Uni Watch Profiles: Steve Sale

Steve A's 2.JPG

Back in November I got the following note from double-knit uni expert Bill Henderson:

I’ve come across someone you must meet. He’s a fellow who recently bought my jersey guide and then started sending me comments and corrections. He has tons of detail and lots of photos to back up his comments. I was intrigued, so I wrote back to him. Turns out he was the local uniform lettering guy for the Oakland A’s from the late ’80s up until the time Majestic started lettering all the jerseys at the factory. He has some great stories. I asked him if he wanted to meet you and he was thrilled with the idea.

That was my introduction to Steve Sale, who was the A’s stitcher for 15 years. I was excited to speak with him, because stitchers usually work way behind the scenes, even by uniform standards. I’ve had contact with dozens of equipment managers over the years, but only three stitchers: Russ Gompers (Mets), Joe Hilseberg (Orioles), and Marge Switzer (Packers, and she was very guarded during our one interview). So I jumped at the chance to interview Steve. Here’s how our conversation went down:

Uni Watch: How old are you and where do you live?

Steve Sale: I’m 52, and I live in central California, more than an hour from Oakland.

UW: When did you work for the A’s?

SS: From 1988 through 2003.

UW: What were you doing prior to that, and how’d you get the job with the A’s?

SS: I was working in retail warehouse management — I did that for many years. And I knew the guy who used to do the lettering for the A’s, and he told me one day that he was gonna quit doing it. He knew I was into collecting and that I liked to dabble in the lettering and all that.

UW: So you were already a jersey collector, and you’d do some of the lettering on your own jerseys?

SS: Yeah, I always had a fascination with that. So this other guy told me, “Steve [Vucinich, the A’s equipment manager] is gonna need somebody, so why don’t you go down and talk to him?” This was in early 1988 — I think the season had just started. So that’s what I did.

UW: How did you get a meeting with Steve? I mean, you’re just some guy walking in off the street. Did this other guy help arrange the meeting for you?

SS: Nope — I just called him, introduced myself, and offered to help him out.

UW: Did you already have a sewing machine and a heat press and all the other tools of the trade, from working on your own jersey collection?

SS: No. At that time I was just using an iron and ironing board. In fact, I hadn’t done any sewing at all yet. When I got the opportunity with the A’s, I had to have someone else do the sewing until I learned how to do it.

UW: So you would heat-apply everything, but you kinda outsourced the sew-down phase?

SS: Yeah, until I learned. Then my wife bought me a sewing machine and I taught myself how to sew.

UW: Did Steve know that you couldn’t sew?

SS: He didn’t care. He just wanted it done right. He didn’t care who did which part. In fact, the way I got the job was that he showed me a sample Don Baylor nameplate so I could see how they did their lettering, and I said, “Um, that’s done wrong.” It was the wrong fabric and the wrong font. And that’s how he knew that I knew my stuff, and I was hired on the spot.

UW: Why did you stop working for the A’s in 2003?

SS: I had a full-time job in addition to my stitching work for the A’s, and it just got too demanding.

UW: So being a stitcher for a big league team doesn’t pay a full-time wage?

SS: No, you can’t support yourself just on that.

UW: What was it like working for Steve? He’s always struck me as a really decent guy.

SS: It was the best, the most fun I’ve ever had. Steve’s a good guy, and he always treated me like one of the guys. It was hectic at time, but it was a really fun experience.

UW: As a stitcher, you worked for the home team, obviously, but you did work for visiting teams passing through, right?

SS: That’s correct — I did work for every American League club. In fact, I got teased a lot by visiting ballclubs when they’d see me with my little table and sewing machine. They’d set me up in the umpires’ dressing room. Players would come by call me Betsy Ross and all kinds of other stuff.

UW: Do you think they called every stitcher in every town Betsy Ross, or was there something special about you? I mean, did every stadium have someone like you in the umpires’ dressing room, sewing away?

SS: Every team has a stitcher. But from what I understand, most of them don’t come to the ballpark to sew on-site. Say Oakland goes to Anaheim and they need some sewing done while they’re on the road. They’ll send out the jerseys to whoever does Anaheim’s stitching. It’s unusual to have someone doing right there at the stadium like I did.

UW: What sort of stuff would you have to do for visiting teams? Like, if a guy tore a hole in his knee while sliding into second, you’d have to repair that?

SS: It wasn’t so much the mending as the call-ups and the trades.

UW: Were some teams more attentive to certain details than others?

SS: The White Sox and Yankees were always very particular. The Yankees, not having names, they always wanted to make sure the number was the right amount of space down from the collar.

UW: When it comes to the player names on jerseys, where do you come down on the issue of direct-sewn lettering vs. nameplates?

SS: Oh, I’m 100% nameplates.

UW: Because you think it looks better, or because it makes your job easier?

SS: Both! It definitely makes the job easier.

UW: What’s the craziest or most unusual stitching situation you ever faced?

SS: Two of them come to mind. Years ago there was a Japanese executive visiting the A’s, and they wanted to give him a jersey with his last name in Japanese lettering. Steve gave me a printout of how the characters were supposed to look, and I had to re-create that — that was pretty challenging.

Then there was the time Cleveland was in town, playing the A’s, and Ricardo Rincón was traded from the Indians to the A’s during one of the games. For Rincón, it was easy — he just walked down the hall from one clubhouse to the other. But for me, I had to make a jersey for him on the spot. I had come to the ballpark to drop off some work, and then my wife and I were going to stay and watch the game. But then Steve said, “We have a trade in the works, and I need you to letter up this jersey.” So I had to set up my sewing machine in [manager] Art Howe’s office, I’m sitting there sewing like crazy, I’ve got clubhouse guys checking in every few minutes to he how it’s coming along, and then Billy Beane comes in and starts talking to me while I’m trying to work.

The deal happened during the early part of the game, and Ray Fosse even made mention of it during the televised broadcast. He said, “I imagine Steve Sale is busy in the clubhouse getting this jersey ready.”

UW: Well, at least it was a simple name, without too many letters. Hey, speaking of trades, you were probably one of the first guys to know when a trade was going down, right? Because you’d have to make the new jersey.

SS: Exactly. I’d know before the media did, but I could never say a word. When McGwire was traded in 1997, Steve called me on my way home from work. I was an hour away from Oakland and had to turn around and go to the ballpark to pick up the uniforms for the players the A’s received in the trade.

UW: Have you ever misspelled a name or made any sort of similar goof?

SS: No.

UW: Did you ever almost make a mistake, but then you caught it before you brought it in?

SS: Yeah. One time I was doing a jersey for Mike MacFarlane, and I had put a space between the “c” and the “F.” He walked by while I was in the middle of doing it and said, “Hey, that’s not right.” So I fixed it right there.

UW: Last summer Steve sent me a little souvenir: a nameplate for Eric Stuckenschneider, which had been lettered up in 1999. That’s 16 letters! Stuckenschneider hurt his shoulder and ended up not playing, so the nameplate never got used. Did you work on that?

SS: No, thankfully, that came from the factory, so I didn’t have to do that one.

UW: Did any players have any particular quirks that you had to account for, like in terms of customizing their jerseys or something like that?

SS: Edwin Nuñez, a pitcher, none of the other teams he’d been on had put the tilde over the “n” in his name, and he said he wanted it on there. So I had to add that to his jerseys.

