'Kind of Blue Views from Elysian Fields'

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By Morris Levin

“Kind of Blue Views from Elysian Fields”

The St. Louis Cardinals are celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of their 1982 World Series championship. The Cardinals had defeated the Brewers in seven-games in 1982, and with the team in town earlier this month, the Cardinals made a weekend of it. For the Sunday game, the Cardinals sported what it called its 1982 “Victory Blue” road uniforms. It was the first time the Cardinals wore the “Victory Blue” in St. Louis.

It reminded me of the Blue Jays wearing their 1979 to 1988 road uniforms as a home alternate at (I’m still calling it) SkyDome from 2008 to 2010. The Royals introduced powder blue as an alternate home jersey for the 2008 season. Ostensibly, the powder blues were part of their tradition as “one of the clubs that initiated [powder blues] in that era” – which the Royals saw others to have copied.”

Perhaps The Onion was prescient in 1997 when it reported, “U.S. Dept. Of Retro Warns: ‘We May Be Running Out Of Past‘. We are now reimagining the road light blues as a distinguishing feature of team identity, as if the fabric color was the primary team color itself. Oh, how we forget the promise of the late-1980s as MLB came to its aesthetic sense and returned to grays.

Between the first road light blues of the White Sox in 1964, and the last in 1991, twelve of the twenty-six teams wore light blue on the road. The light blue color of the fabric served as symbol of the club playing on the road. But it was no more itself a team-representing color than gray is representative today of the Phillies or Yankees.

With few exceptions, gray was the MLB road uniform standard from the 1930s through the early-1960s. But while it was said that one could purchase any color of Model-T so long as it was black, this was not the case for gray baseball uniforms.

The image above shows a swatch of Color 26 on the left, and Color 58 on the right, in the Standard Club Base Ball Uniforms swatch book issued by GoldSmith for the 1932 season. The book belongs to Peter Capolino who graciously lent it to me for this piece.

The swatch book contains a full presentation of baseball uniform fabric swatch options by pattern and weight. Your local sporting goods store would have one of these books from which your local team (including professional) would select the fabric pattern and quality. In this case, home white was Color 14, white with thin navy pinstripe was Color 24, and here is Color 58 if you want a classic light gray, and here is Color 26 if you want your gray on the blue side.

Our contemporary powder blue uniforms have their roots in these multiple shades of gray.

The Chicago Cubs were the first to wear to go full powder blue in 1941 and 1942 on the road. That was it until 1964, when the Chicago White Sox changed their color from black and red to navy blue and white, and introduced road uniforms in a light blue gray. Note how light the blue-gray fabric is; this is the fabric in 1970. Paul surveyed MLB’s blue history here on Page 2 in 2005.

Baseball’s intro and use of the light blue road uniform paralleled the change in our viewing of baseball as mediated through the rapid adoption of color television between 1962 and 1972. ABC broadcast its first series in color in 1962, when only 3.1 percent of American households had color television sets. By 1966 and 1967, the three networks had switched their entire prime time broadcasting to color. It was not until 1972 that more color than black and white televisions were sold in the U.S., just in time for the Oakland A’s in the World Series.

The missing link for me is the 1972 Phillies road gray prototypes. Bill Henderson reports on these jerseys in the current Sixth Edition. The Phils wore flannel in 1971 and seemed to have intended to wear gray on the road when they introduced double-knits in 1972. Very quickly, the team found the gray jerseys to appear washed out on color television, and ordered the same uniforms in the the light blue. This was a move to change the canvas, not the team identity. [For those of you following at home, you can find this discussion on Page 1561 of the overall edition, which is in Chapter 26: Phillies, page 67.] This is the gray with a light blue tint worn in 1971, and light blue double-knits eventually worn in 1972.

The Seattle Pilots and Montreal Expos played their first seasons in 1969 wearing a true shade of blue on the road. The Pilots moved to Milwaukee in 1970 and the Brewers wore the Pilots uniforms, which became light blue double-knit in 1972. The White Sox changed to the bright light blue in 1971 which was rendered in double-knit like this in 1972. As for the Royals, they initially wore gray in 1969, subsequently switched to the darker light blue, and went blue in double knit in 1973.

Thankfully, as color televisions became the norm, and the explosion of color in the 1970s evolved into the late 1980s, teams remembered how much better they looked in gray than blue.

The Cardinals and Brewers returned to gray in 1985, the Rangers in 1986, the Twins and Braves in 1987, the Blue Jays and Phillies in 1989, the Cubs in 1990, and the Royals and Expos in 1992. The 1992 All-Star Game player intro was powder blue free. (Spoiler alert: White Sox wear black alternates, and the Reds are wearing the last pullover jersey).

The Phillies opened the 1989 season at Wrigley in the afternoon of Tuesday, April 4. I had baseball practice after school and was fearful I would miss the entirety of the Phils’ opener. But the game was in the top of the ninth when I came home after 6pm, and turned on the television. We did have a color television.

This is the Phillies in spring training in 1989; the picture was taken at West Palm Beach. The Phils wore their blue pants for road games, and for the first time in spring training, their batting practice top in place of their home and road game jerseys.

The Phillies, down by a run in Chicago, had loaded the bases with no outs against Cubs closer Mitch Williams. And they looked good. Striking out with the bases loaded all the same – they were wearing lovely gray renditions of their road uniforms. Say what you will about Lenny Dykstra, but that maroon and white on gray is solid. The blues were gone and the Phils now looked proper.

In 2010, the G8 summit moved a Blue Jays-Phillies series scheduled for Toronto to Citizens Bank Park. The Blue Jays batted last and the designated hitter was used, and it led to the awful image of the Phillies dressing like visitors in their own home. Which might be precisely the point, and my optical discomfort with the Blue Jays’ 2008 to 2010 roads at home, or the Royals’ alternate tops, and the Cardinals wearing their “Victory Blue” at home.

Uniforms are less utilitarian in baseball than in football or basketball but serve as important mnemonics of place, time, and occasion. Or at least that is my optics, normalized to see powder blues through this lens, when they have grown to be branded team symbols all the same, the canvas now the object.

. . . . .

Morris Levin is an independent small business consultant in Philadelphia, a member of Athletic Base Ball of Philadelphia, a supporter of the Philadelphia Stars West Parkside commemoration project, and editor of William F. Henderson’s “Game Worn MLB Jersey Guide”.

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Thanks, Morris, as always. Another terrific job!

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If you think this is bad…

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…that’s the new Notre Dame uniform to be worn for what is being called the “Shamrock Series” game (Oct. 6 against Miami at Soldier Field in Chicago). I worked a 14 hour day yesterday, and I’m glad I did, because I missed ALL to the talk about this absolutely horrid, pseudo-Maryland ripoff (and that’s being kind) Now, I’m speaking about the helmet, for the jersey is actually quite nice, but it’s all for naught if they’re going to be wearing that Loki shit on their heads. Fortunately, someone more erudite than I — a gentleman who’ll be returning to full-time weekday duty on Uni Watch next week — wrote a nice post for ESPN on the new uni/helmet. Give that a read, and lets discuss…

but wait…you ain’t seen nothin’ yet because very much under the radar…very much so…is the next iteration of the Oregon Ducks uniforms — and if you think Notre Dame’s helmet is bad…

…This could be worse

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Is that a two-tone (with semi-vertical/horizontal shading) jersey? Half “Lightning” half white? Really? Is that even legal under NCAA rules? Apparently the jersey on the left is of an ALL “Lightning” jersey — not a half & half — it only appeared that way to me due to the strong sunlight. (That pic, while not taken by him, comes courtesy of UO’s own Kenny Ocker via “Addicted to Quack”). I don’t really mind the new feather motif on the shoulders (basically these jerseys now feature the full color spectrum of their Rose Bowl Unis). And what wouldn’t the U of Zero be without a new helmet? Say, one to match their shiny Rose Bowl number, only in a different color? Maybe…something like this:

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Yup. Now THAT is cool looking, and it’s actually (kinda) in a school color. But that new two-tone jersey? Sorry, Oregon, you’ve finally created a uni even I can’t get behind.. Now — the helmet? Awesome — but ONLY because it’s Oregon — anyone else pulls this kind of crap and I’m going to hate it (are you listening Maryland and Notre Dame? Whoops, too late). Own this helmet UO…but for the love of God, please reconsider that white/lightning jersey. K? Thanks.

Update: More on the new Oregon unis here.

Discuss.

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NUA_Logo_5#NoUniAds Campaign…Day 29

This will be a regular feature on Uni Watch until the NBA rescinds its incredibly offensive and stupid proposal to place corporate advertising on uniforms.

