A Uni Watch Look at Game One of the World Series

For all photos, click to enlarge

This was the scene last night at Uni Watch HQ — the Fall Classic with fall decorative gourds. Felt appropriately festive, because I love the World Series, even when I don’t care about either of the participating teams (as is the case this year). My favorite sport plus my favorite season of the year equals a smile on my face.

Last night’s Series opener wasn’t much of a game from a competitive standpoint, and it lasted a ridiculous 4:06 (I went to bed in the top of the seventh), but there were still plenty of uni-notable details. Here’s a rundown:

• In a disappointing development, Atlanta opted to wear their navy alternate jerseys. I realize we can’t have white vs. grey for every game, but maybe just for Game One of the World freakin’ Series — is that too much to ask?

• As had previously been reported, there were no World Series sleeve patches due to supply-chain issues. They did have cap patches (probably my least-favorite thing about any World Series), but they used a generic logo without a year identifier, instead of the actual 2021 World Series logo:

The last Fall Classic without Series sleeve patches? That would be 1997, when the Marlins wore the Jackie Robinson 50th-anniversary patch and Cleveland wore the Jackie patch at home and the All-Star patch on the road.

And the last Series with a blank right sleeve? I’m pretty sure that would be 1987, when the Cardinals wore a Series patch (the first one ever!) but the Twins did not.

• The umps wore the same generic cap patch logo as the players:

• The game balls, however, had the proper 2021 World Series logo:

• It’s a little hard to see in this next photo, but Atlanta starter Charlie Morton’s cap logo was noticeably yellowed. I assume he’s a superstitious type who’s been wearing the same cap for a while:

• I don’t have independent confirmation on this, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that Atlanta oufielder Joc Pederson became the first player in World Series history to wear a pearl necklace:

• Astros skipper Dusty Baker wore a really nice mask design, although it’s too bad about the maker’s mark:

Later on, he had his signature toothpick, which is probably my single favorite accessory of this World Series:

• The first pitch was thrown out by former Astro Craig Biggio, who for some reason wore an orange jersey instead of the white one that the ’Stros wore last night. Even stranger, Biggio’s jersey included a 2021 World Series sleeve patch — which the players themselves are not wearing this year:

• I got a kick out of these Astros fans and their tequila sunrise sportsjackets:

• A few other fans dressed up in space suits (although the fabric wasn’t as “futuristic” as the fabric used by the Astrodome groundskeepers back in the day):

• At one point Fox showed a graphic that included an accent over the second “e” in “résumé,” but not over the first one:

• Prior to the game, commish Rob Manfred presented Angels pitcher/DH Shohei Ohtani with something called called the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award, which I’d never heard of before, although it’s been around since 1998. Here’s a look at the trophy (photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images):

Game Two is tonight.

(My thanks to Michael Walker and Trevor Williams for their contributions.)

• • • • •

• • • • •

ITEM! The first-ever Uni Watch poster: Reader Tim Walsh recently suggested to me that our “Hit Sign, Win Stirrups!” graphic, designed by Todd Radom, would look great as a poster. As it turns out, Teespring now offers posters, so I had Todd make a few tweaks to the design (the poster is 24″ x 36″, which is a slightly different aspect ratio than the original T-shirt graphic), and voilà — Uni Watch’s first poster is now available! (Are there any other Uni Watch graphics that you’d like to see in poster form? Let me know.)

As you’re probably sick of hearing about well aware of by now, this design is also available on T-shirts and hoodies.

And if you prefer the classic green/yellow Uni Watch color scheme, our striped toque is now available as well.

My thanks, as always, for considering our products.

• • • • •

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Lloyd Alaban

Baseball News: Fans are picking on Yankees OF Joey Gallo because he has an unusual way of suiting up on game day. … A non-binding vote is allowing the A’s proposed new stadium project to move forward, at least for now (from our own Brinke Guthrie).

NFL/CFL News: The Bengals will go mono-white on Sunday (from our own Phil Hecken). … Rams QB Matthew Stafford played his former team, the Lions, last Sunday. Stafford said it was “humbling” to see Lions fans still wearing his jersey. … The Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL wear different pants in practice than their regular game pants (from Jeff Ingalls). … Here’s how the Panthers’ stadium looks when it’s set up for a soccer game (from James Gilbert).

College/High School Football News: Mono-red for Ohio State this Saturday (from our own Phil Hecken). … Also from Phil: Utah will retire No. 22 to honor late CB Aaron Lowe and late RB Ty Jordan. … Mono-black for Houston this Saturday (from Ignacio Salazar). … Mississippi State will wear a helmet with its interlocking “MS” logo this week (from @stadium_fire). … Mono-black vs. mono-white for Coastal Carolina and Troy, respectively, this week (from @BenOnSports). … Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech will face off Saturday. Three Griffin brothers will play in that game: Georgia Tech RB Jamious and DL Ja’Quon and Virginia Tech DL Jaylen. Their father, Tyrone Griffin, had 80 custom jackets made displaying the names of all three sons (from multiple readers). … We talked about BYU’s royal blue helmets yesterday. What wasn’t clear from the initial video: chrome facemasks (from Blaise D’Sylva). … Compton High School in California has a very unusual diamond-themed uni number design on their jerseys (from Brad, who didn’t give his last name).