UW: Nobody ever had a more unusual request than that?

SS: Actually, the oddest request I ever got was when Mark McGwire came to me because his jock was falling apart and he wanted me to restitch it.

UW: Seriously?! Couldn’t he just get a new one?

SS: I’m serious, man. And I just said, “Okay, not a problem.” Meanwhile, I’m thinking, “How the hell am I gonna do this?”

UW: So did you do it?

SS: Yeah. Definitely the weirdest thing I’ve ever done.

UW: Were the any players who were a real pain in the ass?

SS: The worst player I ever dealt with was Joe Morgan. Oh my gosh. He was a prima donna. One time I was doing some work for the Giants — I did some work for them, too — and I walked into the clubhouse. Now, Wilson was making the Giants’ jerseys at the time, and they had apparently sent a size 44 jersey for Morgan, when he wore a size 40. So I walk into the clubhouse and Morgan just lets me have it, cussing at me, he throws his jersey at me, he goes, “Hey you, this is your fault! What kinda shit is this? Fix my fucking shirt!” And I went nose-to-nose with him and said, “Hey, you don’t ever talk to me that way.” He and I nearly got into a fistfight. A few players had to break us up.

UW: Aside from that being no way to treat another person, why would he even think you were responsible for his mis-sized jersey?

SS: Because he knew I worked the jerseys, so in his mind he probably thought any problem with the uniforms was my fault.

UW: Did he eventually apologize?

SS: Oh, no. No way.

UW: What about a really nice player?

SS: Goose Gossage was probably the best. When he was with Seattle at the end of his career, the Mariners were in town to play the A’s. The Seattle equipment manager discovered that someone forgot to pack Gossage’s bag before the Mariners left for their road trip. So Gossage arrived in Oakland without his jerseys, and I had to make up a replacement jersey for him while the game was being played. The manager, who may have been Lou Piniella at the time, was getting nervous because he wanted Gossage to start warming up, so I was under intense pressure to complete this as fast as I could. Goose would come by every so often to check on the status, and when I would tell him that I was almost done, he would say, “Take your time, don’t worry.” When I was finally done, he was so appreciative that he gave me an autographed ball and a hat. I didn’t ask for these, but that showed what kind of classy person he was.

UW: It used to be that nobody knew about equipment managers, but I think that has changed somewhat. But stitchers are still pretty unknown by the public at large.

SS: Yeah, we’re under the radar. People don’t even think about us unless a player’s number is falling off or something like that.

UW: Would you get a share of the clubhouse tips, or a World Series share, or a World Series ring? Anything like that?

SS: No. I’m an independent contractor, so I don’t get any of that stuff.

UW: But you were in the clubhouse a lot — wouldn’t players tip you?

SS: No, not at all. One time Terence Long had a couple of throwback jerseys he wanted me to letter for him — not A’s jerseys that he’d wear in a game, but just for his personal use. This was when throwbacks were really popular with rappers and all of that. So he gave me a really nice tip for that.

UW: I know that equipment managers tend to know each other — it’s like a club or a fraternity. What about stitchers? Do you guys all know each other?

SS: No, I have no idea who any of the other stitchers are. One thing I was proud of was a few years ago, some of the other west coast teams — Anaheim and Seattle — had somehow mentioned to Russell Athletic that they really liked the work I did for them when they passed through Oakland. So Russell asked me if I wanted to handle all the west coast jerseys for them. And at the time, working by myself, it was just too much, too overwhelming, so I couldn’t do it.

UW: So now you’ve been away from the team for several years. Do you miss it?

SS: Definitely. I miss the fun of being at the ballpark. And one thing that was fun, I’d get to letter up jerseys for celebrities — Vince Gill, Phil Mickelson, Sharon Stone. And when the A’s went to the White House in ’89 after winning the World Series, I got to make a jersey for the first President Bush.

UW: Did you get to go to the White House with them, or was that another perk that doesn’t trickle down to the lowly stitcher?

SS: No, I didn’t get to go. But it was very gratifying when I saw the photos of Tony LaRussa and Bush holding up the jersey.

UW: Are you still in touch with Steve Vucinich?

SS: I haven’t seen Steve since I left the club. I live farther away from Oakland now, so I haven’t been to a game in several years. I didn’t leave on bad terms or anything like that — I’ve just sort of drifted away from the game.

UW: When you watch a game on TV, do you instinctively pay extra-close attention to the details of the lettering and patches?

SS: Yeah, and it drives my wife nuts. During the playoffs, when the Yankees had that pitcher come in and his number was the wrong font, I noticed that right away.

UW: Any other interesting stories?

SS: When Rickey Henderson came back to the A’s in 1989, for one day only he was No. 22. He wanted 24, but Ron Hassey wore that. And of course Rickey wanted to have his way, which started this whole chain of events: He took 24, which meant Hassey changed to 27, which in turn meant we had to change Billy Beane to 11. So I had to change all of those jerseys, home and road. Good thing they only wore the white and the gray that year.

Another time the Orioles were in town. They had a night game, and then the Orioles brought up a new pitcher for the next game — and that was a day game. I lived about an hour from Oakland, so I had to stay up until two in the morning and wait for one of the clubbies to drive to my house with a jersey, which I then had to sew. Then I had to drive it to Oakland early the next morning before going to my regular job.
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Since Steve said he hadn’t been in touch with Steve Vucinich in several years, I contacted Vuc, whose voice lit up as soon as I mentioned Steve Sale. Vucinich ended up adding a few more details to the Ricardo Rincón story. Here’s how he recalls it:

When the trade went down and Rincón walked over to our clubhouse, he was sort of in shock, so Art Howe told him, “Ah, take the night off.” So I told Steve [Sale], who’d been working on the new jersey, “Okay, we won’t need this jersey until tomorrow.” So he relaxed and he was gonna take the jersey home, because he had better equipment there. Then all of a sudden Billy Beane comes in and says, “Is Rincón down in the bullpen?” I said, “No, Art gave him the night off.” And Billy says, “Where is he? Find him, get him!” So we had to get his cell phone number from the Indians, who were across the hallway, and call him. Fortunately, Ricardo was just upstairs drinking beers in the stands. So they call him back down, and Steve goes back to rushing to finish the jersey, and we got it done. But he didn’t get into the game.

Finally, Steve Sale has acquired lots of jerseys, patches, and other memorabilia along the way. You can see some items from his collection, along with his comments on many of them, here.

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Tigers changing their stripes?: Under Armour released a new commercial yesterday. Apparently it ran about a jillion times on ESPN, although I didn’t see it myself until about a dozen readers brought it to my attention. Take a look and see if you can spot what those readers spotted:

As I bet most of you saw, the pants in the jersey have a Northwestern stripe, instead of Auburn’s usual solid stripe. Several readers opined that this solved the one major problem they see in Auburn’s uniform, namely that the pants striping doesn’t match the helmet or sleeve striping.

This raises two questions:

1) Is this Under Armour’s way of letting us know that Auburn will have new pants striping for the game against Oregon on Monday night?

2) Regardless of what happens on Monday, is it really necessary for all the stripe patterns to match up? Is it even a good idea? When three elements are in such close physical proximity to each other, I think having them all repeat is a bit much. I know some people get all bent out of shape if sleeve stripes don’t match up with sock stripes and so on, but I think there’s a tendency to overthink these things. Personally, I don’t think it’s such a travesty that the current pants striping doesn’t match up with the sleeves or helmet.

