Getting Ready for Friday Night Lights

DBS 550

By Phil Hecken

Today I’m pleased to have one final guest entry — and this one is timely, since it’s about teams of which I know very little — Texas High Schools. I remember seeing Varsity Blues on cable (several times, as I had one of those magic boxes back then), and I’ve heard of Friday Night Lights (but have never seen it), so my knowledge of Texas high school football is pretty limited — but I do know some of the teams have better uniforms than some colleges, and some of the stadiums in which they play cost more than the GDP of some small countries. So it’s a big deal.

Back before I started my weekday subbing for Paul, I put out the call to see if anyone wanted to pitch a uni story to me to run during his sabbatical — I received a few (and I’ve run most — some just didn’t get in because of a lot of breaking uni news), and this one will run today because it’s timely — the Texas High School Football season starts tomorrow (Thursday night lights?). Anyway…I want to introduce Christian Berumen who joins me with his…

. . .

RANKING THE TOP 10 TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL UNIFORMS
By Christian Berumen

First off my name is Christian. I live in Amarillo, Texas, and have been reading the stories on the website for over 5 years now. I contacted Phil when he put the call for guest entries while Paul was away and I wanted to do a ranking of some sort in football and I figured what a better way then to rank my top ten Texas high school football uniforms, and to top it off the season kicks off this Thursday — so let’s get started.

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10. Caprock Longhorns

Caprock Home Caprock Road

This is # 10 not because they have great uniforms, but because they are my alma mater, which will always have a place in my heart as my senior class led the school to its first playoff game in thirty-five years. I feel like I had a hand in getting these jerseys for the the team because I pitched the idea of those jerseys to our coach at the time.

__________

9. Amarillo High Sandies

Sandies Home Sandies Road

As a few other teams on the list, the Sandies have a uniform that has a classic look to it — it has gold pants with two black stripes and one white stripe the jersey has seen a few updates to it but has stayed on the conservative side. The jerseys are plain black and white, with the numbers being bold in the opposite color of the jersey and the neck and cuffs are gold, and in all capital letters the name AMARILLO is on the jerseys. the helmet is white with one black stripe and a black face mask with a sandstorm connected to an a and the word Sandies on top.

__________

8.Cibolo Steele Knights

Steele Home Steele Road

The Steele Knights are a team that is as simple in the color scheme as it gets, with the school colors being black and white. The uniform is made by Adidas which I hate because of the tread marks and the cutting the sleeves; and also how do you mess up the UCLA stripes? Back to Steele — the helmet has the team logo on on side and number on the other the jerseys are plain black with white numbers on the sleeves, and black numbers for the white jerseys. Both pants have the school logo on the left hip area and the Adidas logo on the other hip area.

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7. Katy Tigers

Katy Home Katy Road

The Tigers and Nike make the red and white look better then Adidas makes Nebraska look Katy just like Steele have one helmet, two jersey’s and two pants. The helmet is white with two stripes and a Tiger with the word Katy on each side. Both jersey’s say Katy on the chest. Have the numbers on the shoulders in either white or red. The pant are either all red or all white with the Katy logo on them.

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6. Lake Travis Cavaliers

LT Red jersey 120813 prep lake travis 2

I call lake Travis the high school equivalent to Texas tech university when it comes to uniforms because they have the same colors and same apparel company (Under Armour). They have two helmets (black and white); they have four jerseys: red, which has white numbers in the shoulders and a black stripe; black, which has a red and white stripe from the neck area to the sides and has Cavaliers on the chest with white numbers on the shoulders; white, which has black numbers outlined in red on the shoulders; it also has Lake Travis on the chest in red, and two stripes from around the arm holes; and, grey, which as the black jersey has the stripe from the neck down to the sides. The black, red, and white pants all have weird lines In the back of the pants, kinda like Hawaii, while the grey has a thin black line that turns red as it curbs to the back.

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5. Odessa Permian Panthers

Odessa mono home Odessa mono white

Permian has a simple color scheme: black and white. They have stayed with a simple look of white helmet. Mono home is something I despise, but somehow they make the mono black and mono white work. I like every now and then they go opposite color on pants to break up the mono uni combination.

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4. DeSoto Eagles

NS_23wixon8AJ.jpg DeSoto White

DeSoto has about as many uniform combinations as Baylor in my opinion, as they have a full black uniform and also have a gold jersey with barely readable numbers. And a white with gold numbers. They have two helmets that I’m aware of: gold, black and a third helmet that is to come at a later point in the season.

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3. Cedar Hill Longhorns

Cedar Hill Black Cedar Hill White

The Longhorns switched from Nike to Under Armour as the team uniform provider this offseason. The red uniform is a clean look that won’t be good on the eyes. The black uniform as a whole could’ve used more color in the pants, and the white uniform has a clean and simple look the one thing I would recommend is please don’t go mono color.

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2. Euless Trinity Trojans

Euliss Black jersey Euliss White jersey

The Trojans of Trinity have what I call a simple uniform combo: one helmet with two jerseys and two pants. The helmet is black with a T on each side. The jerseys are black with red outline around the numbers, and white with the same treatment on the numbers. Your pants are the basic black and white pants from Nike.

__________

1. Allen Eagles

Allen Navy Blue Jersey Allen White Jersey

The Eagles from Allen have been in the news lately. Whether it’s from having to play a season away from their new stadium because of structural issues or because they have won there third straight state championship, but they make the list at number one because I like how they utilize their color scheme of navy blue, red, and white. Here is the blue helmet. Added to the mix last year is a white helmet which was the year the team has won a state championship and has the school mascot eagle on it. They have three jerseys. Two blue and one white. The first blue jersey is a navy blue jersey with white numbers outlined in red and Eagles on the front. The second jersey is a lighter blue jersey with navy sleeves. The white jersey has the USC stripe but in blue. The pants are navy blue and white with ALLEN going down the side of each pant leg.

