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The Man in Black


One morning during the summer of 1991 — eight years before Uni Watch existed — I was taking the subway to work and reading the Newsday sports section. The Twins were coming to town for their first visit of the year, and there was a big article on this kid on their pitching staff named Scott Erickson, who was having a breakout season. The article mentioned that Erickson loved the color black so much that he wore a black glove on the mound (fairly uncommon back then) and solid black socks.

As a longtime stirrups fan, I’d spent the past several years silently bemoaning the onset of ribbon stirrups, the advent of two-in-ones, and the general lowering of pant legs. But this was the first time I’d heard of a player wearing solid socks, not even going through the stirrup motions. I made a point to watch Erickson’s start against the Yankees that evening and was horrified by what I saw: ankle-length pants with black socks. I couldn’t understand why he was allowed to wear his socks that way. In fact, I still don’t understand why he got away with it. Stirrups were part of the Twins’ official uniform, solid socks were not — simple as that.

I’ve been thinking about Erickson a lot lately as I’ve been working on my next ESPN column, which will be about the evolution of low-cuffed baseball pants. One of my key contentions is that pants got lower as stirrups became — or, more precisely, were allowed to become — less relevant, and Erickson’s 1991 season represents a key nail in the stirrup’s coffin (it didn’t exactly help matters that he went 20-8 that year while the Twins won the World Series, all of which gave him and his socks a much higher profile). Soon lots of other players were eschewing stirrups — or even two-in-ones — and just wearing solid team-color socks.

I’m not the only one who noticed Erickson’s influence on lower-leg styles. Back on 7/9/07, a discussion about pants and socks broke out in the comments section here on the site, and a reader who called himself Fez (don’t know his real name, sorry), had this to say: “Scott Erickson, then with the Twins, made the solid color sock look cool. THAT was the death knell for the stirrup as we love it.” About a year later, on 7/17/08, reader Josh Cohen mentioned, “I think Scott Erickson was the first player to wear solid socks without stirrups.” And just a few weeks ago, on 6/3/10, Ricko, in the middle of a comment about changing styles, had this to say: “I recall people griping about Scott Erickson, the Twins pitcher who was the first that I remember to swap stirrups for solid dark socks beneath his almost-ankle length pants. They said he looked like he was wearing his office socks (because no white showed).”

Ricko may have been referring to this 1991 SI article about Erickson, which includes the following passage:

In uniform, Erickson always pulls the stirrups of his outer socks down into his spikes, leaving no visible trace of his white sanitary socks. He looks as if he’s wearing dress socks and shoes. “The socks are a sore subject,” says [Kirby] Puckett. “He’ll kill you if you make fun of his socks.”

Ericksonian fashion is best described as basic black. “I feel more comfortable in black,” he says. “I’ve always felt that way.” His glove is black. His baseball shoes must be totally black. He used to wear Nike spikes, but they came with white stripes, which he would polish black. Now he wears Mizunos because they’re specially made for him without the usual white stripes. The word MIZUNO is printed in white on the shoe tongue, but he covers the name with black polish.

Note that the SI piece says Erickson actually wore stirrups after all, even if it didn’t look that way. I was curious about that, so I tracked Erickson down last week and had a brief phone chat with him:

Uni Watch: What was the deal with your socks back around 1991?

Scott Erickson: It was more old-school, as opposed to the kids these days wearing their pants over their shoes.

UW [trying to process this new definition of “old-school”]: Riiight. But what I remember reading was that you pulled your stirrups down a certain way.

SE: Yeah, I’d pull them all the way down so none of the white would show.

UW: So even though it looked like a solid black sock, you were actually wearing stirrups?

SE: In Minnesota, we had stirrups. But you could get really short ones, with small openings. So if you didn’t yank them up, they’d stay low. So even though it looked like a solid sock, it was actually a stirrup. In Baltimore, we had all-black socks.

UW: And were you aware that you were pioneering a new style?

SE: Well, I was kinda going old-school, like the Cincinnati Reds of the ’70s.

UW: Yeah, but those guys showed some white, and they wore their pants higher than you did.

SE: Well, I was sort of at that bottom of the calf area. With the Dodgers, I was getting teased for wearing the pants like that.

UW: Because your teammates thought they should be lower, or higher?

SE: They thought they should be either lower or higher, but not in between.

So there you have it: Erickson wasn’t the first player to wear solid-color hose — it just looked that way.

Meanwhile, by coincidence, reader Mario Fontana sent me a note about Erickson the other day: “I remember during the 1991 World Series telecast, they said Erickson didn’t actually wear socks, but black electrical tape instead. Granted, I was nine years old at the time but I swear this is true and my memory is normally accurate.” I could call Erickson back to ask him about this, but first I’d like to see if anyone else can corroborate Mario’s childhood recollection. Anyone..?


And for those keeping score at home, I believe this is the first time we’ve ever had the same person featured in the splash photo for two consecutive weekdays.

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White whale update: Reader Terry Schull has found three more photos of the Rangers wearing their powder blue road jerseys paired with their home white pants in 1975, all from the team’s 1976 yearbook. Looks like all three pics were taken at the same game or series (note the bunting in the background), and we can see in one of the photos that the opposing team was the A’s. Turns out that the A’s were the second team to visit Arlington during the Rangers’ season-opening homestand in 1975, so that would explain the bunting — these photos were taken in Arlington.

Also, if you compare one of these new photos to the Toby Harrah photo we discussed last week, you can see the same red line on the outfield wall and a hint of bunting above Harrah’s head. Clearly from the same game or series.


So contrary to what I thought last week, it turns out that we have not yet found a photo of the Rangers wearing their white pants on the road (which is what Ricko originally claimed to have seen). Instead, we’ve found four photos of the Rangers wearing their powder blue road jersey at home! The search for documentation of this uni combo on the road goes on.

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Wayne’s Whoppers, Continued: I wasn’t near a radio for most of the weekend, but I caught one inning of yesterday’s Mets game in the car, and that was enough time for unlistenable windbag Wayne Hagin to make his mark. I got a hint of what was coming during the top of the 6th, when the Wayner said, “Santana had a 1-2-3 inning in the 2nd. That is the only inning he had [said with very heavy emphasis] — other than the 5th — that has been very easy for him.” That’s classic Hagin, basically saying, “There’s only one thing like X — except for that other thing.”

A few batters later, there was a two-out single by Matt Diaz. Then Santana got the final out on an easy pop-up, prompting Hagin to say, “And Santana pitches out of”¦”

Okay, stop the tape right there. You can see what Hagin was about to do: He was going to say, “And Santana pitches out of trouble.” Except then he realized that Santana hadn’t actually been in trouble — he’d given up a two-out single, big deal. Again, this is classic Hagin, wandering down a verbal road and then realizing too late that he’s taken a wrong turn. That forces him to improvise on the fly, which is always painful. Here’s what actually came out of his mouth:

“And Santana pitches out of [slight pause] the two-out single [longer pause] proposition, with the hit by Diaz.”