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Meats update: Not sure why I didn’t think of this sooner, but I’ve added a new item to the Meats product line: hoodies. Those are only available through Zazzle (same as the aprons and tote bags), but you can still order the T-shirts directly from me.

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Membership update: As 2010 drew to a close, a bunch of you told me that your New Year’s resolution was to finally enroll in the Uni Watch Membership Program, so sign up already and join all the other proud members (including Chris Kite, whose card design, based on the Norwegian curling team’s pants, is shown at right). As always, you can see the full gallery of card designs here.

Contest reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, Grey Flannel Auctions will be giving away two gift certificates to the Uni Watch readers who come up with the best oddball-uni photos. Details here.

Uni Watch News Ticker: What do you get when you combine the Cavs’ CavFanatic jersey program with BFBS? This. I had originally been told (and had reported) that it would be worn last night, but it wasn’t, which seems like a kindness. Not sure when it’ll debut, but hey, no rush. ”¦ Awesome spot by David Teigland, who writes: “I figured you’d appreciate a jersey that spells out a cut of meat.” Indeed. That’s Josh Bone of Tennessee. ”¦ Potentially major news from Steve Presser, who received a promotional brochure from the Mets with an “NY”-inclusive logo — last seen in 1999 — on the front page. “Now, this may be the work of an intern who inadvertently pulled the wrong logo off of Google Images,” says Steve, “but I like to think this is a (very) small step in the direction of restoring some identity to this organization.” Me too. ”¦ Roberto Alomar wants to wear a Blue Jays cap on his Hall of Fame plaque. ”¦ TCU’s hoops team wore a really nice throwback design last night (with thanks to Kevin West). ”¦ Brian Wilson’s orange cleats have been added to the video game world. But they’re not his usual Nike cleats because, according to that article, “Sony doesn’t have the rights to use Nike cleats in the game” (as noted by Evan Schreiber). ”¦ As you may recall, last week the mighty Fleer Sticker Project produced a piece about the Orioles’ orange uniforms. One thing not originally mentioned in that post was that the uniforms were sold to the O’s by Brooks Robinson’s own sporting goods firm, which had one of the coolest tag designs ever. So I sent the tag design to FSP editor Jon Helf, and he’s responded by producing an excellent entry about Brooksie’s sporting goods operation. ”¦ Several interesting items in Jeff Barak’s latest hockey blog post, including a preseason-only NOB font and a jersey with pre-cut sleeve slits to facilitate easier fighting. For details, look here. ”¦ Here’s a doozy: a Stan Musial instructional LP! ”¦ Here’s just the thing for the Cubs fan who has everything. Actually, there are versions for just about every MLB team, in varying degrees of outlandishness (disturbing find by Eric Davis). ”¦ It’s a little hard to see in this photo, but A.J. Frey says the scoreboard at Devils games consistently misspells the term “First Intermission” as “Intermisison.” ”¦ Here are some great old uniform ads from Wilson, Rawlings, Spalding, Rawlings again, GoldSmith, and Sand Knit. ”¦ And here’s an unusual approach: an Aratex ad that tries to draw a connection between football and non-sports uniforms. That ad campaign had a baseball version, too. ”¦ Meanwhile, check out the illustration in this Reach ad. Were basketball players once required to keep one hand behind their back during tip-offs? ”¦ What is Duff McKagan wearing in this shot? Looks like a Seahawks/Falcons Franken-jersey, no? (Good spot by John Muir). ”¦ Interesting story + photos about Otto Graham playing basketball (with thanks to Joe Lombardo). ”¦ Very nice of MLB to be selling a Diamondbacks patch set with an upside-down sleeve patch (with thanks to Justin Kerr). ”¦ These aren’t exactly uniforms, but there’s a lot to like in these bowling outfits. … Somewhat less attractive: this slideshow of bowling politicians (both of these from my old zine pal Steve Mandich). ”¦ Pretty funny to see Alex Ovechkin tossing a football while on skates (with thanks to Bill Mitchell). ”¦ New logo design for Starbucks. ”¦ You know all those Nike hoops jerseys with the sublimated designs on the back? Bryan Molloy has taken to calling them sweatbacks, because they make it look like the players have perspired through their jerseys. Not a bad term, and it pairs nicely with the sweatbox. Shall I add it to the Uni Watch Glossary? ”¦ Sad day in Pittsburgh, as nearly century-old Honus Wagner Sporting Goods is closing (sorry, Kek). ”¦ New minor league baseball team coming to Texas: the Amarillo Sox. Pretty derivative uni set, although I like the use of the hanging socks for the double-el in “Amarillo” (with thanks to Mark Haslett).

163 comments to Uni Watch Profiles: Steve Sale

  • Joe Hilseberg | January 6, 2011 at 8:41 am |

    And I quote from the interview

    “SS: Oh, I’m 100% nameplates.”

    People…can we get on board with nameplates?!?!! I’m glad to see that it’s just not me who thinks they are better than direct sew.

    Great read today!

    • dwight | January 6, 2011 at 9:36 am |


    • The Jeff | January 6, 2011 at 10:06 am |

      They’re better for re-usability. It’s a lot easier to take off a nameplate than trying to deal with individual letters. I don’t really think they look better though.

    • =bg= | January 6, 2011 at 11:00 am |

      great article, absolutely.

    • concealed78 | January 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm |

      No way. Direct-on always looks better; especially with pinstripes.

      • Jim Vilk | January 6, 2011 at 1:31 pm |

        I’ll agree with pinstripes, but for a plain jersey I’m fine with nameplates. And I’ll also agree this was a great article.

  • Breezy | January 6, 2011 at 8:58 am |

    Roloson has a new, more subdued mask rather than his Islanders mask: http://www.post-gazette.com/

  • JAson | January 6, 2011 at 9:04 am |

    I don’t know if the Cav Fantatic uniforms can be classified as BFBS. They are harkening back to the halcyon days of Shawn Kemp, Bobby Sura, and Cedric Henderson, when the Cavs wore black. So it’s Black For (recent) History’s Sake?

    • Andy | January 6, 2011 at 9:18 am |

      You forgot Tyrone Hill and Terrell Brandon, the real stars of those teams.

    • Tim F. | January 6, 2011 at 10:16 am |

      It seems only fitting that they’d occasionally wear this color scheme. It was what they had right before LeBron came in. They’re playing just like those old teams too.

    • Jim Vilk | January 6, 2011 at 10:55 am |

      WHY? WHY?? WHY???

      The last three things I want to be reminded about are Shawn Kemp, the hideous unis he wore and LeGone James, and the Cavs just mashed it all together. I’m a Cavs fan, but if they wear these in a game I will root against them. Needless to say, I wouldn’t wear that.

    • JohnnySeoul | January 6, 2011 at 11:34 am |

      The Cavaliers are rumored to be wearing this jersey the same night the Antawn Jamison bobblehead is given out (which also has him in this uniform).

      • JohnnySeoul | January 6, 2011 at 11:38 am |

        Paul was right that is was suppose to debut last night, but I guess they delayed it for some reason. I suppose it was a good idea since they lost to the lonely Raptors.

        • Jason G. | January 6, 2011 at 12:44 pm |

          The player intro announcer wore the new Cavs jersey last night, you got a two second clip of it during the intros. Personally, I think a black jersey with the alternating wine and gold design would look better.

