This Could Get Messi

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By Phil Hecken

A short while back, Nate Robinson announced he would wear #10 with the Denver Nuggets. Now, uniform changes (and corresponding number changes) are a dime-a-dozen in sports, especially the NBA, but Robinson’s reason was interesting — he wanted to honor soccer player Lionel Messi.

This struck one of our favorite younger Uni Watchers, Mike Engle, who approached me about writing an article exploring the phenomenon of those athletes who’ve taken the numbers of athletes who play in different sports as their own.

That’s really all there is to this (and now that I’ve stolen Mike’s setup), I’ll turn the remainder of the lede over to him as he takes a look at…

. . .

Cross-Sports Uniform Tributes
By Mike Engle

Not too long ago (relative to this writing), everybody’s favorite post-Spud little dunker, Nate Robinson, signed with the Denver Nuggets. Throughout Robinson’s career so far, he has worn #2 (Bulls, Warriors, Knicks) or #4 (Knicks again–same stint, different number, Celtics), except for a brief stint in Oklahoma City, where he split the difference with #3. If you are a bigger NBA fan than I am (and that’s not saying a lot), you might have realized right away that because Denver retired Alex English’s #2, and issued #3 and #4 to Ty Lawson and Randy Foye, respectively, something had to give. So Robinson ventured into the realm of double digits and chose #10. His reasoning? A shout-out to fellow short sportsman Lionel Messi.

One of my favorite Uni Watch subtopics is when athletes have true stories behind their selection of jersey numbers. (On that note, that was also the subject of my favorite Paul Lukas column on ESPN.com, which was invaluable in writing this piece. I am pretty sure I contributed some info for Paul’s story, and wherever I did, it was probably for a hockey player.) But back to Nate Robinson, and why he chose #10. Everybody knows that Michael Jordan picked #23 to be half of his older brother, and that a Caribbean-raised baseball player wearing #21 is probably saluting Roberto Clemente. Other nice stories tend to involve geography (Sid Fernandez or Benny Agbayani wearing #50 for Hawaii, the 50th state), history (Jaromir Jagr’s #68 for the Prague Spring Rebellion), autobiographical numerology (Ryan Smyth’s #94 for his graduation from high school and draft year, Sidney Crosby’s birthday #87, or Bixente Lizarazu’s completely platonic #69), or a host of other reasons. But upon reading about a basketball player picking a soccer player’s number, I realized that this could probably represent an interesting sub-niche: cross-sport tributes.

Now, for show and tell time with cross-sport tributes:

• Messi is the leader in the clubhouse with another cross-sport tribute. My favorite backup goalie, Peter Budaj (bias alert, I’m a Habs diehard), has him on his mask.

• Speaking of goalie masks, Ray Emery used to routinely depict his favorite boxers on his masks, as seen with Ottawa (again, another), Philadelphia, and Anaheim. I’m pretty sure he ditched the pattern upon his signing with Chicago, but now that he is back with Philly, I wonder if Emery will reprise it.

• Back to uniform numbers, former Cleveland Cavaliers big man Brad Daugherty wore #43 for Richard Petty.

• Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau was a Patrick Roy fan, and wears #33 for that reason (¶3).

• One-time Denver Nugget Chauncey Billups is from Denver, so even though he has mostly worn #4 (with an arguably more famous #1 with Detroit), he found time to wear #7 for John Elway.

• Speaking of Denver sports, Josh Bard was raised in Denver, so his #77 for the Boston Red Sox was for Karl Mecklenburg and Raymond Bourque. (Bard has apparently also worn #7 for Elway, so that’s a tie with Messi, for now, by this unofficial count.)

• In that same picture, that #84 is J.T. Snow. His dad (then, recently deceased) was L.A. Rams receiver Jack Snow, so his son had a cross-sport tribute too.

• Former quarterback Boomer Esiason (of Long Island…I wonder if Phil knows him, just kidding) is a lifelong Rangers fan, so to learn that his #7 was for Rod Gilbert was nice to read.

• Roger Clemens couldn’t buy the Yankees’ #21 from Paul O’Neill, so after a failed flirtation with #12, he took #22 not just because it was the closest available number, but because his son liked Emmitt Smith.

• Chris Drury is a Yankees fan from Turnbull, CT, and when he got a chance to wear #23 for Don Mattingly, he eagerly took it.

Mike Ricci, a Phoenix Coyote at the time, took #40 for fallen soldier and former local athlete Pat Tillman.

• Pat Tillman also made it onto backup goalie Jason LaBarbera’s mask at one time.

Jason Bonsignore’s #64, in honor of his motorcycle racing dad, Gene, was probably the only notable footnote in his NHL career.

• Off the beaten track, but some pop culture crossovers with Michael Jackson: Ron Artest signed with the Lakers right around when Jacko died. Once Artest got around to picking a number, he took #37 to match the 37 weeks Thriller was the #1 album on the charts. And then Ron Artest became Metta World Peace. Plus, Ken Griffey, Jr. took a turn at bat with just one glove on. (Somewhere, our Ricko said, “So what? Every fielder was basically doing the same thing before, during, and after.”)

• Does this count for Messi? I don’t think so, but I suppose it’s debatable: Steve Nash wears #10 because #10 is a stereotypical playmaker’s number in soccer, and Nash loves soccer. And he needed a number not retired by Wilt Chamberlain.

• And even though these probably don’t quite count either, I’m including them here because it takes us full circle back to Montreal: the Montreal Expos had a black #9 on the right sleeve for Maurice Richard’s death (which looked really spooky on Lee Stevens), and the Habs warmed up in Gary Carter jerseys after he died. (Extra-special nice touch by Youppi, who wore a memorialized throwback Expos jersey!) Because hey, somebody needs to remember Nos Amours, and the Washington Nati*nals sure as hell don’t!

