What’s the Difference Between a Uniform and Equipment?

My recent entry about Masahiro Tanaka’s Mizuno belt buckle (which, as we’ve now seen, is also worn by a handful of other MLBers) prompted a comment from reader Buck Fontana, who wrote, “Isn’t the belt part of the uniform? Couldn’t an opponent claim to the umpire that Tanaka is out of uniform?”

I then posted the following response: “While the belt may be part of the uniform, it’s really more a piece of equipment or an accessory, and players have always had a bit of leeway when it comes to equipment/accessories.”

That got me thinking. The belt is a uniform component — everybody wears a belt, and the belt has to be a certain color. But as the Tanaka/Mizuno example shows, players have some flexibility in terms of which belt brand or design to wear. So the belt kinda straddles the line between uniform and equipment. I’ve created a new term for items that fall into this gray area: uniquipment.

How does the rest of a baseball player’s attire shape up in the uni-vs.-equipment comparison? Let’s take a look, proceeding roughly from head to toe:

Cap: Definitely part of the uniform.

Batting helmet: Helmets are clearly part of the uniform — everyone has to wear them, they carry the team logo, etc. But players have some flexibility in terms of which brand to wear, whether to have one earflap or two, whether to add a faceguard, etc. I’d say this falls into the realm of uniquipment.

Jersey: Part of the uniform, obviously.

Undershirt: Undershirts are a lot like belts — they have to be rendered in team colors, but nobody really cares if your undershirt is Nike (the official undershirt provider) or non-Nike, tight-fit or loose-fit, long-sleeve or short-sleeve, etc. On a cold night, you can even replace your undershirt with a windbreaker. Classic case of uniquipment.

Wristbands, armbands, and the like: Equipment. Some players wear them and some don’t, and the colors don’t always conform to the team colors.

Fielding gloves: Equipment, obviously.

Batting gloves: Lots of players wear team-colored batting gloves, but the gloves aren’t required to be team-colored. I’d say these are pure equipment, although I realize some folks might argue that they’re uniquipment.

Belts: See above.

Catcher’s gear: Tricky call here. Equipment doesn’t get much more equipment-y than the tools of ignorance, but the gear is almost always team-colored (unless it’s just white, which a few catchers have done over the years). I guess we have to call it uniquipment, although I’m a bit uncomfy with that categorization.

Pants: Part of the uniform, obviously, although players have enormous discretion regarding how long (or short) to wear them.

Hosiery: Baseball stockings and stirrups used to be an essential component of the uniform. That’s how we got teams called the Red Sox and the White Sox, after all. Nowadays, though, hosiery has essentially become optional and customizable, just like wristbands. If you want to wear your pants long and obscure your socks, you can. If you want to wear striped socks while everyone else on your team is wearing solid socks (like Giants reliever Sergio Romo), you can. If you want to wear stirrups with your team’s logo on the side, even though nobody on your team has ever done that before and it’s not shown in the MLB Style Guide (like D.J. Carrasco), you can. If you want to wear stirrups with stripes, even though nobody on your team has ever done that before and it’s not shown in the MLB Style Guide (like Brendan Ryan), you can. It’s almost the same situation as with wristbands, except I don’t think a player could get away with wearing socks/stirrups in a non-team color. Let’s call them uniquipment.

Shoes: Similar to belts. You have to adhere to your team’s official footwear color (at least on 51% of the shoe), but you can wear any brand you want, with pretty much any design you want. Uniquipment.

Thoughts, disagreements, counterpoints? Have at it in today’s comments.

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yeater

Membership update: My thanks to everyone who participated in the 2014 edition of Purple Amnesty Day (including Yancy Yeater, whose eggplant-era Mighty Ducks-themed card is shown at right [and is not to be confused with Adam Vitcavage's Mighty Ducks movie-inspired card]). All of you who ordered purple-inclusive cards, and everyone else with pending membership orders, should be seeing your cards arriving in the mail next week.

As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed membership card here (but no more purple cards until May 17, 2015), you can see how we make the cards here, and you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here. My thanks, as always, to all enrollees.

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’Skins Watch: Fifty members of the United States Senate have signed a letter to the NFL urging that the ’Skins name be changed. … Those UND idiots with the “Siouxper Drunk” T-shirts created a social media firestorm (from Yusuke Toyoda).

