Last week I posted a Ticker item about how Red Sox jerseys sometimes have an upside-down 8 (the larger opening should be on the bottom). That prompted the following note from reader Rick Subrizio: “The error extends beyond the uniforms. On the exterior facade of Fenway Park, overlooking Van Ness Street, the Sox have a display of their retired numbers, and sure enough, Yaz’s 8 is upside-down there too. I don’t have a photo, but if I am in the neighborhood soon, I’ll try to get one.”
Subrizio knows his Red Sox stuff, because he used to work for the team. And like any team employee, he was privy to some great uni-related episodes. Here’s a really interesting one that he was willing to share:
Longtime Red Sox switchboard operator Helen Robinson used to do a lot of last-minute sewing work for the team. She was pretty much an expert seamstress, and she’d do emergency repairs, numbering, and patches, all by hand, while sitting behind the switchboard and answering calls.
Anyhow, one day in 2001, I walked by her desk, where she was sewing the American League 100th-anniversary patch onto Sun-Woo Kim’s jersey (I don’t remember if he had been recalled from Pawtucket or just acquired), and I noticed that she had put the patch on the wrong sleeve — it was on the left instead of the right.
When I mentioned it to her, she said “It isn’t wrong — it is on the sleeve opposite the [Russell] sleeve logo.” It seems that Kim was issued an older jersey from a year or two earlier, when the Russell logo was on the right sleeve rather than the left, so Helen was thrown off by the logo and had placed the patch on the wrong sleeve. She wasn’t too happy about it (she was a stickler for detail too and very proud of her work), but it was getting close to game time, and she didn’t have time to fix it before the first pitch, so she sent it down to the clubhouse as it was.
I don’t know how long Kim wore the jersey with the patch on the wrong side, but I found this photo of him from August 15th of that year, so he appeared in at least one game with the patch error.
Great stuff. Big thanks to Rick for this behind-the-scenes tale of logo creep-induced uni dysfunction.
Raffle Reminder: Remember, our friends at Helmet Hut are giving away a free college football helmet. You’ve got until this Thursday, 10 p.m. eastern, to get your name in the hat by sending an e-mail to uniraffle at earthlink dot net (please note that this is not the usual Uni Watch e-mail address). One entry per person, but all enrollees in the Uni Watch Membership Program will automatically get three bonus entries. I’ll announce the winner on Friday.
Blame It on WordPress: I had a really big, involved entry planned for today — a different lead item, a new research project, membership news, a nice, big Ticker, etc. But when I uploaded it this morning, about two-thirds of the entry disappeared. What the fuck?! Plus my main computer’s in the shop, we’ve been having server problems, and you don’t even wanna know about the ongoing battles I’ve been having with my high-speed internet provider. In short: Technology and I haven’t been getting along too well lately. My apologies to everyone who contributed great Ticker material over the weekend — it appears to have vanished into the ether. Meanwhile, I’m gonna look into transferring the entire site onto an abacus.