By Phil Hecken
On Uni Watch, it’s rare that we focus on *individual* sports — if only because there really aren’t uniforms per se. But sports like tennis and golf probably deserve more attention, and today, tennis is going to get that attention. Because tomorrow is the start of the oldest, and most prestigious of the Grand Slams, Wimbledon. Known simply as “The Championships,” most readers probably don’t know much about this tournament, other than the fact that it’s played in England, on grass, and the players are pretty much required to wear white. And many of you probably don’t even know that much.
But with the Olympics taking place in London later this year, I thought we might take a bit more of a look at this sport — since we’ll be seeing it in the Olympics (and I have a correspondent already hard at work compiling a post on tennis at the Games). Of all the sports in the universe, baseball is by far and away my favorite (I often tell folks, with the aid of hand gestures, that, “There’s baseball” [holding one hand above my head], “and then there’s everything else” [holding the second hand at about waist level] — indicating my preference for baseball above all other sports.) But as far as sports I actually enjoy playing, tennis is king. I still play, although not so regularly as I once did, and I’m not too proud to mention that I was the #1 Singles player in high school during my junior and senior years. And I recently took on a challenge from a much younger (like 20 years my junior) classmate in grad school, who was also a former #1 Singles player, and I took him behind the woodshed, with a “one-oh-and-one” (that means I beat him 6-1, 6-0, 6-1). But enough about me…
I’m joined today by my doubles partner (figuratively speaking) Brinke Guthrie, he of “Collectors Corner” fame, to give you the rundown of Wimbledon for 2012. So without further ado, Think Brinke…
By Brinke Guthrie
That’s what they call the tournament to determine the winners of the country’s tennis title. How veddy British. Now of course, the full name is “The Championships– Wimbledon.” But the very fact they refer to the tournament the way they do, speaks to the very DNA of the country. It’s proper. It’s…gentlemanly. It’s lawn tennis, after all.
Wimbledon is the one tournament everyone knows. If you’re a tennis fan, then you know all about the Grand Slam events, and the other big events like Key Biscayne, Indian Wells, Cincinnati, and some others. Casual fans know The Big W. Wimbledon has the big rep, even though Melbourne, Paris, and New York also enjoy similiar prestige Slam status. Maybe it’s the Wimbledon rule that you have to wear predominantly white.
The British take this tournament seriously. Their papers always whine about having not having a British player win it- ask Tim Henman or Andy Murray! I think the last British woman to win was “Our Ginny” in 1977.
And this is a bigger summer than usual–the Olympics move in after Wimbledon wraps. Their website even has a breakdown on strawberries and cream.
They’ve even got…Rufus.
Rufus, a Harris Hawk, trained by Wayne Davis of Avian Control. Visits the Club most weeks in the year to provide a deterrent to local pigeons by making aware a predator is in the grounds to persuade them to roost elsewhere. Flies for one hour (9am) most mornings of The Championships before the gates open.
Would they have a trained hawk to look for rats at the U.S. Open? Of course not. Not enough hawks.
Now that we’ve established the tournament identity, let’s look at some of the players. New French champ Maria Sharapova’s Nike dress is understated, befitting the venue. Roger Federer’s Nike look is also rather conservative, and his look has varied a bit over the years, from a nice cardigan to, um, this. Nike always includes the little trophy logo, too. More Fed history here. Ana enjoyed warming up in this.
Other news and notes. You won’t see these at Wimbledon. But for the Olympics and US Open, you bet. Woz hopes to win her first Slam wearing all-white Stella McCartney-Adidas. Nadal’s Nike kit (remember, it’s British) is here. There’s Adidas for the men and for the women.
Thanks Brinke. New balls, please.
And, as a bonus (and this is really easy) … some Wimbledon trivia:
1) What year was the first Wimbledon Championship held?
A: 1792, B: 1831, C: 1877, D: 1914
2) Who was the first black player to win a Wimbledon singles title?
A: Venus Williams, B: Serena Williams, C: Arthur Ashe, D: Althea Gibson
3) What are the traditional Wimbledon colors?
A: Green & White, B: Green & Purple, C: Red & White, D: Red & Yellow
4) Who was the first male player to wear a pair of shorts at Wimbledon?
A: Don Budge, B: Bunny Austin, C: Ellsworth Vines, D: Jimmy Connors
5) Gertrude Moran shocked the world by wearing what article of clothing at Wimbledon in 1949?
A: Skirt, B: Sleeveless shirt, C: Bikini top, D: Lace panties
6) What company has provided every tennis ball for the Wimbledon Championship since 1902?
A: Wilson, B: Penn, C: Prince, D: Slazenger
7) What surface is Wimbledon played on?
A: Clay, B: Cement, C: Grass, D: Astroturf
8) Who was the youngest woman ever to win a singles title at Wimbledon?
A: May Sutton, B: Elizabeth Ryan, C: Charlotte Dod, D: Steffi Graf
9) What is the nickname for the Ladies’ Singles Trophy at Wimbledon?
