Click images to enlarge
As most of you probably know, the Cubs don’t use a conventional helmet logo decal — they used an embroidered adhesive patch. The good part is that the patch has more depth and texture than a decal, so the logo really pops; the bad part is that the patch doesn’t conform to the contours of the helmet as well as a decal and tends to come loose more often.
If Cubs pitcher Travis Wood wasn’t already familiar with that problem, he knows about it now. As you can see in the screen shots above, his first plate appearance in last night’s Mets/Cubs game featured MLB’s most comically askew headwear logo since Joe McEwing in 2005.
Both TV broadcast teams working the game had fun with this turn of events. Let’s start with Len Kasper and Bob Brenly in the Cubs’ booth:
Kasper: Uh, Travis..?
Brenly: It’s not quite that windy here tonight, that it would blow the C off the front of his helmet.
Kasper: I don’t think I’ve ever seen a decal in that particular location on a batting helmet. It looks like a U.
Brenly: Like a horseshoe, yeah. The closed side down, so the luck doesn’t run out. That’s where we’re goin’.
Meanwhile, over in the Mets’ broadcast booth, Gary Cohen and Ron Darling had this to say:
Cohen: What happened to the C on his helmet? It became…
Cohen: …dislodged and … [cut to view of Cubs baserunner's helmet] … now, that’s the way it’s supposed to look. I wonder if Travis knows that his C has been cockeyed?
Darling: No, I’m sure he doesn’t. You would never look at that. You just throw your helmet on.
Cohen: Do you think the equipment manager is seeing that and cringing right now?
Darling: He is cringing. He is sprinting — because the locker rooms are so far from the field here — he is sprinting [to get a new logo patch] as we speak.
Cohen [laughing]: I mean, I’ve never seen anything like that! It’s almost like he was in the Mets’ clubhouse during spring training when they had the Underdog shirts.
Darling: That’s right!
The situation had been remedied by the time of Wood’s next at-bat (too bad). If you look at the close-up photo at the top of the page, it looks like the logo patch had already come loose and then been reattached with a loop of tape, although that doesn’t explain how it ended up so far from where it belonged.
Meanwhile, imagine if this had happened back in the days when the Cubs inscribed a player’s uni number in the center of the logo. That would’ve looked even more interesting.
(Thanks to everyone who provided info and screen shots, including Jonathan Mayer, Matt Edwards, Jim Brunetti, Bob Gassel, Benjamin Gordon, Zach Pearce, Kenneth Stephon, and Diego Bauzá.)
Research request: I’m still trying to document as much history as possible relating to players who’ve worn 0 or 00. One problem I’m facing is that there are over 60 NBA players who’ve worn 0 or 00, but I have no idea why most of them chose that number. (In the other major sports, I know the backstories for most of the zero-clad players.) For example, Robert Parish’s double-zero is as iconic as any number in NBA history, but I can’t find any info as to why he wore it.
Here’s the list of NBA zero-clad NBA players whose backstories I’m still trying to learn about:
Al-Farouq Aminu, Hornets; Greg Anderson, Hawks; Darrell Arthur, Grizzlies; Anthony Avent, Bucks and Magic; Milos Babic, Cavs and Heat; William Bedford, Pistons and Spurs; Marco Belinelli, Raptors; Benoit Benjamin, multiple teams; Mike Bibby, Heat and Wizards; Bismack Biyombo, Bobcats; Aaron Brooks, Rockets and Suns; Randy Brown, Bulls and Suns; Tony Campbell, Pistons;
DeMarre Carroll, Rockets and Nuggets; Lionel Chalmers, Clippers; Anthony Cook, Nuggets, Bucks, and Magic; Tony Delk, multiple teams; Kevin Duckworth, multiple teams; Evan Eschmeyer, Nets; Gary Forbes, Nuggets; Sundiata Gaines, Nets; Chris Garner, Raptors; Calvin Garrett, Rockets and Lakers; Drew Gooden, multiple teams; Andrew Goudelock, Lakers; Taurean Green, Nuggets and Blazers; Orien Greene, Celtics and Nets; Spencer Hawes, 76ers; Brendan Haywood, Wizards; Larry Hughes, Knicks and Bobcats; Darnell Jackson, Cavs and Bucks; James Johnson, Raptors; Ken Johnson, Blazers; Alvin Jones, 76ers;
Bobby Jones, Rockets; Fred Jones, Blazers; Johnny Jorgensen, Stags; Enes Kanter, Jazz; Lari Ketner, Cavs; Acie Law, Bulls; Voshon Lenard, Blazers; Art Long, Kings; Shawn Marion, Mavericks; Walter McCarty, Celtics, Suns, and Clippers; Amal McCaskill, Magic, Hawks, and 76ers; Jeff McInnis, Cavs, Nets, and Bobcats; Aaron Miles, Warriors; Eric Montross, multiple teams; Johnny Moore, Spurs and Nets; Jerrod Mustaf, Suns; Julius Nwosu, Spurs; Greg Ostertag, Jazz and Kings; Olumide Oyedeji, Sonics and Magic; Robert Parish, multiple teams; Olden Polyince, multiple teams; Leon Powe, Celtics; Soumaila Samake, Lakers; Dickey Simpkins, Hawks; Greg Smith, Rockets; Theron Smith, Grizzlies and Bobcats; Jeff Teague, Hawks; James Thomas, Hawks and Blazers; Dajuan Wagner, Warriors; Slick Watts, Jazz and Rockets; Russell Westbrook, Thunder.