  • Original Jim | January 6, 2011 at 9:08 am |

    So not only is Amarillo blatanly copying the baseball and logo treatment of the new Minnesota Twins logo, it’s also using the Boston Red Sox “hanging sox” logo. Pretty brazen for an indie league team. I can’t see this lasting long.

      • The Jeff | January 6, 2011 at 9:30 am |

        You’d think they’d be more upset about the re-colored Red Sox logo and font rather than the similarity to the Twins. The Twins logo with the baseball is about as generic as you can get.

        • scott | January 6, 2011 at 9:37 am |

          The whole uniform set looks like it borrows heavily from MLB teams.

        • The Jeff | January 6, 2011 at 9:53 am |

          No doubt. It’s blindingly obvious the guy took a Twins logo and stripped off the text then added the SOX with a probably pirated Red Sox font, and the other logo is obviously the Red Sox in a different color. That said, using the socks as L’s is unique. But, as a mash-up of multiple teams, is it really worth going after them for copyright infringement? It’s lame of them, but I don’t think they’re going to be costing the Sox or Twins any lost sales or anything.

        • Bradley | January 6, 2011 at 11:51 am |

          Ironically enough the team wanted to be the Amarillo Gold Sox which is a team that use to be here in Amarillo. However the team was told that the name Gold Sox was being used by team in California so they had to change to just Sox. I am surprised at the logo issue, you think that they would have learned. I’ll keep everyone updated on what the local media says and I will try to call the club today or tomorrow to get a response.

  • Dane | January 6, 2011 at 9:12 am |

    Regarding the Duff McKagen photo: Considering the amount of black & gold in the crowd behind him, I’m guessing that photo was taken at Super Bowl XL. I will further hypothesize that he is wearing a commemorative Super Bowl jersey, similar to the Steelers one pictured here:

    You can see part of a patch on top of his left sleeve, which does resemble the Super Bowl XL logo.

    While researching, I also found this: a cardinal-red Seahawks jersey. Why?

    • LI Phil | January 6, 2011 at 9:14 am |

      QB no-contact jersey?

      didn’t they sell (or do they still sell) those?

      seem to recall you could get a red roethlisberger a couple years ago, probably amongst others

      • breezy | January 6, 2011 at 9:20 am |

        Most teams sell red no contact QB jerseys, especially at the begining of the year. It used to be just a couple, but nfl.com started making them available for all the teams.

      • The Jeff | January 6, 2011 at 9:20 am |

        I think that’s exactly what it is. Either that, or a possible tie-in to the (RED) AIDS thing, similar to the pink cancer stuff.

    • Adam | January 6, 2011 at 10:13 am |

      Trying to find an example of the jersey (it is a super bowl XL jersey like the picture you showed) and found this on ebay:
      It’s a unique NY Giants red alternate jersey

      • The Jeff | January 6, 2011 at 10:15 am |

        That’s almost worth buying at that price, and I don’t even like the Giants

    • Jim Vilk | January 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm |

      Who’s Duff McKagan?

  • Joe | January 6, 2011 at 9:14 am |

    Great read this morning and thanks to Steve for some truly interesting details! I read the Duff McKagan ESPN article yesterday too, and if you look closely on his left sleeve, you will notice a Super Bowl XL (Steelers – Seahawks) logo. The primary logo colors were blue and red that year, and as someone who was at the game and in Detroit that weekend I can attest that almost every piece of merchandise had those colors on it somehwere, including special jerseys.

  • War Damn Eagle | January 6, 2011 at 9:19 am |

    I prefer the pants stripe to be solid on the Auburn unis. Why do people complain about this?

    It’s strange to me b/c I don’t think people make the same argument about LSU. The stripes on their jerseys and pants don’t match, either.


    • Andy | January 6, 2011 at 9:24 am |

      And it looks terrible. There’s no reason for the LSU pant stripe to include yellow while the helmet stripe is just purple and white. It looks terrible and you can’t even see the yellow from far away. It serves no purpose, and it looks like somebody made a mistake when ordering the pants.

      • The Jeff | January 6, 2011 at 9:32 am |

        The fact that you really can’t see it from a distance is exactly why no one really complained about it. It’s much more noticeable on Auburn. Of course, now that it’s been pointed out on LSU, it’s probably going to bother the hell out of a lot of people.

        • Simply Moono | January 6, 2011 at 7:51 pm |

          I’ve notices LSU’s inconsistent striping for years, but never bothered to metion it.

    • dwight | January 6, 2011 at 9:39 am |

      I actually LIKED the commercial’s version of the pants’ striping.

      As to WHY people get mad – I suppose it’s the same reason that all of us come here daily (or hourly), and why I’m NOT surprised someone else noticed the funky Duff jersey from his ESPN collumn – b/c we have all been tainted by the online brilliance that is this site!!!!!

  • SaveFarris | January 6, 2011 at 9:22 am |
    • Aaron | January 6, 2011 at 11:29 am |

      Maybe they can just add a “Bert hearted to fart.” at the end of his career accomplishments?

  • Andy | January 6, 2011 at 9:22 am |

    Honestly, I’d rather have seen the Auburn helmet stripe change the the solid pattern of the pants, but this will look nice. I don’t mind when the stripes don’t all match up. In fact, I prefer it as long as they’re different enough, but Auburn’s patterns are too similar and it sort of looks like a mistake to me, much like LSU’s pant stripe, with the tiny sliver of yellow between the purple and white stripes, looks like a mistake compared to the purple and white helmet stripe. The reason I never liked Auburn’s matching helmet and jersey coupled with the pants is that it looked top-heavy. I’d rather see the unique pattern sandwiched between the two identical patterns.

  • MPowers1634 | January 6, 2011 at 9:23 am |

    Great read today. I can never get enough of these behind-the-scenes stories!

    • RS Rogers | January 6, 2011 at 9:49 am |

      Seconded. Great interview!

    • Aaron | January 6, 2011 at 11:29 am |


    • traxel | January 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm |


  • Jon | January 6, 2011 at 9:27 am |

    But will they really WEAR Amarillo (yellow) socks??

  • JB Early | January 6, 2011 at 9:31 am |

    Huge kudos for the Steve Sale piece & for Steve Sale – anybody who can do something for MLB AND for Vince Gill, is aces with me. AND as w/the recent reminder of the dick Pete Rose is – no shock former team mate Joe Morgan put the J O in his own name.

    Total sadness at Honus Wagner Sports Pittsburgh PA closing. End of an era.

    • =bg= | January 6, 2011 at 11:01 am |

      what recent reminder?

  • BuckeyeChief | January 6, 2011 at 9:41 am |

    “The worst player I ever dealt with was Joe Morgan. Oh my gosh. He was a prima donna.”
    Classic; great interview!

    • Chris Holder | January 6, 2011 at 10:00 am |

      Joe Morgan, a prima donna? NO WAY.

      • pushbutton | January 6, 2011 at 10:50 am |

        Wasn’t Joe Morgan retired by 1988?

        • Steve Sale | January 7, 2011 at 12:37 am |

          In the article I mentioned that back when Morgan was with the Giants and Wilson was the uniform supplier. The incident with Morgan happened in either 1981 or 1982. I was involved in the Giant’s uniform lettering between 1980 and 1982. As for Morgan,, at least he’s off Sunday Night Baseball. Now I can turn the volume back up on the tv.

