Uni Watch Library: Little Leaguer's First Uniform

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I was recently poking around on Etsy and came across a copy of a 1952 children’s book called Little Leaguer’s First Uniform. Sounded like good Uni Watch fodder, so I scooped it up for $10.

The title turns out to be somewhat misleading, as the book isn’t about a kid’s first uni. Instead, it’s about 10-year-old Little Leaguer named Johnny who’s left off of his town’s postseason roster as the team competes for a spot in the Little League World Series. The team makes it to the LLWS, largely thanks to some heroics by Johnny’s big brother, Hank. But then Hank comes down with the mumps, so the team decides to give Hank’s roster spot — and uniform — to Johnny.

So far, so good. The problem becomes apparent when Johnny tries on his big brother’s uniform:

He put on the uniform shirt. It was loose and long. He stuffed the shirt into the pants. He pulled the belt so high that the pants top was almost at his chest. The pants still hung to his shoes.

That passage is accompanied by this illustration:

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It’s never explained why Johnny can’t get the uniform tailored or adjusted, but whatever — the oversized uniform becomes the running gag of the book. When the team plays in the LLWS, Johnny is the last man on the bench, so he coaches first base, where the fans taunt him (“Pull up your pants, short stuff, before you step on them!”). He’s depicted like this:

IMG_3683

Aside from the high waistband, Johnny’s uniform would look right at home in today’s version of baseball — baggy jersey, long pants. Pretty funny.

As you’d expect, fate conspires to bring Johnny off the bench and into the championship game. When he comes up to bat the first time, an announcer quips, “Here comes the uniform, but where is the boy? All-Pants Johnny Cook is now at the plate!” The text then goes on:

Johnny did present a different picture from the other batters at the plate. Hank’s uniform hung loose and floppy on him. Johnny had pinned a tuck in the back of the cap with a safety pin. The cap was still too big. The pants hung almost to the ground. Barely an inch of Johnny’s stocking showed above his shoes.

The catcher gives Johnny the business, too: “Keep it out of this slugger’s groove,” he yells to the pitcher. “If he gets untangled from that uniform, he might slug one!” The scene at the plate is shown in the following two illustrations:

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Naturally, Johnny comes through in the end, at which point the announcer apologizes to him and tries to turn his earlier “All-Pants Johnny” insult into a compliment: “All-Pants Johnny Cook! Plenty of uniform and plenty of boy! The uniform that walked like a boy! All-Pants Johnny!”

If that sounds a bit awkward to you, well, I’m with ya. Truth to tell, it’s not the best-written book.

A few other notes:

• The word “jersey” does not appear in the book. The uniform top is always referred to as a “shirt.”

• There is no mention of stirrups. In fact, aside from that one mention of Johnny’s pants barely exposing any of his stockings, there’s no mention of hosiery at all. Disappointing.

• There are endless mentions of Johnny not wanting to “disgrace Hank’s uniform.” Seriously, that phrase must have come up over a dozen times in the book’s 100 pages.

Bottom line: The book has an admirable uni-centric emphasis, and it was way ahead of its time in terms of the long pants trend, but it’s not quite the children’s masterpiece I was hoping for.

+ + + + +

Mike’s Question of the Week: Each week, intern Mike Chamernik poses a question to the Uni Watch readership. Here’s this week’s installment:

If you were an athlete and got to choose your uniform number, which number would you wear and why? Or if you’ve had the opportunity to do this for a team you played on, which number did you choose?

Personally, I’d wear No. 6 (which is what I chose for my Uni Watch membership card). It’s probably the least common single-digit number, and I like to be different.

Good one! As always, you can post your responses in today’s comments.

ESPN reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, my latest ESPN column features Uni Watch readers’ team logo tattoos. And there’s more where that came from — stay tuned.

+ + + + +

’Skins Watch: The new Tune-Yards album, Nikki Nack, includes a song called “Real Thing,” whose lyrics include the lines “I come from the land of slaves / Let’s go Redskins, let’s go Braves” (from Jeff Lang). … Reprinted from last night’s comments: Daniel J. Sym reports that the issue of the ’Skins name was brought up in the Maryland Democratic gubernatorial primary debate. “The two candidates who addressed it — Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Attorney General Doug Gansler — were very much in favor of changing the name and believe it will be changed in the next few years. Both indicated that they would want to meet with Dan Snyder personally about the name.”

Baseball News: The Orioles and Astros will wear Negro Leagues throwbacks for the annual Civil Rights Game on May 30. … This is fascinating: In 1932, the Cardinals celebrated their 1931 World Series championship by putting four-leaf clover patches on the jersey shirttail! Never seen anything like that before (great find by Jared Wheeler, who confirmed the info with the Cardinals Hall of Fame). … Sen. Rand Paul delivered an entire speech yesterday while wearing a baseball uniform. Why? Because he had rushed to the speech venue straight from a practice session for the annual Congressional baseball game. Disappointing to see he goes low-cuffed — he could learn something from his father, former Rep. Ron Paul. … This is awesome: A bird-centric site has graded all the bird-themed minor league logos (big thanks to Morris Levin). … “I know Wrigley Field’s ivy doesn’t really come in until summer, but I’ve never seen so much visible brick on the wall before,” says Mike. … I don’t listen to any team-specific fan podcasts. Good thing, too, because MLB got a bunch of those podcasts shut down yesterday on trademark-infringement grounds. … A section of wall padding fell onto Royals outfielder Alex Gordon yesterday after he slid into the wall while trying to make a catch (thanks, Mike). … The White Sox’s 1980s beach blanket jersey design has proven to be a surprisingly durable template. Latest team to use it: FAU. … Fox ran one of those “Three Things to Know” graphics for Cardinals CF Peter Bourjos last night, and check out the third item on the list. I applaud Bourjos’s high-cuffery, natch, but what I really like is that Fox is raising the profile of uni-watching (screen shot by Matt Larsen). … The Staten Island Yankees are showing their support for the New York Rangers via a giant Rangers logo emblazoned on the outfield. The weird thing is that the S.I. Yanks’ season doesn’t start until late June, so who do they expect to see that logo — airplane passengers flying by? (Thanks, Phil.) … I realize you probably don’t click on every link that mentions some team wearing striped stirrups, but you really need to see the nice job being done by the U. of Florida’s baseball and softball teams. Gorgeous, right? “Too bad about the swoosh on the sannies,” says Hunter Gold (whose name is essentially my favorite color combo!). … The ranks of players wearing No. 0 just got a bit smaller, as the Mets have DFA’d Omar Quintanilla. … The D-backs will be wearing 1999 throwbacks on Aug. 30. … Someone brought an easel, canvas, and paints to an A’s game (thanks, Phil). … Current MLB promotion on Keebler crackers packaging shows official team logos but has Cal Ripken Jr. wearing logo-less gear. Seems odd, but I think it has something to do with Ripken no longer being an MLBPA member (from Joe Bailey). … The first pitch at yesterday’s Padres game was thrown out by a dinosaur, because why not? Carl Everett could not be reached for comment. … Speaking of the Padres, the mighty Fleer Sticker Project has come up with a pair of photos of the 1972 wide-span yellow cap panel. … As you know, the Cubs now have two different sets of road pants, and Brendan Hickey notes that they’ve worn both of them with the blue alternate jersey. Here’s blue alt with the standard gray pants, and here it is with the alternate gray pants. The Cubbies have their pitchers choose the jersey that will be worn on the road, but do the pitchers also choose the pants? I’ll try to find out. … Here’s something I didn’t know: Although Bosox backstop David Ross appears to be wearing a conventional catcher’s mask, it’s actually a special anti-concussion model with extra padding (from Lose Remerswaal). … I was never a LeRoy Neiman fan. But if you’re into his stuff, a bunch of his baseball art is being auctioned off (from William Yurasko).

NFL News: 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was photographed at the team’s new stadium while wearing a Reebok shirt (thanks, Brinke). … Johnny Football has his own trademarked logo. …Here’s a slideshow of old NFL cheerleader photos (from Douglas Ford). … Bet nobody saw this one coming: Likely No. 1 draft choice Jadeveon Clowney has inked an endorsement deal with — wait for it — Puma. Oddly, he won’t be able to wear Puma cleats in games, because Puma doesn’t have a sponsorship deal with the NFL.

College Football News: Russell Athletic has lost one of its last remaining toeholds in the FBS, as Louisiana-Lafayette has switched to Adidas. The uniforms shown in that photo aren’t ULL’s final design — they’re just placeholders until an official unveiling that’ll take place later. Further info here (thanks, Phil). … Not sure we ever covered this before: Back around 2010 or 2011, Iowa State apparently made some very subtle changes to its logo. The biggest difference is the kerning on “State,” plus the angles of the bevels are different, especially on the big “I.” … Here’s something I didn’t know: Back in 1943, Pitt wore red and white, to give the players “the appearance of being huskier than before.” More info here (from Larry Bodnovich).

NBA News: Great little article about how Allen Iverson’s bursitis led to the rise of NBA arm sleeves. … Unfortunate but highly entertaining typo in yesterday’s Evansville Courier & Press. … There was a discussion in our comments section yesterday about NBA giveaway playoff T-shirts, and Aaron Parrish had this to say: “I can only speak for Pacers games, but during the pregame (and maybe early in the first quarter) fans who haven’t putt on their shirts are shown on the rather large (for basketball) jumbotron with a simple ‘PUT YOUR SHIRT ON’ displayed. They are nice enough to put them up later if they’ve complied with a ‘THANK YOU!'” Can you fucking imagine? Phil quickly responded with “What a totally douchebag move,” which pretty well captures my feelings on the subject. … Unexpected bit of welcome news out of Seattle, where Bing has decided not to renew its jersey sponsorship with the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, so the Storm will now go the highly radical route of wearing their team name. Imagine that (thanks, Phil).

