Play for the Name on the Front of the Jersey (and the back, while you’re at it)

Potentially entertaining development yesterday in the world of minor league baseball, as Marlins farmhand Austin Nola (above left) was promoted from the Double-A Jacksonville Suns to the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs, whose wardrobe includes a navy jersey with a “NOLA” chest mark (above right).

That got a lot of folks very excited, including the people who issued this tweet:

That tweet got picked up by lots of other outlets, including SportsCenter, and soon everyone was talking about how Nola would be wearing his surname on both sides of his jersey.

Fun, fun, fun! Just one problem: Nobody bothered to see if the Zephyrs’ navy jerseys actually have NOBs. Well, nobody except me. Unfortunately, as you can see in the following photos, they don’t:

Bummer. Interestingly, though, the Zephyrs’ white jerseys do have NOBs, so Nola will get to wear his name on the front and back of his jersey while with the Zephyrs — just not at the same time.

Or at least that’s the case for now. Given the way minor league teams tend to engage in wacky promotional stunts, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Zephyrs added NOBs to the navy jerseys, maybe just as a one-game thing, to capitalize on the Nola/NOLA factor.

So are there any athletes who have worn their surnames on the front and back of their jerseys simultaneously? I’m aware of two examples:

1. Journeyman outfielder Curtis Pride played 14 games for the Nashua Pride in 1999 and 16 more games for them in 2003. I can’t find any photos at the moment, but I specifically remember that he was wearing his surname fore and aft during these stints. (As an aside: Pride, who is deaf, is the only MLB player I’m aware of to have worn a hearing aid on the field.)

2. Basketball great Jerry West represented the Western Conference in several NBA All-Star Games, and on those occasions he got to wear his surname fore and aft. Here he is in the 1972 ASG:

I’m not aware of any additional examples. Anyone else..?

Finally, two obligatory box-checks:

• Whenever this topic comes up, someone always mentions Johnny Podres, who pitched for the Padres in 1969 and coached for them in 1973. Unfortunately, “Podres” and “Padres” are not the same word/name/etc. and, more importantly, the Padres didn’t start wearing NOBs until 1974. So Podres never even wore his name and its homophone on the same jersey.

• This is the part where I have to mention that Carlos May of the White Sox wore his birthday on the back of his jersey. That has nothing to do with the topic at hand, but some chucklehead always feels compelled to mention it during discussions like this one, so I’d rather just get it out of the way here.

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Collector’s Corner: Just Keep Truckin’
By Brinke Guthrie

The Grateful Dead were in the Bay Area this past weekend, playing the West Coast part of their farewell tour down the road in Santa Clara at Levi’s Stadium, which is located just a few miles from the Dead’s first-ever gig in 1965. This version of the Jerry bobblehead — a Giants giveaway from 2010 — is very well made. The Giants released another Jerry bobble in 2012 for his 70th birthday, and it was a knock-off of the earlier one — same pose and everything. Not as good quality there. The Giants also released this Dancing Bears figurine in 2011, and this Uncle Sam in 2013. I passed on that one.

Okay, getting back to more traditional sports-oriented Collector’s Corner fare, here are the rest of this week’s picks:

• These caught my eye: a vintage pair of 1970s Adidas baseball spikes. I always loved the tongue flap thing that folded over the laces- whatever happened to those?

Dave Boss this week! Can’t say I’ve seen that Colts design before. Given the time frame for this 1960s poster, this is probably supposed to be Raymond Berry.

• Also from the same period and in the same blue/white scheme, this Los Angeles Rams bobblehead.

• Got some items from the 1969 50th NFL season. First, this Vikings button that says “Think Super Bowl.” That part worked, but maybe the button should’ve read, “Win Super Bowl.”

• Take a look at this Pocket Pro 1969 Saints preseason black helmet. Wouldn’t they look great wearing these now? Staying with the Saints, here’s a poster from the same year — no black helmet, though.

• Here’s a 1969 Chiffon Margarine NY Giants rub-off decal.

• Do those wings on this 1980s Eagles helmet decal look a little different to you? Maybe it’s the shade of silver.

• When I saw the “Bank The Bombers” part of this auction’s headline, I first thought this bank had to do with the Yanks, but it was apparently a minor league promo item. And your money is Saaaaaffffee!

• As we know, the Philadelphia 76ers rolled out their new look this week—and these 1970s game worn short-shorts were definitely not part of the redesign. Think of the social media reaction if they’d re-introduced these.

• Wake up to the ’Boys with this 1971 Cowboys alarm clock!

Follow Brinke on Twitter: @brinkeguthrie

• • • • •

PermaRec update: A guy in DC recently saw something floating in the water (see above). He fished it out and discovered that it was a photo album documenting the first week of a baby’s life. Now he’s trying to find the family and return the album to them. Get the full scoop over on Permanent Record.

