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History Mystery Update: Road Teams Wore White in KC in ’63

Today I have an update on a storyline that’s been developing step by step. Here’s a quick recap: A few weeks ago I posted an entry about some 1963 home movie footage that seemed to show the Indians wearing their home whites, instead of their road greys, for a game in Kansas City against the A’s. The A’s wore gold uniforms for all of their games that season, so having the road team wear white would have been fine from a visual standpoint, although it seemed odd that a team would pack its home uniforms for a road trip. Several readers insisted that the Indians’ uniforms were actually grey and that they only appeared white because of the lighting and the limitations of home movie film.

A few days later I posted an update with info from reader Jim Wagner, whose father told him that the A’s invited visiting teams to wear their home whites in 1963, and that teams often did so for one of their visits to KC. I had never heard that before, and I wondered if we could turn up any additional photographic confirmation.

Jim was so intrigued by all of this that he went to the library and began looking at microfilm of Kansas City newspapers from 1963 — and sure enough, he hit paydirt. Here’s a photo that ran in The Kansas City Times on April 23, 1963. It’s from this Tigers/A’s game, which took place the previous day in Kansas City. Look what the Tigers were wearing:

Although the image quality isn’t ideal, that’s definitely the Tigers’ home uni, because they wore “Detroit” on their road greys in 1963. That’s amazing! It confirms Jim’s dad’s recollection of visiting teams wearing their home whites in KC in ’63. I’ve been writing about uniforms for almost 20 years now and had no idea.

And there’s more. In 1963, the Angels wore “Angels” on their home whites and smaller “Los Angeles” lettering on their road greys. It’s hard to be sure from this next photo, but the size of the lettering and the uniform color both suggest that the Angels were wearing their home whites for the first game of a doubleheader in Kansas City on April 19:

It also looks like the Angels wore their home whites the following day, April 20:

Jim says he’ll go back to the library for additional microfilm research when he has time to do so. In the meantime, let’s give him a standing O for his efforts in highlighting this previously unknown chapter in uniform history.

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Sweet 16 uni rankings: With the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16 round due to tip off today, I have my annual Sweet 16 uniform rankings over on ESPN. Look here.

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Hall of Fame puts kibosh on Wahoo: Newly elected Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Jim Thome said last month that he does not want Chief Wahoo on his Hall plaque. Now the Hall has confirmed that Wahoo will not be appearing on Thome’s plaque — or on anyone else’s.

A statement released yesterday by the Hall reads like so:

When Jim Thome’s Hall of Fame plaque is unveiled in July, it will feature the “Block C” logo as opposed to the “Chief Wahoo” logo that the Cleveland Indians have displayed on team caps in many seasons since its introduction in 1947.

In January, Major League Baseball announced that the Indians will remove the “Chief Wahoo” logo from uniforms after the 2018 season, deeming it no longer appropriate for on-field use. As MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred explained, “Major League Baseball is committed to building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game.”

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum concurs with the Commissioner’s sentiment and acknowledges the shifting societal view of Native American logos in baseball.

Although examples of the “Chief Wahoo” logo can be found in our Museum exhibits, and on Early Wynn’s 1972 Hall of Fame plaque, the Hall of Fame will no longer use the logo in the creation of new plaques.

There probably won’t be any future Hall inductees who played for Cleveland during the Wahoo era (maybe Manny Ramirez, but I’d say he’s now considered more Bosox-associated), so the “We won’t use Wahoo again” part of the statement is largely moot. But still.

A Hall employee followed up by telling me the following:

It is also worth noting that the Hall of Fame Education Department has a lesson on Native Americans that it teaches to children when they visit the museum. There’s also a Virtual Field Trip available on the same topic for those schools situated too far away to visit the museum. Both lessons are part of a larger unit that teaches the history of Native stick and ball games, Indian boarding schools and their sports teams, and Native pioneers in baseball, as well as the controversial use of native imagery today.

The program contrasts the approach to imagery with that of the Spokane Indians Baseball Club, who have partnered with the Spokane Tribe of Nations to use approved imagery, incorporated the Salish language into their uniforms and their stadium, and instituted the Red Band Rally program, which helped increase the population of red band trout.

Slowly but surely.

