both of his stirrup loops poking out? And what if he did it all the time? Like, on purpose?
But this video — which was produced just prior to the start of the 2011 season and mentions Appel’s “incredible summer and fall” — is peppered with photos of his stirrups-out style, suggesting that he shifted to that format in the summer or fall of 2010. All of the 2011 images of him that I’ve been able to find show him with the loops unlooped.
I’ve never seen a player do this before, so I was looking forward to interviewing Appel and asking him about it. Unfortunately, despite my repeated requests, the Stanford PR department declined to make him available to me (seriously, guys, the whole thing would’ve taken five minutes). So here’s an imaginary interview, re-creating the discussion I suspect Appel and I would have had if I’d been allowed to talk to him:
Uni Watch: Interesting hosiery style you have there, Mark. What’s it all about?
Mark Appel: Coach says we have to wear stirrups — that’s the team rule — but I never liked the feel of the fabric under the soles of my feet.
UW: The fabric loops were uncomfortable?
MA: Yeah. So one day I tried leaving the loops out and it felt way better, so I’ve been doing it that way ever since.
UW: And your coach is okay with it?
MA: He said if it helps me pitch better, and as long as I’m still wearing stirrups, then it’s fine with him, yeah.
UW: Had you ever worn stirrups before arriving at Stanford?
MA: No. In high school we just had regular socks. In Little League, too. But when I came to Stanford, Coach said we have to wear stirrups, so we wear ’em. I don’t even really know what they’re for, to be honest.
The Jeff: Neither does anyone else. They’re pointless and they look stupid besides. Your coach should wake up and join the 21st century already.
UW: The Jeff, what are you doing in the middle of this interview?!
TJ: Don’t look at me. You’re the one who said it was imaginary.
UW: Quiet, you. Mark, have your teammates had anything to say about all this?
MA: Yeah, some of ’em kinda kidded me about it at first, because it looked a little different. But they’re used to it by now.
And there you have it, at least theoretically.
Meanwhile, just as we named the Pedro Porthole and Breathing Ethier, I think we should come up with a name for Appel’s unusual hosiery stylings. I confess that I’m stumped. Anyone..?
(Special thanks to Blair Riffel and Kevin Zdancewicz for bringing Appel to my attention.)
Uni Watch News Ticker: Here’s a really nice Tiger Stadium usher’s uni. … You know how sidewalks tend to be pockmarked with dark splotches of chewing gum? There’s a guy in London who makes little paintings on the gum splotches. … Rob Onolfi got a bunch of screen shots showing Bills LB Darryl Talley’s Spider-Man undershirt from 1990. … Remember those photos of John “I’m a PC” Hodgman wearing old-school football gear? “I had a chance to speak to Hodgman last weekend while he was co-hosting a pub quiz,” writes Mark McGinnis. “The pictures that have surfaced are from an abandoned project where he was to play an ex-football star. This was to be a not-so-inside joke, since he is a complete nerd who failed epically on the brief sports section of the quiz (for which his co-host wrote the questions).” … Yesterday I mentioned that the U.S. Army was making a headwear change. Now David Cline has provided the official memo spelling out the new rules. “It adds a few more details, plus you get to see how specific and details Army memos are,” he says. … Everyone knows the Mets are going to be trading off pieces of the team, and they’ve apparently started with Mr. Met. Kenny Jacobson spotted someone wearing that T-shirt yesterday. … Flag-desecration cap on tap for the West Virginia Power. “I’m pretty sure these will be worn on July 2nd, when the Power and the radio company I work for are working together on a Salute to The Troops Night,” says Joshua Exline. … Here’s a really good piece on college hoops players who wear No. 53, which happens to be the sport’s least popular number (with thanks to Casey Gross). … Kyle Drabek was sent down to the minors yesterday, which I believe means there are no pitchers with single-digit uni numbers currently in the bigs. … While looking for something else, I came across this great shot of two kids re-enacting the Twins logo pose. … Don Montgomery was in a men’s room at a place in Cape Cod called the Hot Stove
when Larry Craig walked in and noticed that the walls were plastered with old newspaper sports pages. One of them, from 1937, included an AP report about a minor league game in which the teams wore polo helmets! Hey, cross-dressing and a men’s room mentioned in one Ticker item, not bad. … Cody Ross continues to look sharp in the striped hose. “Why can’t all the Giants players do that?” asks Sean Robbins. … This white undershirt thing appears to be spreading. That’s Miguel Cabrera from last night. “I’ve been a lifelong Tigers fan and I can’t recall seeing that before,” says Robert Waynick. … CNN ran an story yesterday about how watching TV increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease, etc. The poster child for this cautionary tale was a coach potato wearing an Islanders jersey. Draw your own conclusions. … Indians catcher Carlos Santana wears No. 41. But as Kyle Peterson notes, his knee savers are marked with No. 25. … “The worst-kept secret in the NHL is that the Kings will make their black alternates and “LA” logo the primary home uni and logo next season,” writes Marc Gilbert. “Their possible new [primary] center ice logo can be seen in their newly launched 3-D seat locator page for next season.”