Another Gray Area

Screen shot 2011-07-13 at 12.37.07 PM.png

Paul here, helping out while Phil deals with some family-related stuff. During the All-Star Game, I got a note from reader Eric Stroker, who said, “The Texas flag patch on Adrian Beltre’s left sleeve is missing a part of the white stripe in the flag (not sewn in).” He didn’t have a screen shot, but I went back through the game video the following day and saw what he meant. As you can see in the shot shown above, the left-most portion of the white stripe, before the flag furls, looks gray instead of white.

But then I did some further checking and realized that the little gray section of the stripe is always part of the Rangers’ flag patch. It’s also part of how the patch is depicted in the MLB Style Guide.

I’d never noticed this before. And now that I have, it annoys me. The gray section looks drab, dull, wrong. It’s closer to the viewer, and presumably closer to the light source, so it should be brighter than the rest of the white stripe (or at least the same brightness), not darker. Wouldn’t this be better? Even if you couldn’t make out the dark vertical line, so what? There’s no visible line on the fold for the red stripe, so why does the white stripe need one?

Grrrr, now this is really bugging me. Thanks to Eric for messing with my head. (And for good measure, several commenters this morning have pointed out that the underside of the furled portion of the flag should be red, not blue.)

Meanwhile: New ESPN column today — a very in-depth look at a very small MLB detail that we’ve barely touched upon before. I think you’ll like.

~~~~~~~~~~

Benchies Beginning logoBenchies from the Beginning
By Rick Pearson

For nearly three years, “Benchies” has been appearing most weekends at Uni Watch. While Bench Coach Phil fills in for Paul Monday through Friday during August, we present a retrospective. New strips will continue to appear on weekends. For further background, here’s the “Benchies” backstory and bios on the regular Boys of “Benchies.” Enjoy.

7-14-11 d-Benchies waders

And here is the full-size version.

~~~~~~~~~~

ticker 2Uni Watch News Ticker: (compiled by John Ekdahl) The University of North Dakota is caught between a rock (the NCAA) and a hard place (a new state law) regarding the Fighting Sioux nickname. … Andrew Hoenig sends along these umpire uniforms from the Mid-Atlantic Classic between the Valley (Virginia) Baseball League and the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. … We’d already seen the Preds’ new road jersey, and now they’ve unveiled the home version as well. … Take a look at the new Nashville Predators head (thanks to John Muir). … Check out this shot of Hope Solo’s socks (Jason Greening). … Andrew Shain sends along more details about the new South Carolina uniforms. … Prosecutors announced they will not be filing charges against Deshon Marman regarding the “saggy pants on the airplane” incident. … Warren Humphrey noticed this 1965 NC State logo seems to resemble a certain well-known character. … The Wisconsin Woodchucks of the Northwoods League have worn 1911 Wausau Stars throwbacks for a few games this season. Video available here. (thanks to Jeff Ash). … Dylan Buell put together a gallery of all the patches featured in the new NCAA 12 game that was just released. … Craig Snyder notes a new skirmish has erupted in the ‘war’ between the NRL (National Rugby League) and the AFL (Australian Football League) with the announcement of a proposed new NRL team for Brisbane to be called the Brisbane Bombers. In AFL one of the established teams is the Essendon Bombers. “As you will see from the news report,” says Craig, “there are a number of teams with the same nickname in both codes but the two codes are increasingly competing as they seek to build their national profile and expand into each other’s traditional territory. There will be no clash of colours or jumpers.”

~~~

“If Atlanta uses ATL on their third jersey shouldn’t they be either legally or morally obligated to change it to ALT?” — “Too Tall” Paul Deaver

Meet Mr. Baseball (Backs)

Lou Gehrig jersey back

By Phil Hecken

As those of you who read on the weekends are likely aware, back on June 26, I featured a website called Baseball Backs (here’s the link), which in a nutshell features the back sides of baseball jerseys throughout history (although it is not quite a complete listing). At the time, I did not know who created this site, nor what his plans for that site were.

Today, I’m pleased to introduce you to the gentleman who created Baseball Backs, Ryan Simmelink, who reached out to me shortly after that article ran. Here’s a bit of what he had to say:

Phil-

I’m Ryan, the creator of Baseball Backs, and I would like to thank you for featuring my site last Sunday. I meant to do this earlier but I was swamped with grad school stuff as well as many requests via the exposure you got Baseball Backs. I appreciate all your kind words. I also spent time updating the website as well as changed the domain to baseballbacks.com.

One thing led to another and I interviewed Ryan about his board. I’m pleased to bring that to you now:

~~~

Uni Watch: How old are you and where do you live?

