Two middling ballclubs that have been struggling lately played each other last night and decided to “honor” their “rivalry” (which isn’t really that much of a rivalry) by shelving their usual solid-colored caps in favor of contrast-brimmed caps.
That was the scene at last night’s Subway Series game in the Bronx, where the Mets and Yanks were apparently trying to make the occasion look “special” but instead just made it look clown-ish (lots of additional photos here and here). A few thoughts and observations:
• This was the first time the Mets have ever worn their orange-brimmed alternate cap with their road grays. (For the record, I’m okay with the brim but hatehatehate the white outline on the logo.) Or maybe they were wearing their alternate BP cap, which looks just like their alternate game cap except for the fabric. I watched the game and honestly couldn’t tell.
• The Yankees wore their BP caps for a game last August. Last night was the first time they’ve done it since then.
• Not sure if the idea for this stunt originated with the Yankees, the Mets, or the MLB office, but I’m trying to find out. Remember, it was right around this time last season that teams wore BP caps for interleague games because MLB told them to.
• Not sure yet if the teams plan to keep doing this for the three remaining Subway Series games, or if this will become a Subway Series “tradition” for future seasons. Let’s hope not.
• The Subway Series games are fun. But after 17 years of them, they’re certainly not a big deal anymore. This year’s games haven’t even sold out! Combine that with the spread of interleague games throughout every day of the season (instead of just during certain designated periods, like it used to be) and you can see the problem: On the one hand, MLB has essentially normalized interleague and “rivalry” games; on the other hand, they try to pretend that these games are more special by having the teams wear “special” caps. Can’t have it both ways, guys. And remember, when every game is special, no game is special.
Incidentally, speaking of rivalry games, I see that the concept of MLB rivalries now has — of course — a corporate sponsor (or maybe they’ve had that sponsorship for a while and I’d just been blissfully unaware). But if it’s about rivalries, shouldn’t there really be two co-sponsors, like McDonald’s and Burger King, or Playboy and Penthouse, or something like that?
It happens at least once every year: Rangers infielder Rougned Odor fielded a ground ball during last night’s game against the Astros and had it disappear inside his jersey. (If you can’t access the embedded video above, you can see the play by clicking here.) This type of play usually involves the ball somehow sneaking into jersey in between two buttons, which leads to people saying, “That wouldn’t happen if baseball used pullovers instead of button-fronts.” But this time the ball appears to have disappeared down Odor’s collar, which means it still could have happened if he’d been wearing a pullover.
(My thanks to Andre Torres for letting me know about this one.)
Concussion Discussion: How big have the concerns about football and brain injury become? So big that a school district in Texas — Texas! — has replaced seventh grade tackle football with flag football. Key quote: “Paradoxically, the more that [NFL commissioner Roger] Goodell focuses on the need for stronger safeguards, the more he runs the risk of highlighting the dangers of the sport. With its sky-high television ratings and billions of dollars in revenue, the NFL has the power to transfix fans but also scare them off.”
By Brinke Guthrie
I don’t often feature footwear auctions, but the graphics on this box of NBA sneakers are just too, too good. Totally of the period, people.
Here’s the rest of this week’s eBay haul:
• Totally doubt the authenticity of this retro Padres shirt (check out the collar tag font, not a chance it’s sanctioned), but it’s got a great design!
• This 1970s NHL pin set from Rah! Rah! Pro Sports is still in its original plastic wrap.
• Always loved to collect fridge magnets. We have quite a few on ours now, from places we visit: Vegas, Oregon, Yosemite, etc. Don’t have these NFL helmet magnets anymore, though. Wish I did!
• From the late 1950s: Y.A. Tittle gives you “Fine Points of Playing Quarterback.”
• California Angels chewing gum? We all know Big League Chew, but I’ve never seen this gum before.
• Stillers fans! Nothing beats this 1960s Dave (The Master) Boss Steelers oil painting. Wow.
• Here’s a 1969-1970 San Francisco Warriors magazine called Warriors Quarterly. Especially intriguing (for me) is the inside “Computicket” ad. Wow, tickets from a computer — what a concept!
• I have a few media guides to share with you today, beginning with this 1970 Cowboy/Niners NFC title game media guide from Kezar Stadium — which was pre-Candlestick Park! Helmets look pretty much the same, 44 years later.
• Here’s another media guide: 1969 Bears. Note the helmet evolution on the cover.
• And finally, nice artwork on the 1971-72 media guide for the ABA’s Memphis Pros.
Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
PermaRec update: The portrait shown at right is nice enough. But to see what’s really going on there, click on the photo. Cool, right? The portrait was made by an artist who takes found photographs, cuts them up, and creates collages out of them. Additional images and info on Permanent Record.
Special note for Seattle-area readers: Membership card designer Scott M.X. Turner’s band, RebelMart, is playing this Friday at Slim’s. You know what to do.
Tick-Tock: Today’s Ticker was compiled and written by Garrett McGrath, except for ’Skins Watch, which was handled by Paul.
