A Look At Some Quirky Baseball Stadia

By Phil Hecken, with Ron Bolton

It’s been a while since I collaborated with my buddy Ron Bolton (seen here with me at a Mets game this past summer), who you guys probably know more famously for his twitter handle, @OTBaseballPhoto. Our most recent undertaking occurred over the summer, when we took a look at baseball stadiums never built, but he’s partnered with me on a bunch of postings over the past couple years on Uni Watch. Ron’s back today with a new set of old timey photos and writeups, this batch involving “quirky” baseball parks.

Enjoy. Here’s Ron:

+ + + + + + + + + +

Quirky Baseball Parks
By Ron Bolton

Ketchikan, Alaska, ca 1905

Set at the southernmost entrance to Alaska’s famed Inside Passage, this small town at the turn of the century started a lover affair with the game of baseball but with sparse space to play it. The only area flat and large enough for a baseball field was on the tideflats of Ketchikan Creek, meaning twice a day the diamond had to deal with the hide tide and depending on conditions home plate could be under as much as 15-feet of water!

Despite the wet and muddy conditions of the field, many games were contested on a ground of soggy bark and logs that would need to be cleared before first pitch. Eventually higher ground was found in the 1920’s for a new (and drier!) ballpark and the days of the players battling the tides was done.

+ + + + + + + + + +

Sprudel Park, French Lick, IN

One of the most unusual and quirkiest venues to host baseball games. Originally built in 1896 as an double-deck bicycle track that was oval in shape and stretched and curved for 1/3 of a mile. It was constructed on the grounds of the luxurious West Baden Springs Hotel. Soon after the structure’s completion a baseball field was laid out in the center and would attract several MLB teams for spring training like the champion Cubs in 1908.

It was also home to the West Baden Sprudels, an independent Negro League team run by the Black employees of the hotel. And fans would watch the games from the elevated oval track 15-feet high.

Over time the structure grew weak and the owners of the hotel wanted to raze it but were hesitant due to the high costs of the project. But in the summer of 1925 good fortune struck the owners when a strong windstorm did them a favor and destroyed the flailing wooden structure.

+ + + + + + + + + +

Brookside Stadium, Cleveland, Oct 3, 1915

70,000 are on hand to watch Cleveland White Autos sweep the Conemaugh of Johnstown, PA by scores of 4-0 and 11-0 to advance in the World Amateur Baseball Championship. Louis Crowley was the hurler in both games for White Autos and allowed just four hits in both games combined.

Brookside Stadium is a natural amphitheater stadium capable of holding up to 115,000 as it did the following Sunday (Oct 10, 1915) as pictured in the panorama.

However, over time the playing field and the hills were hardly tended to and Brookside Stadium slowly faded into history and just remnants of the field and area remain as a reminder how alive the hills once were.

+ + + + + + + + + +

Ocean Park, Lynn, Massachusetts, ca 1907

As its name suggests this ballpark was located right next to the Atlantic Ocean and games played there were subject to odd weather conditions such as heavy fog and strong winds. And the fog at times was thick enough to postpone games. The oceanfront ballpark was home to the Lynn Shoemakers of the New England League. The teams nickname was on account of Lynn having one of the first strikes of its kind in the nation in 1860 when 3,000 shoemakers walked the picket line.

+ + + + + + + + + +

Fairbanks, Alaska, ca 1910

We go back to The Last Frontier but this time in Fairbanks were the ballpark might not be all that quirky or unusual but the time of day (or night!) they play an annual game that is called the “Midnight Sun Game” might be.

This photo was taken exactly at midnight, the year is an estimate but the time of year was June 21st (give or take a day) during the summer solstice and when Alaska gets 22-hours of sunlight. This annual game started in 1906 and was hosted by various teams in the area, but in 1960 the Alaska Goldpanners became the exclusive team to be the host and the games took place at Growden Memorial Park. Since they taken to the part of the home team the Goldpanners record is 45-12.

Here’s a look at a modern incarnation of the game, with a photograph was taken at midnight during the 2005 game, June 21, 2005.

+ + + + + + + + + +

Armory Park, Toledo, OH, ca 1900

One of my favorite little-known ballparks ever, I mean its left field wall is part of a frigging castle! Or an armory (hence the ballpark’s name), but it must have been the coolest thing to see in the day. The ballpark was built in 1897 and served home to the Toledo Mud Hens (Max Klinger’s favorite baseball team) until 1909 when it gave way to Swayne Field.

The most prominent feature of Armory Park was that huge fortification of bricks masquerading as the left field wall. While it looks like a castle it was in reality it was the Ohio National Guard Armory.

Armory Park was razed in 1910 and in its place was built a tabernacle where the legendary Billy Sunday would preach drawing big crowds.

+ + + + + + + + + +

Electric Park, Aberdeen, WA, 1907

Electric Park was home to Aberdeen Black Cats, a Class B minor league that played in Northwestern League. 1907 served the Black Cats bats well winning the league title with a 85-51 record while Irv Higginbotham (pitched for Cardinals) led team with 29 wins.

What makes this ballpark unique and quirky for me is 1), the setting, there are few places better to play our national pastime than the beautiful Northwest. And 2), the Electric Park grandstand. Its unique style just blends in with the landscape, when I look at this photo I always find myself staring at that structure. How can you not?

+ + + + + + + + + +

Thanks, Ron! Great stuff as always.


Kreindler’s Korner

I had the distinct pleasure of featuring the wonderful artwork of artist Graig Kriendler on two occasions over the summer and fall of 2017, and more recently, in August of 2018.

For those who don’t wish to click the links, Graig paints baseball heroes (and regular guys) from the past, and is an immense talent.

Occasionally, I will be featuring his work on Uni Watch.

Here’s today’s offering (click to enlarge):

• • •

Title: “Far From Albuquerque”
Subject: Ernie Banks, 1969
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 24″ x 38″

Ernie Banks will forever be remembered as one of the best baseball players to never get into postseason play. However, he will forever be remembered as one of the game’s most gentle souls, as the good natured man from Dallas always wanted to “play two” in the “friendly confines” of Chicago’s Wrigley Field. Grateful for the ability to play baseball for a living, Banks had no interest in changing the world – especially one that was still going through integration on and off the field of play. His ideas on the word ‘race’ were reflected in how it affected his own life: the run to beat the throw.

Banks was picked up by the legendary Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues in 1950. At the advice of Cool Papa Bell, Monarchs manager Buck O’Neil had signed him from an amateur team in Texas. After an average first season with the Monarchs, 1953 saw a young Ernie Banks return from two years of duty in the armed forces. It was then that he began to show wonderful promise, batting in 47 runs in just 46 games. After Banks hit a homerun in the East-West Game at Comiskey Park that same year, Buck was sure that the kid was something special. When he left his job with the Negro Leagues to join the Chicago Cubs, O’Neil took remembered what had seen in Comiskey that day, and signed Banks for the second time, making him the first African-American to play for the National League ballclub in the Chicago.

