The Sacramento Kings Are Bringing Back The Baby Blues

By John Ekdahl

From their press release:

Sacramento, Calif. — Today, the Sacramento Kings announced the return of the uniforms worn by the team from 1985-1990, including during the inaugural season in Sacramento. Kings players will rock the infamous “baby blues” during all nine #FlashbackFriday home games this season. The Kings will also wear the retro jerseys for the final home game of the regular season, the last ever to be played in Sleep Train Arena.

In 1985, Sacramento became the new (now permanent) home of the Kings following their relocation from Kansas City. Home games were hosted at ARCO Arena I, and the team reached the NBA playoffs finishing the 1985-86 season ranked fifth in the Midwest Division and seventh in the Western Conference.

“The 1985-86 NBA season is one of the most memorable in Kings history,” said Kings President Chris Granger. “Bringing back the ‘baby blues’ enables the best and loudest fans in the NBA to celebrate memories of our storied franchise history. We look forward to honoring our proud past as we look forward to our proud future at Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento.”

The retro jerseys will be featured at the following nine #FlashbackFriday home games, as well as the last home game of the season:

· Oct. 30 vs. Los Angeles Lakers
· Nov. 6 vs. Houston Rockets
· Nov. 13 vs. Brooklyn Nets
· Nov. 27 vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
· Feb. 19 vs. Denver Nuggets
· Feb. 26 vs. Los Angeles Clippers
· Mar. 11 vs. Orlando Magic
· Mar. 25 vs. Phoenix Suns
· Apr. 1 vs. Miami Heat
· Apr. 9 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (last home game of the regular season)

More info available here.

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The Yankees are retiring Jorge Posada’s number today. Here’s a look at the patch.


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The Denver Broncos will be wearing their alternate blue uniforms against the Packers and Raiders this year. More information here.

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Apparently, the Grizzlies wanted to create a blacktop-style court.


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T-Shirt Club reminder — only available until Monday: In case you missed it earlier this week, the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s latest offering — the road grey shirt — is now available for ordering, but only through Monday night. Obviously, this one is pretty straightforward, but it’s still plenty handsome. In fact, it’s arguably the nicest design we’ve done so far (click to enlarge):

Again, this shirt is available here, and there’s additional information about how this shirt fits into the larger T-Shirt Club program here. Thanks.

When the Fuel Runs Out, Just Add Ice

ASU Helmet 550
Click to enlarge

By Phil Hecken

Arizona State University, who only a few weeks ago introduced an entirely new set of uniforms, yesterday introduced their first new alternate for 2015, which they’re calling “Desert Ice” (and apparently this is the first of at least three new alternates for 2015). For those who don’t get the reference to the hed, last year, when ASU was still being outfitted by Nike, the team introduced “Desert Fuel” uniforms. Now that they’re with adidas, the fuel has turned to ice. The team announced they will wear these new unis on Saturday, September 5th when they take on Texas A&M at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.

I actually really liked those Desert Fuel uniforms, but this new set … well … let’s take a look at what they introduced (for all photos below, you can click to enlarge):

First — the adidas hype photos

desert ice1

desert ice2

desert ice4

desert ice3

OK — at first glance, the uni looks pretty clean — white helmet, jersey and pants, with a GINORMOUS pitchfork on the helmet and pants, and copper lines and accents (numbers, wordmark, pitchfork on pants) throughout. I like copper (as I did on the Desert Fuel) and think it’s a great color (and sorely underused) in sports. That it’s being used by ASU, a team from The Copper State, makes sense. OK, it’s not a school color, but what are you going to do?

So, from a distance and first glance, I’m liking these — but as always, the devil (see what I did there?) is in the details. Lets see what the helmet looks like on a person mannequin:

desert ice8 desert ice9

desert ice17 desert ice16

First thing we notice is the pitchfork only appears on one side of the helmet — the other side has a number. Both are oversized. I’m definitely NOT a fan of teams who do this asymmetrical decaling. According to adidas, “Inspired by the school’s iconic logo, the ‘Desert Ice’ design is centered around an oversized polished copper version of the pitchfork, which is highlighted with a metallic black outline and prominently featured on the helmet and pants.” The giant pitchfork on the helmet is about twice the size of the one on the Desert Fuel uni. It’s too big. The Desert Fuel helmet also was symmetrical with a center stripe — not so with this one. Not a fan. The helmet will also have an Advocare Texas Kickoff sticker on the back.

Lets move down to the jersey:

desert ice11 desert ice14

desert ice5 desert ice19

According to adidas, “the jersey features a polished copper shoulder pad design that incorporates a pitchfork spike theme into the stripes.” Fortunately, those are only visible from about 3 feet away. You’ll also notice there is a “trademark treadmark” pattern (these are the “Techfit” materials — or as the three stripes describe them: “Made with a cutting-edge, proprietary yarn blend that increases durability and abrasion resistance, Primeknit is the premier compression uniform system, featuring the latest generation of adidas TECHFIT technology. Primeknit helps keep players cool and increases range of motion, giving athletes an unrivaled level of comfort and allowing them to perform at their highest levels.”) They have a “PT42″ patch on the neckline, and the ARIZONA STATE wordmark is black with a copper outline (and quite hard to read). On the side of the uniform, in tonal colors down the ribcage, it says “SUN DEVILS” (again, this will be impossible to see at any distance, thankfully).

