Dolphins Announce (but don't show) New Alternates

Dolphin tback splash

By Phil Hecken

On Friday and yesterday, there had been some speculation that the new Dolphins alternate jersey would be orange, and some additional chatter that the new alternate would be revealed at noon yesterday.

In a bit of a let-down, the Dolphins revealed they would be sporting a 50 seasons patch:

Clipboard01 (1)

But, they also announced they would not be wearing an orange alt, but a throwback, showing what appears to be their first jersey (at least the blue one is), via this tweet:

If you didn’t recognize the player on the right, that’s Frank Emanuel (who played four seasons for the Dolphins, but is wearing #50, which ties into their 50 seasons theme):


So — depending upon how Nike produces these throwbacks (and assuming they will be the dark aqua color), they could be pretty sweet. As you can see, both from the SI cover and from this training camp photo, the original dark unis appear a lot darker blue than the lighter/slightly greener aqua they wore more recently and now. I think the actual color is closer to this, but it’s still darker than the current color. The darker blue is also confirmed by the GUD (it could be the darker blue was only worn in the preseason).

Of course — the Dolphins could also go with a white throwback, since they didn’t specify which one they would actually wear (also, I believe they Dolphins will be required to wear this alternate for five seasons, so it will be interesting to see if they choose the white throwback). I have no knowledge, of course, but I’d bet they go with the blue.

It would have been nice if they had revealed the uniforms yesterday, instead of teasing them.

According to Paul (and other sources), the Dolphins were supposed to be doing the alternate jersey unveiling next Wednesday — now they’re putting that off until July. That’s disappointing (especially given now that the alternate won’t be just a orange version of the blue/white jerseys). Of course, the Dolphins do have a white helmet still, so swapping on the original stripes and logo won’t be a problem.

Are you guys more pleased with a throwback or an orange jersey? And, given the limitations of recreating throwbacks from 50 seasons ago (no sleeves, much tighter cut, different materials, etc.), do you think Nike can pull it off?

Pink Bat Line

Happy Mother’s Day

Of course, you know there will be plenty of pink at the ballpark today (in the past it’s been shoes, sweatbands, bats, ribbons) so I’m sure there will be more of that today. If you’re taking mom to a ballgame today — well, you got a great mom.

To all the mothers out there, Happy Birthday.


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UWFFL banner

by Rob Holecko

Well, we’re back for one final hurrah here in the Spring 2015 season – it’s time to crown two last champions of 2014-15 and put a bow on this year’s UWFFL competitions.

In our international segment, the La Lega Internatiozale di Uni Watchers Fantacalcio, it’s Adam Cain’s New York Sharks, who had the best record in the league all year long, facing Andrew Seagraves’s Metallurg Petropavlavsk-Kamchatsky in World Bowl XVI.

New York has preferred to wear white at home this season, their first in La Lega, and it has proven successful. They cruised through the regular season with a 14-2 mark, 3 1/2 games better than the next best team at 10-5-1. After playoff victories over Barcelona and Stockholm, the Sharks as the #1 seed find themselves with home field advantage and uniform choice in the title match.

Metallurg Petropavlavsk-Kamchatsky went 9-7, winning the Pacific Division on the final weekend of the season, and were the #3-seed in the playoffs. They wore purple at home in their Quarterfinal win over Amsterdam, but debuted a sharp-looking orange uniform set in the semifinal match against #2 seed Leipzig. Upsetting the Locomotiv, they find themselves now in the title game here against the Sharks.

For World Bowl XVI, the Sharks will stick with their white home uniforms, while Metallurg will again wear the orange uniforms they found success with in the last round. Both teams are wearing the World Bowl logo patch on their jerseys.


. . . free polls

. . .

Our final competition drawing to an end this week is our tournament-within-a-tournament only for our Canadian Teams, the Maple Leaf Cup. Reaching the title game are the British Columbia Lumberjacks and the Calgary Alpines. Calgary, like New York, is another white-at-home team, and they again break out their white jerseys over red pants for the Championship match. British Columbia is going with their green-over-silver alternate look which was successful this season.

Both teams are wearing the Maple Leaf Cup logo patch on their jerseys as well.

Maple Leaf Championship

. . . free polls

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

For those of you who submitted potential expansion teams to compete in the UWFFL, the time is now here to prepare for the Summer Developmental League. On Thursday May 14, we will announce the alignment and format for the Developmental League, and the first games will begin the weekend of May 23. There are many teams battling out for few spots in the Fall UWFFL leagues, so competition will surely be fierce this summer. Later this summer we also will be expanding the La Lega Internazionale to 24 teams and may have a Uni Watch contest to decide a few expansion teams, so stay tuned.

For any of you who didn’t get to design and submit a team before this year’s March 31 deadline, in a few months we will open up a new group and begin accepting expansion candidates for the 2016 year.

Pink Bat Line

all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.

And so, lets begin:


First up today is Robert Siergiej who wants to fix the Peyote Coyote throwbacks worn by Arizona:

phoenix96throwback - Robert Siergiej


Not quite satisfied with the Edge-ified Coyotes throwback, I realized that it could be tweaked to produce a jersey that better emulates the original Phoenix jerseys. It seems that after eight years, we’ve moved to the point where teams don’t have to be so constrained by a few specific templates.

Because the actual jerseys have curved shoulders and sleeves at an angle, the shoulder piping could be done straight across. I’ve also added a wider collar.

coyotesthrowbacktweak - Robert Siergiej

I’ve also done a little editing of a photo of the actual throwback to see how my tweaks would look.

comparison2 - Robert Siergiej

And here’s a comparison of the details with the original:

–Rob Siergiej

. . .

