Reader Bruce Menard has really outdone himself lately, coming up with nearly two dozen spectacular wire photos for our enjoyment. And Bruce doesn’t just find these photos — he cleans them up, sharpens them, and generally makes them look as good as they can be. Please join me in thanking him for the great images that you’re about to see:
• Whoa, check out the 1958 Bucknell football team! I’ve seen old photos of the Lombardi-era packers wearing that kind of gear, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many players wearing it at once. Awesome shot!
• Hmmmm, clear football helmet shell or beauty parlor hair-dryer thingie?
• After scoring a hat trick in a game against the North Stars, Phil Esposito strapped on a Vikings helmet that was on display in the hotel lobby.
• Even Harvey, the Kansas City A’s old ball-delivering mechanized rabbit, went through a uniform change. Back in 2010 I ran this photo of him wearing a pinstriped uni, but now we have (color!) shot of him in a gold uni.
• Who’s that bowling? None other than Teddy Ballgame! Always love to see ballplayers doing a bit of pin-bashing.
• Speaking of cross-sport endeavors, here we have a boxer and a ballplayer on the golf course. That’s Rocky Marciano and Yogi Berra in 1958, when both of were in their primes. Wish we could get a clearer view of the logo on Yogi’s cap.
• Several uni-notable aspects to this 1959 shot of Cardinals first baseman Joe Cunningham. First, you don’t often (ever?) see a flocked Cardinals helmet. Second, the helmet logo looks more like a patch than a decal. Third, what’s with that white sticker on the brim? And boy do I love the textured look of those seams on the jersey.
• Speaking of flocked helmets, check out this 1950s shot of Eddie Mathews. Looks like the “M” logo was painted on by hand. Zippered jersey, too!
• And speaking of Mathews, here he is looking over some 1961 All-Star Game trophies with the Say Hey Kid.
• Here’s a 1930s Spokane Indians player “honoring” Native Americans. In a related item, Mel Ott of Giants was given the honorary title of “Chief Run Around the Bases.” (At least things were a bit more dignified when heavyweight champ Jack Dempsey was named “Chief Strong Heart.”)
• Robby the Robot was an imposing figure in the batter’s box.
• Mickey Mantle, on the other hand, didn’t look so imposing swinging a bat in the shower stall.
• Here’s Bob Feller in his United States Navy baseball uniform, circa 1940s. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If MLB really wants to “honor the troops,” they should have teams wear old military baseball uniforms like this one. That way they’ll be teaching fans about players like Feller, who actually served, instead of just doing the rah-rah jingoism/camo nonsense.
• Speaking of baseball and military, here’s the Iron Horse swapping caps with a Japanese Navy cadet.
• And speaking of Lou Gehrig, this is pretty fascinating: A year after Gehrig passed away in 1941, a “Lou Gehrig Memorial Ambulance,” complete with his uni number on the side, was put into service in New York City. Here it is parked outside of Yankee Stadium with Gehrig’s widow at the wheel! “Wonder whatever happened to it,” says Bruce. “Could it still be around somewhere, or long ago junked?” Hmmmmm.
Awesome stuff — thanks so much, Bruce!
Raffle reminder: The annual Uni Watch year-end reader-appreciation raffle is now under way. Deadline for entering is next Monday.
’Skins Watch: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker went ahead and signed the bill that will make it easier for schools in the state to retain their Native American mascots, but not before explaining his decision in a letter to local tribes. … Leaving aside the question of whether Native American mascots are on the wrong side of history, are they also bad for business? Here’s an interesting article suggesting that they are (thanks, Phil). … The flag design for Wicomico County in Maryland looks a bit like the ’Skins logo (from Mike Lafferty).
Baseball News: Excellent history lesson on the Twins’ Minny/Paul logo by Todd Radom. … New uniforms for the Yomiuri Giants. “The road uniforms have gone from gray to blue, which is what the team wore during its V9 (9 straight titles) in the 1960s and ’70s,” says Jeremy Brahm. “Also, the stars on the sleeve patch are for their Japan Series championships.” … Also from Jeremy: “The Saitama Seibu Lions have teamed with Tezuka Productions (the animation company the team has used for its mascot since its move to Saitama in the 1970s) to produce a ‘jungle design’ for the 100th anniversary of the Seibu Railway, although there’s no word on when it will be worn.” Here’s a video of the unveiling. … We’ve been hearing this for a while now, but here’s another item suggesting that reinforced protective caps may soon be available for MLB pitchers (thanks, Phil). … We already knew that the Mets blue home alt would have a Mr. Met sleeve patch in 2014. Now it turns out that the blue road alt will also have the Mr. Met patch. … In a related item, Pete Woychick has brought my attention to a site called Mr. Moody Met, which appears to consist primarily of rather odd Mr. Met depictions, although I haven’t hard a chance to investigate it fully. … Chris Rodriguez notes that the base cut-outs on the Houston Cougars’ new field surface sure look red.
