Cubs Order Up a Very Old Brew...Crew

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By Phil Hecken

The Cubs and Brewers will be hooking up today in the third (of nine) throwback games celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Wrigley Field. If you’re not familiar with the celebration, you can read more here and here. We know what the Cubs will be wearing, but (as of Friday night when this post was drafted), the uniforms for the Brewers were still a mystery.

I’ve asked my buddy (and Brewers uniform historian) Chance Michaels (blue shirt, second from right – also in slightly less formal attire, with Paul and me at a Mets game) to give us a rundown of the uniforms the Brewers wore during the 1930’s, and specifically the 1937 season.

So, without further ado, I’ll turn this part of the article over to Mr. Michaels, as he takes a look at the…

. . .

1937 Brews
By Chance Michaels

There are times when my own sports obsessions lead me in some strange directions. I think I might be the only Milwaukee baseball historian left cold by glorious tales of the Braves, their legendary heroes and their world championship in 1957. On the contrary, I’ve always been much more interested in the club they deposed; the Milwaukee Brewers of 1902-1952. That team was known colloquially to their fans as the “Brews”, a name I now use to separate them from their modern namesake. The Brews were charter members of the American Association, the top minor league in the first half of the 20th Century, and their success on the field (and at the ticket office) paved the way for the majors to move to Milwaukee.

In my capacity as an early Milwaukee baseball researcher, I was asked to work with the club last year on their 1913 throwbacks, honoring the Brews’ first pennant. I wasn’t specifically consulted by the Twins when they planned their 1948 throwback game later in the season, although photos from my site were used as reference and the uniforms were recreated from a jersey in my collection. So for a time, I felt pretty plugged in and got to watch the process unfold.

Unfortunately, Miller Park isn’t hosting any Turn Back the Clock games in 2014, but I knew that didn’t mean we won’t see the Brews this year; back in November I heard from a source at the club that they’d been asked by another team to participate in one of theirs.

And then in January, the Chicago Cubs announced that the Milwaukee Brewers would be joining them in a 1937 Turn Back the Clock as part of Wrigley Field’s centennial.

Still, we didn’t know what to expect. The Cubs unveiled their uniforms as part of the initial announcement, but no word on what the visitors would be wearing. For four months, we could only guess.

If the Brewers were to wear 1937 uniforms, what would they look like? It’s not an easy question to answer. 1937 was the first year for new unis in Milwaukee, as the Brews traded red-and-blue trimmed togs for a simplified number with solid blue “M” and blue piping. Pictures of the road uniforms from that period, however, are hard to come by. The Milwaukee papers didn’t send photographers on the road with the team, and there doesn’t seem to have been much cooperation with papers in Toledo or Kansas City or Minneapolis as I would have hoped. Most of the pictures of road uniforms I do have from that year were taken in Spring Training, as the team was wringing one last use out of the previous season’s flannels.

So for months we could only speculate. Then, last Wednesday, four days before the game, this little tidbit appeared on the Cubs’ site:

On Sunday, May 18, the Cubs will wear a throwback uniform from 1937, the year during which Wrigley Field’s iconic scoreboard was installed and the ivy was planted on the newly-constructed bleacher wall. The 1937 jersey features a zip-up front and the uniform marks the first year the team switched from a navy blue to a royal blue color on its uniforms.

The visiting Milwaukee Brewers will wear a 1937-inspired retro uniform as well.

Okay. That was confirmation. Maybe. No pictures yet, no details. And what we did learn was slightly worrying. What, exactly, is “a 1937-inspired retro uniform”? Do they mean “old style in a modern cut”, or do they mean that the uniform itself isn’t really faithful to the Brewers’ original 1937 togs? Perhaps they were planning something entirely different, like the “1920s-ish but not actually what the Brewers wore in the 1920s” throwbacks from their first TBTC games in 1993. We still don’t know.

This long wait also indicates that there won’t be much merchandise relating to this game (if any). Last year, 1948 jerseys, caps and t-shirts were widely available, even more so for the visiting Brewers than the host Twins. This year? Nothing.