Despite all of the little idiosyncrasies (like the pitchfork pattern in the copper elements), this is a pretty nice jersey. Yes, it’s not in school colors — but it’s a one off (at least this season), and while completely unnecessary, it still looks pretty sharp.

Onto the pants:

desert ice10

desert ice21 desert ice22

The giant oversized pitchfork (yes, we get it) is about twice the size of the pitchfork on the ‘regular’ white pants, and unfortunately, like the numbers and shoulder stripes on UCLA’s new uniforms, has ‘cuts’ in it. I’m not sure if there is any actual function to this, but since we don’t see this particular element anywhere else on the uniform, it’s disjunctive. It’s also waaaaaay too big. I’m definitely NOT a fan of these pants.

Overall, I’ll need to see the uniforms in action to render a final opinion, but from what I’ve seen so far, I think adidas has gone overboard with the oversized elements. The copper is great, and the jersey looks solid — but the helmet’s asymmetry and the humongous pitchforks distract, rather than add, to the uniforms looks. Maybe from a distance those elements will pop (which is why I’ll need to see them in action), but for now, I’m not as impressed with those as I was with the Desert Fuel unis.

OK readers — now it’s your turn — what do you think? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments down below.

(Big thanks to Joey Artigue, from whom I grabbed the 2014/15 comparisons, as well as the helmet sticker grab, as well as to Arizona Republic for photos used in this story.)

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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:

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First up today is Jerry Chavez who has some new USMNT concepts:

USMNT3_1 - Jerry Chavez USMNT2_3 - Jerry Chavez

USMNT3_1 - Jerry Chavez

Hi Phil,

First off, please forgive the crude, pixel nature of the designs. Only have your basic MS Paint to work with.

I tend to favor more classic looks when it comes to sports unis, and sometimes less is more.

I think the US Soccer badge needs desperate updating. With the blue stripes, stars that come dangerously close to claiming 3 World Cup titles, and the outdated “US” with a shooting soccer ball, it’s time to clean it up a bit.

Thank you,

Jerry Chavez

. . .

And we close today with Kennen Boone who has three new LA Clippers concepts:

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS uniform display (white) - Kennen Boone

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS uniform display (red) - Kennen Boone

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS uniform display (blue) - Kennen boone

Hi,

I have tons of uniform designs that I would like to display. I have designs for all NBA, NFL and all the major college football teams. An opportunity to display would be highly appreciated.

Attached are three Los Angeles Clippers jerseys. The home, road and a red alternate. The alternate logo is on the waistband of the shorts.

Thank you very much for checking out my designs.

Kennen Boone

. . .

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

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T-Shirt Club reminder: In case you missed it earlier this week, the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s latest offering — the road grey shirt — and it’s now available for ordering. Obviously, this one is pretty straightforward, but it’s still plenty handsome. In fact, I think this is my favorite design we’ve done so far (click to enlarge):

Again, this shirt is available here, and there’s additional information about how this shirt fits into the larger T-Shirt Club program here. Thanks.

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: The Awesome News we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived! The Chicago White Sox will wear their collared “leisure suit” 1976 throwbacks next Thursday, 8/27 (thank you Paul)! Here’s what the original specs looked like (h/t Todd Radom). Sadly, the collared jerseys won’t be paired with shorts. Paul asked the ChiSox, “The 1976 jerseys were worn untucked. But the photo you sent shows the Majestic tag on the front shirttail — does that mean that the players will be wearing them tucked in? Or will they just leave the tag exposed?” who replied, “Majestic modified the uniforms and the players are wearing them untucked and the tag will not be showing.” Awesome. Those unis have to be untucked. … The Lakewood Blue Claws will be wearing “New Jersey Jerseys” next Thursday (8/27) for “Celebrate the Garden State Night!” (via Lakewood Blue Claws). … The York Revolution (Atlantic League) will have industrial-themed jerseys for tonight’s game (h/t Ryan Tilley). … The Sugar Land Skeeters will wear these special Make-A-Wish Texas Gulf Coast and Louisiana inspired jerseys on August 22. … Last evening the Hillsboro Hops paid tribute to the Portland Mavericks, the legendary independent 1970s team that was immortalized in the documentary “Battered Bastards of Baseball” (h/t James Venes). Here’s how those looked on the field — MONOCHROME RED! (also from James). Here are some more good shots (h/t MiLB Promos). … Nice stirrups (are those golf socks for sanis tho?) for the Rockland Boulders last night (via Rockland Boulders).

