When Jake Hurley first told me about his campaign to get the Rockies to wear stirrups, I didn’t think much of it. Most fans don’t like stirrups as much as we do here at Uni Watch; more importantly, most players don’t like them either. I mean, shit, there’s no bigger stirrups advocate than me — I’ve been fighting that fight for over a decade — but I’ve never had any illusions about being able to achieve widespread success. Little victories here and there? Sure. But getting a whole team to wear stirrups? Yeah, right. Jake’s quest seemed like the very definition of quixotic.
But I underestimated Jake. As I mentioned in yesterday’s Ticker, he positioned himself to get some face time during Friday’s postgame show. Turns out he did it again on Sunday. That was also the day he had a rather remarkable encounter with Rockies pitcher Jamie Moyer (the following text is excerpted from this post on Jake’s blog):
I arrived at Coors Field at around 11am. … I went right down to the field level where Jamie was throwing. When he wrapped up, I shouted over to him and he looked at me. I asked if I could have 10 seconds of his time. [A security man] next to him answered that I absolutely could not, and that if I wanted to talk to Jamie I had to get in line like everyone else [because it was Autograph Day, and people were lining up to get Moyer's autograph]. … Jamie chimed in something along the lines of “Sorry, man, I have to listen to my boss.”
I got it, and immediately sprinted over to the line, which I stood in for 30 minutes. Once I got down to Jamie, I gave him the 20-second pitch and he loved it. I told him that I was trying to start a movement that would return stirrups to the game of baseball and that it would mean the world to me if he could read my card [sort of a mission statement for Jake's stirrup campaign] and also pass a few out to other Rockies players.
That’s when “his boss” interrupted us. He told me in a very stern manner that they collectively had no interest in whatever it was I was saying. Jamie would not be passing anything out, nor was he there for any other purpose other than to sign items that were sure to be on eBay later that day. …
But that’s when Jamie made my day, or season. He turned to the big mean man and told him very kindly to calm down. He turned his attention back to me and I knew that I had just received a golden ticket, I had about 15 more seconds. I handed him a stack of cards and reiterated how much it meant to me that he was showing interest, and that if he got a chance could he pass a few out to his teammates? I told him that I loved his work and was very happy to have him on my team. I shook his hand, took his picture and was on my way.
I stopped about 10 rows up to see what happened next. The big mean [security] man took the stack of cards and thrust them into his pocket with authority. … [But then] Jamie politely asked for the cards back. He wasn’t going to lie to a loyal fan. The big mean man now seemed small and weak, he surrendered the cards to Jamie, smiled, and went on his way.
Jamie then … proceeded to walk around the field and began handing one of my cards to each and every one of his teammates. He waved at other fans as he did this. I had to sit down and regroup, because I could have sworn I was dreaming. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
That’s one hell of a story. Even if nothing ever comes of it, I’d say Jake’s lobbying campaign has now been validated and rewarded. Shame on me for having dismissed him as just another windmill tilter, and kudos to him and Jamie Moyer for having such a great fan/player interaction.
And hey, maybe something will come of it.
Moyer, incidentally, has changed things up a bit with his stirrups this season. During the past decade or so, he’s generally worn his pants low and his stirrups even lower, with barely a sliver of white showing. During spring training this season, he showed a bit more white. But now, as you can see from the image at the top of today’s entry, he’s going with more of an ’80s look. Not sure if this reflects the influence of his teammate Josh Outman, but it feels like a seismic shift in the lower-leg stylings of MLB’s longest-running keeper of the hosiery flame.
Cubee update: Several readers sent in photos of their completed Cubee projects, including Gary Chanko, who used Justin Hind’s basic Cubee template to create a design for Carolina Gamecocks RB Marcus Lattimore (it’s shown at left; click to see a larger version). Here’s how it turned out — nice!
Additional work by our fine Cubee crafters:
• Blake Parker made himself a Drew Brees Cubee. Looks good, but I think it’s too tall (ba-dum-BUM!).
• Peyton Manning hasn’t played for the Broncos yet, but he’s already a Cubee, thanks to Kyle Rini.
• Aaron Frueh whipped up a nifty Cubee of Julius Peppers — completely with a little Cubee gridiron.
Cubees: They’re addictive! Keep those photos coming.
By Brinke Guthrie
We’re leading off today with a gorgeous-looking Boston Red Sox jersey, complete with stirrups. The beauty is at minimum 62 years old, and look at the condition! The seller has another Bosox jersey (but no accompanying stirrups) here. And since we’re showing the Red Sox, we also have to balance it out with this Joe Dimaggio Yankees iron-on from the 1940s, and this Lou Gehrig/Bill Dickey bank from the 1930s.
