Let the record show that the ball carrier on the first play from scrimmage in the 2014 NFL season was wearing (a) a SpeedFlex helmet and (b) a Hulk base-layer shirt. That would be Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy, shown at right.
Unfortunately, Lacy later left the game with a concussion — not a good regular season debut for the SpeedFlex.
A few other notes from last night’s Packers/Seahawks game:
• I was a bit surprised to see that the Seahawks’ championship banner, which was unveiled before the game, says, “2013 World Champions.” I mean, Super Bowl XLVIII was played on Feb. 2, 2014. Yes, I realize that the Super Bowl was the culmination of the 2013 season, but it still seems a bit weird. I didn’t have time last night to look up other teams’ championship banners — do they all follow this format?
• Aaron Rodgers was apparently trying to block out the crowd noise by putting yellow tape over his earholes.
• Packers coach Mike McCarthy’s signature Sharpie in the cap appeared to be AWOL last night.
• Head linesman Derrick Bowers was wearing an “SS” cap patch. I’m assuming the other zebras wore it as well, although I can’t find any other photos. Anyone know what this was for? Was it worn during the preseason and I just missed it? (Update: Commenter Douglas informs me that it’s a memorial patch for former NFL official Sid Semon.)
(My thanks to all contributors, including C.B. Ciullo Aaron McHargue, and of course Phil.)
• • • • •
ESPN reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, my latest ESPN column is about the very different uniform cultures in pro vs. college football, and the reasons behind those differences.
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’Skins Watch: The New York Daily News — a newspaper whose editorial policy might fairly be described as center-right — has become the latest media outlet to boycott the ’Skins name and logo. You can see one immediate result of that move here. … The Vikings/’Skins game slated for Nov. 2 at the U. of Minnesota’s stadium, which was already the subject of controversy, may soon become the subject of a lawsuit. … Good story about how the Spokane Indians have connected with a local Native American tribe (thanks, Phil). … That California high school whose teams are called the Arabs is keeping the name but scrapping its live mascot, which had drawn complaints. … A local flag football team in my Brooklyn neighborhood agreed to change its name from Redskins to Bears after parents complained. … The bad news is that some asshole Oklahoma State students suggested last weekend that Florida State’s football team should be sent home on the Trail of Tears; the good news (aside from the gratifyingly accurate apostrophe usage) is that this led to a sternly worded rebuke from the OSU student newspaper. … About a third of the way down this page is the news that ESPN’s Lindsay Czarniak won’t be using the ’Skins name on the air (thanks, Phil). … Most Americans still think the ’Skins should keep their name, although the trend shows the pro-change numbers growing. … Also, 58% of current NFL players think the ’Skins don’t need to change their name. … Comedy Central’s Tosh.0 poked some fun at the ’Skins name a few days ago (from Chris Flinn). … That “Cleveland Caucasians” T-shirt is a hot-selling item (from Jim Mason). … Buried within this article about Daniel Snyder wanting a new stadium is the following intriguing passage: “Multiple other commentators, including former Washington football team executive Vinny Cerrato, have suggested that Snyder may try to trade his racist team name for a bright, shiny stadium. The deal, essentially, would be: Give me a huge wad of cash, and I’ll name my team, say, the Washington Warriors. … [This would] serve as a face-saving ploy, allowing the owner to yield to public pressure to change the name while getting something very big in return.” … A new video to be released on Sunday, produced by a Native American group is urging FedEx to end its corporate sponsorship of the ’Skins stadium. Quote from someone connected to the video: “FedEx has a great diversity statement for their employees and corporation. We think it’s hypocritical of them to support an NFL team that uses a racist name when their diversity statement explicitly states they are against racism” (from Scott Turner).