Baseball News: The Padres wore 1984 throwbacks last night. Unfortunately, most players didn’t go high-cuffed. As you can see in that last shot, they included the “RAK” sleeve memorial for former owner Ray Kroc, but they made it much too big. Here’s how it looked back in ’84. … The New Jersey town of Hoboken already held its Memorial Day parade the other day, and the local historical museum was represented by some fellas marching in old-timey base ball uniforms (from Dan Snider). … The entire Maryland team wore very nice stirrups yesterday (from Coleman Mullins). … Negro League throwbacks on tap this weekend for the Tigers and Rangers (thanks, Phil). … The Red Sox recently did a promotion where every fan entering Fenway got a replica World Series ring. “It’s metal, not a cheapie plastic!” says Mike Delia. … Baseball’s G.I. Joe fetish continues apace, as the Mets and MLB have declared that May is Military Appreciation Month. But that page also calls for the military to be honored “365 days a year,” which I guess means teams can only go camo-free on Feb. 29 during leap years. Coming soon: armored tanks at every ballpark, restrooms redesignated as latrines, and special “foxhole suites,” where you can don combat gear and watch the game while hunkered down with like-minded fans — you know, to support the troops! … New blue alternates for the Orix Buffaloes. “The one with navy blue trim will be worn on July 6, and the one with gold trim on Aug. 2 and 3,” says Jeremy Brahm. … Also from Jeremy: Here’s the logo for the NPB Fresh All-Star Game, which is basically the Japanese version of the Futures Game. … Steve Tolleson of the Blue Jays was wearing an upside-down “8″ last night (thanks, Phil). … This is so awesome: The ACC baseball tourney has a bat dog! … Tuxedo-style jerseys for the Gastonia Grizzlies, a summer collegiate team (from Alan Poff).

NFL News: Former Vikings coach Bud Grant, now 87 years old and still living in Bloomington, has been conducting a garage sale, which supposedly included lots of old Vikings memorabilia. Did any of you Minnesota readers score anything? (From Ben Herrig.) … Shay Niles has designed a Jets T-shirt with Mets overtones. Fun!

College Football News: Baylor’s black jerseys now have the Big XII logo. … Just what the world’s been waiting for: golf clubs with an Oregon football helmet theme (from Coleman Mullins). … Here’s a historical ranking of Arizona State’s helmet designs (thanks, Phil).

Hockey News: Here’s an article on the Rangers’ lack of a captaincy “C.” … Somebody interviewing Jarret Stoll of the Kings the other night put his microphone on the top end of a hockey stick. That Whalers iPhone case, or whatever it is, is nice too (from John Muir).

NBA News: Longtime Uni Watch pal Todd Radom came up with a fun design concept to complement my Knicks/Knish thingie. You have to admit, that’d be a huge with the SoCal Jewish community.

Soccer News: Here’s a look at every World Cup ball design. … Two days ago I linked to an article about Nike, Adidas, and Puma soccer shirts being made with toxic materials. That prompted the following response from someone at Nike who prefers to remain anonymous: “I’m a chemical engineer with a Ph.D. in green polymers. Aside from being an employee, I am a material scientist and it irks me when people who do not understand materials or their health consequences comment in vague generalities. The use of the term ‘plasticizers’ in that linked article, for example, could not be less informative. Nike has an internal ban on many substances that are considered hazardous/toxic that extends well beyond those regulated by the government. The reduction and elimination of hazardous materials has been an area where Nike has been very forward-thinking. This is one of the things that made me want to work at Nike in the first place.” … Which World Cup team has the worst slogan? (From Trevor Williams.) … Also from Trevor: “Last weekend Club Leon won Liga MX (Mexican’s highest league) wearing pink. It wasn’t for any cause, just a fashion choice.” … And one more from Trevor: New Glasgow Rangers away shirt.

Grab Bag: I just scored this vintage Knights of Columbus basketball warm-up top for a song. It doesn’t look like much in that crappy eBay photo, but I’m pretty sure it’ll look my-t-fine once I get it ironed. Full report to follow when I receive it from the seller. … GOP pollster Whit Ayres, asked if Tea Party members would sit out this November’s midterm elections after their candidates lost all of this week’s primaries, said, “I’m skeptical that they’ll take their marbles and go home because, guess what, we’re all wearing red jerseys and [the Democrats are] all wearing blue jerseys.” … Here’s a piece on the top 15 logo design trends of 2014. I didn’t know there could be that many logo design trends for a year that isn’t even five months old, but there you go. … For the first time, Sports Illustrated is selling ad space on its cover. … Speaking of ads, McDonald’s is running a new ad campaign featuring simple icon-like illustrations of its menu items and that’s it — no text, no McD’s logo, no nothin’ (from Maeser Anderson). … Latest Aussie football team to have an indigenous-themed jumper is the Sydney Swans (from Robert McNamara).

