Yesterday was the day we honored the centennial of the Titanic’s sinking by wearing Ron Hodges’s uniform number, which turned out to be such a stirring tribute that the IRS decided to give everyone two extra days to file their taxes. See how everything fits together?
Seriously, I love Jackie Day, which I think can legitimately be considered the one unqualified success of Bud Selig’s reign. I love that every single player can’t help but think of Jackie when he sees that No. 42 jersey hanging in his locker; I love that the sea of NNOB 42s on the field essentially renders all the players anonymous, which is as it should be, because the only person who matters on Jackie Day is Jackie; I love that all the teams adjust the roster listings on their web sites to look like this; I love that even the umpires wear 42; I even love hearing the broadcasters occasionally getting the players mixed up.
A few notes from yesterday’s festivities:
• The Dodgers took things a step further by wearing Brooklyn headwear.
• Several players who usually go pajama-pantsed chose to go high-cuffed, including Chris Young of the Diamondbacks (nice blousing), Rafael Furcal of the Cardinals (ditto), Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler (did he borrow those stirrups from injured teammate and stirrups stalwart Josh Outman?), and O’s outfielder Adam Jones.
• Speaking of Jones, he and Jason Heyward of the Braves wore these cleats. The colors are for UCLA, Jackie’s alma mater, which isn’t a bad gesture. But these are Griffey Jr. Swingman cleats, so they have the Griffey logo near the heel, which ruins the whole point of the Jackie tribute. Yes, I know Griffey was instrumental in the 42er movement a few years ago, but a Jackie tribute shouldn’t be about anyone but Jackie. Seems like just about any promotion involving shoe companies ends up sucking.
• Speaking of which, nothing says Jackie like Curtis Granderson’s Twitter handle. The Grandyman wore those cleats for last night’s game against the Angels. To his credit, he’s donating them for an auction that will benefit Jackie’s foundation. But if he needed to personalize them, why couldn’t he just autograph them after the game instead of turning them into a “Look at me!” promotional stunt with his Twitter handle? I’ve liked just about everything I’ve ever heard or read about Granderson, and I love his game, but those cleats are total bullshit.
Meanwhile a few other notes from the weekend’s MLB action:
• Words cannot express how great it was to see the Mets wearing their road grays without a shred of black over the weekend. It’s been a long, hard road, but now everything is as it should be.
• Yesterday Phil broke down the differences between the Braves’ standard home uni and their new home alt, but he left out one important aspect of the alts: No piping on the belt tunnels! The last time the Braves didn’t have fancy belt tunnels was in 1986, when they didn’t have a belt, period. And the last time they had plain belt tunnels on belted pants was in 1979. “I had a really hard time watching them on Saturday without that detail,” says Tyler Kepner.
• Phil also mentioned the Cards’ gold-trimmed championship uniforms, which were worn on on Friday (the home opener) and again on Saturday (the ring ceremony). Speaking of the rings, as you may have heard by now, this is the first World Series ring design to include a squirrel — a great little detail. There’s a fact sheet on the ring design here and a pretty good video here.
• The White Sox wore their 1972 throwbacks for the first time yesterday. I’m a fan. The original versions worn back in ’72 had massive uni numbers on the back, and it was cool to see that they stayed true to that yesterday (although that might’ve only been for Jackie Day — maybe they’ll add NOBs and reduce the numeral size for subsequent games, although I hope not). The big question going into the game, however, was whether anyone would wear the sox with the sox. And the answer: Yup! That’s Will Ohman — nicely done.
As for today, Fenway Park P.A. announce Carl Beane will say something today that he only says once per year: “Here are the starting lineups for this morning’s game.” That’s because today is the annual Patriots Day game, which starts at 11am. I attended the Pats Day ballgame back in 2001 (my only visit to Fenway) and it was a blast. But the best Pats Day ever should be next year, because Pats Day will coincide with Jackie Day. That’ll be a hoot.
Sample me this: I’ve recently acquired some great new additions for my collection of salesman samples, beginning with these two excellent pocket comb displays, which look like they’re from the early to mid-1960s (for all of these photos, you can click to enlarge):
I got both of those for $12, including shipping — a total bargain. Love those jewel-tone colors on the combs! The display with the yellow background is now mounted on the wall in my bathroom; haven’t decided what to do with the other one yet.
Next up is this sensational kitchen cabinetry display, which I think is either from the late 1950s or early ’60s (I included the tape dispenser for scale, because this baby is big — about 20″ x 24″):
This ran $97, including shipping, which I think is totally fair for such a cool item. The great thing is that the little doors are functional. Kirsten suggested that I put something behind them, so each one would offer up a little surprise when opened. I have lots of vintage food-based pamphlets and related items floating around the house, so here’s what I’ve put behind the doors for now:
The only one of these that I’m completely happy with is the milk bottle caps, so I may end up swapping out the others for better items later on. But they’re fine for now as placeholders, and the overall effect on the wall is pretty good:
Next: a box of samples from a glass manufacturer. I don’t think this is particularly old — 1980s, maybe — but it’s still really nice:
This one ran $59, including shipping — too much, really, for something I can’t display, but it was a birthday present to myself, so I decided it was okay. Anyway, it’s fun for show-and-tell, and I love the names of the various glass patterns (one of them is called “Burlap,” which seems like an odd word to be connected to glass). Ben Traxel, if you’re reading this, you probably have something like this lying around your architecture office, right?
