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NHL Third Jerseys Return from Exile Tonight

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After a one-season hiatus, NHL alternate uniforms are slated to reappear this fall. We’ll get our first peek at some of them tonight, when at least two teams, and possibly more, will unveil their new alts at their NHL draft parties. With that in mind, I’ve done an ESPN Friday Flashback piece about notable alternate uniforms in NHL history (including the Kings’ infamous “Burger King” design, shown above). Check it out here.

As for tonight’s unveilings, I’ll have a review of at least one of them shortly after 7pm Eastern over on ESPN, and Phil will have additional coverage here on the blog tomorrow.

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World Cup soundtrack: Can’t believe I forgot all about this excellent song, which deserves to be dusted off every four years. Enjoy:

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Coolest thing ever: Yesterday I received a package in the mail. Inside was a chain-stitched version of our winged stirrup logo. I didn’t order this or ask for it to be made. The person who made it just thought I’d like to have it. How cool is that?!

I’ll have more to say about this shortly. For now I’m just super-thrilled to see our logo rendered in chain-stitching.

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The Ticker
By Kris Gross

Baseball News: Mariners 2B Dee Gordon Gets It™ (from @GoatJerseys). … The Brewers will wear a sleeve patch this weekend to honor late coach and broadcaster Davey Nelson (from Garrett). … The Astros gave out replica World Series rings at Wednesday night’s game. These look really good (from Mike Gongre). … The Fresno Grizzlies wore Coming to America jerseys last night (from David Taub). … The Corpus Christi Hooks also in different jerseys last night, as they played as the Blue Ghosts (from @NikolaiPopuski). … The Lansing Lugnuts will wear Harry Potter jerseys tomorrow night. … The Greenville Drive will play as the Energia four times this season, beginning tomorrow (from Charles Wendt). … It’s Star Wars night for the Lakewood BlueClaws on June 29 (from John McMunn). … A beer salesman at the Buffalo Bisons games named “Conehead” is getting a beer named after him. … “Tincredibles” jerseys tonight for the Ft. Wayne TinCaps. … Ichirio Suzuki sat on the Mariners’ bench last night while wearing a fake mustache.

NFL News: When Vikings QB Fran Tarkenton hosted Saturday Night Live in 1977, we had some notable uni moments. The episode featured knock-off Vikings jerseys, and show-themed football uniforms (from Pro Football Journal). … Speaking of Vikings quarterbacks, here’s a shot of Warren Moon wearing No. 2 in the 1995 Pro Bowl, instead of the No. 1 he wore his entire career (from )

Hockey News: It appears that EA Sports has been using the wrong uni font for the Hurricanes in their NHL games since 2013 (from Alex Jones). … The SPHL has a new team, the Quad City Storm (from Bus League Hockey). … This is an awesome pencil case/money holder (from Michael Marniniello).

NBA News: An ESPN photoshop created before the draft put Grayson Allen in an incorrect font No. 3 Celtics jersey, which was retired in honor of Dennis Johnson in 1991 (from JayJayDean). … I must have missed the 77ers drafting last night (from Jason Costigan). … Here are the uni numbers that some of last night’s draftees will be wearing for the Celtics, Cavs, and Mavs (from Mike Chamernik). … Although no official announcement has yet been made, the Grizzlies appear to be tweaking their logos.

Soccer News: In case you were wondering, this is why World Cup players show officials their underwear (thanks Phil). … FIFA has refuted claims that a World Cup referee asked for a Portugal player’s kit after a match on Wednesday. … The upcoming Brazil and Costa Rica match will feature both teams in away kits due to their shirts clashing (from Josh Hinton). … Why can’t you buy an Australia kit with the official crest? The Australian Soccer Federation doesn’t allow its logo to be used on merchandise, only the official jerseys (from Ryan Keberly).

Grab Bag: You can vote on your favorite Dallas high school logo in this bracket-style tournament (from Matt Upton). … Window washers at Akron Children’s Hospital dressed up like superheroes (thanks Jim Vilk). … Lots of chatter last night and this morning about Melania Trump’s “I Really Don’t Care. Do U?” jacket.

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What Paul did last night: Had a really good time at last night’s Superchunk/Aimee Mann show in Prospect Park. Arrived early, had a swell picnic with the Tugboat Captain and our friends Rob and Jamie (the latter of whom is the author of the definitive travel tome Road Trip USA, don’tcha know), bumped into other friends — a great night.