Ryan Simmelink: I am 28 years old and live in Carroll, Iowa.

UW: And what’s your favorite team?

RS: I grew up close to Des Moines where the Iowa Cubs play and attended lots of games as a kid so naturally I started rooting for the Cubs.

UW: Are you a regular Uni Watch reader, and for how long? Do you post in the comments?

RS: Reading the blog has become part of my morning routine since I started reading it about four years ago. I post in the comments here and there and have been mentioned in the ticker a couple times.

UW: What prompted you to start “Baseball Backs”

RS: I started creating the Baseball Backs just for my personal use. I noticed that I really couldn’t find anything like it and wanted to share them with others who might be interested.

UW: Was it purely a hobby or did anyone ask you to design one of these first?

RS: I actually made my first Baseball Back while I was a sophomore in high school. I had just started learning how to use Photoshop and wanted to replicate my own baseball jersey. After doing some digging, I found the original Baseball Back created back in 2000. However, I didn’t start making them until August 2009.

I had recently become hooked on the iPhone game Robot Master. I wanted to make a physical version of the game to play so I decided to make a Cubs version. I then decided to try putting my name on a Cubs jersey which then led to making other players jerseys. Now, it is strictly a hobby I do.

UW: How do you do research for these? Is it all old photographs or is some of it educated guesswork?

RS: If its a jersey from 1970 to the present, I turn to Henderson’s MLB Jersey Guide. It has helped me out tremendously and without it, it would take me a lot longer to make the Backs. If its pre-1970, I look to see if a vendor, like Mitchell & Ness, has created it. I also check out auction sites for examples. I do look at old photographs and even old movies.

To help with the correct colors, I head over to The Society for Sports Uniforms Research (now ColorWerx) to see what colors I need to use. For example, I really wanted to create a 1942 light blue road flannel for the Cubs. I found several photos of the front of the jersey but nothing of the back. I found an old movie from the 1942 spring training and went frame by frame trying to get a good look. I found a decent shot of it that confirmed what I thought, white number with an outline. I had to make an educated guess that the number mirrored the front lettering of white with a blue outline.

I also recently did a 1935 Gabby Hartnett road jersey for the Cubs. I found an example of the jersey but still unsure of the font. I searched through the Chicago Tribune pictures and found they used the McAuliffe (Red Sox) font that year. Usually, I don’t spend THAT long on jerseys but this was a personal crusade.

UW: Do you have plans to expand this to all years for all teams (maybe not immediately, but over time)?

RS: I try to get as much variety from different teams for different years. In the future, I’d love to have each jersey represented.

UW: Have you ever considered turning Baseball Backs into a reference site, a la “Dressed to the Nines”?

RS: I had never thought of Baseball Backs in that light before you mentioned it. I really like the idea now that I have some more free time (I’m just finishing up grad school). Because of Henderson’s guide, it would be easy to get from 1970 on; however, it would be a lot more difficult for pre-1970.

UW: How did you create the templates?

RS: I used one of my own jerseys to take measurements of the numbers and letters. I then had to tweak somethings here and there to make it look “right”. I also used some jerseys to scan in the background textures. I used to have a different template for each type (home double-knit, road double-knit, home flannel, road flannel, home Cool Base, etc.) but decided to consolidate it into one template. My template has multiple layers that I can simply delete to get the desired background. It has a generic name and number that I can change.

UW: I love the attention to detail you have, particularly how you can almost feel the “texture.” Is there any specific program you use for that?

RS: I use Adobe Photoshop for most of the process. I do use Adobe Illustrator to create the underlying number/name shapes.