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Holiday schedule: Phil will have his usual content tomorrow and Sunday, and I’m planning on something fairly substantial for Monday, so stop on by, yes? Yes!

 

105 comments to What’s the Difference Between a Uniform and Equipment?

  • Jay Lite | May 23, 2014 at 7:53 am |

    Just a minor spelling correction…I think “Mizuon” should be “Mizuno” in the 3rd paragraph. However, very interesting piece today, thanks.

  • DenverGregg | May 23, 2014 at 7:59 am |

    In the CFB section, that’s Arizona State, rather than Arizona.

  • Gordon | May 23, 2014 at 8:18 am |

    Dead link for Sorrento, Louisiana.

    • Paul Lukas | May 23, 2014 at 9:06 am |

      Weird — was working yesterday. Will delete.

  • Aaron | May 23, 2014 at 8:31 am |

    I think I would still stay catcher’s equipment is just that, equipment. Sure, the vast majority of catchers choose to go the team color route, but there is absolutely nothing stopping them from doing otherwise. If every catcher tomorrow woke up and decided “I think I’d rather have all black pads,” there’s nothing that would stop them to my knowledge.

    Or, to put it more succinctly, the same argument you used for batting gloves.

    • Kevin Zdancewicz | May 23, 2014 at 9:11 am |

      I was going to say the same thing, that catcher’s equipment would fall under the same logic as batting gloves – along with the same caveat that many would argue both as uniquipment as well.

    • Rufus | May 23, 2014 at 9:50 am |

      Didn’t Mike Napoli wear black catching gear (and batting gloves I think) even though he was with Texas and Boston?

      • Kevin Zdancewicz | May 23, 2014 at 10:32 am |

        Yes, for the Rangers: http://ww2.hdnux.com...

        I don’t think he’s caught an inning for the Red Sox.

        • Kevin Zdancewicz | May 23, 2014 at 11:25 am |

          That site might not allow remote linking, but you can see a couple photos if you google “napoli black gear” (no quotes).

          Also, here is an article on the black gear where he says he just wanted to try a different color: http://rangersblog.d...

    • Commenter formerly known as Eric B. | May 23, 2014 at 11:04 am |

      Yeah, but I would also argue that batting gloves are equipment because players don’t have to wear them at all. Catcher’s equiptment has to be worn, but it doesn’t matter the color. I’m comfortable calling it (position specific uniquipment.

    • rpm | May 23, 2014 at 3:24 pm |

      if i was catching in MLB, i would sport the full munson for sure. bugs me nobody does it.

      equipment.

  • Dumb Guy | May 23, 2014 at 8:32 am |

    I see the McD’s pictographics have a little “M” in a circle next to them instead of the “R” or “TM”. Seems like nowadays they would also want the the “R” next to the “M”!

  • Bruce Menard | May 23, 2014 at 8:35 am |

    That Boston Red Sox replica ring is a beauty! One of the nicest give-away rings I’ve ever seen, here’s another look including the box it came with: http://i.ebayimg.com...

  • Andrew Dyrli Hermeling | May 23, 2014 at 8:37 am |

    In regards to your McD’s advertising link, the advertisements do include a McDonald’s logo, rendered as a copyright.

  • arrScott | May 23, 2014 at 8:39 am |

    I think this is a bit of a false dichotomy, or a distinction without a difference. A uniform element that is constrained in appearance but that may be varied in fit or finish to suit a player’s preference or comfort is not uniquipment, it’s just part of the uniform. After all, this can be said of everything a baseball player wears. Hat, part of the uniform, right? Yet many players wear customized caps for reasons of comfort or style: low-crown, wool vs poly, gray vs black under brim, with ear flaps in the cold (which was originally a player-specific modification in response to the later, colder playoffs of the Wild Card era, and only subsequently became a mass-produced cap variant). Players customize the fit of their jerseys – longer or shorter sleeves, tors lengths, etc – and pants – longer or shorter legs, jodhpur extra panels in the thighs, etc – all the time, too.

