For all of today’s photos, you can click to enlarge
As most of you know by now, I love varsity jackets and I love the color scheme of green and gold. Oddly enough, though, I’ve never owned a green/gold varsity jacket — until now.
I got this beauty on eBay for $37.50 — including shipping! For some reason the green tone of the body looks a bit gray-ish in these photos (I tried various settings, lighting conditions, etc.), but trust me — it’s a really nice forest green. I love the leather UCLA-style shoulder stripes and the two-color pocket outlining. Might have preferred gold buttons instead of white, but it’s not a dealbreaker.
The chest patch is a nice, thick chenille. True, James Buchanan was a terrible, terrible president, but I decided not to let that be a dealbreaker either:
The tagging shows that the jacket was made by a Pennsylvania operation called the Standard Pennant Co., which is still in business today (although it looks like they no longer make varsity jackets). Pretty amazing that they’re still around, given that this is precisely the kind of manufacturing business that, for the most part, no longer exists in America:
Makes sense that the jacket was made in Pennsylvania. Why? Because James Buchanan was born and buried in the Keystone State, so the jacket was probably issued by a Pennsylvania high school. I’m thinking it was probably James Buchanan High School of Merersburg, which is located just three miles from Buchanan’s hometown of Cove Gap. And sure enough, their school colors are green and gold. That’s definitely where the jacket is from.
Lettering on the back of a jacket is always a crapshoot — sometimes it really enhances the jacket, sometimes it’s poorly executed or ruins the whole effect. No worries either way on this jacket, because it’s blank on the back:
And how does it fit? Like it was made for me, as you can see in this photo taken on the day after the Kentucky Derby in May (the pooches are Ross and Eulee, who belong to our Derby Day hostess, Penny):
About the only kind of sportswear I like better than varsity jackets are basketball warm-up tops, and I just got one of those too. Check out this 1960s Durene beauty, which I scored for a mere 14 bucks:
Is that gorgeous or what? The blue and red tones are super-saturated, and the braid outlining the shoulder yoke and zipper are off-white. And what team was this for? A Knights of Columbus squad:
The “K of C” lettering is in tackle twill (and, as you can see, the “O” is a little bigger than the “F” — an endearing glitch). Reminds me of when I was in college and my favorite bar was right next door to a Knights of Columbus, which in turn was across the street from a Kentucky Fried Chicken. One day I said to a buddy of mine, “Look, there’s the KFC, and there’s the K of C.” He looked at me like I was nuts. Little did either of us realize that I’d end up making a living from geeky observations like that one.
There’s no tagging on this one, unfortunately, so I don’t have any clues about where it was made or worn. Too bad.
Photos by Leigh Greaney; click to enlarge
It took a bit longer than I expected, but I finally got some photos from last week’s Uni Watch 15th anniversary party. About two-thirds of the people who attended are shown in the photo you see above. Here’s a quick rundown on who they are and what they were wearing, starting with the people kneeling in the front row, from left to right:
Dan Bollerman had the guts to wear “normal people clothes” to a Uni Watch party. I always respect anyone who does that.
Marc Rivlin wore a Uni Watch charter member T-shirt — a very nice move. Here’s a better look at it, along with the nifty Brooklyn Americans cap he donned.
Brad Eckensberger wore a Left Field Cards knuckleball T-shirt.
Daniel Shank Cruz wore my favorite item of the entire gathering: a Harry M. Stevens vendor’s polo from Shea Stadium. Genius!
The New Girl wore that awesome Chester R&R Tavern jersey that I wrote about back in April.
Okay, now moving to the back row:
Jesse Buccafusco, who as you can see will soon be bringing a new uni-watcher into the world, wore what she described as “the only thing that still fits.”
Marty Buccafusco wore a completely bitchin’ 1934 U.S. Tour of Japan baseball throwback jersey, a 1927 Bustin’ Babes throwback cap, and Uni Watch stirrups, all of which you can see much better (along with some weird zombie-ish eyes) in this photo of him with Phil.
David Gratt wore a baby-blue 1984 New Orleans World’s Fair T-shirt.
Anya Aliferis dressed like a normal person.
Miles Seligman wore a Yankees cap (no surprise, as he has something like 200 of them) and an NPR T-shirt. I was really glad that he attended, because he was Uni Watch’s first editor back in 1999, when he ran the sports section of The Village Voice. I’ll always be grateful to him for saying, “Yes” when I proposed the then-bizarre idea of a sports column about uniforms. Here’s to you, Miles.
The guy who runs this site — eh, we’ll deal with him later.
Phil Hecken was the other person without whom this party wouldn’t have been complete. Phil was originally an enthusiastic reader, then then I let him babysit the blog on the weekends, and soon he had carved out his own little Saturday/Sunday scene. He’s now my essential right-hand man, and it’s hard to imagine Uni Watch without him. One of my favorite moments of the party was seeing him wearing his anniversary T-shirt under the anniversary banner.
Vincent Barone wore a vertically striped blue shirt (sort of like pinstripes!) and a Lincoln Giants Negro League throwback cap. You can see him more clearly in that last photo of Phil.
