How to Re-Lace a Baseball Glove

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[Editor's Note: Reader Jim Lonetti and his son Dom — that's them at right — run a baseball glove-repair operation. Jim has guest-written today's lead entry, about how to re-lace a glove. Enjoy. — PL]

By Jim Lonetti

Most baseball gloves utilize the same basic lacing patterns, so the same five-step process can be used for re-lacing most of them. Not all repairs will require all five steps, but I found a good example in my inventory that required a full re-lacing; a Rawlings PG10 Rick Burleson-endorsed model. Here’s how to re-lace it.

Step One: The first step is to remove the web. The web is where you will have the most variety of lacing patterns. If a glove has a “T-bar” pattern or the more elaborate “Trap-eze” design, the web can be a little more involved, but the web on this glove has a fairly simple pattern. I entirely remove the web, including the “loops” on top of the web (which are part of a continuous lace that starts at the pinky finger), with a basic wire cutter. I also remove all the finger laces at this time:

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I utilize lacing from www.tanners.com/”>Tanners, which is affiliated with Rawlings. Since many of the gloves I work on are vintage models, I have Tanners custom-cut 3/8”-wide lacing for me. (To me nothing looks worse than a nice vintage glove re-laced with the newer, wider lacing.) Before using the lace, I condition it for ease of lacing with a little Pecard Glove Conditioner. I highly advise against using neatsfoot oil or similar products. They will cause the leather to become heavy and floppy and over time will also cause the pores of the leather to clog and the leather fibers to “cross-link.” This is what has happened when you see an old glove with leather that has become hard and shiny. Pecard is great because you can apply it with your fingers and then just wipe off the access.

From Tanners I also obtain lacing needles, which have a threaded opening at the end that allows a lace to be threaded in securely. The web lacing starts at the back, base of the glove and continues until the top of the web is reached. Then I switch to a tool with a handle, since the small needle will not feed the lace all the way through the tunnel of the web. The handled tool is inserted through the web tunnel without the lace, and then the lace is attached and pulled through. The lacing is completed back down the other side of the web and ends at the back, base of the glove where it started:

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Step Two: Next the fingers are laced back together. This starts at the pinky finger and continues across the other fingers until you reach the web. From here the lace starts at the loops on the top of the web and eventually passes through the thumb. This completes the web and finger lacing:

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Step Three: Now it gets a little tricky. All the heel lacing needs to be removed to access the “lifeline” lacing (more on this in a second). Once the heel and life line lacing are removed, the whole interior of the glove can be opened up:

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This is the point of the process at which many players will elect to add or remove inner padding to better suit their preferences. At this time I am also able to replace or repair any of the interior lining that has become worn. The sweat from your hand is the worst thing for the leather inside your glove. If your glove is all torn and the padding exposed, that is a result of the salt from your sweat. It is just as important to clean and condition the inside of your glove as it is the outside.

The lifeline lace starts at the heel on the thumb side. I always try to use the thinnest laces I have for the lifeline, because you don’t want the lacing to be too bulky in this area. The lacing proceeds to the hinge area and back up and ends between the pinky and ring finger of the glove:

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Step Four: The heel is now laced back together. A knot is not used at the finish; instead, the lace is pulled through the previous loops to cinch it down. The lifeline and heel lacing are now complete:

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Step Five: The lacing at the pinky and thumb is all that is left to do. These laces are misunderstood, in my opinion. The purpose of these laces is to make the thumb and pinky either flared in (tight lacing) or flared out (loose lacing). The practice of many glove manufacturers is to put plastic inserts in the thumb and pinky as artificial stiffeners. I always remove these plastic inserts and rely on the lacing itself for how I want the thumb and pinky to feel. Both the pinky and the thumb follow the same basic pattern:

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The glove is now totally re-laced! The final task is to tie all the required knot (use nice square knots, never a “granny”-style knot) and fully condition the glove with the Pecard conditioner.

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In addition, let’s also talk about how to break in a glove. There are many myths and shortcuts out there, and most of them are bad for your new glove in the long run. First of all, never buy a glove that claims to be “pre-broken-in.” These gloves utilize thinner, cheaper leathers and sometimes have oils injected into the leathers to speed up the break-in process, all of which means the glove will not have a very long lifespan. A good, quality glove will be stiff and require some thorough breaking in.

Never put a glove in an oven or microwave. The microwave can cause the metal grommets to pop. Nor should you get the glove wet. Just some steady pounding with a ball mallet and some conditioner applied in the hinged areas is all that should be done. The old practice of putting the glove with a ball in the pocket under your mattress is also a good idea.

Want to know more about gloves? A great book on baseball gloves and their care and history is Glove Affairs. One story from the book: Every spring Derek Jeter starts out with a new glove and just plays with it. By the time the season starts the glove is ready. Simple as that.

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All-Star helmet update: Yesterday I mentioned that I had reason to believe Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale (shown at right) had worn a Pirates helmet in the 1962 All-Star Game, but I didn’t have any visual evidence yet. Now I have a semi-confirmation.

First, there were two All-Star Games in 1962, and I should have specified which one I was referring to. It was the one played in Washington on July 10. Drysdale batted once, in the top of the third, against Jim Bunning. (He didn’t play in the other 1962 ASG, which was played later in the month in Chicago.)

