Let’s Look Back — WAY Back

We all love Dressed to the Nines. But if you’re seriously into old-timey baseball history, D2T9s has a serious limitation: It only goes back to 1901. Nobody has come up with a visual database for 19th-century baseball uniform designs.

Until now. A new site called Threads of Our Game launched on Tuesday, and it attempts to do for 19th-century uniforms what Marc Okkonen did for the 20th century. It covers the years 1856 through 1900, showing uniform mock-ups for a wide range of professional and collegiate teams. I know some of you don’t really care about uniform developments from longer ago than before 2000 last year last month yesterday, but this site is like a brand-new playground for those of us interested in uniform history.

The guy behind site is an Atlanta-based gent named Craig Brown, who has a background in design and marketing. He’s enlisted the aid of assorted researchers and historians, and together they’re piecing together a visual record of baseball’s earliest years. The site makes no claims regarding completeness or exhaustiveness — there are lots of holes and gaps, and some of the site’s uni mock-ups are only in black-and-white, at least for now. Still, Brown and his crew hope to fill in those gaps as they continue their research, and the site already offers plenty of pleasures now. Here’s a sampling of worthwhile tidbits:

• The earliest teams all wore long pants, because knickers didn’t come along until the 1868 Reds.

• Other milestones singled out on the site include the first team name to appear on a jersey, the first city name to appear on a jersey, and the first team with separate home and road unis.

• The party line has long been that the first team to wear vests was the 1940 Cubs, but it looks like that honor actually belonged to the 1867 New York Mutuals. (And as an aside, that same team had a really interesting uniform three years later.)

• What have we here — a Brooklyn team with untucked jerseys!

• And here’s another Brooklyn team, this one with argyle socks.

• One more from Brooklyn: a team with what appears to have been a bolo hat!

• Attention U. of Maryland fans (or anyone else who likes the Maryland state flag): You’ll dig the chest emblem worn by the 1872 Lord Baltimore team.

• As you’ve probably noticed by now, most of these teams wore some combination of point collars, chest pockets, chest bibs, neckties, and other unlikely-seeming accessories. Things were very, very different back then.

I could go on, but you’re better off exploring the site on your own. Meanwhile, Brown tells me he already has another project in mind: a database of 20th-century minor league uniforms. “People just shake their heads at this,” he says. And yeah, that does seem like a Herculean task. Maybe stick to those 19th-century designs for now, Craig.

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Building a better glove: Reader Jake Kessler is pursuing an interesting project: He’s come up with some new baseball glove designs (sorry, can’t show them to you here) and is looking for people who’d be interested in helping him manufacture them. I’ll let him explain:

I’ve called tons of manufacturers. Most won’t work with me because my design concept changes what gloves have looked like for the last 50 years, and they aren’t willing to do that. Some have said they would be willing to try if they had templates or a prototype to take apart, so I’m trying to get that done for now.

I know there are lots of crafty people in the Uni Watch readership, and it wouldn’t surprise me if someone out there has the skill set to help me out. I’m hoping to find a former Rawlings or Wilson employee, or someone who has a small shop in their garage. I’m finding this to be a very specific skill set, and not an easy one to find. And those in seemingly related fields — re-lacers, seat upholsterers, saddle makers — have no comfort in crossing over.

It’s tough, because a Reds infielder has seen the designs and would want one. So have other people I know that have connections to MLB teams. I just can’t seem to get the damn things made!

If you’d like to explore this with Jake, contact him here.

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Design contest — last call: Today is the final day to submit entries for my ESPN contest to redesign the Cavaliers. I’ll be accepting designs up until 7pm Eastern tonight. Full details here.

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Any readers out there in Eugene? Reader Alex Allen, who lives in Eugene, Oregon, is interested in putting together a Uni Watch party. He doesn’t yet have a venue or a firm date (although he’s thinking of Sept. 27, because there’s no Oregon football game that day), but first he wants to see if there are enough Eugene-area readers who are interested. If that’s you, contact Alex here. (I won’t be able to attend the party myself. But if it comes together, I’ll send Alex the 15th-anniversary banner so it can be displayed at the shindig.)

