Jim Vilk, Would You Wear This?

Click to enlarge

As we all know by now, I care mostly about what players wear on the field, not fan merchandise. Every now and then, however, a merchandised product line comes along that totally pushes my buttons.

That’s the case with this line of NHL adult onesies being sold by the Canadian firm Hockey Sockey, which was brought to my attention the other day by reader Andrew Lind. (You can purchase them here.) These have apparently been available since at least last fall, but they’re new to me, and I’m officially smitten.

Why do I like these so much? A big part of it, frankly, is that they’re called onesies. Not pajamas, not singlets, not all-in-ones, not jumpers, not bodysuits, not full-body hoodies — onesies. Who wears onesies? Babies (duh). In our increasingly rough-tough macho sports culture, it’s funny — endearing, even — to encounter a product that’s essentially infantilizing.

And even without the name, these things are, let’s face it, a bit goofy, and I mean that in a good way. Imagine a whole room full of fans sitting down to watch a playoff game while wearing these things. It’s just ridiculous enough to be perfect.

Although there’s no rear-view photo, Hockey Sockey’s online shop says the onesies feature a “back door ‘five hole trapper’ flap” (you can see a hint of the flap here), which means these are really pajamas. But the listing then says, “Wear it to the game, to a party, to work and even to bed.” I love that — they’re PJs, but the bed function is almost an afterthought.

The onesies are available for 19 of the NHL’s 30 teams (not sure why the other 11 aren’t offered), and all of the designs are based on the colored home uniforms. I’m on record as preferring the white jerseys for most NHL teams, but the carnival of colors somehow feels right for this product line. White would almost look too classy, too formal.

My only gripe is that they don’t have any photos of actual human beings wearing the onesies, which doesn’t seem right. Fortunately, I was able to locate someone who owns one of the onesies: Gregoire Venier, a Canadiens fan who lives in San Francisco. Here he is wearing his Habs onesie at a game:

I asked Gregoire if he’d be willing to do an email interview, and he agreed. Here’s how it went:

Uni Watch: That photo shows you wearing the onesie at a game. How many times have you done that? What sorts of reactions did you get?

Gregoire Venier: I have now worn it to two games. Everyone who noticed it came up to me and asked where I got it and how much I paid and overall really loved it. I took a few pictures with people — mostly diehard Habs fans.

UW: Where else have you worn it? Like, at home, to go to a bar, or what?

GV: I did wear it to my local sports bar here in San Francisco during the Canadiens/Senators playoff series. On cold nights here in the city I will lounge around in it since it’s super-comfy and provides easy access for bathroom use.

UW: What’s the deal with the back flap? Is it like the flaps on old-fashioned pajamas? If so, is it weird to be wearing something with a pajama flap in public?

GV: The back flap is pretty much covered so it doesn’t seem like it has one. There are three Velcro parts and stays intake very nicely. I usually wear shorts or boxer briefs underneath but never thought much about it when wearing the onesie in public.

UW: Do you find it odd that they call this product a “onesie” (which is usually a term for a baby product), instead of something more adult-like?

GV: The term “onesie” seems to be making a big comeback, especially for Gen X/Y people who had them when they were kids. I know I have done many searches for “Adult Onesie.”

UW: Do you know any other people who’ve bought the onesies? Do they like theirs as much as you seem to like yours?

GV: I know a few of my fellow Canadiens fans have purchased them and absolutely love them.


Faaaaaascinating. Anyone else out there have one of these things?

• • • • •

Lined with a leak: The 76ers aren’t scheduled to unveil their new uniforms until next month, but we may have gotten a sneak peek at them last night.

It happened at the NBA draft lottery. Sixers player Nerlens Noel, who was representing the team at the event, opened his jacket and revealed something very interesting (click to enlarge):

Social media pounced on the photo. One fan, instead of speculating or wondering, went right to the source and asked Noel if these are the team’s new jerseys. Noel said yes. Of course, this still doesn’t tell us anything about the side panels, the shorts, etc., but at least it gives us a sense of the new look.

Was this “leak” actually planned? It seems unlikely that Noel would show up to this type of event with the team’s new jerseys stitched into his jacket lining unless the team knew about it or even encouraged him to do so. I’ve asked a team spokesman about that — will advise.

• • • • •

T-Shirt Club reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, the June offering from the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club — the BFBS design — is now available. Full details here, or go straight to the ordering page.

While we’re at it, the Uni Watch smart phone case, with a nifty stirrup-based design created by reader Matt Beahan, is available here.