      • Simply Moono | January 6, 2011 at 8:08 pm |

        I hope you’re being sarcastic…

    • concealed78 | January 6, 2011 at 12:17 pm |

      I’m glad to see the years of Joe Morgan bashing have been justified. What a jagoff.

  • Geeman | January 6, 2011 at 9:42 am |

    Memo to Auburn and LSU: Don’t change a thing! Not everything has to be perfect.

    • rpm | January 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm |

      no way they change because of a couple peoples ocd, but agreed.

    • Andy | January 6, 2011 at 1:55 pm |

      Doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should at least look good and make sense. Both teams’ fail on both counts with regard to their helmet and pants coordinating properly.

      • rpm | January 6, 2011 at 4:31 pm |

        that’s the point. you say it doesn’t read proper, other people don’t see it that way.

  • Ryan Harrington | January 6, 2011 at 9:43 am |

    How could that have happened w/ Joe Morgan if Steve Sale didn’t start with the A’s until 1988? Morgan was with the Giants in the early 80s, and was already broadcasting by 88. Fantastic interview, though. I really enjoyed it.

    • Paul Lukas | January 6, 2011 at 9:48 am |

      As stated right there in the interview, it was while Steve was doing some work for the Giants.

      • Ryan Harrington | January 6, 2011 at 10:30 am |

        Got it, I had thought he meant he was doing work for the Giants while they were visiting the A’s .I thought inter-league play, but since I only barely remember baseball before the strike, I should have realized that the A’s and Giants couldn’t have played during Morgan’s career. Anyway, yeah, Morgan’s a jerk. Haha.

  • RS Rogers | January 6, 2011 at 9:48 am |

    Loved the bowling politicians slideshow. How typical that Nixon is committing a foot fault. “Over the line!” And the pol with the best form was Walter Mondale – if there was ever a politician you could see actually caring enough about bowling to develop good form, it’d totally be Fritz Mondale. There’s just something very Minnesotan about that photo.

    • Broadway Connie | January 6, 2011 at 9:56 am |

      Yep, a great feature. I also inordinately loved the bowling girls’ outfits.

      Since I’ve been way too congratulatory to Paul recently, let me now dissent from his advocacy of the interjoined NY within the Mets logo. It’s a busy enough design without it, and already unmistakably New York, what with the bridge and the skyline. And who else incorporates their cap initial into the team logo? Well, now that I think about it, there are a few, I guess, but none very cool.

  • BSmile | January 6, 2011 at 9:55 am |

    Excellent interview Paul.
    Joe Morgan a prima donna? Really?!?!?!
    Hahaha…loved it.


  • MN | January 6, 2011 at 9:56 am |

    Paul- Awesome Interview! On a side note I was watching the Lakers-vs-Suns game last night on ESPN, and the camera kept showing the groups of Auburn, and Oregon players in the stands. Guess what? Both teams had on matching all black sweatsuits…suprise…suprise…..

  • Brad | January 6, 2011 at 9:57 am |

    Paul, great interview with Steve Sale. Steve’s the man! My wife and purchased some hard to find original MLB commemorative patches a couple of years back for our collection from Steve. Great to see him point out some of the intricate detail that has alluded many eBay sellers who are offering some way off versions of replica patches.

  • interlockingtc | January 6, 2011 at 9:59 am |

    I had that Stan Musial LP when I was a kid!

  • StLMarty | January 6, 2011 at 10:20 am |

    I am huge matching-of-the-stripes. Auburn will look better with the new stripe. However, they would look even better if the helmet stripe matched the original pants stripe.
    My theory has always been…
    Helmet match pant/sleeve match sock
    Helmet match sock/sleeve match pant
    Obviously, socks are not a part of college schemes, so I alwys prefer the former.

    Auburn is too top-heavy with the Northwestern stripage.

    • StLMarty | January 6, 2011 at 10:29 am |


    • Chris Holder | January 6, 2011 at 10:41 am |

      You know, though I hate Auburn with a fiery passion, I give them props for their not tinkering (too much) with the uniforms over the years. The pant stripe thing is something that doesn’t really bother me.

      Here’s a question for the UniWatch nation… what about the type of stripes used on Bama’s pants (and similarly, Oklahoma)? Are the two crimson lines on a background a “stripe”? Or is it “piping”, as I’ve heard some call it? If it is a stripe, neither school’s pants match the solid white stripe on the crimson helmet. I don’t have a problem because I consider the pants and helmet to be two entirely different uniform elements. Just wondering what others think.

      • Payton | January 6, 2011 at 11:54 am |

        Oklahoma has a plain crimson helmet, no white stripe. I always considered OU’s pants to have stripes, two crimon.

        • Chris Holder | January 6, 2011 at 11:56 am |

          Wow, can’t believe I forgot/didn’t realize their helmet was sans stripe. Thanks for the heads up.

      • rpm | January 6, 2011 at 12:40 pm |

        bama’s pants match the helmet, they just play with different field colours….from the inside white-crimson-field colour.

        i don’t know about ou, i guess someone just thought they needed some stipes way back when.

      • Andy | January 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm |

        Yes. I’m always interested to see how different people read the stripes differently. Do Oklahoma’s pants feature two crimson stripes or do they feature a single white stripe sitting atop a wide crimson stripe? Or do the feature a single white stripe flanked by two crimson stripes?

  • Perry | January 6, 2011 at 10:21 am |

    That Rincon trade, along with a bunch of other Beane machinations at the deadline, has its own chapter in Moneyball. There’s a fascinating scene where Beane phones the clubhouse just before the game and tells them to get a uniform made up for Rincon and to get Mike Magnante out of there.

  • Tom | January 6, 2011 at 10:21 am |

    Here’s something of interest with Nike taking over the NFL uniforms. Could Nike introduce the flat-finish helmet to the NFL? I am refering to the kind used by Oregon State in this year’s Civil War game. It might not look great for every team but what about the Bears and Steelers? That might be a hit.

    • JTH | January 6, 2011 at 11:58 am |

      Nah. Save the gimmicks for teams with newfangled unis.

      Those helmets have been shiny basically forever. Changing them now would just be change for change’s sake.

      • The Jeff | January 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm |

        Isn’t almost every uniform change a change for change’s sake? I mean, really, the only difference between a “dated” uniform and a “classic” one is how much people still like it – and that’s usually determined more by the success of the team, or not.

        Obviously we don’t want the whole league to switch to flat helmets, but it could work rather well for a couple teams. I think it’d look damn good for the Ravens if they’re going to keep wearing that all-black uniform.

        • JTH | January 6, 2011 at 12:47 pm |

          I meant a gimmicky change for a gimmicky change’s sake. I’m just saying an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” uni + a gimmick seems wrong/lazy/pointless.

          I think a flat navy blue helmet with shiny metallic gold horns would look pretty sharp for the Rams.

          Ravens? Insert “but real raven heads are shiny” retort here (because we all know that the uniform must resemble the actual animal as closely as possible.)

