Another Year Around the Sun

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Today is my birthday. March 21st, 3-2-1. I’ve always loved how that bookends my father’s birthday of January 23rd, 1-2-3.

Speaking of my father, and with apologies to those who’ve already heard this story, here’s my annual birthday tale: Forty-six years ago today, when I turned nine years old, my outdoor birthday party was rained out and I was pretty inconsolable. My father, thinking quickly said, “Oh, don’t you know? Rain on your birthday is a sign of good luck in the year to come!” — a very sweet lie that he made up on the spot. He was really good at saying Just the Right Thing at moments like that.

Ever since then, with one exception (2008), no matter where I’ve been on my birthday, it has rained. Or snowed (which it did last year). And one time it hailed (which was actually quite exciting, because I figured it meant extra-good luck). And sure enough, you can see what sort of weather we’re due to have here in New York today. I couldn’t be happier.

Despite the nasty weather, I’ll be out and about today. The Tugboat Captain is taking me to this amazing-looking exhibit at the Guggenheim, and then if there’s time we’ll also check out this exhibit at the Museum of Sex. Later on we’ll meet our friend Carrie for drinks, and then we’ll meet up with about a dozen pals for a celebratory feast at an Asian seafood restaurant. (One thing about having shitty weather on your birthday is that you really appreciate how great your friends are when they trudge through the crummy conditions to celebrate with you.)

As for how old I’m turning, if you look closely at today’s entry you might be able to figure it out. Most people say I look much younger than my age. As I always tell them, it helps to be very immature. (It helps even more, I’m pretty sure, to work at home and not have any kids.) More importantly, I feel younger than my age. Happily, there’s a good jersey photo for that as well:

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It happens every year: It’s a pretty well-established annual tradition for the MLB All-Star Game BP jerseys to leak via a video game right around this time of year. And sure enough, that appears to be the case this year as well.

If anyone can provide larger/high-res images, please do.

(My thanks to Jesse, who didn’t give his last name, for these.)

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A bit much (literally): Archbishop McNicholas High in Cincinnati proudly tweeted their 2019 uniform combos yesterday. Jeez, ya think they have enough options? I’m a fan of the color combo, obviously, and even more so of the striped stirrups, but come on. Plus they appear to have poached Toledo’s logo, which is not cool.

McNicholas is a private school, so there are no school tax issues here. Still, it seems a bit absurd for a high school team to have six different jerseys, no? Jeez.

Just to be clear, I’m not criticizing the kids. But ya have to wonder about some of the adults.

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ITEM! Sock update: Look what we have here — a big carton full of Uni Watch socks! They arrived yesterday from Rock ’Em Socks (a week earlier than promised, which is pretty amazing) and I’ve begun bagging and shipping them for people who already pre-ordered.

In case you’ve forgotten, here’s a better view of how they look (click to enlarge):

I love that they’re hosiery with a depiction of hosiery. Very meta!

If you want a pair, the price is $13.99 plus $3 shipping, so the total is $16.99.

If you want two pairs, the shipping is $4, for a total of $31.98.

If you want more than two pairs, get in touch and I’ll quote you a price.

Here’s how to order:

1. Send the appropriate payment to me. I accept Venmo (use @Paul-Lukas-2 as the payee), Zelle (use plukas64@gmail.com; if you’re not familiar with Zelle, your bank’s website probably offers it under “Payments” and/or “Transfers”), and the Cash App (plukas64@gmail.com).

Sorry, no PayPal (a long, annoying story). If you prefer to send a paper check, get in touch and I’ll tell you where to send it.

2. After sending payment, please email me with your shipping address.

Kudos to Harrison Hall and Brad Stafford at Rock ’Em Socks for making this happen, and my thanks to everyone, as always, for considering our products.

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ITEM! T-shirt update: As promised, we now have a white version of the diagonal-lettered shirt, in addition to the two green ones I showed yesterday (click to enlarge):

Here’s where you can order the white shirt, as well as the green on with gold letters and the green one with white letters.

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rafflet ticket by ben thoma.jpg

LAST CALL for this week’s raffle: Today is the final day to enter the Homefield Apparel raffle. Two lucky Uni Watch readers will each get to choose any item from Homefield’s site.

To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 7pm Eastern tonight. Actually, I’ll be out doing birthday stuff then, so you can enter until I get home, which will probably be pretty late-ish. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winners tomorrow, assuming I’m not too wrecked from tonight’s festivities.

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Auction results: The winner of the one-of-a-kind Chisox-inspired jersey made by Wafflebored is reader Jim Kohler, who bid $150 (for which he’ll also get a handy pair of Uni Watch-colored scissors, in case he wants to go all Chris Sale on the jersey, although we’re hoping that never happens).

Wafflebored and I will split the revenue evenly. I’m grateful to him for sharing his DIY gift with Uni Watch as a way of supporting the site, and I’m also grateful to everyone who bid. Thank you!

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The Ticker
By Paul

’Skins Watch: While any mention or use of blackface is sure to spark outrage, Native Americans have found that the fight against redface is a tougher fight (from Jason Hillyer). … Although Chief Wahoo has been retired, the Indians are still expecting protests from Native American activists on Opening Day.