Hockey News: The Kraken revealed a banner honoring the PCHA’s Seattle Metropolitans’ 1917 Stanley Cup championship last night (from multiple readers). … The new AHL team in Coachella Valley will reveal its name, colors, and uniform on Nov. 5. … Here’s a really cool 1977 Japanese poster that advertised a four-game exhibition series between the WHA’s Winnipeg Jets and the Soviet Union national hockey team. The games were played in December 1977 and January 1978 (from Darren Landers). … Here’s a really great photo of comedian Chris Farley playing hockey in his teens (from Lance Hudgens).

NBA News: The latest City Edition leaks are for the Nets and the Mavericks. … New jerseys for the Grand Rapids Gold, the D League affiliate of the Nuggets.

Soccer News: USWNT MF Carli Lloyd played her last national team game last night, so as with other USWNT players who reach milestones, she was captain for the match and wore a commemorative armband. Lloyd was subbed off after 65 minutes and took off her shirt to reveal another one with “Hollins,” which is her married name, as her NOB (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Also from Jamie: Kansas City NWSL is going to build its own stadium, which would be an NWSL first. … Cross-listed from the football section: Here’s the NFL’s Carolina Panthers’ stadium set up for a soccer game (from James Gilbert). … Here’s what Akron’s men’s team wore for their final home game of the season last night (from Jacob Farrar). … Italian side S.S. Lazio is letting fans vote on the color of the team’s shirt ad (from Trevor Williams). … Starting next year, USL players can have pronouns included in their uni numbers (from Caleb Mezzy).

Grab Bag: Lululemon is now outfitting the Canadian Olympic team (from multiple readers). … Former NASCAR crew chief Larry McReynolds (left) and former NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer (right) wore their old uniforms during a test of NASCAR’s new NextGen car at Bowman Gray Stadium. McReynolds’ shirt is from the 1990s while Bowyer wore the firesuit in 2020 (from Trevor Williams). … Also from Trevor: NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace talked about how ads and endorsements can affect how he interacts with fans. … Airman 1st Class Nicolas Baron, who helped with Afghan evacuations, donated the uniform blouse from the iconic photo it was pictured in (from Timmy Donahue). … Also from Timmy: New flag for Colfax, Iowa. … One more from Timmy: The Coast Guard is relaxing its tattoo policy for heads and fingers.

A Uni Watch Look at Astros Manager Dusty Baker

The World Series begins tonight, with the Astros making their third Series appearance in five years. Their uniforms haven’t changed during that time, but something else has — they’re now being skippered by Dusty Baker, one of the most aesthetically interesting managers in the game. Here are some of the things that set him apart from his peers, at least from a visual standpoint (for all photos, you can click to enlarge):

The Wristbands

Baker famously wears 1980s-style Mimsbandz wristbands with his own portrait, although he occasionally varies them up for special occasions. He’s worn Jackie Robinson wristbands for Jackie Day, for example, and has also worn Josh Gibson wristbands to mark the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues.

The JrOB

When Baker signed on with the Astros, he added “Jr.” to his NOB — something he’d never worn before, either as a player or a manager. I believe he was the first MLB manager to wear a generational suffix and I’m certain he’ll be the first manager to do so in the World Series. (In the 2002 Series, he just wore “Baker.”)

Yes, I know generational suffixes don’t belong on NOBs. I’m not celebrating Baker’s use of this format — just noting it.

The Toothpick

Baker’s been chomping on toothpicks for much of his managerial career. One of his bobbleheads even came with a toothpick and toothpick holder! If you want a really deep-cut stat, someone at MLB once tried to figure out how many toothpicks Baker has gone through during his career.

Baker had to cut back on the habit due to the pandemic (hard to do the toothpick thing while wearing a mask), but he’s been back at it lately, and I for one couldn’t be happier — it lends him a certain air of charisma and panache.

The Gloves

Baker often (but not always) wears gloves during games. Often they’re black, but he’s also worn other colors. This appears to be something he started doing last year, apparently as a pandemic-related precaution. According to this link, it’s because “he was diagnosed with cancer 20 years ago and had a stroke seven years ago.”

The Glasses

Baker has worn a variety of eyeglass frames over the years. I love his current set — very cool, very suave.

———

It would be nice if Baker went high-cuffed, but at least he wears the full uniform and has all these little idiosyncrasies. An interesting character!

• • • • •

• • • • •

Vazou! More NBA leaks: NBA leakmeister Igor Coelho is at it again. What you see above is apparently the Raptors’ new City alternate, which takes the team’s “Barney” mascot, flips him in the opposite direction (here’s the original), dresses him in a “We the North” chevron jersey, and renders the whole thing the Drake-era color scheme.

I’m not sure I’d call this “good,” but it’s definitely an interesting way to incorporate various elements from the team’s visual history.

Meanwhile, Coelho also has something for the Knicks:

Can’t really assess that one without the numbers or the rear view.

NBA City uniforms will start appearing on-court in early November, so we’ll presumably see more leaks and all the official unveilings soon.

(My thanks to Phil for making sure I didn’t miss these.)

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Flag-waving: In yesterday’s comments, reader Nate mentioned that he’d seen Pats fullback Jakob Johnson wearing a German flag decal underneath his American flag decal during Sunday’s game against the Jets. Nate didn’t have a photo, but I found the one shown above.

The NFL allowed non-American players to wear the flags of their home countries during the preseason (sure enough, Johnson did it back then), but the program was supposed to end once the regular season started.