If you know why any of these players chose to go zero-clad, please let me know. Thanks.
By Brinke Guthrie
Today’s the second day for Wimbledon. We presented a brief Wimbledon preview on Sunday, but I wanted to feature some great vintage tennis items here on Collector’s Corner, starting with Bjorn Borg’s famous Fila jacket. I had this very model but in cobalt-navy. Had this Puma Boris Becker jacket, too! Here’s the Jimmy Connors T2000 steel racquet — notice it has the Lacoste croc. It’s not widely known, but in fact French star René Lacoste invented this frame. It eventually became a Wilson frame and Connors did well with it!
Speaking of frames, here’s the best I ever played with: the Head Guillermo Vilas, circa late 1970s. And I believe an early 1980s frame from the Belgian brand Snauwaert was made for the late Vitas Gerulaitis.
In non-tennis eBay action:
• This is an excellent — or, if you prefer, Subarashii (すばらしい) — late-1970s poster for an MLB All-Stars vs. Japan’s All-Stars game.
• Here’s a nice-looking 1973 Oakland Raiders helmet radio. Center stripe looks a bit thick, though.
• If you’re into bobbleheads (I am) and you have a ton of cash (I don’t) you’ll want to bid on this bobble set from the 1970s and 1980s.
• Cubbies fans may not have a Series title, but they do have this swell 1979 belt buckle.
• Look at these terrific 1970s Stride-Rite kids sneakers, complete with all of the MLB team logos.
• Here’s a nice lot of 1970s-80s NBA pennants.
Uni Watch News Ticker: We’ve known for months that the Twins would be wearing Minneapolis Millers throwbacks this Saturday, but we hadn’t gotten a look at the design until now. Nice! Video coverage here. … Padres bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds — known as “Ak” — died on Sunday. The Padres haven’t yet announced any uniform memorial for him, but former Padre Mike Adams, now pitching for Texas, inscribed Akerfelds’s nickname on his cap for Sunday night’s game (from Brady Phelps. … Good article about maintaining the grass at Wimbledon. … Here’s an article on the extremely depressing trend of cities and municipalities selling ads on their fire trucks, hydrants, school buses, and police cars. Very sad stuff. … Coupla good auction finds by Bruce Menard: a blazer from a Cardinals tour of Japan and — get this — a Cardinals jersey with a four-leaf clover shirttail patch! I ran that jersey by a few researchers, including Cardinals historian Brian Finch, none of whom had ever seen it before. Makes me suspect that the clover patch may have been an aftermarket addition. … Absolutely spectacular felt lettering on this old basketball uni. … Here’s a good infographic on Fenway Park (from Andrea Smart). … New jesey sponsor for Sunderland (from George Chilvers). … Also from George: A British man who wore a DIY soccer shirt to a legal proceeding as found to be in contempt of court. … Mike Mongada’s brother just graduated from WVU, so Mike threw him a party — complete with a DIY’d WVU beer pong table. “Got the exact Pantone color paint from my local household hardware megastore,” says Mike. “Painted the full table in blue with a gold boarder, then printed out the logo on a heavy stock paper, cut out the logo and attached together and to the table, traced the logo with a pencil and then taped off the traced logo with painter’s tape, and finished with a few coats of polyurethane gloss for a sealer and protection from the likely spills of competition.” Nice job! … Scott Hauck was watching this video clip about the 1967 Packers when he spotted Bart Starr wearing No. 51. “The image wasn’t reversed, and the other players’ numbers are correct,” says Scott. “In fact, there is another #51 in white on the defensive side (wearing the green cap). So, why was Starr sporting 51? Incidentally, there was no 51 on