• • • • •

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Garrett McGrath

Baseball News: There was a bit of a dust-up yesterday when reports indicated that the Cubs threw away a bunch of personalized bricks from the stadium’s exterior that they sold to the public back in 2006. But then it turned out that the Cubs had notified the brick sponsors months earlier and will be replacing the bricks with new ones. … Milwaukee Brewers player Jonathan Lucroy talks about his equipment in a recent interview with Esquire (from Tommy the CPA). … Here’s a comprehensive slideshow of historic Seattle baseball uniforms (thanks, Phil). … The BuzzFeed softball team has nice company uniforms (thanks, Paul). … We’ve all seen Giants reliever Sergio Romo wearing triple-striped socks, but teammate Hunter Pence had quadruple-striped socks prior to last night’s game against the Dodgers.

NFL News: It looks like the Titans are now using a raised nose bumper logo on their helmets (from Jerry Lawless). … “LeGarrette Blount instagrammed an interesting college-pro mashup of him and Tom Brady today,” Bobby Pinkham says. “I count at least two mistakes: Blount never played in the Pac-12 (it was the Pac-10 when he left in 2009), and he never wore the winged helmet with the O on the back. Oddly enough, it looks like they got the Belotti Bold font correct, though.” … “I came across this wire story from August 17, 1966 where the first set of numbers were handed out to the Miami Dolphins and No. 51 was missing,” Bob Gassel says.

College Football News: Syracuse has un-retired No. 44, a number worn by three football legends at the university: Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, and Floyd Little (from Rick DiRubbo). … Cal football is rumored to have white helmets for next season (thanks, Phil). … No pictures but more background information than we had yesterday on Pitt’s new uniforms for 2016 (thanks, Phil).

Soccer News: The Arsenal 2015-16 home kit has been leaked (from Conrad Burry). … Real Madrid’s 2015-16 home, away, and alternate kits have leaked online (thanks, Phil). … Thanks to a logo change by the payday lender Wonga, Newcastle’s newly unveiled home kit now has an obsolete sponsorship logo (from Mark Coale).

Grab Bag: Neighborhoods as brands: parts of Houston are holding contests in order to brand certain neighborhoods (from Cort McMurray). … Here’s a photo gallery of America’s best vintage bowling alleys (from Brig Slaughter). … NikeCourt has unveiled their French Open 2015 collection (thanks, Phil). … NHRA Watch: “In 2015, Courtney Force switched from Ford to Chevy and lost Castrol as a sponsor, yet on Saturday night’s telecast, ESPN showed a graphic of her with her Ford helmet with Castrol logos on it,” David Firestone says. … For this Sunday’s NASCAR race in Charlotte, teams will be replacing the driver’s name on the windshield with the name of a fallen U.S. soldier (from Chris H.). … A Native American high school student in Nebraska will be allowed to wear an eagle feather on her graduation cap. The school board had initially ruled that she could not do so because of a rule banning “bling” from the caps (from Chris Bisbee).

Life’s Goal Accomplished: Uni Watch Mentioned on Mets TV Broadcast

I mentioned in yesterday’s Ticker that I wouldn’t be watching the Mets on Monday night because they were scheduled to wear their brutal camouflage uniforms (which are even worse this season because they’re now paired with the pinstriped pants). But I ended up flipping channels between the Rangers and the Mets, and it’s a good thing I did, because I happened to be watching the ballgame when Mets play-by-play man Gary Cohen and analyst Keith Hernandez, both shown at right, ended up discussing Uni Watch on the air.

It happened in the bottom of the fifth with Mets third baseman Daniel Murphy at the plate, when Cohen and Hernandez began discussing the camouflage jerseys. Here’s a transcript:

Gary Cohen: First time this year the Mets are wearing the camo jerseys. What I remember most about the camo jerseys last year? That’s what Jacob deGrom was wearing when he struck out the first eight [batters of the game] against Miami.

Keith Hernandez: That’s right.

Cohen: I’m sure our statistician will find for us the Mets’ record in the camo jerseys last year. [Pause, while apparently consulting with the statistician.] He just shrugged his shoulders, as if to say, “I’m not sure I can figure that out.”

Hernandez: I don’t think that will be in the computer.

Cohen: You don’t think so?

Hernandez: I don’t think so.

Cohen: Somebody is keeping track of that. There’s a website called uni-watch.com — I’m sure they…

Hernandez [sounding disgusted]: Nooo!

Cohen: Yeah! They keep track of every little subtlety in every uniform.

Hernandez: They have nothing better to do.

Cohen: What they’re doing is carving out a niche for themselves. If you can be an expert in one sliver of an area, you can dominate your field.

And that was it. Based on this exchange, it would be easy to dismiss Hernandez as someone who Doesn’t Get It™, but that’s actually not the case. He frequently offers uni-related observations. Later on in last night’s game he pointed out, correctly, that this is Cardinals outfielder Jason Heyward’s third season wearing his protective helmet extension. And Hernandez also makes it clear on a regular basis that he took his own uniform very seriously back when he was a player. Just the other day, in fact, he noted, with a discernible hint of pride, that the piping on his jersey and pants was always aligned. Asked by Cohen to name a teammate whose piping didn’t align, Hernandez thought for a moment and then said, “Doug Sisk.” And he was right!

