Don’t look now, but the Big Ten football season, which was originally postponed back in August due to the pandemic (a decision that was later reversed), is about to get under way. The first game is tonight, as Wisconsin hosts Illinois, with all the other B1G teams playing tomorrow.
With that in mind, my latest piece for InsideHook is a ranking of B1G uniforms, along with a preview of uniform changes that some of the schools have made. You can check it out here.
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Too good (or at least interesting) for the Ticker: Here’s something I’ve never seen before. According to Twitter-er @WorstGuyOnHere, this is a prototype jersey for a redesign that that the Giants were considering in 1999, complete with the brutal side panels that so many teams foolishly used around that time. Good thing they didn’t go ahead with this one!
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Membership update: Fun request by Jonathan Gutierrez, who requested that his latest membership card have a Heat theme, but with a 2020 NBA Finals treatment, complete with the Finals logo, the social justice statement, and the drop-down NOB. That’s a lot to include, so we gave him the rare vertical card treatment.
Jonathan’s card is part of a new batch that’s been added to the membership card gallery. I have one slot left on our current sheet before sending it to the printer, so the next person to sign up with get their card very quickly!
Speaking of which: Ordering a membership card is a good way to support Uni Watch (which, frankly, could use your support these days). And remember, as a gesture of comm-uni-ty solidarity, the price of a membership has been reduced from $25 to $20 until further notice, plus a Uni Watch membership card entitles you to a 15% discount on any of the merchandise in the Uni Watch, Uni Rock, and Naming Wrongs shops. (If you’re an existing member and would like to have the discount code, email me and I’ll hook you up.)
As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here (now more than 2,900 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.
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By Anthony Emerson
Baseball News: Reader John Kimmerlein sends along a set of 1964 World Series tickets that the Orioles printed but never distributed — truly phantom tickets. “The note is from my Dad’s buddy in the front office,” says John. … At the 8:06 mark of this video from World Series Game Two, you can see Rays P Nick Anderson’s broken necklace hanging out of his back pocket. Made for an odd sight as he delivered his pitches (from Ryan, who didn’t give his last name). … The Charlotte Knights, Triple-A affiliates of the White Sox, gave Sen. Kamala Harris personalized jerseys for her and running mate Joe Biden while Harris was in Charlotte campaigning (from Marcus Hall). … Kary Klismet sends along a great story about how Wrigley Field’s lack of lights before 1988 would have forced the Cubs to play at a different venue if they had made it to the World Series. … Here’s a shot of past and then-present Mets managers Casey Stengel and Yogi Berra wearing the Mets’ wool flannel and double-knit uniforms at the team’s 1972 Old-Timer’s Day event. The side-by-side shot really makes it clear how the shade of white shifted with the change in fabrics (from Scott M.X. Turner).
Pro Football News: A cloud of smoke descended on Lincoln Financial Field after a pre-game fireworks show during last night’s Eagles/Giants game (from Mike Chamernik). … Looks like the Alouettes equipment staff didn’t remove all of Fred Biletnikoff’s sleeve numbers when applying the sleeve logo (from Tommy Gough).
College/High School Football News: DB Chamarri Conner earns Beamer’s No. 25 jersey for Virginia Tech this weekend against Wake Forest. VT will go maroon-white-white in that game (from Andrew Cosentino). … UCF have unveiled new alternate unis inspired by outer space, featuring constellations in the uni numbers (from @CK_UCF). … Mississippi State is also launching a space-inspired uniform, which will make its on-field debut on Nov. 7 (from Romelle Slaughter II). … Illinois will wear a black “I” logo against Wisconsin tonight, plus a raised-fist rear-helmet decal, as a social justice statement (from @mrmichael21). … Iowa State is going white-white-red against Oklahoma State tomorrow (from Chad Lehman). … UNC is going mono-blue against NC State (from James Gilbert). … Michigan State going green-green-white this weekend (from @MSU_Uniforms). … Blue-white-white for UVA against Miami (thanks, Jamie). … Houston is going red-white-white against Navy (from Ignacio Salazar). … Tulane is going with throwback lids — and probably throwback unis — this weekend (from Nate Mueller). … New logo and corporate name for the Cactus Bowl. Dig the cactus goal posts! (from Joel Mathwig).
Hockey News: The Red Wings announced the uni numbers for six new players (from Brandon Weir). … Did you know, Bobby Orr didn’t always wear No. 4. He wore No. 27 in the preseason of his rookie year. “You can tell it is an exhibition game by the wire, instead of glass, on top of the boards,” says Bill Abley. … Also posted in the NBA section: The home of the Avs’ arena has a new corporate name (from multiple readers). … LIU teased powder blue sweaters yesterday (from Oleg Kvasha). … St. Cloud State’s women’s hockey team is hosting a series of intrasquad scrimmages which they’re calling the “COVID Cup” — complete with a logo (from Kurt Crowley). … The Islanders’ “fish sticks” logo lives on, repurposed for a printing company (from Sam, who didn’t give a last name).
