Extra Texture (or at least the illusion thereof)

Click to enlarge

The Jacksonville Suns — the Marlins’ Double-A affiliate — sent out this photo of their new road jersey yesterday. Looks like Wilson, the manufacturer, used a faux flannel fabric, similar to what we’ve previously seen from Under Armour. I wish Majestic would come up with something like this for MLB.

Speaking of which: The 17th annual Uni Watch MLB season-preview column was posted yesterday on ESPN. Many of you have told me this is always your favorite Uni Watch column of the year. Mine, too! Check it out here.

A few late-breaking items and things I missed:

• The White Sox have added a “9” memorial patch for Minnie Minoso.

• The Phillies and Red Sox will wear 1915-style caps on April 9. According to Dressed to the Nines, those caps will look like this and this.

• A little birdie tells me that the Giants’ ring ceremony caps will look like so: “Similar to past styles — black hat, gold ‘SF,’ gold side patch. New to this year is the gold trophy with MLB logo on back.” And it looks like the birdie was right, because it turns out a Giants blogger tweeted photos of the front logo, side patch, and trophy on the back last week, but I somehow missed the boat on that. I’m assuming there’ll also be a gold-trimmed jersey, but no word on that yet.

• The Brewers will retire No. 1 for Bud Selig on May 31 (which is, of course, incredibly lame, because numbers shouldn’t be retired for people who never wore numbers to begin with).

Also: I had another ESPN piece yesterday — an interview with the guy who’s selling that vintage Mets bullpen buggy. You can read that here. (And in a related item, my ESPN colleague Jerry Crasnick is calling for the return of the bullpen cart.)

And while we’re at it: In case you missed it yesterday, my latest piece for the design website re:form is about the surprisingly complex world of bike rack design.

• • • • •

ESPN contest reminder: I’m currently accepting entries for an ESPN contest to name and design a team for a prospective NHL expansion franchise in Las Vegas. Details here.

• • • • •

Come on, man, show some dignity out there: Bit of an on-court tantrum last night for Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, who showed his frustration over missing a jump shot by ripping a big tear in his jersey. I’m sure there’s someone out there who views this move as an admirable display of “intensity” or some such, but to me it’s just childish. (Interesting that the AP photographer working the game simply said the jersey “was torn” but didn’t mention how it happened. Hmmmmm.)

Then again, if this catches on with fans who start treating their overpriced polyester shirts the way Gasol treated his, that might be worthwhile. So maybe some good will come of this yet.

• • • • •

Tropicana vs. ReaLemon: Tough game for colorblind fans — and probably for everyone else as well — in last night’s Women’s Elite Eight game, as Maryland and Tennessee went yellow vs. orange, which made the court look like citrus punch. It’s actually kind of pleasing in an abstract way but not very good from a functional perspective. You can check out some video here, and there are lots of additional photos here.

• • • • •

T-Shirt Club update: My original plan for the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club’s May design was to do one of our “core” shirts — road grey, BFBS, or green alternate. But I knew we were already planning to do a Spanish-translation shirt at some point during the year (similar to the Brewers’ “Cerveceros” jersey), and I began thinking we should do it for Cinco de Mayo, especially since the Uni Watch shades of green and maroon are so similar to the Mexican flag colors of green and red.

So that’s what we’re doing. Here are the shirts we’ll be offering (click to enlarge):

Some notes on the designs:

• As you can see, we translated “Uni Watch” (which is now “Observación de Uniformes”) and “For People Who Get It” (“Para la gente que comprende”) on the front of the shirt. On the sleeve patch, the month (“Mayo”) and “T-Shirt Club” (“Club de Camisetas”) have been translated as well.

• The uni number is 5, for Cinco de Mayo.

• The colors have been tweaked to match those of the Mexican flag.

• Just like last month, we’re offering home white and road grey options (which will be priced in the usual $22 to $24 range), plus for the first time we’re also offering a style with three-quarter-length raglan sleeves (probably a few dollars more, like $27ish). The sleeves don’t quite match the green on the shirt design, which is a bit frustrating, but I wanted to put it out there and see how people responded to it.

• If you’ve been buying each design in order to qualify for the year-end prize, you only need to purchase one of the May shirts in order to maintain your eligibility.

• If you think it seems a bit early for me to be previewing the May design, you’re right. We usually start selling the shirts on the third Tuesday of each month and preview them the week before that. But if we had stuck to that schedule, this design wouldn’t have delivered in time for Cinco de Mayo. So I’m previewing the shirts now, they’ll launch next Tuesday, and they should deliver in late April. We’ll go back to our usual third-Tuesday routine for the June design.

I want to give a big shout-out to Uni Watch reader Omar Jalife for his assistance with the translations, and also to my Teespring co-conspirator, Bryan Molloy, who gamely tackled this month’s design and made it work. Great job, Bry!

I think that’s it. Feedback welcome, as always.

• • • • •

Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Someone sent me this Van Halen football tour jersey — a good item to lead off this week’s CC, because their live album is out today. (Yes, I’m a fan.)

Okay, here are the rest of this week’s eBay picks:

• Here’s a Monday Night Football pennant. That helmet logo looks a lot like the Officially Licensed Product logo from back in the day, eh?

• We’ve featured these great NHL posters before. Here’s an ad with all of them on it.

• Wouldn’t the patent drawing for an early football helmet make a nifty poster? You bet it would!