“The two-out single proposition”?! Please. This is minor league stuff, Mickey Mouse stuff. It does not belong on the airwaves in a big league town, least of all in the nation’s media capital. Fire Wayne Hagin already!

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Wilco winners: The two winners of our latest giveaway are Blair Hough and Joshua Meyers, who’ve each won two tickets to see Wilco and Yo La Tengo at Coveleski Stadium later this month (and who both knew that the College Football Hall of Fame is located nearby). Congrats to both of them, and major thanks to Wilco manager Tony Margherita for generously providing the tickets.

Uni Watch News Ticker: Spent a good chunk of the weekend out on Long Island at the North Fork Soul & Gospel Festival (actually a huge-ass private party at a record collector’s house, but he likes to call it a festival), where the music and pork shoulders were both smokin’. ”¦ Check this out: a hockey helmet with a football chinstrap (good find by Tris Wykes). ”¦ Also from Tris: a NASCAR driver with a Vikings-themed helmet. ”¦ And as long as we’re talking helmets, how about a Miami Hurricanes helmet cart (with thanks to Stephen Whalen). ”¦ Best football uniform ever? No, unfortunately. It’s the 13 Black Cats, described as “a company of flamboyant Los Angeles-based stunt pilots who defied both superstition and the odds of survival at Burdette Airport, Los Angeles, in the 1920s” (tremendous find by Scott Kneeskern). ”¦ Love the textured ribbing on Grover Cleveland Alexander’s sweater. Shame about the drop-shoulders, though (with thanks to Brian Friedt). ”¦ Jon Lester’s glove and shoes were trimmed in Livestrong yellow on Friday night. You may recall that he did the same thing last July (with thanks to Matt Comeau). ”¦ First two minutes of this 1981 Bengals highlight video focus on the team’s “startling new look” (with thanks to Erik Morris). ”¦ I believe this may have appeared in the Ticker before a long time ago, but what the hell: Nice breakdown of Flyers uni history on this page (with thanks to David Ryan). ”¦ You know what looks really brutal? The Rangers wearing their red caps with their blue dugout jackets (as noted by Terence Kearns). ”¦ The Brewers did the Cerveceros thing on Saturday, but with navy jerseys. Is that the first time they’ve done that? ”¦ “This might be the greatest BP cap ever,” says Kurt Esposito. “According to the guy at the team store, a celery costume was left behind by some touring group doing a show for the ballpark and they never wanted it back, so the team began incorporating it into the ballpark. He comes out whenever they score a run and now he’s on their BP cap.” ”¦ World Cup observation from Terence Kearns: “Right after Spain’s victory, a team trainer, or whomever, brought out their traditional red shirts for the players to wear, which I assumed was just for the trophy presentation and to be vain. But, then I saw this! That’s Cesc Fabregas and Carles Puyol celebrating, and he’s pointing to the gold star symbolizing their World Championship! I’ve never seen anything like that before!” ”¦ The Brooklyn Cyclones have player who has diabetes and wears an insulin pump in his back pocket. It’s a pretty good article, but how can you write an article like this and not mention Jason Johnson, who wore his insulin pump on the mound? ”¦ MLB is about to publish a massive, massively expensive book that looks like it’s gonna be very, very cool. Further details here. ”¦ The Heat used a bit of Photoshoppery to create this image for their web site. But as Andrew Geig notes, “Lebron looks kinda funny, because the Cavs and the Heat use different jersey cuts and collar styles, plus the Cavs and Heat put the NBA logo on opposite sides of the jersey.” ”¦ Cory Lewis notes that the NOB on Chad Cordero’s navy alt jersey kinda looks like it’s been broken up into three separate segments. ”¦ John J. Lee has found a cool site that provides a simulated view from any seat in a wide variety of stadia and arenae. Start by going here, then pick a stadium from the client list at left. Hours — okay, minutes — of fun! ”¦ In case you missed it late last week, Mike Stanton of the Marlins hit a home run that landed in a catcher’s mitt in the bullpen. Check out the screen shots and video. ”¦ I love NYC, but I’m embarrassed by how pathetic our neon sign culture has become — it’s almost non-existent. Meanwhile, Chicago is still a neon wonderland, as you can see in this awesome slideshow that Mike Couillard sent me. ”¦ When I showed that neon link to Kirsten, she showed it to some of her friends, one of whom responded with this video clip of what might be the greatest neon sign ever. ”¦ Awesome flannel Little League uni featured in this ad, which ran in yesterday’s NYT Mag. … I recently scored this totally groovy coat manufacturer’s sample/swatch catalog. Lots more pics to follow soon. ”¦ Japanese golfer Takashi Kanemoto appears to have had his pants made from a tablecloth (thanks, Jeremy). ”¦ No photo, but Drew Wiesner was watching the 1965 All-Star game on the MLB Network last night and reports that Willie Mays hit leadoff and wore Billy Williams’s batting helmet. ”¦ Back in the 1800s, baseball teams would trade ribbons, much like soccer teams now trade jerseys. And what did these ribbons look like? Like this (awesome find by Dan Cichalski). ”¦ Also from Dan: The Lakewood BlueClaws did their a Springsteen-themed jersey promotion again this year. ”¦ RIP, Shep.

Comments (180)

    i’m as far away from hagin as can be. northern california. he started as an a’s announcer yrs ago. he’s not good. but, paul, let it go. you’re better than that.

    Paul, we all enjoy Uni Watch, but I have to agree with these other comments. You’ve made it clear what you think of Wayne Hagin’s announcing, and in effect your displeasure in the Mets for hiring him. Now, however, you’re stooping down to Hagin’s level with this repeated diatribe. I know someone that was among the finalists considered for the position, so I hear the same things from him several times a season, but I’ve got to say please stop beating us over the head with this. There are other MLB announcers who are as bad.

    I want to reply in a similar vein, but I know I was just about to launch a similar campaign against Collin Cowherd before the local ESPN Radio affiliate finally took him off, so I really don’t have a leg to stand on. Rail on, Paul!

    When I put the Hagin content in the Ticker, I realize it’s hard to avoid, because it’s interwoven with other content. But today it’s a stand-alone section — if you don’t like it, just skip over it. What’s so hard about that?

    And no, I’m not going to stop, because I’m trying to build awareness about Hagin, who I feel has gotten a free pass from NYC’s official media watchdogs (Sandomir, Best, etc.). If you don’t care, well, like I said, skip to the next section.

    Can you at least put it *after* the ticker? As it is, it’s just a bunch of rubbish that I don’t want to read that gets in the way of stuff I do want to read. Besides, it almost always has zero uni value. You’ve ripped on people in the past for talking about sports things that weren’t uni-related (LeBron’s announcement comes to mind). I agree with Muddlehead. You’re better than that.

