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MLB: The Pinkening, Year 2 (Day 1)

cards pink 550

By Phil Hecken

MLB’s love affair with special event uniforms continues, and in typical millennial fashion, works under the mantra of “anything worth doing is worth overdoing,” and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Last year, on Mother’s Day, the splash photo included a ratchet, because you can be certain that once MLB starts something like they did last year, there’s only one direction for the special event unis to go — and that’s to get turnt up. So, after wearing the pink last year on Mother’s Day itself, MLB added an extra day of pinkening this year…just in case we didn’t get it last time around.

For years, MLB has been celebrating Mother’s Day (a nice gesture) by giving away free tickets to all mothers curing breast cancer partnering with Susan G. Komen and using various on field stuff (shoes, bases, wristbands, bats, etc.) for promotion by making them pink. When it reached the point where they could no longer find things to turn pink, they turned to the uniforms. And, for the first time ever, all teams wore uniforms and caps with pink accents (see Paul’s post, linked above). You knew that was only the beginning. How do you top that (other than by having all pink uniforms — and don’t laugh, they do it in softball, and it’s probably where this is headed)? Well, you turn a (admittedly cheeky) one-day gimmick for Mother’s Day into an entire weekend of pink! So, instead of just wearing the pink vs. pink on, ya know, actual Mother’s Day, it’s now a Saturday-Sunday affair.

I was out of the loop for much of yesterday, but I had plenty of photos e-mailed and tweeted at me, and I did see the Brewers/Mets game last evening. Other than some teams swapping home uniforms for road uniforms, the teams looked basically as they did last Mother’s Day — only this year the caps changed. Last year the caps were dark gray with the team’s logo rendered in pink. This year, the caps were “anthracite” with a pink brim and pink logo:

All teams had special caps but wore their regular batting helmets:

For teams who normally wear black helmets, like the Pirates (or Giants) above, this doesn’t look too bad. However…if your team wears a shade other than the black/gray family…

This is a minor quibble. Teams rarely create special event helmets (exceptions being some throwback games, and Negro League tribute games). Sometimes they’ll remove stickers from current helmets, but it’s not so odd to see mismatched helmets with special unis.

This didn’t mean some players didn’t go out of their way to customize their gear to “match” (or say “look at me”) their special uniforms. Some backstops decided to pinkorize it:

pena pink

Others just wore their normal gear:

If you look at the image above, you’ll see that all teams wore a sleeve patch rendered in pink, or pink and gray:

This posed a problem last season (when there was Mother’s Day pink, Father’s Day blue, Memorial Day camopander and Independence Day flag desecration) for the Indians, whose special Wahoo patch was not rendered in pink or blue like the other 29 teams, all of whom had patches matching the special event color. This year? Not a problem:


…since the Indians (or more likely, MLB) decided they’d ditch their smiling caricature for the “block C”. This did not go unnoticed…


Not only did the Indians go Wahoo-less on their jerseys, they also wore the block C on their special caps and helmets. So, for the second time this year (and I believe second time in only four years), the Indians did NOT have a single Wahoo on their uniforms (the other time was last Sunday when the team wore Cleveland Buckeye’s Negro League throwback uniforms. They wore block C helmets then too).

Some teams wear their “own” special uniforms on weekends or Sundays — all those will be put on hold today (and yesterday as well). For example, the Blue Jays wear their Sunday red but wear a blue cap (and either a white, gray or blue jersey) Monday through Saturdays. Yesterday, they broke protocol (sorta) by wearing their red helmets (and dugout gear):


One Blue Red Jay apparently didn’t get the “you must wear pink sleeves” memo and wore red:


While the rest of the team wore pink:


…well, not ALL the BLUE Jays, alas


So, you had THREE different colored undershirts on three different Toronto players yesterday. This is the kind of crap that happens on these special events days, and must drive equipment managers nuts.

FFS, you even had guys changing belt colors yesterday:

The St. Louis Cardinals normally wear their cream alternates on Saturday home games with the St. Louis script, rendered in beautiful chain stitching. Other home games (and road games, for that matter) see them in gorgeous chain stitched “Cardinals” script. Both of those were casualties yesterday:

Some teams just played by their own uni rules. The Dodgers apparently said, “we don’t need to stinkin’ Mother’s Day caps” and proceeded to wear their normal blue caps:


This isn’t new this year, but teams who have piping on their pants were all given special Mother’s Day pants without piping to wear with their special shirts. So, for teams who normally have pants with the piping, they are at least blissfully free of the Jerry Dior batterman logo on the belt loop:


Teams who don’t have pants piping wear their regular pants, complete with the batterman:

Not only were sleeves (as seen above) an inconsistent color, so were belts. In one game, you had two different shades of pink and black:



And of course, there was special hosiery. This is generally viewed (by Paul as well as myself) as a good thing, regardless of the hosiery. However, with Stance taking over as official sock supplier, some of the designs have been um…well… Anyway, Stance provided players who chose to go high cuffed with two options:


or


one of which was kind of a camo/tie dye job and the other a gray topped, pink over pink number Neither of which looked good.

A few players took it upon themselves to wear actual pink stirrups (which were a fairly light pink, making the white sani underneath almost blend into the stirrup):

Of course, those rebellious Dodgers…they don’t play by our rules:

(Side note: I liked the blue stirrup/pink sani look best. But I’m nuts like that.)

Aside from the uni shenanigans (and there was probably a lot I didn’t see of have brought to my attention — hopefully Paul can close any gaps on Monday), the focus was on other clothing, notably shoes. There were too many players sporting custom PEs to list, but here are a few:




You get the idea — shoes ranged from pretty mellow to garish, and there was everything in between.

A lot of guys didn’t JUST wear the special cleats — they were outfitted with a whole slew of “mom’s day” stuff:


Almost everyone I saw used a pink bat. Some went with the light pink, others went full fuchsia:


The Phillies were an interesting case.


As noted in the tweet below, it appeared their special jersey was a mix of their road and alt home with the thin sleeve piping (since the Phillies wear “Phillies” both at home and road, a frankenjersey is possible):

OK — I’ve gone on long enough, and I hope I covered everything (apologies, as I spent about 3/4ths of the day without Internet access — first world problems, I know), but feel free to let me know if I missed anything in the Comments below. I’m sure there will be some new stuff that happens today as well, so we’ll probably get an update from Paul tomorrow.

Did you like what you saw? I hope so, because they’re gonna do it all over again today!

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

Happy Mother’s Day.

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1990-91 Fleer 3D basketball

Got a note from reader Peter L. Fredrickson who brought to my attention a type of collectible card of which I wasn’t aware — but then, I never collected basketball cards anyway, but it’s pretty cool.

I’ll let Pete explain:

Good Afternoon,

I totally forgot I had these. Fleer had a promotion in 1991 in which you could pick any player card and have it sent to you in a cut plastic 3D image. I ordered these 4 (forgot what they charged), and they each came with a plastic stand. I only have 2 of the stands left. Kind of a neat promotion and glad I kept them.

