The Face of the Franchise Is Kinda Funny-Lookin’

As you’ve probably heard by now, the Mets found yet another way to embarrass themselves last week, as some idiot functionary in the team’s marketing department tried to get an online dating site to help stuff the ballot box for David Wright’s All-Star candidacy. (Among the many takeaways from that story is that our society is long overdue for a moratorium on the terms “reach out” and “blast.”)

Wright is obviously the best everyday player on the Mets, and arguably the best everyday player in the club’s history, so the team does its best to promote him as often as possible. This had led Wright to become known, somewhat reflexively, as “the face of the franchise,” a term that has become such a cliché that if you google Wright’s name in conjunction with the words “face of the franchise,” you get over 160,000 hits.

I’ve always found this “face of the franchise” term to be an unfortunate choice of words — not because it isn’t true, but because, as many of you are probably aware, Wright has an odd facial tic: He sticks out his tongue. A lot.

When does Wright stick out his tongue? A better question might be when he doesn’t do it. He does it while sliding, while preparing to slide, while diving for a ball, while celebrating a win, while leaving the dugout after a game, while taking a lead, while running the bases, while throwing, while preparing to throw, while high-fiving, while reaching, while swinging in the cage, while trotting off the field, while doing pregame calisthenics, while doing postgame interviews, while following through on a swing, while doing his home run trot, while getting set into fielding position, while fielding a ground ball, while fielding a throw, while playing the World Baseball classic, while hitting in the Home Run Derby, and even while just standing there. And trust me, that’s a fairly small sampling.

I want to make it clear that I’m not ridiculing or criticizing David Wright for sticking out his tongue. It’s obviously an involuntary reflex, and it has no bearing on his worth as a ballplayer (which is considerable) or as a person (which I’m not in a position to assess because I don’t know him personally, although he appears to be a stand-up guy).

But this site is about aesthetics. And from an aesthetic standpoint, Wright’s wayward tongue has always made me cringe. It looks undignified and embarrassing. As a lifelong Mets fan, it kills me that the face of our franchise our one marquee position player almost always looks like a goofball, or worse, when he’s shown in highlight photos or promotional settings. The rest of the country already thinks of the Mets as a laughingstock, and this feels like just one more thing the team can’t get right. (At least the Mets’ roster no longer includes Mike Pelfrey, who had some tongue issues of his own.)

Just last week I attended a Mets game, and between innings the scoreboard had one of those “Vote for David Wright in the All-Star Balloting” promos (I guess they have to run more of those now that the thing with the online dating site fell apart). It featured a really nice illustration of Wright — with his tongue out. Sigh. Give the illustrator props for accuracy, I guess, but I kinda wish he’d used a bit of artistic license and put the tongue back in Wright’s mouth.

Some of you are probably thinking, “Michael Jordan stuck out his tongue too!” Yeah, but Jordan’s outstretched tongue felt more like a stylish exclamation point, the cherry on top of his Superman sundae, while Wright’s tongue always looks more doofus-ish, at least to me. Maybe it’s just a matter of context: Everything Jordan did had a certain élan, while Wright is, frankly, a rather vanilla personage. (I don’t mean that as a criticism, either. It’s just a self-evident statement of fact.)

Back in 2006, Wright was asked about his tongue while appearing on Letterman and, to his credit, handled the questions gracefully. For the most part, though, his tongue goes unmentioned, even though it’s obviously, you know, sticking out there. I almost wish the Mets would embrace the tongue thing — build a marketing campaign around it, give it its own Twitter hashtag (or maybe its own Twitter feed), if only so it could stop being the elephant in the room. Like, it’s not going to go away, so why not embrace it?

But maybe I’m too close to this situation, because I watch Wright play all the time and think about the Mets pretty much every single day. For those of you who don’t live in New York or follow the Mets, does the tongue thing affect how you perceive Wright? And how would you feel if the best player on your favorite team had this same facial tic? Post your thoughts in the comments.

+ + + + +

Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

With this year’s MLB All-Star Game right around the corner, here’s a nice-looking promo bag from the 1979 game. [I’ll always remember that one: Lee Mazzilli of the Mets tied it with a home run and won it with a bases-loaded walk off of Ron Guidry of the Yankees. Didn’t get much sweeter than that for a certain young Mets fan. — PL]

Here are the rest of this week’s finds:

• I’d consider this one if it wasn’t so pricey — a 1968 Bengals glass with their first-season schedule on it.

• Did you ever have one of these STP decals on your school binder? In my Louisville elementary school, STP was standard operating procedure.

• Check out this 1960 Chuck Bednarik photo. This is what pro football should look like, my friends.

• This 1970s Wilt Chamberlain promo T-shirt for the phone company sure looks like Bill Russell to me. Either way, ya can’t miss with long distance. (What, no Skype?)

• Cool 1970s NHL poster alert, for the Blackhawks.

• Some vintage NHL logo action on these fitted bedsheets!

• This Esty-listed Houston Oilers poster says 1970s, but I think it’s from the 1960s. Same for this great Niners poster, which would look swell at Uni Watch HQ.