    And the main – really the only visible – difference between the belts is that the Mizuno model has a flap beneath the buckle, whereas the standard-issue belt puts the edges of the buckle flat against the pants. That would seem to be a matter of comfort. It’s easy to see how a pitcher, particularly one already used to that style of belt, would prefer it. All that repeated core-body motion and the player can probably feel the exposed buckle edges against him. It may not actually chafe, but it could be enough to annoy or distract. So it seems likely the belt is more like a player asking for a low-crown cap, or having an extra four inches sewn into his sleeves, than like a player ordering red bats.

    If there’s a distinction to be made, it would not seem to be the player’s ability to modify it for his own comfort or style preference. Rather, the question is whether the uniform element, with or without modification, must be made by a particular licensed manufacturer. Cap, jersey, pants: Yes. Shoes, glove, bat, belt: No.

    • arrScott | May 23, 2014 at 8:40 am |

      But what do I know? Great lead essay today. I love exploring definitions like this – defining terms: the foundation of philosophy!

    • Paul Lukas | May 23, 2014 at 9:07 am |

      the main – really the only visible – difference between the belts is that the Mizuno model has a flap beneath the buckle, whereas the standard-issue belt puts the edges of the buckle flat against the pants.

      Strongly disagree. The difference is plainly visible in the buckles themselves, not just the black back-flap included on the Mizuno belts:
      http://www.uni-watch...

      • arrScott | May 23, 2014 at 10:30 am |

        The shape of the buckle is different, yes. But either way, it’s a leather belt with a metal tongue-and-ring buckle (technically, each is a “heel bar” buckle) that extends beyond the belt by the width of the metal in the buckle. One is D-shaped, one is square.

        But the flap underneath the buckle is the only visible difference in function, as opposed to form. That’s what I was trying to get at; didn’t mean to oversimplify.

  • ZT in NC | May 23, 2014 at 8:46 am |

    The “bat dog” at the ACC Baseball Tournament is a fixture at that stadium. The tournament is being held at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, NC, which is home to the Greensboro Grasshoppers. The dog’s name is Miss Babe Ruth and she serves as “bat dog” a few times each game. She also delivers buckets of new baseballs to the home plate umpire during the game.

  • Rob S | May 23, 2014 at 8:49 am |

    Two things about the Padres’ throwbacks:

    1. Looks like they used standard-sized NOB letters for the RAK (which itself is pushed up due to the Majestic mark – boo!).

    2. The 1984 Padres went vertically arched, as can be seen in game 5 of the World Series (easiest clip to find this quickly), yet the team went radially arched for the throwbacks. Disappointing.

    • ChrisH | May 23, 2014 at 9:00 am |

      No one high cuffed wore white cleats? Lame.

      • Chuck | May 23, 2014 at 10:06 pm |

        I agree it is lame! This is a huge pet peeve with me. Prima donnas.

    • tomasher | May 23, 2014 at 9:02 am |

      It’s always a disappointment to me when a team uses the throwbacks and fails to accurately represent the old uniform. When you say “1984″, make it exactly like 1984.

    • walter | May 23, 2014 at 9:22 am |

      There are plenty of details I’ll bet the manufacturers stonewall the team, on such things as fonts and vertically arched letters. For one thing, the placket didn’t bisect the “d”, a detail which I thought mucked up the actual 1984 uniforms.

    • Jet | May 23, 2014 at 9:53 am |

      As a huge fan of the Padres during the brown/gold era, I too am disappointed. C’mon, a little more attention to detail goes a long way.

      -Jet

    • Mark in Shiga | May 23, 2014 at 12:41 pm |

      the RAK (which itself is pushed up due to the Majestic mark – boo!).

      And the stupid MLB collar logo pushes the name and nuber downward; poor Roberts is stuck blousing his shirt out so that his #10 doesn’t go partially into his pants!

    • Ty | May 23, 2014 at 2:14 pm |

      In addition to the discrepancies previously noted (arching, RAK wrong, etc), I also noticed problems with the headwear — the gold “triangle” section on both the hats and helmets was wrong. On the hats, which I’ve noticed before when the Pads throwback, the gold section seems to wide. Look at old pictures from the original time frame and you’ll see what I mean. The triangle back in the day was more narrow. The retro hats they use now have that section way too wide. And on the helmets they used last night, that triangle was chopped off funny near the top. Just didn’t look right. Disappointing!!!

  • just Joe | May 23, 2014 at 9:07 am |

    Major duh! moment for me…never realized the Padres and McDonald’s were owned by the same man. So, could the shared color scheme be considered a form of uniform advertising? In the same way that name recognition helps political candidates, can color recognition help corporations?