But purple porta-johns? Ugh.

Lots of Founding-Year Glitches in NBA Draft Caps

The NBA draft takes place tonight which means we’ll be seeing lots of NBA draft caps. Normally, I don’t care about draft caps, which are basically just a pointless merchandise category, but reader David R., who prefers not to use his full name, has identified an interesting inconsistency in this latest crop of NBA headwear that’s worth discussing.

Take it away, David:

The NBA draft caps have fun little patches that list the years of the teams’ founding, city/state flags, shortened alternate city names, and more. I thought it was fun departure from the usual sleek-looking hats.

But upon closer inspection, there are terrible inconsistencies in the standard that was applied — if there even was a standard — for determining each team’s the founding year. Some caps get the founding year right, some list the team’s first year after the NBL/BAA merger in 1949, others list the team’s first year in its current city. It appears that the folks at New Era and/or the NBA don’t know the league’s history, or at least didn’t care about sweating the details. Or maybe the teams had their own ideas about what they wanted to be listed as their founding year.

For example:

• The Hawks were founded in 1946 and moved to Atlanta in 1968. The year shown on their cap is 1949 — their first year in the new NBA after the NBL/BAA merger.

• The Warriors were founded in 1946; they moved to San Francisco in 1962 and to Oakland in 1971. Their hat says 1946.

• The Kings were founded in Rochester as a semi-pro team in 1923. They became a pro team in 1945, an NBA team in 1949, and a Sacramento team in 1985. Their hat lists 1985 as the founding year.

• The Pistons were founded as the Zollner Pistons factory team in Fort Wayne in 1941 and moved to Detroit in 1957. Their hat accurately lists 1941 as the founding year.

• The Nets were founded as the New Jersey Americans in 1967. They later became the New York Nets, the New Jersey Nets, and then, in 2012, the Brooklyn Nets. Their hat lists 2012 as the founding year.

• The Jazz were founded in New Orleans in 1974. They moved to Utah in 1979 and their hat lists 1979 as the founding year.

• The 76ers were founded as the Syracuse Nationals in 1946. They moved to Philadelphia in 1963 to become the 76ers. Their hat lists 1949 as the founding year.

• The Lakers were officially founded in Minneapolis as the Lakers in 1947 (the NBA ignores the Detroit Gems of 1946-1947) and moved to L.A. in 1960. Their draft hat lists 1948 as the founding year.

• The Clippers were founded in 1970 as the Buffalo Braves. They became the San Diego Clippers in 1978 and the Los Angeles Clippers in 1984. Their hat lists 1984 as the founding year.

• The Pelicans’ hat lists 2013 as their founding year, which ignores the franchise’s earlier incarnation as the Hornets.

• The Thunder’s cap lists 2008 as the founding year, ignoring the Sonics’ existence.

• The Spurs were founded as the Dallas Chaparrals in 1967 and moved to San Antonio and became the Spurs in 1973. Their draft hat lists 1973 as the founding year.

And so on. You could argue that they should always go by the franchise’s earliest incarnation, or that they should always go by when the team began using its current identity in its current city — but whichever standard they apply, they should at least apply it consistently.

Great work by David, who has summarized all of this in a handy spreadsheet.

The draft, incidentally, will be taking place just a 10-minute walk from Uni Watch HQ. Fortunately, I’ll be walking to a different neighborhood destination, where a much more compelling entertainment option awaits.

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Hyphen hype: History of a sort was made last night in Kansas City, as Rangers pitcher Austin Bibens-Dirkx and catcher Isiah Kiner-Falefa formed the first hyphenated-surnamed battery in MLB history. I was hoping for lots of mound conferences so we could see the two hyphenated NOBs together — hobnobbing HNOBs, so to speak — but then I lost a lot of my enthusiasm for that when I saw that Kiner-Falefa’s hyphen is obscured by his chest protector. Disappointing. (You can see both NOBs in this pregame photo, but somehow that’s not as satisfying as an in-game shot.)

Interestingly, Bibens-Dirkx and Kiner-Falefa constitute two-thirds of all the hyphenated-surnamed players who have ever played in the big leagues. The only other such player: former pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith.

