A Uniform's Relationship to City Colors

By Phil Hecken, with Logan Paige

Good Sunday morning, Uni Watchers. Hope you’re all staying safe and well.

Now then, I received the following e-mail from reader Logan Paige earlier this week:

Hey there,

As a lifetime Philly fan, former PA resident, and big time Uni Watch fan, I recently had a thought run through my head. Why is it that Pittsburgh pro sports teams have a cohesive look that matches the colors of their city flag and yet none of my own Philadelphia teams sport the powder blue and yellow (sans one 2007 Eagles game)?

This led me down a path of researching how other teams in other cities have approached this. Are there other cities like Pittsburgh where many, if not all, of the teams share the local colors?

I found some interesting things, including many teams that I had no idea were derived from their city’s flag (Knicks, Mets), and some cities that surprisingly had no chromatic connection whatsoever to their pro sports teams (Los Angeles).

Let me know if you’d like to learn more about my findings, my process, and if you think this would make good content for the site. Either way, I found it very interesting as someone who enjoys uniforms and municipal flag design and hope that you do too!

Best,
Logan Paige

I’m not quite the vexillologist (or even vexillophile) that some in the readership are, but I have always been intrigued by nation, state and city flags — but for uni-philes such as ourselves, flags bear a close kinship to uniforms. On several occasions we’ve featured uniform/flag articles on this site (I remember doing a set of concepts about a dozen years ago for baseball where I attempted — as best one can do in MS Paint, anyway — to place every team in color elements based upon their city flags), so when Logan approached me with this I was quite intrigued and thought it would make for an interesting piece. Here’s Logan.

• • • • •

Uniform Colors and City Flags
by Logan Paige

As a lifetime Philly fan and longtime PA resident, I was often jealous of the fans on the other side of the state. Pittsburgh is of course known for its cohesive look across its professional teams, with the black and yellow matching that of the Pittsburgh official city flag. Meanwhile, my teams were a hodge-podge of colors that had no connection to the powder blue and yellow of the Philadelphia flag (which would be an excellent uni color set!). We got one Eagles game in 2007 with those colors as a throwback that didn’t really ever exist and that’s it.

This got me thinking about sports teams and their connections to city colors. Were there other cities like Pittsburgh? Or were most like Philly? I went to work to find these answers. I had a simple methodology for rating cities in terms of their cohesive colors. For each team, they received a point if their colors were a match to the city flag, half a point if it seemed derived or inspired by the colors but not an exact match, and zero if it wasn’t close. To make things simpler, I only looked at cities with more than team in the big 4 pro leagues and only counted primary sets of colors (no NBA “City” uniforms here).

Below are my top 3 cities based on uniform-flag color cohesion, as well as a couple I found surprising that mostly lacked this type of connection at all.

3. Washington DC

I struggled a bit at scoring the uniforms in our nation’s capital. Technically the flag of the city only uses the colors red and white. However, it is also so closely tied with the United States, that the inclusion of blue is understandable. I ultimately settled on 1 point if the team was predominately red and white, and half a point if blue was pretty prominent in the uniforms and logo. This gave DC 2 points with only the Football Team receiving zero points in a mostly cohesive district.

2. New York City

Now this one might be slightly controversial. It was tied for the most points at 3, though the argument could be made that the city as a whole is not cohesive. The flag of the Big Apple proudly flies the colors of blue, orange, and white. This strongly matches the Mets, Knicks, and Islanders but is a complete disconnect from all of the remaining NYC teams. Makes you wonder if the Giants or Jets ever thought about donning the city’s blue and orange?

1. Pittsburgh

Alright, no surprise here. Not only does it have 3 points, it does it with a 100% success rate and no doubt in my mind that if they were the next NBA expansion team that they would do so wearing the famed black and yellow. No other city had uniform-flag cohesion quite like the Iron City.

Surprises

My biggest surprise was that were exactly zero matches in the City of Angels. A metro area that consists of 7 professional teams has absolutely no connection to the red, yellow, and green of the Los Angeles flag. Though to be fair, I’m not sure it’s the most appealing color combination so I don’t entirely place the blame on the teams. Maybe we’ll see an appearance in a future Clippers alternate uniform one day.

And finally, a city that I think is completely missing the boat is Chicago. The powder blue and red flag of the Windy City is iconic and an excellent color combo for uniforms. I gave the Cubs half a point for at least going the route of red, white and blue but no other team decided to even come close. While it’s hard to argue changing any of the teams’ looks at this point, it’s worth considering what could have been.

And that’s what I’ve got for you. I always found flag design to be pretty interesting and enjoyed seeing how it connected to the uni-verse.

• • • • •

Thanks, Logan! I’ve vacillated on this sort of thing over the years. On the one hand, I love how Pittsburgh teams embrace the black and gold of their city flag — it’s their thing, and it totally works. However, would I like it if some other teams from the same city did the same thing? I don’t think I would, because it’s unique to Pittsburgh. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it squads from cities other than Pittsburgh were to rally around the flag colors, it would make it less special, for them and for Pittsburgh. Now, would I like perhaps one team (or even a couple out of many) from a city to embrace the city flag colors (like NY has done to a certain extent with the Mets, Knicks and Isles)? I think that would depend on the colors and the designs. Just as black and gold are great colors together, so too are orange and blue. Also, I will give a tip of the cap to the Chicago Red Stars for literally incorporating their flag onto their unis.

Readers? What say you? I know we’ve discussed flags and uniforms before — but it never hurts to refocus the discussion as Logan has.