Baseball News: Police have busted a Philly-area counterfeit MLB jersey operation. Fun quote, taken from an email from one of the ringleaders to his supplier in China: “Make sure the factory takes their time, though. People are starting to complain about some of the quality of the jerseys. Some crooked letters/numbers and buttons are coming off.” … Quiz during the YES broadcast of last night’s Bosox/Yanks game: “Derek Jeter has worn No. 2 for 20 seasons. Who is the only Yankees player to wear that number for more than five seasons?” Answer: Red Rolfe, 10 years. Play-by-play man Michael Kay proceeded to blow a gasket on the air, insisting that the answer had to be Frank Crosetti. But while Crosetti wore No. 2 for 22 years as a coach, he wore it for only two years as a player. … Speaking of the Yankees, last week they acquired longtime Uni Watch hosiery hero Josh Outman from the Indians. He went low-cuffed in his first appearance with the Bronx Bombers (I’m assuming they just didn’t have his preferred style of stirrups available), but last night he was back to his signature look. Outmania! … Here’s a great gallery of Tigers media guide covers from 1978 to the present (nice one from Wayne Koehler). … Good article on the guy who’s selling all the Jeter-related memorabilia.
NFL News: The Eagles’ green jerseys will finally be ready for Week 6. They’ll wear white at home until then. Neither Nike nor the Eagles has responded to my questions regarding the embarrassment of the jerseys not being ready in time for the start of the season. … Back in 1959, the Packers and Giants played a preseason game in Maine. It was Vince Lombardi’s first game as head coach (from Paul Dillon). … Alaska Airlines is offering early boarding to Seattle travelers who wear Russell Wilson jerseys. This is similar to the deal they had previously offered to people wearing Utah jerseys. … Here’s a rare action shot of the Saints’ black helmets, which were worn during the 1969 preseason (from Andrew Lopez). … You Have Got to Be Fucking Kidding Me Dept.: The NFL has come out with a men’s fashion guide telling fans how to integrate NFL gear into their wardrobes. For some reason the models shown on that page don’t have beer guts or mullets, but I’m sure that’s just an oversight (from Phil). … Here’s a weird one: Fran Tarkenton during his days with the Giants, wearing a No. 80 jersey (from Douglas Ford). … The only thing worth saying about that new Ray Lewis statue can be found in this headline.
College Football News: Here are this weekend’s uni combos for UNC, Duke, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, and Louisiana Tech. … Black helmet on tap this weekend for Army. … Here’s Notre Dame’s sideline jacket for the Michigan game. … No photo, but this article on 1939 Iowa “Ironmen” includes the following quote: “We won. Notre Dame changed the color of their jerseys of the second half (from blue to green), but it didn’t do them any good.” Hmmmm — anyone know more? (From Aaron Telecky.) … UAB has come out with a white version of their wacky helmet. … Good overview of Baylor’s uniforms in the Art Briles era, although it’s hard not to laugh out loud at the line, “We’re Americans — we like to look good.” Uh, right (from Ryan Patrick).
Hockey News: New alternate jersey for the Oklahoma City Barons (from Matt Montgomery). … I’ve heard from several Cincinnati Cyclones fans who say they hate the team’s new logo because it reminds them of a toilet being flushed, and it’s kinda hard to argue with them.
Pro and College Basketball News: New college hoops uniforms for Kentucky (thanks, Phil). … NBA commish Adam Silver has repeatedly said that ads on uniforms are “inevitable.” Now he thinks big-time legalized sports betting is “inevitable,” because state budgetary coffers are bare and there’ll be no way to raise funds except to promote gambling. Do you ever get the feeling that a Venn diagram of what Adam Silver says is “inevitable” and what benefits Adam Silver would basically be two overlaid circles?
Grab Bag: Hot item for tennis fans at the U.S. Open: game used wristbands. … The DJ known as Deadmau5 is involved in a trademark dispute with Disney over his mouse ears logo. ,,, Case Western Reserve University’s teams are all getting new uniforms and a new patch in honor of an alum who created Nike’s patented cushioning system (thanks, Phil). … Bit of a kerfuffle in the Indiana court system, where an attorney has been chided by a judge for not wearing socks (from Jonathan Daniel). … At least three people wearing McDonald’s uniforms were arrested yesterday in New York, part of the nationwide protests to raise the wages of fast food workers. … A 15-year-old Florida girl was forced to wear a T-shirt with “Dress Code Violation” on the front after officials at her high school determined that the skirt she’d been wearing was too short. … U.S. Open broadcaster John McEnroe wore a suit with Chucks yesterday (thanks, Phil).
The Derek Jeter Farewell Tour officially became unbearable last night, as Newsday reported that the Yanks would be retiring Jeter’s number this Sunday — three weeks before the end of the season. That prompted The Daily News to say, “Nuh-uh, no they’re not,”, which in turn prompted Newsday to respond, “Actually, they haven’t decided yet, so there.”
