By Phil Hecken
Uni Watch (or more specifically, Paul) has covered the topic of flocking on several occasions — we probably best know it as the process by which small fibers or particles are affixed to a surface (sometimes to a batting helmet, but not always), to give the impression of it being a “cap” or similar appearance. It was a technique used by Major League teams in the 1960s and early 1970s (as well as in the 1950s, as plastic batting helmets began to appear on players with frequency). The flocking was meant to emulate the cap, and the results were often mixed.
Paul actually described flocking best, in this article, wherein he described it like so:
Flocking, as many of you probably know, is the process of adhering tiny fiber particles onto a surface, usually to create a slightly raised area and/or a velvety-smooth texture. Remember how Manny Sanguillen’s helmet had that matte finish? That’s because it was flocked — it was covered in a felt-like coating of fibers that were supposed to mimic the effect of a cloth cap. (Here’s a better example, courtesy of Phil.) And flocking can also be used for graphics, instead of screen-printing or embroidery. In the case of the bowling shirt catalog, if you take a closer look at the cover, you can see the textured flocking. It’s really satisfying to the touch, too.
I’ve always been fascinated by flocking, though it pre-dates my uni watching by just a few years. But there are some UWers who remember it well enough to have witnessed it first hand. Today, I’m joined by one of those readers, Harold Mellor, who proposed to me an interesting challenge: “I’d love to see if all readers can compile a list of all MLB teams that had flocked batting helmets, with photos. We know about a bunch of them (Bucs, Yankees, Braves, etc). Did the Senators ever have flocked helmets? Athletics? Cards? A final word on flocking, if you will. ;-).”
With that, I said, “Let’s do this” and we were off. So below, Harold has compiled a list of teams he knows have worn flocked helmets — but there must be more. So we’re giving out a challenge to you fine folks who love and read Uni Watch faithfully — can we find all (or at least some) of the teams not listed below who were flockers? I’ll turn it over to Harold who’ll take it from here:
Flock Me, Flock You Blues
By Harold Mellor
I’ve been intrigued with flocked baseball helmets since I was a kid. I remember seeing Roberto Clemente’s flocked Pirates helmet on display at the Smithsonian and being amazed. “Why the “fuzz” on the helmet” I asked my dad. Why isn’t my Little League helmet like that? I once destroyed one of those souvenir plastic Yankees helmets trying to flock it myself.
Paul, Phil and the Uni Watch community have answered many questions around the history of flocked baseball helmets.
…but I have not seen this question answered: How many MLB teams have used flocked helmets???
We know about the historically obvious (Pirates, Yankees, Dodgers).
But did the Senators ever wear a flocked helmet? Indians? Cubbies?
Look at this as a Uni Watch Community summer research study; I started it below with a few links of photographic evidence of a team having a flocked helmet. Can you add to it? And how complete can we get this list? No time frame, but the flocking-craze seemed to be mid 50’s to early 60’s.
Ok, start your engines!
New York Yankees
Chicago White Sox ?
Baltimore Orioles / St. Louis Browns ?
Detroit Tigers ?
Los Angeles Angels ?
Cleveland Indians ?
Minnesota Twins ?
Boston Red Sox
Washington Senators ?
Kansas City Athletics ?
St. Louis Cardinals
Philadelphia Phillies ?
New York/San Francisco Giants ?
Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers
(More examples here, here and here.)
(Many examples exist from the 1960s, such as this, and even into the 70’s.)
Chicago Cubs ?
Houston Colt .45s ?
New York Mets ? (Though, I could have sworn I have seen a picture of a flocked Mets helmet, just can’t find it)
Thanks, Harold! That’s a great start. I’m sure there are more teams out there we haven’t yet identified, so with all the great readers out there assisting, I’m sure we can fill in at least a few more. OK — you’ve been given your charge, dear readers — let’s fill out this list. You can post your updates in the comments below, or shoot me an e-mail (Phil.Hecken@gmail.com). In a future post, I’ll post an updated list with any new flocking we find!