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’Skins Watch: The granddaughter of original ’Skins owner and notorious racist George Preston Marshall thinks the team should change its name (thanks, Phil). … Here’s an article explaining why the ’Skins name and other use of Native imagery in sports creates a hostile learning environment for Native children. There’s a similar article here (both from Phil again). … A Canadian high school will stop calling its teams the Redman, even though the name had nothing to do with Native people (Phil yet again). … Cort McMurray recently spent a day in Santa Fe, Texas, and sent the following report: “The local high school proudly declares itself ‘Home of the INDIANS!’ Both the high school and the Santa Fe Independent School District administration building feature marquees sporting chiefs, in full Illini-style headdresses. Santa Fe is also home to Indian Car Repair, Medicine Man Pharmacy (I swear I’m not making that up), a street called Warpath Drive, and a youth football organization called the Santa Fe Braves. If Dan Snyder is ever driven from Washington, the folks in Santa Fe would welcome him with open arms.” … Good article on how concern over the ’Skins name is filtering down to the high school level (Phil again).

Baseball News: Quick quiz: Who’s this Reds minor leaguer? Answer at the end of the Ticker. … All MLB teams will wear a Hall of Fame 75th-anniversary patch on Sunday. Not sure if that includes the Cubs and Cards, who are slated to wear 1970s throwbacks that day. … Speaking of the Hall, here’s a good article on the cap logos used on Hall of Fame plaques. … This is pretty awesome — an infographic showing every uniform combo worn by the 1979 Pirates (great contribution from the Hungry Hungry Hipster). … Wanna see something seriously weird? Check out this shot of Iowa Cubs player Javier Baez. The “Iowa” on his helmet appears to be backwards, but everything else in the photo reads properly, so it’s not a flopped image. What gives? (From Al Yellon.) … “The Everett Aquasox had a ‘Bark in the Park’ night and we brought our paralyzed Dachshund, named Anderson Pooper,” writes Dave Sizer. “My wife DIY’d an Aquasox hat for Anderson, which she made it out of six panels of wool felt with the team logo sewn on top. Since Anderson also has to wear pants (due to the paralysis), she also cut out the secondary logo that appears on the BP hats and sewed it to the back of the pants.” … After the Rockies’ players went high-cuffed on Wednesday, the team’s office staff did likewise yesterday. … You can see this year’s Little League World Series uniforms here and here. Further info here. … The Kalamazoo Growlers wore what I think is the world’s first “selfie jersey”. Further info here (thanks, Phil). … “A friend’s kid is at the Cincinnati Reds Baseball Camp this week,” says Jake Keys. “This is his second year, so he received a two-year-veteran patch. Awesome stuff.” … Third question on this Q&A page addresses the issue of Cubs manager Rick Renteria’s habit of wearing a windbreaker instead of a jersey. … Chris Scavo notes that the Staten Island Yankees’ road uniforms have surprisingly inconsistent number typography. … Mets SS Ruben Tejada has a new batting helmet. His old one was cracked when he was beaned during Wednesday’s game. … The Lehigh Valley IronPigs wore Michael Jackson uniforms last night (thanks, Phil). … Quiz answer: Believe it or not, that is “Macho Man” Randy Savage, from his days in the Reds’ minor league organization (thanks again, HHH).

NFL News: The Patriots have changed the number font on their practice jerseys to match their game jerseys. Looks weird without the outlining, no? (Good spot by Tom Adjemian.) … The Titans will wear their navy uniforms once in 2014 (thanks, Phil). … The Ravens’ practice jersey sponsor advertiser has changed from the Maryland National Guard to Ford (from Rick Friedel). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comment: Here’s an unusual sight — Peyton Manning wearing Nike shoes. Manning had spent more than a decade wearing Reebok, but he parted ways with them back in the spring. … Speaking of QBs’ footwear, Robert Griffin III has explained why he was wearing mismatched shoes and socks in practice (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Also from Yusuke: The Panthers have released their 2014 jersey schedule (from Yusuke Toyoda). … Quinn Kasal says his Bears season tickets indicate that the team will be wearing its “Monsters of the Midway” throwbacks on Sept. 28 (Packers) and Nov. 23 (Bucs). … With the annual ComicCon now underway in San Diego, Chargers RB Ryan Matthews got in the spirit by donning Superman gloves and shoes during practice (from Brady Phelps). … Meanwhile, Pats RB Stevan Ridley wore Batman cleats (thanks, Phil). … Love the WFL helmet gallery on this program cover (thanks, Phil). … Check out Mickey Mantle in a Dallas Cowboys tee (from Steve Dodell).