We’ll have to wait and see. I’m writing this on Friday night, still with no announcement. After being so involved in last year’s throwbacks, the anticipation is killing me.

. . .

Thanks, Chance.

On the flip side of the coin, we DO know what the Cubs will be wearing today, since they’ve already revealed their throwback. From the looks of that, Majestic has done a pretty good job — so let’s take a quick look at some originals:

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1937CHCRipperCollinsStanHack

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Looks like Majestic has gotten this one pretty darn correct, right down to the zipper! (The Cubs, by the way, were the first ‘modern’ baseball club to incorporate the zipper into the uniform, and 1937 was the year it was added). From Dressed To The Nines:

Zippity-Do Duds

The zipper, in its earliest form, was invented in 1891, but it was not until the 1930s that the handy fastener was added to the baseball uniform. The 1937 Cubs were the first big league club to switch from a button-down jersey to the zipper-front style, but other teams soon followed Chicago’s lead. The zipper fad reached its peak in 1940 and ’41, when half of all big league clubs had zippered jerseys. The zipper was an integral part of the tunic-dress uniform worn during the 12-year run of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), as the device was used to cinch the uniform snugly around the waist. The last major league club to wear a zipper-front jersey was the Philadelphia Phillies in 1986.

I know whatever the Brewers wear should look pretty awesome — and we know the Cubbies will look great. Really looking forward to this one!

Big thanks (again) to Chance for his efforts to bring the Brew Crew’s unis to light.

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Camo Rays & Angels

Wait…It’s Not Memorial Day…

Last night, the Los Angeles Angels and the Tampa Bay Rays broke out their Memorial Day camouflage a few days early, much to the surprise of many (the move was not announced until yesterday morning).

Shockingly, they chose to wear the camo gear on Armed Forces Day, which is actually (if you have to wear camo), an entirely APPROPRIATE day to honor the military, since yesterday was, ya know…Armed Forces Day.

Not that the camo looks particularly good. (And note the Angels are wearing it on their red alternate jersey, while the Rays are wearing it on their gray jersey). Unfortunately for anyone more than six feet away, the camo actually served its purpose on the Rays unis, rendering the names completely and numbers almost completely unreadable.

Camo angels

Camo both

You can see more photos here.

There are few items on which Paul and I are 100% in agreement, but this camo-shit it one of them. And since he can say it better than I, the following is from Paul with regard to the early breaking out of the camouflage uniforms yesterday (on ACTUAL Armed Forces Day):

This is nuts. Every team, including the Angels and Rays, will already be wearing these jerseys on Memorial Day. They couldn’t wait?

Now, Armed Forces Day is a real thing. But it’s not a Federal holiday and it’s not a major part of our culture — most Americans have no idea of when it is, or that it even exists.

Maybe more people should know and care about it, or maybe not — that’s a debatable point. The same thing could be said about Arbor Day, Constitution/Citizenship Day, Emancipation Day, and a bunch of other non-Federal holidays that are observed to varying degrees around the country — none of which are acknowledged in the sports world. Only military-related holidays get this level of uni-related observance. It has become an obsession bordering on a fetish.

The problematic issue here, as I’ve said many times, is not whether military members deserve to be honored; it’s whether the military deserves to be celebrated again and again and again, to the near-exclusion of all other sectors of society. It has gotten way, way out of hand, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

Thanks Paul. I couldn’t agree more.

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…and there’s ANOTHER Throwback game today…

this one will feature the Baltimore Orioles playing the Kansas City Royals in Kauffman Stadium, and it’s a Negro League throwback game! The Orioles will be playing in the uniforms of the “Baltimore Black Sox” and the Royals (who do throwbacks often and as well as anyone) will play as the “Kansas City Monarchs.” The approximate year for these teams is mid-1920s for the Royals (Monarchs, and late-20s for the Orioles (Black Sox). Above you can see the uniforms Majestic has come up with for the game.

