This can’t be a very good time to be in the auction business. With the economy in free-fall, who’s gonna drop serious coin on pricey memorabilia? Maybe that’s why the Leland’s folks have stopped sending me their catalogs (as much a shame for them as for me, since I was always happy to pimp for them). Anyway, my ears perked up when Wyatt Silverman recently got in touch and said his dad had come home from the Super Bowl with a 96-page auction catalog filled with good stuff. First he offered to scan some of the pages for me, but it soon became apparent that that wasn’t gonna be a good system (“What specifically should I scan? … I have a SLOW scanner, ha-ha. … I just hope the piece of crap works to be honest…”), so I asked if the catalog listed a URL for the auction. Bingo.
Sure enough, there’s a ton of worthwhile material here. Allow me to give you a guided tour:
• Here’s something you don’t often see: a Browns jersey from their ill-fated orange numbers period.
• Love the little illustrations on these cards.
• Check out this primitive early facemask.
• The auction house apparently acquired a bunch of stuff from someone who had a serious boner for Norm Van Brocklin. There’s an assortment of interesting NVB-related materials here, one of his old helmets here (love the printing on the rubber crown insert), and — the prize of the entire auction — an early radio-equipped helmet from the 1950s. A major find.
• Despite the presence of a certain loathsome color, this has got to be history’s coolest Super Bowl souvenir.
• No, wait a minute — this is.
• I’m a sucker for the words “stadium blanket,” even when applied to something as relatively plain as this.
• The Ice Bowl wasn’t just a game for the ages — it also featured a really excellent program cover.
• Man, you never saw black bobbleheads back in the early 1960s. Love the shoulder stars, too.
• I’d never seen these stickers before. Does anyone know more about this series?
February Raffle, Round 2: Our second raffle of the month comes via the folks at Diadora and Shopatron, who are offering a freebie from their line of soccer club jackets. The interesting thing about these jackets is that names on the front are the names used by the locals to describe their team — “Red Devils” instead of Manchester United, for example (as for the others, Rossoneri = AC Milan, Azzurri = Italian national team, El Tri = Mexican national team, and Aguilas = Club AmÃ©rica, a Mexican club team). Cool, right? The winner will get his or her choice of jacket design and size.
To enter, send a blank e-mail with your name in the subject line to the raffle address (not to the usual Uni Watch e-mail address, please) by this Thursday, February 12th, at 10pm eastern. One entry per person, but anyone enrolled in the Uni Watch membership program at the time of the drawing can send four entries. I’ll announce the winner on Friday.
Speaking of the membership program, we’ve added a bunch of new designs to the card gallery (including Greg Riffenburgh’s shout-out to his own high school football jersey as seen at right), and we’ll be adding a few more within the next day or so. Keep ’em coming, etc., etc.
Research Project: Many of you saw this query over the weekend, but for those who didn’t check the site on Saturday or Sunday: Anyone out there ever submit an unsolicited uniform or logo proposal to a team? If so, did you ever hear back from the team’s front office (even if only via a “No thanks” form letter), or did you get no response? I’m not talking about submitting an entry for a contest being run by a team or local newspaper — I mean a completely unsolicited design that you created and submitted just because you felt like it. If you’ve been through this sort of experience, I want to hear from you. Thanks.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Saw The Panic in Needle Park at Film Forum the other night. Hated it (junkies are sooooo boring) but was intrigued by several shots that showed a red-topped mailbox (here’s another view), which made me wonder if there’s a site showing the history of U.S. mailbox “uniforms.” Some preliminary research suggests that no such site exists, but somebody should create one. ”¦ The Astros and Mariners both have 10th-anniversary logos for their respective stadia appearing on their web sites. To my knowledge, these are not slated to be worn as sleeve patches. ”¦ The Chargers have unveiled a 50th-anniversary logo. Further news about the NFL’s plans to celebrate its AFL heritage here. ”¦ The U. of Wisconsin will end its relationship with Russell Athletic due to the latter’s unfair labor practices. ”¦ Douchebag alert (with thanks to Chris Weber). ”¦ Reprinted from Friday’s comments: Here’s Navy with SLOB (slogan on back). Looks like the helmets may have NOBs, though. ”¦ What’s even better than a uniform style guide? A New York City subway style guide. Click through the whole gallery — looks amazing (great find by Manzell Blakeley). ”¦ Big gallery of the 2009 Sprint Cup Series paint schemes here (with thanks to Kevin Kurz). ”¦ Scott Little‘s Triangle Bowl was recently the site of a 300 game — by a double-amputee. ”¦ I don’t know what EuroBasket 