By Phil Hecken
With our esteemed leader beginning his well-deserved vacation from these boards, I have the pleasure of bringing you the next four weeks of assorted content. Unlike last summer, however, I am relying more than ever on the wonderful Uni Watch community to help me in this endeavor — I have some great guest entries lined up already, and I’m hoping for several more, and I’ll be ably assisted with the Ticker content by our webmaster, John Ekdahl.
Without going into a lot of detail, my full-time job is requiring more of my actual time (the nerve), I’m taking three grad school classes this summer, and my father is quite ill, actually entering hospice last week. So, I will do all that I can to ensure that you all get the best content that the Uni Watch community so richly deserves.
There is no way I can do you the justice that Paul does on a day-in, day-out basis, but I give it my best. So not only will there be a few guest entries, occasionally you’ll be treated to some tweaks, uni-tracking, colorizations, videos, and a daily Benchies.
Today, we go straight to the reader mail for our topic. Reader Sivan Silver-Swartz posed this question/request:
I’m sure you’re very busy uniform watching, but I have one quick thought: recently I was watching some highlights of Mike Leake, and I realized that I had never realized before that he wore stirrups, despite being semi-familiar with him (as more of an AL-person, apparently I’m more familiar with his hair and his statistics than actually watching him pitching). I occurred to me that I have yet to see one comprehensive list of current major leaguers who regularly/semi-regularly wear stirrups. Those in-the-know can count quite a few off their head and every once and a while you see some sort of quick list in an article, but I have yet to see a definite list that can confidently say, “these are all the major leaguers that wear stirrups.” This was something that I kind of expected Uni-Watch to have, a page on your website with this list, sort of like your “White at Home in the NFL” page, and with those trademark links to see images of those stirrups in action. You could even go all out and include some info, mention the frequency of the stirrup-wearing, the height, any special traits or stories about those particularly stirrups, etc. Anyway, just a thought – it would be a terrific resource, and I’m sure the community would be more than glad to help you out. Thanks for letting me waste your time.
Paul actually forwarded that to me and we both agree that’s a pretty good suggestion — and one with which the Uni Watch faithful can help — a comprehensive listing, which we’ll then (hopefully) add to the Uni Watch reference section, of stirrup-wearing big-leaguers. I believe it was either a year or two ago when we had attempted to field an “all-stirrup” team (at least one player wearing stirrups at least part-time for each position). Perhaps now is the time to formalize that project.
So, for today, and before we get into the meat of the Paul-on-hiatus articles (and there are some good ones to come, I promise), lets see if we can’t come up with a list of stirrup-wearing players, hopefully with pics to go along with names. I’ll start with the two easiest: DJ Carrasco of the Mets, and Paul’s poster child for hosiery, Josh Outman of the Oakland A’s. We’ll consider this our first Summertime Uni Watch “Group Project.” Don’t let me down.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a nice (I hope) preview of the 2011 All Star Game, but tonight we have everyone’s favorite, the MLB Home Run Derby. This is usually a three-hour long display of
how many different ways Chris Berman say “BACK BACK BACK” athletic prowess, featuring members of both teams sitting uncomfortably “Indian-style” and playing with their kids and cell phone cameras, all while tweeting away, as the eight “participants” slug away to determine who is the HR champ for 2011.
There’s actually a new “twist” in the Derby this year — past champions David Ortiz and Prince Fielder were made “captains” of the American League and National League, respectively, and each chose three teammates to represent the league. Ortiz has picked Adrian Gonzalez, Jose Bautista, and Robinson Cano, while Prince selected Rickie Weeks, Matt Kemp, and Matt Holiday. Yup. Used to be the guys who were leading their leagues in dingers at the break played. Not so this year. But hey, we’ll get to see those awesome ASG batting practice jerseys and PE cleats for all.
But to whet your appetites, dig this very cool retrospective of (almost) all of the past All Star Game logos, from the first up until last year (if you’re at work and/or have speakers, you may want to hit the ‘mute’ button):
And here’s a pretty cool time-lapse video of the 2011 ASG logo being painted on the field in Arizona.
My thanks to the Uni Watch community in advance for being such a great bunch and for understanding my situation. But, with a little help from my (Uni Watch) friends, these next four weeks will be great. If anyone is interested in working with me on a column while Paul is away, contact me here. You can also follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken and send me uni-notable news, pics, etc. OK? OK!
Friendly reminder: Paul is on his summer break from the site from now until Aug. 8 (although he’ll still be doing ESPN work, which we’ll link to as it comes up). That means there are a few changes regarding where you should be sending e-mails:
• Phil is writing the lead entries while Paul’s away. You can contact him at his usual address.
• The Ticker is now being compiled by webmaster John Ekdahl. You can still send submissions to the uniwatching at gmail address, but they will go to John, not to Paul.
• If you absolutely need to contact Paul during his summer break, the best way is to send a note to his plukas64 at gmail address. But he may take a little while to get back to you, especially during the period from July 16-21.
• Finally, if you hear about any new college football uniforms during Paul’s break, please send that info to this address. Thanks.
Benchies from the Beginning
By Rick Pearson
For nearly three years, “Benchies” has been appearing most weekends at Uni Watch. While Bench Coach Phil fills in for Paul Monday through Friday during August, we present a retrospective. New strips will continue to appear on weekends. For further background, here’s the “Benchies” backstory and bios on the regular Boys of “Benchies.” Enjoy.
And here’s today’s strip:
And for those of you with bad eyesight, or for whom that’s just a bit too small, here’s the full size version.
Uni Watch News Ticker: New court design for Purdue (with thanks to Tom Hamann). … Joel Willy reports that the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters will be wearing Wisconsin Rapids Twins throwbacks tonight. … As you may know, most WNBA teams put their NOBs below the uni number, which makes Taj McWilliams-Franklin’s double-decker NOB all the more unusual-looking. You can see her going up for the jump ball in this shot (good spot by Jeremy Brahm). … What is this scary looking thing? That’s a Buster Posey bobblehead, of course, captured by Brinke at last night’s Mets/Giants game. More photos can be seen here. … What happens when you let Ryco, Kek, Movi & TK loose in Pittsburgh? Well, you get this moment at PNC. That’s Jim Vilk in his Bucco cap & Mauler tee, and Terence Kearns sporting the Ryberto cap. Fortunately, Doug Keklak had to take the pic, so we’re spared a shot of his outfit. I’m not sure where Ryan Connelly was though.
“The USA had BLACK jerseys today vs. Brazil. BLACK!?! Last I checked we were red, white and blue! This has to be the worst uniform in the history of uniforms.” — “Taylor”