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: Dodgers C Yasmani Grandal, who’s a switch-hitter, wore a lefty batting helmet while batting right-handed during the fifth inning of last night’s game against the Diamondbacks. It didn’t impede his hitting, though — he singled (Chad Moriyama was the first of many readers to send this one in). … Here’s a cool piece on Brewers bench coach Jerry Narron and his use of calligraphy to fill out lineup cards. … Hartfordites (Hartfordians? People from Hartford) don’t much care for their recently relocated minor league team’s new name, the Yard Goats. … A 1916 Ty Cobb pennant is for sale on eBay (from Jonathan Daniel). … Iowa City High and Cedar Falls played a black-vs.-black game the other day (from Jake Binggeli). … ‏@callmew1lly spotted a 2007 Padres World Series ticket at a coffee shop in Newark, of all places. He thinks it may be bootleg, but it could be real: The Padres nearly clinched a Wild Card spot that year and lost in a one-game playoff to the Rockies. … On Sunday the Orioles gave out Buck Showalter gnomes to fans, and the manager had a few thoughts about it. … Civic Stadium, former home of the Eugene Emeralds and one of the last 12 wooden ballparks in America, burned to the ground yesterday. The Emeralds responded by saying they’d wear throwbacks for today’s game.

Pro, College, and High School Football News: Hyundai will pay the NFL $50 million annually for its sponsorship deal with the league (from Brinke). … Kansas football coach David Beaty worked with some kids in the Kansas Mentors program recently. He tweeted some photos of the event, and that may have revealed some new helmets for Kansas. … A high school uses a modified version of the rap group Wu Tang Clan’s logo on its helmets (from David Petroff).

Hockey News: We already got a peek at the Sharks’ 25th-anniversary patch during last weekend’s draft, but yesterday they officially released the patch design and other anniversary logos (from Phil). … The Blackhawks played a bit of an exhibition game against Muppets on Ice skaters in the 1970s. … The Mississippi RiverKings of the SPHL will unveil a new logo and uniforms on July 7. Here’s what the team’s current logo looks like. … “With the drafting of Connor McDavid, for the first time in my life I was compelled to take a closer look at the Edmonton Oilers’ logo,” says Matt Knapp. “The trails beneath the letters in ‘Oilers’ look like (and I assume are meant to represent) dripping oil. If so, shouldn’t they all drip to the middle rather than to the player’s right side? Wouldn’t it look better if the drips from the ‘I’, the ‘L’, and the left side of the ‘E’ were reoriented toward the middle?”

Soccer News: All of these soccer items come from Yusuke Toyoda: USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo has at least two pairs of gloves. She wore a pair that had “Solo” on them against Australia, Sweden and China, and a pair that said “Stevens,” her married name, against Nigeria and Colombia. … New unis for Coventry City, along with a photo gallery of the club’s past jerseys. … The Portland Timbers really orchestrated a fan display against the rival Seattle Sounders.

NBA News: NBA commissioner Adam Silver has once again hinted at the inevitability of ads on NBA uniforms. In this piece he is quoted as saying (emphasis mine): “We, of course, allow beer advertising in our league right now. It’s on the courtside signage. We haven’t gotten to the point yet where we’ve looked at what the guidelines will be for when we do have logos on jerseys. So the answer is I don’t know. That’s something that requires further discussions with the teams and with our sponsors” (thanks, Andrew Edwards). … Nets rookies received their uniform numbers (from Brian Erni). … Dirk Nowitzki took a goofy picture while wearing a literal baseball helmet. … After the draft last Thursday, a tall Brooklyn-based writer wore a suit and a Jazz hat and wandered around Manhattan prentending to be an NBA Draft pick. More insight on his shenanigans here. [In case anyone is wondering: I am not tall. — PL]

College Hoops News: Former Indiana player Jordan Hulls got married this past weekend, so he and his groomsmen all wore the Hoosiers’ trademark red-and-white striped pants during the reception. … Boeheim’s Army, a team in the TBT, an upcoming national 5-on-5 hoops tournament with a $1 million prize, unsurprisingly has Syracuse-inspired unis (from Sam Haymon).

Grab Bag: As a follow-up to yesterday’s entry about schools that use Confederate imagery, a Little Rock graphic designer has offered to redesign schools’ Confederate flag logos and mascots for free (from Stephen Boyd). … Tennessee athletics’ new uniforms will be revealed tomorrow afternoon. … One writer’s opinion: Adidas has become a joke. … New Tour de France kit for the American team Cannondale-Garmin (from Sean Clancy). … Bernie Langer also sent in the Cannondale-Garmin item, and had this to add: “I’m still waiting to see their treatment of the US national time trial championship jersey, to be worn by Andrew Talansky,” he says. “Stars, stripes, and argyle? It’s happened before.” … Baltimore’s new police SUV sure isn’t subtle (from Andrew Cosentino). … New logo for Fort Bragg (from James Gilbert). … New uniforms and an awkwardly posed photo for the Japanese track team (from Jeremy Brahm). … Ghostbusters director Paul Feig is very excited about the movie’s new uniforms (from Emily Gordon).

A Symbol of the South Used by Teams in the North

As I’m sure you’re all aware, the nation is currently in the midst of a robust discussion about the Confederate battle flag. That discussion has spilled over into the sports world, as NASCAR chairman Brian France has said that he wants the flag eliminated at races. I wrote about the intersection of the flag and uniforms myself in 2011, when I wrote an ESPN piece about a Yankees minor league affiliate that wore the flag as a sleeve patch.

I realize that many high schools and colleges in the South have worn the Confederate flag in various capacities over the years. Maybe some of them still do — I’m not sure. But over the past few days I’ve learned of a new wrinkle: A surprising number of northern high schools — schools located in states that fought for the Union during the Civil War — have worn the flag. Here are three examples:

1. Great Neck South High School on Long Island, whose teams are called the Rebels, used the Confederate flag as its logo until 1981. (That’s one of their players shown at the top of this entry.) According to that article, the mother of a black student even sewed Confederate flag patches onto the football team’s uniforms.