Soccer News: New Man U kit may have leaked (thanks, Phil). … Good article on the business of soccer kit sponsorships (from Tommy Turner). … Barcelona paid tribute on Sunday to former manager Tito Vilanova, who passed away a week earlier from cancer, by wearing ‘Tito: per sempre etern’ (‘Tito: forever eternal’) on their jerseys (from Yusuke Toyoda).

Grab Bag: New rugby jumper for the Wallabies. Additional info here (from Josh Jacobs). … Not exactly a shocker: Jerseys and caps are among the most-counterfeited items in America (from Leo Strawn Jr.). … The Elite Football League of India — yes, that’s “American” football, not soccer — is launching a 10-team college league and has just released the team logos and uniforms (from Eric Garment). … What do Mike Piazza’s Marlins jersey, Johnny Unitas’s Chargers jersey, and Jerry Rice’s Broncos jersey have in common? They’re all cited in this article about the most obscure jerseys ever (thanks, Phil). … Did you know that there’s a high school all-star football game called the Maple Sugar Bowl, which features players from Vermont and New Hampshire? I didn’t, until I came across this vintage Maple Sugar Bowl jacket. … The fashion brand Boy London is under pressure to change its logo because the design strongly resembles the Nazis’ eagle symbol (from Coleman Mullins).

 

174 comments to Uni Watch Library: Little Leaguer’s First Uniform

  • Adam | May 8, 2014 at 8:04 am |

    The Wrigley Field ivy is like that because they had to remove some of it to replace some of the bricks, and it hasn’t grown back yet. http://articles.chic...

    • Mike Chamernik | May 8, 2014 at 11:00 am |

      Nice! I figured there was a good reason why that was so.

      • james steever | May 8, 2014 at 5:40 pm |

        Ummmm… I’m not so sure the Wrigley Field ivy is returning with warm weather?
        http://cdn0.sbnation...

  • ThePonchat | May 8, 2014 at 8:09 am |

    Clowney can wear Puma shoes while playing, no logos can be shown though — or at least covered up.

    • Commenter formerly known as Eric B. | May 8, 2014 at 10:12 am |

      Yeah, he’ll probably go the RG3 route and either tape over the logo or wear a blacked out version to begin with.

      • Joe Nguyen | May 8, 2014 at 10:41 am |

        The weird thing about the RG3 adidas covering is that adidas footwear is actually allowed to show their logo, as seen on Eric Berry:

        http://static3.busin...

        But this Clowney’s sponsorship wouldn’t be unprecedented. Reggie Bush signed with adidas his rookie year, which was before adidas was allowed to show their logo on their cleats that year.

        • Commenter formerly known as Eric B. | May 8, 2014 at 10:46 am |

          You know, I actually thought that was the case but I couldn’t find any evidence to support it. My only question might be, was the Berry picture from the current Nike days or from the Reebok days? Looks like Reebok days to me, which would make sense with adidas being a parent company. Is he still allowed to show the adidas logo? Looking for evidence now.

        • terriblehuman | May 8, 2014 at 11:01 am |

          Looks like Berry played last season with his shoes completely taped over.

        • Commenter formerly known as Eric B. | May 8, 2014 at 11:11 am |

          Yeah that’s all I could find too. If you get a good look of the portion that’s not taped, it looks like a white version of RG3’s blacked out cleats.

      • Commenter formerly known as Eric B. | May 8, 2014 at 10:51 am |

        Clowney may end up wearing something like this. Jamaal Charles has a deal with Puma too.

        • jared | May 8, 2014 at 1:28 pm |

          Those are the Reebok Zig Blaze Mid SD4’s… Peyton wore them last year also

        • Commenter formerly known as Eric B. | May 8, 2014 at 4:28 pm |

          Ah, did not know that. I stand corrected.

    • Thresh8 | May 8, 2014 at 10:13 am |

      I read that Shep Messing, famous American soccer goalie in the NASL days, cut his hand while tryhing to remove an unallowed logo from his cleats.

      Time to get the unsung hero, the equipment manager, to do it.

  • DenverGregg | May 8, 2014 at 8:10 am |

    The number would depend on the sport. For anything but gridiron football it would be 13, but since that’s really not a number for a lineman, football would have to be 78 (13 times 6). I’ve got both those numbers on membership cards.

    I’ve just always been a triskaidekaphile. Goes along with being generally contrarian.

    • DenverGregg | May 8, 2014 at 10:33 am |

      . . . suggested future QOTW: what number would you try to avoid and why.

      • Mike Chamernik | May 8, 2014 at 11:02 am |

        I like the future QOTW.

    • DenverGregg | May 8, 2014 at 4:03 pm |

      . . . never did get to wear 13 (except as manager of a fantasy baseball team).

      Wore 78 on my first-ever jersey, which was football in the early 70s. Only lasted one season. Basketball I had 55, 14 and 35. For some reason baseball was always 14, even though I was nothing like Pete Rose. Maybe it was the coach’s way of trying to get more hustle out of me.

      Soccer I had 21 most of the time, except the funniest one was 86. I was on my high school’s first-ever soccer team. The jerseys came a few weeks late, so we got to wear the football team’s leftovers.

      • Devern Hansack | May 8, 2014 at 4:22 pm |

        Because I was a 6’3″, 285 pound behemoth at age 15, I had a similar incident with a funny number. My baseball team rush ordered me a XXXL jersey and I ended up with #90.

        I’d wish to wear #73 in any sport, as it’s unique, prime, and perfect for someone who is 6’5″ and 265 pounds like myself. I’d also consider #00 for basketball in honor of Robert Parish or #27 in any sport for my grandfather.

    • David | May 8, 2014 at 5:24 pm |

      I always use 33 when given the choice, like on my membership card. Being a very tall smart kid, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was my hero

  • Rob S | May 8, 2014 at 8:12 am |

    At the time I decided my preferred sweater number would be 74, it was virtually unheard of in the NHL – the type of number that would only get assigned in the preseason to players that were destined to either start the season in the minors or go back to juniors.

    Nowadays, it seems to be a popular pick.

    • Rob S | May 8, 2014 at 8:15 am |

      I should point out that for me, 74 represents my birth year, 1974. My initial favorite was 96, in reference to my being a roadgeek (I-96 is a Michigan-only interstate), but I thought 74 would be more unique. Three times as many players have worn 74 now (though 96 is now associated with Tomas Holmstrom in Detroit).

    • Rob S | May 8, 2014 at 10:52 am |

      On a whim, I ended up tweeting Jay McKee, the first NHLer to wear 74, and simply asked him, “Why 74?”

      He was great enough to respond, basically stating that he couldn’t get any of the numbers he wanted, so he just had the Sabres assign him a unique one, and since he started playing well, he stuck with it.

      I knew T.J. Oshie got 74 by random assignment at training camp and he just stuck with it. It was interesting to learn that it basically went the same way for McKee.

    • Mike Chamernik | May 8, 2014 at 11:06 am |

      I was the same way about No. 0. When Gilbert Arenas first started wearing it, he was unique and wearing 0 was cool. Now half the teams in the NBA have someone who wears 0.

  • AlMaFi | May 8, 2014 at 8:33 am |

    I hope that Manziel gets drafted by a team that already has an entrenched player who wears number 2 and his ridiculous logo is rendered obsolete. Fortunately for Johnny, it’s not a very popular choice. Matt Ryan is the best example I can think of without further research.

    Re: Mike’s question–my ideal jersey number is 28, randomly. It’s mainly attributable to the fact that I was a huge Marshall Faulk fan during his Indy days, especially the Colts’ 1995 playoff run.

    • Rob S | May 8, 2014 at 10:00 am |

      If Atlanta drafts him to back up Matt Ryan, then yeah, he’s going to have to change his number.

      If Washington takes him to go behind Colt McCoy, it could be a toss-up, as although McCoy’s expected to wear 2 this year, he’s hardly entrenched (having worn 12 in Cleveland before wearing 2 for the Niners last year).

      Any other team… well, anyone else who wore #2 last year was either a kicker, punter, backup… or Terrelle Pryor.

      • The Jeff | May 8, 2014 at 10:14 am |

        Any other team… well, anyone else who wore #2 last year was either a kicker, punter, backup… or Terrelle Pryor.

        You said backup twice…

        • AlMaFi | May 8, 2014 at 10:20 am |

          Zing.

          Does Pryor really need any more piling on at this point?

        • Rob S | May 8, 2014 at 11:10 am |

          If the Raiders were moving in a clear direction, I might be more kind to them and their players. As it is, though…

        • AlMaFi | May 8, 2014 at 11:25 am |

          Rob,

          The Raiders traded Pryor to the Seahawks, where he will be competing against Tarvaris Jackson to be head clipboard-holder.

        • Rob S | May 8, 2014 at 9:47 pm |

          Well, tells you how up-to-date I am.

      • terriblehuman | May 8, 2014 at 11:04 am |

        If Washington uses a high-round pick to take someone to sit behind Colt McCoy, then it tells us their front office is about as smart as we think it is.

        But more to the point, considering how much Nike is pushing the Manziel brand, I imagine it’ll happily throw a truckload of cash to a kicker/punter/backup QB to give up #2.

  • Tom Foolery | May 8, 2014 at 8:34 am |

    If I were to choose a number it would be 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson and Douglas Adams. When I was a little leaguer,I played third base and I desperately wanted the number 9 for Greg Nettles. The numbers went up wih the sizes of the shirts, and I could not fit into the number 9 jersey. I took the larger shirt-sized number 15 instead for my other favorite Yankee Thurman Munson. After his death, I always tried to get 15 whenever possible in youth sports.