Hernandez, in other words, is one of us, but he’s selectively myopic when it comes to his own idiosyncrasies. He’s hardly unique in that regard, of course (I think we’re all guilty of that a certain degree), but it’s funny to hear it when he’s talking about Uni Watch.

As for the Mets’ record while wearing camouflage last year, that’s a question that can’t be answered on Uni Watch — we don’t track MLB records by uniform. It can be answered, however, over on SportsLogos.net, a site that Cohen apparently isn’t aware of (and whose existence Hernandez would no doubt find doubly flummoxing).

That Mets/Cards game, incidentally featured a particularly uni-notable moment when Mets reliever Alex Torres came into the game. Torres, as you know, is the player who wears that protective halo over his cap. But the Mets have, like, eleventeen different caps, so Torres wears a different halo for each one. For weeks now Phil and I have been wondering what his camouflage halo would look like, and last night we found out (screen shot by Phil):

As you can see, his camo halo isn’t actually camo — it’s just khaki. Naturally, I see that as a big improvement, and of course now we can all make our “Why does Alex Torres hate America?” jokes, but it is surprising that Pinwrest, which makes Torres’s padded halos, didn’t use camouflage fabric. I’ll try to find out why — stay tuned.

• • • • •

T-Shirt Club — June design now available: Last week I gave you a sneak peek at the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s June design. That shirt — the “black for black’s sake” design, sure to be a conversation-starter with people who’ll be puzzled by the “BFBS” NOB — is now available.

This shirt, incidentally, was instrumental in the creation of the T-Shirt Club. Last November, when Teespring designer Bryan Molloy first contacted me with the idea of designing a few Uni Watch shirts (this was before we’d come up with the idea for a monthly club), he said, “I’d really love to do a black one. It’d look great!” And I said, “Yeah, but come on — I’m always criticizing teams that go BFBS. I can’t start doing that myself!” So Bryan mocked up a shirt with “BFBS” on the back, which I thought was pretty damn clever, and that’s when I started thinking, “Oh, we can do all sorts of designs, even ‘bad’ ones, as long as we call them out as such.” Then it becomes part commentary, part art project, and very meta, all of which I found appealing. And that’s how the T-Shirt Club idea was born.

Okay, enough backstory — let’s take a look at the June shirt (click to enlarge):

Here’s everything you need to know about this shirt and how to order it:

1. You can purchase the June shirt on this page. (Ignore the bits about “reaching our goal” and the “campaign being successful” — that’s for Teespring clients who use T-shirt sales as fundraisers.) Domestic shipping is $3.85 for the first shirt, $1 for each additional shirt; Canadian shipping is $9.50 for the first shirt, $4 for each additional; shipping to other international destinations is $12.50 for the first shirt, $4 for each additional.

2. As you can see on the ordering page, you have a choice of American Apparel or Hanes. Their tailoring and sizing are slightly different, so use the size chart button to see which shirt is best for you.

3. This design will only be available through next Tuesday, May 26, 11pm Eastern. (That’s one day longer than usual, because of the Memorial Day holiday.) After that date, the shirt will not be offered for sale. All shirts ordered by then should be delivered by June 10, and in many cases well earlier than that.

4. We want the July shirt to deliver in time for Independence Day, so it will launch on June 9. I’ll preview it on the site the week before that.

5. After we finish selling the July shirt, I’ll check to see how many people have bought each design, so I have a sense of how many people are in eligible for the year-end bonus prize. Once I get a sense of the numbers involved, I’ll have a better idea of how to proceed with the prize.

I think that’s it. Again, the June shirts can be purchased here. If you have any questions, give a holler. Thanks.

(Special thanks to Teespring designer Bryan Malloy for all his great work with the T-Shirt Club designs.)

• • • • •

Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Leading off this week some great art on the cover of this 1953 NFL yearbook.
This is a proven fact: If it’s NFL retro, I love it.

Let’s see what else we have this week:

• Here’s a Dave Boss poster I’ve never seen before, featuring the San Diego Super Chargers. You’d almost think this was painted from a John Hadl/Paul Lowe photo, given the jersey numbers. Never seen this Raiders poster, either. That same eBay seller has several other Boss posters for sale, including this Bills poster. Usually the featured team player is doing something heroic, but in this case he’s getting sacked!

• Did we say John Hadl? Here he is sporting classic uni and helmet look on the cover of The Sporting News from 1968.