    Paul, it’s your site so you can do want you want, but why don’t you take your complaints about Hagin directly to Dave Howard and David Newman in the Mets front office? They’re the main people responsible for hiring the broadcasters. I’m sure if you bombard them with your comments they will provide some sort of response. I know you appreciate the community you have worked hard to assemble at Uni Watch, I simply don’t understand why you don’t take the constructive feedback about the dislike of your ubiquitous anti-Hagin remarks to heart. For someone that loves the state of Wisconsin and has been to every state but Hawaii (BTW-I’ve been to all 50 states), at least you should provide equal opportunity critique to the many other bad MLB broadcasters that the Uni Watch readership is exposed to around the country and not be only New York centric just because that’s where you live. IMHO it makes Uni Watch “smaller” than it is.

    I simply don’t understand why you don’t take the constructive feedback about the dislike of your ubiquitous anti-Hagin remarks to heart.

    Believe it or not, five or six people griping in the comments do not speak for the 10,000-plus Uni Watch readership. I’ve gotten several dozen private e-mails about the Hagin situation, encouraging me to keep it up.

    Of course, those several dozen e-mailers don’t speak for Uni Watch either. I do. And one reason this site exists is so that I can have a platform to discuss what’s on my mind. And what’s been on my mind lately is that Wayne Hagin sucks. He makes my life worse on a daily basis (with time off for the All-Star break, thankfully), and I’m going to use the tools at my disposal to highlight his ineptitude. One of those tools is this site. Not your cuppa? I’m sorry (truly, not snarkily). That’s how life works sometimes.

    i’m stil a raider fan despite the al davis marcus allen feud. so, i’m battle tested to withstand lukas vs hagin. :)

    Paul, I am not going to argue your points, again I clearly stated its your site, your platform to do with it how you please. That being said, I would be interested to hear what transpires when/if you contact Dave Howard/David Newman to tell them how Hagin’s broadcasts make your life worse on a daily basis and that he needs to be replaced pronto.

    As for the NASCAR football helmet: when Joe Gibbs first started in NASCAR his drivers (Bobby Labonte and then Dale Jarrett) wore a different NFL themed helmet every week.

    Martin Truex Jr broke out an Eagles Helmet design for one of his races. It was a Dover race, and he was still in the #1 car.

    Gibbs Racing was sponsored by NFL Properties, hence the different helmets every week.

    Someone mentioned it below, this is why I kind of don’t like the new reply format. Doesn’t help when you read the column later in the morning.

    i’ve mentioned this before. i think the first season it was only bobby labonte. it was the last year for richard petty, and the first year i ever went to a nascar race. martinsville, labonte wore a bengals helmet, martin won the race.

    i hope my facts are correct. haha

    I actually have an unopened Dale Jarrett Miami Dolphins (my favorite team as a kid) 1:64 diecast version of the car he drove that season. It was a pretty unique promotion at the time, when drivers rarely changed up their paint scheme mid season.

    The Miami Dolphins scheme was never run. At one point, all of the NFL teams had ‘special’ schemes that were produced for diecasts purposes.

    Generally the first special scheme a driver ran is considered to be Harry Gant’s final race in 1994. It became popularized by Dale Earnhardt’s silver scheme in the 1995 Winston.

    The rest, as they say, is history.

    Dale Jarrett was Gibbs’ first drive in 1992. In 1993 they won the Daytona 500 with the NFL logo on the hood as seen here from my diecast collection – link

    Bobby Labonte came over in 1995 and, if my memory serves correctly, that was the last year of the regular football helmets. There was a rhyme and reason for what helmets were worn where, but to be honest it’s been so long I don’t remember exactly how it worked.

    The odd thing is the fact that the NFL logo remained on the 18 car through 2001 – link

    In fact, when Gibbs won his first championship with Bobby Labonte in 2000, the NFL logo was on the car. From the awards ceremony that year, you can barely see it in the top corner of the hood – link

    Now I wonder how many other major sports champions had another leagues logo on their livery/uniform for their championship winning season? I mean what if the Lakers wore a MLB or NHL logo somewhere on their jersey?

    It’s a rather weird situation if you ask me, one that most people, even in the sport, have forgotten about. It becomes especially relevant considering NASCAR and the NFL go head to head in the fall each year.

    Info from the Orlando Sentinel on Jarrett’s NFL helmets from the 1993 season. The Cowboys were used for the Daytona 500 because they were the defending Super Bowl Champions.


    Somewhere I have the die cast of a New England Patriots version of the #18 car, from far enough back that it was Pat the Patriot logo rather than Flying Elvis.

    props to iniesta for honoring Dani Jarque with his undershirt.

    jarque was a member of spanish team and died in 2009.

    “The Rangers wearing their red caps with their blue dugout jackets (as noted by Terence Kearns)”

    FYI – The link in this ticker item goes to the Flyers Uniform project, not to a photo of the Rangers

    Pretty sure the last years they were the Washington Senators—when they wore red caps, sleeves, stirrups, etc.—their dugout jackets were navy with the “Senators” script wordmark in red edged in white. Have a recollection that it looked okay, but also kinda like maybe they’d never bought new ones after they stopped using navy as their base color.


    And it’s a darn fine look! Why do folks have such an obsession with bashing the Rangers whenever they wear their red caps? Their uniforms are designed to be worn with either the red or the blue — and as long as the socks and undershirts match the caps, it works out well.

    The red in their uniforms has been there for a long time (see 1984-85, 1994-2000), despite Tom Hicks’s attempt to remove red from the Rangers’ color scheme. It’s not red-for-red’s-sake.

    Sorry — just a bit touchy after watching a four game sweep…

    The Rangers-A’s photos to which you linked had to be from a game played in Arlington. The Coliseum didn’t have a home-run line in those days, and there is an obvious red home-run line behind Ferguson Jenkins. Plus, the Coliseum had a lot more foul ground (still does).

    You appear to be correct: The second team to visit Arlington during the Rangers’ season-opening homestand in 1975 was Oakland, so that explains the bunting.

    What threw me was that the A’s players in this photo are clearly wearing white pants:

    I’d forgotten that the A’s always wore white pants during that era, even on the road.

    So now the news is not that the Rangers wore white pants on the road, but that they wore their powder blue road jersey at home!

    I’ll update the text now.

    Were the 1980s-era Cubs the last team to regularly wear white pants for road games?

    I think so. They wore them through 1989. By the early 1980s both the A’s and Indians had switched to grey pants on the road with their color jerseys. The Pads switched to greys after their World Series run in ’84.

    Were the Cubs the last to wear white pants on the road or were the Astros? I never could tell if their road uniforms were actually gray or white.

