Four For The Hall

4 for the hall 550
Click To Enlarge

By Phil Hecken

The 2015 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is today, and the Class of 2015 has some pretty impressive guys to wear the uniform. As is more and more the case these days, 3 of the 4 guys played for at least three teams, and a couple played for more than that. But Craig Biggio played his entire career with the Astros (quite a feat in this day and age). He’s (obviously) going in as an Astro. Also going in is John Smoltz, who played almost his entire career with the Braves — so there’s no question as to which cap will appear on his plaque.

Two of the other inductees, however, played for numerous teams, and had pretty decent careers in more than one uniform: Randy Johnson, who wore many caps over the years, was dominant and played for the majority of his early career with the Mariners. He also had two stints with the Diamondbacks (including winning the World Series with them in 2001), and pitched for the Yankees, Expos, and Giants. Pedro “Petey” Martinez also played for a number of teams, having an outstanding career as an Expo before dominating with the Red Sox. Martinez began his career with the Dodgers, and also pitched for the Mets and Phillies before it was all over. While one might have had an argument for Pedro going in as an Expo, he’ll be wearing a Sox cap; The Big Unit will go in as a D-Back.

Here’s a look at the class of 2015 (for all photos below, you can click to enlarge):

HOF ALL2

But who had the best (I realize this is probably a relative term) uniform? And…if you want to play six degrees of separation between the four players…you can get there in four easy steps: Biggio (Astros 1988-2007) -> Randy Johnson (Astros 1998)/Randy Johnson (Expos 1988-89) -> Pedro Martinez (Expos 1994-97)/Pedro Martinez (Red Sox 1998-2004) -> John Smoltz (Red Sox 2009). Easy, eh?

OK — lets take a look at (some, since there are far too many to list ALL) the uniforms worn by the inductees:

__________

Craig Biggio: He only wore an Astros uniform, but he went through three separate uniform designs over his decades with the team:

Biggio 1

Biggio 4

Biggio 2

Biggio 3

Poor Biggio — he came up at the end of the “rainbow” (but not Tequila Sunrise) era for the Astros, and ended just before their retro/fauxback uniforms of today — probably putting him in the worst period of Astro uniforms there were. None of those look particularly good, but the best of those may be the red cap/star alternate. You could make an argument for the rainbows too. But that’s a rough bunch of unis a wonderful player put on his back for all those years.

__________

Randy Johnson: The Unit got to wear some gorgeous unis throughout his time in the bigs, beginning with the Expos in his early years, then the Mariners (some good, some pretty good). His stint with the Astros landed him in the Biggio quandry, and he went downhill with both stints with the Diamondbacks. Between the D-Backs, he put on one of the best unis in the game, that of the Yankees (although success didn’t follow him to the Big Apple), and he closed out his career with another beautiful uniform in the San Francisco Giants:

RJ Montreal

RJ Mariners

RJ Astros

RJ D-backs 1

RJ Yankees

RJ D-Backs3

RJ Giants

Tough call on the “best” uniform, but you’d have to put the Expos, Yankees and Giants all up there. Funny that his “best” work came in the Mariners, Diamondbacks and (for a half-season) Astros uniforms.

__________

Pedro Martinez: Petey also got to don some great unis throughout his career, which began in LA and ended in Philly. In between he wore Expos, Red Sox and Mets uniforms. The Dodgers, and Red Sox are certainly up near the top of the uni world.

Petey Dodgers

Petey Expos

Petey Red Sox

Petey Mets

Petey Phillies

Another tough call on the “best” uniform — it’s probably the Dodgers, but the Sox are certainly a close second. All the others (if you count only the Mets pins, anyway) are pretty darn fine as well.

__________

John Smoltz: Smoltzie is a lucky guy in that he didn’t wear a bad uni in his career (unless you want to count softball tops), and while we’ll always most remember him as an Atlanta Brave (gorgeous home and roads), he was also fortunate enough to get on the bump for the Red Sox and Cardinals, whose uniforms are also top notch.

Smoltz1

Smoltz2

Smoltz3

Tough call here — all good unis, but since he played so long and we’ll always remember him as a Brave, that’s probably tops. But you can’t overlook the Cards (too bad his one year on Boston had the Sox wearing the plain “BOSTON” font — if it were the current road uni, that would be up there too).

__________

OK — that’s your look at the HOFers and their uni histories — who wore it best? How would you rank the unis/teams for each? Let’s hear what you have to say! If you want to learn more about these guys — their bios and achievements — or the Hall of Fame in general, click here — great stuff from the Hall of Fame!

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colorize thisColorize This!

Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.

Got a few this weekend, and from new colorizing guru ManCave (aka Chris Whitehouse) and an old friend, George Chilvers.

Enjoy!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First up, a couple from ManCave:

Satchel-Paige-1945 - Chris Whitehouse

Casey-Stengel-1915 - Chris Whitehouse


Hey again guys,

A twofor for today. Satchel Paige in 1945 and Casey Stengel in 1915.

Satchel: Every reference I’ve seen puts a big K C on the front of the Monarch’s cap at this date. But I can’t see anything there at all in this image. I didn’t want to force one on there, so I left it as it appears. The jerseys were lightly creme colored and the hats white, so what may look like a mistake is intentional.

I chatted with the President of the Negro League Baseball Museum in K.C. and he told me that they are presently digitizing their photo collection. This is great news. Because the Library of Congress, which has a lifetime of work for me covering the old White leagues, has nothing at all for the Negro League.

Casey: Cool shades. What else can I say?

Chris Whitehouse

. . .

Chris wasn’t quite done — he wanted to show us the before/after on the Satchel Paige colorization:

Satch-Before-and-After - Chris Whitehouse

I guess some might like to see the before image too:
It is hard to look at the original after finishing up the color. Baseball players and uniforms deserve the full palette.