• I have a set of ABA Kentucky Colonels Pro Star Portrait thermal cups with the Volpe art. Here’s a set for our then-arch-rival Indiana Pacers. What’s interesting here — and I had forgotten about this — is you could also get a full-size poster featuring all the photos in the set, as well as a collector’s album. I don’t think I owned those, though.

• More ABA: Take a look at the logo in the top-left corner of this 1968-69 Miami Floridians media guide. Great cover art on this Minnesota Pipers guide, too.

• From reader Will Scheibler, here’s a game-worn Rollie Fingers jersey from the West Palm Beach Tropics. Definite Dolphins vibe here.

• I don’t think I’ve ever seen gumball helmets for the USFL before, but here’s one for the L.A. Express. Speaking of gumball helmets, this NFL set is impressive, and look at the helmet stripe on the CB Browns.

• Here’s a 1970s NHL Mini-Sport kit that’s never been assembled.

• Always liked the “roster” pennants. I had one for the 1975 and 1976 Reds for their Series wins, but this Reds pennant for the 1961 World Series against the Yankees was a bit before my time.

• Nice design on this 1969 NFL Pro Bowl ticket stub.

• Here’s a lot of 16 different Mets pennants from the 1960s and ’70s.

• Not sure when this “vintage wood oil painting” was created, but it provides an interesting take on a late-1960s Cubs uniform.

Follow Brinke on Twitter: @brinkeguthrie

• • • • •

Phone case reminder: In case you missed it last week, the Uni Watch smart phone case, shown at right, is now available. Additional details here, or just go straight to the ordering page.

• • • • •

Accursed color update: Yesterday’s Purp Walk went well — lots of purple-centric membership sign-ups, and people seemed to enjoy the site’s one-day purple makeover. My thanks to all who helped make the day a success. The next Purp Walk will take place on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.

• • • • •

Baseball News: Lots to like in this old photo of Ty Cobb talking to some kids. Cobb’s sweater, the kids’ caps, everyone’s knickers — tasty (big thanks to Austin Gillis). … Louisiana-Lafayette softball pitcher Christina Hamilton wears Major League-style glasses on the mound (from John Gogarty). … At first I thought Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson’s cap was splitting along a seam or something like that yesterday. But when I posted that photo on Twitter, people quickly pointed out that he’s actually wearing a red headband beneath the cap (thanks, Mike). … Here’s a set of uniform trackers for the SEC teams (from Kevin Ives). … Astros P Lance McCullers made his MLB debut last night and wore Batman logo shoes for the occasion. … 1906 Fresno Raisin Eaters throwbacks upcoming for the Fresno Grizzlies (from Jared Buccola). … When the Marlins moved Dan Jennings from the GM’s suite to the manager’s office yesterday, people jokingly said, “Will he wear a tie?” And the answer turned out to be yes! (Thanks, Mike.)

NBA News: Here’s a really good article on the logistics, economics, and psychology of NBA postseason T-shirt giveaways. As you might imagine, I take a pretty dim view of the way teams pressure fans to wear the tees (using the scoreboard to shame your paying customers into dressing like everyone else seems particularly odious), but the larger phenomenon of these tees is definitely interesting. Recommended reading. … This is pretty great: A bunch of Philly-based actors who play Ben Franklin in various contexts were asked to assess the Sixers’ new Dribblin’ Ben logo (from Tom Hirt). … That same artist who’s been doing great representational drawings for each round of the NBA playoffs has done a new set for the conference finals (thanks, Mike).

Soccer News: “Football League in England (2nd-4th division soccer) has new sleeve patches for its promotion playoffs,” says BW. … Valencia players showed concern for the Nepali earthquake victims by wearing Nepali NOBs, with the jerseys being auctioned off for relief charities (thanks, Phil). … Steven Gerrard will be playing for the LA Galaxy soon, but he’s not a Galaxy player yet, so he refused to sign a fan’s Galaxy jersey after his final game for Liverpool (from @holycalamity).

Grab Bag: Pitt will apparently have new football uniforms in 2016. … Students at Texas A&M were so upset about the school’s recent change to the beveled logo that they changed the school’s entrance sign (from Greg Keith). … New logo for Northern Colorado athletics. … The Obama administration’s newly announced ban on federal agencies providing military equipment to local police departments includes a prohibition on “certain types of camouflage uniforms.” … As you may have noticed, Triple Crown hopeful American Pharoah’s name does not have the proper spelling of “pharaoh,” which has led to lots of typos as editors mistakenly impose the “correct” spelling onto his name (from Brian Spiess). … You know how many apps and websites (but not this one) have those three lines that indicate the presence of a menu? That’s called a “hamburger icon,” which I didn’t know until I read this article about it (thanks, Brinke). … “With Dave Letterman doing his final shows this week, it seems appropriate to share this pic of him and the Comedy Store basketball team in their unis from 1976,” says Phil Johnson. “Here’s the related blog entry with the backstory (and a whole lot more).” … A rugby team in New Zealand had its uniforms stolen. … A North Carolina boy was banned from his prom because he wore his grandfather’s kilt. … ’47 Brand is selling a line of MLB and NHL caps with rainbow team logos for gay pride (from Matt Porges). … Oooh, check out this L.A. Rams bowling pin! That’s pretty good — someone should DIY a full NFL set! (Big thanks to Larry Brunt.)

