We’re all familiar with the Pirates’ unique uniform font. But what I didn’t know until the other day, when reader Jeff Flynn, Jr. brought it to my attention, is that there were actually two similar but distinct versions of this font used in the 1950s and ’60s. One was used by Rawlings (which made the Bucs’ home jerseys during this period) and the other by MacGregor (which made most of the team’s road jerseys). You can see the difference in the two jerseys shown above — Rawlings/home on the left, MacGregor/road on the right. The distinctions are most apparent in the R, T, and E (plus the numerals are different, but those weren’t rendered in the chest font anyway).
“When the team switched to the pullover knits in 1970,” says Jeff, “those were made by Rawlings and the font was consistent with the Rawlings home font of the 1960s,” as seen here:
The Pirates eventually moved away from this chest mark and then returned to it in 2001. “The font they used in 2001 was clearly the old MacGregor away version, not the Rawlings home version,” says Jeff. “Someone probably said, ‘Let’s go back to the old Pirates jerseys,’ and someone else said, ‘Okay, I’ll dig up a photo.’ And they dug up a 1965 photo of Clemente in his road MacGregor vest instead of a home photo.” This photo backs him up (plus, as you can see, they created a new custom number font):
All of which brings us to the team’s new 1971 throwback. “This version is a bit closer to the actual 1971 jerseys font-wise, but it’s still just a bit off,” says Jeff. “The numerals are pretty accurate, though.” Here’s a screen shot from the unveiling:
All in all, this is some pretty serious minutiae deconstruction on Jeff’s part, relating to a typographic issue I hadn’t even been aware of. Nicely done!
Raffle reminder: My annual reader-appreciation raffle is currently underway. Details here.
Click to enlarge
Tom Hanks, Gilligan, and me: Here’s a shot of my doctor sawing off my cast yesterday afternoon. Taking photos of the procedure helped keep my mind off the fact that a sharp blade was perilously close to my skin.
New X-rays showed that both my fractures have healed perfectly. I have pretty good functionality in my hand (I can make a fist, although not a strong one), but the range of motion in my wrist is pretty limited, so tomorrow morning I’ll start a physical therapy program, which is par for the course. All in all, though, I’m in good shape. Feels great to be able to wash my hands properly, to take a shower without wearing a plastic sleeve over my arm, to sleep in various positions that weren’t possible with the cast, and to wear shirts, sweaters, and jackets that I hadn’t been able to wear because their sleeves didn’t fit over the cast.
Meanwhile, everyone told me that my arm would emerge all shriveled and pasty and smelly and full of peeling skin, etc., but that didn’t turn out to be the case. Yeah, it’s maybe a teeny bit atrophied, but otherwise it looks good as new. Well, except for that nasty scar on the underside of my wrist, where I had the surgery:
Basically, it looks like I tried to slit my wrist. At least it looks like I knew what I was doing, not like those fucking amateurs who cut across the veins (you’ll never off yourself that way, kids). Now I just have to come up with a good story about how the paramedics rescued me just in time and I’ll be all set.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Virginia Tech is going with matte helmets for the irrelevant sportswear manufacturer bowl. I asked the team’s media guy if they’d be adding a “VT” decal, and he said, “I have been told that it is yet to be determined.” … BYU hoops wore a new alternate uni on Tuesday night (from Chris Oviatt). … “For years I’ve had this vague recollection of Dallas Cowboys lineman Tom Rafferty wearing the team’s old serif numerals and sans-serif NOB lettering in the mid-’80s, after the rest of the team had changed to more modern numerals and serif NOBs in 1982,” writes Jay Braiman. “I did a little investigating regarding this ‘white whale’ and found proof. That’s from a 1984 game. This went on at least through 1987. Not sure why he alone wore this style.” … New Xmas Day sneakers for several NBA stars. … Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec is spending the lockout in the KHL, where he appears to be wearing an autographed blocker (good spot by John Muir). … “During the 2012 season, the Galaxy announced a ’3rd Kit Contest,’ for which fans submitted designs,” says Jessup Yenser. “After unveiling the fifth-, fourth-, and third-place finishers, they were supposed to wear the winning kit against RSL on Oct. 6. Not only did it never show up on the field, but they never even announced a winner. I thought it was pretty bizarre that the whole thing just kind of disappeared.” Anyone know more? … Hmmm, did the Knicks have mismatched NOB lettering weights, or is it just a trick of perspective? (From David Ryan.) … Johnny Bruno was watching an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond and noticed a blanket with a red NFC logo. Never seen that before. … Fairly boilerplate assessment of the Fiesta Bowl teams’ uniform programs (from Dale Alison). … Good piece on the evolution of the Batman logo (from Reuven Szleifer). … Last week I was at a doctor’s office and was leafing through an issue of Sports Illustrated when this photo caught my eye. Note that five of the eight players have FIOB, and two of the UGA players have identical FIOB-inclusive NOBs! As you might expect, the SI caption neglected to mention any of this. … “Earlier this year, one of our football players, named John Bloomfield, passed away,” says Sacramento State media rep Brian Berger. “As is common practice, our team wore a ‘JB’ decal for the rest of the season. What is unusual is that Holy Cross also paid tribute with a decal of their own.” This maintained a long connection between Sacramento State and Holy Cross, which you can read about here. … New cycling kit for Omega Pharma Quick Step (from Sean Clancy). … All sports teams that play in the Australian city of Canberra will be wearing special uniforms in 2013 to mark the city’s centenary (from Leo Strawn). … Pretty funny story about Carmelo Anthony’s postgame sweater (from Chris McNealy). … Jersey patches have been added for the chicken sandwich bowl. … RG3 fined $10K for 3stripe. … Franklin Morales of the Red Sox has given his No. 46 to newly acquired Ryan Dempster (from John Follett). … A feminist movement is sweeping the Mormon church, spurred by the wearing of pants. … Even if you have no interest in the CFL, you have to love this sensational poster. Super-tasty (Leo Strawn again).