As more and more modern families use hyphenated surnames, it seems fairly obvious that we’ll be seeing more players with hyphenated NOBs. And that raises a question: In the sweepstakes for MLB’s longest NOB (a mark still held by Jarrod Saltalamacchia, with 14 letters), should hyphenated names count the same as non-hyphenated names, or should they be two separate categories? For hyphenated NOBs, should the hyphen count as a letter? As a character? Not at all?

Discuss.

(My thanks to @deetee64 for pointing me toward the pregame photo of Bibens-Dirkx and Kiner-Falefa, which was taken by @sillywabbit40.)

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: Cleveland 2B Jose Ramirez wore his Mother’s Day socks under his pajama pants Tuesday night (from Brad). … The scoreboard at Petco Park used a Braves logo instead of an A’s logo after Tuesday night’s game (from Richard Paloma). … The Braves apparently use a slightly varied script for their letterhead as opposed to their road uniform (from Cameron Ilich). … The Nats have sold advertising space on their infield tarp to Skittles (from Max Weintraub). … Artist Daniel Duffy used the names of all the Phillies players throughout history to draw Citizens Bank Park (from  @mixedmediashop). … Astros 2B Tony Kemp is selling a “Hugs for Homers” shirt, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Astros Youth Academy (from Ignacio Salazar). … Paul Bastia notes that during the Pawtucket Red Sox game last night, reliever Josh A. Smith followed starter Josh D. Smith. Unfortunately, the PawSox don’t wear NOBs. … Here’s what the uniforms looked like for the South Atlantic League Northern Division All-Star team looked like on Tuesday night (from Scott M. Trembly). … The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Japan’s Pacific League will wear “Hokkaido Be Ambitious” jerseys for a series beginning July 20 (from Max G.). … The Portland Pickles wore Portland Mavericks throwbacks last night (from @I_am_orange). … Somewhat incredibly, the MLB Network’s in-studio set has home plate facing the wrong way (from Ted Zeigler). … A Phillies fan got a black eye and other facial injuries after she was hit in the face by a hot dog launched by the Phillie Phanatic.

Football NewsLost in the news about the Bears’ new orange alts was the fact that the Bears will still wear their Monsters of the Midway throwbacks for a game this season, in addition to the orange design. This story on the team’s website says the NFL “is allowing teams to wear alternate jerseys in addition to a classic jersey that was formerly described as a throwback.” Could we see more teams adopt throwbacks to take advantage? (From Bill Schaefer.) … Denver’s football stadium will be called Broncos Stadium at Mile High until the team comes up with a new naming rights advertiser (from Brad Darby). … Vikings WR Stefon Diggs is calling for the team to go mono-purple this season (from Eric Thompson). … The early-’70s Chargers had some FIOB inconsistencies with Deacon Jones and Lee White (from Pro Football Journal). … Looks like Akron will have matte gold facemasks in the rotation this season (from Jim Vilk).

Hockey News: Las Vegas’s mayor made good on her Stanley Cup bet with Washington’s mayor and posed for a photo in an Alex Ovechkin jersey — an old jersey, by the looks of it. The jersey contains an alternate captain’s “A,” rather than Ovechkin’s current “C,” meaning it was probably made between 2007 and 2009. … Lex Levy found a photo of former Leafs D Kent Douglas wearing eye black during an indoor game against the Bruins in the 1960s. … Reader Michael Bialas found a CCM hockey-branded Brannock Device at a sporting good store in Wisconsin. … Brian Wulff found this old photo of Jerry Garcia wearing a blank Canadiens jersey. … Capital One Arena is undergoing a planned renovation and is allowing fans to purchase seats and seat bottoms from the arena (from John Gagosian). … This Hot Wheels logo looks familiar, right Whalers fans? (From Hoot.)

Basketball News: Someone at Georgia Tech decided to create Photoshop images of G Josh Okogie in each NBA team’s uniform and then put the images in a roulette wheel (from Michael Rich). … Creighton’s basketball arena is getting a new corporate-advertised name.