    The Astros wore one uniform, home and away, through 1979 — the Rainbow uniform. In 1980, they added a separate road uniform that had the rainbow only on the sleeves. The color of this uniform varied from grey to cream over the years, but it was definitely a darker shade the home white.

    The Astros road duds were closer to gray when they first came out in the middle of the 1980 season. By about 1983 or so, maybe even earlier, they were more of a cream.

    I remember watching that fantastic 1986 N.L. playoff series and Game 5 at Shea seemed like two teams were wearing white, but the Astros were wearing a very light grey. It was lighter than the original grey roads they had, you are right.

    Mike Scott was simply unhittable in that series, and if the Mets had not won Game 6 then they probably would not have won that series since Scott was scheduled to come back in Game 7. Was Scott doctoring the ball or was he just that good?

    As I mentioned in the comments a week or two ago, the Rangers wore light blue over white on an NBC Saturday game of the week that had some special pomp during the pre-game show, and I’m guessing the bunting in the background of these pictures is part of that Saturday event. I don’t remember what the occasion was, but my best guess is that it was the first appearance by the Rangers in the national game of the week.

    No photo, but Drew Wiesner was watching the 1965 All-Star game on the MLB Network last night and reports that Willie Mays hit leadoff and wore Billy Williams’s batting helmet.

    I tuned in later in the re-broadcast, and Mays was wearing a Cincinnati Reds helmet (white with a red brim). I think it was Frank Robinson’s. The announcers mentioned that Mays was wearing a different helmet for each at bat (perhaps he left his own back in San Francisco).

    According to the game story in the next day’s Daytona Beach Morning Journal, available on Google news archive, Mays did forget his own helmet when leaving Philadelphia and used Billy Williams’ helmet in his first four at bats. When Williams entered the game, Mays needed another helmet and said that he grabbed the one closest to him, which turned out to be a Reds’ helmet, player unknown. Juan Marichal apparently said to Mays “Willie, you sure looked funny wearing that Cincinnati helmet.”

    The Dale Jarrett photo with the Vikings racing helmet is an example of one of the many NFL themed helmets worn by Jarrett during his time with Joe Gibbs Racing. Gibbs had NFL sponsorship for his car back then and had a helmet created for each team. Unfortunately for Joe, his only Daytona 500 win came with Jarrett wearing a Cowboys helmet.

    I would equate the Spain shirts with their World Cup star to Roger Federer wearing all his gear with 16 for his gand slam record last year after he won Wimbledon.

    the thing about the star on the top of the logo is that all world cup winners have them. Germany has 3 in their logo, Brazil has 5 blue stars around it and England has the star blended into the colour scheme. If you just look at all the World Cup winners in Football you will see them

    My point exactly! I know the stars represent championships, but to have them embroidered/printed on official kits ready for the trophy ceremony? That’s a first, no?

    Not sure about that — Brazil’s jerseys in 2002 were suddenly ‘autographed’ for the trophy ceremony — they couldn’t have autographed each other’s shirts that quickly after the game!

    I wonder if Netherlands had them made up also? Maybe we’ll see some kids in a 3rd world country wearing them- the same group of kids that thinks the Bills were a 1990s NFL dynasty.

    LOL…I know I read somewhere once where MLB and NFL donated all those losing team “Champions Tshirts and Caps” to charities in third world countries….

    So there are a bunch of kids in Africa and Central America that probably grew up Buffalo Bills and Atlanta Braves fans!!

    Spain players liked them so much they wore them on the plane ride home, which it looks like was a commercial flight. Iker Casillas sitting with his broadcaster girlfriend in coach. link

    When I moved to NC in ’80 to work in TV Sports, I couldn’t help but notice Clemson’s baseball pants: full long pants that went all the way to the shoe tops. No socks at all, much less stirrups. Apparently the Tigers started wearing them in ’78. Long before guys like Bagwell & Bonds, Clemson pioneered the trend to eliminate ANY visible socks from baseball.

    A sportscaster at our station got to dress with the Durham Bulls for a few road games back in the early 90s. The players showed him how to keep his stirrups low by twisting them before putting his shoes on over them. It allowed them to wear their stirrups and show no sannies.

    Think maybe those first Clemson teams that wore the ankle length pants also had jerseys that didn’t tuck in. Seem to recall they had a knit band around the bottom that replicated the striping on the sansabelt slacks.

    Or perhaps that was only their BP shirts (if it was, then maybe they sorta “invented” BP shirts, too). Do remember thinking they really were changing things., and not just the length of the pants.

    (And the first MLB players to cover their socks completely were guys like Jose Offerman and Jose Lind—actually tucking their pants into their lowcut cleats—several years before Bonds and others picked up on it; George Hendrick, contrary to legend, never wore his pants long enough even to cover his ankle bone…but they were longer than anyone else’s at the time, so he’s the one people think of).


    Thank you. Nice to know my recollections still are, for the most part, accurate.

    So is finding photos of same anywhere on the “White Whale” list? I mean, those are sorta the Cooperalls of baseball, aren’t they? The Uni of the Future?

    Maybe not. They really were only a version of the basketball shooting shirts of the era.



    Just listen to a Yankees game and after John Sterling and Susan Waldman for one inning, you will think that Wayne belongs in the Hall of Fame.

    Irrelevant. As I keep explaining, Sterling and Waldman’s foibles are already extremely well-documented, whereas Hagin has flown under the radar (at least here in NYC). I’m trying to expose a situation that’s been neglected up until now. Moreover, whatever you think of Sterling and Waldman, they’ve become institutions and obviously aren’t going anywhere, whereas Hagin is just the latest rent-a-voice occupying the 2nd chair in the Mets’ radio booth. His position isn’t safe and established yet, so it’s important to get him sacked before they offer him another contract renewal.

    Yesterday I had to mute the television and put on the radio broadcast of the Mets game. I can’t take Ralph Kiner.

    I can think of 27 reasons why I’m a Yankees fan. ;P

    I kid, I kid. Actually, my dad is a Mets fan, and I’m slowly turning him into a Uni-watcher, generally by asking him which horrible uniform the Mets played in each day.

    With the passing of Bob Sheppard, will the Yankees have black arm bands on their jerseys for the rest of the season?

    I assume that they will. Shep was as big a part of the Yankees as any of the players or coaches….

    Given what he meant to the organization, how he was the bridge between the club and the fans for over half a century, I think an armband would be appropriate.

    Heck, I fully expect something in Monument Park for him.

    It’s been strange going to games in the Bronx and not hearing his voice, since he’s been the one constant at Yankee Stadium ever since I was a kid (more so than the Stadium itself). It’s like listening to the Brewers this season and not hearing Bob Uecker.

    I like the fact that Yankee management realized that he really was “irreplaceable”…so when illness finally kept him away, they didn’t try to find a similar voice. They simply brought in an announcer with a completely different if somewhat average voice/style.