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The Ticker
By Kris Gross

Baseball News: South Korean baseball team LG Twins of the KBO have released a Black Panther-themed uniform (from Max G). … A great spot by Greg Ukman, who noticed some changes in the MLB Independence Day socks from 2017 to 2018. “The star placement moves from the inside of the right calf to the outside. There’s also a subtle change with the leg stripes moving up,” Greg adds. … The video game RBI Baseball 18 has apparently given us a look at this year’s All-Star BP jerseys (from JK). … Rays catchers will use quarterback-style wristbands to help with pitch calling and situational planning — a response to the new rules that limit mound visits (thanks, Brinke). … Pirates OF Jordan Luplow uses teammate Jung-ho Kang’s bat (from Jerry Wolper). … The Albuquerque Isotopes will play under under four different names this season (thanks, Phil). … Chipper Jones is celebrating Chipper Jones Day with a Chipper Jones suit jacket lining (from Chris Howell). … Here is the very loud Hawaiian shirt the Cubs are giving away on July 3 (from Phillip Santos). … It was a beautiful matchup between LSU and Tulane last night (from DG). … New road uniforms from Louisville last night (from Rich Calabrese). … BYU unveiled a new navy jersey (thanks, Phil). … Stirrups are looking good for Purdue softball and Wahoo High School in Wahoo, Nebraska (from @ssgmahoney, John Benal). … Reader Steve Johnston was browsing his son’s high school (Lockport, IL) baseball website, and came across a collection of team photos dating back to 1926. … Georgia Tech coach Danny Hall got his 1,000th career win on Tuesday. Before Wednesday’s game, he was presented with a jersey commemorating the milestone (from Michael Rich). … Rare shot of Bob Feller wearing No. 14 instead of his more familiar 19.

NFL News: In a video from his Packers days, new Cowboys LB Joe Thomas tackled the logo off a Bears player (from Frank McGuigan). … Pitt players wore modified NFL logos in school colors (from Robert Hayes). … As a follow up on yesterday’s Ticker item about the Rams wearing red-striped pants in the 1978 movie Heaven Can Wait, Willie Gabel has solved the mystery. He emailed Todd Hewitt, the Rams equipment manager from those days, who said the “pants were from the movie prop department, but they wanted to use the Rams helmets and practice uniforms.” Great work! … Good shot of Lions placekick holder Wayne Rasmussen going without a facemask in 1969 (screen shot by Tom Farley).

Hockey News: Here’s a good article on the Penguins’ equipment preferences. Among other revelations, it turns out that RW Patric Hornqvist uses a skate model that’s more than a decade old (from Jerry Wolper).

Basketball News: Here’s a history of players who write on their shoes (from Mike Chamernik). … Here’s a good piece on how grey jerseys became a trend (from Iain Landon).

Soccer News: The Croatia, Poland and Greece team kits have officially been unveiled (from @DanGrimm3 and Ed Żelaski). … In case you missed any of them, you can see all of the 2018 World Cup kits here, and vote on your favorite (thanks, Phil). … Here’s an article on the difference between the technology of Nike’s authentic and replica jerseys (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL unveiled their new badge and kits. … Not sure if we’ve seen this before, but just in case: Premier League-themed F1 livery concepts (from @waynetm41). … New kit for Costa Rica (from Mark Higgins).

Grab Bag: Yale lacrosse is using “head sleeves” as a way to block out peripheral vision (from Griffin Smith). … Canada goes BFBS at the World Women’s Curling Championship (from Wade Heidt). … Here is an interesting piece on the connection between typography and the human anatomy (from Gil Neumann). … Cross-listed from the soccer section: Here are some Premier League-themed F1 livery concepts (from @waynetm41).

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My thanks to everyone who sent me birthday greetings yesterday. It was a great day, in no small part because of all your kind words. — Paul

A Look Back at the Uni-Verse, 54 Years Ago Today

Today is my birthday. I’m 54, although most people tell me I don’t look or act that old (I tell them it helps to be really immature), and my Brannock Device tattoo, which I got on my 39th birthday, turns 15 today. Can’t believe it’s been that long.

When I was growing up, my parents always taught us that birthdays were important. I think they did that in part because our family wasn’t religious, so we kinda missed out on a lot of holidays, and in part because my mom’s birthday was a few days after her older brother’s birthday, so her celebration always got lumped in with his when they were growing up, which she still resents to this day. She raised me to believe that we should each get our own special day.

Anyway: I can’t believe I haven’t thought of doing this before, but I decided to see what was going on in the uni-verse on the day I was born — March 21, 1964. Here’s what I found:

1. On the day I was born, the UCLA and Duke basketball teams played each other for the national championship. This was back when March Madness was entirely confined to March. I couldn’t find any color photos, but reader Matt Olbert generously agreed to do some colorizations for me. We’ll start with those, and then I’ll add a few black-and-white shots (for some of these, you can click to enlarge):

Those UCLA uniforms were nice, right?