UW: How do you decide the font for the numbers and letters? Do you look at MLB style guides or do you just “know” what to use?

RS: If its post 1970, I use Henderson’s guide. Everything else, I have to do some digging through auction sites, old photos and movies.

UW: Do you have plans for teams with no #OB (number on back) — basically pre-1929 for most teams? Would you ever do backs for the Tigers (with the Tiger logo) and Braves (with the native american head)? [As of this writing, Dressed to the Nines is "down" -- originally I had links to the 1928 Tigers & 1930 Braves -- PH]

RS: I had never really considered it before because of the lack of name and or number. I had came across the Tigers and Braves jerseys while looking through Okkonen’s work. Those two are currently on my to-do list.

UW: What happens if someone finds a mistake? Do you have a comments section or email address on the board?

RS: I’m human and make mistakes. I do appreciate when someone nicely points out an error because I want the Backs to be as accurate as possible. I have a contact form on the website that people have used to contact me. For example, I had Rob Nenn instead of Robb Nen, wrong type of 5 on a Mark Teixeira, and radially arched names on late ’60s Orioles jerseys instead of vertically arched.

UW: How do you decide which jerseys/players to create?

RS: I take requests from people and try to create those. I also look at who has had their numbers retired, award winners, current players who are playing well and up-and-coming rookies. I also like trying jerseys that are unique and different. I also look for jerseys that have unique aspects to them, such as materials, textures and name placement.

UW: What are some of your favorite Backs that you’ve done?

RS: I really like the old pin-striped flannels. I also enjoy anything that has different fonts, numbers and colors.

~~~

Great stuff, Ryan. Shortly after that interview, I followed up with him and he had a few last things to add:

• When I first started, I had many people ask me to make personalized Backs with their names and numbers on them. I turned them down because they take awhile to make and really only one person wants to look at them. As I expanded the site, I found the need to buy a Flickr Pro account, Henderson’s guide, software upgrades and recently a domain name. Now that I see all the hidden costs, I decided to offer a free personalized Baseball Back with a $5 donation. I’m not out to make any money; just cover those hidden costs. I don’t sell any MLB Baseball Backs (those will always be free). I’m always up for requests as long as I don’t get a long list. If its a tougher one, a picture helps out tremendously.

• When I first started, I was just uploading them to Photobucket but found the quality lacking. So I decided to switch over to Flickr which is nice… high quality and the ability to see how many views. But it was missing that website feel so I decided to throw together the website at Weebly. As the number of Baseball Backs grew, I needed to organize them better than what I had been so I decided to use Google Sites to help organize the Backs.

• I’ve been doing graphic design elements since high school. My dad, a former art teacher turned principal, started using Photoshop to make sports graphics and I quickly followed suit. I took computer graphic classes throughout high school and continued on my own since. I’ve done various projects for my alma mater. I’ve also done many music posters for several musicians. Last summer, I got the chance to help out the Arizona Diamondbacks with a graphic in their D-backs Insider Magazine for Luis Gonzalez’s number retirement. I just recently did the graphics for the iPad game Immix.

