Sacramento Kings Unveil New Uniforms

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The Kings unveiled their new set yesterday. The four new designs, some of which had already been seen via video game leaks and team teasers, can be seen above.

So what do I think? The short version is that I think this set moves the Kings from the bottom of the pack to somewhere in the middle; the longer version can be found in this ESPN piece, which went up yesterday afternoon. You can also get more info on this interactive page. And here are some additional photos (if you can’t see the slideshow below, click here): (Continue reading)

Donald Trump: A Boy of Many Uniforms

Yesterday was presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s 70th birthday, so there were lots of childhood photos of him floating around, including several that showed him in uniform. For example, here’s his eighth grade football team at New York Military Academy — that’s him in the second row (seated), second from the left (for all of these, you can click to enlarge): (Continue reading)

Sleeves Finally Make It to NBA Finals

History was made last night, as the Cavaliers wore their BFBS sleeved jerseys for Game 5 of the NBA Finals. It marked the first time a sleeved design has been worn in the Finals. Ironically, the Cavs did this while facing the Warriors, who started the modern NBA sleeve trend in 2013 but have never gone sleeved in the Finals themselves. (Continue reading)

EXCLUSIVE: American League Had Stirrup Rule in 1967

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When I was 12 years old, in 1976, I read Jim Bouton’s seminal best-seller, Ball Four. I was already obsessed with stirrups by that point, so I was particularly intrigued by a passage in the book about Frank Robinson’s stirrups. I’ve quoted that passage many, many times during the 17 years that I’ve been writing about uniforms (most recently three Friday Flashbacks ago) — it’s an “old reliable” that I never tire of. If you’ve somehow missed it, here it is one more time:

It has become the fashion — I don’t know how it started, possibly with Frank Robinson — to have long, long stirrups with a lot of white showing. The higher your stirrups, the cooler you are. Your legs look long and cool instead of dumpy and hot. The way to make your stirrups longest, or what are called high-cuts, is to slice the stirrup and sew in some extra material.

Bouton wrote those words in April of 1969. I’ve always assumed he was the first one to publicly discuss Robinson’s stirrups, mainly because most of Ball Four consisted of topics that nobody had ever publicly discussed before (players being hung over on the field, players having lots of extra-marital sex during road trips, coaches being assholes, etc.).

But it turns out Robinson’s stirrups had been a hot topic of discussion two years earlier. Not only that, but his stirrups had led the American League to impose a rule regarding stirrups — a rule that I had been completely unaware of until now. It all adds up to a major lost chapter in MLB uniform history that’s now been recovered.

The person who deserves credit for this discovery is Uni Watch reader Will Shoken. He saw the Ball Four quote in that recent Friday Flashback column and was intrigued, so he contacted his brother, Fred Shoken, who has access to The Baltimore Sun’s archives. Fred did some digging and came up with several articles regarding Robinson’s stirrups, which were apparently a bit of an ongoing soap opera in the the spring of 1967. (Continue reading)