, 2011 at 8:51 am |

    Paul, you didn’t mind the swoosh on the side of David Einhorn’s hat? You’d think he would’ve gotten an authentic New Era hat……

    • LI Phil | May 31, 2011 at 9:02 am |

      you mean one of these beauties?

      i’d rather see nike caps than new era craps

  • Alec | May 31, 2011 at 8:59 am |

    The Seton Hall tequila sunrises were a throwback to the Mike Shephard era, I think both Craig Biggio and Mo Vaughn wore those at one point for the Pirates.

    • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 9:25 am |

      So then, is Vaughan the likely record holder for the largest circumference sunrise ever?

      Y’know, as in whether C.C. wore the most pinstripes in history.

  • Taha | May 31, 2011 at 9:08 am |

    I’m not a big fan of the “stars and stripes” hats on Memorial day either, but can someone explain why the Blue Jays wore their Canada hats yesterday? it was not a holiday up north, although JoJo Reyes was celebrating

    http://media.thestar...

    • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 9:17 am |

      Wow, two of MLB’s most annoying fads together in one photo: Ill-conceived Ballpark Patriotism Hats AND the obligatory and sophmoric post-game interview pie-in-the-face.

      The former is hollow, the latter isn’t funny…and neither has any real class. And even though neither has any sound exit strategy, both should be de-commissioned as soon as possible.

    • Aaron | May 31, 2011 at 9:56 am |

      And why on Earth were the Cubs in a red hat? I would think it’s pretty well established the Cubs are a blue-hat team, so why wouldn’t they wear the blue option like, say, the Brewers? http://scores.espn.g...

      The Jays’ Canada hats have the same color challenge, but at least that can be explained away by saying there’s no blue on the Canadian flag. Why they were being worn at all, though, ummm. . . Good question.

      • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 10:04 am |

        To sell hats.

        • Aaron | May 31, 2011 at 10:08 am |

          That “answers” question number two, but why put the Cubs in red? There was a perfectly serviceable blue option that would have looked like slightly less of an abomination.

        • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 10:12 am |

          You’re right. On Cubs in red, I got nuthin’.

          Did they try to keep the number of teams in navy and teams in red about equal?

          (The amount of attention I pay to this is next to nothing).

        • The Jeff | May 31, 2011 at 10:14 am |

          Eh. Red *is* one of the Cubs colors…. navy blue isn’t.

          There’s really no way to make those hats look good anyway. MLB needs to quit wearing them.

        • pushbutton | May 31, 2011 at 5:07 pm |

          Too late. Wearing ugly trucker caps is how we honor our military. The end.

  • Teebz | May 31, 2011 at 9:23 am |

    Oh, and just so you guys are aware:

    The NHL is in Winnipeg. The announcement happens at 11am CT today that the Thrashers are indeed playing out of Winnipeg this season. I’m trying to get a pass into the presser, but they’re reserving the passes for credentialed media and dignitaries right now. In less than 3 hours, the NHL will have returned to Winnipeg.

    • Connie | May 31, 2011 at 9:27 am |

      Any word on the name, Teebz? Manitoba Maulers?

      • Teebz | May 31, 2011 at 9:45 am |

        Nothing yet, Connie. I’m sure that if they don’t have something ready for today, they will shortly to be ready for the draft. I’ll keep you posted if I get in. :o)

      • Adam R. W. | May 31, 2011 at 12:30 pm |

        Does it matter what they rename the team? This thing is gone forever:

        http://farm4.static....

        • Shane | May 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm |

          And hopefully City Name on Sleeve is gone as well. Arrrgh.

        • Rob S | May 31, 2011 at 4:34 pm |

          I would generally assume that TNSE have the good sense to avoid the Thrashers’ design philosophy like the plague.

          But yeah, I’m glad to see that stupid-ass light blue jersey retired. The even more stupid red one was already retired by the team, though.

    • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 9:39 am |

      There ya go, Teebz.

      Should be quite a day in Manitob.

      Congrats to you, the city, the province and, frankly, the NHL.

      (Although I suppose we’re gonna get stuck with “Moose,” aren’t we, a name better suited to roller hockey.)

      • Teebz | May 31, 2011 at 9:47 am |

        For every person in Manitoba, there’s been a new name bandied about, Rick. It’s getting to be a little ridiculous. LOL

        • Teebz | May 31, 2011 at 10:36 am |

          I don’t think anyone who has suggested the name “Falcons” gives a crap about Atlanta. While I’m not fond of bringing back a name that either folded or failed, I think there are a number of opportunities to rebrand this team with something and some colours that are definitely more northern.

