EXCLUSIVE: This Year’s MLB Independence Day Caps

Last Friday we learned how MLB will once again be distorting the meaning of Memorial Day later this month. That led many observers, myself included, to proceed to the next logical thought: How will MLB be desecrating the flag on Independence Day this year?

And now, thanks to one of my sources, we have our answer (click to enlarge):

Wow. A few thoughts:

• This is the kind of American flag cap you’d find at a gas station (right next to the cheap sunglasses and the air freshener thingies), but with a team logo slapped on the front. It’s tempting to call it self-parody, but it feels two or three levels more absurd than that. Come on, people — have some dignity out there.

• My source doesn’t have any of the other teams’ designs yet — just the one for the Dodgers. Red, white, and blue are all part of the Dodgers’ color scheme, so it isn’t clear if the other caps will be rendered in team colors (in which case the flag motif will, in many cases, look really inappropriate) or if they’re going to impose red/white/blue on every team (in which case several teams, especially the A’s and Rockies, will look even worse than all the others).

• I don’t really care about BP caps, but it’s interesting to see that they’re included them in this year’s program. I don’t think they’ve done that in the past, have they?

• The most notable thing about the template, at least in terms of its implications for future MLB cap designs, is the sublimated flag pattern. You can get a closer look at it here (click to enlarge):

Imagine other background patterns, featuring secondary logos, wallpaper effects, or whatever, being used on standard MLB caps. A frightening thought.

• Although I don’t yet know this for sure, I’m assuming that MLB will once again be donating profits from the sale of these caps to Welcome Back Veterans. That’s nice, but Independence Day is not a military holiday — it’s the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence’s ratification. So if MLB once again ties the sale of Independence Day merch to a military charity, they will be (a) misrepresenting yet another holiday, (b) once again promoting the insidious notion that support for the military and patriotism are synonymous, which is patently false, and (c) continuing the endless drumbeat of celebrating the military over and over and over again, to the near-exclusion of all other sectors of society. All of this is unacceptable. (It’s also worth noting that MLB could do all of this strictly via merchandising, without making the players wear gas station-style caps on the field.)

More that a quarter of MLB players hail from outside the United States. In the past, I’ve said that it’s unseemly to force so many foreign-born players to wear American flag-based imagery. But my concern with this new cap design is different: I’m worried that the foreign-born players might think all Americans are as foolish as the ones who approved this cap concept. So to all of the Dominicans, Cubans, Japanese, Mexicans, Canadians, Panamanians, Koreans, and other foreigners who’ll have to wear this thing, please believe me when I say some of us have better taste than this — honest.

I’m quite fond of the American flag, incidentally — it’s a gorgeous design, and over the years it has stood for many wonderful things (along with some truly awful things, but history is messy that way). It deserves better than to be cheapened by this type of cap design.

• • • • •

Accursed color reminder: Purple Amnesty Day is normally May 17, but that date falls on a Sunday this year, so I’m moving Purple Amnesty Day to Monday the 18th — one week from today. That will be the only day this year when you can order a purple-inclusive Uni Watch membership card. So if you’re a fan of the Vikings, Rockies, Lakers, LSU, or any other purple-clad team, mark your calendar.

Also: There will be a new wrinkle to Purple Amnesty Day this year. I’m not going to divulge what it is until next Monday, but believe me when I say it will be gloriously hideous and hideously glorious. You’ll see.

• • • • •

Kinda puts everything in perspective: On Saturday my friend Aimee and I went to the Museum of the City of New York, where we saw an exhibition on Paul Rand, the greatest graphic designer in American history and the man who almost single-handedly raised design to the same cultural and critical status as fine art. Over the course of a six-decade career, he created many of the 20th century’s most famous and durable corporate logos (IBM, UPS, ABC, Westinghouse, NeXT) and pretty much rewrote the book on designing print ads, magazine covers, and book jackets. His influence on just about every aspect of contemporary design can’t be overstated.

It’s a tremendous show. As a longtime Rand fan, I was already familiar with most of the images and information on display, but it was still great to see all of it in one place. What really hit me as I made my way through the exhibit, however, was the consistent sense of intelligence and playfulness in most of Rand’s work, and how both of those elements are sadly lacking in so much of the design we see in contemporary sports graphics. If you think Nike’s or Under Armour’s designers are talented and/or radical, do yourself a favor and check out some Paul Rand, who had more talent and radicalism in his pinkie toenail clippings than most sports designers will have in their entire careers.

I saw Rand speak once, at a conference in the early 1990s, shortly before he died. He was pretty cranky and irascible by that point, with little patience for things he thought were shallow or pointless, so I imagine he wouldn’t think much of what passes for sports design today. To my knowledge, he never did any sports-related work himself, which is a pity.

The Paul Rand exhibit is up through Sept. 7. If you live in the NYC area or will be visiting here by then, go see it. You won’t be sorry.

• • • • •

Baseball News: Yesterday was Mother’s Day, so there was the usual tsunami of pinkwashing, including pink ribbons, pink armbands, pink bats, pink bat knob decals, pink undershirts, pink shoes, pink shoelaces, pink catcher’s gear, pink umpire’s gear, pink batting gloves, pink baseballs, pink eye black, and so on. Fortunately, I didn’t have to look at any of those games because I was spending Mother’s Day with my family. … One notable aspect to all the pinkwashing: Royals P Ryan Madson is the first player (at least that I can recall) to be breathing Ethier in a pink undershirt (screen shot by Bradley Springer). … Brewers mascot Bernie Brewer’s mom looks just like Bernie, right down to the mustache. … Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters unveiled their lavender alts for games in June and July (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Here’s an interview with the artist who did that great Cardinals scorecard cover (from Dwight Ternes). … Pink jerseys yesterday for the Norfolk Tides. According to a small note at the bottom of this story, “With the different jerseys, a few [players] had different numbers. One of those was catcher Audry Perez, who is typically No. 24, but wore 20 on Sunday.” Not sure why they’d do that, but Perez went 2-for-3, so there you go. … Don’t know what the connection was between the Dodgers and the Sands Hotel in Vegas, but it led to this cool promo poster (from Matt Wilson).

Hockey News: “The Canadian Museum of History has this page devoted to an old hockey equipment catalog,” says Will Scheibler. “Of particular interest is this line of Maurice Richard ‘Rocket’ clothing. Here’s a closer look at the top half of that page.” … Ron Roza was in Montreal and spotted this hockey goal urinal target. … The NHL is promoting this year’s Stanley Cup Finals by putting Tony the Tiger in a hockey jersey.

NBA News: Rihanna was spotted wearing a vintage Dennis Rodman Spurs jersey (thanks, Mike). … A high school charity basketball event is using a logo cribbed from the 2000 NBA All-Star Game logo (from @loneranger158).