And now, a personal note from Paul:

It’s important that we keep making our voices heard: Call the NBA’s publicly listed phone number (212-407-8000), ask for Adam Silver’s and/or David Stern’s office), e-mail deputy commissioner Adam Silver at his his publicly listed address (asilver@nba.com), and tweet to @NBA with the hashtag #NoUniAds. Do it now.

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Now, more of your letters to the NBA:

Dr. Pete Clark:

Unfortunately, your thought about adding advertisements to NBA uniforms will have the exact opposite of the intended effect, correctly analyzed.

Reduced fan allegiance, dramatically reduced sales of both jerseys and other team-branded goods and negative press cannot be over-emphasized. Whoever suggested this stillborn idea would fail any major university’s valuation course– including mine.

Take the dunce cap off– get an “A” and do the analysis right.

Matt Harris:

I am an avid reader of Uni Watch Blog, and am aware of their stance against the possibilities of ads on NBA uniforms. While I am usually in agreement with most of Uni Watch’s opinions/taste, I disagree here…to a point.

While I’d prefer pro sports uniforms without ads, I understand why leagues/teams would at least look into this. I do however think there should be some sort of regulations and/or limitations. Who the sponsor is, the size, location and quantity of the ads should be subject to approval to some sort of ‘Uniform Police’ (for lack of a better term).

A good example is European League soccer. Each of those teams have ads, and in most cases, it’s tastefully done.

Thank you for your time.

Thanks for keeping the faith readers! We can stop the NBA if we can keep up the pressure.

#NoUniAds!

Thanks to Tim E. O’Brien and Chris Giorgio for the image in the upper right of this section!

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“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.

. . . . .

Oh…THAT’S why the cute salesgirl said he looked like a movie star…

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ticker 2Uni Watch News Ticker: “At Shawn Marcum’s rehab start, and he’s the only one not high cuffed on the entire team,” says Wayne Boardman. “Forgot my camera, had to take this with my phone. Not sure if it’s a team rule that he was able to bend or what the team’s policy is.” … Jon Forbes was watching the USA vs Mexico game last night, and “I noticed that the Mexican captain’s (Francisco Javier Rodriguez) armband looked like the American’s kits. At first, I assumed they had just swapped armbands, but US captain Tim Howard had a Nike armband and Mexico is Adidas so that wouldn’t make sense.” … Jon Solomonson says, “Here are 117 options you have for vanity license plates in Florida. I guess they’re really “support somthingerother” plates. All FL sports teams are represented.” … Here are the whole uniforms for UMass. Says, Joe Condon “At least it isn’t all black.” … Oh, God, no: Davian Almonte don’t know how solid this info is but saw this cap on new era talk a hat forum. “This is a possible example of what new era intends to release for their 2012 breast cancer awareness promotion in October.” … Caleb Borchers checks in with this: “Argentina have recently moved their rugby team to Nike. Given how awful the new jerseys are, I wonder why they didn’t just wear the practice jerseys.” … This admonition came from Zachary Gelber: “NBA ‘opposes’ Nets Jerseys! David Stern “allegedly” does it again. Have you guys ever heard of anything as ridiculous (and borderline racist) as this? In any league?” More on the Nets & JayZ here (thanks to Kyle Hanks) … Two bits from Chris Mahr: Putting an End to College Football’s Ridiculous New Uniforms, and (oh shit), Photos of Central Michigan’s New All-Black Football Uniforms. … Gregory Koch sends in this: USA Field Hockey Warmup Spotted at UConn Field Hockey Game – and there’s lime green piping! … Bills throwbacks from Nike? Timothy Tryjankowski says, “Perhaps I’ve been under a rock..but if not covered..this site lists AFL nike jerseys for sale. It includes the Buffalo Bills road white throwback jersey. Might we see Da Bills in their white tops, and spectacular standing red buffalo helmets this season? Patriots throwback is also there.” … This comes from Casey Hart: “The stencil for the dreaded mound logo at GABP.” … Unlike Matt Powers’ DIY, this one is really good: Dave Sikula was at the Giants/Nats game Wednesday, and while waiting for his friend, saw this guy in a “Boo” t-shirt. The front had a logo for “The Sons of Johnnie LeMaster,” but I didn’t get a chance to ask him about it. … Good spot from Adam Hep — Used Reebok NFL pants on LaMichael James. … My buddy, and our “Sunday Morning Uni Watch” correspondent Terry Duroncelet send us this. “Here’s something that Olympic junkies and gearheads in the drummerverse alike can appreciate: These are the Zildjian cymbals that Zak Starkey used for last Sunday’s closing ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics.” … I hope they didn’t charge her $106. Jim Walatis writes, “Here’s an image from the online Chicago Tribune story linked below of Alice Lundstrom, a 106 year old Cub fan who was given a $106 uniform.” I think he meant a “#” 106 uniform. Of course, I might know that if I could actually read the article where that picture was found. … Pacific Rim correspondent Jeremy Brahm checks in with this: “It is not often that you seen a macron (line over a vowel) in a script look like this.” … Mike Colvin from Big Slices of Wrong writes, “My brother was going through some old T-Shirts and came across this one featuring all the Minor League logos from 2001 on the front and back. Very cool!” … Both Brinke and Jeremy Brahm felt this was important, so here it is: USF unveils new logos, website. And finally, Johnny Bruno was watching Sportscenter and noticed Don Mattingly has changed to #88. He was wearing #8 but that was given to Shane Victorino when he got traded to the Dodgers.

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And that is it for this week, folks. Paul has a pretty big week coming up on the mothership, beginning on Monday — so I think I’m gonna ask that he do a nice lede on that for Monday (ain’t I magnanimous?). Thanks to Morris for another stellar article, Ricko for his Benchies, and you fine readers for indulging me (and of course to all those keeping the fight against uni ads going). You folks have a great weekend — Ek will take you through to Monday. Catch you then.

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“I’m not against everything new, but for corn’s sake, this is just crap. Is it so horrible to expect teams to once in a while play as themselves? It seems to me anytime there is even remotely anything special about a game, the corpos ruin it. Fuck all this shit man, they are killing uni watching, and I have nearly had enough.”
–Robert P. Marshall, III

The Tao of Steve -- Part I

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By Phil Hecken

If you like baseball, and you like color photography — and you love baseball uniforms of the 60’s and 70’s — then I hope you have a couple of hours handy today.

Several years ago, old Uni Watch readers (or should I say, “long-time” Uni Watch readers) will remember, we frequently made reference to a site, called “Steve’s Baseball Photography Pages (A pictoral history of baseball in the 1960s and 70s” or thatsmyboy03.com. Like the name implies, it contains thousands of beautiful color photographs (posed, game action, non-game photos) from those two colorful decades, chronicling every team and various different uniforms worn during those two decades. You can get lost in there, literally — I remember spending hours upon hours just checking out the photos.

If you look at the home page, you’ll note that Steve’s last update was July 4, 2009. I’m not sure what happened since then (and I believe at one time that site was listed under the Uni Watch Recommends [a/k/a “links”] section of this blog). But there are probably thousands of readers who’ve come aboard UW since 2009 who have never experienced SBPP. It’s incredible.

The site is basically divided into two sections — the “team pages” (Boston Red Sox, Detroit, Houston and Kansas City, and Philadelphia and Pittsburgh just to name a few), and then there are the “blog”-ish posts — which in my mind is where the real gems reside. I’ll be taking a look at some of the more awesome pics in the first half of those today, just to whet your appetites.

Anyone who loves baseball (or even doesn’t, since the photography is outstanding) really should spend a bunch of time on this site. If you’re like me, in your mid-to-late 40s, and you grew up with most of these uniforms, then this will be both a trip down memory lane and a look back at the time when baseball was transitioning from wool flannel to double-knits, color tv was coming into vogue, and almost anything went when it came to fashion both on and off the field. If you’re younger, this is going to be quite a history lesson for you, and one which I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

OK, enough of my yakking — lets take some looks at some of the more awesome shots contained in SBPP:

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clepowell810• Steve has several photographs of Boog Powell — but I bet not a lot of you will remember (or think of him) as a Dodger! (And thanks to the Cleveland Indians all-red ‘blood clots’, a none-too-flattering pic in that uni as well.)

• “Getting it right the first time:” The Minnesota Twins road uniform was perfect from the get-go, and has never looked as good as the first years.

• The Brewers, who moved from Seattle after just one season, basically kept the road and home uniforms from the Seattle Pilots. Yes, there are lots of Pilots photos. Lots and lots — loved those scrambled eggs on the brim.

• I’m not a big fan of vests (or sleeveless jerseys, nowadays), but for some reason, I always loved the Cleveland Indians look — they wore those from 1963-1969, although with a blue cap and (and red sleeves) in 1963 & 1964.

• There are a couple of sections with great shots of the 1972 All Star Game. There were a few good hitters at that game…for both sides. I hope the Astros return to the blue-dominate “shooting star” uni next season, but even I’ll admit, the orange looked pretty fine too.