Rob wasn’t done with his Coyote tweaks however:

Based on Mike Engle’s comment last Friday, I decided to take a shot at adding some green to the Coyotes’ modern look. His idea included adding outlined numbers, so I added those too.

I’ve got two variants – one with the modern fonts, and one with the Coyotes’ original font. Personally, I found the latter easier to work with – the Coyotes’ current fonts are a pain!

Coyote tweaks - Rob Siergiej

Coyote Tweaks - Rob Siergiej

–Rob Siergiej

. . .

. . .

And we close today with Bill Reese who has a new look for the Red Bulls:

Red Bulls - Bill Reese

Hey Phil,

One day somebody will buy the New York Red Bulls of MLS and re-brand them. Many Red Bulls fans feel the same way. I’d have them wear these jerseys under the monicker Metro 96 S.C.

Thanks for all you do, and for reminding us that we’re not alone in our uni obsessiveness.

Bill. Brooklyn, NY
Let’s go Metro!

. . .

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

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EPL Tracker

Each Saturday or Sunday, Alex Gerwitz will be tracking the kit combinations (shirt/shorts/socks) of the teams in the English Premier League from the previous weekend and the current weekend.

Here is the EPL tracker for Weeks 35 & 36 (click to enlarge):

EPL Tracker Weeks 35 & 36

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Too Good For the Ticker
Too Good…

for the Ticker

Got an e-mail from Tristan Ridgeway, entitled, “From Opie Taylor to Greg Brady” and which is in follow-up to some comments from UW earlier this week.

There is a slideshow below, if you can’t view slideshows, click here.

. . .

As a follow-on to Matt Shepardson’s ticker offering about an old ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ episode (The Ball Game; Oct. 3, 1966) featuring Opie Taylor’s Little League uniform, attached are some screengrabs from a ‘The Brady Bunch’ episode (The Dropout; Sept. 25, 1970) featuring Greg Brady’s Pony League uniform. You can make out the Pony League patch on his left shoulder, and the number 53 he wears on the back (as tiny as it is!) was also the uniform number of Don Drysdale, who guest-starred in the episode. (Trivia: When Greg returns from the baseball game, entering the kitchen, his uniform is filthy. When dad Mike goes to talk to him in the boys’ bedroom, the uniform is completely clean.)

Thanks, Tristan. Great Stuff.

OK. Now, onto the ticker…

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: The Cubs were the Cubs yesterday (thanks to Leon Frager), as Jonathan Herera wore the wrong gray top. And here’s the evidence (from Christopher Overholt). Who had the over/under at 15 games before that screwup happened? …There is lots to love in this Ogden Dodgers photo of Buckner, Lasorda, Garvey, and Valentine (nice find by Douglas Ford). … Also from Douglas, which is cooler? The contrast of the crooked bill Al Oliver’s cap under the straightness of his helmet OR that hip “SCOOP” necklace? … Check out this Astros Style Uni — that’s Myers Park HS in Charlotte, NC sporting their version of the Astros sunrise jersey (thanks to Joshua Edney). … The St. Louis Browns (now the Baltimore Orioles, of course) have a pretty nifty website through the team’s historical society (from Mike Chamernik). … John Daly served up cocktails at US Cellular Field on Friday night, and he wore a customized jersey for it. Says submitter Mike Chamernik, “The 91/95 represents the two years in which he won Majors.” … Yesterday’s ticker mentioned that Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz is wearing a “44” on this catching helmet. Interestingly enough, he’s also wearing “44” on his batting helmet. Submitter Matt Connelly asks, “Any idea who ’44’ is?”

NFL News: According to this ESPN article, we can expect less white, and more navy blue on the Titans this season. … Looks like the Steelers will again be wearing the “bumblebee” throwbacks again in 2015.

Hockey News: Ryan Callahan had a torn jersey and was forced by the referees to change on the bench (from Nick Hanson). That’s the before – here is the after. … “Just sending an awesome hockey pic (too bad about the excessive patches). Penticton Vees vs Portage Terriers at the Canadian Junior A Hockey Championships,” writes Jim Wooley. “The Terriers could do without the Black but other than that these both look great. Was always a fan of the North Stars look. We need more green in hockey!”

Grab Bag: “Did we know that Batman cleats were a thing?” asks Cassian Wykes. “(This) photo is from a New Hampshire lax game I attended today.” Here is a link is to the seller of such shoes. … “The Grizzlies really should think about updating their logo banners at the FedEx Forum,” says Jeff Shirley.

Pink Bat Line

OK — that’s going to do it for this Mother’s Day. Everyone enjoy it. I’ll catch you next week. Thanks to Alex, Rob and the concepters as well as those who sent in for the ticker.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“(W)hy should private entities be expected to provide free marketing services for a government agency’s recruitment drive? These teams already pay taxes.”


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Yankees Mustaches Fueling Winning Ways?

Yankee Staches 550

By Phil Hecken

If you have been watching baseball (and the Yankees) lately, you may have heard the team has been doing quite well of late. In fact, going into last evening’s game against the Orioles, the Yanks had gone 15-5 since losing on Jackie Robinson Day. After last night’s win, they improved to 16-5 over that time. What could possibly be fueling this run of good play?

It’s gotta be the mustaches.

