The Cover-Up of ’73 (no, not Watergate)


Back in the ’90s I knew this guy named Spike Vrusho, who was a gifted writer and sort of a beatnik/bohemian sports nut. A devoted Pirates fan, he published a zine called Murtaugh, which featured, among other things, a hilariously scabrous Tony Millionaire comic called “Batty” and some epic poetry along the lines of “Ode to Marge Schott” and “Dallas Green Is a Douche.”

Murtaugh’s recurring visual motif was a rocking chair — a reference to the Danny Murtaugh photo you see at right, although I’m not sure how many readers got that, or even cared. It’s a sensational photo: the rocking chair with the floral upholstery, the stirrups, the milk being poured into a Coke cup, the spittoon, Danny’s Abe Vigoda-esque visage. It is almost certainly the best Danny Murtaugh photo in existence.

But we now have a strong contender for second place.

First, a bit of background. You undoubtedly know that the Pirates wore a circular “21” memorial patch for Roberto Clemente in 1973. Memorial patches with the deceased’s uni number or initials are common now, but the Clemente patch marked the first time an MLB team had memorialized someone in this way. All previous memorial gestures had involved black armbands or strips of black crepe.

Here’s the part you might not know: The Clemente patch was added for the ’73 regular season, but the Pirates had used a black strip of fabric during spring training. As you can see in those shots, it was sewn down or adhered in the center but not at the ends. Hall of Fame curator Tom Shieber tells me that’s how it always looks in photos he’s seen.

Now that you’ve processed that, check out this:


Reader Mako Mameli sent me that photo yesterday. If you can get past the priceless crankypants look on Danny’s face, you can see that he’s wearing the Clemente patch loosely adhered over what appears to be a black square. Looks like they snipped off the loose ends from the spring training patch, left part in the middle that was sewn down, and then covered it up — or tried to — with the Clemente patch. Doesn’t look like much of a patch, though, does it? Almost looks more like a paper facsimile. Maybe the cloth versions weren’t ready on time..? Very odd.

The photo isn’t dated, so it’s not clear whether it was taken toward the end of spring training or the beginning of the regular season. But the bricks in the background sure look like Wrigley, no?

If we check Pittsburgh’s 1973 game log, we see that the Buccos played their first game at Wrigley on April 21st — two full weeks after the start of the season. Did the whole team really go that long with makeshift patches? Or maybe Danny’s real patch fell off and they had to replace it with a temporary version..? Jerry Wolper and all you other Pirates historians out there, let’s hear what you know about this one.

As for Spike Vrusho, last I heard he was driving a cab upstate, which I see as a bit of a literary tragedy. I doubt he’ll be reading this, but just in case: Spike, this one was for you.

(Special thanks to Todd Radom for providing the rocking chair photo.)

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Collector’s Corner, by Brinke Guthrie

On eBay, I usually head straight for the ’70s, then ’60s. Lately, though, I’ve been finding some cool stuff before those eras, though. (Do I even need to bother with the ’80s and ’90s?)

• I remember these — NHL and MLB patches from Kraft, early ’70s.

• Sears: your NFL HQ. Back in the pre-eBay days, you bet it was.

• Absolutely terrific vintage Astros bobble.

• Here’s a great Reds iron-on patch from way back.

• Aaagh — a 1971 Stars-Colonels ABA championship program. I distinctly recall my mom waking me up after the deciding game to tell me the Colonels lost. Me, groggy: “Did they…..?” Mom: [Shakes head sadly.]

• Staying with the Colonels, check this set of Volpe tumblers. Be careful, too — I got some water inside the seals of mine after searching for them for years.

• And for PL, to mark the imminent end of Jerry Manuel’s managerial reign, here’s a Manuel-signed baseball.

Seen something on eBay that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.

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No “Los Meats” version — yet: The Meats T-shirt momentum continues to build, thanks in part to a nice little item on the Serious Eats site.

Meanwhile, for you NYCers who haven’t yet taken the plunge, Meats tees will be available this Sunday at the annual Atlantic Antic street fair, where once and future Uni Watch advertiser Deb “Miss Wit” Goldstein will be selling them alongside all her own T-shirt designs. Deb’s table will be on Atlantic Ave. (duh) between Bond and Hoyt, on the south side of the street.

Giveaway results: You are a winner! If your name is Joseph Duider, I mean. As for the rest of you, we’ve have more giveaways soon.

ESPN reminder: In case you missed is yesterday afternoon, my assessment of the NBA’s new uni system is now available for your enjoyment.

Signal flare: Hey, Joseph Barrie — I got the package (thanks!), but I have a question about it. If you have a sec, please shoot me a note. Thanks.

Screen shot 2010-09-23 at 12.11.14 PM.png

Too good to be buried in the Ticker: Back in the 1930s, a Canadian food operation called the St. Lawrence Starch Company began offering free photos of hockey players. These shots became known as Bee Hive photos (a reference to one of the company’s products, Bee Hive Golden Corn Syrup). The promotion lasted until 1967, by which time over 1,000 photos had been produced and literally millions of copies distributed to Canadian consumers.