NBA News: NBA 2K21 screenshots show the Lakers sans ad patch, as their deal with their previous advertiser has expired. Would be nice if the jerseys stayed that way, although that seems unlikely. … The Spectrum Center, home of the Hornets, has a logo for its 15th anniversary. Not yet clear whether it’ll appear on the Hornets’ unis (from T. Phillips). … Cross-posted from the hockey section: The Nuggets’ arena has a new corporate name (from multiple readers). … The name “Celtics” wasn’t always synonymous with Boston — New York once had a barnstorming squad called the Original Celtics. Note the shoes on Dutch Dehnert there! (from Marcus Hall).
College/High School Hoops News: New uniforms for Michigan State men’s (from multiple readers). … Louisville men’s new unis may have leaked. Hope you like giant shorts logos (from Mitch Wiley). … Arizona plans to wear a memorial patch for Lute Olson, but coach Sean Miller says “some of it is up to Nike,” (from Adam Vitcavage).
Soccer News: RCD Espanyol, Barcelona’s other team, have launched their 120th-anniversary kits. … MLS expansion team Austin FC have announced their sleeve advertiser (from Jim Howicz). … Mexican side Club Santos Laguna have unveiled their Día de Muertos kit (from Ed Żelaski). … The following are all from Kary Klismet: New logo for the Madagascar Football Federation. … Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade has a new kit for Europa League matches, inspired by their 1978 kit. … Austrian side LASK also have new kits for Europa League play. … Footy Headlines has found out the colors of Barcelona’s next home kit, for the 2021-22 season. … Footy Headlines has also listed the 10 worst kits in this year’s Champions League. I dunno, I think I’m the only person who digs that Inter Milan kit!
Grab Bag: The University of Michigan’s sports teams will all feature various social justice patches and decals, after a student-led movement to include them (from Brandon Weir). … Here’s something we haven’t seen much of during the pandemic: athletes wearing masks while playing. That’s Pitt and Notre Dame women’s volleyball (from Jeremy Brahm). … The logo for Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan’s new team has been revealed (from Christopher Hickey and @GoinRounds). … Speaking of the new team: Driver Bubba Wallce will drive the No. 23 car for the Hamlin/Jordan team (from Nicklaus Wallmeyer and Jakob Fox). … Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe looked awesome in their college track unis. I think modern track stars prefer the more form-fitting ones, however (from Josh Youstra). … Trio of items from our own Jamie Rathjen: Old Glory DC, the District’s Major League Rugby team, is moving its home games to Leesburg, Va., where the USL Championship soccer team Loudoun United play. … One of Australia’s Twenty20 cricket teams, the Sydney Thunder, added a small piece of Aboriginal artwork to their sleeves for the Women’s Big Bash League, which starts this weekend. The artwork was originally made in 2016 for the 150th anniversary of an Aboriginal team playing at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. … New kits for Colgate’s field hockey team. … Jack in the Box is offering chicken-scented facemasks for free today (from John Cerone). … Adidas is looking to sell the Reebok brand. Additional info here (from @walbergLines).
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Embed from Getty Images
Last night’s World Series game had lots of uni-notable details, beginning with the fact that the Rays wore their road greys for the first time in the 2020 postseason (in fact, for the first time since Sept. 21), setting up a traditional white-vs.-grey uniform matchup. Somewhat incredibly, it was first white/grey Series game since 2018’s Game Two, when the Red Sox hosted the Dodgers at Fenway. (There were no white/grey games last season, because the Nationals wore navy for all seven games.)
In other notes from last night’s game:
• Rays starter Blake Snell became the first pitcher with a single-digit uni number to appear in a World Series game since Julio Urías of the Dodgers in 2018, and the first American League pitcher to do so since Cleveland reliever Jeff Juden in 1997.
I was hoping Urías, who’s still with the Dodgers, would get into the game as well (ideally while Snell was still in the game), so that the game would feature single-digitized pitchers for both teams, something that I’m not sure has ever happened before in the World Series. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, but I’m still hoping it happens in Snell’s next start (likely to be Game Six).
• Looks like Rays third baseman Joey Wendle had some repairs made to his pants:
I’m a little surprised they didn’t just get him a new pair of pants. It’s the World Series, after all! I don’t mean that as a criticism — we all treat too many things as disposable, so I’m glad they just patched the damage. But it’s not what I would have expected.
• We all know by now that Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw wears the same filthy, sweat-stained cap all season long. Or at least he does on the mound — he appeared to be wearing a brand-new cap in the dugout last night.
• MLB umpires have been wearing three separate left-sleeve memorial patches all season long (for umps Eric Cooper, Chuck Meriweather, and Rick Reed). With the addition of the World Series patch, the umps’ left sleeves are looking very crowded (click to enlarge):
I was thinking they might add another memorial patch last night for former ump Derryl Cousins, who died on Monday, but they didn’t do that (at least not yet).
• As someone mentioned in the comments the other day — I think maybe R. Scott Rogers? — it’s interesting to see how the differences in the teams’ respective chest insignias results in the Rays’ maker’s mark sitting much higher than the Dodgers’:
• The small live crowd included former NBA player Magic Johnson, who wore a Dodgers mask:
Update: Reader/commenter Keith A. informs me that Johnson is actually a part-owner of the Dodgers, which makes his presence a bit less remarkable.