In addition, longtime reader Bruce Menard (aka BSmile) found the program from that game and was nice enough to share it with me:

2. There was a soccer match between Blackburn Rovers and Everton. Once again, Matt Olbert did the colorization honors. I love the jester-style jersey that Blackburn was wearing, right down to the two-tone collar:

3. The annual 12 Hours of Sebring auto race took place in Florida. Here’s one of the very groovy cars that was competing:

4. This isn’t really a uniform thing, but it’s related: The comedy duo Allen & Rossi did a sketch at the Hollywood Palace, and Marty Allen was dressed up in golf attire. Kudos once again to Matt Olbert for the colorization:

As I was putting the finishing touches on this entry, I decided to see if there was any Allen & Rossi footage on YouTube. The good news is that the very first hit was the golf sketch that they performed on the day I was born! The bad news is that it wasn’t very funny:

5. Down in spring training, 43-year-old Stan Musial was beginning his first season as a Cardinals coach following his retirement at the end of the previous season. Although he was no longer an active player, he still looked pretty sharp in a uniform:


Obviously, there was a lot more going on in the uni-verse on that date than these five items I singled out, but those were the only ones I was able to find in various photo online archives.

And now, with apologies to those who’ve already heard this story, here’s a little birthday tale: Forty-five years ago today, when I turned nine years old, my outdoor birthday party was rained out and I was pretty inconsolable. So 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. And one time it hailed (which was actually quite exciting, because I figured it meant extra-good luck). As for this year, it’s snowing here this morning, so the tradition has already been upheld, and they’re saying we may get as much as a foot, so I’m looking forward to an excellent year.

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. Tonight I’ll be meeting a bunch of friends at a special little bar, and then we’ll head over to a Chinese banquet hall for a big feast. Should be a great time.

Thanks for listening. Oh, and happy birthday to reader Tyler Evans, who recently mentioned to me that he was born on this date in 1982, and to anyone else who’s celebrating today. 3-2-1!

(Special thanks to Phil for his assistance with this entry, and mega thanks to Matt Olbert for his colorizations. You can see more of his work here.)

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Titans stay one step ahead: As teams post teaser photos of their upcoming uniforms on the internet, it’s become fairly common for some people (occasionally including myself) to try to deduce additional info from the teaser images by fiddling with them in Photoshop. By adjusting the various levels of brightness, contrast, etc., you can sometimes find details that were meant to be hidden.

The Tennessee Titans were apparently thinking about that when they recently promoted their upcoming uniform unveiling by posting a teaser photo on their website. It shows a player cloaked in shadows (click to enlarge):

And what happens if you play with the levels in Photoshop? Titans Uni Tracker (@TitansUni) decided to find out. Here are the results:

That is completely brilliant. If anyone from the Titans is reading this, please accept my congratulations — well played. And if you’d like to talk about the story behind this little maneuver, I’d love to hear from you. Thanks.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: Thirty-three minor league teams will wear Latin-themed jerseys with new team names for the MiLB’s Copa de la Diversión (“It’s Fun to Be a Fan”) program. Among the highlights: The Round Rock Express will become the Round Rock Chupacabras; the San Antonio Missions will become the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio (Flying Flip-Flops); the Bowie Baysox will become the Bowie Cangrejos Fantasmas (Ghost Crabs); and the Oklahoma City Dodgers will become the Cielo Azul (Blue Sky) (thanks to all who submitted). … The Tulsa Drillers will have matte blue batting helmets this year (from Joe and Nick Lineback). … A pair of underwater archeologists have been exploring Minnesota’s Lake Minnetonka. According to this story, they once found a gym bag in a sunken boat, and because it contained the owner’s drivers license, they were able to return his Twins T-shirt (from Greg Franklin). … Houston is offering residents one last look at the Astrodome before it begins construction to renovate the stadium. The event is being dubbed “The Domecoming” (from Ignacio). … The Brewers broke ground on the renovation of a local baseball park, and the ceremony included Brewers hard hats and bat-shaped commemorative shovels (from Garrett). … Check out this awesome video of the then-World Champion Cleveland Indians during spring training in 1949. Stick around to see Bob Hope in a Cleveland uni! (From @History_Cle.) …  W.W. McClyde found this classic Rangers jacket in his mom’s closet. Good stuff. … This 1987 Chicago Cubs/WGN-TV brochure that promotes the team’s high television ratings to potential advertisers does a little trash talking at the hands of the Sox and other Chicago teams (from Ray Hund). … Texas has added a memorial patch to their caps for manager Augie Garrido, who died last week (from Griffin Smith). … This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Tigers’ 1968 championship, so they had Todd Radom celebrate the ’68 team on these awesome season ticket designs (from Jason Law). … Our own Phil Hecken is ranking the top dozen Negro Leagues uniforms. Here are his picks for No. 12 and No. 11.