    • Paul Lukas | May 23, 2014 at 9:11 am |

      “Shared color scheme”: Since when did McD’s use brown?

      • Phil Hecken | May 23, 2014 at 9:14 am |

        “Since when did McD’s use brown?”

        ~~~

        You’re talking about the logo and not the *ingredients,* right?

      • walter | May 23, 2014 at 9:16 am |

        They didn’t. But my friends and I noticed the similarity, even then. It didn’t hurt that Arnholt Smith’s favorite color scheme, with minor tweaking, was evocative of a cheeseburger.

      • just Joe | May 23, 2014 at 9:20 am |

        Just do a quick image search and several examples will appear. I’m not yet 30, but I remember cups, boxes, etc. using brown, gold and orange as recently as the early/mid 90s. The actual McDonald’s building in my hometown had the brown decor until sometime in the 2000s. (full disclosure: I have trouble distinguishing between brown and certain shades of red, green and blue…but I’m pretty positive McD’s used brown.)

        • Chris Holder | May 23, 2014 at 10:17 am |

          Joe, you’re correct. When I was a child my mom worked in a bakery beside our town’s McDonald’s. I vividly remember the brown and gold color scheme. In fact, I’m pretty sure that while the sign back then had the golden arches, the lettering was rendered on a brown background. This would have been in the mid-80s.

        • arrScott | May 23, 2014 at 10:40 am |

          McDonald’s has always used a red bar with the golden arch for its main signs. Circa the 1980s, nearly all McDonald’s signs had white “McDonalds XX Billion Served” lettering on red. On older signs from some of the earliest franchises, you’ll sometimes see the red bar with white lettering above a white space with brown lettering for “Hamburgers” or prices.

          But aside from the brown-and-gold decor and packaging, McDonald’s back then did use a lot of brown in its print advertising.

        • Matt Beahan | May 23, 2014 at 11:13 am |

          Never thought about it, but it makes sense – compare the Padres’ striping with the design on this cup from the 80s -

          https://c1.staticfli...

      • BvK1126 | May 23, 2014 at 11:50 am |

        McDonald’s employees and Padres players did share a common uniform color scheme for a stretch there from the late ’70s into the mid ’80s.

        • Komet17 | May 23, 2014 at 12:21 pm |

          Yep–I wore that uniform during the summer of ’77 when I worked at a McDonald’s in…wait for it…San Diego…

        • just Joe | May 23, 2014 at 12:22 pm |

          Based on the fact that the color scheme was in place in San Diego 5 years before Kroc purchased the team in 1974, I’m now wondering if McD’s didn’t change their look in the late 70s to resemble the club rather than the other way around. The 74 season was the first for the white jersey with the stripe pattern resembling that of the cup Matt posted above (though it matches 1980 perfectly), so interpret that however you like. It just seems like more than a coincidence to me, especially since the color scheme was ditched when the Kroc family sold the club in 1990.

        • Jim Vilk | May 23, 2014 at 9:17 pm |

          First time I’ve seen a McDonald’s employee in heels. Probably the last time, too.

  • Omar Jalife | May 23, 2014 at 9:07 am |

    The undershirts are not uniequipment as players aren’t forced to use them. Yes, if you use them, these have to adhere to certain guidelines, but in the end they are more like wristbands and batting gloves: optional.

    • ChrisH | May 23, 2014 at 9:36 am |

      “The undershirts are not uniequipment as players aren’t forced to use them.”
      One exception…when the team wears vests (or is the undershirt then elevated to ‘jersey’ status)?
      Players aren’t allowed to go “Big Klu” anymore.

      • Omar Jalife | May 23, 2014 at 10:03 am |

        You’re totally right. I forgot about the vests. However, when the team uses a vest, don’t they all have the same undershirt? Honest question since I’m not really sure.

    • terriblehuman | May 23, 2014 at 9:39 am |

      I think that’s what Paul means when he calls it uniquipment – it’s not required and variations are allowed, but visually, it’s part of the uniform. Almost all players wear undershirts anyway (with notable exceptions), since jerseys aren’t that comfortable on the skin and athletes these days like their high-tech baselayers.

      Plus, they’re required for teams that wear vest jerseys.

  • Chip | May 23, 2014 at 9:09 am |

    Bravo Mets for saluting the people serving our country. I’m proud of our vets and active duty men and women, keeping us safe.

    • walter | May 23, 2014 at 9:17 am |

      Why? What did the Mets do? Pump millions of dollars into dysfunctional VA hospitals?