Purp Walk

Welcome to 2015’s installment of Purple Amnesty Day — or the Purp Walk, as I’m calling it this time around — the one day of the year when we grudgingly acknowledge the world’s most accursed color. I’m getting hives just typing this, so let’s get started.

People sometimes say I have “purplephobia.” But as I explain to them, that’s not the case, because “phobia” means fear. I don’t fear purple; I loathe purple. If anything, purple should fear me.

So then people ask why I dislike purple so much. As I always explain, I actually think purple in nature is quite nice — violets, plums, eggplants. But purple as a human-imposed design element has always struck me as tasteless and tacky. It’s the diva of colors, the Celine Dion of colors — loud, abrasive, never content to do just enough when it can do way too much.

And I’m not alone. As a culture, we seem to understand purple’s tackiness. Not a single U.S. state uses purple as one of its official colors, and only one country on Earth does so (that’s Finland, and they only use purple as a secondary color). It’s no accident that we rarely see a purple house or a purple car. Now if we could just eradicate purple clothing, accessories, and yoga mats too.

But do I think teams like the Vikings, Rockies, and LSU should stop wearing purple? No, of course not — they chose their colors and now they’re stuck with them that’s part of who they are. And so today Uni Watch grits its collective teeth and salutes this most loathsome of hues and its adherents with a three-pronged purple program, as follows:

1. As always, Purple Amnesty Day is the one day of the year when I’ll accept orders for Uni Watch membership cards with purple-inclusive designs. So if you’ve been waiting for your chance to order a card with a Ravens, Kings, or Northwestern motif, now’s your chance. As of 3am Eastern tonight (to allow a full day’s worth of ordering opportunity for folks on the west coast), the door will slam shut and you’ll have to wait until next year’s Purp Walk.

2. If you look very closely, you may notice that a few elements of the website that usually appear in green — my favorite color — are purple today. I find this more than a little distressing (think of battery acid being poured in your eyes, then multiply it times 1,000, and then imagine that happening all day long), but I’m trying to tell myself that it’s a therapeutic form of torture or something like that. Assuming I don’t slit my wrists in desperation, the site will revert back to normal tomorrow.

3. Teespring designer Bryan Molloy, who’s been working with me all year to create the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club designs, has created a spectacularly hideous Purp Walk shirt. It is not part of the T-Shirt Club program (no sleeve patch, no back design) and does not have to be purchased in order to qualify for the “collect ’em all” year-end bonus prize. It’s just a little something for all you purple-philes out there. Dig (or shudder, as the case might be; click to enlarge):

Appalling, right? The shirt is available here until 3am Eastern tonight (again, to allow a full day of opportunity for west coasters). And then I’m going to do my best to forget it ever existed.

That’s it for this year’s Purp Walk. If you need me, I’ll be over in the corner, curled up in a fetal ball and slowly rocking back and forth.

(Major thanks to Scott M.X. Turner for coming up with the term “Purp Walk,” and to webmaster John Ekdahl for his assistance in changing the site’s look for today.)

• • • • •

A very interesting memorial patch: The Royals wore Kansas City Monarchs throwbacks yesterday as part of their annual salute to the Negro Leagues. For the most part, it was a very nice production: The uniforms were beautiful; they had added visual interest provided by uniform numbers on the upper-left thigh; everyone went high-cuffed with stirrups (although some of them appeared to be two-in-ones); the team went the extra mile by providing Monarchs batting helmets (and those helmets were matte, which felt like the right move, because the real Monarchs didn’t even have batting helmet); and even the groundskeepers had throwback outfits. Here are some photos from the game:

The Royals asked their opponents, the Yankees, to take part, but the Yanks declined, opting instead to make a donation to the Negro Leagues Museum. Both teams, however, wore a “28” sleeve patch (click to enlarge):

That patch was a memorial for Ernie Banks, who played for the Monarchs in the early 1950s before joining the Cubs (and who, of course, died last winter). So the Royals and Yankees added a sleeve patch for a player who never played for either of them, and in the process imposed a contemporary sleeve patch onto a throwback uniform even though that patch was never worn by the original team. I don’t think we’ve ever seen a patch that fit those descriptions before.

I’m not opposed to any of this, especially because I suspect many people didn’t know Banks had played in the Negro Leagues, so the patch is educational. But it’s definitely a different approach than we’re used to seeing. Thoughts?