Uni Concepts & Tweaks

Time for more Uni Tweaks from the UW readership.

I hope you guys like this feature and will want to continue to submit your concepts and tweaks to me. If you do, Shoot me an E-mail (Phil (dot) Hecken (at) gmail (dot) com).

• • •

Today’s concept come from Drew Abernathy, who has some concepts for a redesigned Houston Texans football team.

He writes…

Hey, Phil;

Here is a redesign I did for the Houston Texans.

Description:

A buddy of mine on Twitter mentioned that the Texans’ seemed like a team that’s either an afterthought or unfinished. Digging around the G.U.D., their uniform looks like a different take on the last Patriots uniform (debuted in 2000, I think).

So, I decided to try my hand at a redesign. Using a Light Royal Blue in response to the Adams’ family. I flattened the bull, kept the dark steel blue as an accent, and made a different stripe pattern. Kept their number and name fonts and added a stripe to the helmet. Even made a battle red color rush, uniform.

And here are his designs:

• • •

Thanks Drew!

OK readers (and concepters). If you have some tweaks or concepts, shoot ’em my way with a brief description of your creation and I’ll run ’em here.

Guess The Game…

from the scoreboard

Today’s scoreboard comes from ojai67.

The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).

Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):

Please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.

Threads of our Game…

Got an e-mail yesterday from the great Craig Brown, who runs the fantastic Threads Of Our Game website. If you’re not familiar with it, the primary focus is on pre-1900 baseball uniforms and related ephemera.

He wrote:

Hello baseball historians,

Here’s a quick look at a long-lost uniform: the Boston black of 1899.

The all-black uniform was one of baseball’s more intriguing fashion statements. The trend started big in New York on July 28, 1888, when the Giants took the field in “stunning suits of coal.” The look spread quickly westward — to the Alleghenies, to the Plains, and to California — but eventually the fad would fade. Enter the 1899 Bostons and manager Frank Selee, who decked out his team this year in an all-black road uniform, augmented by scarlet stripes on the caps and socks. It seems there are no pictures of Boston’s men in black, so please allow Threads to bring this long-lost uniform out from the shadows of time.

See the Boston uniform here.

See the Threads News Feed here.

Thank you for your time,
Craig Brown
Threads Of Our Game

Thanks, Craig! Great work (as always) on this!

Podcast reminder: Paul here. In case you missed it, for this week’s episode of Unified, the recent scenario in which the Mets’ starting rotation could have featured both a No. 0 and a No. 00, which I wrote about on Monday, led us to explore various situations featuring zero and double-zero (including, as shown above, such famously zero-clad players as Benito Santiago, Jim Otto, and John Davidson). It was a really fun discussion, in part because Chris isn’t usually that into uniform numbers, but he still ended up having a lot to say!

We also talked about the Jags’ new emphasis on teal, the news that the Washington Football Team’s placeholder identity will be extended for another year, the ЯR uniforms that we think deserve to be upgraded to full-time status, and more.

You can listen to this episode, and subscribe to future ones, on Apple, Google, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Spotify, or just use the player below:

The show notes from this episode, which include photos of most of the things we discussed, are here. Those photos also appear in the video version of this episode, which you can watch here:

Enjoy the episode, and thanks for all the enthusiasm and positive feedback on this project.

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: The website MLB.com has put out a piece we here at Uni Watch could probably have written: The best baseball cap for every team. Lots of good (and surprising) choices in there. Definitely worth the read (from David Cline). … Western Illinois has an interesting look, with the team name and uniform number on top of a large image of the mascot (from Tom Pachuta). … “Odd” Cardinals font: “Saw this ad in my Facebook feed today,” says Darren McFadden. “The number font on the middle mask is obviously not the Cardinals’ uniform font.” … 114 years ago yesterday, the New York Yankees first added pinstripes to their unis. … The St. Louis Cards gave Carl Taylor a full NOB in 1970 (they also had a Chuck Taylor). From MBD Chicago. … The Arizona Wildcats debuted a new white panel cap yesterday (from Chris Mycoskie). … Mount Marty Softball has some new unis (from Timmy Donahue). … MLB just released MLB Local Collection. Says Ignacio Salazar, “Logos combined within each teams state outline. Rest can be seen here.” … According to some Instagram stories, a few players received pairs of Francisco Lindor’s New Balance cleats, including Salvador Pérez and Ronald Acuña Jr. (from Balsley). … UTRGV Baseball has new uniforms (from Timmy Donahue). … The Danville Baseball Club will announce a new name and identity March 16 (from Tommy Turner).

NFL News: Maybe some things are best just left alone. Ever wonder what “Reverse Retro” jerseys would look like for the NFC North? Wonder no more. If you check out his Twitter homepage and scroll a ways, you can see more NFL reverse retro concepts. … We talk about how the NFL’s potential dropping of the one-shell rule could allow us to see Bucco Bruce and Pat Patriot again, but how about seeing classic Seahawks unis once again? (seeing how long it takes Steve McQuistran to make a “blank helmets” reference in the comments…) … “Before Black History Month comes to an end, let us not forget Gene Mingo, recognized as the first Black kicker in the NFL,” writes Jimmer Vilk. “He also was the very last straight-on kicker for the Steelers.” He adds, “Gene Mingo was not the last Black straight-on kicker in the NFL, though. In week 2 of the 1979 season, Saints K/P Russell Erxlaben was injured, so RB Tony Galbreath handled the placekicking and WR Wes Chandler did the punting. Which might be the only game with a Black kicker and punter on the same team (couldn’t get a clean screenshot of Chandler).” … The Cincinnati Bengals had “fun” with a jersey redesign joke on social media.