Or to put it another way: For fuck’s sake, please make it stop.
Retiring a player’s number before he himself has retired is, of course, absurd on its face. Nonetheless, there’s some precedent for it: Last year the Yankees retired Mariano Rivera’s number on Sept. 22 — one week before the end of the season (although that was an unusual case, because Rivera wore No. 42, which was already retired throughout MLB anyway). It’s worth remembering that the Yankees were the first MLB team ever to retire a number — Lou Gehrig’s No. 4 in 1939 — so maybe they think they can adjust the concept however they like to suit their purposes.
Speaking of the Yankees: As I mentioned in yesterday’s Ticker, the Yanks will be wearing a Jeter tribute patch from this Sunday through the end of the season. By my count, this will make Jeter the fourth active MLB player to wear his own tribute patch, the other three having been Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken Jr., and Rivera (but not, as I mistakenly Ticker-mentioned yesterday, Chipper Jones — his tribute logo appeared on the Braves’ bases and on deck circle during their final homestand in 2012 but was not worn as a patch).
Have active players in any other sports ever worn patches saluting themselves? I can’t think of any. If you know of any, do tell. Thanks. (Meanwhile, designer Todd Radom has envisioned what Babe Ruth’s tribute patch might have looked like. “All it’s missing is a broad,” says reader Lou Sherwood.)
Meanwhile: New ESPN column today, about the very distinct uniform cultures in pro and college football check it out here.
• • • • •
Baseball News: So much to like in this 1973 photo of a kid selling lemonade in a Dodgers cap (from Duncan Wilson). … Brace yourselves, Yankees fans: Here’s a shot of Joe D in a Red Sox uniform! … The good news is that Braves closer Craig Kimbrel wore gold shoes yesterday as part of charity initiative. The bad news is that there was a swoosh on each individual metal spike (from Mike McLaughlin and Phil, respectively). … Here’s something I’ve never seen before: a vintage Pirates duckpin bowling ball bag. “My favorite item of the week,” says Michael Clary.
NFL News: If you have a favorite old TV commercial that featured an NFL player, chance are it’s included in this compilation reel of old NFL-related ads (thanks, Brinke). … Also from Brinke: New uni number assignments for the 49ers.
College Football News: Penn State is using its simple unis as a selling point (from Chris Flinn). … Arkansas is now using its new secondary logo for merit decals (from Seth Shaw). … In a related item, here’s a thought: Has the proliferation of teams with multiple helmet designs cut down on the use of merit decals? If your team has, say, three different helmets, it seems like it would be a hassle to apply the decals to all of them and make sure they’re all consistent. Thoughts? … Western Illinois — an FCS school — has G.I. Joe side panels on its primary jerseys (from Omar Sofradzija). … NC State will debut new blackout unis this weekend (from Nick Troutman). … New uniforms for Gettysburg College (from Eric Wright). … Here are this weekend’s uni combos for Arizona, Arizona State, Nevada, and Ohio State. … New uniform on tap this weekend for Southeast Missouri State (thanks, Phil). … “I’ve seen orange pylons with a college’s logo on them but never a blue pylon with a college logo before,” says Chris Flinn.
Hockey News: The Tampa Bay Times, which like every other newspaper these days is a little busy trying not to become extinct, has decided that spending jillions of dollars to slap its name on a hockey arena might not be the best idea after all. This will no doubt come as a great relief to the Times employees who are being eased out the door.
NBA News: If you’ve been wondering what NBA jerseys might look like if reimagined in a soccer format, today’s your lucky day (thanks, Phil). … New court design upcoming for the Kings (thanks, Phil).
Soccer News: Germany has added a fourth star to its national jersey, reflecting the recent World Cup championship (thanks, Phil). … Chivas USA defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste was victimized by an NOB typo yesterday. … Great collection of photos of old soccer mascots (from Jason Fetty).