Several weeks ago, Brett Gardner, their left-fielder and wearer of high-cuffs, began growing a mustache (it’s since begun to fill in nicely) to break out of a slump. It worked, and the Yanks started winning too. Perhaps as a “team bonding exercise” or perhaps because the play was improving, a number of Yankees also began growing mustaches, and the winning ways have continued.

So the team is keeping the mustaches.

Now, teams doing something with facial hair and streaks is nothing new — in the NHL, the “Playoff Beard” is basically required. You also had the Red Sox doing that whole long shaggy beard thing a couple years ago. So, the Yanks aren’t exactly breaking new ground here. But they are kind of being rebellious.

The Yankees, as you’re probably all aware (or should be), have continued a Steinbrenner-era dictate that no player can have facial hair other than a mustache. No beards, no goatees, not even well-groomed ones. So, while what the Yankees themselves are doing isn’t unique, that the prim-and-proper Yankees are going a team-wide mustache bonding thing is unique, and newsworthy.

In fact, several different media outlets, including both local and national, have picked up on the story.

The Yankees themselves, normally reserved (OK, maybe their social media department isn’t as reserved) have been promoting the whole thing:

You’ve even got some bloggers ranking the mustaches. And it’s not just bloggers rating them either. Wow.

Is this really something all that newsworthy? Apparently so — but the bigger question is: if the Yankees weren’t winning (but were, for some other reason, group-mustaching), would anyone care? Is the streak simply coincidental or do the media (and fans), and more-importantly, the players, think the streak is a by-product of the mustaches?

You know the dialog from Bull Durham:

Crash Davis: I never told him to stay out of your bed.
Annie Savoy: Yes you did.
Crash Davis: I told him that a player on a streak has to respect the streak.
Annie Savoy: Oh fine.
Crash Davis: You know why? Because they don’t – -they don’t happen very often.
Annie Savoy: Right.
Crash Davis: If you believe you’re playing well because you’re getting laid, or because you’re not getting laid, or because you wear women’s underwear, then you *are*! And you should know that!

So if the Yankees are on a winning streak, and it’s because of the mustaches, they have to respect the streak, right? And Yankee management, so long as the mustaches are kosher, has to go along with it, right?

What do you guys think? Is there anything at all to the mustaches and the streak (or playoff beards, or wearing women’s underwear) … or is it all just purely psychological? Or is it more — do things like growing facial hair, or all wearing stirrups, or whatever actually cause a team to play better? Could the ‘group-think’ employed in these cases actually help gel a team? Have any of you ever played a sport (or been in any situation, office, school — whatever) where you and your teammates/co-workers/classmates all acted in a similar manner and it caused a win, or other positive result?

I’m not buying that the Yanks (or any team) is winning because (or even in spite) of the facial hair, but it sure seems to be working. What do you guys think?

Let’s hear it!

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classic scoreboards splashClassic Ballpark Scoreboards

I’m pleased to continue with a favorite weekend feature here at Uni Watch, “Classic Ballpark Scoreboards,” which are created by Gary Chanko. You probably know Gary best for his wonderful colorizations, but he has been a solid contributor for many years, and this is his new project. This segment will appear every Saturday on Uni Watch.

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

. . . . . . . . . .

Classic Ballpark Scoreboards – Series II
by Gary Chanko

This week we visit a mid-twentieth century Midwest ballpark with a unique history and a mammoth scoreboard.

Metropolitan Stadium

Metropolitan Stadium Scoreboard UW

Home of: Minneapolis Millers (AA) (1956–1960), Minnesota Twins (1961-1981), Minnesota Vikings (1961-1981), Minnesota Kicks (NASL) (1976–1981)

Opened: April 1956. Last baseball game: September 30, 1981.
Demolished: January 1985

Raised up from farmland south of downtown Minneapolis, Metropolitan Stadium was the home for the Minnesota Twins (and Vikings) for twenty-one seasons. More commonly known as the Met, or the Old Met, it retains a special place in the memories of Twins’ fans. The interesting and complete history of Metropolitan Stadium is covered in this SABR article.

Met Stadium closed after 1981 pro football season and sat vacant for several years before demolition in 1985. The site is now occupied by the well known Mall of America. Inside the Mall you will find commemoratives of the Met, including a plaque marking the location of home plate. For a comprehensive historical retrospective of the Met, including a great collection of images, you may want to visit this tribute to Metropolitan Stadium.

The scoreboard was a prominent part of Met Stadium from the initial years when it served as the home field for the Minneapolis Millers. This photo shows the initial configuration with large advertisement panels (Grain Belt and Gluek beer ads?) flanking the center section. And, of course, that ubiquitous Longines clock.

When the Twins arrived in 1961 the scoreboard layout was reconfigured to include AL and NL games scores. Advertising panels were placed along the top. Photos show the center section was initially painted black. At some point in the 70s the center section color became blue.

Although I found no information concerning the scoreboard manufacturer, many of the design details (such as the matrix display panels) and layout are similar to those found in Connie Mack Stadium and Yankee Stadium during this time period.

The illustration depicts the scoreboard during the last home game of the 1978 season. It was, unfortunately, HOF member Rod Carew’s last home appearance for the Minnesota Twins.

A Few Things to Know

• Several years prior to becoming the Twins, the Washington Senators played the Phillies at the Met in an exhibition game during the 1958 All-Star break.

• The Chicago Cardinals played two home games in Met during the 1959 NFL season.

• Met Stadium was the first baseball stadium (or one of the first) to utilize cantilever construction design. This approach avoided the use of support columns that obstruct views of the playing field.

