By Bryan Redemske
The Phillies — those forward-thinking, tree-hugging Phillies — on Wednesday announced a “going green” initiative, starting with the purchase of 20 million kilowatt hours of Green-e Energy Certified Renewable Certificates (RECs). The EPA says it’s the equivalent of planting 100,000 trees … but without actually planting the trees.
The club is going to be recycling now, and also getting rid of condiment packages and going with dispensers and such instead. And to that, I say, “hurrah.” Good for them. But how to celebrate this new era in Phillies history? Hmmm … how about a green hat? Perfect!
Of course, the New Era factory had to be fired up to make them, and they had to be shipped and everything. Eh, we’ll save the environment tomorrow.
Speaking of tomorrow (which is now today, since I wrote this last night), it’s May Day. In celebration of that, all Major League Baseball teams will install a Maypole in a prominent location. Obviously, the Yankees will put it in Monument Park, but teams are free to place it wherever they like. Also, look for hat patches, too.
Here’s a look at the rest of baseball’s celebrations for May:
May 2: It’s Negro Leagues Day — the league’s first game was played on this day in 1920. All teams will wear Kansas City Monarchs uniforms, except the Royals, who will be wearing their powder blue alts.
May 3: Bitch about Walter O’Malley day. The former Dodgers owner agreed to move the team to Los Angeles on this day in 1957. The Dodgers will wear “LA” caps to celebrate the successful move.
May 4: Ken Oberkfell was born on this day in 1956. The Braves will honor him by refusing to acknowledge Atlanta’s pre-1991 history.
May 5: The Astros will honor the 47th anniversary of Al Shepard’s first trip into space by wearing replica Mercury suits. They will also retire the number 47.
May 6: It’s Willie Mays’ 77th birthday! All players — on the Mets — will wear their caps and sunglasses like this.
May 7: All teams will have a moment of silence before the game — and wear a special sleeve patch — to mourn the victims of the Great Natchez Tornado, which killed 317 people … in 1840.
May 8: The Pirates will celebrate Bill Cowher’s 51st birthday by wearing black and yellow.
May 9: Sticking with the birthday bent, it’s Twinkie day in San Diego: Tony Gwynn turns 48! The Padres will wear their camouflage jerseys to mark the occasion.
May 10: Teams will wear pink for Mother’s Day, only to find out they got the date wrong. They’ll change the promotion to celebrate the first day of the Giro d’Italia, a three week cycling stage race. The teams’ jerseys are now based on the leader’s pink jersey.
May 11: Teams will continue to wear pink, since it’s actually Mother’s Day now. The Yankees will decline to participate on both days, because they’re a-holes.
May 12: To honor Yogi Berra’s 88th birthday, broadcasters all over baseball will say things that make no sense. Again, the Yankees will decline to participate.
May 13: Today is Barry Zito’s 30th birthday, so it’s stirrups and a high ERA for everybody!
May 14: All starting pitchers will go 9 innings — but lose — to observe Roy Halladay’s 31st birthday.
May 15: The Yankees will retire Nos. 56, 1, and 1941 to honor the start of Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak. The only numbers available for future players are 73, 94, and 97.
May 16: The No. 1 will be re-retired on what would have been Billy Martin’s 80th birthday. The Yankees will wear black ankle bands, since their sleeves are full of other patches.
May 17: The Padres will wear their camouflage jerseys in honor of the 1943 Dambuster Raids on German dams.
May 18: The Yankees, Orioles, Athletics, and Angels will all wear patches shaped like tinted prescription glasses for Reggie Jackson’s birthday.
May 19: The Blue Jays will celebrate Victoria Day by taking the day off, but having another ceremony later, like the Nationals on Jackie Robinson day.
May 20: It’s Hal Newhouser rubber jacket day in Detroit. To celebrate environmental consciousness, each jacket will be made from recycled tires taken off all current GM models.
May 21: Protective cup day in all parks, in an attempt to prevent future occurrences of … uh … this.
May 22: Mark Prior will undergo Tommy John surgery in honor of the 66th birthday of the surgery’s namesake. It was going to happen sooner or later — call it preventative maintenance.
May 23: The Padres will wear their camouflage jerseys in honor of Italy joining the Allies in World War I in 1915.
May 24: No activities planned. The Yankees decline to participate anyway.
May 25: It’s Star Wars Day across the majors in honor of the 31st anniversary of the film’s release.
May 26: Memorial Day — the Padres surprisingly don’t wear their camouflage jerseys, but the White Sox remember they have them and break them out for the first time.
May 27: It’s the 69th anniversary of the debut of Batman, prompting the Yankees to wear capes and little bat antennae.
May 28: Chleveland Honors Jhonny Peralta’s 26th birthday.
May 29: Today’s Red Sox game will be delivered in winks and nods in remembrance of Moe Berg, a former Sox catcher and U.S. spy.
May 30: The Cubs wear green hats in honor of grass, ivy, and the one-month anniversary of the Phillies’ green initiative.
May 31: Kenny Lofton, age 41 today, has his number retired by the Astros, Indians, Braves, White Sox, Giants, Pirates, Cubs, Yankees, Phillies, Dodgers, and Rangers.
Here’s Vince with the ticker …
Uni Watch News Ticker: As Paul has noted before, even fans get in on the whole misspelled jersey thing (thanks to Dan Cichalski). … Many people have emailed to say that Bob Uecker claimed during the Brewers/Cubs broadcast that Chicago’s Reed Johnson is the last among the Cubs to wear “old style” stirrups. Many also claimed that this claim doesn’t appear to be true. These photos seem to indicate Uecker is right, though. … There’s apparently some groundswell to have the NCAA allow USC and UCLA to both wear their home uniforms for their annual game (thanks to Eric Borer). … The Durham Bulls wore pink jerseys to support breast cancer awareness (thanks Josh Edney). …A New York Rangers sweater given to Bruce Springsteen is part of a larger auction you can find here (thanks to Michael Jaworski). … Reader Andrew has created a site devoted to the uniform history of the Diamondbacks. … If you haven’t checked it out ready, this blog devoted to ugly baseball cards is certainly a great time waster (thanks John Muir). … Patrick Ryan says that Houston had to wear their grey road uni’s for the first time this season because Arizona chose to wear their red alts. … Think Luis Sanchez really wants everyone to know whose jacket that is? (Thanks John Muir).