Special World Series Uni Watch column on ESPN today, addressing two issues that have been discussed at great length around here lately. Here’s the link.
Meanwhile: Back when I was a kid, it wasn’t unusual to see baseball cards that showed players going the unsightly (and, let’s face it, wussy) route of wearing windbreakers under their jerseys. Look through this great book and you’ll see lots of examples of this unfortunate phenomenon, all of which look like total crap, what with the wrinkles and the puffiness. Many of these shots appear to have been taken on cold February days during spring training, but others were taken in MLB stadia, which makes the windbreaker thing pretty inexcusable. Some players were even repeat offenders.
I’ve seen first and third base coaches wear windbreakers under their jerseys on cold days, but I’d never seen a player do it in a game — much less an important, high-profile game — until last night, when Jim Edmonds wore this under his jersey, resulting in some very unseemly sleeve striping (additional views here and here). All of which presents an interesting conundrum: Which is worse — the windbreaker or the accursed Nike-pox sleeves Edmonds wore in Game 1?
Uni Watch News Ticker: MLB will have new batting practice jersey and cap templates next season. The new designs haven’t been circulated yet, but a little birdie who’s actually handled one of the prototypes tells me this: “They will be New Era caps with the same material as previous years, but with a slight modification: Above the ear, there will be an arch, semi-circle, or piping, the same as the teams’ secondary color (like the orange on the edge of the Mets BP bill). The material in that crescent is a stretchy spandex fabric.” Can’t, uh, wait. … Jeremy Brahm notes that Valencia CF of the Spanish La Liga uses a very interesting font for its uni numbers and nameplates. … Brahm also reports that a French soccer team has been wearing “Non au racisme” (“No to Racism” in French) on their jersey collars (here’s another view) but has been told to stop. … Still more from Brahm: Check out these Australian rugby unis. … And yet another Brahm-ism: The fringe sport of netball, where the players wear letters designating their positions, instead of uni numbers. A history of the sport’s uniforms is here. … Brahm has also found some European 7 examples (here’s another). … Really great article here about Alexander Ovechkin’s tinted visor and how yellow goalie pads can disrupt a shooter’s concentration — highly recommended (with thanks to AJ Brandt). … On Friday I mentioned that Keyshawn Johnson is tying his collar to his shoulder pads, which prompted Brett Baker to respond thusly: “I’m pretty sure he picked this up with the Cowboys. I noticed a few years ago that the Cowboys have a special reinforced patch just below the NFL Equipment logo. This patch also has two eyelets in it that the players then run a string through, apparently to tighten down their jerseys even more than they already are.” Some quick photo research reveals that Keyshawn didn’t do this during most of his Cowboys days, but he appears to have started doing it toward the end of last season. … Cool auction item here (with thanks to Patrick Van Hull). … Some great super-retro hockey sweaters available here (hat trick for Chris Kourtis). … Not uni-related, but impressive nonetheless: Although the Yankees haven’t yet released their 2007 schedule (they’re traditionally among the last teams to do so each season), reader Ian Isanberg has compiled it based on the other teams’ schedules. (And people think I obsess too much about things…) … The Buckner column has generated lots of media reaction, including podcast from Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket in Dallas (with thanks to Austin Henley for the tip). … Underbill update from Bryan Redemske, who says, “Must be pretty easy to for Nippon Ham Fighters manager Trey Hillman to know which lid is his.” … Ditch the Black isn’t the only uni-related web campaign — check this well-designed site, which aims to resurrect Pitt’s script logo. … Speaking of Pitt, several readers have noted that many of the team’s skill-position players appear to have had their gold jersey side panels tailored to be narrower than the side panels worn by the linemen. … Minnesota’s 1960 throwbacks, complete with uni numbers on the helmets, looked pretty damn cool against North Dakota State on Saturday. … FSU’s solid blacks, on the other hand, looked ridiculous. … Big minus points to West Virginia’s mismatched Nike undersleeves, too (additional views here, here, and here). … But the weekend’s all-ugly prize goes to Clemson, for obvious reasons. … Interesting article about Packers merchandising here (with a small sidebar here). … Several people in Saturday’s Comments section asked about NCAA merit stickers. The article I wrote on this topic last year is available here. … Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel really needs to leave this stuff to the professionals. … Quantum physics has conclusively determined that there’s no way to look cool when you have a big, stupid patch on your cap (no matter how awesome your socks are). … A sleeve patch the size of Connecticut doesn’t really help either (especially when you’re supposed to be projecting an air of authority [and especially-especially when your right sleeve is tailored extra-short]). … Serious high school football sock stripeage exhibited by the Brazosport Exporters (courtesy of Seth Harris). … According to the Boston Globe, the Titans might stick with the monochrome outfits. Further details in the “Coming over to the dark side” section of this page. … Nice catch by Jeff Greco, who writes: “I was enjoying the 1994 kids baseball classic Little Big League on HBO, in which 12-year-old Billy Heywood inherits the Minnesota Twins from his grandfather, Thomas Heywood. Toward the end of the film, I noticed that the Twins are wearing a “TH” sleeve patch — a fictional memorial to the owner who passed away. Just thought it was a nice touch.” Indeed. … Super-high whites yesterday on Miami WRs Randy McMichael and Chris Chambers (the latter of whom had worn extremely low whites last week). … Excellent site for Japanese baseball caps here, including shots of logo-inclusive labels and logo cap pins (with thanks, as always, to Jeremy Brahm). … J.J. Carton notes that Chad Johnson has had multiple facemask styles this season — compare this to this. … Scary example of logo creep in yesterday’s Chicago Marathon — or, rather, the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon — as men’s winner Robert Cherulyot slipped on a logo at the finish line and cracked his head on the pavement. Video of the whole depressing episode, which I can only hope will lead all Chicagoans to transfer any assets they currently have with LaSalle Bank, here.