• Here’s a nice-looking 1970s NHL Blackhawks skate plaque!

• This 1970s Dolphins helmet radio looks like it is in great shape. But he’s not sure if it works. (Well, put a battery in it, dude. If you hear music, it works!)

• Helmet buggy alert! A NY Giants model, mint on the card. Would look great at Uni Watch HQ, right? And here’s one for the St. Louis Cardinals.

• These LA Rams playing cards have “Copyright 1969″ on them, but of course the Rams weren’t doing the blue/yellow combo back then. Same deal with these Chargers cards.

• This 1970s Atlanta Braves ice cream helmet looks kinda funny without the white panel behind the “a,” no?

• Just another tequila sunrise Starter jacket. Loved that look (well, except for the numbers on the pants leg, and the bullseye on the back).

Follow Brinke on Twitter: @brinkeguthrie

• • • • •

Baseball News: The Mets made two trades with uni-related implications yesterday. First, they acquired pitcher Alex Torres, the guy who wore that oversized protective cap last season with the Padres. It’ll be interesting to see if he continues to wear the padded cap with his new team. Also, the Mets traded OF Matt den Dekker to the Nats. Will the Nats give him lowercase NOB lettering like the Mets did? … den Dekker, incidentally, was traded for LHP Jerry Blevins, who immediately invited Mets fans to design a new Twitter avatar for him. To his credit, he went with this one. … Very nice striped Carolina blue stirrups for Wichita East High School in Kansas (from Christopher Eshelman). … With the Giants set to receive their championship rings in a few weeks, here’s an article on World Series ring design. … Good article advocating that youth leagues should mandate that pitchers wear head and chest protection (from Brandon Merchant). … This is a little weird: On May 16 the Twins will be hosting the Rays and will be giving away a Twins cap in Rays colors (from Gary Olson). … Nebraska’s rally caps are in midseason form (from Jonathan Daniel). … Jabba the Hut jerseys upcoming for the Altoona Curve. … Cork Gaines notes that the Billy Martin button being given away by the A’s on July 30 appears to include the little cross pin on his cap. … A Colorado Little League team’s uniforms were stolen right off of the coach’s porch. … Matthew Prigge has written a blog post about a ticket from what would have been the first Brewers game ever played at County Stadium in 1953. “Of course, the Braves moved to town and the Brewers never got a chance to open up at the Stadium,” he explains. … Two high school softball teams in Ohio went pink vs. pink the other day.

Pro and College Football News: What’s with the orange jerseys that several Bucs players are wearing in this video? Are those practice jerseys, or something else? (From Julie Binder.) … Middle Tennessee State is apparently considering a matte helmet option (from Josh Claywell). … Adidas’s new deal with Miami doesn’t go into effect until Sept. 1, but the ’Canes are already using Adidas footballs. … At Pitt, coach Pat Narduzzi decides after each practice whether the offense or defense “won.” The side of the ball that won gets to wear blue jerseys at the next practice.

Hockey News: The refs at the women’s world hockey championships might have the worst officials’ unis ever (from Scott McClure). … I went in for my bi-monthly blood-donation appointment yesterday. As they were forcibly extracting my precious humors sticking the needle in my arm, I noticed that the donor in the chair to my right was wearing a New York Rangers shirt. “Nice shirt,” I said, to which she replied, “This? I don’t even like the Rangers. I just thought it would be okay if something went wrong and it ended up with blood all over it.” … Behold the first pro hockey team in Texas, the 1941 Dallas Texans. Not sure what I love more — the sweaters, the dress shoes, or the guys leaning through the bus windows (from Pete Woychick).

College Hoops News: Good story about a fan with an amazing Illinois basketball memorabilia collection. … Gonzaga students are blaming the team’s loss to Duke on the BFBS jerseys.

Soccer News: The USL’s Harrisburg City Islanders wear the logo of their MLS affiliate, the Philadelphia Union, on their arm. … “I couldn’t find an article about this in English, but the Russian Football Federation may be punished for its fans displaying certain banners/flags at the game between Montenegro and Russia last week,” says Alexander Cohen. “Here is a picture of Russian fans holding a banner that says, in Serbian, ‘Montenegro, Serbia, Russia: one family.’ They are also flying Russian Imperial and Serbian flags. And here’s an article, in Russian, about how UEFA has a rule against showing the flags of countries/organizations that don’t have ‘recognized participation’ in the match.” … Our recent look at white baseball shoes prompted this from J.M. Shemaria: “You must give a shout to Alan Hinton. He was an English winger in the 1970s and is generally known for wearing white boots in an era where that didn’t happen. There’s a good quote from him in this article about the rise of colored boots, and there’s also this article about his shoes and his relationship with legendary manager Brian Clough.” … A referee paid tribute to a Brazilian player by spelling out his name with the vanishing spray instead of marking the spot of a free kick (from Yusuke Toyoda).