  • Bruce Menard | May 8, 2014 at 8:35 am |

    We’ve seen that ’32 Cardinals jersey with the 4-leaf clover before, back in 2012 (http://www.uni-watch...). To quote Paul from back then, “I ran that jersey by a few researchers, including Cardinals historian Brian Finch, none of whom had ever seen it before. Makes me suspect that the clover patch may have been an aftermarket addition.”

    So did the Cardinals HOF now confirm that the clover patch is authentic, or just that they’d seen it before?

  • M.Princip | May 8, 2014 at 8:35 am |

    ‘Skins Watch:

    http://www.cbssports...

    • terriblehuman | May 8, 2014 at 9:10 am |

      I think Sherman’s maybe right about the conclusion, but not the reason.

      The public reaction against Sterling was so swift that it would’ve been hard for the NFL not to respond, but perhaps not as quickly and forcefully. The NBA is a bottom-line oriented league too, but it’s also a league with a higher percentage of black fans and a much, much higher percentage of black players – not acting on Sterling would’ve affected the bottom line.

      The thing with the ‘Skins though, is that there’s little player power, and the nickname is an issue that doesn’t directly affect most fans or players. When you insult Magic Johnson, fans’ and players’ ears perk up. When you insult Indians, people are like, “Meh.”

  • Adam | May 8, 2014 at 8:35 am |

    77 for me. It was my football number all the way through high school. I like the symmetry of it, and a lot of people think 7 is lucky, so why not have two of them? It’s also the year Star Wars came out.

  • Solomon D. | May 8, 2014 at 8:38 am |

    QotW- My number would be 22. I was born on November 22nd, and was assigned it to me for 3 sports in a row when I was in fourth grade and stuck from there. I love that it is a double number and my birthday.

    • Richard | May 8, 2014 at 10:05 am |

      Yup, 22. Interesting that most responses don’t include references to Hall of Fame players, but instead originate from house numbers, birthdays, Little League, etc.

      In 1967, as a 10-y.o. my favorite player was Red Sox player Mike Ryan who wore #22. Twenty-two became (and remains) my go-to number for everything. https://www.flickr.c...

      A few years ago, I found (by pure serendipity) and purchased Ryan’s 1965 home rookie jersey on eBay. Unfortunately, it is a #40 (the number he wore until ’66). Incredibly, I later realized, my first eBay purchase ever was Rollie Sheldon’s 1966 Sox home flannel pants. Stitched inside: #40. Not bad, eh?

    • AlMaFi | May 8, 2014 at 10:23 am |

      Also a soft spot for 22 here. I wore it playing basketball in 6th grade and envisioned myself as Clyde Drexler. A four-foot, white, Midwestern version of Clyde Drexler in Payless sneakers who bounced every shot off the side of the backboard.

  • Hodges14 | May 8, 2014 at 8:39 am |

    I’d probably wear 11 if I had to pick a number to wear for sports. It may not be my lucky number (that honor goes to 8) but it does represent a part of me (my birthday is august 11). Interestingly enough, of all the jerseys I have ever gotten in my life (not counting shirseys) the most common number I’ve worn is 11, thanks to a Yao Ming 2002 rockets jersey I still own, and a Kellen Clemens (later modified to Jeremy Kerley through the use of duct tape) Jets jersey.

  • Randy | May 8, 2014 at 8:44 am |

    My number would be 3 for baseball, 33 for everything else. No real reason, but I’ve always liked the numbers with 3.

  • Danya | May 8, 2014 at 8:45 am |

    I have two numbers: 13, because I’ve always been obsessed with spooky/horror/Halloween stuff, and — and I know this one is really going off the deep end — 47, because it is used over and over as an easter egg in Star Trek, and I’m a huge Trekkie.

    http://en.memory-alp...

    My favorite part about 47 is how when he was asked what 47 means, Rick Berman replied that it was “42 adjusted for inflation.” (42 being in the context of sci-fi not best known as Jackie Robinson’s number but as the “meaning of life, the universe and everything” in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.)

  • terriblehuman | May 8, 2014 at 8:50 am |

    QOTW:

    #17, and I have no idea why. I like #7, but being a soccer player, I never thought of myself as an out and out winger. And another soccer thing was that I felt like I had to earn a number between 2 and 11, and picking a high number was a way of telling myself I still had work to do.

    My second number is, appropriately, 2, and mostly because I was/will be a Charlotte Hornets fan and that was Larry Johnson’s number.

  • odessasteps | May 8, 2014 at 8:50 am |

    #19

    Tony Gwynn, steve yzerman and my uniwatch card design.

  • BurghFan | May 8, 2014 at 8:50 am |

    More detail about Pitt’s red and white unis, including some of the other colors considered:

    http://news.google.c...

    Jack Sell, who wrote the article, was a uni watcher of his time.

  • Bud | May 8, 2014 at 8:52 am |

    I’ve been #16 for my sports since my 2nd year of little league (I was 99 the first year). I picked 99 because I wanted to be the highest possible number (I was 5 years old, which must’ve been important to me), but I have no idea why I changed my mind after only a year, nor do I remember why I picked 16. But I stuck with 16 until high school, where the #16 baseball jersey junior and senior years were too big for me…so I picked #6. Have alternated between 6 and 16 ever since.

    Also, did the Diamondbacks ever actually wear that white hat they’re throwing back to in a game? I remember it being unveiled when they first became a team, but I don’t remember them wearing anything other than their Purple A hat their first year or two.

  • Jason M (DC) | May 8, 2014 at 8:56 am |

    QOTW – I was literally just thinking about my number this morning. My number is 13.

    Primary reason is that it was my first number in little league. I had to miss practice for some reason and I got whatever shirt was left over. 13. The highest number. (We were numbered 1-13). I did well that year and fell in love with the number. Like DenverGregg, I like to be the contrarian and wear a number that’s perceived as bad luck. Perhaps I would be bad luck for my opponents.

    Also, my heroes are Dale Murphy and Harmon Killebrew. 13 lets me honor them (who both wore 3) while allowing me to have my own number.

    • Cort | May 8, 2014 at 11:34 am |

      One of the first biographies I ever read was Harmon Killebrew: Baseball Superstar. And I loved John Havlicek, who wore 17.

      My number of choice has always been 14. I guess you could say it’s Havlicek’s 17 minus Killer’s 3, but I was never that clever. I just like the way it looks.

  • LD | May 8, 2014 at 8:56 am |

    I found this interesting.For those of us
    that purchase NFL jerseys.
    http://m.espn.go.com...
    Pats offering 25% off another jersey if the player you bought is not under contract in a year.While still a fatcat move, are they weary after seeing so many players in legal troubles?

    • Scott Davis | May 8, 2014 at 11:22 am |

      Pretty bizarre… the Patriots don’t really seem to have an issue selling merchandise.

  • RoccoT | May 8, 2014 at 8:59 am |

    #24
    My house number growing up, number of the day I met my wife, case of beer as well. My son has since carried the torch and wears 24 whenever given the chance.

  • Justin H. | May 8, 2014 at 9:01 am |

    Whenever possible, I try to wear #6, which is my favorite number. It became that because my favorite player was Tyrone Wheatley on Michigan in 1991-93 and I thought it looked amazing. Ive rocked 6 for rec league softball, flag football, kickball, the usual late 20s something drinking sports.

    When I played football for 10 years, I wore #55 (lineman), for no particular reason other than I thought it was less ugly than numbers in the 60s or other other 50s. I remember always wishing that football had a non-designated uni number system, wherein a lineman could rock #3 and a tailback could be #72, etc.

  • terriblehuman | May 8, 2014 at 9:03 am |

    Not really a ‘Skins Watch item per se, but Deadspin’s story about Mike Wise getting hot and bothered by vulgar rap music in Indiana Pacers locker room has an interesting touchpoint, I think.

    First off, 1994 called and wants its moral panic back.

    Second, it’s important to note that Mike Wise is one of the more vocal critics of the ‘Skins nickname, and I get the sense that he sees the nickname and the use of the n-word by black people as something similar. Except I think he’s got it wrong.

    To me, the reason the Washington NFL team nickname is wrong is because it’s the mainstream culture co-opting what is, slur or not, a Native identity. Offensive or not, it’s not something for a team whose ownership and fanbase are not largely Native to claim and play with.

    Now, on the other side of the coin, he complains about how dehumanizing it is for black people to call each other by one of the worst slurs in the American vernacular. I used to feel this way too, but I’ve recently come around to thinking it’s actually healthy. They turned it into something that belongs to them.

    I think both Charles Barkley and Deadspin’s Greg Howard made similar arguments: mainstream culture/white people don’t get to tell other people what to do with slurs they created (and I’d make the same argument for the use of “queer” in the LGBT community).

    Complaints about black people using the n-word always sounds like a roundabout way of saying, “I so desperately want an excuse to use this slur”, and the NFL’s recent ban on the use of the n-word is, far from the league being progressive about race relationship, is basically telling black players, “Your taking ownership of the word makes rich, old people uncomfortable.”

  • Norm C. | May 8, 2014 at 9:04 am |

    My Mom passed away in March and was Puerto Rican. I was also born in Puerto Rico. My uniform number of choice would be 21 for the late, great, Roberto Clemente.

  • Bob K | May 8, 2014 at 9:04 am |

    #28. As a soccer player my favorite player was Bogie from the Cosmos who wore #8. I’m a tall person and every year which ever school I was at all the single digit jerseys where small increasing in size with the numbers. So I settled for and continue to wear 28 in over 40 leagues, now nearly 30 years later.

    • Dagr | May 8, 2014 at 10:44 am |

      Alexander Bogiecievic. What memories of Cosmos Soccer on WOR-9.