2. From a reader who prefers to remain anonymous: “Walpole High in Massachusetts had the flag until the mid-1990s. A guy who graduated from the school in the 1960s and now lives next to the football field still flies it, even though town asked him to take it down.”

3. Twitter user @holycalamity pointed me to this story about Willoughby South High School in Ohio, whose teams are called the Rebels. Key passage: “In the mid-’90s, the school board voted to ban the flag, removing the symbol some find offensive from school grounds and from all athletic apparel. However, fast forward more than 20 years, and you will still find some students with the controversial flag embroidered on their letterman jackets, despite the fact they’re not able to wear them while at school.”

Now, I’m aware that the Confederate battle flag is flown by people all over the country, not just in the South. I’ve traveled in 49 states and have probably seen the flag in about 35 of them, almost always in rural areas, where it serves as an all-purpose “Don’t fuck with me, I’m living life by my own rules” symbol. (I’m also aware that “Rebels” is an appealing team name for some folks, although, as we’ve discussed before, that appeal is mostly predicated on bullshit.)

Still, there’s a big difference between a person choosing to display a symbol and a school (which, as a civic institution and an agent of the state, is supposed to represent everyone) adopting that symbol as a logo, especially in a state whose citizens died while fighting against that symbol. Whether you think the Confederate battle flag is a symbol of Southern heritage or a symbol of racial oppression, it’s pretty remarkable that it was adopted as a symbol for northern high schools. While all three of the above-listed schools have stopped using it, it’s amazing to me that they ever used it at all. How about you?

Update: Some commenters are using this topic as an excuse to debate whether the Confederate battle flag is “offensive,” whether it should be removed from the South Carolina statehouse grounds, and other tangential issues that have nothing to do with the topic at hand. I ask that you all respect these ground rules: We are not going to relitigate whether the flag is a symbol of Southern heritage or of racial oppression, nor are we going to debate the appropriateness of its place in South Carolina (or on license plates, etc.). The topic up for discussion is the surprising sight of a Southern symbol being used by schools and teams in the north. Please stick to that. Thanks.

• • • • •

Baseball News: “I had lunch in Columbia, Maryland on Sunday,” says Andrew Hoenig. “In the hall outside the restrooms, they had this hooked rug. That’s Ty Cobb, and the uni is correct, but I have no idea who the other guy is, or what team he plays for.” … Brewers OF Carlos Gomez has such a violent swing that his helmet pops off,” says Mike. “It happened yesterday against the Twins, so C Martin Maldonado hooked Gomez up with a makeshift ‘chinstrap’ for his helmet.” … Also from Mike: “Robinson Cano was hit in the face by an errant warm-up throw while sitting in the dugout the other day. While in the dugout on Sunday, he put on a catcher’s mask to prevent further injury.” … I’ve mentioned many times that Tigers P David Price usually doesn’t have a squatchee, going back to his days with the Rays. Apparently this was discussed on the air during yesterday Tigers game, with the announcers saying Price doesn’t like the feel of the squatchee, which he refers to as “the ouch button.” How great is that?! (From @drmain5.) … Lots of striped socks in Pittsburgh yesterday, although Andrew McCutchen went with two-in-ones). … Mariners P Felix Hernandez, usually a dedicated pajamist, went high-cuffed yesterday. That’s nice to see, but what’s with the solid navy socks? Didn’t the M’s officially switch to striped hose this year? Reliever Mike Lowe also sported the navy socks. Further depressing confirmation that hosiery in today’s MLB is just another player-customizable accessory, not a uniform element. Sigh. … Speaking of socks, check out what the Salt Lake Bees wore yesterday. Yowza! (From Jason Stapley.) … Last September Todd Radom created some updated versions of the Mets’ logo. One of them replaced the bridge in the foreground with the High Line. That logo somehow made it onto a local TV news broadcast here in NYC yesterday (good catch by Matthew P. Hanes IV). … Here’s a look at the history of the All-Star Game MVP trophy (from Brian Lorello).

Hockey News: Looks like the Coyotes’ new uniforms (which Phil covered in depth on Saturday) will have captaincy letters on the right side of the jersey. …”Here’s an observation from the NHL draft,” says M.Q. Grimes. “All drafted players had the draft year — 15 — on their jerseys, except for Connor McDavid — the Oilers presented him with a No. 97 jersey, which is his number.” … Some beer league hockey team wears Astros tequila sunrise jerseys! (From Alvin Burk.)

Soccer News: New kit for Kawasaki Frontale (from @holycalamity). … “I visited and toured Tottenham’s White Hart Lane last week,” says Morris Levin. “On the bulletin board in the home locker room (which did not actually have lockers) was this sheet of UEFA uni rules.” … Last week was MLS’s Rivalry Week, and the league commissioned Futbol Artists Group to create cinematic posters for the five rivalry games (from Yusuke Toyoda). … The Red Bulls and NYCFC went blue vs. blue. … Someone gave rapper Pharrell Williams a Monaco jersey with a double-decker FNOB.