Game Three is tomorrow night, with the Rays getting to be the home team for the first time. Will they wear white? I have my doubts, but we’ll find out soon enough.
(My thanks to Neal Dorfman for identifying when the Rays last wore their road greys.)
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Photo via Icethetics; click to enlarge
More NHL leaks: The NHL “reverse retro” alternate jersey leaks keep coming. The latest designs to be circulating are for the Ducks (bringing back Wild Wing!) and Golden Knights (a real stinker), and Chris Smith of Icethetics says “there are reasons to believe they’re accurate.” He’s much more plugged in on this situation than I am, so read his full report here.
And then there’s this — I have no idea how legit it is (Icethetics hasn’t written about it, and it doesn’t seem to fit the “reverse” color-swapping theme), and I usually don’t like to post unconfirmed items, but this is so good that it clearly should happen:
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That’s the ticket: Reader Nathan Fitzgerald lives in Australia but is a big MLB fan. “It’s become a yearly tradition to celebrate the World Series by having my Fantasy Baseball League group over,” he says. “Here’s the ticket I designed for this year as an invitation, based on the 1964 World Series tickets.”
So cool! Nathan also sent along the ticket/invitation designs he created for the previous two years (click to enlarge):
What a fun little project! Also, imagine living in a country right now where you can safely have people over to watch the World Series (or for anything else). Sigh.
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Too good for the Ticker: Everything looks better with googly eyes, am I right? Twitter-er @KC_Goddess29 took that simple truism and applied it to NFL team logos, with silly but entertaining results. You can see the full set in this Twitter thread — recommended.
(My thanks to @ArnoldPugg for bringing this one to my attention.)
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’Skins Watch: The Swedish hockey club Frölunda is soliciting public input on a new logo after scrapping its Native American-themed imagery (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: The school board in Bucyrus, Ohio, is considering whether the local high school should stop calling its teams the Redmen. … Rutland High School in Vermont is scrapping its arrowhead logo and will no longer call its teams the Raiders (from Joe Merrill).
Working Class Wannabes™: A high school football coach in Indiana refers to his team as “black and blue collar.” … An article about a high school football player in Utah uses the terms “blue-collar play,” “blue-collar mentality,” and “blue-collar mindset.” Bingo! … An article about the Glenville State football team begins, “There is nothing more blue-collar in football than the work in the trenches by the offensive line. And in the world of college football, there is nothing more blue-collar than playing offensive line for Hall of Fame coach Rick Trickett.” … An article about the Oklahoma State football team says, “I can see more high profile players being recruited but never at the expense of the backbone of well evaluated and blue collar developing players that have built the program to its current state.” … A preview of last Thursday’s Saints/Chargers game said that the Saints’ defense ” has done blue-collar work against the run recently.” … A high school football coach in Georgia, referring to one of his players, says, ” He attacks every day like it’s a work day. He’s a blue-collar type of guy.” … USC football coach Clay Helton, talking about his freshman offensive linemen, says, “They are just a shut up and work bunch, a blue-collar bunch, and just work hard.” Bingo! … LSU basketball coach Will Wade, talking about this year’s squad, says, “[T]hey enjoy working and it’s a blue collar group which is more my type of crew. These guys are working all day.” … Alabama basketball coach Nate Oats says, “These first three days [of practice] we are really trying to get an identity set — defense, blue-collar, hard-nosed, toughness, a lot of defensive drills, rebounding drills, a lot of tougher stuff.” … UMass football coach Walt Bell says, “The vision of what we want this program to be is a very large, very long, very blue collar, run-heavy and physical football team.” … An article about Arizona Cardinals LB Dennis Gardeck says he “won’t change his blue-collar approach just because he had a few highlight-reel plays.” … A high school football coach in Florida says, “We’re just who we are. We’re North Fort Myers. That’s what we do. A blue-collar team that plays hard. The Stanford of Lee County.” … Illinois football offensive lineman Kendrick Green says, “We’re trying to be a group that comes to work every day. That’s just something we really take pride in, that blue collar mentality, man.” … Auburn football coach Gus Malzahn says his goal is “just getting back to playing good, hard-nosed, blue-collar, physical Auburn football.” … An article about an Oklahoma high school basketball team says they got off to a fast start last year thanks in part to “blue-collar bludgeoning on the boards.”
Baseball News: Agent Scott Boras thinks the World Series should always be at a neutral site (NYT link), which sounds like a truly terrible idea. … Oh man, gotta love this Phillies-style Wiffle Ball jersey design! … The latest episode of the great design podcast 99% Invisible is about sign-stealing. … The Single-A Lakewood BlueClaws are changing their name to the Jersey Shore BlueClaws (thanks to all who shared). … In 1999, D-backs P Randy Johnson ended up wearing a Giants cap during a benches-clearing brawl between the two teams (from @Finerific and @ejmaroun).