Seen something on eBay or Etsy that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.

+ + + + +

petty.png

Membership update: As of yesterday afternoon, all pending membership orders (including Josh Petty’s Marlins treatment, shown at right), had been printed, laminated, and shipped, so we’re fully caught up. This includes the last of the orders from Purple Amnesty Day. To those of you who’ve been waiting for your cards, my thanks for your patience.

As always, you can sign up for your own membership card here, and you can see all the cards we’ve produced so far here.

+ + + + +

Screen shot 2012-08-28 at 4.11.39 PM.png

Show & Tell update: Photos, stories, and participants from this month’s installment of Show & Tell are now available for your enjoyment on the Show & Tell website.

+ + + + +

What have we here? Why, it’s reader Alan Kreit modeling a spiffy new T-shirt. Not bad, am I right?

+ + + + +

Uni Watch News Ticker: Whatever your position on the ’Skins and their name, the issue is clearly part of the national dialogue now, as not a day goes by now without at least one article about it. Latest example: a thoughtful column from Miami Herald sportswriter Leonard Pitts (from Tommy Turner and Jerry Wolper). … Brewers will be wearing Polish uniforms this Saturday. … A well-placed source tells me that the amount Darrelle Revis paid to Mark Barron in order to get Barron to give up No. 24 was — get this — $50,000. Is that a record? Is it not even close? Has anyone been tracking these uni number transactions over the years? … Loads of new college football uniforms supposedly displayed in this video game promo clip, although I freely admit that I don’t have the patience to sit through the entire 35-minute clip. Someone who’s watched it says Ohio State apparently won’t have new uni (thanks, Phil). … Speaking of college football, new helmet striping apparently in the works for NC State. Those images both come from this new season ticket commercial (from Ryan Thompson). … Josh Reddick wore A’s logo stirrups on Sunday (from Andrew Gegenheimer). … A Tulane recruit has tweeted a photo of himself wearing what appears to be a new GFGS uni (from Andy Lopez). … Whoa, check out the placement of the captain’s “C” on this 1947 Bruins media guide cover (from Leo Strawn Jr.). … Pro wrestler CM Punk wore Blackhawks-themed gear on Sunday (from Trey Groce). … According to a libertarian website, one of the words that can get you flagged as a potential terrorist by the NSA is “Nike.” It’s not clear whether “Nike sucks” puts you back on the safe list, but here’s hoping (from Gregory Koch). … You know what the world really needs? The answer is definitely not “smartphone-charging shorts,” but that’s what the world is getting anyway (from Tom Mulgrew). … the Spanish national soccer team’s new jersey has the illusion of a deep V-neck collar (from Ricy Schmaker). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Here’s a really cool-looking Hartford Whalers-themed wedding. … The Seahawks have four players with Roman numeral “III”s in their names, although not all of them wear RNOB (from Kyle Hanks). … I’m still calling it Browns Stadium. … Does Tennessee need new football uniforms? Depends on who you ask (Phil again). … New aquarium-themed warm-up jersey — or at least I think that’s what it is — for the Erie Otters (from Terence Kearns). … The Wizards appear unlikely to change their name back to the Bullets (Tommy Turner again). … Novak Djokovic will unveil his Wimbledon attire at a Uniqlo shop today (thanks, Brinke). …

Father's Day Recap

Yesterday, of course, was Father’s Day. In case you missed it, Phil used the occasion to post something very, very special, which I strongly recommend to one and all. I’m very proud to have had it on the site yesterday.

Meanwhile, MLB players once again wore blue chest ribbons and, in many cases, blue wristbands and other accessories. Most of it was pretty straightforward, but reader Randy Allemann points out that Carlos Gomez of the Brewers, shown above, got a bit creative — or maybe just a bit stupid — by wearing his wristband down around his ankle. Has this ever happened before with a pink or blue wristband? Probably, but I can’t recall any specific instances. (The one case of an MLB ankleband that I do recall had nothing to do with Father’s or Mother’s Day. It was when Cards pitcher Jason Simontacchi wore a memorial ankleband for Darryl Kile in 2002.)

A few other notes regarding the blue ribbons and accessories:

• The Angels are already wearing a left-chest memorial patch for Dr. Lewis Yocum, so their blue ribbon patch sort of stacked up next to the memorial patch.

• The blue ribbons on the Nats’ jerseys were inside the space of the curly W.

• The Astros’ blue ribbons were positioned really high, because of the point of their star logo.

• As usual, the umpires wore the ribbons and wristbands too.

Meanwhile, as many of you have probably heard by now, there was a bit of a snafu at the College World Series, where the word “College” was misspelled on one of the dugouts:

Lots of people have already suggested that the extra “L” stands for “learning.” But here at Uni Watch, we know it stands for “greatness.”

