We’ve known for several months now that MLB teams would be wearing G.I. Joe caps on Memorial Day. But reader Brendan Hickey has picked up on something that hasn’t yet been officially announced: If you go to each MLB team’s online shop and go to the listing of men’s authentic jerseys, the first item listed is a jersey with camouflage numbering and lettering, similar to the ones worn this past Saturday by the Angels and White Sox (that was for Armed Forces Day). In each case, the team’s online shop only shows a home camo jersey or a road camo jersey — not both — depending on whether the team is playing at home or on the road next Monday. Tucked away in the fine print is the following line: “As worn on-field Memorial Day May 27th, 2013.”
So every MLB team will be wearing G.I. Joe jerseys next Monday (yes, even the Yankees), in addition to the G.I. Joe caps. How wonderful.
It’s been said many times before, but it bears repeating: Memorial Day is not a day for celebrating the military. It’s a day for honoring the military dead. A more appropriate gesture would be an MLB-wide black armband. An even better gesture would be a pregame moment of silence, without anything on the uniform. But as is so often the case nowadays, merchandising and pandering trump common sense.
Meanwhile, yesterday morning — before I knew about the G.I. Joe jerseys — I received an email from a publicist, reminding me about the caps. I asked the publicist why the caps are called “Stars & Stripes” caps when they have neither stars nor stripes. His response: “They are part of the ‘Stars & Stripes’ program. These caps [for Memorial Day] are the first in a series of three, with the others coming out around July 4th and September 11th. Both of those caps will contain stars and stripes.” And based on what we’re seeing for Memorial Day, it’s reasonable to assume that these flag-desecration caps will be joined by flag-desecration jerseys. Grreeeaaaaaat.
I could go on about the twisting of civic values here, but I believe that sound in the background is reader R. Scott Rogers typing up a stinging indictment that does just that. Go get ’em, Scott.
French Open Overview
By Brinke Guthrie
• Ana Ivanovic has a blue Adidas dress, notable for the French Open logo on the chest, intead of the Adidas logo. I think they did this last year too, as Adidas is a prime French Open sponsor.
• Rafael Nadal is the greatest clay court player in men’s tennis history. Unless the world stops spinning, he’ll be wearing this Nike stuff when he holds up his latest French Open trophy.
• France’s top-ranked male is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Adidas held a Twitter-based contest so fans could design the shoes he’d wear on the French Open’s Kids Day.
• Roger Federer shocked the world with his new haircut last weekend — and then proceeded to lose to Nadal in the Italian Open final. Must’ve been the hair, not the shoes. He’s got some cool shoes in this video, though. Here’s the Nike gear he’ll wear in Paris.
• Novak Djokovic’s clothing sponsor is Japan-based Uniqlo, but it seems they can’t be bothered to have anything new on their site, which showcases Djokovic’s Australian Open gear from January. Memo to marketing: Update the site before one of the Grand Slams.
• Fila’s various women’s player lines — for Jelena Jankovic, Julia Goerges and Nadia Petrova — are shown here.
Finally, if you miss the 1980′s tennis look as much as I do (I played and wasn’t too bad unless I had to hit a backhand), you’ll love this site. You can see one of my favorite looks from that era here.
By Brinke Guthrie
Remember when you got that Sunoco NFL ’72 sticker book, like the one shown above, for Christmas? That scene on Christmas morning might have looked something like this. (If you’re not familiar with these great Sunoco sticker books, look here.)
Okay, so a photo of a cool item is one thing, but how about the actual items? Here’s this week’s haul:
• Michael Clary rides again. After a lengthy hiatus, he’s back with more eBay finds. Maybe you’re in the mood for an inflatable Boston Bruin mascot? Check. Or an NHL skate bottle opener? Double-check. And we have a nice photo of a 1960s 49ers helmet buggy.
• Here’s a game-worn St. Louis Cardinals baseball dugout jacket from the 1960s.
• Never seen this LA Rams sweater design before. Almost looks like a DIY job, except that you can see there was once a label sewn into the inner collar.
• Looks like a sturdy 1970s NHL lunchbox here.
• If you’re a Colts fan who still wishes they’d never left Baltimore, then this 1970s Sears helmet plaque is for you.
• Bears fans, maybe your youngster will like this 1970s Bears sweatshirt (size small) from Sears.
• Dave Boss alert, featuring the New York football Giants.
• Nothing says retro NFL quite like this Cowboys Starter jacket I had this very model, in fact: My boss at Q102 at the time was Jim Fox, a diehard Cowboys fan, and he gave me one of these for Christmas.
Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
OMFG: My latest One-Man Focus Group column is about the new logo for Little Debbie snack cakes, shown at right. (If you view the column in Safari, the photo at the bottom may look weird. If so, try a different browser. Thanks.)
Uni Watch News Ticker: The Battle of the Uniforms is over, and the O’s stand victorious. Who’da thunk? … More than 200 Mavs uni designs have been submitted in response to Mark Cuban’s invitation last week. You can see some of them in this ESPN piece I wrote yesterday afternoon. … In other NBA news, Bobcats owner Michael Jordan will discuss the team’s upcoming name change, to the Hornets, at a news conference today. … New basketball court design for George Washington (from Peter Kirschenbaum). … Meanwhile, James Madison wants a new court but is inviting fan submissions for the design (from Andrew Rader). … Yikes! That’s a throwback worn by South Adams High in Indiana (from Craig McKean). … Arouna Koné, who plays for Wigan Athletic (EPL), has an unusual NOB (from Max Weintraub). … Jimmy Griggs notes that Ole Miss baseball’s road uniforms appear to have mismatched shades of gray. … Speaking of mismatched grays, look at Bobby Gritch and Brooks Robinson in this shot from the 1972 All-Star Game. Looks like two different uniforms! (Good spot by Adam Garrettson.) … The new basketball arena down the road from me has its own distinctive aroma. Gross (thanks, Kirsten). … The Mets are conducting “Celebrate Israel Night” tonight, which means Mets-themed yarmulkes. … Brian Fitterman was looking in a 1962 prep school yearbook and came across this photo of a very unusual facemask. … New home kit for England — their first done by Nike, instead of Umbro (from Danny Garrison). … Check out No. 55 in the front row. Any idea who that is? Give yourself a pat on the back if you knew it was none other than Pete Rose, circa 1958. And speaking of Rose, did you know he has a Mr. Redlegs tattoo? (Both of these from Michael Clary.) … Oooh, coupla really nice old racecar photos here. When I see cars like those, the word “roadster” immediately comes to mind. … Yesterday’s uni-numerical note regarding Rick Barry (who wasn’t allowed to wear No. 24 with the Rockets, so he who wore No. 2 at home and No. 4 on the road) prompted this note from Terence Kearns: “Lewis Holtby was signed by Tottenham Hotspur in January, after trading away GK Carlos Cudicini, who wore No. 23. Holtby took 23 for all matches but UEFA Europa League, where he wore No. 14, because of some rule with registered numbers on a team.” … That same item about Barry also prompted this from Eric Holm: “When Rick Rickert played for the University of Minnesota, he wanted to wear 14, but he couldn’t, because the Gophers had retired number 14 for Lou Hudson. Rickert instead wore 1 at home and 4 on the road. Somewhere in my sports card collection there’s a collection of Gophers basketball cards that includes the Rick Rickert as No. 1 and No. 4.” … New football helmet for DePauw (from Joe Mueller). … New logo and uniforms for the Peoria Rivermen (from Josh Petty). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: New kits for Queens Park Rangers (from Jason Halpin). … Mikhail Herrera notes that Brett Gardner of the Yankees has been wearing one of those thingies on his sliding hand. … New football turf for Ohio University (from Leo Strawn Jr.). … Is Phil Jackson opposed to advertising on jerseys? Sounds like it, at least judging by “>this article, in which Jackson says the NBA should be more soccer and then adds, “Although their jerseys are a mess” (from Mike Cooperman). … Speaking of Jackson, check out him and Clyde Frazier wearing belted shorts in 1967 (nice find by Tom Farley. … The Philadelphia Soul — that’s an arena football team — wore orange socks on Saturday to raise awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (from Lee David Wilds). … ’Skins GM Bruce Allen says the controversy over the team’s name is “a non-issue” (from Tommy the CPA). … Phil tipped me off to a photo of a new EMU helmet that was circulating, but the original source appears to have been an Instagram link that’s now dead, so draw your own conclusions. … In college baseball, Prairie View (purple) and Jackson State (navy) went color on color last night. “Might be the one of the worst-looking games I’ve ever seen,” says William Thomas. … Here’s a Cuban soccer player wearing an Adidas kit and Nike shoes. “Don’t know if this has to do with the peculiarities of Cuba’s economy or if the player’s just doing it on his own,” says Norm Johnson. … Here’s an amusing debate over whether the basketball rim should be raised.