College Football News: Not sure of the background details on this photo, but check out this ref wearing a bow tie (from Leo Strawn Jr.). … USC pranked its fans by tweeting a photo of a phony helmet. … Virginia Tech’s uniform design this year will apparently be “nothing too drastic” (from Andrew Cosentino). … More uni rankings, this time for the Pac 12 (thanks, Phil). … Serious fuck-up in the Longhorns’ media guide, as the word “Texas” was misspelled on page after page (thanks, Brinke).

NBA News: Which is the most popular NBA uni number? Are more NBA players wearing No. 23 these days? These and other uni-numerical questions are addressed here (from Robert Silverman).

Soccer News: Everton will release a new away shirt today (from Casey Hart). … Great article on Russian soccer team crests influenced by Constructivism. … New third kit for Bayern Munich (thanks, Phil). … Interesting project to turn World Cup crests into baseball caps (from Chris Fox).

Grab Bag: More new East Tennessee State uniforms (various sports) here and here. … “I make an annual trip to Ocracoke Island in North Carolina,” says Patrick O’Neil. “To get to the island, you have to take one of three ferries, each of which is painted a different color scheme corresponding to a college or university located within the state. Each ferry also includes the logo of the school.” If you click on the thumbnails here, it will tell you the school affiliation of each ferry. … Auburn is an Under Armour school, but Chad Fette was watching some video footage of the football team’s off-season training program and noticed several players wearing Nike, Adidas, and New Balance shoes. … Bottom of this article about graffiti in Chicago includes a local civic association leader’s suggestion that offenders be put in hot pink uniforms. … Here are the four finalists for a Nevada 150th-anniversary medallion design. … Was listening to the food-centric podcast The Sporkful and learned that the top and bottom pieces of a hamburger bun are known in the industry as, respectively, the crown and the heel. Can’t decide if this is really cool or just ridiculous. Like, what’s wrong with “top” and “bottom”? … The union for Montreal firefighters, bus drivers, cops, and other municipal workers is urging its members to stop wearing their uniforms to protest changes to the workers’ pension plans. … Want to get free yogurt for a year? All you have to do is design the logo for an Illinois yogurt shop. … This sounds like an Onion story, but it appears to be real: New Balance has come out with a line of sneakers based on the work of famous authors (thanks, Garrett).

Two of a Kind

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Big uni-centric summit meeting last night at Katz’s Deli, as SportsLogos.net honcho Chris Creamer (left) and I had a high-stakes sit-down over pastrami and pickles. We talked about the usual stuff that comes up when kingpins get together: how to carve up the territory equitably, keeping our capos in line (“That Phil, better keep an eye on him,” said Chris), where the bodies are buried. That kinda stuff.

Okay, seriously: I think I first became aware of Chris’s site in 1999 or 2000. I’ve always had a lot of respect for his work, and I did a pretty wide-ranging interview with him last year. He and I email semi-regularly (we sometimes help each other out with historical research or with breaking news items, or just compare notes on uni-related developments), but we had never met in person — or even spoken on the phone, for that matter — until last night, when he made some time for me during a family visit to NYC.

I’m happy to report that Chris is even more enjoyable in person than he is on the internet. Naturally, a lot of our talk was about the uni-verse — we compared war stories (we’ve both had some overzealous trolls), traded gossip, and so on. But we also talked about our families and other personal stuff. It was a really enjoyable evening, and I feel like we cemented a friendship that had been a long time in the making.

At one point Chris asked me a really interesting question (I’m paraphrasing here): “All the lousy uniforms and awful trends out there — do you ever think sites like ours are at least somewhat responsible for that?” As I explained to him, I do think our sites have contributed to a surge of interest in uniforms that has resulted in some genuinely miserable trends (camo, cookie-cutter templating, endless “special” uniform designs, etc.). But I also think we’ve uncovered and documented lots of important history, helped people to see sports in a different and more thoughtful way, and helped spur to an ongoing dialogue whose results are still playing out. In short, I think you have to take the good with the bad.

The most interesting part of the evening, at least for me, was when Chris said, “Everyone assumes you and I are enemies or something.” That was news to me — I’ve always viewed SportsLogos.net as an essential resource and an ally, not as a rival or enemy. Sure, we’re often competing to break the same news, but in the big picture we’re fighting for the same thing. In that regard, what’s good for one of us is usually good for both of us.

Thanks again, Chris — drive carefully today and get home safe.