College Football News: The Michigan State Spartans will have a new helmet this season, based off the classic script worn by their hoops teams of Magic et. al. You can see the video reveal here. … Southern Utah University unveiled some new uniforms yesterday (from Timmy Donahue).

Hockey News: “The WHL started their short season on Friday night. Just the Alberta teams in the Central Division have started at this point,” writes Wade Heidt. “The Edmonton Oil Kings usually share Rogers Place with the Edmonton Oilers. Not this year with pandemic restrictions. They are playing in the much smaller Downtown Community Arena as you can see from these highlights. Strange to see regular season major junior hockey in a venue this small. No fans in the building anyway so does not really matter how many seats.” … Also from Wade: “The WHL’s East Division will be soon begin the season playing out of 1 hub city. All East Division teams will play at the Brandt Centre in Regina, SK. Here is the centre ice paint job for the arena during this season featuring the WHL logo.” Is it poetic (sartorial) justice that one of the worst Reverse Retro looks, sported by the Vancouver Canucks, resulted in the team going 0-4 while wearing them? … The Tampa Bay Lightning wore Black History Month patches last evening (from Jakob Fox), who also point out the hangers have Stanley Cup Champion logos on them. … Really nice looking matchup last night between the LA Kings and Minnesota North Stars Wild, both wearing their Reverse Retro uniforms (from Jakob Fox). Even the lineup cards were rendered in RR colors. … It really was a outstanding looking game.

NBA News: The Boston Celtics green uniforms may be iconic, but according to this article, they should consider not wearing them any more (or as often) since their record while sporting them isn’t as good as other uni options. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re “cursed.”

College Hoops News: It’s not that rare in college hoops, but Virginia Tech wore orange at home to create a color versus color game against Wake Forest (from Andrew Cosentino). … Also from Andrew: Yesterday was originally scheduled to be Virginia Tech’s senior day, so they celebrated accordingly. However, their game against Louisville on 2/13 was rescheduled for 3/3. Therefore, this game technically wasn’t their last home game of the year. Per their annual tradition, the Hokies put their senior players’ numbers and senior managers’ initials near mid court. … Xavier unveiled some gorgeous throwbacks (from Evan Nash). They were worn from 1976-79. … Nicklaus Wallmeyer notes both Xavier and Washington wore throwback units for their games … UC Riverside with an urban camo treatment on their shoulders and, while its hard to see in the picture, on the bottom of their shorts (from Timmy Donahue). … Roy Williams was presented with a “900” jersey on the occasion of his 900th win (from James Gilbert). … The Kansas Jayhawks wore red uniforms last night against Baylor (from Adam Franz).

Soccer News: A few soccer bits you may have missed: Inter Miami CF have launched a “La Palma” secondary jersey for 2021 season. … Nashville SC unveiled a new away jersey for 2021 Major League Soccer season: The Vibe II. … Minnesota United unveiled their 2021 River Kit as a secondary jersey. … The Atlanta United unveiled a new primary kit. … The San Diego Sockers & St. Louis Ambush played in retro early #MISLSoccer 80s jerseys on Friday night in St. Louis (from the San Diego Sockers). Jimmer Vilk will require a pants change.

Grab Bag: Get the Caddyshack jokes ready: did you know the Phoenix Open has a mascot? It’s a gopher (from Shawn Hairston). … UCLA gymnastics debuted new leotards last night (from Timmy Donahue).

And finally… big thanks to Logan Paige for sharing his thoughts on the relationships between city flag colors and the extent to which teams share those colors — really a good think piece!

Everyone have a good Sunday, and I’ll catch you all back here next weekend.

Peace,

PH

Red/Orange Snafu Leads to NBA Uni First

By Phil Hecken

Greetings and Happy Saturday, folks! We made it to the weekend. Hope everyone had a good week.

As you may have heard by now, there was a major uni screwup in OKC last night, as the visiting Atlanta Hawks, wearing their “icon” (red) uniforms took the court against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who were dressed in their “statement” (orange) uniforms. The lack of contrast was, predictably, awful:

From a distance it was tough to tell which team was which. It wasn’t much better in close:

For those watching on television, it was pretty brutal:

The matchup was so comically bad, even the NBA on ESPN’s twitter account had some fun with it:

…which did not go unnoticed by the road team…

Now, the red vs. orange, in and of itself, was particularly uni-noteworthy. The question is how did this even get on the court? I was reminded of a very similar situation, which happened in 2013, between the New York Knicks and those same Atlanta Hawks:

So, red vs. orange isn’t even unprecedented in the NBA. But this wasn’t supposed to happen under Nike — every game has the uniforms scripted, and if the colors are too close, then the matchups are rejected. Back in 2013, the protocol was different, and (I’m doing this from memory but I’m pretty sure) back then color uniforms were designated as “light” and “dark” — so you couldn’t have a dark vs. dark or light vs. light matchup. The Knicks orange alternates were actually designated as “light,” so the red/orange pairing was deemed acceptable. Obviously, it wasn’t and the NBA vowed never to let something like this happen again. But yet, it did.

Someone obviously screwed up, but who? Early reports were blaming the Hawks:

Since the Hawks were on the road, they had only brought along their red uniforms. So should they have brought along another of the half dozen or so they could wear?

