Every so often somebody will send me a link to one of those places that sell MLB-themed burial caskets and/or urns. I never run them, because it’s old news — I’ve been seeing these things for the better part of a decade now, and you probably have too. If you Google “MLB casket,” you get like a jillion results. Next.
But when Bill Henderson recently sent me a link to this MLB casket page, he included an intriguing tidbit of additional info:
A long time ago, I amused myself by drawing a detailed casket for Joe DiMaggio, complete with baseball bats as side handles, pinstriped lining, and a large logo. My friends told me I was “sick.” Who knew it could be a real, moneymaking idea? I still have that drawing if you want me to find it.
Naturally, I couldn’t turn down an offer like that, so I told Bill to go ahead and find the drawing. A few days later, he came back to me with this (click to enlarge):
The drawing was accompanied by this explanation:
I found it. I never throw away anything, it seems. I was at an industry conference in March of 1999, right after Joe DiMaggio had died, I drew this on the back of one of the pages in my book. Passed it slyly to my work associate Al sitting next to me, with a note suggesting I could “make this in my workshop.” He wrote back, suggesting that he might open the lid and see if Joe still had “a pulse or two” to give an autograph (Al was German, and his English always made me smile).
I was ahead of my time. Why, if I had patented this back in 1999, I might be retired now with the residuals.
Good stuff. I especially like the “pine tar line to promote an air-tight seal.” Too bad Bill never followed through on it. But somebody should — this is a DIY project waiting to happen, am I right?
By Brinke Guthrie
Did you ever collect media guides? I did when I was growing up. Teams back then would gladly ship ’em out to you, along with decals, schedules and photos. I bet I wrote to every team in every league. This Falcons guide caught my eye during some recent eBay reseach. Lots on here to like — white Adidas as well as blue, old-style Riddells on Bartkowski, not to mention his white Dungard facemask, proper jersey stripes and socks. Ah, those were the days.
Lots of media guides in this week’s rundown:
• Speaking of Dungard facemasks, look at John Williams’s crazy two-part mask on the cover of the 1977 Rams guide. [I’ve seen that photo many times over the years but had no idea it was on the cover of a media guide! — PL]
• First thing I thought about regarding this 1977 Steelers guide was, “Why have a 77 on a QB or kicker’s helmet?” Then I thought, “Uh, duh.”
• Love the cover art on this 1975 Eagles book.
• The mid-1970s weren’t a very good period for the New York Football Giants, and even their media guide covers from that time felt kinda uninspired. Things were a looking a little more interesting by 1980. Look at that exaggerated facemask!
• Speaking of facemasks, did the Redskins misplace theirs or what?
• Okay, enough media guides. I don’t normally include expired auctions here, but this MLB Cooperstown Collection jersey is worth a look. That’s just logo madness.
• Wonder what fans of the other NHL teams thought when they saw the kid wearing a Montreal Canadiens
jersey sweater on the box lid of this game?
• Very comic book-style artwork on the cover of this 1978 Pro! program.
• Big set of those great 1970s NFL cardboard mini-posters (the ones where they use the same graphic for multiple teams and just change the colors) right here.
• This early-1970s NFL party decoration kit from Hallmark is the perfect thing for your NFL draft party next month.
• Reader Warren Junium sent this in — a pricey set of actual seats from the Boston Gah-den.
• And from reader Jerry Wolper, check out this sensational Wilt vs. Oscar photo — with Wilt wearing a mask.
Seen something on eBay or Etsy (or anywhere else) that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
’Tis the Season
By Vince Grzegorek
Hello, folks. The annual Uni Watch March Madness bracket competition is back for those of you who love college basketball and/or have interest in acquiring some of the stuff Paul has sitting around his apartment. You can join here (password: stirrups). There’s also a second group if the first one fills up, which has happened each of the last two years. Password for that one is the same as the first. Standard scoring: 1 point for correct picks in the first round, 2 points in the second, 4 points in the third, and so on. 32 points will be your reward for correctly picking the champion. Only one entry per person, please.
The top three winners will get to choose from some of the swag that Paul has accumulated since last December’s reader-appreciation raffle. Good luck to all.