• • • • •

PermaRec update: I’ve written about all sorts of found objects over the years. But until now, I’ve never written anything about a found coffin (shown above). Get the full story over on Permanent Record.

• • • • •

Phone case reminder: In case you missed it last week, the Uni Watch smart phone case, shown at right, is now available. Additional details here, or just go straight to the ordering page.

• • • • •

Baseball News: LSU softball helmets have inspirational messages along the brim. The first letter of each words spells out “Tigers” (from Jay Vean and Jimmy Thomas). … 1971 throwbacks yesterday for the Rochester Red Wings. … The newly relocated West Virginia Black Bears will unveil their new uniforms today. … Tristan Ridgeway notes that former MLBer Hubie Brooks used to wear Brooks footwear, which had the company’s name — which was also Hubie’s surname — on the back of the shoe. “Must have looked nice with his NOB,” says Tristan. … The Mets will be going G.I. Joke for tonight’s game against the Cardinals. Fortunately, I already have other plans for the evening. … In a related item, Kansas desecrated the flag over the weekend. … Josh Hamilton, working himself back into shape in the minors wore mismatched pants yesterday (and, yes, also a mismatched helmet, but that’s standard for MLBers who are rehabbing in the minors, because all MiLB helmets are double-flapped and the MLBers are allowed to keep wearing their single-flapped big league helmets while rehabbing). … I like this Nashville baseball jersey display, which is apparently at a local library (from Lee Wilds). … The Pensacola Blue Wahoos wore really cool alternate jerseys on Saturday. The sublimated artwork on the jersey was created by local artist Guy Harvey. The jerseys will be auctioned off to benefit the Pensacola Museum of Art — a nice change from the usual charities (from Kourage Kundahl).

NFL News: More and more colleges and high schools are using impact-recording sensors in their players’ helmets, but that technology hasn’t yet been used in the NFL, in part because the players’ union has some concerns about it.

Hockey News: Looks like Alexander Ovechkin has been wearing his Capitals gear under his Russian uniform at the World Championships. … Sometimes kitsch crosses over some invisible tipping point and becomes beautiful, as in the case of this Blackhawks fan.

Soccer News: Everton’s new kit has leaked (from Andrew Rader). … Another problem with DayGlo uniforms: They fool the ad boards (from Timothy Burke). … “Liverpool players all took their end-of-season lap of honor wearing Steven Gerrard’s No. 8 jersey in honor of the departing captain (and wore next season’s New Balance jerseys instead of this year’s Warrior shirts),” says Yusuke Toyoda. … Also from Yusuke: “A British radio commentator creates a detailed — and beautiful — pre-match cheat sheet for every match.”

Grab Bag: A play currently on Broadway features a lot of spanking — like, really hard spanking — so the costume director had to come up with padded underwear that could protect the actors’ derrieres while also preserving the authentic sound of a spank. … Saturday night’s middleweight title bout between Gennady Golovkin and Willie Monroe Jr. took place at the Forum in Inglewood, California, so Golovkin wore Lakers-colored gloves, trunks, and footwear. … Over in the UK, the Liberal Democrats party may scrap their logo after their recent poor showing at the polls. … The Rochester Knighthawks — that’s a box lacrosse team — are wearing NY Rangers-inspired jerseys and shorts this season. … My friend Lara Cohen informs me that the Brannock Device — aka my Very Favorite Object, which I like so much that I have it tattooed onto my arm — appears in the new Mad Max movie as the gas pedal on the “war rig.” I was kinda on the fence about the movie, but now I might have to see it. … Love this bike with a design inspired by the five Olympic rings (thanks, Brinke). … One observer thinks Aussie football teams have too many alternate jumpers. … Speaking of Aussie football, the Greater Western Sydney Giants have unveiled their jumpers for the Indigenous Round, to be held on the last weekend of May (from Graham Clayton). … Someone out there has gotten himself a Yankees-Jets-Devils mash-up tattoo. … Here’s weird one: In China, Michael Jordan is losing a fight for the trademark rights to his own name (thanks, Brinke).

• • • • •

What Paul did last night yesterday afternoon: I love Staten Island pizza. In fact, my Very Favorite Pizza in all of New York City is in Staten Island (that would be the very wonderful Joe & Pat’s), and there lots of other Staten Island pizzerias that I also like. But last July I read a New York Times article about a Staten Island pizza joint I hadn’t been aware of. It sounded good, so I put it on my list. And yesterday, accompanied by my friends Jon and Karen, I finally went to check it out.