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And there you have it. Thanks Christian.

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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 usually appears on the weekends, but has appeared every Wednesday in August, while I hold down the fort during Paul’s sabbatical. It will be returning to its usual Saturday spot in September — Phil.

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

. . . . . . . . . .

Classic Ballpark Scoreboards – Series II
by Gary Chanko

In this edition of Classic Scoreboards we venture over to Detroit for a look back at a historic ballpark at the site where professional baseball was played since 1896.

Briggs Stadium (1938-1960)

Briggs Stadium_UW

Baseball and Football Home of: Detroit Tigers (1912-1999), Detroit Lions (NFL) (1938-1974), Detroit Panthers (NFL) (1925-1926)
First Tigers game: April 20, 1912
Last Tigers game: September 27, 1999
Current Status: Demolished 2008-2009

The old ballpark was birthed in 1912 and known then as Navin Field after its owner Frank Navin. When Walter Briggs became the franchise owner in 1938 the name was then changed to Briggs Stadium. And, finally in 1961 the site became Tiger Stadium. But for Tiger fans, it was simply known as The Corner, after its location at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull.

For more about the evolutionary history of Briggs Stadium you will want to read this SABR article.

The Navin Field scoreboard was located in left field and reflects a common scoreboard design layout used by Osbourne Engineering in many of the engineering and construction firm’s early ballpark projects.

The 1930s series of expansions created the upper decks and the manual scoreboard in centerfield.

In 1958 this hand-operated scoreboard (although a few electronics were added in the 1940s) above the bleachers in center field was replaced by an electronic version. It provided out-of-town scores in the left and right wing sections, and (of course!) an analog Longines clock.

The illustration captures a game played on July 14,1944 between the Tigers and White Sox. The records show the game was completed in an incredible (by today’s standards) 1:19!

A Few Things to Know

• The first games at Navin Field and Fenway Park were played on the same date.

• Lou Gehrig ended his playing streak of 2,130 games at Briggs Stadium on May 2, 1939.

• Among the quirks of Navin Field (and its successor ballpark names) was the 125 foot tall flag pole in left center field. The pole was actually in the field of play. The centerfield flag pole in Minute Maid Park outfield is similarly in play, as well as Comerica Park prior to 2003. Today the old flag pole remains it its original position as plans develop to preserve the site.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

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…More on the Steelers Gold

Got the following e-mail from Christopher Wade who was intrigued by the Monday ticker/research from Bill Schaefer which mentioned that the gold in the Steelers’ uniforms for 2015 more closely resembles the gold in their helmet stripe than did the 2014 unis. Here’s that e-mail (click photo to enlarge):

Hey Phil,

Regarding [Mon]day’s NFL note about the Steelers helmet yellow not matching the sleeves or the pants, those 4 photos piqued my curiosity.

I imported the 4 photos into Photoshop and in each photo, tried to find examples of ‘Steeler yellow’ in each of 3 areas – helmet stripe, sleeve and pants. I was looking for areas that weren’t too bright from sunlight highlighting nor too dark form shadowing. In the photo, you’ll see where I pulled the 3×3 color samples from, trying to find matches. (why 3×3? because the areas on the sleeve and the stripe were so small in some of the photos, and I wanted to be consistent)

In the attached photo, you’ll see 3 color swatches for the 4 photos, appropriately labelled. In the last photo, from this year’s pre-season, I also sampled the Packers yellow for comparison. That photo was the hardest to use as it’s oversaturated from the sunlight. The transition areas from highlighted to shadowed is very small.

Steelers yellow

It appears that the Steelers have done something to try to match the colors more consistently, though this is far from a scientific sample. It was a quick and dirty 30 minute job.

Hope you find this useful. Love the site.

Chris

Nice work, Chris — thanks for sharing!

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Here are some beautiful photographs of Camden Yards throughout the years (thanks to Andrew Cosentino). … “Didn’t realize Mississippi was spelled with that many S’s” says Josh Claywell, in another unfortunate case of jersey lettering crossing the rubicon and forming unintended spellings (a problem we’ve seen on the RAAYS and D-BAACKS among others). … The Frederick Keys will be donning these “Art in the Park” jerseys on September 5th (via MiLB Promos). Also from MiLB, here’s a look at the throw jerseys the Great Lakes Loons will be sporting this Sunday. … Great look at Alex Torres’ protective ring (still from the Mets) on top of his Las Vegas 51s cap (great find by Andrew Constant). … The Brooklyn Cyclones will be wearing these today for Sidd Finch night (h/t Erick Fernandez). … Reader Brian Kerhin writes, “Remember the Uni rant against the Wisconsin TimberRattlers military jerseys? They wear it as a badge of pride in the last program.?” But — dammit — UNI WATCH is two words! Is that so hard? … Last night, J.A. Happ was wearing the Pirates alternate hat with road grays (h/t Zack D’Ulisse). … As we all eagerly await the ChiSox ’76 throwbacks, we get (possible) awesome news: Shorts for the coaches? (thanks Paul). … Also from Paul, check out this baseball related Politico cartoon (PL notes that both Biden and Clinton are depicted as lefties). … “Phanatic” tweets, “Nevr knew talent that guest starred on Mr. Belvedere episode. Mays, Aaron, Mantle, Killebrew, Bench, Jackson & Banks!” (thanks to Patrick Stickney).

