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It’s not often that a single photograph is enough to main entry here on the site. The rare exceptions have usually involved photos that present a history mystery, or provide the missing piece to a previously unfinished puzzle, or show a serious jersey typo or other mishap. Occasionally, though, there’s a photo that merits serious examination simply because it makes you say, “That is so fucking amazing!”
That’s the case with the photo shown above, which I came across the other day while poking around on eBay. It shows a softball team comprised of NHL old-timers. The eBay listing doesn’t mention the location or date, but I’m pretty sure it’s Olympic Stadium in Montreal, circa late 1970s or early ’80s.
How amazing is this photo? Let us count the ways:
1. Although this is a softball team, the guys are wearing hockey-style jerseys, complete with long sleeves, TV numbers, shoulder yokes, belly striping, and — my favorite detail — lace-up collars.
2. The jerseys are tucked in, which sort of makes sense (it’s a softball uniform) and sort of doesn’t (they’re hockey jerseys).
3. Those sky blue pants are the bomb. Looks like some of the guys went high-cuffed (nice blousing on the fella standing in the second row, far right) and some didn’t.
4. Some guys are wearing belts, others aren’t.
5. Lots of white sneakers, especially in the front row. But at least one guy has red sneakers, and another has black spikes.
6. Love that the jersey crest also appears on the jacket of the guy kneeling at far right.
7. The guy in the front row, second from left, is wearing a Canadiens jersey. Too bad they had him cover it up with a generic Adidas track jacket instead of an Old-Timers jacket like the other guy is wearing.
8. The dude in the back row with the cigarette is just too perfect. Like, they should just Photoshop him into every team portrait from now until forever.
So who are the guys in ths photo? The eBay listing for the photo doesn’t say, so I contacted the seller and asked him. He didn’t respond, so I emailed a few of Uni Watch’s more historically minded hockey fans to see if they could identify the players. No dice there either, alas.
There’s a tantalizing clue in the photo’s background, because the player’s names might be listed in those lineups shown on the scoreboard. Unfortunately, I can’t make out any of the names, even after enlarging the image. (Also, it’s possible that those lineups show the players for the “real” baseball game that was going to take place after the old-timers softball promotion.) If you can i.d. any of the players, please speak up.
But wait — it gets better. When I showed the photo to reader Rob Ullman, he noted that the same eBay seller was recently offering this photo of Maurice Richard (click to enlarge):
That’s definitely the same jersey and pants, only now the jersey is untucked. This photo makes it pretty clear that the jersey was meant to be tucked — otherwise the bottom striping would have been positioned lower, like on a traditional hockey jersey. Also, the Rocket is wearing stirrups in this shot (and, shamefully, using striped below-the-calf athletic socks as sannies — a total Little League move). Wish we could get a better look at that cap logo. Is it an Expos pinwheel cap?
Were the two photos taken on the same day, or did the Old-Timers softball team convene more than once? In the second photo, Richard is wearing No. 9 (makes sense, since that was his number with the Habs), which makes it easy for us to find him in the first photo. Unfortunately, we can’t see his shins, so we can’t tell if he was wearing stirrups in that photo.
If you like the first photo, it’s still up for bids, but move fast — the auction closes later today.
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Too good for the Ticker: Some artists in Brazil think the country shouldn’t have devoted so much money and other resources to the World Cup when so many Brazilians are poor, homeless, hungry, and so on. Whether you’re sympathetic to that point of view or not, it’s hard to deny that the street mural shown above, by an artist named Paolo Ito, is a spectacularly effective piece of work. Lots of additional examples here.
Leaving aside the message being communicated, it’s fascinating (to me, at least) that Ito used the old icosahedron-based ball design, which is apparently still the default concept of what a soccer ball is “supposed” to look like in most people’s minds, even in Brazil.
In case you missed it yesterday, Phil put together a really great Father’s Day post featuring photos of Uni Watch readers’ fathers in various uniforms. Great stuff — don’t miss.
Signal flare: Attention reader “TacoTodd” — I received the payment for your membership enrollment (thank you!) but didn’t get a follow-up email with the details of the design you want for your card. Please shoot me a note — thanks.