I learned all of that from the Bee Hive Hockey Photo Museum, a dynamite site devoted to documenting the Bee Hive photo oeuvre, as it were. In addition to showing photo after sensational photo, the site also offers lots of background info (like what consumers had to do to obtain a photo). My only gripe: If you’re gonna show amazing documents like company letterhead, why make them so small? But that’s a minor quibble with a site as good as this one. Check it out (and while doing so, tip your hat to reader Jake Doyle, who brought this one to my attention).

Uni Watch News Ticker: The ever-awesome Fleer Sticker Project just ran a great post showing some original NFL photos and their airbrushed, logo-free Topps card counterparts. ”¦ Here’s our first look — or at least my first look — at college football zebras wearing the NFL-style cold-weather black slacks. That shot is from a D-II game last weekend in Duluth, where Stephen King confirms that temperatures were indeed on the brisk side. ”¦ Here’s a new addition to our collection of swastika-clad teams: a 1908 Native American hoops squad. As we’ve discussed many times here on the site, the Swastika used to figure prominently in Native American traditions, so it’s not surprising to see that a team was using it in the pre-Nazi era. The photo was sent my way by Don Gale, who also found this amazing shot of an early-1900s Philipino women’s hoops team. ”¦ Jonathon Binet notes that when the Niners retired Jerry Rice’s number on Monday, Rice wore his Hall of Fame blazer for the pregame ceremonies and then switched to a Niners Hall of Fame blazer at halftime. Do other teams have their own HoF attire? ”¦ Teebz recently attended a Dodgers/’Stros game in Houston and noticed something odd: The Dodgers players with single-digit uni numbers were all shown on the scoreboard with zero as part of their number. ”¦ Best/worst story of the year: An Italian soccer team with miserable attendance has “filled” its stadium with phony, printed fans. If you check out the game highlights on YouTube, you’ll see the “fans” looked surprisingly real (with thanks to Jeremy Richardson). ”¦ According to a small passage in the middle of this page, Nats phenom Bryce Harper says he’s a Cowboys fan in part because “I love their uniforms. They’re just a pretty team (with thanks to Jason Millman). ”¦ Good view of Joe Theisman’s jersey pockets (with thanks to Josh Lassiter). ”¦ Several readers have noticed that the Knicks have a new collar. Actually, quite a few NBA teams have updated collar formats this season. This has nothing to do with the Revo30 system — it’s something the league had been wanting to do anyway. I’ll have complete details as part of my annual season-preview column next month. ”¦ Special thanks to Keith Goggin, who sent me this cool houndstooth-trimmed Alabama pencil. ”¦ Here’s a Jerry Reuss follow-up: Several readers noticed a discrepancy in Jerry’s stirrup striping in these two photos. The shot on the left, of course, shows Jerry in his Tulsa Oilers days. Not sure if that stirrup pattern, with a navy stripe in the center, was ever used in the bigs. The version on the right, with a red stripe in the center, appears to have been the Cardinals’ basic design through various eras. ”¦ Brian Pettit has imagined what a Uni Watch hockey uniform might look like. ”¦ My longtime pal Dave McAninch, a keen observer of urban ephemera, has started an excellent new blog called The Unseen City, in which he’s documenting old signs, old businesses, and overlooked neighborhoods, mostly in Chicago. Highly recommended. ”¦ Here’s the 50th-anniversary patch the Angels will be unveiling today. The weird thing is that the halo at the top of the logo is gold, because that’s the anniversary color, while the one on the A is still silver, because that’s still the team’s primary logo. … Admirably detail-oriented catch by Jude S., who notes that the black outlining on the Astros’ NOB lettering doesn’t extend to the underside of the diagonal strokes of the M, but it does extend to the analogous portions of the W. Inconsistent!

145 comments to The Cover-Up of ’73 (no, not Watergate)

  • Peter Wunsch | September 24, 2010 at 8:10 am |

    The Italian ccer teams fake fans rends of the days when NYC put up paintings of windows, blinds and curtains on burnt out buildings alongside the Cross Bronx Expressway

  • Brad | September 24, 2010 at 8:31 am |

    Almost as unusual in the Astros photos, awesome catch on the “M” lettering, is that evidence was found that they do actually wear gray sometimes other than by Houston players making the all star game in years that the game is played in an American League city.

    • scott | September 24, 2010 at 10:18 am |

      I guess the Nats must have broken out the red jerseys, huh?

      • Mark in Shiga | September 24, 2010 at 11:04 am |

        Hey, I like the fact that one team (besides khaki-clad SD) has a defaulr road uniform that isn’t a dull gray color!

        What I noticed most about that photo is that the Astros are the worst offender in shoving the number too far down the player’s back, something that will never stop bothering me. Poor Wesley Wright has to blouse hsi jersey out of his pants a little just to keep from having the number go below his waist! And there’s all that ugly gray space between the collar and the top of the NOB, and then again between the NOB and the number.