Reader Bruce Menard did some digging and found these wire photos from that one plate appearance. Although we can’t see the front logo, the helmet definitely appears darker than Drysdale’s blue undersleeves and blue stirrups. The helmet also looks flocked, as was the case with Pirates helmets at the time.

I’m pretty convinced, although I still want to see a front-view shot.

Meanwhile, two readers provided other possibilities to investigate:

• James O’Hare says he remembers two helmet mix-ups from the 1969 ASG: Reggie Jackson in an Orioles helmet and Steve Carlton, who was then with the Cardinals, in a Phillies helmet. If true, both of these would foreshadow the players’ future team affiliations. If anyone has access to the game video and wants to go searching, Carlton batted twice in this game (top of the second and third), while Reggie batted three times (bottom of the first, third, and fifth).

• And then there’s this, from Russ Yurk:

Back in 1994 I was working with the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association in Pittsburgh, and one of my coworkers worked in the visitors’ clubhouse at Three Rivers Stadium. Apparently Frank Thomas forgot to bring his helmet to the 1994 ASG [which was played at Three Rivers], so my coworker took a blank Pirates helmet and used an Xacto knife to cut the Sox logo out of white athletic tape. Hebrought the helmet into the office the next day, and it was an impressive effort. With the helmet colors the same and the logo very close, it most likely went unnoticed that night and over the years. I’ve looked for a close-up image online but have been unsuccessful.

This isn’t quite the same thing as our other examples, because Thomas was wearing, at least from a visual standpoint, his own team’s helmet. But it’s still of interest. If anyone has access to the video, the Big Hurt came to the plate three times in that game (top of the first, fourth, and sixth).

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Show & Tell update: Objects, stories, and participants from the most recent edition of Show & Tell are now available on the S&T website. Enjoy.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: A few late-breaking All-Star Game items: (1) The camera caught Royals reliever Greg Holland out in the bullpen, where he was stretching out the elastic cuff on his right pant leg. In order to do this, he hiked up the pant leg, thereby revealing that he was wearing plain white crew socks. (2) Gavin Robey notes that Chisox pitcher Chris Sale was wearing a blue undershirt. (3) Max Scherzer’s belt was rotated off-center. (4) At one point the broadcasters referred to Jays pitcher Steve Delabar’s elbow surgery, and the camera showed a close-up of his scar. Or at least the broadcasters said it was his scar. But as Dave Rakowski points out, it looks like he might have gotten a tattoo of baseball stitches over the surgical scar. (5) Brendan Slattery notes that the swooshes on Robinson Cano’s shoes were two different colors. … Gizmodo has published a really nice piece on the design evolution of baseball gloves, bats, and balls (from Christopher LaHaye). … Chris Creamer has posted a really, really good piece on how certain MLB uniforms correlate with on-field success, or lack thereof. Among the revelations: The Marlins are the only team not to have worn traditional road grays at any point this season; the Braves are 11-1 in their cream alternates; and the Jays are3-15 in their road grays (from Josh Claywell). … A Florida high school has put together an absurdly overblown uni-unveiling video. “The new duds were donated by one of their own — Trent Richardson, now with the Browns,” says Ryan Bohannon. … This is pretty awesome: Every single pitch from the All-Star Game broken down into one infographic (big thanks to Lose Remerswaal). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Papiss Cissé has pulled out over Newcastle United’s training camp due to a conflict over the team’s jersey sponsor. … Here’s a good look at an old Lowe & Campbell uniform catalog (from Karen McBurnie). … Andrew Talansky, the highest-placed American in the Tour de France, has been wearing kinesio tape with an argyle-ish pattern (from Anthony Nuccio). … Attendance at sports halls of fame is dropping (from Tommy Turner). … New athletics logo/branding for the University of New Orleans (from Ben Melancon). … Don’t eat any athletic gold snow: The Predators have dyed their ice yellow for some sort of fanfest event. “I mean, what could possibly go wrong?” asks Phil. … Chelsea wore Thai numerals for a recent friendly match. The odd thing is that the Thai team wore Western numerals (from Michael Orr). … Metta World Peace will wear No. 51 with the Knicks as a shout-out to his father (from Robert Silverman). … Also from Robert: Small uniform discussion about halfway through this Q&A with new Suns coach Jeff Hornacek. Just search on the word “uniform.” … We’ve shown these before, but once more can’t hurt: 100-year-old baseball sock garters! (Big thanks to Jon Solomonson.) … “My wife and I went up to Pittsburgh to see the Pirates/Phils game on July 4,” says Scott Palmer. “I snapped a photo of the scoreboard after the game was over, and realized I may have something unique — notice the names of the winning pitcher (Cole Hamels) and losing pitcher (Gerrit Cole). I’m wondering if this has ever happened before, where the last names of the pitchers getting a decision form the full name of the winning pitcher (or losing pitcher for that matter)?” … Turns out Fox manipulated the crowd response to Neil Diamond’s song during the ASG. … Interesting quote from one of the New Girl’s coworkers: “I have never bought or worn Nike ever! ’Cause there was a moment in my life when it was a choice, a social statement, in my head at least. Like, the Beastie Boys wore Adidas, and indie boys wore Adidas, and hip-hop guys wore Nike. It was culturally political. It was more of a pop cultural battleground in my head. You’re one or the other. I used to be very into that kind of thing…’80s, early ’90s.” … What’s better than a ballplayer in a gorgeous old-school jacket? A ballplayer in a gorgeous old-school jacket holding two lion cubs! That’s Nap Lajoie, circa 1907 (from David Brown). … Here’s a guide to the new season’s EPL kits (from Chris Bisbee). … Here’s a video explaining the thinking behind the Korea Baseball Organization’s logo (from Dan Kurtz). … Schutt — the football helmet folks — posted a Facebook photo showing an Oregon-like helmet, supposedly to be worn by “some lucky team in Canada.” Word I hear is that the team in question is the Carleton University Ravens. … University of Wisconsin Platteville is letting fans choose the helmet for their first game of the 2013 season (from Olin Skattum). … I’ve known for years that the Washington Huskies used to award purple helmets, instead of their usual gold, to outstanding defensive players, but I’m not sure I’d ever seen a photo of that until Dan Drutis sent me this 1970 photo showing Washington players with gold and purple helmets. … New football uniforms for Columbia (from Rob Turning). … Good Detroit-oriented uni info — including the explanation for Isiah Thomas’s 1987 FNOB — on this Q&A page (from B. Palmer). … The Kansas City T-Bones wore special jerseys for Kansas City Zoo night. I like that sleeve patch! (From Alan Poff.) … This is pretty good: a video showing a day in the life of Target Field (from Josh VanKlompenburg).