’Skins Watch: A bunch of idiot students at the U. of North Dakota celebrated some sort of spring drink-a-thon by making and wearing T-shirts showing the school’s now-defunct Native American mascot — only he’s using a beer bong and accompanied by the words “Siouxper Drunk.” Classy!
Baseball News: The Mariners have stirrup fever! Jeff Forsyth says, “Ever since James Jones, a stirrup wearer, got called up, right fielder Stefen Romero has been wearing ’rups as well. When you add shortstop Brad Miller, the M’s have three stirrupped players! Is that a league-leading statistic?” … Speaking of James Jones, he appears to wear ribbed tube socks instead of standard sannies under his stirrups. “They were talking about that on the Mariners’ broadcast last night,” says Peter Chiappinelli. … Three from Phil: On May 26, the Dodgers are giving away a BBQ apron at their stadium. … Here are some Houston Astrodome cufflinks. … Have you ever wondered how the Mets pick their road uniform for each game? This video explains the process. … Here’s one of the greatest customized jerseys you’ll ever see. “I’m sure that guy didn’t get it at the MLB Shop website,” says Mike.
NFL News: From yesterday’s comments: The top-selling jersey among newly drafted NFL rookies is, unsurprisingly, Johnny Football’s. The No. 2 seller? Michael Sam’s. … A creative mind has come up with Brownie the Manzielf. … One more about Manziel: the NFL store is notifying purchasers of Manziel T-shirts that “the actual product will have the players number once assigned by the NFL League Office” (thanks, Phil) … It looks like the Broncos are going to be offering SpeedFlex helmets to their players this season (from Sam Hill). … The Titans have posted the uniform numbers for their 2014 draft picks (from Jimmy Morris). … The Chiefs did the same (thanks, Phil). … The Ravens also assigned rookie numbers. Of note, C.J. Mosley will wear the number 57 in honor of O.J. Brigance, the senior advisor of player development and a former Raven. … Golden Tate is adding III to his NOB, according to the Lions webstore (from Jeffrey Sak).
Hockey News: A sports television network took blood, sweat, tears, and errant water bottle spraying remainders and turned them into delicious summer treats. Translation: NBC handed out free ice pops made from the actual ice at arenas in Minnesota, Anaheim, Chicago, and Los Angeles to promote the latest round of playoff action. Yum! Or maybe gross! (From Scott Lederer.)
Soccer News: Adidas has released the 2014 FIFA World Cup Battle Pack cleat collection. Every adidas sponsored player will be wearing them on the field next month (thanks, Paul). … In more World Cup news, Ghana will be using red and white jerseys for the finals (thanks, Phil). … “I caught an interesting uni wrinkle during Manchester City’s Premier League championship celebrations: gold COB (‘Champions’ on back) and ’14′ jerseys donned for their trophy ceremony,” says Elliott Bueler. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before in the Premier League.” … Check out this infographic on the potential kits in the future of soccer (from Ben Fortney). … New crest for Orlando City. “Looks like the Lion King!” says Kenn Tomasch.
NBA News: The Trail Blazers wore their Rip City uniforms last night for the first time in the series against the Spurs. … The Blazers are also selling this Dr. Jack t-shirt, with all proceeds going to the Jack Ramsay Scholarship fund (thanks, Phil). … In celebration of the NBA’s worst regular season record, the Milwaukee Bucks sent out ping-pong balls to 10,000 fans with a note that says: Own the future, win the lottery (thanks, Mike). … The NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year, Jamal Crawford, has become the face of a new sportswear line (from Tommy Turner). … Here’s an interactive map that shows NBA rooting loyalties across the country.
Grab Bag: Here is a look at the bookplates of thirty-one famous men. … While attending the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas last week, Caldwell Bailey saw this pink drill bit. “Not sure how much awareness a drill bit that will spend most of its life in a dark hole raises.” … From the Australian Football League: Leo Strawn Jr. says, “Carlton Blues are the 5th of 18 AFL clubs to release their indigenous guernsey design, so far. I’m afraid the boomerangs will be overdone, but we’ll see. Fremantle wore boomerangs in place of chevrons on their home jumper and Richmond had them in their sash last season.” … A wearable technology company has developed a workout shirt with specially woven threads that track heart rate and calories burned (from Ben Fortney).
Spring cleaning: I routinely dust, vacuum, and keep things where they belong, but household cleanliness is nonetheless a fairly nuanced concept. A home can be tidy, or it can really be clean. I’ve recently come to the realization that Uni Watch HQ is the former but is no longer the latter, so today I’m doing something I’ve never done before: I’ve hired a service to give the place a “deep cleaning.” Pricey (about $300, after tip), but it seems like money well spent.
The cleaners will be arriving this morning. I’m told their work will take a good five hours or so, so I’ll be getting out of their way and working from a remote location (read: the New Girl’s place). Here’s hoping Tucker and Caitlin don’t freak out too much.