Did I miss one? Tell me/us about it in the comments section!

. . .

Thanks, Mike — great job with that. Well readers? You heard the man — lets hear your thoughts down below.

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College Football Uniform News & NotesNCAAFB Uniform News & Updates

This will be a semi-recurring column on Uni Watch and will appear whenever there is any news or updates on the College Football uniform front.

If you have ANY new NCAAFB news, follow and tweet me at @PhilHecken (and you’ll get your tweet in lights on here). You can also e-mail me (Phil (dot) Hecken (at) Gmail (dot) com) or send/cc: Paul to the following address: NewCollegeUni (at) Gmail (dot) com. OK? OK! (for any image, click to enlarge):

. . .

Cincinnati Bearcats:

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The Cincinnati Bearcats continue to issue “teasers” for their new uniforms, and the two pics above are the latest. From those, it appears as the Bearcats will continue in the long line of adidas teams to be outfitted with shoulders that bear the ‘tiretread’ pattern — put me down as not a fan. The back will have some kind of animal (bearcat???) on the collar. Not sure when the full unveil will be.

. . .

Delaware Blue Hens:

Blue Hens Patch

The Blue Hens have added a State of Delaware logo (described as a “patch” but it looks more like direct-sew to me) as well as six stars to the back of their jerseys this year. Those represent the number of national titles won by UD football teams (1946, 1963, 1971, 1972, 1979 and 2003). More info here.

. . .

Syracuse Orange:

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OK, so this isn’t really uniform related, but Syracuse players will be wearing gloves that feature the number “44″ when placed together. For those who aren’t aware, 44 is a pretty important number in Syracuse history, having been worn by Ernie Davis, Jim Brown and Floyd Little, among others. Since the number is retired, the rationale is that everyone now can “wear” 44. Or something. (h/t to Chris Mahr).

. . .

Rutgers Scarlet Knights:

No photo, but Stephen Dahl reports he “Received a tweet from the Rutgers Atheltic department that they’re retiring #52 in honor of former paralyzed player Eric LeGrand on Sept 14th against Eastern Michigan. The announcement added that they will only use that number for special occasions when Eric walks again.” No word on whether any kind of patch or other memorial will be added to the uniforms.

. . .

Nicholls State Colonels:

Here’s the uni/helmet video reveal for the Nicholls State Colonels. You’ll never guess what the theme music is. (Thanks to Tyler Knowles)

. . .

That’s it for the college uni news for today. Keep the tips coming folks!

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baseball-thumbKoshien Time

I received this neat little writeup in an E-mail yesterday. It’s not really “lede” worthy, but it still deserves seeing the light of Uni Watch day. Check it out:

. . .

Koshien Season!
By Lou Sherwood

Koshien? Whats that you ask? Koshien is the annual Nation Summer Baseball Tournament in Japan. It takes 49 regional winners in the various prefectures, and winnows them down in June and July for the final tournament in August.

It is not OFFICIALLY streamed online, but there are private streamers on sites like JustinTV and Livestream who will put out some games. For those who have a Roku player, the unofficial JustinTV app has it as well.

Even in the preliminary rounds, the atmosphere is amazing. We all know how wild and full of song fans at JPBL games are – well the Koshien crowds, being full of high school kids, takes it up a notch or two: entire rooting sections in school colors or even in replica baseball unis.

Great video from the stands.

As you can see, uniform wise, it is a blast from the past in many ways, and some oddities:

• Since apparently Japanese high school teams rarely wear numbers, most teams have temporary numbers pasted on their backs.

• Stirrups! Not a pajama in sight!

• As expected, and as seen in the video, things are VERY ritualized. Not only do the two teams honor each other before the game, and the end of each game, the team capatins face each other and the umpires and bow as they sing – what I am assuming is the Kahien anthem — its the same song every game.

• In the JPBL, the team uniforms are all in English — not so here — many teams have only Japanese on the uni fronts.

• Even the umpires have a throwback feel to them, as in a day where umpires all over the world are wearing the mesh pull over, these umps are still wearing powder blue, button down, ELBECO type dress shirts.

The pace of these games is exhilarating — no stepping out, tugging on batting gloves here! It is heart wrenching to watch too, sometimes – this literally is these kids lives, and to lose is so shameful — especially if you make the fatal error or pitch, that the losing kids collapse in shame in tears.

It it definitely worth staying up late at night to watch a few of these, if you can find them…

. . .

Thanks Lou!