 

98 comments to How to Re-Lace a Baseball Glove

  • DenverGregg | July 18, 2013 at 7:42 am |

    The Hammels-Cole juxtaposition of pitchers’ last names to combine to one pitcher’s name would have had several precedents during the career of Tommy John.

    • Scott | July 18, 2013 at 7:52 am |

      Yeah, that could be a possibility. Nolan Ryan is another good one. I just can’t think off the top of my head any times where I’ve actually seen that in a box score.

      Paul – thanks for posting the pic!

      • scottrj | July 18, 2013 at 8:15 am |

        Wouldn’t be surprised to see a Tommy John/John Denny juxtaposition.

        It’s too bad the careers of Camilio Pascual & Pascual Perez didn’t overlap.

    • Berto | July 18, 2013 at 9:16 am |

      Slightly one-off here, but this reminds me of a photo I always liked. It was from Jags training camp, Kevin Hardy and Hardy Nickerson standing together, their NOBs read Hardy Nickerson. It tickled me.

      • Jet | July 18, 2013 at 10:24 am |

        Reminds me of a pic I saw a long time ago – 2 players on the Colorado Rockies (NHL team – later became the Devils) were standing with their backs to you showing their last name on their jerseys, and the team publicist was standing in between them. Their last names were the first and last name of the publicist.

        -Jet

        • scott | July 18, 2013 at 2:15 pm |

          Didn’t Fleer make a baseball card featuring Steve Carlton and Carlton Fisk?

        • ChrisH | July 18, 2013 at 3:58 pm |

          scott:

          The card was issued in ’82.
          They became battery mates in ’86.

  • Shane | July 18, 2013 at 7:43 am |

    Andrew Talansky rides for Garmin-Sharp, who do wear argyle on occasion. Would explain the pattern on his tape.

  • Travis | July 18, 2013 at 7:51 am |

    At the 8:45 mark in the day of the life of Target Field, they show the guy loading the laundry into the washer. What bugs me about it is that a) it isn’t separated by color or b) by type of clothing (like towels mixed with sliding pants mixed with shirts). What is that about? One of my pet peeves…

    • Scott | July 18, 2013 at 7:59 am |

      Maybe they’re eco-friendly and wash everything on cold.

    • Paul Q. | July 19, 2013 at 2:21 am |

      Why can’t towels, pants and shirts all be washed together?

  • Chance Michaels | July 18, 2013 at 8:02 am |

    Great article on re-lacing. Serves up an interesting counterpoint to the earlier up-cycling a glove piece; what to do when your trusty leather starts falling apart?

  • Lose Rem | July 18, 2013 at 8:05 am |

    Looks like 4 infographics now on that All Star breakdown, those guys have been working HARD.

    Top one isn’t the best looking, though.

  • Sean | July 18, 2013 at 8:38 am |

    Very cool re-lacing how-to. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Jim.

  • Hank-SJ | July 18, 2013 at 8:40 am |

    Fox manipulating sounds at a game? Say it ain’t so. To my ears they do this at all MLB games they televise. I can’t recall any other national or locally televised games where the sound of the ball hitting the catcher’s mit or the sound of the ball off the bat or a swing and miss ever sounded so phoney.

  • JimWa | July 18, 2013 at 8:44 am |

    Let me get this straight … Ron Artest wants to honor his father by wearing his number … but won’t wear his name? It’s time for someone to put an end to World Peace.

    • JimWa | July 18, 2013 at 8:46 am |

      … plus … I just re-read the article. Are you really still Ron Artest Sr. if your son isn’t Jr. anymore?

      • hmich176 | July 18, 2013 at 8:52 am |

        Best to avoid confusion for the purposes of writing the article, methinks.

        On that note, I was hoping since Chad Ochocinco Johnson was changing his name back, Ron Metta World Peace Artest would do the same. But, what does it really matter, I suppose?