Chris

. . .

And here’s a (gasps) non-soccer colorization from George (who almost always includes the b&w for comparison’s sake):

Matty McIntyre 1912 colour - George Chilvers

Matty McIntyre 1912

Hi Phil

Well, after all the comments that I only colourise football, comments which have had me sobbing my way to sleep at night, I thought I’d better have a go at another colonial picture :)

Now in all my years on this Earth I have never come across this fellow before (I just liked the picture and the possibility that adverts give to a colouriser), but I presume your faithful readers will recognise Matty McIntyre here in 1912. Matty had a famous (so I read) and long-running feud with the infamous Ty Cobb, who appears to have been a really thoroughly unpleasant person. To you guys this is old well-known history – it’s all new to me. You learn something new every day, they say.

So, here Matty McIntyre is in glorious technicolour. But remember – wear loose fitting underwear!

Best wishes

George

That’s it for today. Great job, Chris and George!

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all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.

And so, lets begin:

~~~

First up today is Diego Bauzá who has a new look for the USNT:

USNT-Home - Diego Bauzá USNT-Change - Diego Bauzá

USNT-Heritage - Diego Bauzá USNT-main - Diego Bauzá

Hi Phil,

I actually put these together well over a year ago, before the start of the 2014 World Cup, but I never finished adding the shorts or socks. Regardless, I wanted to share what I had put together.

I brought back the sash, but made it out of 7 stripes. I created a new crest to replace the current version and the third kit was to celebrate the centennial. I hope you all enjoy it.

– Diego

. . .

And we close today with Mark McLean who has a slight tweak for the Buffalo Bills:

red socks - Mark McLean

Paul & Phil,

The Buffalo Bills look great with blue pants in their away uniform set except for one issue: They wear blue socks with their blue pants. I can’t help but wonder what it would look they went back to their 1970s red socks with blue pants.

Thanks!

Mark McLean

. . .

And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.

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help
Li’l Help?

With August approaching, Paul will be taking his well-deserved sabbatical from the daily Uni Watch posts, and, as we’ve done the past six or seven years, I’ll be handling the content for the weekday posts.

If you’re interested in working with me for a uniform-related piece, I’m always looking for contributors. If you have an idea for a good uni-related story, shoot me an email: Phil.Hecken@gmail.com.

Let me know if you’re interested and we’ll discuss the parameters!

OK? OK!

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Too Good For the Ticker
Too Good…

for the Ticker

Gumball helmet king Bill Jones sent in the following e-mail, which was a follow-up to yesterday’s lede on the PIFL/IFL logos and uniforms.

I’ll let him explain:

. . .

I really enjoyed today’s post with the article on the old PIFL and the transition to the IFL. I had actually been thinking about contacting you to discuss the possibility of me covering uniforms and helmets for all of the various Indoor and Arena Football leagues each year – there are lots of them. Maybe we can discuss that later if you are interested.

Anyway, I also wanted to share these IFL prototype logos – these teams were announced for year 3 but never played. I am not sure if the same artist worked on these or not, but they are pretty cool.

Take care,

Bill

I’ll run these as a slideshow below, but if you can’t view them, you can click here to view the helmets and logos.

Thanks, Bill.

OK. Now, onto the ticker…

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Here’s a pretty neat article on “Major League Man Caves” (from Ted Arnold). … Here’s a tremendous shot of the 1980 Baseball Hall of Fame Group Portrait – w/new inductees Al Kaline & Duke Snider (thanks to Bruce Menard). … The Eugene Emeralds will wear these special Civic Stadium uniforms on August 16 vs. the Everett AquaSox (h/t Eric Mahler). … Cool View Master (anyone remember those?) set showing Little League World Series uniforms, probably from the early 70s (via Stirrups Now!). … Three digit number alert! Here’s a Japanese minor leaguer sporting number 120 (h/t Carter Woodiel). … The Eugene Emeralds will wear special jerseys today in honor of fallen Eugene police officer Chris Kilcullen for Kilcullen Night (from Eric Fisk). … The Iron Pigs wore Christmas in July unis last evening (via David Thomas). … Check out this photo from the 1967 World Series — seems pretty safe, no? (h/t Stirrups Now). … Here’s a neat old Cincinnati Reds scorecard, seen at Macadoo’s in Blacksburg, VA (via Berserker). Pretty sure a whole bunch of the opponents’ logos wouldn’t fly today. Here’s the flip side. … More Christmas in July uniforms, this time from the Memphis Redbirds (from Brendan Surmeier). … “Thought you’d get a kick out of this vintage Mets shirt I saw at Rad Vintage in Chicago,” says Matthew Robins. … The Royals wore their Los Reales jerseys yesterday. … And not to be left out, Los Astros broke out the orange “Los” tops as well (h/t Houston Astros), as the Royals celebrated Hispanic Heritage Day yesterday. Here’s a look at Los Astros in action (h/t RN’s Funhouse). … Yesterday the Wilmington Sharks vs. Edenton Steamers went dark color vs. dark color (via Wilmington Sharks). … THe Brazos Valley Bombers will be wearing this jersey today representing nations around the globe for International Millionaire night (via Brazos Valley Bombers). … The Tennessee Smokies wore some really ugly Christmas sweater jerseys yesterday. More here. … Still more ugly Christmas sweater/jerseys yesterday, this time from the Harrisburg Senators (h/t Joey OBarr). … Not to be outdone, the Wisconsin TimberRattlers also did the X-mas jerseys thing (from Brian Kerhin).

