Got a note the other day from Mike Hersh. “Ever wish you were rich?” he said. “I do, and here’s some of the stuff I’d buy.” And with that he presented links to a bunch of items from the latest sale at Legendary Auctions.
Many of the items he singled out are indeed spectacular. Let’s take a look:
• This is pretty interesting: Back in the late 1930s and ’40s, you could get your kid a little youth uniform featuring the Babe, the Dean Brothers, or Joe D. Little League hadn’t yet been invented, so these uniforms can be seen as early versions of retail replicas. I had no idea such things were available at such an early date full listing).
• A sporting goods shop in my neighborhood called Sport Prospect has been selling jackets almost exactly like this one since the late 1980s. My then-girlfriend got me one for Christmas in 1990, and I still wear it almost every day when I go out for my daily bike ride in Prospect Park. While I knew they had cribbed the “Brooklyn” script, I didn’t realize they’d cribbed the entire jacket, right down to the navy buttons. Interesting (full listing).
• I don’t care about autographs, so I don’t much care about this Wilt Chamberlain high school yearbook signature. I sure do like the yearbook’s cover design, though (full listing).
• Before there were the Boston Celtics, there were the Original Celtics, a New York barnstorming team. That’s one of their old Christmas cards, and here’s a photo that shows them wearing some absolutely killer sweaters. Lots of additional artifacts in the full listing.
Uni Watch Disabled List: It is my sad duty to report that Scott M.X. Turner (shown at left), who designed the Uni Watch logo and also designs all the Uni Watch membership cards, took a nasty spill off his bike the other day and fractured his left arm, which will be in a sling for six weeks. Fortunately, he’s right-handed, so he can still
do the most important thing a guy does with one hand use a mouse, although he might take a little time off first. Please join me in wishing him a speedy recovery and lots of fun painkillers, not necessarily in that order. We’d all sign your cast if we could, Scott!
Too good for the Ticker: Mike Hersh, who’s been on a roll lately, sent me an eBay link yesterday for something really fascinating: a pair of White Sox pants that were supposedly used in spring training, circa 1987. But these aren’t any ordinary Chisox pants — see for yourself.
Now, this could all be hooey, as so many “game-used” eBay items are. In fact, the same seller is also offering some ’87 spring training pants without the leg logo. But if the first pair is legit, it’s a really interesting find. Two immediate thoughts come to mind:
1) 1987 is the year the Sox changed from the beach blanket to the script (and from sansabelt pants to belted). So if these pants really were used in ’87, as the eBay seller is claiming, they were “last year’s” pants. But that isn’t so unusual for spring training.
2) I had never thought about this before, but it makes sense that the Sox wouldn’t have used regular game pants for spring training during this period, because they wore uni numbers on the left pant leg. With all the extra players who show up for spring camp, it’s hard enough to make sure everyone has a properly numbered jersey. Can you imagine what a hassle it would’ve been to make sure every scrub fifth-string catcher had the right number on his pants? I would’ve assumed they’d have left the left pant leg blank, but putting the beach blanket logo there is an interesting solution.
Can any Sox fans tell us more about this? Better still, does anyone have some photos of players wearing pants like these?
Uni Watch News Ticker: Ebbets Field Flannels has just come out with some new football and hockey throwbacks, and holy bejeezus are they gorgeous. ”¦ If you scroll down to the No. 15 entry on this list, you’ll find an interesting quiz about college hoops shorts (with thanks to Britt Jackson). ”¦ Ever get the feeling that the NFL has taken this licensing thing a bit too far? (Big thanks to John Freeman.) ”¦ If you liked Friday’s entry about infographics, you’ll love this infographical look at Super Bowl XLV (big thanks to Joshua Sondelski). ”¦ Dan Cichalski points out that Nike put out at least one MLB facial hair T-shirt design way back in October, so they aren’t just Nike-come-lately on that trope. ”¦ Due to a freak injury situation, the Islanders had to call up an emergency back-up goalie named Joel Martin the other night. He arrived toward the end of the second period and, according to this article, “Without time to customize a No. 34 sweater, the Islanders equipment staff tore the nameplate off a No. 17 of New York forward Matt Martin and stitched it on the goalie’s new jersey” (great spot by Jennifer Collins). ”¦ The Diamondbacks will celebrate the 10th anniversary of their 2001 championship by wearing throwbacks this September. Interesting to see that one of the throwback dates is Sept. 11. Does this mean they’ll be wearing stars/stripes caps with the throwbacks? Hope not (with thanks to Joey Artigue). ”¦ It had previously been reported that the Indians’ Bob Feller memorial patch would look like this, but they’ve apparently gone for something a bit more subdued (as noted by Edwin Miller). ”¦ An upstate New York school district has found a 60-year-old athletic jacket buried deep in a middle school basement (with thanks to Stephen King). ”¦ Here’s another article about the uni-related implications of the Clippers’ extended road trip. ”¦ Very interesting note from Roger Faso, who writes: “When I went to A’s games as a kid, occasionally the covers of the programs would have wonderful collages of clippings and memorabilia. I always thought a team employee put them together. A few years ago, I started doing my own with baseball cards, electronically. Recently, I decided to get down and do one for real. While doing research, I discovered that those collages weren’t whipped up by some designer in the PR department, but were