        • Paul Lukas | July 18, 2013 at 9:25 am |

          Milllions Tens of thousands of people change their names every day. Many of them are women getting married; others are people looking to assimilate; others just don’t like their given names.

          You think some of these changes are silly, frivolous, or narcissistic? You can think what you want, of course, but it’s hard to imagine something that is less anyone else’s business than one’s own identity.

        • Arr Scott | July 18, 2013 at 11:55 am |

          Thousands of people change their names every day. In order for the daily number to be “millions,” every man, woman, and child on the planet would need to change his name at least once every 9 years, 8 months, and 21 days.

          Something like 85,000 or so couples get married every day around the world. So probably less than 100,000 names are changed each day.

          (This level of non-sports statistical nitpicking is what happens when baseball stops being played right in the middle of summer!)

        • Paul Lukas | July 18, 2013 at 1:48 pm |

          Well done. My original comment now adjusted. (Yes, that’s one of the perks of running the site.)

        • Arr Scott | July 18, 2013 at 3:14 pm |

          Aw, geez, now you make me feel guilty. While my numbers were real, that comment was intended as self-ridicule, not actually critiquing your comment!

    • Connie DC | July 18, 2013 at 12:01 pm |

      During the early-to-mid 1970s in Berkeley, where you correspondent slept on many floors, we had a contest for the best name for a new baby. The winner: Acidflash Starfire Buick.

      • Berto | July 18, 2013 at 12:41 pm |

        Reminds me of this:

        http://www.nytimes.c...

      • DenverGregg | July 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm |

        Yikes. How often would that kid get called “ass” or “assflash”?

        (I always think that way about names. Always have. In first grade there was a little girl named Nanarose. I thought it was funny to call her Banananose.)

  • Chris | July 18, 2013 at 8:45 am |

    Columbia U looks better in their new Nike fb unis than UNC looks in their hot mess unis from NIKE.

    • Connie DC | July 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm |

      Yeah, Chris, agree. Lions now look better than UNC and they also look better than their incarnations of recent years. Can’t wait to see the helmet, which could really stand improvement. I’m too fusty to dig the new blue-pants option, but the other two look clear and strong.

      Exile to DC has meant that I can’t hop a subway and watch Columbia football games. I miss them. Fine natural setting, at the tippy-top of Manhattan. Always lots of room on the Visitors side of the stadium. Close to the action. And sometimes – not often, but sometimes – Columbia would win.

  • Seth H | July 18, 2013 at 8:54 am |

    Neil Diamond was not booed when he came on the field. If anything, he (like most of the game) was met with indifference. It was hot. The game was a yawner. From the time that Matt Harvey left the game until Mo was brought in, the crowd was lifeless other than for Wright’s plate appearances.

    I’m not saying Diamond was not off-key and off-tempo (or that his body movements were not off-putting), but he was not booed.

    • CortM | July 18, 2013 at 11:27 am |

      At what point does wheeling out some creaky old pop star to wheeze through his ancient hit become cruel?

      We saw local blues legend Milton Hopkins play on Saturday. He’s at least 80, but he can still play (and play very, well indeed), because he’s been doing at least 200 shows a year, year in and year out, since he was ten years old. He’s a player. That’s what he does.

      That’s not Neil Diamond.

      Neil Diamond hasn’t had a hit since they were taking down the decorations from Reagan’s 2nd Inauguration Ball. For 30 years, he’s been inert, eating rich food, cavorting with much younger women in a sad effort to stave off thoughts of mortality, hanging out with other fading stars (can you see Neil and Dennis DeYoung, lunching at the Pompano Beach Jason’s Deli, griping about Kids Today and This Damn Hip-Hop?)

      Leave the man alone. Leave him in our memories, playing on a Hot August Night at the Greek Theatre, all tousled hair and swagger, earnestly singing incomprehensible lines about hearing-impaired furniture (“no one heard at all – not even the chair).

      • terriblehuman | July 18, 2013 at 11:56 am |

        I watched Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow on the ‘A Capital Fourth’ broadcast on PBS. Oh boy.

        Barry still sang decently enough, but his moves were stiff and his face even stigger.

        Neil Diamond had a song in response to the Boston bombings and while obviously well intentioned, sounded like a bad, by-the-numbers post-9/11 reactionary song.

  • Connie DC | July 18, 2013 at 8:59 am |

    “… What’s better than a ballplayer in a gorgeous old-school jacket? A ballplayer in a gorgeous old-school jacket holding two lion cubs! That’s Nap Lajoie, circa 1907 (from David Brown). … ”

    What a great-looking ballplayer he was. Or, at the very least, extremely photogenic. So many wonderful pictures of the guy. And, of course, a terrific name: Napoleon The Joy.

    • Arr Scott | July 18, 2013 at 11:27 am |

      Bonus: the name Napoleon may derive from the Italian for lion, so it’s a photo of Lion Of Joy holding two lion cubs.

  • TriFecta Creative | July 18, 2013 at 9:17 am |

    Did that high school uniform video really quote a bible passage about being able to “stand your ground”? In Florida? Really?