Football News: Thanks to Tres Lawless, we get a first look at some new Vanderbilt jerseys (looks like the one on the right is gold). … Here’s a shot of LSU Head Coach Les Miles dressed up as a referee (via Ted Chastain). … Hmmm: “Per [yesterday’s] article on Uni-Watch about the PIFL, unfortunately, it looks like the Duluth Lumberjacks font and saw blade were taken directly from the IHL’s Cleveland Lumberjacks’ logo first used in 1996,” writes Chris Spisak. … The new UMass football uniforms will feature Massachusetts state logo with the Amherst star. … Chris Buttgen notes this Osceola, AR (from 1957) jersey and “the way the 6 could be a 9. Possibly to save money.” … Looks like ASU adidas will be releasing their football unis for ASU on July 30th.

Basketball News: George Mason, who reached the Final Four 10 years ago, has commemorated the achievement by releasing a 10th Anniversary logo (thanks Paul). … Tremendous photo of Wilt the Stilt with a cotton top and tighty whities (h/t Stirrups Now!). … “While I’m not a fan of the gimmicks that come out of Nike headquarters, this is one product I can stand behind,” says Julie Streeter. “(Yester)day in the WNBA All-Star game Elena Della Donne is wearing shoes designed by Nike for those with disabilities. Which is the result of a campaign started by Mathew Walzer, who wrote to Nike asking for a better designed shoe for people like himself who had trouble tying laces.” … Check out this wonderful old photo of “Pistol” Pete Maravich with LSU — and “look at that Duke uniform. Not their traditional colors of today,” says Stirrups Now!. Tweeterer Justin McGuire notes, “That’s likely the Duquesne Dukes, not Duke,” as did JMLedgewood.

Grab Bag: Whoa. Check out this Long Island Tomahawks lacrosse program — check out the helmets — is that a hockey helmet with a football facemask? (nice find by Sports Paper). … One of the greatest and funniest movies of all time, Caddyshack, is 35 years old! Here are 15 things you might not know about the movie. … Douglas Ford “was flipping through a digital Sports Illustrated recently and whose mug should appear, but our Paul Lukas with eight tiny reindeer? Oops. I mean ‘with The Rock, Francona and Herschel’.” … Also from Douglas, the “only thing cooler than this jersey is the quote. … “Interesting. Check the date at bottom,” says John English. “North Stars kinda sorta lifted this, it seems.” … “So was doing a bbq and a friend brought a flat screen and for whatever reason had Tom Hanks the 70’s on,” says John Przebieglec. “Saw this…Ted Bundy wearing a Seattle Mariners shirt under his suitcoat, the fonts are pure 77-80’s Mariners.”

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…Aaaaaaannnnnddddd that’s it from me — this is my last weekend until after Labor Day (since I’ll be taking over the weekdays beginning in August). I’ll catch you real soon — hopefully some of you will want to work on articles with me during Paul’s sabbatical. Thanks to the colorizers, the concepters and everyone who sent in or tweeted for the ticker.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace!

.. … ..

“Great post today.”
–Yancy Yeater

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Remembering the PIFL

IFL helmets 550
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By Phil Hecken

You fine readers will remember a post I had done with John Pulsinelle, which looked at football helmets with “fire” designs over the years. At the time, John had mentioned he had a few ideas for articles involving professional football — and he’s back today with a really great piece which looks at the logos (and helmets/uniforms) of a defunct league. Not only that, he spoke with the designer of the logos for that league. Click on the logos below to see them full-size. Enjoy!

. . . . . . . . . .

Designing Logos for the PIFL
By John Pulsinelle

Combine my lifelong enthusiasm for sports with my daughter’s career and passion for commercial and graphic arts and whammo! The idea for this article was sparked.

Imagine a job where you are requested to develop and design logos for nearly an entire professional league. Well neither my daughter nor I got that job but let me tell you about a guy who did. I’ve had the privilege of meeting, via email, Brian Oesch. He is an incredibly talented and ambitious graphic designer and illustrator, located in Western Michigan.

Brian shared that he’s always wanted to include sports logo design in his portfolio and he began his journey observing the logos of the PIFL (Professional Indoor Football League). The PIFL was formed in late 1997, and began the first season of play in 1998. Brian believed “the quality of the logos could be improved” and decided to contact each and every team in the league to offer his services. Given this was his first larger scale attempt in sports, his portfolio mailer was somewhat limited to the High School helmet logo he inspired, and various concept logos for fictitious teams. His only reply (which proved to be key) came from Keary Ecklund, owner of both the Green Bay Bombers and Madison Mad Dogs franchises.

In only its second season, the league was off to a shaky start and many of the teams were in serious financial trouble. With forfeited games, and folding franchises, the PIFL essentially split into two leagues. Keary Ecklund maintained his teams and formed the IFL (Indoor Football League) with the remaining teams renaming the league to the IPFL (Indoor Professional Football League).

It was at that point that the fun and creative energy began for Brian. Although he wouldn’t call his experience with the IFL a typically professional one, never actually getting to meet Keary Ecklund. Correspondence was rather “quick and casual” via phone or email and the “majority of logos went from concept to completion very quickly”. In fact, he created the IFL’s first team logo of the Duluth Lumberjacks from idea to completion in a matter of hours.

2000 lumberjacks
Duluth Lumberjacks; the IFL’s initial team logo

Inspiration for team names and colors was also done quite swiftly. With the assumption that local fans already owned jerseys, tees, or hats for established local teams, “team colors were selected based on college or pro teams already in those areas.” The intention was to capitalize on the already established ‘look’ in those areas. Examples were the color selections for the Dayton (Ohio) team with silver, red, and black to emulate the Buckeyes of Ohio State, and purple and gold for the Minnesota Purple Rage to mimic the NFL Vikings.