Soccer NewsBoth Spain and Iran wore their away kits due to a “color clash” in their World Cup match yesterday, even though it seems their home kits hardly clashed, if at all. In addition, Russia was forced to wear solid red socks to avoid a sock clash with Egypt on Tuesday (from Josh Hinton). … Here’s a handy World Cup uni tracker, built by Zachary Labrosse-R. … If you were watching the World Cup yesterday and found yourself wondering why Morocco was abbreviated “MAR” on the score bug, here’s a good explainer (from @vovomeena and Greg Tish). … This story offers a look inside the dressing rooms of World Cup teams (from Neil MacLeod). … New crest for Lille OSC of French Ligue 1 (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … Gladbach, a team in the German Bundesliga, had their home and away kits for next season leak yesterday (from Josh Hinton). … More from Josh and Ed Zelaski: SV 1860 Munich, a third-tier German team, unveiled their kits for next season yesterday. … San Francisco City FC of the Premier Development League will wear pride uniforms on June 24. … New kit for Eintracht Frankfurt (from Ed Zelaski). … New kits for Gold Coast Inter AFC (from Icarus Football). … New kits for Wolverhampton Wanderers. Earlier leaks had shown a different jersey advertiser (from Josh Hinton).

Grab Bag:  A Tire Discounters store in Kentucky built a Wildcat sculpture out of tire scraps and put it on display (from James Gilbert). … Canada’s Northwest Territories province uses terrific bear-shaped license plates. Beats just about any state in America, IMO (from Benji King). … This infographic is a great look at all the different suits Iron Man has worn throughout all the comic books (from @walbergLines). … The city of Dublin, Ohio — a suburb of Columbus — is holding a contest to design a new city flag (from Doug Helmreich).

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What Paul did last night yesterday: Yesterday morning I went to visit my mom. On the way, I stopped at the cemetery where our family has a small plot. I stopped there in part so I could take photos to show my mom (she can no longer handle the long drive to/from the cemetery but likes to see photos just to make sure everything’s being well maintained) and in part because I like to check in there at least once every year and think about my family.

Our cemetery plot that has one of those “mothership” stones with the family name, and then individual stones for the deceased. As I’ve occasionally mentioned here on the site, our family name was originally Lewkowitz, not Lukas (my parents changed it in the late 1940s, shortly after they got married — your standard Jewish assimilationist move), and the plot was established in the 1950s by my grandfather, Charles Lewkowitz, so of course he put “Lewkowitz” on the mothership stone.

For many years, I didn’t much care about our cemetery plot. Part of it is that our family isn’t big on ritual or ceremony (religious or otherwise), and part of it is probably that I was just too young and immature to care about such things. But another part is that I felt no connection with the name on the mothership stone. I wasn’t born with that name, and I never knew my grandfather (he died when I was an infant). So at some point — I think in 2000 — I suggested to my father that we should have “Lukas” added to the mothership. He agreed, and now the mothership stone has both surnames.

I now feel a much greater connection to our family plot. Some of it is just that I’m older and care more about certain things than I did when I was younger. But a lot of it is seeing my surname up there. It’s funny how much that apparently matters to me.

Exclusive: A Look at Some Umpires’ Ejection Reports

Remember how I’ve done a few ESPN pieces about the old 1960s files that once belonged to Denver Broncos GM Jim Burris and were later acquired by Uni Watch reader Tom Jacobsen? Those files yielded my story about the remarkable Buddy Young memo and the letters from Broncos fans requesting tickets to the first Super Bowl.

In the course of reporting those stories, I made contact with Jim Burris’s son, Bob Burris, who’s now in his 60s and lives in the Kansas City area. He told me that he had some additional files from his father’s time in the sports world — including some very interesting paperwork that we’re going to look at today.

Here’s the deal: Although Jim Burris was briefly the Broncos’ GM, he spent most of his career working in minor league baseball. In the early 1950s he was the vice president of the American Association, a Triple-A league that’s no longer in existence. His duties included handing out fines and suspensions for players and managers who abused the umpires. And he decided on those disciplinary actions by reviewing reports that the umpires sent him whenever they ejected someone.

Jim Burris kept all that paperwork after he retired, and Bob Burris still has it today. Bob (who was forbidden by his father to look at the umps’ reports when he growing up, because of the profane language) was nice enough to share some of it with me, and we’ll be looking at a few of the reports today.

All of the games in question are from 1952. Obviously, it would be more fun to have paperwork from a more recent year, and/or from the big leagues. Still, there are some names in here that you’ll probably recognize, like Gene Mauch and Johnny Keane. In any case, the reports provide a fascinating window into the culture of abuse that’s heaped onto baseball umpires. Funny stuff, too, because all the profanities are reported in this businesslike deadpan presentation. All in a day’s work — literally.