    • James Burke | July 18, 2013 at 10:07 am |

      *cough*Florida*cough*

    • James A | July 18, 2013 at 2:24 pm |

      Yeah, I’ve got a problem with that. Every now and then we are reminded how it is inappropriate to use war terms for sports [Cue Kellen Winslow, Jr.] when men are being disfigured or dying for this country. Invoking Bible passages for a mere uniform unveiling also seems inappropriate to me.

  • StLMarty | July 18, 2013 at 9:53 am |

    Note to the young lady’s coworker: the Beastie Boys are hip hop.

    • terriblehuman | July 18, 2013 at 10:11 am |

      Also, Run-DMC:
      http://www.skydemean...

      adidas was as hip-hop as a brand could get before the Big East and Michael Jordan raised Nike’s profile.

      • Berto | July 18, 2013 at 12:44 pm |

        “My Adidas.” The reason I’ve always been an Adidas guy since that song came out.

  • Karl | July 18, 2013 at 9:56 am |

    if the Beastie Boys don’t count as “hip-hop guys”…
    i feel like that statement is racially charged, and that’s being kind.

    • Roger Faso | July 18, 2013 at 10:17 am |

      werd.

    • pcr | July 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm |

      I wasn’t expecting to be quoted on a casual conversation, but given I have to respond given the bogus “racially charged” comment since it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

      The Beastie Boys are absolutely Hip Hop guys. But they are also absolutely indie guys, with a (now all sadly defunct) Indie label (Grand Royal), indie clothing line (X-Large), indie magazine…

      To both Karl and Roger Faso. ‘She’ is a ‘he’, 45 years old, grew up in Europe. Yes Adidas is 1000% Hip Hop, and I love all that music. However, when I started getting “serious” about my personal style (ie had $ to buy stuff), all the bands I loved, including the Beasties (or Pavement, or the Bad Brains), wore either Campus-style Adidas or Converse in line with the indie rock/skater scene of the early-mid 90s. I love the RUN DMC My Adidas, but I never liked shell toes, so I suspect my Adidas love comes more from a love of ‘small’ sneakers versus larger style ones (along with all the Nike explotation news at the time), and in the mid 90s Adidas had myriad great short runs of smaller style kicks, which I used to buy in small boutiques in London. There is nothing racial whatsoever involved, sad to see how quickly people jump to short sighted conclusions. I love, listen to and own all kinds of music, I worked in the music industry for over 15 years with everything from Hip Hop to Rock to Punk to African traditional bands. And Roger, yes, I like Puma as well, or did back then. And Vans.
      Cheers to all.
      P

      • Roger Faso | July 18, 2013 at 1:46 pm |

        You’re right.

        Nike is hip-hop …

        http://2.bp.blogspot...

        … and the Beastie Boys are indie.

        I’m now going to drown my sorrows with a frosty can of PBR, hop on my fixie, and crash into a small boutique. Hopefully, I can pick up some vintage 45s, while I’m there.

  • Teebz | July 18, 2013 at 10:12 am |

    The Nashville Predators dyed their ice yellow for the 100 or so kids at their hockey camp as a special treat for them. It’s not for a fanfest.

    How many kids can say they skated on gold ice? I was gonna say yellow, but if you have a dog, you already may have done that. LOL

  • Roger Faso | July 18, 2013 at 10:21 am |

    How old is the New Girl’s coworker? Where did she grow up?

    Adidas is definitely hip-hop. Albeit, old school … maybe.

    Run DMC’s “My Adidas”?

    Shell Toe Adidas with fat laces? Hello?

    Adidas were the first hip-hop shoes … unless you were a Puma guy, (which actually introduces a whole new topic that transcends music.)

    • terriblehuman | July 18, 2013 at 10:35 am |

      About that Puma/adidas rivalry: http://www.dailymail...

      From that article, I didn’t know about Pele’s shoe-tying stunt. It’s funny since 1970 is considered the last of the really “pure” World Cups, but logo creep was already happening, apparently.

  • Micah | July 18, 2013 at 10:23 am |

    Cano’s two different-colored Swooshes are due to the lighting; they were made to color-shift in the light.

  • Jet | July 18, 2013 at 10:26 am |

    Never mind the Drysdale helmet controversy — a KNOCK-DOWN pitch in an All-Star game?!

    -Jet

    • BSmile | July 18, 2013 at 11:11 am |

      Well…Drysdale was one of the most notorious brush-back/knock-down pitchers of all time, so the irony isn’t lost.

  • BrianC | July 18, 2013 at 10:53 am |

    “Papiss Cissé has pulled out over Newcastle United’s training camp due to a conflict over the team’s jersey sponsor.”

    I’m getting sick of this. If you don’t want to wear the uniform don’t join the organization. If I were team management I’d suspend him without pay until I could trade him.

    • Paul Lukas | July 18, 2013 at 11:03 am |

      Yeah, how dare an athlete take a principled stand against a sponsor that happens to be a predatory lender? What happened to the good old days of athletes not giving a shit about anything but themselves?

      • Kyle O. | July 18, 2013 at 11:16 am |

        To me the difference is whether he joined before or after the team was a sponsor. If he was a free agent and knowingly joined them and didnt mention it during contract negotiations then there is less sympathy. If he was on the team and they changed sponsors then I fully agree with him.

        • terriblehuman | July 18, 2013 at 11:31 am |

          Wonga, the lender in question, is a new sponsor starting this season. When Cisse joined, the club was sponsored by Virgin Money (which does offer lending, but is primarily a bank).