NFL News: Last night, the Cleveland Browns wore white jerseys with brown pants and socks and it looked just awful. (Not everyone agreed with this assessment, however). If you want to see more photos, click here. … One of the contributors to FanSided has ranked the “10 ugliest” NFL uniforms of all time. … Does this screenshot from Madden give us a look at the Super Bowl 50 logo? (nice grab by Kylo Ren). … Check out this neat 49ers football field ‘vehicle’ (thanks, Brinke). … The Broncos have given the teams against whom they will wear their alternate blue tops (h/t Cody). They’ll will wear blue jerseys w/white pants vs. Green Bay on Nov. 1 & blue jerseys w/blue pants vs. OAK on Dec. 13 (h/t Denton Talbert). Here’s a bit more on that.

College/HS Football News: “It looks like smarter heads prevailed in my home town when the school district didn’t allow coaches to glorify members of the military in public schools,” says Michael Putlack. “There certainly is enough of that already.” … Check out these North Pole, Alaska High school football unis. Joshua Dryer notes, “Captain America inspired. ‘Patriots’ mascot.” … The website 247 Sports had an article on the Big XII, in which they list the top 3 uniforms (but no ranks below that). … Here’s a good before/after shot of the improvements at LA Tech’s football stadium (via Sutton Davison). … According to this piece, Color-Changing Helmets Won’t Just Minimize Trauma, They’ll Detect It. … Yesterday, Michigan State introduced new alternate jerseys with bronze shoulders. … Here’s a look at the evolution of the ‘Beaver Dam’ (from OSU Beaver Dam). … Seems like adidas and ASU aren’t quite though with new unis: from Conrad Burry: Via an Adidas catalog, a render of the Arizona State “Hammer” alternate uni. And this is the front page of the catalog (also from Conrad). … Speaking of ASU, per Christian Moffett: Comparing the Under Armour collection to the adidas collection in the 2015 ASU bookstore magazine. … ASU also got a special Desert Ice football. … “From a Wyoming release, look at the number font — a harbinger of new Wyoming uniforms, using the old UCLA font???” writes Tim Dunn. … Players at Alabama high school get to put the decals on their own helmets before first game, writes Phillip Tutor. Here’s a gallery. … Hazel Green (AL) is “channeling their inner Ohio State with these new uniforms” says Clint Richardson. … We saw Harvard’s new unis yesterday, but here is a good close up of the matte helmet (h/t Patrick Thomas).

NBA News: A reader who wishes to remain anonymous sent in these 2015-2016 NBA Referee Uniforms. “New Uniforms, including alternates (for games where teams wear grey uni’s). New Pants (flat front), Jackets stay the same from last year, Black for Reg Season, Blue for playoffs, White for Finals.” … Ooohhh: check out these Miami Heat unused logos from 1987! Says submitter Brandon Manzione, “I found these Miami Heat logo concepts from 87 while doing a search on google newspaper archive.” … Yesterday on Twitter, the Kings hinted at baby blue throwbacks for the 2015-16 season. Of course, we already knew this when the when the NBA catalog was leaked, but still — nice to see it almost confirmed.

Hockey News: Here’s a wonderful shot of an old school game between the L.A. Kings and Oakland Seals (from PressRoomGFS). But Mike Styczen points out the NHL Seals never wore that uni, while Chris Creamer notes they did wear them in the preseason. Finally Teebz chimed in with “WHL Seals in the Western Hockey League prior to the NHL ’67 expansion. Years and jerseys are accurate.” Hmmm. … [sarcasm font]Oh, good[/sarcasm font]: “Adidas already preparing for 2017 NHL Advertiser Draft.” … Check out this pocket schedule from the St. Louis Blues 1980-81 season featuring goaltender Mike Liut (h/t Keith Spisak). … We saw the possible Islanders ‘First Year in Brooklyn’ patch the other day, but here’s how it looks on a sweater (h/t Teebz).

Soccer News: According to Football__Tweet, AS Roma’s new silver third kit has been leaked & it’s quality. Nike have excelled themselves big time. … West Ham United has introduced a new third kit (via &rew). … New third kits announced for Chelsea (h/t Tyler). If that article doesn’t work, here’s why. Fortunately I made a screen shot of the kit top and pants. Looks nice!

Grab Bag: Here’s a photo of the Wayne’s World set on display in New York City. Submitter Chris Flinn notes the 5 Chicago pennants. … 50 years ago yesterday, the Beatles played Comiskey Park (great shot from Bruce Menard). … NASCAR News: “The Mello Yello paint scheme returns to the #42 for the Southern 500 (an event in which many cars will feature throw/faux-back designs)” (from Chris Hickey). … “I just came across this short post on the design of the NASA “worm” logo and the “meatball” logo,” writes Andrew Moeschberger. here’s some interesting stuff, as well as a NASA design usage guide. The story and the usage guide.” … “So these guys who run this bro-bar outside of Montreal paid Kylie Jenner 200k to come and celebrate her 18th birthday (legal drinking age in QC) at their establishment,” says Patrick Guay. “Beforehand someone gave her a Canadiens jersey and they didn’t even bother using the proper name or number font.” … More NASCAR: “New for Throwback Thursday, a throwback paint scheme tracker,” from David Firestone. … “I caught this photograph at the Saratoga Race Course,” says Chuck Miller “The jockey’s silks brought two things to mind. (1) Has anybody else ever worn a peace sign as part of their uniform? and (2) even if you’re wearing a sign of peace, you still need to be escorted back to the jockey room by security.” … This is pretty cool — the evolution of the Pepsi logo (not sure why it’s on all white cans though).