• For the monochrome uniform lovers, there are dozens of photos of the Padres in their gold (they wore that in 1972 & 1973, although in ’73 they wore the roads with white sanis) — and look at how empty Fulton County stadium appears there. Plus the Fathers in brown tops and gold tops over white pants with gold sanis/brown stirrups.

18500schmidt• It might be the color filter, but look how blue the Phillies powder blues were.

• Hmmmm…signs of the times — what’s that in the background? Yes, less enlightened times back then.

• Not a big fan of this Cubs sleeve patch, although others disagree.

• On the other hand, I loved this White Sox uniform (worn in 1969-70) — probably because they paired it with blue sanitaries.

• The Reds wore this pinstriped vest with matching cap from 1961-66 (and the sleeve hems were black — a very interesting quirk begun in 1961, when the originally plain vests had one single black piece of piping, begun as a memorial for team owner Powell Crosley). They added the reciprocal stripe in 1962 and kept it there for five years. But the “C-reds” patch was navy blue (sometimes mistakenly depicted as black in throwbacks).

• Lots of photos of the Senators (1968-71), including the blue script and block “W” cap home and road (1959-60,), as well as the pinstripes & blue curly W cap home and road (with dropshadow “W” and soutache!).

• Some great shots of the KC Athletics (look at the TV number), which they wore only in 1961, the sleeveless vest & white crown cap (a rare 1962 alt), and then green and white (and sometimes green and gold), when Charles O. Finley began making his mark on baseball (they began wearing green/gold in 1963, and added the green & white in 1964 and wore it through 1967).

• Many of Steve’s shots are from Spring Training, and it’s always jarring to see jackets underneath uniforms, particularly when they’re in different colors from what the sleeves would be.

• The Orioles used to have an odd-looking sleeve patch, which to my knowledge, never brought back through all their uniform iterations over the years.

• More monochrome: sprinkled throughout the website are photos of the bloodclot Indians and the all-orange Baltimore Orioles.

cledoby810• LOVE this photo of Larry Doby, wearing a special coaches soutache cap — speaking of special caps for coaches, the Oakland A’s manager and coaches wore white caps for years to distinguish them from players.

• You guys know the Pirates wore a “21” patch for Roberto Clemente, but prior to the patch, in one of the first uni-memorial gestures, the simply wore a black ribbon (I believe) safety-pinned to their sleeves. And how great were those flocked helmets?

• I know a lot of folks don’t like the Braves wearing the solid blue cap with their roads, but it’s actually a harkback to 1968-71 unis, before they went to the wild feather-on-sleeve look.

• When did the Padres (top row, center) wear this? Not in the bigs — that’s a shot of the PCL Padres, in a uniform that looked similar to this 1952 one — anyone have an idea of the date on this one? Ricko?

• I’m not sure if this is a goof or not but look at the size of that glove (on Fritz Peterson — bottom row, left)!

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That’s going to do it for this installment of the Tao of Steve. If you spend the rest of the day on that site, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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NUA_Logo_5#NoUniAds Campaign…Day 28

This will be a regular feature on Uni Watch until the NBA rescinds its incredibly offensive and stupid proposal to place corporate advertising on uniforms.

And now, a personal note from Paul:

It’s important that we keep making our voices heard: Call the NBA’s publicly listed phone number (212-407-8000), ask for Adam Silver’s and/or David Stern’s office), e-mail deputy commissioner Adam Silver at his his publicly listed address (asilver@nba.com), and tweet to @NBA with the hashtag #NoUniAds. Do it now.

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READER SHOUT-OUT TODAY: Dan Bewley is a reporter with the CBS television affiliate in Tulsa, OK. He’s also an avid reader of Uni Watch.

He writes, “I’m curious about your campaign to stop the NBA from putting ads on NBA jerseys. I was wondering if you’ve had any contact with NBA fans here in Oklahoma who are upset. I’d like to do a story on that but I would need to speak with a local fan.”

So, If you’re on board with the #NoUniAds movement and live in or near Oklahoma City, drop us a line! OK? OK!!!

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Now, more of your letters to the NBA:

Gabe Billig (who has a unique twist to the campaign, although I’m uncertain as to its efficacy):

dear “Mr.” Silver
es gogni uniformia des fret gorchoni.
es gogni uniformia des fret gorchoni.
es gogni uniformia des fret gorchoni.
es gogni uniformia des fret gorchoni.
es gogni uniformia des fret gorchoni.
es gogni uniformia des fret gorchoni.
es gogni uniformia des fret gorchoni.
es gogni uniformia des fret gorchoni.
es gogni uniformia des fret gorchoni.
es gogni uniformia des fret gorchoni.
es gogni uniformia des fret gorchoni.
es gogni uniformia des fret gorchoni.
i speak english but i figured i will annoy you because you are annoying me with uniform ads.

Matt “Chicago Shep” Shepardson (who writes not to Mr. Silver, but the UW community with this admonition):

The more I think about the NBA survey about adding ads that they sent yesterday, the more sick I get about it. I mentioned in the comments section yesterday that I didn’t fill it out because it didn’t have a “no ads” option in the questions and I didn’t want to be part of the spin that the survey results will surely borne. I was being slightly smartly about the spin, but as I’ve thought about it, I really think that the questions have been designed in a way as to facilitate provide either a supporting info set for their chosen outcome, or a facilitate a response similar to “it isn’t as bad as people thought… the ads we’re *actually* using are so much less obtrusive than people assumed they would be”.

I know that it’s fallen off the front page, but I’m afraid if we don’t come up with some new angle (I’m not sure how many more emails/phone calls/tweets I can make without being classified as a stalker,) we will discover that the NBA is moving forward with what will change the aesthetic of every American sports league forever. I’m not sure I have any concrete ideas, but there has to be a way to make a point and utilize the larger media to make our point for us. I’m hoping that we haven’t list this already…

Good points, Chicago Shep. But we can’t approach this with the attitude that the NBA has already decided to move forward with the ads. Perhaps a new and different campaign is needed — if anyone out there has any new ideas, please share them in the comments.

Thanks for keeping the faith readers! We can stop the NBA if we can keep up the pressure.

#NoUniAds!

Thanks to Tim E. O’Brien and Chris Giorgio for the image in the upper right of this section!

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Stirrups -- AttentionAttention! Stirrups!

This past Monday we had a fantastic lede from Comrade Robert Marshall. If you haven’t read that, do yourself a favor and do so now. In case you missed it, Robert is back with more stirrup offerings, and he discusses them below:

* As far as “new” offerings go, I have a feeling interest will be underwhelming, but that has to come with the territory every now and again. On the bright side the latest crop were shipped to me last Thursday, and will be in Chicago on Tuesday 9-15, at the latest, so there is that bonus.

* Some have asked me what the “official” stirrup of the Revolution is, and I say Nap gave us the stirrup and called it good, so they are all good, book closed. but I need/want to reissue the Nap for those who say, yeah, I dig what Nap put down. Even if it wasn’t the “first” stirrup, it was what started the revolution, and at conception was navy and white hose in a style vastly under appreciated, love the single fat stripe. And it is a early 1900’s 4″ instead of the usual 5″, sorry 7ist counter revolutionaries.

* I feel the need to say thank you to Kansas City and the wonderful people I met there, so why not a Monarch in navy and gold?

* Reissue “new” choices include the Bravos, Phillies, and Athletics (also a KC shout out, but in dark green).

* If there is anything else you are looking for maybe I can help at robertmarshallart.com

from each according their stirrvp,
to each according their strype.

comrade 91200

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“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.

. . . . .