          There’s a nice joke going around the interwebs:
          Papiss Cisse has been fined for refusing to wear club sponsor Wonga. Initial fine of £5000, rising to £47,987,654,334 if he hasn’t paid by Friday.

      • Arr Scott | July 18, 2013 at 11:21 am |

        I don’t think it matters whether the sponsor in question is a “predatory lender.” That is, it absolutely does not matter to Cissé – any sponsor who lends money at interest would violate his stated religious principles – and it shouldn’t matter to us. Cissé’s stance would be no less justified if the shirt sponsor were Smithfield Ham. This is about religious liberty and the extent to which individual religious obligation should be accommodated in the marketplace.

        If a conservative Evangelical NASCAR driver doesn’t want to drive a car sponsored by Planned Parenthood, should he be forced to either drive that race or be fired from his team entirely? My answer would depend, but if the sponsorship was for one race only, then I’d err on the side of letting him sit that one out. The same with people who observe sabbath – granted, if you’re a Christian who keeps a Sunday sabbath, then you have no business pursuing a career in professional football. But very few people vilify Sand Koufax for refusing to start Game One of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur (http://espn.go.com/c...).

        Anyone who condemns Cissé ought, for consistency’s sake, also affirm that the Dodgers should have fired Koufax in 1965.

        • CortM | July 18, 2013 at 11:48 am |

          Years ago, there was a guy on the Brewers, who refused to play Friday night games, because his religion’s sabbath started at sundown Friday. The Brewers were supportive, until the guy stopped hitting.

          In the 1970s, Erroll Bennett, who’s widely considered the greatest soccer player in the history of Tahiti, refused to play in the Tahitian pro league, because all games were scheduled for Sundays, which violated his sabbath. He was such a huge box office draw, the league owners voted to reschedule all matches for Fridays and Saturdays.

          Before there was Sandy Koufax, there was Hank Greenberg, who took the same stance, at a much more dangerous time and place.

          There are lots of examples of athletes asserting their moral values. Alan Ashby, a teetotaler, doesn’t reach ad blurbs for beer companies when he’s broadcasting Astros games (at least, he didn’t — I haven’t listened to an Astros game in a while).

          Players have the right to make principled stands. And when they are too good to cut or trade, management usually finds a way to accommodate them. marginal players usually can’t afford to make principled stands. You rarely hear of a third string catcher who’s batting a buck eighty announcing that he won’t play on the High Holy Days.

        • Paul Lukas | July 18, 2013 at 12:07 pm |

          You rarely hear of a third string catcher who’s batting a buck eighty announcing that he won’t play on the High Holy Days.

          Actually, you rarely hear of a third-string catcher anymore, period. Does such a thing even exist in today’s MLB? I don’t mean an emergency catcher — I mean a guy who’s listed on the roster as “Catcher,” behind two other guys.

          Used to be common. Now pretty much obsolete.

        • ChrisH | July 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm |

          “If a…NASCAR driver doesn’t want to drive a car sponsored by…, should he be forced to either drive that race or be fired from his team entirely?”

          That reminded me of an old superstition many drivers had about green-painted race cars.

          Tim Richmond flat-out refused to drive a Folgers Decaf car because the primary color was green; the sponsor relented and Richmond wound up driving a red Folgers Regular branded car.

        • TA | July 18, 2013 at 12:55 pm |

          The Giants have carried 3 catchers most of this season, though Hector Sanchez recently went on the DL.

          The 3rd catcher is a casualty of increased bullpen specialization, which means larger pitching staffs. With the old 10-man staffs, there was room for a 7-man bench. Now teams carry 12 or 13 pitchers, leaving room for only 4 or 5 on the bench, and making 2 of those catchers is not great roster construction.

      • scottrj | July 18, 2013 at 2:46 pm |

        Curious re the basis for characterizing Cisse’s action as a “principled stand against a predatory lender.” It’s just as capable as being characterized as “cynical exploitation of religion for personal financial gain.”

        He’s been with NUFC for 2 years, has 3 years to go on his existing contract at 2M pounds/year. He’s 28 y/o, so likely at the peak of his career, and his performance, especially in his first year, dramatically exceeded expectations. The jersey he’s worn has displayed a bank sponsor during his entire run there, which he never expressed any concern about (nor did his several Muslim teammates, who haven’t done so here, either). And for all but a few of 30 years before a bank sponsored NUFC, a brewery did fer chrissakes, also prohibited under sharia law. There are hints of clubs in other countries being interested in purchasing his contract, which in turn would lead to him getting a big payday out of it. But then he wouldn’t be playing on as big a stage as the one he performs on currently. So maybe, just maybe, his “principled” stand is anything but.
        http://www.independe...

      • BrianC | July 18, 2013 at 3:26 pm |

        What if he refused to wear the logo of El Al Airline because it’s Jewish?

        Sorry, I stand by my position. A uniform is called a uniform for a reason. Don’t join the Army if you want to wear a hijab, and if the team sponsor offends you, you should have the right to leave the team, not wear a shirt without the sponsor logo.

        I hate the Yankees with a religious fervor; if I were drafted by them could I wear a uniform without the interlocking NY logo on it? ;)

        • BrianC | July 18, 2013 at 3:52 pm |

          PS I don’t know if Koufax got fined or docked a days pay for not pitching.