Peter Fredrickson – Milwaukee

Here’s the cards Peter collected (you can click to enlarge):

fleer1 fleer2

fleer3 fleer4

fleer5

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Movie Jersey Contest Reminder

movie jersey hed

In case you missed it yesterday, I’m running a new design contest — design an updated jersey based upon a jersey worn in a movie. All the details are in this post.

The deadline is this Thursday, May 18th at 11:59 pm EDT. So you don’t have much time.

The winning submission will receive a custom created jersey based on their design from Steve Rosenbeck and Garb Athletics!

Good luck to everyone who participates.

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purp walk sticker

Purp Walk Reminder:

Paul here. In case you missed it over the past few days, we have big plans for this year’s Purple Amnesty Day, which is coming up on Wednesday, May 17. Full details, including info on how you can get a discount on this year’s Purp Walk shirt (which is a sensational design with deluxe packaging and lots of added bells and whistles), are available here.

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Discount reminder: Paul again. In case you missed it earlier this week, all Uni Watch membership enrollees are now entitled to a 15% discount on any of the merchandise listed in our Teespring store.

The discount code will be provided to new enrollees when they place their card orders. Existing enrollees can obtain the discount code by contacting me. Once I confirm that you are indeed a card-carrying Uni Watch member, I’ll email the discount code to you. (If you want to include a photo or screen shot of your card, that would be helpful, but it’s not required. I can look you up in my records.)

As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed membership card here, you can see all the designs we’ve done so far here, and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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Lukas b&wIn Case You Missed It…Paul’s Latest ESPN Piece

One of the most surprising uniform-related developments in recent years has been the emergence of batting helmets as a new hotbed of design innovation. Twelve of the 30 MLB teams are now using matte-finish helmets instead of the standard glossies, and six teams are using three-dimensional helmet logos instead of conventional flat decals, with both numbers representing big increases from 2016. But the Braves took it up a notch last month when they introduced MLB’s first hydro-dipped helmet with a carbon-fiber pattern (which I looooove).

In case you missed it on Thursday, Paul’s latest ESPN column latest ESPN column takes a look at how hydro dipping could transform MLB batting helmets, with some very cool concepts on display.

If you didn’t read Paul’s latest piece, here ya go.

Good stuff there!

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: Not sure of the context of this, but a Mariners and a Brewers seat cushion were spotted at Chase Field (D-bax home). From Adam Vitcavage. It also looks like a Wildcats cushion is being used in that photo. … Here’s a look at the Sankei Atoms (called Tokyo Yakult Swallows now) uniform (from BigDaddy45). … On July 15, the Las Vegas 51s will be giving away these Noah Syndergaard caps (from Gregg Inkpen). … New “Battleborn” uniforms were debuted the other day for the Nevada Wolf Pack (from Damon Hirschensohn). Also from Damon, “Regarding the perfect baseball card topic: nothing will ever top the 1992 Bowman set.” … “I recently added the Mets road alternate cap to my collection and noticed a slight change in it from previous seasons,” says Zach Johnson. “In previous years the alt cap has been made in the bp/spring training mesh style with a lighter, almost white look to the NY logo. This year they have changed it to the regular on field style and darkened the silver to better match the blue jersey.” … Whoops: News 12 New Jersey had a story about yesterday’s Yankee game being postponed. They used a photo of the old stadium as their graphic. Submitter thurm7870 notes the Yankees haven’t played there since 2008. … BYU and Portland played in royal and purple yesterday. Steve Carter adds, “also, they had huge Y in center field.” … Earlier this week Paul had a column on the (eventual) demise of Wahoo. William A. Rakestraw‏ opines “when my Cleveland Indians get rid of the Chief Wahoo, the new logo should be some form of this. I think it appeases everyone.” … Matt Shevin asks, “Did 1987 Yakult Swallows’ helmets have raised logos?” … In response, Eddie Brewer tweeted, “Maybe a Jpanese thing? The Lotte Orions around the same time had raised logos.” … “I’d love to one day stumble upon a hoard of illustrations used on the backs of old @Topps cards,” says Beauty of a Game. … C-Lo noticed this ESPN graphic of Yankee jerseys with NOB, and said, “I hope I’m not the only one bothered by the NOB on the Yankees unis.” I get why they did it (to show who each retired number is for), but since the Yanks have never gone NOB, it is irksome. … Is this the “Best giveaway ever last night? You can put it on the booooooard….yes!” says Ryan Lindemann of this Hawk Harrelson Alarm Clock Giveaway. … The Potomac Nationals wore turkey jerseys last night (from Gregory Koch). In that same game, the Salem Red Sox went with flag desecration jerseys. Here’s a closeup of the Sox jersey (from Chuck Lewis). … Here’s a sheet (from 2002, according to Chris Lather), showing World Series patches from Upper Deck. … In an actual non-pandering twist, the Salt Lake Bees wore their mother’s names on their jerseys last evening (via Paul). … So, you think with Derek Jeter’s number retirement, the Yankees are all out of single digits? Think again — they’re not ruling out issuing “0” (from Tommy The CPA). … As a team-building exercise, the Cincinnati Reds have been wearing bowling attire (from Patrick O’Neill).

NFL/CFL/College Footbal News: Christine Golic “unearthed” this pretty awesome “Birds of Prey” 1992 Program Cover from her attic yesterday (from Nick Chapa). … Shady McCoy was doing a photoshoot for the Bills yesterday, and he was wearing a red (color rash jersey) with white pants (from Paul Humphries). Here’s another shot (from Trocess Pruster). Couple people asked if this will be a “new look” for this year. I don’t know, but my guess is unless the Bills have designated the red top as their “alternate” (they use their throwback uni currently), this will remain their color rash (with red pants & socks) jersey only. … This is a pretty damn impressive set of beer mugs (from Dr. Paul Durkee). … Here are a few photos of Rams players in their new helmetsSolutionz™ notes some players are mixing and matching “new” colors with old. … Looks like the Toledo Rockets will have an anniversary logo this year (h/t Clint Richardson). … Tweeter Mark Johnson saw this NFL lunch box in a local thrift shop near Seattle, WA Labeled as being from 1978. Here’s a look at the left side and the right side, as well as the flip side. … Excellent observation by Sports Funhouse who notes, “I’m not sure who that Broncos player is supposed to be. It looks as though they took Too Tall Jones and put a Denver uniform on him.”

Hockey News: Still gettin’ no respect: the NBCSports web page is still using the Pittsburgh Penguins metallic gold color scheme, which they dropped in favor of the athletic gold on both home and road unis this season (from Adam Vitcavage). … Here’s a really good New York Times piece on NHL hockey goalie masks and those who do the artwork for them (from Tommy The CPA).