the roster that year.” … New football cleats for Texas A&M (from David Wilson). … Douchebaggery alert: “Dirk Nowitzki was the guest of honor at this weekend’s FC Dallas game,” says Harrison Thomas. “Nowitzki has a Nike contract, so he covered up the Adidas logo on his FC Dallas jersey with tape. Couldn’t do anything about the three stripes on the shoulder, though.” … In a related item, the absurdity of corporate-named bowl games is nicely illustrated by this tidbit: The Champs Sports Bowl is now the Russell Athletic Bowl. Since the two teams playing in that game will almost certainly be outfitted by either Nike or Adidas, well, you do the math (from Guy Finelli). … Vincent Delestree stumbled upon a shot of A-Rod wearing a double-flapped Yankees helmet. Must have been early in spring training and the regular helmets hadn’t arrived on the truck yet or something like that. … Here’s a video about Spain’s equipment manager (from Mike Edgerley). … Look how the Brewers marked Norichika Aoki’s spot in the lineup the other day (from Eric Longenhagen). … Speaking of lineup cards, Kevin Youkilis had his name misspelled on the lineup card for his first game with the White Sox. “Also, Youkilis got No. 20 from Jordan Danks, who’ll now wear No. 7,” says Tim E. O’Brien. … Kudos to Colts WR Quan Cosby and new QB Andrew Luck. Cosby offered Luck his number — 12 — if Luck would help out with Cosby’s youth football camp in Cosby’s hometown of Mart (population 2,273), and Luck agreed (from Matt Mitchell). … It’s not unusual for MLBers on minor league rehab assignments to wear their single-earflapped big league helmets, instead of the double-flapped S100s that are mandatory in the minors. But here’s something different: Rays farmhand Stephen Vogt, who got a cup of coffee in Tampa earlier this year but is now back in Durham, has been wearing his Rays catching helmet. Wonder how that’s going over with his teammates (from Cork Gaines). … Hmmm, are the old “Say no to drugs” wristbands making a comeback? Kinda looks like it based on that photo of Brandon Phillips (from Bob Lane). … Have I mentioned lately how much I love Hamilton Nolan? … Diego Bauzá is a big Mets and Rangers fan. “I’ve always loved sports patches look on a jersey and wanted a way to have them without buying multiple jerseys,” he says. “I opted to recreate the jersey design in Photoshop, complete with textures and stitching, and then add the real patch on top. I like the results and will continue to make more of these (Mets and Rangers only).” … Dustin Semore spotted an ump in the College World Series wearing a wireless mic thingie. … Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz wears his nickname, “Chooch,” on his chest protector collar (screen shot by Michael Stoudt). … Just What the World Needs Dept.: High-pressure basketball recruiting is now extending down to middle school. And you can bet that the sneaker companies will be involved in that soon, if they aren’t already. … NASCAR drive Brad Keselowski (driver of the #2 Miller Lite Penske Dodge) uses two brands of helmets: one for races and one for testing and practice (from Adam Jackson). … At one point someone thought “the catcher’s mitt of the future” would be able to send signals to the pitcher electronically. “The buttons are kinda hard to read on that scan, but the white ones read OH, IH, OL, and IL, for outside and inside and low and high,” says Kris McInnis. “The other buttons are for four pitches: Fast, Curve, Slider, and Fork. I guess the pitcher would wear the same kind of glove too..?” … Italy goaltender Gianluigi Buffon had some sort of tape behind his left ear for the match against England. Anyone know what that’s about? (From Todd Davis.)
I’ll be spending the day with my Mom, so that’s all for me for today. See you back here tomorrow.