  • KC | May 8, 2014 at 9:07 am |

    3 has been my regular number for ages (barring that one disastrous year of 13) partly because of Bird at 33 (but no way I would wear 33), partly because that was Dale Ellis’ number, and partly because (in my mind) it was amusing that a guy wearing #3 never took threes.

  • mike d | May 8, 2014 at 9:07 am |

    #7 for two reasons: my birthday is March 7, and even though he played before my time, I’m a fan of Mickey Mantle.

    Is the NFL the only league that doesn’t allow a player to wear shoes that aren’t affiliated with the league?

  • Shane | May 8, 2014 at 9:10 am |

    QoTW:

    In baseball as a kid I was always given 11 or 15, which really had no special meaning. I was one of the bigger guys on the team and those numbers were the larger shirts. Reverse case when I played soccer one year, and as a forward wore #1. I think our goalie wore 19.

    If I had to pick, I’d go with a single digit, probably 7. Something that looks alright with my three-letter last named arched over it.

  • J_Mueller36 | May 8, 2014 at 9:13 am |

    I would pick the number 36 to wear because back when I first started out playing baseball it was the first number I received. At the end of the year the coaches gave out a book with every player and info about them. One of parts of information was what famous baseball player wore your number. There were no names next to my number so I made it a life goal make #36 my number and make it famous in some way, shape, or form.

  • terriblehuman | May 8, 2014 at 9:13 am |

    re: leaked Man Utd kits

    Man, the Chevy logo looks ugly on soccer jerseys. It’s no Opel or Citroën, or Hyundai even.

    • Rob S | May 8, 2014 at 11:16 am |

      Probably would look better if it were just the bowtie outline, rather than the fully chromed logo. It’d definitely look better if they did that and didn’t have the name right under it as well, but yeah, that’s not likely to happen, right?

      • terriblehuman | May 8, 2014 at 11:42 am |

        Yeah, the earlier leak with just the logo outline is a wee bit better.

        The problem is that Chevrolet isn’t a familiar brand in Europe, since most GM vehicles are sold under Opel or Vauxhall badges. In the US, you could probably get away with just the bowtie.

  • FiteClub | May 8, 2014 at 9:14 am |

    In youth sports I selected the 6 jersey when I could (Steve Garvey influence) until one year in soccer when I had to go get a number added to my top. I chose 0 just to be subversive and ended up loving it.

    I’d go with 0 now if I could. If that wasn’t allowed I’d choose 11, double-aces, which seems unrepresented in the sports world.

    • FiteClub | May 8, 2014 at 9:24 am |

      under-represented is what I meant

  • Brendan Burke | May 8, 2014 at 9:18 am |

    I’d go with 94. A big high number, worn by only two major league players with a combined 46.2 innings pitched. I don’t know how Felix Heredia got 35 innings with an ERA that bad…

    • James Burke | May 8, 2014 at 9:31 am |

      That certainly has nothing to do with your birth year.

  • Ronnie Poore | May 8, 2014 at 9:20 am |

    in my younger days when i played on basketball and baseball (or later softball) teams, i always requested 25 as my uni number. as a Raiders and Lakers fan in the late 60s early 70s, my favorite players were Fred Biletnikoff of Oakland, and LA’s Gail Goodrich, both of whom wore number 25.

  • Sticks | May 8, 2014 at 9:20 am |

    It’s funny the image in the background of this local Houston CBS affiliate/Fanatics.com is of the Astros’ old uniform design. Is this a throwback nod or just plain stupid?

  • Joel K | May 8, 2014 at 9:27 am |

    Interestingly on that obscure jerseys story, the no. 19 worn by Johnny Unitas with the Chargers is perhaps that team’s most obscure jersey, while the no. 19 worn by Lance Alworth is arguably the team’s most famous.
    And on number choices, I like the number 25 simply because of how it looks, as the two numerals seem to come together but also push apart. However, not the most famous number worn by athletes (Gail Goodrich & Barry Bonds (though he wanted to wear no. 24 with the Giants)).

  • Rob S | May 8, 2014 at 9:27 am |

    Regarding the Rangers logo in the Staten Island Yankees’ ballpark, they share the facility with the Wagner College Seahawks, who actually finish up their regular season home schedule this weekend.

  • J. Daniel | May 8, 2014 at 9:28 am |

    Regarding the obscure jersey article:

    I remember a great Kenny Mayne feature about Dancing with the Stars regarding Rice. Emmitt Smith was quoted as saying he and Rice had some epic battles when Rice was with the Broncos and Smith played for the Cardinals.

  • Commenter formerly known as Eric B. | May 8, 2014 at 9:28 am |

    I always wore no. 5 as a kid. My two favorite players were Jeff Bagwell and Nomar Garciaparra, both wearing 5 at the time, so I wore 5 every time I got the chance. When I got into high school sports, as a freshman on our varsity baseball team, 5 was taken so I wore 4 and it stuck. Senior year of football, a position change allowed me to change to a ball carrier number, so I went back to 5. My favorite part of my 4/5 saga is the year I spent playing juco baseball. We didn’t get to pick our numbers, they were assigned. I was assigned 45. HA

    • Commenter formerly known as Eric B. | May 8, 2014 at 10:37 am |

      I guess one thing I didn’t consider with #4 for baseball, my dad wore 44 for everything and my mother wore 24 for her basketball days, so they both liked seeing me wear 4. Don’t remember if that went into my thought process at the time or not.

  • Terry Proctor | May 8, 2014 at 9:29 am |

    My number for baseball is 20. I wore it when I was an assistant coach on our local American Legion team back in the 1970s. The reason I chose Number 20 is because that’s the number pitcher Dave Vineyard wore with the Rochester Red Wings.

    Dave was working construction back in his West Virginia home during the off-season when he was run over by a bulldozer. Doctors recommended amputating the mangled limb but Dave refused. After months of painful rehab he rejoined the Red Wings partway through the 1963 season.

    He had a respectable career with the Wings from 1962-66, threw a no-hitter in ’66 against Toledo and in 1967 he no-hit the Red Wings while pitching for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He is also the last person to wear Number 20 for the Baltimore Orioles before Frank Robinson.

    Dave Vineyard is one of my all-time favorite Red Wings.

  • Pat C | May 8, 2014 at 9:30 am |

    Most of mine were for players I admired when I was younger. So I wore 42 in baseball for Jackie Robinson & 21 in Hockey for Peter Forsberg. Sometimes in baseball it’d be 21 because of the hockey thing and Roberto Clemente. In football it was 57 HS through college because I was assigned that freshman year and I just liked the look of it. Luckily was always on the line or linebacker so never had to change because of position.

  • walter | May 8, 2014 at 9:31 am |

    A few thoughts: My number would be 44, for Hank Aaron.

    Speaking of the Padres, the mighty Fleer Sticker Project has come up with a pair of photos of the 1972 wide-span yellow cap panel.

    I like this detail because it disproves the theory the Padres used the graphic element of a bell on their hat.

    The fashion brand Boy London is under pressure to change its logo because the design strongly resembles the Nazis’ eagle symbol (from Coleman Mullins).

    This is unfair, because an eagle does not carry the overt connotations of, say, a swastika or a fasces. I am within my rights to use a big, square eagle if I so desire just because it looks nice. Is Hugo Boss persona non grata because he designed Nazi uniforms? Do we knock down the Federal Reserve because it looks like something Albert Speer would’ve whipped up? Sometimes design is just design.

    • Red Wing In Colorado | May 8, 2014 at 10:48 am |

      Yes, but when that design is distinctly evocative of a design used by a group as notorious as the Nazis, the design needs to come under criticism. A big square eagle is probably fine. A big square, black, right-facing eagle perched on a circle? That’s Nazi symbolism.

      Sometimes design is more than design. I suspect this is one of those cases.

      • Chance Michaels | May 8, 2014 at 11:36 am |

        It’s hard to believe this was entirely coincidental.

      • walter | May 8, 2014 at 5:46 pm |

        Here at my graphic designer job, I’d say, “then I’ll flip the eagle around so he faces left, and put some separation between him and ‘BOY’, does that make it less Nazi?”

  • Sonny | May 8, 2014 at 9:35 am |

    #21

    My father wore 42 in his high school days. He was a police officer and a damn fine father so I thought if I could be half the man he is, I’m doing pretty well.

  • Tank | May 8, 2014 at 9:36 am |

    If I had to choose a uni number it would be 15. First, because Thurman Munson was and still is a hero of mine. And second, in honor of my father, who’s birthday is 1/5.

  • SCBravesFan23 | May 8, 2014 at 9:42 am |

    As a kid I always wore 23 for David Justice. Even after he was traded to the Indians. However, as an adult I’ve always wore number 7 for my slow-pitch softball teams in honor of Micky Mantle.

    Interesting news about Louisiana-Lafayette axing Russel. I wonder if Georgia Tech is next. I really hate what Russel has been doing to the Jackets unis the last few seasons. The whole honeycomb thing is just ridiculous. I mean come on, Yellow Jackets aren’t even honey bees!!

    • David Murphy | May 8, 2014 at 10:34 am |

      I agree – Georgia Tech’s unis will never improve until Russell is ditched. I wonder if there is some good old boy agreement, but all the decision-makers at Tech are new now. Auburn ditched Russell, so why can’t Tech? So many fans and players say they like the new Russell uniforms every year – I think just because they are new. I too hate the hive. GT’s basketball unis haven’t been too bad lately, but football is atrocious.

