Things have been hectic lately, so on Friday I drove up to Rhode Island for a two-day getaway. I really wanted a break from Uni Watch, so I told myself I wasn’t even going to think about uniforms while I was away.
What I hadn’t counted on is that Rhode Island is prime Red Sox territory. So on Friday afternoon I was walking around the town of East Greenwich and passed a bar. Glancing in, I could see on the TV set that a Yankee was up to bat, and he was wearing the 1912 throwbacks. “Eh, whatever,” I thought to myself. “I’ve already seen photos of the jerseys and caps. Keep walking.” But then the TV broadcast shifted to a shot from the centerfield camera, and that’s when I saw that the Bosox pitcher didn’t have a uniform number. Whoa, I hadn’t counted on that! I immediately scooted into the bar to take a closer look.
Did anyone realize that the Sox and Yanks would be going numberless for this game? I sure didn’t. The impetus for the idea is obvious enough (uni numbers hadn’t yet been invented in 1912), but the Sox have worn throwbacks from the numberless era before — and so have other teams — and they’ve always added numbers to the jerseys. I believe this is the first time an MLB team has worn numberless throwbacks. I think it’s also the first time any MLBer has gone numberless since Sept. 27, 1999. That was the date of the final game at Tiger Stadium, and the Tigers’ players marked the occasion by wearing the uni numbers of former Tigers greats. Gabe Kapler wore a numberless jersey to represent Ty Cobb.
I couldn’t believe — and on some level still can’t believe — the Sox had the guts to go with the numberless jerseys. I loved it, even though it totally ruined my plans to keep my brain out of Uni Watch mode for a few days. I sat there in the bar saying, “Wow, no numbers. Just look at that! That is really something.” Since the term “NNOB” is already taken, let’s refer to numberless jerseys as “N#OB” (although we probably won’t have many opportunities to use it).
A few other thoughts about the Yanks/Sox game (most of which were already covered by Phil on Saturday, but I’ll just put in my two cents here):
• It was great to see that everyone went high-cuffed, and there was lots of very nice blousing. Nice to know MLBers are capable of doing it when the occasion calls for it.
• The MLB logo didn’t appear on either team’s jerseys. It did appear on the back of both cap designs, however.
• The Yankees’ stirrup stripes were very hard to see except in direct sunlight. Watching the game in the bar, I would never have realized the stripes were even there if I hadn’t known about them beforehand.
• Disappointing that the umpires didn’t join in and wear suits, or at least jackets and ties. C’mon, blue!
• I didn’t see the pregame festivities, but I see they dressed all those old Sox greats in jerseys with NOBs. I’m of two minds about this. From a purist’s standpoint, of course, I’m disappointed that they went this route. But I also understand why they did it, since most of the fans watching the ceremonies never saw these guys play and can’t identify them by sight, so adding NOBs was probably helpful from that perspective.
All in all, a really fun game to watch, although the outcome wasn’t very popular in Rhode Island. Or as the guy next to me at the bar said, “Everything was great until the pregame ceremony ended.”