I always love the throwback games, and especially the Negro League games, since (IMHO) they had really great uniforms we don’t get to see enough of. And this year, the Royals are adding a new twist to the Salute to the Negro Leagues. From their website,

In celebration of the Negro Leagues, the Royals have partnered with the Negro League Baseball Museum for the 1st annual “Dressed To The Nines” event. All fans are encouraged to come to Kauffman Stadium wearing their Sunday best to honor the tradition of attending Negro Leagues games Dressed to the Nines!

Can you imagine fans coming to the ballpark in their “Sunday Best” as opposed to tees, tanks, cutoffs and $200 polyester shirts? It will be interesting to see how many fans play along. I’m NOT one to hop on this “you fans should wear [insert whatever color shirt, camo, whatever] to this game” (even if said shirt is sitting on the chair when you arrive), but I think this “Sunday Best” is a great idea. Plus, the first 10,000 fans get a free fedora — and who doesn’t love a fedora?

You can read more about the festivities here and here. I’m sure Paul will have some great game (and stadium) shots for us tomorrow!

It’s interesting that the Royals opponent today is the Orioles — since they will be involved in the 2014 Civil Rights game on May 30 (and will be wearing the uniforms of the Baltimore Elite Giants) and the Cubs 1990’s throwback game on August 24th (wearing 1990s throwbacks). Has any team participated in THREE throwback games (including two wearing Negro Leagues uniforms) as visitors in one season? The O’s themselves are celebrating their own 60th Anniversary — and I’m honestly not sure if they’ll be throwing back in their own stadium — but a look at the 2014 promotions shows that on June 29th, they’re giving away a 1954 cap, so maybe they’ll be wearing throwbacks that day? And on August 8th, they’ll be doing a 60th Anniversary Fireworks and Laser Show (Postgame), so maybe they’ll bust out some throwbacks then?

Regardless, the O’s will be wearing at least 3 throwback uniforms this year. Who’s up for a few more?

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all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.