    • Douglas King | May 8, 2014 at 6:06 pm |

      Tech signed a 10-year deal in 2008, but the final 4-years are not guaranteed. We are now entering the optional period, I have no idea what it would mean for Tech to break the contract (Russell isn’t going to want to end the partnership, but I don’t know if it only takes one part to end the agreement, or if a penalty would be assessed if one party opts to break the contract when one is still interested in continuing it). I wouldn’t mind switching to Nike at this point, because there seems to be no interest in continuity on Russell’s end (they don’t seem to be developing ideas for Tech but rather developing concepts and then using Tech’s colors for them).

      I like the concept behind the Comb pattern. Hornets, Wasps, Yellow Jackets, and Bees (bumble and honey), all use that structure for housing and/or gestating. We just most often associate it with Honey. Additionally that comb design is used a lot in engineering (it helps to maintain the same level of integrity of making an entire layer out of a certain material, but without having to use nearly as much material), so the design ties to the schools’ mascot and the subject for which it is most famous for.

      I think they handled it completely wrong though, they shouldn’t have added any depth to the design, by doing that they unintentionally made it more closely resemble bubble wrap. They should stick to outlines of the combs, like they have in every other instance in which the design had been used around campus prior to the 2012 season.

      And yes Russell Athletic has ties to Georgia Tech, pretty much every team in the country was supplied by Russell at one point or another, but Georgia Tech has the longest running partnership with them, and multiple Georgia Tech graduates have gone on to work for the company (Polymer and Fiber Engineering program, previously Textile Engineering).

      Russell hasn’t had an entirely negative reaction to the recent uniforms, but the new uniforms every year thing is starting to get old. And Russell isn’t even trying with the replicas (price has gone up every year, but the accuracy of the uniforms and the quality have gone down in recent years). As loyal as Russell has been to us over the years, but I’d like to see us switch to Nike as soon as its possible contractually (Adidas is garbage, Under Armor is lackluster).

  • Connie DC | May 8, 2014 at 9:43 am |

    Loved the lede this morning. I was an underutilized slugger for the Merrill Hardware Tigers just a couple of years years after Johnny’s big day at Williamsport. Boy, did I adore my uni.

    Check out the illustration where Dad is sitting in the big armchair and having a laugh at his boy’s expense. Note the robe. Note the footwear. There was this stereotype back then of the father coming home after a hard day’s work at the office and relaxing in his bathrobe and slippers. Often Fido brought Dad the slippers. I never knew of any household in which that ever occurred, but a trope is a trope, right?

    • DenverGregg | May 8, 2014 at 10:28 am |

      Great observation! I’m familiar with the trope and also never saw it IRL. That being said, I think the guy in the armchair is the ailing big brother Hank. He just doesn’t look adult enough to be Dad. Heck, his feet are barely bigger than Johnny’s.

      • Connie DC | May 8, 2014 at 10:34 am |

        Damn, I think you’re right, Gregg. That probably IS the ailing brother. No dad – well, no 1950s dad – would laugh so hard at his little boy’s discomfort.

        • Cort | May 8, 2014 at 11:38 am |

          I like the simple pencil illustrations. Very Goofus and Gallant.

          If I’m not mistaken, this book was re-released in the 1990’s under the title: “My Shirt’s Too Big: The Craig Biggio Story”.

  • Connie DC | May 8, 2014 at 9:44 am |

    “… … The Elite Football League of India — yes, that’s ‘American’ football, not soccer — is launching a 10-team college league and has just released the team logos and uniforms (from Eric Garment). …”

    Awesome. “Pakistan Wolfpak” rules.

    • Joel Manuel | May 8, 2014 at 9:51 am |

      I actually prefer the Lovely Professional Tigers of the Indian college league.

    • DenverGregg | May 8, 2014 at 10:26 am |

      . . . but isn’t it a foregone conclusion that the best team will be the Lakshmi Narain Tech Champions?

      . . . and someone loves them too much of the UCLA stripe.

    • Dagr | May 8, 2014 at 10:52 am |

      And one of the team names is “Nazims”? Perhaps they should think of a rebranding ….

    • M.Princip | May 8, 2014 at 11:05 am |

      Indeed! Love the yellow helmets:

      http://www.efli.com/...

  • Tim E. O'B | May 8, 2014 at 9:45 am |

    16

    Could never wear it in basketball (1-5 rule) or football (they didn’t have 11-19 as numbers or something…) but I always liked it because it’s my birthday number. Plus there are few great 16s in professional sports.

    7 would be my backup (for July).

  • Brett | May 8, 2014 at 9:46 am |

    I’d chose #20 cause it was my locker number as a kid and my best friend had #21.

    Also, in regards to the number 6, It’s always bothered me that LeBron changed from #23 to #6 out of respect to Jordan, but completely disregarded Bill Russell. I get that all the comparisons were to MJ, but still.

  • Aaron | May 8, 2014 at 9:50 am |

    Goodness, if I knew it was going to cause such a stir, I would have left the “Gold Out” procedures a mystery.

  • Bill | May 8, 2014 at 9:55 am |

    “Russell Athletic has lost one of its last remaining toeholds in the FBS, as Louisiana-Lafayette has switched to Adidas.”

    Going from one set of crappy uniform templates to another. That’s about right for ULL. And thanks for calling them “Louisiana-Lafayette” instead of their preferred “Louisiana” moniker, which is incorrect (there’s also Louisiana-Monroe and other Louisiana at … schools in the University of Louisiana System) and illegal.

    http://www.thenewsst...

  • The Jeff | May 8, 2014 at 9:56 am |

    I think I’d have to go with 81 (my birth year) for every sport but the NFL. There, it’d depend on what position I was playing. I’d want something that isn’t associated with a bunch of past greats at that position. So, like QB – 17, RB – 23, CB – 41, etc. Damn the NFL’s number regulations.

  • Mike Engle on iPad | May 8, 2014 at 10:02 am |

    I love this question. I love jersey numbers, and I love when numbers have stories. That’s why I am a Uni Watcher.
    27 is my number. I picked it in Grade 7 for my intermural club roller hockey team. You see, I was a goalie as a kid, but on this team, I was a depth forward to have an extra body, but everybody knew I was the backup goalie. So I needed a number that would work both ways. I to this day love multiples of 3, and society thinks the 7 digit is lucky, so I came up with 27. And what do you know, that’s Alexei Kovalev or Ron Hextall, so it worked!
    My “backup options,” in no particular order, 18 and 36 (the book-ending chai multiples), 39 (3*9=27), or my family’s lucky number, 24. Dad born on a 8/16, Mom born on a 24th, my middle name is Bradley for Bill Bradley, my dad’s favorite childhood athlete was Willie Mays, and I was raised in ZIP code 70124. (Because my membership card depicts the 2009 NHL ASG, a one-day uniform, I felt like 27 was taken thus inappropriate, so I chose 18.)
    In house league roller hockey, I got #1 all the time because it was the goalie cut jersey, but I never really liked #1. (Even though my birthday is January 1st. Go figure.) For one thing, #1 gets lost on the big jersey over the big equipment. For another thing, I don’t really gravitate towards one-digit numbers, or the multiples of 11. If you have room for two digits, why not model two digits out of the font book, instead of just one? But that’s just my thinking.

  • Chris Heintzelman | May 8, 2014 at 10:07 am |

    #36 Tom Cousineau, Marcus Marek, Chris Spielman. I was able to switch to it my senior year in 1985. I’m 46 years old now, and every baseball hat i own has 36 sharpied on the underside of the bill.

  • David | May 8, 2014 at 10:13 am |

    14 – for Craig MacTavish (the last to wear no helmet in the NHL). He was the easiest to spot out on this ice, and thus, my favorite player at 5 years old. My first ever jersey was a #14 MacTavish WITH the fighting strap. I thought I was the baddest thing on roller blades. #14’s been my go-to for about 20 years now.

  • ChaosRWM | May 8, 2014 at 10:16 am |

    QOTW:

    As a kid my number was my age until I got to high school. In high school my football number was 66 and baseball number was 21. 21 has become my favorite number and i would wear it as my first choice. I also think there is something special about the way the number 3 looks on a baseball jersey.

  • Thresh8 | May 8, 2014 at 10:22 am |

    I’m partial to 5.

    I last had to choose in Little League, and it was a “find a T-shirt that fits you and pick one of the numbers in that size”, so I lucked out two years in a row.

    If I were to go to fantasy camp, 5 has the advantage of fitting my body for basketball (I’m definitely a guard), and not being out of place for football (I’m definietly not a lineman).

  • David Murphy | May 8, 2014 at 10:26 am |

    In high school I wore 21 because the Dolphins’ Jim Kiick was so cool. Since then that’s been my number. Had my pick of numbers 20 years ago when I won a trip to the Cubs Fantasy camp. I disliked Sammy Sosa so much that I chose Sandburg’s 23 over Sosa’s 21. Unlike the real Cubs, they added my name on back.

    Before I was 21 I wore 82, so that would be my number if I were a receiver or tight end. I’m not a fan of receivers wearing numbers under 20, and too many wear number 80.

    As a kicker or basketball player I’d wear 17, a great number. John Havlichek was the first great 17 (also Billy Kilmer). A great baseball number is 27. Also 3 for Dale Murphy or 5 for Joltin Joe. Too many fight over the Mick’s number 7.

  • stan gable | May 8, 2014 at 10:29 am |

    #68, because of an article in sports illustrated about boston college d-lineman mike ruth, probably in ’85/’86?

  • Perry | May 8, 2014 at 10:30 am |

    Re: MLB shutting down podcasts, a couple of things. One, they weren’t shut down, merely removed from ITunes. Two, as I understand it that was Apple’s call, MLB just asked that their trademarked logos be removed from products that, after all, have no official connection to the team.

    I hate corporate douchbaggery as much as anyone, but Apple seems to be the bigger villain here.