You win some, you lose some, sometimes you dodge a big ol’ bullet…

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ticker 2Uni Watch News Ticker: Lukas Hoffland was reading through his copy of the 2012 Green Bay Packers yearbook this evening when he noticed something odd. The jerseys in the yearbook photos looked awfully clean. Like, pre-logo-creep-era clean. The cover of the 2012 yearbook has a Reebok and a no-Reebok version. From the Packers Pro Shop website, the cover WITH the Reebok logo, and, from the Packerville, U.S.A. blog, the cover WITHOUT the Reebok logo. … “Hanley’s lower leg stylings,” says Dustin Kline. “The Dodgers posted this picture on their facebook page on Aug. 9. I know things are laid back in LA, but no socks at all? C’mon man!” … More “same logos” from Alexander Tsipis: Eagan High School looks almost identical to KSU. … Paul Lee says, “I know this is an article from March of last year, but since Carmelo was late in filing for number 15 for the 2011-12 season, is it possible that he filed to wear number 15 before March 1, 2012 for the upcoming 2012-13 season to coincide with the new NYK jerseys?” … From the “Ah, isn’t that cute” file: Coleman Mullins found this old photo of himself in Little League (’88?). Look close, stirrups! … A couple of people noticed Yankees Manager Joe Girardi was wearing a Yankees jersey with the Majestic logo. On the field – Two nights in a row. Says Paul, who forwarded that to me, “Scandalous!” … Doug Keklak grabbed this shot of former Pirates reliever Kent Tekulve with his name misspelled on his jersey at Pirates’ Fantasy Camp. … Check out this video of names being added to Penn State jerseys (thanks to Andrew Hoenig). … Yesterday, I ticker-linked to WarBlogles old Auburn jerseys. He forgot to send the link to his original post showing all of Auburn’s uniforms. … Eddie (Atari) Westfield notes the Giants have blue Nike-swooshes on their white practice jerseys. Will this carry over to their gameday whites? … Matt Daley notes Bowling Green is an Adidas school. On Monday at BGSU’s football practice, one of the coaches came out wearing Nike gear. This mistake earned a post-practice punishment, where the coach had to run a drill normally reserved for players who mess up in practice. … Jonathan Mayer says there are a couple uni-notable things in this picture. We all know college teams have multiple players with the same number, but it still looks strange to see all the duplicate numbers. Also, they went with the monochrome blue look, and the rumored matte blue helmet is shown up front. … Chris Mahr informs us UMass Football Gets All-Black Helmets for 2012. Sweet. We need more BFBS. This was also noted by Joe Condon, and seconded by John Glynn. … “Nike to make a run at taking over Wilson as NFL football manufacturer?” asks Justin Howland. “Rubber laces. Footballs color-coded to match teams. swooshes everywhere. groan.” (also spotted by Dan Rakowski) … Rick Friedel saw these All America game caps on UA’s facebook page. “I think its a nice touch that they used Maryland’s state colors,” he says. … Jason Mott found this photo of Cal Ripken in a Rays jersey. Odd. … Interesting find from Daniel Rerko on synthetically laced footballs. From the article, it seems that quarterbacks have been having trouble with new synthetic laces on the preseason game balls. He adds, “Sounds a whole lot like thee NBA’s issues with switching from leather to synthetic basketballs.” … “Fi+SrNOB” alert from Alex Skelton who notes Pierre Allen Sr. is a defensive Lineman for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and who features a first initial AND “SR.” on his jersey. … Donnie Gould “Found this interesting when I was surfing around the Premier League team pages. If you scroll down it will show you all of the team kits, plus both the club sponsor and the kit supplier which are both links to their respective websites.” … Shouldn’t the Cardinals pennant only be found in Somalia?: Ben Ford “went to a pizza place in Kansas City today that had World Series champion pennants for BOTH the Royals and Cardinals. (The Royals actually won.) The restaurant (www.waldopizza.net) sells “St. Louis-style” pizza, so maybe the owners are Cards fans and it’s a bit of wishful thinking on their part. Don’t know where they would have bought the pennant, though.” … Condoleeza Rice claims the Browns as her team (thanks Brinke. … “Ever see this before…pretty cool early technology” writes Alan Tompas, referring to this very early helmet-cam (too bad those aren’t blue brown Bronco helmets. … Richard Drummond is a student at CMU. “We just unveiled our new football unis and I have to say, I really like the gold alternate. I don’t know how I feel about the black yet though! Here’s the hype video.” Thanks to Jeff Ash, we learn the Old Expos logo has become a fashion statement, for younger hipsters, according to the CBC. … It’s one thing to outsource your USA Olympics unis to China, like Ralph Lauren did. This is quite a bit worse. From Mike Wissman: “Saw this at Macy’s on Saturday in the section with all of their overpriced Olympic gear. There were several countries represented but I found it rather appalling that in this case, given the year they’d select Germany. 1934 wasn’t exactly a year to celebrate in German (or world) history. And if Lauren had chosen to ‘recognize’ that great year of 1935 instead, that flag of Germany would have looked much different. Surprised they can get away with this. Completely insensitive to those still living today who were impacted by the horror of the Nazi regime.” … More on the Irish in Ireland from Warren Junium: New Adidas pant and jersey for ND.

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That’s it for this fine Thursday, everyone. Thanks to my guest wri…wait, I actually did this one all by myself. Anyway, make sure you read the #NoUniAds section, if you haven’t, and if you live in the OKC area and are on board with our campaign, be sure to drop us a line. Thanks to Ricko, as always, for the Frisbee chronicles, and make sure you buy a pair or three of stirrups from Comrade Marshall. I want to warn everyone in advance that today is going to be a personal day-from-hell for me (at least a 14-15 hour workday, among other things — and if you saw my comment total yesterday, that was no picnic either), so hopefully the ticker submissions will be light (and I hope to get to all of them for Friday). But Morris Levin will have another great lede for you tomorrow, as usual. Everyone have a great day.

~~~

“In the entire interest of clarity, I knew what you meant (being that I’m a guy), but there is a good percentage of the population (>50%, if I recall correctly) that don’t get a guy’s perspective.”
–Teebz

Messing With Tradition: Behind the Scenes of the Nebraska Football Alternate

adi-1039_ncaa_nebraska_gloves

By Phil Hecken

I’m back today with Tim Newcomb, who you may remember graced the Uni Watch pages a short while ago with his look at the making of an Olympic Soccer Boot. Once the “special” one-off uniforms for the Nebraska Cornhuskers (in their rivalry game against Wisconsin) were announced, Tim wanted to do a rundown of the unis, complete with an interview with Michael Stephens, Nebraska’s assistant athletic director in charge of apparel — I couldn’t turn that down, so I told Tim to go for it. And now it’s ready for prime time. You’re sure to enjoy this one folks, so here’s Mr. Newcomb and his take on…

. . . . .

Messing With Tradition: Behind the Scenes of the Nebraska Football Alternate
By Tim Newcomb

You’ll be quickly forgiven if you weren’t aware that Nebraska’s first-ever new-concept alternate jersey—you know, the one with the black helmet and the giant black “N” on the chest of the all-red uniform—is actually a nod to the past. Everything new has to have an element of tieback these days, right?

As the Huskers unveiled their red-based, black-highlighted uniform it will wear just once, at Homecoming on Sept. 29 against Wisconsin (the Badgers will also wear an alternate that contest), tradition-loving Nebraska fans cried foul. And loudly, with the word “ugly” in constant use on message boards. But, hey, at least the red “N” on the helmet didn’t go anywhere, a move that was never even on the table during design meetings.

Michael Stephens, Nebraska’s assistant athletic director in charge of apparel, tells Uni Watch that messing with the red “N” was simply not an option. “I’d say that’s a big deal,” he says. “It is a branding piece we wanted to keep the same.”

With the helmet’s “N” locked down, Nebraska certainly provided a different look with the remainder of the alternate for Cornhusker fans accustomed to a simple white helmet with basic red or white shirts over the opposite color pants (white tops with red bottoms for the road and red tops with white bottoms at home). Now they’ve got all the red they can handle and a bit more than a splash of black.

For Nebraska fans unhappy that their beloved Huskers broke from tradition with the red-black uniform, blame Adidas. “Adidas had come to us with some concepts six months ago with what they wanted to do,” Stephens says. “Once we got into talking about doing something for one game, doing one major national event made sense.”

Nebraska didn’t just take all that Adidas had to offer, instead starting a discussion full of revisions (Stephens says he can’t even remember the original concept) to get to the Homecoming uniform. During that process, Stephens knew that Husker tradition rivals corn itself as the most important ingredient in a happy Nebraska fan, so the school was careful to not “overstep the bounds.”

Once word leaked this summer that Nebraska was working on an alternate, questions quickly arose over how much black would get included. With scarlet and cream the official colors, you can’t get too funky—and alternates are all about funky, right?—without mixing in another color. Cue the black, a highlight the Huskers have played with in the past. Add in some tradition—remember, that concept plays well in corn country—and black really has a foothold, as Nebraska’s storied defense has long been known as the “black shirts.” The nickname has gone so far that defensive players are rewarded with actual black shirts in practice once coaches feel they’ve earned them.

So, was Nebraska to moving the black from defensive lore to a game jersey? “There was some discussion on that,” Stephen says. “It didn’t get a lot of traction. Black is an accent color and has never been one of our primary colors, so we didn’t go down that road very far.” That left scarlet as king. But black still had reason to join the party. “I wouldn’t say black as a theme was a given,” Stephens says. “It was something (Adidas) thought looked good on a jersey and as we moved along, we agreed with them. It was never a given that way, but we felt that black added quite a bit to the uniform and thought (fans) would enjoy it.”

In keeping with the marketing-first theme of alternates—the new looks not only create high interest at the shops selling the threads, but also in the young players and recruits, as chronicled in my Sports Illustrated article — Nebraska “thought touches of black on the entire outfit would be something our current student-athletes would enjoy wearing.” Plus, as Stephens is quick to point out, this is only for one game and in no way sets a new Nebraska precedent.

But back to tradition. With a stark shiny black helmet giving the traditional scarlet “N” and stripe down the middle a slightly modernized feel, the “N” went even more modern by harkening back to 1929. The scarlet shirt, with two black stripes on the sleeves replacing white (almost shocking that Adidas couldn’t talk them into three stripes) is punctuated by a giant block black “N” on the chest, with the uniform number relegated to a chest patch. The front-loaded “N” is actually the look from the 1929 jersey. “It makes it different and for one game I think it’s a good idea,” Stephens says.

The scarlet pants fall in line with the jersey, with two black stripes down the side, giving Nebraska a red-over-red look for the first time since 1986. A black base layer under the shirt provides more black and offers a tonal “N” on the sleeves. If players opt for the gloves, the insides contain the “N” logo, as is trendy these days. The socks and shoes even go black, with a bit of red for some flare. The fit of the jersey will look slightly different than normal Nebraska wear, as the Cornhuskers will opt with the new Adidas Techfit uniform for the alternate, which includes new fabrics, a different stitching pattern and a slimmer cut.

Since this new alternate was inspired by apparel company-marketing (Adidas is really playing up that both schools will wear alternates on the same night with cheesy slogans and such), don’t expect the one-off looks to keep rolling out for Nebraska, especially as traditionalists get in line to bemoan the caving in of the school to a corporation. Stephens says Nebraska certainly isn’t committed to something each year.

And if Nebraska ever does tinker with an alternate again, rest assured that scarlet “N” on the side of the helmet isn’t going anywhere. Tradition won’t allow it.

. . . . .

Tim Newcomb is a regular contributor with Time, Sports Illustrated and other publications. You can follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.