Has Johnson been wearing the German flag all along, and we just hadn’t noticed? Like most fullbacks, he rarely handles the ball, so there aren’t that many photos of him floating around, but I did find this shot from New England’s Oct. 17 game against Dallas. If you blow up the image, you can see that he definitely had the German flag on his helmet. So while we can’t say for sure, it seems reasonable to conclude that he’s been wearing it all season long.

(Big thanks to Nate for spotting this one.)

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie
    

The World Series begins tonight, so we’re starting off this week’s Collector’s Corner with an item from one of the Fall Classic participants. This (probably) 1960s Houston Astros denim-look bucket hat was perfect for games at the Astrodome, brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Gulf dealers.  

Now for the rest of this week’s picks:

• Staying with the Series, there’s a really nice-looking collage effect on this 1976 Reds/Yankees program (which I had one of!).

• Fred Carter and Steve Mix of the Philadelphia 76ers are shown on these 1970s McDonald’s promo stand-up cards. Too bad they didn’t coordinate the socks, though!

• The Kansas City Kings’ logo is nicely emblazoned across this 1970s 8″ smoked glass dish

• A variety of NHL logos are shown on this stylish tie of unknown vintage. (Definitely not from the 1970s as the seller states, I know that much.)

• How about this official (says so right there) 1970s solid bronze Philadelphia Flyers collector’s medallion! The team logo is on one side, with “Body Check” on the other. (“Each medal illustrates an authentic action play.”) Eighteen exclusive designs, too.

• Here’s a NHL 50 highlights LP from Fleetwood. The album text mentions the “early seventies” and a team in Atlanta (the Flames started in 1972), but the NHL’s first season was in 1917, making the 50th season around 1967, right? Hmmm.

• Here’s a 1993 MLB All-Star Game ballot. The artist used a basic Orioles-style orange/black uni design, as the game was at Camden Yards.

• For the avid Denver Broncos fan, here we have a case of 250-500 (the seller is unsure of the exact number) NFL player stamps from Albertsons.

• One more for the Broncos — an awkwardly titled  “Denver’s Broncos Superteam XX” team poster from the 1980s. And yes, they added the apostrophe-s after “Denver.”

• For all you Los Angeles Rams fans who pine for the pre-dishwater days, I offer this 1987 Rams team poster from Starline, featuring all the Rams heroes of the day.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Photo by Kohjiro Kinno/Sports Illustrated; click to enlarge

Way too good for the Ticker: Sports Illustrated is a mostly a shell of its former self these days, but every now and then they can still hit a home run. That’s the case with an article they published yesterday, written by veteran sports scribe Greg Bishop, about an old Rams helmet, discovered at an estate sale, that might be the original prototype painted in the late 1940s by Rams running back Fred Gehrke — the father of modern helmet design.

What makes Bishop’s article so compelling is that it’s not just a story about a helmet, or about football history — it’s also about his own reporting and pursuit of the story, providing a behind-the-scenes look at how the story developed. I might enjoy seeing that more than the average person, because I’m a journalist myself, but I think you folks will appreciate it too. Don’t miss.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Toque reminder: In case you missed it on Monday, the Uni Watch Toque (or beanie, or ski cap, or whatever you’d like to call it) is available once again.

You can order the hat here. We’ll fill the orders in batches as they come in, probably every five days or so. If you want to receive the hat in time for Christmas, be sure to get your order in by Black Friday — Nov. 26.

Also: By popular demand, the newly revived “Hit Sign, Win Stirrups” design, created by the great Todd Radom, is now available as a hoodie.

This design was originally available as a limited edition in February of 2017, as part of the Uni Watch Artist’s Series. Lately I’ve had a few requests for it, so I’ve decided to make it available once again.

Short- and long-sleeved versions are available here, and the hoodie is here. Here’s a closer look at the design (click to enlarge):

Again, the shirt is available here. My thanks, as always, for your consideration of our products.

• • • • •

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: Unfortunately, the World Series tonight in Houston will feature plenty of ads on the field (from @Jon_Star). … Speaking of the Fall Classic, the teams will apparently not be wearing World Series jersey patches (thanks to all who shared). … Teams often put the players’ uni numbers on their batting helmets, usually either on the brim or the back. But I never knew that the late-’70s Padres put them on top of the crown, so players knew which one to grab when they hung on the wall (from Brice Wallace). … MLB posted an Instagram photo of Atlanta OF Joc Pederson posing with Yankees 1B Anthony Rizzo’s bat. Pederson presumably acquired the bat from Rizzo when both of them were with the Cubs earlier this year (from Brandon Rudolph).

NFL News: Here’s another one of those power rankings of the NFL’s all-time best uniforms (from Phil). … Also from Phil: According to the Chargers’ uni schedule, Sunday marks the only time this season that the team will wear its mono-navy alts. …  Nice attention to detail by the Browns, who did not apply a logo to the left side of the Steelers’ helmet in this graphic (from Joseph A. Bailey). … Bucs QB Tom Brady tweeted a video yesterday that used the team’s old alarm clock font (from @JayJayDean). … Speaking of Brady, he threw his 600th TD pass on Sunday, but WR Mike Evans mistakenly gave the ball to a fan in the stands. The team was able to recover the ball by offering the fan “two signed jerseys and a helmet from Brady, a signed Mike Evans jersey and his game cleats, a $1,000 credit at the team store, and two season passes for the remainder of this season as well as next season” (from Brinke). … The league has granted about a half-million dollars to a company based in Montreal to advance a new helmet model that they believe is safer (from Brian Smith).