    • terriblehuman | May 8, 2014 at 10:47 am |

      And I wouldn’t call this douchebaggery – people shouldn’t use trademarks that don’t belong to them to market their products.

      It’s probably less of an issue with podcasts, but one of the problems with the iTunes store in general is imposters, especially in the App Store using recognizable logos and suggesting affiliation where there isn’t any.

      • Chance Michaels | May 8, 2014 at 11:19 am |

        Agree completely. MLB was right to request that they be taken down, and Apple was right to comply.

        There’s no reason that the podcasters can’t come up with their own titles and logos. Get creative, people.

  • Adam JK | May 8, 2014 at 10:30 am |

    I was randomly assigned the number 20 in my high school soccer days, and I really liked that number. I also wore 6 for spring soccer as a tribute to a friend of mine who passed away (his favorite number was 56).

  • Greg Brown | May 8, 2014 at 10:39 am |

    Our daughter has Down Syndrome. When she was playing Tee Ball and our son was playing Little League, she wore #3 and he wore #21 – for Trisomy 21, the extra chromosome that causes Down Syndrome. Our son has continued to wear #21 to support his sister. Now that daughter has aged out of Little League, I would wear #3 for her.

  • Badger | May 8, 2014 at 10:44 am |

    I’ve always chosen 28 as my jersey number when I can, because it was the number of one of my favorite players as a kid: Bill Swift, who won 21 games for my hometown SF Giants in 1993, which was really the season that cemented my burgeoning interest as a baseball fan and as a Giants fan for life.

    Thing is, apparently he never wore that number! I remembered his number incorrectly, according to Baseball Reference: he wore 26. But I’m attached to the number 28, and the long-ago reason I chose it, mistaken or not, isn’t relevant anymore.

    And heck, so far as choosing numbers for the sake of Giants fandom, my chosen number has come into vogue anyway these days, since it’s now worn by Buster Posey!

  • Anthony | May 8, 2014 at 10:50 am |

    #15.
    My idol growing up was the later great Thurman Munson.
    Of course this makes for a dilemma if I ever had the good fortune to play for the Yankees as 15 is retired and 51 has been taken out of circulation (and why Ichiro wears 31).
    Other than Munson and Bart Starr, the number 15 is not a very “famous” number.
    I own about 12 random sports jerseys (MLB, NHL, NFL) and they all have the number 15 on them – as does my Uniwatch membership card.

  • teenchy | May 8, 2014 at 10:53 am |

    Random observations:

    – Until reading that obscure jersey column, I’d never heard the Chargers’ powder blues described as garish.

    – Boy London eagle? Definitely the Parteiadler. Then again I always saw a resemblance between the old Philadelphia Eagles logo and the eagle used by the WWII-era Luftwaffe.

    -Pick a number? Football, I wore 92, 67, 51, 73 in that order. Lettered wearing 73. Baseball, 15 (Munson/Brenly). Softball: 26 (randomly assigned), 13 (just because), then finally 5 (recalling Cecil Travis, who I’d come to know). Coincidentally the last number I was randomly assigned for a competitive automotive event (TSD rally) was 5.

    I’m too small to play the football positions that earned me those high numbers today, so I guess I’d choose from 5, 13, or 15 in a ball-and-bat game.

  • Ed Hughes | May 8, 2014 at 10:58 am |

    I wear 1 in hockey in homage to Jacques Plante, whose goaltending book I still consult as a technical reference. In other sports I favor 21, my late father’s number from lacrosse and football. The only numbers I avoid are 5 and its multiples, especially (the accursed) 25. For me, 5 is closely associated with an imaginary ( of course) childhood demon. Yep, it’s weird, but what do you expect from a goalie?

  • Tape | May 8, 2014 at 11:03 am |

    #19. Robin Yount.

    • Chance Michaels | May 8, 2014 at 11:10 am |

      I like the cut of your jib.

    • Mike Chamernik | May 8, 2014 at 11:13 am |

      Yes!

  • Bob N | May 8, 2014 at 11:03 am |

    I’d go with #8 in all sports. I was handed that number as a sophmore QB in high school. I kept growing, became a D-Lineman junior year and kept #8, much to the dismay of the “old school” coaches. (The fact that I was a backup TE didn’t sway their opinion.) When my friend, a nose guard, picked #1, their heads nearly exploded. Seeing a d-lineman wearing a single digit # was unheard of back then, but not now (Clowney, Marvin Austin, Louis Nix, etc).

    Also a huge fan of #00, especially when the NFL allowed it.

  • Vee63 | May 8, 2014 at 11:04 am |

    That bird logo review is one of the funniest things I’ve read on this site.

    For jersey numbers: as a former hockey goalie I liked wearing the traditional goalie numbers (1, 29, 30, 31, 35). Eventually this became dictated once the equipment got bigger and goalie-cut jerseys were required – teams would usually have them pre-made with those numbers.

    33 became popular for goalies but I’m glad I was never issued it because I always thought it was too flashy. 40 has become popular for goalies and I would have worn it – I think it looks good.

    In general I would pick numbers based on the way they look, not for any special meaning, birthday, etc.

  • Chance Michaels | May 8, 2014 at 11:08 am |

    I got to choose my number when playing Cub Scout baseball, and I went with #15, for Cecil Cooper.

    When I started youth soccer I wanted #6 for Der Kaiser, but it was already taken, so it was back to #15 for me.

  • Robert S | May 8, 2014 at 11:12 am |

    I chose the number 8 in high school baseball because of Bo Jackson. Bo wore that number for the White Sox and, well, damn I loved Bo Jackson. I remember reading Bo Knows Bo and just came away with how driven he was. I wish he did focus on just baseball though (I wasn’t much of a football fan back then).

  • ChrisH | May 8, 2014 at 11:15 am |

    If the jersey was NOB, I’d go with #11 since that’s where I fall in birth order in my family.
    If it were NNOB I’d feel right at home with #8; every address I’ve ever lived at has contained that digit.

  • Mike Chamernik | May 8, 2014 at 11:16 am |

    Good stuff, everyone. I’m enjoying the stories. Personal uni numbers are cool both ways: either being assigned a random number and owning it, or choosing a number to honor somebody.

  • Phil P | May 8, 2014 at 11:16 am |

    Couple of items:
    On ESPN front page, there’s a story about the Pats jersey guarantee, basically if a player leaves the team within a year of buying a jersey, you get 25% off your next one. Not much of guarantee…

    It’s Public Employee Recognition Week May 4-10, I assume this group is not getting any uni-tributes

  • BvK1126 | May 8, 2014 at 11:24 am |

    QOTW: #26. Because #1126 wouldn’t fit on most jerseys.

    • Mark in Shiga | May 9, 2014 at 9:00 am |

      Become a Yomiuri Giants fan and join their fan club — they gave out individually-numbered game jerseys to premium members back in 2006, and they numbered them sequentially after the players and coaches, so that everyone could feel like they were on the team. I really like the super-condensed number font, which was custom-created for the four-digit people!

  • Mike Chamernik | May 8, 2014 at 11:24 am |

    Hey, this message is for JenInChicago: Thanks for recommending Leadbelly. It was pretty good! Went to the Gladstone Park location this past weekend.

  • inkracer | May 8, 2014 at 11:26 am |

    After Dale Sr. died, I started using the #3 in a lot of the sports video games, and where I had a choice. In a lot of cases, 3 was already taken, so I switched to 12, which has become my go to number. In cases where 12 is in use, I have started to use 77, in memory of Dan Wheldon.

  • 1vox | May 8, 2014 at 11:51 am |

    #17. Got that number when I played soccer (one of the jerseys in my size) and have worn it ever since. A good friend’s older brother wore that number playing football at the same school, so I guess I tried to wear it with some pride and honor, partly for that reason, also.

  • Omar Jalife | May 8, 2014 at 11:53 am |

    I have always used #13 and since almost anybody uses it, it’s easy for me to get it when I play.
    However, I wanted #12 when I started playing basketball. The coach wouldn allow any number higher than the amount of players that were on the team (to avoid people asking for #23) and, since not many players used low numbers in the 90’s, I wanted to get Stockton’s number.
    I lost it in a coin flip and that’s when I decided to use 13 since many of the kids were “scared” of using it due to “bad luck”. I’ve been using it ever since.

  • Stephen Pindar | May 8, 2014 at 12:03 pm |

    ALWAYS wear # 24 in honor of Willie Mays, but nylon baseball related unis. Other sports for whatever favorite player is on the virus roster, e.g. # 18 for Mark Stall of the Rangers.

    • RoccoT | May 8, 2014 at 4:38 pm |

      finally another 24! Cheers!

  • Commenter formerly known as Eric B. | May 8, 2014 at 12:04 pm |

    Re: Clowney signs with Puma

    I know several Uni Watch readers probably won’t care at all, but I always think it’s interesting to watch and see draftee’s choices for signing apparel contracts vs. the brand their University wore. It seems to me (based on absolutely no numbers, just my generalized observations) that Nike and UnderArmour sign a better percentage of athletes who wore their gear in college than adidas. Maziel and Evans to Nike from AtM’s adidas, same for Anthony Barr of UCLA. I guess flip side would be Sammy Watkins Carlos Hyde doing the reverse, but it just seems to be a trend to me.

  • Eric | May 8, 2014 at 12:04 pm |

    I played football at a small D3 college in Minnesota. In addition to playing I was also the equipment manager and my freshman year was the first year of the program. Before my sophomore year, we needed some new jerseys, and I had complete autonomy over what numbers to order. I got #4 for a friend (our first single-digit number) and I ordered #19 for myself. It was my favorite number and worked since I played kicker. I don’t really remember why I liked it so much, other than I thought it looked cool on Johnny Unitas and Lance Alworth. It was also a fairly uncommon number.

    https://dl.dropboxus...

