By Phil Hecken
We often talk about uniforms, uniform numbers, cities in which sports are played, different sports played in a city, etc. Yesterday on Uni Watch, guest writer Heather Scott wrote about the retirement of Jorge Posada, after many years in a Yankee uniform. Not many comments ensued, but there was a comment about the Red Sox longtime backstop also retiring in the off-season (Jason Varitek). And, that got reader Mike Engle to thinking. Jason Varitek wore number “33″ for Boston, which just happens to be a rather famous number in that city.
I’ll let Mike take it from here:
Jason Varitek’s retirement reminds me of a question I occasionally ponder. What is each city’s most sacred uniform number?
For instance, #33 is probably the most sacred uniform number in Boston. Retired for Larry Bird, worn by two significant championship captains (Varitek and Zdeno Chara), and also worn by Kevin Faulk, who was a significant contributor to the Patriots’ Super Bowls. But you’d have an OK argument for #4 in Boston: retired for Bobby Orr and Joe Cronin, and worn by Adam Vinatieri, who had a bunch of clutch kicks to win Super Bowls.
Who else do we have?
So I said to myself, “Self…this would be a fun little exercise for the Uni Watch brethren to contemplate and complete.” As soon as Mike posted that, I shot him an E-mail telling him I liked this idea. Interestingly, he had a few more thoughts on the matter:
Do you want to start a brainstorm? I can give you some more nominees.
Strangely enough…Mike wasn’t through:
Los Angeles: #32, which might have just topped Houston in my latest email to you! Sandy Koufax, Magic Johnson, and Marcus Allen all wore it professionally with HOF credentials (the Raiders do not retire numbers, but the other teams did for them). I don’t intend to include university athletes in this discussion, but you can’t ignore Bill Walton, OJ Mayo, and OJ Simpson on the NCAA level. Kelly Hrudey was no slouch either, but he just might get eclipsed at his own team, position, and jersey number by Jonathan Quick! Plus, you have Blake Griffin on that other basketball team.
Thanks, Mike that’s quite a list.
Not too many readers played along in the comments, but one who did, and gave another great example, was Tim E. O’Brien, who proffered thusly:
Chicago – 23
I can’t think of anybody for the Bulls though…
Good stuff folks.
So, lets see if we can’t come up with a few — maybe one for each city that has at least three major teams (and if your city includes hockey, soccer or some other non-major [or college] sport, feel free to include those as well). And, while it’s not quite in the same vein, but still “fun,” lets see if we can’t offer up the most famous number in ALL cities for all sports. In other words, if you had to come up with a uniform number made famous by the most people (any sport), what would it be? My own city, New York, has probably too many different numbers to crown just one — but I’d like to think 42 might be up there. Feel free to pick some others.
Thanks to Mike Engle for the idea. Readers? Fire away…
by Rick Pearson
One more bumper sticker…
And, as always, 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 Hiatt Werling, with a bit of an off-beat (pun intended) tweak:
This is a weird tweak, just a quick little one-off idea, and I don’t blame you if you choose not to put it on the site. There’s a song I like called “Sugar Free Jazz” by the 90′s alternative rock band Soul Coughing, and thinking about the title of the song made me think of the Utah Jazz, so I made them a “Sugar Free Jazz” uniform. It’s just their current uniform with the colors from the late nineties uniforms (which I thought suited the idea of “Sugar Free Jazz” better).
More self-described “tweaks” come to us from Nick Sallack, who has decided that following the death of JoePa, PSU could use some changing:
I’ve done the unthinkable.
These are my “tweaks” to the Penn State football uniforms.
Before anybody complains too loudly, I am a proud alumnus and did this with the best possible intentions. And I think if anybody is going to do this, I think it should be one of us. I’ve shared these on Penn State message boards, and the reactions have ranged from enthusiasm to “Your kid’s youth league team would look great in those,” which I thought was assuming a lot. Anyway…
My goal was to stay true to the spartan, functional aesthetic of the classic Penn State uniform while at the same time completely modernizing it. I also incorporated a few elements from historical Penn State uniforms.
-Reincorporated the single pants stripe and helmet numbers from mid-70s uniforms
-Changed facemask to grey
-Incorporated a chain-stitch pattern on the yoke to emulate a vintage jersey. This will look sweet on the new Nike chainmail mesh material.
-Added keystone and block S homeplate insignia
- Added a third color, which I call Keystone Grey. This allows for more flexibility in combinations.
-The alternate helmet is solid matte navy, and uses a derivation of a logo call the “Pozniak Lion”, which I altered to have more of a taper and a steeper pitch to the eyes–more badass, basically. You can see this logo in the composite shot.
- A new identity system, including a modernization of the “streamline” font. The number font is Station 232 which I pitched about 15 degrees.
-On to the obvious standout…as some people know, the legend says that PSU’s first colors were black and pink. This is my take on that. I could do a writeup for this in itself, but the cool details on this one are a matte-finish “coal patterned” helmet and a “tech-chenille” material on the block S.