• The Twins O Gram message board section of the scoreboard was a mainstay from the beginning. The operation is described here. Twins-O-Gram! Scoreboard messages live on in the current Target Field. You can purchase your own personal message for a mere $77.

• The Twins were reportedly the first ballpark to display home run distance. Distances were estimated using a table covering the location of outfield seats.

• In the late 60s and early 70s, Midwest Federal was a scoreboard advertiser. Players hitting the adverting sign atop the scoreboard would have won $50,000! I guess no one ever collected, but on July 5, 1969, Reggie Jackson did hit the scoreboard with a 500-ft plus bomb.

Some Unresolved Questions

When the American League expanded to fourteen teams in 1977, the Met scoreboard seemingly did not follow suit. Photos of the scoreboard just prior to demolition appear to show the AL scores configuration unchanged from twelve teams. The bottom portion was normally used for listing the game umpire crew.

It would be interesting to know how the “missing” AL game score was handled.

Classic Scoreboards next stop is a visit to a ballpark celebrating a centennial anniversary.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

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all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.

And so, lets begin:


First up today is Larry Piklor who created some fantasy team concepts:

dills 2013 home uniforms and cap - Larry Piklor dills 2013 road uniforms and cap - Larry Piklor

dills 2013 SUNDAY home uniforms and cap - Larry Piklor

final 2013 dills logo1 - Larry Piklor 2015 logo - Larry Piklor

WOLVES HOME - Larry Piklor WOLVES ROAD - Larry Piklor


Hi Phil

I’ve been a Uni-Watch reader / fan for a while now and I’m always fascinated by the tweaks and concepts that people submit. I’ve also been running a fantasy baseball team – the Piklor Dills – in the Greater O’Hare Baseball League (GOBL) since 1984 (one of only three remaining original members!).

To commemorate a (rare) championship season a couple of years ago I whipped up a concept of what our uniforms would look like. I’d love to know what you think! (The lettering in the league logo changes every year to match the champion’s colors from the previous season).

I’ve also attached my team logo / sleeve patch from that year and 2015 as well as a 2013 concept for my brother’s team, the London Werewolves.


Larry Piklor
King of the Dills

. . .

Next up is Derick Lazaro, who submitted this Milwaukee Bucks logo redesign before the new one was released:


Hey Paul & Phil,

I’ve always loved the site, thanks for all of the great content!

I was at the Warriors/Bucks game with a buddy last night and we started talking about the Bucks logo and how it could really use a refresh. I drew this up today during my lunch break, thought I’d pass it along!

The color scheme remains the same, but we lose the actual “buck” in exchange the more modern antlers interpretation. Stronger type treatment, complete with a reference to the long history of the franchise. Simple, clean update. I’m not even a Bucks fan, just love this type of stuff. What do you think?

Keep up the great work,


. . .

And we close today with Jarreté Barnett who submitted a bunch of UConn football concepts:

uconnhdhomeunispng - Jarreté Barnett uconnhdawayunispng - Jarreté Barnett

uconnhdgrayunispng - Jarreté Barnett

uconndefaulthelmetpng - Jarreté Barnett

uconndefaulthelmettwotonepng - Jarreté Barnett

Hey Phil,

These are concept uniforms and helmets I created on my own accord as a UConn football fan. Their present uniforms are too generic and uninspired. I’m obviously submitting these with the hope of seeing
these posted on Uni Watch. If you have any more questions, you can reach me at this email address.

Thank you,
Jarreté Barnett

. . .

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

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EPL Tracker

Each Saturday or Sunday, Alex Gerwitz will be tracking the kit combinations (shirt/shorts/socks) of the teams in the English Premier League from the previous weekend and the current weekend.

Here is the EPL tracker for Weeks 34 & 35 (click to enlarge):

EPL Tracking Weeks 34 & 35

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Here’s a pretty solid look for Maryland baseball, unfortunately there is the awful logo placement on the stirrups (nice spot by 213 Miles From Shea). … After a couple decades of fakes and ripoff *authentic* home runs balls and other MLB items sold to collectors, the MLB now has an “authenticity police” force stationed in MLB parks throughout the leagues (from Tommy Turner). … Geena Davis and Rosie O’Donnell had a League of Their Own reunion Thursday — here’s a bit more on that. … Great article from Jesse Spector on there not being enough Twins players on the field during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. … Star Wars night for the Iron Pigs last night, and this was one of the more clever jerseys. … Here’s a sneak peek of the Braves’ Cameron Maybin’s pink Mothers Day cleats (h/t Mike Nessen). … “The Kansas City Royals posted the attached photo of Dennis Leonard from the 70s in honor of his birthday this afternoon,” writes Adam Franz. “I’m assuming he is wearing a BP jersey because the photo looks to be taken at Royals Stadium. Is there any precedent for the Royals wearing solid tops for home games before 1994? I thought the numbers on the sleeve were unique for any Royals jersey.” … Nice follow-up e-mail to Paul’s lede yesterday notes, “I got an email from the Angels today (while I’m a Dodgers fan I live in Orange County and go to Angels games on occasion) that says, ‘This Is The Cap of 30 Teams, 27 Cities, And 1 Nation,’ writes Chris Cruz. “Cap design aside (which you’ve already covered), someone forgot to tell Canada that the US has annexed it. Someone also forgot to tell MLB that even though the Angels’ formal name is the ‘Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim,’ there are indeed 28 cities hosting MLB teams as Anaheim is it’s own distinct political entity (it’s even in another county). Shameful stuff all around.” … Well, it had to happen sooner or later: Last evening in Philly, the Mets wore their alternate road blue unis (which have a special cap with a silver interlocking NY), and sure enough, injured pitcher Dillon Gee had on the wrong one (thanks, Paul). … The El Paso Chihuahuas wore pink camo jerseys last evening (via Aaron Rich). … Looks like Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz wears a helmet with a different number than his uni number (h/t Matt Connelly). … Last night, both the Isotopes and River Cats wore black softball tops (via Kenton Bevacqua).