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And that’s all for today — and the week for me. Thanks to everyone who submitted for the ticker by e-mail or tweet. You guys have a great Friday and a better weekend, and I’ll catch you on Monday. Johnny Ek will take you through the weekend.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“Two things on my bucket list are 1) catching a visiting homer at Wrigley and hanging on to it, and 2) eating a hotdog with ketchup while catching said homer at said park.”

— Jimmer Vilk

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Cubs & Tigers Throwback to 1945

Tigers Cubs 550
Click to enlarge

[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from the site and will return in September. Daily content is continuing under the direction of deputy editor Phil Hecken, who’s running the site this month.]

By Phil Hecken

Last evening, in a nationally televised game on ESPN, the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago Cubs played a “throwback” game. It was a beautiful looking game, for sure.

For one thing, everyone went high cuffed (click on any photos below to enlarge):

high cuffs

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For another, the uniforms themselves looked gorgeous:

Cubs & Tiggers

Both teams did as well as can be expected with duplicating the uniform numbers:

Cubs-Tigers30

cubs fonts

The Cubs also replicated their 1945 cap and uniform jersey pretty well:

Cubs cap and uni

The Tigers had a “World War II Support” patch, just like back in the day:

WWII patch

So far, so good, and to the non-Uni Watcher, no one was probably the wiser that the throwbacks weren’t 100% perfect. And for probably 99% of the population, no one cared. But we Uni Watchers are trained to spot those things.

I’ve relaxed my stance on throwback games over the years, because I realize teams can’t replicate many of the elements of yesteryear (in this case 1945) — they’re NOT going to wear wool uniforms, they didn’t wear helmets, there was no Majestic logo, and there were no black players. I won’t complain about any of those things, even though they’re not authentic. But it’s the little details that they get wrong that bother me — and some things within the players’ control (such as wearing socks instead of stirrups) that can be easily corrected.

Let’s look at some of the inconsistencies. First, the Tigers had a WONDERFUL cap, with a giant “D” that could be read from space. Originally, I thought that’s what the Tigers wore back in 1945, but that’s not the case. Their cap then was much more similar to the regular home cap they wear today. But what they wore then and what they wore last night wasn’t even close:

detroit 45 orig vs throwback

The hosiery was also disappointing — while everyone went high cuffed, the Cubs wore a combination of solid blue socks and 2-in-1’s (I watched a good portion of this game and I don’t think I saw a single actual stirrup). The Tigers all wore solid midnight blue socks. And while the 2-in-1’s aren’t as bad as the crap the A’s have been wearing, they’re still, ya know…2-in-1’s:


But OK, I get that players don’t necessarily feel comfortable in real stirrups, like those worn back in the day, but the hose worn by the Cubs in 1945 had STRIPES on them:

Cubs-Tigers25 Cubs-Tigers20

You’ll note that Marc Okkonen (who did the sketch on the right above) showed the team wearing sleeves with stripes, I was unable to find a photo from 1945 that showed the Cubs wearing them (that’s not to say they didn’t — just that I was unable to find a photo confirming they did). So, I’ll certainly cut the Cubbies some slack for not doing so last evening. But guys, please, you gotta respect the stripes on the hose. Even if they socks weren’t exact to the year, in 2014 (during their multi-decade throwbacks) the Cubs wore striped hose on at least two occasions, so they certainly could have found some pairs for last evening’s game.

OK — I’ll stop my complaining now — there were a few more inconsistencies (like the number fonts being too thick during last night’s game, and the Detroit script seemed a bit too thin), but that’s OK. They nailed the Detroit uniform pretty well (except the cap):

Cubs-Tigers28

It was, aesthetically, a great game to watch — and in my opinion, if the Tigers don’t want to go back to their 1968 roadies on a full-time basis, I’d love for them to wear the 1945 unis on the road permanently. The Cubs, too, wouldn’t look too bad if they made these a permanent uni (although their current homes are pretty good too).

As a quick aside, Todd Radom posted this informational graphic on the flags flying in the outfield, which is apropos for a 1945 throwback game (the graphic looks to be somewhere from 1946 to 1948, probably ’46).

Cubs-Tigers14

All in all — a great game aesthetically. Despite the peccadillos of the uni imperfections, I still enjoyed it immensely. What did you guys think? (If you want to see more photos, click here.)

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Power Rankings reminder: Paul here. In case you missed it yesterday, the latest edition of the Uni Watch Power Rankings rates the best-looking cities as measured by their teams’ uniforms. The full ground rules and parameters were spelled out in yesterday’s post.

As you might expect, I got lots of feedback and pushback on this project. Here were the most common refrains:

• “You rated the Patriots too high.” First, there was a glitch yesterday that affected the Power Rankings page. For the first few hours that the piece was up, the scores for the Boston teams were wrong — they were all listed as 8. The proper scores, which we eventually inserted once we discovered the error, are Red Sox (8), Patriots (7.5), Celtics (8.5), and Bruins (9.5). Most of the objections to the Pats’ score came in while it was mistakenly listed as 8, which I agree is too high. But I think 7.5 is just right. It’s true that the Pats would look better without the side panels. Aside from that, though, I think they’re a good-looking team (especially on the road, where the have striped socks). Is their current design as good as the Pat Patriot-era design? No, but it’s still a solid design, at least to me.

