Had a great time on Saturday evening, as a bunch of Uni Watch readers from near and far gathered at the Devil’s Den in Philly. Here’s how it went down…
The coolest uni-related garment on display, hands down, was the incredible cheerleading sweater being worn by Jenny Sweet, who drove in from Pittsburgh with her beau, Jason Bernard (you can click on all of today’s inline photos to see larger versions, and my apologies to everyone for the rather sloppy red eye correction):
The Pittsburgh contingent also included Doug Keklak and his wife Stacy, who I hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting before:
The Yinzers weren’t the only out-of-towners in attendance. In a nice surprise, Joe Hilseberg drove up from Baltimore and brought along his father, Joe Sr., an extremely gracious gentleman who I really enjoyed talking with:
The Hilsebergs brought along a bunch of show-and-tell items, including this really groovy Orioles necktie:
And Joe also brought me a little taste of Baltimore, in the form of a very generous gift — a case of Natty Boh:
(That sound you just heard in the background was a pool of saliva forming at Robert Marshall’s feet.)
I was particularly happy to see Peter Capolino — the man who transformed Mitchell & Ness from a conventional sporting goods operation into the premiere throwback company — and his lovely wife Fran:
Peter went positively bonkers over some of the game-used jerseys that Joe Hilseberg brought along, incidentally, but unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of those.
Several of Peter’s former Mitchell & Ness employees were also on hand, including Jared Wheeler (at left) and Morris Levin (at right):
One guy who not on hand was Ryan Connelly (another Yinzer), but he was there in spirit, because some of his DIY Invaders gear was being worn by Terence Kearns (who drove in from NYC) and by Phil (who came with me):
As for me, I figured it’d be good to wear something appropriate for eastern Pennsylvania, so I broke out my Kutztown University jersey (with matching accessories, natch):
There were lots of other people on hand, but I did a bad job of taking down people’s names this time around. So with apologies to everyone who I haven’t called out by name, here’s a slideshow of additional photos I took:
And here are some more pics, taken by Terence Kearns’s ladyfriend Cynthia Soto:
An interesting side note: Shortly after Phil and I arrived, I glanced up at the bar’s TV and noticed Kansas State and Texas playing one of the all-time ugliest women’s basketball games. K-State was wearing pink with purple trim, and Texas had black with pink and orange trim (plus a sweatback). I was about to call everyone over to see, but then the bartender changed the channel. Fortunately, this epochal moment has been preserved in this photo gallery.
Finally, the reason Phil and I were in town in the first place was that the USA Curling Nationals were taking place in Aston (about 20 miles southwest of Philly). Our friend Dean Gemmell, who gave both of us our first curling lessons about two years ago, was on the winning team, which means he’ll get to represent America at the World Championships in Switzerland in April and also has an automatic berth in the competition to determine the 2014 USA Olympic team. Dean is an absolute peach of a guy, and Phil and I are both super-happy for him.
By Brinke Guthrie
The year 1971 was a big one for me. My family moved to Dallas, and I got to walk into the brand-new Texas Stadium to see the Eagles/Cowboys for my birthday. You know, like when Billy Crystal talks about walking into Yankee Stadium for the first time?
Anyway, when researching this edition of Collector’s Corner, I kept coming across items from that year. So I thought, let’s just stay with that theme. All our stuff this week comes from that year, beginning with a terrific-looking “Illustrated History of the NFL” poster. That’s a pretty good start, right? Here’s the rest of our 1971 time capsule:
• Here’s a new one, at least to me: an NFL Color By Number kit.
• It was a very good year for those Mattel Instant Replay Discs. Didn’t know they did more than the NFL, but it sure looks like it! MLB, NBA, and Indy racing. Now we just need a player.
• Here’s a huge lot of MLB stickers.
• Just wake up, baby: How about an Oakland Raiders travel alarm clock?
• These sticker albums were great. They had one for every team. I had one of them — can’t remember which team, but I think maybe the White Sox, for reasons I can’t imagine.
• You might have some luck bidding on these Chiquita NFL stickers. They’re usually a hot item, but the auction title doesn’t say, “NFL,” which might keep the price down, because it won’t show up in as many people’s searches.
• Here’s a cool-looking NFL Promo Players Guide. Looks like Craig Morton on the cover.