  • Lee | May 8, 2014 at 12:11 pm |

    “If you were an athlete and got to choose your uniform number, which number would you wear and why? Or if you’ve had the opportunity to do this for a team you played on, which number did you choose?”

    Baseball- I’d ask for the lowest number available that wasn’t the number 1. I wouldn’t ask for a retired number, or a number that another player was currently wearing, just whatever the lowest number that was currently open.
    If is was an expansion team and I was the first player signed, I would go with #2, 6 or 25.

    Football- #66, the year I was born. Especially if they let me play running back with it.

    Soccer- #66 again. Funny, while I have thought about what my number would be in baseball and football, I have never thought about it for soccer.

    Lee

  • Robert | May 8, 2014 at 12:27 pm |

    The number I wore in Football, Basketball, and Baseball was #2 The reason always working to be #1 If 2 was not available I wore #22

  • duker | May 8, 2014 at 12:29 pm |

    #8 for Calvin Edwin Ripken Jr. In little league, in Maryland, I somehow landed that number. My sister then chose it for field hockey because that’s what I wore.

    High School football I got number 43 because I sucked and didn’t get to choose a number.

  • Bob | May 8, 2014 at 12:31 pm |

    My number has always been 44. Brooks Robinson (5) + Frank Robinson (20) + John Unitas (19)=44

    The fact that Ellie Hendricks, one of my very favorites, wore it is just gravy.

    • brinke | May 8, 2014 at 8:25 pm |

      Always partial to 4 or 44. But senior year soccer I wore 6- 4 was already gone- 6 for Franz Beckenbauer.

  • Joel | May 8, 2014 at 12:40 pm |

    I may be wrong, but I feel my uniform number choices growing up was a departure from the norm. To explain, basketball was my favorite sport growing up, participating in 2nd grade YMCA leagues until my senior year of high school on the varsity squad. However, I had a different jersey number every single year that I played. I had some favorite numbers and/or players, but claiming a number as my own didn’t seem vital to my success, I suppose.

    I do not recall my exact jersey numbers while playing YMCA ball in 2-4th grade, but here was what I wore from then on:

    5th grade – #44
    6th – #53
    7th – #23
    8th – #31
    9th – #4
    10th – #10
    11th – #22
    12th – #2

    Yeah, not a whole lot of rhyme or reason to it. On the other hand, in an interesting comparison, my brother wore #24 throughout his entire playing career.

    Maybe this practice is more commonplace than I realize, but I thought it was worth passing along.

  • Will S | May 8, 2014 at 12:47 pm |

    Choice of uniform number?

    As a kid if I had a choice it probably would have been the lowest number available because in atom/peewee hockey I think we were assigned numbers based on age and the youngest ones got the highest number (and being born in October I was usually one of the youngest).

    Now if I had a choice it is usually #8 for forward & defence for hockey, and when I played in a touch football league it was 8 – liked the look of the number plus it is a single digit number.

    For goalie in hockey and Slo-pitch liked #40 – partly from Frank Pietrangelo [not for "the save" with the Penguins but earlier in his career with the Whalers in the heart breaker of a game 7 loss against Montreal] and other #40’s in hockey who were usually backups at least for a while. Also like 00 when in goal; third choice would be the traditional #1 in goal.

  • Rydell | May 8, 2014 at 12:50 pm |

    Playing soccer as a child I chose # 9 because Paulo Rossi with Juventus was my favorite, and # 35 in little league baseball not sure why but because I just liked the how it looked as a number combo.
    As an adult I’ve quit soccer and still play ball chose # 2..for Derek Jeter.

  • Jermaine R. | May 8, 2014 at 12:59 pm |

    QoTW: “If you were an athlete and got to choose your uniform number, which number would you wear and why? Or if you’ve had the opportunity to do this for a team you played on, which number did you choose?”

    For me, the number I wore and chose was seven (7). The sport I played (still do from time to time) is soccer (or football as we called it in The Bahamas). Back in the day, players numbers were “assigned” based upon the position they had on the field. Seven and eight tended to be the numbers given to outside wing players. At the time I played on the right wing, and thus inherited the number.

    There was a time when if you were a starter on the soccer pitch, you coveted any number 2 through 11. The goalkeeper usually has 1, and the other field players would get the numbers based on position. For example in a typical 4 defense, 4 midfield, and 2 forward set up, 2 and 3 would go to the outside defensive backs, 4 and 5 would go to the central defensive backs, 6 and 9 to the central midfielders, 7 and 8 to the outside midfielders, with 10 and 11 going to the forwards. Then 12 would be the “next best” bench player, and then 13, and 14 so on an so forth. If you got 18 or a number that began with “20 something”, you were considered to be “in need of improvement”.

    Nowadays, the whole jersey number has gone crazy with “99” being on jerseys, or “23” as David Beckham wore when he was Real Madrid. During the World Cup, one may see more of the “typical” uniform numbering return, but even now that’s not too certain. Not sure when it all changed for soccer, but I thought it was a really good motivator to “earn” a number and hand on to it, so as to not end up with a 12 or above.

    • terriblehuman | May 8, 2014 at 1:14 pm |

      during the World Cup, one may see more of the “typical” uniform numbering return

      At least all numbers at the World Cup have to be between 1 and 23. Also, La Liga restricts senior squad numbers to 25 or below, while the Premier League requires special dispensation for high numbers. And a lot of national teams had out numbers 1-11 to the starters.

      I think Johann Cruyff was the first player to prefer a number over 11 (you see a lot of creative midfielders wear 14 now) and Michael Ballack wore 13 for Germany, even when all his teammates were wearing position-based numbers. Otherwise, I think soccer players still prefer low numbers that match their positions for the most part.

      “99”, or the three AC Milan players a few years ago who wore their birth years, are still rare, and that’s probably why it’s noticeable, not because it’s all that widespread. The high numbers happen because teams are carrying bigger squads, and often have multiple 10s and 9s.

  • Andrew S. | May 8, 2014 at 1:00 pm |

    I was actually pretty lucky in high school in that I got to pick my number freshman year in both my sports which I then kept for four years. What’s interesting (at least to me) was that I picked those numbers based on other sports.

    I played goalie in soccer which meant I had to buy my own jerseys so they wouldn’t match with either team (I had two different ones just in case). I picked #35 to be screen printed on both because my favorite player was Mike Richter.

    I also played lacrosse and my freshman year I made varsity with a couple other guys. Our school had just purchased new uniforms the year before so only certain numbers were available. I ended up picking #10 because I played midfield and in soccer that number is traditionally assigned to a midfield maestro type player (not that I really was one).

    Since then I’ve always tried to be #10 unless I’m playing goalie in something, in which case #35 is the pick.

  • Jim Vilk | May 8, 2014 at 1:11 pm |

    Got a few numbers. 8 for Willie Stargell, 19 for my dad’s minor league number…and various other reasons, 54 for Ed Pinckney, 22 because I like the way it looks. I’ve also become fond of 0 and 00 lately.

    • Jim Vilk | May 8, 2014 at 1:37 pm |

      As a kid I also had a thing for 2 since I liked visiting relatives in Pennsylvania, which is the 2nd state in the union. I used to imagine a Dukes of Hazzard-type scenario, where my cousin and I would ride around in a blue stock car with the PA flag on top and 02 on the doors.
      That’s probably why on my first softball team, when 8 and 22 were already taken, I chose 2.

      • ChrisH | May 8, 2014 at 2:08 pm |

        “I used to imagine a Dukes of Hazzard-type scenario, where my cousin and I would ride around in a blue stock car with the PA flag on top and 02 on the doors.”

        The ‘General Meade’?

  • Mainspark | May 8, 2014 at 1:24 pm |

    As a kid my favorite player was Dave Concepcion so I always wore number 13 all through grade school, high school and legion ball. I never had an trouble getting that number either through seniority or others’ superstition. As a wrestler, we never had numbers but our warm-ups had our weight class on the back.

  • Scott Unes | May 8, 2014 at 1:25 pm |

    Every baseball team I’ve been on, I’ve tried to get #6. I’m a St. Louis Cardinals fan, and Stan Musial was my father’s favorite player, so he became my favorite player too. I always loved the way that big red “6” stood out on his back in photos I’ve seen, especially in the days before NOB (which was most of Musial’s career).

  • PWalk | May 8, 2014 at 1:35 pm |

    42, as a kid I watched the BBC series Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Then I read the books and the number just became fixed on every jersey all the way up to today. I have my first jersey with the number hanging in my rec room from when I lead my hockey league in penalties at the ripe age of 10.

  • Jimmy Lonetti | May 8, 2014 at 1:44 pm |

    I have always worn either 11 or 12 during my sports career. I like the fact that they are not a “teen” number. Always wondered as a kid why not oneteen and twoteen.

  • flyergil | May 8, 2014 at 1:49 pm |

    RE: QOTW

    Like many who grew up playing little league sports and then progressed into junior varsity and varsity, I had little choice of uniform number as a kid.

    The “cut-off” for age in little league where I grew up always seemed to be the end of August. Since my birthday was in early August, I was often on teams where I was the “oldest” player… and bigger than most who were on the team and born in September through December. Baseball uniforms for our little league simply went from #1-#12, based on sizes from smallest to largest. Consequently, I wore #12 every year I played little league baseball. Thus, the number sort of stuck with me as my favorite.

    When I graduated into junior varsity and varsity, similarly we were given uniforms based on size. My junior varsity baseball uniforms were #35, and my varsity uniform was #38. I never liked those numbers as I had grown attached to #12 — which, unfortunately for me, was a medium sized jersey at my school.