College and High School Football News: BYU will be wearing royal blue helmets and jerseys along with white pants on Saturday against Virginia (from Phil). … Hawaii has retired No. 15 to honor former QB Colt Brennan, who died earlier this year. …  The University of Alberta Golden Bears wore alternate white helmets for the second time this season on Sunday, but this time, they used new decals that included TV numbers on one side and heavy use of yellow (from Wade Heidt). … Baldwin High School in Hawaii had hoped to debut new light blue uniforms in 2020, but the pandemic wiped out the season. After nearly two years of waiting, the team finally broke them out during a recent game (from Timmy Donahue).

Hockey News: After the Caps’ T.J. Oshie recorded a hat trick last night, one fan, instead of throwing a cap, went a step further and threw a bra (from James T. Paterson). … Flyers players are using a vintage Starter jacket as their “Player of the Game” trophy this season (from Mario M. Carr). … Speaking of the Flyers, a fan made an anime-inspired video for the team’s mascot, Gritty (from Andreas Papadopoulos). … The Charlotte Checkers of the AHL have made some changes to their uniforms this season (from John Muir).

NBA News: There were some ad patch inconsistencies for the Nets on Sunday. Guard Patty Mills had a square patch, while G Kevin Durant’s patch was shaped like the ad logo itself (from Christophe Davy). … A pair of game-worn sneakers from Michael Jordan’s rookie season sold for a record $1.47 million (from Brinke). .. Bucks C Brook Lopez was spotted wearing an Orlando City SC soccer shirt on the sidelines during last night’s game in Indianapolis (from Andrew). … Here’s a good look at how the Mavs’ new sideline design features the names of every player in team history.

College and High School Hoops: New red uniforms for the Troy women’s team (from Ben Whitehead). … New uniforms for the girls’ team at Northeast Dubois High School in Indiana (from Jason Merkel).

Soccer News: These are the uniforms that Egyptian club Al Ahly SC will be wearing this upcoming season (from Phil). … In this classic NASL clip from 1979, New York Cosmos announcer Jim Karvellas complains about the Philadelphia Fury’s uniforms, noting that the numbers are difficult to read (from Matthew Algeo). … Reposted from the basketball section: Brook Lopez of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks was spotted wearing an Orlando City shirt on the sidelines during last night’s game in Indianapolis (from Andrew).

Grab Bag: A Minnesota resident is challenging the use of a city logo on a campaign mailer. The resident claims the use of the logo implies the town is endorsing the candidates shown on the mailer. … After Ohio’s new license plate design was criticized last week for including a backward version of the Wright Flyer, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles has announced it has fixed the error (from K.C. Kless). … A bill proposed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers seeks to end the “pink tax” — the out-of-pocket costs many servicewomen face in buying military uniforms (from Timmy Donahue).

• • • • •

• • • • •

For all pics, click to enlarge

What Paul did last night on Sunday: Our friend Michael hosted a big pumpkin-carving party on Sunday, so we went over and spent a fun few hours getting crafty with a bunch of gourds. The photo above shows the amazing design created by my friend Gabrielle (which another party attendee jokingly dubbed “the King Crimson design”). Most people, though, took a simpler approach, going for some variation on the classic jack-o-lantern. That included the Tugboat Captain, who created a really good toothy grin for hers (plus her pumpkin had absolutely the best stem/handle of the bunch):

I decided to do a cat. The design was not exactly based on Uni Watch girl mascot Caitlin, but it’s not exactly not based on her either:

The squirrel down toward the bottom of this next photo ended up winning “Best in Show”:

We took our pumpkins home, so they’re now on display out on Uni Watch HQ’s front porch. We’ll light them up on Sunday night, assuming they haven’t already rotted by then.

Anyway: Pumpkins, alcohol, sharp cutting implements — fun! You can see more photos here.

Monday Morning Uni Watch

Click to enlarge

It was a sea of green yesterday at Lambeau, as the Packers debuted their 1950s throwbacks. Personally, I can’t get enough of green — it’s been my favorite color since I was three or four years old — so of course I loved these. Would it have been better if they’d gone with striped socks, like the original uniforms that the throwbacks are based on? Definitely. Still, this was a pretty sweet look, at least for someone who likes green as much as I do, although I understand why they might not have been everyone’s cuppa. Here are a few photos and video clips (more photos here and here):

In other news from what was a fairly uni-uneventful day around the league:

• The 49ers wore their home throwbacks:

• The Titans wore their light-blue alternates:

• Speaking of the Titans, several of their players (but not all of them) appeared to have something sewn into their jerseys, right behind the NFL logo at the base of the collar. Probably a tracker/tracer device:

• Kansas City players wore pregame shirts with their uni numbers spelled out:

• The “Crucial Catch” logo (not sure if it was a patch or a pin) on Bucs coach Bruce Arians’s cap was upside down:

• Two teams, both based in Florida, wore white at home: the Dolphins and Bucs.

(My thanks to all contributors, including Rick Ho, Ted Taylor and @SportsConcepts1.)

• • • • •

• • • • •

ITEM! The toque is back: With the weather getting chillier, the Uni Watch Toque (or beanie, or ski cap, or whatever you’d like to call it) is available once again.

You can order the hat here. We’ll fill the orders in batches as they come in, probably every five days or so. If you want to receive the hat in time for Christmas, be sure to get your order in by Black Friday — Nov. 26.