Coming into the majors as a young shortstop near the end of the 1953 season, Banks did not look much like the power hitter he came to be known as. On September 20 of that year, Banks gave Cub fans a glimpse of what to expect, as he hit the first homerun of his career. Slim, tall and wiggling his bat nervously while waiting for an incoming pitch, one would never guess how much power was generated from his quick and strong wrists. A scout later touted that the thin-framed rook had “wrists right up to his armpits”. It was two years later, in 1955, that he set the record for most homeruns by a shortstop, with 44. He broke that same record four years later, with 47 round trippers. In a five year period, he had slammed more homers than anyone in baseball – more than guys named Mantle, Mays and Aaron. And, though erratic at the beginning of his career, Ernie became a hard working, dependable shortstop, making only 12 errors in over 500 tries in the last year of the decade. Such accolades earned him back-to-back league MVP awards in 1958 and 1959.

Quickly becoming a fan favorite in the mid-1950s, Banks became just as known for his interactions with fans and his jubilant spirit, as he did his marvelous craft. His modesty was also legendary, as he had declined the Cubs’ offer to give him a day at Wrigley, as he felt he had not been around long enough to deserve such an honor.

Banks continued his dominance into the 1960s, with remarkable performances in the 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1965 seasons. Though, the Chicago Cubs, who had managed but one .500 season in the 1950s, seemed destined to suffer the same fate in the early 1960s. Due to a string of injuries, Banks began to show his age as well, moving to regular duty as a first baseman in 1963. It was in 1966, with the hiring of Manager Leo Durocher, that the Cubbies began to show life. That season saw young pitching talent, such as Ken Holtzman, Bill Hands and Ferguson Jenkins. Rich Nye and Joe Niekro came to the team the year after, and helped Chicago reach third place, the highest the club had finished since 1946. In 1968, amid many injuries and setbacks, they strengthened their team with the additions of Phil Regan, Al Spangler, Jim Hickman and Willie, and again finished third. It was thought that all of the pieces of the puzzle were in place. 1969 would finally be their year.

Pictured is Ernie sitting on the dugout steps, signing autographs for his adoring fans on April 9, the first game of the 1969 season. The familiar bricked wall dugout of Wrigley provides a backdrop for equally delighted members of the Cubs grounds crew. In the twilight of his career, the then-38 year old Ernie Banks was playing in his last great season, a season that saw him drive in over 100 runs, a season that saw the Cubs rise to the top of the class in the National League by holding first place for 143 games out of 163.

And then, just as dramatically, the Cubs fell to second place on September 9th. All of the Cubs overworked regulars, faired poorly as the long season dragged on. Ron Santo, Randy Hundley and Glenn Beckert all slumped, and Ernie Banks hit a measly .186 with 1 homer in 86 at bats during the month of September. Try as they may, the Cubbies failed to regain their lead, and missed the playoffs for yet another season.

Though, no matter how historic their team’s collapse, Cub fans could never hold ill will towards their boys, most especially Ernie Banks. For so many years during his career, and years after, when his number was retired and he was elected to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, to them, Banks was the symbol of all that was good in baseball – he was about the sport, plain and simple.

• • •

Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.

Raffle reminder: Paul here. In case you missed it on Friday, our annual year-end raffle, featuring dozens of cool items (including an amazing Uni Watch hockey jersey made by DIY genius Wafflebored, shown above), is now underway. Full details here.

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: Just what we need before the hot stove heats up: The new exhibit at the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum “Pain, Protection and Performance: The Evolution of Baseball Equipment” is now open. For more information, click here. … CROSSOVER ALERT! From Funhouse, check out this pic of Deion Sanders wearing his Atlanta Braves cap with his Atlanta Falcons uni! (Also posted in NFL). … You’ve always wanted to see the greatest songwriting duo ever possibly playing baseball, right? Right! (from Tailgate Throwback Sports).

NFL News: Here’s a (not-so?) subtle change that occurred for the Jacksonville Jaguars between the pre-season and regular season during 1997: the team began play with block shadowed numbers, quickly switching to non-shadowed numbers during the season (from Pens Chronicles). The change is noted in the GUD, but it looks a lot more drastic on the unis than in graphic form. … At the Grand Central Terminal Vineyard Vines, there is a set of those crazy metallic helmets (I think they’re part of the Riddell Blaze collection), from rick ho. … Isn’t that sweet? Drew Brees sent a custom commemorative football to every receiver who helped him break the career passing yards record (from Kary Klismet). … Good spot by Beau Parsons who noticed the Browns Baker Mayfield has a number “6” stitched onto his stocking cap. … CROSSOVER ALERT! From Funhouse, check out this pic of Deion Sanders wearing his Atlanta Braves cap with his Atlanta Falcons uni! (Also posted in Baseball). … The Buffalo Bills will wear their all red color rash unis today against Detroit. … The Browns will go orange/white/orange today vs. the Broncos (from our own Alex Hider). … We have an answer to the question, “what endzones will we see in MetLife Giants Stadium?” as the Jets played late yesterday and the Giants play early today: generic striped endzones. Nice. … “NFL Network using pre-season image of Baker Mayfield?” asks Jon Solomonson. “No stripes on helmet.” … The Stillers will be wearing their color rash unis today — one of the better of the CR looks, no doubt.

College Football News: Oops: During yesterday’s “Cure” Bowl, CBSSN was having a rough go of it early. They were using the Lafayette logo on the ULL down and distance graphic. Here’s another look (from Trayton Miller and Andy Altemus respectively). The Ragin Cajuns (who now just go by “Louisiana”) logo looks like this. Should have looked like this. It was fixed later in the game. … Bowl sticker update: Sam McKinley notes, “CFP stickers on the OU helmet. Would appear (thankfully) OU is sticking with the traditional unis for the Orange Bowl.” … Here’s a look at the RedBox corporately-named patches the Oregon Ducks will wear for their bowl game (from Glen Matthews). … Color vs. color is not always the optimal matchup in a neutral site bowl game. Example #1 (from Steve Helwick). I mean, seriously, what were they thinking (from Steve Carter). … Reader/tweeter Chris Mycoskie says he “Really like(s) @alleneaglesfb alternate helmet. Mascot with all five state championship trophies. Two more wins, and they’ll have to update this.”