          There are the Winnipeg Thrashers as well. They’re a AAA Midget team that recently won the Canadian National AAA Championship. Maybe calling them the Manitoba Thrashers could be an option despite the hatred the team would get from Atlanta?

      • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 9:54 am |

        Haven’t been to Winnipeg in a while. Might have to coordinate a trip to include games for both the Blue Bombers and Moose/Jets/Maulers/Trappers/Whatever.

        (Still like Scott Rogers’ idea of “Manitoba Trappers”. Great old school sort of name…which is exactly why they probably won’t use it, or anything of that ilk, too “yesterday”. Probably end up with “Spirit” or something.)

        I can hear the ad campaign now: “Catch the Manitoba Spirit!”

        • Teebz | May 31, 2011 at 10:05 am |

          “Falcons” has been getting a lot of chatter due to the history of that name in Winnipeg. After all, the Winnipeg Falcons were the first gold medal winners in Olympic ice hockey way back in 1920 at the Antwerp Summer Olympics (you read that correctly) after winning the Allan Cup as the best amateur club in Canada.

          Of course, the name “Jets” has dominated almost every conversation.

        • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 10:18 am |

          Seems like “Falcons” might open them up to a lot of shit. Despite the legitimate history of the name in Winnipeg, it would look (to the unknowing) like they weren’t very original and, to make it worse, pilfered something from Atlanta.

          Ever moreso if paired with “Manitoba” rather than “Winnipeg.” At least with Winnipeg it does nod at the historic team. “Manitoba Falcons,” however, would appear (again to the unknowing) to be a lazy choice, as well as a dump, unintended or otherwise, on Atlanta.

        • Teebz | May 31, 2011 at 10:38 am |

          How the heck did that comment get above? Did I click on the wrong “reply”? Dammit…

        • Aaron | May 31, 2011 at 3:31 pm |

          Of course, all of this assumes anybody in Atlanta gives a damn about hockey. Which, you know, if that were the case, we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion.

        • Thornus | May 31, 2011 at 4:34 pm |

          There are plenty of people in Atlanta that give a damn about hockey. However, it’s hard to keep a team around when owners like the Atlanta Spirit try to lose as much money as possible solely to sell the team. It’s fairly evident that group didn’t handle its ownership in good faith and bought the team only because it was a package deal with the Hawks and Phillips Arena.

    • R.S. Rogers | May 31, 2011 at 12:33 pm |

      For Americans watching the presser on the CBC’s live feed, “premier” is Canadian for “governor.”

      • R.S. Rogers | May 31, 2011 at 12:51 pm |

        No name announced in the presser. I’m betting it won’t be until after the June 21 NHL Board of Governors ratification. “Very near future” is the promise.

        Team identity hints in the presser: Describing the purchase as the Moose franchise getting the “NHL call-up;” the premier of Manitoba, rather than the mayor of Winnipeg, delivering the keynote; carefully scripted talk about “Manitoba hockey fans” and “new home of the NHL in Manitoba,” and so forth.

        If I had to bet, I’d bet that Manitoba versus Winnipeg is a done deal. For the specific name, there’s not enough on the table yet for me to place a wager. Seems like True North is committed to the Moose name, but there’s going to be huge local pressure to revive the Jets.

        • pflava | May 31, 2011 at 1:13 pm |

          “Seems like True North is committed to the Moose name, but there’s going to be huge local pressure to revive the Jets.”

          As well there should be. Jets was/still is a great nickname. Moose should be left where it belongs – in the minors.

        • Obbs | May 31, 2011 at 1:57 pm |

          Manitoba Jets sounds good to me.

        • R.S. Rogers | May 31, 2011 at 2:00 pm |

          As well there should be. Jets was/still is a great nickname. Moose should be left where it belongs – in the minors.

          Agreed that it’s a great name.

          But does resurrecting the name of a long-departed team have a great track record? Aside from Washington, DC, losing the Senators twice and Cleveland doing OK with the expansion Browns, what other examples are there of a new team taking the name of an old, previously relocated team? I’d have to see better than a .500 record with team-name resurrections before I got behind a name resurrection for a team in any city I cared about.

          Videos and photos from Winnipeg today point to another potential problem with the Jets name: It sure looks like every hockey fan in Manitoba already owns a Jets jersey and cap. That would seem to suggest that the Jets name comes with the lucrative opportunity to sell zero dollars’ worth of new merchandise to fans in the next couple of years. If True North keeps the Jets name, it’s going to have to radically alter the logos & colors to sell any merch at all, and you’ve gotta figure that keeping the name but noticeably changing the crest and colors will create at least 80 percent of the fan pissed-offedness that ditching the Jets name would create. Might as well take the goodwill hit all at once, and as early as possible, and leave the Jets to history.