• “You rated the Blackhawks too low [7 out of 10].” As I’ve explained many times over the years, I’m not a fan of the Blackhawks’ red uniform, which I think is too loud.

• “You should have included MLS kits.” As I explained in yesterday’s post, I didn’t include MLS kits because they change too often, most of them feature big ads that keep me from taking them seriously, and I’m ill-equipped to assess soccer kits anyway.

• “You should have deducted points for the Oakland Coliseum.” Actually, I considered adding a point for the Raiders playing on a baseball infield for the early part of the season — I love that look. In the end, though, I decided it was too minor an issue for something that only affects one or two home games.

• “You’re nuts! Everyone knows [whatever].” Lots of people took me to task for going against popular opinion. As I tried to explain to such people, it’s not a critic’s job to worry about what is or isn’t popular. As some of you may recall, we explored that topic in greater detail about a year and a half ago.

All in all, a fun project. Thanks to all who took the time to check it out.

• • • • •

T-Shirt Club reminder: In case you missed it earlier this week, the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s latest offering — the road grey shirt — and it’s now available for ordering. Obviously, this one is pretty straightforward, but it’s still plenty handsome. In fact, I think this is my favorite design we’ve done so far (click to enlarge):

Again, this shirt is available here, and there’s additional information about how this shirt fits into the larger T-Shirt Club program here. Thanks.

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Canadian flagAttention All Canadian Readers

As you guys (hopefully) read, yesterday Paul had his ESPN piece(s), (see the section just above this) on “Which City Has The Best Looking Uniforms,” but those rankings were limited (mostly) to American cities and teams.

Reader Mike Engle began a thread with the comment “Nice lists. I can only hope that Montreal may rejoin the list of two-team cities and wonder how the Expos and Habs would have slotted in,” to which Paul replied, “They would have done well.”

That was followed up by Will S who added

With Toronto the only Canadian city with more than 1 team in the “Big Four”, I wonder what a separate uniform Power Ranking for Canadian cities would look like.

NHL and CFL would be the obvious two leagues. With Paul’s criteria for minor league and college not included, I think the CHL (major-junior hockey) could be a third.

If there was a fourth league, possible CIS hockey or maybe another sport (not as much on the uniform roller coaster as U.S. colleges) or if the someone judging was more in tune with soccer – whatever the highest level of soccer was for those cities.

At this point, Paul then said: “I invite any (or all!) of our Canadian readers to get cracking on this.”

Mike e-mailed me and suggested we take Paul up on this. So I’m putting out the call:

If you are a Canadian reader and you’d like to participate in a Uniform Power Ranking for Canadian Cities, please let me know (shoot me an email at Phil.Hecken@gmail.com and put as the subject line Canadian Uni Ranking). If there is enough interest in this, Mike and I, along with those who want to participate, will do a Canadian Uniform Power Ranking.

Could be a pretty cool group project. I’m not sure we’d use the exact leagues suggested by Will, but any and all suggestions will be considered. Shoot me an e-mail and let me know if you’re (1) interested in participating and (2) what criteria/leagues should be considered.

OK? OK!

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Mike’s Question of the Week
By Mike Chamernik

This is a little old, but Deadspin gave some tips on how to attend a sporting event. All good stuff, but really, a comprehensive piece on this subject could be the length of a book. Or, at the very least, a novella.

What’s the best tip you can give to someone who’s going to a ballgame? Any tricks regarding buying a ticket or parking? Anything on what to wear, or the best way to get a ball or an autograph? Please share whatever you have in the comments.

My tip: Keep score at a baseball game at least once. It keeps you focused on the action, it makes you a little more knowledgable of a fan, and it provides you with a physical record of the game you attended. It’s fun and it’s not hard to do.

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Uni Watch News Ticker
Compiled by Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: First baseman Miguel Cabrera took off his mitt just before a pick-off attempt thrown his way. He recovered in time to throw out Dexter Fowler (from Chris Flinn). … MLB reprimanded Royals manager Ned Yost for wearing an Apple Watch in the dugout during Sunday’s game. … A’s P Jesse Chavez wore faux stirrups yesterday (from Chad Jorgenson). … MLB cap holograms still have Bud Selig’s signature on them (from @Tubby34). … The Syracuse Chiefs will wear Syracuse University-themed jerseys next weekend (from Phil). … The Eugene Emeralds will have a Portlandia Night (from Eric Fisk). … Orioles 2B Jonathan Schoop had his name misspelled on a giveaway T-shirt last night (from Paul Braverman)

NFL News: The Colts will wear white at home for their preseason home opener this weekend (from Phil). … The Browns will wear white over brown tonight. … Brian Gunter refurbishes old helmets. “I take old, or not so old, used helmets mostly from eBay, and recondition them to look brand new,” he says. “I fill in every scratch, gouge, ding, pith, etc. I do a lot of priming and sanding, and then when I have filled in everything, I apply a last coat of primer, then about ten coats of paint. I color sand the paint job until it is completely level, then polish to an extreme gloss. Then about 15 coats of clear coat, color sand that and polish to the point where the reflections are pin sharp.”