Soccer News: Shonan Bellmare announced the alt uniforms to they’ll wear in July for Tanabata, the Japanese festival of stars (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Also from Yusuke: Howler magazine produced four really cool animated videos about European soccer history, including how Juventus’s black-and-white-striped jerseys came to be.

Grab Bag: Here’s a slideshow of Australian Olympic Games uniforms dating back to 1956 (from Graham Clayton). … Just in time for Mother’s Day, Judy Adams sent me this amusing clothing care tag yesterday. … PGA player Kevin Na wears a belt buckle with an American flag motif, but with his last name swapped in for the stars (from Douglas Ford). … NASCAR note from David Firestone, who writes: “The Southern 500 is returning to Labor Day this season, and Darlington is having throwback tickets, throwback tires, and fauxback paint schemes — I can’t wait!” … Thousands of uniform shirts slated to be worn by volunteers at the upcoming Pan Am Games have to be replaced because their chest logos might come off in the wash. … The Australian band 5 Seconds of Summer has to change its logo because it looks too much like the logo for a retail store. … Someone is trying to capitalize on the Bruce Jenner situation by trademarking an athletic apparel line called TransJenner.

 

128 comments to EXCLUSIVE: This Year’s MLB Independence Day Caps

  • SpartyCuse | May 11, 2015 at 7:13 am |

    Paul – It is Stanley Cup Final (singular), not Finals.

    • Rob S | May 11, 2015 at 8:23 am |

      I’m Still Calling It The Stanley Cup Finals.

      I still don’t get the NHL’s decision to go against tradition and singularlize the term. The NBA still calls their championship series the NBA Finals, after all.

      • CWac19 | May 11, 2015 at 9:05 am |

        I could be wrong, but I strongly suspect that the NBA’s use of the term “Finals” is precisely why the NHL switched to “Final”.

        • Rob S | May 11, 2015 at 9:34 am |

          And that just makes it all the more stupid.

        • Name redacted | May 11, 2015 at 12:02 pm |

          i’d have thought the NHL usage would predate the NBA.

        • Wally | May 13, 2015 at 5:15 pm |

          It’s Final…. just like Toronto’s team is called the Maple Leafs, not Leaves.

          Now make like a tree, and get outta here!!!!

      • Dumb Guy | May 11, 2015 at 1:59 pm |

        Because it is a multi-game series, I will call it the Finals (plural).

  • Oscar | May 11, 2015 at 7:29 am |

    MLB has used the batting practice cap for July 4th before. To my knowledge, 2013 was the last time. They were white with the red or navy bill.

  • Ryan | May 11, 2015 at 7:35 am |

    At this point, it’s just funny to see your reaction to all of these secondary, tertiary, special event, etc designed caps as if the function of professional sports in the year 2015 wasn’t to sell “stuff”. Be it tickets, hot dogs, and yes of course hats and other soft goods. LIDS, Dicks, Modell’s, all the big guys are always looking for new SKU’s to fill out their shelves with options to bring their customers in more and more.

    MLB is clearly complicit in this consumer driven model by sanctioning these special edition hats, but guess what? It’s a business! To wax poetic about the loss of the true meaning of the sport and it’s storied past are just archaic and pointless. MLB has been on a massive downslide in popularity and they have to do anything they can to retain existing customers, while increasing the number of young customers. Yes, customers, that’s what you are to the MLB.

    • Paul Lukas | May 11, 2015 at 7:41 am |

      To wax poetic about the loss of the true meaning of the sport and it’s storied past are just archaic and pointless.

      Uh, when did I do that? Classic straw man argument.

      As for “It’s a business,” we’ve been thru this before: The notion that business practices are somehow self-justifying, and that “Hey, it’s just business” therefore excuses any and all such practices, is false. It may be an EXPLANATION (“This happens because of X”), but that’s very different from an EXCUSE (“This is okay because of X”). Business practices, however self-evident they may be, are not above critique.

      • scott | May 11, 2015 at 7:52 am |

        Of course, the idea that MLB is on a “massive downslide in popularity” is nonsense and really renders moot whatever Ryan’s point was.

        • terriblehuman | May 11, 2015 at 8:16 am |

          Baseball’s attendance figures are as healthy as ever and the broadcast rights fee are, like the other Big 3 leagues, soaring into the stratosphere. Revenues aren’t a problem at all.

          That said, the average age of MLB fans is the oldest of the major North American sports leagues and it’s increasing at a pretty steep rate. So while the talk about the decline of baseball has been around for years, the worry is legitimate and there is a struggle to remain relevant nationally (like hockey, baseball’s fans interests tend to be regional, while basketball and football fans tend to follow the sport nationally).

          Now, what that has to do with merchandising, I’m not really sure.

        • Mark in Shiga | May 12, 2015 at 3:07 am |

          Indeed, Scott. How can you trust the opinion of someone who uses a nonsensical phrase like “the MLB”? The major leagues are doing just fine. Attendance is high, the players are clean, and the games are exciting.

      • Ryan | May 11, 2015 at 9:16 am |

        No matter how you care to frame their business practices and decisions, just remember that each successive “gas station” hat New Era or other company comes out with is one more blog post in which you can complain at length about the degradation of your beloved sports. It’s all a business…

        • Paul Lukas | May 11, 2015 at 9:39 am |

          I beg your pardon? Are you suggesting that I secretly *want* them to come out with shitty caps so I’ll have something write about?

          Uh, no.

    • eltee of DC | May 11, 2015 at 8:58 am |

      Baseball is of course thriving from a monetary standpoint, from massive tv/cable deals to it’s jingoistic attempts at shameless commerce.

      Since this site is about the sports aesthetic first of all – and not how to create an “Everlasting Gobstopper” of revenue streams in the name of more is better.

      That being said, I feel that all sports teams should seriously consider the sports aesthetic (not lip service) when making marketing decisions, since exercises in flag waving and jingoism for profit have a downside.

      Bad marketing is bad marketing.

      I concur with Pee-El , T-human, Scott on this no brainer and if you care to look outside, the winds of change are blowing…

      http://www.sbnation....

  • Ed | May 11, 2015 at 7:46 am |

    Re: that Australian band in the grab bag: Black Flag should sue both of them.

    ed

    • kst8cats | May 11, 2015 at 11:46 am |

      I immediately had the same thought.

  • Joe from Eagle Mills | May 11, 2015 at 8:00 am |

    Sands poster – the body under Jerry Lewis is flipped left to right

    • Dumb Guy | May 11, 2015 at 8:16 am |

      Same with Sammy, Dean, Red, and Nat.

  • Tony C. | May 11, 2015 at 8:07 am |

    i actually like these Independence Day hats..Eff me right!!

    • Toddro | May 11, 2015 at 9:16 am |

      I do too. I won’t be buying one, but I think they look sharp.

      • Elena Elms | May 11, 2015 at 10:10 am |

        They are not nearly as ugly as I was expecting. Not that I’d wear one, even if it was free.