Anyway, they eventually fixed it, as seen in this photo by reader Scott Ingalsbe:

+ + + + +

Uni Watch News Ticker: Phil Jackson and a host of others have come out in favor of the ’Skins changing their name (from Tommy Turner). … Meanwhile, more sportswriters are announcing that they will no longer refer to the ’Skins by their name (from Andrew Gladstone). … No confirmation on this, but a plausible-seeming source reports that Navy will be switching from Nike to Under Armour in 2014. … Absolutely brutal new third kit for Liverpool (from Michelle Martinez). … The Idaho high school that was going to stop calling its teams the Redskins has now put that plan on hold, pending further input from the public and the Native American community. … Memphis is inviting fans to vote on a new basketball court design. … Literature and Uni Watch collide in this note from Gregory Koch: “According to my high school English teacher, one of the many symbolisms of the title of Catcher in the Rye is that baseball catchers wear their hats backward when they catch, and so did Holden in the novel. Is this true?” I read Catcher in the Rye in high school like everyone else, but I don’t recall Holden wearing his cap backwards, and I doubt I’d have made the connection anyway. Anyone know more? … Under Armour’s presence on the golf course is increasing (from Tommy Turner). … Here’s something I didn’t realize (or maybe just forgot): In 1951, the Braves moved their Indian head sleeve patch from the left sleeve, where it was normally worn, to the right sleeve, in order to accommodate the National League 75th-anniversary patch (from Brian Codagnone). … The Canucks have a new farm team — the Utica Comets. Here’s an slideshow about their logo and uniforms (from Andy Bronson). … Here’s a slideshow from this year’s Congressional Baseball Game, with additional pics here (from Sean Walsh and Joseph Williams, respectivley). … There’s bunch of Bills fans on Twitter who call themselves the Bills Mafia (yes, very original). They’ve now come up with a patch to sew onto their jerseys (from Michael Sullivan). … Lots of readers are freaking out over the Eugene Emeralds’ new uniforms. … Here’s a breakdown of which bats are being used by the College World Series teams. … The Rays gave away jersey-styled aprons on Friday night. “Easily one of the best giveaways I’ve received at the Trop,” says Kevin Kleinhans. … Here’s former Chicago guitarist Terry Kath wearing a Chicago Cougars jersey in a 1977 performance (from Peter Fredrickson). … If you have to wear flag uniforms, I guess Flag Day is the day to do it. That’s what the Pensacola Blue Wahoos did on Friday. … Barry Zito was wearing last year’s BP cap for a recent TV interview (from Patrick Karraker). … Oregon State is wearing an awful lot of patches in the CWS, including separate patches for the Pac-12 and the Pac-12 championship. Also, as you can see, there’s a memorial patch that some players have and others don’t (from Trey Ashby). … What would you call this — a BroncGator? (From Jon Solomonson.) … Jay Heiple notes that Giants closer Sergio Romo stopped wearing his signature orange-striped socks a few weeks ago and is now going with solid black. Disappointing. … Munenori Kawasaki of the Blue Jays lost an eye black sticker during Saturday’s game against the Rangers (from Stephen Sickles). … Josephy Hiley’s 12u team got throwbacks and very nice Northwestern-striped stirrups. … Here’s a really good article about how players on the Browns don’t like the new NFL rule requiring thigh and knee pads. Recommended reading (from Liberty Bowman). … Reebok has come out with a sensor-equipped cap that can indicate when someone’s taken a strong blow to the head (from Tommy Turner). … Interesting combination of a gradient shell and a plaid helmet logo for Alma College, a D3 school. … New third kit for the L.A. Galaxy. “BFBS strikes again,” says Trevor Williams. … ” Went to the Custer Street Art Festival in Evanston, Illinois, and the White Sox had this display featuring some classic logos,” says David Firestone. “Also, they were giving away these White Sox Rubik’s cubes.” … “I saw a note from the local historical society that there would be a WWII military encampment that would include a women’s baseball game this past weekend,” says Nicole Haase. “We went to check it out and it was amazing — so much so that I’m already signing up to join a team. Here are the photos I took. The uniforms, which are gorgeous, are made by K&P Weaver. They have guidelines and suggestions for uniforms, gloves, and equipment (including how to black out manufacturers’ logos). And since a new uniform can take eight to 12 weeks to make, they have apparel suggestions for rookies.”

Uni Watch’s Highest Rating: Over the weekend I saw the new film Far Out Isn’t Far Enough, a documentary about the illustrator Tomi Ungerer. It was easily the best movie I’ve seen so far this year. If you’re familiar with Ungerer’s work, you know how important he is; if you’re not familiar with him, the short version is that he’s charted a highly improbable career path as one of history’s most important children’s book authors, a scathingly effective political posterist, and a great erotic illustrator. Turns out he’s also really charming on film. There’s a good review here, and here’s the trailer:

A Very Special Uni Watch Fathers Day

Fathers Day hed

By Phil Hecken

A very Happy Fathers Day to the entire Uni Watch readership!

I had originally intended to make this post about my father, who you may recall passed away almost two years ago (Paul wrote a beautiful eulogy that still brings a tear to my eye this day). And to a certain extent, it will be. But as things progressed (I’ll explain in a moment), this post morphed into a tribute to ALL the dads of Uni Watch.