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Design contest reminder: In case you missed it last week, I’m currently accepting entries for an ESPN contest to redesign the Cavaliers. The entry deadline is tomorrow, July 25. Full details here.

And speaking of ESPN: In case you missed it yesterday, my latest ESPN column is about the history of league logos on uniforms.

One thing about that ESPN column: I wrote that the NBA logo first appeared on uniforms as part of 35th-anniversary shorts patch in 1980-81. But last night reader Mike H. sent me photos showing that the logo had also appeared on shorts in 1970-71. I wonder if that was a 25th-anniversary move, even if it wasn’t specifically identified as such. Anyone know more?

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Mike’s Question of the Week

By Mike Chamernik

I have a DaJuan Wagner Cavs jersey and a Charles Rogers Lions jersey. I got them when I was 13 or 14, so I wasted good money on them.

Do you own any jerseys of terrible players? What’s the worst or funniest jersey you own or have seen someone wear in public?? There even used to be a great blog dedicated to this phenomenon.

As always, post your responses in today’s comments.

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Tick-Tock: Today’s Ticker was compiled and written by Mike Chamernik.

Baseball News: This Is Why Baseball Is Great, Vol. 1: With the help of third base coach Jose Oquendo, Cards catcher Yadier Molina left some snack crackers on home plate for his brother Jose Molina, who was with the visiting Rays, before the first inning yesterday. Jose kept the crackers in his back pocket the rest of the inning (from Phil). … This Is Why Baseball Is Great, Vol. 2: The Nationals’ Aaron Barrett and the Rockies’ Brandon Barnes had a competition yesterday to see who could stay on the field with hat over heart longest after the national anthem. The start of the game was delayed four minutes. Further info here. … Here’s another database of MLB at-bat songs (from Joseph Andersen). … Another minor league Christmas sweater jersey, this time for the Reading Fightins. They’ll be wearing that tomorrow (from Phil). … The Padres made a really cool Christmas card in 1979. … Since his preferred No. 7 is retired, new Yankee Chase Headley took to Twitter to ask for uni number suggestions (from Brinke). … The Rockies went high-cuffed yesterday (from Phil). … Justin Kline was in central Florida and found a hat for Sultanes de Monterrey, a Mexican team. “The problem is, I wanted to see the rest of the uniform and found that the Sultanes dress more like the New York Yankees,” he says. “I’ve spent chunks of the past few days trying to find the story behind this logo to no avail. To make things more difficult, there are no other logos on the cap but the New Era flag on one side, and the stickers said nothing but ‘Sultans.’ Are you at all familiar with the logo, or know of someone who may be?” Anyone know more? … I’ve been watching the HBO show Eastbound & Down because all the episodes recently went On Demand. I like the show, but I’m not sure what’s a bigger stretch: Kenny Powers being allowed to use a white glove while pitching in Mexico, or KP throwing 101 mph with his throwing motion (link has some swear words). You’re right, him throwing 101 is the most ridiculous thing ever aired on television.

NFL News: New Chargers CB Brandon Flowers will wear No. 26 this year (from Phil). … Reggie Wayne showed up to Colts training camp in an Indy car, and he wore a Colts racing helmet. … Eagles QB Matt Barkley found a pair of Donovan McNabb prototype cleats. … A set of Bengals schedules appear to have an autocorrect error on them. … A 1950 publication (unclear which one) listed the NFL teams and their color schemes (from Phil). … Bengals season ticket holders receive a car magnet, and Titans players deliver season tickets themselves (from Phil). … Here’s a look at how the Bills move operations to Pittsford, New York, for training camp (from Brinke).

College Football News: Construction workers at LSU’s Tiger Stadium wear LSU hardhats (from Nolan Jones). … New uniforms for Houston. … Arizona is back to solid-color numbers this year, going away from the gradient look (from Phil). … Small tweak to Fresno State’s helmet. … SB Nation ranked the uniforms in the SEC (from Phil). … New logos and helmets for East Tennessee State (from Jason Roberts).

Hockey News: When the Nordiques moved to Colorado, they were considering the name Rocky Mountain Extreme. That’s so minor league it hurts (from John Romero). … Peter Good, the man who created the Whalers’ logo, revealed some early sketches for the logo in this television interview (from Stanislaw Olechowski). … The Calgary Hitman unveiled their 20th-anniversary jerseys. By the way, I had no idea Bret Hart owned a hockey team.

