Got an interesting note the other day from reader Leo Strawn, Jr., who’s picked up on an interesting trend. I’ll let him explain:
Most Uni Watch readers are probably already familiar with the story of Bert Anthony. He’s the designer who created the Arizona State Sun Devils mascot, Sparky, and in so doing perhaps “demonized” his former employer, Walt Disney, who bears a striking resemblance to Sparky.
Most Uni Watchers are also no doubt familiar with the agreement between Disney and the University of Oregon that allows the school to use Donald Duck as its mascot.
But there’s another story involving Disney and a college athletics program — one that I didn’t know about until I recently ran across it purely by chance.
Apparently, in the mid-1930s, the University of Missouri-Kansas City — known then as Kansas City University, or University of Kansas City — was considering a mascot for its debate team (the school had no athletic competition teams at that time). The Kansas City Zoo had evidently acquired two baby kangaroos around that time, which generated a lot of local interest, so Kangaroos became the school’s nickname. But editors of the school’s yearbook wanted a different mascot, and it looked like the Kangaroos name might be changed.
Walt Disney had a studio in Kansas City, near the school’s campus, and also had a number of old schoolmates who had attended the university. In 1937 he created Kasey the Kangaroo as a mascot for the school, based upon his Academy Award-winning character, Mickey Mouse.
So that makes three instances of Walt Disney either directly or indirectly influencing a college mascot/logo. Running across this story makes me wonder if there are any others out there that we aren’t yet aware of.
Good story — thanks, Leo. Kasey’s visage has changed a bit over the years, but he still endures, both as a cartoon graphic and as a live mascot. Hmmm, but I don’t see any pouch on that mascot costume. Bogus!
As an aside: About five years ago I got to pet a joey (that’s a baby kangaroo) at a petting zoo. It was absolutely the softest thing I have ever touched. Hope I get to pet another one sometime.
By Brinke Guthrie
One week from today we’ll be opening our uni-related Christmas presents and watching the daylong loop of A Christmas Story on TBS. If bobbleheads count, and they do to me, I am pretty sure Santa is gonna have this, plus this, and this, along with some Skyfall stuff, under the tree. Speaking of the tree, the one thing we don’t have on it is this. Couldn’t find one locally, not even at the Giants Dugout Store (although they did have “Baby’s First Giants Christmas” — meh).
Okay, enough about my Christmas. Here’s some last-minute stuff for yours:
• Wow, an early-1960 Patriots helmet from Sears?
• Elliot Teichman sent in this “Let’s Get Metsmerized” late-1980s jacket.
• Cool 1970s Minnesota North Stars skate plaque. [Gawd, how could would it have been if the team had actually worn that skate design? — PL]
• Reader “Smedley” sent in this early-1960s LA Angels inflatable figure.
• Got baseball buttons? You will with this early-1970s MLB collection.
• Love this late -1970s Chicago White Sox book bag, co-sponsored Lee Jeans.
• Hmmm, NBA tennis shoes from Korea. Authentic or not? You be the judge.
Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
Raffle reminder: My annual reader-appreciation raffle is currently underway. Details here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: More Newtown uni memorials: The Jets wore an “S.H.E.S.” decal; Rex Ryan wore that decal on his headset; Titans RB Chris Johnson wrote the names of the victims on his cleats; and UConn hoops added an “SH” patch, with a green/white ribbons for the coaches last night (green and white were the school colors of Sandy Hook Elementary). I keep waiting for someone to wear a decal or patch like this, but maybe they just haven’t been shipped from the factory or something. … Titans CB Jason McCourty had extremely high whites last night. … This is pretty fascinating: MLB and MiLB pitchers may soon start wearing padded caps to protect — at least a little bit — against line drives. No joke: After reading that story yesterday, I had a dream about padded caps last night! … Cincinnati has some pretty mod helmets for the southern department store chain bowl. They’ll keep this design as an alternate helmet next season. … Here’s more about Oak Park, Illinois’s plan to have all Little Leaguers wear White Sox uniforms (from Ben Gordon). … The Dolphins had a reunion of the undefeated 1972 team on Sunday, and dressed them in proper throwback jerseys. Oddly, Bob Griese’s jersey was autographed, presumably by himself (from Preston Feiler). … Evan Longoria and his girlfriend are expecting a baby, and the jersey is ready (from Brady Phelps). … Sam Chandler says this unusual Gretzky jesey is displayed at a bar in St. Louis. Anyone know more? … Some players for Katy High School in Texas had a different chest mark, marker’s mark, and jersey fabric than their teammates the other day (from Patrick Woody). … If you want this vedeo recap from Saturday’s K-State/Gonzaga game, you’ll see a massive ad for a video game plastered beneath the baseline (from Brayden Ruthart). … Adam Hancock found this swell varsity sweater at a resale shop in St. Louis. … Not uni-related, but this is interesting: New York Post columnist Ken Davidoff (full disclosure: a pal of mine, although not on the level of a close friend) wrote a column on Saturday that was criticial of R.A. Dickey and basically supported the notion of the Mets trading him. That apparently prompted a torrent of response on Mets blogs, on Twitter, and via e-mail. Davidoff gave a very straightforward, level-headed response to all of that yesterday on his blog, and it’s a revealing look at how a contemporary sports columnist engages with his job and his audience. Excellent job, and fascinating reading. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Pats defensive end Justin Francis had some decal issues on Sunday night. … U. of Detroit hoops wore a blue alternate uni last night (from Justin Remington). … Several readers report that last night’s episode of Jeopardy! included a category called “New Jersey,” which was all about uniforms. … Yesterday I mentioned that the Cardinals still had their “Salute to Service” printed on the end lines on Sunday. What I didn’t realize — at least not until Aaron McHargue told me — was that the Cards and Lions both wore G.I. Joe captaincy patches for that game. What the fuck? … Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim was presented with a No. 900 jersey last night — completely with sweatback! — to commemorate his 900th win. … One. More. Day. In. The. Fucking. Cast.