’Skins Watch: WWJD: The United Church of Christ’s Central Atlantic Conference is calling on its members to boycott the ’Skins until the team changes its name (from Tommy Turner). … Here’s a legal article about the ’Skins trademark situation (thanks, Phil). … Latest people to weigh in on the ’Skins name: Former ’Skin Russ Grimm says keep it, Mike Tyson says change it (from Patrick O’Neill). … Ohio has more public schools with Native American mascots than any other state, which is an increasing source of controversy (from Jason Hillyer).
Baseball News: Yesterday was Father’s Day, so MLB players wore blue jersey ribbons and lots of blue wristbands. Among the “highlights”: Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen, who usually goes pajama-pantsed, went high-cuffed with blue leg bands; Brewers OF Carlos Gomez had leg bands as well; Cardinals P Joe Kelly turned his wristbands into a sleeve; and the Miller Park mound logo was light blue. … The Phillies once again wore their 1964 throwbacks yesterday. They had also worn them on Friday night, and Phil had good coverage of the design in Saturday’s post. … Here’s a really fun article about a Long Island guy who wears a full uniform to pick-up softball games. … For reasons that aren’t clear, at least to me, A’s OF Criag Gentry pull down his pants in the dugout the other night, revealing some A’s-colored boxers (great work by Allison Ambrous). … Writer Paul Caputo has been doing a good series of team visual/branding histories for SportsLogos.net. His latest piece is on the Las Vegas 51s. … Here’s a cool set of Pirates blazer buttons (from Bruce Menard). … Reds P Homer Bailey, who did not play yesterday, was wearing eye black in the Cincy dugout (from Alex Hider). … Someone on the Maryland team was wearing a serious rally cap yesterday (from David Firestone). … Julie Streeter was helping her mom with some cleaning and came across this awesome umpiring cap, which had belonged to her grandfather. “My mom says he umpired adult rec softball leagues in Chicago during the ’40s, ’50s, and maybe early ’60s.”
NFL News: “When I watched an AFL documentary a few nights ago, I noticed that Bills coach Buster Ramsey was wearing this old English ‘B’ hat,” says Allison Ambrous. “Does anyone know anything about this? Was it team-issued?” No idea. Anyone..? … Nice pair of Houston Oilers cowboy boots (from Bruce Menard). … The Pittsburgh Power — that’s an arena team — may wear a memorial decal for Chuck Noll (thanks, Phil).
Hockey News: Odd scene during Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals, as Kings goalie Jonathan Quick got his stick caught in his jersey (from Allison Ambrous). … An artist on Etsy is selling NHL team logos made from license plates (from William Yurasko).
Soccer News: One observer thinks the American World Cup uniform keeps changing too much (from Anil Adyanthaya). … “Kobe Bryant is in Brazil and was interviewed about his love for soccer,” says Luke McCarnan. “When asked about who was going to win, he said he loved Messi, that they were close friends, but that he’d have to stick with his Nike family. He’s pulling for Brazil — not even our Nike-outfitted American side.” … Webmaster John Ekdahl was in a surf shop in Florida and spotted these board shorts patterned after the U.S. national team’s away jersey. … Speaking of the American team, they may be at a disadvantage because the don’t fake injuries as much as the other teams.
Grab Bag: The No. 79 car in the 24 Hours of Le Mans had a U. of Colorado logo on the hood. “One of the drivers for that car is Cooper MacNeil, who is currently a Colorado student,” explains Dane Drutis. … “In a day when virtually every PGA tour player has a sponsor on his golf bag, it’s odd that a player of Martin Kaymer’s caliber doesn’t,” says Chris Perrenot. “Kind of refreshing, isn’t it?” … Interesting piece on school dress codes. … Okay, so this is weird: Mr. Magoo in a G.E. uniform, at a bowling alley (from Charles Rogers). … Woodland High School in South Carolina uses the Wu Tang Clan logo on its football jerseys (from BJ Lanier). … In Victory Lane at the 1985 Daytona 500, Bill Elliot wore eight different sponsor hats (from Joanna Zwiep).