~~~

Tremendous job, Ryan. It seems like you have a great future ahead of you. Thanks for your time.

~~~~~~~~~~

all-star-game-2011.jpg

A Quick All-Star Game Round-Up from Paul

Hi there. I watched last night’s game with my longtime buddy Tim Adams, who was in from Chicago. He’s a regular Uni Watch reader, but I’m not sure he was prepared for what it was like to watch an All-Star Game while sitting next to Mr. Uni Watch. We were busy catching up on this and that, not really paying close attention to the game (it’s amazing how the rest of the world fades away when you start discussing Michele Bachmann), but I kept periodically pointing at the TV and saying, “Look at that patch!” or “What’s the deal with those shoes?”

My main takeaways from the game:

• Quite a few teams this season have a team logo patch on one sleeve and a memorial patch on the other sleeve. In all of these cases except one, the protocol for last night’s game was to replace the memorial patch with the All-Star patch, and to move the memorial patch to the chest. That was the case with the Pirates’ Chuck Tanner memorial, the Indians’ Bob Feller memorial, the Dodgers’ Duke Snider memorial, the Cubs’ Ron Santo memorial, the Mariners’ Dave Niehaus memorial, and the Reds’ Sparky Anderson memorial.

• The one exception to this rule was the Twins’ Harmon Killebrew memorial, which stayed on the right sleeve even though the left sleeve was occupied by a team logo patch. I guess they decided that the “3″ would’ve looked weird if worn on the chest.

• In addition, the Tigers’ Sparky Anderson memorial was allowed to remain on the right sleeve. Why? Because the Tigers don’t normally wear a patch on the left sleeve, so that’s where they put the All-Star patch.

• A bunch of players wore these really annoying blue-soled Nike shoes. Is this the new Day-Glo? Whatever, let’s hope we never see those again.

• The little stars on the caps were worn by the umpires as well as by the players, which seems like a bit much. At least they didn’t wear the jersey stars.

Meanwhile, speaking of the All-Star Game, back on Saturday I mentioned that A’s pitcher Gio Gonzalez had worn his All-Star sleeve patch on Friday night. To my knowledge, no other ASG participant had worn that patch prior to last night, so what was the deal with Gonzalez? I learned the answer on Monday while talking to A’s equipment manager Steve Vucinich, who I was interviewing regarding a completely different issue (one that will be covered extensively in my ESPN column tomorrow). He brought up the Gonzalez patch on his own, like so:

I wanted to tell you about that Gio thing, the All-Star patch. I didn’t go on that road trip to Texas — I had four days off for a family reunion. Now, Gio never wears the gray [when he pitches]. Even if the rest of the team went out there in gray, he’d probably wear something else. But he was gonna take the gray jersey to the All-Star Game, so I figured I’d put the All-Star patch on his gray jersey while we were still in Oakland, before the road trip — that way I know it’s taken care of, I don’t have to worry about anyone else dealing with it.

But then the tragedy in Texas [with the fan falling out of the stands and dying] happened on Thursday night. And they decided that the black ribbons that they wore the next day, you couldn’t really see ’em against the dark green. And it was Gio’s day to pitch, and he said, “Okay, I’ll wear gray.” So all of a sudden he’s out there with the All-Star patch, because I’d already put it on his jersey. I was actually expecting MLB to call me about it, but so far you guys are the only ones who caught it.

Thanks, Steve. For the record, Gonzalez gave up seven runs in four innings that night, so I don’t think we’ll see him wearing gray again anytime soon.

~~~~~~~~~~

guthrie.png

Collector’s Corner

By Brinke Guthrie

Already going through All-Star Game withdrawal? Then you may enjoy this selection of ASG patches. If, on the other hand, you’re ready to move on to other things, check out this week’s haul:

• Paul submitted this sensational wheelchair basketball jersey.

• Here’s a 1970s Atlanta Falcons down vest in good shape.

• Check out the waistband on these 1980s Eagles shorts. Looks like it could double as a girdle!

• Get your 1984 Kamloops Junior Oilers iron-on patch here.

• Staying with hockey for a moment, Bobby Orr and Bernie Parent grace the cover of this mid-’70s NHL sticker album. [That's one killer cover illo. Would love to see some of the interior pages. — PL]

• I love that 1970s MLB poster series where they recycle images of other players. Case in point: That’s clearly Pete Rose, not a Padre.

• And for Paul, a collection of Mets yearbook posters and a T-shirt showing Mets uni history.

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

~~~~~~~~~~

Benchies Beginning logoBenchies from the Beginning
By Rick Pearson

For nearly three years, “Benchies” has been appearing most weekends at Uni Watch. While Bench Coach Phil fills in for Paul Monday through Friday during August, we present a retrospective. New strips will continue to appear on weekends. For further background, here’s the “Benchies” backstory and bios on the regular Boys of “Benchies.” Enjoy.

And here’s today’s strips (one for yesterday, and one for today):

7-12-11 d-benchies 2