NFL News: “Pretty rare I find a facemask I’ve never seen before, but just as rare to find a pic of (Fred) Biletnikoff wearing a mask other than the single or 2 bar mask we all know,” writes Gene Sanny. “Pic is labeled as 1974 — maybe he had a facial injury for a while there, because he wore the 2 bar after that again.” … In a new DirecTV commercial (which I have not yet seen), in which Randy Moss is the pitchman, there is a picture of a jersey he never wore (via Tyler Wiederhoeft). … Here’s a good look at the 50 Yard Line numbers for the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium (h/t James Gilbert). … As they always do (don’t), the Steelers are not wearing front helmet numbers during the preseason; they will return for the first game (thanks, Paul). … Tweeter Blake Bollinger asks, “Any idea what’s going on with the Bears nameplates in Madden?” … For readers of Uni Watch, this is quite possibly the easiest quiz ever. I expect everyone on here to get that question correct! (Be honest, if you DIDN’T get it correct, what year did you think it was?). … Andrew Corsentino writes, “Justin Forsett picked his number, 29, after heavy deliberation with Arian Foster and Ben Tate.” … Mike Wissman says, “Forget Matt Barkley. Forget Tim Tebow. God and the Eagles have found their third string quarterback.” Um…Third String? I’m guessing at the very least he starts. … Oooohhh, check out the Frosted Flakes socks on T.J. Ward (via Cody). … Remember the Oilers? Here’s the Astrodome, converted for football (great pic from Super 70s Sports).

College/High School Football News: Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) has upgraded their uniforms. … If your goal is to make your field look like dead grass, well, then I guess you’ve succeeded. That’s the Belle Vernon High School field in Pennsylvania (thanks to Douggie Keklak). … Here’s a look at the unis for the Montana Grizzlies for 2015. The orange jersey is a throwback celebrating the Griz’ 1995 I-AA Title (from Eric Witts). Here’s some video (from Brett Clark), who notes they “include some GFGS for the Granite Game.” … “Noticing from several Aggie FB Life tweets, there seems to be a trend with the practice (and media day) jerseys,” writes Susan Freeman. She didn’t specify, but I’m guessing it’s the three stripes on the shoulders. … The McNeese State Cowboys will be doing a “Camo jersey reveal this Thursday at 6″ (thanks to Chris Mycoskie). … The U (Miami, that is) has new back bumpers this year for all their Riddell football helmets (h/t Christy). … Notre Dame’s stadium renovations include a new scoreboard and a better view of Touchdown Jesus. … Speaking of Notre Dame, their Shamrock Series jerseys have arrived (from Warren Junium). … Good piece from the Gray Lady: “Under Armour Seeks to Do for Maryland What Nike Did for Oregon” (thanks, Paul and Tommy Turner).

NBA/College/Basketball News: In what I assume is a screengrab from a video game, is Madison Square Garden using blue paint for the key (they’re currently orange); from Hit The Glass). … There will be a few upgrades at Cassell Coliseum this year for the Virginia Tech Hokies (from Andrew Cosentino). … If you won the ABA MVP award, you got this sweet jacket (great find from Super 70s Sports). … Tennessee State University has a new court design. Here’s the old design, and here’s the new one (from Oscar Cullom).

Hockey News: Here’s a look at what is purported to be the New York Rangers 90th Anniversary Patch (which appears to be just an updated on-ice 85th logo) — thanks to Chris H.. … Via a Reebok catalog, the sweater crests for the Avs-Wings 2016 Stadium Series game (h/t Conrad Burry).

Soccer News: Interesting font (particularly the “A”) in this jersey, which will be worn by Mario Balotelli of AC Milan (nice spot by Tim Cross). … Bayern Munich sure know how to take a team photo (from Tim Cross).

Grab Bag: Late Night Uni-spotting: From the 11/14/1985 episode of David Letterman, check out Chris Elliott’s awesome tube socks and a Lawrence Taylor jersey in the crowd (thanks to Douglas Ford). … Here’s a time-lapse video of Clint Bowyer’s Darlington car being painted (by hand!) with a throwback/tribute paint scheme (thanks to Chris Hickey). … A group of rugby fans have protested against Saru by burning Springbok jerseys. … Effingham County High School will keep using the nickname “Rebels,” (making sure that sports uniforms have an “E” rather than a caricature of a Confederate soldier), but will not take any other action on the topic, leaving two drawings of the Confederate soldier on signs inside the school, letting the band play “Dixie” and letting students carry Confederate flags at sporting events. … From 1983 to 1987 the WAFL had both a 25 metre and 50 metre arc marked on the field, as seen in this footage of the 1987 Grand Final between Claremont and Subiaco. From 1988 onwards, only the 50 metre was marked out (from Graham Clayton). … Curt Schilling, who got into a bit of hot water over a tweet yesterday (and more, and has since been suspended from his LLWS duties), is also an ardent uniform collector (not of the sports variety though).

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And that will do it for this fine Wednesday. Thanks to Christian for his Texas HS rankings, Gary for his scoreboard feature, Chris for the Steelers gold update, and to anyone who tweeted or sent an e-mail for the ticker. Paul will be back tomorrow for a very special post (his annual College Football uni preview runs Thursday on ESPN — probably my second favorite column he does each year [after the Baseball preview], so be sure to come back early and often once it goes live). You guys have a great day!

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“I’m a little disappointed in the lack of sideline tarp coverage here…can we get a rundown of the top tarp designs in the ACC at least? We know my Heels are #1, but who else?”

–Dan T.

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A Look at Team License Plates

[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from the site and will return in September. Daily content is continuing under the direction of deputy editor Phil Hecken, who’s running the site this month. Our lede today was prepared by Mike Chamernik]

Mike here. I got a good email from Michael Doucette a little while ago. I’ll let him explain the work he did.

As One Who’s Got It longer than almost anyone anywhere, I figured Uni Watch would be the right place to share this “collection.”

I moved from New York to the Northern Midwest, and I drive in and around Chicago a lot. I started to notice cars with Chicago Blackhawks-themed license plates and thought they were just so cool. They were red like the team’s home jersey, and even had the white and black stripes like the jersey does — one of the top three or four jerseys in pro sports in my opinion, by the way.