          I wonder whether the team will wait until the June 21 official blessing from the NHL, or whether they’ll time an identity announcement for the draft to avoid the awkwardness of a team with no name drafting players. Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing the unis for Canada’s newest NHL franchise, the Manitoba Ruperts.

        • pflava | May 31, 2011 at 2:13 pm |

          Excellent point regarding the merchandising angle. Although I don’t know that a completely radical design update would really be necessary to sell new Jets gear.

          I would even think a slight tweaking of the logo (the new one would have the word Manitoba, in all likelihood, for starters) and/or slightly different colors would have every hockey fan in Manitoba looking for new Jets merchandise.

        • KT | May 31, 2011 at 6:41 pm |

          “If I had to bet, I’d bet that Manitoba versus Winnipeg is a done deal.”

          I’ll take that bet – right here, right now. My take is they understand it’s going to take more than the (is this right) 772,000 people in Winnipeg to make this work and that parsing your opening remarks to make those in Brandon and wherever else feel like it’s “their” team, too would seem to be prudent.

    • Snowdan | May 31, 2011 at 1:59 pm |

      Very excited for the city of Winnepeg right now! I know some good people up there and it was just a shame they didn’t have NHL hocket there. Plus, being from MN, I know how it feels to get pro hockey back!

      • Snowdan | May 31, 2011 at 1:59 pm |

        I also hope this means the Wild will be moved to the central division where they belong!

        • Tim E. O'B | May 31, 2011 at 3:28 pm |

          No reorganization in 2011-12, according to ESPN

  • Coleman | May 31, 2011 at 9:29 am |

    Awesome entry all around today! I was going to pick a couple things out that I especially like but I just couldn’t narrow it down.

    That kid in Tennessee needs slapped though. Who the hell “blouses” like that?

  • Connie | May 31, 2011 at 9:36 am |

    “… Interested in old Russian hockey photos? Then you’ll definitely want to check out this site that Mike Raymer turned up. Maybe someone would like to comb through the pics and find some of the more uni-notable ones for us..?

    Wow! Wonderful pictures. Not only did those old CCCP teams look good (in a socialist- appropriate no-frills kind of way), but that old Soviet brand of hockey, featuring speed, passing, and stick skills, was a welcome counterpoint to the small-rink rough-housing of so many North American teams. Russians today are waxing nostalgic, big-time, about the glories of Soviet sport. Can’t blame ‘em.

    Speaking of nostalgic glories, that Lou Gehrig uni is beyond grant. Bring back the USA shield, please.

  • Rob S | May 31, 2011 at 9:38 am |

    Nice article about Vancouver’s jersey history, although they didn’t note the 1972 alteration of the original design (on which the current unis are based), and they put 1985 up for the white jersey – the white flying skate jersey debuted in 1989, after four years with a gold version with a V-yoke.

  • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 9:47 am |

    This photo also provides visual evidence as to why the current Indians red had would look better, define the navy “C” better, if there were a white border involved.
    http://www.globalarr...

    • LI Phil | May 31, 2011 at 10:09 am |

      except that there’s nothing wrong with their current cap

      not every color on color needs a white border

      • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 10:28 am |

        Wasn’t speaking aesthetically, but visually.

        When the background color is brighter than the letter color, the white prevents the visual bleed where the backgound color dominates and “blurs” the edge of the letter. It provies definition and separaton.

        The navy hat with the red letter doesn’t have that problem because the red is brighter and, visually speaking, sits out front while the darker color drops back.

        Could have this same “tracking” discussion if the colors were, say, orange and black.

        • Geeman | May 31, 2011 at 1:26 pm |

          Ricko,

          You just explained that far better than this layman ever could.

          On a related note, I have always thought the red Red Sox batting practice jerseys look better than the game jerseys because the letters are white outlined in blue as opposed to blue outlined in white. Yet for some reason I think a blue jersey looks better with red numbers outlined in white than white outlined in red. Why, I’m not sure.

    • R.S. Rogers | May 31, 2011 at 10:17 am |

      Funny thing is, I had the exact opposite reaction to that photo. My first thought on seeing that – OK, my second thought after noting the ridiculousness of the “Faster than Koufax” line on at least three different levels – was that it showed that however nice in theory the white-outline idea is for the Tribe, it just wouldn’t work in practice.

      Maybe if it was an off-white or cream outline, and if it were much narrower than the average cap-logo outline. But at the standard proportions like that photo? Disaster.

      • The Jeff | May 31, 2011 at 10:29 am |

        http://img135.images...

        So… abomination or no?

      • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 10:36 am |

        You guys are talking about how it looks in a photo, up close.

        I’m talking about how it looks on the field, or on TV.

