The 2014 MLB season had its second soft opening of the year last night in San Diego (the first one, of course, was eight days earlier in Australia), where the Padres hosted the Dodgers. As you can see above, the Padres couldn’t be bothered to wear their home whites for their first game of the season and instead went G.I. Joe — shame on them.
A few other notes from the game:
• As you also see in the photo above, the Padres wore their Jerry Coleman memorial patch for the first time.
• The Coleman patch design was also included in a U.S. Navy parachute jump conducted prior to the game.
• The Dodgers wore their new alternate road grays (the ones with the team name on the front). They’ve now worn this design twice, without having worn their primary road grays (the ones with “Los Angeles” on the front).
• The Dodgers’ starting pitcher was Hyun-Jin Ryu (No. 99), and in the 8th inning he was relieved by Brian Wilson (No. 00). This isn’t the first time these two pitchers have set the mark for the biggest uni-numerical difference between two pitchers appearing consecutively in the same game, of course, and it won’t be the last, but it’s the kind of thing that somehow seems worth mentioning when it happens on Opening
• There were lots of “Opening Night” graphics splashed around the stadium. MLB’s season-opening graphics package also includes logos for Opening Day, Opening Week, Opening Weekend, and Opening Series, so expect to see all of those over the next several days.
• The Dodgers have now managed to play three games before 27 of the other MLB teams have played even one. Seriously, after they got tapped to play those two games Down Under, was it really necessary to give them the Sunday-night opener as well? Let someone else play!
The real start of the season, of course, is today. I’ll be camped out in front of the TV at 1pm to watch the Mets/Nats game, and I hope you’ll get to see (or at least hear) your favorite team’s game too. Play ball!
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.
One of the best things about “Unmasking the Commenters” is that I’ve been able to match up some people’s real names with their pseudonyms. For example, I knew we had a frequent commenter who calls himself Dumb Guy and a frequent Ticker contributor named Jon Solomonson, but I didn’t know they’re the same person. They are! And here he is (click to enlarge):
I just turned 50 last year but no, I haven’t made my colonoscopy appointment yet. I grew up in the DC area and am mostly an NFL fan and ’Skins fan, although I’m also a Cubs and MLB fan by osmosis (thanks to my Chicago-born dad). Not much for the hockey or the basketball. I am a proud graduate of James Madison University, which sports a wonderful purple-and-gold motif on its sports uniforms (sorry, Paul). Currently residing in Orlando, Florida, I am surrounded by lots of sports teams that are constantly changing uniform parts, so that is much to my liking.
Uni Watch is my first stop every weekday morning. It’s a great mix of uniforms, pop culture, and trolling. My screen name, Dumb Guy, simply portrays my love of the simple, the easy, the not-overthought, and the silly one-liner. Oh, and I’ve been a drummer for 40+ years.
Thanks, Jon. I appreciate all your contributions (I love typing your surname when I credit you in the Ticker — consonant, o, consonant, o, consonant, o, consonant, consonant o, consonant!). Thanks for helping to 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.
PermaRec update: The latest entry on Permanent Record is about Finding Vivian Maier, the new documentary film about a 26-year-old Chicago writer who acquired a set of old photo negatives that had been salvaged from a delinquent storage locker (including the photo shown at right) and realized he’d stumbled upon the work of a major unknown artist. It’s an amazing story — check it out here.
Live event reminder: Tomorrow night I’ll be conducting a discussion with longtime Uni Watch reader Matthew Algeo about his latest book, Pedestrianism, which is about how competitive walking became a spectator sport craze in the late 1800s. Matthew, as you may recall, is the same guy who wrote the definitive book about the Steagles, among other fine works. We’ll be discussing Pedestrianism at the Word bookstore in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, 7pm. See you there.
’Skins Watch: Can’t make it up: The guy Daniel Snyder chose to head his new Native American assistance foundation was the subject of a federal investigation into a “defective” contract that cost the Bureau of Indian Affairs nearly $1 million (from Tommy Turner).