Pro Football News Has anyone else seen old Mile High Stadium refered to as “Mile Hi?” At least one sign spelled it that way in 1972 (from Steven Marks). … This blog post has a good breakdown of the inconsistencies with the Eagles’ shade of midnight green through the years. … Anyone else ever notice that the Rams are wearing red-striped practice pants in the 1978 movie Heaven Can Wait? (From Willie Gabel.) … The new XFL won’t be the only football league to launch in the coming years. It was announced yesterday that the Alliance of American Football will begin play in spring 2019 — and one promotional image sure looks like it made use of a touched-up Bills uni (from James Gilbert). … Here’s a rare sight: former Washington QB Joe Theismann in a non-single-bar facemask (from Bill Kellic). … Texans DL JJ Watt wishes the team could wear Oilers throwbacks (from Christian Zummer).

Hockey NewsRed Wings G Jimmy Howard lost his skate blade last night after he caught it on the post (from Tris Wykes). … If the NHL decides to put an expansion team in Houston, here is a concept they could follow (from Denis Costello). … And if Seattle gets a franchise, here’s a pretty good concept for that team (from Barry Brite). … Team USA’s development team will be wearing fauxbacks this weekend that honor the 1976 Canada Cup team (from Garrett Kolodziej). … Goalie captaincy alert! That’s Harvard’s Merrick Madsen, who was just signed by the Coyotes (from ‏ @OlegKvasha).

College Hoops NewsAfter fracturing his elbow in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Purdue’s Isaac Haas has been practicing with a brace that is not NCAA-approved. Now Purdue is asking its engineering students to design a brace that could protect Haas and be up to NCAA specs (from @mrmichael21). … Yesterday, we linked to Alex Gerwitz’s color-blocked bracket. Today, we have a jersey bracket from @thefontsavant.

Soccer News: The USA’s 2018 home kit has leaked. Ditto for the change kit. They’ll be officially unveiled on Friday. … Here’s a look at different jerseys that Poland has worn in international competitions. … We have a bunch of soccer notes from Josh Hinton: World Cup jerseys have been leaked — including South Korea, Germany, Russia, Japan, Spain and Sweden. Also, Louisville City FC of the USL unveiled their new kits. … Speaking of Germany, Julian Draxler’s NOB proves there’s some issues with the blocky font (from Patrick O’Brien). … New second uniforms for the Scottish national team (from our own Jamie Rathjen). …  Newcastle’s under 18 team wore their first team’s kits — which include a gambling site ad — in a recent match. Alcohol and gambling ads are no-nos in English football for under 18 teams (also from Jamie Rathjen as well as Jonathon Sluss). … Interesting concept: Re-imagining Premier League teams as Formula 1 cars (from Doug Kalemba). … The Orlando Pride of the NWSL pranked their staff with a fake kit reveal before unveiling the real designs (from Bill Weiss).

Grab BagAre tennis balls green or yellow? Roger Federer says tennis balls are yellow, which is technically correct by definition of ITF rules. What say you? (From Mike Chamernik.) … Pretty cool interactive look at David Bowie’s stage costumes (NYT link).

MLB Releases 2018 Holiday Merch — Er, Uniforms

Click to enlarge

MLB revealed all of the 2018 holiday uniforms yesterday (much earlier than in previous years). honcho Chris Creamer had an advance on this one and did a really thorough job covering the basic info, so I strongly recommend that you start by checking out his report.

Once you’ve read and processed all that info, here are some thoughts from my perch here at Uni Watch HQ:

• I’m a big, big fan of Jackie Day, but that new “42” patch on the caps and jerseys is pretty much the dictionary definition of overkill. (On the plus side, Jackie Day falls on a Sunday this year, so every team will be playing and we won’t have teams doing the 42 thing on dates other than April 15.)

• A huge relief that they’ve backed off of the pink- and blue-trimmed jerseys for Mother’s and Father’s Day (I guess sales were weak, eh?) and are going back to letting teams wear their regular jerseys with pink and blue ribbons, which is how they should have left it all along. Too bad we’re still stuck with the pink and blue caps, but one thing at a time.

• The Memorial Day and Independence Day jerseys are essentially the same as last year. Have they run out of ideas, or are they opting for stability, or is this just the calm before the storm that will hit when Under Armour takes over next year?

• The league logos on the sides of the Independence Day caps seem like an odd choice. I mean, I’ve always liked those logos, but why use them now, for a holiday, when MLB has done its best to eliminate the separate league identities over the past two decades? There are no more separate league offices, no more league presidents, no more separate league baseballs, no more league-specific umpiring crews, and every single day has at least one interleague game. It’s almost like they said to themselves, “Hmmmm, the league logos both feature an eagle — that’s patriotic! Quick, put ’em on the Fourth of July caps!”