NFL News: Rough-looking NFL weekend on tap, as the Falcons will wear that awful gradient uniform and the Eagles will go mono-black. … Moe Khan was listening when Bucs coach Bruce Arians appeared yesterday on Dan Patrick’s radio show. “He said it will be a while before they can bring back their classic creamsicle uniform,” says Moe. “Hopefully next year if they loosen up the NFL helmet rules.” … Looks like newly acquired Chiefs RB Le’Veon Bell will keep wearing his familiar No. 26 with KC. … Here’s an article on what Bucs QB Tom Brady’s various jerseys over the years have meant to him (from soon-to-be birthday boy Nicklaus Wallmeyer).
College Football News: BYU will go mono-blue this weekend. … Purdue is adding a rear-helmet memorial decal for former athletic director Morgan Burke, who passed away in June (from Tommy Schorer). … New rivalry alternates this week for NC State (from Rex Henry). … ESPN has an article and a podcast episode about the 2010 fight between the costumed mascots for Ohio University and Ohio State (from Andrew Cosentino). … The Texas Longhorn Band won’t play “The Eyes of Texas” this weekend, after several band members said they’d refuse to play the song, which has ties to blackface minstrelsy.
Hockey News: The Coyotes are auctioning off three very cool-looking Dia de los Muertos goalie masks to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month (from Wade Heidt).
Basketball News: Interesting article about an artist who makes art out of deflated basketballs (NYT link). … One of Kobe Bryant’s 2008 NBA Finals jerseys is now on display at the Smithsonian’s African American Museum. … Check out this Trail Blazers-themed “Vote” sign!
Soccer News: Fans — especially those watching games via streaming platforms — aren’t happy about the J-League’s new league-wide typeface (from Greg Franklin). … The NWSL’s Los Angeles expansion team confirmed that its name will be Angel City FC and released a placeholder logo (thanks, Jamie). … Australian side Lake Macquarie City FC has a new logo (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: New stadium is in the works for FC Blau-Weiss Linz, a soccer team in Austria’s Second League. … New Remembrance Day shirt for fifth-tier English side Hartlepool United (from Ed Zelaski). … Liverpool-themed cupcakes? Sure, why not (from Jeremy Brahm). … Mexican side Club Tijuana wore a Day of the Dead jersey with a bone/skeleton-themed number font last night (from Matthew Reichbach).
Grab Bag: Rawlings Sporting Goods has acquired competitor Easton. … Rock band AC/DC has released an interactive program that lets fans see their initials in the style of the band’s familiar logo, much like one of our Uni Rock shirts. … Here’s a short video about the design of the “I Voted” sticker in Clark County, Nev. … New 95th-anniversary logo for the Grand Ole Opry (from John Cerone). … New alternates for Pitt volleyball (from @CantankerousRex). .. Here are the IndyCar liveries for this weekend’s race in Tampa. “Must be some sort of record for number of pink-themed cars in a race (four out of 24),” says Tim Dunn.
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Our latest raffle winner is Ian McLarty, who’s won himself a Uni Watch membership card. Congrats to him, and my repeated thanks to Nicholas Bartel for sponsoring this one. — Paul
For all photos, click to enlarge
In yesterday’s Uni Watch World Series Preview, I mentioned how joyless and brutalist this year’s World Series sleeve patch is. There’s nothing the Rays and Dodgers can do about that, but one team did take a more thoughtful approach about how to wear it.
Take a look at the photo above, which shows Rays infielder Willy Adames and Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts chatting during last night’s Game One. If you look closely, you can see that Betts’s sleeve patch is riding a bit higher on his sleeve. (Yes, I realize the Rays have the contrast-colored piping, which at first glance might make it harder to compare the two patches, but the Dodgers have a seam in that same spot, so it’s easy to see that Betts’s patch is clearly higher than Adames’s.)
Here’s another photo from last night, this time of Rays third baseman Joey Wendle and Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy. Again, Muncy’s patch is clearly a bit higher than Wendle’s:
That patch positioning is no accident. During the last night’s game, Dodgers design director Ross Yoshida (who, as you may recall, is very skilled with sidewalk chalk) tweeted the following:
Notice how the Dodgers World Series patch is placed closer to the middle of the right sleeve. That’s to match the placement of the “LA” patch on our left sleeve.
We elected to keep the [“LA”] patch where it was previously, even though MLB offered to move the patch lower with the [Majestic] manufacturer logo on the sleeve going away. Most clubs chose to move their patches closer to the end of the sleeve.
Faaaaascinating. Sure enough, you can see that the Dodgers’ two sleeve patches are nicely aligned on their respective sleeves:
Ross’s tweet brings up an interesting point that’s been bugging me for most of this season (although I don’t think I ever wrote about it except maybe in passing), namely that so many MLB sleeve patches this year seemed too low — especially on the left sleeve, where the Majestic logo used to be. In fact, the Rays are a good example of that phenomenon. Here’s a side-by-side comparison:
I realize the difference is very small, but sometimes a small difference can make a big difference. That’s the case here, at least to my eye. Like they always say, baseball is a game of inches!
On the plus side, this means the Rays’ right-sleeve World Series patch is aligned with their left-sleeve team logo patch (just like the two Dodgers patches are aligned). The down side, at least to me, is that they’re both too low.