~~~

Thanks Tim — nice job and great interview. Readers? What say you?

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NUA_Logo_5#NoUniAds Campaign…Day 27

This will be a regular feature on Uni Watch until the NBA rescinds its incredibly offensive and stupid proposal to place corporate advertising on uniforms.

And now, a personal note from Paul:

It’s important that we keep making our voices heard: Call the NBA’s publicly listed phone number (212-407-8000), ask for Adam Silver’s and/or David Stern’s office), e-mail deputy commissioner Adam Silver at his his publicly listed address (asilver@nba.com), and tweet to @NBA with the hashtag #NoUniAds. Do it now.

~~~

More of your letters to the NBA:

Kevin Callahan:

I have been a fan since the early ’70’s and have witnessed some of the greatest moments in NBA history. I have to say that the decision to place ads on team uniforms is a terrible one. Until now, the only place to escape the incessant advertising in NBA arenas was by watching the action on the court and you are now taking that away.

My kids love NBA basketball, too, but I can safely say that I will never purchase an NBA jersey for them that is festooned with ads.

Jerry Shea, Jr.

I am a 39 year old NBA fan. I grew up in Boston during the height of the Celtics/Lakers rivalry and from there through the Jordan era I was a passionate, diehard fan of your sport. For several years, I lost interest when I felt like the fundamentals of the game were being lost. However, players like LeBron James have renewed my interest in the sport.

Last year, I attended my first NBA game in 6 years. It was the first NBA game ever for my wife and daughter. We had an amazing experience and attended two more Sacramento Kings games (I now live in Northern California) before the season was over. Please don’t allow the incompetent Maloof brothers to move the franchise, but that’s another matter!

When I read that the NBA is planning to have Corporate Sponsorship (i.e. ad space sold) on jerseys, my wife and I were both furious. Is there nothing sacred in sports anymore? One of the things I’ve always respected about the NBA is the lack of ads all over the place. Other than the scorer’s table and the goal post, there is very little advertising that one sees when watching a game on TV. You see the sport itself, which is beautiful. So, to go from that to the extreme of having an ad on the jerseys is hard to fathom. Besides, the ads on jerseys will not lead to fewer commercials or cheaper tickets will they? We both know the answer to that.

Please look at the other sports of the “Big 4″ of American Sports. Football, Hockey and Baseball, which do not plan to put ads on jerseys at this time. Don’t compare yourself to less popular leagues like NASCAR, where teams have no “home” stadium, ratings have been declining for years and they look ridiculousor MLS, WNBA, D-League or Minor League Hockey. These sports need the additional revenue and are not nearly as relevant (if at all) in American life.

If you decide to go the ad on jerseys route, I can assure you that you have just lost 3 fans and I am sure there are many, many more who feel the same way. Please reconsider this awful idea. Whatever revenue you stand to gain will be equal to the revenue and respect you will lose from fans like us. How can you put a price tag on respect and class? Thank you for your time.

Thanks for keeping the faith readers! We can stop the NBA if we can keep up the pressure.

#NoUniAds!

Thanks to Tim E. O’Brien and Chris Giorgio for the image in the upper right of this section!

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Screen Shot 2012-06-24 at 10.32.36 PM

“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.

. . . . .

Okay, okay, so maybe they’re more like “outfits”…

8-15-12 d-frisbee unis

Click to enlarge

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ticker 2Uni Watch News Ticker: Looks like Cards have a white piping along the black piping. Is this stitching? asks Mario Murillo. … Ah, the “backwards” swoosh. Jeff Shirley asks, “I thought the swoosh logos looked a little weird, especially on the right shoulders, where they appear to be backwards. Now, I’ve heard they wanted the logo to appear as it does on both sides of the shoes, but why didn’t they do this back when they originally supplied NFL uniforms in the late 90’s and early 2000’s?” I have to admit, this has annoyed me (the new, ‘backwards’ swoosh) since the unis were unveiled last spring. But the “backwards” swooshie on the right sleeve is only moderately annoying compared to this totally fucked-up backwards swooshie, spotted by Jerry Kulig (and also shown in yesterday’s comments by John Zajac). … Yesterday, we saw the helmet that goes along with the new Army football uniforms, but David Harville brings us plenty of good shots of the jerseys from media day at Danny Wild’s site. … Normally, we bitch about sleeves disappearing on NFL jerseys, but Stephen Peters feels “Romo’s sleeves are the biggest gaffe I’ve seen lately. Why so much white sleeve under the stripes? I know in years past, QBs had long(er) sleeves, but never—to my recollection—with so much white under the stripes.” … Now that the Olympics are finally over, George Chilvers brings us 10 ways to fill the void. … Skott Daltonic comes through with an awesome “wrestlers in baseball jerseys” (via The Loaded Glove tumblr page): Randy Savage, CM Punk, Jerry Lawler, Knuckleball Schwartz, Edge, Steve Austin, John Cena, Hulk Hogan. … Every year during NCAAFB season, someone inevitably asks, “What’s that sticker on Iowa’s helmets?” And we know it’s the America Needs Farmers sticker. But, a lot of us don’t know why it’s there. Now we do, thanks to Lost Lettermen (and Chris Mahr). Also from Chris, more on the wretched VT camo unis and a report on Idaho’s shiny new black helmets with flecks of gold in them. Yes, really. … Does Duke have a BFBS helmet? If not, they do now — Joe Sewash says, “Here’s a website I think you’ll like: Duke Now: Cutcliffe unveils new helmets for Duke.” … A gentleman who goes by the handle, “oldguyzac” was wandering through the UTSA digital archives and found some great photos. Here’s another, and another (“Wish we could see what the sign says and more of the shoulder patch”), and another (“Love the diagramming board”), and (“Here’s my favorite of the lot and the last one I’ll pass along”) one more. Says Zac, “Thanks for the website. It has become a regular part of my day.” … George Chilvers informs us the Rams won’t be playing at Wembly: “Don’t know if this has been publicised there. But could someone explain what the heck ‘In an effort to focus on the Edward Jones Dome First Tier Process with the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission…’ means :S” … Ryan Dowgin is the “proud owner of two of the nicer hockey jerseys ever made. Nicer is the word I am looking for, right? The first is a Craig Mills Phoenix Coyotes jersey that was worn during training camp in 2000-01 according to the letter accompanying it (even though inside the jersey it says 2002-03 Game Issued). The second is the famous Cleveland Lumberjacks warmup jersey which I picked up for a cool $25 from the latest MEARS Online Auction.” … Marc Bauche sent along this article on an absolutely dreadful hockey promotion, in which “The Adelaide Adrenaline of the Australian Ice Hockey League donned “BrasON” jerseys during Sunday’s warmups as part of a nationwide campaign to raise money for breast cancer research.” Really? I’m all for breast health, and breast cancer research and such, but really. … Nile Smith reports Liverpool has changed their soccer goal nets to Red. Back of the goals were red from the 60s to mid 90s. New manager Brendan Rodgers wanted the red goals back. … Here’s a short video taken from KJ Wright’s helmet camera before the Seahawks/Titans pre-season game (thanks to Kyle Hanks). Good god do those Seabirds unis suck. … “New Toledo Helmet” says Ryan Lindemann (even though it was seen in the ticker a couple days ago) — “Love the color! It’ll be interesting to see it paired with the uni set.” … “WarBlogle” sends in his idea for Auburn to wear throwbacks, including paintings of every uniform they’ve ever worn (up to like, 1946 or something). But–how sweet would this be as a throwback? … Dan Graham noticed the Raiders were in black cleats for the first time that he can remember in my lifetime watching football (32 years, since he was 5) against the Cowboys. … It’s not quite the great buffalo migration, but Eli Swanson was witness to Prince and The Great Squatchee Migration as seen in the top of the 6th inning on August 13th vs. the Twins. … Alex Carlson writes, “I was on vacation and was at Sunday’s Indians-Red Sox game for Gaylord Perry bobblehead day and the bobblehead included schmutz on his hat to “aid” his pitching performance. A nice touch.” Indeed.

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Shockingly — that’s all for today. I know, right? Anyway, thanks to Tim Newcomb for that great article and Ricko for the next installment of his Frisbee Chronicles, plus the NBA #NoUniAds protesters! Keep those letters coming. See ya on the morrow.