Grab Bag: New Ralph Lauren-designed uniforms for the Ryder Cup (thanks, Phil). … In a related item, Ralph Lauren is now the official outfitter of the PGA (from Tommy Turner). … Shame on the city of Philadelphia, which is selling corporate naming rights to its train stations. “At the bottom of that article, it mentions that they’re trying to sell the rights to Suburban Station (basically our Grand Central Station, though not very grand) to Verizon,” says Bernie Langer. “This is gross, and I’m not seeing any pushback.” … This is awesome: What if Game of Thrones had a Saul Bass-style title sequence? (Big thanks to Scott Davis.) … Over 600 million searchable images from library books are now available on Flickr. “There’s potential for a lot of good uni research in there,” says Patrick Walsh. “For example, here’s Spalding’s 1911 official college base ball annual.” … When I got a custom-made suit two years ago, a tailor took all my measurements with a measuring tape. But you can also have it done with a 3-D body scanner (thanks, Brinke). … Also from Brinke: a series of athletes’ portraits comprised entirely of Nike swooshes. … Hmmm, does this sign mean “No pets, skateboarding, drinking, or smoking,” or does it simply mean “World’s coolest dog not allowed”? (Big thanks to Dave Raglin.) … Big scramble to get Port Adelaide’s “prison bar” jumpers made in time for Sunday’s Aussie football elimination final. Some good factory video footage in that link (from Leo Stawn Jr.). … Note to grounds crews: Before breaking out the lawnmower, make sure the grass is real (from Andrew Rader).
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Nine days ago, when I was still on my August break from the site, there was a one-sentence Ticker item that I think deserves a closer look, so that’s what we’re going to focus on today.
The Ticker item was a link to this short video clip from 1968, which is actually an excerpt from a larger clip (more on that later). It’s only 58 seconds long, so please take a look at it before reading further.
A few thoughts on the video:
• The narrator is clearly ABC Sports broadcaster Chris Schenkel.
• The office building shown near the beginning of the video has a sign for the Celanese Corporation, which is a big Fortune 500 company. They have lots of patents relating to fabrics (look here and here, for example), but I’ve never heard their name used in connection to uniforms before.
• The money shot is the view of Cardinals then-manager Red Schoendienst looking at some uniform mock-ups (see screen shot above), which were apparently prepared by the Celenese crew. Despite the less-than-optimal image quality, we can see several eyebrow-raising elements here. For starters, these uniforms anticipated the move toward the low-cuffed look. Also, the jersey appears to be a vest.
But the most intriguing thing is what’s missing — it looks like there’s no belt! Was this designed to be a one-piece uni, sort of like a baseball version of overalls?
I showed these mock-ups to Brian Finch, who runs the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum. He said he’d never seen them before (although he joked, “It appears that we used those styles in 1999 — in the Turn Ahead the Clock game!”). When Brian is stumped on something Cards-related, you know it’s seriously obscure.
I contacted Celanese’s media desk yesterday to see if they had more info on this project. The reply: “I’m sorry, but we do not have any information on this. Celanese moved away from the textiles industry many years ago and our business has evolved to a different product line with our acetate fibers business.” Dang. I’d still like to know more. If anyone has any info on this, please speak up. Thanks.
Meanwhile, I was able to find the original film that the 58-second clip was taken from. It’s a nine-minute promotional piece called Sports in Action, and it includes short segments on the changing aesthetics of auto racing, football, golf, tennis, boating, and swimsuits. Unfortunately, none of those other segments has anything as interesting as the Cardinals mock-ups, but the film is still a fun document. You can check it out here.
(Big thanks to Todd Abramson, who first submitted the 58-second clip, and to Bill Morrow, who provided the full nine-minute film.)
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By Brinke Guthrie
With the NFL season kicking off, we’re all NFL this week, beginning with this Jets turtleneck. I remember these from the Sears catalog (I think I had a Bengals version with black sleeves), but this is the first time I’ve ever seen one on eBay.
Continuing with our NFL theme:
• I’ve seen a ton of vintage Bengals merch in my day — I haven’t missed much — but this 1970s “Pride of Cincinnati” helmet plaque is a first, and I bet I know why. This absolutely looks like it was carved out from a Hudepohl Beer display. (Update: I was right! Thanks to Michael Neuhaus for the confirmation.) This one is more familiar, and this one has terrible lettering. And then there’s this Technigraph gem.
• This is a tremendous auction: a collection of 65 NFL media guides from the 1960s through the 1990s. Hit the arrow on the auction images to scroll through all the artwork.
• Ha! Look at the goalposts on top of this vintage 1970s Patriots alarm clock.
