This photo of Blue Jays infielder Edwin Encarnacion captures everything that’s wrong about MLB’s G.I. Joe initiative from yesterday: a Dominican player, representing a Canadian team, dressed up to celebrate the American military, on a day that has nothing to do with celebrating the military. It’s hard to imagine a less appropriate gesture (although I’m sure the MLB folks will try to outdo themselves next season).
A few other notes from yesterday:
• Although the Jays did wear camouflage lettering and numbering on their jerseys, they didn’t wear the camo caps like all the other teams did. Instead, they wore their BP caps — except for skipper John Gibbons, who wore the team’s regular game cap.
• Still more Jays news: No photo, but reader Sean Doherty says R.A. Dickey, who did not pitch yesterday, was wearing “a military-style medal” on the left side his cap while sitting in the dugout.
• Base coaches in some (but not all) games had camo helmets. In the case of the Mets’ coaches, reader Walter Young says: “That pattern was not the MLB ‘USMC’ desert MARPAT memorial day pattern. Instead it appears to be the U.S. Army’s Universal Camouflage Pattern.”
• Also going G.I. Joe: the umpires.
And then there’s this: Reader Jared Bremseth works at a shop that got a shipment of the G.I. Joe caps to sell and noticed that some of them have the USMC logo embedded in the camouflage print. So now our military camo pattern — which has become our baseball uniform pattern — is just another branding exercise. Marvy!
By Brinke Guthrie
Here’s the rest of this week’s finds:
• Plan your day the NFL way with this 1969/1970
• Chiefs fans, take note: I love the varsity jacket look, and I never knew Logo Athletic made these. Otherwise, I woulda been trying to weasel one out of my friend Sandy at the Bengals.
• From reader Michael Clary, a Willie Stargell bust. Woulda preferred the “We are Family” cap with the stars on it, though.
• CC doesn’t normally wade into college sports, but this Notre Dame football player bank is totally bizarre-looking.
• The NFL Hormel tin coasters are back!
• Here’s the complete NFL cookbook from 1981. With everything for Game Day Brunches to Monday Night Dinners!
Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
“Candela” update: As I mentioned last Friday, Kirsten and I have written a New York Times article about those fiberglass structures that we’ve long had a crush on. I’m really happy with the way it turned out — hope you’ll take a look. (Our story also got picked up by Gothamist, which is nice.)
Uni Watch News Ticker: Several readers have noticed that Penn State is now selling a football jersey with the lion logo at the base of the collar. Will this be worn on the field? Not sure — trying to find out. Further details here. … There are rumors — which I don’t necessarily believe — about Ohio State getting new football uniforms. … A former chairman of the FCC is suggesting that broadcasters stop referring to the ’Skins by their name (from Kurt Esposito). … Meanwhile, a Wisconsin school district is scrapping its Indian head logo (from Matthew Blinco). … The MLB Network’s crawl featured a rather entertaining typo yesterday (thanks, Phil). … Great spot by reader Nick Hanson, who noticed that Red Sox catcher David Ross, recently back from a concussion, is wearing what appears to be a padded skullcap. … Here’s a list of really bad soccer uniforms (from Kurt Esposito). … SM Caen’s new kit includes a history of the club’s crests. “Pretty cool,” says Michael Orr. … David Versel notes that musician Stephen Stills has worn a lot of football jerseys over the years. … See the little area I’ve circled in this Rangers photo from last Thursday night? The guy wearing that glove is Brian Boyle, but the lettering on the glove reads “J. Halpern,” which means Boyle was wearing the gloves of former teammate Jeff Halpern, who was placed on waivers and picked up by the Canadiens back in March (great spot by Jason Simon). … Noah Crouch poking around on eBay and found some faaaascinating NBA prototype jerseys (or at least that’s what the seller is claiming they are) — one for the Pacers and one for an All-Star Game. No idea how legit they are. Anyone know more? … I keep seeing more and more of these articles advocating for the elimination of the apostrophe. … Lots of Nike college lacrosse uniforms discussed here (from Chris Wautel). … Last Friday I showed these Air Force striped stirrups. But they also have these striped stirrups. That’s a lot of stirrup stripeage! (From Peter Krumholz.) … The Bears are going to retire No. 89 for Mike Ditka, and they say this will be the last number they take out of circulation (thanks, Brinke). … Here are some more shots of Pirates dressed up as Penguins (from Jerry Wolper). … New crest for Everton, and it’s not going down so well. … Tons of amazing old sports photos here. Well worth investigating (big thanks to Matt Busch). … Anyone know why there’s a Dan Marino jersey hanging from the rafters at the Heat’s arena? I mean, yes, I get the Miami connection. But I don’t get the NFL/NBA connection (screen shot by Matt Snyder). … How wonderful to discover that the policing of logos on water bottles is an international phenomenon (from Mark Coale). … The University of New Hampshire, after a bit of controversy involving plans for a new logo, is now seeking input from the public (from Tom Mulgrew). … The Fort Wayne TinCaps wore prom-themed jerseys the other night (from Tom Meyer Klipsch). … Here’s something you rarely see any more: a hitter wearing one batting glove — on his top hand. That’s Rockies pitcher Juan Nicasio. Wear a top-hand glove used to be fairly common, or at least not unheard of, back in the day, as you can see in these pics of Rod Carew, Yaz, Donn Clendenon, and Roger Maris. Very rare nowadays, though (from John Romero). … Oregon softball has added a batting helmet decal to mark the tornadoes in Oklahoma (from Alex Allen). … In that last