Baseball News: Cue the John Olerud references: Anderson University apparently has a first baseman who wears a helmet in the field (from Jake Tilley). … BeeYOOteeful stirrups yesterday for Mariners P Matt Festa. … Here’s a rare sight: Joe DiMaggio wearing No. 18 for a spring training game in 1936. “He would wear No. 9 during the ’36 regular season before switching to No. 5 the following year,” says Bruce Menard. “As far as I can tell, nobody has ever mentioned him wearing 18 before, so it might be kind of a historical uni find.” … Some Hispanics in Michigan feel that the Lansing Lugnuts’ planned Spanish-language makeover as the Lansing Locos is disrespectful. … Everything Is Alive is a podcast in which inanimate objects are interviewed. The latest episode is an interview with a Montreal Expos cap. About four minutes in, he even refers to his squatchee! (From Dan Cichalksi and Bob Whitmore.) … Here’s some great 1950s footage of the Toronto Maple Leafs — a minor league ballclub, not the hockey team (from Charlie Kranz). … I still call it Everett Memorial Stadium (from John Przebieglec). … Whoa, check out this infographic showing the uni combo worn for every game by the 1979 Pirates (from Steve Vanderpool).

NFL News: Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has signed an endorsement deal with Oakley, so the company set him up with this Oakley helmet (from @FIDLAR817). … Former Washington RB Clinton Portis doesn’t want newly acquired DB Landon Collins to wear the late Sean Taylor’s number. … The photos aren’t great, but here are some Eagles golf carts. … FNOB alert! That’s Jerry Moore of the 1971 Bears, who also had Joe Moore on the roster. Pretty sure I hadn’t seen that one until Bill Kellick sent it in last night.

College Football News: Reader Clint Richardson’s decade-by-decade look at Auburn uniform history has now reached the 2000s. … Jason Hillyer found an old book about Big 10 football with an endearingly simple cover design featuring football helmet icons. Only ten teams in the Big Ten — what a concept.

Hockey News: The logo for next season’s Winter Classic has been unveiled. … The Blackhawks are getting a new scoreboard (from Griffin Smith). … Roughly two-thirds of NHL players would like to wear nickNOBs for a game or two. That’s from this poll (from @CB36044187). … The Blues had seven goals from four different players two nights ago, and they all had a 7 in their uni number (from Marty Hick).

NBA News: Sixers G/F Ben Simmons wrote “Egg Boy” on his sneakers two nights ago as a shout-out to the Aussie kid who egged a government legislator in the wake of the New Zealand terror attack (from Mike Chamernik). … Someone at ESPN apparently can’t tell the Sixers from the Pistons. … With Heat G Dwyane Wade on his farewell tour, the Spurs gave him Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili jerseys last night. … Christian Wood will wear No. 35 for the Pelicans. … The Thunder retired Nick Collison’s No. 4 last night. “He is OKC’s first retired number, but the franchise still has six retired numbers from the Sonics days,” notes Mike Chamernik. “But they haven’t added any numbers since the move in 2008, so the franchise’s most memorable player, Gary Payton, has yet to have his number retired.”

College Hoops News: The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is doing its annual March Madness-style beer bracket, complete with basketball jersey-themed graphics (from Jon Obermoller). … Abilene Christian coach Joe Golding will be coaching today’s game against Kentucky with a split pair of pants. … Both of last night’s NCAA play-in games — North Dakota State vs. NC Central and Arizona State vs. St. John’s — were color vs. color (from John Bedell). .. .Speaking of NDSU, their coach coached in a T-shirt to support an pediatric cancer patient (from Vince Guardado).

Soccer News: Inaugural uniforms for the Lansing Ignite. … England’s Women’s Super League now has a naming-rights advertiser for next season (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Also from Jamie: “In Scotland, Aberdeen right-back Shay Logan had his bachelor party (‘stag do,’ as it’s called) and was forced to dress up, in full kit, as Celtic midfielder Scott Brown. Logan has had several on-field clashes with Celtic players, including Brown.” … New kits for Albania (from Ed Zelaski).

Grab Bag: Baylor is planning a uni-related event on April 13. … New logo and league name for former Senior B Lacrosse in Ontario (from Michael Sullivan). … Speaking of lacrosse, here’s another case of a teen who can’t play because his head is too big for any of the available helmets. … New Yorkers can vote on the logo for the city’s privately owned public spaces. … New logo for music streaming service Pandora. … Police uniforms in Leechburg, Pa., are getting new patches. … A New Zealand girls’ school has banned students from wearing hijabs — a stunner considering recent events in that country. … Gucci has launched a sneaker that’s designed to look dirty right out of the box and costs only $870 (blame Jason Hillyer). … The New Mexico Public Education Dept. is running a design contest for its new logo. … New uniforms for the Japanese women’s table tennis team (from Jeremy Brahm). … Also from Jeremy: Honda F1 team staff (not the Red Bull team) will wear ASICS gear for the next two years. … Here’s what some of the elite male and female runners will be wearing in next month’s Boston Marathon (from Skott Daltonic).