NFL News: You know all those veterans we see being honored on the big screen at NFL games? Well, the National Guard has paid NFL teams millions to honor veterans on the Jumbotron. And here we thought the NFL was pandering saluting them out of the goodness of their hearts. Here’s a bit more on that (from Tommy Turner). … Do we have a ‘leak’ letting us know the Dolphins new alternate jersey will be orange? (h/t Tom Ferrer). And this tweet is cryptic, but is it possible the Dolphins will reveal the alt jersey today (h/t Preston Feiler)? … I’m pretty sure we covered this last year, but apparently Dockers sells Game Day rooting pants for the Giants. … Here’s a look at Jameis Winston in Bucs’ gear (from Matt Fedorka). … “I guess Lids hasn’t gotten word that the Browns #1 pick had a number assigned to him already,” writes Tony Crespo. “So they photoshopped ‘TBD’ on a blank jersey.” … A few veteran Seahawks have changed their jersey numbers, and the new crop of draft picks and UDFAs have been issued their digits as well (from Kyle Hanks). … I’m not 100% certain when or why Gronk was given a cake, but the sleeve of the cake has a Reebok logo (via Brenton Giordano).

Basketball News: Here’s a team with a a very interesting name (via Paul). Check out the awesome stirrups that go with it!

Hockey News: Here’s a pretty good piece from the NYT entitled, “Slushy Ice Is Springtime Hazard, Even as Arena Crews Sweat to Keep Cool Air In,” which as the title implies, details the pitfalls of playing hockey inside during warmer weather (thanks, Paul). … Friendly rivalry? D’baggery? Freedom of Speech issues? It seems the Tampa Bay Lightning have been banning Montreal Canadiens jerseys from their home playoff games. A closer examination, however, reveals that it’s not throughout the entire arena (only the first few rows and certain sections). Still — reminds me a little of the Diamondbacks policies in this regard. They’re also only selling tickets to Florida residents. … “Came across this pic of the Isles’ John Tonelli wearing a blue helmet with the team’s home white uni,” writes Eric. “Caption indicates this was a home game on October 16, 1979 at Nassau Coliseum. I’ve never seen this blue helmet-white uni combo. Any idea of the backstory?”

Soccer News: Great article by Travis Waldron on how the DC United soccer team will be working with DC Vote, an organization that advocates for full Congressional representation and budget autonomy for the District, to discuss a collaboration on a design for the team’s 2016 primary jersey. … Split scarves, or scarves that have the names and crests of both teams competing in a given soccer match, are raising the hackles of many fans (thanks to Tommy Turner).

Grab Bag: Here’s a nice little piece on the evolution of women’s athletic uniforms. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Bit of a mascot drama at Rutgers, as reader DenverGregg points out “The university will add add homosexual, female, transgender and multiple racial incarnations of the Scarlet Knight to more accurately represent the student body.” … We don’t usually link to Politico articles, but this one that notes President Obama’s choice of Nike for pro-trade speech stirs controversy is uni-notable. …”When I saw the Farm Safety announcment on Donegal’s jerseys I noticed that the shirt has the three stripes but no Adidas logo,” says Stefan Schubert. “I first thought that was due to the special jersey so I went to their website, only to find out that the outfitter indeed is not Adidas but O’Neills Irish International Sports Company. Their stuff looks like it came direktly from Herzogenaurach WOW. Never thought a sporting goods giant such as Adidas would let that happen. I googled the issue but could not come up with much. Here is something I found in a forum.” … Is this the best license plate ever? I vote yes (h/t Brandon Moore).

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Thanks going to do it for today. Thanks to Gary, Alex and of course, the concepters, and anyone who tweeted or e-mailed in. I will catch you guys tomorrow. Have a great Saturday.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken..


.. … ..

“Like a politician wants votes, a company wants you to feel good about them and their products. You see, both Democrats and Republicans understand that it’s not enough to just shake hands and kiss babies. You have to be SEEN shaking hands and kissing babies.”

— Uni Troll

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The Usual Slop

MLB’s annual Memorial Day pandering uniforms are now upon us. As had been widely expected and leaked, the caps will have camouflage brims, and the jerseys will feature camouflage type, which is the same as last year.

A few points:

• All this stuff looks like crap, as usual.

• The Blue Jays’ cap and jersey have a different camo design to match the Canadian military, which sounds nice until you realize that Canada doesn’t even celebrate Memorial Day. (They have Remembrance Day in November, which they celebrate with poppies, not with camouflage.) And yes, they’re actually going to be wearing a camo jay. Sigh.

• I don’t necessarily adhere to the notion that a cap’s brim and squatchee have to be the same color, but I know some of you folks do. For those of you who fall into that camp, does it bug you that caps don’t have camo squatchees?

• I didn’t check all 30 teams, but several clubs will apparently be wearing solid-colored jerseys on Memorial Day, including the Royals, Rockies, Diamondbacks, and Brewers.