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ticker 2Uni Watch News Ticker: The New Orleans Pelicans will have their official uni unveiling on Thursday, August 1, at 1:00 pm (I believe that’s CDT). … Todd Radom has designed the 2014 All Star Game Logo (h/t Harrison Tishler @phiballhawk). … And here is the 2014 Triple-A All-Star Game Logo (h/t Walter Young @FormerDirtDart) … “Here is a screenshot from the well-known Canadian TV show ‘Degrassi High’ circa 1987, showing one of the characters (Wheels) wearing a Footscray Victorian Football League jumper,” says Graham Clayton. “It was so unusual to see a teenager from the other side of the world wearing an Aussie Rules jumper – who gave it to him, and why was it worn in the show?” … Here is an interesting look at how color schemes and graphic design can affect consumer behavior (thanks to Graham Clayton). … Check out the “personalized” stirrups on Boomer! “All the old George Scott pictures are coming out with him passing away the other day,” says Lose Remerswaal. And this from Andy Chalifour: George Scott gave us the following: 1) shark teeth neck-lace; 2) batting helmet in the field. … Cool picture of a half Central Michigan half Kansas City Chiefs helmet that was at Chiefs camp this week. This was for Eric Fisher to sign (from Jimmy Couto). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments and also from Brinke: the 100-year evolution of Chevrolet’s bowtie logo. … Couple interesting photos from the Augusta Greenjackets’ game (with thanks to Marc Viquez, who writes: “1) I have heard of Major League players on assignment wearing the parent club batting helmet, but never a player wearing a batting helmet from a lower Single A ballclub such as the San Jose Giants;” and, 2) A local little league team was at the stadium sporting the RED SOXX. Why is it spelled with the double x? One of the little league players told Marc it was so they did not have to pay Boston millions of dollars. “Who says that the youth of today was not smart?” … Ah, the dangers of the Internet combined with photoshop. Parks McLeod noted USC received a commitment from a 4star DT yesterday and he tweeted this photo after his decision. It “shows a garnet Gamecocks helmet, and in the background you can see several duplicates. And check out those stripes! This looks like more of an option than those chrome lids.” Unfortunately, that’s just a photoshop of the new Cincy Bearcats helmet. Caveat Emptor! … Interesting find from Matt Talbot who writes, “A driver and car used a throwback motif for a race to honor Henry Ford’s 150th birthday. The faux leather helmet is awesome.” … Carl Pohlad’s heirs (owners of the Twins) are are battling the IRS in court over the value assigned to Pohlad’s stake in the team (thanks to Tommy Turner). … At the end of this article, AP has some good remarks on guys complaining about the new mandatory leg pad rule (sent in by Stu Taylor). … Here’s a photo of Dan Marino wearing #14. From the looks of that helmet/facemask, and the knee brace, that appears to be later in his career (props to Alan Borock for that). … Over on Twitter, Gary Mattox (@MadOx75) came across this in his FB feed — Reading Fightins throwback to Reading Indians night giveaway. … Not so pretty in pink? The “Naturals” will be wearing this pink jersey on Friday Night (h/t to Sully @pal3327). Also from Sully, the Pulaski Mariners (a MiLB affiliate) are giving away a ‘Road To The Show’ tee-shirt. … The Tigers will be donning these special jerseys for their ¡fiesta tigres! night this coming Saturday evening (thanks to George Flory), with a bit more info here, and another shot of the jersey here (cap tip to Tom Klipsch). … The St. Louis Rams will be wearing their throwbacks against the Bucs & Titans this season. … Eric Brunell saw this on the TV broadcast of the Pirates-Cardinals game yesterday and noticed stadium vendors (at least this guy in particular) at PNC are wearing the Sunday alternates as their uniforms. … Here’s a really good look at the custom mouth guard that LA Tech players will be wearing this season (thanks to Patrick T. Walsh). … Anyone who umpires, like our own Comrade Marshall, will appreciate this bit from Deadspin about umpire/manager arguments and lip-reading (tip o’ the cap to Robert Marshall). … In yesterday’s ticker I asked about the relationship UA had with the Ravens, and Dawn Murphy has some details on that. … Here’s a real spiffy look at the A’s logo evolution, as on the wall of the Bar & Grille at the Oakland Coliseum (great spot by Ethan Kassel). … And finally, this from Don Sauberan: “These are a couple of pictures of an American Legion baseball team from Omaha, NE. Cool old-school baggy look with striped stirrup socks. Also like the hat.”

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That’s all for this Wednesday boys and girls. Everyone have a wonderful day and I’ll be back with more tomorrow. Don’t forget, Paul is on his well-deserved blog-cation until August 24th, and webmaster Johnny Ek will take care of your Uni Watch Weekends in the nonce.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“There’s no shame in acknowledging most of the USFL’s uniforms were better than what half of the NFL wears today.”
–Walter Helfer

 

113 comments to This Could Get Messi

  • Jaffa | July 31, 2013 at 7:09 am |

    I seem to remember that David Beckham opted to wear the number 23 shirt at Real Madrid as a tribute to Michael Jordan – his previously favoured number 7 was already taken by Raul at that point in time.

    After he left Real Beckham stuck with 23, reversing it to 32 if his preferred number wasn’t available.

    • Donald | July 31, 2013 at 8:27 am |

      Was gonna mention this very thing.

    • terriblehuman | July 31, 2013 at 8:35 am |

      Also, in Spanish soccer, a first team player has to pick a number between 1 and 25. The only available numbers were 4 and 23, and 4 is traditionally a defender’s number.

    • Mike Engle | July 31, 2013 at 12:22 pm |

      Becks, AND Italian mega-pest Marco Materrazzi too, I believe, both #23 for MJ. Thank you.

  • BurghFan | July 31, 2013 at 7:17 am |

    Most vendors at PNC Park wear standard vendors’ uniforms. The one guy who works right behind the plate wears throwbacks.

    And while we’re at PNC Park, from last night’s comments:

    Bromotrifluoromethane

    Also very disappointed that the Cardinals have gone red in both games of the doubleheader tonight in Pittsburgh. I was really hoping the navy would show up for at least one of the games. Not good. Please let this be a one year experiment.

    I find that I strongly prefer the red caps. With every other aspect of the Cards’ unis being red, the blue caps were always jarring, and seeing the red again last night just confirmed it for me.

    • scott | July 31, 2013 at 8:11 am |

      The blue caps are a far superior look for the Cardinals on the road. The red caps are great at home, but diminish the team’s look when paired with the road grays. I think the Red Sox would look equally ridiculous if they wore red caps on the road.