        • rpm | January 6, 2011 at 12:57 pm |

          not disagreeing with you to disagree with you, although i don’t like that matte helmet. but independent of matte or shinny, i always thought the ravens would look good with a “bears treatment” to their purple. i say this because the bears sometimes look black, but are actually a very deep navy. but he ravens would look good in a purple so dark it reads black in some light rather then using both colours. i say this because ravens are black, but in the right light they sort of take on that purple opalescence.so you could make the ravens look like raven subtly. now i think this would work better on a typical helmet rather then matte, but either way.

        • Andy | January 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm |

          Plus the gloss on the helmet helps the helmet to better deflect the force of a blow. When two matte or rough surfaces meet, they ‘grab’ onto each other for a split second more and absorb more of the force of the blow, potentially causing more head and neck trauma over the long run.

  • Roger Faso | January 6, 2011 at 10:50 am |

    Here’s a screengrab of Rickey Henderson wearing #22. I remember watching that game and thinking, “Why isn’t he wearing #35?”


  • Ian | January 6, 2011 at 10:54 am |

    Good stuff. When will we see the AFC Nike mockups?

    • LI Phil | January 6, 2011 at 11:05 am |

      i assume this is directed to me?

      not sure…if i finish them by this weekend, then this weekend…been kind of a busy week (non-UW things) so they’re not all complete yet

      • Broadway Connie | January 6, 2011 at 11:12 am |

        I’m sorry. “Non-UW Things”??

        • LI Phil | January 6, 2011 at 11:20 am |

          heh…i know…i don’t have much of a life…but sometimes it does get in the way

  • Jim Vilk | January 6, 2011 at 11:16 am |

    An inspired membership card if ever there was one:
    Excellent choice, Chris Kite.

    • The Jeff | January 6, 2011 at 11:59 am |

      I’m glad to see a card like that… it means that whenever I finally decide to join, I should be able to get a Zubaz card. ^_^

    • Chris Kite | January 6, 2011 at 8:24 pm |

      Thanks, Jim. That means a lot coming from you. I have enjoyed your college football top fives. Paul did a great job with the card. I can’t wait to become an official card carrying member.

  • Fred | January 6, 2011 at 11:41 am |

    Excellent article! Way to go Paul, way to go Steve Sales, way to go Auburn new pants!

  • Jim K | January 6, 2011 at 11:41 am |

    I knew my son was getting a Cavaliers jersey from a relative for Christmas. When he opened the box and pulled out a black jersey I was horrified. I’d never seen that jersey before. It’s supposed to be a limited edition. Not limited enough. My brother-in-law says the Cavs are supposed to where them on January 21. I just happen to have tickets for the game, what luck. This jersey is a compilation of all of the crappy uniforms the Cavs ever wore. My son loves it. He wears it all of the time.

    The date of the Orioles wearing the orange uniforms in Cleveland appears right. I was at the game that day. I was surprised to see those uniforms. Being the early 70’s and me being 13, I thought they were cool. Now I cringe at the site of them.

  • christian | January 6, 2011 at 12:20 pm |

    Brian Wilson’s orange cleats were awesome, but he only got fined because Gonzalez complained because the Marlins didn’t come back. Well, that’s just my opinion, but Uggla hit a home run off of Wilson in that game, so why even complain?

  • JTH | January 6, 2011 at 12:22 pm |

    Is it OK to use the word “epic” to describe today’s post? Because it’s fucking epic.

    But I’m a bit puzzled as to the timeline with the whole Joe Morgan incident. If Steve didn’t get into stitching until he started working for the A’s in 1988, what kind of work was he doing for the Giants in the early 80s? Clearly it was something uni-related if Morgan thought the size error was Steve’s fault.

    (And Lou Piniella was indeed Goose Gossage’s manager in Seattle.)

    • Steve Sale | January 7, 2011 at 12:44 am |

      Between 1980 and 1982, I was involved in the lettering for the Giants. The incident with Morgan was either in 1981 or 1982. Thank you for your interest in the article.

  • rpm | January 6, 2011 at 12:26 pm |

    loved the interview.

    regarding auburn stripes:
    i agree with you that people needlessly get bent about the need for everything to match, kind of loses some character. but the auburn pants do match the ranger patterned auburn home jersey, it is just a different field. from the centre, orange-blue-white. sort of like what florida does where it is always white-blue-orange ranger pattern, even if by doing so the field changes the ranger pattern to an nfl-ish stipe look.

    • traxel | January 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm |

      Stripes matching, I thought for a while that makes sense, but after some deeper thought (meaning totaly spaced out work time) I tend to think it’s not all that necessary. Think Packers. That striping pattern (y/w/y/w/y) is too wide to look good on the socks. And it’s not going on the helmet. But different variations of the same theme work. I LOVE striped football socks and think it’s a national travisty that few teams sport them, but I tend to like the thinner sock stripes a bunch, i.e. Chiefs, Jets, Pats.

      • JTH | January 6, 2011 at 12:52 pm |

        If the packers can squeeze that stripe pattern onto their collar, then they sure as hell can get it on the socks.

      • LI Phil | January 6, 2011 at 12:56 pm |

        Think Packers. That striping pattern (y/w/y/w/y) is too wide to look good on the socks.


        how do you figure they can’t work the striping onto the socks and still make it look good?

        and that’s the 5 stripe version…like they used to have

        that looks pretty damn fine to me

        problem is, with today’s “look at me” types, (and the fact that they aren’t stirrups anymore, but literally tubes without feet)…you’d never get them to all look uniform…god forbid

    • Ricko | January 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm |

      A perfect example the same stripe pattern everywhere doesn’t always work: Florida Atlantic football, especially the road unis.

      I know it pleases those with OCD, but this is just WAY too much of a good thing…


      • The Jeff | January 6, 2011 at 12:56 pm |

        Oh bah. It looks just like one of the old Patriots road uniforms. As all-white uniforms go, that looks damn good.

        • Ricko | January 6, 2011 at 1:12 pm |

          Stipe width and spacing varied more than a little on those old Pats unis from helmet to shoulders to pants, which softened the visual assault a bit.
          FAU’s are virtually identical in all three locations.

          All a matter of opinion, of course. I just know that watching FAU on TV, it was a little overwhelming.

          A bit like watching the Bengals’ visual buzzsaw of a uni. Yeah, I get it, they like tiger stripes.


      • Jim Vilk | January 6, 2011 at 1:05 pm |

        I don’t have OCD (used to think I did until I became a regular UW reader…), but I love that Florida Atlantic uniform. Not every team needs to match the stripes that well, but I’m glad they do.

        • Ricko | January 6, 2011 at 2:59 pm |

          To be more precise (and I did say it badly), it’s only the Owls’ whites where I notice it. I love their home unis. Their navy jersey instantly became one of my college favorites the first time I saw it.


      • rpm | January 6, 2011 at 1:05 pm |

        we all have ocd in some way or another here, so each topic is more or less, does it offend yours, and mixmatch doesn’t other mine. that beng said matching isn’t bad, and fau looks good to me. i don’t want everybody to match or not match or follow any of the arbitrary rules people lay down, it’s the differences that make it fun.

        • traxel | January 6, 2011 at 8:00 pm |


      • Geeman | January 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm |

        You’re right as usual, Ricko. Plus another reason to leave the darn things alone is tradition. They’ve done it for so long and been so good that it’s a nice idiosyncratic thing. It’s a push back against the sterilization of everything, that everything has to be “perfect.” Little odds and ends and imperfections make for beauty. Think Cindy Crawford’s birth mark.