Click to enlarge
By Brinke Guthrie
We’re talkin’ cleats today. I think the pair shown above were the very model of the Adidas cleats I wore for the Terrace Park baseball team way back when. The design looks rather conservative compared to what they wear now, eh? (And although not auction-related, but how cool are these? I had an Adidas NASL ball, too — was an avid fan of the Dallas Tornado — but I’ve never seen these soccer shoes before, and I woulda worn ’em in a second.)
Here’s the rest of this week’s picks:
• Paul, looks like a local New Jersey manufacturer for this 1970s Mets jacket.
• Now, here’s a nice-looking 1970s Vikes jacket from Shain Of Canada. One of the rare instances of a helmet pointed to the left, too.
• Speaking of the Vikes, this was my first foray into logo-wear back in the day: a pair of Vikings PJ’s — this very design — from Sears.
• Great little MLB pennant-style decal set from the 1970s.
• Like the wraparound letter treatment on this 1970s Steelers serving tray.
• Can’t say I recall seeing this Point-of-Sale MLB helmet display from the 1970s. Granted, I also can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I usually have an uncanny memory for this memorabilia stuff.
• Love the Winnipeg Jets logo on this pennant.
U.W.F.F.L. Spring League
UWFFL Developmental League – Weekday Edition
By Rob Holecko
Happy weekday to everyone, it’s time for a special Tuesday installment of the UWFFL.
With the NFL preseason kicking off, it is also time for the Fall 2014 UWFFL season to soon begin. We bring for you this weekend the quarterfinals of the “Spring” Developmental League as well as our first Fall preseason game. We’ll present for you here two of the four semifinal games to vote on as well as the kick-off to our Fall season, the Founders’ Bowl.
In one quarterfinal, the (5) Cheyenne Shock (7-0-1) slightly tweak their road uniforms against the (4) St. John’s Stingers (7-0-1), who are presenting jerseys with their unique “Honeycomb” pattern. These two teams share similar color schemes, and it should be an exciting battle to see who advances.
In another quarterfinal, the (6) Toledo Snipers (7-1) are looking for the upset against the (3) Little Rock Diamondbacks (8-0). In this color-vs-color matchup, the Snipers are debuting a new purple jersey with a unique sniper target pattern on the shoulder area, while the Diamondbacks are debuting white pants as they wear yellow-over-white uniforms.
Like the NFL with the Hall of Fame Game, the UWFFL also kicks off its’ fall season with a special event, we bring to you the second annual “Founders’ Bowl”. Two of our original TBFFL teams, the Chicago Cyclones and the Tampa Terror will meet in this year’s contest. Last year in the first ever UWFFL game, the Founders’ Bowl saw Atlanta defeat San Francisco 645-492, in what remains the largest vote total a UWFFL game has ever gotten — It’s been all downhill ever since. Here’s hoping we can at least get 100 votes for this game. Both teams are wearing a Founders’ Bowl patch. (As a side note: if you have any ideas what we could do to get back up to 1,000 votes per game, let us know in the comments.)
Right now, you can head on over to uwfantasyfootballleague.com to vote on the other two D-League Semifinal Games: Charleston vs Yellowknife and Missouri vs. Greenville. We’ll be back next Monday, August 10th, with the D-League Semifinals and a full slate of Fall preseason games to vote on.