That piqued my curiosity into other sports-themed plates. I put together a collection of all the pro sports-themed plates I could find on the web. I included the four major sports and MLS. And I only looked at states’ official DMV websites, to try to get as “official” as I could.

Pro Sports License Plates

Here are some of my favorite observations:

• The Blackhawks plate is still my favorite, but I think it’s now tied for first with the Brewers throwback plate.

• I think Illinois and Texas finish 1-2 as best state collections. I love that Texas has “alternate jersey” versions for most of its teams (even the dreaded BFBS).

• I think it’s awesome that New York has a Brooklyn Dodgers plate.

• Rhode Island goes Green Monster for its Red Sox plate.

• It was interesting to see when states didn’t offer plates for certain teams. Arizona doesn’t have a Coyotes plate, and DC thankfully doesn’t have a Washington DC Football Team plate. No Pacers plates in Indiana or Rams in Missouri.

There’s also a larger collection of miscellaneous sports license plates that I collected. Examples include a ton of NASCAR varieties, plates commemorating each sport’s hall of fame, those encouraging youth golf, and a plate for an Iditarod finisher.

+++

Mike here again. Excellent stuff from Michael! I had a few observations myself.

• Delaware has a Flyers plate in the state’s blue-and-gold color scheme.

• Massachusetts’ Celtics plate shows the old green-and-white logo, which I actually enjoy a bit more than their current logo.

• New Jersey has plates for 10 teams.

Every state’s complete history can be seen here. I’ve always loved license plates. When I was little, I had a book that showed the plate for each state and every Canadian province. I was transfixed, and that was even before sports logo plates existed.

My grandma must have a soft spot for sports-themed plates, too. She has a Chicago Bulls one. Her vanity plate is her nickname with the number 1 — for her favorite current player, Derrick Rose.

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

NFL
Click to enlarge

This one was up a few weeks ago on eBay but it was scheduled to end before the next Tuesday morning- but now it’s back, and that’s good for you! A terrific late 1970s NFL/Pop Tarts promo poster with all the helmet stickers included! This is a big one, too- 24″ x 18″.

• Check the totally groovy artwork on this mid 1970s NFL/Avon soap-on-a-rope; got some vague reverse Rams action there.

• Here’s a 1970s Baltimore Orioles helmet bank c/o your friends at Hardees.

Houston Oilers Helmet Buggy– still on the card!

• Guess they ran outta room for a full facemask on these 1970s “modern NY” NY Giants stickers.

• Notice the lack of BFBS on this 1970s Detroit Lions Cliff Engle sweater.

• Remember “Sport” magazine? Joe Morgan and Pete Rose have their game faces on complete with Bicentennial patches on the sleeve, on this 1976 cover.

• This 1960s KC Chiefs plastic football looks to be in perfect shape.

• Remember the artwork on these packages? This auction is just for the wrappers (must be pre-1972, shows Senators) for those MLB/Fleers cloth patches. Loved those, AND the gum, too! (Which, as I recall, was not quite as generous as the Topps gum was.)

• Sock ’em, White Sox- with this 1970s pocket mirror.

• Killer graphics on this 1976 Chicago White Sox ticket brochure.

. . . .

Follow Brinke on Twitter @brinkeguthrie.

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Uni Watch News Ticker
Compiled by Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: Why was Andrew McCutchen doing all he could to shield his mouth on Sunday night? He chipped his tooth during the game. Also within that story it is confirmed that Cutch wears a cut-off sock on his arm (from ‏@redbuppy). … @JameRockT7L says that Cubs OF Jorge Soler has “Eyes on the can!” written under the brim of his helmet. … Great mix here of stirrups, camo and an all-turf field. … We’ve read about some of these details before, but Todd Radom wrote a good piece on the 1976 White Sox uniforms. Speaking of the White Sox: Awesome!!!! Here’s a sneak peek at the ChiSox 1976 throwbacks (via C.D. Tatak). … Toyota, a new Cubs sponsor, will put its logo on the Wrigley marquee.

NFL News: New logo for Monday Night Football. … Tom Brady will become the face of Under Armour (from Brinke). … The Falcons released some renderings of their new stadium (also from Brinke). … The Bears unveiled a George Halas statue.

College & High School Football News: Ball State will have six helmet designs this season. … Miami unveiled its new Adidas uniforms (from Phil). … New uniforms for New Mexico (from Phil). … Iowa will wear alternate uniforms against Minnesota in November. … After a three-year hiatus, San Diego’s Kearny High School once again has shoulder stripes. The jerseys were even better back in the day, like in 1989. The Komets started wearing the stripes in 1961 but stopped in 2012 because of a pedantic rule (thanks, Stephen Grooms). … Boise State’s new mobile app allows you to customize uniform options (and much more) — thanks to James Gilbert. … Hmmmm — check out these helmets for the Hirschi Huskies in Wichita Falls TX (via Isaac Collins).

NBA News: After Kobe Bryant injured his hand in late 1999, he wore a glove during games to protect it. More info here. … A clothing company called Almanac Brand makes hat with NBA teams’ championship years on them. The font of the numbers is in the style of the teams’ jerseys. I like them. … John Weber found a T-Wolves-esque jersey in a thrift shop in Japan. “I think it reads ‘B’HURUGLUB'” he says. … A designer created a logo for every NBA team over the course of 30 days. Like every unofficial redesign, some are good and some are really bad. But, none of them look authentic, you know? Can anyone explain what qualities separate fan logo concepts from the real deal designs? (Thanks, Gorden Cromer).

College Hoops News: Xavier’s new court has the Cincinnati skyline on it (from Andrew Cosentino). … New court for Illinois (from Josh Sanchez).