As far as the team naming, Mr. Ecklund was very specific with some of the franchises. In the case of the Black Hill Machine, “Mr. Ecklund wanted a motorcycle engine for the logo and the colors of orange and black because of the area ties to Harley Davidson”. Brian also provided support for team naming such as the Dayton franchise. He suggested Skyhawks to honor the rich, local history of aviation and the Wright Brothers.

ifl-skyhawks 02 2000 skyhawks
The above photo and logo captures the nearby Ohio State University color theme.

ifl-rage 01 2000 rage
The Minnesota Purple Rage design clearly influenced by the NFL Viking colors and logo

2000 machine
The Black Hills Machine captures the Harley Davidson influence

Following the 1999 season, the entire league was purchased by the Arena Football League’s Orlando Predators. Two teams, the Lincoln Lightening and Peoria Pirates, as well as many players became part of the newly formed AF2 developmental league with IFL cities resurfacing with rebranded nicknames; i.e. Wichita Warlords later became the Wichita Stealth of the AF2.

I hope the readers enjoy getting this glimpse of ‘behind the scene’ logo design, and are inspired by Brian’s experience to pursue your own passions. I am confident my daughter Corinne will be inspired.

Following are the remaining logos of the IFL teams; note, the Green Bay Bombers, Madison Mad Dogs, and Lincoln Lightning were established teams from the PIFL and are not included in the following graphics. My personal favorite is the logo Brian created for the Topeka Kings.

2000 warlords 2000 smash

2000 lumberjacks 2000 flames

2000 kings 2000 knights

2000 cobras 2000 cavalry

2000 bolts 2000 blaze

2000 attack 1999 pirates

2000 river rats 1999 freeze

. . . . . . . . . .

Thanks, John! Good stuff.

And here is the logo of the League and the “Gold Cup” logo:

IFL logo

Gold Cup logo

You can see all the logos, plus a few game action shots, in this album.

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classic scoreboards splashClassic Ballpark Scoreboards

I’m pleased to continue with a favorite weekend feature here at Uni Watch, “Classic Ballpark Scoreboards,” which are created by Gary Chanko. You probably know Gary best for his wonderful colorizations, but he has been a solid contributor for many years, and this is his new project. This segment will appear every Saturday on Uni Watch.

Here’s Gary (click on image to enlarge):

. . . . . . . . . .

Classic Ballpark Scoreboards – Series II
by Gary Chanko

In this edition of Classic Scoreboards we return to Griffith Stadium in Washington D.C. In Series I, the Natty Boh billboard in left field was featured. Now let’s move over to right field for a look at the scoreboard.

Griffith Stadium

Griffith Stadium II_UW

Home of: Washington Senators (1911-1961), Washington Elite Giants (NNL) (1936–1937), Homestead Grays (1940–1948), Washington Black Senators (NNL) (1938), Washington Redskins (NFL) (1937-1960)
Opened: July 24, 1911
Last baseball game: September 21, 1961; Demolished: 1965

Originally called National Park (1911-1920), Griffith Stadium survived the Washington Senators for half a century before the wrecking ball arrived. You can grab a bit of that history in this short video, including a few quick glimpses of the scoreboard.

The original scoreboard, the history path is awfully vague, was located along the right field wall among the cluster of billboard ads. About 1946 a new scoreboard featuring the National Bohemian Beer ad made a first appearance.

This manually operated scoreboard remained essentially unchanged through the last game played at Griffith Stadium. The electronic AT BAT, STRIKE, BALL, and OUT displays were not part of the original installation. These were added, my guess, sometime in the early 50s.

This graphic recreates the scoreboard display for the 1956 All-Star game played on July 10. The game featured 25 players, including both managers, now enshrined in Cooperstown. The scoreboard shows the start of the bottom of the second with Mickey Mantle at bat – he struck out.

A Few Things to Know

• The entire scoreboard in right-center was in play, including the National Bohemian beer sign, shaped like a bottle, 56 feet above the playing field. I assume the Natty Boh character on the left side was also in play.

• Although the most famous case of All-Star Game ballot-stuffing occurred in 1957 in Cincinnati, the 1956 game with five Cincinnati Reds in the starting five is equally suspicious. Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Ernie Banks, Eddie Mathews, and Duke Snider were all sitting on the national League bench!

• Future MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn began his baseball career during his youth as a dollar-a-day operator of the scoreboard.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If anyone is interested in purchasing a digital copy of these posters, Gary is working on an online purchase option. In the interim you can contact him directly at Classicscoreboards@gmail.com.

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And The Winner Is…

Polizzi, Ben - Indianapolis Drive Home Polizzi, Ben - Indianapolis Drive Away

Polizzi, Ben - Indianapolis Drive Alt2 Polizzi, Ben - Indianapolis Drive Alt1

Ben Pollizi, whose design was voted the winner of the “Redesign the Rays” contest (you can see the final entries here).

Ben described his design as such:

It’s every Hoosier’s dream to have a Major League team in Indy. Take a look at a big league team with some racing flavor. Overall Description: All uniforms feature checkered trim on the right pant pocket and racing flags on the left sleeve. The alternate features checkered trim on the hat brim with a “finish line” stripe on the uniform/socks for a classic, clean look. Enjoy fellas.

Ben’s design took home the voting by a fairly comfortable margin (votes as of Friday, July 24 at 12:00 noon):

Rays Redesign final vote

Thanks again to all who participated and congratulations to Ben.

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all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.

And so, lets begin:

~~~

First up today is Alfie Koetter who has these Clippers redesigns (which were sent in before the official rebrand, but not for Paul’s contest):

Clippers Home - Alfie Koetter

Clippers Road - Alfie Koetter

Clippers Alt - Alfie Koetter

Hey Phil & Paul,

Long time reader, first time submitter.

My mind has been blown by how mediocre the Clipper’s rebrand is. It looks more like a logo for the nba playoffs than it does for an actual NBA team.

I’ve always been into their semaphore alternate uniforms so I took a stab at playing with that for the sake of reimagine a set of clippers unis I would like to see on the court. I’ve attached jpgs of home, away, and alt unis for you if its of any interest.

Maybe they aren’t good but I sadly suspect that they will be better than whatever comes out of what is currently in the works for them.

Best
Alfie

. . .

And we close today with Daniel Carroll with some USA Baseball concepts:

2015 Home - Daniel Carroll 2015 Away - Daniel Carroll

2015 USA Home Detail - Daniel Carroll 2015 USA Cap Detail - Daniel Carroll

Phil

I’ve never been very happy with the uniforms USA Baseball wears during the World Baseball Classic — I feel like the uniform is a place where we could celebrate US Baseball History. To that end, I designed these uniforms, which draw inspiration from the Yankees, Tigers, and Dodgers.

Daniel J.J. Carroll

. . .

And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.

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help
Li’l Help?

With August approaching, Paul will be taking his well-deserved sabbatical from the daily Uni Watch posts, and, as we’ve done the past six or seven years, I’ll be handling the content for the weekday posts.

If you’re interested in working with me for a uniform-related piece, I’m always looking for contributors. If you have an idea for a good uni-related story, shoot me an email: Phil.Hecken@gmail.com.

Let me know if you’re interested and we’ll discuss the parameters!

OK? OK!

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Great photo from July 24, 1911: All-Stars pose at the Addie Joss Benefit Game. In the front row, Ty Cobb in a Cleveland Naps uniform! (thanks to Bruce Menard). … Check out this black baseball — for some possible background, check out the replies to this tweet from Tom. … Here’s a game I’m sure Paul is glad he didn’t see: a purple on purple in an amateur baseball playoff series Wednesday night in Lakefield, MN (thanks to Dan Condon). … Stefan Boehmer asks, “What better way to represent 1970 in Eugene than tie-dye jerseys?” … “Is stirrup Friday still a thing?” asks Kevin Dugal. “Added embroidery to our custom stirrups, happy with how they turned out. From the same team you mentioned a few weeks back — Oakridge Reds out of London, Ontario.” … “1976 White Sox Throw back Uniforms coming at the end of July?” asks Patrick Budny. “This hat just popped up on the team shop!!!! Now the question is will they wear shorts for warmups and batting practice?” … Check out the baseball and image of Utah in the Salt Lake Bees infield & outfield grass (from Cody). … Not as bad as purple vs. purple, but the Norfolk Tides and Durham Bulls both wore orange jerseys last evening (via Travis Hancock and Norfolkology respectively).

NFL/College Football News: Here’s a look at the new ACC patch which will be worn by the Pittsburgh Panthers this year (h/t The Emblem Source). … Interesting soda display at Wal-Mart for Bowling Green football (nice spot by Steve Day). … Here’s a look at the “new Garnet SpeedForm Cleats” which the South Carolina Gamecocks will be wearing this year (via Gamecock Equipment). … Is Kansas football going to be sporting chrome numbers? (good spot by Adam Faust). … “Now here’s a strange variant on the St. Louis Cardinals helmet logo I’ve never seen before,” writes Sports Paper.

NBA/Basketball News: Oh baby — check out this January 6, 1970 Wire Service Photo of the University of Hawaii basketball team, playing Loyola of the South. Love love love the “green floral design” on the shorts (big thanks to Phil Lawson for the photo). … Nice shot of the Miami Floridians’ home uni (including stirrups!), circa 1970, from Super70s Sports. … Based on a request, Conrad Burry has mocked up the “Saints Pride” alternate uniform concept for the Pelicans. … “I’m a long time follower. Graphics design HS teacher and Boys basketball coach at Stanwood High School, located about 60 miles north of Seattle,” writes Zach Ward. “We are going through a redesign of our gym floor, and the district allowed me to design the new floor. Not everything I wanted was OK’d, but most was. What a cool and great process. All the work you guys do provide inspiration to follow thru on this type of fun, and give it validated meaning. Anyway, wanted to share by showing you some pictures.”

Hockey News: The Colorado Avalanche have announced several 20th Anniversary Special Events. John Muir notes that outside of the Stadium Series game, three dates seem primed for special jersey/patch/other differing aesthetics: October 24 – Celebration of Hockey in Colorado; December 7 – 20th Anniversary Team; and, March 5 – Military Appreciation Day. … “Are you a Pittsburgh fan who can’t decide whether to rep the Penguins or Pirates?” asks Super 70s Sports. “This cap has you covered.”

Soccer News: Here’s a follow-up on the Manchester City away kits, from Mike Lindquist: “Either the lighting is off, or the actual jersey used in the picture this morning is a training kit, but here is a better visual of the moon sleeves. The 2015/2016 kit was used last night/tomorrow (game played in Australia). The moon on the sleeves is a connection to City fan’s main chant/song ‘Blue Moon’.” … The Kawasaki Frontale shirt commemorating their stadium renovation is “something else” (according to Holy Calamity). … Tweeter Juanelo Godínez says, “if any of your fllwrs are interested in mexican soccer, a 15/16 uniform recap.”

Grab Bag: Here’s a neat gallery of the custom paint jobs on bikes at the Tour de France (thanks to Sean Clancy). … Check out the Rugby 7 jerseys for the Santa Monica Fightin’ Nicolas Cages (via Doug @ CavsHistory).

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And that’s going to do it for today. Big thanks to John, Gary and the concepters, and congratulations to Ben.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken

Peace.

.. … ..

“I’m really curious… when did wearing Native American headdresses at concerts become a thing?”
–The Jeff

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Striped Beauty Lurking in an Unexpected Place

As most of you know by now (and as is pretty obvious from the photo shown above, taken a little over a year ago), I like stripes. Always have. And I don’t like them just on uniforms and other apparel — I like stripes in all sorts of contexts. And we’re going to go off-uni today to explore one of them.