  • Thom D | May 11, 2015 at 8:11 am |

    Talk about nit picking with that 5SOS band needing to change its logo. C’mon people!

  • Jason M (DC) | May 11, 2015 at 8:19 am |

    After thinking about the idea of foreign players having to wear American flags on their hats, I came to the conclusion that at least some might not mind. If I was a professional athlete (soccer player) in Ecuador (where I lived for two years), I don’t think it would bother me having to wear an Ecuadorian flag. It’s a country that I grew to love while I was there.

    Many of these baseball players are coming to the USA to fulfill their own American dream. Get paid lots of money to play sports. And while I am sure that many still love and go back to their homeland, it’s the USA that is giving them this opportunity.

    • terriblehuman | May 11, 2015 at 8:30 am |

      Yeah, I’m okay with this too. Although some players might come from countries where the American flag is viewed with resentment (or worse), as professionals, playing in America is an accomplishment. It’s not all that different from Scudetto winners wearing the Italian flag patch.

      On the other hand, the playing of the national anthem before every game might be more uncomfortable.

      • Paul Lukas | May 11, 2015 at 8:48 am |

        It’s not all that different from Scudetto winners wearing the Italian flag patch.

        It’s actually very different, because that patch represents the championship of the top-level Italian league. In other words, it’s a patch about soccer.

        The American flag caps are not about baseball; they’re about America, and are worn on an American holiday. That’s a touchy thing to be imposing on 25% of your labor force.

        Is it a privilege to play in the big leagues? Yes, for sure. That’s why foreign-born players have to apply for work visas, pay American taxes on what they earn here, follow our laws, and so on. And I absolutely believe a player should wear whatever uniform is put in his locker, even if it’s an ugly American flag cap that looks like it should be sold at a gas station. That’s part of his job.

        But my point isn’t about the players; it’s about US. These people are our guests; we are their hosts. And part of being a good host is being gracious. I think it would be more gracious not to expect so many foreigners to wear our flag on our holiday.

        • Iain | May 11, 2015 at 11:47 am |

          Any idea what the Blue Jays will wear?

        • Mark in Shiga | May 12, 2015 at 3:11 am |

          Paul, the players are only “guests” if they choose not to make America their home. Many foreign-born players have moved to the US full-time, have purchased homes, and plan to live in America for the long-term even after their careers are over. They pay taxes. They send their kids to local schools. These people are emphatically not “guests”: they are immigrants.

      • Gusto4044 | May 11, 2015 at 9:03 am |

        I can’t see how the playing of the national anthem would make a young foreign born player uncomfortable, this is the opportunity of a lifetime, and by the way, his entire family has had their lives improved.

        An 18-20 year old with any kind of intelligence will begin to see any kind of myths he was told in his native country are false. Standing at attention for the national anthem is the least he can do, this isn’t an issue. It is disappointing to see some fans not respecting the flag during the anthem.

        • Paul Lukas | May 11, 2015 at 9:07 am |

          Hard to know where to begin with this comment… Exactly what “myths” about America do you think they tell people in the South Korea? Or the Dominican Republic? Or Mexico? Or Canada? Or Japan?

        • CWac19 | May 11, 2015 at 9:20 am |

          And are there at least minotaurs involved?

        • The Jeff | May 11, 2015 at 9:33 am |

          We shouldn’t need to sing the damn anthem before every game in the first place. Are we all going to forget where we live or something?

        • Paul Lukas | May 11, 2015 at 9:41 am |

          We shouldn’t need to sing the damn anthem before every game in the first place.

          And for a long time we didn’t. From a piece I wrote in 2001:

          The tradition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” being played prior to every game may seem eternal, but keep in mind that the tune wasn’t even officially adopted as the national anthem until the 1930s. According to James Charlton’s The Baseball Chronology, the first instance of the song being played at a ballgame was on May 15, 1862, during the Civil War at Union Grounds in Brooklyn. Over 50 years later, during World War I, a military band played the tune during the seventh-inning stretch of a 1918 World Series game. “From then on,” reports the Chronology, “the song [was] played at every World Series game, every season opener, and whenever a band [was] present to play it.”

          Playing the anthem didn’t become more the rule than the exception until World War II, when public-address systems—which were installed at stadiums in part for civil defense reasons during the war—became sufficiently widespread to enable recorded versions to be played. Even then, there were some holdouts—as late as the mid 1960s, the Cubs played the anthem only on holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, because team owner P.K. Wrigley felt that playing the song at each game effectively trivialized it. And Royals owner Ewing Kauffman cited a similar rationale in 1972, when he ordered that the anthem be played only “on Sundays and special occasions,” because it “was not receiving the respect it deserved.” Public reaction, however, was highly negative, and Kauffman quickly relented.

        • terriblehuman | May 11, 2015 at 9:55 am |

          Yeah, the singing of the national anthem at non-international sporting events and standing attention to the flag are a uniquely American practice.

          It’s one thing to respect the country where you live. It’s a whole another to be expected to participate in a martial ritual of saluting national symbols (and make no mistake about it – it is a military-inspired ritual). I’ve said this before, but it’s cool if you want your country to mimic North Korea, but it makes me less than comfortable.

        • Padday | May 11, 2015 at 10:38 am |

          I quite like the idea of national anthems being played before games but, like terriblehuman, only for international fixtures. The reason for this is because when you play a set of songs belligerently stating the glory and exceptionalism of two countries right before they go out and engage in a friendly, peaceful and sporting contest it serves to negate the po-faced nature of those songs. The ridiculous absurdity and triviality of nationalistic dogma is revealed and the song ends up being this harmless terrace fight song. It’s cathartic, just as ballgames allow us to yell at authority figures, international sporting competitions allow us to be pantomime nationalists. I like to look at it as this great big ironic joke.

          When you remove all that glorious context and put it in the echo chamber of a domestic sporting event you just get this seedy, insidious ritual of supreme nationalistic religiosity.

        • Ed | May 11, 2015 at 1:18 pm |

          Since we’ve run out of quote levels, I’ll just leave this here:

          https://www.youtube....

          ed

        • Uni Troll | May 11, 2015 at 4:37 pm |

          “And are there at least minotaurs involved?”

          Yes.

          Yes, there are.

          http://extendcreativ...

          And one of those elves has a TV number on his sleeve.

    • Will S | May 11, 2015 at 5:31 pm |

      “Yeah, the singing of the national anthem at non-international sporting events and standing attention to the flag are a uniquely American practice.”

      Don’t I wish. Being the only Canadian team in the Northwoods baseball league, the Border Cats play the American and Canadian anthems before every home game. Even playing one of these is a bit much in my opinion.

  • terriblehuman | May 11, 2015 at 8:25 am |

    @8sirvio on Twitter made an interesting comment:
    “Isn’t *playing* baseball on Memorial Day and the 4th celebration enough?”