~~~

“The mention of the U.S. women’s soccer team today reminds me of how happy I am to see the success of American women in sports. Even though our country is not without its faults their medal count in the Olympics (as well as previous Olympics, World Cups, etc.) shows that one thing we’ve been doing right is being more acceptable of women playing sports. At least more acceptable than other industrialized countries. We could be better on gender issues, but I feel this shows that we’ve been heading in the right direction. The eye candy element doesn’t hurt either.”
— James Ashby

Los Gigantes de San Francisco

Los Gigantes

By Phil Hecken

I love it when readers approach me with an idea for a story — even more so when they don’t have one but still want to help out. Today’s guest writer, Jose Coria approached me in just such a way this past July:

Good Morning Phil,

I’m writing to express interest in helping to write a column for Uni Watch. I’ve been a reader for about 4 years now. I can’t even remember how I first stumbled on it, but I’ve been loyal since.

It’s actually been a bit since I wrote a proper column, back to my high school days. My ten year reunion is in November, so that gives you an idea; however, I’m confident I could produce some quality stuff if given the chance. I have a small Spanish language blog I updated sporadically over at gigantesbeisbol.blogspot.com, which is more of an exercise in keeping up with Spanish than anything else, but on the chance you can read Spanish, that’s a reference.

I don’t have a ton of ideas on what to write about, but if you think I am someone who can contribute, I can run with any ideas you have, and do some additional brainstorming on my own to submit something.

Thanks for you time.

Best,
Jose

As fate would have it, I was currently reading Willie Mays’ biography, by James Hirsch, so his request couldn’t have come at a more propitious time. I replied that Jose might want to explore something along the lines of the San Francisco Giants and their use of “Gigantes” (Latin heritage) jerseys, since we needed a uni-theme. I also knew from that book that the Giants had been on of the more progressive teams (mostly in New York, but also in San Francisco) at integrating black and Latin players, actually employing the first all-black outfield in professional baseball. A few e-mails later, and we were set. Jose even went a step further and interviewed Erwin Higueros, the Giants’ Spanish-language broadcaster, for some details and background. What follows then, is Jose’s first article on Uni Watch, fittingly on…

. . . . .

Los Gigantes de San Francisco
By Jose Coria

This year will mark the 8th season the San Franciso Giants have donned their Spanish-language Gigantes jerseys. It’s a practice that’s grown increasingly popular among other major league teams, as we saw the team across the bay debut an “Atléticos” jersey themselves last year. While many might consider this gimmicky, or another ploy to sell more jersey to us suckers, I like to think that it has a lot more to do with the organization paying homage to the Giants history and the fans they represent.

The Giants first donned their Gigantes jerseys on May 21st, 2005 during the unveiling of Juan Marichal’s statue outside of then SBC Park (now AT&T Park.) This had never happened in the team’s 122-year history. They in fact became the first team in Major League Baseball to translate their name to Spanish and wear it on their jerseys, not including the Padres of course. It was a decision the organization took to brand the Gigantes name, said Erwin Higueros, the Spanish language radio broadcaster for the team, in a phone interview. “I wasn’t just one time for the Giants to do it. We had to get approval from MLB to not only translate the name but to be able to wear them during Major League baseball games.” Since then, the Giants have worn them for a variety of occasions, from the Cinco De Mayo game, to Latino Heritage Night.

The San Francisco Giants’ cultural history can be traced to July 8th, 1949, when Hank Thompson and Monte Irvin became the first black Giants. Later in 1951, during Willie Mays’ rookie season, the three of them teamed up to form the Major League Baseball’s first all-black outfield. These three athletes paved the way for other black and Latino greats to become a part of the Giants history. Players like Juan Marichal from the Dominican Republic and Orlando Cepeda from Puerto Rico have had their numbers retired by the Giants and are in Cooperstown, along with Irvin.

Since that time, baseball has seen a surge of of international talent integrating into MLB. This year’s opening day rosters consisted of nearly 25% players born in Central and Latin America. This number has been consistently rising and will likely continue to grow as the sport continues to gain popularity internationally. In 2003, two years before the Gigantes jerseys came to be, the Giants had 10 Latino-born players on their opening day roster. Currently, the Giants again have 10 players on their 25-man roster from Latin American countries, now that Pablo Sandoval has returned from the disabled list and with the recent acquisitions of Marco Scutaro and Jose Mijares. If you include Latinos born stateside, such as Sergio Romo, the Giants are at 11. It’s clear that Latino players compose a large part of the Giants ballclub.

Today, the Gigantes jerseys continue to be a fan favorite. One reason may be that San Francisco fans feel they can identify with fans on a cultural level. A good example is last year, when the Casa Hispana de Bellas Artes in the Mission District of San Francisco sent Giants CEO Bill Newcombe a letter proposing the Giants to wear their Gigantes jerseys during their series against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves, as a way to show opposition to their respective states recently passed anti immigrations laws. While the Giants ultimately decided not to wear them, choosing not to take a political stance on that issue, it’s an example that reflects the mutual relationship between the Giants and the community it represents. According to Higueros, translating the name is a way of trying to have the Latino community be part of the Gigantes tradition. “They wanted to brand it. We’re branding the Gigantes. We have the Gigantes jerseys, we have the Gigantes website, we have the Gigantes facebook, we have Gigantes twitter, and now we have fans wearing them… they are committed to the Hispanic community.”

These jerseys sometimes ignite controversy with some feeling that it panders too much to the Latino fans and point out that not every other culture is represented. Higueros also states that there are those who believe that you shouldn’t translate the name, the “purists.” The same people who hate the DH, who hate interleague play,ask why the name is being translated when it’s not the team name. But Latino players are such a large part of the Giants tradition, and Latinos are a large part of the city of San Francisco, that it makes a lot of sense to pay a homage to that with these threads. Not to mention that the Giants’ record with them is 8-4 so as a San Francisco fan, bring on the Gigantes unis!

Gigantes Jersey Appearances

⚫ May 21st, 2005. The Giants first wore them against the Oakland Athletics, winning that game 3-2. They were worn in honor of Juan Marichal’s statue dedication. [1-0]
⚫ May 22nd, 2005. The jersey was next worn the next day against the A’s, winning again 3-1. They were worn again at the player’s request. [2-0]
⚫ September 12th, 2005. The Gigantes jersey was worn one more time in 2003, the same day as the 1st Annual Fiesta Gigante. They faced the Padres and won, 4-3. [3-0]
⚫ May 5th, 2007. It took another year before the Giants switched to the spanish jersey again, in honor of the Cinco De Mayo. They beat the Phillies 9-4. During the game, Barry Bonds hit his 744th homerun. [4-0]
⚫ September 7th, 2007. The 3rd Annual Fiesta Gigante brought the Gigantes jersey out once more. The Dodgers fell that day, 5-4. The Giants won it in the 9th on a walkoff homerun from Daniel Ortmeier. [5-0]
⚫ September 6th, 2008. The Gigantes jersey was worn for Orlando Cepeda’s statue dedication, as well as the 4th Annual Fiesta Gigante. They beat the Pirates 7-6. [6-0]
⚫ June 27th, 2009. The Giants only time wearing a road Gigantes uniform came against the Brewers on Hispanic Heritage Night in Milwaukee. It was their first loss with the Gigantes name, losing 7-6. [6-1]
⚫ August 25th, 2009. The second times in 2009 that the Gigantes jerseys were used was during Latino Heritage night in San Francisco was against Diamondbacks. They won, 5-4. Fans got a Carlos Santana bobblehead, who was also rocking a Gigantes jersey. [7-1]
⚫ September 12th, 2009. The Gigantes jerseys made an appearance for the 5th Annual Fiesta Gigante against the Dodgers. They lost, 9-1. [7-2]
⚫ September 18th, 2010 – The Gigantes jerseys made an appearance for the 6th Annual Fiesta Gigante against the Brewers. They lost, 2-1 [7-3]
⚫ September 10th, 2011 -The Gigantes jerseys made an appearance for the 7th Annual Fiesta Gigante against the Dodgers. They lost for the 3rd straight time with the jerseys, 3-0. [7-4]
⚫ May 5th, 2012. For Cinco de Mayo, the Gigantes took on the Cerveceros and beat them 5-2. [8-4]

The Giants will use the Gigantes jersey one more time in 2012, on September 8th against the Los Angeles Dodgers. It coincides with the 8th Annual Fiesta Gigante.