Stirrups Club reminder: Today’s the last day to order from Robert Marshall’s latest set of stirrup offerings. Full details here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Here are some of the new NFL Draft Day caps (from Joel Hatfield). … Former MLBer Kevin Millar, who wore No. 15 for most of his career, recently sent a Tweet to fellow 15er Jeremy Guthrie regarding another 15er. Interesting bit of cross-sport uni-numerical solidarity there (as noted by Tyler Kepner). … Check out the specialized headgear worn by Mark Astley in the mid-1990s (from Jeff Wilk). … Tom Arnel reports that Elena Elms, who sends me a batch of uni-themed cookies each Xmas, recently designed a T-shirt For his running group. … Those of you who’ve enjoyed Charles Sollars’s football uni concepts will also enjoy this story about him. … “While writing a piece on Herb Carnegie — the almost-Jackie Robinson of hockey — I found this pic of him,” writes Josh Eisenberg. “Based on my limited research, it’s unusual to see a player wearing a helmet in that era. There was no info on why Carnegie wore the helmet and no other photos of him wearing one.” … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Astros by the numbers. … This is seriously creepy: a compression suit for horses. No word on whether Andre Ethier’s horse is cutting the logo out of his (from Hugh McBride). … This is kinda cool: The Altoona Curve were almost called the Altoona Lake Monsters, so on May 30 they’re running a “What if?” promotion and wearing Lake Monsters uniforms (from Yancy Yeater). … I love pork and I love donuts, but I bet even Homer Simpson would draw the line at pork donuts. Two great tastes that do not belong together (thanks, I think, Kirsten). … Ryan Perkins recently spotted a clear Schutt football helmet at a small sporting goods store in Jackson, Mississippi. … “I flipped over to the Pittsburgh Power/Orlando Predators arena football game last Friday and thought it was kinda odd that only a few of the Power players had NOBs,” writes Rob Ullman. “Turns out I didn’t know the half of it. Apparently the entire team was let go just hours before the game — in an Olive Garden, of all places!” Of course, this would qualify as a kindness if the mass firings had taking place before the food arrived. … Another one from yesterday’s comments: New team names and branding for the Amateur and Junior Penguins. … In what I’m sure will come as a complete shock, the Packers’ uniforms aren’t getting a Nike makeover (from Nicholas Honeck). … Wondering how the Sacramento Kings ended up with their current colors, logos, etc.? Okay, so you probably weren’t, but here’s the story anyway (from Chris Chaussee). … Key quote: “Is there no one at Nike able to Google ‘Black and Tan?'” To see why someone had to ask that question, look here (thanks, Brinke). … “FC Tampa Bay in the new NASL wanted to reuse the old Tampa Bay Rowdies name but was not granted permission to do so (the name was owned by some group out of Dallas),” writes Randy Williams. “They were finally able to come to terms and purchased the name a few months ago, so 2012 will be their first year as the Tampa Bay Rowdies! They’re showing off their new practice jersey here and will release their new jersey on March 30.” … More soccer news, this time from Omar Jalife: “Here’s a gallery with the jerseys that will be worn on Poland/Ukraine for the Euro 2012, only the Ukraine jersey is missing.” … Marty Turco, recently signed by the Bruins, was wearing his old Stars gear on Sunday (from Jesse Buckner). … Lots of cool new Ebbets Field Flannels product showcased in this video clip (from Matthew Robins). … Mmmm, beefsteak. … You say you like hat pins? Then you’re gonna love this (big thanks to JP Samsel). … Here’s what the Mets will wear on St. Paddy’s Day. Too bad about the white side panels. … According to Okkonen/D2the9s, the Senators wore pinstripes at home in 1924. But now Todd Radom has found some photos from the ’24 World Series indicating that the Sens wore plain white uniforms in that year’s Fall Classic. … Maryland’s softball team appears determined to prove that there are ever-stupider things you can do with camouflage and the state flag (from Samuel Shipley). … New road cap for the Missoula Osprey. … I was watching a bit of yesterday’s Dodgers/Angels game and noticed Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier wearing a non-Cool Flo batting helmet. That’s not the new Gazoo, and I can’t recall which make/model it is. Anyone..? … Fun DIY project from Ron Lienhardt: “I got bored over Christmastime, so I sanded down an old helmet that was lying around and decided my den could use some creative lighting. The right side is the modern version of the CU helmet, and the left is from the 1958 Bowl game they played in (I believe it was the Orange Bowl). After it was all perfect from a few hours of wet-sanding, I decided to sand it down, rough it up, and add ‘Nebraska red’ impact marks for a game-used look.” … New uniforms for the New Orleans VooDoo. “One interesting detail: The players aren’t wearing high socks,” notes HHH. “Will the VooDoo really go with bare shins and calves like a college team? Or did somebody just forget to pack the socks?” … The designer of the much-maligned Buffaslug has posted some of his early conceptual drawings from that project. … The Bulls wore rojo en casa last night against the Knicks.