Not so fast. According to “LockerVision,” which lists all the matchups, it was the Thunder who were at fault:

The Thunder’s “association” uniform is white (it’s the “statement” uniform that is orange), so they should have been in their white unis for last night’s game. But…was it?

Here’s a listing of the OKC Thunder uniforms for 2020-21.

OK, so it was a simple screwup, right? Not so fast. Somehow the uniform matchup had to have been listed as the Hawks in their red (icon) uniforms, vs. the Thunder in their orange (statement) uniforms, because the great uni tracking site, OKC Tracker, noticed the potential snafu the day before this game (February 25):

UPDATE:

Turns out LockerVision originally had the matchup scheduled to be orange vs. red:

Turns out it was retroactively “updated” to show the Thunder as wearing white, but that one slipped through the cracks. So who’s at fault? If the Thunder were supposed to wear orange, then it’s just one of those things (the once in 4,000 as described in the ESPN piece below). Maybe it wasn’t the Thunder — but it definitely wasn’t the Hawks.

So clearly, somehow, this game was destined to have a uni snafu. If you’re not familiar with NBA uniform matchup protocol, this ESPN article offers a good bit of instruction:

With teams having multiple combinations and alternates to wear, and no longer observing the traditional standard of home white and road color, the uniform-selection process is done before the season for the entire schedule using an input system called LockerVision. The home team picks first, then the road team.

The league double-checks all combinations and approves them, but the Thunder and Hawks mistakenly slipped through the approval process, according to a league spokesperson.

Typically, when there are close contrasts, such as the red-orange issue with OKC and Atlanta, the league catches it and corrects it before it happens. According to a league source, this is the first time in more than 4,000 games since the system was introduced that this has happened.

So, how did this become an NBA first (especially if the Knicks and Hawks had basically made this same mistake about eight years earlier)? Well, in that Knicks/Hawks game, both teams played the entire game in red/orange. What was a first (at least as far as I can tell) was the fact that the NBA put the kibosh on the matchup, telling the Thunder to switch to their white uniforms. They made the switch at halftime, and it’s believed this is the first time an NBA team has ever switched uniforms at halftime.

The twitter account for the NBA on ESPN had some more fun with that switch:

Obviously the game looked much better with OKC in white:

We’ve had teams bring the “wrong” uniforms to games before, and sometimes they’ve brought along different jerseys to switch into, teams have had uniforms lost or stolen, forcing them to wear their opponents’ contrasting jerseys (or unis), so the bad color vs. color matchup isn’t unprecedented. In fact, one of the more epic uns snafus occured way back in 1964, when the Minnesota Vikings played the Detroit Lions. The Vikings had introduced purple pants that season, and wanted to show them off for their home fans. So they wore white over purple vs. the Lions. The Lions, however, brought only their white jerseys (expecting the Vikings to be in purple jerseys). The two teams played a quarter of football in white vs. white jerseys, before the Vikings switched to their purple jerseys at the end of the first 15 minutes. This also resulted in the first mono-purple game for the Vikes, even though it wasn’t intentional.

The Thunder ended up winning the game, which is also likely an NBA first: the first team to win a game wearing two different uniforms in the same game.


Uni Concepts & Tweaks

Time for more Uni Tweaks from the UW readership.

I hope you guys like this feature and will want to continue to submit your concepts and tweaks to me. If you do, Shoot me an E-mail (Phil (dot) Hecken (at) gmail (dot) com).

• • •

Today’s concept come from Chad Buley, who, in what I believe is a Uni Watch tweaks/concepts first, included a video presentation of his concepts along with the concepts themselves. We’ll start with the video, and then his redesigns/rebranding for the Washington Football Team.

Hey Phil!

Here’s a Washington Football Team rebrand I’ve been working on. The logo & shoulder stripes are based on the Tuskegee Airmen’s 99th Fighter Squadron patch, and the number font comes from WWII fuselage codes.

Thank you for your time!

Best,
Chad B.

And here are Chad’s concepts:

• • •

Thanks Chad!

OK readers (and concepters). If you have some tweaks or concepts, shoot ’em my way with a brief description of your creation and I’ll run ’em here.

Guess The Game…

from the scoreboard

Today’s scoreboard comes from Nick East.

The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).

Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):

Please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.

Podcast reminder: Paul here. In case you missed it, for this week’s episode of Unified, the recent scenario in which the Mets’ starting rotation could have featured both a No. 0 and a No. 00, which I wrote about on Monday, led us to explore various situations featuring zero and double-zero (including, as shown above, such famously zero-clad players as Benito Santiago, Jim Otto, and John Davidson). It was a really fun discussion, in part because Chris isn’t usually that into uniform numbers, but he still ended up having a lot to say!

We also talked about the Jags’ new emphasis on teal, the news that the Washington Football Team’s placeholder identity will be extended for another year, the ЯR uniforms that we think deserve to be upgraded to full-time status, and more.

You can listen to this episode, and subscribe to future ones, on Apple, Google, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Spotify, or just use the player below:

The show notes from this episode, which include photos of most of the things we discussed, are here. Those photos also appear in the video version of this episode, which you can watch here:

Enjoy the episode, and thanks for all the enthusiasm and positive feedback on this project.

Also of note: Today is longtime Uni Watch pal/ally Todd Radom’s birthday. Enjoy your special day, buddy!

