A Look at a 1965 Mets Program

Reader Brian Sullwold’s mother was recently going through her attic and found something cool: a 1965 Mets program, apparently purchased and saved by Brian’s grandfather half a century ago. His grandfather even filled out the scorecard, which was apparently from this Mets/Cardinals game, played on Aug. 21, 1965.

There are several noteworthy things about the program, beginning with the cover (shown above), which shows a Mets player with no front jersey number. As it happens, 1965 was the year that the Mets added a front number, after having gone number-free for their first three seasons. It’s not clear if the lack of the number on the cover illustration was a carryover from the previous look or an attempt to make the illo player seem more generic by not assigning him a real player’s number.

A few other things that caught my eye (for all photos, you can click to enlarge): (Continue reading)

Is the Underhand Free Throw Unaesthetic?

On Saturday the Tugboat Captain and I drove to the north shore of Long Island so she could show me her hometown. (Fun fact: For several years her next-door neighbor — at least on weekends — was William Shea, the namesake of Shea Stadium. One time she even went trick-or-treating at his house for Halloween.) On the drive there, we listened to the new epside of This American Life, which turned out to be largely about Wilt Chamberlain and underhand free throws.

Quick background: Everyone knows Rick Barry did his free throws underhand, but you might not realize that Chamberlain did it as well, at least early in his career. On the night of his famous 100-point game in 1962, he made 28 free throws (still a single-game record) — all of them underhand. He was a very good free throw shooter when he used the underhand style, but he didn’t stick with it. Instead, he reverted to the conventional overhand shot — and was, for most of his career, a brutal shooter from the charity stripe.

The This American Life episode is all about people who make bad choices even when they know better, and the poster child they present for this phenomenon is Chamberlain, who stuck with the overhand shot even though he knew he was much better with the underhand style. At one point the segment’s narrator — the writer Malcolm Gladwell (who, aside from writing bestselling books like The Tipping Point, happens to be a big basketball fan) — quotes from Chamberlain’s autobiography, written in the 1970s, as follows: (Continue reading)

Back, Back, Back - (Throw)back, (Throw)back, (Throw)back



By Phil Hecken

Fans of throwback uniforms were in for a triple-treat yesterday, as the Seattle Mariners (shown in the “vintage camcorder” effect video above) and the St. Louis Cardinals met in Seattle for a 1984 throwback game — and the Milwaukee Brewers hosted the Washington Nationals, while the Atlanta Braves hosted the New York Mets — who both played Negro League Tribute/throwback games. To my knowledge, all teams have worn said throwbacks before (certainly in the case of the Negro League throwbacks), and I’m fairly positive the Mariners and Cardinals have worn throwbacks in either they exact year or same style as those worn last evening. Lets look at some pictures! (Continue reading)

Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That

In yesterday’s installment of Collector’s Corner, Brinke Guthrie showcased a few items featuring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ original mascot character, Bucco Bruce.

I was 12 years old when Bucco Bruce and the rest of the Bucs’ inaugural creamsicle design scheme were introduced in 1976. Bruce was an object of scorn for years — in part, no doubt, because the early Bucs were a historically bad team, although I’m pretty sure people also disliked the logo on its own terms. When the Bucs jettisoned the creamsicles and went pewter in 1997, most people said, “Good riddance.”

In recent years, though, Bruce has had a bit of a renaissance. What once seemed embarrassing now seems nostalgically quaint. Disdain and contempt have given way to a sentimental embrace. (Lots of other old logos and uniform designs have traveled that same route, of course.)

All of which raises two questions that I don’t think we’ve ever addressed here: (Continue reading)