. . . . .

Great job, Jose, and congrats on the interview. Also, tip of the cap to the Giants for their continued progressivity and furthering of race relations in baseball. Well done, sir, well done. You can follow Jose on Twitter and be sure to visit his Gigantes Spanish Blog!

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final1

Tuesday Morning Football:

Our resident Brit, uni watcher, and colourizer extraordinaire George Chilvers has prepared for our edification a final review of the uniforms kits in the finals (and bronze medal game) of the men’s soccer football at the Olympics. No photos from his son, Stefan Chilvers, this time around, but here’s one last look at the absolutely breath-taking tilt-shift photography seen from the quarters. And now, for the last time…

here is George’s review:

. . . . .

Well, that’s it from me – the Men’s football tournament comes to a close. Now, I said the other day that I had seen 12 of the 16 teams. Sod’s Law says that I would not see the winners. And so it proved as Mexico shocked Brazil with a goal in the first minute, and then added a second. Brazil seemed to think they only needed to turn up to win their first ever Olympics gold in the event. They were wrong. They only did turn up in the last few minutes when they netted right on the 90 minutes, and Oscar headed off target in the last seconds when it would be easier to score than to miss.

Satisfyingly both teams wore their first kits for this game which attracted an Olympics football record attendance of 86,612 at the Home of Football, Wembley, which also was the highest attendance for any event in this Olympics (the Olympic Stadium holds a mere 80,000). Mexico wore their quite stylish all dark-green kit with shadow Aztec design and red shoulders. Atletica, previously little known, have not done themselves any harm with this design.

In contrast, although iconic, Brazil’s Nike-produced shirts looked a trifle bland. The combination of colours of course makes this a winner – but it won’t win any fashion awards.

The bronze medal match the previous night in Cardiff saw a Far Eastern tussle between the ultimate victors South Korea and Japan. South Korea, with Nike kits, had their all white kit with the now distinctive twisted ribbon sash of red and blue. No matter what one thinks of Nike this is one that I think will appear again. Japan wore their increasingly favoured Adidas design all blue with a narrow red stripe (the women’s team had a pink stripe). South Korea gained the final medal with a fairly comfortable 2-0 win.

It would be churlish of me not to extend a word of congratulations to USA’s women’s team who took gold in their final . The attendance of 80,203 is absolutely stunning for an event which, to be honest, has not had a high profile in this country. The standards have hugely improved over the last decade, and many football supporters, like myself I will admit, who have been entrenched in “old thinking” (and if you wish to criticise – consider what you think about women’s baseball or women’s American football) now see that the game has moved on considerably.

Two slightly more negative things though from an outsider aspect. USA’s kits were dull dull dull. Nothing to enliven the dark blue with white sleeves. No –we don’t need logos, swooshes, or whatever. But this is 1970s design – surely you could have added something.

And I’m sorry to tell you that those t-shirts at the end – whether Nike or Team USA originated – did not go down well amongst the rest of the world – including your closest allies over here. “Arrogant” and “that’s why no-one likes USA” are a couple of the comments I have seen around. I am just reporting this – but a little humility in victory would have gone a long way further than “Greatness has been found”. Yukh!

However – never end on a sour note. The team played really well, and won on merit.

Well done USA and Mexico. But we’re looking to hunt you down next time ☺

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Thanks (again) George! Bloody good reporting. Thanks for ALL your great reporting and for sharing your son’s very excellent photography with us as well. It’s been a pleasure.

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Vilk 5 & 1Jim Vilk’s Olympic Hoops 5 & 1

Now that the Olympics have concluded, the one and only Jim Q. Vilk is back with his final run-down of the good (and bad) of the Olympic hoops matchups from the past week. Here’s Jim:

. . . . .

In case you missed last week’s comprehensive-ish roundup of the tournament, it’s in here (scroll down). And now, on to Part Two. Or, as they say in London…well, they say Part Two, too:

5.Argentina/Brazil (men) – Brazil could have used some yellow somewhere.

4. Russia/Turkey (women) – Font-tastic!

3. Canada/USA (women) – There was a LOT of red in this tourney, if you hadn’t noticed yet.

2. Russia/Australia (men) – It’s a Karma Chameleon Color Palette Special!

1. Lithuania/Tunisia (men) – Same template, but great contrast.

And the bad one (Sorry, London…): China/Great Britain (men) – However, I’ll take this over a game with ads on the jerseys, Mr. Stern!

Only two years until the winter games. See you then…and maybe a few times before that.

. . . . .

Good job Jim. Looking forward to the Olympic Winter Games review in 2 years. And of course, the NCAA 5 & 1 coming soon.

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Collector's Corner 2Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

• Take a look at our lead item this week, eh? One of the “Disco Collar” Chicago White Sox jerseys. The ad says this one was team-issued. What, no clam digger pants?

• Never seen a red hockey puck before. Looks like this was possibly going into use for televised games?

• Love the retro look of this 1971 NBC NFL football manual!

• Did I say…retro? This Padres jacket is…brown. And orange. And yellow.

• Nice set of what appear to be mid-1970s NFL drinking glasses.

• When I look at this sweater, I think Jimmy Johnson, pre-Apex.

• Get your Charger Power on with this 1970s era Champion shirt. Or maybe you’re into Jazz.

Chiquita Banana NFL sticker alert!

• Nice vintage late 1960s pennant for the Boston Patriots.

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NUA_Logo_5#NoUniAds Campaign…Day 26

This will be a regular feature on Uni Watch until the NBA rescinds its incredibly offensive and stupid proposal to place corporate advertising on uniforms.

And now, a personal note from Paul:

It’s important that we keep making our voices heard: Call the NBA’s publicly listed phone number (212-407-8000), ask for Adam Silver’s and/or David Stern’s office), e-mail deputy commissioner Adam Silver at his his publicly listed address (asilver@nba.com), and tweet to @NBA with the hashtag #NoUniAds. Do it now.

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More of your letters to the NBA:

Marc Parker:

Seriously? Your service reps are comparing the NBA, a worldwide powerhouse, to the following?

“It is also not a new concept in American sports. NASCAR, Major League Soccer, professional golf, the WNBA, and the NBA Development League all feature sponsored uniforms.”

NASCAR and Golf are individual sports, who the competitors do not get proceeds from the tickets and stadium revenues.

MLS, WNBA, and NBADL are watched by, as far as I can tell, a very select few people, and maybe the players families. I am an avid sports fan, and I could not even tell you where to find those sports on television. Are they even on TV?

When you look at the big picture now, there is not a big 4 in sports, there is a HUGE 2, and a big 2. NFL and NBA completely overshadow MLB and NHL.

Please read my original email at the bottom of this post. Is it not enough that I have to be exposed to tv ads and in stadium ads shown during games? Can’t I at least see a close up of LeBron without seeing a big McDonalds “M”, or buy a jersey without a corporate logo??

I was a HUGE NBA fan in the 90s, and when those greats left and the game changed, I stopped watching as much. Now due to the last 3 years playoffs being spectacular, I am a nightly watcher if there is a game on. Doesn’t even matter the teams. Ill watch Toronto vs Charlotte because I like watching the game. Please don’t ruin the image of the NBA by reducing it to a non-stop advertisement extravaganza. I will not attend, or purchase any more items if this happens. As a mid-30s father, who has been getting his kids into basketball, do you have any idea how much I spend on merchandise? Kids jerseys aren’t cheap, and they grow up REALLY fast, so I have to buy new ones every year.

Please reconsider this and find another revenue stream.

Nate Kettlewell:

I’m writing to express my fervent hope that the NBA will NOT add any advertising elements to its players’ uniforms, in any form, including “sponsor logos.”

By way of introduction, I’m a 38-year-old father of two boys, ages 4 and 8, all of us sports fans, and we live ten minutes from an NBA arena, the Rose Garden. I believe we represent a very desirable demographic for the league. And I’m steadfastly opposed to the inclusion of advertising in any form on any professional team uniform.

