As most of you are aware, the big news in the uni world is that the Braves finally called up Jarrod Saltalamacchia yesterday, which means the MLB record for most letters in a surname has just gone from 13 to 14. I’ve written a short item about this for ESPN.com — scroll down to the lower-left portion of this page.
Meanwhile: Got a note the other day from reader Alan Chewning, who said he was slated to be a volunteer for this year’s U.S. Open at Oakmont and had just received his uniform. “Would you be interested in pics?” he asked. Yo, does vertically arched lettering kick radial arching’s ass? Of course I’m interested!
Chewning went above and beyond by providing a very informative rundown of the whole situation regarding U.S. Open volunteers. Here’s his report:
I decided to volunteer after reading a Wall Street Journal about how the USGA operates largely because of volunteers. There will be over 12,000 volunteers that work for the USGA this summer, with 5,000 of those working at the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club in Pittsburgh. In order to volunteer, you have to apply online and. if selected, pay $150. This fee covers the cost of the uniform. You can apply to volunteer for all sorts of positions, from course marshall to merchandise to hospitality services to driving the players back to their hotels at the end of the day. Since I’m a first-timer, I’ll be volunteering as a cashier in the merchandise pavilion (there are actually more than a dozen different positions just within merchandise). Each volunteer is scheduled for a five-hour shift each day of the tournament. Volunteers then have the rest of the day to do what they want (watch golf, stay home, etc).
On to the uniform: I received two shirts (here’s a closer view), a jacket (front, back, zipper), and a cap (front, back, side). The first thing that struck me was the inconsistency in the logos. They change the color scheme to match whatever garment or surface it’s being applied to — sometimes with great detail, sometimes not.
Ashworth is the manufacturer for everything except the water bottle, but there’s absolutely no logo creep. Their logo is inside of everything but not outside, so bonus points for that. (I should note, however, that they put the Open logo on EVERYTHING in the box — even the shirt cardboard.)
Weirdest part of the uniform: The sleeve patch of the shirt says “USGA 2007” and is rendered in gold, black, and green. There’s no other part of the uniform that features gold and black. I assume it’s an understated nod to the sports franchises of Pittsburgh.
Most assinine aspect: the “Important Information Enclosed” envelope. There was nothing important in it — just a swatch to let you know what color khaki your khakis need to be, a diagram on how to fold your jacket into a pocket and carry it around like a fanny pack, and a sheet of paper that was a manifesto for the things within the package.
All in all, I dig the uniform and the colors. Some years, the uniforms are out of control–remember what the players wore in the 1999 Ryder Cup?
Pretty interesting stuff — big thanks to Alan for all the info. But if a squirrel doesn’t scamper onto the fairway and make off with Tiger Woods’s ball at some point during the tournament, I’m gonna be way pissed.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Pretty amusing blog entry here about the uniforms in those Esurance ads. … I’ve been getting a lot of queries about this photo, which is currently running in a gallery at SI.com. Everyone wants to know what’s up with the guy wearing the inside-out jersey and the blue shorts. Answer: The player in question is Mike Gale of the Spurs. He uniform was somehow lost in transit as the team traveled to Washington, and there was no backup uni for him, so the Bullets gave him a road uni to wear. … There’s a somewhat similar inconsistency going on here — note the two Boston players. Anyone know the story behind this one? … Another college baseball team with striped hose: UConn (with thanks to Eddie DiPrimio). … Dominic J. Litten reports that lots of new English Premier League soccer jerseys have just been unveiled (or leaked), including Blackburn, Bolton, Arsenal, Everton, and Tottenham. … Surprising mistake here, as the first sentence erroneously suggests that the Yankees’ pinstripes are black (rather than midnight blue).