As for the rest of this week’s eBay finds:
• Absolutely had one of these 1970s Reds stickers on my school binder, for sure. Always wondered by they chose #27 for Mr. Red’s uni number. Anyone know?
• I love this pair of 1960s Cleveland Browns bobbleheads.
• How about an NHL jersey set with that Big Mac?
And this 1970s pizza delivery jersey is right up PL’s alley. It’s 100% nylon, though — is that a deal-breaker? [Nope. I actually had my eye on that piece, but it's a smidge too small for me. — PL]
Assistance wanted: If anyone out there works in or has connections to the world of children’s publishing, please drop me a line. Thanks.
Uni Watch News Ticker: I asked the NFL about the rule change that’s allowing Roy Helu Jr. to wear JrOB. They obligingly sent me the text of a memo from April 30, which reads as follows: “The League Office would like to update the current rule regarding Jerseys (Rule 5, Section 4, Article 3b) from the Official Playing Rules of the National Football League: ‘Surnames of players in letters a minimum of 2.5 inches high must be affixed to the exterior of jerseys across the upper back above the numerals; nicknames are prohibited.’ Clubs are now permitted to place the surname with a generational title (i.e., Sr., Jr., or Roman numeral) of players on the nameplate of his jersey. If a player requests a nameplate change to include a generational title, the club must work with the player to ensure he fully understands Nike’s retail inventory reduction policy regarding authorized nameplate modifications.” Interesting. So this same rule change is allowing Robert Griffin III to wear RNOB. Wonder if the rule change was made specifically for him. … Eephus League honcho Bethany Heck has created an absolutely kickass Eephus League webmagazine. Great content, great interface — don’t miss. … While looking for something else, I stumbled across a Marriott Hotels ad that includes a photo of what appears to be Little Leaguers wearing Homestead Grays Negro Leagues throwbacks. … The Cedar Rapids Kernels wore Chewbacca-themed jerseys on Sunday (from Billy Toner). … For reasons that I confess elude me, Justin Upton has added his Twitter handle to his batting gloves (thanks, Brinke). … The Reds are saluting Chipper Jones’s final trip to Cincy by putting special plaques on their bases. Am I the only one who thinks this is a little fucked up? Give him a pregame ceremony, salute his career on the Jumbotron, etc. — that kinda stuff is fine. But celebrating a visiting player on the bases, complete with the visiting team’s logo? That seems like a bit much to me (from Britton Thomas). … Ryan Connelly tried to DIY some logos onto hockey pucks, but it turned out to be a bit trickier than he’d expected. … Keith Chaiet and Mark Snider have both noticed that the Washington State baseball team is wearing the Pac 10 and Pac 12 logo patches. “Must be last year’s jersey with this year’s new logo,” says Keith. … Nick Schiavo recently visited the Hockey Hall of Fame and took a bunch of photos. … I’m still calling it the Bradley Center. … Kyle Sawyer notes that Lance Lynn’s road cap has been squatchee-free for a few weeks now. “I looked back at his home starts and his hat is complete in those games,” he says. … Brady Phelps has posed an interesting uni-related question regarding the Padres. … Check out this awesome label design. It’s from this vintage cycling jersey. … Interesting piece about 10 former Olympic sports that should be brought back. Of course, none of that matters until bowling takes its rightful place upon the Olympic stage. … New kit for Barca (from Joe Schmidt). … At some point people are going to realize that the only way to avoid football concussions is to stop playing football, but until then we’ll keep seeing new products like this padded attachment designed to be worn during football practices (from Jim McCue). … Here are this year’s uniforms for the Japanese baseball all-star game. “What’s weird is that they are essentially the same for both leagues except for the name on the chest of the Leagues and the letter on the cap,” says Jeremy Brahm. … Also from Jeremy: A Montreal soccer league has banned religious head coverings. … The Fresno Grizzlies will commemorate their 15th season with a special jersey this Friday. “It includes the three fonts of the three jerseys they’ve worn since their inception,” explains David Taub). … Dustin, who didn’t give his last name, spotted umpire Bob Davidson putting in a clear mouthguard. Don’t think I’ve ever seen an ump wearing one of those before. … Over in Germany, Adidas has been promoting its Tango 12 soccer ball by attaching a replica of it to microphones at press conferences held by the German national soccer team. “Which would be kind of clever, except that the model they’ve chosen is so large and obnoxiously placed that photographers and cameramen complained that they can’t see the players’ faces properly.” Douchebags. … Did you know that there’s a guy who’s considered the father of baseball card collecting? Not only that, but he donated his collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Further details here.