The player you see above is David DeJesus, shown during last night’s Cubs/Tigers game. Notice anything unusual about his jersey?
Give yourself a cigar if you saw that the circle-R trademark symbol, which normally appears on the Cubs’ chest logo, is missing from DeJesus’s logo patch. I made that screen shot after reader Josh Petty told me he’d noticed the missing symbol — a great spot on his part.
I did some very quick photo research and discovered that DeJesus’s home jersey has been “®”-free for a while now, as you can see in these photos from May 29, May 18, May 17, May 9, May 6, May 4, and April 25. He was was wearing the trademark symbol, however, on April 21, April 20, April 12, April 9, April 8, and April 5, and also in spring training. So they must have issued him a new jersey sometime between April 21 and 25.
Still, how does part of the logo design just disappear? Patch design and production are all computerized these days — you program a digital file into the embroidery machine and it creates the patch. So if DeJesus’s chest patch doesn’t have the trademark symbol, then the symbol must not have been included in the digital file used to create that patch. Which means it’s a different digital file than the one that’s been used for all the other Cubs’ patches. Hmmmmm.
It remains to be seen whether this change begins showing up on other Cubs jerseys. I hope so, of course, since the trademark symbol is a serious fly in the Cubbies’ uni ointment. But if it turns out to be just an isolated incident, I’d love to know how it happened. Did Majestic use a different patch supplier? Something else? Whatever the story turns out to be, it’s a clear case of addition by subtraction, so let’s hope DeJesus keeps using this jersey for a while.
Black Sox scandal, 2012 edition: Got a note on Sunday from reader Michael Rich, who wrote:
The Braves have been having their Alumni Weekend, where they bring back former players for various events. Before Saturday’s game, they held an alumni softball game between the ’92 Braves (captained by John Smoltz) and Braves Alumni (captained by Dale Murphy). I was there at the ballpark, and nothing appeared unusual from my seats in the outfield. But while watching Sunday’s game on Fox Sports South, I caught an interesting exchange during the bottom of the 6th.
What follows is Michael’s (lengthy!) transcription of that exchange. Dig:
Tom Hart [after completing his interview with Otis Nixon]: Guys, funny story about the softball game, however. There was one guy on the field who wasn’t a former Brave. Joe, do you remember a guy by the name of Sullivan and the comment on his socks?”
Joe Simpson: Yeah, those were, those were some ugly socks.
Hart: Uh-huh. Well, good reason. He doesn’t know anything about baseball socks. Finally, halfway through the softball game, Bobby Cox looked over and said, “That’s not John Sullivan.” He has since been reported to authorities, but he did have an old uniform that he wore. He, uh, has been coming to the softball game for a couple of years, but he will not be back.
Chip Caray: Wow!
Dale Murphy: I wondered who, who that was!
Simpson [to Murphy]: You know, you were the manager of that team!
Murphy: Oh my word.
Simpson: An impostor. I mean, anybody, anybody that walks onto the field is supposed to be an ex-player or athlete and they’re wearing black socks, might have been a tip-off.
Murphy: Well, I thought he was with the Braves. Ya know, I thought he was a sponsor, or something like that. I didn’t, I, uh, I honestly did not think he was a ballplayer.
Murphy: I did let him hit, though.
[Brief interruption for Martin Prado to ground out.]
Simpson: Ya know, before batting practice started, softball batting practice, there were some guys on the field in front of the third base dugout playing catch. And I saw that guy come out and I thought, “Oh mercy, where, ya know, who dressed you!” And then he started playing catch and I thought, “Oh, this poor soul. This guy’s shoulder is shot, I mean, he really ended his career on a bad note or something.” And now I know why he threw the way he threw, ’cause it was awful.
Murphy: I didn’t ask him, but I thought he was, honestly thought, that it was, uh, one of the sponsors, because I don’t, I don’t recognize the name Sullivan. When did he play here?
Simpson: Uh, might have been John L. Sullivan, I don’t know. That is, that’s a great story, Tom. Wow.
Murphy: Well, we won. I’m gonna find him and bring him back.