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Bonus birthday shout-out to reader Tyler Evans, who was born on this date in 1982, and to anyone else who’s celebrating today. 3-2-1!

A’s, Mariners Open 2019 MLB Season in Japan

At this very moment, the A’s and Mariners are playing their season-opening game in Tokyo (I woke up and started writing this in the top of the fifth, and pressed the “Publish” button in the top of the eighth). As we knew would be the case, both teams are wearing advertising sleeve patches — MGM Resorts for the A’s and the Japanese petroleum firm Eneos for the Mariners. As we’ve previously discussed, this is not a new thing — MLB teams have always worn uni ads when playing season-opening games in Japan, going back to 2000.

But in all of those previous instances, the teams wore ads on their batting helmets in addition to their jersey. There are no helmet ads this time around, so this is actually a rare case of ad reverse-creep, at least relative to previous MLB games in Japan.

Also: As far as I can tell, the Mariners haven’t made any announcement or even tweeted anything about their Eneos ad, which is refreshing, if somewhat surprising.

Speaking of which: It turns out that one Mariner has a longstanding connection to Eneos. Ichiro has been appearing in Eneos commercials for years. Here he is in a 2011 spot:

Other notes from the season-opening game:

• Mariners pitcher Marco Gonzales, who wore No. 32 last season, made his single-digit debut:

• Several A’s players wore gold belts, instead of the usual green:

• Speaing of belts, A’s left fielder Chad Pinder broke his while diving for a ball. The buckle came off, leaving him with a belt that was both unfastenable and unfashionable. So he tucked one end into his pants and left the other end hanging there — ugh:

• Last week A’s equipment manager Steve Vucinich told me that despite MLB’s new footwear rules, which allow players to wear any combination of white, black, grey, and team colors, ““We will still wear white 98% of the time. No green shoes, but some have a heavy green presence.” Sure enough, everyone wore white for the game, but I spotted three coaches — Mark Kotsay, Mike Aldrete, and Scott Emerson — wearing solid-green in the front row of this pregame team portrait (click to enlarge):

Maybe green shoes will become the new version of the white caps that A’s coaches used to wear!

• Although the A’s wore white, their costumed mascot wore green:

• Not sure I’ve ever seen this before: The ceremonial first pitch featured a batter — and it was Rickey Henderson (I haven’t seen video, so I don’t know whether he hit the ball or not):

• I couldn’t find a photo or screen shot, but the batboys and ballboys appeared to be wearing uniforms of Japanese teams, not Seattle or Oakland uniforms.

The A’s and Mariners will play in Tokyo again tomorrow, and the remaining 28 MLB teams will open their seasons next Thursday, March 28. I’ll have my annual Uni Watch MLB Season Preview on SI.com next Tuesday, March 26.

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Patchwork: We got our first look at two new MLB memorial patches yesterday. First, the Indians announced that they’ll wear a Frank Robinson “20” patch for their home opener on April 1. This patch, unlike the similar Robinson patches being worn this year by the Reds and Orioles, will only be worn for one game, not for the full season.

In addition, the Dodgers shared their Don Newcombe patch with me. They had announced a few weeks ago that they’d be wearing a patch, but they hadn’t revealed the design until now. This one will be worn all season long.

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ITEM! New Uni Watch T-shirts: Remember the Wafflebored-made hockey jersey that we recently auctioned off, which in turn was based on an illustration of a hockey player wearing a Uni Watch jersey, which we featured on a T-shirt in 2016? After we auctioned off the Wafflebored jersey, a few people asked for a T-shirt with just the diagonal lettering. Say no more (click to enlarge):

We also did it with the lettering colors reversed — white over gold instead of the other way around (I like both versions and couldn’t decide which one to go with, so I decided to do both!):

Here’s where you can order the gold-lettered and white-lettered versions.

We’ll also have white versions, like the Wafflebored jersey. Should have those sometime today.

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rafflet ticket by ben thoma.jpg

Raffle reminder: In case you missed it on Monday, we have a new raffle from Homefield Apparel, which specializes in T-shirts and hoodies from smaller schools– mid-majors, DII, even DIII. Two lucky Uni Watch readers will each get to choose any item from Homefield’s site.

To enter, send an email to the raffle address by tomorrow, March 21, 7pm Eastern. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winners on Friday.

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The Ticker
By Yianni Varonis

Baseball News: In an effort to curtail sign stealing, MLB is experimenting with watches that pitchers and catchers can use to communicate with each other. … Here are the team-branded socks that Stance is advertising as on-field products. It’s yet to be determined, however, if some of the more unique designs will, in fact, be worn on the field (from Charles Noerenberg). … Check out this Dodgers-Angels Franken-jacket that was spotted in Tokyo (from multiple readers). … The video game “Rocket League” has partnered with MLB to allow gamers to adorn their cars with the logos and colors of their favorite baseball team. … Iowa once again went solid-black yesterday (from Jay Wright).