Soccer News: Life imitates art: The MLS All-Star game is in Portland, so the kits will have a bird on them — an apparent reference to this Portlandia skit (from Yusuke Toyoda). … The rest of these are all from Phil: New away kit for AC Milan. … Here’s a slideshow with all the new Premier League kits for this year. … New kits for SuperSport. … New away kit for AS Roma.

Grab Bag: After seeing yesterday’s post about silhouettes and shields, Adam Vitcavage created silhouette logos for the NFL and NHL. Both are good, but nice touch with the stars for each division in the NFL one. … New logo for Foursquare (from Brinke). … This is great: A roundup of generic and overused logos (from Brinke). … The away kit for Irish rugby club Ulster has leaked (from Eric Bangeman). … Stella McCartney will design Great Britain’s official team uniform for the 2016 Olympics (from Phil). … A company called Tracksmith makes running apparel that has a retro feel to it (from Tommy Turner). … Here’s what the Australian Football A-League All-Star team will wear against Juventus on August 10 (from Graham Clayton). … The man who invented the first custom-fitted mouthpiece died Sunday (from Tris Wykes). … New York’s Holland Tunnel used to have a police catwalk car! So cool (thanks, Marty B). … The New Jersey Turnpike Authority and a Florida pizzeria are involved in a legal dispute because the pizzeria’s logo looks like the Turnpike logo (from Don Silsby).

Silhouettes and Shields

With the NBA logo moving from the front to the back of the jersey this fall, my latest ESPN column takes a look at the history of the Big Four league logos on uniforms. It was an interesting piece to work on, and I think you folks will like it. Check it out here. — Paul

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Design contest reminder: In case you missed it last week, I’m currently accepting entries for an ESPN contest to redesign the Cavaliers. The entry deadline is this Friday, July 25. Full details here.

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Baseball News: Yesterday’s Ticker included a photo of Royals 1B Eric Hosmer with some odd seams on the back of his pants, and then some commenters posted photos showing that these seams aren’t limited to Hosmer. I asked A’s equipment manager Steve Vucinich about this, and he said the seams are for an extra layer of fabric that functions as built-in sliding pads: “They are becoming more popular. Some order only them on one side. Also, a knee-only pad [also consisting of an extra fabric layer] is popular. We have about six position players with pads of some sort.” … The Cubs will be celebrating the 1970s on their upcoming homestand. That will include wearing the reverse-pinstripe road throwbacks on Sunday. … Brad Jackson was watching footage of Game 7 of the 1997 World Series and noticed that the little sunburst icon in the lower-left corner of the screen looks mighty similar to the Rays’ current logo. “Also, Bob Costas can be heard making a uni-relevant note just before that time mark, noting that the Marlins were wearing their vests for the first time in the Series because of the humidity,” says Brad. … The Norfolk Tides wore throwbacks last night. … “On SportsCenter’s ‘My Wish’ series, a kid who had open-heart surgery moments after his birth wanted to meet his favorite player, Dustin Pedroia,” says Intern Mike. “The Red Sox invited him to Fenway and gave him a Sox jersey with his own NOB. Inaccurate, but forgivable in this case, right?” … Rally stirrups: Ian Desmond of the Nats wore a pair of stirrups and promptly went 5-for-5 (from Bryan Martin Firvida). … “Salute to Cancer Survivors” jersey for the Brevard County Manatees. And yes, the Manatees are a Brewers affiliate, which explains their Brewers-esque chest insignia (thanks, Phil). … The Lehigh Valley IronPigs’ mascot is a sliced ham (from Gretchen Mittelstaedt). … Italian-heritage jerseys on tap this Friday for the Brooklyn Cyclones. … Gotta love this: The single-A St. Luice Mets wear a sleeve patch of Mr. Met decked out in cruisewear and sunglasses (thanks, Phil). … The padded pitcher’s cap, first worn about a month ago by Padres reliever Alex Torres, is not catching on with other pitchers. … The Mets are in Seattle this week, and I’ve been enjoying watching James Jones of the Mariners, who has a high uni quotient — he wears great stirrups and No. 99. … Speaking of the Mets: Eric Young Jr. fell into the stands while attempting to make a catch last night and ended up in the lap of a young boy. At the end of the inning, he went back to the boy and gave him one of his wristbands. … Here’s an odd couple from last night’s A’s/Astros game: 5’5″ Jose Altuve standing next to 6’8″ Nate Freiman (screen shot by Brian Crago). … A bill that would turn former Negro Leagues ballpark Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, New Jersey, into a national park is moving along in Washington (from Dave Rakowski).

