Last Friday’s Uni Watch party in Seattle was a big success, with about 20 people showing up — an impressive turnout for a not-too-big city. Here’s rundown of the evening’s active roster:
• This is Jerry Cohen, founder/owner of Ebbets Field Flannels, the company that pretty much invented the throwback craze. Jerry was the whole reason I came to Seattle — I was doing a video shoot at his shop, for an upcoming ESPN column. It turned out great, and I was really pleased that he accepted my invitation to come to the party.
• Gary Fox showed up wearing a game-worn Huskies jersey (and I didn’t give him any shit about the color because, after all, it’s a local team), which led to an interesting question: As you can see, the jersey fits Gary pretty snugly, even though he’s not wearing pads. How come gamers are tailored this way, but even small-sized retail authentics are still loose and baggy? Why can’t Nike/Reebok/etc. make the retail versions fit like normal shirts, like the one Gary’s wearing? (Incidentally, although it’s not baggy, it’s very long.)
• Another person wearing Ebbets Field product was Dave Sizer, who wore a 1920 Rock Island Independents reproduction. As for the cap, my initial thought was that it was Oregon, but it’s actually a 1904 Baltimore Orioles minor league design.
• Steve Sayre wore a 1968 Norm Cash repro and had many good stories to tell about Detroit, plus he never let my beer glass stay empty (thanks, Steve). His wife, Linda Sayre, thought she’d make me feel welcome by wearing a New York-based design (complete with sleeve patch), not realizing that I despise the Yankees. Fortunately, she made up for it with her awesome All-American Girls Baseball League jacket.
• The most interesting garment of the night was worn by Jim Hamerlinck, who says he got this Connie Hawkins tee way back when he was 13 — more than 30 years ago. Impressive that he’s kept it all that time, and even more so that it still fits him. Jim also turned out to be a peach of a guy and said some of the nicest and most insightful things about Uni Watch that anyone’s ever told me — thanks, man.
• Terry Creighton wore this really cool gaelic football jersey — love that sublimated Space Needle. He also became, to my knowledge, the first person ever to attend a Uni Watch party while wearing one of those titanium necklace thingies.
• Here’s a nice full-circle story: A year ago, Eric Smallman won the Uni Watch NCAA tournament raffle and was rewarded with a $200 Distant Replays gift card, which he used to buy an authentic jersey. On Friday, he wore that very jersey (with a personalized NOB) to the party.
• Deb Meehan also wore Bosox colors, but hers was a replica with all kinds of problems on the back — wrong number font, should be NNOB, etc. She blamed it on a well-meaning but misguided Mother’s Day gift. We’ll let it slide since she and her husband, Paul Meehan, were so great to talk to.
• Mark Campbell wore this really nice 1990 Calgary Flames gamer (here’s a rear view, plus the totally boss anniversary patch). Look closely and you’ll see that although the front crest is only two colors, it was applied in three layers. Mark says that’s because the team’s stitcher was fanatical about putting down a white layer to serve as a base, even on a white jersey.
• Brian Terreson didn’t wear a jersey per se, but I really liked his Washington State ferries shirt.
• Here’s Sean Wilson, whose Mexican soccer jersey was the subject of much interest. Lots of interesting details here: the cement company sponsor, the Johnny collar with the embroidered “CA” initials, the raised/puffy lettering, the truly disastrous rear design, and the parade of logos on the tag.
• David Frantz simply wore a T-shirt featuring the logo of a certain media company. Maybe he was hoping to impress some ESPN bigwigs who I might be bringing with me..? No such luck.
• Brian Bonham wore nothing sports- or logo-related at all but was still a conversational force to be reckoned with, spitting out hilarious opinions at a prodigious rate. Dude, next time I’m in town, we’ve gotta talk some more.
Thanks again to all attendees. And for those who couldn’t make it, I may be back in the northwest in August — stay tuned.