The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: The Giants wore two different versions of their black alternate jersey in 1981 — one with vertically arched NOBs and one with radially arched NOBs. The ones with radially-arched NOBs are mesh created by a local company (from @jessir717). … Mets 1B Pete Alonso wants the black jerseys to return, and wants to turn it into a routine Friday promotion (from @ColHapablap). … Dodgers P Trevor Bauer wore the team’s Spring Training cap in his official headshot (from Josh Claywell). … New jersey for Georgia Tech (from Timmy Donahue). … New jerseys for Oklahoma State (from Sam Kissel). … The Blue Jays posted a video about their new player development facility in Dunedin, Fl. (from Andreas Papadopoulos). … Thursday night’s Oregon State/Grand Canyon matchup featured a pitcher wearing stirrups facing a batter wearing stirrups. The kids are alright! (from Eric Fisk). … This great footage of Michael Jordan in the Arizona Fall League unfortunately features two uni ads on Jordan’s jersey (from Eric S.)

Hockey News: The Sabres wore their ЯR unis at home against the Devils on Thursday night, which means they went white at home (from Daniel Estabrooks). … The Golden Knights wore their regular black helmets on Thursday night, shifting away from the metallic gold helmets they wore with their black jerseys a few times earlier this season. Their AHL affiliates, the Henderson Silver Knights, are still wearing their metallic lids (from Thomas Juettner). … The Maple Leafs have a giant Ford logo at center ice of their practice arena (from Moe Khan).

NBA News: New Nets PF Tyler Cook will wear No. 2 (from Etienne Catalan). … Also from Etienne: New Kings C Norvel Pelle will wear No. 31.
.

Soccer News: Newport County AFC is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the European Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-final against FC Carl Zeiss Jena with a reissue of the kit from that match (from Ed Żelaski). … Also from Ed: Last night’s 2. Bundesliga match between SSV Jahn Regensburg and SC Paderborn featured Paderborn keeper Leopold Zingerle in a new bright yellow keeper’s kit based on the template of their 2014 home kit. … Minnesota United posted some teaser images of a new kit yesterday (from Tim Nieman).

Grab Bag: A study has found that women in the military pay twice as much for uniforms as men (from Timmy Donahue).

And finally… that’s all for today, folks. Big Happy Birthday shout out to the one and only Todd Radom. Enjoy another trip around the sun, buddy!

Everyone have a good Saturday, and I’ll catch you guys back here again tomorrow.

Peace,

PH

Long-Lost Gas Giveaway Provides Blast from Cubbies’ Past

For all images, click to enlarge

Check out this illustration showing various Cubs players who won the National League MVP Award. A great composition, and so many great uniforms!

That wonderful illo appeared on an 8.5″ x 11″ print that was given away in the mid-1980s by Chicago-area Unocal 76 gas stations. There was lots of descriptive text on the back — along with, I’m happy to see, a little “About the Artist” section for the illustrator, Konrad Hack:

That is one of 15 prints that Uni Watch reader Darren Rusakiewicz recently came across. I’d never seen them until Darren recently sent scans of them to me. “My grandpa collected them in the 1980s,” he says. “They must’ve been a giveaway with a tank of gas or something like that. I can’t remember.” The running theme in most of the prints is the Cubs’ division-winning 1984 season in general and Ryne Sandberg in particular, so the prints were presumably given away in 1985.

Four separate artists, all from and/or based in Chicago, are credited on Darren’s 15 prints. Konrad Hack — the guy who did the MVPs illo — is my favorite. Here are the other three that he did:

Hack is now about 75 years old and is still active as an artist. I found this listing for a showing of his work from just a few months ago.

Darren’s collection also includes three prints by an artist named Lawrence Salk, and I like his stuff almost as much as Hack’s. Here are Salk’s three illos:

Such gorgeous stuff! Unfortunately, Salk died in 2004. (Fun fact: Among tons of other work, he did the portrait of Kramer that figures prominently in an episode of Seinfeld.)

There are also four prints by a guy named Tom Sulek. Solid work, although I found his style a bit grainier than I prefer:

According to Sulek’s LinkedIn page, he got out of the freelance illustration game in 1991 (and also worked for six years for the White Sox!).

Finally, there are four prints by Todd Doney. His style was much more stylized and less photo-realistic than the other guys’ and, honestly, not as much to my taste. Very nice compositions, though:

Doney has had a long art/illustration career and is apparently still going strong.

I poked around online to see if this series included any other prints that weren’t part of Darren’s collection. I found this Fergie Jenkins print, which looks like it was done by Salk. (Darren, if you’re reading this, you should buy that one to complete the collection!)

You can see all of Darren’s prints, including the text on the back, here. Please join me in thanking him for sharing this great artwork with us!

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• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

More NBA leaks: The latest NBA Participation Trophy Earned designs to leak are for the 76ers and the Nets.

The Nets entry, like most of the Earned uniforms, is useless merch-dump slop. But I really like the Sixers design — a lot! I do kinda wish that the numerals either fit entirely within the Liberty Bell or, better yet, that the bell could be smaller and allow the numbers to overflow the bell’s bounds a bit more, but it’s still pretty good. How often do you see an NBA jersey without the team’s name, city, or logo on the front? Nicely done!

• • • • •

• • • • •

Podcast reminder: In case you missed it yesterday: For this week’s episode of Unified, the recent scenario in which the Mets’ starting rotation could have featured both a No. 0 and a No. 00, which I wrote about on Monday, led us to explore various situations featuring zero and double-zero (including, as shown above, such famously zero-clad players as Benito Santiago, Jim Otto, and John Davidson). It was a really fun discussion, in part because Chris isn’t usually that into uniform numbers, but he still ended up having a lot to say!