        Apples and oranges, sorta. I always lead with the latter set of criteria: How it looks in use, on the move. Not how it looks standing still and we can stare at it.

        What looks great in a portrait may need adjusting to work better on the field.

        • The Jeff | May 31, 2011 at 10:59 am |

          I dunno Ricko… I think if teams were concerned about the view of the hat logo from the stands, we’d have much simpler logos. You’re talking about a 2-2.5 inch tall image from a couple hundred feet away. If you don’t already know what it is, can you really tell?

        • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 12:03 pm |

          Wasn’t really the discussion. Overly-complex is another issue altogether. Was only talking about how simple letters/colors track differently depending on how they’re combined.

          Goes back to things like the ’50s Cubs’ red wishbone “C” on a royal hat. What black and white TV (on which you sometimes couldn’t even tell there WAS a letter on the hat because both went to similar shade of gray) taught designers was that some combininations of dark colors need a bit of white just to define them, to hold them together.

        • LI Phil | May 31, 2011 at 2:08 pm |

          right

          but we don’t need to design things for 13″ B&W tv’s anymore

          which is why the indians cap is just fine the way it is

        • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 2:26 pm |

          Was just making the point that TV taught them something about keeping colors of similar value sepearated, depending on their configuration. Didn’t say it was still a 13″ b&w world (but I knew someone would say I said that).

          Honestly, when you see a shot of an Indians player (shot from waist up or farther away) in that red hat you don’t see the slight blurring around the navy “C”? That the red is sort of overpowering the letter, and the letter fuzzes a bit? And that there’s no such visual effect on the navy hat version?

          Never said everything needs a border. Giants hats, to name one, are fine. Because, again, the lighter color sits out front.

          Why do we see far more election yard signs with red lettering on a navy background than we ever see with navy lettering on a red background? Someone must know something about the human eye sorts out what it receives.

        • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 2:28 pm |

          “Honestly, when you see a shot of an Indians player (shot from waist up or farther away) in that red hat you don’t see the slight blurring around the navy “C”?”

          During a game or highlight package on TV, that is.
          Not in a photo.

        • Andy | May 31, 2011 at 4:01 pm |

          The other main issue is that the warm color will generally come forward while a cool color will recede, so the cool blue C on the warm red cap is counter-intuitive to how this phenomenon appears to the eye. I don’t want to see the C with a border, but it’s pretty clear that the red C on the blue cap is the better of the two in this particular case.

  • Colin | May 31, 2011 at 9:54 am |

    “is also the first since 1991 (Penguins vs. North Stars) not to feature at least one team with at least some red trim.”

    That’s not true, the 1999 Buffalo Sabers Wore black and silver Unis with a red trim. This is only the first red-less Cup since 1999.

    • Teebz | May 31, 2011 at 10:08 am |

      Does everyone forget that Detroit won the Cup and then lost to Pittsburgh in back-to-back years in 2008 and 2009? Pretty sure that Detroit is a red-and-white coloured team. Y’know… white jerseys with red trim.

      Or maybe I’m just colour-blind.

      • Teebz | May 31, 2011 at 10:10 am |

        Or just thinking in too simplistic ways.

        • The Jeff | May 31, 2011 at 10:19 am |

          Or not reading properly. ;)

          There’s a “not” in there you seem to be ignoring for some reason.

        • Colin | May 31, 2011 at 10:21 am |

          This is the first cup WITHOUT a red colored team since 1991, actually, since Buffalo had red in their unis

        • Teebz | May 31, 2011 at 10:26 am |

          I think I was trying to say what Colin is saying – this is the first Final since 1991 without any red on either of the teams. Except I screwed it up royally with my inbox filling up with Jets messages. LOL

  • Craig D | May 31, 2011 at 10:31 am |

    First, thank you Mike Leake for bring stirrups back to Cincy. Who was the last Red to wear a pair? I’m thinking it had to be someone along the lines of Chris Sabo or Eric Davis…Hal Morris maybe? Almost two decades I’m sure. Seems longer.

    Second, TCU IS a major(ish) school right? Why oh why “borrow” a type face from a MLB team? And a crappy one at that. Criminy, have one of your design students whip up something. That is in-excusable.

    Third, Does RPM get a say in the “Moose” name?

    • Teebz | May 31, 2011 at 10:43 am |

      If he wants, there will be a vacant Manitoba Moose name he can have if he wants to relocate. LOL

  • MPowers1634 | May 31, 2011 at 10:47 am |

    I was in the yard the other day and realized where Nike found the inspiration for their favorite new color:

    http://i256.photobuc...

    • StLMarty | May 31, 2011 at 12:40 pm |

      That little guy is doing all that he can to appear faster.

      • MPowers1634 | May 31, 2011 at 7:37 pm |

        Well-played, Marty!