Hockey News: It’s the most wonderful time of the year: “Incredibly cool holiday sweater uniforms for the Peoria_Rivermen of the SPHL,” notes Wes Huett. “Best touch is the embroidered numbers on the arms and back. Perfection.” … In his latest blog for NY Sports Day, Peter Schwartz tells the previously untold story about how the New York Islanders fisherman jersey was leaked to the Daily News in 1995! … As mentioned in yesterday’s post, the release of the Pens/Flyers SS logos will likely lead to new unis for both teams for the game. Is my hope for the Pens in gold realistic? … So you want an Ovi bobble wearing a white jersey and holding the Stanley Cup? Of course you do. Here’s how. … The Cincinnati Cyclones wore their Star Wars-themed unis last evening (from useroftweets). … More holiday sweaters: the Sioux Falls Stampede donned these last night (from Sioux Falls Stampede). … Still more ugly sweaters: The Reading Royals busted out the ugly sweaters yesterday (from Jeff Tasca). … STILL more ugly sweaters: this time from the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (from Al Gruwell). … And then, there are just plain ugly (from Daren Stoltzfus). … Getting ready for the WC: “This trailer rolled into the US from Canada this afternoon,” says LetsMakeThisAwkward.

NBA/College/High School Hoops News: There’s logo theft and logo appropriation, and then there’s this: “Clay City High School (IN), whose mascot is the eels (!), is using part of the Golden State warriors logo,” says Derek Linn. … Looks like Dayton Mens Hoops have added stars to their practice shorts for hustle (from John Bedell). … Big difference in NOB sizes for Maryland Eastern Shore hoops players (from cb58). … Two Virginia Tech basketball players — Justin Robinson and Kerry Blackshear — will wear graduation caps on their jerseys; both just graduated this week (from Andrew Cosentino). … The Evansville Aces wore sleeved throwbacks, and this article has a pretty good slideshow of photos of them. … Sean Hare notes this gray vs black in the Cincinnati vs. Miss St game. “Seems impossible to make the right pass,” he adds. … Of course there was a similar situation between Xavier and Eastern Kentucky. Dark grey vs maroon (from Johnathon O’Halloran). … Check out this referee with a matching referee stripe do-rag used for a rec league game (from Josh Gibson).

Soccer News: From our Pacific Rim correspondent Jeremy Brahm, we have a new logo for Japan’s J-League soccer “after advertising agreement with Meiji Yasuda Life Insuance for its 3 levels.” … Here’s a pretty clever twitter graphic showing the kit matchups for Premier League teams for match week (from Josh Hinton). … The next two items are also from Josh: UK Double Diamond brand Umbro recently announced not less than three important kit deals with teams worldwide, and the Nike San Lorenzo 2019 home kit just got leaked. … “My first ticker submission in forever!” exclaims Patrick Nance. “The American Outlaws–the official US Soccer fan group–come out with a T-shirt design every year and they just debuted the one for 2019. I thought this helpful placard was a fun tongue-in-cheek dig at the over-the-top “story-telling” we see a lot of times.”

Grab Bag: Bah Humbug! During the holiday season, United Airlines gives its flight attendants some leeway on how to accessorise their uniforms. But the US airline based in Chicago apparently doesn’t want its flight crews to go overboard with extras, such as antlers, Santa hats, haloes, etc. … Before the inaugural game of the third iteration of the Philadelphia Wings (NLL) yesterday, they re-raised the past championship & retired number banners (Bergey, Marechek, Eliuk) at Wells Fargo Center, but with the new Wings logo none of them played in (from Michael MPH). … Jimmer Vilk loves the “medals” the winners got in Springboat Springs this weekend.

Let's Go Bowling (2018 Edition - Part I)

By Phil Hecken

OK, kids, it’s that time of year again. That wonderful time of year known as “Bowl Season.” And as I’ve done for the past several years (to varying degrees of success, though I usually end up about 50% correct), I shall pick the winners of the bowl games (against the spread), based on who has the better uniform set worn throughout the 2018 season.

Some of the games will have a slam-dunk winner for best uni, some will be pretty easy to see, others are a tough call — and some feature teams that are both so bad that neither team deserves to be picked. I shall do so anyway.

As always, you can click on the graphics to see a full size. In all cases, every attempt was made to include all uniform combos worn by each team throughout the year. In some instances, a team with a better uniform in general, but who goes off the grid with too many “special” unis (or fails to use school colors) will not get the nod over a lesser-attired team. It’s not a question of how many unis and combos a school has — it’s who wears them better.

I know Paul’s not a big fan of corporate-douchebaggery associated with Bowl Names. So I’ll do my best to avoid that. OK? OK.

There are 40 Bowls this year (plus the final CFP game to be played on January 7th) and I’ll be breaking them up into segments: today — the 11 bowls taking place today and through Friday. Next weekend I’ll have the 13 you’ll see the following week, and finally the last 16 bowls with teams you’ve actually watched all season long. You can click on any image to enlarge. (Apologies if they seem to run into one another — first listed school is on top, second listed is on the bottom.)

So, without further ado, here goes nothing…

_________________

Celebration:
North Carolina A&T vs. Alcorn State
Saturday, December 15; Noon; ABC
Spread: North Carolina A&T is a 7.5 point favorite

North Carolina AT&T

Alcorn State

Not the most visually appealing potential matchup, with NC AT&T in their blue and gold (good) with a sprinkling of GFGS (bad) thrown in. They go against purple and gold Alcorn who have an interesting Northwestern shoulder stripe for their dark jersey, but UCLA shoulder loops for their white tops (reminds me of the old Vikings from 1969 thru the early 1990s), which normally would offend my OCD but which I kinda dig here. Unfortunate truncated stripes on the gold pants, but otherwise, I like!

The Pick: Alcorn State plus 7.5

_________________

New Mexico:
North Texas vs. Utah State
Saturday, December 15; 2:00 pm; ESPN
Spread: Utah State is a 9.5 point favorite

North Texas

Utah State

I love North Texas’ use of kelly green, and I just wish they didn’t feel the need to wear so much black with it (leave that for Marshall, shall we?), but it’s a beautiful shade. Four helmets (black, white, green & shiny silver) seem like a bit much though. Utah State on the other hand is your basic navy, white (and gray), but their unis are just so…what’s the word I want…drab. TNDL (Team Name Down Leg) doesn’t help their cause either. Gotta stay green.

The Pick: North Texas getting 9 and a half

_________________

Cure:
Louisiana vs. Tulane
Saturday, December 15; 2:30 pm; CBSSN
Spread: Tulane is a 3.5 point favorite

Louisiana

Tulane

Our first slam dunk. After farting around for years with some really crazy, shitty unis the Louisiana Ragin Cajun has settled into just two for this season, and both are solid (if unspectacular). And that’s not a bad thing at all. Tulane, the Angriest of Green Waves, has gone hog wild with combos this year, and not in a good way. I’ve never been a fan of pairing blue and green (yeah, I’m weird like that), so I’ve never been much of a fan of Tulane’s colors anyway. Throw in a few BFBS looks and it’s just an overall mess. Their template is solid enough, but that’s about it.