    I think it used to be enough – baseball was the unquestioned National Pastime, the representation of muscular American exceptionalism, and a very American act in itself. But somewhere along the way, and for better or worse, it ceased to be American as mom and apple pie.

  • terriblehuman | May 11, 2015 at 8:38 am |

    BTW, I read the headline and was half hoping this was some cross-promotion with Independence Day 2, the movie. I was disappointed to scroll down to see a bunch of overpriced glorified trucker hats.

    • walter | May 11, 2015 at 9:36 am |

      (click to enrage)

  • Jerry Kulig | May 11, 2015 at 8:45 am |

    Looks like KC player cut out the swooshie logo on his undershirt

    • Paul Lukas | May 11, 2015 at 8:48 am |

      Yes, that’s what “breathing Ethier” means.

      It’s right there in the Uni Watch glossary: http://www.uni-watch...

      • Rob S | May 11, 2015 at 8:56 am |

        I clicked on that link and got a “Not Found” page.

        Fortunately, the page can be found under the Research Projects section: http://www.uni-watch...

        • Jerry Kulig | May 11, 2015 at 9:31 am |

          Thanks, and sorry. Because it doesn’t come up much, I missed the reference, and didn’t realize that it was in our dictionary!

    • urbanleftbehind | May 11, 2015 at 8:51 am |

      was that particular corporate concern worried about seeing its logo on a pink shirt worn by a male?

      • Paul Lukas | May 11, 2015 at 8:58 am |

        There are many things one can accuse Nike of, but being worried about masculinity and pink is not one of them:
        https://s-media-cach...

  • Jason M (DC) | May 11, 2015 at 8:54 am |

    So, we know that Paul loves our soldiers and tires of the endless salutes to the military at sporting events… but how about the news that some NFL teams are saluting the National Guard and DoD because they’re being paid for it? (read: Military ads)

    http://profootballta...

    • terriblehuman | May 11, 2015 at 11:02 am |

      I mentioned this in the comments on Friday, and you can look at it two ways.

      If you think of “salute the military” as sincere, patriotic expressions of gratitude, then you should be upset, because these gestures are clearly misrepresented.

      But if you’re more cynical and think these “salutes” are actually recruitment ads for military branches with fans, servicemembers and their families as unpaid actors, then of course the DoD should pay the going rate for an ad placement in the stadium. Nobody expects private businesses to allow other government agencies to place ads in stadiums for free.

      • Rob S | May 11, 2015 at 6:37 pm |

        It should come to no surprise that Keith Olbermann was not happy to find this happening.

      • tbone | May 11, 2015 at 6:39 pm |

        I’m upset because advertising should always be noted as such, especially when there’s a chance it could be considered as an editorial opinion. I’m also upset because I have doubts about the return on investment for programs like this. Do they increase military recruitment in a quantifiable way, enough to justify the government cost?

  • Gary | May 11, 2015 at 9:00 am |

    My 11 year old daughter is going to be be devastated by that 5SOS news. But in better news, maybe that $40 t shirt I bought her at their concert last year will now be a collectors item!

    • Paul Lukas | May 11, 2015 at 9:11 am |

      I know you’re sorta/kinda joking, but it’s worth mentioning that many people tend to misunderstand how collectors’ items work. Collectable value is almost always a function of one thing: scarcity. If thousands and thousands of those shirts were sold, they’re unlikely to become collectors’ items, even if they show an outdated logo.

      • Dumb Guy | May 11, 2015 at 10:08 am |

        Don’t forget timing!

        4 words: Drew Bledsoe Rookie Card.

        (I could come up with a zillion more examples, but I happened to be “into” sports cards around that time)

        • terriblehuman | May 11, 2015 at 10:24 am |

          That was probably the height of the sports cards boom, when companies flooded the market with “special edition” cards to meet collectors’ demand, which led to the inevitable bursting of the bubble.

          Not coincidentally, that was also the height of the Beanie Babies mania, when people who threw out their Cabbage Patch dolls tried to make up for it by hoarding limited edition dolls, with predictable results.

        • Rob S | May 11, 2015 at 11:54 am |

          The 1990s could be considered the Dork Age of Collectibles. The comic book industry was one of the worst offenders in this period, and it was decimated as a result.

      • Gary | May 11, 2015 at 2:07 pm |

        I was definitely joking, but even if I weren’t I wouldn’t be able to pry it out of her hands for anything short of back stage passes to all of their shows. She’s a bit obsessed…lol

  • Dave | May 11, 2015 at 9:20 am |

    “That’s nice, but Independence Day is not a military holiday — it’s the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence’s ratification. So if MLB once again ties the sale of Independence Day merch to a military charity, they will be (a) misrepresenting yet another holiday, (b) once again promoting the insidious notion that support for the military and patriotism are synonymous, which is patently false, and (c) continuing the endless drumbeat of celebrating the military over and over and over again, to the near-exclusion of all other sectors of society. All of this is unacceptable.”

    Without wanting to get into the whole anti-military thing again, but I really think you are making some fantastic stretches here. Just because MLB donates proceeds from the caps to a veterans-themed charity doesn’t mean that it is misrepresenting the holiday. The players will be wearing patriotic caps on a patriotic holiday.

    “…once again promoting the insidious notion that support for the military and patriotism are synonymous, which is patently false.”

    The military is the ultimate home team. Is there really anybody out there who does not support the men and women in our armed forces? Do we not want them to succeed at what they do? I totally get the crusade against the American Indian mascots. But it seems like you twist yourself into a pretzel to object to the camo uniforms.

    • Paul Lukas | May 11, 2015 at 9:26 am |

      Dave, we’re going to have to agree to disagree on pretty much every one of your points. I’ll leave it at that.

    • terriblehuman | May 11, 2015 at 9:47 am |

      military is the ultimate home team

      I think the military has played away for most of the last century.

    • Phil Hecken | May 11, 2015 at 9:50 am |

      “The military is the ultimate home team.”

      ~~~

      Yup. It’s their road record some of us question.

      ~~~~~~~~~~

      “Do we not want them to succeed at what they do?”

      ~~~

      See above.

      • Dave | May 11, 2015 at 10:59 am |

        Phil,

        I think you are confusing support for the men and women in the military with support for a particular mission, extended as it may be.

        There’s a difference in supporting our members of the armed forces — which is what I think MLB is doing — with saying you support the use of force in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is what I think you are objecting to.

        That reminds me of the shameful treatment our vets received when they returned from Vietnam. The war deserved to be protested, but that wasn’t a decision made my the men and women who served.

        When Paul says the MLB support is a political move, I think he’s saying that it’s a sign of support for those overseas mission. I disagree with that, especially since the charity backed by MLB focuses on the needs of veterans after they have returned home. it’s not like MLB is raising money for bombs.