  • interlockingtc | May 31, 2011 at 10:48 am |

    Those stars and stripes white panel hats are beyond awful.

    A simple ceremony, a moment of silence, a dignified shoulder patch of some kind to honor our veterans……but those caps?

    Meanwhile…click on my name for a shot of Rebel Mart (aka Uni Watch designer Scott MX Turner) performing at Seattle’s Folklife Fest on Sunday.

    • LI Phil | May 31, 2011 at 11:28 am |

      sweet photo jim!

      for a minute i thought scott had lost the fauxhawk, but upon closer inspection, it’s there in all its glory!

  • ScottS | May 31, 2011 at 11:14 am |

    Here’s a stripe-alicious pic that ran in Seattle with the hockey primer article accompanying the start of the Finals. Looks colorized, but still a good one…

  • puckboy | May 31, 2011 at 11:40 am |

    2011-12 NHL season:

    Design/construction-wise will the teams jerseys be any different from what they were last season? In general, will the Rbk Edge jersey design change league-wide? Will the NHL logo/crest patch still be at the neck (despite alot of Vancouver players and Briere and Richards on the Flyers cutting the points off the crest for comfort)–or will it be on the tail hem? Will the Reebok wordmark appear on the jersey, or will the vector logo remain at the back above the nameplate?

    • Teebz | May 31, 2011 at 2:12 pm |

      Everything is the same for next season. Rbk Hockey has no intention of changing their design.

  • Jim Vilk | May 31, 2011 at 12:38 pm |

    “Here’s an unusual promotion: The minor league Tacoma Rainiers will be wearing U. of Washington-inspired jerseys in late July (with thanks to Kyle Hanks).”

    Hmm, I’m not seeing the resemblance…

  • Chris Cafardi | May 31, 2011 at 12:43 pm |

    It is also worth noting that the Science Hill High team (with the pitch who needs blousing lessons) also appears to have stolen their logo from Duquesne University. Go Dukes!

  • Walter Helfer | May 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm |

    First off, thanks, all — namely, JAson, Jim Vilk & Ricko — for the kind words about the grey Yankee uniforms. I don’t know why the navy blue came out black (PS settings?) but I did try to be mindful of the subtle colors.
    Next, y’ever notice throwbacks based on the tequila sunrise uniforms never seem to get the height of the orange bars correct? It should be nipple-high (try using that compound word in a sentence!) so the numerals on the back can be surrounded in orange, yet sit at the proper height… And I’m kind of digging the green & yellow ones.
    Lastly, that Lou Gehrig uniform is sixteen kinds of awesome. Why haven’t the Cubs or Nationals worked a set of those into their wardrobe?

  • Paul Lukas | May 31, 2011 at 2:04 pm |

    My bad for not having this in today’s Ticker: Here’s our first peek at the NBA Finals jersey patch:
    http://img36.imagesh...

    • LI Phil | May 31, 2011 at 2:10 pm |

      they’re still playing basketball? wow…hockey too?

      • pflava | May 31, 2011 at 2:15 pm |

        The really surprising part is that both series are actually pretty compelling.

  • Mike N. | May 31, 2011 at 2:07 pm |

    Wow. They’ll let any yahoo write an article on the Bleacher Report, won’t they? This is also in dire need of spell check.

    http://bleacherrepor...

    • Paul Lukas | May 31, 2011 at 2:29 pm |

      On three separate occasions someone has sent me a link, saying, “Here’s a uni-related slideshow” that turned out to be a Bleacher Report slideshow that totally plagiarized from me. (In one case, the “author” was a journalism school student. Unfuckingbelievable.)

      Bleacher Report’s business model is predicated on getting people to write for next to nothing (or, in some cases, literally nothing) in return for “exposure,” which is utter bullshit. They’re a bunch of parasites sponging off of kids who don’t know any better (or sometimes just sponging off of other parasites, like the three plagiarists I’ve encountered).

      Simple rule: Don’t read Bleacher Report. And definitely don’t bother sending me links to their material, because I won’t run any of them in the Ticker.

      • R.S. Rogers | May 31, 2011 at 2:52 pm |

        Don’t write for free. Rick Reilly was right about that. At least, don’t write for anybody else for free.

        • KT | May 31, 2011 at 6:43 pm |

          Reilly also said “Don’t write a sentence you’ve ever read,” meanwhile, he constantly recycles his own material. Perhaps he meant “Don’t write a sentence you’ve ever read that you haven’t written yourself.”

