This photo of Jason Heyward was taken a few days ago. As you can see, he’s still using the facemask that he began wearing last season after being beaned by a pitch. There’s nothing new about a player wearing a mask attachment after being beaned, of course — lots of players have done it. But if Heyward continues wearing his mask in the regular season,
I believe he will become the first player to wear a mask for two consecutive years — a record of sorts.. Check that: As a bunch of commenters and emailers immediately pointed out, past examples of players wearing a mask for multiple seasons include Terry Steinbach and Kevin Seitzer. So Heyward’s situation is rare but not unprecedented.
That’s one of the tidbits from the 16th annual Uni Watch MLB Season Preview, which is up now on ESPN. (And everyone leave Phil alone today, because he always likes to hunker down with the MLB preview column and go over all the details. Enjoy, buddy!) — Paul
By Brinke Guthrie
From about 1970 through 1976 I was really into baseball cards. First year or so I bought ’em pack by pack, but I never came close to getting the whole set. Then, ta-da!! I found the ads at the back of The Sporting News and ordered the whole set in one shot from a seller in Brooklyn named Renata Galasso. (None of that great gum, though!) Then I found a cardboard locker to keep them in, but this plastic one woulda worked a lot better!
Here’s the rest of this week’s picks:
• We have a batch of early-1960s MLB pro caps here. Love that Angels cap with the halo!
• Here’s a set of 18 NHL hockey-puck ice cream bowls from the 1970s.
• You can see how the Phillies’ colors have changed over the years. Now they’re red, but back in the day, they were decidedly maroon.
• I don’t know how much protection this 1970s Uniroyal/Packers Storm Suit would provide when it’s minus-10 at the Frozen Tundra, but it would probably be fine for a rainy day.
• Here’s a good-looking little 1960s White Sox bobble. But what’s with the powder blue cap?
• This is NFL Football/Giants Edition for 1967. This deserves a spot on the Uni Watch bookshelf!
• And this one can go up on Paul’s wall — a 1966 49ers poster by The Master, Dave Boss.
• Check out Tudor’s 1969 product line of sports games in this catalog.
Also from 1969, this Honeywell Guide To Action Photography would’ve been your ticket to an NFL sideline as a pro shooter.
Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
Unmasking the Commenters: I recently invited the site’s commenters to tell us a bit more about themselves and give us a peek at what they look like, just because I thought it would be fun to pull back the internet’s curtain of anonymity. I’ll keep showcasing you folks as long as you keep sending in your photos and quick bios.
Today’s commenter is Leo Strawn Jr. That name may be familiar to you from his many Ticker contributions, but in the comments section he goes by 1Vox:
I do a bit of artwork here and there — designing, painting, really big painting, drawing, etc. I’ve done that all my life, and at a young age I took note of logos and uniforms in sports, so it’s no surprise that I am a fan of Uni Watch. I will not, however, under any circumstances, apologize for loving the color purple.
“1vox” means “one voice,” coming from the phrase “one vox populi” (my email address), which translates “one voice of the people”. I have a website/blog (that I have not updated in two years, simply because it’s so depressing, though I may do so again someday), which led to a libertarian/anarcho-syndicalist book on economics. “One voice of the people” was kind of my attitude and my viewpoint in 2008, i guess, as I was learning how fragile economic systems are while writing about them, and how badly it would turn out for humanity if there were a sudden collapse (which was nearly the case in ’08, and which led to me transferring my art website into an economics blog at the time).
This year, at the ripe old age of 53, I will be playing my first year of Aussie Rules football with the reigning USAFL Division II national champions, the Columbus Jackaroos. It’s been a struggle all the way, from a car wreck several years ago (and already having a bad back dating back to eighth grade), to finally giving up walking with a cane about 18 months ago, to now getting into athletic shape (trained the other day by myself, which included a mile-long jog, something I haven’t done in many, many years). I may be the oldest rookie in USAFL history. Cheers!
Thanks, Leo — you help make Uni Watch a better place.
Do you want to be featured in “Unmasking the Commenters”? If so, send me a photo and a quick paragraph about yourself. You don’t have to reveal your real name, and the photo doesn’t have to show your face, but you must include a photo to be considered. Send everything this-a-way.
Book deal reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, our friends at Diversion Books are offering an exclusive deal to Uni Watch readers: The e-version of Mike Shropshire’s awesome book Seasons in Hell is now available to you for only $1.99 — a 60% discount off the regular price. Snap it up while it lasts!
And speaking of books: Next Tuesday, April 1, I’ll be conducting an in-store discussion with longtime Uni Watch reader Matthew Algeo. We’ll be talking about his latest book, Pedestrianism which is about the competitive walking craze of the 19th century. Believe it or not, turning out to watch people walk was once America’s top spectator sport! We’ll be talking about this at Word Bookstore in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, at 7pm. Hope to see lots of you NYC-area readers there.
’Skins Watch: Sporting News writer Scott Gentile tweeted this ’Skins name defender bingo card. Not bad, but they forgot “Only white people care about this issue” and “I’m Irish and you don’t hear me complaining about Notre Dame’s mascot” and “How come nobody said anything about this for the first 80 years and now all of a sudden they’re upset?” (from Devon Kendall).