• We’ve seen MLB engage in bad civics before (like using camouflage to salute the military on non-military holidays), and now they’ve done it again with the Independence Day cap underbrims, which are imprinted with “We the People.” Fun idea, except that Independence Day is a celebration of the Declaration of Independence (that’s why it takes place on the Fourth of July), while “We the People” comes from the preamble to the Constitution (which was ratified more than a decade after the Declaration). But hey, they’re both important documents, and who really cares about historical accuracy when you have a merchandise program to run, right?

• The Cleveland jerseys retain the standard Wahoo sleeve patch for Mother’s and Father’s Day but, as in past years, shift to the block-C for Memorial and Independence Day, for obvious reasons. This just reinforces why Wahoo had to go. When you can’t use your basic sleeve patch for a holiday jersey, that’s a sign that there’s something wrong with your patch design. At least we won’t have to worry about this next year.

• Fun facts: The Dodgers, Yankees, and D-backs are home for all of the holidays; the Mets, Giants, and Twins are on the road for all the holidays; and the Angels are at home for some of the holidays and on the road for others but are wearing red jerseys for all of them.

Nine days until Opening Day!

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NBA uni-scripting update: Earlier this month there was that Boston Herald article that revealed the existence of a “master schedule,” prepared by the NBA and Nike, to script what each team would wear for each game, right down to the color of the leggings. Now the league has decided to share that uniform schedule via a new (or at least newly public) website called LockerVision.

From a data standpoint, LockerVision is pretty great. You can go to any date in the 2017-18 NBA schedule and see what a team wore — or is scheduled to wear. For example, here’s what’s on top for tonight’s games (click to enlarge):

If you look in the far-right column and click on the “Game Outfitting” tab for any game, you get a pop-up window showing what each team is supposed to wear, including leggings, warm-up gear, and so on (click to enlarge):

I can see positives and negatives to this approach. On the plus side, it helps teams avoid non-contrasting uniforms and also lets fans know what their favorite teams will be wearing. On the minus side, it eliminates any sense of spontaneity (so much for sticking with a certain design out of superstition, right?), seems to remove some decision-making power from the individual teams (although the Cavs say it’s more of a collaboration), and there’s something off-putting about all the uniforms being scripted in advance, especially by entities that primarily think of uniforms as merchandise. It may also mean that our weekly “NBA Uni Tracking” feature, written by Collin Wright, is now moot. I’ll have to discuss that with Collin.

In any case, if everything’s going to be scripted, you may as well make the script public, so I give the NBA major points for transparency. Wouldn’t it be nice if the NFL, whose jersey schedule (but not pants) is usually settled by about Aug. 1, offered something like LockerVision?

(My thanks to Nets equipment manager Joe Cuomo, who was the first of several people to let me know about LockerVision.)

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Click to enlarge

Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

This is a DIY custom San Diego Chargers mini-helmet. Great detail on this and the seller says he will put any number on there you want (although the 19 shown in the photo, for Lance Alworth, is always a good option). He includes the All-America City decal too — nicely done.

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• One more from the Bolts: This 1970s powder blue Chargers helmet sticker comes courtesy of the coffee folks at Chase Sanborn.

• This Yankees poster was given out on Old-Timer’s Day, Aug. 8, 1970, and commemorated “Casey Stengel’s All-Time Yankee Team.”

• Another great NFL helmet sticker collection set. Seller says late 1970s, but it’s more like 1983 or 1984.

• This 1970s Baltimore Colts helmet medallion looks bright and glossy for its age.

• Check out this old 1960s Boston Red Sox lunchbox!

• Here’s a lot of three 1970s NFL football dolls. No, let’s say “action figures,” right? Seahawks No. 80 is Largent, and I thought Cardinals No. 12 might be Neil Lomax, but he wore 15. You also get a Vikes player with no jersey number.

• This promo button from the Atlanta Falcons and Louis Rich includes the name of Falcons player John Settle. They’ve “Teamed Up Against Drugs.”

• These NFL Los Angeles Rams “licensed” wristbands date back to their first era in the City of Angels. (Side note: Always loved that “Official Licensed Product” logo. The mark of quality!)

• Here’s a San Francisco Giants patch/decal/schedule/bumper sticker set from the 1970s.

• This “Juice” T-shirt was a promo item for O.J. Simpson’s Spot-Bilt football shoe line back in the day.

• Always loved the contrasting body/sleeve design for this style of MLB Diamond Collection jackets — this one is for the Phillies. Believe these were 1990s, not 1980s.