Grab Bag: New anniversary jerseys for the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets (from Phil). … Here’s a first look at the World Club Cup 2015 logo. … Wisconsin-Green Bay signed a deal with Adidas (from William Sentowski). … The designer who created the Nike swoosh was paid only $35 for it in 1971. … Hockey jersey ads are gonna suck, right? Well, here’s an article that doesn’t think so.

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Phil here — thanks to Mike and Michael for the lede, Brinke for his Collector’s Corner, and Mike (again) for handling the ticker. Back with more tomorrow…should be three good columns to close out the week (including one from Paul). Everyone have a good Tuesday!

Peace.

.. … ..

“For Hallowe’en in 3rd grade, I dressed as Mr Red (Running Man, no mustache, it was 1984)…Anyway, my mom made the head out of papier-mâché from my Spider-Man Hippity Hop. In hindsight, I wish I still had the Hippity shop since I outgrew the jersey a log time ago.”

–MJ

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'Radom Thoughts' - Logo Case Study #3 - Mr. Red

[Editor’s note: You guys may recall that in previous summers I had Morris Levin pen some guest columns for Uni Watch, but unfortunately, he won’t be able to do so this year; I asked uniform and logo designer Todd Radom if he’d share some of his logo case studies during Paul’s vacation, and he happily obliged. This is the third, and final, in that series, and I’m sure you guys will enjoy it. — Phil]

– – –

MR-RED_53_LOGOSports Logo Case Study #3 – Mr. Red

By Todd Radom

The third in an ongoing series of entries about vintage sports identities. Sports fans, as I have often said, are the most ardent brand loyalists on the face of the earth. There are stories to be told here at the intersection of art, commerce, history, and fandom.

The Cincinnati Reds claim the title of “America’s Oldest Baseball Team” and their Mr. Red mascot has been a part of the Cincinnati franchise for 60 years.

The origins of Mr. Red are rooted in the anti-Communist “Red Scare” of the early 1950s. In April 1953 the team announced that they would henceforth be known as the Cincinnati Redlegs. One newspaper account stated that while the team didn’t cite a specific reason for the name change, “there’s been some freestyle guessing that the political meaning of the word ‘reds’ might have something to do with it.”

Oddly, the club’s traditional wishbone-C logo containing the word “Reds” continued to be used on home jerseys through the 1955 season.

Mr. Red made his first appearance in this March 4, 1953 item in The Sporting News. He also appeared on the cover of the 1953 team yearbook and served as the visual centerpiece of the press pin issued for the All Star Game that summer, played at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field.

1953-REDLEGS-NAME MR-RED_53

Mr. Red was definitely a five-tool player. He appeared throughout the ’50s and ’60 in a variety of poses, fielding, hitting, catching, pitching, and flexing his muscles. He even rode an airplane into outer space.

MR-REDS-MANY-POSES

His first on-field appearance came in the form of a sleeve patch in 1955. He migrated over to a larger role on the team’s road uniforms the following year. An article in the April 25, 1956 Sporting News describes him as “an emblem of a baseball made it into the face of an old-time player, complete with a black mustache, surmounted by an old-style square cap around which are two thin black stripes.” Although it took a little while for him to be commonly known as Mr. Red, he became entrenched almost immediately after being introduced. (He is also referred to as “Cincy Red” in a 1967 yearbook.)

1956-REDS-UNIS Mr Red stacked

While the team’s popular mustachioed mascot continued to be used as the official logo, club officials made it known that the name of the franchise would revert to “Reds” in February 1959. The new/old name served witness to the National League pennant winners of 1961. The decidedly retro, traditional Mr. Red would represent the team through the 1967 season. The Reds fielded some good, competitive teams during the mid ’60s, but the logo had to have started to seem like a relic from a very different era—even in conservative Cincinnati.

1959-REDS-NAME 1967-ASTROS

A New Mr. Red

The seeds for a new Mr. Red were planted as early as 1961, when a running version of him appeared in the team yearbook. In 1968, going against all trends of the times, he lost his trademark handlebar mustache (it was also around this time that the Reds instituted what would become a 32-year ban on players wearing facial hair.) This new version of Mr. Red, the “Running Man,” coincided with three World Series championships—the 1975 and 1976 wins for the “Big Red Machine” and the 1990 upset of Oakland.

RUNNING-MAN

Running Man was retired after the 1992 season when the Reds dropped him from their primary logo. He was flipped around and brought back as a sleeve patch when the team changed their uniform designs in 1999. Most recently, a refreshed Mr. Red that is very closely based on the 1953 version was introduced in 2007.

MANY-MR-REDS

Living Mascots, Humanoid and Otherwise

According to a 1982 newspaper article, the first live Mr. Red mascot was introduced in 1973 at the suggestion of the wife of team CEO Dick Wagner. This costumed mascot was supplanted by owner Marge Schott’s St. Bernard dogs in the late 1980s but was reintroduced in 1997.

MR-RED_1973

MODERN-MR-RED

Split Personality

The Reds now employ two similar mascots who are descended from our 1953 guy. The first, known as “Mr. Redlegs,” was made-over from the original logo art and reintroduced in 2007. He is described as “barrel-chested…with (a) well groomed handlebar mustache and bulging muscles” The team’s clean-shaven “Mr. Red” returned in 2012 after a 5-year hiatus.

Let’s wrap things up by celebrating Mr. Red and his six decades with some additional imagery from the glory years of the ’70s—an era in which Mr. Red cooked, listened to a transistor radio, and went nuts over 4 NL pennants.

MR-RED-COOKS

REDS-RADIO REDS-HOT

– – –

Phil here — thanks Todd! As previously mentioned, Todd is curating a show in Chelsea (the show itself began this past Saturday, August 22nd, and continues thru September 19th), with a reception on Thursday, September 10th. It will definitely be worth checking out (hopefully Paul and I will both be there on the 10th) if you’re in and around the City towards the end of August/beginning of September. Hope to see some of you there.