      • LI Phil | May 31, 2011 at 3:04 pm |

        heh…well, not really

        two of my classmates (in the sports journalism class, at least) write (or wrote) for bleacher report

        they were proud of this

        *the state of journalism is in the terlet*

        • Tim E. O'B | May 31, 2011 at 3:11 pm |

          “*the state of journalism is in the terlet*”

          No Kiddin?!

          I wish somebody had told me that 5 years ago.

        • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 3:27 pm |

          “sports journalism”

          Such a murky phrase. Because descriptiveness comes with the turf, and descriptiveness is fraught with inherent personal opinion.

          A sportswriter/broadcaster says a player, “…made a spectacular catch.” Fine, no problem.

          A news wrtier/broacaster says a politician, “…made a spectacular speech.” All hell breaks loose about media prejudice.

          Not saying there’s a right or wrong here, just that in sports journalism opinion is far more inherent in the avowed task.

          And that leads to a whole mess of gray areas and some intriguing discussions, doesn’t it.

        • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 3:31 pm |

          “Bobby Thomson hits a fly ball to left field
          …and
          …it goes over the fence. The Giants win the game, 5 to 4, and they will play in the World Series. That’s what happened here. Now back to our studio.”

          Something like that would be an objective, unbiased call of the Shot Heard ‘Round the World.

        • Tim E. O'B | May 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm |

          Objectivity and descriptiveness are not mutually exclusive ricko, the reason people (justified or not) get upset when people praise political speeches is because the praise usually refers to (or an be misinterpreted to refer to) the contents of the speech.

          No sane person would be upset if Brian Williams said, ” Obama is a spectacular orator.” because that is objectively true – people travel to see/listen to him speak.

          And fans get upset with announcer bias, My brother is a Cubs fan and hates both Hawk Harrelson (ChiWS) and Joe Buck (who he thinks is biased towards the Cards and being an asshole, haha).

          A spectacular catch is usually something pretty objective, you can see a Top 10 or a Web Gem as it’s happening. No one puts meaningless ground outs in highlight packages, but a meaningless diving stop that turns two is played ad nauseam.

          To insinuate that hyperbole in politics and sports are somehow on-par with each other is silly, because one topic actually matters and the other is politics.

        • Paul Lukas | May 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm |

          In case you’re wondering (and it’s a perfectly fair thing to wonder): Phil does not write here for free — but he’s so horrendously underpaid that it’s close to free.

          Of course, I’m fairly underpaid here too. Never tried working out the hourly rate, but it has to be close to minimum wage (which is why I never tried doing the math — too depressing). So at least I’m not exploiting Phil quite the same way Bleacher Report is exploiting its contributors.

        • Tim E. O'B | May 31, 2011 at 4:02 pm |

          Could be worse Paul, everything I do is for free and most of it is done without the web presence (for better or for worse) of Bleacher Report…

        • LI Phil | May 31, 2011 at 4:05 pm |

          aww…thanks paul…

          and if you saw what i get paid at my full-time job you wouldn’t feel so bad…i practically work for free there too

          but UW, at least for me, is as much a labor of love as anything else, and i have the greatest boss in the world

          and, he’s taking me to the mets game tomorrow night, so there are plenty of perks

          they better not be sporting the black tomorrow night…

        • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 4:31 pm |

          I didn’t “insinuate” anything. Was only starting a discussion.

          Just said that the sports reporter’s view is a lot more about his opinion than it is in straight new reporting. My point was to stimulate conversation about where the line between objective and subjective is…and that it is, by nature, in a different place in sports reporting. Just as it is for, say, an entertainment critic, one who reviews concerts, for example.

          And that, without it, sports coverage would be seriously dull. Oh, wait, it kinda already is.

        • Mike V. | May 31, 2011 at 5:12 pm |

          Have fun at the Mets game, however, being a Buccos fan (it took years of counseling to admit this publicly) I hope you go home disappointed. We are so close to .500 I can taste the mediocrity. Ahh the sweet, sweet taste of average.

        • R.S. Rogers | May 31, 2011 at 5:37 pm |

          Ricko, I reject your premise. There is no line between objective and subjective, since objectivity requires a point of view that is inherently unavailable to any human. (And, if general relativity and/or revealed monotheism is correct about this sort of thing, unavailable even to God, who merely occupies a subjective frame of reference outside the human frame.) If anything, the quest for and pretense to objectivity is at the root of what is wrong with American journalism.