      • Chance Michaels | May 23, 2014 at 10:21 am |

        That actually might have made the hospitals less dysfunctional.

        • Phil Hecken | May 23, 2014 at 10:48 am |

          I’m not sure it’s possible to make them more dysfunctional…although if the Mets were involved…

  • Rydell | May 23, 2014 at 9:27 am |

    Love the history of World Cup soccer ball design link.
    Brazil 2014 looks like a bowling ball. The first few resemble volleyballs and seem ‘heavy’.

  • MG12 | May 23, 2014 at 9:28 am |

    The new Big XII logo (as shown on that Baylor jersey) is a serious upgrade. It is so much easier to read than the original version.

  • terriblehuman | May 23, 2014 at 9:32 am |

    Modest proposal:

    Now that Landon Donovan has been left off the US World Cup squad, Jürgen Klinsmann should personally finance a buyback/discount program for everyone who bought the new US jerseys with DONOVAN 10 on the back, in the spirit of the New England Patriots jersey discounts.

    I imagine Donovan jerseys had to have been among the top-selling player jerseys, if not *the* top sellers, until last night.

    • Chance Michaels | May 23, 2014 at 10:22 am |

      I’m sure there are a ton of USMNT “partners” scrambling to re-work their ads today.

    • trevor | May 23, 2014 at 10:24 am |

      You can still buy Donovan’s jersey – I wonder how much longer it will stay up unless it’s an ironic tribute to his few minutes playing in the Mexico friendly

      http://www.worldsocc...

      http://sisoccer.file...

      • terriblehuman | May 23, 2014 at 10:48 am |

        I’ll be honest, I was out for happy hour after work last night, and I was more than a little tempted to buy a Donovan Bomb Pop jersey in tribute/protest.

        • Chance Michaels | May 23, 2014 at 10:58 am |

          What’s to protest? I don’t think he earned a spot on the squad. If anything, this is a good sign, that they’re not letting marketability or popularity run the show.

        • trevor | May 23, 2014 at 11:04 am |

          Due to the group the US is in, it looks like the plan is for the younger guys to get experience and then make a serious run in 2018. However I wonder if they’ll stick to the script if the Yanks crash and burn.

        • terriblehuman | May 23, 2014 at 11:08 am |

          Like I said, I was at a happy hour.

          I totally understand the soccer reasons for the decision – he was out of form and seemingly out of shape (though the selections of Julian Green, DeAndre Yedlin Chris Wondolo(w)ski and Brad Davis seem to be at odds with those reasons). It was mostly my slightly tipsy desire to pay tribute to over a decade of service to US Soccer.

        • trevor | May 23, 2014 at 12:40 pm |

          Just curious, who would you pick over Wondolowski?

        • terriblehuman | May 23, 2014 at 1:00 pm |

          I brought up Wondolowski because his age would seem to counter the “Klinsi’s setting up for 2018″ argument, not as someone who doesn’t deserve to be on the squad.

          Though if I were picking up 23, I probably would’ve picked Donovan (assuming he’d agree to a reduced role) ahead of either Davis or Wondo.

        • BvK1126 | May 23, 2014 at 1:55 pm |

          “Though if I were picking up 23, I probably would’ve picked Donovan (assuming he’d agree to a reduced role) ahead of either Davis or Wondo.”

          Whaaaaaat?!! This team needs Wondo and the extra “W” on his jersey.

    • BvK1126 | May 23, 2014 at 11:14 am |

      “I imagine Donovan jerseys had to have been among the top-selling player jerseys, if not *the* top sellers, until last night.”

      The US has other soccer players besides Landon Donovan? Who knew?

      • terriblehuman | May 23, 2014 at 12:16 pm |

        To be fair, Nike has been pushing Dempsey and Howard more than Donovan the last few years, and ESPN’s poster series features Dempsey, Bradley and Howard, but no Donovan.

    • trevor | May 23, 2014 at 1:12 pm |

      Yeah, I don’t get how Brad Davis got the nod over Donovan considering Davis has missed some games due to injury this season. It seems out of place that Donovan would demand a starring role as a forward or midfielder. I guess we’ll find out years from now when they do a 30 for 30 about US Soccer.

  • Yancy Yeater | May 23, 2014 at 9:42 am |

    Oh wow. I got a mention above the ticker. I feel like I just won an Oscar or something. Thanks!