This will be the second Fathers Day I will spend without my pop. It’s funny that the U.S. Open (golf) is always played over Fathers Day weekend, because that was one event (and particularly the final Sunday) I would always watch with my dad. He loved golf, and until he became ill a few years prior to his death, we played quite a bit together. We also worked two U.S. Opens (2002 and 2004, held at Bethpage and Shinnecock, respectively) together, and would have worked a third (2009 at Bethpage) had he not become too ill. But we watched every Sunday together, either at his house or on the course, for at least a decade.

His last Fathers Day, in 2011, he was in a nursing home. He hadn’t been doing too well in the prior couple of months, but he still looked forward to spending Fathers Day watching golf with me. When I arrived, he looked great, having convinced the aides to help him shave and he wore (what had become a very ill-fitting, due to weight loss) a special shirt I had given him several years prior, as a Fathers Day gift. I didn’t even know he had brought that shirt with him, but clearly he had thought ahead when he packed.

We watched and we talked, he in his wheelchair and I on the side of his bed, for hours. For those few hours, it seemed like old times again. We talked about my job, Uni Watch, the Mets — and golf — and we saw a new kid, Rory McIlroy, win. I knew who he was but pop, who hadn’t been following the sport that closely for the prior couple of years, didn’t know who he was. He was a Tiger fan (Tiger didn’t play that year due to a knee injury) and I was (and still am) a Phil Mickelson fan. He ribbed me pretty good in 2002 when Tiger won at Bethpage, and for a brief moment there, it looked like Phil would win in 2004. Tiger usually won everything, but Phil got a few victories at the Masters to at least give me some solace. But in 2011, we sorta had no dogs in the fight. But it was still a great time.

I didn’t realize when I left him that day he would be taken to New York Presbyterian, where he would spend the final weeks of his life, the next day. I think he knew, but he didn’t want to tell me, to worry me — and he looked so good that day in his spiffy new (and big!) shirt and all happy and shaven. I thought, even though I knew his illness was terminal, he just might beat it.

Once he was moved to NYP, things went downhill quickly and I was never alone with him again. He passed away on July 11th. But I will always remember that one, last, great day. And it was Fathers Day.

So, although I can’t tell you this anymore, Pop. I love you. And I miss you.

And maybe Phil Mickelson, on his 43rd birthday and still never having won the Open, can win this one for me. Tiger gave you four. I know you’re looking down and saying, “OK, just this once.”

Miss ya Pop.

~ ~ ~

Now, that (and it wasn’t short) is the condensed version of what I had planned to write for today. I was going to say how my dad taught me to catch, to hit — and he certainly instilled in me this uni watching gene I seem to have. But I’ve said enough already. Maybe next year.

I mentioned above that today’s post is a tribute to ALL the Uni Watch dads. It didn’t start out that way, but for that I owe a tip of the cap to one Uni Watch reader, Cort McMurray, who contacted me the other day with the following suggestion:

Hey, Phil:

I was thinking it would be kind of cool to invite Uni Watchers to share photos of their dads in sports uniforms this Sunday.

The attached image is my dad, circa 1956, running the 880 for the North Tonawanda High Lumberjacks.

Dad died in 1979 — I found this photo two years ago, while doing some research at the Historical Society of the Tonawandas.

I think you may have done something like this in the past. Feel free to use this image, if it fits your plans for the weekend.

Cort

I loved the idea, and I asked Cort if he’d elaborate a bit further, which he gladly did. What follows is Cort’s story, followed by those of many readers. I realized after receiving Cort’s story that I would have to limit the rest of us to just a few words — words I realize are probably very precious, and aren’t adequately expressed in so few syllables. If any of those readers who submitted photos want to elaborate in the comments, please feel free to do so.

Enjoy, and, to everyone reading — please feel free to share your own stories of your own father. It’s his day. Please click on any photo to enlarge.

.. … ..

Cort McMurray:

Cort McMurray - New York State Digital Library Cort McMurrah - photo(8)

This is a photo of my dad, taken from the May 16, 1956 edition of the Tonawanda News. Dad ran the 880 for North Tonawanda High School. He also played baseball, a hard throwing but erratic southpaw, and was fond of telling us that Pat Dobson, who went on to win 20 games for the Baltimore Orioles, was considered the second best lefty in the Buffalo area.

Dad died in 1979, after a brief, brutal battle with bladder cancer. He was a week shy of his fortieth birthday. I was sixteen when he died, the eldest of seven kids.

Dad and I were very different. As an adult, he was pretty much a well-muscled version of the kid running the 880, lithe and athletic, all fast-twitch muscles and energy. I’m built like a third-string offensive guard at a second-rate college, with all the speed and agility of a mortally wounded water buffalo. I loved sports; I just wasn’t any good at them, and the uniforms were the most interesting part to me, anyway. I was the only kid on the Swiston’s Beef-n-Keg Broncos to bring a book with him to football practice, because it was mostly just standing around, so why not read? It drove Dad nuts.

Losing a parent in childhood is like having part of your heart dipped in amber: you’re eternally trapped in so many of those usual adolescent conflicts and fears and crises of confidence that most people outgrow, the missing parent a shadow of loss and unresolved feelings at the edges of everything that happens.