  • Jack O'Connor | September 24, 2010 at 8:34 am |

    Here’s a link to the Patriots Hall of Fame ceremony. They also wear red blazers.

    • jdreyfuss | September 24, 2010 at 11:07 am |

      Throwing back to a comment last week, isn’t it somewhat odd for the Patriots to be wearing red coats? This is a different case from them being left with red when there were already four “blue” teams. This is a later choice to associate even more strongly with Redcoats.

    • Ricko | September 24, 2010 at 1:19 pm |

      Just a couple guesses.

      From players’/fans’ standpoint…
      At the time they instituted the blazers, the team may still have been wearing red on the field.
      From a marketing/event-staging standpoint…
      They probably wanted them to be unique.
      How unique is another navy blue blazer hanging in a guy’s closet; can pick up one at virtually any department store.


  • Josh | September 24, 2010 at 8:35 am |

    Phil Mushnick in NY Post again ranting against black uniforms:

    “NCAA teams can’t get enough of men in black

    Black remains the new red. Stanford, which wore Cardinal red uniforms since it began playing football in 1891 – the school’s nickname would become the Cardinal – last Friday night for the first time (and for ESPN) wore Nike-issue, gang approved black uniforms. Some Stanford players liked their “more aggressive” look. Stanford then beat Wake Forest, 68-24, although Wake Forest has worn black uniforms for the last 100 years. Stanford joined many other NCAA schools – including the Louisville Cardinals, the Harvard Crimson, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the St. John’s Red Storm – in adding a black uniform.”

    • LI Phil | September 24, 2010 at 8:41 am |

      yeah…perhaps the post’s editors need to do a better job

      the stanford/wake game was SATURDAY night, not friday

      • scott | September 24, 2010 at 10:19 am |

        Phil Mushnick seems to know a lot about gangs.

        • LI Phil | September 24, 2010 at 10:34 am |

          and not a lot about fact-checking

        • James Craven | September 24, 2010 at 10:10 pm |

          And not a lot of anything. Mushdick is nothing more than a shill for NewsCorp’s cranky old man act at New York City’s Finest Vanity Newspaper.

  • Andy | September 24, 2010 at 8:51 am |

    I think it’s Filipino, not Philipino. (Confirmed by Uni Watch spell-check, which does not recognize the Ph- variant.)

    • BronxGuido | September 24, 2010 at 10:56 am |

      Maybe we shouldn’t recognize the PHillies. Go Yankees!

  • Terence M. K. | September 24, 2010 at 9:13 am |

    “… Brian Pettit has imagined what a Uni Watch hockey uniform might look like.”

    I’m calling a Jim V. when I say, “I’d Wear That!”

    LOVE that concept, Brian. Now get Frosty or RyCo to make ’em, and I’m buying Home AND Away!!

    Terence M.K.

    • Jet | September 24, 2010 at 3:21 pm |

      Count me in!!!!!


    • Brian Pettit | September 24, 2010 at 4:54 pm |

      Thanks guys, I had fun doing them.

      Being a hockey focused guy I went with that but I think a UW representation of all of the major sports are in order…but I thought I would start with this. I don’t think any of them will ever see a sewing machine any time soon. If they do I think I might have to get one also.


    • Jeff P | September 24, 2010 at 6:08 pm |

      If they were somehow ever manufactured for a reasonable price, I would love one of those. Preferably both.

      But considering how much hockey jerseys can run, not a great chance of that.

      • Brian Pettit | September 24, 2010 at 7:54 pm |

        No. Not a great chance.

        I could see a baseball jersey being made before anything else.


  • Davis Jaye | September 24, 2010 at 9:27 am |

    The Sears curtains being auctioned on eBay shows the Steelers with the logo on both sides of their helmets. Ooops…

  • Steve Winner | September 24, 2010 at 9:31 am |

    Could Bryce Harper be a bigger DB?

    • dwight | September 24, 2010 at 9:54 am |

      No Steve, he could not. The bar has been set.

    • Steve Naismith | September 24, 2010 at 12:32 pm |

      Yes, I bet when he was 15, people would have viewed him as a bigger DB.

      I think people forget that he is only !!!17!!!, and hasn’t yet been polished to act like a 20-or 30-something pro.

      • dwight | September 24, 2010 at 2:34 pm |

        I am assuming you haven’t seen his list of favorite teams Mr. Naismith? nothing to do w/ age or “polish”.

  • Bob | September 24, 2010 at 9:39 am |

    I remember seeing the ’72 Dolphins in some NFL Films shot about 10 years ago wearing teal blazers for a Monday night game that involved a ceremony I can’t remember.

  • interlockingtc | September 24, 2010 at 10:04 am |

    Lots to love….

    (Especially because it’s an ABA reference)…
    Brinke (groggy): “Did they…?” Mom: [Shakes head sadly.}

    The phantom Twins Kraft patch, featuring the best of both worlds: the state outline AND the TC (though it’s a little squished)!

    The Bee Hive hockey photos are overwhelming. Every image is loaded with beauty and heartbreak and wonder. So rich.