Football News: This is awesome: A New England man carved the Patriots logo into a woodpile (from multiple readers). … Have the Cowboys’ draft caps leaked? (From Oswaldo Quinones.) … According to one fan poll, Auburn has the best home uniforms in the SEC, while Arkansas has the worst. … Oklahoma is marketing its spring game with an homage to Animal House (from Jordan Sogn).

Hockey News: We’ve previously noted that the Canadian women’s curling team has new uniforms for the world championships. Reader Jean-Philippe Laroche noticed that the new uniform the team is wearing is strikingly similar to the one worn by the nation’s junior hockey team a decade ago.

Basketball News: Newly signed F/C Deyonta Davis will wear No. 4 with the Hawks (from Etienne Catalan). … The D League’s Salt Lake City Stars wore uniforms that honored first responders last night (from Josher Walla). … The D League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants will be giving away this very interesting bobblehead to fans during an upcoming game (from @PhillyPartTwo). … Reader Matthew John Prigge is interning at UW-Milwaukee and found photos of the Milwaukee Does, a 1970s women’s pro team, in the school’s archives. Note the untucked jerseys! Their first logo was controversial then, and would likely not make the cut today. … Last night’s color-vs.-color matchup between Marshall and IUPUI had a distinctly Christmas-like feel to it (from Michael Berry and Jake Keys). … NBA players are showing up for games wearing hoodies under their blazers (WaPo link) (from Tom Turner).

Soccer News: U.S. president Donald Trump and Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro exchanged national soccer team jerseys yesterday. The shirt that the White House gave, however, looked a lot like a rush job, especially compared to the one it received (from multiple readers). … The Mexican men’s national team has a new BFBS kit (from @Bryant_rf). … Fans of the Egyptian men’s national squad disapprove of the team’s new shirt designs. … Giorgio Armani will design the formal uniforms that the Italian national soccer teams will wear off the pitch. … In the English FA Cup final and semifinals, color clashes are resolved with a coin flip to determine which club will have to wear alternates. When Brighton and Hove Albion won its coin toss vs. Manchester City, the team had a little fun with its moral victory (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Also from Jamie: In a bit of an oddity, the Chicago Red Stars will wear their 10th-anniversary kits for a second year in a row. … Apparently some fans who ordered Montreal Impact jerseys instead received Vancouver Whitecaps shirts (from multiple readers). … Not sure how this got approved, but a retailer selling Minnesota United gear is erroneously using an apostrophe on one of its professionally-made signs (from @OlegKvasha). … The Swedish club Malmo FF has a new set of kits (from Ed Zelaski).

Grab Bag: The Ohio History Center has an exhibit about the state’s athletic champions that features, among other items, drawings of runner Jesse Owens and the rookie jersey of Lakers F LeBron James. The videos describing both are recommended (from Jason Hillyer). … The test cricket uniform is about to undergo a major change across the world when player numbers and NOBs are introduced (from multiple readers). … Cross-posted from the hockey section: Reader Jean-Philippe Laroche noticed that the new uniform of the Canadian women’s curling team is strikingly similar to the national junior hockey team’s uniform from a decade ago. … The 2021 Winter Special Olympics unveiled its official logo (from James Gilbert). … Here’s a nice story about a local grandmother who designs socks with empowering messages and a special design to make it easier for people with disabilities to put them on. … A young woman has spent the last three years designing her own wedding dress and bridesmaids’ dresses. Now all she needs is to be proposed to. … A while back we wrote that the University of South Florida introduced a new academic logo. Apparently the design and its subsequent edits are not popular with students (from our own Alex Hider). … Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) designed a new school logo featuring a triceratops, and now the school is asking the community to vote on the name of its new mascot. … It looks like C-SPAN has modernized its logo (from DB Cooper). … The logo of Google’s cloud gaming service, Stadia, has been criticized for its comparison to things from the 1990s. … New rugby-themed livery for Japan Airlines.

Cup of Plenty: MiLB Drops a Whopping 72 Hispanic Unis

Let’s put it this way: If you don’t like it when teams simply call themselves Los Mets or El Heat for their Hispanic-outreach promotions, you’re going to love minor league baseball this year.

MiLB rolled out its Copa de la Diversión (Fun Cup) program yesterday, with participating teams getting Hispanic-themed makeovers for a handful of games this season. A whopping 72 teams are on board this year — up from 33 last year (which in turn was up from only four when the program debuted in 2017). Some of the holdover teams are just repeating their identities from last year, but it’s still an impressive amount of coordinated effort.

The good news is that I have all 72 teams listed in alphabetical order below, complete with their regular names, their new Spanish-language makeover names, and some sort of graphic showing the new identity. The bad news is that I relied exclusively on embedded tweets, which I realize isn’t ideal. Some of those tweets have little video clips, which I know some readers like more than others. In a perfect world, I would have used photos, not tweets, and I also would have provided translations for the Spanish team names, explanations for the team identities, and so on. But there wasn’t enough time for all of that — too many teams, too much data to process, too many other things I was busy with. Sorry!

Also: 72 embeds makes for a reeaaaallly long scroll. If you don’t want to deal with all of that, you can skip all of the embeds and jump to the next bit of text.