That’s why this photo is precious to me. I found it two years ago, in the archives of a tiny historical museum in Tonawanda, New York. It is the only photo I have of my dad where he is not a bridegroom, or a father, or a hollow cheeked victim, wasting away long before he should have. He’s a kid, running, hitting the tape and winning another race.

I look at this photo, and I realize that in all the ways that matter, I am my father’s son. My races have been of a different sort, but like my dad, I run. I like to think he’d recognize that, and feel some satisfaction in the man I’ve become. There’s hope in that. There’s healing in that, and a sense that I am part of something grand and worthwhile.

My father has fifteen grandchildren he’s never met. Some of them are excellent athletes, like their grandfather, although they’re more likely to play basketball and soccer than throw a baseball or run track. One of them looks a whole lot like the kid in that photo, all arms and legs, running like his life depended on it. Dad would be proud of all of them.

For my Fiftieth birthday, my sister sent me Dad’s 1957 letterman’s sweater, which she’d found in the back of a closet, mixed in with a bunch of my dad’s old clothes. It’s white, the red interlocking “NT” set off by a gold winged foot, trimmed in black. Every once in a while, I take it out, and think about my father, and the races he ran, and the races I still have before me, and all the races awaiting my sons and daughter.

Happy Father’s Day!

–Cort

.. … ..

George Chilvers

George Chilvers - dad

Phil,

Don’t know if this is what you want, Phil, but this is my Dad, also called George, in 1945 based in Germany with the RASC (Royal Army Service Corps).

George

.. … ..

Keith Goggin:

Fathers Day hed

Hi Phil,

Keith Goggin here. We chatted a bit at the last Uni Watch party in Brooklyn. I shared a few Marlboros with you and I hope you were able to take care of that tree at your Mom’s house.

Anyway, here is an old laminated press clipping of my Dad from his senior year at Fordham. It has a little blurb to go with it. He wore #40 in his home whites, but on the road in maroon he wore 41. The whole team did the odd/even thing but I am not sure why. He went on to work in business and refereed basketball at the high school and college levels for about 30 years. He also coached my baseball and basketball teams growing up. He mentored me and became my idol along the way. I just want to say thanks, Dad.

PS – my wife Kathy and I had twins in February, Molly and Tommy. So this is my first Father’s Day, and I can’t wait!

Thanks for the good work Phil.

Regards,
Keith

.. … ..

Rich Loup:

Rich Loup - American_Legion_Nicholson_Post_38__Baseball_Team

Phil,

The attached photo is of the 1963 American Legion Nicholson Post 38 baseball team, which was made up of players from Istrouma High School in Baton Rouge, LA. The school’s nickname is the Indians, hence the caps.

My dad, Adam “Maurice” Loup Jr., is the second player from left on the bottom row of the picture.

I’m sure your post on this will be great, and thanks for recognizing our dads.

Thanks
Rich Loup

.. … ..

Frank Bitzer:

Frank Bitzer - Dad1950 Frank Bitzer - Frank varsity baseball 1980

Frank Bitzer - Nick and Steve March 2011

Phil:

{First Photo} Here’s a picture of my Dad in his Air Force uniform. As the father of nine kids, he always worked two jobs and didn’t have time for sports, so this is the best I have. He was killed by a drunk driver when I was ten. I miss him so much.

{Second Photo} Here I am as a Senior at Mariemont High School (the same school as Collecotrs Corner Guru Brinke Guthrie) in 1981. My two boys, Griffin and Quinn laugh at the hair. I cringe at the navy blue pants. But I assure you, they were cuffed perfectly. I was fanatical about that.

{Bottom/last photo} A few weeks ago some of your readers colorized a great photo of University of Cinnati Hall of Famer Nick Shundich in his Sid Gilmann designed uni. Here is a more recent snap shot of Nick with his son Steve. Nick is wearing a recreation of that jersey in the colorized photo that I made for him as a Christmas gift. He is in his mid 80s now. I love that man.

Thanks,

Frank

.. … ..

Eric Fisk:

Eric Fisk - 48050_10200353862522557_469457009_n Eric Fisk - 31760_1381538231880_3177918_n Eric Fisk - 65391_4339902869147_387403781_n Eric Fisk - 34614_1442701440922_2993565_n

Phil,

Here are a couple of submissions of me with my kids. I am an active Oregon National Guard Soldier and my kids chose to honor me by wearing uniforms for/with me. The one with my son Aron was for a parade we were in and the one with my daughter was from Halloween 2012, and from a Father Daughter ball we went to in April 2013. And finally a pic of my son with myself and my Dad after my son’s team took 2nd in a Sectional playoff tournament. I am not sure if this is what you were looking for, but thanks for thinking of this subject.

Very Respectfully,

Eric Fisk

.. … ..

Craig (No Last Name Given):

Craig - image(3)

Phil,

This is a picture of me and my boys prior to me leaving on a 7 month deployment.

Craig

.. … ..

