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Two of the nicest people who turned out at the last Uni Watch party in Brooklyn were Jesse and Marty Buccafusco, a really nice couple who, as you can see above, take their sports hosiery pretty damn seriously.
Jesse recently told me about a really wonderful gift that she made for Marty. I asked if she’d be willing to write about it for Uni Watch, and she generously agreed. Here’s her story.
Creating a Stirrup Card Catalog
By Jesse Buccafusco
My husband Marty and I give each other DIY Christmas gifts every year. This year I began to think that my stockpile of ideas had dried up. But as I checked out our apartment for inspiration, I came across his overflowing dresser drawer of baseball stirrups.
Marty has collected stirrups for the past couple of years, getting most of them from Robert Marshall. He wears them when we play softball in Central Park, but he also wears them when watching key games in support of his favored team, which is usually the Braves. His collection includes stirrups from the 1946 Braves, 1955 Orioles, the Harlem Globetrotters, and many more.
Marty takes his stirrups very seriously. When he’s selecting his outfit for the day or for a game, he usually pulls out several pairs of stirrups, lines them up on the bed, and debates (both internally and externally with me) which pair to wear.
In light of all this, I thought it would good for him to have a stirrup catalog, which could document his collection and track each pair’s performance. I decided this would make a perfect Christmas gift.
The first thing to do was to choose what format the catalog would be. I decided to use a baseball card album (I found one on eBay, complete with a stirrups-clad player on the cover!) and figured I could create little cards to represent each pair of Marty’s stirrups. Here’s the album [for all of these photos, you can click to enlarge]:
Then I had to design and print the cards — one for each pair of stirrups in Marty’s collection. I pulled all of his stirrups out of the dresser and piled them high in our office. I grouped together pairs with similar stripe patterns and mapped out each pattern in InDesign.
For the back of each card, I created a system for Marty to track (a) whether he was playing a game or watching a game when wearing the ’rups, (b) whether the game was a win or loss, and (c) any other notable information he might want to jot down. This way he can keep track of how the stirrups perform relative to each other.
I brought the digital files to our local print shop and printed the stripes side of the cards in glossy cardstock and the notes side cards in matte cardstock for ease of writing. I cut out the cards and then glued together the sides for each individual card, creating a baseball-card-like thickness that I thought would withstand the wear and tear that I anticipated. The cards turned out really well, and they fit perfectly in the little plastic slots in the card album:
I’ll continue to add to the book as he collects more stirrups. He’ll probably still pile ’em up on the bed every day, but this book will keep a track of the luckies and unluckies and allow him to show off his collection with ease and pride.
Paul here. I’m happy to say I have seen the stirrup catalog in person, and it’s even more awesome than you’d guess from those photos. Truly a sensational gift.
I’ve also had the recent pleasure of hanging out with Jesse and Marty (they live in my neighborhood), and I don’t mind saying they’re one of the sweetest, coolest young couples I’ve encountered in a long time. Just the fact that they do a DIY gift swap each year should give you an idea of how creative and fun they are, but they’re also just Good People — it practically oozes out of their pores. I’m proud to have them as Uni Watch readers, and I hope to get to know them better as my neighbors.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The uniforms for the NBA All-Star Game were unveiled yesterday. No real surprises there — the designs are almost exactly the same as what we saw in those video game leaks back in October. … Some uni number changes for the New York Rangers (from Gene Frey). … The Red Wings played an intra-squad scrimmage the other night. Johan Franzen was originally assigned to the white team, but he joined the red squad for some extra power play time, necessitating a jersey switcheroo. It also created the odd sight of him wearing a red jersey with white socks (from Matt Toaz). … Some enterprising soul has created a Bill Belichick hoodie cupcake (from Brice Wallace). … Oooh, check this mid-’90s Ghana home soccer jersey Nice (from Trevor Williams). … Maria Sharapova had to remove the label from her bottle of water yesterday. Douchebags (from Jay Sullivan). … Interesting shot of Yomiuri Giants rookies wearing preseason bibs (from Jeremy Brahm). … How cool would it be if Sears brought back these hoodies? “I’d buy a bunch,” says Gary Moore. … If you go to this page and click on the link for the 2013 Topps checklist, you’ll find something interesting: Most of the card numbers correspond to the players’ uniform numbers (from Dan Cichalski). … Here’s a little video spot of Tom Brady trashing the Pro Bowl uniforms (from Caleb Borchers). … Drew Brees’s latest Dayquil/Nyquil commercial shows him wearing a Reebok game jersey and a Nike practice jersey (from Kyle Allebach). … Here’s an article about that Pittsburgh museum exhibit of scoreboard art, which I’ve mentioned here in the Ticker before (from Nate Budziszewski). … Got great news yesterday from my physical therapist: He’s done with me. My wrist could still use a bit of strengthening, but I can work on that on my own. Feels good to have been emancipated from the rehab grind.