Okay, enough preliminaries. Here are umps’ reports from seven games. In each case, I’m presenting the front of report, the back of the report (except for the last one, which didn’t spill over to the back; all of the reports can be clicked to enlarge), followed by a transcription of the most pertinent text, so you don’t have to fight your way through the umps’ handwriting.

Indianapolis vs. Louisville, July 5, 1952

In the fifth inning of today’s game, I ejected Manager G. Desantels of the Indianapolis team. After I had called one of his players out on a play at 3rd base, he called me a stupid fuck, a blind bastard, and I immediately ejected him. Then he let loose a long line of dirty slang words at me, and banging his hat on the side of his body back and forth swinging it, called me then a no good son of a bitch, a no good cocksucker, and repeated a no good bastard a couple of times.

All of these words could be heard and were loud enough and audible to the people in the 3rd base stands. If I ever called a play right in my life, I know I called that one correct, from the bottom of my heart. — Robert Stewart, umpire

Kansas City vs. Milwaukee, Aug. 15, 1952

Gene Mauch was ejected in the last of the 9th inning for repeatedly calling me many names, such as Prick, Goddamn Meathead, Gutless, Bastard, and others I can’t recall. These remarks I at first ignored because in my mind, I know he just wanted to prolong the game by giving me an argument, but after hearing him call me all these names repeatedly it was impossible for me to tolerate it any longer, so I put him out of the game. — Roy Appelhans, umpire

Minneapolis vs. Louisville, June 1, 1952

Mr. Genevese, manager of the Minneapolis club, was put out of the game for using profane language during a dispute regarding a catch or no catch by his center fielder. … Genevese refused to listen and really gave me the works, calling me a blind cocksucker, son of a bitch, prick, and a no good bastard. After putting him out, he continued to get in front of me to prevent my going to my next position until I told him to keep his face out of mine and expectorating in my face while he was shouting. — Roy Appelhans, umpire

Milwaukee vs. Columbus, Aug. 10, 1952

I called a Columbus player out at 3rd base. Manager Keane charged me and started verbal abuse with You no good lousy son of a bitch. I started back to home plate after explaining to him why I called the man out. He followed me to the plate, using these phrases: lousy cocksucker, lousy bastard, they should run you out of the fucking country. He repeated these phrases over and over. I then told him he was through. … After Manager Keane had left, a few choice remarks were made from the dugout such as goddamn horseshit umpires. — Harry King, umpire

St. Paul vs. Charleston, Aug. 2, 1952

Escalaro (Charleston) was declared safe on a close play at the plate in the last of the 5th inning. Catcher Baldwin jumped up, protesting and bumping and pushing me with his body several times, players from his team had to hold him. I then ordered him from the game. After resuming play, some heckling started in the dugout. I made certain who was doing the heckling (McGlothin). I turned and started to warn him and he yelled, “Yes, it’s me, I’m on you, what the hell are you going to do about it,” at the same time pointing to himself. I ordered him from the bench, but he did not make a move. In the meantime, Manager Bryant came up from the coaching box and asked me what the trouble was. I told him, and he turned to the bench and told McGlothin to leave. After I turned to go to the plate, my fellow umpires told me he (McGlothin) threw a towel on the field. — Harry King, umpire

St. Paul vs. Louisville, Aug. 14, 1952

Eddie Lyons of the Louisville club was put out of the game in the 7th inning. He had missed tagging a runner coming into 2nd base, and when he was called safe, Eddie Lyons jumped up and stuck his face close to mine and yelled “The man was tagged.” He face was so close to me, I could feel the spray of his breath on mine and I told him to get away from me. I walked out of his way but he continued to yell about the horseshit decision and called me a cocksucker. I then put him out. — Roy Appelhans, umpire

Milwaukee vs. St. Paul, Sept. 11, 1952

In the last half of the fourth inning, I have a close play at home plate. I call the runner safe. After play is finished, catcher Williams of Milwaukee jumps up in my face and calls me a bastard, son of a bitch, and cock sucker. His language is audible to the stands. I immediately eject him. — Hal Dixon, umpire

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I have more of these, but that’s enough for today. Fascinating stuff, right? Interesting to see that the most profane term hurled at the umps, in nearly all of the reports, was cocksucker. Seventeen years later, while writing about the 1969 season in his seminal book Ball Four, Jim Bouton wrote that the “magic word” guaranteed to get a player ejected was motherfucker, a term that doesn’t appear in any of the 1952 reports. Maybe that word wasn’t yet in wide circulation in 1952, or maybe it was used more in the majors than in the minors. (Fast-forwarding half a century to 2016, Mets manager Terry Collins used both terms in the instant-classic video that’s recently been circulating.)