    The Giants on the other hand, tried to find an announcer that sounded like him and it almost sounded comical!

    During the summers in the late 70s and early 80s I would spend a lot of my vacations from school with relatives that lived across River ave from the Stadium…we used to play stickball River avenue and listen to Bob Sheppard announce Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, Willie Randolph….it really did sound like the voice of god…..

    There is already a plaque for him in Monument Park, presented on Bob Sheppard day in 2000.

    Was it my level of alcohol consumption, something wrong with my TV or just the lighting in Seattle? For the last 2 games, the Yankees road greys seemed to have a kind of Sepia tint…

    Did their hats look black, too? ;)

    Cuz, y’know, you can get into an argument in just about any pub in the country on that subject.


    LOL…but really I noticed it on Saturday’s and yesterday’s YES broadcast…the regular HD not the 3D…they uniforms seemed to have some type of tint…I was drunk Saturday, but I am pretty sure I may have been sober yesterday….

    Hey, it can depend on the time of day and the color things are painted in the particular ballpark. Light bounces around, tints things, alters our perception of them.

    Any kind of light—natural, incandescent, fluorescent, mercury vapor, etc., etc.—affects how colors look. If you don’t think so, ask yourself, “Howcum black light makes things ‘glow in the dark?’ ”

    A remarkable photographer once told me it’s impossible to be even a good photographer if you don’t understand light.

    Also pretty tough to be a uni watcher if you don’t. Lacking it, we seem to run off on a lot of wild goose chases.

    Like a couple years ago there was dizzy that the Reds had once worn powder blue roads, all because of one obviously crappy cover scan at the SI Vault website.

    Point being…if the Yankees’ roads suddenly look tan to you, it’s probably the lighting. Or, as Ricardo mentioned, you could be drunk.


    Paul – you missed that for Saturday night’s Brewers-Pirates game, the Pirates ALSO wore special Spanish-language jerseys. Their road grays had “Piratas” across the chest rather than the usual “Pittsburgh.” I’m still looking good pictures but here’s one that shows the first half of “Piratas.” The recap mentions the uniforms as well.


    Indiana University has also used championship stars above the logo on the soccer jerseys. Currently they have seven. I hadn’t realized this was a World Cup tradition.

    That’s pretty standard for club teams as well- often a team will need to accumulate a certain number of titles in order to have a star. Germany’s Bundesliga has specific rules about when you can have a star above your crest on your shirt. link

    This was not the first time the Brewers wore dark blue “Cerveceros” uniforms. Here is a picture of Prince Fielder from the game last year versus the “Gigantes”. I know for a fact they wore white “Cerveceros” unis in 2008 though, because I was at that game. Can’t remember prior to that if they wore blue or not though.


    I would not be proud of myself if I were to get someone fired from their job, especially in an economic climate that we are in. In my opinion, you can critique Wayne Hagin all you want (and you do) but to call for his firing is just disappointing and sounds like you think the man did something against you or your family. You are better than that Paul.

    Why exactly is he — or anyone — entitled to a job for which he’s clearly unqualified? If I say a team should send a lousy player down to the minors (which I assume you think is a perfectly valid thing to say), how is that any different from saying a broadcaster doesn’t belong in the majors either?

    Also, the state of the economy has nothing to do with the realm in which Hagin works. There’s a certain number of teams (major and minor), and all of them need a certain number of radio and TV broadcasters. He’s either qualified for one of those jobs or he’s not. It’s not as though teams are suddenly going to stop having broadcasters, no matter what the state of the economy.

    The state of the economy should not dictate that employers be required (either legally or morally) to retain employees who are not performing their jobs sufficiently well.

    Or to put it another way, wouldn’t it suck — you know, in this economy — for a qualified broadcaster to be out of work because someone like Hagin is working instead?

    I hate to stick my head in the lion’s mouth, but while it’s true that Hagin’s an idiot, he’s Shakespeare compared to Ron Santo…

    I have never had the pleasure of listening to Hagin…but let me tell you…I have plenty of “IT IS HIGH!, IT IS FAR! IT IS caught by the outfielder in shallow right” moments while listening to Sterling in while stuck in traffic on the Cross Bronx…. Suzie girl goes off on these whimsical side stories……

    I agree that Sterling has kind of become trademark with his calls like A-Bomb from A-Rod and BALL GAME OVER, YANKEES WIN, THEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE YANKEES WIN…. but he really isn’t a good announcer…..

    I know that Hagin’s a rental broadcaster and not really in the same category as Santo, but my wife’s a Cub fan and I have to tolerate Santo all the time.

    Of course, my team has had Jerry Coleman all these years, who is a great guy but all thumbs as a broadcaster. “The way he caught that, he looked like a coiled antelope out there,” etc.

    Try listening to Gary Matthews here in Philly. His voice is annoying and his insight on the game consists of such stellar analysis as —
    “Well – you know Tom – the object of the game is get hits and then runs and, if the Phillies don’t do this, they can’t expect to win.”

    I turn off the TV during his innings and listen to Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen.

    Somewhere, Harry and Whitey are rolling over in their graves!

    It does suck, because there are lots of qualified announcers out of work. Meanwhile, there are guys who have no business being on air, but they are simply because they have “experience.”

    Actually, the worst thing to do is draw attention to him. “No such thing as bad publicity,” is what some media types say. If you’re complaining it means you’re still listening.

    Best thing to do is inform the team and its sponsors that you’re not going to listen until changes are made. Hit ’em in the ratings, where it hurts.

    I’ve lived in St. Louis, MO my entire life. I had to listen to that god awful Jack Buck on a daily basis. I was so happy when he died. Just teasing.
    I’m better than that.

    It’s Hagin’s *job* to entertain listeners. If he’s not entertaining, he’s not doing his job. Listeners and journalists have all the right in the world to call for his firing.

    I think the black electrical tape was for covering all logos and tags on Ericson’s glove and shoes. I remember hearing a conversation about that. At least he was against logo creep. So were the stirrups he claims to have worn in Minnesota black or navy? I had always heard black as well. Never liked him for being too cool for the team colors.

    I think the black electrical tape was for covering all logos and tags on Ericson’s glove and shoes.

    Ah, that makes sense. Thanks.

    I remember hearing about the black electrical tape, too, and I am assuming it was used to make sure no part of the white sanitaries, as well as anything white on the shoes, would show.

    Chris Creamer board concept, isn’t it?

    I seem to recall that it’s been stolen before, by counterfeiters who sold t-shirts with that design outside of the arena.

    Creamer and/or Icethetics. And isn’t there a team in Michigan or Ontario or something that’s been using the link without permission?