And so, lets begin:

~~~

First up today is Jason Adam, with some redesigns for the 2014 Cleveland Manziels Browns:

2014_HOME_ALTERNATE_3_View - Jason Adam

2014_HOME_3_View - Jason Adam

2014_AWAY_3_View - Jason Adam

2014_ALTERNATE_3_View - Jason Adam

2014_XWHITEOUT_THROWBACK_HELMET_ALTERNATE__2_View - Jason Adam

Hey Phil,

As you know the Browns are about half way thru their uniform makeover process. I’m an artist and die hard Browns fan. I had initially planned on making these an unsolicited submission but….Until I get a job at Nike I figured I’d throw my own concepts out there for the redesign. This is called the Canine concept. It does away with the leg striping and instead gives some literal “teeth” to the uniform. In keeping with the classic look I didn’t want to change things too much but also wanted something that acknowledged the modern trends. These are the home, away, alternates, home alternates and throwback white helmet unis. I crave critique so I’m anxious for any/all feedback.

Thanks,

Jason Adam

. . .

Next up is Tommy Mor with a new look for the Illini (which was sent in just days before the actual Illinois rebrand):

illiniosredesign - Tommy Mor

Uni Watch,

As you know Illinois is rebranding on Wednesday. Here’s a concept I came up with for their football uniforms.

Thanks,

Tommy

. . .

And we close today with Lammert Wijnsma who has some pretty darn cool “player logos” for Anthony Davis (be sure to click on the link below for a look at his full concept):

Anthony Davis Logo - Lammert Wijnsma

Anthony Davis Logo - Lammert Wijnsma

Goodmorning,

I’m a graphic designer from the Netherlands and love the NBA. And especialy Anthony Davis, so I thought why not make him a logo! I think he’s the frontrunner for MIP this year with his amazing stats!

My idea is on my portfolio on Behance.

Just curious what you think of it. Because your an expert!

Oh, and sorry for the not so good english…

Kind regards,

Lammert Wijnsma

. . .

And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.

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Baseball News: The ASU Sun Devils wore retro jerseys on Friday night. More details here. … “Wilson or Morse,” writes Brinke. “It was discounted since #38 Wilson wore it — now it’s Morse wearing it.” … From that 1937 All-Star Game footage, “I found out about this from an AP story (FDR Walking), but it shows a number of the 1937 All-Stars,” says Joe Makowiec. “It was shot by Jimmie DeShong, then a pitcher with the Senators.” … Frankenhat #152: “Found this hat at an Academy Sports in GA. Braves logo on the front, Tigers strap on the back,” (h/t Sic ‘em City). … In honor of yesterday’s Armed Forces Day, Wichita State busted out the camo (via Nick Helten). … The WKU Hilltoppers got some new uniforms for this weekend’s series (from Ethan Brown). … When the Mets’ Juan Lagares hit a home run today, his jersey was untucked (Thanks, Paul). … Ooooohhh: here’s an Astros St. Patrick’s Day spring training jersey from 1982 (nice find by Sully). … he summer collegiate Kenosha Kingfish (Northwoods League) on Saturday unveiled their uniforms for their inaugural 2014 season (thanks to Alan D. Poff).

NFL/Football News: Reader Adam Edwards noticed Michael Sam’s jersey number font doesn’t match the rest of the guys. He adds, “It looks like a really old jersey to me. The numbers are too wide. I couldn’t find a pic with another guy having a “9” or “6” in the same pic with Sam. Also the “NFL Equipment” patch on the collar is yellowed and old looking.” … The Jacksonville Sharks (of the Arena Football League) wore these “military appreciation” jerseys in yesterday’s Military Appreciation Night (h/t to Taylor Burck and Ryan Scott). … When he took to the field for the first time as a member of the Vikings, Teddy Bridgewater was wearing a watch (thanks to Benjamin Thomas).

Hockey News: An actual NHL “sweater” found, out of all places, on Uncle Joey on an episode of Full House. Year aired was 1993, episode 168 (nice find by Ryan Stone.

Soccer News: Yesterday, Arsenal’s Bacary Sagna wore two different color boots during the FA Cup final (h/t John Obarski). Apparently he’s been linked to a a transfer to Man City, so speculation is that he wore different colors (one for his old club, one for his new). On Twitter, it was mentioned that they are new Puma shoes, and “they come like that.” Anyone know more? … Yesterday, Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski wore boots dedicated to F1’s Michael Schumacher (from Mark Coale). More here. … Here’s WHOLE lot of Soccer news from Pat West: FIFA has released a document that along with having a lot of great historical info and stats of each team at the World Cup also has a breakdown of each team’s kits. The kits start on page 22. I will start off by saying that the kit pictures are pretty much horrible and provide no real detailed look at anything. They look like someone cut them out of Paint and then placed them in the document. If you zoom in it doesn’t help they just get pixelated. However, it does show each