link, see how the shape of Oklahoma was light blue? By interesting coincidence, that happens to be same color and the undersleeves worn by the Oklahoma baseball team the other day. And as you can see, they also added a helmet decal. Were the blue sleeves also tornado-related? (From Josh Claywell.) … Holy moly — tequila sunrise in Little League! (From Paulie Sumner.) … The Bowie Baysox dressed up as the Bowie Studs the other day. “The horse racing-style jerseys were in honor of Bowie’s horse racing heritage (two Triple Crown winners have come from the stables here),” explains Leigh Bellinger. … Good article about the Rays’ equipment manager (thanks, Phil). … “The Minneapolis Star Tribune is running a three-part series on the effect booster clubs have on high school sports,” says Simon Wentzell. “Sunday’s article talked extensively about the role of corporate sponsors. I’m a little embarrassed to say I went to one of the four rich schools that are focused on in the article.” … As you may have heard, Friday night’s Mets/Braves game was suspended due to rain after eight innings, and then the game was resumed the following day. That led Mets radio broadcaster Howie Rose to ask me if there was any rule stipulating that a team had to wear the same uniforms for the resumption of the game as it had worn for the original portion of the game. I was going to joke, “Yeah, and they’re not allowed to wash out any of the dirt or grass stains either,” but instead I just said, “Not that I’m aware of.” For the record, the Mets wore pinstripes for both portions of the game. … Faaascinating communiqué from Brian Hansen, who writes: ” My wife and I went to Abilene, Kansas for a few days. One of the main attractions is the Seelye Mansion, which was built by a patent medicine tycoon and is open for tours. In the basement is a bowling-like game called Box Ball that I believe they said he purchased at the 1904 World’s Fair. It consists of a lane and five ‘pins’ at the end, which are essentially upside down-paddles. You roll a ball down the lane, and when it hits the pin, the pin pops up. There’s a lever at the front to reset the pin after each roll. They still had a pad of scorecards from its original use that indicated it was a 10-frame game. They said there are only two other box ball lanes known in existence (one in the Adirondacks) but they said this is the only one left that lets people bowl. The whole thing was great and I would’ve liked to bowl for hours, but alas I only bowled one ball.” … Nike has come out with a Jim Harbaugh tee, but the design doesn’t it doesn’t show him scowling, screaming, or generally behaving like a control-freak dick, so I’m assuming there was some sort of production glitch along the way (thanks, Brinke). … Good article about how Mark Cuban’s crowdsourcing of uni designs cheats real designers (Phil again). … The idea of star- and stripe-shaped pretzels seems dubious enough to begin with. But to refer to them as “patriot-shaped”? “Kind of sad, in my opinion,” says Brian McDavitt. I think I’d use a stronger term than that. … Anyway, everyone knows patriotism is really shaped like a skating penguin. The Pens used that as their Twitter avatar yesterday (from Aaron McHargue). … This is pretty great: a series of early-1900s baseball cards fearuring vaguely risqué/erotic content (from Phillip Garza). … Daft Punk showed up at the Monaco Grand Prix wearing custom racesuits. “I like the black-and-gold minimalism and the name and country flag on the waist,” says Brad Hufford. … For the second Sunday in a row, the Giants did not wear their orange-billed Sunday cap. … Word I heard prior to the start of the season was that the Mets’ seldom-worn black alts would be reserved for Sunday-night games. But they wore their blue alts when facing the Braves on Sunday night. … That Mets/Braves game, incidentally, was Military Appreciation Night for the Mets, but they somehow managed to refrain from going G.I. Joe or flag-desecration. Good for them. … Gee, can you guess who the stadium court camera at the French Open is sponsored by? (Thanks, Brinke.) … Here’s a young Steve Sabol of NFL Films, circa 1968, wearing a pretty groovy AFL jacket (screen shot by Dave Singleton). … This is really interesting: In this 1920 football game between Cornell and Colgate, the two teams had nearly identical uniforms, so one team — not sure which one — wore strips of white, uni-numbered fabric around their midsections to make the two squads easier to differentiate from each other (great find by Ryan Dowgin). … Rays catch Jose Lobaton offers a small feast of uni-notable headwear details: He wears his catcher’s helmet with the brim facing forward and has an unusual strap on his mask. … Check out the stripes near the knees in this photo. Is that reflective tape or something like that? … Very cool new basketball court design for Buffalo. Love that outline of New York State at center court (from Dennis Abrams). … Updated “handicapped” logo for New York City (thanks, Kirsten). … New flight attendant uniforms for Air Canada Rouge (thanks, Phil). … If you like stripes as much as I do — or even if you don’t — you’ll probably like this photo. “That’s the Lancashire rugby team from the English RFU county championships — basically a competition of representative teams from each of the English counties,” explains Doug Mulliken. … No photo, but an interesting note from Ryan Burns, who writes: “When the Duke men’s lacrosse team won the NCAA championship game, they immediately got national champion T-shirts and hats. Their head coach had them remove the shirts and hats before shaking hands with the team they just defeated so as not to rub it in their face. In my opinionn a very classy move by coach John Danowski.” … James Poisso spotted this cool Cardinals print at a memorabilia shop. … Here are BP uniforms — which are also the home run derby uniforms — for the Japanese Baseball All-Star Game (from Jeremy Brahm).