      • BurghFan | July 31, 2013 at 8:23 am |

        The Sox’ road unis are primarily blue. The Cards have red lettering/numbering, red socks (when visible – nicely done, Randy Choate), and red shoes, so the blue caps don’t fit.

    • Caleb Yorks | July 31, 2013 at 10:36 am |

      Rick the vendor has been mentioned on UW many times already. I think it’s about time we start referring to him by his name.

      And here’s his Youtube video, which I believe was linked to through UW sometime ago.
      http://www.youtube.c...

      As for the other subject, I much prefer the Cardinals red caps and belt on the road. I also love the idea of saving the blue stuff for red colored teams instead of getting rid of it all.

  • BurghFan | July 31, 2013 at 7:30 am |

    Wasn’t George Scott’s comment about his shark’s teeth necklace “Those are second basemen’s teeth”?

    • Lose Rem | July 31, 2013 at 8:09 am |

      Exactly. You beat me to it.

  • Mirliton | July 31, 2013 at 7:34 am |

    “I had a lot of them. I also played baseball growing up, and one of my idols was Ted Williams, I knew every one of his statistics. That’s why I wear No. 9.” Drew Brees

    • Mike Engle | July 31, 2013 at 12:22 pm |

      Yep, that was an atrocious miss on my end. Thank you.

  • David | July 31, 2013 at 7:35 am |

    That is the same picture of uc’s helmet that they released before last years bowl game.

  • Mirliton | July 31, 2013 at 7:36 am |

    Drew Brees wears 9 for Ted Williams.

  • Sam | July 31, 2013 at 7:46 am |

    On the Marino pick in the ticker: that looks to be early in his career. If it was later, he’d have on that hightop shoe that went partly up his leg to protect where he tore his achilles.

    • Matt D. | July 31, 2013 at 8:26 am |

      Marino stopped wearing that face mask after the 1985 season — beginning in 1986, it was a new, thinner variety and had only three horizontal bars instead of four. Also, I strongly suspect that the other person in that photo is Bruce Hardy, who played for Miami during that time period. So, that would be my guess: the photo is from one of Marino’s first three seasons.

    • Joseph Gerard | July 31, 2013 at 2:21 pm |

      I was gonna say, you can tell by the mullet coming out of the back of his helmet that its earlier in his career.

  • arrScott | July 31, 2013 at 7:49 am |

    One obscure DeGrassi reference deserves another.

    http://youtu.be/ahIr...

    Not uni-related, alas, but two minutes of early 90s skacore. You’re welcome.

  • Harvey Lee | July 31, 2013 at 8:07 am |

    Jim Harbaugh wore #4 for Bobby Orr

    • Mike Engle | July 31, 2013 at 12:44 pm |

      Really? Wow, did not know that!

  • WFY | July 31, 2013 at 8:19 am |

    The Marino photo looks earlier in his career. I doubt he wore that facemask style past 1985. The shoes look from that mid-1980s too.

    • Mike Edgerly | July 31, 2013 at 8:25 am |

      Check out the “Trucker Cap” in the background too… screams early-mid 80′s!

    • ChrisH | July 31, 2013 at 9:15 am |

      Those shoes are Brooks cleats, which Marino endorsed in 1984:

      http://en.wikipedia....

    • Dane | July 31, 2013 at 10:21 am |

      Just searching around from that Marino picture, I had forgotten that Ron Jaworski had a cup of coffee with the Dolphins.

      http://www.spokeo.co...

  • JimWa | July 31, 2013 at 8:23 am |

    That All Star game logo … I’m *guessing* the game’s in San Diego (based solely on the color scheme)? Is that a boat? I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a picture of the SD skyline, so I’ll have to guess it’s accurate.

    Not meaning to sound mean in my mini-critique, but if that were a grayscale image, I’d probably take about 10 guesses before I came up with San Diego (and if it’s not SD, I’d need another 5-10 guesses!).

    Maybe I’m being unfair. Other than a zoo and sand, I don’t really know what I personally would put into a logo for the city.

    • Greg | July 31, 2013 at 8:52 am |

      I’m guessing Minneapolis, silhouette of Target Field maybe?

    • Greg | July 31, 2013 at 8:56 am |

      Ha! yes, better version of the official logo

      https://twitter.com/...

      • JimWa | July 31, 2013 at 9:49 am |

        Nice to see the official logo has at least one identifiable element that lets the “non-Minnesotan” know where the game will be played … or at least who will be hosting it!

    • pAUL m. | July 31, 2013 at 9:20 am |

      The Triple-A all star logo is much better than the San Diego Twins…(oops…that supposed to be Minneapolis? With that color scheme? Terrible…)

    • The Jeff | July 31, 2013 at 9:30 am |

      …and here’s reason #79 for the Padres to switch back to brown.

    • terriblehuman | July 31, 2013 at 9:48 am |

      Rule of thumb: don’t use a skyline as an icon if the skyline isn’t iconic.

    • arrScott | July 31, 2013 at 10:17 am |

      The thing is, the ASG logo is actually very strongly in line with contemporary Minnesota design. The shapes, the color palette, the midcentury lettering, it’s a nice example of the aesthetic style that’s come to represent Minnesota. You can see it in play at the Minnesota History Center, the Science Museum of Minnesota, the federal court house, the Wellstone Center, even Target Field itself.

      An example of how a design that works well on one level – representing the broader culture and identity of the Twin Cities – may not work on the level that actually matters: representing the baseball identity of Minnesota within MLB.

      • Tom V. | July 31, 2013 at 12:31 pm |

        Spot on on both accounts Arr and Terrible. Skyline wholly undiscernible. And as for selling a patch like that to the Twins, the advertising firm is probably in there telling them how “Twin Cities” the patch is, the team is loving it but yeah, gets lost in the Twins/MLB/North America forum.