Today’s Ticker was mostly compiled by Garrett McGrath — PH
Baseball News: Yesterday afternoon, the Mets (again) broke out their camo uniforms. I had thought this was supposed to be an “evenings” only thing — and, sure enough, it was according to the original plan. If you scroll down, you’ll note “U.S. military personnel with active or retired military identification will receive complimentary tickets to Monday night games for themselves and up to three guests on the following Mondays: April 21, July 7, July 28, Sept. 8 and Sept. 15. The tickets will be available (night-of-game only) in the ticket office lobby in the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, subject to availability.” August 4th was not scheduled to be a “Military Monday.” … Check out this shot of the DiMaggios (all in SF Giants unis!), taken on August 4, 1962 (from Bruce Menard). Also from Bruce, check out this photo of the Chicago Cubs from 8/4/1932, at the Baker Bowl in Philadelphia. … Cespedes Family BBQ found an Orioles cap with a bird with a hat on, which had a logo within a logo (thanks to Mike the Intern). … If Interplague existed back in the day, the Indians, Cubs and Reds would all have had very similar caps (great montage by Todd Radom). … The El Paso Chihuahuas wore awesome jerseys for their Bark at the Park event (via Brandiose). … Derek Jeter’s specialty cleats have “The CAPTAI2” on them (thanks to Nick Pants). … Check out this video of the Toledo Mud Hens vs. Tidewater Tides, from 1984 (thanks to Marc Viquez). According to the teaser, “The Tidewater Tides’ jersey reads ‘WORLD CHAMPIONS’ in the tail of lettering. This is a reference to the Triple-A World Series of 1983 that was played in Louisville against the two other league champions of Triple-A at the time. This was a lot of ‘chutzpah’ for a minor league team in 1984.” … Holy crap — check out this DIY project: A vest made of baseball cards chained together (h/t @InGodsCountryOK). … Cubs prospect Javier Baez has an MLB tattoo on back of his neck, mimicking jersey (via Andrew LInd). Paul notes, “That’s the same guy who’s been wearing the backwards ‘AWOI’ (Iowa) helmet logo.”
NFL News: The Detroit Lions Quarterbacks are going to wear green jerseys at their open practice this Wednesday made out of plastic bottles. Interestingly, each uniform is made out of twenty-one recycled bottles and fans in attendance will get recycled towels (from David Raglin and Phil). Here are the actual green jerseys (from Paul), and a full size (from Phil). … Check out Nate Burleson’s cheetah print Jordan cleats (via Mike Mill).
College/High School Football News: “The Daily News-Journal in Murfreesboro, Tennessee has a photo gallery from a high school football scrimmage between Stewart’s Creek HS (Murfreesboro) and Page HS (Franklin, TN),” says Jason Steinle. “Most of the photos focused on Stewart’s Creek, as they were the local team. But if you look at the two photos with Page players (in blue), it looks like they have some sort of padding attached on the outside of their helmet shells.” Interesting find. … New Texas Longhorns coach Charlie Strong removed the team’s logo off of each player’s helmet to motivate his players (thanks, Paul). … Sporting News is having a fan vote on which team has the best uniform (thanks, Phil). … Here is the patch for the MEAC vs SWAC high school game (thanks, Paul). … Division 2 school University of Nebraska at Kearney has got some spiffy new UnderArmour uniforms. … And here are some shiny new cleats for the Beavers of Oregon State (via Beavers EQ). … Here’s a look at the QB jersey for Notre Dame (from John Roberts). … SB Nation continues to rank college unis, and now they’ve ranked the MAC. … The Oregon Ducks will wear a a blue ringed undershirt to remind the players they’re “blue collar” (thanks to Christopher Hall). … Kentucky is getting more new gear (from Chazz Griffith). … Tulane’s new turf is complete, logos and all (thanks to Andrew Lemoine). … Oops. BYU’s football slogan “Rise As One” is ending because the copyright has expired. … The Washington Huskies are using a slimmer cut of practice jersey to try to match the gameday feel (thanks to Kyle Hanks. … Here’s a closeup of Florida State’s new helmet (h/t Andrew Lind). … The Minnesota Golden Gophers will wear patches on their jerseys to honor All-American Bob McNamara this year.
Soccer News: Interesting infographic rounding up what brands pay for the rights to manufacture and sell Premier, European, and International League shirts (from Mike Richardson). … New kit released for Pompey (h/t C B Schmelter).
NBA News: Ray Allen has a custom golf bag covered with logos of all the different team’s he’s played for throughout his career (thanks, Paul).
College Hoops News: The University of Kentucky will be wearing these uniforms in their scrimmages against Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and France (from Thomas Clouse). … Here’s a look at the new ACC logo on the Smith Center floor (from James Lee Gilbert).
And that’s going to do it for today, folks. Day 1 pinch-hitting for Paul in the books. Big thanks to Harold, Brinke & Rob, and of course all you fine folks for putting up with me (and for all your great ticker contributions). Hope we can fill in a few of those flocking blanks!
Everyone have a great Tuesday and I’ll be back with more good stuff tomorrow.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken