We got our first serious uni glitch of the MLB season yesterday afternoon, as Cubs outfielder Junior Lake wore the team’s primary road gray jersey (“Chicago”) while the rest of the team was wearing the new alternate (“Cubs”). As you can see above, the Cubbies’ broadcast team noticed the mistake during the bottom of the 1st. Someone apparently notified the Cubs dugout soon after that, because Lake had switched jerseys by the bottom of the 2nd.
Reporters asked Lake about the mix-up after the game. The postgame report from my ESPN.com colleague Jesse Rogers included the following info:
“Bullpen guy [Justin Grimm] told me I had the wrong jersey. I looked and said [f—],” Lake said following the game.
After the Pirates’ final out in the bottom of the first inning, Lake immediately went into the clubhouse to change. He said he got confused because both jerseys were hanging in his locker, and he chose the wrong one.
“Everyone looked at me,” he said. “I see two gray, I take the wrong one.”
Meanwhile, as we discussed last week, the Cubs’ alternate jersey comes with its own set of alternate pants. Which set was Lake wearing — the primaries (which don’t have any side piping) or the alts (blue/white piping)? Turns out it was the alts, as you can see in this screen shot from the top of the 1st:
As news of this mix-up spread yesterday, lots of media outlets quickly posted short items that basically said, “Cubs in mid-season form” and “Typical Cubbie cluelessness” — that kind of thing. Hahahahaha. But nobody brought up the following question: The Cubs wore the alternate grays for all three games of their season-opening series in Pittsburgh, and their next game is today’s home opener at Wrigley, so why did they even bother to take Lake’s (or anyone’s) primary road jersey on this short road trip if they had no plans to wear that uniform anyway?
I posed that question to a Cubs PR rep, who got back to me with the following: “We had both uniforms packed, since each day’s starting pitcher may decide which uniform the team wears while on the road.” So there you go.
Meanwhile, remember that the Cubbies will be wearing at least 13 different uniforms this season (home pins, primary grays, alternate grays, alternate blues, and nine different throwbacks). So while this was their first jersey mix-up of the season, there’s a decent chance it won’t be the last.
Of course, innocent mistakes can happen to anyone.
PermaRec update: Somewhere out there is a mystery man who took 445 photobooth portraits of himself (two of which are shown at right) over the course of several decades. Learn more in the latest Permanent Record entry.
Book deal reminder: In case you missed it earlier this week, our friends at Diversion Books have another exclusive offer for Uni Watch readers: The Bill James Guide to Baseball Managers, which is the definitive text on MLB skippers. It’s a great book (I first read it about 10 years ago), and Uni Watch readers can now download the e-version for only $2.99 — that’s 50% off the regular price.
’Skins Watch: An Ojibwe writer says Daniel Snyder’s offer of financial assistance to Native Americans is no bargain. … Whatever you thnk of Chief Wahoo, I’d like to think we can all agree that the Indians’ use of a half-naked black kid with a bow and arrow as a mascot won’t go down as one of their better moves (from Bruce Menard). … Check out these old photos of Atlanta-area Little Leaguers with Chief Nok-a-homa. Wonder what the “B” designations on the kids’ uni numbers were for (from Joe Culverhouse). … “I come from a small town near Rochester, New York, called Waterloo,” says Greg Netherwood. “Our high school mascot had always been the Indians [and still is — PL]. If you think Wahoo is bad, look at the logo used on the jerseys of our 1972 baseball team.” … “Stafford High School in Virginia, whose teams are called the Indians, recently began a slow roll-out of a new logo,” says James Ashby. “They consulted and got the approval of local members of the Patawomeck tribe.” No visuals, unfortunately.