I know some of you currently officiate various sports at various levels. What sorts of abuse have you taken? Do these reports trigger any anxiety or resentment in you, or can you laugh them off?

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The Ticker
By Paul

’Skins Watch: A high school in Maine will continue to call its teams the Warriors but will drop its Native American imagery (from our own Anthony Emerson). … For some inexplicable reason, a kid in the crowd at yesterday’s Poland/Senegal World Cup match, which took place in Moscow, was wearing a Native American headdress and redface. I suppose you could argue that the face painting matched the Polish flag, but that still doesn’t explain the headdress (from Tyler Johnson). … Meanwhile, a fan at the Russia/Egypt match also had a Native headdress (from Tyler Johnson).

Baseball News: Negro League throwbacks upcoming for the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. … Star Wars jerseys on June 29 for the Lakewood BlueClaws. … The Potomac Nationals re-created a famous scene from Bull Durham to mark the movie’s 30th anniversary. … The Tulsa Drillers became Los Petroleros yesterday. … When the Mariners held their original TATC game in 1998, there was an inconsistency in their helmet numbering. … During last night’s Mets/Rockies game, SNY roving reporter Steve Gelbs said Mets LF Dominic Smith was playing with a glove that isn’t yet fully broken in. … Pirates reliever Steven Brault sang the national anthem prior to last night’s game against the Brewers while in full uniform. … Austin Bibens-Dirkx is slated to pitch for the Rangers tonight, and the team also plans plans to have Isiah Kiner-Falefa behind the dish, creating a rare all-hyphenated-NOB battery (from Blake Parker and Evan Grant).

Football News: The Bears will wear their recently unveiled orange jerseys on Oct. 14 against the Dolphins and Nov. 18 against the Vikings (from Alex Mellon). … Here’s a great shot of Patriots DL Bob Dee wearing a unique facemask rig — a single-bar plus a two-bar — in 1960 (from Bill Kellick). … The Regina Riot — that’s a Canadian women’s team — have had their jerseys returned after they were stolen earlier this month. … I’ve written before about how Packers QBs tend to wear two-point chinstraps. But that may be changing this season (from @continuoustx). … New logo for the U19 world championships.

Hockey News: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Not sure who the L.A. Kings player is in this old photo, but check out the striping on his skates (from Jet). … Recent internet domain registrations suggest that the NHL could be expanding to Portland, Ore.

NBA News: The Hornets will mark their 30th anniversary with throwback uniforms and a throwback court, among other promotions. The designs will be unveiled later, although it’s already an open secret that the uniforms will be a white version of the teal throwbacks they wore last season. … Top prospect Deandre Ayton signed a Suns jersey even though has even been drafted yet.

Soccer News: Monday’s England/Tunisia World Cup match was invaded by tiny insects. … New kit for Derby County (from Ed Zelaski). … Also from Ed: Celtic’s hew away shirt, which had previously leaked, has now been officially unveiled. … New kits for MK Dons, Pumas, and Swindon Town (all from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh: People don’t like Adidas’s World Cup number font. … One more from Josh: Here are all of the new Premier League kits that have been released so far. … Airport officials in Madeira, Portugal, have finally replaced the much-maligned bust of Cristiano Ronaldo with a new version (from Kary Klismet).

Grab Bag: The media conglomerate formerly known as Tribune Publishing, which changed its name to Tronc in 2016 (and has been ridiculed for the move ever since), is going back to its old name. … Lots of golfers at the U.S. Open wore old-school rope caps.

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What Paul did last night: Thanks to everyone who offered support and kind thoughts, both in the comments and via email, regarding yesterday’s installment of WPDLN. Last night was better, as I went to see the new documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, which is about Fred Rogers and his groundbreaking children’s TV show. If you grew up watching that show (as I did), you should definitely see this movie.