I realize some of you may prefer the Rays’ patch positioning to the Dodgers’ version. No problem there — reasonable people can disagree on that point. The more intriguing issue, and the point of this blog post, is that I had assumed this year’s MLB patches were lower because someone at the factory thought, “Okay, no more maker’s mark this year, so we’ll move everything down.” It hadn’t occurred to me that MLB would actually ask the teams about this, and that different teams would make different choices. So interesting!
Also interesting, but not surprising, is that the Dodgers and Ross Yoshida pay big attention to small details, and that’s one reason why they’ve continued to look so good over the years. Kudos to them!
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ITEM! New membership raffle: Reader Nicholas Bartell has generously donated a Uni Watch membership for me to raffle off, so that’s what we’re going to do today.
This will be a one-day raffle. No entry restrictions. To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern tonight. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow. Big thanks to Nicholas for sponsoring this one!
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Press Pin update: As of this morning, there are 27 Uni Watch 2020 Press Pins remaining. They’re available here while supplies last.
Meanwhile, reader Tom Jacobsen, whose prodigious Broncos memorabilia collection has been a past topic of Uni Watch admiration, ended up with pin No. 1. “Have to say, as someone who likes to collect things, seeing the No. 1 on the back was pretty exciting!” he says. Congrats, Tom!
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Culinary Corner: I wanted something a little special for the start of the World Series, so I chopped up a few sun-dried tomatoes, sprinkled them into half a pound of ground beef, added some salt, pepper, and a bit of Worcestershire sauce, cooked the resulting patty in a smoking-hot cast iron skillet, and then put it on a toasted English muffin (which, as you know, is the only proper bun for a hamburger).
Since we didn’t feel like making our own French fries (so messy, all that leftover oil, etc.), the Tugboat Captain sliced up a few spuds, tossed them in duck fat and rosemary, and baked them in another cast iron skillet. Perfect.
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By Lloyd Alaban
Baseball News: Dodgers P Victor Gonzalez is apparently using the same cap that he used in the playoffs, as you can see the outline of the Postseason patch under his World Series patch. Other players do this as well, including Dodgers P Clayton Kershaw, who superstitiously keeps the same sweat-stained cap all season long, but this is Gonzalez’s first World Series, so it’s the first time we’ve seen this from him. … Reader Neal Dorfman has created two spreadsheets with result-by-uniform breakdowns for the MLB postseason thus far. One is broken down by series, while the other is for uniform totals. … MLB.com has ranked what it considers the greatest bat flips in Major League history (from Kary Klismet). … Golfer Tiger Woods wore a Dodgers gaiter at a press conference yesterday (from Andy Garms).
NFL News: A team exec says the Washington Football Team’s placeholder name will likely carry over to next season (from many readers). … Color Rash for the Texans this Sunday (from Ignacio Salazar). … Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa appeared in an ESPN graphic wearing a double-digit jersey, despite the fact that he wears No. 1 (from Austin Martin). … Bills K Tyler Bass has been applying eye black only under his left eye for the past two games now (from Mike Chamernik). … Here’s a documentary about the history of every NFL stadium ever (from Kary Klismet).
College/High School Football News: Texas will wear white at home this week for the first time since 1950 (from Mike Barnes). … Penn State, whose season begins this weekend, will wear a social justice logo as a jersey patch and rear-helmet decal this season (thanks to all who shared). … The Gasparilla Bowl, which already had a ridiculous advertised name, now has a ridiculous new advertised name. … James Gilbert has compiled UNC’s record by uniform. … Lamar Consolidated School District in Texas has released renderings of its planned new football stadium (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: A photographer is suing the owners and handlers of the Texas Longhorns’ live mascot, Bevo XV, for injuries he suffered in a scuffle between the steer and Uga X, Georgia’s bulldog mascot, at the 2019 Sugar Bowl. … Reader Nate Mueller has released some renderings on a 3D-printed Cotton Bowl trophy he’s been working on. … Nate has also recreated Alabama’s 2009 Coaches’ Trophy.
Hockey News: An apparently accurate mockup of a Capitals “reverse retro” alternate has leaked. An earlier version of this program would have had teams get new alternates at New Year’s every year, so they would have two per season (from our own Jamie Rathjen).
Basketball News: According to this Reddit post, the Kings are getting a new uniform advertiser. … Louisville’s new uniforms may have leaked (from Caleb Jenkins). … Here are some of the new number assignments for UNC women’s. Only two Tar Heels will take the floor this season wearing the same numbers they wore last season (from James Gilbert). … Speaking of the Tar Heels, UNC women’s G Petra Holešínská’s jersey has diacritical marks on the NOB (also from James Gilbert). … Bob Barker, the former host of The Price Is Right, used to play basketball for Drury University. Here he is in uniform (from Max Weintraub).