Grab Bag: New logos and merch for our friends at SportsLogos.net. … Former Scottish runner Liz McColgan says Nike stopped sponsoring her years ago because she was pregnant (from Craig Ackers). … The Associated Press Style Guide, which sets the linguistic protocol for countless newspapers and websites across the country, has issued a bunch of new rules regarding sports terminology. … A new law in the UK allows guarantees Sikhs the right to wear turbans in the workplace. … Hot topic in Kalamazoo, Michigan: whether school dress codes should permit leggings. … A new Florida rule requiring girls’ lacrosse teams to wear protective headgear is proving to be unexpectedly controversial. … Good article on how Alabama is the birthplace of the sweatshirt. … “The Illinois Tollway will be creating ‘Safe Phone Zones’ at various oases in April,” says Kyle Martinek. And in what surely qualifies as a huuuuuge surprise, these phone zones will be sponsored by Verizon Wireless. Douchebags. … Good socks for Russian skip Evgeny Arkipov. … Nike will release its 2015 Basketball Easter Collection on Thursday. I was going to say, “Insert the blasphemous joke of your choosing here,” but it seems like Nike has already done that on everyone’s behalf. … Does kinesio tape really work? Shmaybe. Ditto for compression clothing (both of those from Yusuke Toyoda). … A company best known for its women’s yoga pants is seeing growth in its menswear category, in large part because its pants are designed to avoid constricting your balls (from Tommy Turner). … A traveler on his way to Abu Dhabi was detained by the authorities after a military uniform was found in his luggage. … A judge has dismissed a trademark-infringement case brought by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which claimed that its logo was being poached by a Florida pizzeria.

The White Shoe Chronicles, Continued

TBig Uni Watch day over on ESPN, as my annual MLB season preview is up, and so is an interview I did with the guy who’s selling that vintage Mets bullpen buggy. Enjoy.

Meanwhile: Wally Campbell, who wrote last Friday’s entry about the Cardinals’ lone white-shod player, Scipio Spinks, sent me a follow-up note with some additional news about MLB players with white footwear.

The first tidbit involves the Mets. Now, a fair number of Mets players have worn white shoes in various MLB All-Star Games, including Dave Kingman in the 1970s, a bunch of 1980s players, and, more recently, David Wright. But I’d never seen a white-shod Met in a non-All-Star setting until Wally showed me this shot of Ed Kranepool wearing white Pumas at a team workout one day prior to the start of the 1973 World Series in Oakland (click to enlarge):

Of course, the host team — the A’s — wore white shoes, so Kranepool may have been imitating or mocking their shoe stylings. I’m pretty certain nobody on the Mets went ivory-footed in any of the actual Series games, however.

And here’s a shot of Braves players Ralph Garr and Dusty Baker wearing white shoes around the batting cage in either 1972 or ’73 (click to enlarge):

This is clearly a spring training shot. There’s no indication that anyone on the Braves went white-shod in a regular season game, or even in a spring training game. But lots of liberties appear to have been taken during workouts and such.

And as long as we’re talking about MLB shoe colors, reader Mike Williams was paging through the Phillies’ 1971 media guide and found this fascinating entry about the team’s then-new red shoes (click to enlarge):

Interesting to see that they had a team-wide deal with Adidas. And I’d never heard about using white soles for Astroturf (presumably because the turf was hotter than regular grass), or about pitchers needing to wear dark soles.

As a bonus, that same media guide included a detailed description of how the Veterans Stadium scoreboard celebrated a Phillies home run. Good stuf!

• • • • •

Nobody likes a tease: A really fun-sounding offer came my way on Friday. Michael Panuccio, the director of patterns and marketing for Majestic, who goes to the various spring training camps to measure the players for their uniforms (and who you may recall from this article, which ran in the Ticker last week), was coming to New York this week, and Majestic was offering to have him give me a personal fitting for an MLB uniform. A few days later they’d ship me a finished uniform, made to my measurements, for the MLB team of my choice.

That sounded great! I figured I’d get to tell Panuccio things like, “Keep the sleeves pretty short” and “Make the pants just long enough so I can blouse them at mid-calf” and “They told you I have a skin allergy to polyster, so you guys’ll make this uniform out of flannel, right?,” plus I’d ask him lots of questions. I was working to hire a videographer to record the session. Fun!

But then I got the word yesterday that Panuccio’s schedule had changed and that he wouldn’t be in NYC after all, so my personal fitting was cancelled. What a buzz-kill! We might be able to do it at a later date — hope so. Fingers crossed.

• • • • •

Inconspicuous update: The good news is that my latest “Inconspicuous Consumption” column for the design website re:form is now up. It’s about bike rack design, which is one of the most wide-open design areas I’m aware of — I can’t think of another product category with so many different solutions for such a simple problem. It was a really fun story to work on.

The bad news is that re:form is about to stop publishing, which means this iteration of “Inconspicuous Consumption” is finished after only two installments — disappointing. But re:form’s editor, the wonderful Sarah Rich, says she may have a new gig in the works, in which case I’d be back in business with her. Fingers crossed.

• • • • •

Wildcat tamer: Our own Phil Hecken’s latest piece for the Sporting News is a look back at the Kentucky basketball team’s uniform history, which you can check out here.

Phil will be doing similar rundowns for the other Final Four teams — stay tuned.

• • • • •

ESPN contest reminder: I’m currently accepting entries for an ESPN contest to name and design a team for a prospective NHL expansion franchise in Las Vegas. Details here.

• • • • •


Membership update: A few more design have been added to the membership card gallery (including R. Scott Rogers’s new card, shown at right, which is based on the Madison Mallards’ 2013 alternate jersey). We currently have one open slot in the current production batch, which means the next person to sign up will get his or her card with quickly — probably within a week.

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

• • • • •

’Tis the season: Passover begins this Friday, which means supermarkets are now stocked with Judaism’s greatest gift to America: bottles of Coca-Cola with yellow caps, indicating that they’ve been made with cane sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup (the latter of which, like all corn-based products, is off-limits to observant Jews during Passover). Further details here.