~~~

7-13-11 d-Benchies 3

~~~~~~~~~~

HPH for UWA few words of “Thanks”

As most of you are no doubt aware, my father (that’s him on the right) passed away on Monday, after a prolonged illness. He had suffered from a number of ailments over the past few years, beginning with a disease called MDS or Myelodysplastic Syndromes, a group of bone marrow diseases; he also almost died from West Nile Encephalitis, which he may have contracted from a mosquito bite while out golfing with me. Eventually the MDS morphed into leukemia, which finally claimed his life, after a valiant and protracted fight. He was my best friend, the guy who taught me how to catch, throw and hit, who became my tennis and later golf partner, and eventually, towards the end just my bridge partner. He touched my life in so many countless ways, and others as well, and I will miss him greatly. But in the end he was suffering terribly, and as hard as it was for me to say “goodbye,” I know that he is now in a better place.

I wanted to extend an extra special note of thanks to the entire Uni Watch community, and especially our fearless leader, Paul Lukas, for all your kind words and thoughts. Paul’s column yesterday, and all the ensuing comments and e-mails I received, brought a tear to my eye, and a warmth to my heart. The Uni Watch community has always been wonderful, and will continue to be so, and the tremendous outpouring of support you provided to me cannot be adequately repaid. You are all a special bunch of crazy guys and gals with a passion and dedication, and I truly, TRULY mean it when I say “Thank You” for everything. You’re making it much easier for me (and my family) to make it through a very difficult time, and for that I am eternally grateful.