NBA/D-League/ABA/College Basketball News: The Detroit Pistons *finally* revealed their new logo (even though we basically knew it existed for almost two years) this week, and Conrad Burry is not a fan of the anchor points from the official vector of the font. For those who will likely be curious, here’s a comparison of the original Pistons “Bad Boy” era logo and the new primary logo (also from Conrad). … The tweeter known as Fort Wayne Pistons actually has “been clamoring for this since 2013! So glad they’re finally changing it. Looks great!”, so clearly it runs the gamut of emotions. … Great observation from Andrew Beckman who writes, “the similarities between Santa Cruz Warriors logo and that of the Willys-Overland company post WWII-era logo caught my eye the other day. W-O produced the lion’s share of WWII Jeeps and established the brand for civilian consumption after the war.”

Soccer News: Arsenal has a new 2017-18 away kit, which has a gradient. Submitter B. Darby thinks this may be one of the few examples of a “good” gradient. If a team *must* have a gradient, I’d agree, this one isn’t terrible. … Louisville City FC and Tampa Bay Rowdies played last night and both wore hoops. The Rowdies’ home kit is green and yellow with green shorts and hooped socks while LouCity are wearing the away kit with white and gold hoops, gold shorts, and white socks. Submitter Josh Hinton adds, “It’s been a while since I’d seen a game with two hooped-jersey teams playing each other.”

Grab Bag: Though Wonder Woman ran just three seasons, the superhero showed off a wide array of looks. Here’s “Every Lynda Carter Wonder Woman costume ranked in order of wondrousness” (from Brinke). … In case you haven’t seen: The old Eastern design and logo back in the sky (from John Dankowsky). … In cycling news, “Amazing gesture by @AmgenTOC to remember Doug Pensinger on the photo bibs. He loved cycling and we always had so much fun at this race.” (from James Gilbert). … Also from James, Can’t we all just get along? Why yes we can, as the North Carolina Tar Heels AND NC State Wolfpack undergrads had a joint graduation ceremony Saturday. … Color vs. Color in the NLL (National Lacrosse League) East Final (Toronto v Georgia) last night. From Nelson Hackewich. … Every year NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) organizes a chess tournament for its members, with the majority of the participants playing their games wearing their military uniforms (from Graham Clayton).

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And that will do it for today.

Hope everyone has a great Mother’s Day (whether you have a Mother, are a Mother, or somewhere in between).

Don’t forget to send in your submissions for the MOVIE JERSEY CONTEST (see above for more). Remember, the deadline is this Thursday at 11:59 pm. I already received a bunch of submissions and they’re pretty good so far. Keep ’em coming!

I’ll catch you guys next weekend but until then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“I think it is because most fans in Ottawa spend their $$$ on overalls and crystal meth, therefore they dont have any leftover funds for $100 hockey jerseys.”

— J-Kigsley

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Our Next Contest: Update A Jersey From A Movie

movie jersey 550
Click to enlarge

By Phil Hecken

It’s time to announce our next contest, kids, and I think this one will be a REALLY fun one. Also, we’ve got Steve Rosenbeck from Garb Athletics to produce the contest winner’s jersey submission as a prize!

The contest will be a little different than most, so bear with me while I describe it. What we’re looking for this time around will be for each contestant to design ONLY a jersey (so, no pants, caps, helmets, etc.) and ONLY one jersey (so you can design a home or road jersey, but not both). The jersey can be for any of the major sports (plus hockey) — Garb can do Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey, Softball, and Soccer.

For this contest, we’re going to ask you to update a jersey design used in the movies. As you can see from today’s splash, there is a jersey from “The Natural,” (baseball), “Hoosiers” (basketball), “The Replacements” (football) and “Slap Shot” (hockey) — obviously all fictional teams, (though some are based on actual teams). There are obviously MANY sport movies out there…

movie j1

moviej2

MCDSEMI EC027

movie j4

movie j5

…just to show a few. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

What we want you to do is to take any jersey from a movie and to UPDATE it for the team to wear if they were playing in 2017. How you choose to go about this is entirely up to you — you can simply modernize the template, tweak the fonts/wordmark, or completely redesign the whole thing. It’s all up to you. Whether the jersey depicted in the movie was from 1939, 1973 or 1995, your job is to update it for 2017.

As I mentioned above, this contest is slightly different from previous contests so be sure to read AND follow the rules below:

THE RULES:

1. Choose any jersey from the movies. When you send in your submission, you MUST include an image of the jersey you’re updating (I will link to this when displaying your submission).

2. Pick ONE jersey only (home or road). If the team you’re updating has only one jersey in the movie, that’s the one you must pick. Don’t “create” a jersey that never existed in the movie.

3. ONE GRAPHIC PER ENTRY! If you want to show multiple views (front, back, side, etc.) PLEASE INCLUDE THESE IN ONE IMAGE (in other words, don’t send me three separate images — please put them all into one graphic).

4. You MAY include a description of 50 words or less (anything over 50 words will not be considered).

5. Your designs can be created in any digital or analog medium (Illustrator, Photoshop, crayon, whatever) and can be submitted in any standard digital format (JPG, PDF, TIFF, etc.). Make sure your NAME is somewhere on the design.

6. ONE entry per person.

DEADLINE/VOTING/WHERE TO SEND

DEADLINE IS THURSDAY (May 18th) 11:59 pm EDT. — Short turnaround because we want to run the entries next weekend.

Depending upon the number of submissions, I hope to have all voting take place at one time, so all entries are considered simultaneously. It may require separate sets. Also depending on the number of entries, we may break this into two rounds (like with previous contests where the top vote getters in a set move on to the finals). Again, this will depend upon how many submissions I receive.

Send all entries to my usual g-mail address. Please put as the subject line: “MOVIE JERSEY CONTEST (from [your name])”. You will be sending me total of two images: YOUR DESIGN (please send as an attachment), and a picture of the jersey (from the movie) you’re redesigning (this can be an attachment or a url to the image). Remember to put your name somewhere on your design. That’s it.

OK? OK! Now get crackin!

• • •

Once the winner is chosen, our buddy Steve Rosenbeck from Garb Athletics will create and ship the winner a jersey based upon his/her design (like we did with the USA Baseball jersey).

Don’t forget, you can see all of Garb Athletics’ work and follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and the company website is www.garbathletics.com.

I’m pleased to report Dan Kennedy (the winner of our USA Baseball jersey contest) has received his jersey from Garb, and I wanted to show you some of the photos Dan took just yesterday (click any to enlarge):

USA_Baseball_Jersey_Front2

USA_Baseball_Jersey_Front1

USA_Baseball_Jersey_Back1

USA_Baseball_Jersey_Back2

Really nice, right? So, a similar prize awaits the winner of our MOVIE JERSEY CONTEST. You know what to do.

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pinkening

MLB: The Pinkening

As most of you are probably aware, MLB has extended the “Mother’s Day Pink Out” to both Saturday and Sunday — so instead of just ONE day of pink out, it will be today AND Sunday (they’re doing this for all their *big* promotions — Mom’s Day Pink, Memorial Day Camopander, Father’s Day Blue, and Independence Day Flag Desecration). If you somehow missed this news, our pal Chris Creamer had the scoop this year. Really good rundown there.