Soccer News: Dynamo Kyiv gave out masks with their crest on them at their match last night (from Ed Zelaski). … Here are some crest updates for the 2020-21 season (from Kary Klismet). … The first images of the newly completed Al-Bayt Stadium have been released. It’s one of the eight stadiums being built by Qatar for the 2022 World Cup (also from Kary Klismet). … New uniforms for Spanish side Espanyol (from multiple readers). … Mexican side C.F. Pachuca has a Dia de los Muertos shirt, inspired by the cempasúchil flower, commonly used in Mexican Dia de los Muertos altars. Here are some more looks (from Alberto Sanchez).
Grab Bag: Here are some shirt reveals ahead of the World Tens Series rugby tournament in Bermuda (from Sy Hart). … Here’s a video revealing the history behind every Formula 1 logo (from Kary Klismet). … New logo for golf’s Phoenix Open (from Josh Pearlman). … Cross-listed from the baseball section: Golfer Tiger Woods wore a L.A. Dodgers gaiter at a press conference yesterday (from Andy Garms). … Bed Bath & Beyond is selling a Syracuse sign that confusingly mashes up the states of New York and New Jersey (from Michael Hochman). … New uniforms for the Lalitpur Metropolitan City police in Nepal (from Timmy Donahue). … Also from Timmy: Fort Sill, Okla., trainees are the first to get the Army’s new service uniform. … One more from Timmy: The Miami Police Department has issued a statement regarding a photo allegedly showing one of its officers wearing a political mask while in uniform, which is a violation of departmental policy. … Australia’s national rugby union men’s team, the Wallabies, have revealed an updated First Nations jersey (from Sy Hart). … Competitors in the recent Russian Higher League Championship chess tournaments played their games while wearing masks, and with plastic shields around the boards (from Graham Clayton).
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The World Series begins tonight, as the Dodgers and Rays will face off in the neutral site of Arlington, Texas. This will mark the first time that the entire Series will be played in a single ballpark since 1944, when two St. Louis teams — the Cardinals and Browns — met in the Fall Classic. At the time, they both used Sportsman’s Park as their home stadium, so the entire Series was played there.
While the neutral site is something we’re not used to, many other aspects of this World Series are fairly standard, including the arrival of the annual Uni Watch World Series Preview. I have to admit, I didn’t think I’d be writing this particular preview this year, because I didn’t think the MLB season would hold together all the way to the World Series this year. I’m very happy to have been wrong about that.
As usual, I’ve selected 10 uni-centric fun facts regarding this year’s Series participants. Here we go (for some of the photos, you can click to enlarge):
Letter Number Day
We’ll start with an easy one, because most of you probably know this already, but people still occasionally ask me why the Dodgers have red front-jersey numbers when there’s no red anywhere else on their uniforms. Uniform designer and historian Todd Radom came up with the answer a few year back, when he found an old article indicating that the Dodgers had actually planned to add the red numbers as a special addition for the 1951 World Series. As it turned out, the Dodgers didn’t make it to the ’51 Fall Classic (Bobby Thomson took care of that), but the red-numbered uniforms had already been ordered, so team ownership decided to use them for the 1952 season, and the numbers have been part of the Dodgers’ look ever since. (Additional info here.)
2. In the Navy
The Rays have worn their navy alternate jerseys for 12 of their 14 postseason games so far (the two exceptions were Games One and Seven of the ALCS, when they wore powder blue and white, respectively), so it seems fair to expect them to wear a lot of navy in the World Series as well. One exception is likely to be Game Five (if necessary), because that will take place on Sunday and they will be the home team, which means they’ll probably wear their home-Sunday powder blues. Aside from that, I foresee a lot of navy. Good thing they’re not facing Atlanta.
3. Sock Hop
If the Rays do indeed wear the powder blues for Game Five (or any other game), then we’re all in for a, uh, treat, because outfielder Hunter Renfroe (above left) and infielder Willy Adames (right) like to accessorize that uniform with some truly heinous socks. Obviously, I’m a longtime proponent of high-cuffery, but I might make an exception in this case!
4. Mood Indigo
Speaking of navy, this will mark the the 15th consecutive World Series in which at least one team has worn some shade of blue somewhere on its uniforms. (I’m including the Yankees’ midnight blue, although I realize many people think it looks black.) The last blue-free Series? White Sox vs. Astros in 2005.
5. Where You From?
The Dodgers have been the road team for only four of their postseason games so far, and they wore their alternate “Dodgers” greys — rather than their “Los Angeles” primary greys — for all four of those games. That’s no surprise, as they’ve been wearing the alts more than the primaries for several years now. They have home-field advantage in the World Series, which means they’ll be the road team for Games Three, Four, and Five (if necessary), and it seems like a safe bet that they’ll wear the alternates for those games. Since the Rays don’t even have a jersey with “Tampa Bay” on the chest, this could be the rare World Series in which neither team’s regional identifier appears as a chest insignia. The last time that happened? It also involved the Rays, when they faced the Phillies in 2008.
6. Multiple Single Digits
Another World Series rarity — and maybe a first! — is that each team’s roster includes a pitcher with a single-digit uni number: L.A.’s Julio Urías (who also appeared in the 2018 Fall Classic) and Tampa’s Blake Snell (making his World Series debut). Imagine if they ended up facing each other as the starting pitchers in the same game! That might set the World Series record for the lowest combined uni number total for a pitching matchup (well, not counting the pre-number era).