Okay, for those who are still with us, here we go:

Albuquerque Isotopes → Mariachis


Arkansas Travelers → Diamantes


Bowie Baysox → Cangrejos Fantasmas


Bradenton Marauders → Barbanegras


Brooklyn Cyclones → Jefes


Carolina Mudcats → Pescados


Charleston RiverDogs → Perros Santos


Charlotte Knights → Caballeros


Chattanooga Lookouts → Montañas


Clinton LumberKings → Elotes


Columbia Fireflies → Chicharrones


Columbus Clippers → Veleros


Corpus Christi Hooks → Raspas


Daytona Tortugas → Tortugas (yes, same name)


Delmarva Shorebirds → Gallos


Down East Wood Ducks → Patos Joyuyos


Durham Bulls → Mal de Ojo


El Paso Chihuahuas → Margaritas


Erie Seawolves → Piñatas


Eugene Emeralds → Monarcas


Everett AquaSox → Conquistadores


Florida Fire Frogs → Coquis


Fresno Grizzlies → Lowriders


Greensboro Grasshoppers → Ocelotes


Greenville Drive → Energía


Gwinnett Stripers → Xolos


Hartford Yard Goats → Chivos


Hickory Crawdads → Llamas


Hillsboro Hops → Soñadores


Inland Empire 66ers → Cucuys


Iowa Cubs → Demonios


Kane County Cougars → Cougars (yes, same name)


Kannapolis Intimidators → Rápidos


Lake County Captains → Picantes


Lake Elsinore Storm → Cadejos


Lakewood BlueClaws → Medusas


Lancaster JetHawks → Viento


Lansing Lugnuts → Locos


Las Vegas Aviators → Reyes de Plata


Lehigh Valley IronPigs → Coquis


Lexington Legends → Leyendas


Louisville Bats → Murciélagos


Memphis Redbirds → Música


Midland RockHounds → Matamoscas


Modesto Nuts → Alebrijes


Myrtle Beach Pelicans → Pelicanos


Nashville Sounds → Vihuelas


New Hampshire Fisher Cats → Gatos Feroces


Norfolk Tides → Pajaritos


Oklahoma City Dodgers → Cielo Azul


Omaha Storm Chasers → Cazadores de Tormentas


Pawtucket Red Sox → Osos Polares


Rancho Cucamonga Quakes → Tremblores


Reading Fightins → Peleadores


Reno Aces → Corazones


Richmond Flying Squirrels → Ardillas Voladoras


Round Rock Express → Chupacabras


Sacramento River Cats → Dorados


Salem Red Sox → San Bernardos


Salt Lake Bees → Abejas


San Antonio Missions → Chanclas


San Jose Giants → Churros


Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders → Vejigantes


Stockton Ports → Caballos


Tacoma Rainiers → Familia

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Trenton Thunder → Trueno


Tri-City Dust Devils → Vineros


Tulsa Drillers → Petroleros


Visalia Rawhide → Toros


West Michigan Whitecaps → Calaveras


Winston-Salem Dash → Rayados


Wisconsin Timber Rattlers → Cascabeles


Obviously, that’s a shitload of content to process. And as you’d expect, the quality is all over the map — some of the concepts are pretty good, others seem perfunctory at best (with my own Brooklyn Cyclones falling into the latter category, alas). Some of it feels like Brandiose-por-numeros, while others made me smile — quite a bit, in some cases.

But here’s what I’m curious about: How do Hispanic fans feel about it? I know we have Hispanic readers here on Uni Watch — I’d love to hear what you have to say about all this. Do you feel these uniforms properly celebrate your culture, as is their stated purpose? Do they make you feel proud? Do you feel they reduce your culture to a cartoon? Is it important to you for teams to make this sort of outreach at a time when Hispanic immigration is a hot-button topic in American life? Do you feel like it’s all just a merch dump? If you knew who the designers were, would it matter to you whether they were Hispanic?

I want to make it clear that I don’t mean for any of those to be leading questions. As a white guy who’s retained shamefully little of my high school Spanish, I don’t feel like I’m in a good position to assess this program. We could all learn from those of you who are.

Meanwhile, here’s a weird footnote: The Down East Wood Ducks, who are one of the Spanish-makeover teams, also decided to unveil a throwback yesterday:

Looks so sedate after all of the Copa designs, right? Naturally, I like this one the best, what with the green color scheme, the old-timey mascot character, and so on. Go Collard Greens!

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Do the Trappist monks know about this? With Opening Day barely a week away, Ballast Point Brewing in San Diego has released a new Padres-themed brew called Swingin’ Friar Ale. As you can see above, they utilized the team’s original brown/yellow color scheme and even added this season’s 50th-anniversary logo — nice.

Two thoughts here:

1. I always thought the proper term was Swinging Friar, without an apostrophe — not Swingin’. I’ve been using the g-inclusive version for years. But some quick Googling reveals that both terms are used pretty widely. So I asked Padres radio broadcaster Jesse Agler, who happens to be a longtime Uni Watch reader, to weigh in on this important matter. He responded almost immediately:

Great question! I thought for sure it was Swinging. But before responding, figured I would check. And our head of content (who knows everything and is trustworthy) told me it’s Swingin’. Learn something new every day!

