We have a lot of ground to cover today, boys and girls, so let’s get crackin’…
I’ve written several times in the past about sports historian Dave Eskenazi and his amazing photo archive documenting the baseball history of the Pacific Northwest. He’s promised to contribute occasional dispatches, the latest of which arrived in my in-box a few days ago:
The Class D Western Tri State League existed from 1912 to 1914. The three states represented were Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, and franchises included the Boise Irrigators, Walla Walla (Washington) Bears, Pendleton (Oregon) Buckaroos, LaGrande (Oregon) Pippins/Spuds, Baker City (Oregon) Golddiggers/Miners, and North Yakima (Washington) Braves.
This scan shows three players from the 1913 LaGrande team [here’s a larger view], including Northwest baseball lifer Karl “Junk” Walters (upper left). Love that “L A G” in the triangle. Here’s another cool pic of Walters, as a Walla Walla Bear.
The second two scans are of the 1913 North Yakima Braves. Note the apple on the breast, the “Y” on the sleeve [looks like a truncated version of the Detroit Tigers’ “D” — PL], and “Yakima” down the placket.
Big thanks to Dave for continuing to share his vast visual database with the Uni Watch community.
Meanwhile, speaking of the northwest, reader Andy Head has discovered a web site devoted to the history of hockey in Seattle. Here’s his report:
As a Seattle-area hockey fan who would love to see an NHL franchise come to town someday, I found this site fascinating, and you’ve got to appreciate some of the pictures. First off, there’s the guy’s personal collection of jerseys. I think this old Totems jersey [note the similarity to the NFL Seahawks’ logo — PL] has got to be my favorite [I prefer this one — PL]. There’s also an equipment page, some pins and patches, and of course some great vintage photos — dig the stripeage on the 1929 Seattle Eskimos!
Trust me, the more time you spend poking around on this site, the more great stuff you find, from old ticket stubs and press passes to game-used sticks, player profiles, team histories, all kinds of stuff. Hope you find it as cool as I do.
And as long as we’re doing the northwest thing: As you all know by now, the Flaming Ducks did their thing last night. The big surprise was that there was a little “O” on the back of the helmet — whoa, talk about edgy. At the end of the day, the helmet didn’t look any worse than the rest of the uni (a point implicitly made in this article, pointed out to me by Mark Snider). Can we all please move on now?
ITEM! Major Lone Star Find: Two days ago I ran some great photos from the Texas A&M archive. But it turns out that the real treasure is at Texas Tech, where Ben Veazey has turned up a couple of 1938 pics of what just might be the greatest football uniform I’ve ever seen. Check it out here, here, and here.
Man, even with the watermarks, those unis are something special. The sleeve stripes, the interior sleeve and torso panels, the cuff stripes (!), the thicker white-bordered stripe within the hoop-striped socks — I’d give anything to see these babies in color.
Prodigal Jeremy: Uni Watch Far Eastern bureau chief Jeremy Brahm has been busy lately, but he checked in yesterday with a bunch of pics from his archives. Here’s his rundown:
• During the 1991 Japanese All-Star game, Hideo Nomo of the Kintetsu Buffaloes had to bat (the Pacific League uses the DH) and borrowed a helmet from an Orix Blue Wave player. Strangely, in 2005, Buffaloes’ players would be wearing Orix on their uniforms because of a merger between Orix and Kintetsu.
• A picture of shoe striping matching the uniform colors. This was in a 1994 issue of Sports Illustrated, which covered the 1994 Japan Series (there was no World Series due to the strike).
• Dan Gladden helped the Yomiuri Giants win the 1994 Japan Series, but look at his shoes — they have a stylized “G” for Giants. Here’s another player with the same motif. Yomiuri was the only team with this design.
• Here’s a picture of the 1935 Yomiuri Giants with kanji pictographs on their uniforms. The numbers, from the left: 3, 10, 1, 2, 14, 13.
• The Chunichi Dragons started their season in 1948 with the Japanese pronunciation of the team name — Do-ra-gons — on their jerseys. However, when an American serviceman saw the spelling, he pointed it out and the uniform was changed to “Dragons” a month into the season.
• In 1982-83, the Yomiuri Giants’ Tadashi Matsumoto led the Central League in steals and the team decided that they wanted to give him an easy-to-work-in uniform. The top and bottom were linked, kind of like a unitard. It was even called a new revolution for uniforms. However, there were no other players even mentioned for this type of uniform, other than Matsumoto. It was later found to be hard to take off only the top, and that was main reason for its demise.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Fascinating logo creep story involving the TV show 60 Minutes — look here (with thanks to Alex Gordon). ”¦ Extra-special thanks to Benjamin Sonnet, who sent me a really cool Xmas gift. ”¦ “Is Lebron James showing support for AI?” asks Dave Sterling. ”¦ Speaking of Iverson, there’s a great video clip here that shows his Nuggets jersey being lettered and stitched up, and some still pics are available here, here, here, and here. ”¦ SI.com’s “Year’s Most Interesting Sports Photos” gallery features some uni-related items of note, including this amazing shot of the Japanese women’s field hockey team (whose roster apparently includes Hannibal Lecter), and a mud-caked shot for the ages (note that the swoosh appears to be mud-resistant). ”¦ Here‘s the best information I’ve seen so far on the new NHL unis (with thanks to Eric van der Burght). ”¦ Amazing photo here of the 1901 Denison University basketball team (nice find by Craig Hicks). ”¦ You Can’t Make This Stuff Up Dept.: Check out the name of the UK’s Chief of Defence Staff (great catch by Todd Davis). ”¦ Matt Zegarski reports that Villanova has begun wearing a black “11” memorial patch in honor of the late Paul Arizin. No photos yet. ”¦ Bizarre scene the other night in Milwaukee, as Blain Fowler explains: “Oakland center Shawn Hopes picked Oakland’s uniforms for their game against Marquette. In an effort to try to change Oakland’s luck (team had lost three in a row on the road, including losses to Arkansas and UCLA), he chose to mix and match their two road options, pairing black jerseys with gold shorts. It made for an appealingly ugly result.” ”¦ When an MLB player signs with a new team, he usually just puts on a jersey for his photo op. But Bryan Redemske notes that Jason Jennings put on an entire Astros uni — and even threw a pitch — when joining the team earlier this week. ”¦ A reader who prefers to remain anonymous notes that the captain’s “C” on Mo Williams’s jersey has been much larger in recent games than the one worn by Michael Redd. “Mo had a small ‘C’ earlier this season,” notes our mystery reporter. “But after Wednesday’s game he took off his jersey and threw it in the crowd, and it wasn’t the first time he’s done this. I’m wondering if they ran out of little ‘C’s because he does it so often.” … Latest racer-backed women’s hoops team: Colorado State (as spotted by Bryan Redemske).
Holiday Schedule: I’ll probably post a real entry at some point during the three-day weekend, most likely on Sunday. Happy holidaze to all, and my deepest sympathies to anyone who has to travel via Denver.