~~~~~~~~~~

ticker 2Uni Watch News Ticker: (compiled by John Ekdahl) Those new South Carolina football uniforms look even worse in real life than they did on the video game (thanks to Beau Franklin). … As Patrick Walsh points out, it’s familiar tradition in the World Cup to wear stars over your crest to represent the number of times you’ve won. The U.S. Women’s team wears two stars and the men’s Brazilian team wears five stars, as seen here. But, Brazil’s women’s team has never won the World Cup and yet wears the five stars like the men’s squad. As Patrick says, “It’d be pretty weird if the US men’s team rocked the two stars that the women earned”. Agreed, and I think they’d receive a fair amount of trash-talking for it. … Joe Mauer’s personal logo makes an appearance in his latest Gatorade ad (thanks to Mike Sambuceti). … Inter Milan will be wearing new home kits for next year. … Mack Abbott attended a recent minor league baseball tournament and noticed this odd jersey. “They looked more like BP jerseys or something that would have been better suitied underneath a vest.” … Uni Watch never passes up the opportunity to show some sharp-looking stirrups (thanks to Steve Foster who attended a Mountain Collegiate Baseball League game). … Cort McMurray snapped a great picture of New Era’s hat blocking machine on a trip to their headquarters in Buffalo. … Check out this video (3:00 mark) of the New York Golden Blades wearing white skates during the ’73-’74 season (thanks to commenter Jet). … Zack Nichols has noticed that the University of Wisconsin bookstore is now selling their team’s football jerseys without sleeve stripes, possibly to distinguish themselves from Nebraska. “Every year the replica jerseys have sleeve stripes. I don’t think this was an accident.” Thanks, Zack. … Jon Helfenstein put together some great shots of the 1971 All-Star Game. … Larry Bodnovich wonders whether Denny Fitzgerald was the last player to wear a leather helmet with no facemask in 1960. … Thankfully, Paul is both on vacation and doesn’t play golf (sent by Ben Traxel). … So, I think most of us are aware that Harry Potter is immensely popular and a multi-hundred million dollar (pound?) behemoth. Obviously, the next logical step is to take over Minor League Baseball. That shot is from a Fresno Grizzlies game, and this promotion is for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Thanks to Melanie Worstell and Matthew Robins, respectively. … Some Wyoming fans are worried their football team might be going full Nike-Oregon. It seems like a false alarm. That team is clearly labeled “WYO”, which I believe is between “ATL” and “PHX”.

~~~~~~~~~~

“No words can describe the feeling. Tears seem to be the best way to deal with it. I know he is in a better place now, where stirrups are never worn backwards, and no logo creep is visible on any uniform.” — Mike Obie

In Memorium: Harold Philip Hecken, Jr.

Screen shot 2011-07-11 at 12.03.02 PM.png

It’s a sad time here at Uni Watch, as bench coach Phil Hecken’s father, who’d been in declining health for some time, passed away yesterday.

I regret that I never got a chance to meet Phil’s dad. When Phil and I became friends after he started working for me a few years ago, he would often say that the two of us plus our two fathers — all four of us big Mets fans — should go to a ballgame together at Shea. Unfortunately, my own father fell ill soon after that, and then Phil’s dad began having medical issues of his own, so it never happened.

When my Pop died two summers ago, it was after a two-month period of repeated hospitalizations, medical procedures, and so on. Those two months were extremely difficult and stressful, but I’m sure it was nothing compared to what Phil and his family have been going through, because his father was sick for quite some time. Phil doesn’t like to let on, but I’m pretty sure this has been weighing very heavily on him for most of the time he’s been involved with Uni Watch. (Despite this, he’s never let the situation affect his work here on the site. When his father recently took a turn for the worse, I suggested that I should reschedule my summer break, to take some pressure off of him, but he wouldn’t hear of it.)

We’ll be closed today out of respect to Phil and his family. All my deepest condolences go to them. I hope they — and Phil’s father, of course — can finally get some peace after their long ordeal. R.I.P. — Paul

With a little help from my (UW) friends

little help hed

By Phil Hecken

With our esteemed leader beginning his well-deserved vacation from these boards, I have the pleasure of bringing you the next four weeks of assorted content. Unlike last summer, however, I am relying more than ever on the wonderful Uni Watch community to help me in this endeavor — I have some great guest entries lined up already, and I’m hoping for several more, and I’ll be ably assisted with the Ticker content by our webmaster, John Ekdahl.

Without going into a lot of detail, my full-time job is requiring more of my actual time (the nerve), I’m taking three grad school classes this summer, and my father is quite ill, actually entering hospice last week. So, I will do all that I can to ensure that you all get the best content that the Uni Watch community so richly deserves.

There is no way I can do you the justice that Paul does on a day-in, day-out basis, but I give it my best. So not only will there be a few guest entries, occasionally you’ll be treated to some tweaks, uni-tracking, colorizations, videos, and a daily Benchies.

Today, we go straight to the reader mail for our topic. Reader Sivan Silver-Swartz posed this question/request:

I’m sure you’re very busy uniform watching, but I have one quick thought: recently I was watching some highlights of Mike Leake, and I realized that I had never realized before that he wore stirrups, despite being semi-familiar with him (as more of an AL-person, apparently I’m more familiar with his hair and his statistics than actually watching him pitching). I occurred to me that I have yet to see one comprehensive list of current major leaguers who regularly/semi-regularly wear stirrups. Those in-the-know can count quite a few off their head and every once and a while you see some sort of quick list in an article, but I have yet to see a definite list that can confidently say, “these are all the major leaguers that wear stirrups.” This was something that I kind of expected Uni-Watch to have, a page on your website with this list, sort of like your “White at Home in the NFL” page, and with those trademark links to see images of those stirrups in action. You could even go all out and include some info, mention the frequency of the stirrup-wearing, the height, any special traits or stories about those particularly stirrups, etc. Anyway, just a thought – it would be a terrific resource, and I’m sure the community would be more than glad to help you out. Thanks for letting me waste your time.

Sivan
Columbus, OH

Paul actually forwarded that to me and we both agree that’s a pretty good suggestion — and one with which the Uni Watch faithful can help — a comprehensive listing, which we’ll then (hopefully) add to the Uni Watch reference section, of stirrup-wearing big-leaguers. I believe it was either a year or two ago when we had attempted to field an “all-stirrup” team (at least one player wearing stirrups at least part-time for each position). Perhaps now is the time to formalize that project.

So, for today, and before we get into the meat of the Paul-on-hiatus articles (and there are some good ones to come, I promise), lets see if we can’t come up with a list of stirrup-wearing players, hopefully with pics to go along with names. I’ll start with the two easiest: DJ Carrasco of the Mets, and Paul’s poster child for hosiery, Josh Outman of the Oakland A’s. We’ll consider this our first Summertime Uni Watch “Group Project.” Don’t let me down.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a nice (I hope) preview of the 2011 All Star Game, but tonight we have everyone’s favorite, the MLB Home Run Derby. This is usually a three-hour long display of how many different ways Chris Berman say “BACK BACK BACK” athletic prowess, featuring members of both teams sitting uncomfortably “Indian-style” and playing with their kids and cell phone cameras, all while tweeting away, as the eight “participants” slug away to determine who is the HR champ for 2011.

There’s actually a new “twist” in the Derby this year — past champions David Ortiz and Prince Fielder were made “captains” of the American League and National League, respectively, and each chose three teammates to represent the league. Ortiz has picked Adrian Gonzalez, Jose Bautista, and Robinson Cano, while Prince selected Rickie Weeks, Matt Kemp, and Matt Holiday. Yup. Used to be the guys who were leading their leagues in dingers at the break played. Not so this year. But hey, we’ll get to see those awesome ASG batting practice jerseys and PE cleats for all.

But to whet your appetites, dig this very cool retrospective of (almost) all of the past All Star Game logos, from the first up until last year (if you’re at work and/or have speakers, you may want to hit the ‘mute’ button):

And here’s a pretty cool time-lapse video of the 2011 ASG logo being painted on the field in Arizona.

My thanks to the Uni Watch community in advance for being such a great bunch and for understanding my situation. But, with a little help from my (Uni Watch) friends, these next four weeks will be great. If anyone is interested in working with me on a column while Paul is away, contact me here. You can also follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken and send me uni-notable news, pics, etc. OK? OK!