        I’m thinking about recognizable images from other cities, Statue of Liberty, CN Tower, Golden Gate, and the only real thing that comes to mind with the Twin Cities is Carl Showalter and Gaear Grimsrud driving into the city. Now that would be a cool all star patch.

        • arrScott | July 31, 2013 at 3:56 pm |

          Probably the most iconic image of the Twin Cities:

          http://4.bp.blogspot...

          The Twin Cities lack a Liberty Bell or Gateway Arch. But they are well known for lakes, the river that runs between them, and, well, the fact that there are two of them. Any one of those would have been a much stronger basis for this design.

          But we need to cut some slack on the skyline. That’s not the Minneapolis skyline in general; there are several views of the skyline that do approach at least regionally iconic status, and that’s not one of them. Rather, that’s the view of the skyline from inside the ballpark. This ASG logo is not about Minneapolis and St. Paul, it’s about Target Field. I don’t think that’s the right approach, but in terms of what the team was trying to achieve, the logo is quite well executed.

        • arrScott | July 31, 2013 at 3:59 pm |

          What I mean is, the 2014 ASG logo is a bullseye. It’s just that they were aiming at the wrong target.

        • Phil Hecken | July 31, 2013 at 6:36 pm |

          “the 2014 ASG logo is a bullseye. It’s just that they were aiming at the wrong target.”

          ~~~

          No pun intended.

        • Brian | July 31, 2013 at 9:56 pm |

          When I saw “most iconic image of the twin cities,” I was really hoping for this: SPOON!

  • GatorSteve | July 31, 2013 at 8:24 am |

    The Marino picture is definitely early in his career. Just looking at his face through the helmet you can tell that is the younger Marino, plus the socks are definitely the Dolphins socks from the mid-1980s.

  • Iain | July 31, 2013 at 8:26 am |

    Similar to Wheels on Degrassi wearing the Footscray jumper, Jim McDonald on Coronation Street (British soap) used to regularly wear a Toronto Blue Jays sweatshirt. Here’s why: “For years I wore a Toronto Blue Jays sweatshirt on Coronation Street!” exclaims Charles. “Toronto was the first place I had ever seen a baseball game. When I first started on the show in ’89 they asked me to bring in some of my own clothes, rather than go to the shops.”
    Here’s a pic – http://www.corrieblo...

  • Brian | July 31, 2013 at 8:32 am |

    It’s not that Japanese High School players don’t usually wear numbers, it’s just that they wear the number for the position that they are playing that day (1-9 (pitcher through right field)). So while many players play the same position each game it’s not necessarily true for every game and especially the pitcher. That’s why the numbers are simply pinned to their backs rather than sewn onto the jersey.

    • terriblehuman | July 31, 2013 at 8:44 am |

      Sort of true, but not for Koshien – for the tournament, a team has to select 18 players and assign numbers 1-18. They are usually based on the projected starting lineup, but it’s not unusual to see #1, the ace pitcher, playing another position if the manager gives him a day off.

      Also:
      * Since only 18 players are picked to play from each school, the rest of the club watches from the stands, which is why you see “fans” wearing the uniform. They’re not replicas – they’re the real deal.

      * The anthem at the end of the game is the alma mater of the winning school. Obviously, in a knockout tournament, you’ll hear the same song over and over again.

      * There’s a ritual for players from the losing team to take the infield dirt of Koshien Stadium, and sprinkle it onto their home field for good luck, in the hope that they make it back to Koshien the following year.

      • umplou | July 31, 2013 at 10:26 am |

        Thanks for the additional info, terrible! It should also be mentioned that the website that hosts the Koshien feeds, also has multiple feeds daily of JPBL games, and occasionally CPBL games.

        Lou S

  • Graham Clayton | July 31, 2013 at 8:39 am |

    Former Australian cricketer Shane Warne wore #23 when playing one-day cricket for Australia and T20 cricket for the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League. He wore #23 to honour former Hawthorn Aussie Rules player Dermott Brereton:

    http://www.heraldsun...

    • Mike Engle | July 31, 2013 at 12:57 pm |

      I never would have even thought to research those sports. But a cross-sport tribute is a cross-sport tribute! Thank you for your contribution!

  • Frank Bitzer | July 31, 2013 at 8:46 am |

    That is NOT the “new” UC Bearcats helmet. That was a special helmet they wore in the Belk Bowl against Duke last December. UC sold the helmets to UCats (booster club) members for $1,000 per.

  • ChrisH | July 31, 2013 at 8:51 am |

    A very comprehensive list…nice work, Mike Engle!
    Speaking of cross-sports tributes and Dan Marino’s later career, Jerry Nadeau drove a #13 Marino-owned Ford in 1998:

    http://img.spokeo.co...

    Does that qualify?

    • The Jeff | July 31, 2013 at 9:04 am |

      With Marino owning the car, I’d say it doesn’t count.

      • ChrisH | July 31, 2013 at 11:04 am |

        Translation: Paul Lukas would be a ‘yes’ vote :)

        That’s not the first time that car DNQ, but it’s probably the last. Pity, that’s was a great looking ride.

    • Mike Engle | July 31, 2013 at 12:25 pm |

      I don’t know about that, but speaking of Dan Marino, I remember hearing somewhere that when Alex Rodriguez needed a new Yankees number (#3 is retired), he took #13 for Dan Marino. Would make sense, as A-Rod is from Miami, but I couldn’t really find documentation of that to make the list.