We also talked about the Jags’ new emphasis on teal, the news that the Washington Football Team’s placeholder identity will be extended for another year, the ЯR uniforms that we think deserve to be upgraded to full-time status, and more.

You can listen to this episode, and subscribe to future ones, on Apple, Google, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Spotify, or just use the player below:

The show notes from this episode, which include photos of most of the things we discussed, are here. Those photos also appear in the video version of this episode, which you can watch here:

Enjoy the episode, and thanks for all the enthusiasm and positive feedback on this project.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Speaking of double-zero: After checking out this week’s podcast episode about “heroes of zero,” reader/listener Marty Stevenson checked in with this anecdote I’d never heard before:

In 1977, outfielder Paul Dade wore No. 00 for the Cleveland Indians. On second base late in a close game, he took off to steal third (he made it).

After the game, which the Cleveland won, manager Frank Robinson was quoted as saying, “I don’t know why he wears that number, but when he took off, I thought, ‘Oh-oh.'”

Hmmmm. That’s a great story — if it’s true! Sounds potentially apocryphal, but I haven’t had time to fully research it yet. Made me smile, though!

Update: The story is indeed true, at least according to an item at the bottom of this 1977 Sports Illustrated page (which was located by reader/commenter James Gilbert — thanks!).

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Photo by Matt Jones, The Daily Independent; cick to enlarge

Too good for the Ticker: I love green and yellow, and I also love stripes. But the boys’ basketball uniforms worn by Rowan County High School in Kentucky might be too much, even for me. Yowza!

Also uni-notable: The opposing team in that game — Paul G. Blazer High — was wearing TNOB:

You can see more photos from this game here.

Regarding that “Tomcats” team name: A tomcat is, by definition, male, so I wondered what the school’s girls’ teams are called. According to Wikipedia, they go with “Kittens,” which is some serious sexist bullshit — the boys get an adult name while the girls get a diminutive/infantilizing name. That should be changed.

(Big thanks to Ray Schaefer for this one.)

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Click to enlarge

So what? Sew buttons! I recently scored this great vintage cardigan. Loved everything about it but the buttons, which were molded plastic designed to simulate leather buttons (not ideal, but I could live with it) and a pale yellow/tan color that didn’t offer much contrast from the background fabric (a much bigger issue, at least for me). So I got some brown leather buttons, which I figured would match the vertical stripes, and swapped them in.

The photo above shows three of the five original buttons replaced with the new ones. (After taking the photos, I finished the job.) The new ones look so much better! Here’s another shot:

My sewing skills are very rudimentary, but it always feels good to work with my hands like this, even for something as simple as a few buttons.

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The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: New Mets SS Francisco Lindor wore Eddie Murphy’s jacket from Coming 2 America to Spring Training (from Mike Chamernik). … Also from Mike: Once upon a time, Earl Weaver grabbed his pitcher’s glove to prove a point to an obstinate umpire who had called the pitcher for a balk. … Here’s a look at Florida State’s many uniforms for this season (from multiple readers).

College Football News: Michigan and Northwestern have created a new rivalry trophy named after George Jewett, the first Black football player at both universities (from Mike Chamernik and Timmy Donahue).

Hockey News: The Caps wore Black History Month pregame sweaters last night, complete with a clever anti-racism shoulder patch. More looks here (from our own Jamie Rathjen and Brandon Weir). … Also from Brandon: here’s a video of Michigan State goalies discussing their masks. … Looks like Bruins D Urho Vaakanainen’s name is just short enough to allow him to have regular-sized letters on his nameplate (from @artofscorebug).

NBA News: Sportswriter Jeremy Schaap has some interesting thoughts on Nets PG Kyrie Irving wanting to change the NBA logo to honor Kobe Bryant instead of Jerry West. Irving also gave some additional thoughts about it (from @boss_hogge). … A Grizzlies blog has ranked the team’s top five uniforms. … The Mavs have worn five different uniforms in their past five games.

College/High School Hoops News: UNC wore Carolina Blue at home, creating a blue-vs-blue matchup against Georgia Tech (from James Gilbert).

Soccer News: New dark kit for FC Cincinnati (from multiple readers). … Toronto FC ST Jozy Altidore accidentally leaked the team’s new home kits in a hastily-deleted Instagram story. … It appears Rangers covered up their back ad with a piece of blue tape during their Europa League match against Antwerp. UEFA prohibits more than one ad on a kit during continental play (thanks, Jamie). … New shirts and outfitter for Belarusian club FC Vitebsk. “The shirts keep the El Lissitzky influences from last year’s Cup shirt,” says Ed Zelaski.

Grab Bag: The bib for pro golfer Rory McIlroy’s caddy misspelled McIlroy’s name (from @markinvictoria). … Temple University is retiring all of their owl-based logos (from multiple readers). … An Australian study has indicated that uncomfortable and inappropriate uniforms are turning some girls off from sports. … If you looked at a computer any time between like 2003 and 2013, you probably saw the iconic Windows XP default desktop. Here’s the fascinating story behind the photo, and the man who took it. … Cycling New Zealand has rejected a jersey design based on the country’s All-Blacks rugby jersey (from Gareth Hooton). … Third-tier Engligh rugby league team Keighley Cougars have become the first professional sports team to wear the LGBTQ+ Progress Flag on their kit (from Philip Brown). … New senior academy logos for the rugby union team Toronto Arrows RFC. … Graphic designer Rajie Cook, who designed the now-ubiquitous pictographs that appear all over airports, parks, and other public spaces, has died (from Jerry Kulig).