• Several teams, including the Mets, Padres, Pirates, and Reds, already have camouflage jerseys as part of their uniform sets. Why can’t they just wear those miserable camo jerseys, instead of these new miserable camo jerseys?

• MLB’s continuing insistence on misrepresenting the point of Memorial Day is infuriating. It’s absurd that I even have to explain this, but here it is one more time: Memorial Day is not about celebrating or even honoring the military; it’s about mourning the fallen. A pregame moment of silence would be appropriate. If they insist on having a uniform gesture, the right move would be a black armband. Going G.I. Joke for Memorial Day isn’t just bad design — it’s bad civics. That’s not a good thing for any institution to be promoting, but it’s particularly egregious coming from something that considers itself the national pastime.

• I hate that New Era continues to call these caps “the Stars and Stripes Collection.” For one thing, shouldn’t that term be reserved for the awful Fourth of July caps instead of the awful Memorial Day caps? More importantly, referring to camouflage merch as “Stars and Stripes” reinforces the insidious notion that support for the military and patriotism are synonymous, which is patently false.

• Related to the above: The sport’s world’s endless drumbeat to glorify the military over and over and over again, to the near-exclusion of all other sectors of society, is highly disappointing. When there are special uniforms to honor Peace Corps volunteers, teachers, civil servants, social workers, and other deserving parties, we can talk. Until then, I’ll keep calling this stuff what it is: race-to-the-bottom pandering.

• Here, let’s play a little game. See if you can spot the similar elements in these tweets that were issued yesterday by three MLB players:

Yeah, there’s nothing more patriotic than being a corporate shill. What a disgrace — really tells you everything you need to know about this promotion.

Two final thoughts: If you’re mourning a fallen military service member, please accept my condolences, as well as my hopes that MLB eventually comes up with a more appropriate gesture for Memorial Day. And if you’re a military service member yourself, please know that my beef is with MLB, not with you — I respect what you do. But I also know that not all soldiers are heroes and not all heroes are soldiers.

• • • • •

Cell phone case voting results: Big congrats to reader Matt Beahan, whose cell phone case design, shown at right, won the first round of reader voting and then also won the run-off voting yesterday. He’s won himself $100 and a free phone case.

I want Matt to make a few teeny-tiny adjustments to his design before we put it into production, but it should be available for purchase next week. Stay tuned.

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PermaRec update: An Oklahoma man who bought an old building that used to house a commercial cafeteria found five file cabinets’ worth of old recipes inside the building. Get the full story over on Permanent Record.

• • • • •

’Skins Watch: The U. of North Dakota has released a list of proposed new team names to replace “Fighting Sioux” (from Jerry Nitzh). … The California bill that would ban “Redskins” as a school team name has passed in the State Assembly.

Baseball News: Our own Phil Hecken’s latest Sporting News piece is a ranking of National League uniforms. … This is interesting: When Nats OF Bryce Harper had that three-homer game on Wednesday, he did it without wearing batting gloves. … Matt Shepardson was watching an old Andy Griffith Show episode and spotted some nice little league uniforms. “The only thing that would’ve made it better is if Opie and his Mayberry teammates had worn the super-awesome striped stirrups that Aunt Bee is seen giving to him along with his washed uniform, instead of the standard-awesome orange stirrups they wore in-game,” says Matt. … Here’s a whole site devoted to sophomoric but entertainingly modified baseball cards (blame Dennis Budell). … In what I believe may be an unprecedented move, the White Sox wore their 1983 throwbacks for the third game in a row yesterday. … New orange jerseys for the Dayton Dragons (from Ben, who didn’t give his last name). … The Pirates went G.I. Joke last night. … The Medical College of Virginia’s baseball team used to use a skull/bones jersey insignia (from Phil Chapman). … “I had Gameday up for Thursday’s Cardinals game,” says Tom Qualls. “I got rid of the usual two side panels they have up and noticed an oddity for the illustration on the outfield wall: In Busch stadium that part of the wall has a mural of all of the retired numbers and accompanying pictures of those players. But Gameday shows a ’50’ and a picture of Adam Wainwright. I’m a pretty devout Cardinals fan and I do not remember them retiring his number just yet. I understand that the adverts would not match up, as they don’t own the rights, but the retired numbers are shown on the brick building in right-center, so why not put them on the wall as well? Maybe they don’t have rights to the images of those players? Weird.” … Some G.I. Jokes are bigger jokes than others. Seriously, how ugly is that? Perfect for Mother’s Day, too (from Kary Klismet). … The Royals will mark the 30th anniversary of their 1985 World Series title by wearing an odd-looking cap patch on May 24 and June 14. … While listening to last night’s Yanks/Orioles game on the radio, I heard something I hadn’t been aware of: O’s skipper Buck Showalter wears No. 26 as a tribute to former MLBer Johnny Oates, who was his first manager in the minors. … Holy moly, check out the mask being worn by Florida infielder Peter Alonso to protect his broken nose. Never seen a ballplayer wear anything quite like that before (big thanks to James Gilbert). … And if you think Alonso’s mask looked weird in that last shot, check out how it looks next to a pair of Vanderbilt uniforms — wow. Here’s another view (from John Furstenthal and @ashavadyn). … Remember when Will Ferrell played for 189 different teams in one day, or whatever it was? Topps has now produced a series of trading cards showing Ferrell in each of the uniforms he wore that day (thanks, Mike). … Check out this Yankees Old-Timers Day BP cap, complete with a miserable hashtag on the back (because nothing says old-timers like a hashtag). There’s also a grey-brimmed version. Altough it’s not explicitly stated in the listing, I think these caps will be worn during the old-timers ceremony/game. … The Diamondbacks wore their throwbacks last night and even issued throwback-style game notes (from Adam Vitcavage).