7. NOB Job
The Rays generally keep their NOB lettering fairly level. But outfielder Randy Arozarena and pitcher Shane McClanahan’s surnames, despite being a relatively manageable nine and 10 letters long, respectively, are apparently too unwieldy to be handled with a gentle arch, so instead they get the Salty-style treatment (and McClanahan has the bonus of wearing a McNOB).
8. Mod Squad
Dodgers infielders Kiké Hernández and Justin Turner both modify their jerseys. Hernández has his sewn shut, so it’s effectively a pullover (you can learn more about that here), while Turner has his collar narrowed (more info here). So much for uniformity! (Turner also has the bonus uni notability of having that ubiquitous pine tar smudge running through his NOB.)
9. What’s the Opposite of “Subtle”?
This year’s World Series logo, which appears at the top of this post, is not exactly long on charm or playfulness. But whatever, it’s just a logo. When rendered as a sleeve patch, however, it’s not just brutal — it’s practically brutalist. A suitably joyless symbol for this largely joyless year.
10. Formal vs. Casual
The two managers take very different approaches to their attire. Rays skipper Kevin Cash (who was uni-notable in his playing days for being among the first MLB catchers to wear his helmet with the brim facing forward), like many of his managing brethren these days, just puts on a pullover, leaves it untucked, and calls it a day. By contrast, the Dodgers’ Dave Roberts is among the last — maybe the last? — of the big league skippers to suit up in a full uniform for every day.
Dishonorable Mention: Fun While It Lasted
This will be the first World Series sullied by the presence of the Nike maker’s mark on jersey chests. Based on how the other postseason rounds went, this will presumably also be the first Series with ads projected onto the pitcher’s mound. Sigh.
And there you have it. If there are any other good Rays- or Dodgers-related uni tidbits that I overlooked, feel free to post them in today’s comments. Enjoy Game One tonight!
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Photos via Icethetics; click to enlarge
New Pens, Flyers jerseys apparently leak: The images shown above, which began circulating yesterday, apparently show the designs for the Penguins’ and Flyers’ entries in the NHL’s new “Reverse Retro fourth jersey” program. I could explain what that means, but Chris Smith of Icethetics, who broke this story, has already done a really good job of that. For the full scoop, go check out his report. You won’t be sorry.
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Photo by Mickey Torres; click to enlarge
South Grand Prairie update: Remember South Grand Prairie High School in Texas, where the baseball coach recently removed the Native American imagery from his team’s uniforms but the football coach didn’t want to talk about his use of Native imagery on his team’s uniforms?
“This is not the first time controversy has surrounded the South Grand Prairie football team’s imagery,” says reader Chris Huff. “In 1985, a [Black] football player was dismissed from the team for protesting the team’s 10-year-old tradition of running onto the field with the Confederate flag. That led to the state education board banning the Confederate flag at school events.”
The photo at the top of this section, which Chris also provided, is from a SGP game on Nov. 9, 1985. The combination of the Rebel battle flag and the Native American spear logo on the helmet is quite the double-whammy — ugh.
In my interview with Art Senato, the SGP baseball coach, he said the school is “majority Hispanic” and “definitely a majority-minority school.” I’m guessing the demographics were a bit different back in 1985.
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By Brinke Guthrie
At my Cincinnati high school back in the day (mid-1970s), the sneakers of choice were Adidas and Puma. Nike was lurking — my senior year, our basketball team switched from Converse Chucks to the Nike Blazer. But Adidas and Puma were the popular brands, especially the Puma Clyde (“The Essence Of Cool”) or the Clyde III. A lot of the guys wore the navy style you see in this 1985 Clyde Frazier Puma ad. (I wore the gold suede with black.) The Clyde III was also popular since it came in royal blue suede with yellow, our school colors. Had those, too.
(As an aside, I might’ve been the first at my school to wear Nikes — specifically, the white canvas with the powder blue swoosh “Allcourt” tennis shoes. I distinctly recall someone pointing to the heel tab and asking, “What are Nikes?,” which he pronounced like “Mike.”)
Now for the rest of this week’s picks:
• Staying with sneaks, drawings of Cincinnati Reds star Johnny Bench and New York Knicks star Willis Reed were featured on this 1970s Keds shoebox.
• This 1970s NFL football bank has never been used but the decals are a bit dried out.
• Coca-Cola was the sponsor of this 1970s San Francisco 49ers helmet sticker.
• Philadelphia Phillies fans will love this 1980 World Champions step stool.
• Billy Martin looked awfully cheerful on the cover of this 1983 New York Yankees program. (He is shown kicking dirt on Blue, though.)
• The Union 76 Sports Club printed up this Fine Points of Basketball Defense booklet, starring “Boston Celtic Center” Bill Russell.
• Caricatures of popular St. Louis baseball announcers Dizzy Dean and Johnny O’Hara were featured in this 1940s Falstaff beer ad. “Hiya Fans! Welcome to the Series!”
• Infielder Tom Brookens hit just .246 for the 1984 Detroit Tigers, but since they won the World Series, he made it onto a limited-edition Coca-Cola can.