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That’s a wrap for this week. Stay safe, enjoy Phil’s weekend content, check out the podcast if you haven’t done so already, and I’ll see you back here on Monday.

Yanks Do Really Simple Thing They’ve Never Done Before

2021 continues to be a banner year for MLB memorial patches, as a social media photo of pitcher Gerrit Cole revealed the team’s new “16” memorial for Whitey Ford.

As you may recall, Ford died on Oct. 8. The Yanks added a “16” sleeve memorial for him the following day and then were promptly eliminated from the playoffs by the Rays that night, so they only got to wear the “16” for one game. I predicted at the time that the memorial would almost certainly carry over to this season (there’s precedent for that, as they added an “8” for Yogi Berra during the last week of the 2015 season and carried it over for all of 2016), so it’s no surprise that they’ve chosen to do that.

What is surprising, however, is the design of the patch. The Yankees’ usual protocol is that players whose numbers have been retired are memorialized with their uniform number (rendered in black numerals, with no circle), while mere mortals get a black armband. Ford’s number has been retired, so they gave him the standard numerical treatment last October for that one-game memorial (which shared space with the “HGS” patch they were already wearing for Hank Steinbrenner):

I assumed they’d repeat that same treatment this season. But instead, they’re going with the black circle with the white “16.” That would be a fairly standard and unremarkable memorial design for any other team, but it’s an interesting deviation from the Yanks’ usual protocol. In fact, according to Bill Henderson’s jersey guide, this appears to be the first time the Yanks have ever used the black circle/number format. Who says they’re stuck in their ways? They’re branching out, getting all wild and crazy on us!

Meanwhile, does anyone else think the new patch is sitting too low on Cole’s sleeve? Personally, I’d like to see a bit more clearance between the patch and the sleeve cuff.

(My thanks to @sumohuggs for spotting the Cole photo.)

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ITEM! New podcast episode: For this week’s episode of Unified, the recent scenario in which the Mets’ starting rotation could have featured both a No. 0 and a No. 00, which I wrote about on Monday, led us to explore various situations featuring zero and double-zero (including, as shown above, such famously zero-clad players as Benito Santiago, Jim Otto, and John Davidson). It was a really fun discussion, in part because Chris isn’t usually that into uniform numbers, but he still ended up having a lot to say!

We also talked about the Jags’ new emphasis on teal, the news that the Washington Football Team’s placeholder identity will be extended for another year, the ЯR uniforms that we think deserve to be upgraded to full-time status, and more.

You can listen to this episode, and subscribe to future ones, on Apple, Google, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Spotify, or just use the player below:

The show notes from this episode, which include photos of most of the things we discussed, are here. Those photos also appear in the video version of this episode, which you can watch here:

Enjoy the episode, and thanks for all the enthusiasm and positive feedback on this project.

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Click to enlarge

Put a cork in it: I recently received a note from reader Jared Adkins, as follows:

I’m toying with the idea of upgrading my Uni Watch Pin Club display. I was thinking of seeing if an artist on Etsy (I haven’t sought anyone out in particular, this is early territory for this project) would make a cork board in the shape of the Uni Watch logo.

Before I did that though, I wanted to see if that was okay with you — and if so, if you had any artists you’d prefer me to get in touch with for said project.

Obviously, I was more than okay with it. And I knew just the man for the job: Kevin Cearfoss, whose 3D wood logos have been featured on Uni Watch a few times. I didn’t know how cork-savvy he was, but I figured it was worth a shot, so I suggested that Jared get in touch with him. “And tell him I sent you!,” I added. (I always love being able to say that.)

Kevin had never worked before with cork, but he was game for the challenge. He even produced two different designs for Jared to choose from — a flat version and a 3D version:

It was a tough call! Personally, I think I would’ve gone with flat, but Jared chose 3D. Here’s how it looks with his pin collection (click to enlarge):

It’s great that Jared has a cool new display for his pins, but it’s even better that two members of the Uni Watch comm-uni-ty have connected on this project — I love that! Thanks for all the enthusiasm and support, guys.

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The Ticker
By Paul

’Skins Watch: Nike has apparently stopped using the team name “Indians” on its website (from @spiders_six). … Unfortunately, however, that isn’t stopping other parties from selling a remarkably tone-deaf Indians shirt (from Shannon Shark). … In a related item, The Athletic is holding a bracket competition for a new name for the Indians (from Kary Klismet). … The 25 Colorado high schools that still use Native-based iconography would have to make changes by June of next year or face a $25,000 monthly fine under a bill that’s been introduced in the state legislature (from Glenn Chavez). … The state of Wisconsin may provide funding to help schools finance the change from Native American team names (from Ray Barrington). … Also from Ray: Weyauwega-Fremont High School in Wisconsin has changed its team name from “Indians” to “Warhawks.” … D3 Carthage College’s teams will now be called the Firebirds, instead of the Red Men and Lady Reds (from @shwrth and Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: The Port Clinton (Ohio) school board is refusing to act on a petition signed by over 3,000 students and alumni calling for the high school to drop its “Redmen” team name. … One more from Kary: The chief of the Cherokee Nation has asked car maker Jeep to discontinue its use of the name “Cherokee” for its line of SUVs. … Saugatuck Public Schools in Michigan are changing their team name from “Indians” to “Trailblazers.” “Another win for sensible mascots,” says John Chapman. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: The school district in Marion, Iowa, has changed the local team name from “Indians” to “Mavericks” (from the pseudonymous Another JT). … The board of William S. Hart High School in California, which has been soliciting community input on whether to change the school’s team name from “Indians,” recently heard from a local Indian tribal president who said the team’s current mascot “gives an inaccurate representation of local Native American culture and tradition” (from Tim Dunn). … A California driver was pulling the old trick of using a mannequin in the passenger seat so he could drive in the car pool lane. Interestingly, the mannequin was wearing a Chief Wahoo cap (from Dante Centuori).