Grab Bag: New marching band uniforms for UT-Arlington. … Many members of the Auburn Giants — that’s a women’s Australian rules football team — are Muslim, so they play while wearing a headscarf, long sleeves, and long pants (from Graham Clayton). … Good story about how UNC started using argyle on its teams’ uniforms (thanks, Phil). … Here’s a good look at how the Star Wars stormtrooper uniform has evolved (from Bob Kile). … Some idiot in Arkansas went on a rant about his local NBC TV affiliate changing its logo to “gay colors,” apparently not realizing that NBC’s logo has had rainbow-ish peacock colors for years. … In a related item, Yahoo really did change its logo to rainbow colors (as did many other sites on the web) after Friday’s Supreme Court ruling affirmed a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage. When a Yahoo user objected and said he wanted to delete his Yahoo account, the company’s tech support group sent him a link to help him delete the account as quickly as possible. … Convicted murderer and prison escapee David Sweat, who was shot and captured yesterday after several weeks on the run, was wearing some pretty nice striped socks when he was apprehended.

Kansas City (vs.) Kansas City, Here I Come

a's splash

By Phil Hecken

The Oakland A’s became the Kansas City A’s, at least for one day, as they threwback (sorta) yesterday. While the uniforms looked great, the team didn’t quite match the one worn from 1965. According to Marc Okkonen, in Dressed to the Nines, this is what the A’s wore in 1965. If you look at the splash, and a few photos below (click to enlarge), it’s easy to spot the slight differences:

Royals Athletics Baseball

Royals Athletics Baseball (2)


OK — those look gorgeous, right? Yep. Unfortunately, if you refer back to Okkonen’s rendering of the ’65 A’s, you will notice that the team had not yet adopted white cleats (they still wore black in 1965), and the stirrups, beautiful as they are/were, were not of the striped variety the players were wearing yesterday — they were solid green. They wouldn’t add white shoes until 1967, which is when they also began wearing the featheredge stirrups.

They wouldn’t add the gold sanitaries until that year either. Also, according to Okkonen, in ’65 the A’s wore uniform numbers on the undersleeves — those were missing yesterday. So, the uniform the team was more appropriately throwing back to yesterday was 1967, not 1965 (despite this being billed as a 1965 throwback). While the historical accuracy would have been nice, it was still a beautiful looking game (at least for the A’s, who went throwback as the Kansas City A’s). Their opponents, the current Kansas City denizens, didn’t come into existence until 1969, and as such, couldn’t have thrown back to either 1965 or 1967. But they could have worn gray tops…


Also disappointing, although not altogether unsurprisingly, the A’s didn’t create kelly green helmets with the “KC” logo, instead opting to wear their current forest green “A’s” helmets:


It appeared that every player wore the beautiful striped stirrups with gold sannies. Well, all except for Sam Fuld, who for some unknown reason went with a pair of the dreaded 2-in-1’s. Yeah, it looked as well as you might expect:


It was a good looking uniform the A’s put on, but it’s disappointing they didn’t go the full nine yards to make the throwback correct to 1965 — either that or just say it was the 1967 uniform. But I guess the 50th Anniversary was a more important date. One more thing, the “vest” the A’s wore yesterday was much more like the true vest worn back in the day, not the ‘sleeveless jersey’ that teams have worn of late. Nice touch, at least, there.

And at least the A’s didn’t “invent” a uniform the Royals “might” have worn in 1965, as they did not yet exist as a franchise (or give them a minor league or Negro League team uni to wear — of which the Royals have plenty to choose from and have worn over the years). It would have been great if they’d given the Royals these sweet thangs to wear.

. . .

But speaking of teams who “invented” a uniform they never wore (because they didn’t exist): the Tampa Bay Rays (again) threw back to their made-up, navy and powder blue “Padres-esque” uniforms yesterday, against the Boston Red Sox, who reprised the wearing of their own 1975 throwbacks (which they wore earlier this year). Since I’ve written extensively about the Rays throwbacks, I won’t repeat any of it here (but if you do care, you can read here, here and here). You can read more about yesterday’s game here, and there are plenty of photos here.

So what do you think, readers? Should teams make every effort to get every exacting detail (from shoe color, to socks, to batting helmets, etc.) correct when they play a throwback, or should they just do what the A’s did and have fun with it, but throw historical accuracy out the window? And should they (or any team hosting a throwback) have outfitted their opponents with a period-appropriate throwback as well, or should just one team go it alone? Clearly guys don’t wear the unis the way they wore them back in the day, and the helmets (sometimes not even appropriate for a throwback game) and shoes are usually going to look much different anyway — so most throwback games don’t have a true throwback look regardless of how much else is correct.

I used to get very upset when teams missed the details like the A’s did (and I still do), but I’ve gotten a bit more relaxed about it over the years, since I realize a perfect throwback game will never really happen. What do you think?

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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.

I have a bunch of colorizations this week, and they all come from Uni Watch favorite Bruce Menard.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

zzCompare bw color Babe Ruth slides1925 (Jun23) - Bruce Menard

z1925 (Jun23) Babe Slides Into 3rd vs Senators 2015  (edit)7W - Bruce Menard

Hi Phil,

Just thought I’d send along my latest, it’s a reworking of a colorization I/we posted last year: Uni Watch » 2014 CFL Preview.

You’ll see the Babe Ruth Father’s Day pic is there too.

Anyways, it’s the “Babe Ruth Slides In Safe At 3rd” photo, taken June 23, 1925 at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. I had been playing around with it for the past few weeks…and then ironically I saw that Chris Whitehouse/ManCave had done a close-up take it! Maybe he was inspired by my old post?