NFL News: Here are the Browns’ new helmets, ready for rookie camp. … Here’s a weird one: Former MLB pitcher Kyle Farnsworth is now playing semi-pro football and is wearing a Justin Tuck-style facemask (from Chris Flinn). … Here’s a video of Broncos rookies being fitted for their new gear.

College Football News: Whoa, check out this shot of Wake Forest in mono-black vs. UNC in this 1948 color vs. color game (from James Gilbert). … Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed the so-called Todd Gurley bill into law yesterday, making it a crime to entice college athletes to break NCAA rules for money. According to this story, the bill was officially known as House Bill 3, to match Gurley’s uniform number.

Hockey News: Evgeni Malkin has been wearing his Penguins gloves while playing for Russia at the world championships (from Layne Davison). … Meanwhile, Belarus captain Alexei Kalyuzhny, who wears No. 17, lost the “7” from his helmet (from Derek Smith). … Discover has renewed its sponsorship with the NHL, and one aspect of the new agreement is that people can apply for a Discover card with the NHL logo or any of the 30 team logos. … Here’s something I’d never heard before: According to this trading card, the Whalers got their name in part because the first three letters are “WHA” (from Aaron Husul). … Dane Drutis posted this comment on the site last night: “The first Canadiens goal tonight was scored by Markov and assisted by Subban and Pacioretty — uniform numbers 79, 76 and 67. That made me wonder what is the highest number combination to produce a goal in an NHL game. Have Hossa, Kane, and Richards (81-88-91) been on a line for the Blackhawks? The Penguins may have come close a couple of times, with Lemieux, Jagr, and Coffey (66-68-77) or Letang, Malkin, and Crosby (58-71-87) (or very briefly, Hossa). I can’t find a third high number on the Kings when Coffey and Gretzky were there.” … Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival was missing the little “X” stitching on his left shoulder patch last night (good catch by Jeffrey Seals).

Soccer News: New uniforms for Olympique Marseille (from Alex Cohen). … This fan message at a Barcelona game was actually a Nike marketing campaign (from Stefan Schubert). … Alfreton Town FC is letting fans choose the team’s new kit (from Casey Wieder).

Grab Bag: Tennis player Andy Murray has his wedding band tied to his sneaker, just like NBA player Mark Jackson used to do (from Andrew Cosentino). … A Somali-American woman was hoping to join the Columbus police force but dropped out the program because she wasn’t allowed to wear her hijab. She’s now receiving offers from other police departments that don’t have anti-hijab policies (from Jason Hillyer). … Here’s a cause that I haven’t seen represented on a uniform before: A Gaelic football team will be wearing a farm safety message on May 17. … European boarding schools are being urged to use gender-neutral uniforms to avoid discriminating against LGBT students. … New athletics dept. wordmark for Metropolitan State. … Organizers of a North Carolina apple festival have revised their logo after people complained that the original design featured a musical note facing the wrong way. … Here are the five designs being considered for NASCAR driver Ben Kennedy’s new helmet. … Speaking of NASCAR, Goodyear is rolling out some throwback tires (from Patrick Lindsey). … Nike execs say they will create 10,000 American jobs if the Pacific free-trade zone, which is currently a priority for President Obama, is approved.

Do Opposing Players Really Care About LeBron’s Headband?

By Mike Chamernik

The Cavs beat the Bulls last night to tie their playoff series at one game apiece. But the big news from a Uni Watch perspective was that LeBron James wore a headband for the first time in nearly two months. As you may recall, James said he stopped wearing the headband back in March to fit in with his teammates. He now says he went back to it to change his mojo.

Reporters picked up on this. Buried within the notes section of this game report is the following: “Not everyone was thrilled with James’ fashion choice. ‘I don’t care about no headband,’ [Bulls guard Jimmy] Butler said. ‘He’s a great player, headband or not.'” That means a reporter asked Butler — a guy who just lost big to a rival in a playoff game — “What do you think about LeBron wearing a headband again?”

I have some issues with that. If you follow NBA beat writers on Twitter or listen to basketball scribes on podcasts, you hear a lot about the declining access they get to players. As a media member myself, and as a basketball fan who wants NBA news, I find that troublesome. But when they do get access, they ask opposing players about LeBron’s headband? It seems incredibly dumb and lazy to try to create some sort of narrative around that. And besides, what did they think Butler would say? I doubt he even noticed, much less cared. The reporters in this case tried to make a story from nothing and wasted valuable access with the players. We all love uniforms and stuff like that here, but this whole thing bugs me.


Paul here. Mike raises some interesting points. I have two primary thoughts to add:

• LeBron James is, for better or worse, one of those larger-than-life figures who distort everything they touch. On the one hand, the continuing attention paid to his headband (or lack thereof) seems silly; on the other hand, fans seem to have a bottomless appetite for information about him, so the media machine continues to feed that beast.

• It’s one thing to write about the headband, but I agree with Mike that asking an opponent about the headband seems like a bit much. In the past I’ve always been in favor of other media outlets providing uni-centric coverage, because I thought it helped expand awareness of the uni-verse, helped further legitimize what I’m trying to do with Uni Watch, etc., but maybe asking an opposing player about LeBron’s headband could have the opposite effect, making us all look silly.