Also: In case you missed it on Friday, I’ve revived this awesome “Hit Sign, Win Stirrups” T-shirt, designed by the great Todd Radom. It was originally available as a limited edition in February of 2017. Lately I’ve had a few requests for it (apparently some of the originals have gotten a bit ratty over the past four and a half years), so I’ve decided to make it available once again.

Short- and long-sleeved versions are available here. If you want any other formats (women’s, kids’, hoodie, V-neck, etc.), drop me a line and I’ll hook you up.

Here’s a closer look at the design (click to enlarge):

Again, the shirt is available here. My thanks, as always, for your consideration of our products.

• • • • •

• • • • •

ITEM! Upcoming Uni Watch party in N.C.: I’m going to be visiting a friend in Durham, N.C., next month and have decided to convene a Uni Watch party while I’m there. It will be the first Uni Watch gathering since the 20th-anniversary bashes in 2019!

This event will take place on the afternoon of either Saturday, Nov. 13, or Sunday, Nov. 14. I’m currently leaning toward the Saturday, but that’s not finalized yet.

Haven’t yet chosen a venue either (the friend I’m visiting is new to the area and isn’t yet up to speed on all the local bars). Basically, I’m looking for a bar, preferably one that serves food, that’s big enough to handle an extra 15 to 20 people showing up. Definitely not a bro/meathead sports bar, please. Maybe a brewery..? If you have suggestions, I’m all ears. Thanks!

I’ll post more details about this event as my plans firm up — stay tuned.

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

Nutty: I spotted these weird-looking nuts at the little Russian market around the corner from Uni Watch HQ. Their shells have so many wrinkles and ridges, at first I thought they were dried fruit.

The clerk didn’t speak English, so I just bought a few, brought them home, and discovered that the nuts inside the shells looked and tasted a lot like almonds:

Sure enough, some googling reveals that they’re Uzbek almonds (also known as “papershell almonds,” which makes sense because their shells are much easier to open those of conventional almonds). Really tasty! A fun find.

• • • • •

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: Former MLBer Alfonso Soriano donated an ambulance to his Dominican Republic hometown of Quisqueya. It features a picture of him in a Yankees uniform (from David Raglin). … Here is Division II Wingate’s 2021 baseball national championship ring (from James Gilbert). … A new college wood-bat team in North Carolina will be called the Sandhills Bogeys and will have a golf-themed logo (from Yehudah Powers).

Football News: A bank wants the naming rights for Memphis’s Liberty Bowl, as well as for the field at Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium (from Timmy Donahue). … Two CFL teams had pink items on their fields this weekend: the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ end zone logo and a ribbon added by the Calgary Stampeders (from Wade Heidt). … Wade also has Canadian college uni tracking in yesterday’s comments.

Hockey News: The Junior A British Columbia Hockey League’s Coquitlam Express wore pink accents on Friday, which also included their 20th-anniversary logo as the crest (from Wade Heidt). … Also from Wade: The WHL Victoria Royals’ new goalie, Campbell Arnold, was still wearing his pads and mask from Spokane on Saturday. … Last season the Red Wings used black maker’s marks, regardless of brand, on their white helmets. This season the brand marks have changed to red (from @313HOF).

Basketball News: The Warriors gave SG Klay Thompson a tongue-in-cheek No. 77 jersey to wear during practice because he was left off the NBA 75th-anniversary team. The number was chosen because there were actually 76 players on the team due to a tie in voting (from multiple readers). … New uniforms for San Diego State’s men’s team (thanks, Phil).

Soccer News: Scottish men’s teams started the annual promotion for the charity Show Racism the Red Card by wearing a decal and warm-up shirts. I would imagine women’s teams will join next week. … Some women’s national teams showed solidarity with NWSL players and others before their games this weekend, usually by linking arms or forming circles pre-match, including England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and New Zealand. … As it was Canada’s first game since winning the Olympic gold medal, they also wore gold accents. … In England, fans of Crystal Palace, Newcastle United’s Premier League opponents on Saturday, brought banners protesting Newcastle’s takeover by the Saudi investment fund. … North Carolina women’s coach Anson Dorrance got a framed No. 900 shirt for 900 women’s victories yesterday. He also previously coached the men’s team, so he’s already gotten a No. 1000 shirt for reaching 1000 total victories with both teams (from James Gilbert). … A new law in France requires French soccer to commemorate the anniversary of a stand collapsing at a Bastia/Marseille Coupe de France semifinal on May 5, 1992. Men’s professional matches are forbidden on that date, while amateur matches are not but players and officials must wear black armbands. … Meanwhile, in Ligue 2, AS Nancy had to wear a one-off shirt to avoid a color clash.

Grab Bag: College field hockey teams that wore pink included Bellarmine, Michigan State, and Towson. … Here are Virginia men’s lacrosse’s 2021 national championship rings. … New men’s lacrosse helmets for Oklahoma (from Sam McKinley). … Here is a look at the pink accents from this weekend on cars in the W Series, which supports Formula One. Additionally, driver Jess Hawkins had a pink helmet. … These are all the team logos in Japan Rugby League One, which despite its name is a rugby union competition that actually has three divisions (from Jeremy Brahm). … The original women’s Rugby World Cup trophy, which was replaced after the second tournament in 1994, went missing in 2006 but was recently found in an attic. … A restaurant in Logan, Utah, has some very vintage pictures of Utah State baseball and men’s basketball — years unknown (from Brett Thomas).