I’ll be heading ‘out east’ to open up the Summer House today, so I won’t be by a tv set or have internet access for a good portion of the day (the cable guy is supposed to show up between 2 and 5) and will be busy with other stuff in any event. I’m hoping you fine readers will PLEASE send me — via uniwatching e-mail, my own e-mail, or by tweeting at me — any pink stuff (bats, shoes, sweatbands, bases, on-deck circles etc.) that catches your eye. Even regular uni pics are OK. But if you see anything special or unique (so shoes & bats are a must, but keep your eyes peeled for anything out of the ordinary), please take a minute to send a photo my way.

Thanks!

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Vilk Baseball Card front
In Search of…
…the “Perfect” Baseball Card

Earlier this year, I ran a post in which reader Ray Hund described his quest — and “rules” — for a “Perfect” baseball card. I had asked readers to submit their own submissions for what they considered to be their own version of the perfect card. I’ll run these periodically. If you have a submission for your own “Perfect” baseball card, shoot me an email with a short(ish) writeup and of course, an image (or images) of your own perfect card.

• • •

We begin today with Jimmer Vilk:

In my meager collection I don’t have THE “perfect” baseball card, but this one is pretty close. I chose my 1983 Scott McGregor from Topps.

image1 (1)

My ideal card has a full-body action photo, simple graphics and clearly shows the jersey/cap/helmet. Yeah, the right foot is slightly cropped…otherwise they nailed it. Plus that year they had bonus closeup portraits.

Jim

• • •

And we conclude today with Eric Snyder:

Dear Phil,

I got one for ya. The 2011 Topps Heritage Midway Masters Kinsler Andrus became an instant classic for me when I was dipping my toe back into baseball card collecting. As a lifelong Rangers supporter who endured the heartbreaking loss to the Cardinals, the card was a reminder of my favorite players from those teams. Also, the sheer uniqueness of the card, with Kinsler flashing a heavy metal sign while Andrus looks like he’s going in for some kind of handshake, is a delight. Kinsler’s walk-up music was always something along the lines of classic rock, and Andrus remains the happy-go-lucky center of the team.

Kinsler andrus

In the Series too, Kinsler and Andrus put together some really memorable plays. A force out after Andrus flipped the ball out of his glove on the ground springs to mind. And, I forget which game, but Kinsler and Andrus almost singlehandedly execute a come-from-behind 2-1 win late in the game. The heartbreaking nature of the loss only adds to the allure of this card for me. I still remember seeing a picture of Kinsler and Hamilton in the dugout, it looks like Kinsler is basically saying, “you did it”, without suspecting David Freese was about to ruin it.

As a card, it’s a great glimpse into personality and the relationship between teammates. As a kid, I always loved different cards, action cards, Series highlight cards. Portrait shots of players in poses seemed really, really boring. This type of card on the other hand, showed you something you wouldn’t otherwise see. Finally, the colors are a bit dark, you get a good view of that Texas flag patch, and you can see Kinsler’s old school knickers style. One for the ages.

Eric Snyder

• • •

I keep getting a couple new ones each week — so if you’d like to continue with the this little segment, please send me your “perfect” card, my e-mail address is above.

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Lukas b&wIn Case You Missed It…Paul’s Latest ESPN Piece

One of the most surprising uniform-related developments in recent years has been the emergence of batting helmets as a new hotbed of design innovation. Twelve of the 30 MLB teams are now using matte-finish helmets instead of the standard glossies, and six teams are using three-dimensional helmet logos instead of conventional flat decals, with both numbers representing big increases from 2016. But the Braves took it up a notch last month when they introduced MLB’s first hydro-dipped helmet with a carbon-fiber pattern (which I looooove).

In case you missed it on Thursday, Paul’s latest ESPN column latest ESPN column takes a look at how hydro dipping could transform MLB batting helmets, with some very cool concepts on display.

If you didn’t read Paul’s latest piece, here ya go.

Good stuff there!

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purp walk sticker

Purp Walk Reminder:

Paul here. In case you missed it over the past few days, we have big plans for this year’s Purple Amnesty Day, which is coming up on Wednesday, May 17. Full details, including info on how you can get a discount on this year’s Purp Walk shirt (which is a sensational design with deluxe packaging and lots of added bells and whistles), are available here.

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Discount reminder: Paul again. In case you missed it earlier this week, all Uni Watch membership enrollees are now entitled to a 15% discount on any of the merchandise listed in our Teespring store.

The discount code will be provided to new enrollees when they place their card orders. Existing enrollees can obtain the discount code by contacting me. Once I confirm that you are indeed a card-carrying Uni Watch member, I’ll email the discount code to you. (If you want to include a photo or screen shot of your card, that would be helpful, but it’s not required. I can look you up in my records.)

As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed membership card here, you can see all the designs we’ve done so far here, and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: Yesterday was the great Yogi Berra’s birthday, so naturally Bruce Menard found and cleaned up an awesome photograph of the catcher. … Anyone who knows me knows I LOVES ME some vertical placket lettering, so it’s no surprise that I love these special uniforms to be worn by the Convington Blue Sox. … Here’s a wonderful photo from the 1960 World Series in Yankee Stadium (from Alex Cheremeteff‏). Gives a nice view of the monuments and flagpole in deep center field, which were in play. … The subject line form Austin Gillis’ e-mail read: “Vintage (uncomfortable) Braves lunchbox,” so you can imagine what followed: “I am old enough to remember when the Atlanta Braves’ mascot Homer was not a Mr. Met knockoff, but rather a guy sporting a huge plastic head modeled after the screaming/laughing Indian logo. Here is a 1980s era lunchbox my friend saved for posterity. As a lifelong fan of the team, it’s a weird thing to see after so many years. It sure is… something.” … There’s tequila sunrise and then there’s … Tattooine (double) sunrise? Nope, Jakku. Here’s what the Durham Bulls will be sporting today (h/t Nick Lineback). … The Baltimore Orioles will be giving away this um, patriotic t-shirt for Memorial Day to all fans on May 29th. (from Andrew Cosentino). Not sure if flag desecration is any more appropriate than camopander for this solemn day, but whatever. … Whoa — check out this photo of the 1927 Algoma (WI) baseball team. Submitter Benjamin Nisbet‏ notes, “My grandfather is first row 2nd from left.” … MLB made their guesses for which numbers will be retired next for each MLB team (from Andrew Cosentino). … Derek Jeter’s No. 2 will be retired at Yankee Stadium on Sunday and “there’s a case for it being the biggest retirement of a uniform number in history,” opines Darren Rovell of ESPN. The merchandising of the moment has reached unprecedented levels (thanks, Brinke). … Vanderbilt has added “Graduate” to SEC patches for players that have graduated during the season (from Casey MacDougal). … When you’re as jacked as Yonder Alonso, you do a bit of guns out alterations to your BP jersey (good spot by Chris F.). … Tweeter Sports Human thinks Aledmys Diaz’ socks on are the wrong feet; “logo supposed to be facing outward right?” he asks. … The Democrat and Chronicle asks, “Will Derek Jeter’s No. 2 be the final retired Yankee jersey?”. We can only hope. Otherwise they’ll start needing letters or triple digits soon. … Spotted last night at The Jake Progressive Field: Johnny Manziel Padres jersey (the Padres actually drafted him). From Nick Hatch. … Alcides Escobar was wearing a Venezuela flag arm sleeve yesterday in support of his home country (via Ryan Atkinson).