Caray: But see now, you’ve given Smoltz an excuse to play under protest.
Murphy [chuckling]: He’ll probably file a protest.
Caray [chuckling]: Right.
Murphy: I’m sure he will. Well, ya know, we were all wearing funny socks. Did you see mine?”
Simpson: Uh, kinda, yeah. I didn’t want to go there.
Unfortunately, photos of the softball game have proven to be elusive. But the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran a big article about the imposter. No mention of the socks, though.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The Earth (or at least the Twitterverse) briefly spun off its axis yesterday Justin Tuck’s new facemask was revealed. Yes, it’s real. “It’s titanium, so it’s light as a feather,” says Giants equipment director Joe Skiba. … Kudos to the voters of North Dakota, who voted yesterday to retire UND’s Fighting Sioux nickname. Slowly but surely, people. … Some rumblings about the Dolphins possibly getting some uniform tweaks in 2013. … MLB has a new double-flapper: Brian Roberts. Last night was his first game since suffering a concussion in May of 2011, so it makes sense that he’d want all the protection he can get (screen shot by Ken Levin). … Todd Radom has done some great research that shows how the Astros had no idea what they wanted their cap to look like just prior to the start of the 1965 season. … Remember Chili Davis’s “Chili” NOB from the 1986 All-Star Game? We were wondering if this was just an all-star thing, so David Traub did what I should have done: He asked the Giants. Here’s the response he got back: “Looks like in 1986 we had ‘C. Davis’ on the back of his jersey (Mark Davis was also on the team that year).” … Reed Doughty of the Redskins recently threw out the first pitch for a Potomac Nationals game, but the jersey they gave him had a misspelled NOB (from William Yurasko). … We’ve talked many times about the cross above Troy Polamalu’s NOB. I always thought it was just a stylized version of a standard Christian cross, but now Peter Simko tells me that it’s based on the symbol that appears on the skufia of Polamalu’s spiritual father, Elder Ephraim. … New change kit for Nottingham Forest — and check out those socks! (From Michael Orr.) … Although Nike insists that NFL teams aren’t using old Reebok practice jerseys, the Packers definitely are (good spot by Eric Pigo). … If you’re into those chrome-finish football helmets, you’ll enjoy seeing the prototypes shown here. Keep in mind that most of these were just done for display purposes, etc. (from Terry Duroncelet). … Also from Terry: Looks like Maryland will be doing the flag-based thing again. … Really interesting infographic on Heat and Thunder’s shooting tendencies. … Here’s a teaser video for the new Sheffield Wednesday FC home kits. “The club is being promoted to the Championship in England for the 2012-13 season,” explains Patrick Barnett. … Dock Ellis was one cool motherfucker (big thanks to Chris Howell). … The Brewers dressed up ’80s-style for their recent road trip. … Boston College’s new football field looks the same as the old field (from Dave Levy). … Just what the world needs: logo creep for Tony Romo’s baby (from David Teigland). … Lots of great old uni photos, graphics, artifacts, and other goodies in Dave Eskenazi’s latest article about Pacific Northwest baseball history. … The Royals have a prospect in AAA named Wil Myers who bats bare-handed. “Even better, he bends over a number of times every at-bat to rub dirt on his hands,” says Brian Hansen. “He’s one of the top prospects in baseball and should be in KC later this month or in July.” … Two things I didn’t know until Michael Todd told me: (1) A’s minor leaguers wear white shoes. Which makes it all the more inexplicable that (2) A’s mascot Stomper wears black shoes. What’s up with that? … “I’m a sock man!” Who said that? Poppy Bush, of all people (from Don Montgomery). … New logo for the Santa Cruz Warriors of the D-League (from Mike Rowinski). … The Phillies’ starting lineup all went high-cuffed last night, except for pitcher Kyle Kendrick (from Chris Clark). … Here’s a chart showing Euro 2012 goal broken down by footwear brand (from Rex Henry). … And here’s an even better Euro 2012 chart, ranking the teams by average NOB length (from Mike McLaughlin). … We had previously seen leaks of the new Arkansas football uniforms, but the official unveiling will take place this morning.