I’ll have to send you the other colorization from Sunday too, of Cliff Melton, New York Giants pitcher and the small boy playing catch.


. . .

1930's Cliff Melton and small boy (c1937-38)  comparison - Bruce Menard

1930s Cliff Melton NY Giants with boy (edit7)W - Bruce Menard

1930's Cliff Melton and small boy (original) c1937-38


Here’s the Cliff Melton colorization I made for Father’s Day. My guess is that the photo is c.1937-38. I wasn’t really going for a photo realistic look, but more of an artistic addition of color (like vintage tinted photos). Cliff had an amazing rookie year in 1937 pitching for the New York Giants, going 20-9 with a 2.61 ERA. Unfortunately, he finished that season by losing two games in the ’37 World Series vs. the New York Yankees, and his career was never quite the same. It looks like the photographer (or somebody next to him) is tossing the ball to the boy…I’m not sure if that’s Cliff’s son or not, but it’s still a classic photo!


. . .

1965 (Jun28) Ernie Banks 1b Lee Maye Astros Wrigley (for  Phil Hecken) Uni Watch - Bruce Menard

1965 (Jun28) Ernie Banks 1b Lee Maye Astros Wrigley (orig  UPI wire)


Last night I started playing around tinting this pic of Ernie Banks and Lee Maye from June 28, 1965 (50 years ago this coming Sunday). Love that Astros star on Maye’s stirrups!

Here’s the completed colorization of that Cubs/Astros wire pic from 50 Years Ago, June 28, 1965 at Wrigley Field, Chicago.

I really hadn’t intended to do a full color/tint on it, but once I added one color to see how it looked, I kept on going.


. . .

And finally, while this isn’t a colorization, per se, it’s still good for this section:

1918 (Jun) Baseball Magazine Red White Blue stripes (final  edit)W - Bruce Menard

1918 (Jun) Baseball Magazine Red White Blue stripes  (original)


I also just finished another Baseball Magazine edit from June 1918, featuring HOF’er Edd Roush…

1924 (Feb) Baseball Magazine Edd Roush (edit)2BrdW (1) - Bruce Menard

…Interesting thing is, they rehashed the original illustration for a cover in February 1924! (which I also edited a while back).


That’s it for today. Tremendous job, as always, Bruce.

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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 Pete Woychick who has some changes to the Calgary Flames (note I run these in the order received, so some of the info in the setup is dated):

calgary_home - Pete Woychick

calgary_road - Pete Woychick

Hi Phil–
I apologize for the late submission. With Calgary on the brink of elimination, I thought I’d better send this sooner rather than later. I’m not a Flames fan, but I am rooting for them versus Anaheim.

Orange-y red, unique to Calgary
simple, traditional, blue-collar, no nonsense
visual references to fire departments and ”Mounties”

multi-directional, multi-stroked striping
italic or extended type
yellow adjacent to white
national or provincial flag patches
faux-historic (e.g. laced collars)



. . .

And we close today with James Liberatore with third sweater for the Buffalo Sabres:

Third Ideas - James Liberatore

Paul & Phil,

First of all, please let me say I really enjoy your site. We share the same opinion on many topics involving uniforms. They are such an important part of sports. That being said, I was horrified a couple years ago when the Sabres unveiled the Turdburger. Although, Steve Ott forcing Ted Black to do it early was a classic. I have always wanted the Sabres to use their original home whites as a third jersey. I think it’s the best jersey they’ve ever had. I don’t know what the current league rules are regarding 3rd’s. I would imagine they don’t allow white, even though I know I’ve seen Toronto and Montreal wear them in the past as 3rd’s.

Anyway, that’s why I had this idea. I took the original classic Sabres home jersey, and turned it blue. I’ve also used the scripted Buffalo from their 40th anniversary jersey. I didn’t want to have the same or similar crest on all 3 jerseys. I also thought it was a very nice tribute to Buffalo hockey history. I’ve also created one in yellow, in case the team wanted another shot at that color.

I’d love to get your take on them. I don’t have the best graphics program, so I apologize for them being a bit sloppy.

Thanks, Jim

. . .

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

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Design contest reminders: In case you missed it, Paul is running an ESPN contest to redesign (or, if you prefer, re-redesign) the Clippers. The deadline is next Thursday, July 2, 7pm Eastern. Full details here.

Also: I’m running a contest to redesign the Rays. Deadline for that one is next Tuesday, June 30. Full details here.