    Similarly for little league football, our jerseys went up from #1-#15. I wanted #12, but the coach’s son (our QB, of course) got that. So, I settled for #11… and remembered wondering, even as an 11-year old, why we did not use the number standards for uniforms that the NCAA and NFL used. As such, I played left tackle as #11 for two years.

    When I graduated into playing junior varsity, us new kids got the leftover numbers, so I wore #64 and looked shiny and new standing forever on the sideline. Then I hit my growth spurt and suddenly was the starting guard on offense and nose tackle on defense. Because I idolized Dave Rimington and Mike Singletary, I wanted #50… but we did not have a #50 for JV. My coach had a favorite player on varsity who wore #53; and since I reminded him of that player, he assigned me #53. When I graduated to varsity, I had my choice (FINALLY!) and chose #50.

    So, that’s the long way of setting up my answer to the QotW:

    If I was playing baseball, I would select #12 because it became my favorite number as a little leaguer. If it was not available, I would aim for #23 or #31 (since Ryne Sandberg and Greg Maddux were my favorite players).

    If I was playing football, I would choose #50, since I clearly fall within the line or linebacker size category :) If I were a RB or DB, I would go for #34 (because I liked Walter Payton and Earl Campbell). If I were a QB, I would naturally gravitate towards #12 because of my favorite little league number, but also because the star QBs from my formative years — Roger Staubach, Ken Stabler, Bob Griese, and Terry Bradshaw — wore #12.

    • David Murphy | May 8, 2014 at 4:25 pm |

      Since picking your favorite number when you’re on the high school team is hard, I got a lucky break. After wearing 82 as a sophomore backup, I wanted a lower number for my junior and senior year – hopefully my favorite 21. On picture day one trainer was trying to hand out all the jerseys. He’d pull out a number and ask whose it was. I knew everyone’s number, and kept answering him. Finally he had me climb into the equipment room to help. I quickly found the number I wanted (21) and kept it for me. Made a younger kid mad, but too bad. I gave him my old 82.

  • Kyle Romine | May 8, 2014 at 2:03 pm |

    Whenever I have the chance to choose a uniform or shirt number, I always go with the number two. I am not sure why that is, but I really like the number two. When I was young, I bought a Mitch Richmond Sacramento Kings jersey solely because it contained that number.

  • Turtle12 | May 8, 2014 at 2:20 pm |

    My number is 12. No professional reason. It was my baseball number in high school. 10 would be my second choice, because it was my number in college.

  • Jason Dag | May 8, 2014 at 2:28 pm |

    My number is 19. John Kruk wore when he started with the Phils. I wore in little league, and in soccer, also wear it in Wiffle Ball tournaments.

    Plus it is also the combined number of my parents old numbers my dad wore 13 in basektball and softball. My mom wore 6 in high school softball.

  • Mike Chamernik | May 8, 2014 at 3:07 pm |

    I’m a little disappointed. No one said they’d wear No. 69. I guess I’m the only person around here with a sophomoric sense of humor.

    • Lance Smith | May 8, 2014 at 4:15 pm |

      Locally, Jared Allen wore 69 for the Vikings and his was probably the second most popular jersey sold in recent years. I used to see all these suburban moms wandering around Minneapolis on game day wearing their #69 jerseys.

      Given that most Vikings fans are reluctant to spend money on new jerseys after a player goes elsewhere, I’m expecting to see a lot of #69 jerseys in the foreseeable future.

  • russ | May 8, 2014 at 3:16 pm |

    Regarding the White Sox Beach Blanket “template”:

    1) It seems to be Adidas co-opting other designs
    2) What with MLB being extremely protective of their intellectual property, will we (or are we already) seeing design elements being trademarked/copyrighted?

  • Anthony | May 8, 2014 at 3:56 pm |

    Johnny Football’s MANZIIEL logo is a trademark application, not a registration and the company Mr. Football owns doesn’t even claim to be using it in commerce yet.

  • hhuntley17 | May 8, 2014 at 4:12 pm |

    When I was younger, I always wore 10 cause Chipper Jones was my favorite player. I switched to 13 in middle school, then 1 in JV, and 17 in varsity. 17 was because a graduating senior told me to. The only weird number I ever wore was 71 when I played down to my middle school team and 1 was taken. I duct taped a 7 next to the 1.

  • Josh Petty | May 8, 2014 at 4:21 pm |

    I’ve always worn number 20 in honor of Vladislav Tretiak. I was a goalie when I played hockey and have long since considered him to be the best player in the history of the game at that position. I wear that number when I play hockey, I wore it when I played baseball in high school, and it’s also the number on my Uni Watch membership card.

    https://www.flickr.c...

  • Michael Emody | May 8, 2014 at 4:39 pm |

    I’d say “27” – my birthday – or “17.”
    I’ve been collecting photos of college teams that use both the SOX template or the Tequila Sunrise template. Does anyone have more?

  • bobby | May 8, 2014 at 4:42 pm |

    Being a “III” I’ve always gone with 3 if it’s open. If it’s not I tend to go with 13, 23, 31, or 37 since I like prime numbers.

  • Adam Vitcavage | May 8, 2014 at 4:53 pm |

    My go to number is 35. It came about because I liked the number 5 and in junior high I wore 50 for basketball. When I was a freshman in high school, the number wasn’t available, so I chose 35 (birthday + my favorite number). But more sincerely 35 was the Disney Channel where I lived. I’m not ashamed.

    It honestly depends on what sport I was playing as well as what position.

    Baseball: 35. However, growing up I was usually 13 (the biggest jersey we were given, but also my birthday) or 10, for Chipper Jones.

    Hockey: 35, if I were a goalkeeper – which I am. But if I was on the ice I’d be 89 for my birth year.

    Football: 15 if I was a quarterback, or 89 if I was a wide receiver.
    Basketball: 35

    Soccer: 1 (the traditional goalkeeper number) or 13 (to represent January 3rd, by birthday).

  • james steever | May 8, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
  • Dan J | May 8, 2014 at 6:26 pm |

    My uniform number would be a pretty simple choice. It would be #22 after my all-time favorite New York Met, Kevin McReynolds. I remember watching McReynolds, in 1988 I believe, hit a grand slam in the top of the ninth to beat the Chicago Cubs. Just two years earlier, at the age of 11, I became a Mets fan.

    All these years later, I’m a die-hard Mets fan, my favoite number is 22, and McReynolds is my all-time favorite baseball player. Go figure…

  • Joshua | May 8, 2014 at 7:09 pm |

    Fora recreational basketball team I played on, I wanted my number to be Pi. By that I mean the symbol for Pi, of course, not 3.1415926 running around the entire jersey. Alas, my go to jersey guy couldn’t make Pi work, so I went with 11. It kinda looks like Pi without the curvy top, and I heard it was slimming.

  • Judy | May 8, 2014 at 8:10 pm |

    QOTW: # 9, in honor of Sonny Jurgensen. Bonus points for also being Mia Hamm’s number.

    My second choice is 7, because I’m the 7th sibling in my family, but it’s usually a hard number to get.

    When I was playing softball, I got shut out of both 9 and 7 for a couple of seasons, so I went with 27. 27 represents my 2 parents and their 7 kids, it adds up to 9, and I was born on the 27th.

  • Derek | May 9, 2014 at 3:00 am |

    It’s #24 for me, in honor of the greatest baseball player, Willie Mays. I still play baseball and its my jersey number. I’d also wear it for hockey, football, and basketball. In the case of basketball, it also honors one of my favorite players, Rick Barry, who himself wore #24 in honor of Willie Mays.

  • Mark in Shiga | May 9, 2014 at 9:13 am |

    I’m a huge uniform number buff and became a “uni Watcher” because of numbers, not design elements. Numbers are everything: given the choice of wearing a classic white pinstriped jersey with a number over 50 or a hideous pink monstrosity with green polka dots but a number under 50, I say bring on the fabulous pink.

    My favorite jersey number is 7 because my grandfather used to wear it and I was born on the 7th day of the year. Second favorite is 37 because Grandpa also wore that, and my wife’s name corresponds to 37 in Japanese (the first and second syllables in her name are the same as the first syllables in the Japanese words for 3 and 7; sounds convoluted, but it isn’t; everyone sees this right away).

    As a kid I played basketball and baseball, and int he former I had 10, 14, 11, and 7, and in the latter 14, 4, and 15.

    In high school I ran track, which doesn’t have jersey numbers (but should). And I wore 00 once in a summer softball league.

    Now I play baseball in amateur leagues — which are huge here in Japan. I’ve had, so far, 14, 11, 7, and 18. I’ve asked for 37 every time, but in amateur tournaments here the players are restricted to numbers 1-30. No idea why that is, but them’s the rules.

    And I also play futsal, but on the futsal team we have those over-bibs that are given out randomly each day, so I’ve gotten to wear lots of different numbers. If we got dedicated jerseys, I’d ask for 7, because 37 is a little high for soccer.

  • Sean | May 11, 2014 at 9:00 pm |

    My preferred number is 6 simply because that has long been my favorite number.

    In football, however, I am a lineman so I have to wear a number from 50-79. I wear 54 as an ode to Tedy Bruschi. I would love to wear the number 0 or 00 in any sport (Just like Mike, I like to be different), but no team I have ever played on has actually had either of those numbers. My football coach (who is a huge Raiders fan) loves to talk about Jim Otto, who wore 00, and that has made me wonder if it is still legal for an NFL player to wear 00 or when that rule was changed, or if I could wear 00 as a high school lineman, assuming my team had a 00 jersey.

    In lacrosse I currently wear 14 only because I am a junior and got my pick only after all of the seniors had chosen a jersey, so 6 was already taken.

    My second favorite number is 4, mostly due to Bobby Orr.