        That’s where I think you guys are off-base here.

        But hey, I recognize I’m in the minority here.

        • Paul Lukas | May 11, 2015 at 11:06 am |

          When Paul says the MLB support is a political move, I think he’s saying that it’s a sign of support for those overseas mission.

          No. What I have always said, and will continue to say, is that celebrating the military over and over and over again, to the near-exclusion of all other sectors of society, is an inherently political act. The military is an important part of American life, but it’s not the ONLY part. Singling out this one sector of society presents a badly unbalanced view of our society. And when the one sector that you’re singling out is the military — esp. in a country that where the military is under civilian control — that is the very definition of political messaging.

          So to clarify: No, my objections have nothing to do with specific military missions. It has to do with the singling out and elevation of this one sector of society over and over and over again.

          I’ve spelled this out many, many times. I hope the message gets thru this time, Dave, even if you disagree with it.

        • Phil Hecken | May 11, 2015 at 11:37 am |

          “Phil,

          I think you are confusing support for the men and women in the military with support for a particular mission, extended as it may be.

          There’s a difference in supporting our members of the armed forces — which is what I think MLB is doing — with saying you support the use of force in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is what I think you are objecting to.”

          ~~~

          I appreciate your reply and for not putting words into my mouth (although you did give it a good shot ;-)).

          Of course I support the troops — just as I support, doctors, nurses, teachers, even politicians, porn merchants and others who are simply “doing their jobs.” But (as Paul has so eloquently stated and I shan’t repeat other than to echo his sentiments that celebrating the military to the near-exclusion of other sectors of society) some in society (perhaps yourself) are conflating support for our troops WITH an almost blind “my country right or wrong” sentiment. It’s possible to support the troops and to oppose American Imperialism overseas.

          But your specific line, “I think you are confusing support for the men and women in the military with support for a particular mission, extended as it may be,” is, I believe, actually the opposite. I’m NOT the one confusing the two — it’s MLB. All the militarism surrounding the game (and make no mistake, there is more than a “we support the troops” sentiment going on here, tacit or not) from the militaristic “Star Spangled Banner” to the GBA during the 7th inning stretch, to the jet flyovers etc. might have a slightly off-putting effect not on just foreigners and foreign-born players, but on Americans as well.

          As to your point about vets returning from Viet Nam — agreed 100%. What this nation does for our veterans and their post-service health care and job placement (just look at the VA hospital situation) is disgraceful, even today.

          I don’t think we’ll see eye-to-eye on this and that’s fine — I appreciate the civil discussion and we’ll agree to disagree. But please don’t think my distaste for MLB’s Memorial Day camo brigade means I don’t support our troops. The day is not about bar-be-que’s and hotdogs, it’s a solemn day to remember those who perished in war. If we truly want to recognize THAT, then a black memorial armband on each sleeve would be a much more fitting tribute.

        • Padday | May 11, 2015 at 1:07 pm |

          As to your point about vets returning from Viet Nam — agreed 100%. What this nation does for our veterans and their post-service health care and job placement (just look at the VA hospital situation) is disgraceful, even today.

          And this is the key point in refuting anybody who stands by the myth that these gimmicks are actually genuinely about supporting the troops. I mean, everyday in the ticker there seems to be at least one of these “support our troops” gestures featured, plus the countless times each year when these league-wide promotions make the lede here. And what of the efficacy of those gestures? Even if you are somebody who thinks Paul is a pinko commie liberal who secretly wants the troops to burn and America to fall to the terrorists, you can’t justify a culture which has done nothing to actually fix the institutional deficiencies associated with how the United States treats its soldiers.

        • Dave | May 11, 2015 at 1:46 pm |

          Hi Phil,

          When you said this:

          “The military is the ultimate home team.”

          ~~~

          Yup. It’s their road record some of us question.

          ~~~~~~~~~~
          “Do we not want them to succeed at what they do?”

          ~~~

          See above.”

          I got the impression that you had issues with the what the military is doing as opposed to who is in it. Apologies if I misunderstood.

          I do think it’s different to support the members of the military than it is to support doctors, nurses and teachers. (You can keep the porn merchants). I don’t think their service is a “job” like the others listed. As a society, for right or wrong, we’ve named stadiums after our war heroes — Soldier Field, Veterans Stadium and so on — and not for firefighters and police officers. No objections from me if there was a First Responders Field, and I was thrilled to see the Mets wear the NYPD caps the other day. But I don’t think not seeing other jerseys saluting those folks is a slight to the others.

          Any way, I’ll stop. I didn’t want you to think I was being disrespectful and I didn’t want to misinterpret your statement.

        • Uni Troll | May 11, 2015 at 5:23 pm |

          In case you missed it, Dave, there was some brief discussion of these issues on Saturday. Nothing ground-breaking, but you might want to have a look when you get a chance.

          And you actually make a good point about tendencies in sports venue naming for a few decades there. But in those days, it was common for lots of public buildings, parks, etc., to be named that way, not just stadiums.

          Bear with me for a moment, as I pose a seemingly-absurd comparison. If we deem it acceptable, or even desirable, for baseball players to perform their jobs in camouflage for a day, would we consider it appropriate for people in other occupations to do the same?

          For one (?) day out of the year, imagine doctors, nurses, lawyers, janitors, chefs, teachers, butchers, bakers, barbers, bus drivers, plumbers, programmers, reporters, tailors, firefighters, police officers, actors, electricians, letter carriers, physicists, chemists, dog-walkers, cat-groomers, ditch-diggers, politicians, and everyone else, all showing up to their jobs wearing camouflage outfits.

          Would we be ok with this?

          (This isn’t precisely sarcasm; I’m actually curious about what people think.)

          On a different topic, when is the next installment of the Rush albums countdown?

          Ah…nothing more American than Rush.

  • DJ | May 11, 2015 at 9:28 am |

    These caps reminded me of Stella McCartney’s Team GB uniforms for the London Olympics, where she stated that the design of the Union Flag was so well-known that you could render it in shades of blue and it would still be recognizable.

  • KC | May 11, 2015 at 9:39 am |

    So, what would a proper Independence Day salute be, since it really shouldn’t be about the military, but about the Declaration of Independence?

    Legislators?
    Or, (as they would have been labeled by the British) terrorists?
    Proofreaders?

    • The Jeff | May 11, 2015 at 9:43 am |

      How about they don’t do anything, you know, like they did for the vast majority of baseball’s history? We didn’t need stupid looking “patriotic” hats in the 60’s or 70’s or 80’s or…

    • Paul Lukas | May 11, 2015 at 9:44 am |

      How about, you know, just playing a baseball game?

      If you need to commemorate the holiday, there could be a pregame reading of the Declaration of Independence, perhaps by people in period garb. You could give out printed copies of the Declaration to all fans in attendance.

