Way back in April, I asked readers who wear pajama-style baseball pants to tell me why they go low-cuffed. The responses were extremely informative, and I’ll finally be making use of them next week, when I’ll have an ESPN column about the evolution of baseball pants.
But here’s a question I have: Back around the early to mid-1990s, I started seeing — or at least I thought was seeing — players wearing shin guards under their long pant legs. I’m not talking about catcher’s shin guards, natch, or even the shin protectors worn by some hitters at the plate. I’m talking about something more like these.
It seemed to me that many players — mostly pitchers but also some infielders — were wearing these types of shin guards under their pants. Look at Scott Erickson’s left leg in the photo shown above, for example. And look at both of Michael Tucker’s legs, Bobby Jones’s left leg, Robin Ventura’s left leg, Luis Lopez’s right leg, or John Franco’s left leg (sorry for all the Mets examples, but that’s the team I’m most familiar with).
I’ve always thought this was an overlooked but important reason for the move toward long pants. If you’re gonna wear a shin guard — and I can certainly see why a player would want to wear one — you’d want your pant leg covering it, right? (Yes, soccer players just cover their shin guards with their socks, but that would look really bad on a ballplayer).
But lately I’ve been wondering if I was wrong about all that. For one thing, none of the people who responded to my initial “Why do you go low-cuffed?” survey mentioned anything about shin guards. For another, I feel like I don’t see the outlines of the shin guards so much nowadays, and I’m beginning to question whether that’s what I was actually seeing back in the 1990s.
So: Have any of you low-cuffers ever worn shin guards under your pant legs? Do you know of any ballplayers who’ve done so? Or am I just way off the mark here? Please fill me in. Thanks.
Last call for Wilco tix: Today’s the final day to enter the giveaway for the two pairs of Wilco tickets. Details here.
Collector’s Corner, by Brinke Guthrie
Here’s our latest selection of eBay items:
• I hope this beer stein wasn’t supposed to resemble Jim Bunning.
• Never liked the big plain white cap look!
• On the other hand, I always liked this Niners logo.
• Johnny Bench used to have two restaurants: Home Stretch in Northern Kentucky, and Home Plate (which I ate at) north of Cincinnati.
• If you’ve ever wanted a big old box full o’ stuff, here it is. I see a World Football League sticker in there.
• Speaking of the WFL, I always liked the name “The Hawaiians.”
• Remember when the Cowboys had their double-star rollout (on a Thanksgiving, I think). A pal at Apex sent me one of these.
• From Ryan Connelly: a set of game-used Pirates bumblebee pants!
• From Eric Cernech: a nice assortment of big MLB signs.
• Finally, this Mr. Met tee screams, “Lukas.” [Or it would if I were about 50 pounds heavier. — PL]
Seen something on eBay that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Yesterday I linked to this Buffalo Braves card, which prompted Matt Beahan to send along a much better view of the jersey in question. “That was a one-year design, used for the inaugural season,” he says. “The home jerseys had a similar script that said, ‘Braves.’ I’ve only ever seen half a dozen pictures of these unis, most not in color. For the 1971-72 season, the Braves changed logos, colors (to black, burnt orange, and white) and unis, switching to the awesome set with the diagonal stripes.” What this discussion really shows is how desperately we need a decent NBA uni resource. ”¦ While looking for something else, I found a 2008 photo of Pedro Martinez wearing those annoying Phiten-branded socks. ”¦ Kevin Hastings has found what may be the most subtle logo creep ever in Umbro’s new kit design for the EPL team Sunderland. Look at the second photo, with the close-up on the crest — looks like little Umbro logos on the border between the stripes, no? ”¦ Just in case you’re already looking ahead to the 2014 World Cup, here’s its logo. ”¦ An Arkansas high school is getting the smackdown for poaching the Florida Gators logo (with thanks to Allen Pointer). ”¦ The WNBA has released its list of top-selling jerseys. “It’s notable that the top three jerseys and the top two teams in apparel sales feature logos of corporate sponsors,” says Kevin Brown. “Since the corporate sponsorship appears to have had no negative impact on sales, I suspect the NBA and other larger leagues will view this as one less argument against sponsorship in higher-profile sports.” Yeah, except that the top “top-selling” WNBA jersey only moved about 17 units. ”¦ Not as good as “A-Rod Goes Deep; Wang Hurt,” but reasonably close (with thanks to Terry Duroncelet). ”¦ Now there’s a good NOB (with thanks to Jake Hannah). ”¦ Jerry Wolper found an old 1982 article about a guy who devised a new football uni-numbering system. ”¦ Saw Phosphorescent last night, and I strongly recommend that you do the same if you get the chance. ”¦ I’ve been a fan of Rob Ullman‘s tremendous sports-themed pin-up illustrations for years now but have never met him. That will change this evening, when he comes over to Uni Watch HQ for a small dinner party being thrown in his honor. Welcome to town, Rob — see you tonight.