• • • • •

• • • • •

Click to enlarge

What Paul did last night on Saturday: On Saturday Mary and I, accompanied by our friend Matt, went for a hike in New Jersey. After After climbing a trail to a high summit, we reached a graffiti-plastered ledge overlooking the Hudson River. Just as we were preparing to move on, Mary spotted something odd on the ledge. Do you see it in the photo above?

Here’s a closer look (click to enlarge):

You can see it there in the center of the photo — an old-fashioned beverage can pull tab (or “pop top,” if you prefer). Those have been out of production for about 30 years, so how did this one get to that ledge? How long has it been there?

Also, pull tabs usually end up curved after being removed from the can, but this one is straight. Hmmmm.

After the hike, we went to a beefsteak fundraiser being thrown by a nearby fire department. In addition to the usual all-you-can-eat/drink action, the firehouse setting added an interesting ambience. We particularly liked this rack of hoses, all neatly arranged with their couplings in the same position:

There was also a wall filled with framed covers from various firefighting trade magazines, including Firehouse, Fire Rescue, Fire Engineering and my favorite, Fire Equipment Journal, but I didn’t get any photos of that.

Also, in addition to the usual raffles and 50/50s (common cross-sells at beefsteaks), there was a horse racing game featuring an old track and really charming little game pieces:

I love the thought that this game spends most of the year tucked away in a closet and is then brought out for its annual appearance at the beefsteak.

All in all, a very good New Jersey day!

I also had a really fun Sunday. I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.

• • • • •

Happy birthday to reader Nicklaus Wallmeyer. Enjoy your special day, Nicklaus! — Paul

Sunday Morning Uni Watch

By Phil Hecken & the SMUW Crew

Greetings and good Sunday Morning Uni Watchers. I hope everyone had a good Saturday.

You all know I have a love/hate relationship with the Mighty Ducks of Oregon, and I’ve probably accused the team of “jumping the shark” — uniform-wise — a half-dozen times over the past decade-plus. And every time I think they can’t pull out anything more outrageous, more ridiculous than anything they’ve worn before, they continue to say, “HOLD MY BEER.”

Yesterday, the team debuted what they are calling their “egg shell” uniforms. Obviously, they’re meant to mimic a duck’s egg (shell), and from a certain aesthetic standpoint, I guess you could say they “succeeded.”

As soon as these uniforms were revealed on social media, the epithets were flying — I heard everything from paint splatter to duck (or bird) shit, with a few “this is what my shirt looks like when I ride my bike through a puddle” and even, “Oh, the Jackson Pollack uniforms!” If your goal, and I have to assume it is, is to attract recruits, is that really how you want your uniforms described? It probably doesn’t matter — I’m sure these were designed by a student/athlete a few years ago, as a departing gift to the underclassmen who would one day don them.

Honestly though? I didn’t hate them. It’s not something I ever want to see on a gridiron again, but for a one time deal (if they are indeed one-and-done), it was fun to see once. And unless you were watching the game from the sideline, you barely noticed the splatter at distance.

If anything, it looked like the uniforms had some grass or dirt stains. And, as has been their wont for more than a few games this season, the team held on to win a close game they should have won quacking away. If you watched the game (or even if you didn’t), what do you think about the uniforms? While you ponder that, I’ll turn the rest of the SMUW opening over to TJ and your…

• • • • •

Sunday Morning Uni Watch
by Terry Duroncelet, Jr.

Call Week 8 “Giant Killers Week”, because a handful of Top 25 teams went down, and while others won, it didn’t come easy.

From Wednesday:

• Sweet helmets from Coastal Carolina, I just hope the results of Wednesday night’s game doesn’t give them the mothball sentence. Also, Appalachian State wore Pinktober decals.

From Thursday:

• Pinktober accessories for Charlotte.

From Friday:

• UCF wore the 5th edition (I think) of their Citronauts uniforms against Memphis (who didn’t look too bad themselves, I may add). This season’s offering is known as the “Mission V” uniform, and pays homage to the 40th anniversary of the Space Shuttle program (I’m probably getting the details wrong, but I believe it’s specifically referencing the year of the first crewed flight, which was April 12th, 1981). You can read up on the full lore here. Probably the only case in which chrome is the way to go. Also, “‘Nauts” WR Stephen Martin has a special connection with these unis. Rather than type a bunch of word salad, I’ll just link the video, and then the story.

• One of the few exciting all-white looks from a team formerly known as the Aggies in their game against a team currently known as the Aggies.

From Saturday:

• Oklahoma brought out their Woody Boi alternates against Kansas.

• Cadet grey alts for Army West Point.

Dave Moravcik Jr. writes: “Not sure if I’ve ever seen anything like this before, but Kent State LB has a unique NOB. His last name is Lawrence-Burke, and as you can see, he has an abbreviated version of L-Burke.”. Here’s what that looks like in the uniforms that they actually wore in yesterday’s game against Ohio, but still good to note. As an aside, Kent State should bring out a throwback uniform and call it a FlashBack. The amount of sorry I am is none.

Color me stimulated, Part II. With one of the same teams, at that! This really just verifies what I said literally a week ago: the SEC has what might be the best color palette amongst its member teams in college football. I thought I would prefer this, but I could honestly go with either-or. Also, I have NEVER, in all of my years of, well, existing, seen a program honor someone in any capacity by putting that person’s last name in the endzones (video). For those not in the know, Ole Miss did this as part of Eli Manning’s jersey retirement. The closest that I’ve seen to an NIE (Name In Endzone) treatment is the Baltimore Ravens, who contrasted the ‘MO’ in BALTIMORE in honor and memory of Ravens superfan Mossila Kingsley “Mo” Gaba, who passed away last year.