• Signatures of the 1960 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates were featured on this commemorative glass.
• Baseball stars Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson were showcased on this 1949 record called Slugger at the Bat.
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Click to enlarge
Who are those masked men? Reader David Staples strapped on his Uni Watch mask yesterday and went to vote yesterday in Columbia, S.C. And who should end up in line behind him but U.S. Senate candidate Jamie Harrison, who’s visible in the background of David’s selfie.
“There were cameras everywhere filming him and taking shots, and I am in a ton of these shots,” says David. “The mask’s gonna be everywhere! I’ll keep my eyes peeled to see if we cameo in anything.”
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By Alex Hider
Baseball News: Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas has authorized all firefighters to wear a Dodgers cap while on duty until the end of the World Series (from Jakob Fox).
NFL News: Our first three items are from Mike Chamernik, beginning wih the news that Fox broadcasters Joe Buck and Troy Aikman were caught on a hot mic criticizing the pregame military flyover at Sunday’s Packers/Bucs game. … This comprehensive video details each team’s stadium and relocation history. … This may have been mentioned in the past, but Tua Tagovailoa became the NFL’s first lefty QB since 2015 on Sunday. … I’ve never seen anyone add an “FC” to the AFC and NFC logos like the Eagles did in this sign commemorating their 1980 conference championship (from Arthur J. Savokinas). … Paul noted yesterday that Patriots wide receiver Isaiah Zuber still has the wrong “Z” on his NOB. The Pats featured a shot of that egregious NOB error as one of their “photos of the game” (from Rob G). … The Colts have a new team airplane, which includes the team’s old wordmark in the paint scheme (look to the right of the door) (from @WeberKing).
College Football News: All Indiana University teams will wear a social justice patch on their uniforms this season. The football team, whose 2020 schedule begins this weekend, will also wear it as a rear-helmet decal (from Kary Klismet and @btownm00se). … New gold helmets for Western Michigan. … Kentucky QB Terry Wilson wore an undershirt on which he wrote, “Records R Broken” on Saturday, referencing the Wildcats’ first win in Knoxville since 1984 (from @BigBlueNat1on). … Nice move by Northwestern, who has added team record by uniform combination statistic to its team program (from Taylor Crabtree). … Miami will be wearing orange jerseys on Saturday (from Phil).
Hockey News: Jets C Nate Thompson will be the first player in team history to wear No. 11 since the franchise moved from Atlanta. That honor would have belonged to Rick Rypien, but he died by suicide before joining his new team in 2010. Thompson, who has dealt with substance abuse issues in his past, says he is wearing the number to honor Rypien’s battles with depression (from Mike Chamernik and Wade Heidt). … C Adam Gaudette has returned to the Canucks, and he’ll wear No. 96. He wore No. 88 in his first stint with the team (also from Wade Heidt). … New mask design for G Tyler Muszelik of the USNTDP (also also from Wade Heidt). … New sweaters for Western Michigan (from Joseph Zurek).
Basketball News: If this retail shirsey leak is any indication — and such leaks have generally been accurate indicators lately — the Lakers will be getting a white alternate uni with blue type (from Rafal Niewiadomski). … It appears that Georgetown will be wearing a more simplified uni set this season (from Dave Giordano). … The city of Alexandria, Va., has renamed a portion of a city road after Alexandria native Earl Lloyd, the first Black player to appear in an NBA game (from William F. Yurasko). … The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture has added one of Kobe Bryant’s jerseys to its display on social activism in sports (from Kary Klismet).
Soccer News: Tottenham has announced its men’s and women’s teams will wear poppies for Remembrance Day on Nov. 7 and 8. Jamie Rathjen believes that’s the weekend when most other EPL and Women’s Super League teams will choose to wear them as well. … Couple of Liga MX notes from Ed Żelaski: Pumas wore pink numbers Sunday, presumably for cancer awareness, and Atlas has a new Day of the Dead jersey.
Grab Bag: Cross-listed from the college football section: All Indiana University teams will wear a social justice patch on their uniforms this season (from Kary Klismet and @btownm00se). … Mark Divine sent along a photo that includes logos for every Big Ten school’s Hillel Club logo. … Google has updated the icons for its workspace applications (from Brinke). …Also from Brinke: Roger Federer has a new sneaker line with Swiss running company On. … The Police Service of Northern Ireland has introduced a new uniform for the first time since its formation in 2001 (from Timmy Donahue). … Also from Timmy: Premiership Rugby club Leicester Tigers have agreed to sell the naming rights to their stadium for the first time since it opened in 1892 in order to survive the pandemic. … Speaking of Premiership Rugby, new jerseys for Bath (from Sy Hart). … More rugby from Sy: New jerseys for SX10, a rugby tens team comprised of Kenyan and South African rugby sevens players. … New jersey set for French volleyball club Tours VB (from Jeremy Brahm). … Rep. Sharice Davids, one of two Native American women currently serving in Congress, has incorporated a feather design into her campaign logo (from R. Scott Rogers). … Some Marines will now have red patches on their utility covers (Timmy Donahue again).
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