Love the site. Keep up the good work.
We conclude today with Ryan Mallady who has a rhetorical question:
-Will we ever stop trying to fix the Seahawks?
-Blue helmets are the second-most common background color in the league (6 teams), and their old gray helmet is already worn by four other teams. This tweak involves switching to green helmets and establishing a quickly identifiable unique identity. True, they have one now with the monochrome blueberry look, but, that can be improved. The only other green background helmet is the Eagles (and really, that’s more a dark teal/cyan than real green). The blue helmet has no contrast with the tribal hawk head. Using a forest green (Northwest-appropriate, not neon) for contrast sets it apart more, and reduces some of the neon backlash.
-Get rid of the light “steel blue”. It’s silly there’s two similar shades of blue. Keep the dark navy, and in fact darken it up a bit more for contrast.
-This emphasizes the only two colors the Seahawks have used in both previous uniform styles, blue and green, and makes a unique statement. Hope you all like it.
-Uni template from Wikipedia (JohnnySeoul) and helmet template from Creamers.
Ryan in Seattle
And that is all for this weekend. Back with more next time.
Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.
Back again this week with the old standby’s. And maybe a surprise or two.
We will start with the half of the G&G boys who hails from across the pond, George Chilvers:
I’ve got some ready for next week, so to start with, as I believe I have read somewhere there is some political hoohah going on this year over there, this is tangentially linked.
It’s the son of a former POTUS, this is FDR junior at Groton. Love the noseguard.
More to follow
Indeed, George wasn’t done:
For number 2 we go back to my 1895 pictures and this is a rugby player, Charles Gurdon, of Richmond club. He played earlier than 1895, in the 1880s, but still got an entry in the book. I just really like the team colours, which Richmond still wear. Magnificent moustache too.
Besides playing rugby he also rowed for Cambridge, so became a “Double Blue” – representing Cambridge in two sports. I love the book’s description of him as a rower: “At Rugby Football he was quite one of the best forwards, but in addition he was a wet bob…” Make your own punch-line :)
Oh yes. And, for good measure, one more:
And so to number three. And a bit of social history (I do like to add a bit of education to my hobby!)
This is Arthur Wharton, who played football (soccer) for a number of teams in the North of England between 1885 and 1902. This picture has him in the colours of Rotherham Town (who later merged with other clubs to become modern day Rotherham United).
The interesting thing about him is that he is considered to be the first black professional football player in the world. Andrew Watson played football for Scotland before him, but he was amateur. Wharton was the first black professional and the first to play in the Football League.
Next up is John Turney, who sent another he’s tweaked. I’m not sure if he actually colorized this himself, but it’s still pretty sweet, either way:
Colorization of Browns, with Autochrome 1936-62 Filter to replicate the era.
And we conclude today with the second half of the G&G Boys, Gary Chanko, with some baseball:
From this week’s There’s No Service Like Wire Service, Vol 39 is this puzzling photo of Joe DiMaggio outfitted in a DONS uni. I say puzzling because there appears to be no record of him having played for such a team, including his days as a Bay Area semi-pro in 1931-32. There is also no information about any team in the San francisco area named the DONS, except for the University of San Francisco.
We know Joe didn’t attend USF (or even finish high school), so maybe he was recruited by USF for an exhibition game. There’s another image, perhaps from the same game, here that shows a bit more detail.
In any event I went with USF colors of green and gold for the colorization. Hopefully one of the Uni-Watch experts can provide further clarification concerning this photo.
Thanks Gary, George & John. As always, great stuff.
Back with more colorizations next time.
Well, yesterday we got our first look at the Texas Rangers throwback uniforms on actual players. Previously, we’d seen them as jerseys only, and some of us wondered allowed just how well they might come off as actual uniforms.
As with everything else (it seems), both the cuts of the uniforms, and the way the players like to wear them, combined with Majestic not taking proper care to actually give the uniforms any “throwbackish” cut/look — well — here’s how they look. Good God. Even Ian Kinsler, he of the high sock, doesn’t look great, but at least he approximates the look of a big leaguer.
But we’re used to seeing white uniforms worn in pajama length, in sweatpant style, so the other two uniforms just look slovenly. But we’re NOT used to seeing powder blue unis, which should sorta look like this, end up being worn like this. But it’s not JUST the cut and the style, once again Majestic fucks up the little details, like, for example — the width of the pants & jersey stripes. Lets take a look again — what they should look like and what they do look like. (side-by-side)
But wait, maybe Majestic was just going by this 1974 Baseball Card — which shows the thinner pants stripes — there is only one problem — they didn’t wear powder blue in 1973-4 (despite many photographs that actually appear to show the uniform in a light blue). But those uniforms had “Rangers” across the front, not “Texas” anyway. So clearly Majestic did its usual slip-shod work on these throwbacks as well.
And that will do it for this fine first Sunday in March. Everyone have a great week.
“It’s not baseball season til Zito gives up 12 runs in 1 & 2/3s.” — Brinke Guthrie