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Uniform (kit) issue with Manchester City on Sunday – Was Fabian Delph wearing Frank Lampard’s shorts?

Got an e-mail from Andrew Flynn yesterday and it’s pretty in-depth, and for those of you who are soccer/football folks, pretty interesting — even if you’re not into the Beautiful Game, it’s still pretty cool. Dig:

. . .

I know the Premier League isn’t in the daily wheelhouse, but thought this was interesting. Soccer is a bit different, in that the visiting team doesn’t always have to wear their “Away” jerseys, only when there’s not enough contrast to the home squad. Because of that most teams wear their second kit maybe one game in three or four. Normally, Everton (royal blue) and Manchester City (sky blue) contrast enough to allow both to wear their primary kits.

However, in Sunday’s match against Everton, Manchester City wore this season’s shirts, and last season’s shorts. Last year, the shorts were sky blue with a navy stripe, while this season’s shorts are white with a sky blue stripe. Both are Nike, but the blue color of this year’s shirts is a slightly different hue than last season’s, as seen in the first photo below.

I’ve searched everywhere and not seen it mentioned in the news, but my guess is that Everton (the home team) also wears (royal) blue and white shorts, so apparently City had to have shorts of a contrasting color (there was no issue last week with Chelsea (also royal blue) as they go monochrome):

Man City 1

This seasons’ kit last week against Chelsea (also the same as worn in Week 1 against West Brom) with 2015-16’s white shorts with blue stripe:

Man City 2

Last Season’s Kit (against Manchester United):

Man City 3

All of this means that when new arrival Fabian Delph (#18) entered the game yesterday in the final minute, he was quite possibly wearing a pair of Frank Lampard’s 2014-15 shorts (#18 last year):

Man City 4 Man City 5

Hopefully interesting to you and the readers. Thanks,

– Andrew Flynn
Chandler, AZ

. . .

Good observation, Andrew — sounds plausible too!

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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 usually run this feature on the weekends, but since I’m running the show during Paul’s sabbatical this month, I’ll probably (or at least as long as guys submit to me) run these once a week during August. Got several today, from our friends Bruce Menard and Chris from ManCave:

Click any photo to enlarge

Enjoy!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First up is Bruce, who sent three:

1947 (Aug21) Jackie Robinson steals 2nd vs Reds  (edit)8comboW - Bruce Menard

z1947 (Aug21) Jackie Robinson steals 2nd vs Reds BW vs  COLOR W - Bruce Menard


Hey Phil

Yeah, I guess there has been a lot of colorizing lately.
The reason why is that I’ve been re-posting (Twitter/Facebook) my edits from years past and I’m trying to make them a bit different so I’m not just repeating myself. Since they’re already edited/cleaned up, adding some color to them isn’t nearly as time consuming.

I’ll attach the Jackie Robinson one from today, such a great action shot!
Here’s the text I used in my full post:

Rookie Jackie Robinson Steals 2nd Base
⚾ 68 Year Ago Today – Ebbets Field, Brooklyn – August 21, 1947
~ (Wire Tag) “Robby Steals Again – Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers steals second in the fifth inning of game with the Cincinnati Reds Aug. 21 as catcher Poland’s throw goes into the outfield. Watching the ball is shortstop Eddie Miller of the Reds. Robinson went to third on the error. Umpire is Jocko Conlan. Dodgers rallied for four runs in this frame to beat Ewell Blackwell, 8-1, as he went after his 20th win.”

. . .

And the other two from Bruce:

1951 (Aug19) Eddie Gaedel Browns Bench (2015x)3Brd  tagW - Bruce Menard

zz1951 (Aug19) Eddie Gaedel Browns Bench BW vs COLOR  W - Bruce Menard

Phil,

Here’s the Eddie Gaedel St. Louis Browns colorization (August 19, 1951) – before/after comparison and the text from my full post:

Eddie Gaedel On The Browns Bench After His MLB Debut
⚾ 64 Yrs Ago Today – Sportsman’s Park, St. Louis – August 19, 1951
~ (Wire Tag) “Midget On Brownie Bench – Chicago stunt man Ed Gaedel sits between catcher Matt Batts (left) and pitcher Jim McDonald on the bench in the Brownie dugout during the second game of a doubleheader with the Detroit Tigers today, August 1951, in Sportsman’s Park, St. Louis, MO. The three feet seven inch midget had just drawn a walk when he appeared in the Brownie lineup as a pinch-hitter for outfielder Frank Saucier. Umpire questioned his eligibility, so Gaedel trotted back to the dugout and brought forth his signed contract for proof.”

. . .

1938 (Aug16) Babe Ruth Sings Brooklyn Dodgers (color by  BSmile) - Bruce Menard

1938 (Aug16) Babe Sings BrkDodg BW vs COLOR W - Bruce Menard

I didn’t send the 1938 Babe Ruth Brooklyn Dodgers colorization, or did I?

Anyways, here’s that one – with before/after. I went for more of a color tint look rather than a photo realistic look here (which is what I generally go for). Here’s the full text too:
Babe Ruth & The Brooklyn Dodgers Bums Belt Out A Tune
⚾ 77 Years Ago Today – Polo Grounds, NY – August 16, 1938
~ (Wire Tag) “Dodgers Quartet Eludes The Heat With Song – Despite the broiling sun, this Brooklyn Dodgers quartet burst into song and forgot about the heat as they relaxed at the Polo Grounds, August 16th, where the Dodgers beat the Giants, 7-3. Left to right: Tuck Stainback, Buddy Hassett, Kiki Cuyler and Babe Ruth.”