College Football News: ASU will reveal their new “Desert Ice” uniforms today (that’s a sneak peek). … New uniforms for Harvard. More pics here (from Seth Horowitz). … Tennessee Tech has a bunch of uni combinations (from (Clint Richardson). … New script and numbers for North Carolina’s field (from James Gilbert). … New helmets for Utah. … Houston has a really cool helmet cart (from Corey Buck). … Here’s Oregon’s color schedule for this year (from @DatDudeDamon_). … New orange helmets for Idaho State (from Phil). … Arizona State will hold a White Out in September (from Phil).

NBA News: Stephen Curry, an Under Armour guy, wore Nike gear during his round of golf with President Obama. … Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis has a pair of socks with Phil Jackson on them. The socks show Jackson as a player with the Knicks; he’s now the team’s president (from Brinke).

College Hoops News: New court design for Northern Kentucky (from Andy Kroeger). … And, it looks like Maryland is getting a new floor (from Patrick Thomas).

Grab Bag: New hockey jerseys for Yale. … Will the Islanders wear this patch for their inaugural season in Brooklyn? (From Phil). … New uniforms for UTEP. … Indiana University AD Fred Glass wore a gaudy Adidas shirt after his school signed an extension with the company (from John Kreimer). … Under Armour is suing a clothing company called Armor & Glory. In the past, UA has sued other “Armor” named companies like Body Armor, Salt Armour and Ass Armor, all in an effort to protect its brand (from Tommy Turner). … Also from Tommy, James Madison University will sponsor a NASCAR driver. … Will the Leafs wear multiple jerseys/unis for their Centennial Season in 2016-17? According to this article, they might (h/t Patrick Thomas).

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And that’s going to do it for today. Big thanks to Mike E., Paul & Mike C. (for the Canada Uniform Power Ranking idea & other stuff, and the QOTW & ticker respectively), and to all who tweeted or emailed for the ticker. Back tomorrow with more stuff. Everyone have a great Thursday.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“How is the NHL considered a ‘big 4′ league and MLS isn’t? MLS is far more popular than the NHL, at least in the United States.”

— Lee

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Which City Has the Best-Looking Uniforms?

Paul here, making a rare August appearance, because today’s a big day. We’re rolling out a new edition of the Uni Watch Power Rankings over on ESPN. And instead of ranking the teams in a given league, we’re adding a new category: ranking the best-looking cities as judged by their teams’ uniforms, which I’m sure will result in lots of arguments, debate, and so on.

The rules were as follows:

• In order to be included in the rankings, a city had to have at least three teams in the “Big Four” pro leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL), a criterion that resulted in 20 eligible cities. A separate set of rankings was conducted for 11 small-market cities that have only two major-level teams. Minor league and college teams were not considered, because there are too many of them and they change their uniforms too often. MLS teams were also not considered, because they change kits too often, most of the jerseys have corporate advertising that renders them worthless, and I’m not equipped to assess soccer uniforms anyway.

• The rankings are based on each city’s Uniform Numerical Index, or UNI, which is calculated like so: Each team’s uniform set was ranked on a scale of 1 to 10. When applicable, points were added or subtracted for intangibles that affect the fan’s visual experience, such as a particularly attractive ballpark (always good for an extra point or two) or a domed football stadium (an automatic two-point deduction). The city’s total points were then tallied and divided by its number of teams, resulting in the UNI.

For example, a city with a good-looking MLB team (8.5 points), a mediocre-looking NBA team (4), and a decent-looking NFL team that plays in a dome (6 minus 2) would have a UNI of 5.5.

• All teams were judged based on their current uniform sets, even if those sets haven’t yet seen any game action. For example, several NBA teams have unveiled new uniforms this summer — those unis were factored into these rankings, even though they haven’t yet been worn on the court. Points were based primarily on home and road uniforms, with alternate designs factored in based on how often they’re worn. One-off designs and special promotional jerseys were not considered.

• A few judgment calls were necessary regarding which teams should be associated with which cities. San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, for example, were all considered to be one municipality for the purposes of these rankings. Ditto for New York, Brooklyn, and New Jersey; Los Angeles and Anaheim; Dallas and Arlington; Minneapolis and St. Paul; Tampa and St. Petersburg; and Boston and Foxboro.

I also considered lumping Baltimore and DC into one metro area. But after consulting with several fans from both cities, I decided to treat them as separate entities. This meant that DC made the primary list of 20 big-market cities and Baltimore was relegated to the list of two-team cities.

Okay, ready to find out if your city’s uniforms were judged to be eye candy or an eyesore? Here you go.

• • • • •

T-Shirt Club reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s latest offering — the road grey shirt — and it’s now available for ordering. Obviously, this one is pretty straightforward, but it’s still plenty handsome. In fact, I think this is my favorite design we’ve done so far (click to enlarge):

Again, this shirt is available here. And there’s additional information about how this shirt fits into the larger T-Shirt Club program here. Thanks.