The Pick: Louisiana getting 3.5

_________________

Las Vegas:
Fresno State vs. Arizona State
Saturday, December 15; 3:30 pm; ABC
Spread: Fresno State is a 4.5 point favorite

Fresno State

Arizona State

If only ASU would stick to maroon and gold, I’d give them the nod here, but their continued use of BFBS is a disqualifier. I didn’t even mind when they wore copper accents under both Nike and adidas, but I can’t get behind the black. Fresno, on the other hand, basically stuck with red and white (with a hint of blue), and despite the unfortunate pants stripes, wins this uni battle.

The Pick: I’ll take Fresno and give the points

_________________

Camellia:
Eastern Michigan vs. Georgia Southern
Saturday, December 15; 5:30 pm; ESPN
Spread: Georgia Southern is a .5 point favorite

Eastern Michigan

Georgia Southern

You’d think, especially if you know me and my uni-leanings, this one would be a no doubt, slam dunk. And you’d probably be right. I mean, you know Alabama is my favorite college uni, and Georgia Southern is basically Alabama in navy. Simple — always just two combos — great, right? But for some reason, despite their multiple combos, I do really like EMU — even their use of diamond plate on the numbers and helmet decals. They might be the one school whose use of the old adidas tire-tread template actually works. But still, I gotta go with the classic look, even if EMU might tempt me otherwise against a lesser-attired school.

The Pick: Georgia Southern giving up a half-point

_________________

New Orleans:
Middle Tennessee vs. Appalachian State
Saturday, December 15; 9:00 pm; ESPN
Spread: App State is a 7.5 point favorite

Middle Tennessee

Appalachian State

This one’s easy. Middle Tennessee basically has nothing going for them — white, gray, royal, BFBS — it’s all too much. Yes, some schools still feel the need to basically wear a different combo for every game, but that’s not usually a good thing. App State, in their attractive black and gold, kept it pretty simple this season, and to good effect. They win this uni battle.

The Pick: I’ll take App State and give the points

_________________

Boca Raton:
UAB vs. Northern Illinois
Tuesday, December 18; 7:00 pm; ESPN
Spread: UAB is a 2.5 point favorite

UAB

Northern Illinois

Normally I’d like a school whose colors are green and gold over a black/red team. But UAB just doesn’t quite do it for me here. NIU kept it pretty simple (and I actually really dig that red over black combo).

The Pick: NIU getting 2.5 points

_________________

Frisco:
Ohio vs. San Diego State
Wednesday, December 19; 8:00 pm; ESPN
Spread: Ohio is a 3.5 point favorite

Ohio

San Diego State

Dammit, Ohio. You still feel the need to go BFBS at least once a season. The green and white is so purdy — just stick with that please! Even so, I’ve loved SDSU’s two Aztec-inspired unis since they were introduced back in 2015. I’m surprised they’ve never added an alternate or special costume since then, but kudos to them for resisting!

The Pick: I’ll take SDSU and take the points

_________________

Gasparilla:
Marshall vs. South Florida
Thursday, December 20; 8:00 pm; ESPN
Spread: Marshall is a 2.5 point favorite

Marshall

USF

Remember how I remarked on North Texas’ use of kelly & black above? Well, that seems to be Marshall’s shtick as well. When Marshall first got this set, they didn’t have any black, but over the years have added in a pair of pants (ok) and now jersey (not ok). I like that they keep to one helmet, but they didn’t need to add in the all black. USF basically stuck to two unis this season, with one BFBS kit with tequila sunrise striped numbers. I’ll overlook that, sorta. Still, it’s close, but USF gets a slight nod here.

The Pick: USF getting 2.5

_________________

Bahamas:
FIU vs. Toledo
Friday, December 21; 12:30 pm; ESPN
Spread: Toledo is a 5.5 point favorite

FIU

Toledo

Except for the panther claw marks on their pants, I actually like FIU’s unis and they’ve stuck to the navy, white and metallic gold script pretty well. Toledo, on the other hand, has actually gotten better over the past few years, and I do love me some navy and athletic gold. Yeah, the TNDL is annoying but that’s the only awful thing about their unis. This one (depending on how the unis shake out) could have a mirror image look to it, or … maybe not. It’s almost a coin toss here, but I’ll give the slight edge to Toledo and hope they don’t disappoint me.

The Pick: Toledo, giving 5 and a half

_________________

Potato:
BYU vs. Western Michigan
Friday, December 21; 4:00 pm; ESPN
Spread: BYU is a 12.5 point favorite

BYU

Western Michigan

This one is another no-doubter. BYU has fantastic uniforms, and my only complaint with them is that they should just wear the royal blue (vs. navy) every game. But other than that, they’re perfect. WMU isn’t awful, but they’re pretty close. The color scheme of brown and metallic gold isn’t bad, but they have a really annoying pants stripe and what looks to be a set of BFBS pants. It wouldn’t matter if they didn’t, this one’s all Brigham Young.

The Pick: BYU giving up a ton

_________________

And there you have it — the first 11 bowls of the 2018 season. Let’s see if I can do better than my usual 50% in picking winners based on the better uni combos worn throughout the season.

Penguins and Flyers unveil Stadium Series logos

While the news isn’t exactly earth-shattering, yesterday the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers both released their logos for their upcoming Stadium Series game to be played at the Linc on February 23rd of next year. The logo for the game itself had already been released in July of this year.

We haven’t yet seen the uniforms (that will probably happen shortly), so all we have to go on is the logos — perhaps giving us a hint of what is to come. The Penguins, as the visitors, first:

Next up, the Flyers:

Taken outside of the videos, the two logos look like this:

PENGUINS

FLYERS

Obviously, not too different from their current logos, except both are two color (neither of which is white). This has led some to think we might see a color vs. color (orange vs. gold???) game and maybe, just maybe, a “color rush” on ice (we can only hope and pray the Penguins don’t go with gold breezers, although it might not be the worst uniform ever).

For now, we can only speculate on the unis. I’d love to see an orange vs gold game (or at least orange vs. gold jerseys). But we’ll only know that once the teams unveil their (sure to be) special unis for the game.

Raffle reminder: Paul here. In case you missed it on Friday, our annual year-end raffle, featuring dozens of cool items (including an amazing Uni Watch hockey jersey made by DIY genius Wafflebored, shown above), is now underway. Full details here.

