The Craig Biggio situation has reopened the topic of stick pins. I thought we had pretty much covered everyone who’d pinned something to his cap or uniform (Billy Martin, Bucky Dent, Manny Ramirez, Reggie Jackson, Joey Cora), but two days ago I got the following note from a reader named Tom Shannon: “I think you overlooked the biggest pin of them all. Check out Mark Davis’s 1985 Topps card. Not only is the pin prevalent because of its size, but the thing is bright orange!!”
I looked and came up with this very lo-res scan of the card in question, which does appear to show a pin on Davis’s cap. Shannon said it’s a Giants pin, although neither of us could find a better photo of it.
I was going to ask if anyone knew more about this, but then yesterday I got a note from reader Eric Vanderburght:
I seem to remember members of the 1983 San Francisco Giants wearing orange Croix de Candlestick pins on their caps that year. The Giants used to give out these pins to fans that stayed to the end of extra-inning night games at Candlestick Park. I believe the Latin phrase on the pin means “I came, I stayed, I survived.”
The funny thing is, I was watching that All-Star Game myself, and I don’t recall having noticed Hammaker’s cap pin. Guess my brain hadn’t yet matured into full Uni Watch mode.
Meanwhile, I’m curious to know more about these Croix de Candlestick pins (one of which is currently available on eBay, incidentally). Since they were intended for the fans, how and why did the players start wearing them? How many players wore them? I demand answers!
Uni Watch News Ticker: According to this article (sent my way by Matt French), Manny Ramirez poaches clothing from his teammates’ lockers. Key quote, from Miguel Batista: “He’ll wear somebody’s socks or shirt if a player’s been hot. You’ll go to your locker and go ‘Where’s my damned undershirt?’ And guys are like: ‘Oh, Manny may have it.’ If somebody’s hot on the team and he’s not, he’ll wear their socks, their shirt, anything.” … Brian Fisher notes that Tyler Hansbrough’s two-tone mouthguard makes him look toothless. … Two good items here (coutesy of Scott Pickard; site registration may be required, but it’s free): Grady Little got a motocycle for giving up his uni number to Juan Pierre, and scroll down to the end to see how Andy La Roche is now Andy LaRoche (no space), necessitating a nameplate change. … Great note from Christopher McCarthy, regarding Mark Clayton’s sunglasses: “When Clayton was with the Packers, a reporter asked him why he wore sunglasses during night games. His response was, ‘The sun never sets on the cool.’ Classic. My brother and I still use this line and no one ever seems to know what the heck we’re talking about.” … Faaaaascinating note from Shawn Sweeney, media rep at Brooklyn’s own Long Island University: “One of our freshman guards, Connie James, broke her nose in a game late in the season and was fitted for a mask. In her first game back, she suffered a pretty bad eye injury (one of the few unprotected parts of her face) and left the game. For the next game, she had a new mask, this time with one of the eyes covered. It was quite a sight and appeared to have some condensation issues.” … Kyle Kendall came across this old photo and can’t figure out which sport these guys played. “My first thought is soccer, judging by the ball, and the fact that there are 16 players shown,” he writes. “The other weird thing is the medals that the players have tacked to their jerseys. Did they just win something?” … Good article here about Red Sox players’ superstitions, several of them uni-related, including Yaz never changing his socks, Kevin Youkilis using brand-new batting gloves if he’s in a slump, and so on (with thanks to Matt French). … Latest vote for (or, maybe, sign of) the Mets ditching the black: this week’s New Yorker cover. Note that the Mets script doesn’t even have the black drop shadow! Unfortunately, however, they got the belt wrong — should be blue. Oh, and the underbrims are wrong too, but I’m willing to chalk that one up to artistic license. … Remember that cool Kent Tekulve T-shirt that I linked to in my sunglasses column last week? Turns out the guy who makes them — a gent named Brian Corrigan — is a neighbor of mine, and yesterday he got in touch and stopped by Uni Watch HQ. I’m now the proud owner of my very own Tekulve tee, and Brian has lots of other cool stuff, too — check it out. … Carl Crawford had to wear a No. 98 jersey the other day (details at the bottom of this page). … Speaking of jersey snafus, here’s one reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Miguel Tejada was wearing one of last year’s BP jerseys on Tuesday. … I thought this looked OK, but this looks even better. … Two disclaimers about the following video (brought to my attention by Uni Watch Antarctic waterfowl naturalist Eric Bennett): (1) It’s not really uni-related (although it is hosted by a guy in a Red Sox jersey), and (2) some of the language is NSFW. That said, it’s the funniest damn thing I’ve seen in weeks — enjoy.