nations first, second and in most cases third team goalkeeper kits. The US is black, green and yellow respectively. Also there are a few things that differ from what has been put out there. Bosnia’s new Adidas kits have been leaked but not officially released due to their current contact with Legea not being up until the end of the month. When leaked they said that the white kit was the home kit and the blue was the away, but it turns out that it is the opposite and the blue is home and the white away. Also, in a few of the Puma release photos they had the wrong or different socks entirely matched up with the kits. I had already seen that Uruguay would be wearing their traditional black socks but the release photos had them in sky blue socks. In a new revelation to me the Ghana away kit officially has yellow socks even though the release photos were with red socks. Chile swapped the socks from their release photos to pair the more traditional white socks with the home kit and the blue socks with the away on the official list. Costa Rica who wear Lotto kits also did the same where they swapped in the more traditional white socks for the home kits and moved the red socks to the away which was not the case at their release. The different gear doesn’t surprise me for Uruguay or Ghana as it is common practice for a few nations to have different options to wear with each kit. I know for a fact that England has blue shorts they can match with their all white home look and the Argentina have more traditional black shorts and socks they can match with their home kit as well.

Grab Bag: Marcus Jordan has tweeted a picture of his Air Jordan Golf Shoes, with the direct link here (thanks, Brinke).

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Birthday Vilk

It’s actually tomorrow, but I think I’ve missed wishing Jim “Mothervilker” Vilk a Happy Birthday for the past eight years, so this year…I’m not going to forget.

Have a good one, Jimmer. The World Cup is just around the corner and College Hoops can’t be far off. Welcome to Jim-a-palooza!

.. … ..

And THAT is going to do it for today. Everyone have a fantastic week, and for those of you who get to see them — enjoy the throwback games today — they should be great ones. Big thanks (again) to Chance Michaels for all of his research, to Paul for his thoughts on the Armed Forces Day camo, to the concepters, and Brinke for the French Open preview. If I’m leaving anyone out, well, thank you too!

Catch you next weekend.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“My Oregon Ducks have abused the “alternate” uniform privilege to the point that they have worn so many uniforms, they really have no uniform in the strict sense, just a collection of matching ensembles. Be that as it may, however, the Ducks must be given credit — for better or worse — with having started the current craze of multiple uniforms and helmets well beyond the standard home and away or “special” one-game uniforms.”
— Buck Fontana

 

34 comments to Cubs Order Up a Very Old Brew…Crew

  • Rupert Truman | May 18, 2014 at 7:12 am |

    Bacary Sagna wasn’t the only Arsenal player wearing a pink boot and a blue boot, it has something to do with puma who are becoming Arsenal’s kit provider next season

    • ThePonchat | May 18, 2014 at 12:19 pm |

      It has nothing to do with Puma becoming Arsenal’s kit provider (even though they will be the kit provider), it has everything to do with Puma rolling out their new boot — as ugly and terrible of a design it is.

      The last days of international club soccer in Europe, Puma has to get the ball rolling to promote their new boots as the World Cup approaches.

    • TODD | May 19, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
  • BurghFan | May 18, 2014 at 7:23 am |

    Oddly, the camo letters and numbers on the Angels jerseys are more readable than the usual red-on-red. (Of course, white would work even better.)

  • Mira | May 18, 2014 at 7:54 am |

    C’mon, the odd-coloured Puma shoes were talked about in the ticker a couple of days ago – it’s what the Puma players are going to wear in the World Cup.

    http://metro.co.uk/2...

    • BurghFan | May 18, 2014 at 9:22 am |

      There are four different people putting together tickers every week, so it’s likely that some items will be duplicated.

      • ThePonchat | May 18, 2014 at 12:18 pm |

        Do the ticker-putter-togetherers not read the ticker on a daily basis? I’d think they’d be able to pick what’s been shown and what hasn’t been.

        • BurghFan | May 18, 2014 at 8:52 pm |

          Do you remember everything that’s run in every ticker? I certainly don’t.

  • Bruce Menard | May 18, 2014 at 9:04 am |

    Enjoyed today’s piece from Chance, our official go-to-guy for vintage “Brews” info.

    Cheers!
    ~Bruce

  • Stan Bunting | May 18, 2014 at 9:32 am |

    Other players in other games were wearing different colored boots yesterday as well – it’s definitely the Puma thing for the world cup. Stupid too.

  • Gusto4044 | May 18, 2014 at 10:18 am |