Jennifer Gallo wore a Yankees cap (“and red lipstick,” she made a point of adding).
Alec Pappas wore a Yaquis de Obregón jersey (that’s a Mexican baseball team) and a Sydney Blue Sox cap (that’s an Australian baseball team).
Mike Engle wore a very cool Canadiens jersey with an exclamation point as the uni number and “Youppi!” as the NOB, along with an Expos cap.
Morgan Doninger wore a Devils Neal Broten jersey.
Two people who didn’t stick around long enough for the group photo, but who I greatly enjoyed meeting at talking with, were Jorge Lopez (2012 Oregon Ducks De’Anthony Thomas jersey and 2003 Yankees World Series cap) and Krystel Guerrero (1995 Miami Hurricanes Ray Lewis jersey with college football 125th-anniversary patch):
As for me, I wore one of my favorite bowling shirts for the occasion, along with coordinating stirrups:
Sharp-eyed readers may recognize this shirt as the one I’m wearing on the site’s “About” page. I love that it’s for a barber shop team and has barber pole striping.
My sincerest thanks to everyone who came out (including Jay Braiman and Matt Geeta, who didn’t show up in any of these photos, and probably a few other folks I’m forgetting) — it was a really fun night. I hope to stage a few more anniversary events as the year progresses.
’Skins Watch: BuzzFeed editor and lifelong ’Skins fan Joseph Bernstein is renouncing his support of the team until it changes its name (from Don Silsby). … Remember the Philly-area student newspaper editors who planned to boycott the word “Redskins” but were overruled by the local school board? The controversy prompted the editors to publish an “unauthorized” edition of their paper last week, which was confiscated by the principal and assistant principal. The following day — which was graduation day — the papers had been returned. … The ’Skins invited Senate majority leader Harry Reid to attend a game, but he says he will not attend a ’Skins game until the team changes its name (from Patrick O’Neill). … Esquire has published a piece by a Native American writer explaining why he finds the ’Skins name unaccepatable (from Kyle Kalkwarf). … What do Larry King and Terry Bradshaw have in common? They agree that the ’Skins should change their name (thanks, Phil). … Last Week Tonight host John Oliver took on the ’Skins naming controversy the other night:
Baseball News: All teams in the Nationals’ minor league system are wearing a memorial tribute to Vickie Harris, the wife of Harrisburg Senators hitting coach Mark Harris, who died of heart disease earlier this season (thanks, Phil). … Two Royals caps with two different “KC” logos. The thing is, the logo on the white cap is the one that matches the team’s official logo. The team’s official cap is wrong (from Jim Wagner). … Whoa-ho-ho, check out these amazing 1907 American and National League posters (great find by Josh Wilson). … Todd Krevanchi came across of thos great “Say No to Drugs” wristbands from the 1980s, including one featuring Tony Gwynn. … Pete Rose managed the independent Bridgeport Bluefish for one game on Monday, and they had him wear black slacks and an untucked, oversized jersey (from Bob Gassel). … Ebbets Field Flannels has produced a line of baseball-themed clothing in collaboration with the rapper Macklemore (from John Kimmerlein). … They don’t make ushers’ outfits like these anymore. Those two were working for the Expos, natch, in 1971 (awesome find by Michael Clary). … The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are having a fan contest to design an IronPigs soccer kit (from Garry Mattox). … Richard Paloma notes that A’s IF Alberto Callaspo was wearing No. 18 but then he went on the paternity list and came back on Monday wearing No. 7. I asked A’s equipment manager Steve Vucinich about it and he said, “He Hasn’t come clean why. Heard he prefers a single digit and 7 was the only one available (worn by Nate Freiman last year).” … Tony Gwynn played his entire career with one team, but he sure wore a lot of uniforms (from Andy Bartsch). … The Midwest League All-Star Game (single-A) took place in Comstock Park, Michigan, which apparently explains why both teams’ jerseys had the outline of Michigan on the back (big thanks to Alan Filipczak). … More Tony Gwynn tributes: Dodgers OF Yasiel Puig was wearing “19” armbands last night, and so was his teammate Adrian Gonzalez (from Andrew Domingo and Daniel DuBay, respectively). … Here’s Cleveland Brown, from Family Guy, dressed as Willie Stargell. “Great stirrups!” says Mikey Brethauer. … Casey Kasem, who died over the weekend, had a uni connection: Here he is wearing an Angels uniform in a 1967 commercial for tamales (from Johnny Garfield).
NFL News: This is awesome — a 1970 pamphlet explaining the then-imminent NFL/AFL merger. Click on the thumbnails to see larger versions (great find by Duncan Wilson). … Longtime reader/designer Michael Princip has come up with a new helmet design. “The focus is on rotational dynamics within the padding system, and how it correlates to the shell and faceguard design,” he says. Mike has been working with a major helmet manufacturer, so this design may ultimately make the jump from the drawing board to the field. … Here’s a Texans logo I’ve never seen before (thanks, Brinke).
College Football News: Hmmm, is Michigan State planning on wearing white helmets for the game against Oregon on Sept. 6? Could be (thanks, Phil).