Seen something on eBay or Etsy (or anywhere else) that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: When the Mets promoted Ike Davis to the majors in 2010, I made some crack about how the combination of Davis and Jon Niese allowed the Mets to lead the league in young beak-nosed players. But that’s no longer the case, because Niese has gotten a nose job. I’m trying to think of other major-level athletes who’ve gone the rhinoplasty route and am coming up empty. Anyone..? Yanks outfielder Danny Tartabull had “cosmetic facial surgery” back in 1993, but it’s never been clear (at least to me) whether that was a nose job or something else. … As you may recall, a few weeks ago the Brewers announced their 2012 promotional schedule, which included this tidbit: “[T]he Brewers will wear … a ‘Birraioli’ jersey (the Italian translation of ‘Brewers’) on Italian Heritage Day [July 1].” That caught the attention of Marco Scurati, who lives in Italy. Here’s what he wrote to Tyler Barnes, the Brewers’ VP of Communications: “Do you know ‘birrioli’ doesn’t exist in any dictionary of the Italian language? It’s a slang expression referring to beer lovers (in the sense of heavy drinkers). The right translation for ‘Brewers’ would be ‘Birrai.’ Why did you choose the other term?” And here’s the response he got: “We are likely going to use ‘Birrai’ on the jerseys. We have consulted several universities as well as other officials on the translation, and, as you stated, Birrai is most appropriate.” … U. of Texas baseball wore throwbacks the other day (from Matt Motl). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: New uni number assignments for the Phillies. … LSU baseball is wearing purple stirrups with gold accenting — a nice touch (from Mark Jones). … Patrick Ewing sneakers are poised for a comeback (from Alex Melendez). … Yesterday I mentioned how some of the Notre Dame jerseys in the movie Rudy had NOBs that matched up with some members of the crew that worked on the film. Here’s a follow-up from Greg McDonald: “About seven years ago I rented a furnished apartment in Arlington, Virginia, and found an authentic ND helmet in the closet, with ‘Dornan’ written on the inside. Not only was that the name of the guy that owned the place, but having viewed Rudy roughly 5000 times throughout my life, I recognized the name from one of the jerseys laid on Dan Devine’s desk when the players are giving up their spots. So the next time I talked the owner, I asked if he played at ND and all of that. Turns out his cousin was an equipment manager in South Bend when they were filming Rudy. He said they made up jerseys for basically anyone and everyone they knew during filming, and by some crazy stroke of coincidence his jersey ended up being one of the more prominently featured ones in the film. As for the helmet, it was just his old high school helmet that his cousin got a hold of and turned it into an Irish helmet.” … In a vaguely related item, here’s a guy with a serious Notre Dame memorabilia collection (from Warren Junium). … This is pretty cool: The uniforms for the East Bay Pit Bulls — that’s in the new ABA — have a chain-link fence theme (from Bill Trovinger). … Major find by Chris Callan, who’s come up with a spectacular photo showing an early Globetrotters uni I’d never seen before. How sweet is that?! Awesome stuff. … Here’s something new: Striped stirrups for Notre Dame (from a very excited Dan Cichalski). … Here are all the Final Four logos since 1979. … Micah Roberts notes that players at Cubs camp are wearing 5950s, while the coaches are wearing BP caps. I wonder if this is one of those deals where they’re trying to make it easier to spot the coaches amidst the mass of humanity during spring training. … New cleats for Ichiro. “Top photo shows the home spikes for 2012,” says Jeremy Brahm. “Bottom picture shows the road spikes.” … Mark Penxa, whose sensational illustrations have been featured here several times over the years, has embarked on the third and final phase of his “Stealing Signs” project. Details here (big thanks to Adrian Acosta). … The classic football book The Pros includes a photo showing a Giants player with an unusual facemask setup (the guy at far right). I immediately thought of that photo when Matt Hoelscher sent me this screen shot from Super Bowl XV. It’s a little hard to see, but the guy in the background is Eagles WR Charlie Smith. … Here’s an oddity: Brian Cushing wore a Jaguars helmet during a 2009 Senior Bowl practice session. “Weird for two reasons: Everyone else was wearing their college helmets and he was drafted by the Texans,” notes Andy Henderson.