And yes, I realize Mexican Coke is also made with cane sugar, and often comes in glass bottles to boot, but it costs more, plus it doesn’t offer the bonus of letting you feel like a Jew for a Day, so snap up that yellow-cap Coke while you can.

• • • • •

PRICE REDUCTION on patches: There are still about two months left in Uni Watch’s 15th-anniversary “season,” so why not grab yourself one of our high-quality embroidered patches, especially now that I’ve reduced the price from $13 to $9.95. Get yours here.

• • • • •

Baseball News: Reader Chris LaHaye was covering a high school tourney the other day and spotted a coach wearing a vest over a camouflage undershirt and khakis. “That’s gotta be some kind of violation, right?” he says. … Steven Robinson was rummaging through his attic and found some cool stuff, including these 1969 Citco MLB collector’s coins and this totally boss MLB stamp album. Never seen that one before.

Pro and College Football News: Wrestlemania 31 took place last night at the 49ers’ new stadium. “It seemed there was a lot of red and gold throughout the show, especially from wrestlers who typically have other color options,” says Jared Patz. “I wonder if that idea was ‘suggested’ to them because of the 49ers’ colors or if a they all just had the same idea.” … A Georgia-based audio technology firm is about to release a set of speakers that look like UGA football helmets.

Hockey News: A new Virginia Tech study that ranks all the hockey helmets on the market indicates that about 25% of the ones currently in use, from the NHL on down to youth leagues, are unsafe and should not be used.

College Hoops News: Having a first-row baseline seat to one of yesterday’s games might seem pretty exciting — until you found out how far away the first row was (from David Blum). … The regional games in Houston had an outdated “UH” logo on the court.

Soccer News: Portugal’s new away kit is continuing a trend of colorful jerseys. … Details of Atlético Madrid’s new jersey have leaked. … Here’s a good photo album of MLS match balls (from Conrad Burry). … Here’s an article and infographic on the top-selling EPL jerseys.

Grab Bag: The UNC lacrosse team wore yellow socks yesterday for pediatric cancer awareness. … Pro motorcyclist Jorge Lorenzo says his performance in this past weekend’s race in Qatar because of a helmet glitch that cost him about half a second per lap. … F1 driver Lewis Hamilton was barred from switching to a new helmet with his team sponsor’s colors. … David Firestone has written a piece on NHRA uniform variations.

And Now For Our Next Uni Design Contest...

USFL splash

By Phil Hecken, with Jim Vilk

Hot on the heels of Paul’s ESPN contest to design an NHL team for Las Vegas (see details below), I’m back with the esteemed Mr. Vilk to announce the next design contest. I think you guys will enjoy this one a lot too.

I’ll let Jim explain below, and then I’ll be back with the rules and parameters:

. . .

The USFL As Inspiration
By Jim Vilk

Back in my football-loving days I had myself a torrid three-year affair with the USFL. It was loads of fun and extremely easy on the eyes. Many readers have also expressed their fondness for the gone-too-soon spring game. So, when there was talk of a revival in recent years, hopes were raised, only to be dashed again and yet again. Even the proposed A-11 League, which acquired the names and logos of several USFL franchises, is on hold at best. If I were a betting man, I’d put a good chunk of money down on “Not Gonna Happen.”

In the meantime, there are numerous franchises in other sports that are in serious need of rebranding. I say, let’s free up the great names, colors and logos of the USFL and reuse them there. Paul’s “Design a Las Vegas NHL team” contest got me thinking, why not turn my idea into another contest? Phil will have the details, but first, I have three proposals:


1. If there’s any team that’s screaming “Rebrand me!” it has to be the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers. Most people associate that name with losing and with Donald Sterling. With new ownership and some quality players, the Clippers seem to be on the expressway to bigger and better things. Might as well rename them the LA Express then.



2. Major League Baseball has lots of great uniforms, but there are some clunkers, most notably the Arizona Diamondbacks. The whole “D-Backs” thing isn’t working for me, and the new color scheme is less Arizona-y than when they started. Why not go full Arizona with some copper caps and rebrand as the Wranglers?

wranglers baseball


3. Back to the NBA, the Memphis Grizzlies have one of my favorite modern uniforms. There has been talk of a new color scheme for the Griz, though, so just go all the way and bring back the Showboats (great name for the NBA, eh?).



Now, let’s see your ideas. Pick a league, any league and have some fun. Oh, and for those entering Paul’s contest, have you considered the Las Vegas Gamblers?

. . .

Thanks, Jim — clearly those designs won’t be eligible, but you guys get the idea. We’ll break it down into five four categories (the Four Three Major sports, and then one for any other sports, like hockey). So: Baseball, Football, Basketball, Soccer and Etc. You can design for any team (pro, college, fantasy, etc). After all the designs are received, we’ll run them down by sport and have reader voting on each design.

UPDATE: After consultation with Jim and hearing reader feedback, American Football will NOT be included in this contest. Because the USFL is a former football league, it makes no sense to include it. All other sports leagues will be eligible

The Rules:

I’ll keep the rules basically the same as Paul’s rules for the LV redesign contest, with a couple of small differences:

• Your entry must include a team name, a logo and uniform(s). It would be VERY HELPFUL (but not required) if you could include everything in one single submission (so, one single ‘page’). If you must include separate attachments, that’s ok.

