The sports media world, Uni Watch included, doesn’t pay much attention to women’s sports. And that was even more true in 1974, when Billie Jean King helped launch womenSports magazine (which was later renamed Women’s Sports; you can read about its history here). I don’t think I’ve ever seen an issue of the magazine, but I can appreciate that it was an important undertaking 35 years ago. And now an anonymous reader has sent me a bunch of uni-notable photos culled from the magazine’s pages. Let’s take a look:
• We often talk about how basketball shorts used to have belts. The same was apparently true for softball shorts.
• Something else softball used to have: satin uniforms for night games.
• Speaking of softball, there’s a lot to like in this shot. I’m particularly intrigued by the wearing of white stirrups over white sannies — seems counterintuitive, but apparently it wasn’t unheard of. Still, why not just wear tube socks?
• I was already thinking “That’s a great uniform” before I noticed that the two-digit uni numbers are spaced waaaaay far apart at the bottom of the jersey. Very odd.
• Did you know ABC Sports had its own brand of sports socks? I sure didn’t. (This one obviously had nothing to do with women, but the ad ran in the magazine.)
• Untucked basketball jerseys were a very modern, forward-looking style in the 1970s, so it’s a little jarring to see one of those newfangled jerseys with such old-style typography. Not a good match.
• I really like the logo in this basketball camp ad.
• Speaking of logos, the old Women’s Basketball Association had a good one.
• Then there was the WBL — the Women’s Pro Basketball League — which featured the unfortunately named Chicago Hustle. Note how the side trim wraps around the small, rounded armhole and then goes up the shoulder — nice.
• This shot shows a female Little League pitcher who got to hang out in the Mets’ dugout in 1977. Note to the Wilpons: Look which color she isn’t wearing.
• Good one to go out on: If Sports Illustrated gets to devote one issue per year to chicks in bikinis, it figures that Women’s Sports had some fun with that same concept. I doubt they would have put Wilt on the cover if they’d known about the “20,000 women” claim, but that was still six years away at the time of this issue’s publication.
Oh, and that button at the top of the page? I didn’t run that to be snarky or anything like that. Like everything else here, it ran in womenSports.
(Want to see some earlier pics of female athletes? Look here.)
Uni Watch News Ticker: Here’s one of the most unusual eBay finds I’ve come across: a long roll of (wrapping?) paper featuring the Campbell Kids celebrating 50 years of pro football. The listing is riddled with typos, and the seller apparently doesn’t even realize that the characters are the Campbell Kids, but whatever — great illustrations, plus it’s rare to see the AFL and NFL logos being used together on the same product. And hey, they’re playing color vs. color! Super-cool item, although I must say that I’ve always found the Campbell Kids just a little bit creepy. ”¦ Here’s an unusually brazen bit of logo thievery: Edgewater High School in Orlando, Florida, has put the Philly Eagles’ wordmark on their basketball court (with thanks to Jon Solomonson). ”¦ Notre Dame, which usually goes NNOB, has added NOBs for the Sun Bowl (with thanks to P.J. Mallardi). ”¦ Can anyone identify this font? “It is a banana box from my family’s business,” explains Morris Levin. ”¦ A few days ago I ran a photo of this vintage jersey I recently won on eBay. It turns out Rachel Askin has another version of the same exact jersey. “My dad wore it while playing in an adult softball league in Philadelphia, probably in the late ’70s,” she says. “The team was formed by my uncle and his friends. They were economists, so they named their team the Invisible Hands, after Adam Smith’s famous phrase.” ”¦ Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Corey Wimberly, the Great Hosiery Hope, has been traded to the Pirates. ”¦ How did Ricky Williams’s nose bumper decal end up over there? (Big thanks to Make Mameli.) ”¦ Temple student Jeff McDevitt has made an excellent little video report about the school’s inconsistent shades of red. Highly recommended. ”¦ Antoine Winfield has been fined $10,000 for his all-white socks the other night. Oh, and another $7500 for a helmet-to-head hit. I’m glad the league has its priorities straight (and I’m not sure if I mean that literally or sarcastically). … Jake Doyle sent in another one of his great photo bundles, including shots of a Bruin in yellow pants; some awesome sweaters; a Chicago Cougars goalie with a killer mask design; the 1979 WHA all-star jersey, as worn by Gordie and Gretz; and a group portrait of the 1963 All-Americans, with eye-popping colors. ”¦ Latest minor league hockey team with a kitchsy holiday-themed jersey: the Law Vegas Wranglers. But I think their jersey is sort of brilliant, or at least pretty clever (with thanks to Adam Ramanan). ”¦ Here we have what must surely be the most National League Golden Jubilee jersey patches ever lined up for one photo (big thanks to BSmile). ”¦ Not uni-related, but a sort of scary DIY project: Matt Bellner drank enough 5-Hour Energy to fill an ocean and turned all the empty bottles into a homemade Christmas tree. “The people at 5-Hour Energy stumbled across the clip and they’re sending me a year’s supply to share with my baseball team,” he says. ”¦ Dan Bly spotted something weird: Looks like Freddie Dean got an aftermarket first initial in 1982. At first I thought, “Oh, they must have acquired a second Dean midway through the season and then they added the initial to Fred Dean’s NOB.” But the other Dean in question was actually rookie Vernon Dean, who was a second-round draft choice and a starter, so was presumably was with the team all season long. So now I’m thinking maybe Fred Dean was using a jersey carried over from the previous season, or else they just forgot to give him an initial, realized their mistake, and added it after the fact.
Holiday schedule: Phil is taking a well-earned break this weekend, so I’ll be in tomorrow with the list of reader-appreciation giveaway winners. Not sure what I’ll have for Sunday — maybe a full-fledged entry, maybe just a quick hello. Either way, comments will be open for both days.
Incidentally, I’ll be on the radio tomorrow, partying in the WFMU booth during my friend Rex’s holiday-themed “Fool’s Paradise” show from 1-3pm Eastern. (Lots of other good people will be on hand as well, including Jon and Karen of Grade “A” Fancy.) Dealing with your relatives will probably have you wanting to
slit your wrists lock yourself in the bathroom by then anyway, so take your laptop with you to the john and tune in here.