Another week, another batch of old wire photos. This set was submitted by Mike Hersh, Bruce Menard, Paul Wiederecht, Jake Doyle, Jeff Wilk, BSmile, and Brady Phelps.
Here we go:
• Man, Joe McCarthy sure liked his long sleeves.
• There’s something really disturbing about seeing circus elephants in baseball gear.
• Who’s that in the stirrups and wings? None other than Billy Martin, showing that he’s “really an angel” underneath the scrappy bluster. The caption describes this as “a pregame stunt” from 1953.
• Here’s yet another uniform once worn by Babe Ruth. Totally digging that bulging “Universal,” even though it does the Babe’s midsection no favors.
• And yet another Babe uni. Seriously, I’m starting to think this could be a great project: Compile all the Babe’s uniforms!
• What’s going on here? That’s the 1937 All-Star Game, and the players are scrambling to catch the first pitch, which was tossed out by FDR. If you look carefully just left of dead-center, in the background you can see a player wearing the Reds’ 1937 alternate jersey — the one with the script. Never seen a photo of that before.
• Did these Yankees coaches just shoot down a Red Sox fighter pilot? Nope — that’s an early pitching machine, and that photo is part of a big batch of pitching machine photos. Take a few minutes to click through the whole lot — priceless stuff, and highly recommended.
• Who’s this? It’s actually Red Grange, in a rare baseball shot.
• The six-day race referred to in the caption of this photo was a cycling race. The guy getting bandaged up, Joe Kopsky, had been an Olympic cyclist in the 1912 games. I especially love the guy on the right, who looks like a classic street-corner weasel/hustler/etc.
• We all know that a few MLB teams experimented with satin uniforms for night games back in the day. But until now, I didn’t know that the satins had also been worn in the minors. That’s Robbie, natch.
• I think we may have seen this photo before, but with Sparky Anderson’s recent passing, it’s worth checking out this shot of him wearing the 1976 National League all-star BP cap.
• Not a uni shot per se, but I love this photo of Double X outside his steakhouse. Reserve me a table, Jimmie!
• Here’s a weird one: The five shots shown below supposedly show “1978 players donning baggy flannel knickers.” I’m pretty sure the blonde infielder is Buddy Bell, but I can’t identify the other players. More to the point, I have no idea why they would have been wearing old woolen flannels. Anyone know more? (Update: Early comments indicate that the infielder alongside Buddy Bell is Duane Kuiper, the guy in the Reds jersey is Fritz Peterson, and the guy in the last photo is Rick Manning. Still doesn’t explain what they were up to in the old flannels, though.)
Collector’s Corner, by Brinke Guthrie
The holiday shopping season is approaching (plus my birthday next Tuesday). Since virtually 100% of what I like comes from eBay, we start shopping early around here to allow for the mail, slow shippers, etc. I know for a fact Santa already has me down for half a dozen SF Giants bobbles — heck, I picked ’em out (with the approval of our Chief Financial Officer, aka Mrs. Brinke).
And what might you be asking Santa for? Maybe something listed here:
• You cannot tell me this bobble looks like the Say Hey Kid. You just can’t.
• Sticking with the Giants, here’s an old pennant from their New York days.
• It’s not every day you can find an ABA program whose cover looks like it was drawn by a sixth-grader.
• Here’s an absolutely fantastic set of 1970s Mini-Baseball kits.
• Sammy Sabre? Never heard of that mascot before. [Me neither. — PL]
• This ad for official NFL blazers looks like they used nothing but TV news anchors for models.
• And here’s one from Paul: a set of ball-shaped name patches.
Seen something on eBay that you think would make good Collector’s Corner fodder? Send your submissions here.
Sweater Update: Yesterday I asked if anyone knew where to find knitting patterns for those old-style dugout cardigans. Uni Watch arts + crafts editor Amy Fritch poked around a bit and found this downloadable pattern — not bad. “I guess you’d have to alter it by putting a button up further on the collar,” says Amy.
Then there’s this collection of patterns. Click on the thumbnails fourth down on the left and second down on the right — there’s some potential there, no? Of couse, I’m gaga over the one at top-left. (And as some of you may already be thinking, most of these would function well as curling sweaters too.)
Finally, while dugout sweater reproductions aren’t available from Mitchell & Ness or Ebbets Field Flannels, there is a company out there offering them: J. Peterman. Who’da thunk?
Unsolicited Endorsement: I just got myself a new pair of glasses from a mail-order operation called Classic Specs, and the experience absolutely could not have been nicer. Their frames are super-inexpensive, their service is extraordinary (free shipping, 30-day return policy with free return shipping), and my frames showed up with a free tote bag to boot. Plus the guys who run the company are super-duper nice — seriously, you don’t often find this combination of value, professionalism, and graciousness.
They don’t have a huge selection of designs, but hey, you only need to like one of them. If you like anything you see on the Classic Specs site, I strongly, strongly recommend them.
ESPN reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, my annual college hoops season-preview column is available for your enjoyment.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Yesterday I linked to this photo of Hank Greenberg in a Yankees uniform. Now Gordie Fall has provided some background context: “As the story goes in Detroit, Greenberg and the Tigers were in a salary dispute when that picture was shown to Tigers management. Owner Walter Briggs was so incensed, he sold Greenberg to Pittsburgh partially due to his disloyalty to the Tigers. As it turns out, the picture was from a wartime benefit game several years earlier [as discussed on this page — PL]. And speaking of Greenberg and the war: In honor of his wartime service, his statue at Comerica Park features the shield sleeve patch that the Tigers wore during WWII.” ”¦ A Mississippi high school placekicker has been booted from his team for wearing pink cleats — in a practice (thanks, Brinke). ”¦ Clinton Portis raised a stir the other day by wearing a Phillies cap (with thanks to Justin Kerr). ”¦ Someone out there apparently thinks that the Asheville Tourists’ new moon/sparerib logo is a Will Farrell reference (with thanks to Dave Levy). ”¦ Yankee Stadium is ready for its gridiron close-up. ”¦ So is Wrigley. ”¦ Marty Hick‘s wife, Holly, just turned 34, which gave Marty the chance to make what he calls “the cake of my dreams.” That’s Holly’s dad — Marty’s father-in-law — in the photo at right. “He’s a native Chicagoan and loves old-school uniforms,” says Marty. “He’s only 58, while my dad is 77, but I guess dads dress alike, no matter their age.” ”¦ You know what really bugs Joshua Briscoe? That the on-field graphics on the NFL Network sometimes use small caps and at other times are upper/lower, that’s what. ”¦ What’s this? It’s some sort of experimental radio/speaker setup in Joe Willie’s helmet, but even the the folks at Helmet Hut haven’t been able to figure out the full story behind it. Complete details here (big thanks to Bill Kellick). … Fascinating article about retired football numbers at Michigan (big thanks to Russell Yurk).
Teevee news: About half a year ago I was interviewed for an NFL Films segment on the “10 Greatest Uniforms Ever,” or something like that (I honestly don’t recall all the details). I’ve just been told that the segment is about to start airing on the NFL Network, as follows (all times eastern): tonight at 8pm and 1am, tomorrow at 12:30pm, and Tuesday at 1pm.