• 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.).

• The file(s) you submit should list the following in the subject line: USFL Design Contest (“name of sport”) — So if you’re submitting a baseball design, please put in the subject line “USFL Design Contest Baseball”

• You can submit multiple entries for a single sport and you can also submit entries for any or all of the sports. Please send each one separately, using the Subject Line guide above.

• Email your entry to me (Phil.Hecken@gmail.com).

• Deadline: Wednesday, April 15, midnight ET. Just like your taxes.

OK — you guys know what to do. If you need to see any of the uniforms and logos of the USFL for inspiration, you should visit the USFL Uniform Database (run by the GUD guys) or the USFL page over at Chris Creamer’s site.

Big thanks to Jim Vilk for the idea and inspiration. I’m looking forward to this and you guys never disappoint, so…GET CRACKIN’!


all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks Concepts

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

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

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

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

And so, lets begin:


First up today is Brendon Wolfe with some Patriots concepts:

Patriots Concept Home - Brandon WolfePatriots Concept Away - Brandon Wolfe


I have a uni tweak for the New England Patriots.



. . .

And we close today with Stephen Scheffel with some new looks at the Colorado Avalanche:

Colorado Avalanche - Stephen Scheffel

Hey Phil,

I think the Avs have one of the worst uniforms in the NHL but they also have some of the best logos and a great color scheme.

The third is a fauxback. The Rays did a great job with their fauxback and I think the Avs could wear something like this as a permanent third or even for a winter classic game.

I’d love to hear some feedback from my fellow uni-watchers!

Stephen Scheffel

. . .

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


ESPN contest reminder: Remember, Paul is currently accepting entries for an ESPN contest to name and design a team for a prospective NHL expansion franchise in Las Vegas. Details here.


Too Good For the Ticker
Too Good…

for the Ticker

Got an e-mail from Hugh Golden, and while it’s not particularly long — it’s got some very interesting pics with it.

You can click the images to enlarge:

. . .

Hi Paul/Phil,

Found these MLB logo pop-tarts at our local supermarket. I also had the Giants and Cardinals, but I was hungry and couldn’t find my camera. Had never seen them before and have not seen them again.


Hugh Golden

Jamestown, NY

016 017




. . .

Cool! I’m not a breakfast (or pop tart) guy, so this is news to me. Thanks for sharing

OK, now onto the ticker…


Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Check out the picture of Miguel Cabrera at the top of this article. Says submitter Mike Engle, “(S)pecifically Miggy’s bat knob. Looks like he’s got an 11 there, which could only be for Sparky Anderson as a Detroit Tiger. But then look at his batting gloves. There is some hi-viz neon green piping, which I feel like has only been “a thing” for a couple of years, and not as far as 2011, which would have been the memorializing year with the Sparky patch. (He died in Nov. 2010.) Interesting.” … This is a really tremendous picture gallery of Tiger Stadium. Jeffrey Sak adds, “I know there’s a lot to go through in this gallery but I highly recommend it. Pictures dating back to the late 19th and early 20th century. The picture of Ty Cobb using a huge camera is awesome.” … ThaChadwick notes “Minor change in #Astros orange cap: 2-tone blue star.” Is this new? I seem to recall they had the two-tone star before, but I could be misremembering. … Check out this great photo of the Phillies from Spring Training in 1915 — that comes from this article (submitted by Andrew Hoenig), and highly recommended reading. … Great photo of Pete Rose on top of the dugout steps of Crosley Field in 1967 (via Lost Ballparks). … The Washington State University Cougars have added a memorial cap patch for Bobo Brayton, who recently passed away. They also went with pinstripes and “pants up” for him (thanks to Michael McLaughlin). … The Peoria Sports Complex, where the San Diego Padres of the Cactus League enjoy Spring Training, have special jerseys on sale with a cactus print on the back (thanks to Elan Bradford). … The Charleston River Dogs have unveiled their Red Shirt Friday jerseys for the upcoming season (From Minor League Promos).

NFL News: Here’s an interesting 1985 Raging Rapids Commercial with Jack Lambert in uniform and Myron Cope (found by Douglas Ford). … There is really no way to make the Tampa Bay Bucs unis any less awful than they already are. But that doesn’t mean some people won’t try.

College Football News: Apparently the Oklahoma Sooners have upgraded to the new Mach Speed uniform template (thanks to Hunter Ginn). … Even though one of the FSU helmets was (thankfully) never worn this past season, concepters are still having fun tweaking them (via JVince11).

NBA News: What’s in a number? A lot. Here’s the story behind the TrailBlazers’ numbers and why the players wear what they wear (nice find by Harvey Lee). … The Utah Jazz will honor Hot Rod Hundley by wearing a black memorial jersey stripe for the remainder of the season. They wore the stripe beginning last night.

Hockey News: The Utica Comets wore this digi-cam specialty jersey last night against the Ice Hogs (thanks to Comets Army). … In yesterday’s ticker, I had an item about Henrik Lundqvist’s new mask. Here’s the story behind that. … “I was at the Penguins-Coyotes game and the in game score board listed Arizona still as Phoenix,” writes Yancy Yeater. … Boston Bruins goalie coach Bob Essensa was forced into backup duty yesterday, and he got a uniform without a last name (thanks to Stephen Hayes.

