New ESPN column
today. I’ll add the link when it goes live. tomorrow.
Meanwhile: Great time last night, as Uni Watch auction consultant David Brown and I headed up to the Museum of the City of New York, where we attended the opening reception for Glory Days, an exhibit devoted to New York City baseball from 1947 through 1957. Okay, so this period has been over-mythologized, and the whole “Willie, Mickey, and the Duke” thing gets tiresome, but they had some amazing artifacts on hand (not to mention free hot dogs, Cracker Jack, and beer), so it was totally worth it.
I wasn’t allowed to use a flash, but I still managed to get pretty decent pics, some of the more interesting of which are as follows:
• There were lots of advertising pieces, many of them for cigarettes (always kinda sad to see a cigarette ad from someone who eventually died of a heart attack). Also: a really great uni/equipment-related ad.
• Tons of old programs and yearbooks, as you might expect. Lots of ticket stubs too, like this one from the 1948 All-Star Game (love the use of “Nite” and “Eve’g”), and this one from the 1947 Negro World Series, played at Yankee Stadium. And hey, speaking of the Negro Leagues, did you realize they had their own official ball? I didn’t.
• Lots of Jackie Robinson-related stuff, including a jersey (here’s the tagging), a fascinating plea for tolerance, and an absolutely astonishing letter that Robinson wrote to broadcaster Mel Allen in 1959. It’s eloquent and powerful, and it was easily the most affecting thing I saw in the exhibit. Here’s a larger version, which is easier to read.
• This was meant to be worn as a visor. As you might imagine, I like the color.
• Most references to the Ebbets Field scoreboard refer to the famous Abe Stark ad along the bottom. But until I saw this photo, I didn’t realize that the h and e in “Schaefer” were rigged up to indicate a hit or error.
• Gorgeous sleeve patch on this 1951 Yankees jersey.
• Although technically outside of the exhibit’s 1947-57 purview, there was a little nook devoted to the Mets, including a ticket stub from their first home game and Gil Hodges’s 1968 contract (here’s the second page).
And so on. A must-see for New Yorkers (and for member Don Schafer, who’s gonna be in town this weekend), the exhibit runs through the end of the year, and admission is free from 5pm to 9pm today through Saturday. Don’t miss.
Membership Update: Thanks to some truly Herculean labors by Scott Turner (and some not inconsiderable efforts by myself), almost every single uniform number on the Uni Watch membership roster is now linked to a card design. Some of them are real doozies, too, as you can see in the card design gallery (my favorite so far: Mark Mayall‘s shout-out to Roger Bannister, which was a special request we were happy to fulfill). My apologies to Michael King, who I added to the roster weeks ago but whose card design somehow slipped through the cracks until I realized the oversight last night. We’re taking care of it right now, Michael — mea culpa.
Any card that’s been designed but not yet printed will be going to the printer today, and I expect to get many of them out in the mail by Saturday, with the rest by next Monday. This project continues to be really sensational on several different levels (I’m continuing to learn a lot about uni number typefaces) — much more successful than I had envisioned. Thanks again to all, and keep those sign-ups coming.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: There’s a Tennessee track star whose visual signature is her striped socks. Full details here. … Regarding the Israel Baseball League, Nate Budziszewski notes that the Netanya Tigers logo looks a lot like this. ”¦ Bizarre scene yesterday in Madrid, as David Beckham suited up for a practice session of American football. Full photo gallery here. ”¦ Iowa State apparently has new yellow pants (as spotted by Jason Hack). ”¦ Tim Bennett notes that Alan Embree’s uni number appears to be slightly off-center. “It bugged me so much,” he adds, “I missed seeing the game-winning homer in Tuesday night’s game because I was pausing the DVR and taking these pictures with my cell phone.” ”¦ Our friends at No Mas have arranged a really interesting event tonight. Based on the NBA draft, it will feature 500 scratch-off tickets, 105 Warhol-esque portraits and a Ping-Pong ball machine. For full details, check out this article, which I wrote for today’s New York Sun.