New ESPN column today — the long-awaited prototypes installment. Here’s the link.
The prototypes column probably wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Bill Henderson, who’s just published a new edition of his MLB Game Worn Jerseys of the Double Knit Era (formerly known as The Double Knit Era Collector’s Reference). By any name, it’s an utterly essential reference, every bit as necessary a presence on your shelf as Marc Okkonen’s Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century. Think of it this way: If you care enough about uniforms to read Uni Watch, you’ll totally love this reference guide.
Unlike the Okkonen tome, Henderson’s opus is available on a CD-R or as a downloadable file, not as a printed book. And it doesn’t cover the pre-1970 era. But within its stated area of coverage, it’s absolutely encyclopedic. For each MLB team, there’s list of basic rules of thumb, a chronological chart of basic styles, and then lots and lots of photos showing the progression of each team’s jersey over the past three-plus decades, with plenty of attention paid to sleeve patches, throwbacks, prototypes, BP jerseys, oddities, and the occasional bit of storytelling.
There’s also info on fabrics, undershirts, tagging, typography, and a lot more. The whole thing is over 1200 “pages” (it’s basically a massive PDF file), with over 30,000 photos. And new for this edition, Bill has added info showing what each team’s last set of flannels looked like, so we can see the transition from flannel to double-knit, along with lots of other new material.
I find myself referring to Bill’s research almost every day. Okay, so I probably have more use for it in my daily workday than you do, but you get the idea. Uni Watch’s highest rating.
In addition, Bill is generously offering a discount to Uni Watch readers. If you go to his web site, click on “Purchase,” and scroll down to the bottom of the ordering page, you’ll see a “If you received a special offer…” prompt. Click on it, and then enter the username “special” and the password “bonds” (all lowercase in both instances). This will qualify you for a price of $29.99 — five bucks off the usual price. And worth every penny.
NHL News: Two more NHL teams have unveiled their new uniforms. Let’s start with Detroit, where Reebok’s new tailoring template has forced the Red Wings to move their “C” and “A” designations to the other side of the jersey (full details here). But as Craig Barker points out, putting the designatory letters on that side is nothing new for the Red Wings. I know we’ve covered this before, but I forget the details, so can someone please provide a quick recap of the side-to-side migrations of Detroit’s “C” and “A”?
The bigger problem, it seems to me, is that rounded hemline, which hasn’t looked so bad on most other teams but is really accentuated — and not in a good way — by the Wings’ design.
Meanwhile, if you want a good laugh, take a look at this photo and then check out the headline on this article. I think I’ll let both the uniform (additional views here and here) and the journalism speak for themselves.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Really nice slideshow here, showcasing the flannel uniforms recently worn by a Russian baseball team traveling through the U.S. And although he’d be too humble to say anything, it just so happens that the Ruskies’ duds were designed by none other than our own Scott M.X. Turner. … Underbrim history may have been made last night, as Vince explains: “Last night, Indians vs. Tigers, featured perhaps the first pitching matchup ever to feature both pitchers still wearing their holograms on the underbrim of their hats. Fausto, of course, has a long documented history of this, but the kid the Tigers called up from AA for the game, Jair Jurrjens, had his hologram on also.” … Good survey of recent Cardinals throwbacks here (with thanks to Elena Elms). … Andy R. reports that his sister Kiirsta has just become a Charger Girl (aka a San Diego Chargers cheerleader), which must make Mama R. very proud. “Did you know about their Halloween tradition?” asks Andy. “For the game closest to Halloween, each girl chooses her own costume/uniform. This year, it’s the on the 28th, against the Texans. I found out, though, that they may not be the only team that does it. Also, sadly, I found out that they’re not as interested in being creative and/or different as they are in simply ‘looking hot.'” I may never recover from that stunning bit of news.