Here’s another box of samples, this time for counter and wall surfaces. Judging by the completely excellent design on the top of the box, it’s from the 1960s:
Unfortunately, the individual chips don’t have cool names like the glass samples do — just numbers. Still, the decorator colors are really nice, and the chips rattle inside their little compartments with a very satisfying sound. I like.
I currently have my eye on another cool sample display, although I’m not sure where I’d put it. My rule is to try to put things in content-appropriate places — food-related things in the kitchen, furniture-related things in the living room, health/grooming-related things in the bathroom, etc. But I don’t have a garage, so I’m not sure if there’s a suitable place for that garden hose display. Hmmmmm.
New sponsor shout-out: As you may have noticed in the right sidebar, we have a new advertiser — Game Signs, which sells a peel-and-stick product to make catchers’ signals more visible (instead of the more traditional white nail polish and/or tape around the fingers). Please join me in welcoming them to the site.
By coincidence, Mariners catcher Jesus Montero appeared to have fluorescent yellow fingernails on Saturday night. I don’t think Game Signs offers that color yet, but I bet it’ll be in the pipeline soon. (My thanks to Rick Rutherford for the screen shot.)
Uni Watch News Ticker: As you may recall, last month I appeared on WFMU’s excellent Seven Second Delay radio show, which is broadcast live from a theater in Manhattan. I posted audio of the show when it became available, but now it turns out that video is available as well. Full details here (big thanks to Uni Watch reader and WFMU producer Mike Noble). … Phil covered the new Missouri uniforms in yesterday’s entry. In case you missed it, this page has background info and a link to a photo gallery. I like the white jersey with a charcoal shoulders; as for all the rest, I plead indifference. … New football uniforms for TCU, too. … Kendrys Morales of the Angels went without his batting gloves for one of his plate appearances last Friday (screen shots by Chris Jowdy). … Nothing says hockey like a Mexican poncho. Apparently those unlicensed products are big sellers south of the border these days. … Sort of related: I think we might have seen this before, but it’s really good, so it won’t hurt to show these NHL uniforms reimagined as soccer kits once more (from Jacob Johnston). … New lacrosse gear for Onondaga Community College (from Jeff Brunelle). … I had previously mentioned that the Opening Day logo in Toronto had less blue than the normal MLB Opening Day logo, presumably to evoke the Canadian flag instead of the American flag. But as Edwin Lee points out, the bunting that was actually hanging in the stadium that day had plenty of blue. Interesting. … We’ve all seen football logos created out of cases of soda, but this is the first time I’ve seen the MLB logo rendered that way (thanks, Brinke). … Hmmm, black helmet in the works for UNC? Looks like it (from Ben Cauthren ). … Striped stirrups are great, but they ought to match, don’tcha think? That’s Oklahoma State, from a recent game (from Ryder Kouba). … Ohio baseball went BFBS and G.I. Joe simultaneously (from Johnny Bruno). … Ohio State lacrosse wore 1988 throwbacks the other day (from Bryan Grupp). … Louisiana Tech football players wore 22 on one side of their helmets for the spring game, in honor of recently deceased running back Tyrone Duplessis. … The Chiefs are giving a personalized jersey to all season ticket holders (thanks, Brinke). … Remember how I cooked a steak with a blow torch and a slow oven? I was wondering how that technique would work on a pork chop, so I tried it on Saturday night. The result: another success. … The Giants gave 49ers QB Alex Smith a team-autographed jersey prior to Saturday night’s game at AT&T Park. Only problem is that they gave him a home jersey with an NOB — a weak move for a team that goes NNOB at home (Brinke again). … Here’s the cap patch that the Red Sox are wearing for their first homestand of the season. Looks awful, as is always the case with side-positioned cap patches, because it ruins the symmetry and balance of the cap. I’d rather not have any cap patches at all, but if we have to have them, I greatly prefer the back-cap position that the Mets are using this year. … If you like red, white, and blue, you’ll love Kansas’s baseball uniform (from Scott Novosel). … Kung Fu Panda was missing his helmet logo yesterday (thanks, Kek). … D’oh! That’s Chris Young of the Diamondbacks, from last Wednesday. … Okay, this is seriously odd: a vintage flannel jersey with Rawlings tagging and a Wilson chest insignia. Strange bedfellows indeed! … So the NBA Board of Govs meeting has come and gone, and there’s no news about uniform ads. Just sayin’. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Interesting story about how an upstate New York high school lacrosse team has a tradition of wearing plain white socks. … The Nats are selling an eight-pound burger called the Strasburger, and Robert Kahn says he and a buddy were among the first to sample it. “I thought it was a nice touch that they branded the bun with a curly W,” he says. “The burger was pretty good for a burger, let alone for something that I thought would just be a ballpark gimmick. We had an inkling it would be ok when it took well over half an hour to get there — they didn’t just have them warming under a heat lamp.” Another one of his friends interviewed him about the experience. … Teevee note from Dominic Atencio, who writes: “On the Season 3 finale of HBO’s East Bound and Down, fictional baseball closer Kenny Powers gets called up to the big leagues. While in the locker room, Kenny is shown sitting down with an NOB while two teammates walk out with NNOB.” … Playbook — the new ESPN.com section that’s replacing Page 2 — goes live at noon Eastern today. I’ve already written two pieces that are in the hopper, one of which (basically my own version of “Collector’s Corner”) will run today. I believe the other one will run tomorrow or Wednesday. Will advise when I know more.