We have a lot of stuff to cover today, kids, so let’s get started: As you may have noticed in the left sidebar, our friends at Grey Flannel Auctions are running another catalog auction. Here are my picks for some of the most interesting items up for bids:
• The listing for this Rocky Colavito jersey provides as good a look as you’re ever likely to see of the Indians’ “Cleveland Sports Spirit of ’76” sleeve patch. (As an aside, my college galpal was Rocky Colavito’s distant cousin. Unfortunately, she didn’t like baseball.)
• Speaking of the Angels, I like how they used a green halo for this St. Paddy’s Day jersey. Much better than making the whole jersey green.
• Holy bizolee — I’d totally bid on this amazing American Federation of Labor basketball jersey if the opening price weren’t so steep (and if I ever wore tank tops, which I don’t).
• If you look at the second thumbnail, you’ll see that the jock tag on this 1975 A’s jersey was dead-center on the shirttail, instead of over on the left side. Same thing for this green jersey from the same season. Obviously, the pullover format lets you postion the jock tag anywhere you like, but other pullovers from this era — or at least the ones that I’ve seen — typically stuck with the more common left-side positioning. Was this centered placement common for McAuliffe jerseys?
• Here’s a game-worn A-Rod jersey from an All-Star tour of Japan. Never seen that sleeve patch before!
• So many patches on this Ichiro jersey: 2001 All-Star Game patch on the left sleeve, American League centennial patch on the right sleeve, and the post-9/11 American flag patch covering up the MLB logo on the back collar.
• Stargell Stars! Love the close-up of the little star patches.
• I never liked seeing the Expos’ catchers wearing red catching gear. The team’s stirrups were blue, their undersleeves were blue, and their caps were mostly blue (even in the pinwheel era, the brims were blue, which kinda made blue the “controlling” color), so their catchers always looked better wearing blue equipment, not red equipment. If you disagree, you might be interested in this set of Gary Carter’s red gear.
• Oh baby, dig this 1936 National League All-Star jacket!
• People sometimes ask me, “Why does the Yankees’ top hat logo feature so much red when the team’s uniforms don’t include any red?” Maybe it’s because the Yankee Stadium ushers wore red!
• Love the simple boxing glove illustration on the back of this Muhammad Ali training robe.
• Oh man, how great would it be if the Rangers wore New York Americans throwbacks?
• One of Uni Watch’s simplest rules: I never, ever get tired of anything with the Dallas Chaparrals logo on it.
• And speaking of the G-Men, check out this early-1950s Giants jacket.
Want to see more? You can check out all of the auction listings here.
ESPN update: In case you missed it yesterday afternoon, my latest ESPN column takes a close look at the Rangers’ uniforms, several details of which are more unusual than they may initially appear.
Shortly after that column was posted yesterday, reader Mike Guterman pointed out a great Rangers detail that I left out: For the past several years the Rangers have worn a helmet decal for Garden of Dreams, which is Madison Square Garden’s charitable foundation. “The Rangers are the only team in the NHL (and possibly in all of pro sports) to permanently wear a logo of a charity,” notes Mike.
Finally: One of the things I mention in that column is that the Rangers routinely wear patches on the shoulder, not on the chest. But the folks putting together the NHL 14 video game apparently didn’t know that because, as reader Mikey Brethauer points out, they’re showing the Rangers wearing the Stanley Cup finals patch on the chest.
Nifty 50: The NFL announced yesterday that the 50th Super Bowl — not the one being played next February, but the one after that — will not have a Roman numeral. It will simply be known as Super Bowl 50.
This isn’t exactly as surprise — most observers, myself included, had figured there was no way they were gonna go with Super Bowl L. But what is a surprise, at least to me, is that they’ll be going back to the Roman numerals for
Super Bowl 51 Super Bowl LI. I had figured they’d stick with Arabic numbers once they made the switch.
Hmmm. Will they get Liv Tyler to sing at halftime of Super Bowl LIV?