      And if you need to sell ugly gas station caps, how about donating the funds to the National Archives (where an original parchment copy of the Declaration is housed), or toward educational programs about American history and civics. Perhaps those programs could teach kids that not every holiday is a military holiday.

      And so on.

      • KC | May 11, 2015 at 11:42 am |

        See, now you’re talkin’.

        (And replace the baseball caps for that game with tricorners if you need to move some merch!)

      • Lee | May 11, 2015 at 12:11 pm |

        I would L-O-V-E if they gave out printed copies of the Declaration to all fans in attendance. That would be awesome.

        Until some yahoos turned them into paper airplanes of course.

        Lee

        • RoxFan | May 11, 2015 at 2:32 pm |

          Exactly!!! You get it, Lee. Have you ever heard the reading of the Declaration they do every year on NPR? It’s wonderful. Sometime you have to wave the WORDS, so you know what the flag means.

      • arrScott | May 11, 2015 at 12:21 pm |

        A few years back, I attended an Independence Day game at the local Potomac Nationals. At the very start, team owner Art Silber came out in his full base-coaching uniform with his grandfathered #42 and gave a really condescending lecture about patriotism and respecting the flag. Then he introduced the anthem singer, a young woman of the unfortunate Whitney-Houston-wannabe school of singing. The kind of singer who stretches out every high and low note so that everyone can admire her ay-yi-yi tremolo while she waves her fingers like Mariah Carey daydreaming about butterflies. I swear that rendition of the anthem must have taken six minutes.

        Which is not unusual; far as I can tell, the only people who don’t treat the national anthem as an opportunity to make everyone spend five minutes admiring their voice are military singers. (And this guy.) But the point is, that kind of look-at-me approach to singing the Star Spangled Banner prevents fans from singing along. For the crowd to be able to sing along – I mean, physically able to actually sing in unison – the anthem must be sung with a fairly brisk tempo and the singer must show a fair bit of vocal restraint.

        So how about this: On patriotic holidays, don’t wear a funny cap. Just make sure you hire an anthem singer who knows her job is to lead the audience in singing the anthem together, not to shut the audience up.

        • Uni Troll | May 11, 2015 at 7:03 pm |

          Let’s all sing it together!

          Anacreon would approve.

    • tbone | May 11, 2015 at 6:43 pm |

      It doesn’t have to be anything more involved than fireworks set to patriotic music. That’s completely sufficient; don’t mess with the actual game.

  • Adam | May 11, 2015 at 9:42 am |

    Although the contract doesn’t officially start until July, the Nike machine is revving up at Tennessee. Over the weekend, a mysterious twitter account popped up called Oneof119 (the reference is to this upcoming season featuring the 119th iteration of the Tennessee football team. Numbering each team has been something Butch Jones started when he arrived and has really caught on with the fanbase).

    https://twitter.com/...

    The twitter account stated that 119 boxes will be hidden across the state leading up to the first game of the season. Well, the first box was found yesterday, and it contained a voucher for a game ticketn, a coupon for 19% off a purchase at the new fan store (“Nike concept shop”) in Neyland Stadium, and perhaps the first swoosh-emblazoned piece of Tennessee gear in the form of a t-shirt with the “One of 119” phrase.

    https://twitter.com/...

    • Adam | May 11, 2015 at 9:43 am |

      Oops. The first link is bad. Here is a link to the actual 1of119 twitter page.

      https://twitter.com/...

  • Mike Nessen | May 11, 2015 at 9:44 am |

    It’s doubtful that the 39Thirty Dodgers hat pictured is going to be the BP cap. For the last three seasons, BP caps have been the 59Fifty Diamond Era model.

  • Rich | May 11, 2015 at 9:47 am |

    “I don’t really care about BP caps, but it’s interesting to see that they’re included them in this year’s program.”

    Nothing interesting about it. Just another cap they can sell to some sucker to make another buck.

  • Randy | May 11, 2015 at 10:10 am |

    I admit, I scroll without reading the blog word for word and as I was scrolling I saw “Paul Rand”… brain registered “Rand Paul” and I was like hold up here, WTF is this !@#*??? Whew!

    • Paul Lukas | May 11, 2015 at 10:15 am |

      For those of us who love Paul Rand, the political ascension of Rand Paul has been very confusing!

      • J.R. Clark | May 11, 2015 at 11:20 pm |

        Sorry Paul, but Paul Rand didn’t singlehandedly revolutionize industrial design. You’re forgetting Raymond Loewy, who designed the Shell, Exxon, TWA, and BP logos. Loewy also designed the Greyhound Scenicruiser bus, the Coca-Cola vending machine, the Lucky Strike cigarette package, the Studebaker Avanti automobile, and the livery for Air Force One. In fact, the press referred to Loewy as the Father of Industrial Design.

    • Dumb Guy | May 11, 2015 at 2:02 pm |

      I was momentarily sidetracked by the comment that mentioned Paul and the Stanley cup in the first sentence. I thought someone was talking about Paul Stanley of KISS!

  • Tim | May 11, 2015 at 10:19 am |

    Kevin Na, not Ken Na.

    • Paul Lukas | May 11, 2015 at 10:25 am |

      Thanks — will fix.

  • walter | May 11, 2015 at 10:34 am |

    You would have loved a magazine cover I glimpsed a couple of years ago. A crowd at a ball game was at attention, hands over hearts, singing in unison. There was a lone dissenter, slouched in his seat, with a peeved expression- Uncle Sam. I’ve tried searching the webs for this cartoon, using likely subjects: UTNE Reader, McSweeney’s, Believer; to no avail.

  • Rob S | May 11, 2015 at 10:41 am |

    I can think of only one thing that would make a Paul Rand exhibit better – an adjoining Saul Bass exhibit!

    • JeanD | May 11, 2015 at 1:36 pm |

      Speaking of Saul Bass, United Airlines should have NEVER removed the tulip as the logo.

    • Dumb Guy | May 11, 2015 at 2:06 pm |

      Not to be confused with Sal Bass (aka Salman Rushdie).

      Am I right, Kramer??

  • martyB | May 11, 2015 at 10:44 am |

    Former pro wrestler, future MMA competitor, and Chicago Blackhawks megafan CM Punk told a cute little uni-related story during an interview that I think a lot of us can identify with…

    Link:
    http://uproxx.com/pr...

    Quote:
    “I’m not superstitious. I’ll break mirrors all day and you know, the whatnot, but when it comes to hockey — and I just think it’s because my desire for the Hawks to win is so strong — I have to. There was a time in 2013 when we won the cup, my sister had gotten me a Keith — Duncan Keith, he’s my favourite player — a Keith jersey. But it’s not an official NHL jersey, like she must have gotten it in Chinatown, it’s a bootleg jersey. Like the Indian head isn’t quite right…if you’re a fan, you can tell, you know? But every time I wore it at a game they won, so I was like “I have to keep wearing this jersey! And it was almost the bane of my existence because I had all these people giving me sh*t abut like ‘oh, you’re CM Punk and you can’t even afford an official jersey’, stuff like that. And I would go I don’t give a sh*t about that. It was a gift from my sister, so I don’t care where it came from, or what it looks like, and what status of jersey it is — they win when I wear this thing! And I always had to walk in to the United Center or whatever way I got there, carrying it in my hand and put it on after I entered the building. And there are a few others, but they’re all kind of silly like that.”