Uni Watch News Ticker: I’m still catching up on Ticker submissions from the weekend. My apologies to anyone who submitted Ticker material that didn’t make today’s cut. … A kid ran onto the field during Thursday’s White Sox game and was escorted off by two security guys, both of whom were wearing Sox helmets. But one of them also wore a cap under the helmet. Maybe he got the idea from Juan Pierre, who played for the Sox in 2010 and ’11 (screen shot by Jon Solomonson). … According to this article, Lions president Tom Lewand recently took part in a web chat and said, “The team will not wear the throwbacks this year. We are in conversations with Nike about the third uniform program going forward. Expect to see our core uniforms for all games this year” (from Chris McFarlane). … Also from Chris: Belmont Abbey, a small college in North Carolina, has a camo jersey that looks more like a Hawaiian shirt. … New rugby uniforms for the Leicester Tigers (from Josh Jacobs). … Here’s what the MLS all-stars will be wearing when they play Chelsea on July 25 (from Jon Forbes). … Here’s a video clip on how Nike is making its new soccer uniforms from recycled plastic bottles (from Adam Yarnevich). … Check out this shot of Ricky Williams with both of his helmet stripes coming loose (good spot by Marc Mandin). … “The Rogers Centre is one of a number of stadiums that serve Powerade as opposed to Gatorade to the players,” writes Mike Guterman. “At every other Powerade facility, they use red Powerade jugs and red cups. At Rogers Centre, the visiting dugout has the standard red Powerade marketing on the jugs and cups, but in the Blue Jays dugout and bullpen they have blue jugs and cups. No other team uses blue Powerade accessories.” … Look at the shovels and hard hats that were used at the groundbreaking for Penn State’s new hockey arena (from Dustin Allgeier). … Iowa football will wear early-1920s throwbacks against Iowa State on Sept. 8. … Interesting to see that the Raiders were still using Reebok pants and sweatshirts at their recent voluntary mini-camp (as spotted by Mako Mameli). … The NHL will unveil the logo for next season’s all-star game on April 27 (from Ethan Sheets). … Astros news from Rob Montenegro, who writes: “Larry Dierker was in the booth with the ’Stros announcers in the top of the 2nd inning during Friday’s game against the Dodgers. He was wearing a jersey like this one and then said something like, ‘If you like this uniform I’m wearing, then I’ve got good news about next year…’ Then he caught himself and said he shouldn’t be talking about it.” … Most MLBers have their own names printed on their gloves. But Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz has Brady Anderson’s name on his glove. “Apparently Anderson has been a strong mentor for him,” says Jeremiah Allen. … Also from Jeremiah: Angels pitcher Jerome Williams always uses a pink glove. Further details on that in this article from last year. … Quite a stroke job on the new Seahawks uniforms here (from Mike McLaughlin). … Sensation piece about how Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals doesn’t wear batting gloves. … Here’s another article about those compression suits for horses (from Roger Faso). … Man, look at this crazy helmet camera set-up from 1968 (great find by Russ Yurk). … Oooh, look at this great set of 1960s NFL coasters (from Chad Todd). … Someone on Penn’s lacrosse team was being a bit of a shoe diva on Saturday (from Tris Wykes). … The Bears will wear their 1940s “Monsters of the Midway” throwbacks this season, not their orange throwbacks (from Ryan Becerra). … Speaking of old Bears designs, I wish they’d wear this look from 1937 (awesome find by Jerry Wolper). … New gold pants in the works for Notre Dame football (from Warren Junium). … “I found a page that shows every single player’s face in Tecmo Super Bowl, the NFL Nintendo game from 1991 that was the sequel to Tecmo Bowl,” writes HHH. “Some of the faces were used repeatedly to represent multiple players who aren’t as famous as others, but big name superstar players were given the privilege of having their own exclusive face, including Joe Montana (01.GIF), John Elway (0E.GIF), and Bo Jackson (9A.GIF). Meanwhile, the silhouetted face (52.GIF and D4.GIF) was used to represent QB Bills (Jim Kelly), QB Browns (Bernie Kosar), and QB Eagles (Randall Cunningham) because, according to Wikipedia, ‘the players were not members of the National Football League Players Association’s marketing agreement [which] prevented the NFLPA from licensing the players’ likenesses.'” … Love how the new-ish Brooks Robinson statue in Baltimore (unveiled last October) has a gold glove (from Tony Orndoff). … FNOB alert! That’s David Lopes (duh) of the L.A. Galaxy (from Leo Thornton). … “This past weekend in the Cleveland area, there was a girls’ rugby charity tournament in which all the players wore prom dresses,” says Nick Pfeifer. … Rumors are that the Giants’ Super Bowl ring will look like this. “Digging the four trophies!” says Heather Scott. … MJ Kurs-Lasky was watching college softball and noticed an Oklahoma player wearing a QB-style playbook wristband. “In between at bats she would look down the third base line to her coach and then back to her armband,” says MJ. … New alts for UCLA football? Your guess is as good as mine (from Richard Wu). … Bernie Langer notes that the Phillies’ old-school Liberty Bell stirrups are being showcased this year by Juan Pierre. Now if he’d just learn how to blouse, instead of letting the elastic show.