Contest Update: As most of you saw yesterday, Vince and I are running an NCAA Tourney contest (if you missed it, scroll down to the middle of yesterday’s entry; the deadline for entries is noon today). Here’s a rundown of prizes from which the five winners will be able to choose:
My best friend, now deceased, whom I worked with at the University of Houston, passed along to me items from the UH basketball program, including these game-used Phi Slamma Jamma warm-ups (I guess it would be “pregame-used”), which were worn by guard Alvin
Franklin in 1983. The pants are 34 waist with a 35-inch inseam, so they don’t come close to fitting either me or my sons (who you can see here wearing the matching warm-up top and custom PSJ jacket [sorry, those aren’t included in the contest — PL]. The pants are in near-perfect condition and have Franklin’s initials on the tag.
I have gotten a great deal of enjoyment from your writing, both on the blog and on ESPN. I bought a membership, but not at the level I would have liked (having three college kids makes disposable income hard to come by). If this item prompts a reader to become a member then I’ll be happy.
Wow — what a generous contribution! I’m proud to offer this as part of our March Madness contest.
2) An “I Saw the Short Shorts” T-shirt, size XL (Caitlin still not included). This tee, which refers to the Lakers’ recent throwback game against the Celtics, was contributed by Mike Cooperman, who attended the game. Now you can pretend you did, too.
3) A Reebok Edge press kit, complete with “The History of Hockey Equipment” booklet, promotional DVD, and a lot of hyperbolic propaganda that we now know to be untrue. The perfect document of everything that’s wrong with the Bettman era.
4) A copy of Jon Springer’s newly published Mets by the Numbers book, based on his excellent web site of the same name but beefed up with lots of sidebars, interviews, and stories. Essential reading for Mets fans and addictive uni-numerological arcana for everyone else.
5) Another copy of Mets by the Numbers.
Pretty good for a free contest, right? If you haven’t already sent your picks to Vince, send them in pronto.
Uni Watch News Ticker: When I see something like this, it’s hard not to think that maybe we should just accelerate the rate of global warming and drown the whole damn human race. Best comments I’ve heard so far, both from ESPN.com editor Mike Philbrick: “Is it made out of Kevlar”? and “When are they coming out with the Len Bias model?” My own comment: Punk Rock 4 Life(style). ”¦ Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Good article here about newfangled track suits being worn by a Baltimore-area high school. ”¦ Also from yesterday: Last few grafs on the first page of this story address the status of Terry Francona’s pullover. ”¦ Still more from the comments section: Looks like the Florida Gators may be adding a blue helmet stripe (additional view here). ”¦ Look closely at this photo and you’ll see that both teams (the Mankato West Scarlets and the Willmar Cardinals, both from Minnesota) are both wearing a version of the Wisconsin “motion W” logo on their shorts (with thanks to Sam McCullough). ”¦ Chris Falvey is the latest reader to have taken pics at the World War II Museum’s “When Baseball Went to War” exhibit. While there, he saw this program and noticed this pair of mug shots — note the cap on the left. Never seen that one before. Anyone know what’s up with that? A slideshow of Chris’s other photos (including some women’s uniforms and some great wartime propaganda posters, among other cool stuff) is available here). ”¦ The NBA has set up a dance team bracket, which allows everyone to see just how embarrassing each cheerleading squad’s uniforms are (with thanks to David Rawson). ”¦ We’ve had lots of discussion lately of hearing-impaired athletes, but how about visually impaired? (Thanks, Vince.) ”¦ This 1970 video clip begins with Jonathan Winters pantomiming a pitcher on the mound (while wearing some killer striped stirrups) and then proceeds without warning to some really cool factory footage showing how baseball gloves are made (great find by Mark Coale). ”¦ Good analysis here of hockey’s color-at-home problem. … Allen Iverson gave a shout-out to Philly last night. … Meanwhile, over in Toronto, Andrea Bargnani was doing the Hannibal Lechter thing.