Last month I ran some photos of a very young Mike Hersh wearing assorted Philadelphia uniforms and invited readers to submit their own
embarrassing endearing childhood uni pics. A nice assortment of you accepted that invitation, so let’s take a look, beginning with this shot of Mike Colvin (which, like most of the photos in today’s entry, you can click to access a larger version):
“That’s me and my sister when I was on the Dale City (Virginia) Cardinals in 1978,” says Mike. “Our Dad was a coach as well. I know you’ll appreciate the direct lift of the then St. Louis Cards logo.”
Our next poster child is Ethan Lewis:
“That’s me at Camera Night, 1982, at Veterans Stadium,” says Ethan. “The player is Bob Dernier. As you can see, I had worked hard at a young age to get the authentic jacket and cap (with a pullover replica road jersey, although it’s hard to see under the jacket). I still have the jacket.”
Next up we have Eric Lovejoy, who provided two really wonderful photos, which are even better considering the two teams involved:
“The Cubs pic is one of my favorite kid photos,” he says. “I think I was four. My mom made the entire uniform herself. Tough to find baseball pants in that size back then, so she took to the fabric store and sewing machine to put this together. I really like the shoes, no idea what they were, but I’d still wear them today. A year later, I was on the other side of the rivalry. My grandparents lived in downstate Illinois and cheered for the Cards. (We lived in the Chicago ’burbs so I grew up watching the Cubs on WGN.)”
Here we have a young Alan Tompas:
“If you’d been a Yankees fan in 1969, you would’ve been in a Charlie Brown kind of mood too!” says Alan. “This was me in full Peanuts regalia. We had a masquerade event at my day camp. My dad custom-made my shirt and even put some artwork on my bat — a vintage Hank Aaron Little League model. I still have it. One of my treasured possessions.”
Next up is Daren Landers:
“It’s from 1976, when I was 10 years old,” says Daren. “It was taken a few months after our visit to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. On the way there, we stopped at a campground just outside of Cincinnati and took in a ballgame at Riverfront Stadium (the Giants were in town). I don’t remember getting that helmet, but I do remember becoming a lifelong Reds fan from that point on.”
Jim “5 + 1” Vilk didn’t offer any commentary regarding these three shots, but I think they speak nicely for themselves:
Josh Conner cheated a bit — instead of sending a childhood photo of himself, he sent a photo of his father, who’s at top-right in this 1960s Little League team portrait:
“I think the stirrups and the old hats and jerseys are really cool,” says Josh. And I love how the kid at the center of the front row is committing the classic Little League faux pas of wearing short sanitaries (you have to click on the photo to get the larger version in order to see this clearly).
And our final stop on Memory Lane comes via three shots of our own Brinke Guthrie (aka Mr. Collector’s Corner). After looking at the first two, you should have no trouble picking him out in the third one:
“I still have the bowl my mother used for those haircuts, and it’s one of my most treasured possessions,” says Brinke. Okay, so he didn’t actually say that. But knowing how Brinke holds onto things, it wouldn’t surprise me.
Ladies and gents, that concludes today’s photo album. If you have some good childhood shots of yourself in uniform, feel free to send them this-a-way, and I’ll run them in a future entry. Okay? Okay.
Could’ve been way worse: My thanks to the many of you who sent positive feedback regarding my appearance on CBS Sunday Morning yesterday. I’m always a bit apprehensive about how these things are gonna turn out, because non-sports media outlets have a tendency to treat uniform stories as a bit of a joke. But aside from one cringe-inducing sequence (you’ll have no trouble picking it out, trust me), I thought the CBS segment was pretty good. You can see for yourself here:
Cage match, continued: In case you missed it on Saturday, I had a fair amount of interesting info on the ESPN prop cage, where all the helmets and other uni items used on the set are stored. Now I have some additional info from ESPN Sr. Coordinating Director Jay Francis:
Those helmets are shells, incidentally — not regulation by any means. The inside padding is made of a Styrofoam-type material and in most cases only the ear pads and neck pad are installed. Most of the helmets have a safety bar secured inside to ensure no one puts it on and does something stupid. In fact, one manufacturer used to send us helmets that looked to be about 3/4 scale. That was fine until we shot them next to a full-scale helmet. Really, the only time we use regulation helmets is for our on-site Super Bowl coverage. And the majority of our football jerseys are the cheap, screened kind you can buy at Sports Authority. They are props, after all — they just have to look good for a four-second in-bump. This is why I never got the fascination with them.
Party reminder: Uni Watch party tomorrow night, 7pm, at Prosperity in Cleveland. See you there.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Another thing about yesterday’s edition of CBS Sunday Morning: Before the uni-centric segment, they did a report on the 30th anniversary of the break-up of AT&T, and they included a short clip of Lily Tomlin doing her old comedy bit as an AT&T operator. In an odd uni sighting, a Super Bowl XXI helmet planter was visible in the scene (screen shot by Matty Eggen). … Big Ben was still wearing mismatched shoes because of his injured ankle yesterday. Anyone else think it’s odd that Nike never came up with a visually matching pair for him, even if the one for his bad foot has different padding or whatever on the inside? (Screen shot by Kevin Stephan.) … Apropos of our discussion last week, the Steelers/Broncos game was refereed by the bespectacled Ron Winter (screen shot by Rob Holecko). … With Jorge Posada pre-announcing his retirement, MLB’s roster of bare-handed batters — not counting pitchers — is down to Coco Crisp, Vlad Guerrero, and, uh, am I missing anyone? … We often talk about high schools copying college logos, but Joe Delach notes that the logo for the Lynn University Knights (D-II, Sunshine State Conference) appears to be a Notre Dame knock-off. … The CBS affiliate in Phoenix is still using the old NFL logo (from Kenn Tomasch). … Here’s a vintage Boston Gardens usher’s jacket. … Mississippi has extended its contract with Nike (from Leo Thornton).