NFL News: The Steelers had previously announced that they’d have a Chuck Noll memorial helmet decal this season. Now comes word that the decal design will be revealed on Opening Day — that’s Sept. 7. … Eric Wright received an email from Verizon that features a drop shadow-era Niners uni playing against who knows what. Very odd. … Speaking of the Niners, here’s their goodie pack for season ticket-holders. … Meanwhile, Colts season ticket subscribers get a license plate frame. … Speaking of the Colts: Can’t decide which Colts jersey to buy? Here’s a handy flowchart. … A bunch of Chargers players were on a softball team over the summer. You can see their attire here.

College Football News: The entrance to the Michigan State locker room has a sign with a fairly obvious grammatical error. “Was the English department unavailable for a quick edit?” asks Brian Hansen. … The rest of these are all from Phil: Matte helmets for Iowa State. … Wyoming is apparently going back to the old-school helmet. … New helmet for Nevada, too. … Check out Furman’s uniforms — past and present.

Hockey News: Concussion discussion: A new safety-rating system may lead to major changes in hockey helmet design. … Ted Arnold sent along some great shots from his youth league hockey team, which was called Jack’s Pack. Those shots from are 1969-70 and 1970-71, when Ted eight through 10 years old.

NBA News: I added this to yesterday’s main entry at 11:05am, but in case you missed it: The Wizards have released the alternate blue jersey that goes with those alt blue shorts. … Speaking of the Wiz: “When the Wizards decided to rebrand in 2011, I put together a logo and uniform concept — I’m pretty sure Phil linked to it one weekend,” says William Yurasko. “This past weekend I learned that somebody had taken that logo concept and had it tattooed on his arm.”

Soccer News: “English Championship side Charlton Athletic is using Barcelona’s away strip from last season as its third kit,” says Lewis English. “Maybe they fell off a truck in London on their way to the incinerator?” … Some third-division Spanish team you’ve never heard of is going with tuxedo-patterned jerseys (from Mark Emge). … More Big 10 soccer jersey concepts (thanks, Phil). … Also from Phil: Man U’s Chevy-branded kit will make its debut tonight. Meanwhile, here is Man U’s new road kit. … “EA’s FIFA 15 video game will have different covers — one with an Xbox-branded kit and the other without that uni on PlayStation,” says Tony Crespo. … New kits for Spartak Moscow (Phil again). … Jersey sales for James Rodriguez of Real Madrid are soaring. … Whoa, check out this Instagram feed devoted to classic soccer jerseys (nice find by David Wilson).

Grab Bag: “Nike” is apparently one of the words that can get you flagged as a security risk by the NSA if you use it too much in email. It’s unclear whether you can get off the shit list if you pair “Nike” with “sucks” (from Gregory Koch). … Good overview of Superman’s evolving uniform and chest logo (from Alan Kreit). … Here’s a look and some highs and lows from the last 20 years’ worth of Commonwealth Games uniforms. … New logo for the video game manufacturer Santa Monica Studio. … A county jail in Michigan is changing its inmate uniforms from orange to prison-striped, because the TV show Orange Is the New Black made orange uniforms too “trendy.” … Lots of rumors and leaks regarding the Apple logo on the upcoming iPhone 6. … “I was watching a rerun of Top Gear on BBC America and noticed the Nike logo on this audience member’s shirt,” says Richard Hill. “I do not recall ever seeing the Nike symbol on this type of shirt.” Me neither. … New kit for the Basque rugby team Biarritz Olympique. ” The away kit keeps the Basque flag motif, which I love, but the plague of BFBS has spread to the Pyrenees, as you can see by the third kit,” says Eric Bageman.

Another Day, Another Bunch of NBA News

Never a dull moment in the NBA, as another barrage of news bulletins began circulating yesterday. Some of these just repeat or amplify things that we already knew, but others are genuine news. Por ejemplo:

1. The Blazers’ “Rip City” jersey will now have sleeves:

Further info here. Personally, I can’t get worked up about this one way or the other. If you had asked me whether the “Rip City” jersey already had sleeves, I would’ve had to look it up. Honestly, who can keep track of which NBA alternate jerseys are sleeved and which ones are tank tops these days? It’s all a blur.