• Check out this 1960s NFL/Admiral Action AM Pocket Radio. It’s got an Eagles helmet on the front, but the font looks very Patriots-ish. (Here’s a Saints version, and a Giants version.)
• Here are three 1970s NFL board games I’ve never seen!
• Here’s a 1970s 49ers gumball-style helmet buggy still on the card, though it’s been opened.
• He might not be wearing a Steelers uni, but by golly that’s Lynn Swann at lower-right on the cover of this 1979 Mattel Intellivision video game cartridge from Sears. The illo is based on this photo.
• Terrific artwork on this 1968 “This Is the NFL” schedule booklet.
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Membership update: Some new designs have been added to the membership card gallery, including Pete Harwan’s 1980 Phillies treatment, shown at right. I’ve always found the “1” in that Phillies number font to be odd-looking — such a big serif at the top, like Pinocchio’s nose!
People are always telling me how they’ve “been meaning to sign up for a membership” and will “get around to it one of these days.” Now that I’m back from my annual August break, allow me to suggest that there’s no time like the present.
And hey, while I have you here, I only have a handful of Uni Watch 15th-anniversary patches left. If you want one, better move fast.
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Baseball News: You knew this was coming: The Yankees will be wearing Derek Jeter patches on their caps and jerseys from this Sunday through the end of the season. This is similar to what they did for Mariano Rivera last year, and a handful of teams have done similar things for their retiring stars (the Braves for Chipper Jones, the Orioles for Cal Ripken Jr.), but I still think it’s unseemly and inappropriate to wear a patch for an active player, and even more so for Jeter to wear a patch honoring himself. … Absolutely spectacular work by Cork Gaines, who’s chronicled some of the surprising ways in which MLB’s replay system has essentially become a big Samsung advertising campaign. … The Mets will wear orange Los Mets jerseys on Sept. 12. … Lots of MLBers wore “Strike Out Cancer” T-shirts during BP yesterday. Some additional examples here. It’s not clear to me why cancer struck out looking instead of swinging, but I guess the T-shirts have a great curveball. … The Columbus Clippers wore flag costumes for their regular season finale on Sept. 1 (from Leo Strawn Jr.). … “In what some might consider a refreshing alternative to all the branding that’s normally part of postgame press conferences, Rays manager Joe Maddon has been wearing a different charity’s T-shirt at each presser and then featuring them on his Twitter feed,” reports Clint Wrede. “He just solicited more T-shirts to finish out the season.”
NFL News: Here’s a story on Eagles throwback jerseys (from Jim Dornberger). … Good two-part overview of the Panthers’ uniform history here and here (from Scott Moody). … Dave Dragonette DIY’d himself a Giants motorcycle helmet. “The decals are all Scotchlite, so the pictures flare a bit, but the colors are true in natural light: metal flake blue, red stripe, white letters and numbers,” he says. “I’d love to make it more realistic and would welcome any suggestions you or your readers may have, especially locating the additional stickers for the rear of the helmet.” What say ye, people? … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: The Browns are letting fans vote on the team’s end zone design (from Tony C.). … Check out this Campbell’s Soup ad featuring Kiko Alonso of the Bills. He’s never actually worn that collar style on the field (from Tom Migliaccio). … Several readers have noted that the new Madden game mistakenly shows the Patriots’ jerseys with silver side piping instead of the proper red.
College Football News: Western Michigan is using cowboy hat merit decals to honor former coach Bill Doolittle (thanks, Phil). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: “Paul Rogers, the play-by-play guy for the University of Louisville, was on a local radio show,” says Brian D. “One interesting story he shared was that his cousin is Rogers Redding, the National Coordinator of Football Officials. He said they recently had dinner together and discussed uniforms. Mr. Redding told him he gets shipments of all the uniforms to check to make sure the numbers are legible. His method for testing is he puts a uniform on his wife and has her go stand out in their yard. If he can read the number from 30 to 40 yards away, it’s okay.” … Temple has added a memorial helmet decal for donor Lewis Katz (thanks, Phil). … You already knew that the college football uni scene is a bit out of hand, but here’s a really good piece on the current state of affairs. Recommended reading (Phil again). … Here’s an article about the College at Brockport’s new uniforms. … UNC will wear blue over black this Saturday. … Important change to Wisconsin’s jerseys that I hadn’t previously noted: no more TV numbers (from Alex Bauer). … In a related item, Louisiana-Lafayette’s new unis have, among other things, traded in the TV numbers for fleur de lis (from Tom M.). … Fresno State will wear white-white-gray on Saturday (from Jared Buccola).