Soccer News: Here’s a leaked render of the rumored 2015-16 third kit for Paris St. Germain (via Conrad Burry). … Due to the snow and wind yesterday, the Revolution and Quakes broke out the neon ball (via Mike Slavonic). … In yesterday’s match with Montreal, an Orlando City player went NNOB and N#OB (blood jersey?). Grab sent in by Matt Philpott). Here’s another shot. And apparently yes, it was a blood jersey.

College Hoops News: Here’s some video of the Final Four court being built at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis (from Chris Flinn). … Looks like some bad NOB arching on Terry Rozier III in Friday night’s Elite Eight game for Louisville (good spot by Mike Engle). … I’m not even sure what this uniform is, but it’s pretty awful.

Grab Bag: Whittier College Rugby has a new crest (via Whittier Poets Rugby). … I cannot explain this Cleveland Indians shirt with NFL apparel tag (via Andrew Payne).


And that’s going to do it for this weekend. Thanks to Jimmer for the new contest idea (and samples), and to the concepters as well. And all you who submit or tweet for the ticker. Back atcha next weekend.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“The Fuck jersey story was a feature on today’s ‘Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me’ True or False quiz. Knowing that information allowed me to defeat my wife in our play-along-at-home contest.”

— KC


The Final Floor

final four cour
Click to Enlarge

By Phil Hecken, with Jim Vilk

Yesterday we got our first look at this year’s Final Four floor, for the NCAA Tournament to be held in Indy next weekend. I like it. Notice anything different from past years?

That’s right, unlike in previous years, when the border was blue, this year it’s red. But it’s still one of those decidedly corporate things that really doesn’t fit the venue — you could pick this court up and plop it down in any arena or stadium in the nation and it would fit just as well. Still — the Final Four court is always better than the regional courts, which all look alike save for the location, which is stuck beneath the buckets. Always the same.

Now, I’m a big NCAA fan come tourney time, and I fondly remember many of the finals of my youth (I could still name the Fab 5 or the starting five for UNLV when they went for their undefeated season). But I’ve never really paid much attention to the courts. Fortunately, Jim Vilk is an aficionado when it comes to NCAA hoops — so I asked him if he’d like to pen a little diddy about NCAA courts. He gladly accepted.

So here’s Jumpin Jimmer Vilker with more on NCAA Courts of yore.

. . .

Yesterday’s unveiling of the Final Four court was a bit of a milestone, as this is now the 30th custom-made “final floor.” Unlike the awful corporately bland regional courts we’ve been subjected to for the past seven years, these courts have always had varying degrees of character and colors.

The first court, designed for the 1986 Final Four, was simple with an outline of Texas at midcourt and “NCAA” printed over top of it. The next two followed the same idea, with the same font on the baselines or sidelines and a unique midcourt logo.

The 1988 logo, seen at the top of this program, celebrated 50 years of Final Fours. In 1989, the out-of-bounds font changed to a cleaner look.

It stayed that way until 1996, when they went with a little blockier font. Three years later, Tropicana Field hosted a colorful Final Four, with the area outside the key and inside the 3-point line painted for the first time.

2000 and 2001 were similar, but with basketball striping painted inside the 3-line.

In 2002 they painted the key only, and they followed that look until 2006.

That was the start of the current two-toned wood era, with colorful designs relegated to the margins of the court.

After ten years of this template, will we see something new next year? Maybe they could go with a court like the one they used for the CBSSports Classic early-season tournament. I like the idea of putting the school logos on the floor, although they could be a little smaller.

. . .

Thanks, Jim! Appreciate the insight and your thoughts!

How about you readers? Do you guys like the look of the Final Four court (this year or any other)? How about the regional courts? Should the NCAA start thinking outside the corporate box and let the venues have some character? What would you like to see if you could change the courts? As always, post your answers in the comments below.

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classic scoreboards splashClassic Ballpark Scoreboards

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

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

. . . . . . . . . .

Classic Ballpark Scoreboards – Series II
by Gary Chanko

Classic Ballpark Scoreboards – Series II, restarts this week with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the original name of the Oakland A’s current home. The ballpark been in operation for nearly fifty years and is MLB’s fifth oldest active venue.

For the initial thirty plus years (1966–1998) the stadium was known as Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum. The last two decades have seen countless naming rights changes:

• Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (original-1998)
• UMAX Coliseum (1997, aborted)
• Network Associates Coliseum (1998-2004)
• McAfee Coliseum (2004-08)
• Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (2008-11)
• Overstock.com Coliseum (2011, briefly)
• O.co Coliseum (2011-current)

Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Oakland-Alameda Co UW

Home of: Oakland Athletics (1968 to present), Oakland Raiders (1966–1981, 1995-present); USFL Invaders, and other pro soccer clubs
Construction Started: May 1964; Opened: September 1966
Major Renovations: Mount Davis (1995-96)

Although originally designed as a multi-purpose stadium, with all the associated shortcomings, you’ll find many agree the Coliseum was once a great place for watching baseball. After the Mount Davis eruption in 1996, the now enclosed ballpark with an expanded (excess) seating capacity, fell into much disfavor and ridicule among the fans and ballpark critics alike.

This illustration reproduces the Coliseum’s right field scoreboard (the left field scoreboard was identical) as it appeared in the more appreciated initial years of operation. It was relatively free of commercial advertisements, complemented the ballpark architecture, and incorporated the latest display technology of the era.

A Few Things to Know

• The first game played in the new Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum was not baseball. The AFL Raiders opened the Coliseum losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in September 1966. Baseball arrived two years later in 1968 when the Athletics relocated from Kansas City.

