Click photos to enlarge
In 1972 — the first year that I collected baseball cards — Topps produced a small series of cards called “Boyhood Photos of the Stars,” which was exactly what it sounds like. I immediately thought of those cards when I saw the photo you see above, which shows reader Mike Hersh at the tender age of five and a half, slightly before his increasingly indispensable phase.
I love everything about that photo: the oversized jersey, the stick-to-child ratio, the puck on the sidewalk, and especially that look of boundless enthusiasm on Mike’s face. Is there any doubt that he put the biscuit in the basket mere moments after this photo was snapped?
As it turns out, that wasn’t the first time Mike posed in Philly sports regalia. Here’s a shot from when he was about a year old:
You’ll note that Mike was way ahead of the trend toward oversized caps. But even that isn’t the earliest recorded instance of Mike wearing Philly sportswear. That distinction goes to this shot, taken when he’d been on the active roster for two scant months:
I think this photo probably says more about Mike’s parents than it does about him. Not surprisingly, they’re in the sports memorabilia biz. Apple, tree, etc. (Mike and his wife, Ali, just had their own first child, incidentally. Has young Zachary had his first uniform photo shoot yet?)
Now then: I’m sure many of you out there have similarly
embarrassing adorable photos from your uni-youth. If you’re willing to share them, send ’em my way and we can start a recurring feature. As for me, my father definitely took photos of me wearing baseball, football, and basketball uniforms during the 1970s, but I’m not sure if those photos have survived, and I definitely don’t have any of them in my possession. I’ll look for them the next time I go out to visit my Mom.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The 1998 movie BASEketball, which I didn’t see, showed a Miami Marlins uni that wasn’t that far off from the design that the team recently unveiled. … Here’s a good article about Chief Wahoo (from Tony Crespo). … Craig Bates spotted some amusing Preds fans at a recent game. … Have I mentioned recently how much I love Wisconsin? (Thanks, Kirsten.) … Also from Kirsten: a really good article on the invention of the bendy straw … Those white Coke cans are on the way out. … Throwbacks on tap for Detroit Mercy hoops (from Scott Held). … Adam Edwards found a Steven Jackson jersey with a DeSean Jackson — i.e., Eagles-fonted — NOB. … Here’s something I don’t think I’d ever seen before: Bo Jackson playing in something called the Japan Bowl (from Clay Cutler). … This is pretty amazing: The Olympics used to include artwork competitions! I had no idea (Kirsten yet again). … Nice to see that UConn is conducting loyalty oaths. … New 45th-anniversary logo for the Rockets. I’m assuming it’ll be worn as a patch, but I’ll find out for sure when I have my annual uni-rundown meeting at the NBA offices in Manhattan. … Here’s a great view of the Red Sox’s rarely seen 1974 panel cap (excellent find by Peter Wallace). … Josh Hansen was watching some old NBA footage and spotted Adrian Dantley wearing a No. 5 jersey with NNOB, instead of his usual No. 4.