RIP, Popeye: As you’ve probably heard by now, Rays coach Don Zimmer passed away last night. Aside from being a cherished character in the baseball world, Zim also had two unusual uni-related distinctions. The first one, which was widely known, is that he kept increasing his uniform number by one each season over the past 15 years or so, to reflect the number of years he’d been in baseball. He was up to No. 66 this year (here’s how he spent those 66 years), and that will go down as his final number.
The other thing, which not as many people knew about, is that Zimmer and pitcher Bob Miller were the first two players ever to wear Mets uniforms. It happened in February of 1962, when Zimmer and Miller were chosen to model a Mets uni for a photo shoot. I wrote a piece about this, including a short interview with Zim, a few years ago.
My brief phone interview with Zim was enough to confirm what everyone else always said: The man was a total peach. He’ll be missed. RIP.
(My thanks to Cork Gaines for making the chart of Zim’s baseball service, and to Phil for sending it to me.)
ITEM! Design contest announcement: Although I’m not a soccer fan, I’m fascinated by the variations and seeming vagaries of soccer ball design. Like, a baseball is essentially a baseball — we all know what it looks like — but a soccer ball can look like, and can be, many different things.
With that in mind, my latest ESPN design contest is a challenge for readers to redesign the World Cup soccer ball. The deadline is next Thursday, June 12 (the day the World Cup starts). Further details here.
Chicago reminder: All you Chicago-area readers, remember that there’s a Uni Watch party coming up this Saturday, June 7, 6pm, at the Black Rock Bar. And now that the Blackhawks have been eliminated, you won’t be busy that night and will need to drown your sorrows, so come on out and meet intern Mike “Question of the Week” Chamernik, Comrade Robert Marshall, Jimbo Huening, Marty Hick (visiting all the way from St. Looie), and the rest of the Chi-town crew. Wish I could be there, but mainly I’m hoping you’ll be there.
And while we’re at it, all NYC-area readers are hereby reminded that we’ll be having a Uni Watch 15th-anniversary party one week from tonight — Tuesday, June 10, 7:30pm, in the back room at Sheep Station. Phil and I look forward to
having you buy us a few rounds seeing you there.
Shoulder pad alert: We rarely talk about football shoulder pads here at Uni Watch, because we rarely get to see them. But Russell Athletic is coming out with a new pad system, called the CarbonTek (shown above), which the company claims will be a game-changer. According to Russell, lab tests showed that CarbonTek outperformed other shoulder pads in impact dispersion, including a 63% reduction in the average force felt through the CarbonTek in a 600-pound impact test.
Is that really a game-changer? I have no idea. But I’ll ask around and see if the CarbonTek is catching on. Meanwhile, here’s how the new pads look on Saints running back Mark Ingram.
Mike’s Paul’s Question of the Week:
Mike Chamernik Paul
Paul here, pinch-hitting for Mike with the Question of the Week (he’ll be back next week). Ready? Here we go….
As you know, the Rangers and Kings played Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals last night. The game was in L.A., so it started at 5pm local time, in order for it to be in prime time on the east coast.
That’s mighty convenient for those of us who live here in the east (I went for my usual late-afternoon bike ride, stopped for groceries on the way back, made myself a nice dinner, did the dishes, and then sat down to watch the game), but I feel bad for Kings fans who missed the start of the game because it took place while they were still getting home from work. And it also just felt weird to know that the game was taking place at 5pm on a Wednesday — such an odd time for a hockey game. It felt wrong.
Obviously, this isn’t the first time a cross-country series has resulted in some odd game times. And of course I know that west coast fans often end up watching NFL games at 10am local time. And hey, when the Mets play the Dodgers, Giants, and Padres, I have to stay up late because the games start at 10pm New York time, so a lot of this stuff evens out.
Still, when it’s a big postseason series, it seems like the east coast always “wins,” for lack of a better term. Even as a kid, that struck me as a bit unfair.
So here’s my question: Do you west coast fans (and Kings fans in particular) resent the fact that the postseason schedules are usually geared toward east coast TV audiences? How do you deal with it — like, do you typically DVR the game and watch it later, or do you change your work schedule, or what? And for east coasters, do you ever feel guilty or weird about the schedules always being geared toward your viewing convenience?