    And, of course, I look forward to perusing Mr. McAninch’s The Unseen City.

  • joe | September 24, 2010 at 10:09 am |

    woo hoo, I’m Joe and the winner, that was a great start to my day!

  • Stevie McQuistan | September 24, 2010 at 10:10 am |

    Interesting UniWatch hockey jerseys – but UniWatch would never have the captain’s ‘C’ interfere with the shoulder striping!

    • Terry Proctor | September 24, 2010 at 10:42 am |

      And what, no PURPLE?

    • Jimwa | September 24, 2010 at 10:47 am |

      I actually love the overall look … but … since this all about obsessive study …

      1. The magnifying glass is magnifying incorrectly. The center (as designed) would be showing mostly the background color.

      2. Speaking of background color in the magnifying glass, shouldn’t it be green on the green jersey?

      3. I agree with the “broken” line behind the Captain’s C.

      4. I wish the “7” was in the same font as on the home page, but it could be said I’m just getting picky.

      5. Hard to tell if the hemline is straight (as it should be) or curved like the Edge jerseys … I think you were going for a straight look, so bonus points for you there.

      6. I think those jerseys could be even more perfecter with a lace up collar.

      I’m just sayin’ …

      • Jet | September 24, 2010 at 3:22 pm |

        Great! Let’s do it!


  • Chance Michaels | September 24, 2010 at 10:27 am |

    I’ve never been to a Packers Hall of Fame induction ceremony, but I don’t believe commemorative jackets have ever been a part of the ceremony. Too bad – would be an excellent opportunity to bring back a classic.

    This being brandy-crazed Wisconsin, they do have a slightly different tradition.

  • Terry Proctor | September 24, 2010 at 10:33 am |

    The Cardinals wore the striping pattern like the Tulsa uniform through the 1930s and 1940s. The socks Jerry Reuss is wearing with his Tulsa uniform has the pattern that the Cardinals wore from 1947 (when they went to the all-Red stirrup bottom) until 1951 when they changed to the striping colors like on his 1970s knit uni. Frankly the ’51-on version looks better.

    In 1956, the year the “birds-on-a-bat” took a season off the RedBirds had a Navy-base reversed-stripe sock for the road uniforms.These lasted only one year.

    My Rochester Red Wings, a Cardinal farm club until 1960, wore the ’51-style socks through 1960, then switched to the Navy ’56-style in 1961 when they became a Baltimore affiliate.

  • Wally1912 | September 24, 2010 at 10:37 am |

    Are these new NBA jerseys manufactured offshore?
    I remember hearing last year that the contract with the old Champion plant in NY was terminated so that foreigners could start to produce the authentic uniforms.

    • Terry Proctor | September 24, 2010 at 3:21 pm |

      Liebes, the athletic lettering folks, have become the primary owner of American Classic Outfitters in Perry, NY. The same administrative team is still in charge with many of them former Champion employees. Their web site is Check it out.

  • Terry Proctor | September 24, 2010 at 10:41 am |

    The “Tulsa” sock stripe can be explained easily. Imagine a regular Northwestern striping pattern with a contrasting color stripe in the center of the wide one. Voila! The Cardinals’ pattern dating fulltime to 1934.

  • Matt Lesser | September 24, 2010 at 10:42 am |

    I’ll bet the Angels’ other halo is gold because 50 is the gold anniversary.

    • Mike Engle | September 24, 2010 at 11:01 am |

      The weird part is, I heard that ALL the Angels’ halos were going to turn gold for next season–coincidentally, the golden anniversary season. If that patch is 100% correct, then the silver-to-gold uniform tweak might not happen as I had read.

  • MN | September 24, 2010 at 10:57 am |

    Proof the the Uniwatch Revolution continues to grow! Check out the Hawaii uni discussion half way down th epage.

    • MN | September 24, 2010 at 10:58 am |

      I need more coffee today. is the site.

    • ScottyM | September 24, 2010 at 12:28 pm |

      Ah, a lost beauty.

      Sack up, who cares what others think of your rainbow? They were totally unique and had a clean but snazzy appearance.

      Again, pretty sad when a school with a great, unique identity bows to so-called pressure. And then Glanville rolls in as an assistant and everything goes black…

      Yeah, Hawai’i and black, those go well together, sure.

  • Chance Michaels | September 24, 2010 at 11:03 am |

    Just catching up on what I missed yesterday – that boxing poster photoshop is amazing!

    I love the 60s details – the bad bleed, the inconsistent kerning and especially the little catastrophe.

  • Charles N. | September 24, 2010 at 11:04 am |

    Maybe the discrepancy in the Astros M’s and W’s is a device to prevent the accidental swapping of letters when stitching new nameplates? i.e. Maybe the letters are inconsistent on purpose?

    • Mike Engle | September 24, 2010 at 11:08 am |

      M is rectangular, W is trapezoidal. Unless an equipment manager is careless, clueless, or simply out of one letter or the other, M and W SHOULDN’T be confused.