Now here’s Phil with the rest of today’s content.

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classic scoreboards splashClassic Ballpark Scoreboards

Thanks, Paul.

I’m pleased to continue with a favorite weekend feature here at Uni Watch, “Classic Ballpark Scoreboards,” which are created by Gary Chanko. These run on the weekends when I’m handling those duties, but since I’ve got the weekday duties (except for today’s lede), they’ll run on Wednesdays for the month of August. The feature will return to the weekends when I do.

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

. . . . . . . . . .

Classic Ballpark Scoreboards – Series II
by Gary Chanko

Classic Scoreboards next travels to east Montreal to visit the much ridiculed former home of the Expos, Olympic Stadium, or Stade Olympique if you prefer.

Olympic Stadium/ Stade Olympique (Montreal)

Olympic Stadium_UW

Baseball and Football Home of: Montreal Expos (1977–2004), Montreal Alouettes (CFL) (1976–1986; part time from 1996 to present); 1982 MLB All Star Game; Six Grey Cup games.
Opened (although not fully completed): Summer Olympics 1976
First Expos game: April 15, 1977
Last Expos game: September 29, 2004
Current Status: Multipurpose facility for special events; concerts, conventions. Reportedly needs major renovations over the next decade.

Olympic Stadium served as the home of the Montreal Expos from 1977-2004. It was and remains a multi-purpose facility located in the former Olympic complex.

Le Stade Olympique suffers a number one ranking in at least one Top Ten Worst lists, largely because of two decades of financial problems, roof construction and stability problems and other structure mishaps. Setting those controversies aside, the ballpark itself wasn’t all that bad a venue for watching baseball. This was arguably so after improvements in the early 90s that moved the outfield seating closer and added a major centerfield scoreboard upgrade. After the damaged roof was removed in 1998 for repairs, the ballpark became “outdoors” for a season!

Olympic Stadium has a few nicknames. ”The Big O” is a reference to the stadium’s name and to the doughnut-shape of the structure.”The Big Owe” is a mocking reference to the enormous expenditures for construction and repairs (about C$1.6 billion).

For more about the complicated history of Olympic Stadium you will want to read this comprehensive SABR article.

This Baseball-Fever posting provides an interesting pictorial history of Olympic Stadium’s scoreboards. The 1992 vintage centerfield scoreboard was recently upgraded with new LED displays.

The illustration features the original matrix scoreboard (c.1990) with the reviled orange roof (finally installed in 1987) as the panoramic backdrop.

A Few Things to Know

• The Big O is one of three former Olympic Stadiums to suffer a conversion for Major League Baseball. The other two are: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (1932 and 1984 Summer Games) and Centennial Olympic Stadium (1996 Summer Games).

• The Expos’ Pete Rose got his 4,000th hit in Olympic Stadium in April 1984.

• The largest ever paid crowd to the Olympic Stadium was a 1977 Pink Floyd concert attended by over 78,000 fans.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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 Classicscoreboards@gmail.com.

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: On Monday night, a Cardinals fan and a Giants fan attended the St. Louis/San Francisco game — as their jerseys indicate, they’ve been together since 1952. I’m generally opposed to jersey chicanery like this, but in this case it’s awesome. What do you guys think? … A local Michigan club baseball team out of Dexter recently dressed in 1860’s uniforms and played with 1860’s rules. Photos here and here (from PK Richardson). Some additional photos here. … Apologies if we’ve had these before, but here’s a look at the Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada retirement patches for the Yankees (from Diego Bauzá). … “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a manager wearing a glove in the dugout during a game,” says Dustin Semore. “Which makes this screenshot of Bobby Cox wearing a catcher’s mitt in 2009 all the more interesting. This was taken during ejection #149, so 1 away from the record of 150. Maybe he was trying an anger management technique? Didn’t seem to work.” … Here are a couple of neat old Colorado baseball photos. Submitter jbird8212 adds, “The pictures aren’t that great – but found these pictures of Mine supported teams that played around Frisco CO Back in the 20’s.” … The Schaumburg Boomers are hosting a “Zombie Night” this Saturday, and these are the jerseys they’ll be wearing (from Steve Johnston). … Wow, some intern at the MLB Network is probably about to get fired (nice grab by Jeremie Archer). … Tonight at Wrigley, the Tigers and Cubs will wear 1945 throwback uniforms. (That was the last year the Cubs were in the World Series. They didn’t win.) … Ooof: Color vs. color was taken to a new level in Wilmington yesterday, as the Nats & Blue Rocks both wore navy tops (h/t Mike Diodati). … Also not a good color vs. color combo: navy vs black for The Sugarland Skeeters and Bridgeport Bluefish (h/t Derrick Lockridge). … Roberto Clemente would have turned 81 years old yesterday. The great Rob Ullman posted this illo of Clemente on Twitter to commemorate his birthday. … The Rangers’ longstanding red/blue confusion nicely captured by Chi Chi Gonzalez’s socks and shoes (good spot by Paul). … Last evening, Andrew McCutchen wore an interesting new arm sleeve (thanks to Rob Ullman). … During a pitching change last night, Juan Lagares became a human cap & glove rack (h/t Frank Bledsoe, Jr.).