Advertising has proliferated in American culture, and that is demonstrably unhealthy for us as a people. Having attended numerous NBA games over the years in person and enjoyed many more on television and radio, advertising has utterly permeated the NBA experience, more and more over time, to the point of a near-constant visual and auditory bombardment. You’re already beyond the saturation point. There are advertisements almost everywhere they could appear, in the stadium experience and during a radio or television broadcast. Trust me, I understand how important this is for the NBA and its broadcast partners from a revenue perspective. But I do think there is something to be said for leaving some stones unturned. The uniforms themselves should not be used as advertising platforms. The uniforms are sacrosanct.

Player uniforms serve a practical purpose, to differentiate competitors during a game (colors) and to identify individual players (number and name). They are also the core of the fans’ identification with the team. I don’t root for the team’s sponsors, I root for the team. Even as I acknowledge how sponsor revenue contributes to the team’s bottom line, I don’t associate the team with that sponsor. And I certainly do not think any sponsor, at any price, deserves to be included in the visual identity of the team. That’s what on-uniform advertisements accomplish. They dilute the team identity in an unhealthy and perplexing way, saying that this advertiser is now a part of our team identity. I understand how valuable that may appear to a potential “jersey sponsor,” but it perplexes me that the league would choose to compromise its franchises’ very identity for an incremental boost to the bottom line.

Part of the issue is more straightforward: design, and space. The NBA is special in that its uniforms are the smallest of all the major sports, in terms of total fabric. A sleeveless jersey simply does not have a lot of space for anything beyond the player’s number, team name, and player name. (Aside: I consider the league’s logo to be superfluous and unwelcome, and absolutely pointless to include on both the jersey and the shorts. But I understand it’s not going anywhere.) Basketball jerseys are small; it is guaranteed that any advertisement, no matter how small or innocuous it is claimed to be, will be a significant defacement of the player jerseys. To be clear, no ads are welcome, and any ad on a basketball uniform is going to be a very, very big deal.

As a final point, I noted above how the NBA game experience has steadily degraded over time thanks to the proliferation of advertising. There is no reason for any of us to believe that ads on NBA jerseys would start small and stay small. The desire to always increase revenue, at any cost, will win out. In time, ads will expand until finally the city and nickname are sacrificed — and much more space besides, until all the available real estate on the jersey and shorts is used as ad space. It would be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, for me to watch such a game, let alone consider supporting it by buying any authentic or replica uniform. And I see no compelling reason, aside from flat-out greed, why an established league such as the NBA would start down that precarious path.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Thanks for keeping the faith readers! We can stop the NBA if we can keep up the pressure.

#NoUniAds!

Thanks to Tim E. O’Brien and Chris Giorgio for the image in the upper right of this section!

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Screen Shot 2012-06-24 at 10.32.36 PM

“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.

. . . . .

Yes, but will he come get us if Timmy falls down a well?…

8-14-12 d-teeth

Click to enlarge

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ticker 2Uni Watch News Ticker: The Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Pacific Coast League) returned to the past on Sunday with players sporting jerseys with the old Socko logo. (Thanks to Alan D. Poff). … Here’s more on those VA Tech chicken feet helmets (h/t to Jim Weber). … Ryan Perkins asks, “What kind of helmet is this???” Since neither Paul nor I are helmet guys, perhaps the fine readership can answer. … Some UConn soccer uni notes from Gregory Koch: “Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos because my cell phone camera decided to delete them, but here are some interesting notes from the men’s and women’s UConn soccer exhibitions yesterday. 1. The women wore their gray practice jerseys for the game. I have been assured on Facebook here that the gray jerseys are just practice jerseys (there’s a picture there too), but I don’t know why they wore them for the exhibition. 2. For the men’s game, UConn wore their road blues and UMass their home whites, even though the game was in Storrs.” … Jordan Jones sends an intro video for the Madden 13 Demo: Seahawks vs. Redskins. “The Redskins are wearing throwbacks but the uniforms are different for every other player. Some players have the ‘Skins logo on the left shoulder while some don’t.” … Jay Sullivan shares a tweet: Signs you know @PENNfb camp is coming… Every Quaker’s favorite ride is out for a tune-up and bath. … Two bits of interest from Reuven Szleifer: “Before Stony Brook University joined D1 athletics and became the Sea Wolves, they were the Patriots. This was the club hockey team jersey from the late ’70s – thought you would get a kick out of the stripes (red, but faded to pink over the years) and the classic Pats logo. Just an aside, as a Wisconsin alum I am really disappointed with the adidas alternate jerseys for the Nebraska game. They really screwed that one up, which is a shame, and just a few years after they wore their beautiful 1960s throwbacks.” … Joseph Bailey has a question: “Bradley Cooper is in a movie where he plays a huge Eagles fan. I don’t know if this photo does it justice, but it shows him in a Reebok jersey, but the NFL Shield logo is whited out as well as the jock tag on the bottom of the jersey. Do they need permission from the NFL to show their stuff in a movie? Does this have anything to do with the Nike deal? Did Ice Cube get permission for this?” … My buddy Mike Styczen was at Friday’s Cubs/Reds game and the lucky bastard he and his wife were seated in the front row. So he snapped this photo of Mike Leake’s stirrups. Says Mike, “It was pretty obvious I’m person that the socks were ordinary sweat socks, not sanitaries. Not sure if it shows up in the photo.” … Looks like the Army Black Knights will have a new gold(?) helmet for the coming season (thanks to Leo Thornton). Or, as Walter Ford points out: “A little less metallic and a little more burnished, with an extra-wide black stripe down the center. Looks good, albeit not too much different.” … “Not sure if we’ve seen these unis,” says Jay Sullivan, regarding these awful camo things VT will be trotting out for Military Appreciation night. What has been seen cannot now be unseen. … “Are any other teams doing this?” asks Brian Manganaro. “Stripes in the middle of quarterbacks’ extended sleeves? Result of new Nike unis?” A similar hue and cry was heard from Dustin Hall who writes, “NOO!!! The new Nike Jerseys have the sleeve stripes not at the bottom of the sleeve but some where arbitrarily up from the bottom. Seems like on a “standard” jersey there is about a 1-2 inch gap between the stripes and the end of the sleeve. This is very disappointing it looks previous years crummy knockoffs when the sleeve stripes were normal. We wont even go into the whole stripes not going all the way around) As you know various positions have different cuts and for years this has caused the whole stripes not going all the way around phenom, now the different sleeve cuts can minimize how glaring the gap between the stripes and the end of the sleeve is.” … Ryan Nuber notes the Falcons have listed their 2012 throwback games, “uni schedule, including their two throwback games. The NFL shop posted a photo of the Nike throwbacks, and they appear to have to modern logo on the sleeve. Can’t tell if they are planning on using clashing helmet and sleeve logos or if we can expect a red helmet with the modern logo. Either way, not an upgrade.” … Colin Melcolnic says Nike has confused Russia for France. … Ryan “Ry Co 40″ Connelly checks in with this: “I just realized, and I don’t remember seeing this detail on UW, that the camo area of the new era hats is actually material and not thread. Check out the pics I took this weekend. I assumed it was stitched.” … The subject line reads Nebraska’s balloon tradition.​…..pop..​ppffffffff​ffffffffDavid Westfall‘s e-mail body continues, “So, due to a shortage of helium in the USA, Nebraska will stop the balloon sales after the 1st game against Southern Miss.” … Brian Haines attended the Colts vs. Rams game Sunday and wondered if anyone knew why they wore white @ home? “I have been to a lot of games and this is the first time I have ever seen this.” … This weekend the Omaha Storm Chasers (triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals) will play as the OmaHogs, according to Mike Vamosi. … Utah goes with Black helmets, its official, says Ben Hatfield: “This was released by the team. Not sure what it will look like but something like this.” … Check out these pictures of an 1860s style game that took place in Dexter, Michigan last weekend. Click here for more pictures and information about the baseball clubs (thanks to Jim Polacek). … Reason #234 why softball tops suck, courtesy of Alex Rocklein: “Seriously? Seriously. This is an abomination.” … “Raider Fans Scare Me,” says Terry Duroncelet, “And it’s only the first preseason game.” … RIP Mr. Paveskovich.

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And that does it for this fine Tuesday. Big thanks to Jose for that nice lede, and also to George, MoVi and Brinke for their bits, plus Ricko for the Benchies, and of course to everyone who is keeping the faith by writing to the NBA and protesting the sponsor logos. Great stuff all around today.

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“Y’know, people make fun of “Old Baseball Guy” as a generic character, some kind of odd comic figure who hangs around, even if it’s just in the neighborhood to watch American Legion games or something. But, guess what, a whole lot of baseball’s extraordinary place in the American consciousness—not to mention the game’s history—leaves us when we lose someone like Johnny Pesky.”
— Rick Pearson