Major developments in the batboy realm lately, as several readers have noted that Mets batboy Matt has recently started wearing stirrups. But Matt, whose full name is Matthew Harris, isn’t just any batboy — he is, to my knowledge, the only uniformed MLB employee who’s also a card-carrying Uni Watch member.
I e-mailed Matt to ask why he’d made the hosiery switch, and whether the stirrups were provided for him by the team or if he had to procure them himself. His response:
We have always had them, but no one uses them. I wore them once a while ago and we lost, so I banned myself from wearing them. Then [for last week’s series] against the Braves, I was like, ‘What the fuck, I’ll wear ’em.’ So I did. I always liked the look, probably why I am a Uni Watch fan. Some of the players commented on ’em, most like ’em, but I couldn’t see anyone on this team wearing them.
Matt wrote that last bit a day before Lastings Milledge broke out the blue stirrups on Saturday. Did Milledge get the idea from Matt? I wrote to ask him. His reply: “Well, before Friday night’s game, he saw me with them, and commented how he liked them and wanted a pair.” So there you go: Matt Harris, spreading the gospel.
And if you’re wondering (as I was) why a Mets batboy would choose a Pirates design motif for his membership card, Matt says, “I dunno, I just like the Pirates’ font, colors, and vests. I would have gone with Yankee pinstripes , but I wanted my name on it, so Pirates font it was.” Holy moly — a Mets batboy with a Yankee-themed card?! Talk about a narrow escape.
(Special thanks to Chris Flinn, who provided the photo of Matt walking across the infield.)
Uni Watch News Ticker: An interview with me will be airing today at 1pm and again at 1:30pm at Baseballchannel.tv. … Reprinted from Sunday night’s comments: Look what showed up on a children’s restaurant menu. … “Brendan ‘Boog’ Ryan was showing his stripes in Sunday’s Dodgers/Cardinals game,” writes Elena Elms. “With Anthony Reyes on the mound, it was a rare two-stirrup (or should I say four-stirrup?) day for St Louis.” … By now most of us have seen photos of the MLB uni regulations that are posted in every clubhouse. What you may not have seen are the corresponding NFL regs, which Mark Nussbaum recently photographed during a tour of Qwest Field (additional pics here, here, here, here, and here). That main poster is at least seven years old (I got a copy of it in 2000), and many of its main points obviously aren’t enforced very stringently — so much for the NFL’s much-vaunted “uniform police.” … Joe Torre used to wear a pinkie ring — but not while in uniform. Very amusing details here (with thanks to Richie Rich). … The new Syracuse helmets have inspired some interesting correspondence between the a fan and the team’s equipment manager (with thanks to Mike Alper). … Rugby news from Caleb Borchers, who writes: “Here’s a gallery of some Rugby World Cup warm-up games. One is Ireland vs. Scotland (both in brand new Canterbury jerseys) and the other is France vs. England (in their Nike nasties). Apparently random splotches of color on the calves is a common innovation of ugliness! I particularly don’t like Scotland’s dot matrix deal, which makes it look like they rolled around in white paint before the game. When you look at how good these teams looked just six moths ago, you can see how badly these companies and their templates have screwed things up.” … Awesome article here about Nike’s materials librarian, who sounds like someone I ought to interview (great find by Karen Peters). … World-class decal obsession from Eric Buzard, who writes: “While watching the Seahawks/Chargers game on Sunday night, I noticed how the American flag decal on the Chargers’ helmet is positioned so that it covers the end of the bolt. The exception is the Riddell Revolution helmet, which has a larger shell and more real estate to work with, so the flag doesn’t have to cover the bolt. You can see both styles here. What’s even more interesting is how the Rams have the fine-print warning label running portait-style [i.e., vertical], as opposed to landscape [i.e., horizontal], which is how most teams do it. The portrait-style allows the label to be placed on the one-inch raised area as found on a standard Riddell helmet. Not sure what the story is for Schutt helmets.” … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: David Carr was wearing gloves on both hands the other night (plus he appears to have cut his sleeves extra-short). Looks like he’s been doing it in practice, too. Too bad, since Carr used to play while wearing, depending on which report you choose to believe, either his wedding band or a piece of tape in place of his wedding band. Whatever it was, it looked like this, but I guess we won’t be seeing it anymore. … Latest uni-related superstition: Jermaine Dye is now hiking up his pants (nice find by Todd Usher). … “Having followed hockey for quite a while, I can’t remember seeing a goalie whose pattern for the pads and blocker used the team logo like this,” writes Matthew Lepke. “It’s not just a pattern based on the logo (we’ve seen that many times) — it is the logo.” … As previously reported/expected/etc., the Niners and Ravens have switched to black shoes. … The Niners also provided the first game-action view of their Bill Walsh memorial decal, although that photo is of interest primarily for other reasons. … Although it’s tough to see, the Dolphins have reduced the size of their drop shadow, going from this to this (with thanks to Al MuÃ±iz for bringing me up to speed). … Prison team? Early mix of ballplayer and football ref? Nope — it’s Hall of Famer Dan Brouthers, who played in the late 1800s, when stripes were apparently very in (nice find by David Parker). … By the time most of you read this, I’ll be on Long Island, where I’m spending the day at Lelands auction house (writing a bizness story about them for the Financial Times). I expect to see — and, I hope, photograph — lots of cool uni-related stuff. Details to follow tomorrow.