2011 is, but they have a new logo (with thanks to Mike Camello). ”¦ Helmet cart alert! That’s from a big set of photos taken at a 1979 Oilers/Eagles game. Highlights include the Oilers’ “Roughneck” mascot, a great shot of double-zero, and the ever-popular Derrick Dolls (courtesy of David Allen). ”¦ Lots of good sports-related illustrations to be found by clicking through this portfolio (with thanks to Eric Westover). ”¦ Some of you may know the story of Indians pitcher Johnny Allen and his controversial sleeve. The account in that book mentions that the shirt ended up on a mannequin in a Cleveland department store window. I’d heard that story before but hadn’t seen the mannequin until Vince recently sent me this (plus he also sent me this killer shot of old Indians aprons). ”¦ ESPN inadvertently gave the Lakers a new logo the other day (good spot by Todd Peak). ”¦ The Gamecocks may bring Sterling Sharpe’s number out of retirement (with thanks to Scott Moody). ”¦ Good thing ESPN isn’t headquarted in Intercourse, Pennsylvania. ”¦ Douchebags. ”¦ I don’t much care for the new Tropicana OJ package graphics, but I admit I’m a total sucker for the new navel orange-shaped plastic cap. ”¦ Not sure how we all missed this. That’s the Kalamazoo Wings’ recent Golden Ice [and Arches] Night, which took place way back on Jan. 31st. ”¦ Interesting blast from the Pro Bowl past: Ronnie Lott wearing Jordan IVs (with thanks to Scott Debson). ”¦ DIY update from Dan Casazza, who writes: “That is me on the left on Halloween, in my DIY Keith Hernandez jersey. It’s pretty crude — it was made in one afternoon with markers and taped-off pinstripes. I scored the outline of the Mets logo and traced it onto the shirt. Everything else was eyeballed. What it lacks in cleanliness it makes up for in heart and reverence for a fine first baseman and a long-lost twin of my father.” ”¦ Kirsten and I poured ourselves two glasses of oatmeal stout the other day and were surprised to see the foam bubbles create a turkey and a snow angel. ”¦ Alan Reifman has started a new blog about basketball court design. ”¦ I was off the grid all weekend and didn’t see the Pro Bowl, but it looks like they came up with their usual train wreck, right on schedule. Full photo gallery here. ”¦ I’ve mentioned Tony Crocker’s long sleeves several times, but I hadn’t seen an explanation for them until Dan Bewley sent me this. ”¦ What’s with the mask? “That’s Yomiuri Giants rookie Taishi ÅŒta,” says Jeremy Brahm. “The team is teaching him to hit the inside pitch, so he’s wearing the mask to keep him from getting hurt.” ”¦ Also from Jeremy: “According to this article, the ball being used for the World Baseball classic is 146 grams, while the official NPB (Japan) ball weighs 145 grams. The Japanese press is thinking that this could wreak havoc on the Japanese players. Some players have said that it is heavier and slips easily when compared to the Japanese ball. The Rawlings made ball is dry or dehydrated, which causes it to slip, whereas the Japanese ball is moist. The Rawlings ball also had wider stitching than the Japanese ball.” ”¦ And speaking of the WBC, Jeremy reports that Dice-K will be wearing these shoes (but hopefully not those pants), complete with the little Japanese flag. ”¦ Here’s something you don’t often see: Joe Namath in a two-bar facemask. That photo comes from this book, which I hadn’t been aware of until Keith Goggin scanned a bunch of its pages for me. A slideshow of his scans, which I highly recommend, is here. ”¦ “Newcastle United forward Peter LÃ¸venkrands had a double whammy done on his NOB for his appearance against West Bromwich Albion Saturday,” writes David J. Walker. “Not only did they change his ‘Ã¸’ to an ‘o,’ but they misspelled the end of his name.” ”¦ Has Daniel Gibson always had stars shaved into his head? (Screen grab courtesy of John Okray.) ”¦ Photo gallery of “ugly stadiums” (although most of them don’t seem so bad to me) here (with thanks to Matthew Algeo). ”¦ Well, that didn’t take long (as designed by Reid Tynan). ”¦ Interesting hockey headwear on display — along with some killer sleeve stripes — here (with thanks to Matt Fedorka). ”¦ Paul McCartney plays bass and guitar left-handed but apparently bats right-handed. Meanwhile, John Lennon was way ahead of the black-uni curve. ”¦ Austin Gillis recently acquired this poster of Dale Murphy wielding a light sabre/bat — cool enough, except that the Braves’ powder blue road design didn’t feature the team name on the chest, so the team never actually wore the uni Murphy’s wearing in the poster photo. ”¦ Reprinted from last night’s comments: Want to see a really subtle uniform detail? Look at this. That comes from this excellent Flyers uni-history page. The same site also has a good survey of the team’s goalie masks. … Phil‘s corner: Texas State has unveiled new baseball uniforms. ”¦ A Cleveland clomnist thinks all the city’s teams should wear the same colors. ”¦ More Cleveland uni chatter here. ”¦ Fun article about U. of Tennessee football uniforms here. ”¦ Not sure I’ve seen a hoops team wearing camouflage before. That’s the Sioux Falls Skyforce, a D-League team.