NFL/College/CFL/Football News: “Caught this is rush hour traffic this morning here in D.C.,” says Bryan Martin Firvida: “Lions logo on top of a Bears logo which I can only guess are a church’s or school’s colors.” … Good observation from Mike Wissman who notes, “The Eagles put out a video (I saw it on Facebook) hyping their newly selected draftee’s uniform number assignments. The number font they used is an unusual deviation from the font they’ve used since 1996. See attached photos of Gerry’s #47 and a comparative look at Sproles (4) and Jeffery (7). The differences between the 7s are minor, the 4s more pronounced. The jersey shots are from the NFL store so it doesn’t appear there will be a font change, but its still really odd.” … Speaking of odd — it’s really weird seeing players wearing non-numbered jerseys (from B Parsons). According to the Browns, All players take photos in blank jerseys in case they change numbers later on.” Guess that’s to avoid stuff like this (from Kevin Chmura). … Do the Pittsburgh Steelers have new practice unis? asks Rich Donahue. … Over on the “Uni Watch Fans” Facebook page, they are doing a survey to rank NFL helmets. Here is the survey (from DB_Ezekiel 36:26). … *sigh* The Jim Thorpe Award, recognizing an outstanding DB, has become the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award (more info here). Thanks to Victory Cheeseballs. … Everyone loves Kelly, right? Alshon Jeffery has revealed his favorite Eagles uni. … Even though it’s partially *marred* by a rookie’s name sticker, here’s a look at the LA Rams new helmet for 2017 (from J.S.). … “25 NFL Teams Are About to Make the Biggest Change to Their Gear Since the 1960s” — Testing by the NFL found Vicis’s helmet to be the safest on the market. … The Eagles have more uniform numbers to give out — this time it’s for the undrafted free agents. … Speaking of the Iggles, Sidney Jones IV going with the RNOB on the nameplate of his Eagles practice jersey (from Jackie Treehorn). … Interesting: 3 UNC Tar Heel NFL draftees are wearing #10: Trubisky (UNC wore #10), Switzer (UNC #3), Hollins (UNC #13). From James Gilbert.

Hockey News: So, you want to see the 10 best selling jerseys of the NHL playoffs? Of course you do. I’m sure no one will be surprised at who’s #1. … The Fayetteville Fire Antz have been renamed the “Fayetteville Marksmen” (from James Gilbert). … WHOA — check out this awesome colorization of the 1941-1942 Penn State Nittany Lions hockey squad. Colorizer Anna Whitaker‏ adds, “With no home rink, the ‘iceless wonders’ went 5-1 in striped glory” (good spot by Joe C). … If you can’t beat ’em…eat em? The Nashville Predators had Ducks-logo-shaped pretzels in the press box for last nights game (from Lee Wilds).

NBA/ABA/College Basketball News: The “Big3” is a Professional 3 on 3 basketball league, whose season begins June 25th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Tickets just went on sale accompanied by this image Zack Lowman asks, “Jersey leak?” — This may be something to keep an eye on as our pal Todd Radom is “overseeing production of the real things on site as we speak. Some details are works in progress-stay tuned.” … Robert Hayes notes “They (CBS) go though the effort of having the Blazers’ new logo, but use the Jazz’s old logo.”

Soccer News: Looks like AC Milan has a new home kit for 2017-18 (from Conrad Burry). … Scottish Premier League team Aberdeen revealed their new shirts at halftime of their match yesterday (from Ed Żelaski‏). … Tottenham Hotspur (COYS) will wear a special edition shirt for their final game at White Hart Lane (from James Beattie).

Grab Bag: In what could only be considered a crushing blow, the University of Pittsburgh rowing team says their uniforms were among items stolen from team vans as they prepared for a big race in Philadelphia. … So, B1G coaches are people too? “My friend Katie took her kids to soccer today, and lo-and-behold, her kids play soccer with Jim Harbaugh’s,” says Greg Netherwood. “We both thought it was hilarious that he wears khaki’s and a pullover in every day life, too! He was awesome with the kids.” … Is another C&D coming from Sconnie? “NC private high school uses UW ‘flying W’ with middle truncated” says James Gilbert. “I wonder if that’s different enough.”

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Pink Bat Line
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And that’s it for today. Concepters — get crackin’ on those “updated movie jersey” designs — and thanks to Steve Rosenbeck for again gracing us with a great jersey for the contest winner. Hopefully we’ll start voting on them next weekend!

Everyone enjoy day one of the MLB Pinkening today and don’t forget to send me lots of pics! I’ll be back tomorrow, but until then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

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“I usually appreciate the small inconsistencies of a hand-drawn logo, but this crosses the line from ‘charming’ to ‘stupid’. And it drives me nuts every time I see it.”

— Chance Michaels on the different “Mets” wordmarks for their logo and jersey

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Pink Bat Line
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What Was the Deal with the Mets’ 1986 World Series Caps?

Bear with me here, because today’s entry is going to take a minute to explain.

Here’s the deal: MLB caps these days normally have black underbrims. But when the Mets wore their 1986 throwbacks last season, they wore throwback caps with era-appropriate blue squatchees (instead of the current orange) and grey underbrims, as shown above.

I initially thought the grey underbrims were era-appropriate. After all, one of the most famous photos from the 1986 season — Jesse Orosco’s exultant pose after getting the last out of the World Series — clearly shows the underbrim being grey:

But then several readers started coming up with photos showing that the Mets actually had green underbrims during the 1986 regular season:

So did the Mets change caps for the playoffs, or maybe just for the World Series? This shot from the NLCS appears to show a green underbrim, so it looks like they got fresh caps, with a new underbrim color, for the World Series. For last year’s throwbacks, someone decided to match the Series caps, not the regular season caps (or maybe they weren’t even aware of the difference).

All of that is a long setup for an email I recently received from reader Tom Raimonde. He listened to the audio of the Mets uniform panel discussion that I recently chaired at the 2017 Queens Baseball Convention, where I briefly mentioned the 1986 underbrim color change. That prompted him to send me the following note:

I want to share my recollection with you about the change in the Mets’ caps for the 1986 postseason. This info may be buried in Gary Carter’s autobiography or one of the other 1986 books, but mostly this info comes from memory as a couple of buddies and I shared a season ticket package, and sometimes “inside” info came our way.

In 1986, the Mets had already decided on a uniform change for the 1987 season, which included that one-year road script, but it also included a change in the team’s shade of blue. I never see that fact mentioned now, but it was made significantly lighter/brighter. The original shade of blue was the darker royal used by the Dodgers. I recall sitting at many night games at Shea before the change, thinking that they almost looked black because of the lighting. The new 1987 caps with the brighter shade of blue also had grey underbrims.