    I’m a fan of baseball history, and the minor leagues will also be of interest, plenty of untold uniform stories there as well. What makes it so difficult for those home fans is the memory of those old teams and players, especially if nearly all of them didn’t star at the major league level. It wouldn’t be fair to ask any fan at Miller Park to name one of those old minor league Brewers precisely for that reason.

    It’s also accurate to say the MLB Milwaukee Braves era is becoming more distant every day. The support was diminishing towards the end, and then it was over. It just wasn’t their team anymore, and that changes everything. No doubt Hank Aaron has a special place in Milwaukee, where he finished up his career, but the historic 715 HR will always be linked with Atlanta.

    Hopefully, there will be a period correct throwback for the Brewers today, it would be interesting to see more of these minor league uniforms.

  • Ryan B | May 18, 2014 at 11:23 am |

    An actual NHL “sweater” found, out of all places, on Uncle Joey on an episode of Full House. Year aired was 1993, episode 168 (nice find by Ryan Stone.

    That’s the 1992 All-Star sweater, IIRC.

    Dave Coulier is a huge hockey fan, so it wasn’t unusual to see him in a sweater on Full House now and again.

    • Scott Little | May 18, 2014 at 11:29 am |

      Uncle Joey used to wear a ton of cool stuff on that show. He was one of the very first people I ever saw wear a Mitchell & Ness jersey on TV, (way before they showed up on music videos) – a Detroit Tigers road jersey…

      • Eric Romain | May 18, 2014 at 6:58 pm |

        I don’t believe Joey Gladstone was ever called ‘Uncle’ Joey on the show. Uncle Jesse sure, since he was the brother of the girls’ deceased mother, but Joey was just Danny’s friend.

        • CWac19 | May 18, 2014 at 7:23 pm |

          He also had a sick Wings jersey on a mannequin in his room.

      • Rob H. | May 19, 2014 at 10:38 am |

        No, they called him Uncle Joey a lot of time. Also did you know that Alanis Morrisette’s song You Oughta Know was about him?

        http://articles.lati...

        By the way, that “2048” game is addictive.

  • Name redacted | May 18, 2014 at 11:36 am |

    And continuing the Orioles celebrating stuff today, happy 77th birthday Brooks Robinson.

  • Chance Michaels | May 18, 2014 at 11:54 am |

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone.

    Gusto, I agree that even the Braves are fading into history. The lack of support at the end had more to do, I think, with the new owners than anything else. Perini sold to a Chicago-based ownership group, and relocation rumors immediately started.

    But we’re also losing the last remaining players from the old era. Johnny Logan’s passing last year was a great loss in so many ways, the least of which was our research.

  • Johnny O | May 18, 2014 at 12:01 pm |

    We have a visual of the Brewers throwbacks today!
    https://pbs.twimg.co...

  • Rich P | May 18, 2014 at 12:15 pm |

    I do appreciate the “toned down” nature of the Cleveland Browns concepts submitted by that reader, however, those side panels are HORRIBLE….Please mock up the same thing, sans the side panels, and use sleeve stripes more like how they are historically. Good work nevertheless.

  • mike d | May 18, 2014 at 12:18 pm |

    Benfica will debut next seasons jersey in today’s Portuguese Cup final.

    http://loja.slbenfic...

  • Alex B. | May 18, 2014 at 12:33 pm |

    Other non-federal holidays have started to get decent uni preference also… Green jerseys come out on both Earth Day and St. Patrick’s Day. Not on a league wide scale like MLB does with the summer holidays, but still prominent.

    • Brendan Burke | May 18, 2014 at 12:41 pm |

      Though it got lazy the time the Red Sox “recycled” their St. Patrick’s uniforms for Earth Day, complete with shamrock…

      • Mark in Shiga | May 18, 2014 at 4:56 pm |

        It’s in the right spirit, though!

  • DJ | May 18, 2014 at 12:49 pm |

    Not a fan of those Illinois concepts. The orange is completely wrong, even disregarding the rebrand. The concept’s orange looks like Tennessee orange.

  • Kenny Ocker | May 18, 2014 at 1:03 pm |

    MMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

  • Brendan Burke | May 18, 2014 at 2:26 pm |

    Liking what I’m seeing from the Brewers’ throwbacks.

  • Johnny O | May 18, 2014 at 2:33 pm |

    Some Brewers have the “M” decal removed from their batting helmet, and some do not. Kind of strange.

  • Chance Michaels | May 18, 2014 at 2:40 pm |

    Odd.

  • Randy | May 18, 2014 at 3:58 pm |

    The KC Monarchs batting helmets today are flat-out awesome. Matte, to simulate a cap, and the huge raised “M” just works like a sumbitch.

  • Andrew Seagraves | May 18, 2014 at 5:18 pm |

    Happeh Birfdey, Jimmer von Vilkenstein!!

    • Jim Vilk | May 18, 2014 at 6:30 pm |

      Thanks. I voted for you yesterday, by the way.

      And thanks, Phil.

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