  • Steve R. | May 23, 2014 at 9:47 am |

    Re: catcher’s gear usually but not always matching team colors, I always thought it odd/interesting that Thurman Munson ‘s chest protector was orange.

    • ChrisH | May 23, 2014 at 3:17 pm |

      As best as I can recall, when orange-trimmed catchers mitts became a ‘thing’ in the ’70s-’80s they were only used by players who suited up for teams that had orange as part of their color scheme ((i.e.: Rick Dempsey in Baltimore, Lance Parrish in Detroit, Alan Ashby in Houston).

  • Seth H | May 23, 2014 at 9:50 am |

    As someone who would already own 2 Knish shirts (you know, if such a thing existed), I would also be the proud owner of at least one Latke shirt.

  • Jet | May 23, 2014 at 9:56 am |

    I’m a day late commenting on Anonymous’s amazing custom ties. I was thrilled to see you honoring the 67-68 Penguins design and I instantly identified Hank Bassen and Les Binkley!

    -Jet

  • Rob S | May 23, 2014 at 10:03 am |

    Is there actually some confusion among people with regards to which state, New Jersey or New York, has the city of Hoboken? Because I don’t think Hoboken, NJ is getting confused with the district in Antwerp, Belgium, the tiny town in Georgia, or the unincorporated location in Alabama, especially when it comes to baseball.

    Yes, I’m being a smart alec today. Still, the phrase “the New Jersey city of Hoboken” seems excessively specific to me.

    • Rob S | May 23, 2014 at 10:06 am |

      And then, I scroll up, and what I thought said “New Jersey city of Hoboken” actually reads “New Jersey town of Hoboken”…

      • terriblehuman | May 23, 2014 at 10:16 am |

        New Jersey has only 15 towns. Most everything else is a city, township or borough, with a couple of villages sprinkled in. Anyway, “Mile Square Town” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

    • Tom V. | May 23, 2014 at 11:12 am |

      What if you don’t know what state Hoboken is in?

      • terriblehuman | May 23, 2014 at 12:14 pm |

        Hey, it’s Frank Sinatra’s hometown, setting for On the Waterfron and the non-mythical birthplace of baseball!

        I guess it’s the turn of phrase more than anything – “the New Jersey town (sic) of Hoboken” makes it sound like a little old place nobody’s heard of, where as “Hoboken, NJ” would convey the same information without the implicit/unintended subtext.

        • Paul Lukas | May 23, 2014 at 12:30 pm |

          I would never use “Hoboken, NJ” — two-letter state abbreviations are only for postal addresses.

          I could have used “Hoboken, New Jersey,” however.

  • Commenter formerly known as Eric B. | May 23, 2014 at 10:48 am |

    Wait, can major leaguers still still choose the brand of their batting helmet? I thought they all had to wear the Rawlings S100 with the only exception being the double flappers right? Which then, I think I’ve only seen the coolflo for double flappers, which again, is made by Rawlings.

  • KSaw | May 23, 2014 at 10:49 am |

    Players don’t have the option of what batting helmet to wear. In the latest CBA they required everyone move to the helmet they currently wear except for double-flappers. Double-flappers are still Rawlings helmets though.

    http://houston.astro...

    • Paul Lukas | May 23, 2014 at 11:17 am |

      You’re right. My bad.

  • Alex Allen | May 23, 2014 at 12:08 pm |

    Paul, where did you get the image at the top of the page? It would look good in a frame.

  • mild bill | May 23, 2014 at 12:21 pm |

    If I ever have another garage sale I will tear a page out of coach Grant’s playbook and be sure to set some rules and utilize a whistle.

  • Clarybird | May 23, 2014 at 12:45 pm |

    Can anybody help identify what this “Bills” logo actually is? It looks like a Star Wars creature or the world’s worst knockoff, ever.

    http://www.ebay.com/...

    • The Jeff | May 23, 2014 at 12:53 pm |

      I think that might be a Silt Strider, they’re native to the land of Morrowind.

      http://fc00.devianta...

    • BvK1126 | May 23, 2014 at 12:54 pm |

      Does that thing have mandibles? Or is that a third pair of legs?

    • Rob S | May 23, 2014 at 1:49 pm |

      Looks like something that wandered off from Adventure Time to me.

    • arrScott | May 23, 2014 at 2:03 pm |

      That’s Brian Froud’s 1982 Bills redesign. It started as a promotional tie-in to the movie The Dark Crystal, with the bison reimagined as a Skeksis, but it was shelved due to fan ridicule. Lasted about two weeks in offseason; not a lot of merchandise made it to market, so you rarely see stuff like this pop up on eBay.