      • jdreyfuss | September 24, 2010 at 11:40 am |

        And yet it still happens on a regular basis to other teams, so it would still be a good precaution. If you’re reaching quickly for something, it’s better to have an easily recognized difference in color than a relatively minor difference in shape.

        • Chance Michaels | September 24, 2010 at 12:18 pm |

          Couldn’t there be an “easily recognized difference” that didn’t involve making the M look incredibly goofy?

  • JTH | September 24, 2010 at 11:12 am |

    Well, looks like I’m gonna have “Shadrach” in my head all day.

    So I’m out pickin’ pockets at the Atlantic Antic
    And nobody wants to hear you cuz your rhymes are damn frantic

    • JTH | September 24, 2010 at 11:29 am |

      Make that “*CUZ* I’m out pickin’ pockets…”

      • StLMarty | September 24, 2010 at 5:59 pm |

        To all the Swiss girls…

  • frankenslade | September 24, 2010 at 11:15 am |

    I see Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh was interviewed in that old issue of Murtaugh. Now there’s a guy from outside the world of sports who might have some interesting ideas on uniforms!

    • StLMarty | September 24, 2010 at 6:00 pm |

      Are we not men?

      • jdreyfuss | September 24, 2010 at 6:14 pm |

        A: We are Uni Watch!

        • StLMarty | September 24, 2010 at 6:23 pm |


  • LI Phil | September 24, 2010 at 11:20 am |

    from teh ticker:

    “If you check out the game highlights on YouTube, you’ll see the ‘fans’ looked surprisingly real”



    • jdreyfuss | September 24, 2010 at 11:42 am |

      Not in the least. They looked like the CGI crowds in Yankee Stadium from The Bronx is Burning.

    • StLMarty | September 24, 2010 at 6:00 pm |

      They look like real fans. It just so happens that it’s a photo of real fans.

  • KT | September 24, 2010 at 11:25 am |

    High school officials have been permitted this year to wear the NFL-style black pants with the stripe. The silly part is that a crew in a game I broadcasted in week two here in Arizona (107 at kickoff) wore them. Come ON.

    And the UFL’s officials don’t have the Tiger Woods on Sunday look this year, but they still have slacks and sneakers and still look ridiculous.

  • Nangodi Phobian | September 24, 2010 at 11:28 am |

    I’ve got a orange 22 Gator jersey, nothing fancy just whatever Nike put out on the rack for the 100 year anniversary of UF football, and want to get JL Williams put on the back in a standard white NOB font. I live in Tampa and was trying to find a local shop that could do the work but couldn’t even figure out the keywords to put in my browser. How do you find shops that will sew NOB letters on a jersey?

    • JTH | September 24, 2010 at 11:32 am |
      • Nangodi Phobian | September 24, 2010 at 1:55 pm |


    • KT | September 24, 2010 at 12:04 pm |

      John L. Williams? From Palatka?

      I was at his draft day party back in….1986? I actually have two game-worn Gator jerseys from 1984, one white and one orange, neither of which fit.

      • Nangodi Phobian | September 24, 2010 at 1:54 pm |

        I’m from Palatka so a fond childhood memory of mine was watching him and Jarvis win a state championship for the Panthers in 1982. When I saw the blank 22 jersey I knew exactly what I must do to it.

    • Chris from Carver | September 24, 2010 at 12:39 pm |

      Or even just a place that does alterations might do the work.

  • jh | September 24, 2010 at 11:31 am |

    the Astros M and W are not inconsistent. The angles of the W are more obtuse and allow for the outline to be in place whereas the angles of the M are more acute and allow for a such a small space, that if the black outline were present, it would infringe on the consistent space of the gold.

    • Stevie McQuistan | September 24, 2010 at 12:22 pm |

      Probably true – in which case it is a horrible font design.

      Of course, a horrible uniform design should have a horrible font design to match – and I’m an Astros fan!

      • Andy | September 24, 2010 at 2:24 pm |

        It’s not that horrible a font design. I can’t believe not one person has brought up the fact that WE DON’T NEED MULTIPLE OUTLINES ON EVERYTHING IN SPORTS! Problem solved.

        • Jet | September 24, 2010 at 3:30 pm |


  • Charles N. | September 24, 2010 at 11:33 am |

    By the way – thanks for the link to The Unseen City. I love that stuff. Old stuff and history definitely strike a nerve in me. (in a good way) Cheers.

  • SWC Susan "aka Tex" | September 24, 2010 at 12:01 pm |

    Teebz was in Houston………..??????????????? Damn, would have loved to meet up!

    • JTH | September 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm |

      He might still be there. He’s been posting a travel journal (of sorts) over on the HBIC.

      • Teebz | September 24, 2010 at 9:14 pm |

        Sorry, Susan!

        I would have loved to have met up as well, but the conference and all the extras really ate up my time. I’m getting a big photo gallery ready for Paul next week about one of the events I attended, but let me say this:

        – I know I’m Canadian because the heat and humidity made it feel like a sauna every single day.
        – Houston is a beautiful city.
        – The people are die-hard sports fans. One gentleman in Section 109 at the Astros game had regular updates on a whiteboard from the Texans-Colts season opener.
        – San Antonio, Dallas, and Galveston are not to be missed if anyone is heading to the great state of Texas.