    And by “without permission” I mean that they’ve been told to stop using it but they refuse to.

    seems to me they not only “borrowed” from the blackhawks, they also got a little bit of the ducks going there too

    So if I create a leaping ram in profile for the logo of the Rhinelander River Rams (or something), and the team colors are purple and gold, people are going to claim that because the new River Rams logo has horns and is purple and gold it’s a ripoff of the Vikings?


    Maybe not in the case of the Rhinelander River Rams!! but in this case, I am not exactly a hockey fan and am not up to date on all the NHL teams….but the minute I saw that one I thought Blackhawks…..

    vis a vis scott erickson I remember hearing *something* about electrical tape (maybe it was logo) cover.

    More ridiculously, I remember hearing that he was coloring his ankles (or sannies) with black shoe polish!

    1) At first I thought link was a vintage ad that was rerun in the NYT mag as a nostalgia piece until I saw the URL at the bottom. Nice.

    2) Yes, the girl skipping rope is indeed a fantastic neon sign, but is it truly better than the link? (#4 in the slideshow.)

    Unfortunately, link, but it was shot before the sign was restored to its full glory.

    nope. And I still haven’t (lousy babysitter software *grumble, grumble*):

    Request Blocked by URL Filter Database
    Your request to URL “” has been blocked by the Webwasher URL Filter Database.

    The URL is listed under categories (Alcohol), which are not allowed by your administrator at this time. If you feel this site is categorized incorrectly, please contact the IT-Service Desk at
    The following TrustedSource reputation level was assigned: Neutral.

    Great place to grab provisions for a week at OC. Love this place and the sign is classic.

    Just wondering, is it possible that the gold stars on the Spain jerseys were just the link that were applied to their regular red jerseys after the game was over?

    Re celery costume: That mascot was the source of possibly my favorite Uni Watch comment of all time:

    link whups all comers up and down the block every day and twice on Sunday.”

    Mr. Celery is apparently a Wilmington legend.


    Delino DeShields was first player I remember eschewing the traditional stirrup style by wearing no visible sani and going high cuffed. As I recall he said it was a tribute to the players of the Negro Leagues. A few of us on my high school baseball team adopted the same look because we really hated the ribbon stirrups.

    That (and he) was discussed here earlier this baseball season.
    DeShields DID show sani, both with the Expos and, later, the Dodgers.
    Not sure about the Cubs and others, haven’t been able to scrounge up images.


    Oh, wow, Neil C, my purpose wasn’t to correct you, was just to show that DeShields’ tribute to the Negro League players was true to history.

    No offense, I hope.


    No offense taken. I’d forgotten that there was just a hint of sanitary shown. Growing up in the 80s I was more accustom to seeing the ribbon look and remember how shocking it was to see so much color on display.

    How about a feature on Mr. Celery? Surprised that this is the first that I have heard of him (but hopefully not the last)?

    Man, aren’t ballplayers celery-conscious enough as it is?


    I truly AM sorry, but I figured I’d just get it out of way so we could move on.


    Are you implying there ought to be a Celery Cap for mascots? I thought this whole discussion started over a link

    Thank you so much for chiming in and sharing the ire of the pun haters with me.

    You are a gentleman and a scholar.

    Wow. Think about it. “Actual photo of baseball’s celery cap.”

    Steinbrenner, of course, has to buy one for someone else whenever he buys one for himself. It’s in the rules. You could look it up.


    If I went to a barbecue and there was no meat, I would say “Yo, Goober! Where’s the meat?”.

    Not that I don’t like seeing my name in print, but I think the Jon Lester info in the ticker was mis-attributed. I don’t remember sending in anything about it. Maybe there’s another Matt Comeau here.

    I really hate the idea of those Opus books. The whole point of a book is to disseminate information to anyone who can read. It’s a great force for the democratization of information, and restricting its content to those who can shell out insane amounts of cash just feels wrong.

    If you think three hundred bucks is bad, the link starts at £3,000.00. link if you want yours signed by a bunch of club legends.

    Ricko said:

    a couple years ago there was dizzy that the Reds had once worn powder blue roads, all because of one obviously crappy cover scan at the SI Vault website

    you talking about the goggles pisano one, or the spring training shot

    you know…until i just stared at that pic for a few seconds…i never realized sabo was wearing 2 in ones…fucker

    Re: Players with insulin pumps

    I’m fairly certain that the player who wore an insulin pump on the mound was JASON Johnson, a journeyman who pitched for Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland (among others). Josh Johnson currently pitches for the Marlins and has been named to the All-Star Team the last two seasons.

    Props to Paul for letting Erickson refer to his look as “old-school” twice and not unleashing a verbal beat down of what “old-school” really is.

    Mock up of the Omaha Nighthawks (UFL) jersey here:

    The sleeve logo on the actual jersey will supposedly be changed to the plane logo. The actual jersey will be seen when Ahman Green’s jersey goes on sale later this month.

    Since not everyone goes back and reads old comments in this new format:
    Paul Lukas | July 12, 2010 at 11:32 am | Reply
    “Or to put it another way, wouldn’t it suck – you know, in this economy – for a qualified broadcaster to be out of work because someone like Hagin is working instead?”

    It does suck, because there are lots of qualified announcers out of work. Meanwhile, there are guys who have no business being on air, but they are simply because they have “experience.”

    Actually, the worst thing to do is draw attention to him. “No such thing as bad publicity,” is what some media types say. If you’re complaining it means you’re still listening.

    Best thing to do is inform the team and its sponsors that you’re not going to listen until changes are made. Hit ‘em in the ratings, where it hurts.

    I must confess… played high school baseball in the early 90s and I did much the same as Scott Erickson. It was definitely the trend for a few years back then. My HS coach even ordered team spikes that were completely blacked out (Pony’s, IIRC), and special lower cut black stirrups that would appear to be more like a sock – or the low cuff pant stirrup (Kind of like: link. Sometimes I would double wrap the stirrup ribbon around my foot to lower them even further) In summer league I even pulled a full Erickson and wore black wool socks instead of stirrups.

    Go ahead, have at me (but remember I was just a dumb 16 year old)!

    What a day at Uniwatch!

    First…the Bengals ’81 video. Wow. I had never seen that before. What a thrill. Such a joyful year for long suffering Bengals fans. The only thing missing was the voice of John Facenda, but oh well. Kenny Anderson, Forrest Gregg, Paul Brown, Isaac Curtis, Ken Riley. Yay!

    Second…I remember being slightly disturbed by Erickson’s black socks back in ’91, but was blinded by how intense and good he was. Anyway, it was almost acceptable because he wasn’t just flashing the latest trend or fashion, but rather displaying one of those idiosyncratic personal superstitions that we see in baseball now and again.

    Lastly…those Chicago neon signs! My god. Such beauty.