• Another contender for a beautifully-colorful conference is the ACC, a good example being Clemson vs Pitt. Clamp isn’t even wearing their orange trou, and this game still looked fantastic!

• #7 Penn State did their best Blue Bama impression (hate to break it to ya, but Georgia Southern’s got you beat) with their Generations of Greatness uniforms against Illinois. Ironically, they fell to Illinois after 9 overtimes. I also dug their endzones.

• FIU wore a modified version (H/T Blaise D’Sylva) of their old decals from when they first started their football program back in 2002 against Western Kentucky.

• Throwback uniforms for Virginia Tech against Syracuse.

• UAB wore their Children’s Harbor uniforms against Rice. If this is your first time seeing these (or need a refresher), you can read up on the lore here. They’ve even added a handy player name breakdown!

• Minnesota looking like the Grey Gophers (at least the alliteration still works here) against Maryland. At least when Army and UAB do it, it actually serves a purpose.

• HOLY TOLEDO, the Rockets looked bad against Western Michigan.

• Pinktober decals and stripes for South Alabama.

• For a BFBS costume, it’s OKAY. It ain’t bad. And I’ll forgive them for wearing it a week early before Halloween weekend, since their game against Pitt next week is on the road (closer look at the helmet, via Blaise).

That’ll do it for Week 8 (how is it Week 8 already? Time isn’t real). As always, a huge shoutout goes to Blaise D’Sylva for all of the helmet tips (and PLEASE check out his website if you haven’t already). Tune in next week for the one Saturday of the year where it’s perfectly-acceptable for teams to go ABSOLUTELY FERAL with their uniforms. See you next week!

• • • • •

Thanks, TJ. And now for the rest of your SMUW, starting with Jimmer’s 5 & 1.

Jimmer Vilk’s 5 & 1

After more than a decade in hiatus, the original “5 & 1” decider, Jim Vilk, has returned! Jim began doing the 5 & 1 many years ago, followed Catherine Ryan, Joe Ringham, Michael “Memal” Malinowski, and several guest pickers. Once again, Jim will pick HIS 5 best looking/1 awful matchup, and occasionally have some honorable mentions (both good and bad). You may agree and you may disagree — these are, after all, just opinions and everyone has one. Feel free to let him know what you think in the comments section.

If you have a game you feel is “worthy” of consideration for the 5 & 1, please either post it in the comments below or tweet Mr. Vilk @JVfromOhio.

Here’s today’s 5 & 1:

• • • • •

I put on my Patriot League hoodie yesterday…the first time since early Spring. Welcome to the unofficial start to the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (which officially begins when we get back to Standard Time). It was a cool cloudy day in Ohio, which means it’s finally football weather!

__________

Honorable Mentions to

East Carolina/Houston

Colorful, but you need to beef up your jersey numbers, Pirates.

__________

Utah/Oregon State

White vs black does work, with readable numbers and interesting striping.

__________

5. UMass/Florida State

Somewhere between Very Good and Optimal on the contrast scale, even with similar-ish colors.

__________

4. Tulane/SMU

I can handle this much white during a night game, and the stripes really help.

__________

3. USC/Notre Dame

This classic would have ranked higher if the Irish didn’t have such small numbers.

__________

2. Cincinnati/Navy

My third choice of helmet for the Bearcats, but the sleeves and pants made up for it.

__________

1. Illinois/Penn State/Those beautiful retro end zones

Even though the Lions didn’t bring back the white collars, I’d still be happy if they stayed with this look.

__________

A … slightly less than honorable mention to

BYU/Washington State

Apparently it was Cheapo Electric Football Night in Pullman.

__________

&1. Rice/UAB

Hey Blazers, the Pro Bowl called and they want their unis back…wait…no, they said keep them.

__________

Find a sincere looking pumpkin patch, and I’ll meet you there next week.

• • • • •

Thanks, Jim! OK readers? What say you? Agree or disagree with Jimmer’s selections? Let him know in the comments below.

NCAA Uni Tracking

Uni Watch will again track the uniform combinations worn by the “Power 5” conferences. All of the 2020 trackers are back!

We’ve got Rex Henry (tracking the ACC), Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12), Kyle Acker (tracking the B1G), and Ethan Dimitroff (tracking the Big XII AND the SEC). Rex, Dennis, and Kyle and are all returning from 2015, and Ethan is back after joining the NCAA Uni Tracking a couple seasons ago. Ethan will continue to track the SEC, and has swapped the B1G for Big XII (with Kyle).

Here are the Uni Trackers for the Power 5 Conferences (along with each tracker’s info):

+ + + + + + + + + +

Rex is up first today (ACC):

• • •

ACC

More Here.
Follow Rex on Twitter here.

• • •

And now, here’s Dennis with the PAC-12:

PAC-12

More here.
Follow Dennis on Twitter here.

• • •

And here is Ethan, with the SEC:

SEC

And be sure to check out Ethan’s WVU Mountaineer Tracker.
Follow Ethan on Twitter here.

• • •

And here is Kyle with the B1G:

B1G

Follow Kyle on Twitter here.

• • •

And here’s Ethan with the Big XII:

Big XII

Welcome to the 2021 Oregon Ducks Uni Tracker. This little project was originally begun way back in 2008-09 by Michael Princip, who retired after several seasons, whereupon the project was continued by Tim E. O’Brien. He, too, retired from the tracking, but the project has been ably kept up by the man who also tracks the Pac12, Dennis Bolt.