• “Even though the stadium opened in 1966 for the Raiders, there were not any large scoreboards in the outfield. It wasn’t until Finley (who was notoriously cheap) installed his $1 million exploding scoreboard in right field in June 1968 before the stadium had one.” Forum posting from Baseball Fever.

• The original scoreboard design echoes the Dodger Stadium design and operation. The right field side featured the game line score while messages and other game scores were displayed on the left field version. Check out this message.

• By the 80’s the original scoreboards were modified to provide more revenue producing ad space along with the addition of a new display in centerfield.

• The ballpark playing field is about 20-feet below grade. This architectural feature provides a visually impressive, low external profile with supposed easy fan access. Not so splendid is the calamity created when the below sea level sewage disposal system malfunctions.

• If you follow the never ending drama surrounding the replacement for the Coliseum, you know the A’s signed a ten year lease renewal last year. The lease expires after the 2024 season, but the A’s have escape clause after 2018. The city also has an escape clause if a new Raiders stadium necessitates demolition of the beloved Coliseum.

• In the meantime new LED scoreboards are planned for 2015 opening day! The last upgrade was way back in 1996 (I think!)

Next week Classic Ballpark Scoreboards journeys back across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge for an opening day look at Candlestick Park.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

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all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks Concepts

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

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

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

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

And so, lets begin:


First up today is Jim Vilk with a pair of concepts for the Buccos:

2016 Pirates - Jim Vilk

1971 1941 pirates - Jim Vilk


The Bucs should bring back their wonderful 1941 zippered uniforms, only in black and gold instead of blue and red. Made the home cap like the road cap and added more gold to the stirrups.

Then I thought of using the early 70s cap and logo.

Big block numbers on the back, and NNOB.


. . .

And we close today with Trés Lawless who has some concepts for the Miami Hurricanes, now that they’re with adidas:

Miami Hurricanes - Trés Lawless

Hi Uni-Watch & Phil,

Here is my concept for the Adidas outfitted Miami Hurricanes. The set includes green, orange, white, and smoke græy outfits. Taking inspiration from the logo, elements such as shoulder/pant stripes, sleeve cuffs, cleat laces, sock details, and helmet stripes are orange on the left and green on the right when viewed from the front. The pant stripes match the shoulder stripes of its color-corresponding jersey, but the helmets, jerseys, pants, etc. can be mixed and matched. Hope you enjoy!

Trés Lawless

. . .

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

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ESPN contest reminder: Remember, Paul is currently accepting entries for an ESPN contest to name and design a team for a prospective NHL expansion franchise in Las Vegas. Details here.

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Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: There is some AWESOME vintage Phillies stuff, including Harry Kalas’ World Series Ring, and a Saturday Night Special uniform, up for auction (great find by Jonathan Daniel). … Wonderful photo (from Bruce Menard) of the World Champion New York Giants (taken in March 1922). Bruce notes that “Bancroft & Kelly are wearing the 1921 stirrups while Groh & Frisch have the newer 1922 striped versions on.” Also from Bruce, check out this 1930 poster of Babe Ruth’s “How To Play Baseball” in Japanese! … In the latest sign of Albany ethics madness, lawmakers on Thursday were forced to turn over Lou Gehrig bobblehead dolls given to them by the ALS Association this week because they’re deemed a violation of the Legislature’s gift ban. … Victoria’s Secret has a new “Pink” clothing line of MLB apparel for women. Best part? Most of the stuff isn’t pink. … New batting practice caps coming this season for the Visalia Rawhide (h/t MiLBPromos). … The Warshington Natinals are giving away a 10th Anniversary Livan Hernandez bobblehead. … Great find from Todd Radom: The 1903 Yankees Highlanders uniforms were described as “the swellest in the business”. Here are those same 1903 Highlanders animated (via Bruce Menard). …”Tony Taylor was one of the last big-leaguers not required to wear a batting helmet,” writes Chris Hickey. “I’m not sure if this has been featured before on UW, but I came across this photo of him. It shows Taylor wearing Philadelphia’s ‘Vet Stadium-era’ uniform (which debuted in 1970) in a game being played on what appears to be Batting Helmet Giveaway Day at Connie Mack.” … Three men who worked on the Safeco Field cleaning crew are charged with stealing more than 80 jerseys from a stadium retail kiosk at the end of last season. … “The demo to buy MLB.tv — a pretty high-profile service — has a member of the Royals mysteriously reversed (Check at 0:17 seconds),” writes Stephen Johnson. “Stays up for a good 3-4 seconds so it’s not like a quick shot that could have been easily missed. Since they’re all MLB-approved and official this seems like a very strange oversight.” … New murals went up at Wrigley Field yesterday (via MLB Cathedrals). … From Todd Radom again: “the many faces of Cleveland Indians Chief Wahoo, 1948.” … Check out this great photo from a 1911 baseball game at Georgetown (h/t Ghosts of DC). … Tucson High wore its camo jerseys with these hats to honor Chris Moon. “CM🇺🇸11″ (h/t The Cactus Pricks). … UNC honored the late Dean Smith by wearing cap patches (thanks to James Gilbert). … Beautiful Dutch Leonard colorization (from Old Baseball Photos. … Tweeter Adam Vitcavage asks, “Did we see this? Derek Jeter hat with all of his accomplishments and signature in gold?” … Pretty good matchup Thursday night in Chicago high school baseball. Both St. Rita and Simeon wear stirrups! Full gallery here (thanks to Mike Chamernik). … We’ve seen this before, but here’s a pic of Joe Sewell after Cleveland won the World Series (from Douglas Ford).