The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: This brief video of the 1940 City Series between the White Sox and Cubs at Wrigley shows the Cubs in vests, with white short sleeved shirts underneath, giving the appearance of sleeved jerseys, with blue undershirts with red sleeve stripes. What a combo! (Many thanks to Ed Hughes for sending this our way). … The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame is looking to crowdfund an effort to produce bobbleheads of some of the Negro Leagues’ greatest stars in honor of the Negro Leagues’ forthcoming centennial (from Mike Chamernik). … A new exhibit at the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum showcases the evolution of baseball equipment (thanks, Brinke).

NFL News:  This pic shows a player undergoing a jersey fitting for the Arizona Hotshots of the Alliance of American Football, and check the background: facemaskless helmets! (from Griffin Smith). … Also posted in the hockey section: The Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL are wearing Packers-inspired jerseys for their Celebrate Wisconsin Weekend (from Mike Thompson).

College/High School Football News: Erskine College is bringing back football, and just revealed their pretty cool new helmets (from Stephen C. Mitchell). … The Liberty Bowl patches have been applied to Mizzou unis (from Steve Johnston). … Speaking of patches, this “behind the scenes” video of Alabama’s preparations for the College Football Playoff features Tide players in full uniform, but sans patches. Interesting (from Griffin Smith). … GO MAINE!

Hockey News: The Pens and Flyers both posted a Twitter video that seem to give us a hint of what their Stadium Series sweaters will look like, leading some to believe it’ll look something like a Color Rash NFL game (from Chris AinsworthCole BuryNoah Kastroll and everyone else who sent this in). … Corey Crawford has revealed the mask he’ll wear during the Winter Classic (from @GoalieGearNerd). … We’ve had uni ads in hockey for a long time at basically every level but the NHL. So I suppose it was only a matter of time before we got goalie pad ads, too (from Damon Hirschensohn). … The AHL’s Ontario Reign are auctioning off their ugly sweater, uh, sweaters today (from Matt McElroy). … The Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL have basically the best unis ever for Darth Vader night (from @labflyer). … Cross-posted in the pro football section: The Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL are wearing Packers-inspired sweaters for their Celebrate Wisconsin Weekend (from Mike Thompson). … The USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks have been wearing Pearl Harbor commemoration sweaters.

College Hoops News: Abilene Christian University has unveiled throwback unis. The “ACC” stands for Abilene Christian College, the university’s name until 1976. … Evansville has added a sleeved alternate (from Scott Hurt). … The Sooners will debut their new alternates today (thanks, Phil).

Soccer News: Liverpool and New Balance have unveiled a special-edition “blackout kit” (from Moe Khan and Roy Hilliard). … Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola wore a Puma jacket during City’s Champions League match against Hoffenheim, despite the club being outfitted by Nike. Puma will take over manufacturing duties for the Citizens after this season (from Josh Hinton).

Grab Bag: Lots of news for Richard Childress Racing: a 50th anniversary logo, two gold cars for the Daytona 500, and the No. 31 car has been rebranded as the No. 8 and to be driven by Daniel Hemric (from Christopher Hickey and Kyle Dawson). … This is so cool: siblings Maret and Paul Otterson marched opposite each other with the North Dakota State and South Dakota State marching bands, respectively, as the Bison and Jackrabbits met in the FCS semifinals (from James Gilbert). … Iowa State Wrestling has three new singlets, including a BFBS one (from Kary Klismet). … Not sports related, but Capcom, producers of the legendary video game series Street Fighter, has announced that Street Fighter players will get extra in-game currency if they choose to allow advertisements on their in-game avatars (from Don Martinez).

Uni Watch Fan Appreciation Day, 2018 Edition

thanks.png

It’s that time of year again — the time when I give something back to you folks, literally. Or, if you prefer to be more cynical about it, the time when I clear out all the freebies that have accumulated in my apartment over the past year (along with some things that readers and advertisers have generously donated). Either way, it’s the day I run a big raffle that all of you can enter.

As in past years, some of you may recognize a few of these items as gifts that you thoughtfully sent my way over the past 12 months. I realize regifting may be frowned upon, but sometimes I have duplicates on certain things, or I don’t have room for everything, or something is too big or too small for me to wear, or I’ve gotten some enjoyment out of an item and am now ready to let someone else enjoy it. No offense intended, and I hope none taken. Thanks for understanding.

For shirts and jerseys, you’ll see a size followed by a measurement (L, 21″, for example). In each case, that’s the tagged size, assuming there is one, followed by the pit-to-pit measurement across the chest. All shirts and jerseys are blank on the back unless otherwise indicated.

Ready? Here we go:

1. A complimentary Uni Watch membership card.

2. A reproduction 1958 Army football helmet, autographed by Heisman winner Pete Dawkins, courtesy of Gridiron Memories. (As you may recall, we also gave away one of these last year. Let’s have a standing O for Gridiron Memories for providing us with another one.)

3, 4, and 5. A 2019 calendar of your choice from Asgard Press. They’re giving away three calendars, and each one is a separate prize.

6. An amazing Uni Watch hockey jersey made by DIY genius Wafflebored speficially for this raffle. No. 7 on the back. 24″.

7. A Delaware 87ers T-shirt. L, 20″.

8. A Trey Mancini giveaway bobblehead. New in box!

9. A Fort Dodge Gypsum Eaters cap. Adjustable leather strap.

10. A print of your choice from artist Dan Duffy’s “Art of Words” site.

11. A navy blue duffel bag with red/white UCLA-style striping. Additional photos and product details here.

12. A 2018 Yankees yearbook.

13. A vintage short-sleeved Pendleton wool shirt. Color is more olive and less brown than it appears in the photo. I ordered this last month from a vintage clothing shop, but they listed the measurements incorrectly and it’s way too big for me. When I contacted them to arrange a return, they said, “We’ll issue you a refund, but just keep the shirt and give it to someone else who’ll enjoy it.” How nice is that? So I’m paying it forward. L, 23″.

14. An Orioles snapback cap. DAP ad on side.

15. An Orioles bucket cap. Miller Lite ad on the back. No size listed, but I’d say it’s about the equivalent of a 7-1/2. Includes strap to keep it in place.

16. An Orioles American flag-themed T-shirt. M, 19-1/2″.

17. A set of Orioles stickers. The 2015 schedule probably won’t be of much interest to anyone, but the logos are still good.

18. An Akron Wingfoots promotional jersey. “Lukas / 18” on the back. 25″.

19. A Jacob deGrom ugly sweater-style shirt. Blank on the back, except for the decorative trim, which wraps around. M, 21″.