NFL News: Throwbacks on tap this Sunday for the Rams. … A Federal court has ruled that the Ravens can show their original “Flying B” logo in documentary videos (from Duncan Wilson). … Former ’Skins CB Darrell Green says that he and Eagles DE Reggie White once traded helmets at the Pro Bowl (from Brian McQuiston). … “On Thanksgiving I went to my dad’s house and found these little figurines in his garage,” says Erik Morris. “These came out when I was probably around 10-12 years old. Was it common to have those little NFL figurines wearing practice gear? All of mine that I remember had full jerseys.” … Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch wore a Seahawks-ish “24/7″ jersey in a commercial for a local plumbing company (screen shot by David Pealing). … Chris Flinn spotted some Giants and Jets tees featuring a font not normally used by either team. … Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles wore gloves for part of the team’s Week 14 game against Washington, but he was bare-handed at other points in the game, and so was his backfield-mate Knile Davis. Is there some advantage to going bare-handed in the snow? (From Nik Streng.) … I love these ski masks that look like football helmets (from Leon Frager). … Even better: How awesome are these old iron-on patterns? (Tremendous find by my pal Robin Edgerton.) … If you scroll about a third of the way down on this Q&A page, you’ll find some very interesting info on the origins of the Steelers’ one-side-only helmet logo (from Douglas King).
College Football News: This is pretty awesome: A Michigan football website has tracked and documented all the profanities that have been invoked in the site’s open-thread discussions. Fucking genius! (Big thanks, Kirsten). … Here’s a sensational interactive infographic showing the evolution of NCAA conference alignments since 1965. … Ohio will have a sleeve patch for the Embarrassingly Named Restaurant Chain Bowl, although I’m assuming they’ll also have a chest patch, right? … Meanwhile, here’s Ole Miss’s patch for the Mortgage Broker Bowl, Pitt’s patch for the “Pizza” Bowl, LSU’s patch for the Steakhouse Bowl, CSU’s patch for the Branded Activewear Bowl, Texas A&M’s patch for the Chicken Sandwich Bowl, and the patch both teams will be wearing for the Automotive Lubricants and Fluids Bowl (all of those from Phil). … Notre Dame and Boston College might play a game at Fenway Park in 2015 (from Warren Junium).
Hockey News: Here’s a very unsatisfying “sneek peak” at the Rangers’ Stadium Series jerseys (thanks, Phil). … Bauer has come out with a new line of equipment called OD1N (no, that’s not a typo), which is modestly described as “the most revolutionary line of equipment ever introduced to the sport of hockey.” … More ugly Xmas sweater jerseys, this time for the Sheffield Steelers and Toledo Walleye (from Simon Gleadhall and Phil, respectively). … Here’s a better look than we’ve previously had of Notre Dame’s Frozen Fenway uniform, and here’s Merrimack’s Frozen Fenway jersey (both of those from Phil). … This is pretty funny: The WHL’s Spokane Chiefs “volunteered” their division rivals’ jerseys for an ugly sweater contest (good one from Steve Francis).
Soccer News: New skyline design for NEC Nijmegen (from Trevor Williams). … Also from Trevor: New kits for Santos Laguna. … These next three are from Yusuke Toyoda: The Pope received a jersey from San Lorenzo, his boyhood idols. … There’s apparently some controversy about whether EPL teams should go with more American-style branding. … I knew about soccer players often swapping jerseys after a big match, but Raja Casablanca and Atletic Mineiro swapped shoes the other day.
NBA News: I don’t much care about jersey sales, but here are the latest sales figures for NBA product. … The Bobcats/Hornets unveiling logo unveiling will be tomorrow. Meanwhile, you can vote on 99designs’ eight Hornets logo finalists here.
College Hoops News: Back in 1981, Pitt had warm-up tops with nickNOBs. “‘Giss’ is Darrell Gissendanner, who passed away recently,” says Jeff Flynn Jr. “‘Easy-E’ is Sammie Ellis. Some of them just had first name on back. ‘Clyde’ (second from left, hard to read) is the great Clyde Vaughan. My personal take is that the nickname on back works better on warm-ups and can be a permanent fixture there, rather than just a one-off promotion like the NBA is about to do.”
Grab Bag: My latest eBay score: this sweater. Contrary to the seller’s claim, it’s not a varsity letter sweater, but it still has a very uni-ish feel, no? … Did you know that the Olympic torch relay has been plagued with mishaps, including the death of a torch carrier? Yikes. … Lots of jurists over the years have accessorized their robes with bow ties, most notably former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. But Judge Richard J. Leon, who ruled on the constitutionality of the NSA’s data-collection program earlier this week, takes an unusually bold approach with his bow tie. … Vintage bowling shirts are nothing new, but here’s something much rarer: an entire vintage bowling uniform! Love the chain-stitching, the shirt label, and the belt buckle. Only downer is the base color, which is kinda drab (great find by Heather McCabe). … Awsome striped socks! That’s Fred Astaire in the 1937 film Damsel in Distress (from Marc Gilbert). … Kevin Kurz has noticed that the Canadian luge team has “For Sale” printed on its helmets. A bit of Googling reveals that they also did this prior to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and successfully attracted a sponsor. … Here’s a possible first: The Shiner High School football team in Texas has a helmet logo that appears to be based on the label from Shiner Bock beer. Or is it the other way around? (From Mark Rybczyk.) … Players in next month’s All-American Bowl — that’s a high school all-star game — will be wearing these helmet designs, and the helmets will be fitted with Riddell’s InSite impact-sensing technology (which I covered two months ago). … Here are lots of views of the new Notre Dame lacrosse helmet (from Warren Junium). … RIP, Al. A tortured soul, a scumbag, and a classic New York character to the end — you’ll be missed.
What Paul did last night (and what he’s doing today): Saw Nebraska, the new Bruce Dern movie, last night and really, really liked it. Not a perfect movie, but much better than I expected. Having spent some time in western Nebraska, I was impressed by how well it captured that world.
I’m spending today with my Mom, so everyone play nice and I’ll see you next week, yes? Yes!