The thing I want to talk about today is something I’ve been aware of for many years but hadn’t really thought about until a few weeks ago, when I was inside an old Brooklyn factory building that’s been repurposed as the home for over 100 small businesses. I’d been inside the building many times before (I have a few friends who work there), but this time I noticed something I’d overlooked before — a wall-mounted thingie that I recognized as being telephone-related (for all of these photos, you can click to enlarge):

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If you ever see a phone company technician working on the box at the top of a telephone pole, the inside of the box looks a lot like that wall-mounted thingie. I’m told that it’s called a punchdown block, so named for the way a wire is “punched” down into a slot, which pierces the wire’s insulation and makes the connection.

What intrigued me wasn’t the punchdown block itself but the wires connected to it. Phone wires tend to be candy-striped — bright colors alternating with white — which I find very appealing. There’s a whole color code to it, but I don’t really care about that. I just think it’s interesting that this particular technology gets to have candy-striped wires. How did that start?

In this case, the striped wires led from the punchdown block to a big cabinet, as you can see in this next series of photos:

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Whoa-ho-ho!, I thought. That cabinet must be the mother lode of candy-striped wiring! So I opened the cabinet door (it wasn’t locked) and beheld the wonder that awaited inside:

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That photo doesn’t really capture just how chaotic everything looks inside the cabinet. There are colored wires all over the place, many of them looking like an impenetrably tangled maze. I realize electrical impulses don’t really care about neatness, but I still kept thinking, “Man, how can a phone system work — how can anything work — in a mess like this?”

But lurking within the chaos are little snippets of beauty — an interplay of colors here, an artful draping of wire there, and so on. I don’t have the best photographic skills for this type of thing, but I think some of that beauty comes across in these shots (I strongly recommend clicking to enlarge, to get the full effect):

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I can’t fully explain what I find so compelling about these images, but the candy-striped wires definitely have a lot to do with it. I like the way their playful colors contrast with the industrial setting that houses them — a nice juxtaposition.

The little card-stock tags hanging from some of the wires apparently represent work that was done on the line (or maybe when the line was activated). Here’s one from about two months ago:

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Up on the wall adjacent to the cabinet is a big spool of wires that aren’t connected to anything. Apparently they’re just being stored there for later use. To me, though, they look like a big gob of candy:

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I’m sure someone who works in the telecom biz can tell us more about all of this. But for now I’m happy just to have found a new outlet for my stripe-o-philia.

One final note: As you can see, some of the wires are purple. And I don’t even mind! The purple looks fine in this context. But here’s the kicker: In the telecom world, there’s no such thing as purple. As explained on this page, “The color violet is sometimes called purple, but in the telecommunications and electronics industry it is always referred to as violet.” Nice.

• • • • •

Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik

The baseball trade deadline is coming up. There’s a realistic chance that your favorite team will trade away your favorite player. If you buy sports jerseys, you might be stuck with an outdated piece of merchandise. If you’re a Tigers fan or a Brewers fan, this is not the week to buy a David Price or a Carlos Gomez jersey. People still will, though. (And yes, Majestic is offering “trade insurance,” but that really just an inducement to get you to buy another jersey, not a refund or free replacement.)

If you buy jerseys or any other sort of sports memorabilia, what’s the fastest any item has ever become outdated or obsolete?

I got a Michael Vick jersey for Christmas in 2002, and about two weeks after I got it the Falcons changed their uniforms.

• • • • •

’Skins Watch: The list of possible names to replace Fighting Sioux at the U. of North Dakota has been narrowed to five options, which will be put to a public vote (from Jerry Nitzh). … An Indiana school district is considering changing its high school’s team name from “Redskins.” The local newspaper has issued an editorial in favor of the change (from Dave Flapan). … A number of Canadian music festivals are banning bands and fans from wearing Native headdresses (from Yusuke Toyoda).

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: The Royals and the Cardinals reprised the 1985 World Series by wearing throwbacks last night. Lots of additional photos here. … The Brewers wore their navy “Milwaukee” alternates last night, but Hernan Perez wore his navy “Brewers” one for a portion of the game. … Simpsons voice actor Hank Azaria had some fun announcing great moments in Mets history in some of his characters’ voices (from Patrick O’Neill). … “Today’s New York Times crossword puzzle has the clue ’42 for Mo.’ Pretty obvious, Mariano Rivera’s uni number, right?” Asks Bernie Langer. “Except it’s four letters. Answer: ‘ATNO,’ atomic number. Mo is molybdenum, element number 42! Mo’s uniform number was the same as his nickname’s atomic number! What is that, ANOB?” … Here are the rankings of the top-selling MLB jerseys from the first half of the season (from Phil). … A building in Philadelphia has an excellent and really big Phillies mural. … Thomas Fiers created a custom printed T-shirt based on the Astros’ tequila sunrise design. … How about this trio: Billy Martin, George Steinbrenner, and Donald Trump, all at a Yankees spring training game. Steinbrenner even wore a University of Florida cap (from Jonathan Daniel).

NFL News: The president of the Dolphins says that the team will finally unveil its throwback uniforms next Wednesday (from David Hirschberg). … Trevor Milless’s brother was sent a Russell Wilson jersey with an upside-down NOB. … An Arizona man robbed a convenience store while wearing a Raiders helmet-shaped hat (from Phil). … Bills RB LeSean McCoy was told to stop using the team’s logo in his invitations to private parties (from Aaron Husul).

College Football News: Nebraska unveiled its new black alternate uniform yesterday. And if you think that one’s bad, here’s a reminder that some of the Cornhuskers’ past alternate unis haven’t been so great either. … New helmets for Troy, along with white uniforms (from Clint Richardson). … “I suspect it’s more inertia than anything, but it’s interesting that the banner on UCLA’s own site has a uniform with the iconic curled numbers as it announces the new adidas gear with the funky block numbers,” says Patrick Runge. “I doubt it was intentional, but it does provide an effective comparison as to what UCLA could be, and what it is (at least this year).” … Kentucky’s Commonwealth Stadium is being renovated (from Josh Claywell). … Here’s a good side-by-side breakdown of Auburn’s uniform changes for the coming season (from Tom Peavy).