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: “Interesting to see umpire C.B. Buckner wearing one of those ‘Copper’ arthritic compression sleeve(s),” writes Dustin Semore. “Don’t think I’ve seen an umpire with that kind of accessory before.” … Another Saturday, another Star Wars jersey promotion: here’s what the Williamsport Crosscutters wore last night (h/t MiLB Promos). … Check out this official scorecard from the first MLB night game ever in Cleveland (from Bruce Menard). … The Potomac Nationals (affiliate of the Washington Nationals) will be giving away a Wilson Ramos Buff-a-rine on July 5. Here’s a bit more on that (from Andrew Hoenig). … “An ad for this officially licensed shirt showed up in my Facebook feed,” says R. Scott Rogers. “The uni watcher in me is deeply offended. Killebrew never wore his name on his back on a home uniform during his career. And the Twins never wore red numbers and pinstripes at the same time during Killebrew’s career. That’s a 1987-2014 home jersey, and Killebrew’s number 3 had been long retired by the time the Twins introduced that jersey. Maybe it’s just that I’m a Twins fan, but this bothers me much, much more than all those ‘Jeter 2′ jerseys on the backs of Yankees ‘fans’.” But how do you really feel? … The Corpus Christi Hooks wore Boy Scout unis last night, complete with the Boy Scout logo on front below team name, with a backpack on back with number & name (via Tom Tagliabue). Here’s a close up look at the front and at the back (also from Tom), who adds the back “No NOB, instead South Texas Council & number over backpack image which includes some orange thing rolled up (tent? Jacket?) Obviously I was never a Scout. Front: Team name, Boy Scouts logo & green backpack shoulder straps. Sleeves: Boy Scouts logo on one; American flag on other.” … The Boise Hooks went with a dark gray (charcoal?) uni yesterday (from Corey Barnes). … The Montgomery Biscuits wore Back To The Future themed unis last night (via CR Griggs). … Reader Jeff Funke writes, “The socks you’ve seen McCutchen and others wearing lately for the Pirates look an awful lot like the ones Iowa wears. I sent you a picture back in 2012. Man, striped stirrups don’t get any better than these Iowa beauties.”

NFL/Football News: Check out this tweet from Jeff Nelson (of PSU), of Bud Meredith holding a PSU helmet. Reader Chris Flinn thinks it’s “interesting that they chose a different font from the one that used to be on the helmets.” … I’m sure we’ve seen this photo of Herschel Walker holding a Vikings jersey with the mismatched purples before, but once more couldn’t hurt (h/t AOL Sports).

NBA/Basketball News: Interesting piece here on how Muslim girls have designed new basketball uniforms to preserve their religious culture. Key line: ‘Using an extremely breathable fabric, they created leggings, a flexible skirt that would allow them to move freely, a long-sleeve tunic-style top and a tighter hijab that had a Velcro closure for added security.’

Hockey News: There were a few nameplate affixation issues during Friday Night’s NHL draft, including this shot of Ivan Provorov of the Flyers. Says submitter HT Adjemian, “I know the NHL likely didn’t have a lot of time, but comparatively the NFL doesn’t do this poor of a job on nameplates.” … Paul says, “I think you got everything, but here’s a good round-up of all the NHL news. Probably worth including in tomorrow’s Ticker.” … Reader Jim Wooley was at the draft in Florida Friday and Saturday. “Nothing special to report,” he says, and adds, “Lots of draftees were walking around the concourse after they were drafted – and wearing the team jersey with “15” on them. I noticed that the Bruins were the only team to have an asterisk which I found odd (and tacky).” [I believe that’s because it’s retired for Milt Schmidt — PH] … Here’s a shot of one of the Nashville Preds players sporting the All Star Game patch (from Max Herz).

Soccer News: Although the submitter of this item, Tony Bruno, didn’t explicitly say, I’m going to assume this is a soccer entry: “My daughter played US Club regionals in Greensboro, NC last weekend. That is where I saw the QR code on the sleeve of a U-14 boys team.”

Grab Bag: Here’s another one from Paul (and I know we’ve touched on this one before): The NASCAR chairman wants the Confederate battle flag banned (or close to it) at races. Key lines from that, from President Brian France, “I personally find it an offensive symbol, so there is no daylight how we feel about it and our sensitivity to others who feel the same way. We’re working with the industry to see how far we can go to get that flag to be disassociated entirely from our events.” Wow. That seems like a pretty big step (and a welcome one) from NASCAR. … Even though Nike doesn’t officially take over the Tennessee contract until July 1, there is apparel appearing already (from Chad Fields). … Check out these Packer Mini Golf Hole pictures (from Michael Bialas), which were taken in Appleton, WI..

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That’s all for today folks. Everyone have a great Sunday. Thanks to the Bruce, the colorizers and those who sent in for the ticker. Catch ya soon.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken


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“I was not aware that a hockey puck would actually stain anything.”

— The Jeff

What? No Peyote Coyote?

Yotes splash
[Click to enlarge]

By Phil Hecken

Yesterday evening, the Arizona Coyotes unveiled their new 2015-16 uniforms (other teams, like the Oilers, unveiled a new third, while the Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Preds and Montreal Canadiens all had some sort of changes — which are listed below in the Hockey ticker).

Before we look at the new unis, I (for one) am very disappointed the ‘Yotes didn’t invoke some sort of homage to the Peyote Coyote uniforms which they wore from their move from Winnepeg in 1996, through 2003 (even their alternate from 1998 had the logo of what is called the “Kachina”).

Fortunately, there are visual cues from those early uniforms in the new set. Let’s take a look-see (click on any photo to enlarge):





As you can see, the current primary Coyote head logo is unchanged from their past uniform, and appears on both the remained the same for both the “Sedona” red home and white road jerseys. What’s new is the addition of black (a harkback to their original colors). The sleeves contain black color blocks, which begin at the shoulder and end at the gloves — with a thick red stripe, followed by a thin white stripe, thin red stripe, and solid white (on both jerseys). Pants are black. Home socks are red/black/red ending with white/red/white, and the road socks are very similar — just substitute white for the home red at the top of the sock.