Here’s this week’s Uniform Combo for the Ducks (you can click to enlarge):

You can read about this uniform, and MUCH MORE, by checking out the Duck Tracker here and the color combo spreadsheet here!

Thanks Dennis!

MLB Playoff Uni Tracking

It’s BAAAAACK.Alex Rocklein has been tracking the jerseys of all the teams involved in the MLB Post Season for the past several seasons. The World Series is now set: Atlanta vs. Houston, with Atlanta defeating LA last night to close out their NLCS in six games. Although he sent me this graphic before the Dodgers/Atlanta game was completed, the graphic is correct for the jerseys worn (see full tracker). One small change: any team that has a front number on their jersey shows the number of the starting pitcher from that game (previously it was all #21).

Here’s the full tracker (which will get filled in as we go through the NLDS/ALDS, NLCS/ALCS and World Series):

I hope you guys enjoy this annual feature and you’ll thank Alex for all his effort with a quick “Thanks” in the comments below! Look for this feature every weekend until the World Series is complete!

Bulletin reminder: Paul here. As most of you know, it really bugs me that teams and leagues never refer to their uniform ads as “ads,” or to their uni advertisers as “advertisers” (instead using terms like “branding partner” or “helmet entitlement partner”).

One person who disagrees with me on this is Ben Thoma, a longtime Uni Watch reader who also happens to be a longtime veteran of the advertising industry. For my latest article on Bulletin, I interviewed Thoma about the language of advertising, and about whether a company’s logo on an NBA jersey is or isn’t an ad. You can check it out on my Bulletin page. Enjoy!

Also: In case you missed it on Friday, I’ve revived this awesome “Hit Sign, Win Stirrups” T-shirt, designed by the great Todd Radom. It was originally available as a limited edition in February of 2017. Lately I’ve had a few requests for it (apparently some of the originals have gotten a bit ratty over the past four and a half years), so I’ve decided to make it available once again.

Short- and long-sleeved versions are available here. If you want any other formats (women’s, kids’, hoodie, V-neck, etc.), drop me a line and I’ll hook you up.

Here’s a closer look at the design (click to enlarge):

Again, the shirt is available here. My thanks, as always, for your consideration of our products.

Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

NFL News: Hmmm. Despite what Jets owner Woody Johnson tweeted a few days ago, it looks like the New York Jets will be wearing green/white/white vs. New England today (from Ace Fuller). … You’re probably all aware, but just in case: the Packers will wear their 1950s-inspired throwbacks today against the Football Team. … The Saints are going gold/white/black tomorrow night in Seattle. … Mike Malnicof was “Randomly watching old NFL Primetime highlights of Raiders at Chargers Week 8 2004 & the Chargers had a jack-o-lantern painted at their 20 yard line

College Football News: Our own Alex Hider tweets, “Rough day for this ESPN crew. The Findlay Bearcats?” If you read the replies to that, you’ll see a few other geographical mistakes. … That comes on the heels of this earlier spelling mistake (also from Alex).

Hockey News: The Vancouver Canucks brought back their wildly-popular “Flying Skate” look for their 50th anniversary season, and it was supposed to be “one-and-done”. But that may not be the case for long. … Throwbacks were worn by the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs on Friday night. The Q has a history of interesting logos (from Wade Heidt). … Also from Wade, QMJHL’s Cape Breton Eagles wore pink sweaters and socks for breast cancer night on Friday. … The Maine Mariners threw it back on Friday night. Submitter Wade Heidt calls it “A look reminiscent of the old AHL Mariners. Wearing their old logo with the black and yellow. A nod to their new affiliation with the Boston Bruins.” … One more from Wade: 10th anniversary logo for the Sherbrooke Phoenix. … This is pretty cool — the Seattle Kraken have anchors on their red line (from Alison L.). … “King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford was pretty well known for wearing Boston Bruins apparel during the bands heyday,” writes Ed Hahn. “But I never say this set of overalls with the logo before.” … Check out this close-up of the Utah Grizzlies spooky season jerseys (from mr. big corona).

NBA News: ICYMI, Paul’s most recent Bulletin article focuses on the language of uniform ads (highly recommended). In a similar vein, this piece argues that “jersey sponsors represent a wide range of business interests that are, in many cases, interestingly congruent with the city and team the company has chosen to represent,” and refers to advertisers as “sponsors.” … New York Knicks superfan Spike Lee wore an interesting suit for the Knicks home opener (from Jason Tierney).

Soccer News: “Fascinating cultural appropriation scenario happening at Newcastle in England,” writes K.C.Kless.
 

Grab Bag: LKS Commercecon Lodz with team logo on the sides of their socks in Poland’s TauronLiga volleyball (from Jeremy Brahm). … Reader Max Weintraub writes, “After seeing the UniWatch piece on Paul Deaver and the different badge options his Department permits, I was pleased to see an Alexandria (Virginia) Sheriff Deputy wearing a pink Breast Cancer Awareness badge (yesterday) morning. She confirmed the Department permitted deputies to purchase them online.”

And finally… that’s a wrap for the weekend! Big thanks, as always, to the entire SMUW crew for all their efforts, and for Alex for his work on the MLB Playoffs uni tracking.

Everyone have a great week, and I’ll catch you here next Saturday.

Peace,

PH