Going into the 1986 postseason, [equipment manager] Charlie Samuels decided to order fresh caps so the Mets would look crisp on the field. The caps he received were the upcoming 1987 version [with the brighter shade of blue and the grey underbrims]. I don’t know if the order was specifically for the ’87 caps or if that is all that was available for a late-’86 order.

One result of this is that photos from the postseason clearly show that the Mets’ undersleeves didn’t match the caps — the sleeves were the darker 1986 shade of blue, and the caps were the lighter 1987 shade. It’s one of those things you cannot un-see once you see it!

I’d never noticed this before, so I went back and looked at a bunch of 1986 World Series photos. The problem, of course, is that most photos show batters or baserunners, and they’re wearing helmets, not caps. Most of the cap-clad players shown in the photos are pitchers. Do they really show the cap/sleeve mismatch that Tom described in his email?

The answer is that some of them do and some of them don’t. For example, here’s a shot of Ron Darling, and then another shot with Darling and Keith Hernandez. Both shots are from Game 7 of the ’86 Series, and both appear to show caps that are lighter and brighter than the sleeves, just as Tom described:

Here’s another shot of Darling, this time from Game 4. Again, his cap seems lighter and brighter than his sleeves:

Similarly, manager Davey Johnson’s cap also looks lighter/brighter than his sleeves in this shot of him shaking hands with Red Sox skipper John McNamara:

But there are also plenty of photos in which the cap and sleeves appear to be the same shade of blue. Here are some examples of that:

Given that these are all 30-year-old photos that were originally shot on film and then converted to digital, and given that they were also shot at night under variable lighting conditions, it’s hard to say how true-to-life they are. Also, it seems to me that MLB undershirts were pretty free-form back in 1986. Some players wore team-issued base layers while others wore pretty much whatever they wanted as long as it was reasonably close to the team’s official color. So that could explain some of the variations we’re seeing in the photos as well.

Overall, I’m neither confirming nor disputing Tom’s account. I’m mostly pointing out how hard it can sometimes be to confirm things, even with photographic evidence.

With that in mind, here’s one more bit of info from Tom:

For the 1993 season (my last as a season ticket-holder), the Mets darkened the blue on the caps and uniforms slightly. I specifically remember marketing materials saying it was “one Pantone darker.” Other changes that year were that the pinstripes were thinner, farther apart, and no longer a zigzag pattern, and of course the tail on the chest script.

I do remember noticing that the blue got darker in 1993, And I also knew that the pinstripes changed from zigzag to straight, but I didn’t realize that the pinstripe spacing had changed. But sure enough, a comparison of jerseys from Bill Henderson’s guide appears to show the wider spacing on the 1993-94 jersey style (click to enlarge):

That’s it for today’s installment of “Paul writes about the Mets too often.” Big thanks to Tom Raimonde for sharing his recollections and making this entry possible.

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Uniforms in ads, continued: Wednesday’s post about a Viagra commercial with some very Knicks-esque uniforms prompted an anonymous reader to point me toward the Canadian Purolator oil filter ad shown above. If you watch it, you’ll see that it concludes with the appearance of a hockey goalie with a “J. Gardien” NOB (French for “guardian”). Look closely, though, and it appears that the goalie’s leg pads are being worn on the wrong legs!

It’s the little things, right?

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Concepts by Angus O’Keefe and Cody Whitmore; click to enlarge

ESPN reminder: My latest ESPN column takes a look at how hydro dipping could transform MLB batting helmets, with some very cool concepts on display. Check it out here.

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Discount reminder: In case you missed it earlier this week, all Uni Watch membership cardholders are now entitled to a 15% discount on any of the merchandise listed in our Teespring store.

The discount code will be provided to new enrollees when they place their card orders. Existing enrollees can obtain the discount code by contacting me. Once I confirm that you are indeed a card-carrying Uni Watch member, I’ll email the discount code to you. (If you want to include a photo or screen shot of your card, that would be helpful, but it’s not required. I can look you up in my records.)

As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed membership card here, you can see all the designs we’ve done so far here, and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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IMPORTANT — Purp Walk update: Yesterday I gave some details of what we have planned for this year’s Purple Amnesty Day, which is next Wednesday, May 17. If you missed that news yesterday, look here. And even if you read what I had to say yesterday, you should still check out today’s link, because I now have updated info on how you can get a discount on this year’s Purp Walk shirt and other important details regarding the shirt sale. Again, get the full scoop here.

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The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: The Reds’ relievers award a silver throwback jacket to the reliever who performs best in conditioning drills (thanks, Brinke). … Whoa, check out what WVU wore the other night — gold jerseys over blue pants, with striped stirrups to boot (from Joshua Exline). … A new minor league team in Royse City, Texas, will be called the Griffins. Here are the logos and uniforms, along with a press release (from Alan Beam, whose company did the design work). … MLB is toning down the camouflage elements for this year’s Memorial Day uniforms — except for the socks. Sigh (from Brian Wulff). … If you choose the May 11 podcast in this listing and then skip ahead to the 37:30 mark, you’ll hear an explanation of the New Orleans Babycakes’ game-by-game uniform protocol (from Wayne Muller). … Whoa, check out this awesome photo of the Mariners bowling at Exhibition Stadium! I don’t know the backstory there, but it’s an awesome shot. And that apparently wasn’t the only time it happened (big thanks to @SpoonT12 and @RamoneCat, respectively). … Speaking of the Mariners, their current NOB lettering routinely leads to awful-looking letterspacing issues (from Dean Richard). … 1980s throwbacks last night for the Nashville Sounds. … The Blue Jays and Mariners went blue vs. blue last night. … Half of the MLB players who currently wear No. 2 say they wear it because of Derek Jeter. … Reliever Al Alburquerque is with the Royals this year, and his NOB is still really long (from @quecmo).

NFL News: The Patriots are getting a new field surface (from Cole P). … The Rams, having already let their fans vote on one throwback date for the upcoming season, are now asking them to pick a second one. Earlier this year the Rams also let fans vote on the team’s new pants striping and facemask color. Good for them for giving a say to their fan base (thanks, Phil). … The Seahawks are among the teams switching to Nike’s new jersey template (from Trevor Milless). … Some uni-number switcheroos for the Patriots (from Andrew Cosentino). … With the Bills having hired Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott to be their head coach, and then hiring Panthers assistant GM Brandon Beane to be their GM, the Instagram account Panthers Authority created this Bills/Panthers logo mashup (from Andrew Cosentino).

NBA News: Click at your own risk: Here are one observer’s picks for the NBA’s 10 best current jerseys. … NBA bow ties? Sure, why not (from Tommy Turner). … A Mormon missionary serving in West Africa stumbled across his boyhood Jazz jersey, which his mother had donated many years earlier (from Sara Schieve).