John K:

John Kimmerlein - 16875_1302657653_custom John Kimmerlein - Dad in Army 1952


Phil,

Two photos of my (late) father in uniform. College cross country and (like so many in his generation) US Army. Sadly, with all the baseball he played, we don’t have a single picture.

John K

.. … ..

C.S. Hickey:

CS Hickey - img304

Hey Phil:

First, I want to say this is a terrific idea to honor fathers. Thanks for the opportunity!

Second, I’m not real great at emailing photos, so let me know if you have trouble viewing the attachment.

Lastly, here’s my description of the pic:

Before becoming the father of 11, the late Dr. John S. Hickey, wore the orange & black of Holmesburg (Phila.PA) Ramblers football. I think this photo is from the late 1930’s/early 1940’s (he served in the SeaBees in WWII, met my mom shortly thereafter).
Team Hickey remembers him today and always.

CS Hickey

.. … ..

Timothy Moore:

Timothy Moore - photo(9)

Phil:

This is my dad, Dennis Moore in his East High School football uniform in Rochester, New York circa 1952. I’ve always loved this photo, it reminds me of old football movies. My dad was my hero and best friend, we lost him 12 years ago and I will be remembering him on Sunday. I had him autograph the picture and I have it framed in my house. Love you, Dad.

Timothy Moore

.. … ..

Daniel Rerko:

Dan Rerko Dan Rerko Soccer

Hey Phil–

On the left is my dad following his graduation from Naval officer training in the early 1980’s. Without a doubt, he is the greatest man that I have ever been around and I am lucky to be his son.

On a side note, I was disappointed that I could not find a picture of my dad in his Mo Valley Rowdies jersey. The Mo Valley Rowdies were a member of a rough-play soccer league in Clearfield County, PA. However, I do still have his jersey from the late 1970’s, complete with a nice NNOB.

Thanks,
Dan Rerko

.. … ..

Neal Matthews:

Neal Matthews - EMatthews - c1942

Hello Phil,

Long time follower of the Website – I try to read it every day!

Photo Description:

Edward Matthews as a senior at Hebron Academy in Hebron, ME, circa 1943-4.

They wanted him for a photo shoot so they had him put on a running back number instead of his customary number in the 70s as a lineman.

Upon leaving the school he joined the Marines and was in the Battle of Iwo Jima.

In the later 1940s, the story was he was asked to play for the Boston Yanks of the NFL but had a steady job and didn’t want to risk injury.

Perhaps a good candidate for a colorization? Currently the Hebron school wears forest green and white.

Many thanks for this opportunity to share!

Neal Matthews.

.. … ..

William Thomas:

William Thomas' Dad in Bangkok

Phil,

Here’s a photo of the varsity basketball team at the International School of Bangkok in 1982-1983. My dad is on the top row, number 11.

Thanks,
William Thomas

.. … ..

Chris Blackstone:

Chris Blackstone - USA Blackstone Jersey

Phil!

This is a picture of my Dad, Brother and I in Team USA Jerseys. My Canadian girlfriend bought it for me, and my dad picked up sweaters for himself and my brother.

Chris Blackstone

.. … ..

Terence M. Kearns:

Terence M. Kearns - facebook_-1946404422

Phil,

My Dad, Matt, in an an unnamed Italian port during his Mediterranean tour of 1960.

T.M.K.

.. … ..

William Hogue:

William Hogue & Daughter

Phil

Not the best picture, but this is my daughter and I at her first big league game. I’m wearing a Clemente jersey with a batting practice cap, and Cheyenne has a pink Pirate jersey on. She has since upgraded to a black McCutchen jersey.

William Hogue

.. … ..

Larry DeBrock:

Larry DeBrock - Battalion MaintenanceLarry DeBrock - Marvin in KoreaLarry DeBrock - Marvin in Korea IILarry DeBrock - Marvin in Korea III

Phil,

Not sports. But you did say it could be anything.

Here are a few shots of my dad, Marvin, in his army uniform serving in Korea in 1953. (actually, the maintenance picture is more out of uniform).

Happy Fathers Day.

-Larry DeBrock

.. … ..

Doug Keklak:

Kek's Dad

Phil,

Here’s a pic of Pops in his high school band uniform. He was the drum major at Conemaugh High School in the 1959-60 school year.

Thanks,
Kek

.. … ..

Andrew Roman:

Andrew Roman's Dad

Phil

This is my Father, Fire Fighter Joe Roman, about 10 months before he lost his battle to colon cancer in July of 2009.

-Andrew Roman

.. … ..

Bill Kellick:

Bill KellickBill KellickBill KellickBill KellickBill Kellick

Hi Phil,

I just saw your request for Fathers in uniform so I will be sending you five photos.

The first one shows my dad (far right) leading his club football team on to the field in the early 40s.

The second one is actually of my dad’s uncle’s baseball team in the early 1900s. I’m not exactly sure which one he is.

The third is my dad’s Sacred Heart grammar school team in the 1930s. My dad is the one peeking from the back row (without hat) to the left of the priest.