So there you go. I’ve been getting it wrong all these years and didn’t even realize.

2. Close inspection reveals that this beer is a “hoppy pale ale.” Come on, people — fans have been clamoring for the brown, the team is finally bringing back the brown, you put lots of brown in the package design — this should be a brown ale! I mean, really.

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Take a look at this 1950s NHL board game! This game, which is from Copp Clark, features the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs and looks to be in fantastique shape. Look how terrific those players look in their uniforms!

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• This may be one of the greatest program covers I’ve ever seen: It’s for the 1969 NBA All-Star Game, East vs. West, Jan. 14, 1969, at the Baltimore Civic Center. The East won, 123-112, and you can check it out right here. Just look at this artwork! This one screams Peter Max, or Age of Aquarius, or … something. Any way you look at it, this program cover is downright funky.

• In the 1940s, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ logo was a tad more ferocious, as seen on this pennant.

• This is a 1950’s hockey “Surprise Package.” Terrific Hockey Prizes and bubble gum- just a nickel!

• A little late for St. Patrick’s Day, but appropriate anyway — this 1960s Boston Celtics World Champions beer glass.

• Here’s a 1970s zip-front Denver Broncos sweater from Van Heusen. Sure looks like the Sears NFL Shop to me!

• Another one for the Broncos: this 1970s scarf featuring their classic jumping-horse logo.

• This 1970s vinyl MLB rain jacket also includes Nolan Ryan’s signature above the MLB batter logo for some reason.

• I’d normally say this is a 1970s Cleveland Browns helmet bank, but the makers decided to call it a “Gift Bank.” Here’s another version for the Cowboys.

• You can’t miss with these 1970s NFL helmet thermal mugs. I’ve got one and love it; you get a set of six in this auction!

• This 1930s Brooklyn Dodgers at Pittsburgh Pirates game program was just ten cents!

Seen an item on eBay that would be good for Collector’s Corner? Send any submissions here.

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rafflet ticket by ben thoma.jpg

Raffle reminder: In case you missed it on Monday, we have a new raffle from Homefield Apparel, which specializes in T-shirts and hoodies from smaller schools– mid-majors, DII, even DIII. Two lucky Uni Watch readers will each get to choose any item from Homefield’s site.

To enter, send an email to the raffle address by this Thursday, March 21, 7pm Eastern. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winners on Friday.

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LAST CALL for the Wafflebored jersey: Today is the final day to bid on the one-of-a-kind Uni Watch jersey made by the awesome Wafflebored. Full details, including a rear-view photo, the jersey’s measurements, how to bid on it, and more, can be found here.

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Too good for the Ticker: Back in the 1920s, wing walkers — aerial daredevils who’d stand on the wings of airplanes — were popular entertainers. One famous group of wing walkers were the 13 Black Cats, who as you can see above had some absolutely killer uniforms. Now that would be a cool sweater to reproduce!

(My thanks to reader Graham Clayton for this one.)

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KRC update: The latest installment of Key Ring Chronicles is uni-related, as it’s about a collection of NFL jersey key rings. Check it out here.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball NewsNo photos, but Red Sox 3B prospect Rafael Devers forgot his No. 11 jersey and briefly wore No. 84 yesterday before switching back when his jersey arrived (from Jeff). … A television station in North Carolina caught up with the man who Red Sox OF Jim Rice saved as a boy after he was hit by a foul ball at Fenway Park (from Marcus Hall). … John V. spotted this old Nolan Ryan display ad for Southwest Airlines on a neighbor’s curb, so he took it home. … I’m not quite sure where this particular Michael Jordan statue stands, but someone dressed it up in a Jim Thome White Sox jersey (from Michael Alper). … In addition to unveiling their Copa de la Diversión identity, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers unveiled four other specialty uniforms they’ll wear this season (from Brian Kerhin). … William Hart’s great-grandfather played for the Detroit Tigers in 1927, and William found a couple of portraits of him from his playing days. … The Astros’ first cap, which debuted 54 years ago yesterday, just had an orange star, without the “H” that was later added (from @bryant_rf).

Hockey NewsGreat news out of Calgary, where the flames will wear their throwback jerseys throughout the playoffs, and there are rumors that the team will begin wearing a retro look full-time by 2020-21. … The Blackhawks will be wearing warmup jerseys with season ticket holders’ faces for their final game of the 2018-19 season (from Michael Alper). … The Tucson Roadrunners of the AHL will begin wearing alternate uniforms inspired by Arizona’s “Peyote Coyote” uniforms next season (from Joe Nocella and Adam Vitcavage).

Basketball News: We already have a look at the “Final Floor!” The court for the Final Four in Minneapolis is already in place (from Josh Hinton). … Forty-eight percent of the teams in this year’s tournament wear Nike uniforms (not including Jordan), which is tops among all companies (from Scott M. Trembly). … Speaking of the tournament, Brandon Wright-Rowan is putting together a uniform tracker that he’ll update throughout March Madness. … MassLive.com ranked all the mascots in the NCAA tournament from “worst to first” (from Andrew Cosentino). … Also from Andrew — Auburn should be proud of their accomplishments this season (also from Joel Mathwig). … Nuggets G Isaiah Thomas used to play for the Celtics, and he wore green and gold sneakers for his first game back in Boston on Monday (from Brad Tatum).