  • andyharry | May 11, 2015 at 10:55 am |

    I’m not sure you’re giving sports designers a fair shake, here. When you’re talking about people that work for large corporations, you’re not necessarily seeing the talent and radicalism of those designers’ coming though in the final product. You’re likely seeing the ideas and preferences of brand officials and team officials mashed together and then interpreted by those designers. It’s not an easy task, nor is it set up for individual creativity to win out, so you can’t really compare what Paul Rand did with what sports designers do today for large brands.

    Paul Rand had the utmost confidence that he could solve a visual problem his way, and that was the only option if you were to work with him. He threw that weight around with gusto, too. I’m not presenting this as a negative. These are just facts. He is one of the greats and it is chiefly because he stubbornly pressed for creative vision to supersede the emotional attachments clients have toward their projects. There aren’t many people who work that way, partly because there aren’t many people who have the talent to support working that way (and if you don’t have the talent, that type of attitude does not tend to generate many friends or dollars).

    There’s plenty of talent in sports design, but it’s not always displayed front and center for the world to see. With your passion for minutiae and your penchant for looking beneath the surface, I expect you’d find some really talented folks whose work you really enjoy if you dug a little deeper. There are dozens of sports designers who frequent this blog (myself included) who are just a click away if you’re interested in seeing great work instead of always painting sports designers with the broad brush of the industry.

    • terriblehuman | May 11, 2015 at 12:05 pm |

      Yeah, it would be hard for another Paul Rand (not Rand Paul, which I initially typed!) to come along in today’s corporate environment.

      Creatives in general don’t have the influence that Bill Bernbach and David Ogilvy and Saul Bass and Paul Rand enjoyed. Companies are simultaneously more attached to their legacy identities and more sensitive to the whims of contemporary trends. There are way more layers of approval and there’s now the instant feedback channel of social media pouncing on anything that’s unconventional.

      It helps that he was immensely talented and committed to his vision, but he was also born into the right era.

      • andyharry | May 11, 2015 at 1:41 pm |

        Well said.

  • Joseph Gerard | May 11, 2015 at 11:13 am |

    The hats look better than past hats IMO. And if they keep them red, white, & blue, so what?

    And I’m sure this has been discussed here before, but wasn’t it up until WWII that ALL MLB teams wore red, white, & blue anyways? I mean I know there was an occasional team that would change it up on a temporary basis, but aside from the St. Louis Browns I can’t really think of anyone who didn’t have red, white, & blue on a permanent basis until after the war. The Giants (in 1947) and Pirates (in 1948) changed to their current color scheme after the war. The A’s didn’t go to green & gold until Charlie O. became their owner in 1960. Even today, among the “original 16”, the only teams that DON’T have at least either red or blue in their color scheme are the Giants, Bucs (McClatchy-era aside), A’s, Orioles, and White Sox. (In the latter’s case, until adopting their current unis in 1990 they’ve gone back and forth several times between black & white and some combination of red, white, & blue.) Even the early expansion teams all adopted the color scheme, with only the Mets (who uses orange instead of red in honor of the Giants) and Astros (several colors) deviating from it somewhat. The 1969 expansion would be when the clubs would truly move away from it to form their own identity, with ironically enough only the Expos sticking to the red, white, & blue color scheme.

    • marc | May 11, 2015 at 12:36 pm |

      “… the early expansion teams all adopted the color scheme, with only the Mets (who uses orange instead of red in honor of the Giants)…”

      I always thought the Mets used blue and orange since they are the official colors of the city of New York, no?

      • Paul Lukas | May 11, 2015 at 1:24 pm |

        The Dodgers/Giants connection was the main thing, because the Mets represented the revival of National League baseball in the city. The fact that those two colors are also the official colors of NYC was a nice bonus.

    • Padday | May 11, 2015 at 1:19 pm |

      And I’m sure this has been discussed here before, but wasn’t it up until WWII that ALL MLB teams wore red, white, & blue anyways?

      I don’t see your point. Are you saying that MLB gets a pass on making half the teams in the league look like crap because, well, it would have been fine in 1924?

  • Brian | May 11, 2015 at 11:27 am |

    Membership: How about soccer? Non-Purple EPL or MLS teams?

    • Paul Lukas | May 11, 2015 at 11:30 am |

      Not sure what you’re asking. Soccer-themed design requests have always been welcome, same as any other sport (unless they include purple, same as any other sport). Next Monday purple-inclusive soccer designs will also be available.

  • arrScott | May 11, 2015 at 12:08 pm |

    it isn’t clear if the other caps will be rendered in team colors (in which case the flag motif will, in many cases, look really inappropriate) or if they’re going to impose red/white/blue on every team (in which case several teams, especially the A’s and Rockies, will look even worse than all the others)

    The fact that the Dodgers caps are not rendered in team colors would seem to indicate very strongly that all teams will be wearing navy/red template caps, not team colors. Though frankly I would be much less displeased by this design if they actually did keep team colors intact. The American flag is a strong enough icon that it would “read” clearly if this pattern were sublimated across any color. That, to my eye, would look less catastrophically ugly than, say, the Dodgers wearing a dark navy cap over their royal-blue-bedecked uniforms.

    What makes me really upset about these “patriotic” uniform gestures is that the validity of their claim to patriotism depend on accepting that baseball is not, on its own, an inherently patriotic sport. And hey, fair enough, maybe baseball is no more American than haggis or poutine. But as for me, and maybe I’m just an old-fashioned stuck-in-the-mud, baseball is one of the few universal and definitively American things. Baseball, jazz, the dollar, the celebration of individual mistrust of authority, fast cars with mushy suspension, corn whiskey – whatever your short list of things that nothing is more American than, baseball ought to make the list. And if that’s true, if the playing of a baseball game is inherently a patriotic, distinctly American activity, then these “patriotic” caps actually undermine the basic patriotism of the game. Nothing is more patriotic than a baseball game on the Fourth of July with the teams wearing their crisp home white and road gray uniforms. If that statement is true, than by definition any change, such as wearing ugly trucker caps, makes the thing less patriotic.

    Or, put another way, the Continental soldiers who won our independence from the British crown under General Washington are known to have played an early form of baseball when in camp. And they sure as hell didn’t feel the need to wear special star-spangled trucker caps when they played ball. Isn’t that exactly the kind of empty gesture that a true patriot would never even think to make?