Among the many things I learned in this movie is that Rogers was an ordained minister. Maybe that helps explain the state of grace he always seemed to maintain. Unfailingly kind, endlessly creative, and fiercely devoted to his vision of connecting with children, he appears to have had a transformative effect on a huge number of people. Given that the national discussion at the moment involves children being separated from their parents, the film had some extra resonance last night, but there’s no bad time to see it. Bring some tissues — there are a few bits that are bound to make you a bit weepy.

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I’m driving out to Long Island this morning to visit my mom, so I’ll be off the grid for a little bit while I’m on the road. Play nice while I’m away, yes? Yes. Thanks.

Puma’s New Uniforms for The Basketball Tournament

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Last Friday’s Ticker had an item about Puma moving to re-enter the American basketball market. There was more news about that yesterday, as Puma signed more NBA prospects to endorsement deals, announced a lifetime contract for former NBA great Walt “Clyde” Frazier, and hired Jay-Z as the brand’s creative director.

Now there’s still more evidence of Puma’s resurgence, as a source has provided me with four of the jersey designs for this year’s edition of The Basketball Tournament, the $2 million winner-take-all summer basketball event now entering its fifth season. In the past, TBT uniforms did not carry a maker’s mark, but this year’s jerseys, as you can see above, are Puma-branded. (It’s worth remembering that Puma outfitted about one-third of the NFL in 1999 and 2000, but they’ve been largely absent from the American uni scene since then.)

Some quick notes about these four jerseys (clockwise from top left):

• Boeheim’s Army is a Syracuse alumni team — hence the team name and the orange-driven color scheme.

• Team Challenge ALS is playing to raise awareness for ALS research on behalf of team GM and player Sean Marshall’s college roommate, Pete Frates, the former Boston College baseball player who initiated the Ice Bucket Challenge. Last year, the entire team wore “Frates” NOBs. This year, each player is playing for a specific person suffering from ALS, and they will have that person’s name on the back of their jersey.

• The Scarlet and Gray is an Ohio State alum squad, as you can tell from the team name and color scheme.

• Overseas Elite is the three-time defending TBT champion. Their jerseys look like leftovers from the Jacksonville Jaguars’ recently discarded set.

The Basketball Tournament tips off on June 29.

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Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Time for another edition of Collector’s Corner, but first — an apology. Due to me messing up some Gmail filters, I was not seeing the Collector’s Corner email submissions. I thought, “Gee, no one has any?” I just happened to come across some from last week (which are included in today’s column), but goodness knows how many I missed. My apologies!

Okay, so starting off, we have this “Groovy Glossary of Pro Football” poster. The artist was Lionel Kalish Rapp Studios, and the seller calls it a “vintage headshop poster.” (Kids, ask your parents.)

Now let’s run down the rest of this week’s picks:

• Speaking of groovy, this 1973 Detroit Tigers yearbook is fairly trippy, wouldn’t you say?

• Will Scheibler sent along a nice-looking Winnipeg Blue Bombers hand-knit wool sweater and a vintage 1970s CFL thermal cup decorated with team logos.

• Bill Erdek sent in a CCM hockey jersey for Vincent Lecavalier, #44 of the L.A. Kings that just shows the NHL shield on the front.

• From Jon Solomonson, a 1993 N.Y. Jets “coat of arms” shield pin.

• Here’s a 1960s Green Bay Packers seat cushion for you to use at the Frozen Tundra.

• This 1960s New York Giants Ballantine Beer light-up sign is in great condition.

• Frank Gifford offers his analysis on who’s going to win it all on the gridiron with his 1968 NFL-AFL Football Guide.

• The Washington Capitals offered these “Stick It To ’Em” promo stickers back in the 1970s.

• This 1960s Red Sox vinyl lunchbox comes with a “wide mouth thermo bottle that keeps liquids or foods hot or cold.”

• Here’s a 1970s POP display (looks like the Steelers on there) full of L.A. Rams rings.

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

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KRC update: The latest installment of Key Ring Chronicles is about a very personally significant pink and orange ribbon. Check it out here.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: Marlins 2018 draft pick Osiris Johnson was wearing an old cap with the larger, pre-2018 “M” logo at last night’s game (from Travis). … The Schaumburg Boomers of the Frontier League will wear Ferris Bueller’s Day Off jerseys on June 28 (from Steve Johnston). … The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League will give away this bobblehead of Victor Robles on June 23. … The jersey Babe Ruth wore the day the Yankees retired his number is currently on display at the Baseball Hall of Fame (from Rich Mueller). … Here’s another website that tracks the caps and jerseys worn by every MLB team (from @Greg1MB). … Albert, Florida’s gator mascot, wore LeBron James’s infamous suit with shorts look to the College World Series yesterday (from Jorge Cruz).

Football NewsIt appears Saints QB Drew Brees will wear a new helmet style this year. The Saints also used an old helmet design in the QB challenge logo (from Russell Goutierez). … Looks like we have 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan to thank for the team’s new throwback uniforms (from Brinke). … The Colts will wear white at home for their preseason opener in August (from Phil). … Now that’s a jersey tear. That’s former Rams RB Les Josephson, who had his jersey torn all the way off in a game in 1967 (from Bill Kellick). … Angelo Giaquinto was at the Pro Football Hall of Fame and noticed Matt Ryan’s Super Bowl jersey was missing a sleeve logo. … Blake Fox spotted a boat named Philly Special that included a diagram of the play that resulted in Eagles QB Nick Foles catching a TD pass in this year’s Super Bowl. … Pro Football Journal  spotted some number inconsistencies among Washington’s jerseys back in the day. … The ACC Tracker has been updated to include the jerseys worn during 2018 spring games. … An Illinois high school will no longer use the Patriots’ “Flying Elvis” logo. The school had run a big anti-plagiarism initiative, which led several students to point out that the school’s logo was essentially plagiarized (from Scott Holland).

NBA News: The NBA is auctioning off the jersey Cavs G J.R. Smith wore when he committed his Game 1 blunder during The Finals this year. As of Monday evening, bidding was above $7,500 (from Mike Chamernik and Rich Mueller).

College Hoops NewsIPFW is now simply known as Purdue Fort Wayne. As a result, their basketball team will now be referred to as the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons, and have a new court to go along with the change. They previously were just called the Fort Wayne Mastodons.

Soccer NewsSouth Korea’s coach had his players switch jerseys in a friendly against Sweden earlier this year in order to confuse the Swedes as they prepared for a World Cup matchup (from Mike Chamernik). … Ever wonder why referees check players’ underwear before the start of a soccer match? It’s simply to make sure the undershorts match the color of the shorts (from Kary Klismet and Brinke). … This video shows the evolution of World Cup uniforms (from Phil). … MLS officially unveiled the 2018 All-Star Game jerseys yesterday (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … New first and second kits for Scottish Championship team Partick Thistle (also from Jamie Rathjen). … New away kits for Aberdeen of the Scottish Premiership (also also from Jamie Rathjen). … New away kit for Brentford (from Adam Crocker).

Grab BagAuburn University teams wore a combined 46 uniforms across all sports during the 2017-18 athletic season. Clint Richardson has the recap over on Auburn Uniform Database. … The Vancouver Stealth of the National Lacrosse League have been sold to new owners, who will change the team’s name and uniforms and move into a new arena (from Wade Heidt). … England’s oldest branding is that of Lyle’s Golden Syrup, whose logo contains a dead, rotting lion’s carcass (from James Gilbert).

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What Paul did last night: I usually use this space to tell you about fun stuff that I’ve done, but last night was no fun. I went to a bar in the East Village to meet up with an old friend — someone I’ve known for more than 30 years. We hugged when we sat down and again when we parted a few hours later, but in between we talked about the distance that had grown between us and how one of us could no longer find it within himself to call the other one his friend. By the end of the night, we had said good-bye for the final time.

It doesn’t matter which one of us was upset with the other, or why. What matters is that we had a shared past but could no longer find a shared language for the present, or for the future. There was a lot of respect running in both directions, and I believe we both truly listened to each other, but in the end it was clear that the gap between us had grown so wide as to be unbridgeable. That’s not how either of us wanted it to be, but that’s the reality of how it had become. It sucked.

As I walked back to the subway, I got caught in the rain. I didn’t care. I came home, dried off, and watched the Mets win. I didn’t care about that either.

Life is hard sometimes. I’m trying to learn from it.