One last batch of wire service pics before the calendar runs out, including some instant classics. All of these were submitted by Mako Mameli, except for the last four, which came from Mike Hersh and Paul Wiederecht. Dig:
• Coolest baseball jacket ever? I vote for yes.
• This jacket isn’t bad either, although I have no idea what the “thing” is referring to. Anyone..?
• What’s going on here? According to the caption, this is “a 1963 photo of Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jack Baldschun being taught how to use the shoulder wheel, a new training tool, by trainer Joe Liscio.”
• Double facemask — and the lower one is upside-down! When I showed it to Helmet Hut guru Curtis Worrell, he immediately shot back, “That’s great — a DG140 mask with a DG110 chaser! Love it.”
• Look at the size of the cuff on that undersleeve. Massive! Also, note the World’s Fair sleeve patch with the circle-R trademark symbol. This was, I believe, the first such symbol ever to appear on a major-level sports uniform.
• Now that there’s some odd letter spacing. That’s Hobe Ferris, who was playing in an old-timers’ game on June 11, 1933.
• Hey, Don Drysdale, how many consecutive scoreless innings did you toss? Oh, right — that many. According to the caption, he’s holding “a specially made fleece warm-up from Russell Athletic.”
• This gizmo was supposed to take the place of live BP pitchers — thereby eliminating sore arms and saving time — way back in 1942. Nearly 70 years later, humans still pitch BP.
• Here’s Tug McGraw posing with some buttons from his fan club in 1969. They say, “Lefties are better than righties.”
• Here’s one of the less memorable jerseys worn by the Great One over the years.
• In To Kill a Mockingbird, there’s a passage where Scout tries to cheer up Jem by telling him he looks like Dixie Howell. But who was Dixie Howell anyway? This guy. That shot was taken on a movie set, as explained in this caption. (For more on Howell, look here.)
• Two years ago I did an entry on the Phillips 66ers (which is no longer particularly useful, because Google changed all the URLs on the Life archive photos I had linked to). Here’s a really good look at one of their jerseys.
• I remember this photo: After Bud Harrelson’s fight with Pete Rose in the 1973 playoffs, Buddy wore this T-shirt.
• And now a few color shots, beginning with Bum Phillips wearing a plastic rain guard on his cowboy hat.
• Yeah, nothing says football — or at least Canadian football — like neckties. Something tells me that illo was repurposed from a department store Father’s Day ad.
• Who’s the short guy, third from the right with the mismatched socks? I’m not gonna give you the answer until later in this entry, but see if you can guess.
• Check out this oddly vented hockey helmet. The photo’s from 1968, and the caption reads as follows: “Few hockey players wear helmets, giving excess weight as one of the reasons. But this helmet, similar to one worn by Red Berenson of the St. Louis Blues, tips the scales at only 10 ounces.”
• Making goalie masks is apparently a lot more fun than plumbing.
• Pretty cool jersey insignia for the 1966 Lodi Crushers.
As for the mystery hockey player, give yourself a pat on the back if you recognized him as Yogi Berra. There’s no caption, unfortunately, so I don’t know the circumstances of the shot.
Membership updates: Several developments on the membership front. One at a time:
• After endless back-and-forths with Amazon’s customer-service team, I think we’ve finally solved the problems with my Amazon Payments account. But the only way to know for sure is for some intrepid souls to sign up. If you’ve been meaning to enroll, I’d take it as a personal favor if you’d do so today — I really want to see if the new payment mechanism works. And if you try and it doesn’t work, send me an e-mail pronto (and then remove all sharp objects from my immediate vicinity). … Update: I’ve now received a successful payment, so we’re apparently back in business. Whoo-hoo!
• The membership card gallery is completely up to date and now features all our recent enrollees. That includes Michael J. Volkovitsch’s card (shown above), whose design is based on the Cubs’ old protocol of inscribing a player’s uni number on the front of his helmet — a brilliant request that Scott Turner and I were happy to accommodate.
• Scott and I spent a lot of time exploring various design options for the 1000th member’s card. After kicking the idea around for about two weeks, we’ve finally arrived at something we’re happy with — take a look. If that doesn’t say “special one-time-only,” nothing does.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Back on 9/11, Air Force wore flag-themed lightning bolt helmet decals. A month later, against Navy, they wore those awesome Thunderbird uniforms. That set the stage for the mix-and-match maneuver they pulled for the Independence Bowl last night, as they went with Thunderbird jerseys and pants and the 9/11 helmet, plus they added Thunderbird stripes to the helmet. I’m not usually a fan of the Garanimals approach, but they looked pretty damn sharp last night. ”¦ Lots of weather worries for the Winter Classic. ”¦ Sunday’s Ticker included a note about Donovan McNabb wearing baseball cleats repurposed into football cleats. That prompted the following note from Lou DeGeorge: “Six years ago I worked as a detailer at a car dealership in South Jersey and McNabb brought his Hummer there for service, after which we cleaned it inside and out as a courtesy. When I was vacuuming the back seat, I saw a box of Reebok basketball shoes with a note stapled to it from a Reebok executive. It said that if McNabb tried the shoes out and liked them, Reebok would specially make them into football cleats for him to wear in the playoffs. A little photo research has shown that the shoes he wore in those playoffs were the same ones he wore during the regular season, so he must not have taken Reebok up on the offer.” ”¦ Ed Reed’s sideline jacket caught fire on Sunday. ”¦ Interesting piece about the Big 10 logo controversy. ”¦ Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: When the Falcons and Seahawks played each other two Sundays ago, Barbara Babineaux — mother of Falcons player Jonathan Babineaux and Seahawks player Jordan Babineaux — wore a Franken-jersey. ”¦ Also from yesterday: Good team-by-team rundown of NBA court designs. ”¦ Can’t decide if this ad is kinda cute or kinda creepy. It comes from this catalog, which Mike Hersh and I both neglected to bid on during the holiday rush. ”¦ An article I’m not supposed to link to indicates that the Broncos will be going back to orange as their primary home color for 2012. ”¦ Interesting bit about Santonio Holmes’s long undersleeves in paragraph “1(b)” (with thanks to Jim Maino). ”¦ Jason Higgins bought his young nephew a replica Mariners jersey for Christmas. “It was $12.99, marked down from $49.99, and that’s the kind of deal you embrace when the kid is going to grow out of it anyway, right?” he says. “I’ll admit to not paying full attention, because I was keeping an eye on my daughter, so it wasn’t until my nephew pulled out the jersey that I noticed it had an upside-down logo. Aaaaargh — it was all I could do not to point and grown. Luckily he is 11 and he didn’t notice, but I’ll always remember this as the Christmas we gave him the jersey with the upside-down logo.” ”¦ Dan Wunderlich reports that Florida freshman QB Trey Burton got a customized Gators jersey hoodie from his family for Christmas. ”¦ Scroll down to see the unusual clover-leaf uni number on this St. Paddy’s Day jersey (good find by Mike Hersh). ”¦ Here’s a quote I never thought I’d be reading: “It’s my Under Armour yarmulke.” It’s from a really good article about the growing popularity of football in Israel. ”¦ Michael Orr has provided his latest weekly rundown of EPL kits. ”¦ Life imitates