Baseball News: To the surprise of nobody, the Red Sox will wear gold-trimmed jerseys and cap for today’s ring ceremony at Fenway. The uniforms will look like this. … As I mentioned yesterday, look for the Dodgers to come out with a Dr. Frank Jobe memorial patch at today’s home opener. … Pirates catcher Russell Martin has been wearing a matte-finish catcher’s helmet this season. … Not uni-related but still odd: In the season-opening three-game Mets/Nats series, the Mets started three different first basemen and three different second basemen, and the Nats started three different catchers. … And one of those Nats catchers, Jose Labaton, is a front-brimmer. … Wanna see something weird? Check out the cartoon-ish locomotive train that goes out onto the field in this late-’70s White Sox footage. “My aunt shot that film but I have no idea what the train was about,” says Charles Rogers, who posted more of his aunt’s old Chisox footage here and here. Great stuff. … Latest evidence that the world would be better off without jersey retailing: According to Giants beat writer Hank Schulman, Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick has a policy of not allowing anyone to wear the opposing team’s gear behind home plate, which of course is total bullshit (thanks, Brinke). … Here’s a new addition to my list of All-Star Game batting helmet mix-ups: Giants pitcher Juan Marichal in a Milwaukee Braves helmet, from the 1965 ASG (big thanks to Gary Olson). … Tequila sunrise jerseys on tap this weekend for Arizona State. Apparently it’s a throwback (from Adam Vitcavage and Phil, respectively). … Love this shot of U.S. bishops in the Nationals’ clubhouse prior to the Papal Mass in 2008. “I thought it was great that the MC used individual locker stalls for the bishops,” says Zakary Jester. “Too bad there were no NOBs or locker tags, though.” … My ESPN.com buddy Jim Caple has put together his annual rundown of the year’s best MLB promotions and giveaways.
It’s not yet clear what uni number DeSean Jackson will wear with the ’Skins, but it won’t be his familiar No. 10, because Robert Griffin III isn’t giving that up. But some fans have pointed out that Griffin could give up 10 and switch to this (good one from Lucas Fiser). Never mind — Jackson will be wearing No. 11.
College Football News: An SB Nation writer claims to have a source who has confirmed that the new Walmart-leaked FSU logo is the real deal. Some FSU fans and alums are reportedly less than thrilled. … Meanwhile, here’s a hilarious note from Seth Scheving: “My wife works at a print shop in Anderson, South Carolina, and she met the wife of a guy that helped create the new FSU logo. The [logo designer’s] wife said that when the store in Florida accidentally put out those shirts too early, her husband had to do some damage control by driving down to the store. He bought all the shirts.”
Hockey News: Whoa, check out these awesome old NHL cartoons (great stuff from Chris Mizzoni). … The Red Wings are advertising the sale of playoff tickets with an illustration that shows a front uni number — something the team has never worn at any point in its history (from P.J. Kuzdal). … Here’s one of the Frozen Four patches being sewn onto a jersey (thanks, Phil).
Soccer News: More chatter about the high prices for Nike’s World Cup jerseys. … South Korea’s World Cup away kit had already been leaked, but now it’s official (thanks, Phil). … Ditto for Finland’s home kit. … How long does one of England’s kits typically last? This long (from Trevor Williams). … Also from Trevor: New kits for Chelsea and Olympique Marseille. … Still more about England’s kits: Here’s a slideshow of old design (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Also from Yusuke: The USA away kit comes in a pretty fancy box.
NBA News: The NBA will auction off several of Jason Collins’s game-worn Nets jerseys today. All proceeds will be donated to the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network and the Matthew Shepard Foundation (thanks, Phil). … April Fool’s stunt that I missed: The 76ers were supposedly going to wear Philly Eagles-themed uniforms, complete with wings (from Kyle Caffrey).
College Hoops News: Here’s how the four Final Four teams got their nicknames. … Baylor and Adidas figured out a way to use the “Sic ’Em Bears” jerseys after all: Brady Heslip wore one for the three-point competition (from Coleman Mullins). … Also from the three-point event, Michigan State’s Adreian Payne wore an Under Armour Superman shirt with the maker’s mark taped over (from Joseph Hiley).
Grab Bag: A Swedish company is making market inroads with a new type of bicycle helmet. … New uniforms for the Commonwealth Games volunteers (from Walter Young). … Notre Dame lacrosse will be wearing pink this Saturday. … Here’s the field design for the L.A. Kiss. … What’s even more idiotic than a sneaker called the “Mofo”? The same sneaker rendered in a G.I. Joe design. Please, have a little dignity out there (from Jake Kessler). … We all know what “LOL” stands for nowadays, but once upon a time it was the acronym for Land O’Lakes High School in Florida (from Ian T.L. Henderson). … Apparently there’s a rule that every team at Oregon has to look ridiculous, even the women’s lacrosse squad (thanks, Phil). … Lots of you have mentioned to me how pleased you are by the new NASCAR ad that’s been running at the top of the site. That includes longtime reader Dave Mann, who took the occasion to inform me that he once wrote and illustrated this children’s book about NASCAR — good stuff. … And speaking of that ad at the top of the page: In case you missed my explanation of it a few days ago, it links to NASCAR.com’s “Paint Scheme Preview” page, which shows all the new paint jobs for the coming Sunday.