The fourth is my dad’s Sacred Heart grade school basketball team in the 1930s. He is seated on the far right (the last one in uniform).

The final one is my dad catching a pass in the 1940s.

Bill Kellick

.. … ..

Alex Allen:

Alex Allen - bill navy

Phil

Attached is a picture of my father, Bill Allen, from when he was in the Navy in the mid-50’s. My sister recently sent me a box of old photos. I was going through the box with my two teen-age daughters and when they saw this picture, they both said, “Stud.” My dad passed away in 2003. Happy Father’s Day Dad.

Alex Allen

.. … ..

Michael Clary:

Michael Clary - Dad Griffiss AFBMichael Clary - UniDad

Phil:

The first photo is of my father, Jim when he was playing baseball in the Air Force at Griffiss AFB in Rome, NY during the early 60’s; the second is me with my son, Séamus before my game. Please feel free to use one or both… Thanks.

-Mike

.. … ..

Truman Winbush:

Truman Winbush Sr. WWII

Phil

This is a photo of my dad Truman Winbush, Sr. 9/17/24-08/07/07. He was a man of many stories and greater wisdom. He wore the uniform of his country during WWII with pride.

Truman Winbush

.. … ..

Jay Wright:

Jay Wright

Phil

OK, so this is a picture of my grandfather (4th from right) Maurice Zuercher and the 1935-36 Mallard Ducks. Mallard is a small town in NW Iowa, and in 1991 the school closed. The last game Mallard played was at the state tournament, where they lost to Boyden-Hull. Ironically, my older brother was a starter for Boyden-Hull when they ended basketball at Mallard for good. Grandpa passed away in 1979, but this picture is one of my favorites.

Jay

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And that concludes this special edition of Fathers Day, Uni Watch style. I want to thank everyone who took the time to share a photo (or photos) of their dads, and to say a few things about him. As mentioned earlier, if you’d like to elaborate further, please do so below in the comments.

I hope you fine readers enjoyed this little look at the men who made the readers who they are — and to know that it’s not just athletes who wear uniforms. We all do, in one way or another.

Feel free to share your thoughts about your Dad below. Whether he’s still on this earth to read them, or in a better place, it’s his day. Tell him you love him.

Happy Fathers Day.

Peace.

Timelessly Representing The Ballclub - Part II

1972 World Series

By Phil Hecken

Last weekend, I ran Part I of a post, which you can view here, that encompassed a reader suggestion from Dan Pfeiffer. In that post, Dan had suggested what he considered to be each franchise’s “iconic look” – the combination of team, apparel and ballpark.

Obviously, and several commenters pointed this out, this is both subjective and a function of when one grew up. Many of Dan’s suggestions seemed to come from a certain time period (not that they didn’t adequately or even excellently represent the ballclub’s iconic look), but depending upon one’s formative years, one could certainly make an argument (equally compelling) that a different time period was more apropos.

But it did spark great conversation, and many readers offered their own suggestions for a different era/uni/ballpark.

Today, we conclude the exercise with Dan’s American League picks. I’ll do my best to find a picture (or pictures) that capture the era he is describing. Feel free to critique or agree, and if you disagree with his choices, to supply your own. It’s more fun than anything else, since there is, in most cases, no “wrong” era (although you could certainly say there are eras that do NOT represent a particularly good look or stadium). So, without further ado, here’s Part II, the junior circuit:

. . . . . .

OriolesRookie Ripken era Sansabelt, white-front hat & Memorial Stadium

Red SoxTed Williams era & Classic Fenway

White SoxBeach Blanket & Old, Falling-Apart Comiskey

Indians90’s & The Jake

TigersClassic 60’s & Tiger Stadium

AstrosStripes & Astrodome

Royals – Brett-era white/light blue sansabelt & Royals Stadium w/turf

Angels80’s proper case & Big ‘A’ Rams-era

Twins – Puckett era, home/road pinstripes, ‘M’ hats & the Humpty Dump w/plexiglass

Yankees1927-era & House that Ruth Built

A’sSwingin’ A’s, Gold/Green solids & Oakland Alameda’s hills

MarinersGriffey, early 90’s & Kingdome

RaysCurrent & Current

RangersNolan era & Arlington

Blue JaysCarter era & SkyDome

. . . . . .

And there you have it. I’d say that’s a pretty nice representation of the ‘classic’ era for each club, although, like many of you, I’d probably disagree with a couple. But a tip of the cap and a “Well done, sir” is certainly in order.

OK, readers. It’s your turn. What’s YOUR uni/stadium era for the American League if it differs from these? Fire away.