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

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball NewsThe Astros made note of their World Series championship on the logo sculpture in front of their spring training facility (from Ignacio). … Speaking of the Astros, they’ll be selling 112 World Series fan rings today at $11K a pop (from Phil). … The Brewers re-created a scene from the movie Sandlot in honor of the film’s 25th anniversary (from Tom Juettner). … Awesome pictures of old baseball equipment managers: BSmile sent along a picture of the  Yanks’ Pete Sheehy from 1970, and Brian sent along a shot from the White Sox locker room in 1959. … New unis for Bravos de Leon of the Mexican League (AAA). As Cesar points out, they are ad-free, a rarity for the Mexican League. … KT Wiz,  a team in Korea’s KBO league, will use artificial rain before games this season if the stadium is too dusty (from Jim Vilk). … The Yankees and Red Sox may play a two-game series next year in London, which would be an MLB first. … Alabama has already worn nine different uni combos in its first 21 games.

Pro Football NewsTyrann Mathieu will continue to wear No. 32 with the Texans (from Ignacio). … Not only is this ’70s fax machine ad featuring Roger Staubach awesome, but according to Scott Criscuolo, Staubach never used that mask design. … Interesting that the 49ers Foundation doesn’t use the same wordmark as the football team (from C.A. Bells). … Sir CC, the mascot of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, donned a classic Browns jersey last night as the Cavs honored Joe Thomas (from Robert Hayes). … The Canadian Football League will have a new game ball next season (from Wade Heidt and Nick Maibroda).

Hockey NewsThe Ottawa 67s painted a four-leaf clover — not a shamrock — on the ice for their game on Sunday for St. Patrick’s Day. At least they got it right on their St. Paddy’s Day sweaters (from Matthew Walthert).

NBA NewsLeBron James’s jersey from this year’s All-Star Game recently sold at auction for more than $90,000 (from Rick Mueller). … Cross-listed from the NFL section: The Cavaliers’ mascot “Sir CC” donned a classic Cleveland Browns football jersey as the Cavs honored Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas, who recently retired (from Robert Hayes).

College Hoops NewsReader Alex Gerwitz is tracking the uni color matchups throughout the NCAA tourney. Here’s what he has so far. … Bryan Black has collected more than 300 D1 jerseys to “take his mind off epilepsy and onto positivity.” Give him a follow (from Damon Hirschensohn). … Deadspin’s David Roth went after West Virginia coach Bob Huggins and Marshall coach Dan D’antoni for their, uh, interesting sense of fashion. … UConn women’s basketball star Gabby Williams got the full “athletes as superheroes” treatment in this promotional video shown during the Huskies’ first-round NCAA Tournament win over St. Francis (from Kary Klismet). … Don’t go to the dark side, UMBC (from Taylor Workman).

Soccer News: Puma officially unveiled 10 new away kits for national teams, four of which will be worn at the upcoming World Cup (from Phil). … Ryan found this Las Vegas Americans keeper’s jersey at a sporting goods store in Detroit. The Americans only played one season in the Major Indoor Soccer League before being expelled from the league for financial problems. … Turkish club Besiktas released a special prematch shirt, inspired by their 1933 jersey (from Ed Zelaski). … New kits for Tampa Bay Rowdies of the USL (from Kody Allenson). … Minneapolis City FC of the NPSL goes by the “Crows.” Their keeper’s shirts have a bird print on the sleeves — thus, #MurderSleeves.

Grab BagRetired tennis star Bjӧrn Borg is once again advertising with Fila (from Brinke). … Chicago welcomed Roger Federer to town for the Laver Cup with custom jerseys from all six of the city’s pro sports teams (also from Brinke). … The Alberta Luge Association has a pretty fun logo (from B.Q. G). … Disney is doing “March Magic” again this year, where they create sports-style logos for their theme park attractions (from Ryan Kelly). … Thursday marked the 119th anniversary of Pittsburgh naming black and yellow the city’s official colors. To mark the occasion, the city shared a timeline on Twitter (from Jerry Wolper). … Here’s some drone footage of the Cincinnati Gardens in mid-demolition.

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The best of the best: Back in the early 1990s, when I was working in book publishing, I edited a book called The Savage Mirror: The Art of Contemporary Caricature. One of the many excellent caricaturists featured in the book was the great illustrator Robert Grossman, who’d been active since the 1960s. I’d been vaguely aware of him (he did a lot of magazine work), but working on the book really made me appreciate how brilliant he was. He specialized in depicting politicians, although his repertoire also included celebrities, including the occasional athlete (like his rendering of Joe Namath, shown at right).