  • James | July 31, 2013 at 9:00 am |

    I hope that little leaguer was just trolling–it wasn’t all that long ago when I played LL ball with teams called the Mets, A’s (’95 champs!!) and Red Sox (with 1 x), and I doubt that Webster, MA had room in their budget for several million-dollar licensing agreements.

  • B.C. | July 31, 2013 at 9:00 am |

    When you think about the fact that ESPN was broadcasting a lot “random” sports during the early- to mid-1980s, there were tons of North Americans who got into Aussie Rules. (I being one of them.) Also, remember during this mid-1980s, there was a rugby shirt crazy amongst junior high and high school kids. The VFL kit may fit into that standard of having an unique jersey.

  • Klay | July 31, 2013 at 9:13 am |

    The uni unveil vid is a unique way to show a new get up… until the players start dancing around like a bunch of clowns

  • Michael Carroll | July 31, 2013 at 9:20 am |

    UFC lightweight John Maguire always wears pink when he fights in honor of his favorite wrestler growing up, Bret “The Hitman” Hart.

  • Not THE Jeff | July 31, 2013 at 9:21 am |

    Chris Drury is a Yankees fan from Turnbull, CT, and when he got a chance to wear #23 for Don Mattingly, he eagerly took it.

    Trumbull. CT

    • TRC | July 31, 2013 at 9:29 am |

      Was going to write the same thing. Won the Little League World Series with Trumbull as well.

    • Mike Engle | July 31, 2013 at 12:27 pm |

      Typo? Oops.

  • JW | July 31, 2013 at 9:28 am |

    I have viewed it a few times over the past 24 hours, and in the “can’t unsee” department: Why does the 2014 All Star logo look like Jabba’s sail barge passing in front of the city skyline?

    http://images3.wikia...

    I like it. Great and simple; no extra garbage that detracts from the beauty. But I cannot get that image out of my head.

    • The Jeff | July 31, 2013 at 9:39 am |

      Instead of the game deciding home field for the World Series, the losers get fed to the Sarlacc. I can live with that.

      • Chris Holder | July 31, 2013 at 10:13 am |

        Could we just throw Bud Selig in the pit, regardless? I think that’s a deal we could all agree with.

        • Mainspark | July 31, 2013 at 1:22 pm |

          Should any of you wish to beg for mercy, the Great Praying Mantis Bud Selig will now listen to your pleas.

          Hecken, you tell that slimey worm-ridden filth that he’ll get no such pleasure from us, right?

        • Phil Hecken | July 31, 2013 at 6:50 pm |

          Selig. This is your last chance. Free us or die.

    • Ben Fortney | July 31, 2013 at 11:51 am |

      Ha, now I’ll never unsee that. For the record, this is what was being stylized.

    • terriblehuman | July 31, 2013 at 12:11 pm |

      If you can’t unsee Jabba’s sail barge, then I have the perfect soundtrack that you can’t unhear.

  • walter | July 31, 2013 at 9:33 am |

    Thank you, Phil, you discerning scholar, you. I work hard on these pearls of pithy wisdom.

  • stangable | July 31, 2013 at 9:50 am |

    Wheels was always depressed, maybe someone gave him the Aussie jersey to cheer him up? I bet Caitlin and Lucy are still hot.

  • Ronnie Poore | July 31, 2013 at 10:15 am |

    i understand the reasoning behind selecting the Super Bowl champion look as the throwback uni for the Rams, but i’d sure like to see them bring these back sometime: http://i.cdn.turner....

  • peter p | July 31, 2013 at 10:18 am |

    A-Rod wears 13 for Dan Marino.

    • ThePonchat | July 31, 2013 at 10:41 am |

      Who’s he do steroids for?

      • JimWa | July 31, 2013 at 1:54 pm |

        Every once in a while, a case is made why there should be a “like” button on Uni Watch.

  • RozeyPete | July 31, 2013 at 10:28 am |

    All-Star logo unveiling animation. https://www.facebook...

  • Phil Hecken | July 31, 2013 at 10:30 am |

    Paul put up a short ESPN piece on Notable college uniform changes.

    • Ben Fortney | July 31, 2013 at 12:02 pm |

      I blame the ridiculous adidas “stretch marks” on those stupid “wires” visible on every Nikelace.

  • Patrick | July 31, 2013 at 10:31 am |

    Another cross-sport number selection: Washington Capitals forward Joel Ward wears #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson http://www.russianma...

    • Ben Fortney | July 31, 2013 at 12:01 pm |

      Robinson Cano wears 24 (and his first name) in honor of Mr. Robinson – 42 being worn by Mr. Rivera still. I’d assume there are a slew of athletes who wear 42 in honor of Jackie.

      • Ben Fortney | July 31, 2013 at 12:26 pm |

        Yup, both Brittney Griner and Jerry Stackhouse took #42 for that reason.

        • Mike Engle | July 31, 2013 at 12:30 pm |

          Jerry Stackhouse, no.
          My documentation says that he was a James Worthy fan. When Stackhouse went to UNC (just like Worthy), he took his NBA #42 number to UNC and kept it ever since. (Worthy wore #52 at UNC and it is retired.)
          Joel Ward and Brittney Griner are good ones though, thank you!

        • terriblehuman | July 31, 2013 at 12:40 pm |

          Right – Stackhouse says he wasn’t aware of Jackie Robinson until he was in the NBA.

          James Worthy did choose 42 in honor of Robinson, though, so that counts as a cross-sport tribute.

        • Mike Engle | July 31, 2013 at 12:42 pm |

          Yes it does. Good find!

  • Matt Talbot | July 31, 2013 at 10:42 am |

    Sorry about the video of the NASCAR throwback. If you sit through the ad it’s worth it. How about a photo?
    https://www.facebook...