        Loved my time down there, and I really want to go back to actually watch a hockey game in any of the big three cities, but Houston was fabulous!

  • Austin | September 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
    • StLMarty | September 24, 2010 at 6:09 pm |

      I don’t like the shape of it, but the pattern is better.

  • Frank from B-more | September 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm |

    Wizards are going back to Red, White and blue in 2011-2012. Great news for the 700 wizards fans left.

    • concealed78 | September 24, 2010 at 1:02 pm |

      Yeah I saw that in the Trib today, tho it was reported on here yesterday in the comments. I think the real reason they changed the name is because I think were at or near the bottom in merchandise sales at the time, but used that lame P.C. excuse. The black, bronze and slate blue never looked good & was too dark & dreary. It just never worked for a D.C. team.

      • JTH | September 24, 2010 at 2:06 pm |

        That color scheme never worked for two DC teams.

        • Jeff P | September 24, 2010 at 6:16 pm |

          I believe the “a” was used in the sense of “any”. The statement would include the cap’s abortions of a color scheme.

          The capitol dome logo wasn’t bad though.

  • John English | September 24, 2010 at 12:42 pm |

    Hmm! This Week in Baseball used to use a shot of a team patch like those Kraft ones to intro a segment on a certain team. Anyone remember that?

  • Steve | September 24, 2010 at 12:43 pm |

    Murtaugh was killer, especially the Batty comics. Hey Paul — any chance you could post more Murtaugh scans?

    Tony Millionaire drew me a custom Batty at a book signing last year:

    • Paul Lukas | September 24, 2010 at 1:10 pm |

      Oooh, love that custom Batty — I’m jealous.

      If I have time, I’ll dig out my old copies of Murtaugh and scan them. It was a pretty brilliant zine.

  • jim greenfield | September 24, 2010 at 1:19 pm |

    Does anything say more about the direction of MLB than the now universal use of name patches? I know the Cardinals sewed on individual letters for a long time. Does any team now?

  • James Craven | September 24, 2010 at 1:30 pm |

    You know, if you’re gonna promote restoring baseball and softball fields in the Cleveland/Akron area, do you think you’ve gone too far with a divisional rival by cribbing off their 1976-1990 logo?

  • J Brent | September 24, 2010 at 2:17 pm |

    Looking at’s front page, I noticed that Wyoming’s players wear brown socks with white/black cleats… I’m not fashionable at all, but I’ve heard that you should never wear brown with black, and it looks pretty bad with cleats too…

    • LI Phil | September 24, 2010 at 2:32 pm |

      thank you j brent

      now try telling that to jim wilk

      • Jim Wilk...uh, Vilk | September 24, 2010 at 7:47 pm |

        There you go, look for backup from a guy who says he’s not fashionable at all. You’re reaching, Philip. ;)

        If only someone more fashionable could come along and tell us that that’s a long perpetuated myth. Then would you take my side?

        • LI Phil | September 24, 2010 at 8:15 pm |

          i don’t need anyone to tell me what looks right, colorwise…but if you want to wear brown socks with your black sneakers, you be my guest

          of course, you probably think this looks good too

          and guess what…this doesn’t look good either

        • Jim Vilk | September 24, 2010 at 9:27 pm |

          I like the red socks, but even I don’t wear those combos.

          Again, though, you’re mixing business/golf fashion with real sports attire. The rules aren’t interchangeable.

        • LI Phil | September 24, 2010 at 10:10 pm |

          the rules of taste apply

          you don’t mix brown and black

        • Jim Vilk | September 24, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
        • Jim Vilk | September 24, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
        • LI Phil | September 24, 2010 at 10:26 pm |

          oh silly me…

          when the experts explain it to me like this:

          “tell Mr. Biggety to limit his attire to an a-hole friendly shade like brown”

          i’ll be certain to take that advice seriously

    • Andy | September 24, 2010 at 2:34 pm |

      That’s a long-perpetuated myth. Brown and black actually complement each other quite well. Much better than black and navy, in my opinion, but black shoes have been traditionally worn with navy suits in this country for decades.

      That said, I think brown shoes with a black suit looks much better than black shoes with a brown suit.

      • JTH | September 24, 2010 at 2:58 pm |

        I’m wearing a black shirt with brown buttons right now.

        Last night, I wore a black shirt with brown and gray plaid shorts. And I looked damn good doing it.

        • StLMarty | September 24, 2010 at 6:24 pm |

          I’m shirtless.

      • LI Phil | September 24, 2010 at 2:59 pm |

        well, seeing as brown suits really haven’t been fashionable since the reagan admin…(unless you’re talking about tan or dark tan — that’s different) but brown, like chocolate brown? yeah…no

        and i assume by black you’re describing a striped or patterned suit (or perhaps a dark gray)? because im not sure a *black suit* has ever been appropriate for anything besides a funeral


        • JTH | September 24, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
        • Mike Engle | September 24, 2010 at 4:46 pm |

          Black suits are fine, thank you very much.