Here are some good closeups:



The Coyote’s press release describes the unis like so:

The body of the Coyotes home and away jerseys remains unchanged but the new jerseys feature an original sleeve stripe designed to connect with Arizona’s distinctive striated landscape. These bold sleeves, along with a striking black pant, will be worn both at home in Glendale and on the road. The new red jersey shoulder patch features a coyote’s paw “A” mark, an icon built for Arizona’s hockey fans; while the white jersey shoulder will carry an updated “AZ” mark, connecting back to the new word mark. Finally, a uniquely Southwestern pattern in the jersey’s neckline connects the Coyotes to the legacy of Arizona. This updated uniform features Reebok’s latest technological innovations and represents an industry leading commitment to the best for the athlete.


shoulder detail jersey detail

Interesting patch on the shoulder. Here’s a closeup:

patch detail

There are, so far, just the two uniforms — home (Sedona red) and road (white). Unfortunately, the current (and past) coyote logo contains cream — but none of the rest of the uniform does. While this is welcome (cream unis for hockey don’t look good as they look like they’re simply dirty — and dingy when compared to the white ice and boards), the logo looks “off” (as it did in the previous set).


Of course, their previous uniforms didn’t have any cream on them either — something I never quite liked about those uniforms — but the cream was picked up by the shoulder patch. The current patches do the same thing. Still, not a great rationale for keeping the cream. They have a different patch on the home and road uniforms (worn on both shoulders), with the home containing the “paw” patch and the road having tweaked “AZ” Arizona patches.

shoulder patch detail

Both jerseys will feature a modified lace-up collar:

chest detail

It’s a little difficult to tell, but it looks like the number fonts have been tweaked slightly as well:


Also, and unfortunately I don’t have any closeups, a new “Southwestern” pattern added to the neckline.

You can see the whole uni reveal in this video:

All in all, it’s not a bad uniform by any means, and it does bring back the black from the originals. But it really doesn’t have the “wow” factor (and that’s not necessarily a bad thing) it could have. And of course, the Peyote Coyote would have been a great logo to return to — maybe they will do that on a future alternate. I don’t love it, but I certainly don’t hate it either. It’s not all that much different from their current uniforms (all things considered), but the black addition is a definite upgrade. The black shorts are also a nice change, as the red pants they wore in their past set produced a feeling of too much red (especially on the all red home). The only thing I’ll miss from the old uniforms were those wonderful Northwestern stripes.

On Paul’s “good” or “stupid” scale, overall it rates as good. If I were giving it a letter grade, it’s about a “B”.

OK, guys — now it’s your turn — what say you?

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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

The previous edition of Classic Scoreboards revisited Colt Stadium, the temporary home of the Houston Colt 45s. This time we’ll walk a few hundred yards across the Colt Stadium parking lot for a look back on the Astrodome.


Astrodome_UW Revised

Home of: Houston Astros (1965-99); Houston Oilers (1968-96)
Houston Cougars (NCAA) (1965–97); Houston Gamblers (USFL) (1984–85); Houston Texans (WFL) (1974); Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (1966–2002)

First MLB Game Played: April 9, 1965
Last MLB Game Played: October 9, 1999
Current status: Limbo, but with hope for restoration.

The Astrodome was a futuristic American innovation and engineering marvel – the world’s first model for domed stadiums. The Dome was self proclaimed the Eighth Wonder of the World when it opened a half century ago and it probably was. You can discover all the Astrodome’s wonders in this 1966 publication.

Arguably the most notable of the Astrodome’s many futuristic innovations was the $2 million ($15 million in 2015 dollars) scoreboard, “the world’s largest, most versatile animated scoreboard.” It measured 474 feet long and 40 feet high, with 50,000 light bulbs. If you weren’t around to see it in operation, watch here. And, page 16 of the publication link above provides all the details of the scoreboard design and operation.

This scoreboard graphic recalls the first pitch of the Astrodome’s premiere game against the Yankees on April 9, 1965. The first batter, Mickey Mantle singled on the second pitch for the first hit. The Astros won in 12 innings 2-1 in a contest that lasted a piddling 2 hours 35 minutes. A nine inning game today struggles to finish in less than 3 hours!

Design Note: The scoreboard’s snorting steer graphic would not have been displayed during Mantle’s first at bat. It was part of the animation shown only after Astro’s home runs.

A Few Things to Know

• Sept. 6, 1988: After 23 years, the original Astrodome scoreboard explodes one last time before being removed to add 10,000 additional seats as condition to keep the Oilers franchise from relocating to Jacksonville.

• The Astrolite light screen was the center piece scoreboard feature. At the time it was the world’s largest 100-line television screen covering 1800 sq. ft. Among the best of the animation sequences was this one when the opponent’s pitcher was sent to the showers.

• This 1975 birthday tribute from the Texas Monthly magazine covers a portion of the Dome’s evolving legendary history.

• This Astrodome “Then and Now” photo retrospective covers it all.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

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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 Jared Buccola with some tweaks for the 49ers new BFBS unis:

49ersBFBS - Jared Buccola

Hey Phil & Paul,

By no means am I condoning the use of BFBS for the 49ers, but this is my tweak for what I think is a lesser of the very evil design that we have seen. Obviously the helmet has to stay the same because of the NFL’s one helmet rule. My biggest problem with the new set is the lack of white and gold, which makes it look like the 49ers went for a complete redesign, and then ran out of money for a new helmet. So with the jersey I wanted to make sure there was enough white and hold to tie it into the helmet. The other obvious fix is the sleeve stripes. With the pants, same as the jersey, I wanted to add white and gold to tie it into the helmet and match the pant stripes to the sleeve stripes. I also think any design that goes mono black with a different color helmet looks terrible, so this was my quick fix. I still think BFBS for the 49ers is a horrible idea in general, but this is somewhat of an improvement.