–Bruce

And finally, a pair from Chris from ManCave:

Hal Chase - Mancave

Fred Lake - Mancave

Phil,

Today’s colorized portraits are of Hal Chase, when he was with the Federal League Buffalo Buffeds, and Fred Lake, when he was managing the National League Boston Doves, in 1910. This one of Fred was made for his Great Granddaughter, who says that she has a lot more photos of him from a trunk that was fished out of a dumpster just in time.

Chris

. . .

That’s it for today. Great job, Bruce & Chris!

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LAST CALL — T-Shirt Club reminder: Today is the LAST DAY to order the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s latest offering — the road grey shirt — which is available here. Obviously, this one is pretty straightforward, but it’s still plenty handsome. In fact, it’s arguably the nicest design we’ve done so far (click to enlarge):

Again, this shirt is available here, but only until 11pm Eastern tonight. There’s additional information about how this shirt fits into the larger T-Shirt Club program here. Thanks.

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: CBS evening news did a story on a Maine vintage baseball club’s game (from Paul Dillon). … The Boston Celtics’ Bill Sharman never actually played in the majors, but looks good in a baseball uni (from Phil Lawson). … On Friday night, Andrew Roman was watching a replay of a play in the Tigers/Rangers game, and noticed that Alan Trammell was wearing #3 again. He points out that Ian Kinsler also wears #3 and wonders how long this has been going on. These sets of tweets may help explain things (from Michael Hersch). … The Washington Nationals are giving away nesting dolls on September 3rd. (here’s more on that, with thanks to Andrew Hoenig). … Do you remember the Mets white (“Good Humor”) caps from 1997? Well, if you don’t, here’s a primer. … With all the talk of the White Sox ’76 throwbacks this week (and the fact they won’t be wearing shorts), here’s the 1975 Sacramento Solons, a AAA club who also wore shorts (nice find by RoryJ). … Reader Tony Caliguiri saw this Roberto Clemente batting helmet and asks, “Never noticed my buccos used these, any info on whether this was a one off for Clemente or if the whole team used them?” I know we’ve seen these before (and the Cubs still use them), but that’s a great artifact! … According to this article, the Blue Jays are no longer wearing “road grey uniforms” (I’m assuming the author means the tops, since I think they’re still wearing the gray pants on the road) — Thanks, Paul. … After all the A’s hosiery hijinx over the past few days/weeks, Domenico Delgado points out there is “finally a normal pair of stirrups for the A’s.” … Look at the odd spacing between the “A” and “N” of the Rangers’ Jeff Bannister (screen shot by CJW). … Yesterday was the Andy Pettitte number retirement ceremony at Yankee Stadium and here’s a look at the patch the team wore (via Bruce Menard). On Saturday, the Yanks did the same for Jorge Posada. … The Tulsa Drillers had some interesting uniforms on Saturday night. … Terence Kearns asks, “Rockies’ Castro have an oddly spaced NOB?” — I was watching the game, and noticed it as well. … Tweeter Curtis Galvin is not pleased with these LLWS brims. … Last night, Andrew McCutchen was wearing what appears to be part of a printed stirrup sock on his right arm (via Alex Iniguez).

NFL News: Looks like this could be the new Breast Cancer Awarness sideline cap (shown for the Chiefs), submitted by John Ternest). … The New Packers Hall of Fame comes to life in this video (h/t Mitch Purcell). … Mercedes-Benz already has applied its name to the Superdome, and now it will add their name to the new Atlanta Falcons stadium which is still yet-to-open (thanks, Brinke). … Something called “Musket Fire” (guess it’s a Patriots blog) on FanSided ranked the top 12 NFL unis. … Check out this great custom 8-bit Eagles iPhone background (from Jesse Reis). … Here’s a patch covering a patch — that’s the Patriots’ Chandler Jones in a local furniture ad in official jersey w/NFL shield covered (nice spot by Ted). … Interesting Steelers gold helmet stripe information from Bill Schaefer, “The Steelers helmet stripe began as a match to their less-than-yellow pants and sleeve stripes since the early 70s. Even as recent as last year, the stripe doesn’t match the rest of the team’s yellows.” Bill continues, “However, in photos of both last week’s game in Jacksonville and [yester]day’s game vs Green Bay, the stripe appears to now match everything else.” … Oops — a local Indy station screwed up the Colts helmet (should be, and has always been, a single stripe). Nice spot by RTB. … “Check out #29 Jaquiski Tartt. I’ve never seen a swoosh on a compression sleeve before (certainly not on RG3) and couldn’t find a mention of it anywhere. Is this new?” asks Ron Amadeo. “It’s pretty awful considering it’s 1) bigger than the swoosh on the damn uniform and 2) at a totally wacked-out angle (and the opposite direction from the shoulder swoosh). This is from the 8/23/15 preseason game.” More from Ron: “Another compression sleeve oddity: #11 Quinton Patton has a vertical stripe running down his sleeve. Doesn’t the NFL have rules about what can and can’t be on the sleeves? I thought only solid white or a solid team color was allowed.” … Outline or no outline? Check out the inconsistencies with the Gold 50 yard markers (h/t Interstate 44).

College/High School Football News: According to @MSUHailState, Mississippi State will have new maroon pants this season. … The Miami Hurricanes don’t (at least not yet) have an alternate helmet, but that didn’t stop FanSided from asking if they could win with ‘alternative’ helmets. … Here’s Tim Dunn with more on Wyoming: “Looks like they’re trying to have the Football number font match what the Basketball team has. Haven’t seen Nike announce this one yet: Football.” Tim “Also found an interesting document, publicly filed apparently — the contractual agreement between Univ Of Wyoming and Nike.” … Bowling Green’s QB are sporting USMC patches/ads on their jerseys (h/t Joe MacQuarrie. … Texas A&M’s Ricky Seals-Jones is seen wearing Nike cleats in practice (from Ryan Bernal). … Remember the kerfuffle last week about the High School that wanted to honor fallen soldiers with NOBs, and was denied? Well, they’ve reached a compromise. … The Northern Illinois Huskies are going to wear gorgeous 1965 throwbacks. Here’s more on that. … Penn State is adding “Nittany Lions” to their neck bumper (thanks, Paul). … Illinois finally has their blue jerseys in. Couldn’t get them last year due to reported budget issues (via Clint Richardson). They opted for orange, white and the Gray Ghost over the blue jerseys. … Also from Clint, our first look at the new Tennessee State gray jerseys. … Here’s a look at Louisville’s 2015 unis. Seth Bloom has some nice, hi-def images of the helmet, and the red jersey, with closeups of the shoulder and pants.

