Yesterday Phil gave some fairly extensive coverage to Louisville’s crazy new baseball uniform, which he described as “the worst baseball uni of all time.” There’s no question that the uniform is pretty far out there, but I don’t share Phil’s disdain for it. Sure, the red pants and white belt are ridiculous, but they’re an entertaining kind of ridiculous that pairs well with the rainbow jersey. I was actually looking forward to seeing this one on the field, which was supposedly going to happen over this past weekend.
Unfortunately, they sold the concept short. As you can see in the photos on this page, Louisville wore the new jerseys for yesterday’s NCAA super regional game against Vanderbilt but went with conventional white pants. So instead of wearing something entertainingly ridiculous, they were just another team wear a tequila sunrise-esque jersey, which is quickly becoming rote. I hope they eventually wear the whole magilla during the College World Series.
Interestingly, Phil compared the Louisville design to the famously awful 1980 Tucson Toros uni. In an odd confluence of events, that design was revived as a throwback on Saturday by the Tucson Padres (San Diego’s triple-A team). But just like Louisville, the Tucson folks didn’t have the courage of their convictions. As you can see in those pics, they went with white pants instead of orange, and even the jerseys were toned down from their original 1980 crazy quilt. As reader Cork Gaines put it, “Instead of remaking an all-time classic bad uniform, they just made a new ugly uniform that’s a lot more boring.” Yup.
The lesson here is clear: If you’re gonna push the envelope, push it all the way, or else don’t bother.
Uni Watch News Ticker: I’ve been so busy with other stuff that I neglected to mark an important anniversary: Two weeks ago today, May 26, was the 14th anniversary of the very first Uni Watch column being published in the Village Voice. If you had told me back then that this project would still be going strong in 2013, I would have laughed. My thanks to everyone who’s contributed to its longevity. … A custom facemask operation called BadAss Masks tweeted these Arizona logo facemask photos last night. Everyone went nuts, but let’s be clear: These are just for display, they did not originate with the team, and there’s no reason to believe they’ll be worn on the field — at least not yet. … Some interesting college baseball notes from the weekend, as North Carolina and South Carolina both wore “Carolina” (Phil mentioned this yesterday, but I’m reposting here for just in case), and single-digit pitchers were on the mound for UCLA and Cal State Fullerton (all this from John Furstenthal). … No need for the government to spy on us when Adidas is already on the job, as Justin Funderburk explains: “I was in an Adidas outlet in Gaffney, South Carolina on Friday. While at the checkout, I had to wait a few minutes while the manager read a memo to his employees. To sum it up: Adidas retail workers’ social media pages are followed to make sure they never say anything negative about professional players or teams with Adidas contracts. The specific names mentioned were Derrick Rose, Robert Griffin III, and Dwight Howard.” … The National Museum of the American Indian recently sent out a questionnaire about Indian stereotypes, including the use of Indian imagery in sports (from R. Scott Rogers). … Meanwhile, the latest sportswriter calling on the ’Skins to change their name is New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick. … David Firestone has done some good work providing close-up views of the Senators’ old block numerals. … Forget color on color — how about tequila sunrise vs. tequila sunrise! The guy in the cage is from New Castle High School in Indiana; not sure what the other team is (from Joe Kuras). … New basketball court design for UConn. … New kit for PSV Eindhoven (from Lucas Ehrbar). … This is pretty cool: a look at a Google style guide (from Ben Fortney). … The Hungry Hungry Hipster has put together a set of several hundred ugly hockey jerseys. You’ve probably seen some of them before, but the depth and breadth is impressive. … Also from HHH: How to make a guitar out of hockey sticks. … The Ravens have released the design for their Super Bowl rings. … The tequila sunrise concept — in the original Astros colors! — has spread to Japan. That’s the Rakuten Golden Eagles (from Thomas F. Erichsen). … Also from Thomas: an amusing piece about the current state of cycling apparel. … The Mets have drafted Lee Mazzilli’s son, LJ Mazzilli, who at the very least has some nice stirrup stylings. … Whoa, dig the totally boss letterman sweater being worn in this photo. That’s Cleveland High School in Seattle, circa 1950. The “Collins” on the football refers to Collins Fieldhouse, where they played (from Norm Johnson). … This has bugged me for years: Since 2005, Wise Cheez Doodles have been “The Official Cheez Doodle of the Mets.” The thing is, “Cheez Doodles” is a Wise-trademarked term — there are no other Cheez Doodles but Wise Cheez Doodles. So being “the Official Cheez Doodles of the Mets” (or of anything else) doesn’t really mean anything. Grrrrrr. … David Hamen notes that the Columbus Clippers’ road uniforms have mismatched shades of gray. … “My wife and I have a seven-month-old (our first) and are starting to accumulate lots of toys,” says Jason Sampson. “I don’t like toys everywhere, so we saved a bunch of the diaper boxes and have one in each room of the house with toys in them. At my work, I designed and printed a baseball-themed wrap for the boxes, so now they don’t look like dumb diaper boxes.” Very cool! … This is weird: Marc Malfara was watching some 1984 Tigers spring training footage and saw a catcher with TNOB. … I think we’ve probably noted this before, but just in case: John Lowenstein of the Orioles was missing the dot on his “i” during the 1983 World Series (from Daniel Merz). … Several MLBers who don’t usually wear stirrups were suddenly wearing them on Saturday, including John Buck, Daniel Murphy, and, most notably Chris Archer (from Michael Romero and Kevin Kleinhans). … Key quote in this profile of Indians pitcher Justin Masterson: “Put on uniform: Regular socks, sliders (padded sliding shorts), Adidas shirt underneath. I’m sponsored by Adidas, so I wear their gear” (from Avi Miller). … It’s official: A bridesmaid’s dress is no longer a uniform. … Indy car driver Scott Dixon wears his wedding band while driving (from David Firestone). … Robert Griffin III is wearing a new kind of knee brace (from Tommy Turner). … Indiana baseball coach Tracy Smith’s undershirt chest logo was visible through his jersey yesterday (screen shot by Gabe Ortiz). … Former Penn State football player Graham Zug’s rehearsal dinner cake had a jersey-and-helmet theme — complete with logo creep (from Chris Flinn). … Not sure I’ve seen this before: Cubs pitcher Edwin Jackson was apparently wearing a skullcap or do-rag under his cap yesterday, resulting in double MLB logos (from Derek Hempel). … A Swedish railroad company issued a dress code that prohibited male employees from wearing shorts, so several of them are wearing skirts instead. … Check out the uniforms for the USS Saratoga baseball team, circa 1958. They were visiting Barcelona at the time. If you want to honor the military, why not wear something like this — a baseball uni worn by actual U.S. Navy servicemen — as a throwback? Oh right, no camo, so the whole thing doesn’t work, silly me. … Check this out: The chest insignia on the Louisiana-Lafayette softball jersey reads, “Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns.” Can’t recall seeing a city/state used with a possessive construction on a jersey before. And yes, the apostrophe is a chili pepper, but that’s secondary — I’m more interested in the possessive format (from Michael Kinney). … Here’s a sensational infographic on the evolution of airplane logos (thanks, Phil). … Giving credit where it’s due: Nike has come out with a new sportswear line that will benefit the LGBT Sports Coaltion. Good for them (Phil yet again). … I’ll be busy spending today visiting my Mom, who recently took a tumble and is still recovering (Ma, next time take the elevator, not the stairs!). Everyone play nice while I’m out, okay? Okay.