~~~~~~~~~~

reminder.jpg

Friendly reminder: Paul is on his summer break from the site from now until Aug. 8 (although he’ll still be doing ESPN work, which we’ll link to as it comes up). That means there are a few changes regarding where you should be sending e-mails:

• Phil is writing the lead entries while Paul’s away. You can contact him at his usual address.

• The Ticker is now being compiled by webmaster John Ekdahl. You can still send submissions to the uniwatching at gmail address, but they will go to John, not to Paul.

• If you absolutely need to contact Paul during his summer break, the best way is to send a note to his plukas64 at gmail address. But he may take a little while to get back to you, especially during the period from July 16-21.

• Finally, if you hear about any new college football uniforms during Paul’s break, please send that info to this address. Thanks.

~~~~~~~~~~

Benchies Beginning logoBenchies from the Beginning
By Rick Pearson

For nearly three years, “Benchies” has been appearing most weekends at Uni Watch. While Bench Coach Phil fills in for Paul Monday through Friday during August, we present a retrospective. New strips will continue to appear on weekends. For further background, here’s the “Benchies” backstory and bios on the regular Boys of “Benchies.” Enjoy.

And here’s today’s strip:

7-11-11 d-Benchies 1 - Resize

And for those of you with bad eyesight, or for whom that’s just a bit too small, here’s the full size version.

~~~~~~~~~~

ticker 2Uni Watch News Ticker: New court design for Purdue (with thanks to Tom Hamann). … Joel Willy reports that the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters will be wearing Wisconsin Rapids Twins throwbacks tonight. … As you may know, most WNBA teams put their NOBs below the uni number, which makes Taj McWilliams-Franklin’s double-decker NOB all the more unusual-looking. You can see her going up for the jump ball in this shot (good spot by Jeremy Brahm). … What is this scary looking thing? That’s a Buster Posey bobblehead, of course, captured by Brinke at last night’s Mets/Giants game. More photos can be seen here. … What happens when you let Ryco, Kek, Movi & TK loose in Pittsburgh? Well, you get this moment at PNC. That’s Jim Vilk in his Bucco cap & Mauler tee, and Terence Kearns sporting the Ryberto cap. Fortunately, Doug Keklak had to take the pic, so we’re spared a shot of his outfit. I’m not sure where Ryan Connelly was though.

~~~

“The USA had BLACK jerseys today vs. Brazil. BLACK!?! Last I checked we were red, white and blue! This has to be the worst uniform in the history of uniforms.” — “Taylor”