Soccer News: The Swedish team AIK, which has been with Adidas for many years, is switching to Nike (from Ed Żelaski‏). … New away kit for Indy Eleven. … New kits for the Dutch club Feyenoord (from Josh Hinton).

Grab Bag: There’s a new book about the history of various types of uniforms — sports and non-sports — in Australia. … New 60th-season logo for Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg (from Moe Khan). … For some people, the Facebook logo — just the logo — is enough to trigger nicotine-like cravings. … A teen-ager ran a half-marathon while wearing Crocs (from Mike Styczen). … The cover illustration for next week’s issue of The New Yorker shows Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a police uniform and President Trump in a pilot’s uniform. The illo, by Barry Blitt, is a riff on the recent incident with United Airlines passenger David Dao, with former FBI director James Comey swapped in for Dao.

Wahoo Situation to Be Resolved ‘in a Couple of Years’

Looks like Chief Wahoo is on the way out — although not right away. Cleveland Jewish News reported yesterday that Indians owner Paul Dolan addressed a Jewish group in Cleveland about a week ago and discussed the Wahoo situation:

[Dolan said,] “We were on some path towards a middle ground [regarding Wahoo], I don’t know what that path was, and that’s still where we’re headed, but we’re headed there faster than we’ve ever liked because the commissioner of baseball weighed in on this.” Dolan said Manfred had reached out to the franchise about its logo, particularly after a Canadian lawsuit was filed against the team and MLB for using the logo during the playoffs against the Toronto Blue Jays in October. Dolan said he favors a reduced use of Wahoo without eliminating the logo, but he suspects the logo will be resolved one way or the other within a couple of years.

A few thoughts:

• When Dolan talks about the situation being “resolved one way or the other,” there’s really only one possible outcome there: Wahoo getting the heave-ho. Any other situation would essentially be the status quo and wouldn’t “resolve” anything.

• Dolan’s mention of Manfred is consistent with reports that emerged in January regarding Wahoo-centric discussions between the two men during the off-season.

• Shortly after Manfred and Dolan met, Cleveland was named as the site of the 2019 MLB All-Star Game. Given that Manfred has been fairly explicit in stating that he’d like to see Wahoo be mothballed, the All-Star announcement led to widespread speculation that Manfred offered Dolan a deal (or, if you prefer, an ultimatum): “If you want the All-Star Game, get rid of that logo.” I have no idea if that’s true, and I’m generally disinclined toward conspiracy theorizing, but it does fit with Dolan’s newly reported statement that the situation will be resolved “in a couple of years” — like, say, in 2019. Hmmmm.

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Concepts by Angus O’Keefe and Cody Whitmore; click to enlarge

Helmets of the future? With the Braves having recently introduced MLB’s first hydro dipped helmet, I was wondering how things might look if that trend spread to other teams. So I recently enlisted the help of Angus O’Keefe — the guy who recently did that project in which he reimagined all 32 NFL franchises as soccer teams — to create a bunch of MLB helmet concepts. A few of the results are shown above, and there are more in my latest ESPN column, which you can check out here.

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Discount reminder: In case you missed it earlier this week, all Uni Watch membership cardholders are now entitled to a 15% discount on any of the merchandise listed in our Teespring store.

The discount code will be provided to new enrollees when they place their card orders. Existing enrollees can obtain the discount code by contacting me. Once I confirm that you are indeed a card-carrying Uni Watch member, I’ll email the discount code to you. (If you want to include a photo or screen shot of your card, that would be helpful, but it’s not required. I can look you up in my records.)

As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed membership card here, you can see all the designs we’ve done so far here, and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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Click to enlarge

Henderson update: As I mentioned last Friday, Bill Henderson has released the latest updated edition of his essential MLB jersey guide. Here’s Bill’s rundown of what he’s put in the new edition:

• 600+ new pages, with more than 650 others updated with new facts, better photographs and corrected information.

• Every home/road/alternate team uniform change for every team since the 2015 edition.

• Every new patch worn by each team, including all one-day memorials.

• A photo-record of every St. Patrick’s Day, throwback, and ethnic heritage jersey.

• All of the new 2017 batting practice jerseys.

• All of the 2016 and ’17 spring training jerseys.

• A new chapter covering the 1970 and ’71 Washington Senators.

• All of the Memorial Day, Independence Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day uniforms for every year they’ve been worn, plus a preview of the 2017 designs.

• The chapters for the Expos, Padres, and Royals have been extended back into the flannel era to reach back to 1969, so all of the uniforms from these teams’ start in MLB are included. (The Brewers chapter also includes the 1969 Pilots.)

• A new chapter with “Stitchers’ Stories,” featuring candid memories from a half dozen people on the inside who design and sew player uniforms.

• Lots of newly discovered oddballs, prototypes and arcane details that we are known for in our obsessive quest for completeness.

Bill also provided me with about 75 assorted pages from the new edition, which I’ve uploaded into this document. If you’ve never seen Bill’s guide before, it’s a good primer; if you’re already a fan, this will give a you a good sense of some of the new content.

As I’ve said many times before, I refer to Bill’s guide almost daily — not just for work, but because it’s fun and fascinating. Brimming with info on patches, NOB styles, makers’ marks, jock tags, throwbacks, one-off designs, prototypes, and lot more, it’s an invaluable reference for anyone who cares about MLB uniforms. Since it’s entirely digital, you can download it and start enjoying it immediately upon purchase. Even better, Bill is generously offering a 25% discount to Uni Watch readers — use the code “LogoCreep” at checkout, which knocks the price down to $30. Get it here.

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Purp Walk preview: Next Wednesday is May 17. That’s the 11th anniversary of the site’s first entry, which means it’s also Purple Amnesty Day — the one day of the year that we accept orders for membership card designs that include purple. So if you’re a Ravens, Vikings, Rockies, LSU, or Northwestern fan, get those membership orders ready! Once the 24-hour window closes, it will remain shut for another year.

And for the third consecutive year, we’ll also have a purple shirt for sale. This one, like the ones from 2015 and ’16, has been designed by Bryan Molloy. It’s his entry in our 2017 Uni Watch Artist’s Series, and it’s a beauty. Dig (for all of the photos in this section, you can click to enlarge):

Nice, right? There are a lot of elements to this one, people, so bear with me here. One thing at a time:

• The shirt, as you can see, is a raglan-sleeved baseball shirt. The torso color is a light heather grey, not white.

• The logo on the shirt was inspired by the New York Athletic Club logo, but with purple lilacs instead of laurel wreath:

• The shirt itself is super-duper-soft. Seriously, it’s about the softest cotton shirt I’ve ever felt. I’d love to wear it 24/7 except for, well, you know.