Basketball News: Here’s a look at the Sixers and Bucks’ Christmas Day jerseys, which hadn’t been shown in Paul’s initial report on the Christmas designs. … Rapper Bow Wow was friends with Michael Jordan’s sons back in the day. He says that one night when he was at the Jordan residence, MJ took away his Allen Iverson basketball shoes. … Ray Allen adopted the nickname Jesus Shuttlesworth after playing a character by that name in Spike Lee’s He Got Game. Allen even has a T-shirt of Jesus (Christ, in this case) shooting a jumper. … The Wisconsin high school that adopted the Bucks’ new logo for its court a few months ago is now changing course and has voted on a new design (from hofflalu). … Tulane wore vertically-striped socks during the late 1960s (from uniformcritic).

Grab Bag: Here are the jerseys (all designed by fans) for the new National Women’s Hockey League. … New away kit for Manchester City (from Tory Thompson). … Not uniform-related, but it’s difficult to get work done in a cat cafe (from Brian Lorello). … Tim Dunn sends in this shot of NHRA’s Courtney Force and Indycar’s Graham Rahal. “Interesting to see racing shirts that are basically mirror images (one red with black stripe, the other black with red stripe), but apparently no shared sponsors,” he says. … David Firestone found a photo of all of Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s paint schemes for the Winston, now Sprint, All-Star Race.

NBA Leak-o-Rama

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Major NBA development late last night, as a someone on Reddit posted what appears to be a sheet outlining all of the NBA uniform changes for next season (see above). It includes a lot of things we already knew but a whole lot more that we hadn’t yet seen. It quickly spread via all the usual channels.

Before we get into the details, let me get some quick disclaimers out of the way: I do not know who posted the sheet on Reddit and have not yet independently confirmed that the sheet is legitimate, so everything in it should be treated as provisional for now. It’s worth noting, however, that the sheet includes accurate depictions of a bunch of previously released designs. That makes me inclined to believe that the unreleased designs on the sheet are probably accurate as well. Also, the format and design of the sheet itself, including the “Confidential” stamp on the bottom, are all consistent with internal NBA documents of this sort, which further leads me to believe that it’s probably legit. Not definitely, but probably.

The big problem, obviously, is that the image is low-res and out of focus. I’m no wiz when it comes to Photoshop, but I’ve done my best to enlarge and brighten the mock-ups of the new designs.

The sheet is formatted into four horizontal rows. Let’s go one row at a time, working from left to right within each one, shall we?

Row 1
• First up is the new Hawks identity. Nothing new there.

• Next is the new Clippers identity, which includes a glimpse of the black alternate uniform, which hasn’t yet been officially released:

This appears to confirm the earlier leak of this design.

• Next comes the new Bucks identity, which includes a glimpse of the black alternate uniform:

As you can see, it appears to show a buck’s head with the uniform number positioned between the top of the antlers.

• Next comes the new Sixers set, which came out last month. Nothing new there.

• Then we have the long-awaited Raptors set:

No purple, thankfully. Of the two alternates, one is presumably the rumored “Drake alternate.”

• At the end of the row is the updated Wizards primary logo, which we already knew about.

Row 2
• First come the tweaks to the Nuggets’ uniforms (shown at last month’s NBA draft) and tighter tailoring on the Rockets’ jerseys (already leaked a while ago). Nothing new there.

• Next up is a surprise — new jerseys for the referees:

Why the white jersey? Presumably because we’re seeing more grey-vs.-grey games, and they want the officials to stand out more from the players. We had already seen a few games in which the refs tried to solve this problem by wearing the older jerseys with the dark sleeves, but now they appear to be trying a different solution.

• Next is a series of alternate uniforms (click to enlarge):

From left to right: The first design is the Mavericks’ fan-designed alternate, which we already knew about. Then comes a GFGS Pistons design with blue lettering; a new Heat design; Rockets GFGS with sleeves (boy does that one look dreadful); Thunder “OKC”; and, uh, what is that last one? I’m not sure. I’ve played around with the image a bit and think the chest lettering says “Utah,” but other people are saying this is a Suns design.

Row 3
This row shows eight new “pride” uniforms, all with sleeved jerseys. Here are the first four of them (click to enlarge):

First is Charlotte’s “Buzz City” design, which was released last month. Then we have what looks like a GFGS Bulls design; a Cavs design that looks a bit like the 2014 Xmas jerseys, except they put the uni number on the upper chest instead of on the sleeve; and a Nuggets design that actually looks like fun.

Here are the next four (click to enlarge):

We begin with a “Clutch City” design for the Rockets; then a NOLA design for the Pelicans; then an absolutely brutal purple-on-blue uni for the Kings; and, in the most confounding development of the entire sheet, a Wizards design that hearkens back to the franchise’s old Baltimore Bullets days. Why would you ever create a sleeved version of that uniform? Bizarre.

Row 3
• First are the “Stretch” jerseys. We’ve seen this term before in an earlier leak, and it wasn’t clear what it meant. Judging by these designs, however, it appears to refer to foreign-language or cross-cultural designs (although someone in the comments just said it refers to an alternate jersey worn with the team’s existing road shorts — hmmmm):

• Next we have this season’s throwback designs, including the Pacers’ just-released Hoosiers-inspired uni. Odd to see that listed as a throwback, because Pacers exec Todd Taylor repeatedly referred to it as a Pride uniform when I interviewed him the other day, but whatever. In any case, all of these except the Pacers design had already surfaced a while back in an earlier Adidas catalog leak, so nothing new there.

• Finally, we knew from an earlier leak that the Heat would have some sort of military tribute uniform, but we didn’t know what it would look like — until now:

I’ll just say, “At least it isn’t camouflage” and leave it at that.