Jared Buccola

. . .

And we close today with Toby Young with a new look for the OKC Thunder:

okchome - Toby Young okcaway - Toby Young

okcalt - Toby Young okcalt2 - Toby Young

Hi, I love your website & twitter page. As I assume you guys are wanting the OKC Thunder to update their current bland look & I was wanting to send you an updated Thunder uniform pallet that I was tinkering with. I piggybacked on the current alternate uniform design, but made it more accurate to their color scheme. If it looks like dog dookie please let me know. Thank you for your time.

Toby Young

. . .

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

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Design contest reminders: In case you missed it, Paul is running an ESPN contest to redesign (or, if you prefer, re-redesign) the Clippers. The deadline is next Thursday, July 2, 7pm Eastern. Full details here.

Also: I’m running a contest to redesign the Rays. Deadline for that one is next Tuesday, June 30. Full details here.

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: 99 years ago yesterday, the Cleveland baseball team became the first to wear uniform numbers (from Todd Radom). … August 21 is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Night for the Lake County Captains and they’ve chosen the Michelangelo jerseys for the night (via MiLB Promos). Also from MiLB, t’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s @CRKernels Halfway to Xmas w/ special jerseys & @MikeTrout Snow Globes. … Check out this gorgeous press pass from the 1950 World Series (h/t Old Baseball Photos). … Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah was given his own jersey by the Angels. … “I don’t recall seeing this before, but the Dodgers, Giants, and Yanks apparently played a three-way game in 1944,” writes Chris Cruz. “Here’s an image from the article showing all three teams (and two different Giants unis).” … Here’s a look at what the Carolina Mudcats will be wearing tonight (from MiLB again). And this: the Back to the Future jerseys the Montgomery Biscuits will be wearing tonight. … Check out the socks Billy Hamilton was wearing yesterday (via Reds) — since they’re UA shoes, those socks are very similar to Northwestern’s flag desecration unis.

NFL News: “National Geographic on Instagram posted this beautiful shot of the Congo complete with a random Kurt Warner Cardinals jersey,” writes James Comfort. “At least I think it’s Warner.” … Question: What was the last year the Washington football team fielded an all-white team? (h/t Ghosts of DC). … Here’s a “Classic apostrophe catastrophe” (good spot by Rory J.). The apostrophe catastrophe was corrected by 1981. … Reader Kary Klismet notes “The San Francisco 49ers chose a uni-centric way to show their support for the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling.”

College Football News: Interesting article regarding Alabama and Auburn, and why they don’t have a Confederate battle flag on their uniforms. Among other reasons: “If those who believe the flag represents the South, why doesn’t Auburn or Alabama have it branded on their jerseys? Because it would do more than just clash with the colors.” … Within this interview with VT Hokies AD Whit Babcock Q&A, he makes some comments about Nike and uniforms in last two paragraphs (from Woody Weaver).

NBA/Basketball News: Check out this very cool graphic of all 31 first-round draft choices who played for Coach K (h/t Samtavious Mingo). … Nice gallery from Life that looks at old school hoops (hey colorizers — some of those might be great).

Hockey News: Hmmmm. Wonder what this sort of cryptic tweet from the Montreal Canadiens is alluding to? Could it be a uni modification of some sort? New material? It may be something minor. As pointed out by Chris Creamer, laces on Habs’ sweaters last happened in the 1970s. And sure enough, Chris confirmed it (h/t John Muir). … “Holy Crap,” writes Jonathan Daniel. “Look at those unis” (that’s obviously Peter Bondra, pre-NHL). … Here’s a look at the patch the Nashville Predators will wear this season, as they are hosting next year’s All Star Game (via Casey MacDougal). … Here’s a look at the new to the Colorado Avalanche’s sweater. As Chris Creamer points out, the new shoulder logo is the same as what the old Rockies used to wear, and both based off Colorado State flag. … Yesterday, the Columbus Blue Jackets unveiled a new secondary mark (h/t Mark McClure). Here’s a another look (from Ethan Sheets). … Are the Edmonton Oilers going to have an orange third sweater? (via Rich Homie Carl). It sure looks like it (from Lipschitz). Here’s more on that (h/t CJ Fogler).

Soccer News: Apparently, Atlanta’s new Major League Soccer (MLS) team stole its name from an amateur team. … Conn Nugent says, “Both teams in France v Germany Women’s World Cup (we)re looking good, though I wish the French sox were a redder red.

Grab Bag: Here’s a look at how Kobe Bryant and Kung Fu helped Serena Williams design her Wimbledon shoe. … Interesting (prophetic?) timing on these new rainbow themed sidewalks in Philadelphia. … “Thought of you when I saw this” article on doorless elevators in Germany (thanks to Douggie Keklak). … “Interesting rundown on how various organizations and retail brands took to social media to commemorate the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision,” writes Kary Klismet.

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And that’s all for today. Everyone have a great Saturday (couple throwback games on the diamond today). I’ll catch you guys tomorrow.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


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“Really? Now I have to worry about my kids reading UniWatch because they might see George Brett with his pants unzipped???”

–Lose Rem

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