        • terriblehuman | July 18, 2013 at 4:01 pm |

          There’s nothing in Sharia that is anti-Jewish. Antisemitism isn’t inherent to Islam.

          Though I am taking the cynical read and see Cissé engineering a move away from Newcastle. The club has regressed and he’s in demand.

          That said, I don’t mind a player taking a stand against a predatory lender, and I do see a distinction between what Wonga does and what Virgin Money does.

        • arrSCott | July 18, 2013 at 5:20 pm |

          El Al is not Jewish; it’s Israeli. There is a difference. But refusing to wear a sponsor because of the sponsor’s supposed religion would be bigotry, in this case, anti-Semitism. The appropriate counterexample would be not an institution whose ownership is associated with a religion, but a symbol of that religion itself. So if the Catholic Church sponsored a team by putting a Crucifix, would a Muslim be justified in refusing to participate in an alien faith’s proselytizing? I’d argue yes, to the same extent that a Christian player ought not be required to wear a jersey with this message of Islamic proselytizing on it.

          But it’s hard to draw black-and-white rules here. It’s about accommodation, which necessarily needs to go both ways at least a bit. Imagine a little league team sponsored by a religious institution. If the message on the back of the jersey is simply, “First Baptist Church” or “Metro Islamic Center” or “Temple Beth El,” then I’d be OK with not letting parents opt their kids out of wearing the sponsorship message. But if the shirts instead offer a specifically theological message – “Accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior” or “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet” – then a religious opt-out seems more necessary.

        • scottrj | July 18, 2013 at 8:53 pm |

          The El Al example may not be a very good one, but more irksome is the unquestioning acceptance of the notion that an individual’s stand is a “principled” one when the available evidence, if anything, suggest that it’s one of convenience. Particularly when that acceptance appears to be based on cultural preconceptions, as was the case here.

  • Adam | July 18, 2013 at 11:15 am |

    From the picture of the Chelsea player, it appears the players names were also spelled out in thai characters. You can clearly see the “-าคู” (pron. “-aakhuu”) on the back of Romelu Lukaku’s jersey.

  • terriblehuman | July 18, 2013 at 11:33 am |

    re: new EPL uniforms.

    I see Fulham’s going with the faux deep V-neck, which doesn’t look quite as good as it does on Spain’s unis.

  • quiet seattle | July 18, 2013 at 11:40 am |

    The Target Field video is really well done! Thanks for the link.

    A quiet, respectful slice-of-life documentary. No music. No narration. Wonderful phtography.

    The filmmakers nailed it.

    • TC Mark | July 18, 2013 at 9:54 pm |

      Agree – very well done. I am biased but have been to a lot of parks and Target Field is a great experience. Doesn’t have the history of Fenway, Wrigley, etc. but has a charm all its own.

      One beef with it – in the opening shot the sun rises behind the scoreboard. As you look out from that vantage point you are looking NNE. If I recall, all major league diamonds have the batter facing NE. Here in MN, just like every place else, the sun rises in the East. A little trickery to get a nice shot – OK but little misleading as well.

  • Matt B | July 18, 2013 at 11:45 am |

    Love the glove re-lacing. I’ve always wanted a baseball glove – to my eternal shame, in my 30+ years on this earth I’ve yet to try one on. Even when we played baseball in PE at school (yeah, we play baseball in the UK, even had a proper diamond at our school) I was never allowed to field – I couldn’t hit or catch, so I was always stuck pitching…

    • Piping Mike | July 18, 2013 at 1:20 pm |

      There is so much wrong with this comment I don’t even know where to start (and I don’t mean this negatively either).

  • Kek | July 18, 2013 at 12:16 pm |

    Cool story about the Beastie Boys (despite prior comments stating they’re hip hop…. although their roots were in punk)

    except, well, http://3.bp.blogspot...

    • StLMarty | July 18, 2013 at 12:52 pm |

      And Check Your Head (masterpiece) is all over the place. They are still hip hop. And that’s ok.

    • StLMarty | July 18, 2013 at 1:39 pm |

      Nice rebuttal.
      I too thought you were a girl. Weird. I guess it’s because I know a few girls who hate hip hop but like the Beasties. I’ve never understood that. It’s as baffling as the high number of people who love dogs and hate cats. Why not love both?
      Personally, I never thought racism, and I apologize to all the females for my uneccesary speculation.
      Cheers back at ya.

      • StLMarty | July 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm |

        This comment was meant for pcr. See above.

  • mild bill | July 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm |

    Loved the wire photo of Drysdale getting knock-down by Bunning, in an All Star game…

  • mike 2 | July 18, 2013 at 1:00 pm |

    I wonder where us Chucks wearers fit into New Girl’s coworker’s cultural pantheon.

    (my wife thinks I’m a doofus and I fear she’s correct)

    • Phil Hecken | July 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm |

      Mrs. Styczen is a very wise woman.

  • Douglas King | July 18, 2013 at 1:23 pm |

    Charlotte released this video today hyping Buzz City.

    http://www.nba.com/b...

    They use purple throughout the video and show it accompanying teal at times too. I think its a given at this point that they will be using at least purple, and I can’t imagine they would pair it with anything other than Teal.