  • Wheels | May 11, 2015 at 12:23 pm |

    Those hats are hilarious, the only thing they’re missing is bird crap all over them for the finishing touch.

  • RoxFan | May 11, 2015 at 2:26 pm |

    I am a (usually) proud American and support the military, but I think you’re absolutely right about July 4th. It’s more a philosophical holiday. Not about guns and defense and combat. It’s more a respect for the intellect and internal bravery it took to put pen to paper and start a new country. Of course it couldn’t have happened without the troops, but it also wouldn’t have happened without Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, etc… and the Americans. Thanks for making me think.

  • matt | May 11, 2015 at 3:05 pm |

    It’s amazing how worked up people get on both sides of the patriotic hats argument. At a certain point, I think some people don’t even believe in their arguments and just want to win the “bang on the table and speak louder” contest.

    Mike Francesa would be proud.

    • Paul Lukas | May 11, 2015 at 5:23 pm |

      I think some people don’t even believe in their arguments and just want to win the “bang on the table and speak louder” contest.

      Sure, that’s possible. It’s also possible that some of us simply care more (or at least more passionately) about this issue than you do.

  • Oakville endive | May 11, 2015 at 3:26 pm |

    Blue Jays are at Detroit on July 4th (a border city), which means there will be a lot of Canadians in the stands. Hopefully the Jays are exempted from the gas station hat look, and maybe wear something like this on their caps – to recognize the friendship and respect between the two countries

    https://blog.transca...

    • arrScott | May 11, 2015 at 4:21 pm |

      On the contrary! America’s struggle for independence may have worked out great for those of us south of the 49th parallel. But for Canada, the Declaration of Independence kicked off four decades of nearly constant cross-border menace, including two full-fledged American invasions of Canada. Which Canada defeated each time. So something more like a patch saying, “Canada 2, USA 0 – Stuff It, Yanks” would be perfectly appropriate.

      • Oakville endive | May 11, 2015 at 4:45 pm |

        Those who look backwards as opposed to forwards, wanting to right every past wrong, are doomed to dwell and not advance. :) Overall, we have the strongest country in the world next to us, and they let us live in freely in our own way (Timmies, Curling, and listening to the Hip) with only minor annoyances, such as having our baseball team wear silly Memorial Day hats.

        • TYCG | May 12, 2015 at 1:20 am |

          A Tragically Hip reference on u-w? Well I’m satisfied!

      • Mark in Shiga | May 12, 2015 at 3:28 am |

        Come on, Scott, are you trying to pretend that the invasion of Canada by a ragtag bunch of Irish separatists who had nothing to do with the US government was “full-fledged”? It’s British Empire 2, Irish Independence 0″ on that scorecard then.

  • Michael | May 11, 2015 at 3:39 pm |

    Perhaps this is the reason that we see an excess of cammo merch hoisted on the public by the NFL (and likely MLB too).

    http://www.pbs.org/n...

    • Thomas J | May 11, 2015 at 4:47 pm |

      Just heard about this on the radio. Taxpayer money used for advertising.

    • Thomas J | May 11, 2015 at 4:49 pm |

      Its disconcerting because its recruitment advertising disguised as tribute and respect.

      Its using our feelings towards those who have served to bring in fresh bodies.

  • Mike Chamernik | May 11, 2015 at 4:33 pm |

    To me, it’s odd that while the American flag commands so much respect and decorum, it’s not that frowned upon to merchandise the hell out of it, even beyond baseball uniforms.

    Also, with Bernie Brewer’s Mom, the Brewers have like nine different mascots. They have the five racing sausages, Bernie, Barrelman, Hank the Dog. They even bring out the mini racing sausages from time to time.

  • Thresh8 | May 11, 2015 at 4:46 pm |

    “Hockey goal urinal target”?

    There are motion-activated urinal cakes out there.

    Can’t someone, for the love of Lord Stanley, invent one which screams “He shoots! He SCOOOOOOOOORRRRRS!” for the net-shaped target?

  • Ryan | May 11, 2015 at 5:08 pm |

    The Eric Sheppard Challenge ain’t got sh** on MLB!

  • Tim Haller | May 11, 2015 at 5:21 pm |

    I’m still calling it the Patriot Center…
    http://newsdesk.gmu....

    Historic partnership, my ass. Oh yeah, and those new MLB Independence Day hats are awful. Like a free hat you’d get for signing up for a new credit card at a ball game.

  • JSteever | May 11, 2015 at 6:17 pm |

    Paul Rand’s work was static and simple. Surely nothing wrong with that style and form… except in SPORTS. Sports are a living brand. Teams colors are tribal. Sports are an emotions based business. Paul Rand wouldn’t get a job at a sports branding industry because his work was BORING.

    http://ellevsen.com/...

    • Paul Lukas | May 11, 2015 at 6:25 pm |

      Paul Rand wouldn’t get a job at a sports branding industry because his work was BORING.

      Not the stupidest thing that’s ever been said on this site, but it’s up there.

    • Uni Troll | May 11, 2015 at 8:43 pm |

      AGGHH…good luck doing web searches for Paul Rand stuff. You mostly just end up with that other guy.

      I’m not sure that I would call his work “boring,” but would Rand’s style have been suitable for sports logos? Without any examples in that neighborhood, it’s tough to say.

  • Derek | May 11, 2015 at 7:05 pm |

    The unfortunate misconception that was just brought to light, is that honoring the military via sports organizations is not an organic, genuine “from-the-heart” process, nor a sports marketing barrage. It is a military recruitment tool in the NFL, as revealed by U.S. Senator Flake from Arizona. It is also pervasive in numerous sports from the pro level, well down into amateur levels. Millions of our tax money is being paid to sports for the purpose of promoting the military.

    • Ryan M | May 11, 2015 at 8:56 pm |

      No kidding. Flyovers by expensive planes using expensive fuel, even if only based a few miles away, adds up. Too-large-for-any-other-practical-use American flags & soldiers to hold them. And so on. Say what you will about hawkish folks, but they’ve done a pretty good job promoting their agenda, such that any one who dares oppose them is essentially branded a traitor.

  • Frank from Bmore | May 11, 2015 at 7:10 pm |

    Orioles are wearing home “Baltimore” jerseys in their first game home with fans since the riot.

  • Mookie | May 11, 2015 at 8:13 pm |

    I’m fine with the national anthem but GOD BLESS AMERICA in the 7th needs to STOP.

    #overkill

    • Uni Troll | May 11, 2015 at 8:46 pm |

      Agreed. But least “God Bless America” is a listenable song.

      The day that they replace it with “God Bless the U.S.A.” is the day that we should probably just stop going to games.

  • Kristopher | May 12, 2015 at 5:57 am |

    If you have an election related issue you’d like to see explored, please let me know.
    Women have not only a truly self-serving media center stage, they have
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