        • Jeff P | September 24, 2010 at 6:23 pm |

          Black has been experiencing a bit of a renaissance recently for suits. Traditionalists may hate it, saying it’s too dark and formal, but with as dark as some navies and charcoals have gotten, that’s a pile of bull.

          The slim black suit is pretty hip these days.

          In terms of brown, I think it’s suffered more from it’s reputation as a ‘country’ color that shouldn’t be worn in the city, an old ‘rule’ that goes back to the time when cities were smothered in soot, which grays didn’t show as much as earthtones did, then any fallout due to Reagan. Reagan made it acceptable for a while when he was willing to buck the rules in favor of what was, prior to the industrial revolution, a perfectly acceptable suit color.

        • concealed78 | September 24, 2010 at 6:43 pm |

          Why can’t I get a car in brown? **makes sad face**

        • JTH | September 24, 2010 at 11:49 pm |

          Brown car? How does teak brown metallic sound? What about sunset bronze mica? Does midnight mocha metallic do anything for ya?

        • concealed78 | September 25, 2010 at 12:41 pm |

          Wow, nice! I didn’t know they actually had brown as an option. I haven’t shopped for cars in a long, long time. Someday I’ll be the only guy on the road with a custom painted ’02 brown Camry! (and my previous sentiment was based on a joke I heard somewhere. Sure wish they’d get all those ugly-ass teal cars off the road).

  • AndyP | September 24, 2010 at 2:44 pm |

    The Cowboys do Ring of Honor blazers.

  • Jeremy | September 24, 2010 at 2:49 pm |

    We’ve heard of blood clot unis, but how about blood splatter?

  • Andrew Harris | September 24, 2010 at 3:38 pm |

    The Angels’ 50th Anniversary patch illustrates one nit-picky element: are they celebrating 50 years (1961-2011) or 50 Seasons.

    While the 2011-1961=50 is mathematically unassailable, this year would have been the Angel’s 50th SEASON, not next.

    It was for this reason that the Mets, born in 1962, celebrated their 25th Season in 1986, not 1987. Come to think of it, their 50th season will be 2011.

    After seeing the inaugeral Citi Field patch, one shudders to think of what’s to come.

    • Paul Lukas | September 24, 2010 at 4:18 pm |

      Some teams celebrate their 50th (or 10th, or 25th, or whatever) anniversary; some teams do their 50th season. I prefer the anniversary approach, but the main thing is to label it correctly. In other words, don’t call it your 50th anniversary if it’s your 50th season (which is actually your 49th anniversary).

      • Peter Wunsch | September 24, 2010 at 4:32 pm |

        The NY Rangers 85 th season logo in center ice would be beautiful except that it take sup all of center ice. Except for the ads on the ice and the ads on the boards.

  • jude | September 24, 2010 at 3:59 pm |

    First, a big thanks to Paul for publishing what is my first ticker submission.

    Some other observations from yesterday’s Nats-Astros game:
    Nationals starting pitcher Ross Detwiler is a left-handed pitcher, but a [url=]right handed batter[/url].

    The Astros’ Jason Bourgeois took his first at-bat with [url=]his back pocket inside out[/url].

    The Nationals’ Michael Morse wore a [url=] red thermal sleeve to match the team’s red alternate uniforms.[/url]

    The Astros’ Hunter Pence had [url=]three buttons undone[/url] last night. The shot also shows off his thermal sleeve.

    • LI Phil | September 24, 2010 at 5:18 pm |

      here…lemme fix that for ya

      Some other observations from yesterday’s Nats-Astros game:
      Nationals starting pitcher Ross Detwiler is a left-handed pitcher, but a right handed batter.

      The Astros’ Jason Bourgeois took his first at-bat with his back pocket inside out.

      The Nationals’ Michael Morse wore a red thermal sleeve to match the team’s red alternate uniforms.

      The Astros’ Hunter Pence had three buttons undone last night. The shot also shows off his thermal sleeve.

      • jude | September 24, 2010 at 11:27 pm |

        Ya. Thanks. What code do I have to use? I can’t keep it straight, obviously.

        • LI Phil | September 24, 2010 at 11:59 pm |

          use HTML

          (you’re linking a URL not an image)

  • Gusto44 | September 24, 2010 at 5:03 pm |

    Enjoyed the article about Danny Murtaugh and the 1973 Clemente patch. The photos of Murtaugh do give the appearance of a laidback, grandfatherly type of manager. In that era of elite managers, Murtaugh certainly lacked the colorful personality we tend to remember decades later. He is one of those sports figures we seem to appreciate in the context of history. A good player comparison is Jim Bunning, who gained support and recognition over the years before his HOF induction.

    Murtaugh’s overall numbers and possible additional championships are held down by his sporadic tenure as manager, health issues resulted in three different stints at the helm. Murtaugh died at 59, but looked much older, as those photos will attest. I used to share the perception he was just a good manger, but when you objectively look at his career record, it’s difficult to suggest Murtaugh isn’t worthy of Cooperstown.