• Unlike our other shirts, this one will not be sold via Teespring. It will be sold via a page on Bryan’s website. That’s because…

• Each shirt will include a hang tag, which will be attached to the shirt with a loop of purple-striped baker’s twine. Bryan designed the hang tag and will be personally hole-punching all of them, threading the string through the holes, and attaching the strings to the shirts with little safety pins. Here’s a closer look at the front and back:

• Each order will also come with a Purp Walk sticker (quarter shown for scale):

• Bryan will be personally packing each shirt in a purple bubble mailer with a purple Uni Watch sticker on the outside:

• Because of all the extra bells and whistles, the price point is a bit higher than on most of our other shirts: $29.99. I realize that probably seems like a lot, but it actually leaves less of a profit than we make on most of our other merchandise. Basically, we really wanted to create a fun project (ideally one that’s fun for you, not just for us), and extra fun sometimes costs a bit more.

• Speaking of the price: Because this shirt is not being sold on Teespring, it does not qualify for the 15% discount that card-carrying Uni Watch members can get on our Teespring product. HOWEVER, we may offer a membership discount on this shirt, but only for people with purple membership cards. Still finalizing the details on that. Stay tuned.

• As usual, the shirt will only be available for 24 hours — from midnight to midnight, Eastern time, next Wednesday. No exceptions!

I think that’s it. Oh, and although I said “we” a lot, Bryan deserves most of the credit for this one. It was his concept, his design, his idea to add all the extra elements, and he nailed all of them. I needed to do less art direction on this project than I’ve done for just about any other shirt. Great job, Bry!

Oh, and just to complicate things, I have to run to Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon and get my head scanned for a custom-fitted football helmet (more on that later), but I’ll do my best to stay on top of purple membership orders. Should be the best Purp Walk yet!

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: The Cubs and Rockies wore their alternates yesterday for a blue-vs.-purple matchup. … Pirates players, coaches and staff are wearing JAMO #50 wristbands for pitcher Jameson Taillon, who underwent surgery for suspected testicular cancer (from Jerry Wolper). … In 1995, the Tigers introduced a NNOB dark blue alternate for Sunday home games. The jersey was only worn once, though, in a game in May against Boston. David Bailey found a news clipping and a rare game photo. … The Blue Jays’ Kevin Pillar, known as “Superman” for his full-extension diving catches, has a Superman-Blue Jays logo combo T-shirt (from Jerry Wolper again). … The Orioles will give out Manny Machado Starting Lineup figurines on June 3 (from Andrew Cosentino). … There had previously been word of a New York city councilman sponsoring a bill that would extend the netting to the far end of the dugouts and NYC ballparks. But now the proposed legislation calls for the netting going all the way to each foul pole. … Here’s an article about Leatherhead, the New Jersey company that makes handcrafted vintage leather baseballs, basketballs, footballs, and soccer balls (from David Goodfriend). … Lawrence University in Wisconsin wears Nike jerseys and Under Armour caps (from Steven Gates). … The Blue Jays used to have team-branded snacks for sale at Dominion, a Canadian supermarket chain (from @BSmile). … The Orioles will be wearing a cap with a Maryland flag-patterned brim on May 20. According to their promotional schedule, they’re doing a giveaway of a Maryland flag script jersey on that date, so maybe they’ll be wearing that as well (from Ben Matukewicz).

NFL and College Football News: The Rams will wear their blue-and-yellow throwbacks on Dec. 31 against the 49ers (from Phil). … The Jaguars and Texans have switched to the new Nike jersey collar template. (from Alex Lawler and Patrick Evans). … The NFL seems to be relaxing its anti-gambling stance, as a casino, Gila River Gaming Enterprises, will meet with the Cardinals to discuss naming rights for their stadium (from Brinke). … To build team chemistry, the new 49ers coach and GM reorganized locker assignments and commissioned a painted mural of 49ers legends in the hallway outside the locker room (from Brinke). … Big Ten officiating crews wore nifty white jackets and pants back in the 1960s (from Adam Kneisler). … The website for the French clothing brand Unkut has, at the bottom of the page, a photo of a guy wearing a hat with what appears to be the Raiders’ logo, but with the leatherhead raider replaced by a skull and crossbones. The company also sells a sweatshirt featuring their own brand-adapted version of the NFL logo (from Gabe Oppenheim).

Hockey News: A grain producer in Alberta cut a “Let’s Go Oilers” message in his fields. … Russia president Vladimir Putin was in full uniform when asked about the FBI shakeup before he took the ice for a rec league game the other night (from Mark Johnson).

NBA News: Here’s what might be a sneak peak of the new NBA replica jerseys (from Conrad Burry). … An Italian chef makes sushi, or Shoe-shi, versions of NBA sneakers.

Soccer News: A bunch of items from Patrick Thomas: Manchester United has a new away jersey, and a new block font for Cup competitions. New home and road unis for Lyon. And, the new FC Bayern home kit may have been leaked. … New home, away, and third kit for Mainz, a German club (from Ed Żelaski). … Also from Ed: The German club 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig will wear a special yellow kit, with a graphic of the Sachsenpokal trophy on it, for the 2017 Sachsenpokal final against Chemnitzer FC. … An amateur team in the US Open Cup has a logo that blends Aztec and Colorado visual motifs (from Drew Steinhart).

Grab Bag: From Reddit yesterday: a look at how the donut hole had shrunk between the 1920s and 1940s. … PGA golfer Billy Hurley III has a new bag that is designed like the USS Chung Hoon. He served a tour of duty on the destroyer when he was in the Navy last decade (from Jeremy Fallis). … Formula 1 teams are now required to have some form of driver ID on the shark fins and larger numbers on the car’s nose starting this weekend with the Spanish Grand Prix. The Haas and Mercedes teams showed their updated designs (from Omar Jalife). … Adidas has agreed to sell off its golf brands, TaylorMade, Adams Golf and Ashworth, to KPS Capital Partners for $425 million. Adidas golf revenue dropped to $500 million last year from $1.7 billion in 2012 (from Brinke). … New logo for US Sailing. … New jersey advertiser for the rugby union team Northampton Saints (from @stumpy7780).

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What Paul did last night: There’s a new documentary about Bert Berns, one of the great music hitmakers of the 1960s, who wrote and/or produced a ton of great songs during an extraordinarily prolific five-year burst, including “Twist and Shout,” “Piece of My Heart,” “Hang on Sloopy,” “Under the Boardwalk,” “Brown-Eyed Girl,” and a bunch more. I saw it yesterday and am happy to report that it’s one of the most enjoyable documentaries I’ve seen in a long time.

The trailer, embedded above, does the fairly obvious thing by showcasing the movie’s talking-head interviews with Paul McCartney (who actually gets very little screen time), Keith Richards (even less), and Van Morrison (a bit more, but still not much). I understand why they wanted some star power, but those are easily the least interesting parts of the film. Like a lot of the great New York-based writer-producers of that era, Berns was an outer-borough Jew who had (a) a surprising affinity for working with black singers and (b) Mob connections, both of which make for some compelling storylines. Toss in an extremely brassy widow, some less-than-fully-scrupulous record execs, and some of the greatest R&B talent that ever lived and you have all the characters you need for a highly entertaining biography. Great soundtrack, too. To see if the film will be playing soon in your town, look here.