The short version: It was good but not amazing. Afterward, we went for a few beers at Liedy’s Shore Inn, the century-old tavern on Staten Island’s north shore that has a bit of a David Lynch vibe. As we were parking down the block, I noticed two adjacent businesses with interesting signs. The first was for a tire repair shop whose sign painted apparently had some sort of problem with the uppercase “I”:

I’ve seen signs where all the vowels were lowercase, but I think this is the first time I’ve seen one specific letter singled out for the lowercase treatment. And I kinda like it, because the dots on the “i”s make the whole thing feel more playful. I like.

Next door to that was an auto body shop with the worst (read: best) name ever:

All in all, a fine outing — good pizza, good drinks, good signage sightseeing!

M's & BoSox Wear Throwbacks to Honor Negro Leagues of 1946

Sawx Ms

By Phil Hecken

Last evening the Seattle Mariners and the Boston Red Sox played a throwback game to honor the Negro Leagues. The Mariners played as the Seattle Steelheads, while the Red Sox played as the Boston Royal Giants. The teams said the year to which they were throwing back was 1946.

The uniforms were plain for both teams, although Seattle’s had some side piping down the pants. Boston’s uniforms were gray with navy trim, with blank blue caps. Seattle went with a creamish color for their uniforms with “Seattle” across the front in black block letters trimmed in gray. Their cap had a cream “S” and was black. Of course (and thankfully) both teams went NNOB.

Take a look (the first three are from Seattle Mariners photographers Ben Van Houten and Kaia D’Albora, and are tremendous hi res). Click all images to enlarge:

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Nice right?

Interviews with players seemed indicate both teams were pleased to wear the throwbacks.

One thing was very disappointing. Some of the Red Sox wore their regular helmets for this game:


It’s troubling because the Mariners had blank helmets prepared for the Red Sox, some chose not to use them. I was tipped wise to this well before the game by Kevin Martinez, who is VP of Marketing for the Mariners, who told me:

One thing you might notice is there are no logos on Boston’s caps or helmets by design. Unfortunately, we learned last night that some Boston players may not wear the new helmet as they are more comfortable with their everyday helmet. I guess it has something to do with all the pine tar that’s on their everyday helmet though I’m not sure. We will see what happens but know we have helmets in the dugout to match the turn back uniforms.

Of course there were several Red Sox who played along and wore gorgeous stirups, and some who did wear the blank helmet. The Mariners also had some guys high cuffin it.

It would be nice if everyone could wear the stirrups (and I’ve noticed that other teams, for their Negro League throwbacks do seem to all wear high cuffs with stirrups or socks), and I was surprised some of the Sox wanted to wear their regular helmets. Other than that, it was a great looking game.

You can see more photos here.

[Big thanks to Kevin Martinez and Nathan Rauschenberg of the Mariners. They had sent me a ton of photos from the game, but my Internet connection was spotty and slow, so I was only able to download the three I ran today]

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And now a few words from Paul: Hi, people. Nine years ago today I clicked “Publish” and posted the first entry on this website. At the time, the site was an experiment — I didn’t know if there was enough uni-related news out there to sustain a daily blog format. And even if there was, I wasn’t sure I wanted to produce and process all of that content on a daily basis. If anyone had told me that the site would still be going strong nine years later, or that we’d have published something almost every single day during those nine years, I would have laughed.

But here we are. To everyone who supports the site in any way, whether by guest-writing, submitting Ticker items, commenting, or just reading, please accept my thanks for your interest in my little project. And please join me in thanking the rest of the Uni Watch team — webmaster John Ekdahl, “Collector’s Corner” columnist Brinke Guthrie, interns Mike Chamernik and Garrett McGrath, and of course weekend editor and bench coach Phil Hecken — whose crucial contributions and behind-the-scenes efforts make Uni Watch a better place.

We usually mark the site’s birthday by having Purple Amnesty Day — the one day of the year when I accept orders for Uni Watch membership cards with purple-inclusive designs. But since the birthday fell on a Sunday this year, I’ve moved Purple Amnesty Day to tomorrow. There’ll be some surprises, too — you’ll see.

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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.

Our old colorizing friend George Chilvers is back with just a single colorization today. You’ll never guess for which soprt.

Here’s George (click to enlarge):

. . .

Poland v Hungary 1929 Central Europe Cup colour - George Chilvers

Poland v Hungary 1929 Central Europe Cup

Hi Phil,

Let’s take the Amazing Colourising Time Machine for a weekend spin, and we’ll set the dial to 1929, and the place to Krakow in Poland where we can clarify a slight issue.

You see the caption to this picture says it is 1929 Poland v Hungary, Central European Cup. But there was no such game – on 4 August 1929 Poland played Czechoslovakia in that tournament in the Cracovia Stadion, the game ending 2-2.

So we can ask one of these gentlemen who they were playing. I speak Polish so I’ll do the talking. You just admire the magnificent shirt badges.


Thanks George! Great stuff — as always!