Line

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:

~~~

We begin today with Stephen Scheffel, who has a set of Rockies tweaks:

Rockies Home - Stephen ScheffelRockies Road - Stephen Scheffel

Rockies Green - Stephen Scheffel

Phil,

The home and road uniforms are simple. I really like the look of the white stripes on the grey uniforms like
what the Phillies use. I also think that if the Rockies use purple they should go for it and their current uniforms have way too much black.

The alternates are my pride and joy. For some reason I have always thought the Rockies could use green. Coors Field is green and as a discruntled fan I can tell you the only reason they make money is because of the stadium. The Rockies also sell some green merchandise and I think it could work. These would be for Sunday home games only. Almost a bit of a fauxback. They would wear solid green hats.

Stephen Scheffel

. . .

Next up is Johnny Woods, who also has a set of Rockies tweaks:

1rockies - Johnny Woods1rockies2- Johnny Woods

1rockiestulo- Johnny Woods1rockiescuddyer- Johnny Woods

1rockiesfowler- Johnny Woods

Hey Phil –

The Rockies current cap insignia and logo feature four elements:

• The initials C and R
• Hollow serif letters
• A moving baseball
• Mountains

My logo takes those and, with a slight slant, gets them in motion.

The numbers may be too Brewer-ish, though.

Thanks,
Johnny Woods

. . .

We close today with Cole Hammers who has a new name & slightly new look for the Washington football club:

Washington Red Tails - Cole Hammers Red Tails Logo - Cole Hammers

Hey Phil,

I decided to make a helmet concept for the Washington Red Tails (if they come into existence to replace the Redskins) and made a simplified uni to go with it. Note the homage to the Tuskegee airmen patch.

Thanks, Cole

. . .

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

Line

Stirrup FridayStirrup Fridays…

Because we love the stirrup here at Uni Watch, this section is devoted to those of us who sport the beautiful hose on Fridays — a trend popularized many years ago by Robert P. Marshall, III. For many of us, it’s become a bit of an obsession, but a harmless one — a reflection of our times. Where we once had Friday ties, which has been replaced by Casual Friday — we now have Stirrup Fridays. It’s an endearingly simple concept — no matter where you work (or even if you don’t) — break out a fresh pair of rups to compliment (or clash with) your Friday attire.

Nice showing for Stirrup Fridays, although a couple of these were sent in during the week. Good to see the Revolution doesn’t only work on Friday!

. . . . .

Broons - John ZajacBroons & Hawks - John Zajac

John Zajac:

Hey Phil,

I wore these Boston Bruins inspired stirrups on the day they knocked the Penguins out of the playoffs. With Chicago winning last night now I have a Stanley Cup stirrup showdown. No matter who wins, at least my feet will look good.

John

. . .

Andrew Greenwood - Black & GoldAndrew Greenwood - Black & GoldAndrew Greenwood - Black & GoldAndrew Greenwood - Black & Gold

Andrew Greenwood:

Phil,

My friend Matt decided to have a little wiffleball tournement and BBQ on Jun 8th. I felt it necessary to bring in the stirrups.

Andrew Greenwood

. . .

Cardinals - Chelsea Madden

Chelsea Madden:

Phil:

My Cardinals stirrups get enough wear in StL but I got to wear these last Friday to watch the Reds and Cardinals in Cinci!

Chelsea Madden

. . .

James Poisso - Naps

James Poisso:

Phil,

With this being Father’s Day Weekend, today’s stirrups are in honor of the “father” of stirrups–Nap Lajoie.

James Poisso

. . .

John Graham - Purple & TealJohn Graham - Braves

John Graham:

Phil,

Doctor (vet) and patient (chihuahua) pics for today. Due to supplies I sometimes have to get creative with my colors/designs. Such is the case today as only purple and teal were available, so I designed some 90s Diamondback fauxbacks. I usually pair a jersey with my stirrups on Fridays and today I went with a Billy Wagner (my hometown hero) and Braves ‘rups.

Jake

. . .

Michael Clary - Hiking RupsMichael Clary - Hiking Rups

Michael Clary:

Phil:

Nestled in the heart of the Catskill Mountains is the bustling hamlet of Claryville (population 260), where we hiked up a small mountain to see (and climb) the Red Hill Fire Tower. Stirrups and hiking socks may not be the best possible look, but at least it’s not camo.

– Clarybird

. . .

William Thomas - 47 Phillies

William Thomas:

Phil,

Wearing my ’47 Phillies stirrups for church league softball. Lots of compliments!

William Thomas

. . .

And that ends today’s look at Stirrup Friday — all of you who participate, send me your pics and a brief (~50 words) description of their relevance, and I’ll run ’em here on Saturday (and sometimes Sunday too!). Be sure to visit Robert’s House of Hose for news on rups.

Line

A Special Request…

Tomorrow is Father’s Day, and I have a special request for the readership. I’d like to feature all the Uni Watch “Dads In Uniform” out there. So, if you have a picture of your dad wearing any kind of a uniform (even if not sports related), or if you’re in uniform and with your son, would you mind e-mailing me a photo? Send it to me at Phil.Hecken@gmail.com. I’m working on what I hope will be a very special Father’s Day post, and featuring the “Dads in Uniform” would be great. If you want, send me a very short (~50 words or less) description of the photo.

OK? OK!

Everyone have a fantastic Saturday.

Follow me on Twitter: @PhilHecken

Peace.

Line

Pink Mississippi State
One For The Road

.. … ..

“I think it’s sad that the implicit message of sports these days — especially football — is that the goal is to be an asshole.”
–Paul Lukas