  • Ethan | July 31, 2013 at 11:29 am |

    Another cross-sport number selection: Alfredo Aceves wears #91 in honor of Dennis Rodman (See 4th paragraph http://www.boston.co... )

    • Mike Engle | July 31, 2013 at 12:31 pm |

      Good one!

  • JK | July 31, 2013 at 11:38 am |

    New Replica Jerseys delivered to the Georgia Tech bookstore by Russell Athletic. Material and cut are pretty obviously fan oriented instead of actual team gear, but there is one notable visual change. The interlocking GT logo under the collar takes the place of last year’s TECH word mark. Also, for some reason, the fan jerseys don’t have colored side panels, but I’m not sure they did last year either.

    https://fbcdn-sphoto...

  • Ben Fortney | July 31, 2013 at 12:24 pm |

    According to this article Dontrelle Willis wore #21 in honor of Deion Sanders.

    I suppose that 1/2 counts as an athlete in another sport.

    • Mike Engle | July 31, 2013 at 1:01 pm |

      Though that is an interesting reference and an awesome find, I, as Kangaroo Court Justice here, am gonna rule that that is a same-sport tribute.

  • SWC Susan | July 31, 2013 at 12:29 pm |

    That color emotion graphic takes a few liberties… For example, the NASA meatball is not blue to instill trust, it is blue because the earth is blue.

    I don’t deny there are color associations with emotions. Most of the early fast food logos worked off the same dated analysis that those colors made you hungry. But to think that every logo color is picked to instill some emotion is silly. In fact that graphic pretty much PROVES my point! It is just a pretty picture.

    On another note… I think you would be hard pressed to find 1 in 10 people could identify the colors associated with ANYTHING on the web. Facebook has a special blue – and that’s about it. We are so inundated on the internet, I fail to believe we can differentiate when tested.

    Really great stuff in that article about internet reaction and the A/B testing they did. I wish there was more background/reasoning on WHY the red button worked better. Was it just more noticeable being red – or was it truly “urgency: I need that!”?

    • Ben Fortney | July 31, 2013 at 2:17 pm |

      Twitter’s “teal” is pretty ubiquitous at this point. Agree with you about most every other “web” brand though.

    • Tom V. | July 31, 2013 at 3:18 pm |

      25 years ago in high school art class our teacher explained product packaging and the colors they used.

      Blue was used to mean dependability and trust. Car companies and banks used a lot of blue. Banks used green for money too.

      Too much red made things look cheap.

      Purple and pink were associated with feeling sick or feeling better, etc.

      If you take a look at that posted color chart you’ll see there’s fast food amongst most of the colors, mostly now it’s competetors using opposite colors, Lowes v home depot. Walmart/target, etc. Logos are no longer tied to the psychological effects of the colors they use.

      • -Monty- | August 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm |

        Many logos are still created or used to incorporate psychological effects. Best example I can think of is the fast food industry. McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, In-N-Out, Jack In the Box, Carls Jr., Popeye’s, Sonic, Hardee’s, Pizza Hut, Del Taco, Denny’s, Pollo Loco, Checkers, Boston Market, and Weinershnitzel are all red and yellow.

  • arrScott | July 31, 2013 at 12:57 pm |

    RIP Ossie Schechtman, scorer of the NBA’s first basket. Video of his inaugural layup below the text of this obit:

    http://www.jta.org/2...

    • JimWa | July 31, 2013 at 1:56 pm |

      Moral of the story: Don’t play basketball. It’ll kill you.

  • Omar Jalife | July 31, 2013 at 1:06 pm |

    OK, so a team called San Luis changed cities to Tuxtla Gutiérrez, south of Mexico, from last season to this one. You would think a couple of months are enough, but yesteray, Chiapas came out with 2 different jerseys in their game against Cruz Azul
    http://msn.mediotiem...

  • JTH | July 31, 2013 at 1:36 pm |

    Interesting that Dan Marino and Michael Jordan were mentioned today but (unless I missed it) the fact that their numbers are both retired by the Miami Heat was not.

    • Mike Engle | July 31, 2013 at 1:50 pm |

      Since the Heat retired those numbers, nobody could wear them in their honor. Very valid point, and worthy of a sidebar, but not quite on point with my article.
      //It’s as stupid as hell anyway.

      • JTH | July 31, 2013 at 3:40 pm |

        It’s as stupid as hell anyway.

        exactly why I felt that it NEEDED to be mentioned.

  • Zalora Malaysia Coupon | July 31, 2013 at 1:49 pm |

    Saya tak sangka yang boleh dari Msia juga setanding dgn blog dari luar. Tahniah blogger Msia.

    • Dagr | July 31, 2013 at 3:17 pm |

      Onta, gleeben, glouten, gloven.

  • Charlie Charnigo | July 31, 2013 at 2:10 pm |

    “Why is it spelled with the double x? One of the little league players told Marc it was so they did not have to pay Boston millions of dollars. “Who says that the youth of today was not smart?””…well that is kinda bull shit. I was on the BOD for our local league and all the teams used MLB names..except Brewers for obvious reasons. We get our stuff from Majestic and they are about $15 a shirt, once you tack the sponsor on the back it is closer to $8. MLB has a great PR thing going with youth baseball and as long as you are not trying to make a buck off the name…they leave you alone. They even have throw backs and a bunch of minor league names too.

    • Tom V. | July 31, 2013 at 3:05 pm |

      My only thought was they’re trying to look like the Red Sox too. So maybe you can call yourself the Red Sox as long as you don’t look exactly like the MLB team? Could be a licensing thing? Just shooting off the cuff.