Baseball News: Longtime Uni Watch pal Tyler Kepner has written a very amusing piece about how today’s MLB autographs are illegible. … Check out this belt. That’s Jerry Lyscio, a pitcher with the Astros’ Florida State League team in Cocoa in 1966. Keith Olbermann wonders if the belt was rendered in Astros colors. It’s possible, but I kinda doubt that it was a team-issued belt — looks more like a personal belt that he grabbed in a pinch. … You knew this already, but here’s an article about how Derek Jeter’s retirement will mark the end of single-digit uni numbers for the Yankees (from Chris Flinn). … An Australian’s explanation of baseball includes the observation that everyone wears pajamas (from Brian Crago). … Remember David Firestone’s recent guest-written entry about the late-1950s Senators’ 3-D uni numbers? I have a theory concerning that number design,” says David. “I’m trying to find a quote, or a press release, or a newspaper article concerning the publicly stated reason for the Senators switching uniforms prior to the 1956 season. So far I have had no luck, so I am pleading for help from the Uni Watch community.” If you’d like to help David with this research project, contact him here. … The Marlins have schedule their home uniforms by day of the week for the whole season. Hmmm, is it good to have a set protocol like that, or is it bad to eliminate any chance for surprise, superstition, and spontaneity? (Thanks, Phil.) … Also from Phil, this odd historical tidbit: In 1916, the Cubs had a live Cub on hand for Opening Day. … Oklahoma State wore solid orange yesterday. “Very close to an I-35 clean-up crew,” notes Vince Regan. … Cool story about some SF Giants jerseys that got repurposed for minor league use and then became a hit on Antiques Roadshow (from Kyle Sawyer). … Michale Hersch was watching a Reds/Indians spring training game and noticed that both teams’ respective “C” logos were painted on the grass in foul territory. “I was puzzled by why a team would paint the visitor’s logo on the field, especially for spring training, so I did a little research and learned that the Indians and Reds share spring training facilities,” he says. “I also learned that there are other teams that share spring stadiums as well. Do those teams also paint two logos? I’ve never seen it done before, although I don’t watch too many spring games. Also, I noticed a discrepancy between the on-field logos that the Tigers use behind home plate at Joker Marchant Stadium (where they use the jersey D) and Comerica Park (where they use the cap D).” … Speaking of the Tigers’ logo, check out the odd version of it that appears in this ad, which ran in today’s Detroit Free Press (from Glenn Victor).
NFL News: The Saints apparently have their own official ice cubes, which is fine by me because it means more exposure for the excellent Sir Saint logo (from Bob Kile). … NOB typo alert! That’s Giants offensive lineman Tom Mullen — no “s” — from a Sept. 18, 1977 game against Washington (from Steve Kraljic).
Hockey News: Sharks goalie Annti Niemi apparently wasn’t wearing team-issue socks under his pads for last Thursday night’s game against the Jets. I know many goalies do this, but it’s still interesting to see (photo by Clinton Brown, who was attending the game). … “I’m getting caught up on the awesome Canadian TV show Trailer Park Boys,” says intern Mike Chamernik. “In the season four premiere, Ricky and Bubbles wore makeshift hockey jerseys for their jobs as the Trailer Park Supervisor (Ricky, with the ‘C’) and Assistant Trailer Park Supervisor (Bubbles, with the ‘A’). The captaincy designations were a nice touch.”
Soccer News: “Sunday was the happiest day of the World Cup year here in Colombia,” says Fernando Cardenas. “That’s because today we finally got our Panini sticker albums. I doubt it is this way in the States but here in South America (and I believe in some parts of Europe, definitely Italy) we fill this baby up with religious devotion. You can’t walk alone on the street without seeing someone trading stickers they got twice for stickers they need. They are mass-produced by the Italian multinational Panini and distributed in a somewhat similar fashion to baseball cards, except you paste them into an album.” … The Urawa Reds were forced to play a match behind closed doors last week after a fan displayed a racist banner, leading to the eerie spectacle of a game being played in an empty stadium (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Also from Yusuke: On Sunday Liverpool replaced its usual jersey sponsor, Standard Chartered, with the bank’s anti-blindness charity, Seeing Is Believing.
NBA News: The Celtics honored the Boston Fire Department prior to last night’s game against the Bulls by wearing these shooting shirts, and head coach Brad Stevens wore a fire department patch during the game (thanks, Phil).
College Hoops News: Reader Derek Widner notes that Saturday night’s Wisconsin/Arizona game featured the unusual uni format of the home team wearing its location name and the road team wearing its team name. … New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick turned on the recent UCLA/Florida game and wasn’t sure which team was UCLA because where was the baby blue? (From Seth Horowitz.) … Hmmm, check out these odd basketball uniforms. They’re from this LG/NCAA commercial (from Alex Allen).
Grab Bag: Stephen F. Austin University has suspended use of its new logo (from David Wilson). … Oooh, look what the old Madison Square Garden marquee looked like in 1961. … I might be in favor of jersey sponsorships if they were all as endearing as this one. … “The Supercross series stopped in St. Louis over the weekend,” reports Sean Clancy. “Racer and Missouri native Jimmy Albertson wore this Cardinals-themed lid, and Vince Friese at ‘St.L’ logos on his.” … Serious pandering move by Maryland lacrosse, which waved the bloody flag yesterday (thanks, Phil). … Here’s Roger Federer talking about tennis attire and rackets (thanks, Brinke). … David Firestone has documented the various appearances of American sports logos on The Benny Hill Show.