Hockey News: Not uni-related, but longtime reader and super-duper Rangers fan Alan Kreit was walking around midtown Manhattan on Monday afternoon and who should he bump into? None other than NHL commish Gary Bettman. “He was with Bill Daly, his deputy commish,” says Alan. “I was very respectful, didn’t give him any crap about the lockout. Just said, ‘Hello, Mr. Commissioner.’ Told him I was a big Rangers fan and they said it was the best season in a long time. They asked if I thought they should dump Richards and said they don’t know why Nash was so bad. Also, they agreed that the Rangers may lose some of their role players, but that’s what happens with success these days. I wish I’d thought to ask about the inconsistent officiating and how it cost the Rangers so badly.” … Did the Blues just leak a subtle change to their primary logo? Maybe (thanks, Phil).
NBA News: The Hornets will unveil their new uniforms tomorrow, I think in the 11:30am-ish ET range. … Here’s a look at all the three-peat gear that the NBA had planned for the Heat. … The new D-League team in Grand Rapids will be called the Drive.
Soccer News: Here’s a really fun interactive page: The New York Times removed the ball from some World Cup photos and you have to guess where the ball would be (from intern Mike Chamernik). … Did you know the Telstar ball — the icosahedron or “checkerboard” design — was named after a satellite? It’s true! “It think it remains popular because it is the ball that accompanied soccer into the television age,” says Cort McMurray. “For most fans between, say, 35 and 50, it’s the ball they grew up watching. (I personally think the NASL version, with the stars, is THE soccer ball.” … In a related item, 12 of the 32 World Cup teams use the icosahedron ball in their logos (thanks, Phil). … The Brazilian player Neymar has the top-selling World Cup jersey. … Soccer players can’t use their hands, so why does the World Cup logo feature hands? Here’s the explanation. … And speaking of the WC logo, check out life imitating art — or at least imitating a sleeve patch (thanks, Phil). … Here’s how Nike designs jerseys that can perform in varying temperature conditions (thanks, Phil). … Graham Clayton that Belgium’s shirt for the game against Algeria included the venue, date, and opposing team’s flag. … Bill Dadocy has updated his awesome document listing all the World Cup rosters. “I usually make changes after the first round of games to account for mistakes I’ve made, roster changes, club changes, better player pics, etc.,” he says. A major public service. … Speaking of public services, here’s a mountain of stuff from Trevor Williams: There’s news of a possible Mexican white kit. … New kits for Tunisia, Latvia, Real Madrid, Deportivo La Coruña, Athletic Bilbao, Sunderland,
Watford (the away shirt is a “tribute” to the players who served in World War I, as their home kit was black and white stripes during that period), Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest (no sponsor!), AFC Bournemouth, Glasgow Rangers (the shirt is a nod to voting “No” on the upcoming Scottish Independence vote, as many Rangers fans are Unionists), Hearts (the away design is based on Argentina’s home shirt), Dundee United, Cowdenbeath (their nickname, beneath their crest, is Blue Brazil), Karlsruher SC, Fortuna Düsseldorf, FC Heidenheim , SC Paderborn 07, Porto, PSV, Panathinaikos, AC Ajaccio, Steaua Bucharest, Austria Wien, SK Sturm Graz (the goalkeeper looks like a walking advertisement), Club Atlético Independiente, and Toluca Home.
Grab Bag: APL Sneakers — a brand I’d never heard of before, although it apparently has a cult following — has released several new styles (from Tommy Turner). … There’s a new kind of helmet that can supposedly detect if you’ve had a stroke. … Check out these crazy Mexican wrestler bottle openers. … A guy who made this anti-Marlboro parody T-shirt got a cease-and-desist order from Philip Morris. To which the guy’s lawyer replied, “Bring it” (from Eric Bangeman). … Air plants are so fucking weird. … Best news of the week, or maybe the year: the return of the Powerpuff Girls! …
Ever been to Cadillac Ranch, in Amarillo? It’s one of America’s greatest works of public art. I’ve been there twice: in 1997, when my then-galpal and I were in the midst of a cross-country road trip, and then again a few years later when I was working on a travel story about restaurants that issue eating challenges to their customers and stopped in Amarillo to eat at the Big Texan Steak Ranch. (No, I was not able to finish the 72-ounce steak.) Anyway, the eccentric dude who commissioned Cadillac Ranch, Stanley Marsh 3, died yesterday. RIP.
What Paul did last night: In a perfect world, the Mets would be good and I’d enjoy watching them as much as possible. Alas, the Mets are damn near unwatchable at the moment, but fortunately there’s been a ton of good live music to help pick up the slack. Last night I saw the Australian hotshot Courtney Barnett (quite good — she’s more of a rocker than I’d expected), and back on Friday I saw the great Cincinnati punk-pop band Tweens (completely awesome — I’d give my left nut to be able to play like their bassist). And if I hadn’t been so
busy lazy, I would’ve gone out and seen Sugar Pie Desanto on Saturday and that very cool-sounding Ornette Coleman tribute on Thursday.
Live Music: It’s Better Than Watching Reuben Tejada Try to Hit™. Okay, maybe that’s not the catchiest slogan, but you get the idea.