    • Mike | August 1, 2013 at 1:01 pm |

      wonder if they drink beer in the bullpen too?

  • jamesBN3 | July 31, 2013 at 2:13 pm |

    I imagine that at least a few VLF jumpers made it to the States as a result of the highlight shows shown on ESPN in its early days.

    Long before it became “The Worldwide Leader in Sports”, they had to be creative in finding content to fill the hours. In the mid-70′s, Peter Landy of the Seven Network presented a weekly hour-long game of the week program. It included extended highlights of the 1st and 2nd quarters and the 3rd and 4th quarters in full. The show finished off with the marks and goals of the week and a summary of the other matches in the round.

    At some point, in response to several viewer enquiries, Landy added details on how viewers could order their own guernsey direct from Adidas in Melbourne at the end of each show. I was tempted to order a long sleeve Footscray shirt, but never did.

  • BC | July 31, 2013 at 2:51 pm |

    In regards to the Giants minor league helmet link in the ticker, the Giants issue one black helmet to each of their minor league players during Spring Training as all of their affiliates use black helmets. During the course of the year if a player gets called up he just simply needs to change the sticker on the helmet, this obviously had not yet happened for the player referenced above.

  • Dagr | July 31, 2013 at 3:16 pm |

    You forgot one.

    Kobe Bryant, when he plays for the U.S. national team, wears 10 because it is The Important Number in soccer. Not for just Messi, mind, but Pele, Rooney, Maradona, Akers, Zidane, and van Nistelrooy.

    • Mike Engle | July 31, 2013 at 3:51 pm |

      So, basically, apparently Nash took after Kobe in that respect? Nice to know.

  • Mike | July 31, 2013 at 3:48 pm |

    Valentino Rossi of MotoGP motorcycle racing wore a set of leathers made to look like the Italian soccer team as a show of support during the 2008 Euro Cup. The pink arms and legs did not look much like skin though…

    http://rossihelmets....

  • Mike Engle | July 31, 2013 at 3:51 pm |

    So, the NFL is taking a cue from the NHL by structuring their All-Star (Pro Bowl) rosters through a fantasy draft, and not by conference or geography. Aside from not giving a crap about the Pro Bowl (zzz…), I wonder what the Uni Watch ramifications would be. Obviously, the jerseys won’t say “American” or “National” anymore. I’d guess red vs. blue, but will one team have a white jersey, or will it be color on color? And what about the helmets? Special helmets, special over-helmet beanies like they have for special teams drills, or neither?

  • Lee | July 31, 2013 at 8:01 pm |

    Former Red Sox & Expos pitcher Bill “Spaceman” Lee. He wore #37. I know that my favorite number is #337 because upside down it spells “Lee”. Obviously can’t have three digits as on the uni, so I wonder if he chose 37 because two out of three ain’t bad?!

  • 1vox | July 31, 2013 at 8:19 pm |

    re: mike engle’s article…

    i know of one other…

    shae mcnamara is from wisconsin…he played basketball in the states, but went to australia to try and make it in the afl playing aussie rules footy…he played 2 years, made it into a preseason match for the magpies but that was it…the rest of the time was spent with the vfl (minor league) collingwood magpies squad…

    while he played, he wore #50…to represent the 50 states of his homeland…

    http://www3.pictures...

  • McTavish | July 31, 2013 at 8:39 pm |

    When I read the original tweet title, “Cross Sports Endorsements”, I expected there to be mention of when PGA Player, Payne Stewart, used to wear NFL logo’d gear. He would wear the colors of surrounding NFL teams on Thur, Fri, and Sat, and then wear the local team’s colors on Sunday. For example if he was playing a tourney in Chicago he might wear Green/Gold on Thursday, Purple/Yellow on Friday, and Blue/Orange on the weekend. Always sporting the NFL shield on his hat and sweater.
    Clearly the article was more “Cross Sports Tributes”.

  • Andy | July 31, 2013 at 9:09 pm |

    Gary Disarcina, a Billerica kid and former California Angels SS, changed to number 33 in honor of Larry Bird. He eventually gave it up when Eddie Murray joined the team.

  • NinerEd | August 1, 2013 at 12:35 am |

    I’m guessing the Nationals will honor the Expos at about the same time the Orioles raise a 1944 AL pennant and retire a number/name for George Sisler…or the same time that we see a 1924 World Series banner (and 1925/1933 AL pennants) hoisted in Target Field. If the O’s and Twins can cut ties with the past, the Nats can too.

  • pbg | August 1, 2013 at 10:14 am |

    It’s my understanding that Carlos Tevez wears 32 because Jordan is his favorite athlete, but reversing the numbers out of respect for Jordan’s 23.

  • Nick | August 1, 2013 at 9:43 pm |

    Phil – You mentioned the Nationals’ apparent denial of Expos hisory. I’m a DC-area guy who grew up liking the Expos and Orioles, only to see the Nats move into my backyard. I do also hope the Nats someday acknowledge their recent history more than they currently do.

    A couple years ago the Nats wore Expos hats during batting practice; they honored Andre Dawson on the field in DC for his Hall of Fame induction; and they do consider Expos records as part of their franchise records (maybe they have to?). But that’s about it. Ian Desmond, the Nats’ SS, was actually drafted in ’04 by the Expos; Ryan Zimmerman and Craig Stammen were scouted by the Expos right before they moved to DC and drafted them in ’05. I’m sure there are a few staff/execs still around who made the move down south. A few small remaining connections, but some linkage to Nos Amours is still there.

    Maybe someday we’ll see a turn back the clock Expos uniform in DC? I’d love to see that happen against the Jeff Loria-owned Marlins :)

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