Baseball News: Montreal is preparing for the return of MLB, even if it’s only a pair of Mets/Jays exhibition games (thanks, Phil). … Bruce Menard was poking around the U. of South Carolina film/video archive and came up with some great stuff. Here’s one where some school players and officials get hands-on baseball instruction from big leaguers Rogers Hornsby and Burleigh Grimes (“My fave moment is at 3:47, when Grimes — MLB’s last legal spitballer — is giving pointers and repeatedly spits in his pitching hand,” says Bruce), and here’s another showing Joe DiMaggio playing ball at the Central Pacific Army base, wearing No. 4. Great stuff! … Star Wars-themed jerseys for the Kane County Cougars (thanks, Phil). … Pretty crazy custom-made cleats for Dodgers reliever Brian Wilson (thanks, Phil). … Lots to like in this photo of the early-’50s Green Bay Blue Jays. Love that little number on the hip! (From Jeff Ash.) … Here’s a cool video of all the Padres’ Opening Day lineups from 1978-2003 in six seconds. “You can stare at the top-left and bottom-right corners and watch the logos change over the years,” notes Brady Phelps. … Here’s what the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks will wear for their “Hawks’ Festival” this season. “The patch will only be worn for one game in Osaka in August,” says Jeremy Brahm. “The Hawks are originally from the Osaka area as the Nankai Hawks.” In addition the Hawks will wear early-’70s throwbacks for a May series against the Orix Buffaloes, who’ll wear throwbacks of their own.
College Football News: More schools wearing the new SpeedFlex helmet: Florida State, Colorado, and a bunch more. Basically, it looks like every Riddell-outfitted school is gonna be wearing this thing. Here’s a good rear-view photo of it (thanks, Phil). … Hmmm, is that a new Miami helmet design? (From Brad Jackson.)
Soccer News: “Liverpool will be wearing a patch to mark 25th anniversary patch of the tragic Hillsborough incident where 96 fans died,” reports Nile Smith. “They will wear it on April 13, when they play Manchester City. All matches in England that whole weekend will start seven minutes later than normal, because the Hillsborough incident happened at 3:06pm, so they’re delaying the games by six minutes and then adding one more minute for silence.” … New kits for Tottenham, Pumas UNAM, AIK Fotboll, Willem II (with a blank spot for a sponsor), Lillestrøm SK, Sao Paolo FC, Odds BK, Rosenborg BK, Atlético Mineiro, Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, and Valerenga (all that from Trevor Williams). … Mexico’s World Cup jersey was reportedly inspired by WWE wrestler Rey Mysterio (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Also from Yusuke: a look at what may have been the most UK-patriotic kit ever.
College Hoops News: Interesting note from Presbyterian College assistant coach John Reynolds: “We are in the process of ordering new uniforms for next season, and many of the options that our Nike rep brought as samples featured sublimated numbers and lettering. I asked the rep if those styles could have twill lettering and he said no, that Nike was trending toward making all uniforms with sublimated printing. We ended up choosing an option (the LSU template) that allowed us to use sewn-on twill letters and numbers, because to me sublimation just looks cheap.” … With the San Francisco Dons hosting LSU in the opening round of the NIT, SF’s City Hall was lit up in beautiful green and gold (from James Stapleton). … Bit of a typo at a retail shop on the Ohio State campus. … Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign just ran a commercial in which some Duke hoops players were mis-identified as Kentucky players (thanks, Phil). … Arizona’s bookstore jumped the gun on selling Elite Eight T-shirts (from Kyle Hanks).
Grab Bag: Devin Hester, now with the Falcons (the equivalent of going from the penthouse to the outhouse, uni-wise), will wear No. 17 (thanks, Phil). … A recent Buffalo Wild Wings commercial finds one fan chastising another for tucking in his jersey. Wish I’d known about that so I could have included it in my recent ESPN column about tucked and untucked jerseys (from Chris Flinn). … Very interesting story about how a photo mistakenly gave the impression that a high school hoops player was flipping off the opposing team’s fans, which nearly cost the player a chance to appear in a tournament. … NASA is designing new spacesuits for a possible trip to Mars (from Eric Hill). … Aussie football news from Leo Stawn Jr., who reports that the Western Bulldogs and West Coast Eagles went color-vs.-color on Sunday. … The Denver Outlaws — that’s a lacrosse team — will wear Star Wars-themed jerseys for their May 4 opener (thanks, Phil).
What Paul did last night: The New Girl and I got to see a press screening of a really interesting documentary last night: The Galapagos Affair, which is about some European misfits who tried to escape civilization by settling one of the Galapogos Islands in the early 1930s. The director tries to tart it up with implications of sexual intrigue and murder, and there are some tiresome visual clichés (someone apparently decided “When in doubt, show a tortoise”), but the basic storyline about these eccentric people is pretty fascinating. Not sure when this is opening commercially, but it’s worth seeing.
After the movie we went to the wonderful Yakitori Totto, where we shared assorted grilled/skewered foods. I thought we might be too late to get a skewer of chicken tails (there’s only one tail per chicken [duh], so they tend to run out of the tails pretty early each evening), but I managed to get this last one (for all of these, you can click to enlarge):
We also had skewers of chicken skin (on the left) and chicken thigh meat with scallions (on the right):
And some garlic and asparagus:
We also had tomatoes, some pork, and a few other things I’m forgetting. A fun meal, because who doesn’t love food on a stick?