      • Clarybird | May 23, 2014 at 2:46 pm |

        This might be another clue – The same ebay seller has the following “Patriots” hat for sale as well, and the logo looks like Pat Patriot with a butthole for a face:

        http://www.ebay.com/...

  • Yancy Yeater | May 23, 2014 at 2:18 pm |

    Who picks the color of the catcher’s gear? Does the catcher get to pick it or is it the teams’s choice? Dos their gear have to match the team colors?

    • Paul Lukas | May 23, 2014 at 3:21 pm |

      Catcher works it out with his supplier.

      Can’t recall the last time a catcher *didn’t* wear team colors, but I’m not sure that’s actually required.

  • Sam D. | May 23, 2014 at 2:37 pm |

    My friend’s dad is on that Hoboken baseball team. They’re called the Hoboken Nine, and they play games according to baseball’s original rules.

    • Paul Lukas | May 23, 2014 at 3:22 pm |

      Not baseball — base ball!

  • natty bagger | May 23, 2014 at 2:41 pm |

    if anyone is interested(spanky, brown bag, melon head, bagarazzi, picnic bagsket, mutton chops, count bagula), there is a bags tournament in chicago on sunday in pilsen. we were going to do it on the lakefront where it purdy and green, but it was suggested by dagger bagger that we have we drop the gloves and back alley braw-bag in bag side story sharks and the jets style. so if anybody wants free beer and barbecue while they get their butts kicked 6 was til sunday on sunday, let me know, i would be more then happy to squash your bags.

    ~the natty bagger (aka long tall bag of water)

    • JTH | May 23, 2014 at 3:33 pm |

      Will there be walk-up music?

      • rpm | May 23, 2014 at 3:53 pm |

        you and your stupid dagger threw me of.

        • rpm | May 23, 2014 at 3:55 pm |

          i swear i hit to f’s. that tears it, everyone can breathe a sigh of relief, i’m done.

  • rpm | May 23, 2014 at 3:47 pm |

    i knew what it was going to be, but i threw that “8″ at my ears anyway just to find out how you were going to roofus-goofus me. but to combine it with bundesliga?! that’s a new low, even for a no account dirt baggger like you. besides, and you can wikipedia this fact, everyone knows you play queen II’s black side on a loop for a memorial day bag-alley braw tournament. what is you, daft?

    • rpm | May 23, 2014 at 3:51 pm |

      oh crud, life is going to an arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr scott in a hand basket if i can’t “reply” to the right proper thread. oh well

  • Phantom Dreamer | May 23, 2014 at 4:04 pm |

    The Astros and Mariners will go back to “1979″ on Saturday. I wonder how many details will be nailed or missed. The Mariners had star trident helmets that year and a star.trident patch on the left sleeve of the jersey as well, however, all the promos I’ve seen, the star trident patch is not seen.

    • mike 2 | May 23, 2014 at 5:42 pm |

      What year did the Mariners do white fronts on their helmets?

      http://www.sportsecy...

      I wrote the weekend piece for Phil a few years back on panel caps, but I specifically disregarded helmets because Okkonen doesn’t cover helmets and it was WAY too much work to nail down.

      http://www.uni-watch...

  • terriblehuman | May 23, 2014 at 4:48 pm |

    Not to get all Darren Rovell, but man, that’s a lot of Under Armour logos at the Ray Rice presser/unintentional comedy theater. With the shocking amount of tone-deafness on display (Rice playing the hero who overcame the odds to get a domestic assault charge to disappear, his wife apologizing for getting beat up), it’s really awful optics.

  • Phantom Dreamer | May 23, 2014 at 7:40 pm |

    The Mariners went to white paneled helmets in 1979.

  • ChrisH | May 23, 2014 at 8:52 pm |

    Washington Redskins’ President Bruce Allen has penned a response to the US Senate Majority Leader:

    http://media.washtim...

  • EZ | May 23, 2014 at 10:12 pm |

    Just out of curiosity who is the youngest known UW reader?

    • Brendan Burke | May 23, 2014 at 10:21 pm |

      Are we judging by age or maturity? If it’s the latter, then it’s probably Joe.

  • Al Gruwell | May 23, 2014 at 11:31 pm |

    Rudy Owens of the Astros (#99) throws to James Jones of the Mariners (also #99). Interesting number match-up.