What you see above is the Babe Ruth Sultan of Swat Award crown that was awarded to Ted Williams for having MLB’s highest slugging percentage in 1957. Ya think Teddy Ballgame spent a few minutes admiring himself in the mirror while wearing that beauty? When they froze his head, I hope they included the crown!
The crown is currently up for auction, as are many other awards and trinkets from Williams’s estate. Reader Bruce Menard (who, as you may recall, loves sports bling) has picked out the best bits, along with some non-Williams items:
• Here’s Williams’s 1949 MVP award.
• When Williams was inducted into the Hall of Fame, he got this ring.
• Remember the MLB All-Century Team? Players named to that team were given a gold watch.
• I like this 1956 All-Star Game pendant.
• Okay, that’s it for the Williams items. Here’s an old Thurman Munson batting helmet, which is notable for two reasons: the green underside and the lines of spun fiberglass.
• Here’s an oddity: a 1959 Yankees jersey with a zip-front closure.
Membership update: A new batch of card designs has been added to the membership card gallery (including Brian Fansler’s card, shown at right, which shows the Bears’ George Halas sleeve memorial — a rare instance in which I granted a request for a card based on something other than the back of a jersey). The printed and laminated versions of these cards should mail out later this week.
As always, you can get your own card, and also order stickers based on your card design, on the membership sign-up page.
The century-old postcards you see at left are the basis of a new project on Permanent Record. Details here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: There are signs that the Hornets’ new name may be the Spirit or the Angels. Can’t say I’m in love with either of those. … It’s hard to see, but the White Sox have added “BMS” sleeve lettering in memory of Bill “Moose” Skowron. Kinda surprising the Yankees haven’t added a black armband for him, no? … Check out this softball uniform with a giant stitching pattern on it (from Jake Keys). … Here’s a shot of Bart Starr wearing an unusual version of the Packers’ “G” logo (from Jeff Flynn, Jr.). … Manchester City is moving from Umbro — a Nike subsidiary — to the main Nike brand. “This is terrible news, as we’ll now be part of the Nike template instead of with Umbro, which was a Manchester-based design team,” says Timothy O’Malley). … Here’s more info on Taylor Made’s entry into the hockey stick biz (from Steve DuHamel). … Really interesting article on NASA’s astronaut uniforms (from Jeremy Brahm). … The latest frontier in sports-themed soda displays: a hockey rink made of Pepsi cases (from A.J. Frey). … On Friday I Ticker-linked to a photo of a pink UGA helmet that had been tweeted by a player. Turns out it was a prank. … Hey look, a Jeremy Lin jersey made from Fruit Snacks. … The 49ers have their rookies’ helmets ready (thanks, Brinke). … New athletics logo for St. Catharine College (from Josh Claywell). … “The Steelers have given their rookies jersey numbers,” writes Joseph Gerard. “And while the team has otherwise used up the 10s and 80s for receivers, to the point that they have one wide receiver (not expected to make the roster, I might add) wearing number 3 at the moment, number 86 isn’t assigned. Wonder if this confirms that it has been removed from circulation in honor of Hines Ward.” … Good video about the crew that stitches all the jerseys for the 2012 IIHF World Championships (from Erin Walock). … The Madrid Open, which took place over the weekend, was the first tennis tournament ever played on blue clay. Further info here (from Jeremy Brahm). … Here’s a really nice wool flannel vest jersey. … Miguel Cotto wore high pink socks for Saturday night’s bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr. … Conor Gillaspie, who was called up to the Giants when Kung Fu Panda went on the DL, doesn’t wear batting gloves. And as you can also see in that shot, the Giants wore their Gigantes jerseys on Saturday (from Eric Stroker). … In a related item, Rockies pitcher Juan Nicasio wears just one batting glove — on his top hand. Wonder if it’s because that’s his pitching hand (from Michael Hauswald. … And in another related item, the Astros were Los ’Stros on Saturday. … Jared Buccola notes that St. John’s lacrosse wears a 9/11 perma-memorial. … Looks like Bucs first-round pick Doug Martin was still wearing his Boise State cleats at rookie camp (good spot by Marc Mandin). … Did you know Peyton Manning didn’t like wearing a red “no contact” jersey in practices? Now that he’s gone, the Colts are bringing back the red jersey for Andrew Luck. Lots of interesting info on this in this article (big thanks to Todd Usher). … Aussie rules football news from Craig Snyder, who reports that the