By Phil Hecken
“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.” — Terrence Mann, Field of Dreams
I always dreaded the *dull time* between the end of the football season and the beginning of spring training — especially since I’m not much of a basketball or hockey fan anymore. Fortunately, a couple weekends ago Paul & I enjoyed the 2012 U.S. Curling Nationals (capped by a UW gathering, dontcha know). It was a hectic couple of days, and I was a bit squeezed for content. Fortunately, that Sunday, my new buddy Morris Levin stepped up to the plate and penned a nice little ditty about the Tottenham Hotspur. Prior to departing for Philly, and knowing about my being pressed for a lede, Heather Scott (who did a fantastic job detailing the Giants uniform history for the Super Bowl) offered to help me out with content. She did, but I didn’t even notice the article until the following Monday. Her post was scheduled to run last weekend, but the NBA ASG sneaker extravaganza (always promised to our resident sneakerhead, Matt Powers ran on Saturday, and then we had the tremendous guest-entry on NASCAR last Sunday). So Heather got bumped, but, I’m giving her due today, as the MLB will be without one of its greatest backstops for the first time since the mid-1990s: Jorge Posada.
By Heather Scott
Spring is in the air, which means Spring Training to baseball fans. In Arizona, the Seattle Mariners kicked off Cactus League play yesterday against the Oakland Athletics. Today the Grapefruit League begins in Florida with seven games. But there is a void in the landscape. Although he played DH for the 2011 season, Jorge Posada will not be reporting to Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, FL for Yankees Spring Training this year. After wearing NY Yankee pinstripes for 17 years, Posada announced his retirement during the off season.
Drafted 629th overall by the New York Yankees in 1990, Jorge Raphael Posada began playing for the (now defunct) Oneonta Yankees which was part of the Class-A Short Season New York-Penn League. Posada played his first season as a 2nd baseman before he was moved behind the plate in 1991. The Yankees moved Jorge to the Class-A South Atlantic League Greensboro Hornets in 1992 where he became a full time catcher.
In 1993 he was moved up to Class AA in Carolina to the Prince William Cannons and the Albany Colonie Yankees. After only one year in Double AA, Posada joined the AAA Columbus Clippers in 1994. Unfortunately, he broke his leg and dislocated his ankle in a home plate collision, keeping him out for most of the 1994 season.
He stayed with the Clippers for the majority of 1995 and 1996, but did make a few major league appearances. The first time Jorge donned the unmistakable white with midnight blue pinstripes was his major league debut in the ninth inning on September 4, 1995 when he replaced Jim Leyritz against the Seattle Mariners. The next major league game he played in was a month later on October 4, 1995 again against the Seattle Mariners in Game 2 of the 1995 American League Division Series. He pinch ran for Wade Boggs and scored, tying the game. In 1996 he was brought up from Triple A eight times at the end of the season though he was not on the 1996 Post Season Roster.
In 1997 Posada officially replaced Leyritz as back up catcher for Joe Girardi and started 52 games. On May 17, 1998, Jorge Posada caught David Wells’ perfect game. As the 1999 season progressed, Girardi, who was mentoring Posada, began to turn the starting reigns over splitting the time behind the plate 40/60, however, Girardi remained the regular starting catcher for the Post Season.
Girardi left the Yankees as a free agent to catch for the Chicago Cubs in 2000. This opened up the regular catcher position for Posada and he won the Thurman Munson Award that year. Over the course of his career, Posada was named Baseball America First-Team Major League All-Star Catcher in 2002, decorated with five AL Silver Slugger Awards for a Catcher (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007), named to the AL All-Star Team five times (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007), appeared in six World Series Championships and winning four (1998 1999, 2000, 2009).
Over nearly two decades with the NY Yankees, Posada wore only two uniforms – home and away. Both uniforms are made of heavy weight stretchable polyester knit,
however, in 1994 George Costanza convinced the equipment manager to switch from polyester uniforms to cotton, but the result was disastrous, so the team went back to the original material. The Yankees were the first team to add numbers to the back of the jersey in 1929 based on the batting order. The iconic white with midnight blue pinstriped jersey and pants along with the midnight blue socks has primarily stayed the same since 1936 (although they did add sleeve piping to the road uniform during the switchover from flannel to doubleknit after the 1972 season). The away uniform remained unchanged from 1930 to 1972 when a white outline was added to the “NEW YORK” across the chest and the stripes were added to the sleeves. When other teams added NOB in the 1960s, the Yankees did not. Some have said this is because of tradition, others believe that it is because the Yankees philosophy is that you play for the team not yourself. They are also the only MLB team to not have the uniform supplier logo displayed.