          However, beyond the wider use of the merely descriptive, or a more open embrace of authorial interestedness, none of which implicate any kind of sin against objectivity, I do see a problem with standards in sports journalism. Since sports reporting has, at its root, the coverage of a trivial event, the playing of a game, it is liable to triviality in coverage. The worst sports reporting is all about personality and who’s-up-who’s-down-today speculation posing as analysis. Too much sports reporting functions as stenography for coach or player statements. Which is fine as far as it goes for the sports page. Unfortunately, two things have happened in the last generation: First, most political reporting has been transformed into sports reporting by another name, coverage defined by personality and by day-to-day assessments of who’s-winning gamesmanship and a stenographic approach to coverage. You find almost zero coverage of issues-as-issues, very little assessment of the truth value of statements made, and among too many news reporters an almost total ignorance of the nitty gritty of procedure akin to too many sports reporters’ ignorance of the details of the rules of the games they cover. And second, increasingly, just as news reporters have transformed themselves into sports reporters, so too are sports reporters lately transforming themselves into entertainment reporters.

          So Ricko, I reject your premise entirely. And I also agree with your implicit conclusions entirely! ;-)

        • KT | May 31, 2011 at 6:49 pm |

          “Just said that the sports reporter’s view is a lot more about his opinion than it is in straight new reporting.”

          Depends on the person’s position. A play-by-play announcer is different from a beat writer is different from a copy desk person is different from a headline writer is different from a columnist.

          You can’t BE a play-by-play announcer and simply intone “The ball goes over the fence. The Giants win the game and the pennant and will face the American League representative in the World Series.” You won’t be employed for long.

          Likewise, the beat writer – though the edges on this are starting to blur a little bit – has to be careful of putting too much opinion in his or her work. And his or her work – largely – is to report news on an ongoing basis and leave the opinion – largely – to the columnist.

          The columnist won’t exist for very long (or advance very far) if he or she doesn’t take a point of view (often extreme) and argue it for all it’s worth (often to the exclusion of facts or common sense or objectivity). The columnist HAS to elicit an emotional response – positive or negative – or he or she is not doing his or her job.

          Am I satisfied with what passes for “sports journalism” nowadays? As someone who was trained in that discipline in a more clearcut time, no. But I recognize why some things are the way they are. There IS journalism being practiced – in various ways, to varying degrees – in the world of sports media. It’s just harder and harder to find in a world where everybody with a keyboard thinks they’re Jim Murray (or would if they had any idea who the hell Jim Murray was).

        • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 7:31 pm |

          It’s not MY premise, it’s A premise. To kickstart a discussion…which it did.

          Because, no matter how you slice it, there IS at least a bit more latitude for interpretation of events in sports reporting, as part of reporting the events. Stuff that would, anywhere else in the news, be labelled OpEd.

          To deny that is just, I dunno, unconscious.

          The question is how much, and where the line is.

          I will guaran-damn-tee you there are things that many, if not most, sports reporters (especially beat reporters) know that they don’t report, things that if a politician had done them, would be all over the news. To deny that also is, if not unconscious, at least naive. Either that or they’re just really shitty reporters.

        • Paul Lukas | May 31, 2011 at 7:41 pm |

          Rick, broadcasters are not journalists. They’re media professionals employed by the teams they cover (or, in the case of ESPN broadcasters and their ilk, in bed with the teams they cover). Trying to apply journalistic standards to them is a mistaken exercise.

        • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 7:48 pm |

          And THERE’s the peanut inside the M&M I offered. :)

      • Jim | May 31, 2011 at 9:10 pm |

        I agree with the Bleacher Report criticisms but if you’re encouraging us to stay away that site, is there a way that Uni Watch can stop linking to it?
        (under “You might like:” at bottom of daily posting). There’s a blurb underneath that states “selected for you by our sponsor” so I’m not sure have control over it, but it sure is confusing.

      • Mike N. | May 31, 2011 at 11:36 pm |

        I never would have read that horrendous Bleacher Report article if the “Outbrain” box below today’s article didn’t link to it before I did.

  • Tim E. O'B | May 31, 2011 at 2:55 pm |

    http://sports.espn.g...

    Let the new uniform/name debate begin…

    • pflava | May 31, 2011 at 3:05 pm |

      It did, a few threads up.

    • Tim E. O'B | May 31, 2011 at 3:10 pm |

      Didn’t see it, my baaaad

    • Tim E. O'B | May 31, 2011 at 3:35 pm |

      I guess this means ‘Chicago South’ is now ‘Chicago North’.

      … I miss, Ladd and Big Buff

      http://www.cbssports...

  • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 3:38 pm |

    btw, there was a meeting for Buckeye players to inform the team that Tressel had resigned.

    Reportedly, Terelle Pryor arrived for said meeting driving a brand new Nissan 380.

    Bet a nickel he’s played his last game at The Ohio State.

    • LI Phil | May 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm |

      gambling is illegal in cowlumbus, sir…and i never slice

    • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 7:52 pm |

      Rats. I’ll have to leave Ohio to make that b—

      Wait, I’m not IN Ohio.