Collingwood Magpies (now there’s a great team name) are terminating their deal with Adidas. … John Muir notes that Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has a straight jersey him, instead of the scoop/diaper hem worn by the other Rangers. … Also from John: Matt Hendricks of the Caps wears his wedding band on the ice. … It’s a little hard to see, but Salty has a red swoosh on his red chest protector. Hard to imagine Nike producing something with a non-contrasting swoosh, so did Salty color it in himself? If so, why? And as you can also see in that shot, he’s still wearing his brim facing forward, which I believe he started doing last year (from Ryan DeFilippi). … Either Mark Buehrle was sweating a lot on Saturday or else the gray of his jersey didn’t match the gray of his pants (from William Streit). … Check this out: a high school pole vaulter who wears a helmet. Not sure of the girl’s name, but she vaults for Plaquemine High School in Louisiana (from Chris LaHaye). … Very nice striped stirrups being worn by Arapahoe High in Colorado (from Shane Nelson). … Also from Shane: Here’s a look at the “How to wear your uniform” poster in the visitors’ locker room at the Pepsi Center. … The Marlines de Boca del Río, a winter league team, have a Miami Marlins-inspired uniform. They even have an orange version. “I wonder if they have a relationship with the Marlins,” says Ryan Frazer. … Pitching match-up for this Wednesday’s Mets/Phils game: Gee vs. Lee. … Many of you probably know this already, but just in case: Lebron James is wearing a mouthguard with the Roman numeral 16 during the postseason, to symbolize the number of playoff wins needed for the Heat to win the championship. Of course, at present that number is down to 13. … Anyone know the story behind this shot of Kobe Bryant in a black Lakers alternate uni? “For argument’s sake, let’s say that this isn’t Photoshopped,” says Terry Duroncelet. “Kobe is wearing No. 8 and there are three Larry O’Brien trophies in front of him, so this must be from late 2002 (in the wake of L.A.’s three-peat). What’s even weirder is that it seems to combine two different eras: the general uniform last seen in 1998/1999 and the ‘Los Angeles’ script from the 1960s. Again, this honestly doesn’t look Photoshopped to me, but if it is, then props to the guy who did it. If it’s real, then I’m glad this design was never used.” … Several readers have noticed something odd: Although the NFL Equipment shield does not appear on Nike’s new NFL jerseys (they’re just going with the NFL logo, without the larger “Equipment” patch), it does appear on the Nike practice jerseys that are showing up in rookie training camps. Ditto for the practice shorts. Although you can’t see it in every shot, those are all swoosh-branded garments, and they’re showing up in just about every team’s camp, so I don’t think this is just leftover Reebok stock. Weird. … Check out this shot from Saturday’s Texas State/Lamar game. The weird thing is that the team in white is Lamar — the visiting team. The home team is Texas State, wearing colored tops and white pinstriped pants. “I have never seen this happen at a home team’s field unless it is a conference tournament or some strange weather-related rescheduling,” says Joshua Knudson. … Everyone knows Lou Gehrig was left-handed. So why was he signing this baseball with his right hand? (From Matt Matchell.) … New 75th-anniversary logo for the National Junior College Athletic Assocation (from Jon Rathbun). … Fun story and great visuals about the branding history of 7-Up (from Jordan Cutler). … This is really interesting: These two photos came from the same soccer game — Cork City vs. Dundalk in the League of Ireland Premier Division on Friday night. “The rain was so heavy both teams changed into their away shirts at halftime,” explains Denis Hurley. “The officials did so as well, as they had been in yellow, which would hhave clashed with Dundalk’s away, so they wore grey for the second half.” … “I’m currently writing a book about pedestrianism, a competitive-walking craze that was America’s most popular spectator sport in the late 1870s and early 1880s,” says Matthew Algeo. “I recently came across this image of a pedestrian named John Hughes donning a jersey with a corporate sponsor. The Police Gazette was a weekly sports-and-gossip tabloid, and one of the most popular periodicals in the country at the time. I can’t imagine there are many earlier examples of advertising on an athletic uniform!”
Looking ahead: Tomorrow I’ll have the results of the “Redesign the Hornets” contest. And then later in the week — I hope on Wednesday — I’ll have a post that will shed some light on the relationship between a major university athletics program and its uniform outfitter. I think you’ll find it very interesting.