    This brings a question to mind; has any team ever actively advertised their new name despite still having to play an entire season with their old one?

    It’s clear no one is attached to the Bobcats name and it appears that it will be used as a formality this year. I wonder if their play-by-play guys will call them the Hornets or if they will wait until the change is official.

    • Scott | July 18, 2013 at 2:00 pm |

      It’s not the same, but the early 40’s come to mind, when the Phillies tried to change their name to the Blue Jays. For a few years, they even had a blue jay patch on their uniform, but the Phillies name always remained.

      http://blogimages.th...

    • Brian Jud | July 18, 2013 at 3:27 pm |

      The Pelicans come to mind, but they didn’t do it for nearly an entire season.

  • Piping Mike | July 18, 2013 at 1:42 pm |

    Good piece on the glove repair. In the 90s I too ran a small glove repair business. It’s pretty rewarding to see a glove come back to life. It’s cool to see peoples’ faces when they pick up a repaired glove after expecting it to be unfixable when they dropped it off.

    I have just a few comments on the breaking in process. I have my own method and rarely criticize other methods since I think this is an area full of personal preference. But I do agree with Jim on not dunking the glove in water or microwaving it. The microwaving will dry the leather and laces from the inside out, making it brittle. I also disagree with Jim’s statement about not putting the glove in the oven. A well oiled (I’m ok with oil) in the oven at a low temp (~200 degrees) will do a good job of softening the leather. The glove must be well oiled, otherwise the baking could dry things out to much.

  • Dan Pfeifer | July 18, 2013 at 1:46 pm |

    A lot of your photo links aren’t working today, at least for me. Not sure if anyone else is having the same problem.

    • Paul Lukas | July 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm |

      We’re doing a bit of site repair on the back end. Site may be a bit wonky for a bit. Apologies!

    • Matt | July 18, 2013 at 2:05 pm |

      Yeah, probably half of them dont work for me either.

    • James A | July 18, 2013 at 2:28 pm |

      I’m having problems with that too.

    • Brendan the Aspie | July 18, 2013 at 2:34 pm |

      This site’s been buggy on Firefox for a few days now. That could be the reason.

  • Clarybird | July 18, 2013 at 1:56 pm |

    The catcher in that Korea Baseball Organization logo video was left handed and wearing a fielder’s glove.

  • terriblehuman | July 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm |

    There’s a good chance I’ve missed this in the tickers, but any comment on the new Hooters logo?

    http://www.buzzfeed....

    • Arr Scott | July 18, 2013 at 3:09 pm |

      Huh. So it turns out Hooters is a minor-league hockey team, from 2008. Who knew?

  • Roger Faso | July 18, 2013 at 3:39 pm |

    Oh man, this is good …

    http://arrests.thesp...

    NFL Arrests Interactive Infographic

    (Apologies if this has already been posted.)

    • Douglas King | July 18, 2013 at 9:21 pm |

      Wow, Houston hasn’t had an arrest since 2009.

  • Rydell | July 18, 2013 at 6:48 pm |

    Interesting video showing a day in the life of Target Field.
    I never knew they applied that substance to the game balls since the 1930’s!
    Pretty cool

  • daveclt | July 18, 2013 at 10:23 pm |

    Don’t be surprised if Jordan doesn’t tweak the Hornets colors to Carolina blue and purple (instead of teal/purple). Just a guess by me. But it makes sense and could be an improvement.

  • Mike Wissman | July 18, 2013 at 10:42 pm |

    Noticed that a Scott Palmer posted the note about the Phillies-Bucs game from July 4th. Wonder if its the same Scott Palmer who is Director of Public Affairs for the Phillies. Wold be pretty cool if it was. Funny thing is I was at the game as well, but didn’t take that photo–missed opportunity for sure.

  • Curt Rogers | July 19, 2013 at 12:49 am |

    New chrome helmet for University Of Memphis football just released by coach Fuente. Not sure I like the chrome, but I do like the tiger stripes in the “M”…

    https://twitter.com/...

  • Charles Wagner | July 19, 2013 at 7:12 am |

    You’d think that players would be forced to wear a purple helmet as a punishment rather than reward, right?

  • BrianC | July 19, 2013 at 11:47 am |

    “There’s nothing in Sharia that is anti-Jewish. Antisemitism isn’t inherent to Islam.”

    Quite true, but it’s rampant in the Arab (mostly Muslim) world, as is a hatred of Israel. And I know El Al is Israeli, not Jewish, but thanks for pointing out the distinction.

    As I see it, he has three choices:

    1. If it offends him that much, sit out (like Koufax). He can sit out a season or two until they get a less offensive sponsor.

    2. He can man up and wear the uniform. They’re paying him big bucks to play and uniform regulations are uniform regulations. He can make his opposition known through the media, blogs, etc.

    3. He can ask for a trade.

    I’m starting a religion called Uni-Tarianism (hey, all religions are artificial contructs; they just vary by age and rules). We beileve that ugly uniforms are an abomination and an offense to our God, so if I get drafted by the Seattle Seahawks I demand to be allowed to wear a plain uniform. What’s the difference?

  • Peter F | July 19, 2013 at 6:54 pm |

    I’ve had a glove repaired from D & J and it works like brand new. They do a great job of it.