commissioned pieces of art by a guy named Ray Ward. Are you aware of him?” Nope — not familiar with him. But I think I’ll be getting in touch with him soon. ”¦ Whoa, this is one weird-ass Cincy Reds doll. ”¦ Who’s that in the top row, third from the left? It’s none other than Jack Nicklaus, on his high school basketball team (great find by Jeff Flynn, Jr.). ”¦ The Lakers continued wearing their home throwbacks on the road on Friday at MSG, as the Knicks wore their road throwbacks at home. ”¦ And yes, as a few million readers have pointed out, the NOB font on the Lakers’ throwbacks is wrong. Even weirder, as Tim Moore points out, they got the font right on the swingman replicas. So why can’t they get it right on the court? ”¦ Two lacrosse-related contributions from Jeff Brunelle: an interesting interview with an ASICS Lacrosse exec, and new gloves for Wesleyan. ”¦ Absolutely brilliant piece on Baseball Prospectus about the very odd but very real phenomenon of MLB-themed erotic gay fiction. Key quotes: “I guess it takes all kinds, even the kind who imagines and then describes Kevin Millar having a drunken threesome with Keith Foulke and Jason Varitek” and, especially, “You just do not ever expect to encounter the phrase ‘Doug Mirabelli’s huge, unlubed”¦’ Well, Doug Mirabelli’s huge, unlubed anything, really. Let’s leave it at that.” ”¦ A minor leaguer who’s invited to MLB spring training with little or no chance to make the team is usually given a very high uni number. In Japan, such players are called “instructional players,” and Jeremy Brahm says they usually get a three-digit number beginning with 1 or 2. But Yomiuri Giants pitcher Adam Bright is wearing 022. ”¦ Louisville wore throwbacks on Saturday. “Their retro warm-ups had FNOF (first name on front),” says David Merrill. ”¦ Here’s an odd one: Umbro has hired Peter Saville, who did all of the famous graphics for the famous UK music label Factory Records (New Order, Joy Division, etc. — never my cuppa, frankly, but it was an important label for lots of people back in the day), to design the kits for the English national team. Details here (with thanks to Tim Broun). ”¦ New soccer kits for Gamba Osaka (Jeremy Brahm again). ”¦ Here’s a very cool-looking 1963 ice skate catalog. ”¦ The NHL logo on Tyler Myers’s jersey collar was missing yesterday (screen shot by Andy Preisendanz). ”¦ And speaking of the NHL logo patch, here’s an interesting report from Stephen Tod: “I was watching the Canucks game on Saturday night and they showed the Canucks training staff doing a bit of clipping and trimming around the NHL shield at the base of the collar. Apparently one of the players was complaining to the staff about the bottom of the collar being uncomfortable or stuff. It appeared as though the staff was clipping slits around the area where the shield meets the collar, so it wouldn’t be removed but would provide some relief.” ”¦ You know how some college hoops players wear T-shirts under their jerseys? One such player is Purdue forward Kelsey Barlow, and Andrew Moeschberger spotted Barlow wearing an “action P” logo patch on his left sleeve during yesterday’s Purdue/Illinois game. This is the first undershirt sleeve logo I’ve ever been aware of in a basketball game. Anyone else..? ”¦ Holy moly, look at this awesome Super Bowl cake, made with hand-painted licorice bears! Okay, so that would’ve been better if the Bears had been in the big game, but there’s no such thing as licorice packers or steelers (big thanks to Jeff Ash). ”¦ The University of Denver’s hockey team has added a memorial patch for former coach Murray “Chief” Armstrong. ”¦ Here are the Nats’ BP jerseys — woof. Not every team is using that miserable contrasting yoke, but some of them are, as you can see in these schematics of the N.L. and A.L. jerseys. ”¦ Two good finds by Mako Mameli: First, it’s not often that you see two decal malfunctions on two different players from two different teams in the same photo. That’s from the NFC Championship Game. And second, the most obvious uni-notable aspect of this 1993 photo is the Colts’ “10 Years in Indy” patch. But look closer: The left guard is wearing a ProCap! Anyone know who that player was? ”¦ While looking for something else, I came across a roller derby photo for the ages. Damn, I need to start hunting for some old roller derby jerseys — they always look so great in photos. ”¦ Here’s a story about how Lightning goalie Dan Ellis designs his own masks (with thanks to Chris Bisbee). ”¦ Color-vs.-color alert. That’s Arizona and Arizona State, who faced off last night (as noted by Michael Koch). ”¦ As a Niners fan, I’m surprised I’d never seen this helmet before. That’s Ed Beard in 1970 (great find by Bill Kellick). ”¦ Also from Bill: Check out the little Raiders logo decal just above Daryle Lamonica’s nose bumper. That shot is from 1969.
“I can’t do my homework and I can’t see straight / I meet him every morning ’bout a half-past eight”: As I hope most of us can agree, Valentine’s Day generally sucks. If you’re lucky enough to be partnered, there’s all this pressure to be super-romantical; if you’re single, well, you know. Either way, you’re ready to tell Cupid where he can stick that arrow.
Every now and then, though, V-Day delivers. Case in point: On Feb. 13, 2009, Scott Turner and I had lunch at a bar in New Jersey. The bartender — a tough, no-nonsense chick named Tina — was asking one of the other customers what he was getting his wife for Valentine’s Day. “Oh, you know,” he said, “chocolates, flowers.” And then, after a pause: “And I’m gonna tie a ribbon on my ding-dong!”
I spat out my beer, the whole place cracked up, and Tina spent the next half-hour with this little smirk on her face, muttering, “A ribbon on his ding-dong”¦” It perfectly cut through all the V-Day treacle and was almost certainly the single greatest Valentine’s Day-related moment of my life. Whatever your romantic status may be, here’s hoping we all get to enjoy a similarly entertaining moment today.