  • R.S. Rogers | May 31, 2011 at 4:23 pm |

    Here’s the non-story story on the Thrashers rebranding. Nothing is off the table, it’ll come soon, and True North has already been dealing with the NHL on the rebranding. Which suggests to me it’s probably a lot closer to a done decision than is being let on at the moment. “We’re looking at all options” being a much sexier thing to tell a reporter than “We’ve pretty well made up our minds, but telling you right now doesn’t fit with our marketing strategy.”

    • pflava | May 31, 2011 at 4:35 pm |

      I’m pretty much expecting a new, crappy nickname out of all of this.

      How about the ironic twist of them being called the “Manitoba Bullshit”?

      • R.S. Rogers | May 31, 2011 at 5:23 pm |

        I don’t know – the only truly crappy suggestion I’ve heard is Manitoba Ice. Even the Manitoba Gold (ugh!) which some anchor on CBC was suggesting would be pretty much the best singular nickname in the NHL.

        (“Manitoba Moose” would at least be a proper plural team name. And anyone who thinks “Moose” is somehow not a major-league name has never been chased by a moose in the wild. I’ve had close calls with bears and bison and sharks and rays and all manner of large farm animals, but the only time I’ve ever felt like my life was actually in danger was when a moose got into the river and chased my canoe. Anyway, that’s the only time I’ve ever been near an animal and wished I had a gun. I shoot targets for sport, never living things, but in that case I’d have made an exception.)

        • StLMarty | May 31, 2011 at 5:42 pm |

          Damn. Are you that guy from the Dos Equis commercial?

        • pflava | May 31, 2011 at 5:42 pm |

          Moose are awesome animals saddled with a bit of a goofy name.

        • KT | May 31, 2011 at 6:54 pm |

          A Møøse once bit my sister…

        • Ricko | May 31, 2011 at 7:44 pm |

          Nobody says moose aren’t intimidating animals. I know a media rep whose hatchback got humped by one in Minnesota’s Arrowhead country one night.

          But, if the standard is that a beastie is big, strong and impressive makes it worthy of being used by a team regardless of the sound of its name, then “New York Daily Gnus” would be a helluva choice for a team. :)

        • LI Phil | May 31, 2011 at 10:15 pm |

          “Damn. Are you that guy EABOD from the Dos Equis commercial?”

          ~~~

          fixed

    • =bg= | May 31, 2011 at 6:55 pm |

      Not too much of a hockey fan yet—hope to get there–but I always loved the Winnipeg Jets logo and look.

      • Gusto44 | May 31, 2011 at 7:09 pm |

        Wasn’t a big fan of the last Winnipeg uniform, but the one before that with the paneling down the shoulder and arms worked best for me.

        If the name “Jets” does turn out to be unavailable, there are many better alternatives than Moose. I would agree Moose are ferocious animals, but the logo also sucks for the current minor league club.

        If Phoenix ever gets their act together with new local ownership, I would suggest they drop the Coyotes name, and replace it with Scorpions. If Florida relocates to Kansas City, I’d like to see the Blades nickname return.

  • Richard Stover | May 31, 2011 at 6:34 pm |

    “Morris Levin’s latest “Talks Baseball” event will feature Peter Capolino discussing Mitchell & Ness’s role in the throwback jersey movement.”

    I hope he includes an explanation why the counterfeit market does a better job at replicating jerseys than M&N does.

  • NE | May 31, 2011 at 8:28 pm |

    Im not a hockey fan but the panthers will wear more red next year
    http://miamiherald.t...

  • Patrick_in_MI | May 31, 2011 at 9:47 pm |

    How about…the Winnipeg Bundys?

    • Paul Lee | May 31, 2011 at 10:45 pm |

      I see what you did there.

  • Mickel | June 1, 2011 at 1:04 am |

    Home Depot team carrying decal for Joplin, MO store: The Home Depot Team will begin carrying a special decal this weekend on the C-Post of the #20 Toyota Camry honoring store #3023 that was not only destroyed by the tornado that devastated Joplin, Mo., but lost one of its associates. The decal which states, “In Our Hearts Store 3023 Joplin Mo” will be present on the car for the next four race weekends as well as the team’s firesuits and hats. The Home Depot has committed to rebuild the store on its current location, has donated over $1 million in disaster relief for the area and its internal charity The Homer Fund is providing grants to associates who were affected by the storm.

  • King of Beacon | June 1, 2011 at 2:02 am |

    Why no realignment? It seems easy. Atlanta/Winnipeg to the Northwest, Minnesota to the central, and Nashville to the southeast. Done.

    • Tim E. O'B | June 1, 2011 at 2:05 am |

      Next years travel plans are probably set in stone for most if not all teams. Expect re alignment in 12-13.