As always, post your responses in the comments.
Tick-Tock: Today’s Ticker was compiled and written by Mike Chamernik.
Baseball News: Mat Latos has yet to pitch this season due to injury, and fans yearn for his return (from Brady Phelps). … The Birmingham Barons will wear Michael Jordan-era throwbacks next week. … Coleman Mullins sends in what he calls Paul’s “worst nightmare”: Riverside High School (WV) has purple camo unis with black trim. … The College of New Jersey is basically the Yankees of Division III baseball (from Rick Edelman). … The St. Paul Saints and Quebec Capitales will wear hockey-themed throwbacks honoring the North Stars and Nordiques tonight (from Alan Kreit). … A site called Statlas creates real-time visual box scores for every baseball game (from one of the guys behind Statlas, Dan Chaparian). … In case you’ve forgotten, Sammy Sosa used to wear elasticized sleeve cuffs (from William Jones). … Manny Ramirez wore baggy pants during his days in the bigs, but he’s gone high-cuffed recently as a Cubs minor leaguer (from C. Trent Rosecrans). … Padres pitcher Nick Vincent wears “Gettin Greedy” on his cleats (from Coleman Mullins). … This great infograph breaks down World Series champions from over the years (from Phil). … The Royals mowed a crown into their outfield grass (from Phil). … I was watching some of Chris Rock’s 1996 stand-up special “Bring the Pain” and I noticed his logo on the stage looked like the Colorado Rockies cap logo. … Back in 1996, The Toronto Star ran a Blue Jays logo-redesign contest. Here’s the winner and the two runners-up (from Mark Roberts).
College Football News: Purdue fans can get their picture on the Boilermakers’ helmets next year (from Phil). … Might Wisconsin have new alternate helmets? Looks like it, judging by this photo of a new commit (from Dale Mueller). … Along those same lines: New helmets for Cincinnati?
Hockey News: An Etsy user is selling a full size Ken Dryden replica mask (from Troy DeCeuster). … Female Rangers fans are getting playoff manicures (from Luke Rosnick). … Here are some photos of the 1936 Bruins (from Ted Ellis). … Here’s what the NHL Draft hats will look like (from Bill Erdek). … New uniforms for 2014-15 for the Blues? Scroll to the end of this interview with their owner and speculate for yourself (from Jonathan Karberg).
Soccer News: Nike sponsors 11 of the World Cup countries, and Adidas sponsors nine (from Phil). … Here’s a look at the science (or, perhaps, “science”) behind the World Cup jerseys (from Phil). … Changing Hampden Stadium from a soccer field to a track venue was an elaborate ordeal (from Cody Dannen). … The Costa Rica national team says that their jerseys become too heavy when soaked in sweat (link is in Spanish), only FIFA already approved their kit so there’s no possibility for them to alter it (from Fernando Cardenas). … Louisville City FC of the USL Pro league is holding a design contest for a new logo (from Carter Wright). … “Just saw an amazing moment in the Wales/Netherlands international friendly,” says Laurence Holland. “Welsh winger Hal Robson-Kanu had his shorts shredded by a tackle, and had to have the equipment staff hand him a new pair on the sidelines. He stripped the old ones off right on the field, revealing some exceedingly small briefs. The crowd, of course, went nuts.” … New kit for West Ham United (from Vann Holden).
NBA News: The guys over at Bucksketball are running a Bucks logo and uniform redesign contest. They already posted one concept and I have to say, I don’t much care for it (from Phil). … Whoa! This appears to be a proposed Clippers logo from some years ago (from Neil Vendetti). … The new Hugo the Hornet will have made his mascotting debut by the time you read this (from Phil).
Grab Bag: The 49ers mascot will wear Levi’s jeans this year in the team’s first year playing in Levi’s Stadium. Uh, OK. … NASCAR has an official blood thinner. That’s from a commercial for Xarelto (from Andrew Kacvinsky). … Here’s what the Nike golfers will wear for the US Open (from Phil).