Grossman died a few days ago. As it happens, I had seen him do a live presentation just a few months ago — the first time I’d ever seen him in person, which was a genuine thrill. Seemed like a great guy. And now he’s gone. (Crazy coincidence: I attended that presentation with my friend Nate, who’s an animator. Just met him a year or two ago. After the Grossman presentation, he said, “Yeah, I really got into Grossman when I was in art school and I got this book called The Savage Mirror.” He just about shit when I told him I had edited that book, and it was a nice shared touchstone that we both had with Grossman’s work.)

Although Grossman spent most of his career depicting people, his single best-known work had no people in it: He did the famous poster for the 1980 movie Airplane! It was his idea to show the plane tied in a knot. Nearly four decades later, it still holds up, as does most of his work. R.I.P.

Who Needs a Frankenjersey When You Have a Frankenblazer?

Photo by Derrick Paul, @WestVirgyinzer

It was an all-Mountain State affair last night in San Diego, as Marshall and West Virginia faced off in the second round of the NCAA tourney. And there was a special guest on hand: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, who made the 2,000-mile trip to see the game (hopefully not at taxpayer expense). Justice is a Marshall grad, but he didn’t play favorites with his attire. As you can see above, he wore a Frankenblazer — green on one side for Marshall and blue on the other for WVU.

But there’s more. Trevor Patton and our own Phil Hecken noted that Justice was also wearing a frankentie! It appeared to be two ties — one blue and one green — held together with white duct tape or something similar:

That second shot is taken from this video clip, which features Justice talking about his outfit and the game:

And there’s still more: According to this AP report, “Before the game, [Justice] held a coin toss with the schools’ athletic directors to see whose rooting section he would sit in first. West Virginia won. At halftime, Justice walked around the arena to sit with Thundering Herd fans.”

WVU won the game and will play No. 1 seed Villanova on Friday.

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NBA Uni Tracking
By Collin Wright

If you look at the season-long trend, you can see that the three types of uniform matchups (home team in white, road team in white, and color vs. color) are beginning to even out. Here’s our latest chart (click to enlarge):

A few items of note from the past week:

• The Heat wore their regular white uniform on March 12. It was the first time they’d worn it since Jan. 22, a span of 20 games. They did wear white in 16 of those games, but each time it was their “Vice” set.

• On March 15, the Hawks wore white for the first time since Jan. 24. They’d worn one of their black or red designs in 21 consecutive games.

• On March 16, the Nets wore their regular black uniforms for the first time since Jan. 19. They’d worn dark uniforms in 19 of the 23 games during that span.

• The Bucks wore their green uniform at home for the first time all season on March 17 — a nod to St. Patrick’s Day.

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Print’s charming: When we were recently selling our limited-edition “Rain Check” T-shirt, designed by Todd Radom, several readers said they’d be interested in purchasing the ticket stub design as a print. As it happens, Todd owns a high-quality printer that uses archival pigment-based inks to produce gorgeous artwork like these city-based posters, so a print of the T-shirt design would be easy for him to do if there’s enough demand for it.

After back-and-forthing it a bit with Todd, here’s what we’re thinking for this project:

• We’ll do a limited edition, with each print numbered and signed by Todd and myself.

• The prints would be 5″ by 7″, on a white background. So they might look something like this (we might tinker with the exact size of the ticket stub relative to the background):

• Or, we could make the design horizontal and show three different ticket stubs with three different color schemes — something like this (click to enlarge):

If we do the three-stub version, we’d change the wording so one of the stubs said “Field Level Box” and the other two referenced other seating areas (like “Upper Grandstand,” or whatever). We’d change box/row/seat numbering for each stub as well. And we might tinker with the colors a bit. The image shown above is just to give you an idea of how it could look. (Personally, I like how the three-stub repetition creates a sort of Warholian effect.)

• The price will likely be $16 or $17, plus shipping.

Before we go ahead with this, we’d like to get a sense of how many people would be interested. If that’s you, please weigh in below (you can check both boxes if you like):

Thanks for your input, and my continued thanks to Todd for being so much fun to collaborate with. It’s a privilege to work with such talented people.

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Great uni movie: Over the weekend I saw the new political farce The Death of Stalin, which is fucking hilarious. It’s also that rarest of great movies: a great uniform movie. Dig:

1. After Stalin dies, the members of the CCCP wear red memorial armbands (for all photos, you can click to enlarge):

2. There’s a scene showing a practice session of the Soviet hockey team, wearing some very cool early-1950s uniforms:

3. There are lots of scenes of the secret police wearing spectacular olive overcoats and blue caps, which work together surprisingly well:

4. There’s a military general who wears a farcical amount of medals on his uniform:

And so on. A movie that’s as much a feast for the eyes as it is a treat for the brain. Don’t miss.