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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 Jason Baublitz with a Ravens concept:

Ravens - Jason Baublitz


This is my concept for a new Baltimore Ravens uni. I wish the would switch to black jerseys for home and Purple for alternative. What part of a raven is purple anyway?

Jason Baublitz

. . .

And we close today with Alex Struck who has a slightly new look for Arizona’s baseball team:

Diamondbacks Concepts - Alex Struck

Hi Phil,

I have a Uni Concept for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Their current uniforms are pretty bland, and the “Dbacks” moniker is bush-league. So I created a Home, Road and Alternate uniform that is more in line with the Southwest’s style and the Diamondback’s history.
Using Copper and Turquoise in their color scheme invokes Arizona’s history of copper and turquoise mining, and give a unique southwestern flare that has been missing from the Diamondback’s uniforms since they went conservative and dropped their original look for “Sedona” Red.

Thank you,

Alex Struck

. . .

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

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EPL Tracker

Each Saturday or Sunday, Alex Gerwitz will be tracking the kit combinations (shirt/shorts/socks) of the teams in the English Premier League from the previous weekend and the current weekend.

Here is the EPL tracker for Weeks 36 & 37 (click to enlarge):

EPL Tracker Weeks 36 & 37

Alex adds: This week’s tracker. Also, here’s a link to my season ending team recaps, the first 7 are completed and the rest will be done as each team completes their final away game.

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Check out this old Ron Cey photo/uni. Says submitter Alex Allen, “My brother-in-law came across this photo while watching his son play AAU basketball at Mt. Tahoma High School in Tacoma, WA.” …”Starting them wrong young,” read the e-mail from Dustin Semore, who adds “Pajama pants AND a random colored digi-camo for a little leaguer. Difficult to see, but it looks like the numbers are ironed on, so the digi-camo is visible under the numbers. There’s no piece of this uniform that is remotely pleasing to the eyes. Except that a youngster is playing baseball. He just has to learn how to properly dress for the occasion.” … Tweeter Keith Leventhal notes the “Interesting move by the #MNTwins to give away hats in #Rays colors while playing the Rays.” I think this had been discussed in the comments and the caps aren’t necessarily in Rays colors. Hey Arr Scott, you know more? … Here’s a look at the Durham Bulls in C3PO uniforms yesterday (via Tim Flynn). Here’s a bit more on that. … The Rock Cats were also doing the Star Wars thing (via Christopher Hurtgen). Here’s another look. … Vanderbilt broke out some gorgeous gray unis yesterday (h/t Tres Lawless). … The Savannah Sand Gnats wore Pink Jerseys for Pink in the Park (from Jeff Berger). … The Reds broke out their camo unis yesterday. Says Brinke, “Watching the Giants at Reds tonight, I pointed to the camo and she said, ‘those look like someone threw up on him’.”

NFL/Football News: “RIP Garo Yepremian” says Douglas Ford. “Check out the navy blue jersey Garo is wearing on the 4th card. Is that a pro -bowl jersey? If so, that is some whack font.” … The Arizona Rattlers of the AFL used the Las Vegas Outlaws logo from the XFL during their game last night (thanks to Cody Bryant).

Soccer News: “My buddy Michael Hitchcock invested in English football club Alfreton Town back in January,” writes Jonathan Collura. “They just changed the logo (which depicts town namesake King Alfred). The king was on the club’s original badge back in 1959. They also have a fan vote for next season’s kit (by U.S. manufacturer UN1TUS (the same company did his PFL kits).”

Grab Bag: Via twitter, James Gilbert writes, “Don’t think this is a good idea.” It didn’t take long for ESPN to run this: Under Armour stops selling shirt bearing similarity to Iwo Jima Memorial (thanks, Paul). … This is neat. Clint Richardson is into Auburn Uniforms. “Think you’ll like this,” he writes. “Lately, I’ve been working on documenting every Auburn football, baseball, and basketball uniform. It’s been in spurts with school and all, but I finally finished every Under Armour design – and combination for baseball – since they took over for the 2006 season. They’re all my site, under their own tab, but here are the individual links: Football, Baseball, and Basketball.” … Goodyear had Support the Troops tires with pink lug nuts (thanks to Clark Ruhland). … Check out this grooms cake of Wrigley Field! (nice find by Coleman Mullins). … The New England Revolution went with special military appreciation tops last night (from Mike Slavonic).

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Let me be the first to wish Paul, and Uni Watch, a HAPPY NINTH ANNIVERSARY! It’s amazing what you’ve done and how UW continues to be the place for those who Get It™. Congrats, buddy! Here’s to the next nine!

And that’s all for today. Thanks to the M’s guys, George, Alex, the colorizers and anyone else who tweeted or e-mailed. You guys have a great week.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


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“Grey skies clear up if you let them.”
–Marty Hick

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