• • • • •

Cell phone case contest run-off: Matt Beahan’s stirrup-based design was the runaway winner in yesterday’s voting for the Uni Watch cell phone case design contest. But there was also significant write-in support for two of the non-finalists: Alex Giobbi’s luggage-sticker concept (several people said it would look even better without the red type across the case, and I agree) and Aaron Peak’s mesh fabric treatment.

So I’ve decided to have a run-off vote today between those three designs. Here they are side-by-side (click to enlarge):

And now I’ll ask you to cast your ballot in the run-off voting that will determine the final winner. No write-in votes this time — choose from among the three options shown above:

I’m voting for… free polls

Thanks to everyone for their enthusiasm and feedback on this project — good stuff.

• • • • •

Throwing back to the first throwbacks: A big milestone is coming up on July 11, which will mark the 25th anniversary of the date when the White Sox wore 1917 throwbacks. That is widely recognized as the North American sports world’s first turn-back-the-clock game.

My question is this: When did the other leagues follow the Chisox’s lead? Do we know when the first throwback games took place in the NFL, NHL, and NBA? What about college football and basketball?

If you know the answers to these questions, do tell. Thanks.

• • • • •

PermaRec update: The Manhattan Trade School student shown at right was classified as “Porto Rican” [sic] and described as “lazy and impudent” but also praised for being a “good writer.” Get the full scoop over on Permanent Record.

• • • • •

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: Here’s Phil’s latest Sporting News piece, which is a ranking of American League uniforms. … The Pirates have a nice team history display on the wall outside of their clubhouse (from Jerry Wolper). … The Royals will wear Negro League throwbacks on May 17. … The White Sox put Blackhawks and Bulls jerseys on the statues around Sox Park (from Ryan Lindemann). … Also, White Sox 1B Jose Abreu wore a Blackhawks jersey to play Shoot the Puck. The jersey was customized, too. … “Russell High School (Kansas) experimented with its new baseball uniforms for 2015,” says David Steinle. “This is what you get when you mix the Astros’ tequila sunrise with the Blue Jays’ split lettering and numbering font.” … Texas’s Kempner High School wears Hawaiian shirt-patterned jerseys (from Tyler Evans). … A Texas HS playoff baseball matchup has teams using the Royals and Philadelphia Eagles’ logos (from Dwight Ternes). … The Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels will wear Jumanji uniforms in June (from Matt Anderson). … Though he still uses Mizuno gear, Ichiro now uses brown bats with the Marlins instead of the jet black bats he used previously. Also, Ichiro used to wear Asics spikes, but now he wears a brand that neither Thomas F. Erichsen nor I can identify. … Recent Mariners call-up Chris Taylor has some great hosiery (from Andrew Rader). … Thanks to a fabric fold, mild comedy ensued when these A’s teammates stood next to each other. That’s Marcus Semien and Billy Burns. … Here’s an interesting piece on baseball players who wear No. 69. That reminds me, I was talking with a coworker who played football in high school (at T.F. South in Illinois), and only two uni numbers were made unavailable: No. 20, retired for current NFL RB Pierre Thomas, and No. 69. It was taken out of circulation because the coach didn’t enjoy sophomoric humor. … The Mets wore their standard blue caps with the orange “NY” logo last night, but reliever Alex Torres’s padding halo had the outlined logo that goes with their alternate home cap. … Cubs P Jon Lester’s undershirt had a black body and colored sleeves last night. Turns out he did the same thing with the Red Sox and A’s (fromGregg Elkin and Moses Massena). … Mets P Jacob deGrom showed what he would look like without his usual long hair.

NFL and College Football News: Here’s what it would look like if NFL teams switched colors with various opponents (from Brinke). … New uniforms for Elon University. … Not sure if we’ve had this here before, but new uniforms for Duke (from Brian Walsh).

Hockey News: The Rockford Ice Hogs took a uniform-based shot at their AHL playoff opponent, the Grand Rapids Griffins (from Dave Soline). … Here’s an illustrated history of the adventures of the Stanley Cup.

Soccer News: A few teams had their new unis leaked recently, including Fulham, Chesterfield FC, Pachuca CF and the Wolverhampton Wanderers (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary, AS Roma has a new uniform and stadium sponsor, and PSV Eindhoven, a club switching to Umbro kits next season, will wear “farewell” kits in honor Nike, the club’s supplier for the last 20 years.

NBA News: ESPN and TNT are using the Wizards’ former logo. To be fair, the Wizards only changed their logo a few weeks ago, and while most teams roll out new designs after a season ends, the Wiz made their changes effective immediately for the playoffs. … Pope Francis met with the Globetrotters, and he was given a personalized No. 90 Globetrotters jersey. “I didn’t get the significance of the number,” says David Teigland. “It seems, according to the press release, that it’s because of their 90th anniversary tour. Seems a little cynical to use the pope for promotional purposes, no?” … Not sure what reminded me of this, but one of my favorite possessions as a kid was a Dutch Boy paint promotional sheet, like this one, that listed and showed the colors for all the NBA teams.

Grab Bag: New logos for Green Bay Youth Rugby. … Someone is pretty skilled at drawing the ESPN logo by hand. … Andrew Hoenig was looking through a book of rejected cartoons from The New Yorker and found one that we might enjoy. … Can you name the seven Big Four sports teams that have purple as a team color? (Thanks, Patrick O’Neil.)