    Interesting news coming from the English Championship League. Middlesbrough was not picked up by Garmin to renew their jersey sponsorship. Boro has unveiled their 10-11 kits with no jersey sponsorship. The interesting detail is that Middlesbrough has decided to offer monthly sponsorship options. They are apparently the first club to make monthly sponsorships available.


    M-Ver said:

    Best thing to do is inform the team and its sponsors that you’re not going to listen until changes are made. Hit ‘em in the ratings, where it hurts.

    What about informing the club and its advertisers that you will be avoiding all of the companies that sponsor Mets broadcasts and using this very website to ask all like-minded fans join you in this boycott?

    Damn this economy. I remember what it was like to have expendable cash for impulse items. Like the $295 version of that baseball book. Or even having Old School make me a 13 Black Cats jersey!


    With the passing of Shep, we have now lost two of the most distinguished sports gentlemen of our time in a matter of weeks, and both at age 99.

    don’t know if you caught this:
    Crazy Hot Dog Vendor night in Reading

    “The team took the field wearing what were certainly the most ridiculous theme jerseys of the year — featuring the signature red and white stripes and bow tie – and front-office employees were decked out in black glasses and white paper hats.”

    Anyone have a picture?

    In reference to the Hagen thing, I didn’t know you walked on water.

    Nice to see other people stick up for Wayne.

    And if you don’t like how he calls the game, you should just skip the radio broadcast.

    Why is it okay to call for the firing of an athlete, coach, manager, or what have you, but it’s not all right to call for the firing of an Average Joe? Because athletes make more money?

    No. If someone is not performing their job to the expectations of their employer or the customers of their employer, it is perfectly acceptable for them to be criticized by those customers and as a result reviewed, reprimanded or terminated by that employer.

    I wasn’t aware that ‘God’ is the only one with the authority to call someone out for being lackluster at their job. This is nothing more than a little concept commonly referred to as feedback and accountability.

    For example, say I don’t like the way a server at a restaurant represents the business? Maybe he uses crude language, maybe he is rude, maybe he doesn’t listen to my order intently, maybe he has a bad attitude. I should just avoid the restaurant then? No. I’m going to tell the manager and try to get that guy ousted, especially if it’s my favorite restaurant.

    “In reference to the Hagen Hagin thing, I didn’t know you walked on water.”


    Darn right.
    And if Diane Lane doesn’t dump Josh Brolin soon and start seeing me, I’m gonna quit calling.

    That’ll show her.


    And if you don’t like how he calls the game, you should just skip the radio broadcast.

    Yes, I could do that. And sometimes I do. But in addition to the “Love it or leave it” approach, there’s the “Let’s try to improve this situation” approach. And that’s what I’m doing: I’m showcasing Hagin’s ineptitude in the hopes that he will not be retained in the team’s radio booth.

    I have absolutely no idea why the Mets would go out of system to get Wayne Hagin. Let’s look at the history of Mets broadcasters. On the radio, you had Bob Murphy — an original Met — paired with Gary Cohen, who was a fan, but baseball-savvy enough to know when the players or the organization is being dumb. That’s what New Yorkers respect. Eventually, Howie Rose came back from his TV hiatus and in 2005, we had the best radio team ever — Howie and Gary. It was baseball bliss.

    In 2006, Gary moved to TV (leading to the great Gary, Keith and Ron team) while Howie stayed with Tom McCarthy, who provided a good voice. After two years, Wayne Hagin came in (because of his voice, maybe? I don’t know). He brings nothing.

    I hate the fact that he does not call plays in the present tense. It’s really something that should not be that hard to grasp. Present tense makes it seem like you’re there. Example “Ground ball to short. Reyes FIELDS. THROWS to first. In time. One away.” When you use the past tense to describe a real-time play, or worse yet, future tense, it doesn’t go into the ear well. Wayne uses both tenses.

    Let’s get into the fact that he doesn’t understand what it’s like to be a Mets fan. Let’s also forget that he got in huge doo-doo back in Colorado. He doesn’t know what it’s like to be a New Yorker. Howie will give a witty retort about living in New York, and poor Wayne will sound like Howie was speaking Portugese (or Yiddish).

    I think the best solution is, once Wayne’s contract ends, have an on-air competition. An American Idol of sorts. Take tapes from New Yorkers. It doesn’t matter how many people do it. You can theoretically have 81 different people (I assume road games are out of the question). Have people vote. Let the fans actually vote on who they want to hear! Revolutionary? Yes. But Mets fans aren’t stupid.

    Let me add, please, to the “experience” debate. Sadly, it’s very true. I have some broadcasting experience and graduated in 2009. I can’t afford to take a broadcasting job since they’re all “unpaid internships” with independent teams (minor league openings are very rare, and most of those go to existing minor league broadcasters). There is little room for advancement. Broadcasting is a hard business to break into. That’s why I’m glad that someone is shining the light on someone who is bad at their job.

    To go all Ricko for a moment …

    “Experience” has become a very problematic thing in America. Increasingly, it is regarded simply as a chronological measurement, and assumed to be a virtue in direct proportion to the number generated. Thus a person who like Hagin has 25 years of experience doing something very badly is regarded as an unquestionably superior candidate for a job doing that thing than anyone with fewer years of experience doing it well. Not to pick a partisan fight – please assume that I agree with you if you substitute a politician of different leanings for this example – but George W. Bush had a lifetime of “experience” in business before entering politics. Yet with the exception of the one time he leveraged hundreds of millions of dollars of public subsidies to his baseball franchise to turn a profit without actually building a contending team, all of Bush’s “experience” amounted to taking profitable or marginal companies and running them out of business. Yet his business “experience” was held out by supporters in 1999 and 2000 as a primary asset he would bring to bear if elected president.

    This is what it has come to with regard to “experience” in almost all walks of life, including several industries I’ve worked in (journalism, publishing, and nonprofit management among them). Experience measures time holding positions, with failure treated no differently than success. There’s an unwillingness to judge the quality of performance reflected in any person’s experience, so we’re left in a world where “experience” is a simple comparison of numbers. 25 years of failing trumps 7 years of succeeding, and so Wayne Hagin will have a job broadcasting major-league baseball somewhere for the rest of his life.

    RS, I agree 100 percent with your last paragraph (I will avoid the politics). It’s “what have you done” and not “what are you capable of doing.”

    I know of a broadcaster who is ten times better than myself, and he is currently in an indy league where his talents are squandered. I fully believe that he SHOULD, if the world is just, be a major league broadcaster. But the world is not just.

    I was at a recent MLB Job fair (from which they hire a number of broadcasters). Needless to say, I think they looked first at your resume and THEN listened to your tape. The first step is the important one, and it’s difficult to get that foot in the door. Meanwhile, because Hagin has been in the majors, he may bounce around, but he’ll be a broadcaster forever.

    If “going all Ricko” is offering a well-reasoned comment that gets outside yourself, sees that things aren’t always simple, and is more than an inch deep, I’ll take it.