Hockey News: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: The Penguins are scaling new heights in chutzpah by soliciting orders for their new third jersey even though it won’t be unveiled until Sept. 19. Icethetics says it will be mostly gold.
College Hoops News: Two news items from the Sooner State: New sweatbacks for Oklahoma and a new court design for Oklahoma State.
Soccer News: SC Bastia had to wear its opponent’s practice jerseys for a recent match (from Trevor Williams). … Here’s the inaugural uni set for the USL’s new team, the Tulsa Roughnecks. … Here are some Bayern Munich players in traditional Oktoberfest garb (from Yusuke Toyoda). … The USA’s kit colors and numbers have been assigned for the game against the Czech Republic (from webmaster John Ekdahl). … “In 1995-1996, Italian Serie A team Lazio had Banca di Roma as their shirt sponsor,” says Graham Clayton. “Roma happens to be their closest and most fiercest Serie A rival. It must be the only occasion when a team has a shirt sponsor which features the name of a rival team.”
Grab Bag: New “signature jerseys,” whatever that means, for the Edmonton Eskimos (thanks, Phil). … Speaking of the CFL, lots of negative reaction to the gun logo on the new Calgary Stampeders jerseys. … The Gaelic football teams Donegal GAA and and Kerry will both be able to wear their traditional colors for an upcoming match. … Interesting article, written by a Navy enlistee, on the increasing tendancy of military service members to wear their uniforms in non-military settings in order to get stuff for free. … For those of us who love design — which means pretty much everyone who reads this website — nature offers few better examples of design excellence than a spider’s web. … “I’m shamefully late to discovering PBS’s excellent The Mind of a Chef and spent the holiday weekend getting caught up on Season One,” says Markus Kamp. “In episode three, master chef David Chang goes golfing with hip-hop producer extraordinaire Dan the Automator, with both of them attired in some tasty knickers, fully bloused.” … Love this original style guide for WABC Channel 7’s logo (big thanks, Brinke). … Nice little appreciation of white sneakers. … Walmart employees aren’t thrilled about the company’s new dress code. … Phil does not approve of Roger Federer’s shoe/sock pairing. … Good piece on what might happen to the Union Jack if Scotland votes for independence (from Mike Thompson). … Despite all the high-tech synthetic fabrics out there, wool is making a comeback (from Tommy Turner). … Hmmm, what does this U.S. Open ballboy have under his shirt? (Screen shot by Chris Perrenot.)
• • • • •
What Paul did last night: A retrospective of the great documentary filmmaker Les Blank began last night in my neighborhood. Blank made dozens of films during his career but I’ve only see a couple of them, so last night I went and check out the first installment of the program, which consisted of two early-1970s films about the Cajun culture of southwestern Louisiana — Dry Wood and Spend It All, both of which feature tons of great zydeco music performances, hog butchery, cooking, fishing, eating, drinking, and general exuberance. Here are the trailers:
If you like the looks of those, Dry Wood is available in its entirety here.
I plan to see several more of the offerings in this retrospective — this one, this one, and maybe this one. So cool to have this stuff available just a five-minute bike ride from my house!
Hi there. In case you missed it yesterday, you can find out what I did during my August break here. Meanwhile, it’s time for another round of wire service photos. All of these were submitted by Bruce Menard, so big thanks to him. Here we go:
• Major find here: Yankees outfielder Ping Bodie wearing what appears to be a vented cap in 1920. I was curious, so I looked for more photos of him and found this. I guess he didn’t want to overheat!
• Here’s a rare sight: Davey Concepcion, and his captain’s “C,” pitching.
• Just as rare: Lefty Gomez in a Washington Senators uni. He pitched one game for them in 1943.
• Two interesting things in this 1974 shot: The Braves’ wives wore pullover jerseys and shorts for a pregame softball contest, and pitcher Danny Frisella’s 15-month-old son tried to get into the action in his birthday suit.
• You might know that Pumpsie Green was the first black player to play for the Red Sox. Here he is as a Minneapolis Miller.