Soccer NewsApparel company Givova has corrected the shade of red for the Venezuelan national team’s uniforms after an outcry from fans (from Josh Hinton). … This piece explains why Liverpool CB Virgil van Dijk only wears “Virgil” on his NOB (also from Josh Hinton). … Check out the Polish national team modeling uniforms from the 1920s and 1930s (from Ed Zelaski). … Minnesota United FC’s new stadium has a clock and scoreboard that pays tribute scoreboard at the National Sports Center, where the NASL’s Minnesota Kicks used to play (from Sauna Insider). … Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how FC Cincinnati supporters made the large tifo that they unfurled prior to the team’s MLS home opener on Sunday.

Grab BagPitt has confirmed that the cryptic date they tweeted last week is a “Nike reveal.” You’d think a potential change in school colors would be a “Pitt reveal,” but I digress (from Noah Kastroll). … Keith Winney found this bedsheet with the helmet of every NFL team, at a friend’s house dated 1995. … Team Canada has new curling uniforms for the World’s Women Curling Championships (from Wade Heidt). … This is an unfortunate typo from the city of Kansas City (from Andrew Cosentino). … The Indoor Football League uniform tracker has been updated through week 4 (from ‏ @LWOS_IndoorFB). … Interesting piece here on the black turtleneck as a work “uniform” (from Jason Hillyer).

A Uni Watch Look at St. Patrick’s Day

Sports teams throughout the uni-verse wore green for St. Paddy’s Day yesterday. We’ll begin with the Cincinnati Reds, shown above, who not only wore a green jersey and cap but also added a new sleeve patch. And what did that patch say? Let’s take a closer look:

Interesting! This is a variation on the patch that the Reds wore a year earlier to mark the green gimmick’s 40th anniversary. I guess they plan to remind everyone from now on that they came up with the idea.

Most MLB teams just wore green caps yesterday, but a few went the extra mile with green jerseys:

The Brewers didn’t bother with a green jersey, but they did go a bit further than the green-capped teams by also adding a green batting helmet logo:

I’m pretty sure everyone else just went with the green caps.

In addition, high-cuffed players showed off green socks:

As for other sports and leagues:

NHL

Some teams playing yesterday — but not all of them — wore holiday-themed sweaters for the pregame skate:

Disappointingly, the Devils didn’t wear their green-trimmed throwbacks, I guess because they were on the road. I realize that they like to save that design for home fans, but it seems silly not to wear it on March 17 when you have it in your wardrobe.

More teams wore green on Saturday, and at least one will do so tomorrow. That’s holiday creep for ya.

College Baseball

Golf

Lacrosse

Three NLL teams wore holiday uniforms on Saturday night — the Calgary Roughnecks, San Diego Seals, and Toronto Rock:

Uni Watch Readers

I’m sure this was just the tip of yesterday’s green iceberg. If you know of other teams that wore green yesterday, feel free to post photo links in today’s comments.

(My thanks to all contributors, including Wade Heidt, Alan Kreit, Matthew Lerman, Chip Powell, @CaliGlowin, and our own Alex Hider and Jamie Rathjen.)

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MLB ad patch update: When it was revealed last month that the A’s would be wearing an MGM Resorts advertising patch for their season-opening series against the Mariners in Tokyo, the word through the grapevine was that the M’s would reveal their own uni ad at a later date.

The Mariners are now in Japan, where they’ve been playing a series of exhibitions. And although there’s been no official announcement (which seems odd), we can see that their ad is for the Japanese petroleum company Eneos.

As I explained last month, it’s standard (if depressing) practice for MLB teams to wear uni ads for season-opening games in Japan, dating back to 2000. Full details on that here.

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Can’t tell the player even with a scorecard: They always say you can tell a player won’t make the final roster cut if he has a high uni number. But what if he has no number?

That was the situation in the sixth inning of yesterday’s Red/Indians game, as Cincy brought in pitcher Wyatt Strahan, who wore a jersey that was blank on the back. He had the proper graphics on the chest and sleeve, so at least he looked good from the front — but not from the back.

(My thanks to @bs_brewer for letting me know about this one.)

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Angelic problem: With MLB roster sizes set to increase from 25 to 26 next season, reader Daren Landers raises a good question: What will the Angels do about No. 26, which they retired for Gene Autry as the “26th man”?

They can’t really change it to 27, since that was Vlad Guerrero’s number and is currently Mike Trout’s number (presenting a thorny number-retirement problem of its own).

This really highlights the absurdity of retiring numbers for owners and executives, which they never should’ve done in the first place. (That noise you just heard is reader Mark in Shiga about to fire off a comment saying that all number retirements are absurd. Love ya, Mark!)

While we’re at it: Kinda disappointing that the Halos’ retired numbers are all rendered in the team’s current typographic style, no? Come on, guys — make them era-appropriate!