The final item of note is this text running along the bottom of the sheet (click to enlarge):

No more sleeves on St. Paddy’s Day, whoop-whoop!

Did I miss or misinterpret anything? Quite possibly. I didn’t become aware of the sheet’s existence until about midnight, when I was about to go to bed, and then I stayed up until about 2:30am writing this entry, so I was (and am) a bit punchy. Feel free to fill in any gaps that I might have left.

(Big thanks to Mike Chamernik, who was the first to let me know of the sheet’s existence.)

• • • • •

Flaugher

Membership update One card — just one! — has been added to the membership card gallery (that’s Jonathan Flaugher’s shown at right, which is based on Ohio University’s “Battle of the Bricks” jersey). Why only one? Because membership sign-ups have slowed to a crawl lately.

If you want to help jump-start things, you can order your own custom-designed membership card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here, and you can see how we make the cards here.

• • • • •

Baseball News: “On July 31, the Cards are giving away a Lou Brock bobblehead that commemorates the Brock-for-Broglio trade,” says Jim Santel. “The figurine depicts Brock trading in his Cubs pinstripes for the birds on the bat, and his Cubs hat rests by his feet. I wonder if a bobblehead has ever featured two teams’ unis at once?” … If you buy an overpriced polyester shirt featuring the name/number of a player who gets traded at the deadline, Majestic will give you a 50% discount on the next overpriced polyester shirt you buy. Wow, what a deal! This is the part where I remind you that a much better solution would be to avoid buying overpriced polyester shirts to begin with. … Steve Salayda was watching Game Four of the 1993 World Series and heard broadcasters Tim McCarver and Sean McDonough discussing high- vs. low-cuffed pants styles. … Egg-themed jerseys last night for the Toledo Mud Hens. … Star Wars jerseys on Saturday — such an original idea! — for the West Virginia Black Bears (from Jason Moore). … Three Astros players wore stirrups last night. … Yesterday was a “Wayback Wednesday” for the Padres, which means they wore their 1980s throwbacks. In addition, they went with retro-style game notes and scoreboard graphics.

NFL News: A sailboat that won a recent race in Michigan had the Lions’ logo on the side of the hull, plus the crew wore Lions T-shirts (from Mike). … “The other day there was an ad on the side of my Facebook page for Dolphins merch,” says Tyler Cochran. “It had the throwback ’66 logo (which I love), so I clicked on it. It took me to a page of the throwback merch from Nike, all labeled ‘Miami Dolphins Alt.’ They had all the usual stuff (jacket, personal logos for NFL stars (from Jamie Burditt).

College Football News: Miami now has a “hype video” for its new uniforms (thanks, Phil). … Also from Phil: Texas will not have alternate unis this year. … The Citadel will wear a memorial decal for the Charleston massacre victims this season (from Harrison Wallace). … Some Big 12 players talked about alternate uniforms. … With Penn State reverting to NNOB this season, a player had the team’s longtime equipment manager personally remove the nameplate from his jersey (from Mike McLaughlin). … Countless layers of paint recently slid off of Tennessee’s Painted Rock, leaving the rock as a largely blank slate. According to this story, at least one Vol sees a uni-related subtext: “‘It’s a God-given way to say we are starting over,’ [UT Freshman Jonathan] Mays said. ‘We are about to do something big. We switched from Adidas to Nike and everyone is excited about that and now we literally have a new slate to start off on for The Rock'” (from Patrick Lasseter).

NBA News: The Hawks are partnering with the Fulton County parks department to install a new basketball court surface at a local park. … With all the chatter about the Clippers new uniforms, I think this might be our first look at the rear view (from Sandy Dover). … Yesterday’s entry about the Pacers and their Hoosiers-inspired alternate uniforms prompted Kary Klismet to note that Milan, Indiana — the town whose high school formed the basis for the film — has a museum devoted to the school’s 1954 state title team, including a large collection of uniforms worn in the movie. … This is pretty funny: A local TV newscast began a report by using the wrong 76ers logo and then used the correct one just a few seconds later (good spot by Michael Paolucci). … Jazz beat writer Andy Larsen says the team has logo changes in the works. Additional info here, here, and here (thanks, Mike).

College Hoops News: Kudos to Conrad Burry, who gained access to an Adidas catalog and found a bunch of retro-styled alternates, with a heavy emphasis on cream tones — look here, here, here, and here. Not sure if those are throwbacks or fauxbacks, but a lot of them look pretty good (the retro logo on the Louisville shorts is particularly nice, and I love Nebraska design). Condrad says the catalog lists them under the heading “HWCN,” which presumably stands for “Hard Wood Classic Nights,” or something along those lines.

Soccer News: New shorts sponsor advertiser for Wigan, and they’re putting the ad logo in the tramp stamp spot (from George Chilvers). … New jerseys for Malaga (from Christian Machowski). … New kit for AFC Bournemouth (from @espitt). … New away kit for Monaco (from Tim Cross).

Grab Bag: Here’s a poll where you can vote on your favorite Buffalo Sabres uniform from the team’s history (thanks, Phil).The latest installment of the great design podcast 99 Percent Invisible is about the history and impact of the AIDS awareness ribbon (from @holycalamity). … Excellent story on the Tour de France’s chalkboard lady (from Sean Clancy). … Also from Sean: There’s a new set of trading cards featuring female cyclists. … Speaking of cycling, here’s a visual timeline of interesting bike helmet designs. … The city of Reno may be getting a new logo. … A new, supposedly more comfortable version of Converse’s Chuck Taylor sneaker will be released next Tuesday (from Andrew Cosentino). … Steve McQueen’s racing suit from the film Le Mans is up for auction (from Dane Drutis). … Here’s a look at which 2016 presidential candidate has the worst campaign logo (thanks, Phil).