2. The Wizards now have a new set of blue alternate shorts:

So does this mean the Wiz are getting a blue alternate uniform? ’Twould appear so. Remember, they were on the list of teams with a new alternate uni that we haven’t seen yet.

Update, 11:05am: The Wizards have now released the alternate jersey to go along with the shorts (further info here):

3. We pretty much already knew about this, but the Celtics have made it official: They have a new alternate logo:

The team’s official press release on the logo is here, and there are some additional images here. Personally, I think it’s fine but unnecessary.

4. Last week we saw a small mock-up showing that the Lakers’ BFBS alts would have sleeves this fall. Now we have a photo of the actual jersey:

5. I had already exclusively reported that this year’s Christmas Day uniforms would have drop-down NOBs featuring the players’ first names instead of their surnames. Now that’s been confirmed:

So I guess that tells us that Miami is one of the teams that will be playing on Dec. 25 (not exactly a surprise).

6. This barely even qualifies as news, but the Knicks will wear their orange alternates again in 2014-15, even though the orange alts were winless last season.

7. Finally, there had been some chatter over the weekend about the Thunder possibly wearing the gold championship tab to represent the Sonics’ title, but now they’ve decided not to do that.

There are still several more alternate and “pride” uniforms still to be revealed — or leaked, as the case might be. I haven’t seen any of them, but the NBA and Adidas haven’t been very good about keeping their goods under wraps, so I’m assuming we’ll see them soon enough.

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unitas

Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

John … Constantine … Unitas. Johnny U. The Golden Arm. Acclaimed as perhaps the greatest quarterback ever to play in the National Football League. (Say that out loud in a Howard Cosell voice!) And here’s Johnny U. posing with a Colts helmet buggy. His backup Earl Morrall took his turn, too. Also: Look at the seller’s name!

Okay, now you can turn off your Cossell voice and enjoy the rest of this week’s eBay picks:

• My friends, take a look at this 1967 Philadelphia Eagles Media Guide. That is the look they should be wearing — not that midnight green, or whatever it’s called.

• Can’t you just imagine John Facenda intoning as the snow falls, “Tarkenton on the sidelines, alone with his thoughts, preparing to return to the field of battle as the Metropolitan Stadium crowd roared for Packer blood. The clock said 2:00 remaining — it was to become his mortal enemy.”

• Technigraph alert! Boy would I love to have this 49ers plaque. That same seller has some great stuff, incidentally.

• Check out the artwork on this 1970 Fleer baseball card: Birds stall the Big Red Machine. I still distinctly recall watching the Series in our grade school classroom at Stivers Elementary in Louisville — they wheeled in TVs so we could watch Brooks beat the Reds over and over and over. [That is probably the greatest Fleer card I've ever seen. Awesome! — PL]

• Did you have a Sunbeam NFL Trading Card set from 1976? I’ve seen that artwork on other items, notably the Bengals artwork on my bedroom switchplate, but I’ve not seen this album before. You get 22 out of a possible 29 cards in this auction.

• This 1970s Red Sox plush doll could use some TLC but would be great for a Sawx fan’s collection.

• Perfect for Brownie fans: this 1965 Blanton Collier cup celebrating the teams NFL title, with artwork by the Master, Nick Volpe. (Dave Boss is the other Master.)

• I know we’ve shown this 1960s NFL poster before. But it’s so cool, I hope someone here grabs it. The auction text says “1970s or 1980s,” but they must not Get It™: It’s a 1960s poster due to the three stripes on the Dallas QB’s sleeve (must be Meredith) and the spear on the Washington helmet.

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Facebook update: Now that you’ve read Brinke Guthrie’s latest “Collector’s Corner” column (which he contributes to the site on a weekly basis), here’s his latest endeavor: Brinke is now the editor of the Uni Watch Facebook page.

As I mentiond a week or two ago, the site’s Facebook page had pretty much fallen into disuse. Brinke is going to change that. Here’s what he’ll be doing with it:

• Each morning Brinke will add a summary of (and link to) that day’s entry, to make it easier for you folks to share Uni Watch content with your friends.

• Brinke will also be periodically posting photos or Ticker-ish items for discussion. Most of these items will show up in the next day’s Ticker. (I do the same thing with the Uni Watch Twitter feed, posting breaking items or just items of interest that show up in the Ticker the following day.)

