One thing I love about Uni Watch is that I learn about stuff I never knew about before. Case in point: I got an interesting note the other day from reader Caleb James, as follows:
Many baseball players are “deepening” the pockets of their gloves by shifting their hand in their gloves. Instead of putting one digit in each of their gloves fingers, they put their ring and pinkie fingers in the glove’s pinkie compartment and then shift their other fingers over, so the middle finger is in the ring finger compartment and the index finger is in the middle finger compartment. This has the effect of making the glove’s pocket deeper.
As you know, some players like to wear their index finger sticking out of the back of the glove. But when the glove is worn as described above, these players keep their index finger on the outside now have it resting against the back of the glove’s middle finger (as opposed to its index finger).
This is nothing new, especially for outfielders, but the new wrinkle is that it’s now prompting manufacturers to alter how gloves are made. Manufacturers who in the past have put extra padding and/or finger pockets on the back of the glove’s index finger of the mitt are now placing them on the back of the middle finger. For example, this “glove-builder” app from Rawlings includes an option to put finger padding/pockets behind the middle finger.
I confess that I’m out of my league on this one. I recall noticing players with a finger sticking out over the middle finger of their gloves as far back as the late 1970s, but I always assumed it was just their middle finger sticking out — not a repositioned index finger. And it certainly never occurred to me that any of this had to do with “deepening the pocket” on the glove. Is that really true? I know a lot of you have much more experience playing ball than I do. Fill us in!
Meanwhile, a few other noteworthy things about that Rawlings glove-builder page: You can choose some pretty whacked-out color options for your glove’s laces. Also, there’s a drop-down menu that allows you to choose a little flag that can embroidered on the glove, and it’s fascinating to see which states and countries are and aren’t included. You want Alabama, Aruba, Australia, Delaware, Mississippi, Poland, Utah? No problem. Argentina, Austria, China, Florida, New York, Wisconsin? No dice. Odd.
Star me up … or better yet, don’t: MLB’s All-Star stars are proving to be somewhat less than universally popular. Here’s the latest:
• As I had already noted on Wednesday, the Yankees aren’t wearing the stars.
• On Wednesday I also reported that Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw had removed the stars from his cap and was looking to remove them from his jersey. Guess he never got around to that, because he did have the jersey stars last night, but no cap stars (and no stupid-ass ASG patch on the side of his cap, either).
• Now it turns out that the Cardinals have chosen not to wear the stars.
• And reader Al Stone reports that the Orioles’ lone All-Star representative, Matt Wieters, has decided not to wear the star patches either. “According to Buck Showalter on a local Baltimore radio show, he did it as a team gesture,” says Al.
We often chide players for engaging in various “Look at me!” antics, so let’s give these players credit for not wanting to stand out from their peers. Let’s also hope these small gestures of non-compliance are enough to get MLB to scrap this program next year.
Invaders reminder: Don’t forget to vote for Ryan Connelly’s Invaders jersey in the Dayton Gems’ Beer League Night fan voting. Details here.
Summer break reminder: I’m going on summer break starting Monday (but will be covering for Phil this weekend), which has a few implications for the site. Details here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Yesterday I mentioned that it looked like the Reebok logo creep on NHL jerseys was changing from the vector to the wordmark. That is now confirmed. That shot is from yesterday’s press conference introducing new Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov. This will probably mean even bigger Ree-boxes, since the wordmark is wider than the logo. It also means that with the exception of the NOBs, the only word spelled out on most NHL jerseys will now be “Reebok,” which is all kinds of fucked up (big thanks to Dan Winkler for the photo). … The Rangers only wear their red caps, undersleeves, socks, and catcher’s gear with their red jerseys — except for last night. Not a good look, but we’ll probably be stuck seeing it again, because they won 6-0. … Derek Jeter wore special gold-accented batting gloves and spikes last night. He also wore — get this these sock liners (further details on all the scribbling here). No word on whether Jeter was also wearing a gold-plated jockstrap. … New rugby kits for Ulster (with thanks to Colm Heaney). … The mighty Fleer Sticker Project just posted a bunch of screen shots from the 1968 MLB All-Star Game (big thanks to Sam Shipley). … New uniforms for the Fayetteville Fire Antz. “The waist area of the jersey features a local architectural landmark,” explains Gerry Dincher. … Nebraska-Omaha’s new logo is apparently a big hit (with thanks to Patrick Runge). … Did you know there’s something called the Boot Throwing World Championships? There is! And they’ve got some, uh, highly inspiring uniforms (with thanks to Tom Hamann). … “My buddy Dave texted me this picture of a Steelers Super Bowl XLV Champions T-shirt,” writes Brent Jensen. “He found it in a Milwaukee-area (of all places!) Marshall’s just a few days ago, for I think $9.99. I went to go buy it a little later and it was gone. Don’t these usually all get sent to Third World countries or something?” … Julio Jerez asked if I could add “Culinary Corner” as one of the site’s searchable/sortable categories. Good idea — done. … I think we may have seen this before, but it bears repeating: The WFL didn’t look quite as professional as the NFL back in the day. Alan Kreit took that shot in Canton the other day. … Speaking of Canton, the city is getting a D-League team. G.R. Brackle thinks we should have a design contest, but c’mon, it’s the freakin’ D-League. … Speaking of contests involving Ohio teams, Mary Lynn Delfino reports that the Akron Aeros are letting fans vote for a new team name (Several readers have noted that the L.A. Galaxy’s alternate kit, worn on July 4, took some chromatic liberties with the U.S. flag. “How is this acceptable on any day, much less Independence Day?” asks Markus Kamp. “The Galaxy, MLS, and Adidas should be ashamed of themselves.” … Prince William will be wearing a special polo jersey this weekend (thanks, Brinke). … New home soccer kit for Ireland (with thanks to Kenny Loo). … Matt Ryburn was watching a DVD of the 1988 World Series and noticed that the gold visor on some of the A’s batting helmets didn’t come to a point, and on others it looked fine. Meanwhile, what’s that decal on the back of Dave Parker’s helmet? … Nick Hanson notes that Lightning draftee Vladimir Namestnikov was sporting a badly overmatched nameplate in his first practice with the team yesterday. … It turns out that the color purple is the real Amityville horror (with thanks to Sean Caruana). … Eagle-eyed catch by Peter Fahey, who notes that Blake Davis has been wearing an upside-down 8. … As you may recall, my last ESPN column included a sidebar item about former Bills QB Joe Ferguson. Some folks have said his interception woes were due to his being colorblind, but he told me he’s never colorblind. That prompted the following note from Daryle Pompeo: “You should know that in 1988, when Vinny Testaverde threw 35 interceptions and claimed he was colorblind, his QB coach was Joe Ferguson. Coincidence?” … Red Wings defenseman Mike Commodore may change his uni number to 64. For those of you who are less than 87 years old, here’s why that would be awesome.