Other than batting jerseys, minor changes to the uniform came when the team added a #1 for Billy Martin to the uniform sleeve in 1990 after his tragic death on Christmas Day. They did the same by adding a #7 for Mickey Mantle in 1995, #5 for Joe DiMaggio in 1999 and #10 for Phil Rizzuto in 2007.
The cap has always been midnight blue with a white interlocking NY logo on the front. In 1994 they changed from a green underbrim to a gray one, but since 2007 underbrims are black to aide in reducing glare.
In 2008 the Yankees added a black arm band after the passing of Bobby Murcer to the uniform which already had an All Star patch as well as a patch commemorating the last year at Yankee Stadium. This is the same year the Yankees wore a special hat against the Boston Red Sox on July 4. The cap had an American Flag motif inside the interlocking NY.
After the opening of a new Yankee Stadium across the street, the Yankees added an inaugural patch in 2009. They donned red caps with a stars and stripes within the NY logo three times this season, in May against the Texas Rangers for Memorial Day, July against the Toronto Blue Jays for Independence Day and on September 11 against the Baltimore Orioles.
2010 saw the loss of George Steinbrenner as well as Yankee Stadium announcer, Bob Sheppard. A patch for The Boss was on the left breast and a patch for The Voice was on the left arm. The MLB logo which was on the back of the neck also changed – the red behind the bat was changed to gray. The special hats continued in 2010, however, they used a white hat with the stars and stripes NY logo. They wore these hats again on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Patriot Day.
Thanks Heather! Thank God the off-season is over and finally, FINALLY, spring games are underway. That means real spring can’t be far behind and all will be right with the world, again.
by Rick Pearson
Talk about product placement…
And, of course, the full-size.
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
And so, lets begin:
We start with Gabriel Toledo, with a
old new uni for Brooklyn:
Alright even though I bleed the ORANGE & BLUE, the prospect of more hoops in NYC gets me all fired up!!
I’m sure you’ve seen the ‘leaked’ Adidas ones I’m not so much a fan.
So i think that we needa take it back to the golden-age.
TO THE AGE OF THE DOCTOR.
To me it’s a total no-brainer. 2 ABA champions, 3 final appearances, Erving’s three MVP trophies, and three scoring titles, im sorry, but YOU GO WITH THE OLD SCHOOL.
Next up is Justin Kline, who also has a hoops concept, this one for Rip City:
I like watching the Blazers do their thing on the court, but I’m not the biggest fan of their unis. I love what they were wearing in the 90’s, right before the Jail Blazers era, so naturally I think that they should bring them back with a few tweaks here and there, plus a home alt.
Our final tweak (and it is just a tweak) comes from Joseph “Buddy” Walker, with a Titans uni I personally wish they would consider:
This is a ‘tweak’ I would like to see to my Tennessee Titans’ uniforms. I much preferred it when they wore Navy blue over white at home. The team, however, has made the decision to go with the “Columbia Blue” full time at home, and I can live with that if the proper tweaks are made to negate some of the unintended design consequences.
The Columbia Blue jerseys should be worn with white pants to negate the leotard effect that is result of navy pants touching navy socks. This is a much better look overall. Also, the TV numbers on the Columbia Blue jersey should be white so they match the regular numbers (On the navy jersey the TV numbers were a different color (navy) because white didn’t provide enough contrast against the lighter shade of blue – not an issue anymore). Reverse the stripes on the white pants to match the new emphasis on Columbia Blue.
The other issue with the move to the Columbia Blue jersey is that the road jersey is no longer a white version of the home. The white jersey has a Columbia Blue yoke while the home jersey has a navy blue yoke. So I change the yoke on the white jersey to navy, changed the numbers to Columbia Blue (to provide balance and so the TV numbers matched the regular numbers). I also swapped the stripe on the Columbia Blue pants to better mirror the new stripe on the white pants. These small tweaks make the Titans uniforms look much more thought out, and I think take them from worst in the league conversations to having a very sharp, above average uni. Thanks.
And that’s all for today peeps. Back with more tweaks, concepts and revisions tomorrow.
Baseball is back. Spring is just around the corner. Yes.
All is right with the world again. Everyone have a great Saturday.
“You know who should be called the Fighting Sioux? The team representing the four-year university we established for the Lakota peoples when we took their land and herded them into desolate concentration camps. Oh, right, we didn’t establish universities for them. Whoops!” — R. Scott Rogers