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Culinary Corner: I was dropping off some theoretical T-shirts at my local butcher shop on Saturday and noticed that they had little lamb sirloin roasts in the meat case — a cut I hadn’t tried before. It seemed like just the thing for Sunday dinner on a cold March weekend, so I went back yesterday and got one of them. It was a little thing, just two pounds (for all of these photos, you can click to enlarge):

I prepped it by putting some rosemary, thyme, sage, salt, pepper, olive oil, and garlic in my food processor and pulsing it until I had a coarse paste, which I rubbed all over the lamb:

After an hour-ish in the oven, it was a gorgeous medium-rare. Served it with a pan sauce and a simple salad — nothin’ fancy. An extremely simple but very satisfying meal:

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Raffle results: The winner of the 19Nine raffle is Chris Costello, who’s chosen these Indiana shorts and this St. John’s T-shirt as his prizes. Congrats to him, and thanks to all who entered. More raffles coming soon.

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The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: In the Netflix documentary series Wild Wild Country, about controversial 1980s attempts of the followers of an Indian spiritual teacher to build a town in Oregon, a man can be seen wearing a plastic A’s batting helmet. “I had that exact same one as a kid in New Hampshire around that time,” says Tris Wykes. … Rays minor league outfielder David Olmedo-Barrera has a 180-degree NOB on his spring training jersey (from multiple readers). … The wearing of pink came either a few months late or early for Oregon softball (from Jeff Frank). … Staying in softball, Ohio State and Oklahoma played each other wearing basically identical uniforms, not just jerseys (from Ryan Osborn). … The Lansing Lugnuts will hold Mike Sadler Night, including a jersey giveaway, on May 3. Sadler was the popular Michigan State punter who died in a car accident in 2016 (from Jason Reid). … Back in 1991, Toys R Us had a company softball team with the company’s signature backwards R serving as a chest logo and cap logo. … In 1968, the Orioles took two team portraits — one with the team facing forward and one with their backs to the camera. It was part of a promotional campaign called “Let’s Get Behind the Birds!” (The unnumbered jersey at lower-right was worn by Jay Mazzone, the batboy, who’s been featured before on Uni Watch.) “I wish more teams would do this, so we could see the NOBs and numbers in all their glory,” says Tristan Ridgeway.

Hockey News: The Canadiens recently traded center Tomáš Plekanec to the Maple Leafs. Plekanec was known for wearing a turtleneck shirt under his jersey, so other Canadiens saluted him by wearing turtlenecks during pregame warmups before their first game after the trade (from Mike Engle). … The AHL’s Charlotte Checkers were yet another team to wear St. Patrick’s uniforms. … The Blues wore white at home Saturday (from Adam Chkaut). … Washington State’s governor may have given away the name of the potential Seattle NHL team (from Moe Khan).

Basketball News: Reader John Muir sends us some team photos of Georgetown Prep (Md.)’s junior varsity team ca. 1911, including some striped socks. The school’s teams, true to its name, are frequently called “the Little Hoyas” in D.C.-area media. … Ray Hund says that the Bulls appear to have worn intentionally mismatched socks for the 1967-68 season.

Soccer News: With the NWSL starting next week, only a handful of kits have been revealed so far, including for the North Carolina Courage (first and second) and Washington Spirit (first and goalkeeper). In the absence of new kits, the participants at a preseason tournament hosted by the Portland Thorns looked very plain, even the host team. The league also has a new NOB font. … Some English teams painted their pitch lines different colors because of snow over the weekend, including Sheffield United (red) and Barnsley (blue). … Leicester City produced elaborate pitch patterns for several years until the Premier League required plain horizontal stripes for this season, but can still have them in the FA Cup (from Brett Baker). … German team shirts crossed with the shirts of Peanuts characters? Sure, why not (from Iain Landon).

Grab Bag: The NLL’s Calgary Roughnecks wore black St. Patrick’s uniforms (from Wade Heidt). … There was a blue-on-blue matchup in Super Rugby, the southern hemisphere rugby union competition, between the Stormers and Blues, from Cape Town and Auckland respectively (from Ted Kerwin). Not helping is that the Blues’ shirts are, well, both blue. … Color-vs.-color lacrosse between Rutgers and Syracuse (from @stevewoj). … In Formula E, the FIA’s series for electrically powered cars, driver Lucas di Grassi received a fine and points deduction for wearing illegal underwear, because he had run out of clean legal pairs (from Kenny Ocker). … NHRA Funny Car driver Matt Hagan suffered an explosion Saturday, which led to what looks like the car’s rear body panels flying through the air (from David Firestone). … University of Iowa wrestler Spencer Lee, an avid video game player, chose the Pokemon theme song as his entrance music for the 125-pound final at the NCAA wrestling championships (from Kary Klismet).