College/Arena/HS/Pro Football News: Reader B. David Zarley wrote this story on the NCAA’s attempt to ban crop tops. His angle? “I kept it pretty tongue-in-cheek; I’m also pretty proud of the subtext; I’ve been trying to tweak the usual gender representations in sportswriting (women: talk bodies, maybe skill! men: DO NOT TALK BODY) and they really let me go for it on this one. As a matter of fact, our EIC called me their most homoerotic sportswriter on Twitter, which I’m taking as a point of pride.” … After weeks of speculation, it’s now confirmed: Legends jerseys are out, and pride sticker will return to the helmets at Michigan, under new coach Jim Harbaugh. … Fun Fact, From 1934-1947 MSC (Michigan State College, as it was then known) Football jerseys were Black & Gold (h/t Joey Zurek). … Couple items from Ian Borkowski: Portland Thunder endzone banner and players wearing captaincy patches. … “Lot of interceptions thrown that day,” writes Matt Steinmetz. “Confusing freshman football matchup. White-White-White vs. White-White-Light Gray.” … “I wanted to share this very unusual Cowboys helmet,” writes Aaron Roggensack, “with a pentagram made up of actual Cowboys logos, which I found at Goodwill.” OK then. Actually, that’s a pretty good price.

NBA/College/High School Hoops News: … Here’s how the Hawks floor looked for 2 Chainz night (via Andrew Schmitt). … Thursday night, Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers was spotted at the TourneyJohnny Okray points out that Rodger’s cap was made by Von Zipper, and called “A-Aron Fitted”. … Officials at Wichita East High School in Kansas are under fire after a special needs student was told he could not wear a varsity letter jacket because he was not competing at a varsity level (thanks, Brinke). Here’s a bit more on that (thanks to WK). … Last night you may have noticed Louisville wearing yellow shoe laces — it was for pediatric cancer awareness). … In anticipation of next week’s High School All-American game, the Jordan statue got a new jersey (via 120Sports). … Speaking of the McDonalds HSAAG, check out the insoles in some of the shoes to be worn for that game. … With the NCAA tourney in LA, Staples Center got a makeover, creating “a blank slate for a new set of corporations to move in” (thanks to Russ Havens). … UCLA ditched their awful waist stripe unis vs. Gonzaga last night. … Unfortunately, Louisville & NC State stuck with theirs. … “RIP Hot Rod Hundley,” writes Douglas Ford (Jerry West on the right). … More on Fuck: “F__k allowed to use his name in Alberta basketball league” (from JHThompsen).

Hockey News: The Texas Stars, an AHL team, wore these camo jerseys for their game last evening (h/t to Zach Walther). … Here’s an article that argues the Avalanche should wear white at home (as God intended). … Here’s a look at the mask Henrik Lundqvist will wear when he returns to the ice today (via Matthew Malone).

Soccer News: The Airdrieonians (a Scottish soccer football club), have been told to stop using their club badge as it breaks heraldic law (thanks to George Chilvers, who deems the move “madness”). … West Bromwich Albion have announced that for their Premier League match with Leicester City they will wear a special kit to pay tribute to their legendary striker Jeff Astle (h/t Wayne Muller). … The new Europa League ball features the new UEL logo (thanks to Conrad Burry). … Reading F.C., a 2nd level team in the English Football pyramid, will wear a shirt designed by a 14-year old special needs child, which is awesome (thanks to Zac Neubauer). … Apparently the Man City home jersey has leaked. … The goalposts at the Empire Stadium at Gzira, Malta not only were striped, but had an extra support in the middle for the net, instead of the usual two seen at other stadiums (from Graham Clayton).

Grab Bag: At O’Hare airport, the various levels are Chicago sports-themed. You can look here to see the Cubs on the lowest level jokes (thanks to J. Walker). … Here’s a fantastic photo of a young Bubba Watson (and two-time Masters Champion) wearing knickers and argyle socks on the course (great find by Seth Shaw). … Speaking of “golf” (baseball) shoes, reader Chris Lamping writes, “I forgot to send these pics. ‘My dog’s Christmas present to me.’ I can take better pics, they came with the original box, I’m afraid to wear them for anything but managerial duties” … “I am almost as interested in license plates, highway signs, and other government-produced ‘artwork’ as I am in uniforms,” writes Neil Vendetti. Here’s “an LA-based artist’s project to design and install a very functional piece of ‘art’. There is an embedded video which is well worth the 10 minute investment.” … If you want to watch the 2015 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship (especially the USA), you can — just go here for details. … The Maryland Terps’ ladies lax team has new uniforms. … Interesting Texans/Astros/Rockets mashup (from Eric Youngdahl). … Check out this shot of Gale Sayers on the cover of Dell Sports magazine, September 1967 (h/t The Press Room).

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That’s it for today. Big thanks to Jim, Gary, the concepters and everyone who sent in for the ticker. Catch you tomorrow.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“After reading this story about the student with Down Syndrome being barred from wearing his letterman jacket and the story about the student newspaper editor who was suspended for refusing to print a team nickname she considered a racial slur, I am convinced that the only qualification necessary to be a high school principal nowadays is to be as big of a jackass as possible.”


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