20. A Noah Syndergaard T-shirt. M, 20″.

21. A SUNY-Binghamton Bearcats T-shirt. M, 20″.

22. A SUNY-Binghamton Bearcats ugly sweater-style shirt. Blank on back except for the lower trim, which wraps around. M, 21″.

23. A Fordham Rams jersey-style shirt. 23-1/2″.

24. An “Omaha Metro Area” T-shirt patterned after the Mets’ logo. M, 20″.

25. A Uni Watch 2018 Purple Amnesty Day snapback cap. Includes hang tag that doubles as a sticker.

26. A New York Rangers authentic jersey. “Uni Watch / 7” on the back. 50, 23″.

27. A Puppy Bowl XIV T-shirt. Animal Planet logo on the back. L, 20″.

28. An authentic Syracuse Devices cap, which I wore while throwing out the first pitch at the Syracuse Chiefs’ Brannock Device Night promotion on May 31. 7-3/8.

29. A Syracuse Chiefs-branded Brannock Device, one of eight such devices that were manufactured and given away at the Syracuse Chiefs’ Brannock Device Night promotion on May 31.

30. A game-worn Syracuse Devices jersey from the Syracuse Chiefs’ Brannock Device Night promotion on May 31. Worn in the game by left fielder Yadiel Hernandez, who went one-for-four with an RBI. The back has No. 5 and Hernandez’s autograph. 46, 24″.

31. A Carolina Hurricanes “Canes” T-shirt. L, 21″.

32. A Puppy Bowl XIV strapback cap. Animal Planet logo on the back.

33. A 3-D “HC” batting helmet logo for Holy Cross High School in Queens, N.Y. Perfect if your name is, say, Hank Conway or Chris Henderson.

34. A Uni Watch tequila sunrise T-shirt. “Tequila Sunrise / 15” on the back. This is the last one I have from the original polyester/sublimated batch that we sold in November of 2015. (The ones we now sell on Teespring are cotton and the graphics don’t wrap all the way around.) A true Uni Watch collector’s item! 22-1/2″.

35. A “Cycling Stars” card game. Additional product info/details here.

36. A Curler’s Crying Towel. 15-1/2″ x 27″.

37. A champagne cork and a few pieces of confetti. The cork was scooped up off the floor of the Mets’ clubhouse by a sportswriter friend of mine during the team’s celebration for winning the 2000 National League Championship Series on Oct. 16, 2000. The writer then gave it to me. The confetti was gathered off the ground at the conclusion of Super Bowl XLII on Feb. 3, 2008, by New York Giants equipment director Joe Skiba, who then sent it to me.

38 (left) and 39 (right). Two Uni Watch Alternate Cap prototypes, which were prepared when we were getting that cap design ready for its launch. Uni Watch script on the back. Each cap is a separate raffle item. Although they look similar, they have different shades of green, different shades of gold, different eyelet colors on the crown, and different script sizes on the back — look at the photos closely for more details. Both caps are flex-fit. I’d say the one on the left (raffle item No. 38) is something like a 7-1/4 or 7-3/8, while the one on the right (No. 39) is a bit bigger, like a 7-1/2. One of these — I think No. 39, but I’m not positive — was worn by the Tugboat Captain for the Brannock-themed event in Syracuse. The final cap we ended up manufacturing was slightly different from both of these, so these are both one-of-a-kind.

40. A copy of We Want Fish Sticks: The Bizarre and Infamous Rebranding of the New York Islanders, by Nicholas Hirshon. 312 pages. Includes a promotional blurb from a certain uniform columnist on the back jacket.

———

And there we are. Here’s how to enter the raffle:

1) Send an email to the raffle address. If you’re having any trouble with that link, it’s uniwatchraffle at gmail dot com.

2) In the body of the email, please indicate (a) your name and shipping address and (b) your top 10 prize choices, in order of preference, by number. If you’re only interested in, say, seven items, then just list your top seven choices; if you want to list more than 10, you can do that too, but I don’t expect anyone to go that far. I’ll do my best to accommodate all the winners’ choices.

3) One email per person. Overseas readers are welcome to enter, although I may ask you to chip in on the shipping charges if you win something heavy. Entry deadline is next Thursday, Dec. 20, 7pm Eastern. The winners will be announced on Christmas Day.

Please join me in thanking the people who generously contributed some of the items for this raffle, including Dan Duffy, Mike Engle, Tim Flattery, Keith Goggin, Grant Hewit, Andy Hyman, Jerry Kulig, Jim Misudek, Wafflebored, Matt Weidner, and Curtis Worrell. You guys are all aces.

I’d also like to thank all the rest of you who contribute in various ways to Uni Watch. I wish I could provide gifts for all of you — honest.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Chain crew reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, my latest ESPN piece is a deep-dive interview with Tom Quinn, who’s the head of the Giants’ chain crew. Check it out here.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

ITEM! New research discovery: See that logo on the back of Peyton Manning’s helmet as he shared a bro-ment with Tom Brady at the conclusion of the 2004 AFC Championship Game? That’s a memorial decal for the Colts’ team chaplain, Fr. Patrick Kelly, who died on Dec. 30, 2003. Turns out the Colts wore that decal throughout the 2004 posteason — in the Wild Card game against the Broncos on Jan. 4, in the Divisional Round game against the Chiefs on Jan. 11, and then in that conference championship game against the Pats. So we can add this to our list of religious symbols on team uniforms.

I didn’t know any of this until reader Chris Hickey brought it to my attention yesterday. Even the mighty Gridiron Uniform Database doesn’t have this one listed in its extensive list of commemorative helmet decals (although GUD co-honcho Bill Schaefer tells me he was aware of it, and even has that same photo of Manning and Brady, but the decal listing “must have slipped through the cracks”). Just another reminder that research and documentation are always ongoing processes, and that there are probably more gaps left to fill in than we realize.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Speaks for itself: I’m just gonna leave this here.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Egg-cellent: It’s funny how some items are typically sold by the dozen — donuts, bagels, oysters, roses, golf balls. (And then there’s beer, which is sold in 12-packs, but somehow the term 12-pack feels different than a dozen, no?) And for some of those items, of course, you often get one extra: the baker’s dozen.

I’ve never seen a baker’s dozen for eggs — until now. The clever design is the result of a partnership between a husband-and-wife NYC design firm and a Nebraska egg farmer. As explained here:

Early on, a few large egg producers had expressed interest in our new 13-egg carton, but their egg-packing machinery was only designed to pack eggs in pairs. They could only handle even numbers like, 6, 12 or 18 eggs. To pack an oddnumber like 13 eggs, they would need to make a major retooling investment.

This meant that, for the time being, our cartons would only be practical for small egg-producers who would be packing their eggs by hand (farm-stands, farmer’s markets and the like).