• We have no plans to post dedicated Facebook content that won’t also be appearing here on the site, at least for now.

If you haven’t already “Liked” the Uni Watch Facebook page, please consider doing so. Brinke and I will do our best to make it worth your while.

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Design contest reminder: In case you missed it last week, I’m currently accepting entries for an ESPN contest to redesign the Cavaliers. The entry deadline is this Friday, July 25. Full details here.

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field

Membership update: Last week I Ticker-linked to a jersey for Germany’s World Cup team physician, and now Alex Field has adopted that design for his membership card (shown at right).

The next batch of membership cards will be going to the printer in a day or two, but we have two open slots on the current sheet. So if you sign up today, you’ll get your card very quickly, with little waiting. Just sayin’.

As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see how we make the cards here, and you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here.

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Tick-Tock: Today’s Ticker was compiled and written by Garrett McGrath.

Baseball News: An extremely dedicated — and scary-looking — Washington Nationals fan has created a unique beard based on the team’s logo (from Brady Phelps). … Reader question: “What do you think is going on here with Eric Hosmer’s pants?” asks Craig Mellish. “Do you think these are very deep pockets for holding a lot of sunflower seeds or inside pockets for inserting sliding pads. None of the other Royals seemed to have them during the game.” … Rare color match-up for last night’s Mets/Mariners game royal blue versus teal.

NFL News: The Detroit Lions will be honoring William Clay Ford with a memorial patch this season (thanks, Phil). … The Jacksonville Jaguars will have 20th-anniversary patches on their 2014 jerseys (thanks, Phil). … Eagles coach Chip Kelly believes that uniforms should be worn uniformly to reflect a team-as-one mentality. Search on the word “uniform” for more (from Rahul Vyas).

College Football News: The Arizona Wildcats may be returning to red and blue stripes down the middle of their helmets. They had them most recently as 2012 (thanks, Phil). … Last week, we posted a picture of college football’s new championship trophy. Here are some internet memes of things that inspired the design. … “Uni Watch covered this last year following the Georgia Tech versus Virginia Tech game,” says Britton Thomas. “You posed the question ‘Can’t Russell Athletic Do Anything Right?’ Almost a year later, the answer to that question is still a resounding no. Their uniform outfitter still cannot count to three. … Texas Tech is planning on wearing Zach Thomas-era throwback jerseys against Arkansas on September 13th. … The Big Ten Network had a football uniform poll and Ohio State came in at number one (thanks, Phil).

Hockey News: This is just plain wrong: The Hockey News has ranked the New York Islanders logo as the 25th-best in the league. Are they out of their mind? How are they worse than the Jets, Predators, Wild, or Ducks? [Note: Garrett is an Islanders fan. — PL]

NBA News: We came, we saw, we Concord: Matt “Red Mamba” Bonner of the champion San Antonio Spurs took the Larry O’Brien trophy on tour of his hometown of Concord, New Hampshire.

College Hoops News: The Marquette University book store is selling a great and wide selection of throwback basketball uniforms (thanks, Phil).

Grab Bag: Here is a great (and untrademarked) late 1970s Auburn Tiger logo (thanks, Phil). … NASCAR has rounded up the best paint schemes on cars (thanks, Paul). … Here’s a quiz on the fonts of some of the world’s most distinctive logos (thanks, Phil).

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What Paul did last night: A longtime friend of mine is a writer for The Daily Show. I don’t know why I never hit him up for tickets to the show’s taping, but I never did — until a few weeks ago, when the New Girl said, “Why don’t we go see the show?” So I asked my friend for some tickets, and there we were in the audience for the taping of last night’s show.

Like many TV shows with live studio audiences, this one has a fluffer — a comedian who’s supposed to warm up the crowd. It’s hard to describe how awful he was. Loud, boorish, insulting, self-loathing — he embodied everything I generally dislike about stand-up comedy. The whole shtick was embarrassing.

The show was good, although I was disappointed that there were no segments featuring Jessica Williams or Samantha Bee, both of whom I really like. The guest was Sue Turton, an Al Jazeera America reporter who talked about how several of her colleagues were arrested, convicted of trumped-up charges, and imprisoned in Egypt — interesting but not all that entertaining. (By contrast, tonight’s guest is Richard Linklater.) Anyway, the opening sequence was very funny — here, see if you can pick out my laughter from all the rest:

You can see the rest of the show here.