    His winning percentage is superior to eight managers already in the Hall, and Murtaugh’s postseason frequency is also better than several of the HOF managers in his era. He also won more world titles than Bobby Cox, and should receive additional credit for how those titles were won. The 1960 and 1971 Pirates were substantial underdogs, but Murtaugh found a way to beat HOF managers Casey Stengal and Earl Weaver. Among the current 18 HOF managers, it’s tough to find any who led their teams to multiple titles in this manner. Murtaugh played a key role in the turnaround of the Pirates leading up to 1960, along with the success of the 1970s which continued after his death.

    Lastly, 24 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in MLB, Murtaugh deserves credit for fielding the first all minority lineup for a 1971 game.

  • LarryB | September 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
    • Gusto44 | September 24, 2010 at 6:05 pm |

      Yes, that was a major find in the world of archival video/film. Someday, it would be great if ESPN made a movie based on that Game 7, it was a remarkable game and series, aside from the classic ending. The MLB Network special will be shown in December.

      • BurghFan | September 24, 2010 at 6:26 pm |

        The DVD of game 7 will supposedly be available after MLB airs it. Also, it looks like the 1971 World Series will be available soon.

        • Gusto44 | September 24, 2010 at 6:51 pm |

          That would be tremendous news, I think Amazon has had that notice up for some time. It’s my understanding a couple of those ’71 WS games were lost, but it sounds like they have been recovered and restored.

          Those 1971 Orioles were not only the defending world champions, but won the AL East by a dozen games that season. Baltimore entered the ’71 WS as the hottest team in baseball, winners of 14 in a row, including a three game sweep of Oakland in the playoffs. Of course, that O’s team had something that will likely never be duplicated – four 20 game winners. The O’s jumped out to a 2-0 lead in that series, including a blowout win in game two, so few people gave the Pirates a chance at that point. Fortunately, #21 came to the rescue.

        • BurghFan | September 24, 2010 at 6:56 pm |

          If Amazon’s had that up for some time, I apologize. Yesterday’s the first time I saw it, and I do know that games 6 and 7 appeared on some classic channel at some point.

        • LI Phil | September 24, 2010 at 7:05 pm |

          i think the 71 series games has been up a while

          im pretty sure the 60 game 7 news just surfaced like…yesterday

        • Gusto44 | September 24, 2010 at 7:18 pm |

          No apology necessary, I think Amazon just likes to put those notices out early while the dvd is being prepared.

  • StLMarty | September 24, 2010 at 6:16 pm |

    It’s interesting that Jerry Rice wore jackets from two different HoF’s. I noticed he wore a tie from the Shit Hall of Fame with both ensembles.

  • PatrickinMI | September 24, 2010 at 6:18 pm |

    Is it true the NFL no longer sells patches? I was looking for a Vikings 50th but according to this page the No Fun League no longer allows patches to be sold.

    • Gusto44 | September 24, 2010 at 8:53 pm |

      You may want to check Ebay for your Vikings patch.

  • StLMarty | September 24, 2010 at 6:21 pm |

    So that’s Murtaugh reading the Playboy at the beginning of the “LSD No No”.

  • =bg= | September 24, 2010 at 6:29 pm |

    I know the Cowboys are all-white uni’s this year- thought this had never occurred before- but..

  • johnj | September 24, 2010 at 8:24 pm |

    Am I the only one noticing that the helmet stripe on the inflatable 49ers helmet behind jerry rice has the wrong colors… the 49ers dont have black stripes anymore!

  • Jake | September 24, 2010 at 9:05 pm |
  • Ricko | September 24, 2010 at 10:08 pm |

    Now THESE would make an MLB team look like softball players.
    Nice subtle logo creep, huh.


    • LI Phil | September 24, 2010 at 10:16 pm |

      why would you name your product “toxic”


      • Ricko | September 24, 2010 at 10:33 pm |

        Cuz in their hearts they do really understand how ugly those pants are?

  • Bad2Worse | September 24, 2010 at 11:21 pm |

    How the hell does the NBA get away with producing what is arguably the ugliest unveiling of those hideous “new” pinhole uniforms and no one has issue with it. Come on bloggers wake up and rip those NBA marketing mavens for fucking this up royally…

  • Bad2Worse | September 24, 2010 at 11:28 pm |

    The NBA has a new exciting and unique innovation they unveiled on Thursday… it’s the ugly tattoo coverupper… This great new orange compression body suit covers up all those hideous, stupid, awful green tattoos on 90% of NBA players… Now that’s it a novel concept and all you missed it. It’s FANNNNNNTASTIC.

  • Jim Vilk | September 24, 2010 at 11:39 pm |

    Along with the 21 patch, the Pirates had another tribute that lasted for years. When the gates opened at 3 Rivers, you’d walk in and the scoreboard would always have 21 in the at-bat section until the game started:
    Don’t know if they do that at PNC Park or not. I usually get there right at game time anymore.