NFL News: Ronnie Hillman sure has an interesting mouthpiece! says Andrew Cosentino. … This is interesting: Color-changing NFL helmets could indicate brain damage. … Yesterday’s ticker item about shadowing on the Browns’ practice jerseys was i.d.’d the shadowing as “drop shadow.”. Scott Turner points out the correct term is actually block shadow (actually block shadow outlined). This is a mistake I myself make often, so it’s good to know the correct terminology. Thanks, Scott!

College Football News: Unlike other high-profile Division I schools who have gone to ‘generic’ jersey numbering for retail sales, UNC still sells player jerseys, for now. … Clemson helmets are coming together (h/t Mark Johnson). … Check the brand new Pitt football locker room and player lounge (via Josh Sánchez). … ASU will be unveiling a new “Desert Ice” uniform on Thursday. … Those new Vanderbilt alternates that were released on Sunday? Seems Redditors had some fun with one of the poses. … The Oregon State University “BeaverDam” has a logo for the student section (h/t Tanner Karp). … This is pretty cool: check out some nice drone video footage of Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium (from Wayne Harder). … The new Hawai’i home uniform has been released. Looks pretty nice! More here. Not quite sure about the pants yet tho. … The Georgia Bulldogs have officially designated their “black out” and “red out” games (note, this doesn’t mean they’re going to wear a black jersey for any of the “black out” games; pretty sure Richt has said no black jerseys this year). … Speaking of black — is this a black helmet for THE Ohio State? (via Jamie Dupler). … “Just finished up a project documenting every Virginia Tech football helmet design worn under Frank Beamer,” writes Clark Ruhland. “Since 1987, the Hokies have worn over 50 different variances. Here is a look at every helmet design and detail from those years.” … Looks like the Arkansas Razorbacks may have chrome helmet decals this season. … I love this hed from the Gwinnett Daily Post: “Oregon more than just uniforms.”

NBA News: Reader Dan Michalek asks, “New Hornets court? I really hope not, since their honeycomb court is killer.” … A designer created some basketball uniform concepts that combine rap and NBA logos and wordmarks (thanks Mike).

Hockey News: Check out this beautiful 1974 NHL All-Star Game program cover, back when the league had 16 teams (several of whom have since moved or been renamed), from Super 70s Sports. Also from Super 70s, feast your eyes on this 1979-80 NHL guide, with 21 teams (which included more expansion clubs and teams absorbed from the WHA). … Here’s a look at the 20th Anniversary Logo for the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins (via Matt McClain). … The Griffins also unveiled new home and road uniforms; here’s a better look at the jerseys (thanks to Ben Greene). Here’s a bit more on that. … Reader Jimmy Lonetti saw this tweet (announcing the Minnesota Wild would “will don something like this”), which is obviously a harkback to the old North Stars colors, with the Wild logo. The tweeter later added, “Per source, within Wild something ‘like this’ will be worn for ONLY the alumni game February 20th not the actual Stadium Series.” Here’s a bit more on that. … Andrew Hammond’s new mask features the Hamburglar and a tribute to Ottawa’s Butterfly Boy. Adds T.W. Feren, “Looking like the Golden Arches on the chin.”

Soccer News: Here’s a list of the “10 Worst FA Logos in the world (h/t Jim Collier). … The USWNT debuted their 3rd star and what they call the FIFA Champions badge during their victory tour in Pittsburgh on Sunday (thanks to Julie Streeter). … New soccer kits for Dayton Women (from Tom Hirt). … Metro State Denver Soccer has new kits. … “Great uniform matchup in (Mon)day’s Champions League game between Manchester United & Club Brugge,” notes Saurel Jean. “Even the uniform fonts were a great contrast (SchneiderlinDe Bock).”

Grab Bag: Here are the kits Leinster’s rugby stars will be wearing this season. … A Dallas violinist and businessman have engineered a stretchable, breathable men’s tuxedo shirt, a mix of formal attire and athletic performance wear (thanks, Paul). … This is what Danica Patrick’s car will look like next NASCAR season (via Jerry Nitzh). Here’s another view (h/t Chris Cruz). … A Baseball-themed play is coming this winter to the Japan Society in NYC (from Karen McBurnie). … Indiana University just inked a $53.6 million apparel deal with adidas (second only to Michigan and UCLA for schools signed with the three stripes). … NASA’s logo from the ’70s was ridiculously cool (thanks Brinke). … New volleyball unis for the ASU ladies.

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And that’s all for today — thanks to Paul for grabbing the lede today (and I’m looking forward to seeing those city rankings), to Gary for the Scoreboard feature, and everyone who emailed or tweeted a ticker item. Back tomorrow with more stuff.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

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“RE: Curve on baseball brims. The brims of baseball hats should be ‘curved’ in an exact duplication of the curve on batting helmets. No more, no less.”

— Mainspark

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