A: Rosepetal cup, B: Gussie dish, C: Rosewater dish, D: Venus cup
10) What is the nickname of the No. 2 Court at Wimbledon?
A: Winner’s Court, B: Court of the Irish, C: No Man’s Land, D: Graveyard of Champions
Post your answers below…
Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.
Back today with another nice set, and this time I’m starting off with George Chilvers, who sent me this more than a week ago, but which I held off running until today. Trust me, it’s worth the wait (I hope there are some readers out there who may appreciate this):
Another one this week. This is another from the excellent Boston Public Library collection, and is of Harvard’s 1955 outfielders Richard Hoffman, Richard Fisher, and Matthew Botsford. The original can be found here.
This actually took an AGE to do – mainly because of the mesh fence. I could have just left it, but it looked wrong – so perfectionist that I am I had to do it.
All we need now is the possibility that there may be some Harvard alumnus who appreciates colourisations. Can’t think where we’d find one of them.
Fantastically awesome George. But Mr. Chilvers wasn’t done. Not by any means. He also sent along this tremendous offering:
Nice sentiments about your Dad in last weekend’s piece.
As promised here is another for the stockpile – this one appeared on the news-ticker a few days ago and someone (probably Connie) suggested it would be good for colourising. Giants at the Polo Grounds on opening day 1917. I actually enjoyed this one – the colours just get along well together, with the red counterpointing the blue and white, set against the green of the turf. Or something equally pretentious like that.
As I’ve said before it’s often only when you start to colourise that you see little extras – I hadn’t in the original image seen the guy stood behind the line of players who is either conducting the music or warming up. And having looked at EVERYONE in the crowd I can honestly say that it was a predominantly male oriented sport.
Great stuff (as always) George. Hopefully George can keep us entertained with a few more colo(u)rizations as he enjoys Euro 2012 and prepares for his correspondent’s role at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Next up is prodigious colorizer John Turney, who has one that a certain other
dinner companion with Paul & Conn reader will no doubt appreciate:
End LaVern (Lavvie) Dilweg is seen here modeling one of the lesser-known uniforms in the Packers’ historical closet.
The pants are described as “faded blue canvas”, the first time the Packers moved away from gold or canvas-colored trousers. Finishing off the look is a pair of gold socks with two navy blue stripes.
This uniform was worn for two seasons, 1927 and 1928, before being replaced by the famous “circle” 1929 uniforms.
From Packers uniform blogspot, the pants are the right color.
Great stuff, John. Mr. Turney also did a second one, this time using the research from Tim B. & LarryB:
Glen Presnell (with ball) and Wayne Milner, Lions versus College All-Stars. Since this uniform was featured last week, I thought it would be fun to see it in action.
I did all my usual colorization things to try an get a colorful shot with a film that could have been used at the time. This was not a great shot, a little blurry, but that is what happened with action shots 70 years ago.
That’s all for this round of Colorize This! Back with more next time.
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.
You folks heard the call for concepts, and you’ve responded with vigor — so back to two new today.
And so, lets begin:
We have Yancy Yeater, with an idea to bring back the gray road cap:
I always wondered why no one has tried a road gray cap. The only one I can think of was the Pirates in the late 90’s. So I did a mock of the current Orioles road with the tri-panel hat but instead of white I made it gray.
Yancy K. Yeater
Interesting idea — one that I and a bunch of readers took a look at a few years back. You may want to give that a quick read-through.
Next up is Mike Cahalan, with a couple new looks for the Iowa Hawkeyes (and who had sent this to Paul originally):
Love the Uni Watch website and column on ESPN.com. I’ve been a uniform geek since the 70’s when I watched my Minnesota Twins, wishing they would come to their senses and ditch their hideous light blue road uniforms in favor of the pinstripes they wore in the 60’s. Inspired by the redesign of the Washington football uniforms on your website (love the Warriors design), I thought about how I would bring the Iowa Hawkeye’s logo into the 21st century. After settling on a logo that I thought looks more stylish and aggressive, I decided to try my hand at some new football uniforms. I’ve attached them here. My favorite option introduces silver into the color scheme while the other sticks to the traditional black and gold.
Keep up the great work.
And that will do it for this weekend. Check back next time for more.
Things happen when you take 2.a.m. indoor batting practice…
Click to enlarge
That’s all for today folks. Thanks to Brinke for his Wimbledon preview — hope a few more of the UW tennis fans will rise up and demand more coverage (or…not). Thank the Lord that interplague ends tonight — and I don’t often plug a game or a series — especially Yanks vs. Mets…but you folks just might want to tune into ESPN tonight for the match-up of two of the best pitchers in the game today. Every time out, it seems, the Mets RA Dickey is capable of tossing a no-no. He’s already thrown two one-hitters this year. If you haven’t watched a guy who throws an 80 MPH knuckler…do so. Dude’s on one amazing roll right now.
“Even though I was a Mets fan as a kid, those shooting stars Astros unis were enough of a reason to root for them also.”