Baseball News: The Royals and Tigers will wear Negro Leagues throwbacks on May 23. Let’s hope the jerseys don’t have the maker’s marks shown in those mock-ups (from Ryan Atkinson). … Check out this old photo of Forbes Field. Look at that sort of heart-shaped infield cutout behind second base — don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like that before (from BSmile and Joe Bonavita). … The latest team to join the Atlantic League is the West Virginia Power. Additional info here. … Number switcheroo for the Dodgers, as P Tony Gonsolin has given up No. 46 so newly acquired teammate Corey Knebel can wear it. Gonsolin will now wear No. 26. … A fan in Cleveland has digitally recreated League Park, where the Indians played up through 1946 (from Jonthan Dies). … Former Yankees P Masahiro Tanaka is now with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan. Here’s how he looks in their uniform. … Mets SS Francisco Lindor showed up at spring training with blue hair (from Ryan Mallon). … Speaking of Lindor, he’s also one of several Mets who’ve been wearing mesh-backed caps this week. Others include P Jacob deGrom and P David Peterson (thanks to all who shared). … Here’s the story behind the Phillie Phanatic bat that Phils OF Bryce Harper has been seen with lately (from Michael Hochman). … Louisville has worn four different uniforms in their first four games of the season, and they have another one coming on Saturday (from M. Brinston Barry). … New mono-black uniforms for D3 Pacific Lutheran. As you might imagine, that “PLU” abbreviation speaks to me a bit! … Fun article about an Ontario couple that has every Blue Jays bobblehead ever issued (from Andreas Papadopoulos).

Football News: Here’s a good post about how you can trace evolution of football shoes through old sporting goods catalogs. … UCF now has a series of icons and logos that coordinate to specific players and coaches (from ,@TdashTill).

Hockey News: The Athletic has a paywalled article about two guys who are trying to bring the Air Jordan aesthetic to hockey skates (from Mike Chamernik). … Former Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau’s new USPHL junior hockey team will be called the Hershey Cubs. If that logo looks familiar, it’s because it’s a riff on the old Minnesota Fighting Saints logo (from Ted Taylor). … The AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights have a town crier who announces goals (from Mike Chamernik). … You don’t often see overhead photos of NHL games, but there are some really good-looking ones here and here (from Andreas Papadopoulos). … The Capitals have worn four different uniforms in the space of a week (from @1995hoo).

NBA News: The latest NBA Earned leak is for the Heat. … Nets PG Kyrie Irving thinks the NBA logo should be redesigned to be based on Kobe Bryant instead of Jerry West (thanks to all who shared).

College and High School Hoops News: Purple alternates last night for Clemson (from Scott Trembly). … Indiana F Race Thompson wore a clear facemask last night after possibly breaking his nose in Tuesday’s practice

Soccer News: New “community kit” for the LA Galaxy (from Jakob Fox). … The Museum of Jerseys site has a new post on Scotland’s tartan-patterned or -accented shirts (thanks, Jamie). … Atlanta United FC’s new kit will apparently be unveiled tomorrow (from @asa_m_d). … New match ball for the Georgian top tier Erovnuli Liga (from Ed Zelaski). … The new USWNT shirt may have leaked.

Grab Bag: Organizers of a beach volleyball tournament in Qatar will allow players to wear bikinis after all. Two German players had planned to boycott the event due to a ban on bikinis. … McDonald’s has a new ad campaign featuring a modified verison of its famous golden arches. … New logo for bicycle tire brand Panaracer. … The new Batman Unburied podcast now has its own logo. … New logo for the Indiana city of West Lafayette. … Over 160 Confederate symbols were removed from public spaces in 2020 (NYT link) — more than in the previous four years combined. … Some new uniform items from the U.S. Army: new gloves, and also new nursing and maternity shirts for female soldiers (from Timmy Donahue). … New helmets tomorrow night for Maryland lacrosse (from Wes Brown). … Oh for fuck’s sake: A Virginia Senate budget amendment would block the D.C. region’s Metro system from receiving at least $166 million in state funding unless it renames a rail station after a bank. Seriously gross (from @VictoryCB). … With Valparaiso University no longer calling its teams the Crusaders, here are five possible replacement names (from @R_LMN). … New IndyCar livery for Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 car (from Tim Dunn). … Reprinted from last night’s comments: Here’s a complete rundown of AFLW Indigenous Round guernseys (from Graham Clayton). … Yesterday’s Ticker mentioned that the National Lacrosse League’s New England Black Wolves were relocating to Albany, N.Y. Now the franchise is holding a contest to rename the team (from Wade Heidt). … Unusual and interesting design for some new U.S. Postal Service trucks (from R. Scott Rogers). … New line of tennis attire for Roger Federer (thanks, Brinke). … The U.S. presidential seal usually includes the words “Seal of the President of the United States.” But during a recent appearance by President Biden, his lectern had the image from the center of the seal but didn’t have the wording (good spot by Devin Driscoll). … Here’s one writer’s take on why Red Bull Racing’s F1 livery doesn’t need changing (from Ephraim Vorzman).

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