        • Boomtown | January 6, 2011 at 5:26 pm |

          Or Sarah Jessica Parker’s face.

    • pflava | January 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm |

      “but the auburn pants do match the ranger patterned auburn home jersey, it is just a different field. from the centre, orange-blue-white. sort of like what florida does”

      Excellent observation! I never looked at it that way before, but you’re absolutely right.

      • rpm | January 6, 2011 at 1:26 pm |

        thank you my good sir. there are a lot of teams like that, i mentioned in another thread the gators. they have the ranger pattern on a blue filed but it changes when it is on white or orange. but the stripes area always the same white-blue-orange-field from the centre. i also mentioned alabama in yet another thread, the helmet and pants do match, just the field changes, it is white-crimson-field

    • DRobb | January 6, 2011 at 1:28 pm |

      I love the fact that Florida always matches their stripes. The only part that doesn’t normally match the Orange/Blue/White/Blue/Orange pattern is the numbers on the away jerseys (cause you wouldn’t be able to see them). I was surprised when they didn’t continue it on the orange jerseys against LSU.

  • muddlehead | January 6, 2011 at 12:39 pm |

    i’m sold on sale. we a’s fans feel the same about morgan as you, paul, do about a certain radio dude…

  • Kevin | January 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm |


    Regarding the term “sweatback”, I don’t know if it’s a term I would be comfortable using in casual conversation thanks to its close proximity to the racial slur “wetback” and the idea that the player wearing the jersey appears to have a wet back. To be clear, I’m not inferring that that was Bryan Molloy’s intent; that’s just a personal observation.

    • Aaron | January 6, 2011 at 2:57 pm |

      Kind of had the same reaction, for whatever it’s worth.

      • JTH | January 6, 2011 at 4:19 pm |

        Interesting. My reaction was that it’s a pretty baadasssss term.

        • rpm | January 6, 2011 at 5:49 pm |

          but you have stink lines. oh wait, that was me.

  • tomasher | January 6, 2011 at 1:08 pm |

    My friends think I’m strange for paying attention to the uniforms and equipment aspect of sports (I get a lot of the “he’s checking out his equipment… heh heh heh” jokes), so I appreciate this site for people like us.

    That was a fantastic interview. I too am surprised on his take on nameplates. I’ve always believed that nameplates were for football jerseys and hockey sweaters. Baseball and basketball should be free of nameplates. My opinion, of course.

    • Steve Sale | January 7, 2011 at 1:23 am |

      While I have enjoyed reading the various opinions regarding nameplates, let me offer my point of view that many may not realize. To me, nameplates look fine on a baseball jersey as long as they are centered correctly. What is irritating to me especially on tv are nameplates that start the normal arch of left to right and then take a sharp nosedive towards the end of the name.

      Also, stripping a nameplate off a jersey is not only cost effective, but saves time from individually removing letters which when removed may or may not leave a trace of the removed letter. Here is another downside to names directly sewn on the jersey. If the name to be removed is say “Johnson” and replaced with “Smith”, there is a very good chance that some residue from the removed longer name would be visible because the shorter name can’t cover it. You wouldn’t know this by watching the game in person or on tv, but the residue does show. Whereas if a nameplate is used, even if a shorter name is replacing a longer name, the stitches from the borders of the nameplates aren’t very visible.

      Lastly, someone mentioned that direct applied letters should be on pinstripes. That is fine if the letters are at least 2-color. If a 1-color name is used on a pinstripe jersey, the name would tend to blend in with the pinstripes. While the number would be 1-color also, it is large enough that it doesn’t get lost in the pinstripes. The names on the Phillies pinstripes look ok because the names are 2-color (Red on White). While the bottom color of the 2-color letters are white, it works because the white prevents the red letters from blending in with the pinstripes. While my explanation may have been lengthy, I hope it shed some light on another point of view on nameplates. Thanks for your comments and reading Paul’s article.

  • Kris McInnis | January 6, 2011 at 1:34 pm |

    Auburn’s jerseys have been tweeked with a bit in my lifetime, but the pants have remained the same since the late ’50s at least. But finally seeing an actual product rather than just fan-renders, I’ll admit that it would be interesting to see the whole ensemble on the field but it wouldnt ruin my day if they trotted out in the normal attire on Monday. I’m not a huge fan of it, but hey, at least they’re the school’s actual colors.

  • Vin Eethy | January 6, 2011 at 1:43 pm |

    “SS: Actually, the oddest request I ever got was when Mark McGwire came to me because his jock was falling apart and he wanted me to restitch it.”

    Falling apart my ass. The roids were shrinking his nads and he needed Steve to take his jock in a bit. haha

    • Ricko | January 6, 2011 at 1:46 pm |

      Ah-ha, pouch reduction surgery!

      Man, the signs were all there, huh.


  • Ry Co 40 | January 6, 2011 at 1:50 pm |

    mr. sale, in his flickr set, touched upon probably the best reason for DIY:

    “I am tired of seeing the same merchandise in every store with little or no imagination in the design”

    great article guys!

  • Paul Lukas | January 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm |

    Thanks for all the positive response to today’s post, folks — means a lot to Steve, who’s dealing with some medical issues. I’m sure your feedback is giving him a welcome lift.

    • Christopher | January 6, 2011 at 5:10 pm |

      Well here’s wishing him well on whatever issues he’s having.

      Sometimes these profiles are sorta blah… but this one was awesome! He seems like a great storyteller.

  • Gary | January 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm |

    I would become a member in a heartbeat if you did not have the prohibition against purple (you and I Paul simply disagree…:))

    I’d like my membership card in the colors of the original LA Kings and since it is “non-negotiable” I simply cannot sign up.

    Ever consider relaxing that?

    • Jim Vilk | January 6, 2011 at 2:42 pm |

      You missed out – Paul had a purple amnesty day recently.

      • Gary | January 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm |

        Jim: Bummer. Not sure how I missed it as I’m a regular reader. I’ll just have to keep a lookout when Paul is next seized by a moment of charity…:)

  • The Red Dog | January 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm |

    Oh dear. Has society really come to this?

    • Ricko | January 6, 2011 at 3:12 pm |

      A purple amnesty day, you mean?

  • david | January 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm |

    It’s Auburn’s helmet that doesn’t match their uniforms! NOT THEIR PANTS!

    • david | January 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm |

      It’s Auburn’s helmet that doesn’t match their *HOME* uniforms! NOT THEIR PANTS!

  • Matthew Robins | January 6, 2011 at 4:20 pm |

    Love the interviews, as always!

    • Ricko | January 6, 2011 at 4:25 pm |

      Well, natch, if a uni doesn’t look like it was designed on/by a computer how could it possibly be anything but lacking. Not to mention terribly out of date and old-fashioned.

      I mean, that’s obvious by now, isn’t it?


      • Ricko | January 6, 2011 at 4:27 pm |

        Those Cardinal “birds on a bat”, for example.
        They aren’t perfect mirror images of one another.
        How lame is that.

  • aflfan | January 6, 2011 at 4:41 pm |

    Picture of the field being worked on for the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Bowl


    • Jim Vilk | January 6, 2011 at 10:13 pm |

      I don’t think I’d want to sit on the VD side of the field…

  • Craig Ackers | January 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm |

    New pro cycling team – Team Leopard – have released there new uniform for the new season. Images here http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/team-leopard-trek-kit-revealed

    Also HTC Columbia has there new kit here together with a picture of their champions jerseys here – http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest/510602/htc-highroad-unveils-new-jersey-design.html

    Sorry of this is old news to everyone.