Faaaascinating. That last page I linked to is worth exploring, and there’s more info here.

Now we need to come up with the baker’s dozen for all the other sold-by-the-dozen items. For oysters, I propose that we call it the shucker’s dozen. That’s what we’ll be calling it at my seafood restaurant, if I ever open one. Which I probably won’t. But it might be worth doing it just to offer the shucker’s dozen!

(Big thanks to my pal Rob Walker for letting me know about this one.)

• • • • •

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Yianni Varonis

Baseball News: We’ve seen this before, but once more won’t hurt: Here’s a photo of Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams in a Yankees uniform. In 1973, he was set to manage the team before his old boss, A’s owner Charlie Finley, sued and Williams and the Yankees parted ways before the regular season began. More information here (NYT link).

NFL News: The Chiefs went mono-red for last night’s game against the Chargers. They also enshrined Tony Gonzalez’s No. 88 in their ring of honor. … In that same game, Chargers RB Justin Jackson suffered a torn lightning bolt decal. … A Packers fan who owns Bears season tickets has been denied his request to wear green and yellow on the sidelines of this week’s game between the two teams (from Mike Chamernik). … The Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League, will wear Packers-inspired sweaters for “celebrate Wisconsin” weekend before auctioning them off (from Ray Barrington). … A couple years ago, Paul wrote about the unique dilemma equipment managers face when applying helmet stripes on Riddell SpeedFlex helmets. Reader Paul Weisner pointed out that while the Steelers cut through the gap on both their helmet stripes and numbers, QB Ben Roethlisberger does not.

College Football News: Reader Mike Selock was watching a rainy Pitt/Penn State game from 1976, and they showed a guy on the sideline drying the footballs in some sort of device. “The announcers said it turned like a rotisserie,” says Mike. The guy’s jacket appears to read, “Got wet balls? Kermie cures ’em.” … For its bowl game, Tulane will wear a “clean” version of its cartoon angry-wave helmet (from @BabyCastle75 and Ryan Doyle). … Here’s Utah State’s uniform for the New Mexico Bowl (from @akaggie).

Hockey News: It looks like the Senators will be getting a new logo, but not until 2021 at the earliest. … According to this reporter, the Hurricanes’ owner isn’t a fan of the team’s white sweaters, which is why the team wore red on its recent road trip. Last night, at the request of the ’Canes, the Canadiens wore white at home (from multiple readers). … Also in the NFL section: The Green Bay Gamblers, of the United States Hockey League, will wear Packers-inspired sweaters for “celebrate Wisconsin” weekend before auctioning them off (from Ray Barrington). … The National Women’s Hockey League unveiled this season’s all-star jerseys. … Check out this old box of Bauer skates with NHL team logos on the box. … Paul’s “Puck Soup” podcast session with Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski is available here.

NBA News: Here’s a good behind-the-scenes look at how the Heat designed their “Miami Vice” uniforms. The article features this nugget: “The Heat looked over Nike’s [city edition] proposals, which included one jersey featuring a palm tree print, and politely sent them back. They had a plan, and they weren’t deviating.” A good reminder that teams ultimately call the shots on this stuff, not outfitters.

Soccer News: The Los Angeles Galaxy’s stadium has a new naming rights advertiser (from Josh Hinton). … A few items from our own Jamie Rathjen: Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg is required to have an ad-free team name for European competitions, so in such cases it is referred to as “FC Salzburg,” or just “Salzburg,” and wears a different crest; Spanish club Sevilla wears a gold version of the Europa League sleeve patch because it’s won the competition and its predecessor, the UEFA Cup, five times; and English club Chelsea wore an extra ad for a children’s-rights charity called Plan International, though it would also be appropriate for the team to wear an extra ad that would help combat this type of behavior. … This is the new third jersey for Mexican club Tijuana (from Ed Zelaski) … Soccer badge or fashion logo? Take the quiz!

Grab Bag: From Phil: Oregon has signed a deal with Fanatics to produce hundreds of school products and manage its relationship with other licensees. The partnership won’t affect Oregon’s relationship with Nike, however. … Speaking of Fanatics, they’re cutting short their NASCAR trackside deal that was supposed to run through 2024 (from David Firestone). … A Utah state legislator is drafting legislation that would create a commission to edit the state flag, which violates the five basic principles of vexillology (from Brice Wallace). … This article lists the year’s best kids’ picture books “centered on cities, architecture, and design.” … A New Jersey ice cream shop that caused controversy last year for its sexy female cow logo shuttered its doors this week. The owner blames the controversy for the closure. … Here’s a good article about a female video game designer who is trying to change the culture of women avatars often wearing skimpy garments known as “boob armor.” … Here’s a great shot of 1960s track and field star Tommie Smith wearing an awesome San Jose State uniform (from Pro Football Journal).

NBA Finally Unveils Participation-Trophy Uniforms

Amidst an increasing torrent of leaks, the NBA went ahead and made it official yesterday by releasing the cringe-inducingly named “Earned” uniforms — the ones that will be worn by the 16 teams that qualified for last season’s playoffs, beginning on Christmas Day.

The premise of this set has always been laughable, given that more than half the league qualifies for the postseason (boy, good thing the Wizards “earned” a new uniform by finishing four games over .500 and then being eliminated in the first round!), and now it turns out that the designs aren’t even new designs. Most of them are just color-shifted versions of the slightly less cringe-inducingly named City alternates (except for the Jazz, Thunder, and Rockets designs, which are color-shifted versions of those teams’ very cringe-inducingly named Statement alternates). Or to put it another way, the Spurs now have yet another camouflage uniform — their fourth in five years by my count.

Anyway: Some of these color-shifted versions are much better than the City versions on which they’re based (Pacers, Sixers), others are worse (Pelicans, Bucks), and others fall into the “The other design had no compelling reason to exist, and neither does this one” category (Cavs, Rockets, Thunder). Here’s the whole batch of jerseys (click to enlarge, and my apologies for the staggered image pairings):

In addition, 11 of the 16 teams have put additional info and photos on their websites, so we can see more than just the front of the jerseys. Those teams are the Bucks, Cavs, Heat, Jazz, Pacers, Pelicans, Sixers, Trail Blazers, Timberwolves, Warriors, and Wizards. (Many of those web pages have headlines that say, “New Earned Jersey,” even though the photos show more than just the jersey. Sigh.)

Obligatory joke: If the 16 playoff teams are getting Earned uniforms, shouldn’t the other 14 get Spurned uniforms?

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s hard to see how all of this is sustainable. The plan is to keep coming up with new City alternates (and presumably corresponding Participation Trophy alternates) every season, and at some point they’ll want to do a new round of Statement alternates as well. But at some point the Spurs will run out of camouflage options and the Timberwolves will run out of ways to reference Prince, no?