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rafflet ticket by ben thoma.jpg

ITEM! New raffle: With March Madness about to get underway, we have a new raffle from Homefield Apparel, which specializes in T-shirts and hoodies from smaller schools– mid-majors, DII, even DIII. Two lucky Uni Watch readers will each get to choose any item from Homefield’s site.

To enter, send an email to the raffle address by this Thursday, March 21, 7pm Eastern. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winners on Friday.

Meanwhile, speaking of raffles, the winner of the free membership that was purchased and donated by a generous reader is Brent Light. Congrats to him, thanks to all who entered, and doubleplusthanks to the reader who donated the membership.

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ITEM! Help ring in spring: Last spring I wrote about the excellent double play machine built by artist Mac Premo, who’s become a good friend. He has something special planned for next Tuesday, March 26. Take it away, Mac:

Folks, it almost Opening Day. So let’s celebrate the joy that every baseball season brings. Let’s take that joy to the streets. Let’s have a catch.

It is an exquisite thing to have a catch. Without the exchange of even a single word, a good catch becomes a temporal poem of hope and heritage. It is intimate, it is tremendous, and it is divinely pointless. To have a catch is joyful.

On Tuesday, March 26, at high noon, we’re going to have a catch around an entire Brooklyn block. Then we’re going to share a couple of 8′ party subs from Paisanos Deli, maybe a couple beers.

To make this happen, we need about 40 people. So, here’s the ask: You got a glove? Can you be at The Invisible Dog Art Center on Bergen Street in Brooklyn on Tuesday, March 26, at around 11:30am? Are you cool with us documenting this whole weird thing on film? And most importantly, you wanna have a catch ‘round the block and then eat some party subs?

If the answer is really and truly YES, then let us know ASAP. Let’s have a catch. EVERYONE welcome.

Doesn’t that sound like fun? I’ll definitely be participating. If you want in, let Mac know (he’s trying to get a head count) by posting a comment to this Facebook post. If you don’t do Facebook, just email me and I’ll take it from there. Thanks.

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Going, going…: Today is the next-to-last day to bid on the one-of-a-kind Uni Watch jersey made by the awesome Wafflebored. Full details, including a rear-view photo, the jersey’s measurements, how to bid on it, and more, can be found here.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: The Diamondbacks are filling in the path from the mound to home plate this season. … Michigan wore fauxbacks intended to evoke the 1962 national championship team. … Also posted in hockey: Jason Hillyer sent us an article about minor-league promotions focused on Portland, Maine’s ECHL and Double-A baseball teams, who are both changing their names for one game this year. … The baseball team at Pittston (Pa.) Area HS, whose teams are called the Patriots, uses a version of the Mr. Redlegs cap logo modified to wear a colonial-era outfit (from Art Savokinas). … Check out this shot of the 1971 Winnipeg Whips, an Expos farm team. Interesting to see that the player in the foreground has the 1969 MLB centennial sleeve patch — clearly a recycled Expos jersey (from Daren Landers). … Also from Daren: One of the Reds’ spring training batboys has a jersey that’s blank on the back, while another has very un-Reds-like typography.

Football News: The AAF’s San Diego Fleet became the latest team in the league to debut a white jersey (from Richard Bronish).
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Hockey News: The ECHL’s Cinncinnati Cyclones did a Black Panther promotion this weekend (from Brian Henke). … Speaking of minor-league promotions, Jason Hillyer sent us an article about such promotions focused on Portland, Maine’s ECHL and Double-A baseball teams, who are both changing their names for one game this year.

Basketball News: Reader Robert Brashear spotted Harvard/Yale frankenjerseys at yesterday’s Ivy League championship for the Feinberg brothers: Yale guard Michael and Harvard guard Robbie.

Soccer News: German 2. Bundesliga team FC Ingolstadt wore shirts saying “Right wingers? Only in a 4-3-3!” yesterday. The reference was to Ingolstadt’s last game against Union Berlin, when Ingolstadt captain and Israeli international midfielder Almog Cohen received an anti-Semitic tweet from a Union Berlin fan after being sent off. … A-League teams Wellington Phoenix — the Australian league’s team in New Zealand — and Western Sydney Wanderers wore black armbands for the Christchurch shootings. … New Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Hwang In-beom had his NOB spelled wrong this weekend (from Steve May). … The NWSL’s Washington Spirit wore last season’s kit without the primary ad for their first preseason game. … Spain’s La Liga is reportedly to switch ball manufacturers to Puma from Nike, with the reasoning that leagues which use Nike balls, including the NWSL, the Premier League, and Serie A, all get the same ball (from Josh Hinton).

Grab Bag: The Crusaders, the Super Rugby team based in Christchurch, New Zealand, are open to changing their name after this week’s shootings. The team yesterday said their name does not reference the Crusades, even though their logo and mascots sure do seem Crusades-inspired. … More Christchurch: the New Zealand and Australia men’s and women’s field hockey teams played each other this weekend and all wore black armbands. Australia’s women did likewise Saturday against Argentina. … The women’s teams at Australian Football League clubs Carlton and Western Bulldogs played a pride game this weekend, featuring rainbow accents for both teams.