  • DavisJedi54 | January 6, 2011 at 6:14 pm |

    May I get a membership card with my high school football uniform/or helmet logo?

  • sealsfan | January 6, 2011 at 6:51 pm |

    Hey, I had a California Golden Seals jacket made recently in the color as Steve’s A’s jacket…wonder if Paul would like to feature it?

  • kyle | January 6, 2011 at 8:06 pm |

    Miami (OH) is wearing a helmet tonight in the GoDaddy Bowl with an M on one side and numbers on the other. At the start of the broadcast they showed the interim HC telling his team that the helmet has 3 different aspects from three eras that were good in the program. The numbers from the 60s, block M from 70s I think, and the helmet stripes from the 80s. Pretty cool

    • LI Phil | January 6, 2011 at 8:08 pm |

      yeah…but they ruin it with the red facemask

      i do like the helmet, but if you’re gonna put numbers on the side, then you need a gray facemask

      • JTH | January 7, 2011 at 12:57 am |

        Nah. Red facemasks and numbers is a look that works. Just ask the East Dillon Lions.

    • kyle | January 6, 2011 at 8:20 pm |

      nose bumper also says “LOVE & HONOR!”
      don’t know if it’s always said that or it’s new

  • LarryB | January 6, 2011 at 8:10 pm |

    Miami Ohio has an M on one side and numbers on the other tonight.

    • Patrick_in_MI | January 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm |

      Damnit, came here to say this! Anyway, is this something normal for Miami or just a bowl game quirk?

  • traxel | January 6, 2011 at 8:11 pm |

    I’m wondering if Steve Sale was a frequent (or occasional) reader of this site….or is now? Seems he’s one of us. Anyway, welcome Steve! All the best to you.

  • LI Phil | January 6, 2011 at 8:16 pm |

    don’t know if anyone else has seen this but Paul was interviewed by the Oregonian about the … wait for it … nikegon ducks

    actually a very good, honest and fair review, and the interviewer doesn’t have any loaded questions and obviously knows paul from the mothership

    good read

    • LarryB | January 6, 2011 at 8:32 pm |

      Thanks for the link. It was a good piece. I agree with a lot of what Paul said.

    • traxel | January 6, 2011 at 8:36 pm |

      Enjoyed the article. When Paul talked about the recruiting aspect of uniforms (so true) it reminded me of when Brent Mushburger said on the air years ago how he wondered how many players chose Michigan just for the helmet.

  • =bg= | January 6, 2011 at 9:43 pm |

    PL; what’s the background on the Mets logo- NY inclusive?

    • Paul Lukas | January 6, 2011 at 10:16 pm |

      The “NY” was there in the original logo, but it was removed in 1999. I wrote a small piece about it at the time for the Voice. The original piece is no longer on the web, but it’s quoted in its entirety in this message board post:

      Some of us miss the “NY.” Others (including Broadway Connie, who posted a comment earlier today) think the logo looks cleaner without it. I’m at the point where I can’t objectively say whether the logo looks “better” or “worse” now; it was just something I was used to and I miss it.

      I’ll say this much, though: The Wilpons’ approach to marketing is VERY suburban, so the loss of the “NY” has always struck me as being in keeping with their basic ethos.

      In any event, I’m fairly certain the NY-inclusive logo shown on the promo brochure was just some intern’s mistake.

  • Patrick_in_MI | January 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm |

    Great interview today Paul! I loved Steve’s stories, great insider info. Will you be putting this, or any future interviews, on a podcast as well? I recall a few weeks back your mention of doing this.

    • Paul Lukas | January 7, 2011 at 12:35 am |

      This one wasn’t a good podcast candidate, because the audio quality of the interview was poor.

      I may make future interviews available via podcast, but that will be in addition to the written transcripts, not in place of them. When I asked people to weigh in on this subject a while back, opinion was fairly evenly split, but there were several hearing-impaired readers who basically said, “If you switch to a podcast format, I’m pretty much left out in the cold.” I don’t want to do that, so I’ll keep transcribing.

      • Mark in Shiga | January 7, 2011 at 8:50 am |

        Paul, I’m definitely in favor of transcripts. You can’t skim a podcast or video like you can with a transcript, and it’s also much harder to go back and look for a certain part of the article after you’re done reading it. You also can’t search for words like you can with a browser, though I’m sure that technology will come for audio sooner than we might expect.

  • Komet17 | January 6, 2011 at 10:47 pm |

    Padres beat writer Bill Center (San Diego Union-Tribune) is reporting that the Padres will have new road uniforms in 2011, and new home uniforms as soon as 2012, with the team’s traditional colors (brown, etc.) making a come back. Sorry, no link to an article, as these comments appeared in an online chat–don’t know how to capture and link to that.

    • Paul Lukas | January 7, 2011 at 12:36 am |

      The new road uni for this season is accurate.

      I hadn’t heard about a new home uni for 2012 — that’s news.

  • aflfan | January 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm |

    I am having a hard time figuring out who is sponsoring this bowl tonight. They just don’t have their logo on the field enough.

  • Johnny O | January 6, 2011 at 11:32 pm |

    Uniform related? Not really. Awesome? Yeah. Never seen a puck split in half before.


    • LI Phil | January 7, 2011 at 12:27 am |

      you’ve obviously never faced my slap shot

  • Pat | January 7, 2011 at 1:19 am |

    I know it’s late but I just got home to watch a highlight.
    Go Daddy Bowl Breakdown:
    Mascot Edge: Blue Raiders v Red Hawks
    I like blue more than red. Advantage Middle Tennessee
    Uni Edge: they both looked pretty decent. I really like the shade of blue that Middle Tennessee had, Advantage Blue Raiders.

  • Steve Sale | January 7, 2011 at 2:08 am |

    I just wanted to take a short minute to thank Bill Henderson for contacting Paul and allowing me the opportunity to tell some of my behind the scenes experiences. I have read Paul’s website for a while now, and have enjoyed the fact that I wasn’t the only one scrutinizing uniform lettering from either watching a game to going into a retail store and wondering why anyone would spend their hard earned money for a jersey with sub-standard lettering.

    The prices that Majestic and others charge for their pre-numbered player jerseys, and “authentic throwbacks” are a joke, especially when it is evident that these companies could care less about the lack of authentic name and number lettering. My feeling is that with the prices they charge, these are more of an investment. If a company is going to market the jersey as an “authentic or authentic throwback”, then it should be authentic in every way, including the correct colors, lettering and numbering fonts. Paul mentioned that I am going through an illness, and reading everyone’s opinions and comments was more therapeutic than any doctor could prescribe.
    Thank You again Paul.

    • BurghFan | January 7, 2011 at 8:22 am |

      Thank you for sharing, Steve, and best wishes for your recovery.

  • Ruben | January 7, 2011 at 2:35 am |

    a while back a was messing around with the uniform builder at the under armour website, http://www.underarmourteamuniforms.com/Configurator/, and i noticed that the pant they had listed as the auburn style had a different striping then the ones used on the real auburn jerseys. the pants they had on the website were the same ones in the video. so i dont think that they will be changing the jersey for the game. It’s just for whatever reason under armour isn’t consistent.