• Interesting souvenir vendor at the 1954 MLB All-Star Game. Look at all those pins with ribbons — didn’t realize those were once popular items with fans.
• Sandy Koufax is probably baseball’s most famous Jewish ballplayer, so it’s funny to see him as part of a “Merry Christmas” photo.
• Speaking of Jewish players, I love the juxtaposition of massive Hank Greenberg and tiny Lenny Merullo Jr. Good to see the tyke wearing the period-appropriate uni, right down to the striped stirrups!
• Didn’t realize that slugger Jimmie Foxx once managed the Fort Wayne Daisies, a women’s team. Quite a difference between his uniform and theirs.
• Another Hall of Famer coaching the ladies: Ty Cobb gives batting tips to female players, but at least these women got to wear pants.
• Love the fireworks sleeve patch on this 1948 McAlester Rockets uniform.
• Check out Pee Wee Reese wearing a 1939 American Association all-star cap. Wish we could see the jersey.
• The 1937 San Francisco Seals had two sets of brothers — a pair of Lillards and a pair of DiMaggios. No NOBs back then, so they didn’t have to worry about initials. Also, note the assorted belt buckle positionings.
• Oooh, here’s a beauty from the gridiron — I give you the 1936 Boston Shamrocks. Someone colorize that!
• Another great football shot, this time of the 1927 Cleveland Bulldogs. Love those sweatshirts!
• House of David players had an unfair advantage for the hidden-ball trick. Also, very cool to see the awesome Babe Didrickson in a baseball uni!
• Here’s Babe Didrickson again, this time in a track and field uni. Love the collar points. Also: Was she sock-less?
• Let’s just say that this wasn’t the Brooklyn Dodgers’ proudest moment and leave it at that.
• Back in April I did an entry on black MLB trainers who wore uniforms (or at least jerseys), one of whom was Waller Irvin of the Giants. Here he is wearing a jersey in the clubhouse with Rogers Hornsby.
• Here’s baseball’s first commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, wearing a cap of uncertain origin.
• You’ll never get a better view of the 1907 St. Louis Browns’ sleeve patch.
• The 1922 World Series featured a chimp in a New York Giants uni. (Doesn’t quite match what the team was wearing, however.)
• • • • •
Baseball News: According to this entry, the Cubs will be wearing a “2008 home throwback” on Sunday. That same promotion is listed here. Not sure what to make of that, since their 2008 home jersey was identical to their current one. … Speaking of the Cubs, they wore Jackie Robinson West tribute uniforms for BP yesterday. … Jonathan Nisula wonders what the Philllies’ uniforms would be like with a bit more blue. … Andrew McCutchen mistakenly wore the Pirates’ alternate cap with the road grays yesterday (from John Dankosky). … Speaking of the Pirates, catcher Russell Martin wore bogus two-in-one throwback stirrups on Sunday (from Greg Shemitz).
College Football News: Here’s something I hadn’t realized: Notre Dame’s Shamrock Series uniform has gold flake in the facemask (from Adam Pavlovich). … Here’s a look at old uniforms worn by the Northwestern marching band (from Mark Graban). … Those white Michigan State helmets that have been circulating are bogus (thanks, Phil). … Utah was wearing a helmet decal for Spence Eccles’s 80th birthday last Thursday. “Eccles is a Utah alum and a major donor to the university,” explains Bob Aagard. “His name is on three buildings: the Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building, the Spence Eccles Field House (which is the football team’s practice facility), and Rice-Eccles Stadium.” … Northern Illinois has added a memorial decal for former athletic director Robert J. Brigham, who died back in May (thanks, Phil).
Soccer News: All of these are from Yusuke Toyoda: Brutal number font for Valencia. … There was a rare claret vs red match-up in the Premier League, with Southampton wearing its home kit against West Ham. “The Saints’ blue away kit would have also clashed with claret, and they don’t have a third kit,” says Yusuke. … Chelsea players wore black armbands this past weekend in honor of the late Richard Attenborough, who was a lifelong supporter and one-time club director. … Schalke 04 made its player tunnel look like a coal mine as a tribute to the area’s mining heritage. … Legia Warsaw has been charged by the UEFA due to fan’s rather impressive protest banner, which followed the club’s disqualification from the Champions League playoffs for fielding an ineligible player.