NBA News: “As a Celtics fan growing up in the 80s, I always thought it was cool how Dennis Johnson had his name spaced out around the back of his jersey,” says Dave Flynn. “I particularly remember this on his home jersey, but I found a clip here from 1984 that shows it displayed that way on his road uniform as well [Here’s a still from the video — PH]. I recall him wearing it this way, on his home uniform at least, through the 85-86 season, but then changed to the normal alignment that the rest of the players had beginning in 86-87 and kept it that way for the rest of his career.” … The Grizzlies applied for an alternate “blacktop” court but the NBA turned them down (thanks, Mike).

Soccer News: Here’s a look at the new Peru kit, from Patrick Thomas, who notes they’re wearing Umbro. … These are the jerseys VT soccer will wear for 2015. … “Thought this was interesting pic of famous Manchester United players who have worn #7 over the years – can see the changes in fonts and kits,” writes Ted Arnold. … Army women have new soccer unis (from Geoff Holm). … This is cool: the pitch at Leicester City is cut in a plaid design (via Angelo Fico). … During the Man City v Everton match, one of the players got disappearing foam on his shoe (great grab by Chris Sorenson). … Oops — Jeremy Brahm noticed that Chelsea doesn’t sew its patches on. … Life imitating art (or something like that)? Here’s Danny Drinkwater, a midfielder for Leicester City, well, drinking water (nice grab by The Football Bible).

Grab Bag: Friday’s ticker featured a wonderful photo of the Beatles playing Comiskey. “So after playing Chicago the fab 4 headed up to Minnesota to play old Metropolitan Stadium, the then home of the Twins,” notes Jimmy Lonetti. “I came across this photo of George Harrison wearing a Twins cap. What is odd is that the colors of the T and the C on the cap are reversed. The T should be white and the C red. I never have seen this Twin cap variation before.” … Reader Chris Perrenot noticed the sweat ring on Tiger Woods’ cap, and thought it reminded him of the old Angels’ halo caps. … Couple things from David Firestone: As of 2016, NHRA Pro Stocks will lose their iconic hood scoops, Vincent Nobile posted a photo of how they will look. And, this is what they currently look like. … Cool mask for Semyon Varlamov commemorating the Avs 20th anniversary (from Christian Moffett). … Tiger Woods’ caddie Joey Lacava is obviously a Giants fan, notes Chris Perrenot. “Super Bowl logos and all.” … Johnny Dutch at World Champs searching for a shoe deal, uses tape to cover logos until he finds one (thanks Brinke). … And last but certainly not least (and this is awesome), from Gene Sanny: “Here’s a painting I did this weekend for a guy in the electric football hobby. He wanted throwback Buccaneers so I drew and watercolored Ricky Bell. A little homage to Jack Davis. Gotta love those orange unis :)”

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And that’s all for today — big thanks to Todd for the Logo Case Study, Andrew for the Man City bit, Bruce and ManCave for the colorizations, and any and all who tweeted or e-mailed for the ticker. Hope everyone had a great weekend. Enjoy your Monday (sorry). Cheers.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“Good God. For the next 3 months am I going to be subject to the stylings of sideline tarps in the ticker? Nip this in the bud.”

— Mainspark

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Tennessee State To Unveil Gray Uniforms Today

By John Ekdahl

From The Tennessean, Tennessee State will unveil new alternate gray uniforms today.

Tennessee State will unveil its new gray alternative football uniforms at its Fan Day on Sunday in the team’s indoor facility.

The event is scheduled for 2-5 p.m. Admission is free.

The Adidas gray uniforms have not yet been seen by the public. They have royal blue numbers trimmed in white and “Tennessee State” in white trimmed in red across the front.

New white uniforms also will be unveiled this season. Those have the state of Tennessee three-star logo on the sleeves.

The Tigers will wear the same blue uniforms they wore last season.

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Look who got some love from the New Mexico Lobos.


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In case you missed it, Washington Post columnist Clinton Yates takes a look at Paul’s Best-Dressed Cities rankings with a focus on his local teams in D.C.

As someone who spends way too much time looking at uniforms, Lukas is correct about the Capitals’ throwback. Why they haven’t gone to a navy blue alternate, similar to their practice jerseys is baffling. But to call the Nationals look hopelessly generic doesn’t make much sense. Would I like to see some sock stripes a la Seattle Mariners or San Francisco Giants? Sure. But there’s an argument that the Nationals’ look is classic, rather than simply boring. They’re a bit unfairly judged because they’re a new team with an old look, and they replaced the Expos, who have one of the best uniform histories in Major League Baseball.

Read the full column here.

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It’s not everyday you see a ballboy get his uniform dirty, but that’s what happened in Oakland last night (or was it Friday?).

The full story is over at MLB.com.

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New sideline tarps for UNC this season.


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T-Shirt Club reminder — only available until Monday: In case you missed it earlier this week, the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s latest offering — the road grey shirt — is now available for ordering, but only through Monday night. Obviously, this one is pretty straightforward, but it’s still plenty handsome. In fact, it’s arguably the nicest design we’ve done so far (click to enlarge):

Again, this shirt is available here, and there’s additional information about how this shirt fits into the larger T-Shirt Club program here. Thanks.