Meanwhile, as long as we’re talking about the NBA, here’s a pair of tidbits that a source passed along to me yesterday:

• You know how the Thunder currently have their team name on the white uni and their city name on the blue uni? They’re planning to flip that next season.

• Orlando’s primary colored uniform (i.e., Icon) is currently blue. Next season it will be black.

Finally, I leave you with this (which would look better without Twitter’s auto-cropping, but you get the idea):

(My thanks to @bignatsnut for bringing that last tweet to my attention.)

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

In the sticks: Who’s that with all the first down markers? None other than New York Giants chain crew chief Tom Quinn, who I recently interviewed out at the Meadowlands for a new ESPN piece that I think you’ll enjoy. Check it out here.

Also: Tom is looking for an old-school 1940s or ’50s down indicator, like these. If anyone has a line on where to find one of those, please drop me a line. Thanks.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Puck me: Who was that posing for an awkward selfie with me on the porch of Uni Watch HQ yesterday? None other than my ESPN.com colleague Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski, who stopped by to interview me for a new segment of his Puck Soup podcast. Super-impressive that he made the trip so we could talk in person instead of just doing it over the phone.

We talked about NHL uniforms and a bunch of other things. I really enjoyed it — Greg’s a great guy and a fun interviewer. I believe the podcast segment will be posted today, so I’ll post the link here once it’s available.

• • • • •

• • • • •

ITEM! Queen City party details: I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’ll be in Cincinnati during the last few days of the year and that I wanted to convene a Uni Watch party while I was there. After extensive consultations with some of our Cincy-based readers, I’m happy to announce that we’ll be gathering at the Mt Adams Bar & Grill on Sunday, Dec. 30, at 3:45pm. We’ll be there until at least 6pm, and maybe a bit longer. They have food as well as drinks, so feel free to come hungry.

I’m looking forward to meeting all of you Cincinnati folks, as well as anyone who wants to make the trip from Louisville, Lexington, Columbus, and Indianapolis (all less than two hours away). See you soon!

• • • • •

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball News: Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the wonderfully wacky world of minor league mascots (from Jason Hillyer). … MLB blog Cut4 did an absolutely horrendous job photoshopping P Charlie Morton into his new Rays uniform (from Andrew Cosentino). … This sportswriter thinks the Red Sox need new alternate uniforms (from our own Phil Hecken).

NFL News: The Broncos will wear their navy alternates this Saturday against the Browns (from our own Phil Hecken). … The Chiefs will go mono-red tonight against the Chargers (from multiple readers). … There will be neutral end zones for the Jets and Giants this weekend at MetLife Stadium. Jets play the late game on Saturday, Giants have the early game on Sunday, and rain is in the forecast, so there will be no end zone changeover (from Alan Kreit). … Tim Holleran was watching highlights of a 1977 Falcons/Giants game and noticed that Falcons WR Alfred Jenkins was missing his nameplate. “At first I thought maybe Jenkins was a new addition to the team that week and therefore the team hadn’t had time to create his nameplate,” says Holleran, “but it turns out he had actually been on the team since 1975.” … Odd choice of jersey for Washington QB Josh Johnson for his NFL and Pro Football Reference photos. Johnson has never played for a team that wears a blue jersey (from Jon Solomonson). … Multiple readers sent us these NFL City Edition jersey concepts.

College Football News: Here’s how the Sugar Bowl patch will look on Texas’s whites (from Joey Breeland). … Here’s the Frisco Bowl patch on Ohio’s BFBS jersey (from Ed Zelaski). … North Texas will be going chrome green/green/white in the New Mexico Bowl versus Utah State (from Robert Botts). … It looks like — at least from this video — Fresno State will wear their blue alternates for the first time all year and the first time in the last two years. They play Arizona State in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday (from Josh Bryant). … For some reason this Belk Bowl announcement has South Carolina’s block “C” logo turned backwards (from Josh Callahan). … Neither we nor Sam McKinley have seen a Nike-branded Heisman jacket before, but here’s one on 2018 winner QB Kyler Murray. … Meet the man who has created Mizzou’s football uniform frenzy (paywalled link) (from Trent Guyer). … K-State head coach Chris Klieman has some thoughts on his team’s uniforms (from Blake Cripps).

Hockey News: Former Blues G Chad Johnson was picked up by the Ducks earlier this week. He made his Anaheim debut last night but was still wearing his Blues mask (from Rick Ho). … This rec league goalie is wearing an NES-themed Duck Hunt uniform, complete with themed pads and masks! (from John Roushkolb).

NBA News: This on-screen graphic shows a Pistons logo that matches their “Motor City” alternates (from Dan Kennedy). … The Sixers’ practice court has integrated special markings — including a four-point line — to enhance their offensive and defensive strategies (from Kurt Esposito). … Here’s a good analysis of how companies like Puma and New Balance are challenging Nike’s dominance (NYT link) in the NBA footwear market (from Tom Turner). … Celtics F Marcus Morris and Wizards F Markieff Morris are twins, but they don’t have matching NOBs.

College Hoops News: South Dakota State men’s went GFGS on Tuesday and dropped 90 points in the first half (from Steve White). … Evansville men’s will wear sleeved jerseys against Jacksonville on Saturday (from Bob Pristash).

Soccer News: In honor of its 10th anniversary, the Philadelphia Union will feature fan-chosen back tags that will be emblazoned below the neckline on the back of each shirt. Local Philly athletes and celebrities had input on what the tags would look like, and fans will choose their favorite tag to be featured on Union’s shirts (from Ryan Schwepfinger). … A teaser photo for the Timbers’ new home shirts has leaked (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh: New logo for kit maker Macron. … Chelsea F Michy Batshuayi is wearing some very appropriate Batman-themed boots (from Mark Coale).

Grab Bag: Grand Valley State will change its mascot name from “Lakers” to “Sawyers” for one day in February (from multiple readers). … Here’s a look at the Buffalo Bandits’ helmets of the National Lacrosse League (from Willie Stew). … A sportswriter has shared what he thinks are 21 uniforms “that should have stayed in the locker room,” but be warned — it’s a pretty ridiculous list (from our own Phil Hecken). … Here are some fantastic colorized photos of WWI troops from the Canadian War Museum (from Ted Arnold). … Following Tuesday’s meeting with President Trump, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi exited the White House wearing a red coat, which one writer has interpreted as “a subtle power move” (from Jason Hillyer). … Yesterday we ran an item about how the Holland Tunnel in New York and New Jersey was decorated so carelessly for the holidays. A Budweiser brewery in Newark, N.J., has taken a stab at the tunnel’s decorating (from Tom Turner).