    And your point definitely is well-taken. What was it, The Peter Principle?
    Everyone rises to the level of his or her own incompetence, I believe?



    Broadcasting is like NBA coaching – once you’re in, you’re pretty much in. It just depends on how much you’re willing to move around.

    Last broadcasting job I had, I ended up being in a position to hire people as well as do announcing. I was all set to be the play-by-play guy…until I heard one guy’s audition. He was so good I gave him the job while I took color commentary. He was trying to get in with a bigger market, so I thought this would be his shot.

    Five years later, he’s still trying. He easily could replace half the guys in the Cleveland/Akron area, but the only thing he lacks is big-time “experience.” So if it will help my old partner move up the ladder, fire Wayne Hagin already!

    I know that most of you don’t care, but on Arsenal’s US website they have a nice visual history of the club’s home jersey and badge. Interesting to see the evolution.

    “Yes, I could do that. And sometimes I do. But in addition to the “Love it or leave it” approach, there’s the “Let’s try to improve this situation” approach. And that’s what I’m doing: I’m showcasing Hagin’s ineptitude in the hopes that he will not be retained in the team’s radio booth.”

    It is yours and others perception that he is exhibiting ineptitude.

    Does he make mistakes? Yes. Don’t you?

    Voice your opinions. Don’t be surprised when other voice theirs.

    I’m trying to figure out how this contradicts or responds to anything I’ve said. I don’t think it does.

    You’re welcome to think whatever you like of Hagin’s work. I know what I think, and I’ll keep expressing it as I please.

    Thank you, come again.

    This site is awesome. It would be great if someone ever did a history of MLB helmets. You would have a a short time frame since they did not come into effect until the 1960s or so.


    Does this logo look familiar?

    Ricardo Leonor | July 12, 2010 at 10:08 am | Reply

    Screams Blackhawks to me!!!!

    Chance Michaels | July 12, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Reply

    Chris Creamer board concept, isn’t it?

    I seem to recall that it’s been stolen before, by counterfeiters who sold t-shirts with that design outside of the arena.

    JTH | July 12, 2010 at 12:22 pm |

    Creamer and/or Icethetics. And isn’t there a team in Michigan or Ontario or something that’s been using the exact concept logo without permission?

    And by “without permission” I mean that they’ve been told to stop using it but they refuse to.

    Details here:

    Didn’t Erickson have a nickname like “Dr. Death” or something cause of the black? Yes, he did, says Google.


    I’ve taken to lo-cut NB socks to go along with all-black NB sneakers with a black NB logo- my new favorite style. My wife isn’t a fan.

    First off, we’ll assume you’re talking about when you wear shorts, right
    Try it with black kneehighs.
    I’m sure the wife’ll like that much better.
    Or at least you’ll show her it could be worse.



    Black knee-high socks? Not a chance. Yeah, with shorts, tho I’ll (I hate this expression;) ROCK THE LOOK with jeans, too.

    Ricko said:

    If “going all Ricko” is offering a well-reasoned comment that gets outside yourself, sees that things aren’t always simple, and is more than an inch deep…

    i think there are a number of ways to take that…;)

    Spotted at the Home Run Derby…Angels pillbox cap. When they show Wil Ferrell (what’s he doing there anyway?) a fan in the stands is wearing the cap. Sorry, no screen shots.

    My take on the Hagin situation:

    I’m not familiar with Hagin, but I certainly know the type. There are plenty of bad, obnoxious, misinformed broadcasters out there. Somehow, most of them manage to fly under the radar, so it’s refreshing to see one of the scrutinized like this.

    I do come to this site to read about uniforms, but that topic can be a little overwhelming at times (for me). I appreciate that Paul mixes in other sports-related topics like this on occasion.

    Loved the Rangers pix. Toby Harrah was one of my favorite players when I was a kid.

    You gotta love a palindrome NOB and jersey number.

    If only his first name could have been Bob.

    YES! A shame the NL Legends/Celebs lost, especially given the fact that I’m a Braves fan. Oh well.

    The Spartan School of Aeronautics has been using the Black cat and 13 logo for years and I never knew till today’s column what it was about.


    I’ve been debating bidding on this all day, but these are the first batches they came out with in 1992 – link
    That was back when the 1/64th diecasts came with a stand and a card. The hood of the car has the helmet logo on the car, which you can see here – link
    There was also a Redskins styled car designed for when Gibbs was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, but for the life of me I cannot remember if it actually ran or not – link
    As for the helmets, replicas were made of all of them and some of them can still be found, see an example here – link For visual evidence, here’s what I collected:

    * link – Vikings helmet, lil blurb about the helmet tendencies (1993)
    * link – You can see a Redskins helmet when he throws it. (1993)
    * link – JGR’s second win, Cowboys helmet (1994)
    * link – Steelers helmet (1993)
    * link – You can see a 49ers helmet hanging in the car (1996)
    * link – Dolphins (1996)
    * link – Another Cowboys (1997)
    * link – And another Cowboys (1996)
    * link – Redskins (1994)
    * link – Panthers (1994)

    Yikes, that’s all I have for now. JGR stopped doing this starting with the 1998 season. If there’s more interest in it, I can put more together.

    As to the “NASCAR driver with Vikings helmet”: That’s Dale Jarrett, Joe Gibbs’s first driver when Gibbs joined NASCAR as a team owner. The team had a deal with NFL Properties where Jarrett would wear a helmet patterned after the helmet of whatever NFL team was closest to where NASCAR was racing each weekend. I was a reporter at New Hampshire Speedway when NASCAR came to town. It was just after the Patriots had introduced Touchdown Elvis. Yet Jarrett was sporting the old Pats helmet with Pat Patriot on it. I asked him why NFL Properties hadn’t provided the new design, as they had designed it for the Pats. He had no idea. “I just wear it,” he said.
    As to where he was racing with a Vikings helmet, I couldn’t even speculate. I don’t cover NASCAR anytmore.

    “How all the other passions fleet to air, as doubtful thoughts and rash embraced despair and shuddering fear and green-eyed jealousy!”

    You write, “I couldn’t understand why he was allowed to wear his socks that way. In fact, I still don’t understand why he got away with it. Stirrups were part of the Twins’ official uniform, solid socks were not – simple as that.” Keep in mind Erickson not only had the privilege to bend the uniform rules, he was allowed to influence the lineup whenever he was pitching. He insisted to have Junior Ortiz (.209 BA in 1991)as his catcher, even though Brian Harper (.311 BA in 1991) was the normal starting catcher for the Championship season. Usually a team will change catchers if the pitcher has unique pitches, like the knuckleball, but Erickson was a straight up fastball, curve, slider, changeup type of guy. The point being that if you can be a 20 game winner on a World Series team, even Tom Kelly will cut you an extraordinary amount of slack.

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